A Love Story

About three and a half years ago, on St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2012, I was in Allentown, PA for my very first writers conference.  I didn’t know anyone there prior to going, and the crowd that attended wasn’t very big on hanging out after hours, so I spent my evenings that weekend sitting alone in my hotel room.  I’d read.  I’d write.  I’d watch TV.

And I’d get on eHarmony.

I’d created an eHarmony account several months prior, finally giving up on the idea of the concept of meeting someone on my own.  At that point, while I’d talked to several guys through the site, I’d only met one of them in person, and after a few dates never heard from him again.  So it was this particular weekend that I decided to try it again, and lucky I did.  Because that weekend, while I was alone in my hotel room in an unfamiliar place, most of the time I spent on eHarmony, I spent talking to one guy in particular.

His name was Alan.


It wasn’t very long before we decided to try meeting in person, at a Starbucks in downtown Dublin, Ohio.  And it wasn’t long after meeting for the first time that we went out on our first date.  Before long, we’d been out on several dates and decided we were officially in a relationship.

Not too terribly long after that, I knew I was in love, which was a new thing for me.  I’d only had one other serious boyfriend, and that was back in high school — and while I’d been fond of him, I had always known that I’d never been in love with him.  It was different with Alan.  I knew I was happiest when I was spending time with him, even if we were just watching a movie on the couch.  When he sent me “good morning” texts, I smiled.  I missed him when we were apart.

Eventually we started talking casually about spending the rest of our lives together, marriage, the future…all that fun stuff.  We pretty much agreed that we were both interested in marriage.  About this time, we went on our first vacation together — a Caribbean cruise in June 2014.  I’d already been dropping subtle hints about proposing, and some friends and family didn’t help this much when they kept saying that surely Alan was going to propose on the cruise.

He didn’t propose, but we had a great time together anyway.  It was the first time for both of us on a cruise, and the first time Alan had ever been out of the country, so we had adventures and laughs and it was great.


It wasn’t until a few months later, when I was starting to get very discouraged, that Alan finally popped the question and successfully surprised me with it.  One random Sunday in October 2014, while we were both wearing pajama bottoms and old t-shirts, and after I’d had a headache most of the day and he’d been in a sour mood after grocery shopping, Alan made us dinner (not unusual, as he’s the cook in our relationship).  After eating, while we were still sipping on our wine, the conversation veered back over to marriage and the future again, something that had been happening on a regular basis by this point.  And then he asked me to marry him, I asked if he was serious (I couldn’t tell), and he pulled an engagement ring out of his pocket.


Fast forward almost eleven months later, and at the end of August 2015, we found ourselves at the front of my church.  He was wearing a tux.  I was in a white dress and veil and tiara (because tiara).  One best man, one groomsman, one maid of honor, and three bridesmaids were standing next to us.  And in front of our family and friends, we declared our love and made vows and at the end we were pronounced husband and wife.

What’s most impressive, I think, is that I managed to not completely break down sobbing in the middle of the vows.




We went on our honeymoon the next day to Jamaica, and spent a whole, wonderful week at an all-inclusive resort.  It was heaven just to be together, without work dragging us apart or the normal distractions of the day to day.




We’ve been home now for a little over a week.  And we’ve been married for a little over two weeks.  There are no words to fully describe how happy I am (or how much I teared up again writing all of this).  We’re on to new adventures together — Alan is starting to talk at tech conferences, and I’m in the process of starting my writing career for real.  Soon, we hope to be house hunting.

But I for sure will never forget the St. Patrick’s Day of 2012, when I started talking to this guy on eHarmony…our first cruise together in 2014 where everyone was convinced he was going to propose…the night he really did pop the question in October 2014…or the beautiful, sunny August 22, 2015, when we got married.



(If you’d like to read Alan’s post about all this he did on his website, that can be found here.  It made me tear up, but that’s also largely because he doesn’t tend to get sappy about us online, so it was a lovely surprise.)

Dublin Irish Festival 2015

Yes, this is a couple of weeks late — but better late than never, right?

