I remember sitting in the passenger seat, while we were dating, and listening to Connor talk about his large extended family and how much fun he had with his siblings and cousins and how he dreamed about having a big family of his own. That was the moment I realized I could love that man.
I realized I DID indeed love him with a love that lasts after he pursued me for months. Patiently, steadfastly and selflessly. Long distance is HARD. So hard that one night I called him in tears and told him it hurt too much. But I was in college and he was going through fire academy so long distance was the way things had to be right then. His response to my sadness was firm. He said he loved me and wanted to marry me but the last thing he wanted was to cause me pain. Maybe, he said, it would be better for my heart if we called it quits. He would understand. And in that moment my heart fiercely made itself known. No WAY was I going to lose this man. We knew, from that night on (although he’ll tell you he knew from the moment he first saw me at church camp) that we were meant for each other.
My husband and I actually ended up being in a long distance relationship for two years leading up to our wedding. Dating for one, engaged for the other. While we were never able to spend more than two weeks together during the time before we were married, we were almost constantly on the phone, texting, or skyping. Our relationship blossomed from friendship, into a crush, into a real and deep love that neither of us ever wanted to live without. Long distance relationships are tough. But I am here to tell you that it can work, and work well. And if you need encouragement or have questions, do not hesitate to shoot me an email or leave a comment.
Our wedding was a casual and joyful affair. Initially, we wanted to have a barbecue in my grandparent’s backyard and invite everyone we knew. Turns out, my grandparents backyard is nowhere near big enough for that. :) However, we found the most adorable bed and breakfast in Chester, CA, a town in the mountains, right next to the bible camp we met at. It was perfect. The focus of our wedding was on family and love. We did our best to honor the families that shaped us and celebrate the family we were about to become.
The following photos were taken by our incredible photographer Oana and her husband Sean. Check them out! HERE