(Part I: How we met here)
So I was leaving Maryland in a stranger's truck while Jason waited for a tow truck to take his totaled car to the junkyard. I arrived at the airport, grateful for the man -- we called him Obama man because of his bumper sticker -- who came to the rescue so I could make my flight back to Arizona, but wishing Obama man would magically transform into my man, Jason. As I got out of Obama man's truck, I figured I should send Jason a text to let him know I hadn't been abducted, but I realized after searching all the obvious places that I must have left my phone in Jason's totaled car! I knew it was on silent, and I knew he was probably worried, but I had a plane to catch! I rushed through security and had a moment to borrow a nice lady's phone to call my mom, who had Jason's number (I didn't have it memorized yet) so she could let him know I was alive.
Once I was back in Arizona, I looked forward to the following week when Jason would come visit for a few days before we drove up to school together. The hours felt like days (pathetic, I know) and the days felt like weeks until I could see him again! We skyped each evening, and one night I coyly held up a sticky-note sign that said "I miss you." That night, Jason changed his flight and came to Arizona a couple days ahead of schedule.
I planned a week of Arizona fun to show Jason what the wild wild west was really about! We hiked, ate at Rustler's Roost, swam, went to the lake, went scorpion hunting... etc.
One evening, we were sitting on the edge of a dock at Tempe Town Lake, and as we talked and looked up at the stars I had an undeniable feeling that this relationship was going somewhere. I thought about the coming school year, and knew that continuing to date Jason was a good thing.
We spent fall semester going on morning jogs, hiking, getting lots of shaved ice, going on late night walks, filming stories for my reporting classes, and falling in love. I still wasn't sure if I was supposed to marry Jason, but when I prayed I felt like I should keep seeing him, so I did. A lot!
One thing that really helped our relationship was getting yoga memberships. There's nothing like seeing your man in warrior one.
Jason was (and still is!) very creative with his dates, and one night he pulled up with a love sack strapped to the top of my car. I had a feeling this guy would be a hilariously fun person to spend the rest of my life with.
Another time, I went out to my car after a long day of reporting and there were rose petals sprinkled all over the seats, and this note:
SWOON! We had been dating for four months, and Jason wanted to do something special so we picked up our favorite treat, an apple pie caramel apple from rocky mountain, and took the moonlight ski lift at sundance.
It wasn't long before we were talking about marriage, but I still hadn't received "the answer" on whether or not Jason was the one for me. But I felt comfortable moving forward, with the faith that soon I would know for sure.
Jason's cute parents and my parents came for General Conference in October, and I think it was pretty obvious that we were falling in love. We made plans for the holidays, and Jason came to Arizona for Thanksgiving and the beginning of Christmas break, then I met up with him in Houston at his brother's place for Christmas Day and New Years!
Jason got me a beautiful crystal bracelet and a sushi making set, and I got him a University of North Carolina lacrosse jacket (he played there before transferring to BYU) and gave him a video I had secretly made for him with the help of my roommate, Lizzy. We were so in love and I couldn't imagine my life without Jason.
New Year's Day I left for Washington, DC to meet up with my family to see my dad be sworn into the senate. Jason was staying in Houston, and I would meet him back in Provo once school started again. I said goodbye to Jason at the airport and once I boarded the plane, I took this photo because the lady in front of me reeked of a brand new spray tan:
Once we got in the air I remember looking down and thinking dramatically, "The love of my life is down there just driving home from the airport, and I already miss him."
(Little did I know, Jason was rushing back to his brother's house, packing up his stuff, then racing back to the airport and nearly missing his plane to surprise me in DC!)
The next morning, I woke up with my family in DC and got ready for our first tour of the day at the National Archives. We had some extended family in town, so we had a special tour organized to see some of the secret vaults. Once we were there, we rode up a small elevator and came out into a tiny hallway that lead to one of the vaults. The tour guide motioned to the door as she said, "Behind this door we will see a rare, Native American artifact." I thought that was a little unusual, since I thought we were there to see some church history documents, and then she knocked on the door and who opened it but my handsome man! I literally could not believe it was him and my face ran through about ten different emotions before I finally realized it really was Jason standing in front of me and I ran into his arms and cried tears of joy (along with most of the workers). I couldn't even pay attention during the presentation because I was so excited he was there with me!
After the tour finished, we headed to the capitol building to do my favorite activity in all of DC, climbing the dome! We climbed up all the stairs with my parents, Aunt Kaija, Aunt Suzy, Uncle Kevin and Grandma Flake. When we finally got to the top, Jason and I were looking out at the beautiful view while everyone but Suzy and Kevin slipped back inside. We were hugging for a while and Jason looked down at me and said, "Well..." and reached into his pocket! I couldn't believe it. I had seen enough movies to know what that meant! He knelt down and told me beautiful things about how much he cared for me and how he wanted to be with me forever. Then, he asked me the question every girl dreams of hearing, "Alexis Lanae Flake, will you marry me?"
But this part was not like the movies. It was not quite how I imagined, mostly because I realized in the moment that I still hadn't received my answer of whether or not I was supposed to marry this dude! What the heck! And here I was, at the top of the capitol building with him on one knee and a very, very important question hanging in the air. As Jason describes it, I looked up into the sky (I remember this moment well, I was letting God know that he could shine down a spotlight or something on Jason to let me know that he was the one) then my face dropped and I paused for what probably felt like 25 minutes to him. I could tell he was getting a little nervous, and as I waited for an answer to come, I felt a quiet calm come over me and the words filled my mind, "It's your choice." That was all I needed to know. I knew I wanted to be with Jason.
It would have been a long jump down if I had said no.
To be continued!