How did you meet?
Michael: While moving from Nebraska down to the Kansas City area 12 years ago I kept seeing a salon billboard on i-29 and would radio over my friend in the other truck that someday I will have a wife like the person on the billboard. At that time I was heavily involved in the muscle car part and trade so it took us about 20 trips and he would say, “Here comes your billboard wife”. Then, about a year later, I was standing in the middle of the street after coming out of a nightclub with a music executive and his artist and one of them said that next week they will introduce me to the person driving the blue car with the Bush 04 sticker on it, but that never did happen. I am a car guy so I remembered her car and the sticker on our first date after we finally met. Then about 8 months later my father came back from North Carolina and his Sprint phone was broken so we went to the Sprint store. I was sick with bronchitis at the time and he kept looking out the store window and I thought, “What is going on with him? Is he having an issue?” so I went in and immediately understood why he brought me into the store. I left telling him that someday I will marry someone like her. He looked at me and said, “You never say that” and told me that I should ask her out. It took me a few weeks as this was around Valentine’s Day but after a few drive bys and visits to the store I went inside with my friend who helped me move in the past on my 30th birthday and talked to her. We left the store and when we were heading down the road he told me that I always encourage him to live life to the fullest and he was disappointed that I wasn’t walking the walk I always talk. So I asked him for his cell phone and since I took one of her business cards I gave her a call and asked her for coffee. I am not sure where that even came from since I do not drink coffee, but luckily she said yes. Later that day Jason recalled that she was the one on the salon billboard and he actually had a picture of it on his phone.
Heather: We met at a Sprint store. I worked for Sprint during college and was on lunch break in the back of the store when he came in. Something inside told me to go out to the front of the store and help my colleagues…during lunch. It made no sense. I am so happy I listened to that voice because I met my favorite person in the world due to that decision.
Was it love at first sight?
Heather: I knew from the moment we met he was special and set apart. He instantly gave me the feeling that we would always be in each other’s lives. I would most definitely say there was love from day one.
Was it always marital bliss?
Michael: No, we have our moments of ups and downs, but thankfully one of us is usually on an up when the other one is on a down and we won’t let each other sink
Heather: I don’t think it’s natural or possible for people to be happy all the time. We’ve had our up and down moments just like anyone. There have been many more happy days than challenging ones. The happy days sustain you while you walk through life’s inevitable trials and tribulations. We each pay special attention to doing what we can to make the other’s goals in life a reality. This approach gives us a service-centered attitude and helps us focus on strengthening our marriage and friendship every day.
What one thing do you feel has made your relationship successful?
Michael: Besides our Christian faith and keeping to our word… a big one is on our wedding day my older friend ate breakfast with us. He had been married 6 times unsuccessfully so we asked him what is the one thing he learned and he told us that it does not matter what anyone else says or thinks about what we have done or are doing but rather it is vital that we both understand each other and make decisions together because when it comes down to it you two only have each other.
Heather: The fact that our personalities were tailor made to complement each other has genuinely helped us so much. We like to say he is the CEO and I am the COO. He likes to be front and center and I enjoy taking on the day to day operations of life and work. He has a silly sense of humor and I have a sarcastic sense of humor. He is spontaneous, and I like checks and balances. He is the romantic and I am the sensible gift giver, ha! We balance each other in many ways.
How long have you been married?
Michael: About 2,400 days (6-1/2 years)
What do you like to do for date night?
Michael: We often alternate so she will pick then I get to pick vice versa… for me it is either going and shooting our bows, fishing or being at the race track.
Heather: My idea of the perfect date night is going to a museum or play followed by some great Italian food and wrapping up with a favorite book at a local coffee shop.
Tell us what your most memorable date was and why?
Heather: I would say our second date was the most memorable one. We finally got to have our coffee date and we got up to the counter to order and Michael said, “I forgot I don’t drink coffee. I don’t know why I asked to coffee of all places.” It made me laugh and realize that he was just as nervous and hopeful as me. We sat there with my coffee and his sugar cookie and water and had a refreshingly open and honest conversation about what we want in life. He really spoke to my practical side by laying his cards on the table. I’m sure that would scare some people on a second date, but I like directness. It was the perfect date!
Please share some words of wisdom on relationships.
Michael: Faith, Keep Your word, Understand it is not our timing, understand that the road is not always smooth and what is an issue today may not be an issue tomorrow.
Heather: I like to remind myself that most of the time I’m not as right as I think I am or as wrong as I think I am. When you live life together day after day the edges blur and there are lots of factors for every decision, many subconscious. The goal for me is to stay focused on our core values, work out the details as they come, and play the cards of life as they lay.