You met where?
The age old question–"So.. how'd you guys meet?" "Online" I choke out, half covering my mouth and coughing…But so the story goes. So after many unsuccessful attempts at finding true love and never seeming to find that "right girl" I was forced to resort to what felt like the hopeless option of searching "online".. Ughh. "what kind of loser would actually resort to that"
I thought "I bet anybody that actually puts a profile online doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of even getting a date anyway'…..And with these high expectations I…. put a profile online, Catholic Match to be exact.
I would periodically check my "profile", chatted with a few people and even met a few, but again after a while this last resource seemed to be living up to my expectations. Every profile seemed cookie cutter, very little seemed to differentiate one from another. "I love the outdoors, music, my family, yadda yadda ..the proverbial what every guy supposedly wants to hear. Then one snowy February Sunday afternoon I logged on and being disgusted with the limited choices in my "search area" I decided to try No zip code…I scanned through an endless sea of …yeah ..more of the same. I didn't know what I was actually looking for but somehow knew that
I wasn't finding it. That is until I happened upon this one profile. I admit the beautiful smile drew me in. So I continued on to read the profile… Man. I don't know what hit me but something seemed to hit me right between the eyes. THIS IS WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR!
I read it again and thought "I don't care if this girl IS from South Dakota, I need to know what she is all about". There was something special about the way she looked at life, how she saw God’s beauty and felt humbled while overlooking the openness of her South Dakota landscape speckled with cattle. How she gave freely of herself by taking in two foster kids and taught kindergarten on an Indian reservation. Her pictures were happy and unposed … and beautiful I might add.. Everything screamed "this is what you want Joe".
So I fired off an email half telling her that I loved her profile and made a joke about one of her pictures to keep it light. She returned my email and so began what has become the most amazing relationship of my life. We emailed a few times then talked on the phone. The more we talked the more I discovered a depth of faith beyond anything I had ever encountered and quiet strength that I yearned for. She was thoughtful, kind hearted, she thought before she spoke and she was well spoken. When she told me that we should meet, I immediately booked a ticket for South Dakota. If anything, my trip would be an adventure and at worst we wouldn't like each other and I'd be back at square one.
We agreed to meet by the pool at the hotel in Winner. I embarked on my trip without apprehension and not until I pulled into Holiday Inn Express parking lot did I feel that "oh crap" feeling …"OK Here goes". I walked down that hall and knocked on the window of the door to the pool. Sarah opened the door. I thought she had looked good in her pictures, but nothing could beat real life. She extended her hand for a handshake and I hugged her. Pizza with her and the boys, working cattle with her dad and brother, dinner at the marina, a game of scrabble and quick trip to HeDog Reseravtion school and the weekend was over.
On the trip back to Sioux Falls my sister called me to see how my weekend went and I told that there was "something special about this one". I couldn't tell what Sarah had thought of me but I sure knew I wanted to see her again. We talked the night after I came home and then a couple of nights later she told me she wanted to come out to Massachusetts for a visit. I could have walked on water. We talked longer and longer every night. We even talked until the sun came up a couple times. I couldn't wait to talk to her every night at 9:00 when she put the boys to bed.
About a month later was her first visit to MA. We walked around Boston–of course I had to hold her hand so I "wouldn't lose her in traffic". We walked on the beach in New Hampshire and talked and while sitting on the rocks in Maine Sarah blurted out "I'm going to marry you someday". I just looked at her, but something inside said "yeah I know". I loved her and that was that. I knew she was the one. We said goodbye at the airport and she cried, I have never been so happy to see someone cry. From the airport I went and bought "the ring". I had never felt so sure of anything in my life, not a shadow of a doubt, that was it.
Sarah quit her job in Hedog under her dad’s guidance and moved to Massachusetts on Fourth of July week. On July 25th, I asked her to marry me. I can't imagine life without Sarah, she is everything I had ever hoped for times 10. It happened fast and to be honest it blows my mind sometimes when I look at her to think that not so long ago neither of us knew the other even existed and now our lives are changed forever. We have embarked on our journey of life together as husband and wife and I don't want to imagine what life would be like if I hadn't looked… ONLINE.
