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6 Years Ago Today…

6 Years Ago Today…

By Jill

6 years ago today I was halfway across the world in Nepal when our love story officially began!!

Derick and I had been talking over Skype and texting since August 2013, but hadn’t officially met until my dad and I flew to Nepal in November with the TLC film crew tagging along to capture our first meeting. After nearly one week in Nepal, he popped the question and asked me to be his girlfriend, or in Duggar terms…he asked if I’d like to begin an official “courtship” with him…and of course I was thrilled to say yes!

Today, I’m so grateful to be married to my best friend, Derick Michael Dillard! Life isn’t perfect, but there’s nobody I’d rather be walking this journey hand-in-hand with than him!

Fun Facts:

1. Tea is a big part of Nepali and Tibetan culture, so Derick drank a lot of it during his two years in Nepal. However, before our relationship began, I didn’t have a hankering for tea (or coffee), but as our relationship developed and I came back home after the trip, it kinda became a sentimental drink…and of course now caffeine general helps me stay alive while chasing the kiddos around. haha

2. This didn’t make it on camera, but Derick first said “I Love You” the night after we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend (other than that one time over the phone I think he slipped and caught himself saying it, lol.). He had picked up some fried rice from a street vender for a late dinner and brought it to the room my dad and I were in and we stayed up talking for awhile. As he left that evening (our chaperone may have fallen asleep haha) he said, “I love you”…and of course I followed up with “I love you too!”

3. The previous fun fact sheds light on this fun fact for those of you who followed our story back then…Did you know that after Derick asked to court me, we didn’t actually leave Nepal right away?! (shh!) The film crew departed, but my dad and I actually stayed for another week (total trip was 2 weeks) and I got to be there over Thanksgiving (thanks Scott ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Because of the way everything worked out, I ended up being even more surprised (pleasantly of course ๐Ÿ™‚ ) when Derick asked me at the “end” (5th day) of our trip to be his girlfriend, then it was super special to have the next week to connect even more without cameras!

What dates are special to you from your love story and do you do anything fun to remember them and keep the spark alive? Comment below.

Here’s an old video I pulled up on YouTube that gives a quick recap of our early relationship. You can also read our love story at the link here.

The photos above are considered the property of the Dillard Family and may only be used with their written permission. Please request permission to use the photos.


  1. Reba

    Are the rumors about a falling out between you and Derick and your family true? We never see you and Derick with your family and we don’t see the boys with their cousins on the Duggar side. What’s up?

  2. Ashley

    My husband and I talked over the phone and Skype every day for almost 2 months before we met face to face. I was living in Nashville and he was doing predeployment training with the Marines. I moved back home to SC and he came home for a visit and he took me out for dinner. I came home and told my dad I was going to marry him! 6 weeks later, he purposed and we just celebrated 7 years of marriage. Next month marks 8 years of being together!

    • Derick & Jill

      Aww! So sweet! Distance is so hard, but I think it can also help you develop better communication skills sometimes that benefit your marriage in the long run.

    • Christina

      We have lots of dates! I love it.

      Okay, met and became best friends in March 2010.

      Skipped the “dating/courtship” part entirely and went straight to deciding to spend the rest of our lives together, April 10, 2011 (I mean, let’s not waste any time, am I right??”

      Official engagement (because he had a ring) May 27, 2011

      Married 11-11-11
      We both have a tattoo on our inside left wrists (owie!) of 11-11-11

      I’ve followed your story since the first sbow, Jill! Thanks for continuing to share with us. You and your family have truly inspired me and shaped how I see family, marriage, children, boys, etc and ya’ll did so as teenagers and I am nearly 40. Don’t stop what you’re doing. You’re reaching so many people on a positive level! Thank you!!

      • Derick & Jill

        Aww! So sweet! Love this! Thanks for sharing. -Jill

  3. Heather

    Seven years married and on the anniversary of our first date we go back to the restaurant, sometimes it can’t be on the actual date but we get close! We have two anniversaries, marriage and when he asked me to court him also.

