This blog is written for my Amazing and Beautiful wife Hannah. You have been an absolute blessing in my life and have made me into a better man. You are the most loving, caring and compassionate person I have ever met and one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me. Whatever comes or way I want to face it together and I am so blessed to have you as my partner and the mother of our son.
I LOVE YOU HANNAH! FOREVER AND ALWAYS!
This past weekend my wife Hannah and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. We celebrated it a few weeks early by going to see Josh Groban in concert and spending the following day in Bristow, VA enjoying award winning pizza and having Duck Donuts for dessert.
Also with it being the ‘Cotton’ Wedding Anniversary Hannah got me a Special T-Shirt for my gift and I absolutely adore it.
In the about me section of my blog, I mentioned that at some point I may tell you all about the story of Hannah and I and how we met, fell in love and were eventually married.
Hannah and I first met back in 2009 as I was the Interim Youth Pastor of the youth group I worked with in Scotland and Hannah was on a Missions trip with her school coming to Scotland to help some of the local churches. Hannah’s tam was never originally meant to visit our church as part of their trip but another church had dropped out last minute and they had no one to work with on this day. They called my pastor that morning and he agreed that they could come to us as we had our youth group on that evening and they could work with our youth.
As I arrived into the office that morning I was then informed by my Pastor that we now had a missions team coming to work with the youth and that I would be taking them out leafleting that lunch time to invite the local high school kids to come along.
On meeting the team and going to do leafleting, I met Hannah and talked with her as we walked to the local high school. It definitely wasn’t love at first sight, or first conversation or any sort of love from any of us to be honest. She told me that she was called by God to come to Scotland and I talked with her briefly about that. But during the rest of the leafleting and that night at youth I never really spoke too much to her but I did add her on Facebook along with the other members of her team.
After this we never really spoke much for the next 2 years except for an occasional message to each other on Facebook asking how each other was doing. But when we looked back over those 2 years at least one of us had message the other once a month every month if not more. And on July 4th 2011 everything changed with the simple words… Happy Independence Day!
I started the conversation like this as it was Independence Day in America but Hannah always says that she never knew what to say in response as I was in Scotland and it wasn’t Independence Day for me. I think she decided to go with Thank You as a response. In all honesty there was nothing special about the conversation, we talked about normal stuff you would say to an acquaintance, I asked if she would be letting of fireworks and she said no because they are banned in Colorado in case it starts a fire. We started messaging each other every couple of weeks and the conversations began to grow when I suggested we ask each other questions to get to know each other and Hannah decided that one of the questions she had to ask me in her first round of questions, that she just had to know the answer to was, “What is your favorite undersea creature?” You can tell that she was already a keeper.
As we talked more the gaps between conversations shortened. It went from every few weeks, to every 2 weeks, every week, every few days and finally we were talking everyday via Facebook Messenger. We talked about our hopes and dreams, talked about our experiences with God and our Christian faith, talked about the Husband and Wife we hoped to be and hoped to Marry, talked about ex-partners and most importantly, we made sure that our TV Show and Movie interests were compatible. Thankfully they were as she is Sci-Fi crazy and her favorite show is Stargate SG-1 which I had never seen and she highly recommended it to me and in return I recommended that she watch Cult favorite Sci-Fi show Farscape which stars 2 of the actors that eventually joined the Stargate cast.
In getting to talk with Hannah for so long, I finally realized that I was starting to like her on Christmas Day 2011 when I realized that I would be going to dinner and spending time with my family and that she would be spending it with her family and I probably wasn’t going to be able to talk to her that day and I felt a lot sadder than I thought I would be and I was so ecstatic when I actually did get to talk to her briefly that day.
After that for Valentine’s Day Hannah made me a Picture on the Computer as a Valentine’s card and sent it to me and I in return decided to make her one back. I was then attending a Valentine’s Dance that another church was hosting for the youth of a few churches and our Youth Pastor and one of the youth were hosting. They handed out felt roses for the guys to give to a girl and ask her to dance and without much though I placed it into my pocket and knew that it was meant for Hannah as I said I would save her a dance from the event. And Hannah still has that rose today.
