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Our Love Story

Not a lot of people know how D and I met. I figured we could rip off the Band-Aid because you will probably laugh at us. Are you ready for this? We met on a dating app (let me clarify real quick that we did not meet on Tinder. Lol). But it was similar and maybe even more embarrassing...we met through Hot or Not. GET YOUR LAUGHS OUT NOW, OKAY? Actually, you might get a few more laughs in a second once you read what D's first message to me was (don't hate me babe). It still makes me giggle to this day how we met and how he won me over with such a cheesy message.

"Hey QT 3.14"

There you have it, ladies and gentleman. The one little message that led me to meeting my future husband.

It's funny when people ask us how we met, we both look at each other and laugh before we tell people. To be honest, I'm not actually embarrassed about it. It's funny, it makes me smile and it will be something our kids can tease us about when we are older. I wonder if anyone else has gotten married because of Hot or Not. Maybe we could be their advertising couple? Haha. Just kidding. THAT would be embarrassing.

So now you know how we met. I'm going to backtrack a little bit so you can see how crazy it is that we actually met. D was living on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South Dakota and his mom lived in Denver at the time, so he came down and wasn't sure how long he'd be there. He hated it as soon as he got to the airport. His plan was to actually just head back to South Dakota. So he was there for only a couple days and then we found each other online and set up a night to go on our first date. Isn't that crazy? He could have just hopped on a plane and we wouldn't be here today. At the time, I was going to Aveda downtown and I honestly wasn't doing well with school, my relationships, anything really. So I'm really thankful D and I met when he did, because he made me want to do better. But anyways, that's another story for another day.

The night came around for our first date and I went to pick him up (he didn't have a car here since he was just visiting) and the moment he got in my car, I could not believe how much cuter he was in person than the picture he had online. I mean look at the picture:

He was so tall and handsome, had a deep voice and was just the cutest guy I had ever met. He was really sweet too, at least from what I was able to tell so far. We went and saw a movie and all I remember from that first date is how quiet and shy we were with each other. I remember having so many butterflies that I think my hands kept getting sweaty and I was scared he was going to hold my hand.

One date led to another, and another, and another. We barely spent any time away from each other. We were so in love. Not that we aren't now, but you know how it is when you've found the person you want to spend your life with and how exciting it is? That's how it was. I couldn't wait to see him and just spend time with him. We didn't have to do anything crazy, but just enjoy each other's company. We had so much fun going and doing new things though. We would go to fun little mountain towns all the time and just go explore. We had so many special times together while we were dating. I love looking back at the pictures we took while we were dating because sometimes I wish that we had more time just the two of us, especially since we're so young. But I find that when I look back at all of those pictures, it makes me feel thankful for the time we did have alone and that we made the best of it.

We knew we wanted to get married and we talked about it all the time. Ever since I was a little girl, I had always wanted to get married and be a wife, have babies and I couldn't believe I had found that guy. When I would post pictures of us, my friends would message me and say, "Mandy, you found your cowboy you always dreamt of." That's actually how the 'adventureswithmycowboy' hashtag started on my Instagram and Facebook. If you go to my Instagram profile, you can type in #adventureswithmycowboy and it will pull up pictures I've posted throughout the years that we've been together. That's where the name from my blog came from back when it was called Adventures with my Cowboy.

Anyways, December rolled around. We had spent our first holidays together and it was such a special time. So much to be thankful for and look forward to with each other.

This next part might be a little hard for me to write about, because even though our family and friends know what happened, I've never actually written this all down or talked about it in detail a whole lot. So bare with me.

This is the photo I sent Sara after finding out.

I don't remember what made us think to get a pregnancy test, I think my period may have been late. So when we were at a Walgreen's one day I picked a test up and went to the bathroom. There was so much running through my mind. No way am I pregnant. I'm so young. We're so young. I'm still in school. Where would we live? We're not married. I've only known him for 7 months. What have I done? What's going to happen? This isn't happening.

So. Many. Emotions.

I found out my first baby was on the way in a Walgreen's bathroom. It made me sad, scared, and worried. But I also knew that a baby is a gift from God. I was only 19, you guys. I know some people have gotten pregnant even younger, but it was scary for me. I was so scared to tell my parents and family and see what they would think. I'm thankful that I never had any doubt in my mind about whether or not D would stick around. I knew he loved me and that he would love this baby. When I came out of the bathroom and whispered in his hear, his face dropped. All of those same emotions flooded through him.