This year was my sixth year dancing at the Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio.  I dance with Columbus Celtic Dancers, the adult branch of the Dublin Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance.

I kind of can’t believe this was my sixth year dancing at the festival, and competing in the adult dance competition of the Columbus Feis.  Oh, the adventures I’ve had over the last many years.  I didn’t take as many pictures this year as I usually do (probably because by this point all the pictures are starting to look mostly them same year-to-year), and somehow my camera screwed up and I didn’t get a copy of the full group picture of my dance group to share with you, but here’s a look at the wonderful people I get to dance with every year!



Here’s the four of us who competed in the Columbus Feis, along with our wonderful dance teacher, Allanda (in the middle of the group).



This picture has become something of a running tradition between my friend, Shana, and me. We always have to be ridiculous backstage…for no other reason than we can.



And here’s a final picture of a few of us dancers backstage before we performed during Dublin Irish Festival weekend!

Having Courage, Taking Leaps

Yesterday was my last day at the job I’ve had for five years.

It was a scary thing, making the decision to turn in my notice two weeks ago.  But it was a decision that had to be made.  It was one that my fiance and I had discussed for months, one that I’d fretted about and fussed over.

An important thing I’ve learned over the last year or so is that when a job makes you feel like mine did — irritable, depressed, spending all weekend dreading coming into work on Monday — it’s not worth it.  I tortured myself with that job for months, years.  I never wanted to become a “subject matter expert” in the type of work I did, and as soon as I was considered that no one would ask anyone else questions or give them issues to solve.  While the workload grew at an insane rate, no new employees were hired on to handle it — until it had gotten so completely out of control that there was little hope of us getting ourselves back above water.  I grew stressed, got constant tension headaches, cried at work and at home multiple times a week, and felt depressed — literally depressed — every single day I had to be in that office.

And I’ve learned when it gets to that point, it’s time to walk away.

I loved the people I worked with.  My coworkers themselves were awesome and funny and good people.  I enjoyed the times I got to spend with those people outside of the office, and also the conversations we had during those rare moments.  I felt guilty turning in my notice, because I knew that my leaving was only going to put the rest of the team further under — but I had to do it.

And you know what?  About an hour after I turned my notice in, once the panic about taking that step had subsided, the weight lifted off my chest, I felt light and happy again for the first time in months.  And in that moment, I knew I had made the right choice.

I’m lucky to have a fiance who is so supportive, who encouraged me to look after my health rather than sticking with a job that made me feel so hopeless and stuck.

Now it’s on to new dreams and new paths.  I’m going to focus on my writing — something I’ve wanted to be able to make a career out of for most of my life.  And, at least in the situation I was in at my now-previous job, that wasn’t something I was able to really do.

So have courage and take the leap.  It’s scary, but you’ll know when it’s right.

Planning a Wedding

First of all, welcome to my new website!  And by “new” I mean it was created a couple of months ago, and I’m only just now adding a new post to it.  The rest of the posts you see on the site before this one were imported from the blog I kept up for a few years.

But why was a website set up a couple of months ago and I haven’t added a new post until now, you ask?  Well, I’ve been a little busy, and getting busier by the day.

And that’s because I’m getting married in 69 days!

The months since Alan and I got engaged back in October have been filled with making arrangements with venues and vendors, shopping for dresses and tuxes, organizing the wedding party and the music.  The weeks since my wonderful fiancé and resident tech nerd surprised me with this domain and website have been filled with alterations fittings, getting the invitations together, making final to-do lists that take up an entire closet door, and starting the process of picking out all the décor for the ceremony and reception.

I’m a stubborn, stubborn girl.  I find there to be no reason to hire a wedding planner when I can just do it all myself.  And it would probably stress me out more having a wedding planner anyway, because I wouldn’t have complete control over everything.  But, yes, it’s true.  Doing the wedding planning yourself is a lot to do if you’re not a professional event planner in the first place.  (The way I look at it, though, during these months I’m gaining a lot of life experience I can use down the road.)

So that’s where I’ve been for the last months.  And that’s where I’ll be for the next two.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a couple more wedding-related posts here before the wedding day comes.