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Today is our one year anniversary. We are celebrating deep in the heart of Texas, and you can celebrate this lovely three-day weekend right along with us. Sit back, relax and grab yourself a Starbucks or Shiner {after all it is a holiday} and take a trip down memory lane with our love story.

Simply Love was originally published on my blog as pages, but in honor of this special occasion I have posted it here in its entirety.

He and She Meet

August 9, 2010 – I was basically wearing Pajamas

Our mutual friend, Dena, introduced us while Scott was on vacation. She kept talking about how her friend was coming to visit and she said “you’re gonna love him”. I thought cool, ’cause seriously if you know me you know I love everybody.

The morning we met Dena called and asked if I wanted to come over for breakfast tacos. I said I would be there in 10 minutes. What Dena didn’t know, was I had been asleep when she called, so I got up fluffed my hair, brushed my teeth, and put on some appropriate outside clothes and walked to her house.

{I had no idea I was about to meet the man of my dreams, because I would have taken a shower and probably put on some cuter clothes, at least I brushed my teeth.}

Neighbors

Dena and I had been friends for about a year. She is a single mom, and we hung out a lot. I had moved recently and ended up about a block from her house. We ate at least one meal a day together…so much better to eat with someone than alone, don’tcha think? Anyway it was normal for me to roll out of bed and head over to Dena’s for breakfast, coffee or a game of Wii bowling with her son.

A few minutes later I walked into her house, Dena was on the phone, I didn’t see Scott anywhere and so I made myself at home and sat on the couch. Scott came down the hall, introduced himself and sat down next to me.

Dena started cooking breakfast and asked me about how much bacon she should cook. I told her to cook it all. I ain’t afraid of no bacon. Plus if there happens to be any leftovers she can always make a BLT. We ate breakfast sitting on the living room floor and ended up talking about Time for Timer. For the life of me I didn’t remember what it was, but I can still sing the Conjunction Junction song, so that made up for it. Since Dena cooked, Scott and I cleaned up the kitchen together. I didn’t think about it then, but we definitely got along great from the start.

We made plans to have dinner that evening. Dena and Scott headed to the store and I was off to get ready to go to work.

The three of us hung out, ate dinner, drank wine, and talked about the upcoming week. Dena was working the morning shift and I worked in the afternoon, so we planned that I would take Scott around town while she was working. That was the easy part, no awkward ask for a number. Our friend went to bed saying stay up, hang out, I’ll see you tomorrow. Scott and I sat on the porch, having finished the wine we moved onto whiskey which flowed as easily as the conversation.

Dena and I had just finished two summer school classes, that meant I was completely done with college! We had worked on two projects both having to do with mobile media and storytelling. One was a historic walking tour, the other was a location-based story that used gps coordinates and geocaching to find the next part of the story. This is what Scott and I planned to do the next day.

It was getting late and I said I was going to head home. Scott insisted on walking with me. I tried to convince him to let me walk alone and even pointed to my house, but he said that’s how we do it where I come from.

…and then he asked if he could kiss me.

{He and She realize}

He Pursued me right away

Scott insisted on walking me home the first night we met, saying, “this is how we do things where I’m from”. When we got to the end of my sidewalk this is what happened.

Scott: I’m really attracted to you. Would it be alright if I kissed you?

Me: {In true Sheila fashion I shrugged my shoulder while I reached out and gently squeezed his hand} Ok.

He told me later the squeeze I gave him was enough encouragement to know that everything was going to work out. It was a lovely quick smooch and a hug. We went our separate ways for the evening.

The Beginning of it all

The next morning I went to pick Scott up. Having not sleep very much the night before, I had planned out this entire scenario in my head it went something like this:

Me: I’m so tired this morning.

Scott: Oh, why is that?

Me: I was distracted, and couldn’t sleep.

Scott: By what?

Me: You.

In reality this is what happened:

Me: I’m pretty tired this morning.

Scott: Yeah, me too. I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about you.

Me: …?… that’s what she said.

Then I told him about what I was going to say. We laughed, and both knew we were on to something. It was exciting and scary at the same time. A mix of butterflies and razors were flying around in my stomach. I mean this doesn’t happen in real life, meet an amazing guy but he lives more than a state or two away and they live happily ever after. Or does it…? And seriously girl you just met him, lighten up a bit and have fun, but not too much fun, he’s on vacation, and you don’t know him.

Fireworks

Scott told me he asked Dena that morning if she was trying to set us up.