The pursuit of a good man!
As with most women on Catholic Match, I too had been on the hunt for the perfect man for quite some time. Lucky for me the search is over. Since moving to Massachusetts many have asked how I found and fell in love with Mr. Maney. So without further adieu, I will share my version of the story….
Joe and I met through Catholic Match in February of 2008. He sent me a message letting me know he had read my profile and liked what he saw. I checked him out and responded back to let him know he seemed like a good guy as well. Shortly after our first online hello, Joe noted that typing takes so long and would love to chat over the phone. I, on the other hand, don't care for the phone but gave him my number and said something to the effect… “I'm not usually home but if I am, and if I'm not busy, I might answer.” Lucky for me, he called and I answered.
From there we scheduled to talk about ever other day. I was enjoying our conversations but after a while let him know that I would like to meet him or discontinue our correspondence. He agreed and jumped to it. The next time I spoke with him he had booked a flight to South Dakota……without even consulting me. I was shocked at first but was glad to be finally meeting. Until the day he arrived, I was mentally preparing myself for the visit. As with every other date I had, I tried to go into it with the mindset that I just needed to get it over with so that I could cross the guy off my list. I had also prepared myself by praying that my head would take precedence over my heart. With a few other online guys, I had fallen for an image of them that I had created in my mind and then when I met them I was sorely disappointed. I was determined not to let that happen again.
To fast forward a bit I met Joe in Winner, SD. We met at the Holiday Inn where my foster boys were swimming and then went out to pizza together. Everything went surprisingly well. At the end of his visit, I was in a bit of disarray. In the past I had always known the guy just wasn't right for me. With Joe, I didn't have a reason that he wasn't. After he left and went back to Massachusetts we started talking on the phone daily. At this point I wasn't in love, but really thought he was a good guy. I started praying that if he was the one that I would allow myself to fall in love with him.
As May rolled around, I was looking forward to making a visit to see him. Thinking that maybe when I visited him on his own turf, and met his family, I would discover a reason why he wasn't the one. After Joe picked me up at the airport, he took the initiative, once again, and grabbed my hand. I wasn't expecting it, I wasn't even sure if I liked it, but there was something about his forward nature that attracted me. Nearing the end of my visit we took a trip up to Maine. We were looking at the ocean on the rocks and I looked a Joe and told him "I think I'm going to marry you someday." I know I shocked Joe a bit and even myself. I hadn't told him I loved him and he hadn't told me. I didn't even have the tingly butterflies that they say you get when you're in love. There was just something about him. Something different. I somehow knew he was the one that I wanted to marry. It seemed so logical!
I still didn't know I was in love until we were headed back to the airport for him to drop me off. He parked the vehicle and just before we got out gave me a hug goodbye. I started crying. I didn't want to leave. Needless to say my head was spinning on the flight back. I was trying to figure out what just happened and what I should do next.
In attempt to figure things out, I consulted my parents. I told my dad that I thought I was going to marry Joe and was wondering what he thought about us getting married the next summer after another year of teaching. (I should note, Joe still hadn't said anything about wanting to marry me!) My dad said he thought I should get to know him better to make sure he is who I perceived him to be. And the best way to do that would be to move out to Massachusetts and be around him more. Rather than waste any time, that morning I walked into the principal’s office and let her know I wouldn’t be able to teach the following year. It was a difficult decision but I knew I had to do it.
My next big feat…call Joe and let him know I had resigned. Joe was elated about the plan and decided to come back in June to help me move my stuff from HeDog to Gregory. After getting everything organized I got on a plane and headed to MA in July. Joe's grandparents had prepared a room for me to stay in at their house and I had plans to look for a job after the 4th of July holiday. Much to my dismay the end of July was nearing and I didn't have a job or ring on my hand. I was sure I was going to marry this man if only he would ask! Did I mention that patience is not my strongest virtue? Ah, but now for the good part….on July 25th Joe got down on one knee after a dinner date in Boston and popped the question….and of course I said YES! I hadn't expected to meet a guy online or for that matter one that's more than 1500 miles away. God definitely is good!
11 days before our 1st anniversary God gifted us with a baby boy, Liam Joseph!