Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Chronicles of Manly & Babe is currently under construction. We'll let you know when we're up and running again :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wedding Teaser #4

Starting the countdown:

If you are to be invited to the wedding, please sign our guest book and find more information about travel, etc.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love Like This

I love other people's love stories. This couple is such an inspiration to me. Please check out their blog and watch the videos of them telling their story. They are remarkable people! This song reminds me of them :)

Love Like This blog:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Birthday Story

Around this time last year Ian drove 16 hours through the night to surprise me for my 24th birthday (I'm not sure he actually knew how old I was turning then, because last night he asked me how old I'm turning today!). Interestingly, I wasn't sure at the time if I truly loved him, loved him enough to marry him. And I was scared. I wasn't scared of Ian. I was scared of committing to the unknown. He wasn't asking me to do that for him, but he was pursuing me and he truly did love me.

My birthday flashback......

We went on a road trip to TN in April 2011, staying with friends along the way, and during that trip we were faced with the reality of each other's weaknesses and temperaments and ways of handling situations and energy levels..... We were faced with the reality of real life together! We are very different in most every way. I knew that pretty much from the getgo. But I just wasn't sure if I was willing to make the leap into the unknown - the future where anything can happen - with a man who was so different from myself. Our trip to TN was eye-opening.

So, the next month - May 2011 - Ian called me to say with a tone of intent, "I need to tell you something." I was suspicious, "Does he want to break up with me? What could be so serious?" He told me what I had sort of been hoping for but what I was also scared of - "I've been thinking about this and praying about it. And I've decided that I need to move to Baltimore. We're never going to know each other better or get our relationship figured out if we don't live in the same city for a while and attend the same church." On the one hand, I was so relieved. He was stepping up in confidence, making a significant change in his life for the good of our relationship, and he was assured this was the leading of the Holy Spirit in his heart. Of course, I felt so valued, so precious to him. But, on the other hand, I was nervous about what it might be like to live near each other, to have the same group of friends, to hang out almost all the time, to start attending a church we both liked together, to lose my sense of independence. It could be wonderful or it could be terrible. At that point, we'd only been dating 9 months and that had all been long-distance, as a result of meeting online.

Ian's plan to find a job as soon as possible and pack up all his belongings in MO and move to MD was put into motion soon after our conversation in May. The plan was put into motion unbeknownst to me, however. He moved half his stuff to MD on his trip to surprise me for my birthday. Obviously, I didn't know what was going on. And, at the same time, he didn't know what was going on with me - all the emotions of doubt and fear and confusion that were churning inside me.

Whatever it was we talked about the night before my birthday, I don't remember. He had packed his car full and talked to me on the phone before leaving, though I didn't know he was going on a trip and I certainly wasn't expecting any big surprises the next day. But whatever it was we talked about in that brief conversation before bed, it was something that got my ire up. I decided the next day that I wasn't going to call him after work, because I didn't want to have to talk to him. Needless to say, I was in for it.

I came home from work and went to the basement in a huff to finish a project at my desk. While sitting there thinking of how I was NOT going to call Ian and while thinking that I was just so confused about my own feelings toward him, the hallway door behind me started to creek and slide open across the carpet. I was a little concerned but I figured somebody in my family might be pranking me. I didn't hear anyone laughing, though, so I glanced over my shoulder. And to my great shock there was Ian, like a ghost, leaning against the door frame. I was speechless. And he was about to fall over from exhaustion. He finally broke the silence to explain that he'd driven 16 hrs straight through the night to be with me for the next week for my birthday and that he'd also brought some of his things with him for moving. I was still speechless.

My birthday to date......

Looking back, a year later, I'm so grateful that he came and that he showed me what a sacrifice he was wiling to make out of love for me. I was grateful last June, too, after I'd gotten over the initial shock. But I'm grateful in a different way now.

Now I'm not over-analyzing and trying to figure out myself in this relationship. Now I'm not twisted up in knots when thinking about the future and whether or not we should be together. Now I'm not concerned about whether or not I truly love him for who he is and am willing to commit to loving him through good times and bad times. Now I KNOW without a doubt that I love Ian Antons more than I've loved any other man and that I'll be far more happy celebrating every one of my birthdays with him.

As a result of his move in July 2011, we were able to see up close and personal who each other was on a daily basis and we were able to establish our own community of friends from church and work. By early fall, the anxiety and the doubt began to fade, and I knew I was falling in love with Ian. He had done such a courageous thing by leaving his job and moving to the east coast, where he'd never been before, and reestablishing his life for the sake of our friendship. The shifting of our circumstances laid the foundation for a stronger, more mature relationship. We have become the best of friends over the past year.

