Collin took me snowmobiling and got me hooked on the fun. We went to Long Beach and enjoyed a few days on roller coasters at Six Flags. We shared a penthouse on a dime in Las Vegas. It was so much fun. I joined him at his meetings for IMSARU (Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue), where I eventually became a member and we met our best friends, Owen & Patti. We spent Tuesday nights hanging with friends at Old Chicago. We spent a few winters hanging out in Island Park, snowmobiling and partying with friends. They were days that we often look back on fondly.
Then things got challenging. Collin changed jobs, went to school while working, and started working toward buying out a business. I moved my office into a newly built building and took on more debt. We just kept at it. We were living pretty happily and then it just got hard. The economic shift started to affect the officeand my pay started to decrease. We started to tighten our belts and change our budget. We also took on the added responsibility of caring for Darian full-time, after we moved him in with us when his mother's life became less than stable. The days of going out during the week and taking spontaneous trips came to an end.
But we still loved each other greatly. We discussed marriage more than once. We had goals.
One Friday in the summer of 2009, I had had a particularly rough day at work and was very excited to be done for the week. When I was about twenty minutes from leaving, Collin phoned me at the office to see when I expected to be home. When I told him, he asked me to stay a little longer. He said he was busy cleaning the house and prepping some food for the dinner he planned to make me that evening. He wanted me to wait to come home until things were ready. I was grumpy about it. I just wanted to go home and sit on my couch.
He had me waiting for nearly an hour before he finally texted me to tell me I could come home. When I walked in the door, he promptly led me to the couch and told me he wanted me to watch something. He popped in a DVD and played the sweetest movie with pictures of us set to music, broken up by him interviewing our friends and his sister about why I should marry him. The last piece was Darian telling me why I should marry his dad. It ended with a picture of Darian holding a ring in a box. It was incredible. I cried. He asked me to marry him and I of course said yes.
For most couples, that event would then lead the tale directly into the story of a wedding. Ours does not. Just a couple of months later, Collin came home after dropping Darian at his mother's for the weekend and told me that he was done. He was breaking things off and moving out. I was stunned. I didn't see it coming. We had been having some arguments here and there as our financial struggles got more difficult, but I never expected him to give up.
The break up was ugly. I was in tears. We were yelling at one another. Things were thrown. Awful things were said. It was horrible. He and Darian moved to his sister's place and I was left alone.
Over the next few weeks, I fell apart. I had panic attacks. I wouldn't leave my bedroom. I cried endless tears. It was a disaster. But it turned out that Collin was doing just as horribly. He tried to keep up a brave front, but he wasn't sleeping well, picked up extra shifts just to keep himself busy, was out drinking quite frequently to drown his sorrows, and he wasn't happy. He came to realize that he had panicked. In fact, had we not gotten into such a large argument when he said he was leaving, he says that he probably would have recanted the next day. But his pride had won out and he didn't want to be seen crawling back after we each put on such a show.
It wasn't to last though. We couldn't stay apart. We reconciled less than a month after separating and he moved back in. We left Darian in the care of his mother (where he had been living again) so that we could get ourselves back together. How things happened wasn't ideal, but we didn't want to drag Darian through things again if it wasn't going to work out for the long haul.
But...it did. We were okay. The instability with Darian's mother continued and we knew that he would be better off with us, despite the nasty hiccup we had experienced the year before. He moved back in with us before he started school in the fall of 2010.
In the meantime, Collin and I spent time together in ways that was more economical. We often went on scenic drives around the area and up into the mountains. We watched movies on Netflix at home and played Rock Band in the basement. It was a different type of dating.
In the fall of 2010, we were on one of our drives when Collin pulled off near Pilot's Peak at a scenic overlook. We got out of the car to look at the stars, and he once again got down on one knee. And once again, I said yes. But this time I had made it clear that there was no going back if I did.
The financial struggles continued as my income steadily decreased with the declining economy and Collin's income cut drastically while he attempted to invest his time and money back into his new business. It was tough...it still is. But we kept going.
|Photo Copyright - Broken H Photography|
Just like everything else that we have done, our wedding wouldn't ordinary. We did things our own way.