D called and told his mom right away since they are close and I messaged my friend, Sara. I remember I sent her a picture of the pregnancy test and she was so sweet telling me how great of a mom I'll be and she was so supportive and kind. Which is exactly what I needed (if you're reading this, I love you, Sara! You are incredible and everyone needs a friend like you). We kept it to ourselves for awhile, besides telling his mom and my friend, because I was so scared. It felt like eternity. It would have been better to just be honest with everyone right away, but I wasn't ready. I needed time to process everything. When the time did come to tell my parents, we were really scared. But I kept reminding myself that my parents have always told me no matter what I do in life, they will always love me. I'm going to tell the same thing to our children because that helped me so much. And I knew it was true. It was hard and emotional telling them at first, but I remember going to bed that night and my mom sent us a message telling us that we'll make wonderful parents and that they love us. To this day, that still makes me cry.

The next day, we sat down with my parents and they suggested the idea of getting married that Saturday. 5 DAYS TO PLAN A WEDDING?! I could be married in less than a week?!

We knew we wanted to be married, especially before the baby got here. So, we planned our wedding in 5 days. My parents were able to reserve the golf club where my mom hosts her Academy Awards Party every year, so we got to have a wedding in a really nice place. D got fitted for a suit at a rental company, a co-worker at the time lent me her wedding dress that fit me perfectly, a family friend said he would marry us, my sister-in-law took photos for us since she is a professional wedding photographer and it all came together.

I will never forget how much everyone did for us in such short notice. Aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins, and family friends dropped any plans they had for Valentine's and came together to come to our last minute wedding and support us.

Before I go into detail about the day of the wedding, I have to tell you what D did the night before our wedding. Grab your tissues, ladies.

I had a 10 hour day at school the day before we got married and D was working, but he texted me telling me to meet him at McKay Lake in Westminster when I got done with school. It was dark already when I got there, but I got out of the car and D greeted me with flowers and chocolates. He held my hand and led me out to the dock on the lake. It was so beautiful out. The lights reflected on the water and it was so perfect out. D got down on one knee and proposed to me on that beautiful night. He didn't have to propose, but it meant to much to me for him to do that. He stood up after I said yes and put the ring on my finger that I had no idea he was going to get. Then he turned on the song from The Notebook and danced with me on the dock. I wish I had a video of that so I could relive it all the time, it felt so magical.

The lights reflecting off the water the night he proposed.

My Claddagh ring.

His ring.

It all feels like a blur since all of this happened so quickly, but I was so excited that morning when I woke up. I AM GETTING MARRIED TODAY! Our close family and friends were there and it was so special. It seemed like that day went by so quickly and it was time to go to the venue already. We got there and I felt so nervous putting on the dress, my lipstick and perfume. This was really happening. I remember feeling all sorts of different emotions from everyone, so it was kind of hard for me to keep it together. My Dad came to the room to get me and I had such a hard time not balling when he opened the door.

It was time.

My brother turned on the song, "All I Ask of You," from The Phantom of the Opera (one of my favorite songs ever) for me to walk down the isle to. It was the middle of February in Colorado and it was perfect out. So perfect that we were able to have our wedding outside. I couldn't look up while I was walking to D cause I knew if I did, I would start ugly crying and wouldn't be able to keep it together. I wanted to look up at him so bad the whole time, but I was pregnant and didn't know I was going to get married 6 days ago, so I was a little emotional. Ha. Once I made it to D, it didn't get better. Just looking at him made me tear up. Steve performed a wonderful ceremony that was perfect for us with traditional vows and we said our "I Do's."

They had a wonderful dinner for us at the venue and even though it was a small room that we rented out, it was perfect. Enough room for us to dance with our family and friends and have a fun night. I can't put into words how amazing that day was. My parents provided us with a beautiful wedding on such short notice and so many amazing family and friends showed up for us. It was truly beautiful.

Here we are today, almost married for 3 years. We have two wonderful boys now, a home of our own, and I love D even more than I did then. Our relationship has been crazy since the very beginning. Even after we got married, there has been a lot that happened that has been hard on us and our marriage, but we have made it through. We have loved each other through it all and only gotten stronger. I look back at everything we've gone through and it blows my mind that we are here today. Even though it's been hard, I would do it all again.

Someday I would love if we could have a vow renewal and I could go dress shopping, have our children part of it, and plan it all how we would have if we had time to go all out for a big wedding. But, I try to remind myself of the beautiful day we had and how special it was to have all of that.

Our first dance.

So there you have it. Our story. That's not all of it, of course. Only the beginning and a small portion of all that we've gone through since then. I'm so thankful D came into my life and has showed me what it feels like to be truly loved. I hope everyone can experience that kind of love. He's the man I've always dreamt of and I am so happy I get to be his wife and mother of his children.

Thank you for reading all of this. It was hard for me to talk about some of this, but it also felt really good. Have an amazing week!




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