We discussed Skyping each other and decided we would wait until the Summer as it was only a few months away but one night when we were talking about Stargate (as I had started watching the series now) and I was trying to get Hannah to confirm if Jack O’Neil and Samantha Carter got together in the show and she wouldn’t tell me. So I told her if she told me that I would Skype her. We Skyped, just audio the first time, and talked to each other. Honestly it felt so natural to be talking with each other, although we were nervous and apparently Hannah was having a minor freak out because she absolutely loved my accent, but it felt natural to now be talking instead of typing. A little into the conversation I took a bold step and told her that I liked her and that if she was in Scotland I would have already asked her out but because she was in the States I didn’t know how things were going to work out so didn’t want to jump into anything and she told me she liked me too and agreed. We decided if it was going to work out that God would make a way. We prayed to God and asked him to shut the door if it wasn’t meant to be but to open it wide and create a way where we couldn’t see one just yet if it was meant to be.
We began video Skyping everyday and would spend all day together sometimes. It felt strange to not be around each other and I think our record was around 10 hours on Skype together. By June 2012 I officially asked Hannah to be my Girlfriend (Couldn’t ask her out cos we couldn’t go anywhere) and she said yes. I wanted us to be unofficially official (a phrase she has never let me forget) as I didn’t want to go public as I was concerned about the example it would set for the youth as we had a youth that was ‘dating’ a girl in England and was sure he was in love (it didn’t work out, they broke up after about a week) and I didn’t want to be an excuse for one of them to act stupidly. But after a week we decided to tell everyone that we were together and we got nothing but positive responses.
About 3 months later, following my graduation from University, I traveled to Colorado for 2 weeks to visit Hannah and spend time together in person. We both knew this was the right step because if our relationship was to progress then we would have to eventually be together in person. Below you can see the first picture that Hannah and I ever took together on my first day in Colorado.
I don’t think I had ever been as happy in my life as I was when I arrived in Colorado. It was so strange to be in person and be together as apposed to having a screen between us. It was strange just hugging, holding hands or kissing but after the initial shock it honestly felt so natural to be together in person.
During those 2 weeks I honestly felt so at peace. At the end I remember thinking that I hadn’t been Home Sick wishing I could stay because I felt at home being there. Hannah took me to her home church and I also got to visit their youth group, DV8, at the time led by Juan and Antonia, an amazing couple who were such a blessing in our lives. On our second time there God started to really move in that place and Juan spoke an amazing prophecy over my life which part of, telling Hannah we may be closer to home, came true as we thought we were meant to live in Scotland but instead God called us to America.
I also got to meet Hannah’s amazing friends and I got to meet the majority of her family as they all gathered in Colorado for their near-annual family reunion known as ‘Lawsonfest’. Honestly, I felt like part of the family right away and think I would be hard pressed to find find a more open and accepting family to make me feel like one of their own when meeting them for the first time.
Hannah also introduced me to some of the beautiful sites in Colorado such as Downtown Colorado, The Garden of the Gods and Estes, probably the most beautiful little mountain town I have ever seen in my life.
And I also got to treat Hannah for her birthday and we went to Barnes and Noble where I told her to get whatever books she wanted and I would buy it for her and then we got all dressed up and I took her out for dinner to Maggiano’s, which was an amazing night although the waitress who obviously couldn’t understand my Scottish accent was insistent on asking me all of the questions.
Unfortunately though, those two weeks came to an end and it was one of the saddest moments of my life, saying goodbye to Hannah at the airport. It was also sad because we were really going into the unknown. We had no idea when and how we would see each other in person again and we had to trust God that he had brought us this far and not closed the door, so he would open the opportunity to see each other in person again soon.
Thankfully, a few weeks later, Hannah gave me the news that she had found a one way ticket to Scotland that would allow her to fly to Scotland, and because of immigration in the UK, she would be able to stay for 6 months without a visa. We were so happy that God had opened this door and even better, my friend Iris offered to let Hannah stay with her while she was in Scotland which was another answer to prayer as we had been looking for somewhere for Hannah to stay.
Everything was set for Hannah to visit me in Scotland for 6 months!
This was intended to be a singular blog when I started writing but I didn’t realize how long it was going to be, so I am going to finish the story there for now and look out for the second half of our story next week which will include a trip to Scotland, an engagement, a heartbreak and a wedding.
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