The short version: We met online - www.marrywell.com. I (Cari-Jean) started a 5 day free trial for the purpose of researching online dating sites. Ian was in my list of matches, so I asked him my research questions, figuring it didn't hurt to contact a good looking man. Before I ended my trial, Ian asked if he could contact me outside of the website, and I agreed. For the first two months we talked for hours on the phone. Up to 25 hours per week. Then Ian flew from MO to MD to meet me in person on November 4, 2010. He told me he loved me and kissed me. The rest is history. The down-to-earth version: Since our relationship was long distance for the first nine months, it was rather difficult to get to know each other casually - like hanging out with friends, going on fun dates, playing sports together. We had to invest in our friendship by talking a lot and just getting to know each other's ways of thinking. We were very drawn to each other before we even met in person, though we were both apprehensive about what might happen as a result of finally being around each other. But the chemistry was definitely there when we first met in that airport in 2010. After that we visited each other about once a month. As our relationship progressed, we discovered that we had a lot of differences - personality, ways of handling situations, ideas about the future - which made us think twice about the intensity and commitment of our future together. I (Cari-Jean) was mostly the nervous, scared one. Ian, however, was steady and sure. He knew he loved me and wanted to share the rest of his life with me. He moved to be near me and from that point on we were inseparable best friends and companions. Our love has been strengthened over time and is now a truly deep, intimate love. We've learned a lot on our journey thus far. Now we look back with gratitude for all the effort we put into understanding our differences and appreciating what we both have to offer in life. We are blessed to have each other to share good times and bad times with, and we're looking forward to the future as becoming husband and wife. We log all our fun stuff and crazy aspirations on our blog - www.manlyandbabechronicles.blogspot.com.
I proposed to Cari-Jean by greeting her at her house after she came home from work, and I led her inside to a water basin and pitcher. I wrapped a towel around my waist, poured water out of the pitcher and into the basin and explained to her the love of Jesus Christ that he demonstrated when he washed his disciples feet out of humility and loyalty. It was an act of service, symbolic of sacrificial love. In the same manner I told her by doing this, it is an act that demonstrates this very same love I have for her. I then presented the ring, asking for her hand in a lifetime of loyalty, service, and sacrificial love to each other, as our Lord has shown to us.
What he loves about her:
The foundational enriching quality I love about Cari-Jean is her deep love for the Lord. Through that relationship, we have been able to share, grow, and forgive one another daily as our lives continually grow deeper in love together with each passing day. Cari-Jean compliments me so well as an encourager, helper, and a trusted friend who shares the same vision as I do in how to do life together in our goals, ambitions, methods and principles. Apart from these fine attributes, I also treasure her spunkiness, beauty, and thoughtfulness towards me and others.
What she loves about him:
Ian (I call him Manly) has many qualities that I appreciate and admire. Manly is loyal in his relationships, consistent in his values, faithful to God and His Word, diligent in his career field, and determined in his pursuit of wisdom and a good life together. He also happens to have his pilot's license, make an amazing omelet, dance with me spur of the moment, build his own guns, and love the classic film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers almost as much as I do. He's the "Lumber-Jack" I had whimsically dreamed of marrying and yet so much more.
About their engagement session:
Our engagement session with Photography by Susie was excellent. Ian and I had talked with Susie and Becky prior to the shoot about the style and the locations. Our vision was to tell our love story by capturing the sweetest pinnacle moments in our relationship thus far. The first significant moment was meeting each other face to face for the first time in the airport. The second precious moment was our first kiss under the gazebo at the park. The third sweetest moment was Ian's proposal of marriage in the living room of my parent's home. We chose to wear the same outfits for our photo shoot so that the series of shots would capture our story at each stage and keep the theme consistent. We so appreciated Susie and Becky working with our ideas and capturing the sweetness of our relationship in those ways. They are superb photographers - talented and creative and winsome.