what a difference a year makes.

One year ago today, I flew into Shannon, Ireland with this boy. We were jetlagged. We were giddy. We were awkward. We were pen pals who had stolen each other's hearts before meeting, and our week on the Emerald Isle would only confirm it.

I'm not one to buy souvenirs, often I lose them within days of returning, so written words and photos are my keepsakes. But, while in Ireland with that boy I spotted this necklace--"Love from Ireland" it was inscribed. Surely it was meant to be sent to a loved one, but I couldn't resist purchasing it. Love is what I'd found in Ireland...and as I packed my bags, love was the souvenir I was bringing home. It was chancy, and I was unsure of how the next year of life would play out: I had school to attend and he returned to work in Iraq. There was no certainty of what the future would bring. But we dove in--our year of unknown twists and turns...of learning to be apart and yet still together.

The truth is this: We're still unsure. Not of our love, but unsure of where life will take us in exactly a year. He might still be contracted in the middle east. I might still be in school in Wisconsin. We might luck out right away, get a post in Germany or Italy and spend time together exploring the world. But hopes and dreams aside, we will be married--that's all we know. 

And I'm slowly learning to let go of my planning, my incessant need to know...learning to snuggle up next to uncertainty and embrace whatever comes. Because regardless of oceans, careers and education, in one year our biggest dream will already have come true, with two little words:

I do.


  1. whoa, goosebumps over here. I could listen to your love story over and over again and never tire of it. You found each other: how sacred that is!

  2. That's right! Because I was in England, and when Cassie and I met for lunch, we talked about you and how you were in Ireland with a boy we just bet you were going to fall in love with!

    I'm looking forward to watching the next year unfold, with all sorts of exciting twists and turns that take you to that beautiful spot in California where you say "I do!"

  3. so sweet.

    your love story really is amazing. it's so crazy (good crazy!) that such a unique turn of events has turned out so perfectly!

  4. I think we're all a little unsure if you ask me, single, married, kids or not... the rest isn't always so clear... and that's ok.

  5. thank you for the reassurance that not everyone is so certain of their future. i am ALWAYS trying to plan. reading this made me remember it's ok to let go and just let life happen.

  6. this just gave me goosebumps.

    know this trying time of being apart is awful, but i'm sure far better than before you had met him.

    Praying that some place you both can love and live in works it way into your married lives. xoxox

  7. I have to agree with others here Bethany and say that this post made me have goosebumps - such a beautiful post.

    Here is hoping your next year will be just as magical and I cannot wait to share it all with you either. Hope you have a fabulous weekend dear xx

  8. Nicely said and probably what I needed given some uncertainty in my own life right now... Best of luck!!

  9. This is so sweet! I just found your blog and I think I might go read up on some of your older posts!

    P.S. I love that necklace!

  10. The perfect momento of a beautiful love

  11. Wow. I've only been reading your blog for a couple months and you've quickly moved up on my list of blogs to read daily!!
    The past year of your life islike a fairy tale, something you'd only see in the movies... this post gave me goosebumps. To hear you speak of the uncertainty, the excitement, and the unwavering love helps me believe that true love really does still exist in a world where the sacredness of marriage is questionable. Best of luck to you in the next year. I'm sure it'll be a bit of a scary rollercoaster, but once the year is over you'll look back again and be ready to jump in line again :)

  12. goosebumps!!
    What a love story you have darlin.
    I can see you know sitting in front of the fire, a little granddaughter on your knee, sharing your fairytale...

  13. I read this a few days ago and can't believe I didn't comment. The whole story is just amazing (not the distance part) and I love what a cherished souvenir that pendent has become.

    I look forward to reading along with this wonderful story of yours.


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