Tag Archives: our love story

We’re Expecting!

I hope you’ll forgive me for the cliff-hanging last post. I wrote that post weeks ago when I was dying to tell people about my pregnancy.  

We found out we were expecting on July 5, 2009.  I’m due on March 14.  Everything is good, all the tests results have come back favorable, and everyone is excited about this first grandchild on each side of the family.  If you want to know more details, I started a new blog: Our Country Baby.  Here’s the ultrasound from yesterday!

11 week ultrasound 1

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Perfect Timing

Our Love Story continues…

“When are you going to have a baby?” That’s the question all newlyweds dread hearing, and the question people have no shame asking. Our token answer after our wedding was always “Oh, about five years.”

The truth was, we had so many goals and dreams, and having children was somewhere in the distant future for us. We both knew we wanted to have children, but not yet. Not for a long time.

The short list of thing I wanted to accomplish included getting my masters degree and tenure, and saving for a home. I didn’t want to raise a family in the apartment over my parents’ garage. Ed was focused on saving money and having our own home as well, and getting settled in once we moved there.

As a couple, we wanted to have fun, enjoy being young, and build our relationship. For us, a strong marriage is the foundation of a family. Since we both grew up in families where our parents loved each other, we knew we wanted to be able to provide the same two-parent environment for our children.

And so in those early years of marriage, we had fun together, taking trips to Maine, Vermont, and even Alaska to walk with Brown Bears. I furthered my career by completing my masters degree, obtaining tenure, becoming a teacher-mentor, and traveling to the Bahamas for a workshop in place-based learning. Ed continued to learn and work at stairbuilding, and was able to help his brother start up the aquaculture business from scratch. We also saved quite a bit of money for two young people, and Ed threw himself into building our dream home. When we finally completed our home with the help of our families, we realized it was one of the hardest things we would ever do, and we were so happy to be in a home where we could raise a family. All of these were accomplishments we knew would be delayed if we had children.

As time went on and we settled into our new home, finishing up little projects here and there, our minds started thinking about expanding our family. After months of discussion, we decided it was time to start a family in June of 2009, the same month we would celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary.

To be continued…

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Here Comes the Bride

 To see how we got here, read The Farmer’s Daughter and the Country Boy

Our Wedding Day

June 26, 2004

 

abbie1

Thrilled bride

abbie mom

Mother and daughter

abbie dad

Daughter and father

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Nervous groom

ed mom dad

Proud parents

aisle

Down the aisle

vows

I, Abigail, take you, Edwin, to be my husband, knowing in my heart that you are my best friend, my constant companion, and my one true love.

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.

I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

vows2

I, Edwin, take you, Abigail, to be my wife, knowing in my heart that you are my best friend, my constant companion, and my one true love.

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.

I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

smiles

Smiles and tears

bridal party

Wedding party

kiss

And we shall live happily ever after.

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A Christmas Engagement

The Farmer’s Daughter and the Country Boy

Our Love Story, Part V

It was Christmas morning, 2002.  The alarm went off at 6am, and I didn’t want to get up. Ed turned off the alarm and reminded me that we needed to go to his parents’ house, and if we wanted to enjoy some time alone we should get up. We snuggled for a little while under the covers, in the cherry four-poster bed that Ed designed and built, and gave to me the night before as my present. Finally we got up, in fuzzy pajamas and warm socks.

Ed plugged in the Christmas tree lights and spread the quilt my great-grandmother made on the floor. We sat on the quilt and opened our presents by the light of the tree. One by one, we opened little things, until it came time for me to give Ed his big present: a welding helmet. He absolutely loved it, and to this day says it’s the best present I ever gave him. I felt a little silly, since he had built a bed for me, and I just bought him a welding helmet.

When I thought all the presents were opened, Ed told me there was one more for me, on the tree. In the early morning light, he had to help me find the silver ornament that he had hidden on the tree the night before. I plucked it off the tree, admired its beauty, and sat back on the quilt with it. 

