April 18, 2015

Our Story: The Road to Happily Ever After

Last time I left off in this series, we had just gotten engaged.  It's been bugging me for a while, because that's obviously not the end of the story (and two posts is not enough for a series, in my opinion, lol).  So even though this time the post isn't tied with any particular date (I tried to think of one but failed miserably) you get to hear the next step in our story :).

So, back to the story.  Getting engaged wasn't the final step, not by a long shot.  Getting married was going to take some effort, to say the least.  First we had to figure out where, and then we had to figure out when.  You see, we got engaged in December, and the Hubs was supposed to graduate the following May.  After graduating law school, you usually go and take the bar in the state you plan on practicing in.  Problem was, although we had agreed to live in California, I still would have a year a school left in Florida.  But staying in Florida wasn't an option for the Hubs if we were going to move, because you don't want to waste thousands of dollars on bar prep for a bar in a state that you aren't going to stay in, and if you don't take the bar you can't seek legal employment, and well... we would need someone to support us.  

We could've decided to date long distance for a year, but a) we didn't like that idea, b) that still would be tough for the Hubs, would he move to California by himself?  So, the remaining option was for me to attend my last year of law school in California.  It's a tricky procedure, you can't just transfer after two years of law school, no one will take you.  You have to "visit", i.e. attend a different school but get your degree from the original school.  You have to convince the school that you have justifiable reasons, and then convince the other school to take you.  Then there's a lot of going back and forth to get every little thing approved.  But I did it, and it worked!  I found a California law school that would take me and both of them agreed to the situation.  

Since I was already subverting regular procedure, I figured I might as well go off the beaten path some more.  Ordinarily, law school takes three years, you start one summer (August for me) and graduate your third May.  Well, I reasoned that it would be best if I finished school early, so I could take an earlier bar exam (its only offered twice a year) and get a head start on job hunting.  So instead of completing the normal academic year, I decided I would take classes over summer and finish up with the fall semester, a half year early.  The only problem was that a limited number of classes were offered and allowed over the summer, considering that the summer semester was half as long as a regular semester, so classes met more frequently and for longer. That meant I would have class all day every day in the summer, and have to double up on classes during the fall in order to finish.  Yikes! But, being an insane person, I decided to go ahead with it.  What does this have to do with anything you ask?

Well, although we had a living location and the school situation figured out, we still had to, you know, get married.  We decided sooner was better than later, for crazy people reasons, and picked a date in August, meaning our wedding would be 8 months after we got engaged.  We would be getting married in California, but had to figure out how to do pre-cana in Florida.  We found a great priest at the parish we attended in Florida who agreed to it, and after some convincing my home parish in California agreed to it too.  

But not only did we have to prepare for the wedding, we would have a lot of other things going on too.  I would be double timing it with school and the Hubs would be busy finishing up school and then studying for the bar, up until the wedding really.  This meant that Hubs would take the bar two weeks before the wedding and I would finish school for the summer the Wednesday before, and had to go back to school less than two weeks later.  That left one week of spring break, the week between the regular school year ending and summer school starting, and the weekish before the wedding to plan.

 Oh, and somewhere in there we had to make the cross-country move. I had lived in Florida for 6 years, so I had amassed quite a bit of stuff, and the Hubs had to relocate stuff from both Florida and New York, including his car.

Oh, and on top of all that, we kind of had to figure out a living situation, and how to support ourselves, considering neither of us had jobs.  The Hubs wouldn't be able to start looking until the fall, and I wouldn't be able to start until after I took the bar exam the following February.  See what I mean about us being crazy people.  Looking back I can understand why people thought we were being hasty or that we should wait until I was done with school, but that option created other problems, and we really just wanted to be married.  

Thankfully, my parents were huge helps and really supported us.  Before we were married I was going to live at home with my parents, but while we had extra rooms, my parents didn't want the Hubs to be living in the same house.  So they let him stay in a house they were trying to sell, that was completely empty except for the bed and table they brought in for him.  There wasn't even hot water, I would transport him up to my parents house to shower, lol. After we were married they said we could move into the guest apartment in their house, which had a bedroom, bathroom, and small living room and kitchen of its own, so it would be perfect, even though it was tiny (600 sq/ft max). How we would support ourselves was still a mystery, the Hubs had dwindling savings and I had none, but we kind of overlooked that part (because, crazy).

To say that the months between our engagement and our wedding were stressful would be an understatement, but somehow it all worked out.  I visited home over spring break, where I got all the bridesmaid stuff and vendors figured out.  Back at school, I had my roommates help me put together save the dates and I worked on planning during nights and weekends.  Over the summer, I delegated out as much as I could, and again, worked nights and weekends to get little things like invitations and seating charts done.  We didn't get some details finalized til the last week, like who was going to do hair and makeup, or the day of, like my friend's husband finishing the slideshow we put together, or another friend filling our car with gas so we'd be able to leave the reception.  

I have no idea what we were thinking, or how we did it, but somehow, after many sleepless nights and through the help of family and friends, it all came together.  We got married on August 13, 2011, and it was definitely the best day of my life so far :).  I just remember so clearly the love and presence of God I felt on that day. And there we were, two crazy kids in love, about to embark on the even crazier journey of marriage.

I'll tell you what my second favorite memory of the day was, the first being the ceremony of course.  After the ceremony and reception (the wedding was early, so the reception was over by 7 pm), we went to a nice hotel for the night.  After we got out of our fancy duds, we realized we were hungry, so we changed into some casual clothes, hopped in the car, got some fast food cheeseburgers and shakes, and went and ate them by the beach. It was so low key, but such a great moment, I'll never forget it.

The first year wasn't easy, but God definitely provided.  The generous gifts from the wedding and the party the Hubs' parents held for us on the east coast, along with the help of my parents and cashing out the Hubs's old 401k (not a move I would suggest but we were desperate), was just enough to tide us over until the Hubs got a job.  Really, we were down to our last one or two hundred dollars when he got it.  I somehow managed to finish school as planned, took the bar exam, and found a good job (at a time when the market was really bad).  At the same time, we were figuring out how to join two lives and be a married couple, which is tough! As crazy as we were, and as hard as it was, God gave us everything we needed.  Looking back, I wouldn't have done it any other way!


  1. What a beautiful story of how God brought you together, in the midst of all the ups and downs.

    1. Thank you! Haha yea it was a little bit of a bumpy ride, but worth it!

    2. Seriously! Bumpy ride is an understatement. Whew! Super impressed you were able to plan a wedding and move and switch schools and more all at the same time. Super woman! :)

    3. Thanks! Haha, I think of it more as 50% determination and 50% insanity (or maybe more on the insanity side), lol

  2. I love that you are continuing your story. You were crazy, but in the best way possible!