To bring the pages of our Love Story Journal to life, we've asked some of our favorite couples to answer prompts from the journal and share the details of their real life love stories in a new blog series.
Photos: Roxana B Photography
We couldn't think of a more beautiful love story to share on Valentine's Day than the love story of Emily Meyers of @thefreckledfox and her husband, Richard Carmack aka @warrioroftruth. Emily is a blogger, writer, remarried widow, and mama to five little ones in five years. Below, read the details of how she and Richard met, their proposal story (make that three proposal stories), the events of their non-traditional wedding, and what they've learned together in their marriage this last year.
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST MET YOUR SPOUSE? WHAT WAS GOING ON IN YOUR LIVES AT THE TIME?
EMILY: I was 15 at the time, Richard was 19. He and I were both cast members in a very large outdoor theater production. The whole event including casting and performances went on for several weeks, and although we’d talked in group settings and such, he and I only really started hanging out together the last couple of days before it was over. Right before my family left to go home, he and I exchanged addresses so we could start writing letters.
RICHARD: It was a hillside camp. I was helping with the logistics of a large production, and her dad offered me pancakes one morning. As I left my tent in the morning, their tent was the first family camp space that I passed on the way to get started on my daily duties. I knew her brother and had seen him with her parents already, so I gratefully accepted the offer for breakfast food, and that was the space where I spent the most time in close proximity to her. We didn’t really interact during that time, but clearly it led to good outcomes. It was after my first year at college, and it all took place relatively near my childhood home.
DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST DATE:
EMILY: That’s a hard one actually. I think I’ll go with the first time we saw each other again after 10 years. He surprised me with a visit as I was about to leave for the airport, so he offered to drive my son, John, and I, and then we stopped for some McDonalds on the way. Catching up for a few hours with some great conversation and him buying us a meal constitutes a date, right? :)
RICHARD: I asked her muddy teenage self to get in my parents truck with my brother and a high school friend of ours and go for a burger. Not just any burger… I was about to try to down a 4-pound patty, 8-inch thick, dinner plate-sized monstrosity! Shortly after beginning I smiled and said that there was no way I was going to get through it with no prep for an eating challenge of that magnitude. We laughed and cut the burger into quarters and all shared it with a side of fries.
HOW DID YOU KNOW THIS RELATIONSHIP WAS THE ONE?
EMILY: It was just suddenly so obvious to me, and to him, I know. We’d become best friends through writing letters over a few years time where we shared so much and helped each other, and then catching up years later and seeing where our lives had taken us and everything we’d been through separately, we saw how well we fit together. The puzzle pieces just all matched up I guess :) I didn’t feel giddy or flustered or anxious as many soon-to-be brides do, but instead I felt such a calm sense of safety and certainty, and security in our future together.
RICHARD: I just knew. She had been my best friend many years ago, and while the circumstances had changed significantly, she was and is just as wonderful as I remember/ed. Life, and all the years between, suddenly made sense, and she and the kids were the reason for that.
DESCRIBE YOUR PROPOSAL:
EMILY: There was more of a mutual realization that we were going to get married. It was such a clear path ahead that came much more suddenly to both of us then we could have anticipated. After we acknowledged that it wasn’t an "if" but a "when," Richard just had fun with proposals after that.
The first proposal was casually bringing out a ring after we’d finished a movie one evening; the second proposal was asking me from outside the bathroom while I was in the shower (which really had me laughing); and the third and final proposal was on a walk overlooking a beautiful canyon at sunset. I turned around and he was down on one knee. I was already wearing the ring of course, but I laughed and said yes again and then we kissed. It was a pretty classic movie proposal :)
RICHARD: She said yes :-)
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING EVENTS:
EMILY: It was the perfect day. Simple and beautiful, and totally about us and the commitment we were making to each other. I had the most gorgeous dress, a small group of some of our favorite people were there, and we wrapped it all up with pizza. Everything a wedding day should be, I think :)
RICHARD: We jumped in the car and headed south. Along the way we listened to music and smiled a lot. When we got to Salt Lake City we went to Trader Joe's to buy the makings for a bouquet and boutonniere. We stopped at two bridal shops, listing off three or four things we were looking for in a dress just to be told they didn’t have anything like that. We went to one last shop, saw three to four dresses, tried on two, picked our favorite (the most perfect thing we could have imagined), and left, all within 15 minutes, to the sound of the saleswoman saying, “That was the fastest sale I’ve ever made.”
We went to my apartment where hair and makeup were done in the bathroom, flowers were arranged in the kitchen, and I changed in the bedroom. Emily slipped into her dress, tied her Converse laces, we all piled into cars, and headed to the mountains. We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon and we all climbed a beautiful rock formation, shared some beautiful words and advice, and were married hand in hand as the sun was setting. A few photos later, we went back to Salt Lake CIty and had dinner with our intimate little group, many of whom were all getting to know each other for the first time (friends from different cities, parents, family, etc.). After attempting not to spill pizza sauce and salad dressing all over ourselves, we changed and then all went our separate ways.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED TOGETHER THIS LAST YEAR?
EMILY: The first thing I think of is that we can have whatever sort of life we choose for our family, so why not fill our days with adventure and learning and laughter? We grow closer as a couple and as a family when we take on challenges and obstacles together, and seeing the whole wide world of possibilities open ahead of us is such an exciting thing. We can’t wait to see what every new day will hold for us.
RICHARD: Life is always going to be changing. Smiling at each step makes the journey that much better.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO WORK ON IMPROVING YOUR MARRIAGE THIS YEAR?
EMILY: We know that our marriage/partnership has to come first before everything else, but oftentimes that’s hard to do when there are so many little ones and outside things demanding our time and attention. The biggest focus this year I think is to have uninterrupted time together as often as we can get it. We try to go on dates at least weekly, and we really utilize the time at night after the kids go to sleep to talk through the day's events or whatever is on our minds. We’ll fold laundry or watch a movie or just enjoy the silence, but it’s become a really special time that I look forward to.
RICHARD: Less fear of limitations and more comfort in creating the life we want. Each day only has 24 hours, but if well spent can extend into many tomorrows as wonderful memories.
WHAT WAS ONE OF YOUR HAPPIEST MOMENTS TOGETHER THIS YEAR?
EMILY: I’m gonna go with an easy answer and say it was when we found out we were expecting while on a family road-trip across the states. It wasn’t a big surprise, but it was such a sweet time to further acknowledge that we were progressing as a family, that no matter the hardships of life there is always so much beauty and hope, and that we’re constantly being guided towards the happiest life available to us if we just have trust and faith over fear and doubt.
RICHARD: Each sunset from the front porch. The simple things.
Photos: Roxana B Photography
Thank you Emily and Richard for sharing your love story with us!
Want to document your own love story? Shop our Love Story Journals and remember where it all began.