Whitener Wednesday-We have been married 3 years!

Today is our anniversary. It is hard to believe that it was only 3 years ago that I walked down the aisle towards the rest of my life.

Year 3 as with every year has had its good and bad moments.

We left off on our story last week with our first military ball.

Moving in together for realsies had its struggles. We were both used to having things a certain way after so long and then there are the added differences of life post-deployment and moving to a new state. I swore at times my husband resembled a caveman, but then again I wasn’t a perfect princess either with my nagging on where things belong. It was like we were recycling back to our first year of marriage.

The end of that summer I geared up for the beginning of a new school year at a new school. I felt like I was in a groove at work and was ready for the new challenges. I was continuing to job search for a full-time job because there did not seem to be any sign that they would be turning my part-time gig into something more permanent. I however, worked that semester trying to change their minds.

It was that fall that Tom started an intensive training schedule. He was out at a range or some training mission every other week it seemed.

In September, he had to undergo another surgery for a tumor that had grown on his hip.

Also in September, we made the plunge and added to our family by adopting Crosby. It has been a whirlwind with them since, but I couldn’t imagine not being a two dog family. I love my little pups, even with moments like this…


I ran my fourth half marathon for a family that we have had a great time getting to know in the past year. They inspire me greatly as Tom and I look to start our own family.

Tom and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time, and I would like to think that it went off really well. We had turkey for days…

This year is the first year in our ENTIRE relationship that we have been together for every single holiday for the ENTIRE year. Mind boggling that it took us seven years to do that. It was so great to have Christmas, birthdays, and everything in between with Tom.

Right after the new year, Tom was forced into a job change. We also had to come to grips that Tom would be deployed again. Some days I have accepted it, other days there is just anger and bitterness knowing that he is so close to peacing out from the military.

We had been actively trying to conceive for awhile, but after the new year thanks to some complications I was having hormone wise, we decided we would look into a fertility specialist just to make sure that everything was hunkydory on this journey. We also wanted to get everything checked out before Tom went on deployment while we had the time.

It was then that our life changed completely. We found out AT the fertility doctor that we were actually 8 weeks pregnant. You can read more about that story here.  We are having a baby! We still get a kick out of telling that story.

Baby 1

Our lives have kind of been topsy-turvey since. Tom still has been doing training missions, and I have been working as much as I was allowed. We have crafted and DIYed our butts off this year. Check those specific tabs if you want to see what we have done in the last year! Some have been duds, but some have been the bombdiggity.

We then found out that we are having a boy, and we decided on the name George Lawson. We think the dogs know what is going on by some weird behavior we have been seeing, and we hope they are as excited as we are once George becomes their new playmate!


I participated in my 5th half marathon with my sister-in law. I was 19 weeks along at the time, and we successfully made it all 13.1 miles.

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We have done some traveling over the past year. There have been countless trips to Missouri to see the famjams. We had a trip over Easter to see our friends in Indiana, and recently we took a trip to Iowa.

But mostly this year we have spent being homebodies enjoying being together. It was the first time we got to come home to each other every day. It was the first time that things seemed relatively normal, as normal as they can get being a military family that is. It was the first time that we didn’t have a countdown going until the next time we would see each other. So in our third year of marriage and seventh year together, we were still able to have a lot of firsts.

We have gone through every emotion possible between the two of us this past year. We both have been strung along and had discontent with how our careers were going. I had ups and downs of being a temporary employee (ups like I wrote here, here and here; downs like this) and being stuck in a never ending job search. Tom’s leadership has been less than stellar leading him down some paths he never wanted to go through during his Army career. For example, they forced him into a job he didn’t want and had him slotted for a deployment that he will need to reenlist for even though he has no intention of doing so, but they are sure he will. Hence him being on the list in the first place. You know stuff that we have no control over, but impacts our life dramatically.  It was during these times that we have had to be each other’s rock and just keep keeping on. We learned to accept things and make new plans when necessary. We learned a lot about ways to support each other through this year, and it has been nice to do that in person. Special moments.

