Ingrid and I met in the summer of 2009, and were off to a whirlwind romance. It was only a few weeks before we were inseparable, and loving every minute of it. Over the next year, we spent some time discussing the future, but wanted to take things slow, in order to meet things at our own pace; after all, we were both busy, me beginning a new career, and Ingrid finishing up her college degree and starting the job hunt. But in the fall of 2010, Ingrid's father fell ill, and the prognosis was not good. He called Ingrid, and asked his one wish before he passed, that he see his only daughter married. It was definitely not the dream wedding Ingrid and I had been hoping for, but we knew it was the right thing to do, and rushed out to the county courthouse to get married. Of course, things couldn't stay that simple, and within a month Ingrid's dad had made an astounding recovery! We were then faced with the realization that we would not only be able to plan out a wonderful wedding, but that Ingrid's father would be able to be there with us. Over the last 9 months we've been preparing for it, but along the way had to make the difficult decision to do a wedding now, and forgo the honeymoon for the time being. Not an easy choice to make, but we felt certain that, as with our "first wedding", it may be unorthodox, but it was the right decision for us.
Ingrid and I had remarkably different impressions on first meeting. We ran into each other at a friend's Fourth of July barbecue. I was freshly back from Australia after a year abroad, and Ingrid was both fascinated by my stories of life down under, and in my "kind nature." I, on the other hand, was absolutely terrified of her, perfectly convinced she was out of my league. After all, she rode a Harley and had tattoos, but was double-majoring in Finance and Management Information Systems, and preparing for a lucrative career in the business world; pretty intense for a simple aspiring-social worker to handle. Nevertheless, she was willing to look past my awkward and nervous approach, and be wooed by an exciting match of croquet followed by margaritas.
This room is located in the neighborhood of Sydney, New South Whales where I spent the majority of my time in Australia. The area itself was absolutely stunning, both for the sub-tropical climate, gorgeous old buildings, eclectic and entertaining neighborhood, and the wonderful people. I have a great many fond memories, and can safely say that the time I spent there helped me find what I wanted to do in life. It has been a dream of mine to take Ingrid there one day, and share with her a place that I means so much to me.
On first glance, most everyone notices the dog sitting by the door, and are astounded to find it is not real, but stuffed. Rufus is a stuffed golden retriever we found sitting in a children's toy shop, and that I was absolutely enchanted by. Ingrid kindly bought it for me, and I repaid her by making constant requests that she remember to let him out and give him fresh water regularly; she may now regret the decision.
Also present in our home are several icons to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Ingrid's Mexican heritage is extremely important to her, but something that was completely new to me on meeting her. Fortunately she has been very kind and patient in teaching me all about her culture, and I in turn have enjoyed embracing a history so fascinating and colorful.
Not inside of our home, but parked outside, one may see a Harley Davidson Iron 883 motorcycle, one that Ingrid is proud to own. She discovered motorcycles at an early age, and has been long fascinated by them; I, on the other hand, retained a feeling towards them somewhere between intimidation and outright fear. Ingrid was very encouraging, and as of last summer finally convinced me to learn how to ride. I'm still very much a beginner, but with only a few scars have becoming an enthusiast myself, and look forward to many long rides together.
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