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Happily ever after does exist

By BY APRILL BRANDON
July 26, 2010 at 2:26 a.m.

Jenn and Jeff Prukop are the picture-perfect image of a happy newly married couple. It only took Jeff wooing her since junior high to make it happen.

It's a tale as old as love itself. Geeky boy meets pretty girl. Geeky boy pursues pretty girl. Pretty girl dates someone else.

Fast forward 15 or so years and in the case of Jeff and Jenn Prukop, this tale has a very happy ending.

The newlywed couple first met while attending junior high together in Victoria. Starting then and until the end of high school, Jeff would send the object of his affection carnations every year.

"She didn't want me. I was too skinny and nerdy," he said.

"He was!" she laughed.

"She was a cheerleader," he added.

"Oh, only for a year," she said.

"I sent her flowers every year, and she still didn't recognize me," he joked.

"Aw, you make me sound so heartless," she responded as she playfully hit him.

After graduation, the two went their separate ways, with Jenn heading off to college to become a teacher and Jeff joining the military for the next nine years. In 2008, the two reconnected via Facebook after both moved back to the area. After a few friendly chats, they decided to meet up.

"On the way there, I was really nervous," Jenn, 33, confided.

"She thought I was lying about my picture," Jeff, 35, laughed.

"I remembered how every year he bought me carnations and so I decided that this time I'd bring him carnations," she added. "I hid the flowers behind my back as we were walking toward each other and as I pulled the flowers out, he pulled out a bouquet of carnations from behind his back as well."

The two started laughing hysterically and that's when Jenn said she knew that this was it. This was the real deal.

Fast forward again to the present where Jeff planned a surprise trip for Jenn in early July. The two were headed to Key Largo, Fla., for what Jenn thought was just a relaxing vacation. Jeff, on the other hand, had much bigger plans.

During a planned excursion to swim with dolphins, Jeff had prepared ahead of time with the trainers to have the dolphins help him propose. As the dolphins pushed Jeff through the water by his feet, he held up a sign to his lady love that read "Jenn, will you marry me? Love, Jeff."

She said yes. Or rather, she screamed yes. Numerous times.

"He had everyone crying, from the trainers to the spectators," Jenn said, getting a little misty-eyed herself.

Having never really been the kind of couple who wanted a big wedding, the two decided that since they were already in paradise, they might as well get married there.

A few days later, Jenn, carrying a bouquet of carnations, and Jeff stood alone on a beach with a pastor as they said their vows. The only spectator was a young, local girl who agreed to videotape the ceremony.

Now living just outside of Edna, Jeff, owner of JWP Solutions in Victoria, and Jenn, a kindergarten teacher for Victoria school district, are planning a big reception for all their family and friends to celebrate their marriage.

So where does the fairytale go from here? Many more adventures are in store for these two who it seems were meant to be, Jeff said.

"We share all the duties. I'll cook and she'll do the dishes and vice-versa. We don't have to tell each other. It just happens," Jeff said. "We even finish each other's sentences. And without saying anything we know what the other one is thinking."

"Like the other night I was on my way home from the grocery store after picking up pork chops and he calls and says 'Hey, wouldn't pork chops be good tonight?'" she said. "And there have been other times he's hungry for pizza and I've already ordered it before he said anything."

"It's not all about food, though," Jeff added.

"It's a lot about food," she said.

"OK, yes, it's a lot about food," he said as they both laughed. "See, this is why I think everyone should marry their best friend."

"Aw, you're going to make me cry again!" Jenn smiled.

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