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A Homesteading Love Story – Part Two – Pursuing the Dream

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A Homesteading Love Story - Part Two - Married, and married again, life with kids, a move to the country, job loss and a happy ending.

The Engagement

After graduation, I job hunted for several months from Madison, but came up empty handed. August suggested that I move in with him at his parent's place (with their blessing – they had a big house). Now I know that some people will be put off by the idea of living together before marriage, but I sincerely believe that if you can live with both your future husband and your future in-laws for an extended time, your marriage is likely to last. You will see the good, the bad and the ugly. My husband's parents are good people, and seeing them still happily married after so many years together was a very positive thing for me, since both my dad and stepdad were pretty rotten.

August took me with on a business trip to California shortly after we moved in together in May 1994, and planned a romantic proposal on the beach. Of course, he forgot to pack the ring, so that didn't go quite as planned. Life is like that. When we got home, he proposed with his grandmother's engagement ring. She blessed us with their wedding bands as well. She and Grandpa Neverman were together so long that the bands were worn thin with age, so I only wear them on special occasions, but will treasure them always.

In case you missed it, you can read part one of this story here.

Grandma Ida admiring the ring

Getting Married, Take One

I finally got a job with a local solar contractor in August of that year. As I got ready to start the next week, August called me from work and said he wanted to get married. I told him, yes, that was the plan, since we were engaged. He replied that he wanted to get married right away because he was concerned that I didn't have insurance coverage. Not one to argue with my (future) husband, I set about making phone calls and arranging the details.

His parents were out of town, and mine weren't up to traveling so far on short notice, so we ended up with a simple civil service attended attended by a few close friends, Grandma Ida and Great Uncle Bill. The service was outside, and they were jackhammering across the street. I got bit on my forehead by a fierce-rocious mosquito that got blood all over when I swatted it. Afterwards, we ordered a couple of pizzas and went home with our friends to watch movies. August's co-workers threw him a small party, and one sweet lady made us a wedding cake. I ducked over from work during lunch time in my jeans and steel toed boots to celebrate. (Photo below.)

A Homesteading Love Story - Part Two - I look forward to spending the rest of my life with one man, the man that I love.

… and Married Again

Instead of having a big wedding, we saved our pennies and built our first home the next year. The following year, we had a renewal of our vows and threw a bigger party. August's mom wanted to give us a more proper introduction to married life and the rest of the family. My closest friend since childhood, Emma, made my wedding dress. My sister made the wedding cake. I made up all the decorations. My MIL, Jane, and I made up the invitations on the computer. We had 16 members of my family sleeping over at our place that weekend, from the guest bedroom to the fold out couch to sleeping bags in front of the fireplace . Who says you can't have a nice party on a budget? πŸ™‚

Wedding photo

For our wedding vows, August simply said, “You are my everything.” It still chokes me up. What more could a woman ask for?

Family photo

The next year, we had our first son. Two years later, our second. We decided to homeschool. Things were going pretty smoothly at our home in the ‘burbs.

Building Our Dream Home and Bumps in the Road

After nine years in our first home, we decided to follow our dream to build our homestead in the country. Financially things looked good. August was in line to be the head of his department at his long term employer. The housing market was strong so we got a good price for our home and it sold after just a few months on the market.

We built our home. We moved in. I planted. Things were going well. Then the hammer dropped. August's employer decided to “restructure” him and many other senior staff out of their jobs. The economy went down the toilet. He hunted and hunted, and interviewed for positions from New Jersey to California, and several spots in between, and came up with nothing. My thyroid decided it was a good time to go haywire. Luckily, he did get a severance package, and we had savings to fall back on, but it was a scary time.

After a year, he got a consulting job with a company two hours away. That consulting job turned into a full time position, and he was there for five long years. He stayed there during the week and came home on weekends. Finally, in 2014, he found a job closer to home. It meant a pay cut, but it was worth it to have him home again.

A Homesteading Love Story - Part Two - Married, and married again, life with kids, a move to the country, job loss and a happy ending.

My Happy Ending to Our Homesteading Love Story

There is no “Big Finish”. No limo, no white horse, no easy answers to ongoing challenges. The world is in transition, and life will always throw you curve balls. I simply feel extremely blessed to be loved by someone who truly cares for me, and I for him, to share common interests, dreams and values. He even appreciates my goofy sense of humor (most of the time ;-)). I feel blessed that we enjoy doing things as a family, instead of everyone heading off to separate activities. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with one man, the man that I love. It's kind of like the Adam Sandler song below, without the mullet.

Read part one of this story.

As an aside, one of the coolest things about moving out to the country was finding out how many of our neighbors had been married for over 50 years. My in-laws just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, too. It's nice to see marriages surviving in our crazy world.

