Friday, May 7, 2010

Thoughts on Being a Teen Mom: Part 4: My Happily Ever After

So there it was, December 30, 2005, my first Match.com date, with a very promising guy. He looked cute in his pictures, we had a lot in common, and enjoyed talking to each other on the phone, all pluses. He didn't have a cell phone so when he showed up at the wrong Starbucks for our date I was a little worried. You see in Colorado there literally is a Starbucks on every corner. So when we decided to meet at a Starbucks somewhere in the middle of our two places, I meant the one outside but attached to the mall. He, being his laid back self, asked for no more details, even though he had never been to this part of town before. He ended up at the Starbucks at the shopping center across the street from the mall. Well fate and God were on our side because just as the Starbucks barista was trying to hit on him, he asked to use the phone to call me. I of course didn't hear the phone and upon receiving the message, promptly began panicking, by calling my sister who lived right next to the mall and asking her where the other Starbucks was, hoping my date was still there by the time I got there and that he didn't think he had been ditched.

I am happy to say, I made it there, and the rest is history. Ok just kidding, the story continues. He looked similar to his pictures online and was cute. I liked him, he was kind of quiet, kind of shy, different than any of the other guys I dated. He seemed like a real gentleman, holding the door for me, walking to my car, not trying to kiss me. We sat and talked for 3 hours when we finally parted ways and went back home to pick up our kids. At the end of our date I forced a hug out of my shy guy, and I think he said something like, "I'd really like to see you again, if you want to, if that's ok with you" or some similar stumbling version of asking me out again. Oh my gosh, too cute! Later when I asked him about his first impression of me, he said he thought I was hot; and tall (I wore 3inch boots that day).

We talked on the phone more and set up our next date for 6 days later. This time he planned a date to the Boulder Dinner Theater, a nice little dinner theater near my hometown. I was excited to see him again and I was excited that he planned a nice date. We met up at the dinner theater and I could tell he was really nervous. I thought it was really cute though, he must really like me if he acting all shy and nervous. He didn't try to make a move but finally got up the nerve to hold my hand, wasn't he so cute! I had been plotting about our first kiss and didn't want it to be in the parking lot. It was only our second date but I had a feeling this was going somewhere. After the show I suggested we go to Flagstaff Mountain to the overlook to see the city. It is a truly a beautiful view. After taking him up there I forced him to kiss me. Fine, I didn't force him but the setting was perfect. We shared our first kiss on Flagstaff mountain where he would later propose and later we would wed, how sweet!

We both really liked each other and couldn't wait to see each other again. Scheduling dates as single parents is complicated because you don't only have your two schedules to work with but you have two babysitters schedules to work with. Somehow we managed to go on at least 1 date a week for those first 6 months.

Over that first month our relationship progressed. I brought him as my date to my work Christmas party and took him along to meet my friends. After a couple weeks he officially asked me to be his girlfriend and promptly took down his match.com profile. He was officially off the market and all mine.

After a month or so we decided it was time for the kids to meet. We were exclusively dating and were hoping to spend more time together. The first meeting was for dinner at my house, low key, and it went great. B having been an only child his whole life was thrilled to have playmates. Wyn loved to talk and talk and talk (in circles even, still does) and kept going on and on about when they could visit us next, FiFi didn't say much but laughed and played and well that is FiFi. I can picture that first day well but it is hard to imagine the kids were only 5, 5, and 3, so little and so cute!

After that we tried to keep weekly dates with just me and hubby and twice a week we would go to each others house for dinner, one day a week at his house, one day a week at my house, one date a week in the middle. 50 miles is a long drive, 100 round trip and about an hour each way without traffic, it suffices to say we both put a lot of miles on our cars that first year.

It didn't take long for things in our relationship to get more serious, we told each other we loved each other 6 weeks into our relationship though we both had known for weeks. Around this time I had this crazy idea of going to Vegas together for spring break. He thought it sounded fun so after less than 3 months of dating we took our first trip together to Vegas for the weekend. During that trip hubby told me he could see himself marrying me and I felt the same way. I knew he was the one. His family swore we eloped during this trip but obviously they didn't know me very well.

We continued our crazy, busy lives, balancing three kids, two school schedules, and various part-time jobs for me. B continued at his private school for 1st grade where we lived and Wyn started kindergarten near hubby's house. I still had a year left on my Bachelor degree, hubby had two more years to finish his degree.

We talked about marriage and continued dating. Hubby is a stubborn one. Although he took me to look at engagement rings in June, giving me the impression he was going to propose in the next month or two, he didn't buy my ring until the end of October. He then didn't propose until February. I swear, he was killing me with suspense. I thought for sure when he hadn't proposed by our one year anniversary that would be when he would do it. Our plans got rescheduled due to the Christmas blizzard of 2006 and the date came and went. He finally proposed on our date celebrating my birthday and Valentine's Day (the dates are a week apart). On February 10, 2007, hubby took me back to all our first date spots, including Flagstaff Mountain where our first kiss was and proposed. Aww...how sweet!

