Steven & Beth // Part Two
According to Google maps, Steven and I live 3,750 miles away from each other. I live in Columbus, Ohio and he lives in Birmingham, England. Between those miles lie, New York City, The Atlantic Ocean, and Ireland. Obviously I can’t drive there. Our long distance relationship has survived due to Skype and Apples, FaceTime and iMessage. I also have to give the Viber app a shout out since that allowed me to call Steve before Apples, FaceTime Audio call.
So how does one survive a long distance relationship? Choosing to love and sacrifice among other things. Steven and I have argued a lot during our time apart. Its hard. I don’t recommend doing a long distance relationship unless you are willing to commit time and effort. This type of relationship requires extra care. You also have to spend lots of time stuck to your computer which could end up over heating due to the numerous hours you have spent on Skype, so many that your poor computer just can’t keep up! Some days you will want to give up and other days will be great. Somedays you will feel like a single person because your boy/girlfriend is never physically there to go on dates or help you with projects etc... This sort of relationship is not physical but emotional. It comforts me to know that Steven loves me for who I am, my mind, my being but not just for what he see’s on the outside. I love snuggling, kissing, and playing with Steven, but the best part of him is his heart and the person that he is within. All the physical stuff on the outside is just a bonus.
By now, you probably just want to know how we got engaged. But I thought it was worthwhile telling you how hard it has been for us to get where we are today. I truly see it as a miracle and as the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Steven and I have been talking about marriage for a long time. We never thought about living together because it goes against our Christian beliefs. When we commit to each other on our wedding day we will choose to commit till death do us part. So during the the summer of 2013, I traveled to Birmingham and spent 2 months there. I soaked in the culture, spent time with his family, learned about the city, and loved every second of it. Spending a long period of time with Steven really gave me the confidence and security that I needed before he proposed. I had really been struggling with this before my trip, but when I left England I had no more worries.
We spent 4 months apart until finally on December 11th, Steven flew over the Atlantic to come spend the holidays with me. His flight was “late” and I anxiously waited at home until 10:30PM for his arrival. I was supposed to go pick him up, but my mom texted me saying her and my dad were close to the airport so they were going to pick him up. I was furious because when Steven and I don’t see each other for months at a time, I need to see him for the first time alone. I always feel really awkward when I see him for the first time. He’s always ready to kiss me and I just need to stare at him for a little bit. Anyways, he arrived at home and my parents were smothering us. I was still really mad. My dad wanted to take a picture of us and I just wanted to be alone with Steven... Later I found out that he took my parents out to Cheesecake Factory to ask their permission for my hand in marriage.
We drove back to my university the next day. I had 2 days left of finals. I struggled to finish. I was just so happy that Steven was there. Also, I had a bad case of senioritis. I finished my last final which meant no more school for the rest of my life...well until graduate school some day.
The days passed by and no sign of a ring anywhere. The following days, my family started flying in from Miami and Minneapolis. I forgot about getting engaged for a while. Until my brothers insisted on having a chat with Steven. Jonathan took him out first. I was later told Jonathan drove him around to our first home when we moved to Ohio back in 1996 and to the first home he shared with his wife Amanda. The next day he went out with David. They went to the grocery store and to pick up some Cherry Coke. David had a lot of questions for Steven. Looks like he answered them well because we’re engaged!
November 18th was Steven and I’s 1 year anniversary. He was in England and I was in Ohio, we never got to celebrate. We planned on celebrating during his next visit and after my family had arrived, he asked if we could do it on Monday, 23rd of December.
He told me that I needed to trust him (I’m a control freak) because the whole day was going to be filled with surprises. Steven never really surprises me with anything. I mean, Its hard in a long distance relationship. So I was excited. My sister-in-law and I stayed up till 4AM while she did my nails, just in case he popped the question! I had a hunch that he might ask me that day but I also kept thinking that he would end the night without proposing just to keep me guessing. I tried not to over think any of his plans so that I could just enjoy the day and not ruin the surprises.
Steven came into my room and woke me up. I was so exhausted from going to bed at 4 AM that he let me sleep an extra hour while he made breakfast for me. It consisted of eggs, toast, bacon, avocados, and a raspberry fruit smoothie. It was delicious and so sweet.
Steve then told me that it was time for the second surprise. He pulled out my favorite movie, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. I took my breakfast downstairs and we watched it together. Steven HATES chick-flicks. This was a huge sacrifice for him but it meant a lot to me.
After we were done with the movie, Steven told me I had an hour to get ready. He told me to be dressed casual/nice. As fast as I possibly could, which wasn’t very fast, but I got ready. As we walked out the door, Austin, The Village’s Creative Director, was outside waiting for us. I immediately knew why. I had been wanting to get a few nice pictures of my whole family. My brother David and his long time love, Carly, had a sweet baby girl, Zaya, this past February. We only had one decent picture of the family since her birth. This was the first time we were all together since March.
I had asked Austin if he would take our pictures, since he’s so great at photography! Have you seen the Style Spotlights that he has photographed!?! Steven had told Austin to tell me he couldn’t. I was bummed. I thought everyone in my house was leaving to do their own thing but they were all getting ready while I was.
We went across the street of our neighborhood and took really quick family photos. It was freezing and poor Zaya, her dress didn’t have any sleeves. Our pictures turned out great and are such a nice keepsake of our special day.
After the shoot my family went out to eat but Steven and I headed to the next surprise.
He drove me down the street to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Like many other Ohioans, it’s one of our favorite places. I got my usual scoops of Brambleberry Crisp and the Milkiest Chocolate in The World on a waffle cone. I don’t remember what Steven had. He always get’s something different.
We enjoyed our ice cream and chatted. I asked him about the next surprise but all he told me was that I had to get ready for dinner.
The story continues tomorrow in Steven & Beth // Part 3