It’s often been said love is all about timing, which is exactly the case for Stephanie and Jake Gumer. The couple, who work together at Gumer & Co. and have been together for 10 years, first knew each other in college but simply viewed each other as friends.
When Jake decided to study gemology in California, the two went on to lead very separate lives. But when Jake came home after completing his studies, time and some maturity helped him and Stephanie discover that their long lost friendship had turned into love.
I sat down with the couple to learn about their history together, and how time suddenly worked in their favor years after they first became acquainted.
How did you meet?
“We actually first met in college,” Jake said. “A mutual friend introduced us, but at the time, we saw each other more on a friendship level. We didn’t actually start dating until after college. I came back from California, and we ran into each other one night.”
“We went on a date a couple weeks later and that was it,” Stephanie said. “We knew.”
“It was probably a good thing we didn’t date in college,” Jake said with a laugh.
“We had the chance to evolve a little bit and then it came full circle,” Stephanie explained. “It was just good timing.”
How did he propose?
On a trip to Universal Studios, Jake and Stephanie took a walk outside, stopping in front of Planet Hollywood. It was then that Jake proposed with a ring he had chosen especially for her.
“We went to Orlando for a jewelry show with Jake’s parents,” Stephanie said. “He said, ‘Let’s just go to dinner – the two of us.’ I thought it was a little odd because we were kind of on a family-work trip. He started saying all these nice things, and then he said, ‘Will you marry me!’ It was pretty casual, but we’re pretty casual people so I think it was perfect.”
How do you make it work on a day-to-day basis?
“Lots of talking,” Jake said. “We have three kids, so we juggle things around a lot and we have to have a lot of conversations about where everyone’s going to be.”
“We complement each other very well because he is very laid back and goes with the flow, and I like to have a schedule and need to know details,” Stephanie said. “We have our own routine in the morning. He’ll pick up where I left off with the kids. Everybody has their own little role in the house.”
How do you divide up household chores?
“Divide up?” Jake laughed.
“Is golf considered a household chore?” Stephanie joked.
“I’d say she does 90 percent of it,” Jake said. “I try to help out where I can and when I can.”
“I try to keep the house clean and pick up after everyone and do the laundry and those types of things,” Stephanie explained. “He has more of a role with keeping the kids busy. He’ll bathe them, get them dressed, and those types of things. I wouldn’t be able to get anything else done if I was having to do that too. It’s a lot of balance.”
“We have a really great group of friends,” Stephanie said. “Almost every weekend we bounce from house to house, roast marshmallows with the kids. We do a lot of kid-friendly things.”
“And Jack’s,” Jake added. “That’s been one of our favorites on date nights, which we try to do as often as possible.”
What is one thing you always do as a couple?
“Every night we like to sit down and connect and watch a show together,” Stephanie said. “We enjoy working together, too. It’s another way we spend time together. We sit and have lunch. It encourages us to communicate about something other than the children.”
Jake and Stephanie also try to have dinner together as a family every night. If the kids are already in bed before Jake gets home from work, then Stephanie will feed the children and wait until Jake comes home to eat with him.
“We’re a couple, but we enjoy being together as a family,” Stephanie explained. “We probably should take more couple time, but we enjoy watching the kids grow together. They grow so fast.”
What is some advice you would offer couples – new or old – who desire to walk through life In Tandem?
“For new couples – travel before you have children as much as you can,” Stephanie said.
“When we first got together, Stephanie was scared to death of flying,” Jake said. “We traveled quite a bit before our daughter was born and then it was almost at this point where she was kind of getting used to flying. Now, I think we haven’t flown nearly as much in the last five years.”
“Spend time together,” Stephanie also advised. “Spend time with couples with families. Sit down each day and talk. But don’t just talk. Listen.”
“Communicate and listen,” Stephanie said.
“Honesty,” Jake said. “Honesty is the key and so is communication.”
“Don’t forget to document and keep keepsakes and photos,” Stephanie said. “That’s been a big thing because we’ve only been married eight years and together 10 years. I look at these photos and it just flies by. Also, don’t go to bed angry. Then you’re going to wake up angry!”
“That’s even worse,” Jake said with a laugh.
Aug. 17, 2003
Maddox, 5, Lincoln, 3, and Wesley, 8 months.
Two shepherd mixes, Vegas and Reno.
Jake is the manager/vice president of Gumer & Co. Stephanie is the part-time marketing coordinator for Gumer & Co.
Cats or Cards?
Stephanie: “Cats! All the way.”
“We both went to UK,” Jake said. “I actually grew up going to U of L basketball games, so as long as they’re not playing UK, then Cards. I think it’s good when both teams are doing well.”
Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).