Lately I have been thinking about my own "love story." Five years ago I shared my engagement with the Internet world and have been sharing my story ever since; however, I did not share as much about my story before that. Because our story was unsure back then, I wasn't confident in how it would end.
In 2005 I started dating Brent. He was my first boyfriend at the age of 20 and as a grown up tomboy starting to date in her twenties, I was beginning to wonder if a guy would ever notice me. My heart grew for him quickly, which was a surprise. Without ever having an interest in him before, I started to fall for him.
Maybe it was due to finally getting some attention from a man, but perhaps it was his chivalry that got to me, as well. Opening my door, buying me dinner, and meeting my parents...all those things every parent wishes for their daughter started to become a reality.
He was older by five years and it was so nice finally to date. He had just started his career, which is the job he still holds now. He bought me groceries, which is a poor college girl's love language for flowers.
But don't you worry. There were still flowers. Flowers at my apartment. Flowers waiting for me after a late night class. Flowers when I was student teaching. And almost every Sunday, flowers at my desk at my church. I would tuck those flowers in my purse every Sunday morning and would get comments like, "It must be Sunday! Ashley has flowers!"
Dinners out, a picnic at the lake, and dancing in the parking lot -- I started to fall in love. But with all the romance, butterflies in my stomach, and perfect dates, years started to pass. I graduated college. I quit my job. I moved back in with my parents. All the while waiting for when he would pop the question.
After years of being so sure what I wanted to do with my life, my world was flipped upside down when I fell in love. I met a man that wanted to take care of me. Who could provide for me. And who helped me look at life a little differently. The only problem was he wasn't ready to marry me.
I felt deep in my heart a call to create a home with this man. A call to be a wife and a homemaker and hopefully, one day, a mom. It was an invitation to consider a life I had previously not thought about. It was a life of slowing down and the more I considered it, the more my heart yearned for it.
Friends and family supported this new passion. I started blogging. I used my free time to pursue creative endeavors. But as each day passed, concerned loved ones kept asking, "when is he going to marry you?"
I did not know. It was beyond my control. And it filled many nights full of tears of the unknown. I loved him. I trusted that all these years weren't for nothing. That there was a part of him that I knew loved me but just was not ready.
And then something changed. I cannot explain it, nor can even pinpoint what that change was. But all that waiting was no longer for nothing. He was ready.
Holding hands, we hopped on a plane together to my fairytale engagement. A proposal at the beach. A profession of his love for the very first time. A song written just for me. And a longing that was finally fulfilled.
And in what was just a short moment that seemed to last a lifetime, my world changed. What I once knew as love multiplied by the millions. The way he looked at me. The way he held my hand. The way he said, "I love you" made all those uncertain nights I once had, fade away.
I later learned that my husband is a committed man. Though he loved me for many years before we married, he needed to be 100% sure of his commitment before he took the plunge. Though those years were not always easy, it has taught me a great life lesson: be patient. Know that some things in life are worth the wait.
A wedding in our case was one thing that was not worth the wait. As soon as I got that ring on my finger, I could not wait to marry that man. We got married three months later and have been living our happily ever after since.
Every story has its twist and turns. And I want to celebrate the hard times as much as the good times. I know, without a doubt, the devotion my husband has for me. To imagine anything different now just seems odd. But there was a time of uncertainty. And because of it we can be stronger today.
I am a sucker for a good love story. And I am thankful for the opportunity to write down my own. We all have stories of ups and downs that usually don't end up the way we had planned. But it is in living the story, and being able to look back, that we realize how good our stories really are.
Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author, has come out with her newest book SAVE THE DATE! As I flip through every page on the edge of my seat, I am reminded of my own love story. My own road to our "save the date." As a romantic, daughter of a florist, and party enthusiast, reading this story of a Savannah florist's search for her own fairytale ending is right up my alley! Mary Kay Andrews is funny, smart, and heartfelt. This book is so good you will want to RSVP!
Read an excerpt, download recipes inspired from the book, and more here.
In celebration of this book I am also giving away to one lucky reader a copy of SAVE THE DATE as well as a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment below sharing your own story of love (or perhaps love lost) for a chance to win!
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