Category Archives: The Chase

How Tony Romo helped me set the hook!

I meant to pen this blog yesterday.  Which in and of itself is an interesting comment.  A blog is just a journal, right?  So if something happened of enough meaning yesterday that I should have wrote about it, why didn’t I?  Umm…  I don’t know.

Anyway,  Yesterday was significant, but not because of anything that happened then.  (Well, something actually did happen yesterday, but that is for another blog.)  Yesterday’s significance comes from its day as an anniversary.

January 6th, 2007.  Elisabeth and I have enjoyed our New Year’s date.  The following days include some bad ones, my birthday, and some good ones, all the rest.  We are still talking a lot and my heart is definitely growing towards her and bring courage with it.   I decide that I am going to ask her to take this to the next level.  (I have no idea what the “next level” is, but I was pretty sure it included words like, dating, girlfriend, etc.)  The next time I expect to see her is Sunday the 7th, so that is the plan.  But then…

“Jason, I am at my friend’s Matt and Adelle’s house.  We are watching the football game that just started.  Do you have plans or would you like to watch it with us?”

Football, girl I like, possibly free food.  Yes Please!

So I head up to Edmonds.  The plan was for us to…  there wasn’t a plan.

Well, let me get to the point.  As all of you should know, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys last year in the first round of the NFL playoffs.  It was a thrilling game.  Neck and neck down to the last minute.  The Seahawks are up by 1 point.  Dallas has the ball and is pushing into Seahawk territory.  Less than two minutes on the clock.  A 32 yard pass from Romo to Witten bring the Cowboys  to the Seattle 3 yard line and the game is essentially a wash.  A chip shot as time expires to win the game.  Happens all the time.  Defending NFC Champions are going to be out in the first round.  But wait.  What’s that!  Tony has fumbled the snap!  There is no kick, wait, no, he is running to his left!  Oh, YES!, Babineaux takes him just short to the goal line.  Cowboys turn the ball over on downs!  Seattle wins!  Seattle wins!

Now I know that I am not expressing the joy in this blog that i was expressing on that night.  Matt, Adelle’s brother, and I are hi-fiving, jumping around the room, beating our chests.  I remember at least one time falling the the floor and rithing over a blow coverage.  It is a great game and I am pumped.  At one point during the game I realize that Elisabeth likes me.  I knew that because as we were sitting there during the game, I on the couch, her on the floor near my leg, she reaches over and puts her hand on my calf.  Innocent, yes, but she leaves it there a little longer than a moment.  How could I have known that she is turned on by men being excited about football and banging their chests together and all?

I notice it right away and quickly conclude that it isn’t appropriate for two people who are just friends.  I pull my leg away and decide that we won’t be just friends for much longer.

After the game as we are still catching our breaths, I ask Elisabeth to come into the back room.  She is nervous because she thinks she did something wrong.  I ask her to sit down and proceed to tell her that I like her.  I like how she put her hand on my leg.  I tell her that it wasn’t right, but that I want to make that right now.  I ask her to be my girlfriend.

(Long awkward silence.)

Elisabeth asked me if she has to decide right then.  I say she does.  She asks me if this is what she should do.  I tell her she has to make that decision.  She asks me if this is what God wants?  I tell her I am not sure, but it is what I want.  She let’s me sweat a bit.  Then, nervously, she says,

“So you are not asking me to marry you, right?”

“Right!”

“You are not asking me to have your children, right?”

“Right, I am asking you to hold my hand every once in a while.”

“ok, yes”

Elisabeth, I have come to discover, takes a little while to accept new things.  She has to warm up to a change.  But in the end, we started dating.  She was my girlfriend.  So, as everyone can see, if Tony Romo had fielded that snap, Gramatica had made the field goal, and the Cowboys had won, it is a possibility that we wouldn’t not be married today.

But at this point, she is just “girlfriend”, now on to making her “fiancée.”

The New Year hath comith (Part 2)

So where was I? Oh yes, it is New Year’s Eve…

Elisabeth and I have parted the evening before on less than good terms. Ok, they were really hard, the first hard time. I wake up in the morning and head to Mars Hill to serve on Security. During the service, I am completely out of it. I can’t talk to my fellow men-in-arms; I end up in the Paradox sitting, convicted, anxious. “I like this girl, I want to pursue her, I don’t care if it is hard, she is worth it!”

The Red Hot Bash is that night, Elisabeth and I hadn’t really talked about going, but I decided I want to go. Elisabeth is still home so I call her during the service and ask her to go with me. She is really uncertain and asks for some time to think about it. The tickets are selling out so there isn’t much time. I leave it to God to save us a spot if we are to go and tell her I will call back in a little while.

“Hey, they are almost sold out, do you want to go?”

“I’m not sure!”

“Well, want do you want to do?”

“I want to glorify God”

“Great, but what do you want to do tonight?”