 “It opens,” Ed said as he sat down in front of me. I found the latch and opened the ornament, revealing the velvety black box inside.

When I looked up, Ed was on his knee.  “Are you kidding me?”

“Will you marry me?” 

He was both smiling and teary-eyed as I opened the box to see my engagement ring.  Tears welled up in my eyes and I was so happy to say yes.  We were just a couple of kids, but we knew that we wanted to be together always.

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Moving Day

Visit The Farmer’s Daughter and the Country Boy for the whole story!

Our Love Story, Part IV

The weekend before my 21st birthday, I was finally able to move into my apartment.  When I got a full scholarship to college, my dad told me he would build me an apartment over a 2-car garage (and build the garage for my mom).  Now, most of the way through my junior year, it was done.  It was so awesome! I had my own bathroom, walk-in closet with a stackable washer/dryer, bedroom, and a living space that included a kitchen and a place to sit and watch TV.  Ed helped by putting up the stairs, helped put up the kitchen cabinets, and helped me paint.

On moving day, I picked up all of my belongings and carried them across the driveway to my new apartment.  The next day, my brother Nathaniel, the proud new occupant of my former bedroom, was so kind as to throw anything I left behind out of the window and into his quad trailer, then promptly bring it to the dumpster at the farm market. 

Besides the piles of clothes and books, I had very few possessions.  Thinking back to how packed that apartment soon became, it was totally spacious when I first moved in…  My furniture consisted of a computer chair, beach chair, and a coffee table that Ed built and gave me for Christmas, and a mattress from my parents in the bedroom.  I bought a VCR at Walmart.  I had one video tape: Jaws.  I vividly remember inviting some of Ed’s friends over to my new apartment, sitting on my comforter on the floor and watching Jaws.  I also remember sitting on the floor at the coffee table with colored pencils, watching a show about reptiles on the Discovery Channel, and making insanely complicated graphs of data for my Animal Physiology class.  I guess it was before I knew how to graph on excel, and before professors expected you to actually make a graph on the computer. 

I loved the privacy of the apartment, the fact that I could do my homework and study without listening to stories about football or tractors.  I loved that I could watch TV with Ed without talking to moms (his or mine).  I accumulated furniture quickly: my parents bought me a couch, then a kitchen table and chairs.  I started to learn to cook by watching cooking shows.  I started getting interested in buying plates and kitchen gadgets, and I made regular trips to the grocery store to stock my fridge.  My brothers visited often, and I went to my family’s house, too.  But when the sun went down and everyone else went home, I was lonely.

To celebrate my birthday, I had the dorkiest 21st birthday party ever.  See, the thing is, I don’t drink.  I never have.  So my parents, brothers, Ed, and Ed’s parents took me out to a Chinese buffet for my birthday, where I ate lots of orange chicken and drank diet soda.  We went back to my parents’ house and had ice cream cake.  What a wild 21st birthday party!

One weekend, Ed’s parents went to Maine.  They agreed to let a friend’s guests from out of town stay in their house while they were gone, and Ed wasn’t about to stay there with strangers.  We decided he would stay with me for the weekend.  It wasn’t a conscious decision for Ed to move in with me, but after that weekend, it became our apartment.  I had officially lived by myself for two weeks.

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Trip to Maine

Visit The Farmer’s Daughter and the Country Boy for the whole story!

Our Love Story, Part III

About a month after our second date, Ed asked me to go to Maine with his family for New Year’s.  They have a little cottage that they restored on Beals Island, which is about an eight-hour drive from here.  The house is right on the beach, near the bridge that connects the island to the main land.  I remember worrying about packing; what clothes and shoes to bring, wanting to dress appropriately for a family vacation and make a good impression on his parents.  While I had enjoyed spending time with his family, I was worried about spending a few days with them.