And then to learn that we are going to be parents. Words cannot describe the happiness and content we have experienced since hearing, “You knocked her up.”

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It has been a year.

So much has happened, but yet at the same time very little in comparison to other years. Although, I think George kind of trumps everything as far as life changes. It is a little ironic that our first year of just us in one place, will also be our last with just us.

All I have to say for the last few years is, “High five Husband.”


Happy Anniversary to the man who has taught me so much about life, love, and happiness. To the man who can make me laugh even in my darkest moments. To the man who never ceases to amaze me with his courage and passion. To the man who is the best dog dad and soon-to-be-George dad. To the man who encourages me in all of my endeavors and has made so many sacrifices for our family. To the man who is always on board for crafty time and is the best handy man to have around. To the man who makes me prouder than I ever believed possible. To a man who has never doubted us for a second since we met.

Here is to many more great years to our add to our love story.

Whitener Wednesday-Marriage Year 2

Welcome back for another part of our love saga!

I left you off last week with celebrating our first anniversary apart while Tom was in basic training. You can read more about our first year here.

This was a long year full of ups and downs. (I am emotional before I even start writing this…)

Before I went to meet Tom at his graduation, I received a phone call that would change everything.

My mom called me on a Sunday evening the week I was to head down to Georgia to pick Tom up.

My grandma had suffered from a massive stroke.

These grandparents lived in South Carolina, so after a lot of schedule changes, I made the decision to travel to SC with my mom for the next week and then drive from there to GA for Tom’s graduation. What would happen after that was up in the air since we didn’t know the severity of the situation until we arrived at the hospital.

My grandpa was already having health issues at the time of the stroke and was receiving in home care as well as routine hospital visits for his ailments. That week we were able to get them both in hospice care (in the same room) because the prognosis did not look good for Grandma. It was the most heartbreaking and most uplifting experience to watch these two love birds.

It was hard because we all knew both of their days were numbered. It was hard because there was so much pain in the room that could not be taken away. It was hard because this was also a time that I couldn’t freely talk to Tom, so I had to just wait for him to call to update him briefly on my dying grandparents and my emotional state.

But in a sense it was a wonderful way to spend with them. Even though my grandma could not speak and was immobilized in many ways and my grandpa couldn’t go to the bathroom on his own, seeing their love and devotion to one another in their darkest hours was so touching. Watching Grandma react to Grandpa’s singing and handholding are moments I will never forget. The vulnerability I saw from them was better than any romantic movie.


The time came for me to head to GA to pick up my own love, but also to say goodbye to the love of my grandparents. It was the longest and loneliest drive of my life knowing that I may never see my grandparents again, but knowing that I was about to see Tom for the first time in a few months.

The anxiety and anticipation was at an all-time high.

Tom’s family was able to meet me in GA for the graduation, and we waited in the heat (inferno) for the chance to see Tom again.

I was able to pin his infantry cord on him, which is a great honor (even though the buttons where stubborn and would NOT cooperate).


You can see Tom’s sweat…I blame the heat on the tricky buttons. Okay maybe it was also my clumsy nerves getting the best of me since this moment right here was the first time seeing him in months!


Tom’s parents and sister after the ceremony

We had a good time celebrating his big achievement of getting through. And I was so glad to have him back!

There was something nagging at me though. Since we were still in the eastern timezone, I knew I needed to drive back to SC on our way home to see my grandparents one more time. I just knew that it would be the last time. Fortunately, my husband was used to sleep deprivation (upside of Basic right?) and gave in to my pleading, and we tacked on several hours to detour up to SC one more time.

After a very brief Sonic dinner with them and final goodbye hugs, we headed back to Missouri to celebrate the 4th of July.


We then headed back to Iowa for a brief week before he had to report to Ft. Campbell, his first duty station.

He was able to reunite with our baby girl. She was so happy to see him again!


During this time we caught up with friends, and he bought his beloved Jeep.

