How I Got Here...

This story begins on a cold and blustery night in January 2007.  I was living in the dorms and a friend asked me to go to a party with him.  Well, it was winter break, so no.. No parties were happening.  I wasn't really that type of girl anyways.  Anyways.. I agreed to go with him and drive him home, but I told him that we are leaving the moment I want to go.  I was expecting a dozen people or so.  Wrong again.. There were three.  Yes, I guess that classifies as a party.  I started talking to the 'hosts' of this amazing shin-dig and somehow I got invited to come back, but the next time I had to bring more friends.. Real gentlemen, right? 

After a month of casually hanging out, I asked Ben to be my 'date' at a Valentine's dinner that I was going to.  He agreed.. I'm sure it was because he got to dress up.  Either way, that I night I told him he was taking me out on a real date.  1. Yes, I told him.  2. That is how our relationship has continued.  Just kidding.. Sort of.  Ben asked me where he was supposed to take me and I told him that he had to plan it.  Well, he picked me up one night and we went to B-Dubs.  Romantic, I know.. But I loved it! 

After that things started moving really fast.  And when I say really fast.. I mean... REALLY fast.  When school ended in May I needed a place to stay for a few weeks, since I couldn't move into my apartment yet.  I had already pretty much moved in, so it wasn't that big of a deal.. Except for the fact that my stuff went from being able to fit into a drawer at his house to, well.. Pretty much everything I owned. 

By that October we got a place together.  A cute little tri-plex and too bad our neighbors weren't so cute.  Let's see.. Where am I?  July/August of 2008.  Ben was away at his brother's bachelor party.  The people that lived below us were hosting a party... I was a little on edge because all that was keeping them from breaking into our place was a single, old, wooden door.  I was just about to go to bed when I heard a gunshot.  Just when you thought our story couldn't get any more romantic... Needless to say, we started looking for a place immediately. (Sidenote.. From what the cops told me in the morning and from the newspaper article I later read, the victim was shot by some gang members over a drug deal... Yes, I will be sure to tell my children all this someday!) 

Anyways.. We found a house that we LOVED and moved out of the rental as soon as we could!  The house is the house that we currently live in.. Before we closed on the house Ben told me that we had to go meet the realtor at the house because Ben wanted a few more pictures of the place.  I had a lot on my mind... It was 2 days before my 21st birthday and my mom was hosting a huge family reunion that weekend.  Needless to say.. I wasn't the sweetest to Ben when I met him at the house.  Ok.. Engagement story plays out like this.

Me getting out of the car and being a crabby biotch.  I was walking in the frontyard to get a picture of the whole house.
Ben: 'Betsy, come here.  I have to show you something.'
Me: 'Just wait. I want to take some more pictures.'  (Imagine that being said a wee bit snippy)  Then, as I was taking the picture I noticed he was standing right infront of the house and he looked like he was going to puke.  I immediately thought to myself, 'Oh my goodness.. He is going to propose.' (He had already had the ring for four months and this topic was frequent in our conversations).  I walked up to him and he just stood there, smiling, with his hand in his pocket.
Ben: 'So you're sure you want this house?'
Me (giggle):  'Yes.'
Ben: 'So you're sure you want to be with me forever then?'
Me (giggle): Yeeeesssss.'
Ben (dropping down to one knee): Will you marry me then?'
****Insert 'awwwwww....' here****
Me (BIG giggle): 'Yes.'
Ben: 'Then this is all for you.'
(I thought he was talking about the house, but I turned and saw that a limosine had pulled up into the driveway.  He told me that we were going out for dinner and then reminded me that he, Mr. Genius, had told me to get dressed up, but as usual.. I refused to do what he said to do.)  So at our engagement dinner I was sticky with spray tan, in a cummy pair of shorts and tank top, with no makeup on.  Awesome.

We spread the news that weekend and set a date for June of 2010.  However.. Do you have any idea how much work and money goes into planning a wedding.  We had just met with a videographer and as we were walking about the door it became very clear that half the stuff we were doing was for our guests and not for us.  So what did we decide to do?  Move the wedding up to August 2009 and go to Ireland.

In the midst of celebrating our engagement, well... Let's not get into details and just say that Parker was born May 2009.  What a perfect little addition he was...

That August we travel to Ireland with some of our family and got married on the Aran Islands.  One word.  Amazing.  If I may say so myself.. It was the coolest wedding that I have ever been to.  We were married in a ruined church with no roof and no one to try to impress.  We traveled around the country that week, with P-Man strapped into the baby carrier, and saw so many beautiful sights.  We are already hoping to go back.

We came back to Minnesota to celebrate with all of our friends and family at a reception at my parents house.  We had another ceremony for our friends and family to witness and spent the rest of the day eating delicious food, drinking and visiting with wonderful people and dancing the night away to awesome music. 

After the party ended, it was time to get back to reality, but luckily we were still able to live a dream... We got pregnant with our second little man the following February.....

May 2011
photo credit: joe kelley photography