Smoochiekins & The Boyfriend -

I titled this "Smoochiekins & The Boyfriend" because we all know who started the whole Smoochiekins thing on Facebook and who best of all loves laughing about it - it's Darby Sproul, y'all

And in case you lived under a rock or maybe were too engrossed in watching Parks & Rec. because you just realized it was the most hysterical thing you've ever seen in your life or maybe because you don't follow Darby on Instagram, then maybe you didn't know she had a boyfriend. Well she does. Or she did, rather. Because this past New Year's Eve....that boyfriend turned into her fiancĂ© and will be her husband in a few months!!!

Let me tell you about the first time I met The Boyfriend. Ok, no wait. It was the second time, but I'm pretty sure he didn't remember the first time because it was a called out "HIIII!!" as I was dragged some wild children. So, the second time. It was at a party, and Delaney had that twinkle in her eye.... and she says "Chris is here.". Ahh, Chris. The boyfriend. So I went looking for Chris because Delaney was busy (the details are hazy as to why). I looked around the room = no Chris. Then I went and looked outside = no Chris. So I went back inside. "Hey. How on earth do I find Chris?" .... someone told me to look for a Campbell vest but not Campbell. Well, that's easy enough. 

I went back outside.....staring people down and profiling them. Nope, nope, nopity nope Wait. Sweater vest! I ran over to see. Found myself staring at a Campbell sweater vest. I raised my eyes to see Chris. "Sweater like Campbell's, but not Campbell!! CHRIS! HI! I'm Jean Marie!". I'm sure he was wondering what sort of friends his darling Smoochiekins had. Or has. I was then immediately distracted by the glow Darby had on her face. Oohhh boy. "She's in love with the man." I remember thinking. 

And I was right. Because all I'd heard about since Chris was....uh ... Chris. In the middle of the Ligonier the middle of a sentence, and she'd be gone. Texting. "What?! oh. TELL CHRIS HIIIII.". Walking with friends...a phone call? "Who is it? it's Chris. I know it is. HI CHRIS."

And then they started courting. And we all joked about "Git 'er done.", because if Darby's Dad said it, then CLEARLY. Let's do this thing. I listened and prayed and of course, laughed like a giddy girl at all the sweet things and prayed for a good job and a wonderful courtship and everything I could imagine for Darby and Chris. 

Then on Sunday, Mom and I are walking up to St. Andrews with Darby and Maili. 

And Darby says "You know, you really should have waited with that engagement post until next week......" 
and I trip over nothing in the sidewalk because my brain is going a zillion miles per hour.
 Me: "You mean....what do you MEAN." Darby: "I just mean...maybe. Chris is here." 
Me: *screams* "REALLY?! Do you think he will propose?" Darby: "Maybe! I don't know!"
And then I stare at her not sure whether to scream some more (in the middle of a lot of people), or cry.
 I choose the third most quiet option and say "I'm so excited. I hope he does!" 

We get in the church and she motions me over to look at her phone and scrolls through a list of numbers....and says "Look! I have you on my "To Call" list when we get engaged!". And then I died from feeling so special. Ok, except I didn't die. But I almost cried. haha.
I stomped a little in excitement and grinned some more into her smiling face. 

So a few days later on New Year's Eve, I got up in the stinkin' early morning to watch my friend Libby fall out of a perfectly good airplane into the perfectly nice sky onto the perfectly BEST ground (where I was). I was there for support and hello......cheering them on from God's green earth and photos. It was a blast. The only way I'm jumping from a plane is if the plane is going down in flames and my only option at survival is parachuting to the ground, and that is the ONLY time. I mean, the plane has to be in a serious dive or stall or tailspin and the alarms have to ALL be going off, and someone has to kick me out and I'll scream the whole way down. 

Ok. Back to the other story now. 

So after I left the airport, I decided that I needed to decompress and headed out to one of my favorite places in the wildlife refuge to watch the manatees for three hours in the rapidly becoming colder and windier afternoon. I know this is a riveting story for you. The point is that somewhere in between photographing manatees and tracking deer and exploring sand banks that were possibly on the verge of dropping me into sinkholes and hoping that no rogue unhappy animals found me....I remembered to check my phone. And I had a missed call from Darby. And a voicemail that cheerily said "Hey Jean Marie! It's Darbyyyy. Call me. I love you! Bye." 


I ran around to different locations trying to get a signal to call back (I was on NASA land - NASA blocks cell phone signals). *Run over there* Nothing! GAH! *Run over here* NOPE. *step this way* noooo. *goes Lion King on it* notheeeng. why why whyyyy. WAIT. STAND STILL. THERE'S ONE. 

I finally found ONE BAR by straddling the yellow line in the middle of the road. I stood completely still, straddling two lanes, looking out for cars, and with my heart speeding up in anticipation, I called her back. 

Me: "DARBY!!!!" 
Darby: "You really should have waited a week on that engagement post..." 
Me: "Are you engaged?!!" 
Darby: "YES!!!!! He proposed at Crane's Roost!" 
Me: "When, when, WHEN!!?" 
Darby: "Less than an hour ago!!!" 
*Screaming and stomping and jumping up and down ensues on my end* 

I probably drove all the wildlife away....forever. And then more screaming and joy and questions.
 Me: "Ohhh, Darby. Did you cry?" Darby:"Yes!!" 
Me: "GAAAAAAH. So sweet!! I can't stand it!!  BEST NEW YEAR'S EVE. EVER." 

Then I realized they probably had more people to tell and so after telling her Congratulations a few more times and how much I loved her and thank you sooo much for calling me and that I was standing in the middle of the road to become roadkill for her because I loved her so much, we said love you's and hung up.

And then there was more sniffling happiness and twirling in the middle of the road until I realized an SUV was coming straight toward me and I should probably move if I ever wanted to see Darby marry Chris. 

And then I got home and died from the cuteness and sweetness because LOOK AT THEM. 
Photo by the amazing Delaney Mara. Their engagement shoot is stunning and perfect. 

In short, I'm so happy for my dear Smoochiekins that I'll probably be giddy about it for years. 
Congratulations, Boyfriend & Smoochiekins: Chris & Darby!!!! 

I. AM. SO. EXCITED. for you both!!! 
I love you, dearest Darby. *M-wah* Even if you have left the rest of us in the cold, dark night of singleness and are leaving us for Ark-Ansas. I've rarely seen you happier and more at peace than when you talk about Chris, and are by his side. What a great way to end out the year of 2013!! 

... and what a super fun thing to write about in the first post of 2014!! Happy New Year, y'all! 

 With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~ 


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