Happy Valentine’s day!! Today, it’s my turn to share OUR love story. Hope you enjoyed reading the love stories of some very special people in my life in Monday’s post, here. In these often troubled times, it can be refreshing to cast aside all our worries for a day, or even just a few minutes and to concentrate on what’s right with the world. Hope you will enjoy reading this post as much as I am enjoying reminiscing and writing it. Welcome!
Our Love Story, 02.2018
When I first typed the title of this post, I left off the date. But later went back to add it. Wanted to be sure to indicate that this is only a part of our story, and the story of our love to the present. I look forward to many more days, months and years of life and love with my PC. God willing.
As I have mentioned before, we met through Match.com. Both of us were a few years out from difficult divorces. In many ways, we were both still a little raw. Just beginning to open our minds and our hearts to the possibility of trying our hand at love again.
My Prince contacted me with a message. Being an old-fashioned, back woods girl from Tennessee, it was my policy to let the guys reach out to me. And when I read PC’s perfectly punctuated and correctly spelled message, and saw his dreamy photo, I was instantly enchanted. The photos below are our Match.com profile pictures, terribly pixelated but the only ones I have. My heart still flutters when I see my Prince.
Our first date was on a Thursday night. We met in the Applebees parking lot before going in for dinner. And both commented, simultaneously, on how blue the other’s eyes were! Ha!
After a few marriages that had ended badly, and false starts back at dating, I decided to just put all of my baggage right out there on the table for PC to consider. I wanted to be upfront and not waste his time or mine. Surprisingly, he didn’t jump up and run out the door, although I don’t think he really saw us going anywhere either. But he said I was easy to talk to and reminded him of a girl from his high school in Ohio.
When we said goodbye, I expected at least a hug. But was quick to discover my Prince is very conservative when it comes to PDAs. So I hugged him. Had to see if we ‘felt’ right together and we did. The next day, he asked me to a movie for Saturday and our relationship began.
Most of the summer after we met, PC was attending a training course with the Army in Tuscon, Arizona. We switched into long distance dating mode. His daughter and son were with their mother for two months, and my girls were old enough that I could travel to visit Paul now and then on weekends. By the time he returned home and his children came back to El Paso from Iowa, I was pretty smitten.
Slow and Steady
We continued to date over the next few years with several hiccups along the way. Early on, I was ready to step things up. But with family responsibilities and issues with children, I realized it was better that we take our relationship slowly, one day at a time. For once in my life, I was thinking with my head and not just my heart.
Over the next few years, PC’s children moved to Iowa with their mother, my daughters graduated from high school and started college. Brennyn moved out of the house to live with her future husband while studying nursing. Lauren carried a full time pre-vet course load and worked 40 hours a week at a vet clinic, so she was busy creating her life.
PC retired from the military in March 2007. After 23 years in, it was a huge adjustment for him. Luckily, he was able to find a job with the Department of Defense doing work very similar to what he had been doing in the Army. A year or so before, he had purchased a house several miles from my little house and we had begun seeing more of each other through the week as well as on weekends.
I think it’s only proper that I answer the same questions about our proposal that I posed to my guests in Monday’s post. So here goes.
- How did you meet? Answered that above, Match.com then Applebees.
- How long had you been dating when he proposed? About four years.
- Did you pick out the ring? Yes. We used to like to meet up and walk McKelligon Canyon together on Sundays. Sometimes we would pack snacks and the Sunday paper to read at the top of the hike, then walk back down afterward. On one particular Sunday, we were walking down the mountain and back to our cars when Paul broached the subject of engagement. He mentioned something about it being time to pick out an engagement ring. I was instantly thrilled and terrified. I loved PC but was so scared of potentially making another mistake. Sadly, in my marriage to the girls’ step-father, I had learned that love isn’t always enough to keep a relationship together. We did go look at rings and picked out not only an engagement ring but a wedding band, too! Yikes!!
- Describe the proposal. I think PC would probably have been okay with just giving me the engagement ring that day he bought it but I wanted a surprise, and a proposal. And I wanted to be absolutely sure we were both ready for this big step. I asked him to keep the ring and wait awhile. One of my favorite past-times most of my adult life has been looking at houses. Dreaming of the day when I would have a house. And I did buy my little house in the fall of 1991. My Prince and I had enjoyed looking at houses together when he was shopping for his first house. And a few years later, we started shopping for a dream house that would be ours together. One late afternoon, we were snooping around an open house with no intention of buying it but just checking it out. We walked out onto the master bedroom balcony to admire a lovely Franklin Mountain view. All of a sudden, my Prince began talking about marriage. Yup, he was proposing.
- When did you realize what was happening? Did you have any idea ahead of time? I didn’t realize what was happening at first and certainly had no idea ahead of time that that day was the day! I remember he said “I may not be able to buy you a big house like this one with as grand a view as this one has but I will always try my best to make you happy.” Then he pulled out my beautiful engagement ring. And were those stones ever sparkly. The time was right.
- How long have you been married? This July 11, we will be married 10 years. We kind of have two wedding dates. Crazy for a couple that was pretty darn gun-shy about getting married and took 5 years to get there. We were married by the Justice of the Peace in July 2008 then had a marriage and house blessing on September 28, 2008. I really consider that our wedding day. And we have been blessed ever since.
10 on the 10th
For this month’s 10 on the 10th post, Erin at Perfectly Port Family suggested we share 10 favorite memories with our spouse. Please be sure to stop by to read her sweet post. Somehow, I got kind of mixed up (ha, like that never happens!) and thought we were supposed to share 10 photos from our favorite memories together. So, I asked PC to pick 5 and I picked 5. And here they are.
And a Giveaway
Right before Christmas, I was looking for activities we could do when the kids visited for the holidays. I discovered a little game called Vertellis and ordered it, here, to play with the girls and their PCs. The mission of the Vertellis company really spoke to me, “With our initiatives we want to bring people closer together, stimulate time offline and help them realize their dreams.” [source] With my 2018 Wellness goal of unplugging from technology by 9 p.m., playing Vertellis sounded like the kind of activity I could sub in place of screen time.
We played the game the first time on New Year’s Eve with Lauren and Francisco, while eating dinner at a Chinese buffet. Doing so encouraged us to enjoy some deeper conversations than we probably would have had and gave us an opportunity to share some of favorite memories from the past and our dreams for the future.
Today I would like to give one lucky reader their own Vertellis game in hopes of inspiring the same kind of rich conversations with those you love. Please enter the giveaway by clicking below.
Would love to hear from you. By clicking on the Rafflecopter link and by sharing your love story in a comment below, you will be entered to win Vertellis. Happy LOVE month!!
Hugs and kisses,