So our relationship was moving along. We hung out at his apartment for the most part, and I was sleeping over like…every night. I kept my apartment for probably 8 months before I said, “This is dumb paying for two places, I’m moving in.”
I was never happier to leave any place in my life. My apartment was wrought with pain. Home wrecker man had helped with paint and carpet, so literally every inch of the place screamed his name. I needed out.
My newest moral dilemma: here I am again, breaking all the rules the church laid out. Don’t have sex before marriage. Don’t live with someone you aren’t married to. And on and on.
I left the church I had attended with my ex husband during this time. It was just too awkward. I didn’t feel like explaining to everyone why we got divorced.
Zad came from a family that had gone to church since before he was born, so now we both are trying to wade through this guilt. Was it even guilt? WE WERE ADULTS. We didn’t question other people’s choices about where they laid their head at night.
So I moved in. By now, he had moved into a house and out of his apartment. We made it a home as best we could. It was tiny, so squeezing three of us in was always a never ending cycle of storage creativity.
We dated for a little over three years. I can’t lie. At some points, I was getting impatient. Zad is much more methodical than me and thinks everything through. I take more of a ram rod approach to life. For the most part, that pair is complements well. Usually.
In July 2015, we took the road trip of our lives. We bought a camper TOGETHER. As in, both our names were on the camper. I’m like…are we close? Maybe he will propose sometime. Soon. Maybe.
We went to Yellowstone for one of Zad’s long time friend’s wedding. We packed Bud, our dog and ourselves in our new-to-us camper with 2-3 weeks worth of food and supplies. We traveled across the country, and we weren’t without troubles along the way. We blew some tires, and Zad rewired the truck along the side of a mountain with no phone service and “beware of bear” signs with less than 12 hours to go before the wedding: the wedding that he was in, and the wedding that we had supplies for since not many people were driving from PA to WY/MT.
As we were driving through Wyoming, Zad pulled off in the middle of a bunch of mountains. It was the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen, and it went for miles and miles. We got out and stretched our legs, and I was taking some pictures with my camera. I turned around to head back to the truck, and Zad was knelt down on one knee.
It was happening.
I made it. I survived getting married too young, having a baby in less than ideal circumstances pretty young, separating, dating a man twice my age for a second time and getting divorced.
He asked me to marry him on the Continental Divide in Wyoming. If you’ve ever been to our house, and you’ve seen a Copenhagen Southern Blend can sitting on top of a map of Montana (which became my favorite state in the whole country after this trip) – it’s there because it held my engagement ring. He knew I would never mess with his chew can because there might a partial dip he could swipe out. So my engagement ring traveled across the United States in a dip can.
His innovation still amazes me to this day. Every day. All day.
Smiling from ear to ear with a rock on my finger, we drove towards Jackson Hole. I was like a kid at Christmas watching the Grand Tetons. The mountain peaks literally go higher than heaven.