Five years ago, I left my home, friends, and the only life I’d ever known to move across the country to chase a dream in Washington, D.C. I had a fabulous job and new acquaintances, but I was lonely.
Four years ago, my friend Bridget came to town and introduced me to her college buddy who had also just moved to D.C. His name was Stephen, and I gave him a tour of the Capitol one Friday afternoon. We went to dinner and talked for hours. It wasn’t long before I called him mine.
Fourteen months ago, Stephen pledged to love me for the rest of his life when he asked me to marry him on a beautiful April evening, with the fresh beauty of springtime alive all around us. Overwhelmed and overjoyed, I offered the same pledge in return.
One year ago, I chose to transform my health and my life by running, eating healthily, and focusing on how strong my body can be when I challenge myself, believe in myself, and never give up. All the while, Stephen was there, right beside me, helping me move forward when I just wanted to quit. In these moments, we were truly at our best as a team.
Nine months ago, I began to share my love of weddings and my passion for writing by blogging about my journey. The support, encouragement, friendship and opportunities I’ve gained through this experience have been nothing short of amazing. I am grateful for every minute, and love the new direction my life has taken as a result.
Two months ago, at an outdoor wine festival one lovely Saturday afternoon, I forgot to slather sunscreen onto my fair skin. Ever selfless and compassionate, Stephen shielded me from the sun throughout the day, which ended in a terrible sunburn that left him in pain throughout the week that lay ahead. But he never complained, because he did it for me.
Today, at long last, I’ll make a promise to this gentle, sincere and loving man, my dearest friend, who I know will stand by my side forever.
And tomorrow, our best days will lie ahead of us.
Stephen, you fill my heart with joy and inspiration. Sharing my life with you is a wonderful gift that I will always give thanks for. I dreamed about you and wrote stories about you long before I ever met you. I love you, and I just can’t wait to marry you.