Love Story & Dreams of a Great Marriage

In the first 3 weeks before we met face to face, the emails between Danny and I continued non-stop. I’d lay in bed with my iPhone and just smile from ear to ear writing Danny and also rereading all of his emails over and over before falling asleep with the biggest heart and the biggest smile on my face. We loved writing each other so much that we specifically did not text. We did not ever talk on the phone once. We just wrote our hearts and souls out to one another every day.

And…we started the “what am I going to wear?!” plans. Danny bought that coat, above. And I bought some leather boots (it was a good excuse to splurge on some Frye boots, don’t ya think?)

But, onto more important things…


Dear Mara,

I’m confident that someone like you whose biggest weight is wishing you could serve more will be given opportunities you can hardly now imagine, exactly because you want them.  That is the way life/faith and core principles work.  You and I both have great things ahead of us, simply because we believe exactly that.

Yes, I do want to be married in the worst way to a wonderful partner/lover/friend.  I just hope it will be with someone who truly shares my commitment to her, our family, and to God.  There is so much good that I believe can and should come out of a marriage, out of a true partnership.

So, I think what I’m most excited for, is not just to be married, but to have a true partner.  Because to be perfectly honest, I was actually pretty happy before all this [the divorce] happened.  If I was reasonably happy before, imagine what it will feel like to find someone who truly wants what you want out of life and love, who shares your vision for parenthood and family and service.  How much better will the title lover and friend be too, how much more meaningful will those ties/relationships be?  I hope my expectations aren’t unrealistic in that regard.  Am I in lala land?

Mara, I think you’re wonderful!  You amaze me!  Your attitude and success thus far are contagious.  I count myself very blessed to have “met” you (I can’t believe you haven’t already been snatched up:)  Can’t wait to chat in person!

Indebted to your friendship,


Hi Danny!

These emails are worth gold to me right now.  Ahhhh….Just knowing that there is some guy out there that has a lot in common with me has been so comforting to me.  Thanks for many, many smiles (hahaha) and lots of excitement & hope.

It’s pretty awesome that we can share these experiences openly.  You know, during and after the divorce, I was on top of the world, actually, because I felt God’s influence in my life so profoundly. It was almost like I wasn’t even human, or something, I guess because I had never felt like that before.  It’s hard to explain, but it really felt like I was on a different plane for a while… I’ve heard people say they were “carried” by a greater power during difficult times of their lives….to be honest, I always thought that was bull crap.  Well, um….that truly happened to me.   I don’t think it was just because I was having a trial, because I had trials prior and this didn’t happen to me.  It was because, for the first time, I was willing to accept and rely on the deliverance that God was offering me all along.  It felt like the heavens opened up for awhile for me and just sent so much strength and peace to me.  I remember at the time clearly recognizing how miraculous it all was. And I knew that eventually life would carry on and get back to normal (whatever my new “normal” was going to be) but I wanted so desperately for that remarkable state I was in to continue forever.

Anyway, conversing with you has taken me back to those extraordinary days and I have been able to think about and remember how powerful & spiritually incredible that time was for me.  This has reawakened in me all of the good memories from my experience….the ones I so desperately want to keep vivid in my mind for the rest of my life.

I’m so curious how divorce is for other people.  Was that quite an ordeal on your end?  Did you need to hire an attorney and all that? I must say, I just hated that part.  To see it all in writing just made me sick.  But, it was also a necessary evil in order to move on, since my husband wasn’t coming back.  So, I was actually very glad that day came.  Literally the second I found out that the divorce was final, I looked out the window of my office on the 26th floor in Manhattan, overlooking Central Park, and the hugest snowflakes in the world started to fall outside my window.  It was one of the most peaceful, beautiful moments of my life.  The scene just took my breath away.  I felt so fresh & so alive and so at peace. Ahhh….just thinking about it now takes me back.  I have to think that snowfall was for me!

OK, the rest of your email (about marriage) just made me melt… NO!!!  You are NOT in lala land!  At least I hope you’re not, cause that would mean that I am, too.  I literally share every sentiment that you wrote and have all of those same thoughts all the time.  I just HAVE to believe that marriage can be so beautiful and full of love and commitment and dedication to service/family/God.  I long for that…. oh man, could there be anything better?  Honestly, I can hardly imagine it.  But that’s what I am holding out for.

Wouldn’t it be wild if we really hit it off?   I can’t help but have some hope, of course.  So far, based on what I know about you already, you are in the running.  And I’ve never met you. This is crazy.

Sweet dreams!


Dear Mara

…Has it been an ordeal?  Maybe a little.  She moved out with the intent to “figure things out” and I just waited for a while.  Truth is, I knew the moment she decided to leave it was probably over, not because I wanted it to be, but because it felt like a step in the wrong direction.  But I felt like, for her sake, it wasn’t time to pursue a divorce, I had to give her a chance to see if she could work things out.  I needed her to know that she was worth my patience and my efforts at reconciliation.  So I waited for a year.  Part of how I knew it was time to file was when I was confident she knew I had forgiven her, and that in me she still had a friend, no matter how she had behaved or continued to behave.  She finally understood that I wasn’t going to judge her and just wanted the best for her.  I felt she needed to arrive at a point where the act of divorce didn’t feel like I had simply cast her aside as nothing, because I hadn’t.  Hopefully that knowledge will help carry her to a better future.

