Tomorrow, William and I are getting married. My mom volunteered to make us a wedding album that will include photos from the last year, wedding photos (obviously to be added later), and the story of how we came to this point. I hand wrote our stories onto beautiful scrapbook paper, but decided to put them here, too.
William and I met online. I was fed up with the rude guys who asked inappropriate questions, then cussed me out when I didn’t respond. I hadn’t logged into the site for several weeks and was preparing to close the account when I saw the message from William. That first message from him was so different from any other guy that I was intrigued enough to reply. Before I knew it, we’d been chatting for hours. After a couple of days, we moved our conversation to Telegram and continued talking for over a month.
I’d been counting down to the release of Beauty and the Beast for months, so I told William all about it. As opening day drew near, I dropped some hints about needing someone to go with me. William eventually got up the courage to ask me out and we made plans to see the movie. Of course, we couldn’t really talk during a movie, so we decided to get lunch first. After much discussion and fruitless searching for a nice place to eat in Fremont, we settled on Arby’s.
The day of the big date finally arrived. My loving brother came out to visit, so he could remind me not to get killed by a serial killer (Gee, thanks). With some slightly more encouraging words from my mom and Carbyn (via text), I was off.
When I arrived at Arby’s, William was already there, waiting nervously. We got our food and settled in to talk. We got so lost in conversation that we nearly missed the movie! The movie was everything I’d hoped it would be and the conversation during the end credits was excellent. Sadly, William had to leave for work, so we went our separate ways, promising to arrange another date soon. Before he took off, though, William gave me a single, long stemmed rose, which I brought home and carefully dried to save.
After that first date, we settled into a pattern of regular communication. I’d start my day by sending a “good morning” text. We’d text off and on through the day, then William would call in the evening and we’d talk for hours. We talked about all sorts of things–our daily lives, our childhoods, and our interests and hobbies.
We started seeing each other every Saturday, as it was the only day that our work schedules allowed. Our second date was spent at the Durham and the Joslyn art museum. The Durham had a photo exhibit and William somehow managed to stay interested through my photography chatter. That certainly earned major points in my book.
By the third date, we’d decided it was time for Isaiah and William to meet. In an effort to make sure Isaiah was comfortable, we decided to meet at the zoo in the morning and have my mom join us with Isaiah later in the day. Since William was going to be meeting my mom, David asked if he and Shelby could come along and try to intimidate my new boyfriend. I reluctantly agreed, with a warning that they’d better not scare off my perfect guy.
Isaiah wasn’t too sure what to think about this new person who wanted to be his friend and William was insanely nervous. We headed to the new petting zoo in the African safari, so they’d have something to do. Isaiah immediately ran to the goats to play with them and William joined him, after a little nudge. Once they’d started petting goats, they found that it was easy to talk and interact. From that moment on, Isaiah had decided that William was the absolute coolest person in the entire world. When we got to the top of the hill, where there’s a dinosaur dig, Isaiah started acting like a dinosaur. William joined in right away and the two of them took off, roaring and chasing each other. They’ve been nearly inseparable ever since.
A couple of weeks after William and Isaiah met, we decided to have a kid-centered date. We took Isaiah to the children’s museum and the Joslyn. Isaiah had never been to the children’s museum, so he was super excited to check it out. There were all sorts of cool, interactive activities that Isaiah got to try. He had a lot of fun getting William to help him with things. William got a taste of parenting part way through our day, when he and Isaiah managed to drench Isaiah in water while playing at the water table. Isaiah was too wet to just keep playing, so I had to send them into the bathroom to attempt to dry him off. William was tasked with wringing out and attempting to dry Isaiah’s entire outfit, while Isaiah stood there being goofy and completely unhelpful. Somehow, they survived the experience and emerged from the bathroom, dry enough to seek more adventures.
When we’d finally exhausted the fun activities at the children’s museum, we went over to the Joslyn. We weren’t there very long, though, because Isaiah was suddenly very worn out. He started falling apart and couldn’t be consoled. In the end, he decided that he absolutely had to be carried to the car–by William.
William is shy, a bit awkward, and insanely cautious. This resulted in some interesting moments in the early days of our relationship. For the first few dates, he was terrified to hold my hand because he was sure he’d come across as “pushy”. After several conversations about boundaries and what we were and were not comfortable with, as well as a good deal of teasing, he finally worked up the courage to hold my hand on the third date, though he still acted as if he expected me to try to bite him when he tried. After a while, I was starting to wonder if he’d ever have the guts to kiss me. Carbyn and I joked about it off and on and, eventually, Carbyn took matters into her own hands and told him to “just kiss her already!” Except that William didn’t read his Facebook messages until after the date. In good news, he’d already been thinking about it and trying to muster the courage, anyway, so he managed to get around to it without her encouragement. He got a good laugh when he saw her message a couple of hours later.