When we got to Beals, I completely fell in love with the cottage.  The big room downstairs has wood beams, and the walls are painted a sage green.  There are antlers and animal furs decorating the walls, with boats, fish and shells mixed in.  Ed built the mustard yellow TV corner cabinet, the coffee table, end tables, and kitchen table.  For the first time, I appreciated his skill and craftsmanship. 

The first night that we were there, Marie and Rich cooked lobster.  Their friends on the island, the Carvers, are lobster fishermen.  I had never enjoyed eating lobster.  I never liked the smell, and so I never ate it.  However, I wanted to make a good impression, and I knew how much lobsters cost, so I ate it.  I could learn to like lobster, I thought.  Later, we visited the Carver family.  I enjoyed sitting with Ruth, who reminds me of my great-grandma Rose, and the whole crew gathered in her kitchen to play a rousing game of farkel.  Farkel is a dice game, and it’s a blast to play on chilly Maine winter nights.  We chatted and tossed dice until late into the evening, while Ed and his dad talked in the other room with Guy, Ruth’s husband, about lobstering and the good old days.  We walked down the street back to their cottage and turned in.  I felt like I had such a great day, enjoyed myself, and made a good impression on Ed’s parents and their friends in Maine.

At around 2:00 am, I woke up.  My stomach was churning.  The cottage has one bathroom, downstairs.  Ed and I were sleeping upstairs, and his parents slept downstairs by the fire.  I bolted out of bed and ran down the stairs.  Karma!  I never should have laughed at Ed when he choked on that salmon bone.  It turns out that I’m allergic to lobster, which is why I never liked the smell.  My body was rejecting that lobster dinner.  I threw up in the bathroom, in the little cottage that had no privacy. 

“Ab?” It was Ed’s mom at the bathroom door.  “Are you okay?”

“Oh, yeah.  Just a little sick, but I’m fine now.”  I was so embarrassed.  I wanted so badly to make a good impression.  And here I was, waking up the whole house puking up the expensive lobster dinner that their friends had risked their lives to catch for me.  I could have died right then.

I went back up the stairs.  Ed asked if I was okay, if I needed anything.  I was crying.  Being sick had brought tears to my eyes, and once they started to flow, I couldn’t stop.  I couldn’t believe I had been sick.  He went downstairs and got me a drink of water then rubbed my back until I fell asleep.

The next morning, the sun shone brightly into the upstairs bedroom window.  Ed woke me up and told me to look outside.  Through the window, I could see the lobster boats going under the bridge, heading out for the day.  The sunlight danced on the water in the reach, and it took my breath away.  We got up and headed over to the breakfast spot: Tall Barney’s.  Ed’s family seemed to know all the lobstermen who were there eating breakfast.  We met the Carvers there, and I had the best blueberry pancakes with wild Maine blueberries.

When we went back to the cottage, Marie was excited to show me the beach.  We walked out in the chilly winter air, bundled up.  I was cold, but I soon forgot about the temperature when I saw what was on the beach.  Years before, people threw their trash off of the bridge, which led to an endless supply of sea glass on the beach in front of their cottage.  I spent hours walking around, collecting sea glass in all shades of aqua, green, clear, blue, brown, and even the coveted purple, pink, and red.  Occasional pieces of blue willow china and even tea cups appeared when the tide went out.  Ed laughed as I filled jars and bags with the glass, sorted my finds, and ventured out after each tide to see what new treasures had appeared.  Even in January, I was excited to run out and walk around on the rocks.  Ed and his dad kept the fireplace going, and I would sit by the fire and cuddle with Ed to warm up.

These are still my favorite things about Beals: the family and friends to spend time with, the sea glass to collect on the beach, and watching the lobster boats out the window in the morning without even getting out of bed.  On that first trip, I fell in love with that cottage and I fell even more in love with Ed.  I loved that I could be myself in front of him and his family, and that they accepted me.  I could picture us going there for the rest of our lives, bringing our children and grandchildren to the little cottage by the bridge on Beals Island.