It was also during this week that my Grandma passed away. I was so glad that Tom was there to help me through this because I was kind of lost, especially since I couldn’t make it to the funeral.

And then our week was over. Tom had to go to Ft. Campbell, while Grace and I stayed back in Iowa. We had decided that I would stay back just a little longer while he scoped the land there and saw what his orders were like. I had started the job search for the Ft. Campbell area, but I was also starting to get ready for year three at Iowa State. My head and heart where in two different places.

So after 3 months of basic training and only a week back together, Tom and I said goodbye again.


Once Tom got to Ft. Campbell, we learned that he would be deploying in a couple months.

Hold up.

I just got him back, and you want him to go where?

I was really upset about this at the time, but obviously there was no choice in this. We were getting baptized by the Army from the get go. Ready or not we had to go through this.

So as Tom underwent training for deployment, I began the long couple months of training for a new year with my job. I needed to focus on my job and not worry about Tom’s situation. But I also knew that it was going to be my last year at Iowa State-ugh holy emotions. So I was determined to make it my best year yet and end on a high note. We decided that I would stick it out for that school year since it lined up with Tom’s deployment. It did not make sense for me to hurry to get a job in KY in the land of the unknown while I had a great job and a support network in Iowa, knowing that we were about to undergo one of the biggest tests of our relationship.

It was around this time that I decided to start a blog documenting my side of the deployment since I didn’t really see myself as an Army wife at the time. I needed an outlet somewhere. (Holy moly, my have my blogging skills grown since that first entry…)

Right after I successfully led my staff through move-in and the start of classes, I came down to say my farewell to Tom before he headed out for his first tour for 9 months. Long distance was here to stay. Will we ever be together?


The day before he left for Afghanistan.

Tom left and made it safely overseas.

While Tom was becoming a world traveler, I received another phone call.

My grandpa had passed away. He had survived his wife by only a few months.

This was another hard time for me to lose so much so quickly. It was also hard because I didn’t want to be a basket-case every time Tom and I got a few minutes to chat. Those moments are so precious, and I didn’t want to spend it all in tears.

I went to my grandpa’s funeral, which is also the last time I was in Clemson. I wrote more about my grandparents’ influence here and how I was feeling at the time.

I continued my job search to no avail, but I was having the time of my life with my current job in Iowa. I was working with some awesome students and was gaining some invaluable experiences.

The holidays were hard that year. I traveled with Grace alone for the first time, and had to endure the never ending questions of “how is Tom” and trying to be happy about the holidays. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Tom’s 28th birthday apart.

But on Christmas day, Tom called with a present that could not be wrapped and mailed. They were coming home! They received word that the deployment would be cut short by a couple months. Best present ever!

So I tried getting through the next few months anxiously waiting for the day he would return safely.

Every day came with it’s own battles. I had to believe and have faith that we would get through this. We only were able to video chat one time during his deployment because of the poor connection at his post. (He was on a tiny outpost in the middle of no-where quite literally.) We were able to talk almost every day, which was an absolutely Godsend. It is the only  months of my life that I became attached to my phone and would leave meetings to talk to him in bathrooms or hallways for the 5 or 10 minutes that we were allotted. I cried in a lot of bathrooms that year out of joy of hearing his voice and knowing he was ok and despair of not knowing when the next time we would talk would be. There were moments that I had no idea what he was doing, and there was panic like I described here and here.

But there were many lessons learned during this time apart. Mostly that I loved him more than I ever thought possible, and wanted to tell him any chance I got.

Right before Tom was to return, I ran the Disney Princess Half with a couple of my grad friends. So much fun and such great timing.


And then the day came for Grace and I to see the main man of our lives again that February. Our 6ish months separated by sea where finally over.


We had made it through the deployment long distance. Amen. My soldier was safe and sound on American soil.

We had about a week together before I had to face reality and return to Iowa to finish out the year. I was able to come and visit a couple times before we would move all of our things to Kentucky for the time being.

