Friday, June 4, 2010

Once Upon a Time

14 May 2010: Mary and Ed a few hours after their first meeting.

Once upon a time, two people fell in love and with their children became a family.

In my post on April 10, I wrote about my latest attempt at online dating.  After quite a few less-than-ideal experiences, I wrote that I had finally "met" some nice men.  Click here to go to that post:

In fact, at that time I was corresponding with a few interesting men, including one I had met on April Fool's Day. While the other men dropped away one by one, this particular man stayed with me. We agreed to go slowly, taking time to really get to know each other as we built a tentative relationship.

Just a few days after we began writing, this man took a 2-week trip to visit friends in Portland, Oregon. He sort of took me along, writing to me every night and sharing his experiences with me. I began to get a feel for the person he is and the things that are important to him.

Soon we were sharing our life stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We held nothing back, and I quickly found myself feeling close to him. As a writer, I understand how easy it is to connect with someone via the written word, but I was amazed that I could feel I'd known and cared about him for years when we'd never met in person.
Ed meets Mary’s family on May 14: Sarah, Ed, Mary, Jacob, and Dylan.

This man was Ed, of course. It took only 3 weeks for both of us to recognize that something special was happening. On April 23 we graduated from messages sent through the singles website to exchanging our home emails. Now we could send pictures to each other, but that still wasn't enough. On April 24 we moved on to nightly phone calls. That first night I was so nervous my stomach was turning somersaults, but within moments of hearing his deep voice I knew this was a man with whom I could truly be myself.
We stop by Karla’s house to visit before heading to the white Mountains.
(Left-to-right: Celesta, Gabrielle, Addison, Karla, Julien, and Elyssa.)

Originally, Ed and I had planned to meet in July at Estes Park, Colorado, where, long before I knew Ed even existed, I'd reserved a condo for our 2010 family vacation. Coincidentally, Estes Park is located less than a 2-hour drive from Ed's home in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We both thought we might be ready to meet by then. It was 3 months away and seemed like a safe plan.

However, after only two nights of telephone conversations, we knew we wouldn’t be able to wait that long to meet. The next day we checked our calendars and decided on a weekend that was workable for both of us, and before I knew it Ed had roundtrip plane tickets to Arizona for May 14-17, just 18 days away.
Mary and Ed after breakfast the next morning.
(Jacob made us homemade biscuits and gravy with hash browns.)

It was the longest 18 days in history. We spoke on the phone every night, usually for 5 or 6 hours. It was often 2:00 a.m. or later when we hung up because neither of us wanted to say good-night. There was always so much to share, and the only time we didn’t miss each other was when we were on the phone together, so we hated to break the connection. Ed often asked, “How can I miss you like this when I haven’t even met you?”
On Saturday morning, Ed plays ball with Dylan in the street.

During the days, Ed would send me sweet emails, both at school and at home. It was hard to focus on anything else when I was continually checking for his latest email! Soon even our nightly phone calls weren’t enough, so we would call each other once or twice throughout the evening after I was home from work. During the final week before his visit, he would call first thing in the morning and wake me so we could talk before I got ready for work.

By the time Ed came to Arizona, I was exhausted!
Lunch at China Wok buffet on Saturday afternoon.

I meant to blog Ed’s visit. He told me he was fine with being featured on my blog, and I took lots of pictures. What I hadn’t planned on was spending every second together except for the few hours we slept each night (still exhausted). Or Ed extending his visit twice. Or realizing we really didn’t want to be apart ever again and getting married one week after his arrival and four days before he returned to Wyoming.
Ed takes Jacob and Dylan to ride the go-carts.

Long before Ed and I finally met in person, we both knew we were in love and wanted to be married for eternity. Still, Ed wanted us to wait until we were together to express our feelings for each other. A lot of our phone conversations ended with vague phrases like, “You know what I want to say” or “I…I…I…like you so much!”

On Friday, the night of his arrival, Ed told me he loved me, and I was thrilled to finally be able to say the same to him. On Saturday night we went out for a romantic dinner at Chalet.  After we returned home Ed proposed, and I gladly accepted. On Sunday we attended church together. On Monday we chose my engagement ring and ordered our wedding bands, and we set our wedding date for June 24th. All in all, our first weekend together was so wonderful we didn’t want it to end.
Ed and Mary at Dylan’s ballgame on Monday night.
(Notice the shiny new engagement ring!)

Then Jacob asked Ed to stay for his graduation on Thursday, May 20. Dylan wanted Ed to attend more of his ballgames to cheer him on, as well as continue to practice pitching, batting and throwing with him at home. In the end, Ed moved his home flight back to Tuesday, May 25.

The rest, as they say, is history. Ed fit into our family so seamlessly that neither the kids nor I could imagine going back to life without him. They enjoyed his company and he was genuinely interested in them. I couldn’t bear the idea of being separated from him for several more weeks, and Ed himself felt his life was now in Arizona rather than Wyoming. Given the great distance between our homes, suddenly it made more sense to be married right away instead of waiting.

That’s our story. And it all ends with “They lived happily ever after.”


Jill said...

Thanks for all the details of how it all came together. I've been waiting for this post :)

Jeremy and Cami said...

It all sounds so amazing! WE are so happy for you and I think this is a great match between the two of you. You look happy then I've seen you since I've known you.