Now we look back on my last birthday with laughter, look at this birthday with joy, and look forward to all the birthdays to come with gratitude.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

January 25th, 2012

I wrote our engagement story on the wedding website for those who will be attending the event. But I'm sharing it here with you, because you are our guest any time you visit our blog. I'm sure you'll enjoy finding out the details of how Ian was finally able to give me the ring. Feel free to post any memories or questions or wittiness about our story.

Rewind. Pre-engagement flashback. The first day Ian met me in person (after two months of talking on the phone for hours and hours every week), he told me that he loved me. I, of course, responded in turn. But I wasn't really sure in my heart that I loved him; I was suspicious that I just wanted to 'wing it' in the relationship and have a fun fling for a while. But Ian was intent on winning my heart for he had truly fallen in love with me.

A month after we started dating, he asked if he could buy me a diamond. I was a little bewildered as to how to respond. I thought I loved him, but I still wasn't sure if I understood the definition of love in that kind of relationship and if I was ready to make a commitment. Ian told me that he just wanted to show me how much he loved me and how intentional he meant to be in our relationship. So, I consented to looking at rings and to considering engagement in the future. But I made it clear that if he asked me to marry him at that time that I would say NO. 

Fast forward. A year later, we were both fully in love and looking ahead to marriage at some point. We spent Christmas with the Antons family and warmed them up to who we were as a couple and our future aspirations. Ian's family seemed very much in favor of our relationship, which gave Ian the confidence to continue with his plan of presenting the ring to me and asking for my hand in marriage.

The day he proposed, he met me at the door of my house when I'd come home from work. We were to get ready quickly for the family orientation meeting at his fire department in VA that was to be held for the new recruits that evening. I thought I should go get dressed, but he told me I needed to come to the basement to see something. That let me know something was up. When I turned the corner from the steps I saw two basins on the floor and a towel. I couldn't help but laugh. It just seemed quirky to have basins and water prepared for me. I knew what he wanted to do - he wanted to wash my feet, which made me laugh even more because I'm ticklish and my feet were stinky that day!

Despite my giggles, Ian was poised and confident as usual while he washed my feet and quoted scripture about the purpose of washing a fellow Christian's feet. Jesus had done this for his disciples in order to show them that He was their servant, that He was humbly giving of Himself to them and willing to cleanse them (spiritually). Note: I did get it together and take him seriously. Ian explained to me that he wanted to serve me with his life and that he wanted to lead me as Christ leads the church. He gave me the ring and said that he wanted to spend his life with me. 

It was a very sweet moment. I hope we never forget that important step in our journey.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Online Introduction

This was the post that started it all. I wrote this little description about myself when I joined Marry Well for a 5-day free trial. I had read other profiles of users and I was very unimpressed. Users seemed to be either too verbose or very reserved about introducing themselves on their profile; I figured there had to be some trick, some charm for writing a description that would draw in any seeker. When I wrote about myself my intention was to see if I could get people to respond to my wit and candor virtually as if they were meeting me in person. I wanted to be an intrigue. Just for the heck of it. I had no idea that it really would work and that a guy was really going to fall for my wit and candor. Haha!

Ian read this and was sold at "spunky" and the "Winnie the Pooh" moment.

Haha, the question is where to start? No person is cut and dried, black and white. What do I say about myself that paints a distinct, colorful picture (to show liveliness) that's yet somewhat abstract )to allow for mystique)? Hmmm..... let me try ;)
Spunky could be my middle name but instead it's Jean. I'm a teacher though I wouldn't mind being a pilot. I love the saxophone and don't know how to play it. I jump on trampolines as if I weren't close enough to the sky already. I think a lot so maybe I should find a log, sit on it, furrow my brow, and tap my forehead, 'Think, think, think' (says Winnie the Pooh). I'd live in a grand log house in the West mountains if I could. I'm called Short-Stuff by my brother because I'm shorter than he is. My mother calls me Precious because I'm her only daughter, and everyone else calls me CJ, because a double-name is too long to pronounce apparently. If I'm asked to go on a walk in the woods, I'll go, and if I'm asked to prance through the field, I'll already be doing that, and I don't mind a sprint either. I love to dance to most any kind of music so I'm a social butterfly, but I also sit in cafes with a good book for a friend or an actual friendly face. I feel that I'll never get old and will always enjoy life. I would paint more but I'm restless I guess. And, for sure, I know who the Lord is because I study His word, and I think it's a privilege to journey with Him on this side.... and will be on the other.
For deeper thoughts of mine, you can visit me at
I think this may have been one of the pictures I posted.