I was really fortunate for the community I had while in Iowa. They were my family while Tom was gone, and I couldn’t have asked for a better year to end on. Fortunately the timing worked out with Tom’s deployment to make it so I could stay that whole year and take the job search slow. I needed to be there with that support network.

I had the best time with my students, and they kept me sane most of that year. I think our last staff meeting was evident on how I felt about them. (If you guessed that I cried, you would be right. Buckets of tears were shed that night.)


That May I said my goodbyes to Iowa, and Tom and I moved to our current home here in KY/TN.

About a week after settling in, I started a new job here working part-time in the Disability Services office. I was excited and nervous to do something other than housing. I was very hopefully about the prospects of my career and just hoped that this either turned full-time or that the job search I was still in was fruitful in another area.


This meant the world to us. After 5 years of being together, it looked like we would be able to be settled together for awhile before the next thing pulled us apart. We knew that another deployment could happen before he got out, but we were just looking at the present of finally being married in the same zipcode/country/timezone for once.

We began the full transition to living together which had it’s ups and downs. And I finally was experiencing Army life in the flesh.

June of 2013, Tom had to under go surgery to fix a hernia he had gotten while in Afghanistan. He literally had a hole in his stomach where he had to push his guts back in. Gross and cool all at the same time…

This is where we conclude our 2nd year with our anniversary which also coincided with our first (and most likely only) military ball.


Year two was a rough year for us with death, distance, deployments and moving and everything else that normal day living brings. We learned a lot about love and life during this time and how to be happy with the little things. Every moment counts. You never know when the last time you will speak to someone will be (as was evident with my grandparents and Tom’s deployment). So it became even more clear that we needed to voice how we felt and live in the moment to soak up all that you can.

Come back next week as we celebrate our 3rd anniversary and hear a recap of our first year without long distance!

Whitener Wednesday-Our First Year Married

Right after the big day, Tom and I had some big decisions to make. I would say they were not your typical first year of marriage problems. To make sure everyone is following along, the year was June 2011 to June 2012.

I was about to start my second year at Iowa State in a position that I loved. Tom, however, had not been as lucky in the job search realm. He had been interviewing for police positions all over the central Iowa area, and even some departments more than once with no luck for over a year.

We decided after the wedding Tom would apply for one more department. He had always talked about going into the Army. If you remember during grad school, he had considered enlisting, and I wasn’t as on board then. If he wasn’t able to find a police position within the first six months of our marriage, we agreed that he would enlist. I finally saw that it was something he needed to do. We felt that it would help in the future for job searching or it could end up being a career move for him. Either way, it would be a way for Tom to provide for our family and have some career satisfaction.

The next few months we waited for some good news. We filled our time with trying to act like a normal couple without this huge decision on our shoulders. We went to ZooBrew like champs and visited our families.


ZooBrew was one of our favorite summer time activities. Booze and large animals? Yes please.



Getting in some Nuncle Tom and Aunt Teffie time with our beautiful little niece.

During all this madness, we decided it was a good idea to get a dog. It was not our intention to get one until we had things figured out, but things just kind of spiraled out of control one weekend. Before we knew it, we brought Grace home that Halloween. By far the best thing that happened that first year! (Also in writing this, I realized that I have never wrote about Grace’s adoption since we got her prior to my blogging adventure. We told Crosby’s, so I guess I should maybe plan to tell the full story about how we got Gracie lady!)


Grace on the way home with us from the shelter. Now seeing her pictures from back then, I can see she has definitely grown since we got her at 36 pounds!

Grace managed to keep us busy and definitely made things happier for us. We were feeling like a family and things were normal right?

Well our life likes to be tricky and never goes as we planned. There were still no job prospects…crickets I tell ya. So Tom enlisted into the US Army right before our 6 month anniversary. Tom would leave that March for Basic Training, and we would have to endure long distance once again.