Dena: Are you crazy, you live 2,000 miles away from each other, why would I do that? … Were there fireworks?

Scott: A few.

We spent the next seven days hanging out and getting to know each other. Scott was a gentleman from the start, opening doors for me, pulling out chairs. He said he wanted to show me how much he liked me. {To this day there is not a door or chair that goes unnoticed.}

That week we went to lunch, watched TV, hiked, had coffee, Scott even went with me to a poetry group and wrote a poem. My friend Denice said, “you have a passionate man here, don’t let him get away.” It was great to hear someone else validate what I saw in this man, even though we had just met.

Don’t Forget {the real} Me

I told Scott he smelled great. He looked concerned, but I didn’t understand until he explained that he was on vacation and had been staying in hotels and using their stuff, so he really didn’t smell like himself. He promptly went to the store and got stuff he used back home. He later told me he wanted me to know how serious he was about me, and wanted me to remember the real him.

Scott says we became friends and fell in love with each other at the same time. I agree.

Saying Goodbye is the Hardest Part

After a week of hanging out Scott was headed home to Texas.

Truth, I was very sad. I knew he was a great guy and all the sweet things he said to me were not just for show…at least I hoped.

{He and She separate, but only by miles}

This was the hardest part.

Scott said this was probably harder on me since I had daily reminders of our time together. {The place where we first kissed. Where we went for a drive or walk.} He was excited for me to visit him where we could create new memories together.

A {Little} History

Scott and I had both been married before. Each marriage lasted about the same length of time and when we met we knew what we were looking for. Both of us spoke about our former spouses as first husband, first wife. Scott said it best, “I want to be positive about it and if I say first then hopefully there will be a second.” I had gotten to the point in my life where I was completely happy being single, had a great group of friends and was close with my family. I had also come to the realization that I would probably never get married, never have kids, and I was becoming ok with this. My life was full and rich with other things. I felt I had even gone through a grieving process when I divorced and had moved on with my life, and had not seen or spoken to my first husband in four years.

Sad news and moving forward

I found out my first husband suddenly passed away right before I was going to see Scott the first time. First I called my sister, then I called Scott and told him the sad news I had just received. I was confused as to how I could be so happy and sad at the same time. I knew he would be supportive, but what he said to me knocked me over…in a good way.

Scott: It’s perfectly normal to have those feelings, and it’s ok to be happy and sad at the same time…Do you still want to come see me?

Me: Yes.

Scott: When you get here we can talk about him as much or as little as you want. Talking about it will probably help.

It was like God was giving me permission to be happy with someone new and I took it as a sign that God was saying to me, “girl, {that’s what he calls me} go start your new life”.

The first time I went to Texas was Labor day weekend 2010. Scott was working in Dallas so I flew there and right when I got to the hotel I called a florist in California to order flowers for my first husbands family for the funeral. I had no plans on attending, but I needed to do something, for me it was like the closing of a chapter, the ending of a book.

Adventure

Since Scott lives in Austin we did a bunch of driving and talked a lot that first trip. We talked about my first husband a little. I met his parents and some of his friends, saw where he lived so I could report back to my friends that he wasn’t a hoarder, and that there were no dead bodies buried in his back yard that I could see.

When I came home my sister asked if we eloped. I told her she was crazy. I liked this guy {even then I knew I loved him}, but was still getting to know him. She said it’s ok if you do. She went on to say this was the first time I spoke so confidently about someone I was dating. I told her it was all him. Scott was so supportive, and confident in who he is {still is} it’s one of the things I love the most.

What we called Dating

We didn’t date the way normal people who live near each other do. We basically had one long date each month. Either in Texas or Washington. It depended on our mainly Scott’s work schedule.


I was working part-time and had just graduated from college so I had tons of free time. Plus I job shared and was able to take time off work easily since the girl I shared with always wanted more hours. I know if we had met while I was still in school I would have said you’re nice, see you when you’re here again.

Luckily that wasn’t the case.

We talked on the phone every.single.day. We mailed each other little reminders that we were thinking of each other. Sent Facebook messages. Started calling each other He and She.

This lasted almost a year.

{He and She get engaged}

Separation is for the Birds

Each time Scott and I were together for one of our ‘long dates’ there came a point where I would startle myself and realize one of us would be going home. I did this on every trip and looked forward to when we would be married and live in the same house all the time.

We talked about getting married and I knew we would get engaged, just not when. Scott asked me in January what my ring size was and even asked to see what kind of rings I might like. My birthday, Valentine’s Day, his birthday all came and went. I decided to relax and not worry about how and when, because I knew it was still coming.