In the end she says yes, but then there is the issue of tickets. God was on our side. (So He is always on our side, but this time He was particularly pulling strings.) Julie H., a friend and co-worker of Elisabeth, is telling everyone they are sold out. Before opening my mouth she looks my way and shakes her head. I tell Julie, “You tell her then!” “Who?” I hand her the phone, Elisabeth says something I know not to this day. Julie jots down our names; we’re in!

The evening is strained. I am generally oblivious to the depth of Elisabeth’s mood. I know she is anxious, uncertain, but I can also tell that as the evening progresses, she feels more safe, more comfortable. We dance and at some point, I can tell she actually wants to be there also. Alyssa and Kabyn are a big help as we double date it, thanks.

What do I learn though? It was a hard couple days, things are hit and miss for a while and I have flash backs of relationships past and they aren’t good ones. I learn this. I am different. God is working in me and I don’t run like used to. I don’t cut bait when Elisabeth starts to pull away. I pursue, I explore, I act more like the man I want to be than any other time in my life.

This is going to be exciting.

Coming soon, Seahawks, Cowboys, and Romo.

The New Year hath comith (Part 1)

(Author’s note: As I did, you may need to go back and reread the three previous posts because this post is part of a series so references will be made and memories aren’t what they used to be.)

It is coming up to the traditional New Year Celebration welcoming 2007. In fact it is the eve of that day and Elisabeth and I have had more than one interaction. After the successful first date, she spent Christmas in Idaho. We talked on the phone for hours at a time (large cellphone bill). We talked about her family and mine; we talked about cats, cars, and Minnesota; we talked about my back and how much it hurt; we talked a lot, which is a theme in our relationship.

(This is a side note as indicated by the parentheses. Talking, communication, is a good thing in a relationship. No one will argue that point, but there is also a need to just hang out and be together, in each others presence that is, without the weight of communication. Elisabeth and I are learning that and as Chad has said more than once, “You two need to chill out to the glory of God!” Anyway)

So Christmas comes and goes, I spend it mostly alone, Elisabeth with her mom. We make plans to hang out some more upon her return and I get this brilliant idea to take her up to Whidbey Island to get firewood at Lakeside. I figure I am killing numerous birds with one stone: firewood, time with her, her experiencing something close to my heart, and many more. The date is set for Saturday the 30th. We have to go up there fairly early as a birthday party for Sally (I think?) is planned for that evening. I am excited, I think she was too.

The trip starts of well, I thought, but ends very difficultly.

(Ok, so this post is growing and I am realizing that there are many details that need to be addressed. I think this is because historical reference doesn’t allow me to leave out what at the time seemed like unimportant details, but today mean a lot. So I am now cutting it into two, but let me finish this thought.)

During the outing, there is much heart ache. Elisabeth is beautiful, she loves beautiful things, and desires beauty around her. I would barely know beauty if it hit me like a ton of bricks. These two facts have contributed to much misunderstanding. Take my clothes. I don’t, or didn’t, dress well. Match? What? You mean different shades of green don’t go well together? Cargo pants are out? Since when? What is wrong with my long sleeved turtlenecked t-shirt, I have had it for almost 10 years now? Needless to say, I didn’t look good that day. I have since changed my wardrobe, cargo pants are gone. I could also tell you about locking my keys in my car while on the ferry, but that only solidified what was already a lousy date.

The end result was that on the drive home that afternoon, Elisabeth and I decide that I wouldn’t be going to the dinner. We needed some time apart, already. What would happen after that was anybody’s guess. At least that is what I (an idiot) said, “I will call you when I call you.”

It is the following day, New Year’s Eve. We have no plans to see each other again. But that isn’t the whole story…

Dating for Dummies

What would you do? (I realize by starting a post this way, most of you are already waiting for the coming rationalization. I am not one to disappoint.)

There is this stunning blond that you have had not one, but two whole conversations with, and maybe 3 back and forth emails. You are trying to decide what would be the best first date, something real casual, fun, different. What little you know about her is that she loves books. How about this? A Friday afternoon you know she isn’t working, invite her to meet you downtown. You take off work early (you work downtown), meet up at Elliot Bay Book Company, impress her with your love of books, reading and writing, casually grab dinner maybe at Taco del Mar there in Pioneer Square, and end the day early riding the bus back to her house having enjoyed a great Seattle date.

Sounds good to me!

But not so good if what she is thinking involves something like this:

Nice dinner, romantically picked up in a car, sitting down at a restaurant where a waiter brings you food, ordering from menus that you hold, maybe some wine, lots of talking, coffee and chocolate later, dropped off, walked to the door, romance, pursuit, risk, vulnerable, effort.

If that is what she if hoping for, what she is hoping for doesn’t involve the Metro, and if you suggest the Metro, she will probably cry and never call you back.

True story, but obviously that isn’t the whole story.

Introducing Chad Brown. I have known Chad for… well… I don’t know Chad, at least not at that point. Chad and his wife Keisha had been going to my community group for about a month. I have had few conversations with them, but the blond and Keisha are good friends and when she tells her of my date recommendations, Chad offers to help. And help I need. The following Tuesday evening after CG, Chad pulls me aside and asks to talk. We go in the back room; he sits me down and asks, “What are your intentions?” Having not really thought all this through, I shrug and we begin our friendship.