Fun story though, while Tom was at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station-where he officially enlisted and did all the initial testing/signing his life away) he got two calls for job offers. One was for a police department, and one was to teach Criminal Justice courses at a local college. Seriously? This is our life…

6 months

Since we knew that Tom would be gone for our first anniversary, we decided to celebrate our 6 month as if it was the whole first year.

I managed to throw the most epic surprise going-away party ever for Tom, which is saying something because I am the worst at keeping secrets. It was a great day to celebrate and be with friends and family before our life changed completely…once again.


Tom humor on our kitchen calendar.

He left for Basic Training at Ft. Benning GA in March and did not graduate until July 3rd after our first year anniversary. For those 3.5 months, we talked mostly in letters. We each wrote one every single day, which are pieces of our life that we still have in a box to cherish for a life time. We talked on the phone twice the entire time. One happened to be around my birthday and the other was on our anniversary. We were lucky that these days fell around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day so they got to use the phone for those things. And my wonderful husband choose to call me quickly as well before he talked with his parents. Such a cool feeling to hear him talk after silence for months.

This kind of distance was much different than our first go around obviously. Since our communication was very limited or delayed, there were a lot of first year marriage milestones that we didn’t get to experience or where one of us had to make decisions on our own without the knowledge or input from our partner. I knew he was out of danger so there was something romantic about writing love letters every day to him before I went to bed. Granted I would rather of had him home, but you have to look at the positives. Every day, I wrote to him “I love you more than yesterday.” And every day it rang true.

Not much else happened those few months besides me taking a picture of Grace every day to mail him. Having Grace was the best distraction while Tom was away. I mean work definitely was distracting too (have you ever been on a college campus during move out?). But really I just hung out with Gracers for the most part being an obnoxious dog mom.


These are just a few of our gems.

I did get to see him for one weekend while they had pass. It was a glorious couple of days. I will never forget how skinny he was then! It was like I was married to a different person.


I also had it in the back of my mind that this could possibly be my last year at Iowa State before we had to move to wherever the Army sent us. So I just tried distracting myself with making the most of the time I had there.

It may sound horrible, but I honestly don’t remember what I did for our anniversary that year. I probably took Grace for a long walk and did nothing if I would have to guess. I may have taken the day off work…

But in all fairness I knew we had a big reunion coming up in the next month with his graduation. I was just counting down our long distance days at this point.

Come back next week to see how year two went with Basic Graduation starting us off! Thanks for reading every week!


At least we looked good that year! (I also had perfected the wavy curl look, so it is obvious I used it on every special occasion…)

Whitener Wednesday-Our Wedding

We have made it to our wedding day of the Whitener love story. I won’t go into a lot of the planning portion. I am just glad that that part of our life is over and done with it. It all led up to one of the best days ever.

Get ready for the picture overload!

Wedding 1

My mom painted the tree, which was our guest book and has since become living room art work. We stayed pretty simple with the rest of the decorations. My sister-in-law helped with a lot of the planning, which was helpful since we lived in Iowa and the wedding was in Missouri. Tom and I made all the ribbon dancers that were used for our exit out of the church instead of bubbles. That broach was my grandma’s who was not able to make it to the wedding. I also carried hankies from my family and Tom’s family, which came in handy later on during the ceremony.

Wedding 2

My dad made my necklace and earrings. My grandpa helped officiate the wedding, which was really special for both of us. He made pretty much everyone weep with his warm words. And yes, we high-fived our “I do’s.”

Wedding 3

We were very intentional about making our wedding about our story and who we are as a couple. We planned every detail to make the wedding very specific to us. We didn’t have any traditional music and put in personal touches everywhere, hence the high-fives. We wanted to make sure our wedding was “us” and not cookie cutter. We had a lot of help from our family and friends for getting on board with this and adding little pieces throughout the day!



We drove off in an old school Aston Martin.


We had the best wedding party. My brother was my man of honor, and Tom’s sister was his best woman. Keeping it real doing our own thing.