California Dreaming

I lived in California until 2006 when I moved to Washington to be near my sister and her family and go back to college, and still have close friends and family there.

Scott and I got our first piece of mail addressed to both of us; a lovely invitation to a wedding in California. Scott and I made plans to meet in California for a vacation and attend the wedding while there. The traveling part was crazy. I flew into San Francisco, got a rental car and drove to San Jose to pick up Scott. We planned on spending a night in Napa, then we were off to visit my family in Sacramento followed by the wedding and staying in my hometown. We had a packed itinerary, but also made time to reconnect and relax.

Napa, California – June 9, 2011

My family history is rich in the area surrounding Napa; my paternal grandmother was born in Calistotga, she and my grandfather are buried in St. Helena, and the town of Rutherford is named after a distant relative. Scott and I spent the first day touring around, and even had time to stop at my grandmother’s favorite winery to make a special toast in her honor.

Each stop we made Scott would open the trunk of our rental car and look inside. Having never traveled with him I thought it was strange, but thought this must be what he does on a trip.

We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast with time to unpack a bit, relax and freshen up. This B&B had a sister location down the street where they had wine tasting and appetizers each evening so Scott and I made a detour and found our way there before heading to dinner. Scott made reservations at a tapas restaurant I found online, and since the weather was perfect we decided to make an evening of walking. We had to weave our way through a street fair full of colorful vendors and amazing smelling food, and made plans to stop for a sweet treat after we ate if we still had room.

At the restaurant we found ourselves seated upstairs in a loft with one other couple. Scott sat facing the window and moved our table a few inches to get a better look. Dinner was a steady stream of delicious bites and spicy red wine. Toward the end of our meal a very loud woman and a group of friends were seated at a large table near us. This woman was obnoxious {read drunk and swearing} and I was thankful we were ready to leave, because I might have gone postal on this crazy gal.

Having had our fill at dinner we decided to forgo the original plan to grab a sweet treat from the street fair and instead headed straight to our B&B. We walked hand in hand as we always do, taking about the future…

Our B&B was in a lovely old house with a front, back and side yard all gloriously manicured. I started digging in my purse for the key, and Scott noticed they had a {tiny} vineyard and suggested we take a walk though it to the back of the house. There was a large patio with chairs set up surrounding a fire pit. We wound up sitting there gazing at the stars. Again we talked about the future and then Scott got up and I thought well I guess we’re going in and again started digging in my purse for the key.

Scott had other plans. He got down on one knee said a kajillion lovely things to me, asked me to marry him. Before I could say yes he opened a ring box and said, “oh, and I got you this”. Of course I said yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Then I said, thank you, kissed him and put a gorgeous oval cut diamond ring on my finger. We hugged and cried. I jumped up and down because I was so happy.

Yes, I knew a proposal was coming, but I had no idea it was happening right then. I was very surprised. Scott said he was so glad he gave the ring to me so he could relax and went on to explain that he was nervous about having the ring in the car and kept looking in the trunk all day. {That explains it} He also told me that he was planning on proposing in the restaurant until the crazy lady came in and had even moved the table so there was room for him to get down on one knee. Then he started looking for other places. In the end I love that he asked me privately.

Share the Goodness

The next morning we called our families to tell them the news, then we were off to have a visit with my family. Scott said he wanted to propose before he met my friends and family so I could show off my ring. He’s very sweet and thoughtful like that.

The rest of our trip was perfect. The wedding of my friend was a lovely outdoor affair at a winery. Scott and I had lunches, dinners and walks with some of my closest friends. I was so glad they were able to get to know Scott, even just a little bit.

A few days later we headed back to our corners of the globe.

He and She Plan a Wedding

But first I had to get home – 6/14/2011

I had become a seasoned travel in a short amount of time, and airline delays were the worst part. I had dropped Scott off in San Jose then drove back to San Francisco to drop off the rental and catch my flight. I was very early, so I took my time going through security, grabbed some dinner, then a drink and part of a baseball game. I even had time to get a manicure so my hands looked great for when I got home to show off my new ring. Then came the first delay. Then a gate change. Then a second delay. Around midnight the flight was cancelled. The airline personnel were horrible. The only offer I got was to take a flight to Spokane that night or wait for another flight in the morning. No offer for a hotel was given.

