There’s been a few requests for this story. So, if you’re sitting comfortably, I shall begin:
It all started with a big Church activity in August 2007. It was one of those 3 day long retreats, specifically meant for 18-30 year olds to mix and mingle- but me being the cool 17 year old that I was, skipped off work and snook in. This was at the Manchester University campus, in England. And ironically this other guy I had a crush on introduced me to Tom. It was a very brief introduction, honestly I don’t even remember it.
Therefore, I didn’t think of Tom till the next day. My best friend twisted my arm to play Ultimate Frisbee with her, because the guy she liked was playing… Being the good Wing Woman that I was, I went along. Miserably, mind you, because the guy I liked was doing something else. Things you do for friends huh.
By a stroke of luck, Tom and I ended up on the same Frisbee team. Be aware that I had NEVER touched a Frisbee up until this point. I was afraid of the darn thing. My plan of attack was to run AWAY from the frisbee, which I did successfully for about half the game until Tom purposefully started throwing it to me like this…
I still couldn’t catch it.
Although ridiculously embaressing for me, Tom thought this was ‘cute’ and kept throwing me, and only me, the darn frisbee.
Needless to say I hated him.
Later that evening was a formal dance. Everyone was dolled up, looking posh. And for some reason me and Tom danced together several times, he was funny so I forgave him for his earlier cruelties, and he asked for my number.
The activity was over the next day, and I still really liked that other guy. But Tom was now a on the backburner. Soon became a front burner though because he was persistent. Texting and calling happened. We went on a few dates. Then we ended up being official all in a matter of weeks. I took the train down to London to meet his family on Boxing Day actually, 4 months after the Church weekend. Here is a photo of me awkwardly meeting his Grandpa for the first time… I was so stinking nervous…
Obviously, we continued to date and things went really well. (We were considered long-distance in England because it takes forever to get between Oxford and Ossett. But we are living proof that long distance can work!)
So, when I was offered a full ride academic-too good to be true- scholarship in America, I had to accept. And I did. Which was the same time Tom was considering doing a 2 year missionary service for our Church. And basically, after 9 months we broke up because our life plans no longer seemed well matched. But we still texted a lot.
And here’s a random picture of us at a Salsa class before we broke up:
Then what happened was crazy. I went to America in August 2008 to start my adventure as an International Student. Tom started the paperwork for his missionary service and spontaneously decided to fly out and see me in that October… I freaked out that he was going to propose (which I didn’t want) and naturally, I enlisted 9 of my freshman girl friends to come eat dinner with him and me so that he wouldn’t propose over at the freshman cafeteria (aka Canon Center).
After that very awkward interaction he went and stayed with some of his friends and we didn’t speak for months. He’d actually been out doing his missionary service for a while when I broke up with one of my American Beaus and wrote him a letter saying hi…
Time passed and we kept writing to each other… A lot in fact… It started getting romantic towards the end… Tom would write “Love Elder Davies” and my roomies and I would just melt…
Now, I’ll fast track. Tom finished his 24 month missionary service in March 2011. I finished my exams in April 2011. I flew back to England for a visit… mostly to see him actually. And then it happened the day of the Royal Wedding:
Hence, I took a semester off University, because you can do that America, to spend time with him and work to save for our wedding and 3 receptions that we had. Yes, 3.
So if you need a wedding planner, I’m your girl! Seriously. I love everything Wedding.
Then we had 18 weeks apart (we had the whole long distance thing down), as I went back to BYU to get some more uni done. As the £ to $ exchange rate was awesome at that point and as we were paying for nearly everything ourselves, we planned 2 receptions in the US and 1 in the UK due to affordability.
Then after 359 days our dream finally came true.
First was our African Efik Ceremony.:
The next day the real deal happened:
After a honeymoon in Vegas, we flew back to England the day before our third reception, yep, we were crazy jet lagged:
And that’s how I became Mrs Davies.
How Did We Become Expats?
At that point the plan was to live in England forever, I was to be a Suga Momma while Tom studied and got his MBA, and I was to finish my last 3 classes of University online (I have 3 left because of that semester I took off in 2011). But God had a very different idea.
Tom was promoted a few short weeks before he was meant to start his MBA in Oxford, and the job was too good to turn down.
So, you know those huge leaps of faith you sometimes have to make? We made one. Struggled with visa complications and a lack of support from some. Brits aren’t known for being good with change. But we did it nonetheless. We had 6 weeks from the day he was offered the job till the day we had to leave the country. It was complete madness. Selling our stuff, travelling to the US Embassy and back, directing the Church Roadshow, which WE WON click here to watch. Boy, was it a palava.
We arrived in San Francisco September 29th 2012, and so began our Expat Happily Ever After… I was surprised to also be pregnant soon after arriving in the USA and our little American girl was born (ironically) on the 4th of July!
It’s a crazy story, but it’s all true and we are really happy.
As I said previously,