It happened. I went to Las Vegas, and I hit the Jackpot!
I didn’t win money, or cars, or free hotel stays. Instead, I won the rest of my life. They say the best things happen unexpectedly–and that’s true. I was a single mother from pregnancy onward, raising my twin daughters with the help of my very supportive family (thanks Mom and Dad!). I firmly believe that life is what you make it; you can choose to make lemonade or you can choose to let life be sour.
So, I made sweet lemonade for myself and my daughters, raising them on my own. Families come in all shapes and sizes, none better or worse than another as long as there is love. I worked to make sure that my daughters knew we were a family, the three of us, and that we were complete. My kids were happy, but privately, I did feel like something–someone–was missing.
My lemonade began to sour. I started to believe that I’d never meet a man worthy of my daughters–or that if I met him, I wouldn’t be worthy of him. I needed a break, so when my best friend and her husband planned a trip to Vegas, I was on board.
If you had told me when I stepped off the plane that I would meet my husband the next day, I would have laughed in your face. But it happened–I hit the jackpot.
It’s the small things in life that can have the biggest effect. We were born in different decades on different continents, into very different cultures. We lived on opposite sides of the country, yet we both happened to be in the same place, at the same time, the day it hailed in Vegas.
I’ll say it was love at first sight, for those of us hopeless romantics who believe in that. We ditched our friends (sorry!) and explored Vegas together the rest of the weekend. Three short days after meeting, we were back on our respective coasts. For many, that would have been the end of it, but we took a gamble–and it paid off.
Everyone’s pathway to marriage is different. Ours took shape in the form of 3-hour phone calls, Facebook video chats, 7-hour plane rides, and countless goodbyes at TSA checkpoints. Airports were such a huge part of our life, he proposed in one! Never once did we question whether all of this was worth it. We just knew it was.
There was a time where I was truly nervous: his first flight out to Tennessee to meet my daughters. Relationships take time to build, especially when you are a child who has never had a daddy. We took them to the Aquarium together where the kids suffered an epic meltdown from lack of food and a desperate need for a nap. I was convinced that by the end of the day, this amazing man was going to run for the hills. But he didn’t. He was ready for it, ready for us. He was worthy, and he made sure I knew that I was worthy too.