Shelley reached out to James first, but then went to Japan for two weeks. James thought he was being catfished, and was shocked when Shelley actually messaged when she returned. When we did finally go on our first date, it was one of those dates you never wanted to end — we spent 8 hours together chatting and laughing and hitting up different themed bars (zombies, Star Wars) and couldn't wait to see each other again.
The first 2.5 months of dating were some of the best times, but all good things come to an end. In November, Shelley's contract in Sydney expired and she had to head back to Canada. Though we technically broke up for a bit, we could not stop talking to each other, and after a few months, we committed to doing Sydney-to-SF long distance (a very long distance, and an annoying time zone difference). Though we only saw each other once every 4-6 months, we managed to squeeze in some extended visits to SF and Sydney, and amazing side trips to the Hunter Valley, Brisbane, Tokyo and Kyoto, and Denver.
After 3 years of Shelley trying to move to Sydney, and James trying to move to San Francisco, James was ready to quit his job, pack his bags, and move to SF without a plan. Thankfully, his many supporters and mentors at CBA worked something out for him, enabling him to move to NYC. He called Shelley and said "I can make it to your country, but you're going to have to figure out a way to make it to my city."
🐾 We got Daikon! He's the best dog in the world.
James booked a cabin in the middle of the Catskills forests the evening before we were due to meet up with Shelley's family in Maine for Christmas. On the drive up, James was aggressively paranoid about the car being locked, which Shelley did not understand at the time. The next morning, as we looked out at the snow falling, James opened a ring box and nudged it at Shelley without explicitly asking a question, so Shelley failed to say yes, but it was implied.
Between moving apartments, changing jobs, moving countries, and a global pandemic, wedding planning wasn't always at the top of our "to do" list, but here we are! Thank you so much for your patience and support and love as we finally get around to saying "I do", and thank you for being a part of our celebration.