May 28, 2012

Story of Us: Memorial Day 2009

In honor of our three-year anniversary (which was Saturday)... Scott and I got engaged 5 months after we met.  As I said, people from my town just don't "up-and-get-married".  I'm pretty sure some people thought I was pregnant.


The thought of me taking care of a child at age 23 makes me laugh out loud.  We haven't even tried taking care of a dog yet...

Anyway, clearly we proved those people wrong (I just love proving people wrong) and made it evident that we did, in fact, marry for love.

Imagine that, central Pennsylvania, imagine that.

Regardless, we started planning our wedding for September 2009, but then on Easter weekend 2009 things changed.

Scott told me that he had taken an opportunity.  The opportunity was to go to Alaska instead of Missouri.  The job he was supposed to have after his training was completed was not one he really wanted.  The job he wanted was in Alaska and another soldier wanted to trade to get out of going to Alaska.  Imagine.  Get out of Alaska.  (That was a smart soldier.  He listened to his wife.)

I let Scott make the call on this one.  It was our life, but it was his career.  Alaska wouldn't be permanent.  And I knew that if he hated Missouri (and having spent some time there, he kinda did), it'd be a sucky time for all involved.  Plus, even though I kinda dislike Alaska, Alaska gave me a job.  Something PA or MO never offered.  We figured we'd do Alaska first, while we were young and adventurous, and we could always settle closer to home later on. 

So after we decided that we'd be going to Alaska instead of Missouri, Scott was still at training and I was still in PA.  We knew we had to be in Alaska by the first week of October.  And if we didn't get married until September, I wouldn't be allowed to go on his military orders.  Alaska is considered an overseas duty station.  So there was lots of paperwork that would take months to process.  I can't even really remember the specifics.  I just remember that it was kind of stressful.

 It was during this time that I phone-interviewed with the Anchorage School District...(and received rejection email #1.)

Scott had arranged to come home for Memorial Day weekend.  He had jokingly said that we should take advantage of being together and get married that weekend.  I thought he was crazy.  We laughed about it, and the conversation ended there.

I drove to Harrisburg to pick him up at the airport late Friday night on Memorial Day weekend.  We went to one of Carlisle's awesome all-night diners (I had an omelet.  Food first, dear readers), spent the night at his mom's house, told a few people his hare-brained idea to get married early, laughed some more, and then headed back to good old Osceola Mills for the weekend. 

It was then that it really started to sink in that we needed to make this thing legal.  The army doesn't care about weddings.  The army cares about legal.  Our wedding was already bought and paid for.  But it was 3 months away.

We talked to my parents.  They thought we were legitimately insane.  His mom told us to do what we believe is right.  While it did feel awfully rushed and unplanned, we had to.  The alternative would be us getting married in Missouri in July.  But I still wanted a wedding!  So I wanted the pastor of my church to marry us for real, so he could fake marry us again later.  I had looked up some information about courthouses, but I didn't really want to get married in a courthouse.  It seemed too impersonal.  Plus, I didn't want our pastor to back out after he found out we were already married.

So on Memorial Day, I called the pastor.  He said, "If you can get a marriage license tomorrow, I'll marry you.  Just call to let me know." 

My condition was that we tell NO ONE, because then they won't take our actual wedding seriously.  I didn't want some random May anniversary.  I wanted the date we had planned on.

Then I realized that this meant I got TWO anniversaries.  Yes.  TWO.  (Um, sure, darling.  I'll marry you twice.)

My parents, the pastor, the pastor's wife, and my cousin/MOH were the only ones in attendance.  To say it was a hurried affair is quite the understatement.  Scott had to be at the airport (3 hours away) to catch a 1:30pm flight back to training in Missouri.  We rushed to the local courthouse to be there when they opened at 8am.  We got our license.  We got a waiver because we needed to get married THAT day (in Pennsylvania, there's a 3 day wait period).  We rushed to the church.  The pastor met us there and married us.  Just like that.  Like I said, crazyfast.

And then I drove Scott to the airport, in the rain, me pretty much in tears because I didn't want him to leave again.  It was only for a few weeks and then I was flying to Missouri to meet him, but that's not the point.  It was our "wedding day" for crying out loud.

Anyway, he ate at McDonald's at the airport, but I wasn't hungry.  I don't remember eating them but, according to the receipt, I ordered chicken selects and bottled water. 

Don't think for a second that I didn't save the receipt.  I keep it in one of our Bibles.

I stopped at the mall on my way home.  I bought a few summery things at American Eagle.  (You all did that on your wedding day too, right?)

The next day, I went back to my job long-term substituting in a kindergarten classroom.  Yes, I did, in fact, have to take an unpaid day off to get married.

2 weeks later, I left to spend part of the summer with Scott in Ft. Leonard-Wood, Missouri.

Ft. L-W, July 2009


  1. Happy Anniversary to you guys! You have quite the story!

  2. I love your story! Very gutsy indeed. And I understand fast, I was engaged about 5 months after we started dating too.

  3. I just LOVE this! Oh my gosh, it's so excitedly romantic in what an adventure it was to get to the altar!

    Happy anniversary & happy memorial day! Thank you BOTH for all you have sacrificed for our country!

    (and I definitely laughed out loud at the "um, sure darling, I'll marry your twice"... consider this my preemptive Happy Anniversary #2!)

  4. I loved reading this post! My sister sort of did the same thing when she married my brother-in-law. Happy Anniversary to you guys! :)


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