Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Real People in Love: Mary & Ryan

A few weeks ago Mary emailed me about participating in the Real People in Love series. Mary & Ryan are still newlyweds and that fact was evident in Mary's email. Mary is the woman behind Flightsuits and Tulips where she shares bits about their life, love, and gorgeous wedding!
If you'd like to participate in the Real People in Love series just shoot me an email!

How old are you & Ryan?
I'm 26 and Ryan is 25.

How long have you been together?
We've been together somewhere around going on three years!

What are your occupations?
Ryan is a Navy pilot and I work for a public policy firm in DC and have lots of fun blogging on Tulips & Flightsuits!

How did you meet?
We were introduced by mutual family friends (whose son ended up being our best man!) at a dinner at this great restaurant in DC called Circa. It was a long, funny dinner and truly a testament to how amazing my husband is that we hung out that summer and fell in love.

How did you get engaged?
It's a long story, but essentially this: let's just say I was onto the fact that Ryan might be proposing soon, so he went to great lengths to surprise me. Turns out storms along the east coast had delayed all flights to DC on the Saturday he wanted to come propose. And so at 5 am Ryan is standing in front of the gate agent in Pensacola (who just told him he can't get to DC for another 12 hours) and Ryan puts the ring and his military id on the counter and says he has to get to DC. A couple hours later, it was still raining and he'd made it to DC, so he had to nix plans of proposing at the Jefferson Memorial (cherry blossom season and I went to UVA). Onto plan b: the gorgeous park across the street from my apartment-nope, still raining! So finally (he had my sweet friend distracting me this whole time), he ran to the grocery store, grabbed an egg (it was Easter weekend) and came to my door. The entire time, I thought he was helping a friend move in Pensacola, so I open my door to see him standing there and turn around to ask my friend if she knew he was in town! Out of the corner of my eye I see him moving (he's 6'5") and when I turn back around, he was on one knee. Of course, I said yes, but then almost fainted and so he grabbed me and walked me over to the couch. Before he could even remind me there was a ring I might want to put on, I asked him if he wanted a turkey sandwich (I thought he might be hungry!). We had a wonderful DC day, which was so lovely cause that's where we fell in love.

Tell us about your wedding (not necessarily elements but feelings too):
Oh wow, it still leaves me speechless. We were married on November 7th last year, in Old Town, Alexandria. Ryan grew up there, we took most of our DC dates there and it just felt like the perfect place to get married. Ryan's flight school schedule for the Navy was why we picked the date, but I so wanted it to be warm and sunny (as you can see from the photos it was hardly a blustery November day-it was bright sunshine, blue skies and gorgeous fall leaves.)
There are a couple of moments that really stand out for me. The first was that my ten closest girl friends (who are such an enormous part of our lives) all came over to a dear family friend's house across the street from the church and I was so moved to have them all in the same place. The ceremony was incredibly moving and I remember how the minister had to pause before he announced us man and wife because our friends and family broke out in thunderous applause. It made us feel so loved. We did the traditional Navy sword arch which "welcomes me" to the Navy (with a tap of a sword on my behind!) This was the one thing that got me really choked up. To see Ryan's friends in uniform and then to know the sword used to welcome me actually belonged to my 91 year old grandfather who was in the Navy during WWII and unable to travel there that day left me speechless. Finally, we snuck away, just the two of us, to our favorite coffee house before we went to the reception. It was one of the best decisions we made, to get a bit of time just us to really soak up the day. In short, I wouldn't change a thing.

Define Love:
I'm not sure I can begin to define love, but one of my favorite definitions of marriage is: "marriage is a cup of water in the middle of the night." To me, that exemplifies the vows we took, it wasn't just to say we loved each other on November 7th, but to say we're going to be there every day after. Regardless how convenient that cold cup of water is, we're going to show up and love one another.

What is the toughest part of being in a committed relationship?
The best way it's been described to me is that in a committed relationship, there are no exits, and that actually makes things easier. When there's an alternative to being committed to that person, that's what's really tough. I'm just humbled daily learning how to love Ryan.

What is the best part?
I just love going through life with him. I don't think I had any idea what that was like before him, we jokingly say all the time "we share everything" (like when I'm stealing his fries or something) but we really do. It doesn't feel like my friends/his friends, but our friends. it doesn't feel like his challenges or my challenges, but ours. And that's definitely still something we're figuring out (and will be for the next 100 years) but I love that.

What is the best day the two of your have had together?
We love road trips. Whether it's for a day, with no particular destination, or 10 days (best. summer. road. trip. ever) with a loosely planned route-we just love rolling the windows down, stocking up on Swedish fish and smart water and talking about life or just enjoying being next to one another. our jobs are both super demanding and often times mean we're apart. This consistently means we're grateful just to have time to hang out. We also love movie nights/days :)

What makes you different from other couples?
I'm not sure this makes us different, but where we try to find balance is Ryan is in flight school to be a Navy helicopter pilot, stationed in Pensacola, Florida. My boss has graciously let me keep my job in Washington, DC, so I commute there every other week from P'cola and work the rest of the time from Pensacola. it works cause we're both big fans of what the other one does for a living. We both love what we do, but keep each other as our priority.

What is your favorite thing to do together?
Collapse on the couch and talk about life. Road trip. Hang out with dear friends. Cook a good meal. Go see a movie.

Do you have a song?
On a Night Like This by David Barnes

What is the most essential element of making it?
For us, it's living the vows we made in front of God. It's being present for each other, caring for each other, trusting each other.

What are your hopes for the future?
Eek! The Navy keeps us on our toes, so we'll move in September-ish and aren't sure where, but super excited about the possibilities. And, I think it's just being a part of the community where we are, having people to our home for diner, giving back and starting a family :)

Don't forget, if you'd like to participate in the Real People in Love series just shoot me an email!


Natalie Catherine said...

ok seriously...they are too cute!! hehe. thanks for a great post.

Anna Liesemeyer said...

soooo incredibly sweet. I love this couple! ...and their view on love and marriage. GREAT post.

Alee said...

Beautiful photos. I'm a new follower and just adore your blog! I have a newlywed blog at

What is this Real People in Love series? Sounds very cool!