I apologize for not being around a whole lot in blogland. I've been just a tad bit busy...
After being engaged for over a year, Jon and I decided to elope. We went down to the historical Old Orange County Courthouse on Wednesday and exchanged vows. It was beautiful.
We decided not to tell anyone other than my parents about our plans. Jon actually went over to my Dad's house with my Mom and had a really nice talk with him about what we were doing. I was touched that he did that. My Dad can be a very intimidating person and doesn't come off as the most approachable person, but my Mom said it went great. She said that my Dad actually looked more nervous than Jon did! That was hard for me to imagine!
Everyone was really surprised when we announced it at a family event. I have a very large family. I'm talking over 50 people if you're just counting aunts, uncles, and cousins. Our family is also very close so you can't get away with telling some and not others. Some people were a little hurt that they didn't know anything about what was going on, but everyone was happy and excited for us. Which made us happy and excited in return! Plus, isn't the surprise factor the whole part of eloping anyway? The nerves of those who were shocked were calmed when we told them that we still plan on having an official wedding ceremony.
We had originally planned on having an actual wedding ceremony this last November. However, life got busy, and we had lots of changes and more important things to worry about. So we decided to wait. I think it was a smart decision. Another reason we had decided to wait was because I really wanted us to complete pre-marriage counseling before we got married. Since we both have a child from a previous relationship, the divorce rate for "blended families" like ours is incredibly high. Again, we have been engaged for over a year already. When we got engaged, we had already decided that we were in the same commitment as if we were married. We lived together and got to witness first-hand just how hard it really is. I made the decision to move back home so we can wait until we are married to live together. We are both very religious and we really want to do things the way we believe is right and be good examples for our kids. However, I am very grateful for the time we lived together beforehand because it really shows you that marriage isn't always sunshine and rainbows. It's something that requires work on both sides. It requires sacrifice and unconditional love.
I believe a good partner is someone that makes you want to do all of these things. Jon has been there for me through it all. This last year saw a lot of changes and a lot of hard times. He tried so hard to make those moments easier. He was my rock and I honestly don't know how I could have done any of it without him. In addition to all of that, he makes me want to continuously improve our relationship. He makes me want to continuously improve myself. I want to be there for him and support him the way he has me. I want to work hard to take care of him the way he has taken care of Punkin and I. These feelings come automatic. It's something I want to do and not just something I feel I have to do. I can't imagine anything better, nor do I want to. I'm excited to see what life has in store for us. I'm excited to make many more happy memories. I know things won't always be sunshine and rainbows. However, knowing that I have him by my side gives me a sense of ease. It makes me unafraid of facing all of those hard moments. That is why one week ago, I said "I do".