More than anything you’ve reminded me what I always wanted married life to be like, of all the hopes and dreams I ever had about what I wanted my marriage to be.  And to see that someone else who has been through similar things as I have, and instead of becoming jaded about it all, is even more hopeful of finding someone great to share their life with just like I am….well I can’t help but be thrilled that I’m not the only one who feels that way.  And actually, while I’m glad you’re not jaded because of your relationship…I’m also glad your not jaded by mine 🙂 Isn’t it amazing, I mean truly amazing, this knowledge and attitude we share.  I wasn’t sure I’d ever meet someone like you.  Yay me! (and yay Ashley) for having met you.  Oooh, I just can’t wait to spend some time with you!

I am literally beaming that we are both on the same page. Everybody at work comments on what a good mood I seem to be in this week…hahaha!  Thank you Mara! (btw is your name just the coolest? I love the sound of it in my mind and on my lips).

Oh yeah, you need to tell me your preferred berry so I can do a trial run on a compote tomorrow morning.  I’ll be making one to go with our buttermilk pancakes.


p.s.  I can’t help but think how great it would have been to come down this weekend instead of next, my heart races with excitement just thinking about it.  Oh well, soon enough.


My quick response to Danny:   Get your butt to me NOW!!  🙂 🙂 

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  1. Amanda Greer October 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Ahh! I think my heart is beating a little faster reading this! I know you've already met, but I can feel the anticipation and excitement and I just keep thinking, "I'm so happy and excited for them!"

  2. Amanda Blair October 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I was just talking about marriage with a friend last night and what I think it means/what I want from it. I feel like these days marriage is looked at like a chore, or something that inhibits you but I agree with you both- it's a beautiful gift from the universe. And if you choose, because it is a choice, to let it be something magical, beautiful, loving and wonderful it can and will be.

  3. danny October 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Amanda G – haha, I'm glad we're not the only ones who feel (felt) that way. We'll keep them going for a little while longer

    Amanda B – Amen to that! Thanks for sharing your insights.

  4. nicole November 2, 2011 at 4:25 am - Reply

    I have just been divorced by my partner of 8 years. I have been searching high and low for inspiration and advice from those who have also experienced the trauma of being left. And I have found it! While I am not LDS, I still find inspiration in every single thing you write, even the Bible quotes. Thank you for sharing your story and for giving me strength and confidence in my own journey. I can't wait to read more!

    Oh, and this line from Danny's e-mail made me cry – "Thank you Mara! (btw is your name just the coolest? I love the sound of it in my mind and on my lips)."

    I hope that I can find someone to love me and want to be with me and someone who respects me and helps make me a better version of myself like you guys have found in each other.

  5. mara November 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Nicole, I can't tell you how excited I am for you. The mere fact that you have a desire for a better life means that you WILL get one! That's how life works…if we are working on positive things, life will be positive. I am so, so glad you are reading. And my heart goes out. But I am just excited at the thought of your potential….xo

  6. Jaxon Peterson December 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    I agree with Danny so much! I haven't been divorced, but my fiancé called off our engagement two months ago and when she did I felt okay with it. I felt at peace because I didn't blame her for hurting me because I knew she was doing what she felt was right. Thank you both. Ugh, I'm tearing up again. Your blog has turned me into a babbling brook! I love it. I love feeling hope again; that you really can have everything you want and more in the one you love.

  7. danny December 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Jaxon – so glad you've enjoyed the blog and these emails. And don't worry about being a babbling brook every now and then, I know I was (especially when I'd get a particularly good email from Mara). Also, regarding the hope you have for finding someone in the future, my guess is you're well on your way. The attitude you expressed above regarding the end of your engagement is a perfect example of someone who's in a relationship to offer love, not just to receive it. I'd say that is a key attribute of future success. Good luck to you and thanks for adding your voice here.

  8. Stephanie January 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    I am in tears reading this. Tears of joy and gratitude for both your lives and my own. It sounds like you two have been through quite a lot in preparation for each other. I am truly happy for you, and for the fact that I have a marriage that feels the same way.
    Mara, I felt the same way about people who said they were "carried" through a trial, until I experienced it for myself as well. I am being carried now, and it is truly magnificent. I am glad to have found your blog, it's very inspiring. I'm excited to read more.
    (My connection: I went to high school with Danny.)

  9. Kym January 12, 2012 at 3:58 am - Reply

    Dear Mara,
    I don't even know where I am on your blog. I've been bouncing around on it for two days trying to get all caught up. I think I started my blog about the same time you started yours. It's so fun to read all your posts and know that I have to go back 4 years to figure out what and where you are coming from. You're a great writer, and your spiritual insights and thoughts about marriage are so right on! This blog will be a blessing for many and I hope the stumble upon it soon like I did. Bravo, dear Mara. So glad you have found happiness in the man you know you were meant to always have. …and I will pray for you and Danny to be able to have some little ones. You'll be a beautiful mother to a wonderful child one day. I can feel it. The Lord hears your prayers… and he will hear mine in your behalf.
    Cheers and bounteous blessings!

  10. Noelle April 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    … Still catching up… these are seriously the best! I know what happens in the end, but it's so wonderful to see where it all began. My divorced friend just got engaged and it's interesting to read your emails and understand the kinds of feelings she is likely having. (Her story was also one of these "love at first sight" er… email?)

  11. truelovejunkie April 25, 2012 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    i am grinning from ear to ear while i read your exchange. 🙂 i am so happy for both of you…
    you have found each other… you are so blessed. and living your purpose and passion. 🙂

    even before you met, was there the "forever" feeling?

  12. Kelli Anderson November 25, 2012 at 7:58 am - Reply

    swooooooooooooon (:

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