So our first part of the story ended when Peter returned home from college to be closer to me. Within a short few weeks of moving home, he had plans to propose to me. So off to Disneyland we went with my family in January of 2005!
After a few days of fun, Peter rushed us into California Adventure park. There was only a short time left before the park closed and I didn't understand why he wanted to go in at that time, but he covered his tracks by saying he wanted to get some pictures at dark in the park. After snapping some pictures he said he wanted to get a picture of us together. So he got his camera set up on a garbage can to take a picture of us together. He rushed over just in time, in all of his nerves to quickly pop the question! We were both so nervous and excited and had a little extra pep in our step as we ventured over to Disneyland to enjoy the rest of our evening as fiance's!
Well, as excited as we were to eventually become husband and wife, we had enough of a grasp on reality to know that we couldn't just rush off and get married. We needed a plan! We love a good plan! We tried to find the balance between getting married as soon as we could, but also facing reality that there would be bills that needed to be paid once we were married. After all, we were still only two 18 year old's trying to figure out what life on our own would look like. We somehow in all of this determined that getting married in 18 months would work. We knew it would be a loooong 18 months but we had a lot of work to do.
On top of a very full load at school to complete 5 years of college credits in 4 years, Peter took on an internship 30 hours each week. I got a new job and worked as much as I could as we socked away as much money as we possibly could. We also made the most of all of our time together, never wanting to be apart.
Even though 18 months of engagement was extremely difficult and I would never recommend that to anyone else, it was not time wasted. We were young, we hadn't dating all that long before getting engaged, and we knew the statistics for marriage at a young age were not in our favor. We wanted to walk into marriage as prepared and eyes wide open as we could. We dug in deep, answered tough questions and read a ton of books on marriage as we waited. This is something I still highly recommend to every engaged couple. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in wedding planning that we forget to prepare for the marriage at the end of that wedding. I can honestly say we walked into marriage as prepared as we could be for all the various things we would face together.
Finally, the 18 month wait was drawing to a close. All of our hard work was paying off. Peter had completed his second year of school with two more remaining. The wedding was planned and it was just the final last minute things to do. I distinctly remember the closer we got to the wedding day, the harder it was to wait. We just wanted to be married already!
Fortunately a couple months before the wedding, we got a great diversion in the fact we were somehow able to purchase our first home together! This was a very exciting time and it was so fun to get to prepare our home together as we waited for the wedding day!
Then it was finally July 2006! The month we had been waiting so long for! Unfortunately we had set our wedding date clear at the end of the month, but there was plenty to do to keep us busy! 4th of July celebrations and bridal showers to Peter's birthday celebration a week before the big day!
Then it was the night before! Here we were at rehearsal about to embark on our life together. To say we were excited would have been an understatement! The wedding was planned and ready, we'd prepared a home and read every book we could get our hands on. There was nothing left to do but walk down the aisle, say our vows and start our journey through life together. There were no doubts or fears leading up to the moment, just lots of excitement that the day we had been waiting so long for was before us! It wasn't even about the wedding celebration for us, we could have foregone the party completely, but we just truly wanted to be husband and wife and join our lives together and it was finally time!