With our school schedules we had limited windows where we could both get married and take a honeymoon, either 2 weeks in May or 2 weeks in August. August in Colorado is typically hot and I had always wanted a spring wedding so we settled on May 2008, and a 15 month engagement. Since we were engaged and my lease was up at the end of May 2007, B and I packed up and moved in with hubby and the girls.

That May, I am proud to say I graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor degree in Political Science with a 3.3 GPA and my family by my side. It was a very proud moment for me and I felt like all my hard work was paying off. I was a college graduate, the first in my family to graduate with a Bachelor degree.

Over the summer I interned at a lobbying firm that deals in local Denver politics. It was an exciting job that I really enjoyed. The hours were long, the pay not so good, and the stress level high, so when they let me know they didn't have any opening in the fall, I was both a bit disappointed and a bit relieved. I continued to look for work and within a couple months starting working at a large IP law firm in downtown Denver, using both my Bachelor degree in political science and my paralegal certificate that I had earned many years before. I was disappointed in the pay but excited for the possibilities the future held.

B took a little time adjusting to his new school in 2nd grade. Going from private to public school was both good and bad for him. On the good side the behavioral expectations were somewhat relaxed and he rarely got in trouble at his new school. On the bad side, the work was too easy, while he was pulled out for both reading and math for GT, but it really wasn't enough.

Wyn and B took some time to figure out their new roles in our family. They both were previously the oldest child and both like to be in charge, B a little more so. They are only 6 months apart in age so they do butt heads some. The fact that they are in separate grades has been our saving grace, this way each child has their own space. B has slide into the role of oldest child taking on the most responsibility, and Wyn into the role of middle child, although she is also very responsible. I see their relationship much like any other siblings that are close in age (10-15 months apart). Both of them can agree on one thing, they love FiFi and will do anything to protect her and keep an eye out for her. FiFi very much enjoys the role of baby in our family. Although she is 7 years old, she plays it up every chance she can.

Our wedding date came quickly, with all the preparing and planning for a traditional wedding. Neither hubby and I had a traditional wedding the first time and wanted our wedding to be special. Our wedding date was May 24, 2008, and it was held at the amphitheater a Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado, a beautiful natural stone amphitheater overlooking the entire city. The views are truly breathtaking and of course Flagstaff mountain holds a special place in hubby and my heart. Our reception followed at a local hotel and we even partied into the night at the hotel bar, it truly was a wonderful evening and everything went off perfectly. Two days after our wedding we left for 8 days in Maui, which still is my most amazing vacation to date. I was so happy to have married my best friend that day and am still happy almost 2 years later.

So where are we now? In December of 2008, hubby after being in the Navy for 6 years, graduated with his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado. His job search after graduation took us here to Maryland, where he currently works for a small company as a Senior Engineer doing power plant training, operating manuals, and consulting work. I am working as a nanny to 9 month old twin girls and love every minute of it. Our kids are now in 4th, 3rd, and 1st grade and doing fabulous. Life really couldn't be better. I am glad I got my happily ever after. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but it just proves with hard work and a little determination you can accomplish anything.

















If you missed it:

Part 3: The Baby is Born

Part 2: Pregnancy

Part 1: How I Became a Teen Mom

12 comments:

Julie said...

I love this story -- it gives me hope as I'm thinking about trying Match again. :)

Blessings to you!

Jessica said...

What a wonderful ending to a wonderful story! Im so glad at the way it ended, and began I guess too! Wishing you continued happiness!

Nikki Cogg said...

Found you on SITS- so y'all met on match.com?? That is so great! What a heartfelt story, I hope you have a fantastic Mother's Day :)

Kim - In Search of Me in Mommy said...

Wonderful story...So often we just see snippets of someone's life and define them by the singular moment. But there is soooo much more to everyone one - if we can just remember that all the time. So glad your happily ever after arrived - you deserve it!

Brittany Ann said...

You made me cry! What a perfect love story!

Safire said...

What a beautiful story. So glad that you could have your own fairy tale. :) And that last picture is AMAZING!

Anita said...

Michelle, a really happy ending to your story. thank you for sharing.

Jen said...

I am so glad that you have your happy ending.

BokHaile8854 said...

快樂與人生,是最好的伴侶........................................

Gina said...

Just now getting caught up. I love this story and I adore the photos!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I totally agree with BokHaile8854, such a thoughtful comment. ;)

I love reading this series because it reminds me of some many little details I forgot about. I just love you guys.

Marla said...

.....and they lived happily ever after!

Loved it!!