    I started watched 19kids when you were courting so you’ve been my favorite couple ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Derick & Jill

      Aww. You’re sweet. Yes! So fun to remember special things like that and make it a bigger deal. We’d love to go back to Nepal for a visit someday and see our first date places and old friends again.

  4. Kristi

    One of the most memorable moments in my husband’s and my love story was the night we met; December 19th, 2012. He came to my parents house (my residence at the time) to pick me up to take me to his indoor soccer game. Unintentionally, he ending meeting my parents the same night he met me in person (we met on a dating website). He sat across from my dad as we ate pancakes for dinner before leaving. He ended up asking me to be in girlfriend two days later.

    This year will be our 7th annual pancake dinner.. in honor of the night we met. โค

    • Derick & Jill

      Nice!Love this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. William Henley

    Thanksgiving 2001 (don’t remember the exact date) was the first date between me and my fiance. I had known her her entire life, but that was the first date (she passed away in 2008, 3 weeks after we got engaged. Took a long time to work through that). She was having a major life-saving surgery in a few days and was very scared. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stine had just come out so I took her to see it.

    At the theater they kept trying to sale me a child’s ticket – they just wouldn’t believe she was 15. After I got the adult ticket she asked me”why didn’t you just take the discount and get me the child’s ticket.” And I said “because you are not a child, it wouldn’t be right.” She said,”no one has ever bought me an adult ticket before.”

    At the theater they were promoting a new product, Listerine Pocket Strips. The theater attendant said “its a gym or something that Listerine is making.” Well her pack had melted, so she took the entire pack, thinking it was one piece of gum, put it in her moyand tried to chew it.

    If you ever used Listerine Pocket Strips, I am sure you can imagine not only what having an entire pack in your mouth would feel like, but having it on your teeth…

    So yeah, Thanksgiving 2001 is very memorable.

    And in case anyone is wondering, I’m still single

  6. Regina

    I think I accidentally deleted my comment by leaving this page before hitting the post comment button. Apparently either a coyote or fox was outside our door last night making our cat very agitated and she startled me. Never seen her act like that before.

    Your post brought a smile to my face. And yes I remember those special dates. I remember the date we became a official couple which at a Christian motorcycle retreat. I remember the date we got engaged at church. He passed me a note which i still have.
    We got married on February 13th 1993.
    Wow how time has flown!

  7. Regina Shea

    Jill I admire you for being so gracious. I know it comes from the Lord. I don’t think I could do it.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving if we don’t see a post before then.

  8. Hannah

    November 23,1989 is a special date for us. His family had just moved to town and they didn’t have family in the area, my family invited his for Thanksgiving and we spent the entire afternoon playing. I slammed his finger in a door at the end of a game of hide and seek but that didn’t change the fact that a wonderful friendship began. We were both homeschooled and lived on the same street, the next 10 years found us pretty much inseparable. When he were 13 his family moved away to work with an international missions organization…we wrote weekly, talked on the phone a few times a year, instant messaged daily through highschool, just the very dear friends…100% committed to never ruining it. A long story short (with a lot of sad circumstances mixed in, my Dad was sick) we ended up in the same state and hanging out pretty regularly. To cut it even shorter one night God hit us with the realization we had work to do together and marriage was the next step…5 months later we fell in love (both a choice and a sudden realization) a month later we were engaged and 11 months from our realization we were married. We celebrated 30 years of friendship last week and 14 years of marriage and 5 awesome kids later, we have known at every turn, we couldn’t have picked better for ourselves. God is good.

    • Derick & Jill

      Aww. So sweet!

  9. Regina

    Love to you…. blessings from God always to Ya’all… praying always for Ya’!!!!!!

  10. Cathy

    aww, thanks for sharing! I really do appreciate that you and Derick both have brought back to the US many of the cultural customs from the countries you’ve both lived in ๐Ÿ™‚


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