This is one of my favorite shots of the day. It was just one of those moments that it was just Tom and I before we went into the winery for dinner. We didn’t see each other before the ceremony, so it was really the first time we were able to steal some moments together.

Wedding 4

One of my favorite touches was our candy buffet. This was our favor for everyone. We thought it was better for everyone to get exactly what they wanted. We made the jars ourselves with tags and ribbon. It was also really fun to search for yellow and blue candy! We felt like kids again.

Also, picking our wedding colors was really easy. Tom’s favorite color is blue, and mine is yellow. Boom color choices made. (It also turned out that we looked like even bigger Royals fans. We still to this day find ourselves in our wedding colors unintentionally…)


Our reception venue was absolutely gorgeous. We had it at a winery right outside of town that was on a hill overlooking the river and capital.

Wedding 5

I am not the biggest cake fan, so we opted for a smaller cake and several other desserts in addition. The one thing I would change about the day would be to actually get some of those desserts. The only piece we had was the small bite of cake we fed each other. Everything else got devoured, even the plate of samples we had set aside in the kitchen for ourselves. Yes, someone ate stole that! And yes it has been three years, and I am still not over it.  So we were not able to partake in the one year anniversary tradition of eating your cake, because every little piece of everything was eaten that night.

Wedding 6


I think the best part of our wedding was just to have all groups in our lives come together in one place. It was so fun to look back at pictures and see different people interacting and having a great time. We obviously had a blast.

One of most genius decisions I made was to have a party dress. I absolutely love my wedding dress. It was the first dress I tried on, and it was everything I ever dreamed for a dress for our day. However, that thing was a beast. It was very hot with all the layers, and felt like it weighed a ton after a few hours of wearing. I decided to get a cheap short dress that I could wear after all the ceremonious things occurred so I could move and groove more freely. I highly recommend it for any bride.


Yep this happened. I am sure you can guess what song was playing.

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We had so much fun celebrating with those that we love. It was a wonderful day to start our marriage, and it was better than anything I had ever dreamed of as a little girl.

Thank you for reading our story up to now. Next week I will recap our first year of marriage.

Whitener Wednesday-The Engagement Year

If you missed the first few parts of Whitener Wednesdays, you can read the first three parts of Tom and I’s love story here, here, and here.

Today’s episode is all about…you guessed it:  The Engagement.

I left off last week with a trip to Savannah before our big move to Ames, IA.

Let me give you a brief back story before I get to the engagement story. Tom and I had only gotten back together about 6 months before this trip to Savannah. We both knew we were going to end up getting married, but we discussed that we would not get engaged until we lived in the same zipcode for awhile. Tom was very adamant about this fact, and I agreed that it would be a good idea. I was pretty adamant with wanting to physically go ring shopping together in person before Tom decided to pop the question. I wanted to ensure that he didn’t pick out something that was way too big and not my style at all. Maybe the month before this trip, I had started looking at ideas for rings to know what we may be getting ourselves into before we went to a store.

But again, we had agreed that we would wait until we lived near each other to make this trip to a jewelry store.

We had planned on making this trip to Savannah as carefree as possible, which meant that I was not allowed to make any definite plans. We would just do anything that our heart desired that particular day. It was to celebrate the end of grad school and a new chapter of being in the same time zone again.

So the first night we were in Savannah, we had a nice dinner (where we found out Mint Juleps are gross). Tom suggested we go find a mini-golf place, which is something we always do when we travel and were some of our favorite dates in Kansas City.

We tried finding several on our GPS but each place no longer existed or we just weren’t the best navigators.

It was also at this point that I started to get a severe case of food poisoning. So it was back to the hotel we went because my insides were on fire and did not want us to have a good time.

The next day, I still wasn’t feeling great. Tom, however, was very insistent on going miniature golfing. It was very uncharacteristic of him to be some emphatic about our plans, and my sick brain just wasn’t getting it. We actually got into a little bit of an argument because I thought we could just go another day, and I thought we weren’t making any plans. Tom, however, said we had to go that night and promptly went to the concierge to find out where a real mini-golf place was.  He was very persistent.