Chad slaps me around and points out that if I like this girl, having her ride the bus down to meet me on our first date will not get me what I desire, a second date, or frankly, a first one. He opens my eyes to the reality of my stupidity and in not so many words challenges me to step up, pursue her, and take a risk.

So the first date was this:

We did go to Elliot Bay, but I picked her up, in my car. She knows to dress up because sweat pants at our 7:00 PM dinner reservations at Tango won’t go over well. We look at books. We drink coffee at Starbucks and debate the parables of Jesus. Dinner is amazing and we have OUR wine, Marques de Caceres, 2003 Crianza. Desert happens at the Fireside room of the Sorrento Hotel where we talk more about our futures, our desires, our hearts. I leave the evening enthralled. The hook is set the following morning when she calls me up and invites me to go shopping with her at REI.

I am going to marry this girl. I am going to marry Elisabeth Kiemele Krohn.

The saga continues…

So at dinner that first night, my mind is racing trying to figuring out when is the next time I will get to interact with this girl. I am going to the party, enough said. But I am not going to know anyone and Alyssa and Kabyn aren’t the most reliable party attenders due to their insane schedule (Alyssa invited me to maybe a dozen Christmas parties that season), so I need a wing man!

“You! You are still dangerous. But you can be my wingman anytime.”

“Bullshit. You can be mine!”

Introducing Tim VanOss. He is a long time buddy from Lakeside Bible Camp when I was his counsellor during TCL (Train in Christian Living). Yes, I am older than him, but age doesn’t matter when you are as mature as we are. Anyway, I call him up and as a true friend he agrees to go knowing he will know no one but me and I will more or less ignore him throughout the evening.

December 1, 2006. Tim and I are all dressed up, me in my new suit, Tim in is awesome red shirt, and we head out to 2217 3rd Ave W. The party was alright, lots of people, most I didn’t know. Actually it was great, but I was to focused to notice. The stunning blond is there, hair curled, this time with much elegance. She has this purplish dress on. She looks amazing. The party starts slow because I can’t get any face time. I try hanging in the kitchen, no luck, I try the living room, strike two. The porch wasn’t even a prayer. Let me be honest, she and I had a few conversations during the evening and I wasn’t impressed. Alyssa described her as deep, a real thinker. I see some one bouncing around, young, a little flightly.

The evening is dying and Tim has looked at his watch for the 17th time. I beg, asking for five more minutes. In that time, she, her roommate Sally, and I get a little time to chat. Sally is super friendly and invites me to stop by anytime; they love visitors. I mention that I still want to talk about that one thing. She smiles. Tim and I leave. Evening over. Time to reflect.

One day later I get a mass email from her sharing the pictures from the party. That is enough motivation to respond and invite her to hang out. And so began what could go down as potentially the worst first date in the history of dating.

If by reading this you feel you missed something, read the first post in this series on how Elisabeth and I met and fell in love.

How We Met

To know how we met, you have to go back to the summer of 2006 and mention our mutual friend Alyssa, soon to be Begg, Smith. That summer she was splitting her time between training for Triathlons with Jason and diving into her story with Elisabeth in Story Group. In all of those miles and pages, Alyssa came to know us very well and given her propensity for match making (something she claims to no longer do) I received a rather forward text message one random Wednesday evening. It went something like this (actual texts have been erased):

A – “Hey, I know this girl you should meet”
J – “Really, tell me more!”
A – “She is tall, blond, thin, likes to run, a real thinker like you.”
J – “I am listening, how do you know her?”
A – “Well, her name is Elisabeth and…”
J – “… You have my permission to introduce us”

It came as no surprise the following Sunday when I was sitting at home and Alyssa calls me up inviting me to dinner at her now fiancée’s house. I smiled and said yes, knowing what was in store.

That same night at Mars Hill’s 5 o’clock service, I was sitting near the back with Kabyn and Alyssa. The service was ending and this stunning girl catches my eye as she leaves a little early. She was wearing this blue, empire waist top and jeans. She moved quickly, her blond hair bouncing as it was curled slightly. I didn’t want to stare and thought little of it at the time since MH has no shortage of cute girls, but I will at admit to taking a second look.

Fast forward to Kabyn’s place. I arrive with the assigned salad and dressings (dressing story for a later time). I walk into the house; turn right into the kitchen and much to my surprise, the stunning blond is sitting at the table. It was clear even before I saw her that Alyssa was up to something but this caught me off guard. The next few moments are tense, I am willing Alyssa to introduce us hoping this girl’s name is Elisabeth.

We spend the evening talking of all things smart and theological. Elisabeth, Kabyn, and Kabyn’s roommate Jeremiah volley thoughts back and forth, most of which comfortably pass over my head. In an attempt to contribute, I say something about post-modernism and a relationship with Jesus. Elisabeth responses and I am in! I discover that a party I was previously invited to, though not planning to attend, is being hosted by the stunning blond and my plans immediately change.

The chase is on.