My apologies that this is going to be a wordy post with not even a little craft. But I will finally reveal the exciting news which has kept me busy all week! So stick in there.
You can see 'my man' (as he is usually referred to) hovering in the back of quite a few of my posts, supporting my crafty life. His name is Ben. We've known each other the greater part of ten years and have been dating the past three. Some of you may have picked up on the fact that we've done the majority of those three years 12,000 miles apart.
We 'met' through his cousin, who has been one of my best friends for many many years. Through a very strange chain of events which can only be described through the minds of a gaggle of 12 year old girls, we began emailing each other on a fairly regular basis – me in New Zealand along with several other friends and him a 14 year old schoolboy in the UK. In over a year of emails we built up a firm friendship, where his were often the highlight of my week. I never saw a photo of him and he saw only one of me (a group shot where he didn't know which in the group I was). Time went on and first he, then I got distracted by that point in high school where things start getting serious and you actually have to do some work. Our emails became less frequent and then ended altogether, though they lasted far longer than any others in the group.
Fast forward almost 4 years and I was about to finish high school when I found out he was coming to NZ for several months to visit family and do some work experience. I knew from his cousin that he'd just finished his first year of an engineering degree in France. Some of the group that had emailed him originally restarted their conversation with him in anticipation of his arrival – I didn't, to this day I'm not sure why! In any case I hadn't said a word to him since we stopped emailing years ago when I saw him for the first time, his cousin dragging him to class still jetlagged! A tall, dark haired, extremely handsome man mumbling something about needing coffee. And much to my chagrin and attempts at self-denial, I fell in love.
It took almost the whole time he was in New Zealand for me to admit my feelings (to myself!) and him to admit he felt much the same way. Three days before he left the country we sat down and he asked me if I was in this for the long haul, knowing it would never be a traditional relationship where we could go on dates in the weekend, that we didn't know when we would see each other again and that it was likely going to be the hardest thing either of us had ever contemplated. He had 4 years to go in one of the most prestigious engineering courses in the world, I couldn't ask him to give that up. I couldn't relocate to a country where I didn't speak the language and still go to university myself, a lifelong dream, he couldn't ask me to give that up. But we loved each other and trusted God enough to say yes anyway.
That was, as I said, almost three years ago. We're still together. Of course it has been hard at times! We just finished our longest stretch apart – 19 months where as university students neither of us could afford the tickets to see each other. At the same time being 'his girl' has given me more joy than I thought possible. It's almost over now. We're together at the moment and have only two months of long distance left before we can be in the same country permanently. To make it even better? Last weekend Ben took me to the shores of Lake Tekapo (in the snow) and asked me to be his wife.
I said yes!!!
Think you can all tolerate some wedding related craft?
That's all for now,