I’ve been this girl.  Hard core.  I believed in a dream that was promised to me.  I let that promise lure me into accepting less than I should have for myself.

I think we as a culture have it backwards.  We put romance before love.  And then we get confused about what love even is.  We get caught up in the romantic moment and end up choosing the wrong person.  I did it.  TWICE.

Believing in what a man puts forth as his best effort to convince you of a dream is pure fantasy.  Prince Charming comes in and saves the day for the princess.  They believe they are each other’s destiny and way of escape from the evils of life and if they are together they will live happily ever after.  But then the “after part” starts and life happens. They discover that it’s not all rosy and happy.  There are no more horse-drawn carriages and quiet moonlit nights.  There are burps, and BO, and short tempers, and bad days.  CRASH. OUCH.

You can’t keep a fairy tale going forever.  And if you try to live IN one…it WILL DISAPPOINT YOU.  I GUARANTEE IT!

But, It’s not like you either have that belief in a fairy tale or your doomed to a practical, compromised, existence with Mr. Good Enough who you carve out a realistic life with.

It’s not about the romance.  It’s about the life.  The trick is to find the romance within your real life.

There is a place for romance and magic within love but real love is in the every day moments.  The little things that build a friendship.  The every day calls, the every day laughs, the every day looks where you know you “get” each other.  The realizing that even with their flaws you still want their company more than anyone else’s.  It’s when ordinary moments turn into special memories.  Unplanned highs that happen in the midst of less than perfect circumstances; in the midst of bad, difficult, no-good rotten days.

True romance is when sitting on the couch listening to music videos is as much fun as dining in a 5 star restaurant.  Chopping onions and garlic in the kitchen as flagrantly uplifting as a bouquet of roses.  And a greeting at the door after not seeing each other all day is like that first kiss.

Getting caught up in a wave of roses, date nights, limousines, theater, and secluded picnics is easy.  Just like finding a spark is easy.

Sustaining it in ordinary life is the true magic.

When love hits it’s very difficult to put the reality glasses on.  I am the first to admit this.  And to be quite honest with you, I’m not sure I could have done that with Harry had life not intervened and forced us to submit to it.  I am so head over heels in love with this man. I’m not saying we were wiser than the average bear.  I’m just saying we were blessed with LIFE hitting us between the eyes from the very beginning.

All I wanted to do was be with him 24 hours a day.  Instead, he was gone half the time. No, more than half the time.   I learned to take the good along with a healthy dose of disappointment.

He wanted to woo me with diamonds, caviar, and castles but, he had no money.  He wasn’t going to be my prince charming swooping in to rescue me from my mundane life.  He had to come to terms with that too.

I wanted to be the picture of a perfect, put-together life but teenagers, ex’s, bills, family, and all that determines the life of a single mom unveiled my imperfections to him.

It’s not that we didn’t want to dream the dream and live the fantasy.  It’s just that this time…fate would not allow it.  It was as if God said…”not this time you two.  This time you are going to do it right whether you like it or not.”

And believe me – I KNOW the prince charming stories are more fun to read.  My blog numbers have dropped considerably since those days.

But I don’t care because THIS TIME…I’m wide awake, not in a dream.  It’s been a year and half of living a real life.  Not seeking a goal to be married to Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.

I know what and who I’m getting.  He knows too.  We are what we are and we are choosing each other.  He’s got his obligations.  I have mine.  We take what we can get and when we can however mundane it would seem to anyone else it’s magic for us.  Sometimes we get a lot and sometimes we don’t.  But it is what it is.

And the key has been realizing that disappointment is part of the package in not only life itself but also relationships.  All of them.  We have both disappointed each other.  We don’t have the false expectation that we will never fight.

Instead of getting my perfect enchanting fairytale for the first three months and then falling from a delusional cloud 9 to splat on the concrete once again, two things have been present this time that were never there before.  One is that we were forced to wait and deal with life in the midst of falling in love.  And two is that we were both willing because we determined that we were worth the wait and whatever hassle it took in order to be together.

Neither one of us tried to railroad our future on our terms, and our timeline.  We just keep taking one step forward as life unfolded before us.

And it looks like our patience is paying off.

This girl – me – always dreamed her little dream of what her wedding day would be like.  I imagined a beautiful evening, preferably New Years Eve cause it’s a magical night.  I pictured candles and lots of twinkling lights.  I pictured a big fireplace.  Classy but not too pretentious.  A celebration.  My favorite band playing all my favorite songs and dancing the night away with smiles, happy tears, and all my favorite people.

I never really believed that it would come true.  And I didn’t push for it.  I was happy to get married in a quiet ceremony in my backyard – no fuss no muss.

But you know, in the quiet of your dark bedroom as you close your eyes and try to sleep…these images dance in your head.

Unbelievably to me….every single one of those pieces is coming together for my wedding in two months time.  Almost as if by magic.

Each little piece started falling in place.  And it all started with a disappointment.  Something didn’t go my way but then Harry said that it would be ok to dream a little.  Why not?  For one night?

So I started looking and I said to myself…well I’m gonna ask, but it will probably be a no, or too expensive…and I prepared myself to be happy with any answer.  But they all came back yes.

Now after all this time of Harry and I being ecstatically happy with whatever we got…we are hearing yes to a little dream.

New Years Eve, twinkly lights, fireplace, the band.  All of it.  Most of all him smiling at me with tears in his eyes.

And instead of it being a silly fantasy of what we hoped to be perfection.  It is becoming a beautiful blessing, a gift to us for keeping our eye on the prize.

When the clock strikes midnight on this New Year’s Eve night…instead of one evening of enchantment being over like in the story of Cinderella with her hurrying away so the prince doesn’t find out who she truly is.  It will be more like the dance between Beauty and the Beast.  A celebration of loving someone’s true heart.

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