We met the first day of a Carnival singles cruise. I saw Michael across the dance floor and casually went over and started dancing with him. We introduced ourselves and I learned he was from Omaha (wherever the heck that is). We clicked right away, and his intoxicating gaze pulled me in for our first kiss. When we left the dance floor he was holding my hand, and he basically didn't let go the whole trip. We were inseparable. By the third day Michael was saying, "I love you", and I would answer, "you're crazy", but he won me over completely in just a few short days. Everyone around us could tell how in love we were and they were always surprised we had just met.
At the end of the cruise, after the world's longest airport goodbye, I was promising to visit Michael in Omaha during March break. We spoke that night over the phone for hours, and every single day after that. Michael said he couldn't wait until March to see me, so he booked a flight to Ottawa in February. Then I found I simply couldn't wait until February to see him again, so I booked a last-minute weekend flight to Omaha in January. Thus began a series of expensive flights back and forth. We found that three weeks apart was about as much as we could take. Discussions started to center around how we could be together permanently. We knew everything was moving fast, but it just felt right. "When you know, you know", became our favorite saying.
By the end of the cruise, I knew that Stephanie was the one. But, the Spock in me told me I should wait the appropriate amount of time before popping the question. That appropriate amount of time turned out to be six weeks.
I had spent days trying to come up with the perfect way to ask and with only three days to go I got a eureka moment. I bought several small gifts, the last item being a Peter Pan Blu-ray, one of Stephanie's favorite movies. On the front of the Diamond Edition movie, I taped the engagement ring. The plan was to ask a series of yes or no questions, related to each gift. For example, I asked,"If I promise to always make you smile, will you reward me with hugs and kisses?" When she said, "Yes." I gave her a box of Hershey kisses and hugs. The idea was to give her a little practice saying, "Yes," before I asked the big question.
It was Valentine's Day. I was visiting Stephanie in Ottawa for a long weekend. We had just finished dinner and we went back to the hotel for a moment before going out dancing. I asked her to sit down, and went through my little dog and pony show. When I gave her the Peter Pan movie I made sure to give it to her with the ring down. She opened it and flipped it over, and just as I had planned it took her a few moments to see the ring. She saw it, gasped, let out an "Oh My God," and started laughing. She said "YES!" before I even had a chance to ask the question.
After most of the plans for our New Year's wedding were made, we received an unexpected surprise that would change our wedding plans and our lives forever, in the form of a tiny miracle. In addition to all the excitement and changes already going on in our lives, Michael and I are expecting our first child at the end of February! For now, we call him/her our little "Squishy".
It was crazy leading up to the wedding. Originally, scheduled for New Year's, due to our unexpected surprise the wedding was moved up by 3 months. Working with Carnival and our family, we were able to move the date of our wedding and honeymoon. The were some crazy moments, like running through an Airport with a Wedding Dress and Tux to make it to the county office in time to get our marriage license, but we did it together. On September 22, 2013, on board the Carnival Breeze, Stephanie and I were married in the presence of our immediate family.
In a fairy tale this is the part where the story ends, however, our story is just beginning. Our daughter, Isabelle Liberty, was born on March 3, 2014 in Bellevue, Nebraska, United States of America. She has truly changed our lives. On August 16, 2014, our little family moved to Ottawa, ON, Canada. As our one year wedding anniversary approaches, Stephanie and I have been through a lot in very short time. It has been a whirlwind adventure, and I expect many more to come.