I opted to take the morning flight. The whole thing was a nightmare. {I started writing the entire thing, but erased it BECAUSE it was a nightmare and there may have been swearing involved} I finally made it on the plane and the flight attendant slammed the door right behind me. I pretty much lost it once I made it to my seat. I was tired, hungry, pissed off and ready to be home.

During my flight delays Scott made his way home and was beside himself with frustration for me. He understood how tired from traveling I was and what a crappy way this was to end an otherwise perfect trip.

Let the Planning Begin

We planned 96% of our wedding on the internet and over the phone. First thing to decide on was location, location, location. We both threw out ideas including Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Austin, Tir-Cities, and Seattle. Seattle won knowing they have great public transportation for our out-of-town guests. The next task was finding a venue. We looked at museums, art galleries, and parks. I found this company in Seattle that did boat cruises on Lake Union. Most of the packages were for large parties, so Scott emailed them with our requests and worked out a plan on a smaller boat for a party of 20. We knew we wanted to show up have a great time, eat, drink and be married with our friends and family.

In the midst of all the wedding plans I was also making moving plans. Everyday when I got home from work I packed and sorted and gave a bunch of stuff away. Texas is so much warmer than Washington so I knew I would not need three sets of thermals, scarves, hats and down jackets.

Getting our Ducks in a Row – August 9, 2011 {we met exactly one year ago}

Scott flew to Washington to help me with the big move. I met him in Seattle and we got our marriage license, ordered a cake, looked for flowers, met with the boat people and finalized our menu.

The next few days were full of last-minute packing, picking up and filling up the U-Haul, saying goodbye to friends and family. We actually shared the U-Haul and expenses with someone else who was moving to Austin. That truck was so full I even left things behind, giving my floor lamps and exercise equipment to my neighbor and my bed to a local shelter. It was bittersweet but I was happy to get in that big van pulling my trusty car and head out onto the open road.

Road Trip

It took us four days to drive from Washington to Texas. 6:30 came early those mornings and we drove between eight and ten hours a day and stopped to sleep each night. Since our truck was so big {truck + car and trailer was almost 60 feet!} we had to watch out for low overhangs and always plan a forward escape route when stopping because there was no backing up that big ‘ol rig. Luckily we averted any disasters. By the end of day four I had cabin fever and was getting cranky, so when we arrived in Texas and it was 106 degrees I got frustrated. We got my car off the trailer, I turned on the air conditioning which worked like a dream, and I sat in there to ‘cool off’, then it hit me – I had a dress, but I still didn’t have flowers.

The whirlwind continued as I unpacked some boxes and began settling in to what would be my new life, and then packed my suitcase to go get hitched and honeymoon in Hawaii.

Even though I am divorced I had mixed feelings about living with someone before I was married. I had made a promise to myself I would not live with a guy {unless he was a relative} until I was married. Scott and I spoke often about this, and he respected my choices. In the end we lived together for a little less than two weeks before heading off the get married. It was a compromise, but one I felt confident in while honoring that promise I made to myself so long ago.

I Think I’m Gonna Marry You

Our wedding weekend included manicures/pedicures, a dinner where my family and Scott’s family met for the first time, and Scott has a great story about finding his wedding shoes at Nordstrom’s, but that’s his story to tell. The day of the wedding there was picking flowers for my bouquet and Scott’s boutonniere at Pike’s Place, a ladies brunch/guys breakfast, and switching hotels.

Scott and I had some time to kill between leaving one hotel before we could check in to another, and I was getting anxious. I still needed to take a shower, do my makeup and fix my hair. Scott suggested I take a walk, I found myself in front of a bridal store looking at the most gorgeous pink flowers. I headed inside and bought the most lovely pink flower hair clip I could find, it was the perfect accessory, that last little touch I needed for our big day.

And They Loved Happily Ever After – 9/3/2011

Here are some of my favorite details about our wedding cruise on the ‘Destiny’: the gluten-free lemon lavender cake, the flowers purchased that morning, the music, Captain PJ who married us, our vows, the food, the gins and tonic, the Maker’s Mark, my dress, the mustache finger tattoos my sister arranged for everyone, having our friends and families with us, the sound of the water lapping the side of the boat, how Scott’s nephew called me a princess when he saw me in my dress, sailing by Bill Gates’ house, taking silly pictures with all of our guests, the champagne toast, but the best part was saying ‘I Do’ to my best friend and what came after…

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit of your long weekend with us. We hope you had some great food, and we’re able to relax and spend time with the ones you love. Cheers!

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