So what's your story? I hope you have people in your life that appreciate you, too, and that you focus on the simple joys of love and friendship this Valentine's Day, instead of all the commercial hype.

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Originally published in 2012, updated in 2017.

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  1. My husband and I got married 15 years ago, after knowing each other for 6 months. I was 18 and he was 20. People assumed I must be pregnant (I wasn’t) and everyone thought we were crazy. I even had a friend tell me it wouldn’t last 6 months. Things haven’t always been easy, we had 3 babies in 2 years (and 1 more 5 years later), our sons were diagnosed with Autism, we moved across the country, and came very close to divorcing at one point. But we stuck it out and realized that love is something that you DO not something you FEEL. It’s a choice, we chose to make it work. Now we have our 10 acres in the country, our garden, our animals, and most importantly, our family. I don’t regret it for a second.

    1. Renee – you are very right – life and relationships are what you make them. Our “instant gratification” society implies that if things don’t go smoothly, you should just move on. Good things can come to those who persevere.

  2. Celebrating 39 yrs. of our engagement tomorrow on Valentines Day. We only knew each other for 6 months before we were engaged. Were married 2 1/2 months later. Been a stay a home wife / mom all these years.

  3. I thought it was ironic – Renee said someone told her it wouldn’t last 6 months – maybe we were talking to the same people? LOL
    My hubs and I have been married 26 years.
    We too lived with his parents for about 6 months when we were first married. You are WAY right when you say you really get to see the whole picture! πŸ™‚
    We were married WAY too young (15 and 17) (he saved me from a rotten home life – and we thought we KNEW it ALL πŸ™‚ ahh teenagers….
    At one point MANY YEARS LATER we lived apart (not something I’d recommend) and almost divorced – but we were such hard heads…we struggled through πŸ™‚
    It has NOT all been chocolate and roses that’s for sure – but we’ve made it πŸ™‚
    I always tell my kids – love is a commitment not a feeling! There WILL be days you will wake up and feel all goosie and giggly when you look at the “ONE YOU LOVE” and other days you’ll cringe and think you HATE this person! – LOVE is staying until the goosie and giggly feelings come back πŸ™‚
    We were only engaged for 7 months before we were married πŸ™‚ We “fell in love” on Valentines day – so it’s pretty special for us as well πŸ™‚

  4. Beautiful life! Thank you for sharing! It is difficult these days to find long lived marriages. We get comments often because both my parents and my husband parents are still happily married. Not without life’s insanity but still in it for the long haul. Apparently this isn’t very common. But we have learned a lot from them and hope we can have a wonderful rest of our lives together.

  5. Loved reading Part 2! And isn’t it neat to see that marriages really can last…and be happy? We’ve been married for over 23 years now, with no plans to go anywhere else, and my in-laws just celebrated 50 years. Still praying for that local job for August, too!

  6. Married 31 years (will be 32 years in August). We knew each other for exactly 4 months! He had just turned 19 and I was only 17 – and no, we weren’t pregnant either! LOL Had our first baby 2 years later, then children 2-4 arrived before the oldest was 5 years old! Now we have 5 grandkids – life is good!

  7. Sweet story, thanks for sharing. My husband and I met when he graduated Navy bootcamp with my brother. My family and I flew out to see graduation.
    That was March of 1983, we stayed in contact by phone, I flew out to PA in August from California to meet his family and he proposed. We married in October and this year it will be 29 years. Wow time flys!!! Have survived 6 years of long seperations while he was on a submarine, then settling in California and years of trying with many dissappointments to have a family. Have been blessed four times through adoption with a wonderful family gathered around the globe and life is better than ever with my partner and best friend. Loved the trip down memory lane. Especially as today is Valentines- will have to remind him how precious he is to me. : )

  8. On our 25th wedding anniversary, we had a potluck to celebrate. I wanted to put “Are We Dinosaurs?” on the handmade invitations but when my husband didn’t see the humor in it, we did something else. That’s marriage for you, lots of compromises! Last summer we celebrated 45 years married, and the link I put in for my website goes to the love letter I wrote him that day.

  9. I so enjoyed your story πŸ™‚ My valentine and I have been married 27+ years, despite our 16 year age difference!! EVERYONE said it wouldn’t last. But 27 years and 2 children later, I think we’ve proven them wrong. Neither of us had good role models for marriage/relationships, so it makes me so much more appreciative of him and the solid marriage we have built together. True love is shown every day of the week, year after year. Neither of us need ‘affirmation’ every February 14th. But, I’ll never turn my nose up at a bag of Hershey kisses. This year, his Valentine surprise was liver and onions. True love in action!!!

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