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Meet the Parents

Read about our Second Date first, if you missed it!

Our Love Story, Part II

Ed met my parents on our first date, months before our second date when I decided I really liked him.  In fact, he met my whole family then.  Ed was driving his brand new truck to come take me out, and my brothers Jonathan (then in high school) and Nathaniel (who was 12) couldn’t hold back from going to see the truck.  A brand new, F-350 extended cab, diesel pick-up truck.  It was hunter green with tan details.  They loved it.

When Ed drove up the driveway that June day, my dad, brothers and mom raced out to meet him.  I had wanted to make an entrance, but instead walked out of the sliding glass door to see that nobody was paying attention to me after I spent an hour getting ready.

“He’s here for me!” I announced.  I should have been happy that my family had taken to him already, but I was annoyed.  He talked to my dad for a little while, and our muddy Old English Sheepdog started heading in the direction of his new, clean truck with the open doors. 

Seeing the impending disaster, my mom shouted “Eddie, get away from that truck!”  Ed looked confused.  After all, it was his truck.  He hadn’t yet met Eddie.  Once my mom explained that she was yelling at the dog, not Ed, we all laughed. 

Months later, when I was in love with Ed (though I hadn’t told him yet)  I was nervous about meeting his parents.  I vaguely remembered Ed’s parents.  Our families were friends when we were little, but daily life caused them to drift apart.  I remember Ed’s mom when she was a judge of baked goods at the Guilford Fair.  I remember Ed’s dad coming over to the farm when we were raising pigs.  However, those were the only memories that I really had, and I was nervous about meeting them again.  I enjoyed the time spent with Ed over the next week or so, knowing I’d get to meet his parents soon.

On the phone, Ed and I had taken to telling each other “I miss you.”  Really, we didn’t even have time to miss each other.  As a college student who lived at home, I had nothing but time to spend with him at night.  I called him at noon each day, during his lunch break, to talk to him.  He always ended the conversation with “I miss you.”

Finally, I met Ed’s mom Marie.  His dad was in Long Island for a few days for their stair business, so she had us over and made salmon for dinner.  I had never really eaten salmon before, and it was delicious.  Ed’s mom is really a fantastic cook.  At this point, Ed’s brother Chris lived in New Jersey and his sister Kate lived in Colorado, so it was just the three of us.  I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but I remember having a good time.  At one point, Ed realized he had a salmon bone in his mouth, and he later told me he thought it would be rude to spit it into a napkin (how I wish he tried not to be rude NOW).  Instead, he decided to swallow the bone, and promptly began choking on it.  He coughed and coughed, and eventually ran to the back door and hacked it up.  Much better than spitting it into a napkin.  I remember Marie and I just laughed and laughed.  It was funny because he tried so hard to have good manners but the whole thing backfired.  I would later learn that laughing at him was not good for my karma.

A few days later, I met Ed’s dad Rich.  He is a lot like my dad, in that he’s a builder and values the old-fashioned way to do things.  I talked to him about making maple syrup and my one distrous attempt to make maple sugar candy (the bubbling syrup boiled over and burned on my mom’s flat cooktop because, while I needed a bathroom break, the syrup did not).  He told me that he had perfected the maple sugar candy method and would show me.  A week or so later, Rich and I made maple sugar candy together and had a really good time. 

On the way home that night, Ed told me he was so happy that I had connected with both of his parents.  We didn’t go straight to my house, instead Ed took me to my town’s center, which contained the Dairy Queen where he picked me up for our second date.  He pulled into a spot at the post office.  Not quite romantic, but better than having my brother Nathaniel run out to show Ed his latest lego creation as soon as we pulled into the driveway. 

“You know how I say ‘I miss you’ all the time?” he asked.

“Yes…”

“Well, what I really mean is I love you.”

“I love you, too, Ed.”

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