Once school was out and we didn’t have to juggle two work schedules, we started seeing more of each other. William came up here to visit and slept on my parents’ hide-a-bed couch some weeks, so he’d be able to spend more time with me. We had a lot of fun together and Isaiah informed me that he was pretty sure that we loved each other and would get married. Smart kid.
William was gone for annual training for two weeks in June. That meant very little opportunity to talk at all, even over texts. To help pass the time on my end, Iris spent a few days here, just hanging out and helping fuel Isaiah’s interest in Legos.
When William finally got back from AT, we met up at the zoo with Isaiah. We walked through the African safari, so Isaiah could admire elephants and I could visit with the cheetahs. After we spent a while talking to the cheetahs and taking their picture, William pulled me off to a quieter spot (the zoo was crowded, thanks to the beautiful weather) and pulled out a ring. He got down on one knee and… Isaiah took off. Apparently, quiet meant boring and nothing to see, so he was off to find adventures. After we wrangled my son, William got down on one knee–again–and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said “yes!” When we told Isaiah why William had just given me a ring, he gave an exasperated sigh, threw up his arms, and announced, “finally!” Apparently, we took way too long to figure out what he’d known “forever”.
Then it was time for the chaos that is wedding planning to begin. Before we posted anything on social media, we made sure to tell our parents, siblings, grandmothers, and Carbyn that we were engaged. Everyone wished us well, asked about plans (because apparently you should know the wedding date before you consider getting engaged?), and celebrated with us.
A couple of weeks after we announced our engagement, Carbyn came to visit. I couldn’t choose bridesmaid dresses without the maid of honor! So, while she was here, we headed out in search of dresses, along with Rose (the brains and organization of our operation) and Iris (my other bridesmaid). We found the perfect dresses for the girls and, by some miracle, for me, too! Thanks to the wonders of technology, we kept both my mom and William’s in the loop during the dress shopping adventure, sharing pictures through a Telegram group chat.
Since then, the chaos has continued. We worked madly on various wedding related projects, from choosing and making decorations to attending premarital counseling. Ceremony invitations were handmade, carefully written out for each family who was being invited. We had engagement photos done, which included Isaiah, so that we could make photo invitations for the reception, which would include more of our friends.
In between all the wedding planning craziness, life went on. We settled into a routine of spending time together on William’s days off and having him participate in everyday tasks like attending Isaiah’s appointments and events. We still made time for dates whenever we could. We’ve started to settle into just living life together. It’s been an adventure so far and it’s only just beginning.
I first met Elisabeth online, while at work. It was a quiet evening guarding the call center, so I decided to see if I could find a beautiful woman who was kind hearted. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams! We started chatting regularly about topics ranging from favorite TV shows, to theology, to our life stories. As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I found myself falling for her.
After a couple months, I finally worked up enough courage to ask her out to lunch and a movie. Lucky for me, the new Beauty and the Beast film had just been released. We decided to meet in Fremont and, after a couple of hours searching for a great lunch option, we settled on Arby’s. I was a nervous wreck driving up. The thought that I would mess up or that I had worked up my hopes falsely echoed again and again. However, my fears were laid to rest in the Arby’s lobby as we nervously talked.
We started meeting regularly on weekends after that day in March. After a few dates, Elisabeth decided I was real and trustworthy enough to meet her son, Isaiah. I met Elisabeth and her family at the zoo. I was both excited and nervous to meet Isaiah and the rest of Elisabeth’s family. After an awkward start, we stopped at the petting zoo and there the two of us hit it off. We walked to the new lion exhibit and played dinosaurs as we went. Isaiah had decided he approved of me.
As spring turned into summer, Elisabeth and I continued to spend our weekends together, except now Isaiah joined us occasionally. After I returned from annual guard training, I decided to ask Elisabeth the most important question of my life. On July first, I met Elisabeth and Isaiah at the zoo. As we walked around, I kept alert for the perfect moment and, near the lion exhibit, it arrived! As we stopped at an observation platform, I pulled a small box from my pocket and knelt before my lady Elisabeth. I presented her with my mother’s engagement ring and asked to spend the rest of my days with her. To my great joy, she agreed! Isaiah, though, simply threw his hands in the air, cried, “FINALLY!” and dragged us to the next exhibit.