So I put on a smiling face and tried to be pumped about mini-golf which we did find on the first try.

It was kind of a lame course, and it was being over-run by 8th graders hopped up on energy drinks and sweets.

This whole time I am trying to be positive and not roll over from dehydration, and Tom is cursing under his breath at the teenagers. He was so visibly upset the whole time, I just tried getting out of there as soon as possible. I think our night was even further soiled when on the last couple holes, some kids started putting AS WE WERE STILL GOING! Seriously, our balls were still on the green and they just started running over us.

We went inside the arcade to cool off on a few rounds of skeeball and try to win some tickets for a way awesome prize (if we were still in elementary school). When we went up to the prize counter, Tom said, “Hey, here is an engagement ring for you,” as he pointed to a plastic ring in the glass case. I just rolled my eyes at him and walked to the car.

We were both kind of spent at this point. I was still exhausted from the food poisoning. And I thought Tom was just being paranoid about the middle schoolers. He had been acting really strange all day.

We ended up going to the river walk to watch the sunset and just relax. As we sat on a bench there, a street musician started playing nearby, a saxophonist no less.

And then I am not really sure what happened. It was a blur.

Tom was on one knee and said some things. As I registered that he just asked me to marry him when he pulled out the ring, I slapped him in the face.

I was in shock and thought he was pulling a prank since we had agreed not to do this until we went ring shopping together and lived in the same city! This wasn’t really happening!

In fact, it was. He had to repeat it and he apologized for not doing it on the mini-golf course, but he didn’t want it ruined by those punk kids.

Obviously, I said yes and apologized for slapping him.


And then we celebrated over french fries because I still couldn’t eat much (hmm it sounds like how we celebrated finding out about George…)

The next day we went para-sailing and then did a walking tour de Margaritas from our hotel to the river to celebrate in style. Tom ended up winning the tour from our hotel to the river because I got another visit from the food poisoning fairy, which  coupled with the few margaritas I did have made for just a wonderful night of celebrating…

Super awesome.


Anyway, so that is our fun engagement story. Tom had it planned for months. He had gone shopping for a ring long before I was looking and just made up that rule about living near each other to throw me off track. He told all of my grad school friends before graduation a few days prior to our trip as well as my whole family. This also explains why he was so nervous. He had the ring in this backpack (in a waterproof box) the entire time because he was afraid something would happen to it, and he wanted to ask early in the trip so he could just relax the rest of the trip and celebrate our future. I just thought he was being a weird end of the world prepper with the back pack the whole time since he wouldn’t let it get farther than an arm’s length from him.

So much for our no-plan trip…

I had no idea. Complete surprise, and I love it that way.

We quickly started making plans for the wedding to be the following summer. A year was a great timeline to plan especially considering I would be in a new job, and that gave Tom time to finish his degree and find a job in Iowa as well.


He had been job searching as soon as I found out that I had the job in Ames in April. He was scheduled to graduate with his Bachelor’s that December. So we signed on for long distance just a little longer since a job didn’t pan out by the time I moved to Iowa in July.


He kept job searching, but the economy was not great back then and so many people applied for one police position in a department.

He did join me the semester after he graduated without a job, but with some great prospects. We were just sure with our connections and his experience that he would have gotten a job in Ames and were willing to bank his move on it.


On the plus side, it was great to finally have long distance behind us. Tom finally got to see what I did first hand, which was great to finally share with him on a daily basis.

All this time, we planned the biggest party to celebrate our nuptials that June.

Unfortunately, the months kept passing, and Tom was not able to find a job like we thought. It was a very frustrating time seeing our dreams within grasp but not being able to reach them as we had thought.


So here we were, 26 years old, ready to walk down the aisle but with an unsteady future ahead of us.

Come back next week to hear about our wedding day!

Did you have a knee-jerk reaction to your proposal? Did it happen as you thought? Or have you already dreamed up your future proposal?