Love Story: “I Love You”


Dearest Mara,

Some friends had me over for dinner tonight and we were playing a board game.  Ahhh, finally I get to sit down and address you, dear Mara!  I couldn’t have possibly wanted that game to end any sooner!  HURRY, SOMEBODY JUST WIN!!!!!

Mara, I love that you want to live life to the fullest, regardless of the trials that have come your way.  Countless times I have noticed both before marriage, and as I’ve considered the various people I’ve met since my divorce, that very few seem to feel the way that I do about this whole beautiful experience.  How wonderful is it to go through life knowing that it doesn’t matter what it throws at me, I will be better for it.  Life is wonderful, and I want what it has to offer, and I will seek out the good, and know that I will find it.

I love it that people have told you throughout your divorce that you are a strong woman, yet you just tell them the source of it comes from your faith/beliefs.  I have had people share similar sentiments with me, and my answer is the same, it is only because of the perspective my faith brings into my life that I am even able to move forward at all, let alone in the way that I have. I’ve learned to seek wholeness from within, and from above. Oh, it is so good to hear and know these things about you.  I just love it!

You know what else I love – in the event that the final spark is indeed there – will this not be the absolutely coolest set of emails to look back on/share with our kids? (yes I said it…I tried to think of another way to word it, but I couldn’t. haha)  This stuff is legendary!  Right?

I know we will meet soon & I am trying so hard to wait…patiently (is that even possible anymore?)

Goodnight, Mara.  I will be thinking of you every moment from now until my eyes close and the lights go out.  You will be the first thing on my mind the second I wake up (it’s harder for me to sleep in at all anymore, once I’m up I’m up thinking about you…haha) Goodnight!



Your big email yesterday just made me laugh so much.  I can imagine you just waiting for that game to end.   You’re hilarious.  I would be doing the same, by the way.  If my phone battery dies while I’m out and about in Manhattan, you should see me RUNNING home from the train to check my email.  I literally can’t get home soon enough.

Danny, I am just savoring every word you write.  I feel exactly the way you do about life… life is SO beautiful.  The good and the bad.  Honestly, I love that I’ve been able to experience it all.  It’s made me who I am.  I am not even afraid of horrible experiences anymore….because they can refine us and allow us to master our divine qualities.  What could be better.

It’s pretty wild that so many of our dreams and goals overlap exactly.  How cool is that???  I love that.  We could really have a good life trying to be the people that we want to be!

You’re in my heart,


(Simon Ballard)

My Dear Mara,

Regarding life’s experiences…I’ll tell you what could be better – facing the horrible and embracing the good with a most beloved partner at your side who shares these convictions completely.  WOW, give me some of that!

And can I just say I think you’re adorable!  Thank you for being so excited about this, I am too.  I just feel really good and know I am so ready (and now because of you, not just ready but anxious – I literally can’t wait) to move forward with my life and dreams.

Your comment about sex the other day made me laugh.  Soon after marriage the thought occurred to me, “Wow, now that this is a part of my life, I don’t know how I’d ever be able to go back to where it isn’t a natural demonstration of my affection.”  So yeah, I’ve thought recently that it will probably present a little challenge in the beginning when dating.  Though, it hasn’t been a part of my life for over a year now while I waited for the divorce to be finalized (neither has kissing or holding hands for that matter…what a shame!), so maybe I’ve worked all those instincts out…hahaha!  What I am excited for is how amazing even a simple kiss or a soft caress can feel.  But, as excited as I am for when that time comes…can I just say THANK YOU…thank you for being willing to keep things simple in the beginning.  The truth is, once we do decide to kiss, that’s practically all I’m going to want to do.  Like you, I don’t want anything physical to overpower the amazing spiritual connection we’ve felt in these emails.  So I do hope that it is okay that we’ve decided to wait to kiss until after the first few meetings.  (I suppose that’s a WHOLE LOT easier to say now then when we first meet 🙂

Finally, regarding if it does/doesn’t work out with us.  Well of course I’m a little nervous/scared.  It is a great unknown and therefore a certain amount of apprehension is felt.  But, two things that make me confident that we will arrive at the right decision and feel good about it – 1) I know who I am.  I know what I’m willing to invest in a relationship and I’ve proven to myself that I am capable of calmly handling even the most difficult of potential marriage issues – and I know and sense the same about you; 2) We both know exactly what we want – we know what stage of life we want to be in (and what it really means to be in that stage) and who we’re looking for as a partner.  Because of that, I think we’ll both be making the right decision for the right reasons, whatever that decision ends up being…and that means I can respect whatever decision is made.

That being said, it’s true – my heart tells me this is already something truly amazing and unique, and I have every reason to hope and believe it will continue to feel that way in person.  And if we do hit it off,  how great will it be to not need to wonder if there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but instead be at the end of the tunnel with the “light” looking into your eyes ready to take you by the hand.

Farewell for now, my thoughts are with you 🙂



(Christopher Dewolf)


My dear Danny,

Please, please…Do not worry at all about waiting to kiss a bit…yikers – I think it will make it even more fun.  haha.  Know that I am ridiculously happy just knowing you RIGHT NOW at this moment…yet I haven’t even met you.  Ha!  So trust me, I just want to savor every minute & embrace every step as long as we can.  I would do anything for you and for us if this is meant to be.  And that includes holding off physically just to make sure we don’t get carried away too quickly (cause I know we’ll want to).  There will be so many positive things about doing it this way.  We’ll get to have each other in our lives.  We’ll get to know each other so well… most people don’t have time to build such a close friendship cause they are too busy getting it on!  And we’ll get to sacrifice and serve each other from the get go (by waiting)… and we’ll get to keep our heads on straight.  And we’ll get to still focus on our individual lives for a bit (jobs, church service, etc.)…while at the same time contemplating the future and what it could be like.   And, if you are the one…. well, I would be relieved like you can’t imagine, I’d be the happiest girl alive. This could be the coolest time of our life and FOR SURE it will be full of many wonderful memories.

I LOVED what you wrote about how we should feel good about our decisions….. seriously, Danny, you just say all the right things.  Thank you.  Yes, you are right.  Yes, we are smart and capable and without a doubt, we’ll be able to make the right decision.  And we should feel so good about it, no matter what decision we make.   You just actually amazingly reduced my butterflies.  You truly put me at ease.  I’ll need to reread that a bunch over the next 10 days (yes, it is now 10 days away.)

Thinking of you non-stop,



Mara, I absolutely love you!  Thank you for what you wrote in that email. I’m on my way home now and will write more, but just had to thank you for those words.


Danny, I love you, too. 

How’s that for casual?


haha.  It’s PERFECT!  Though I must say it practically caused me to black out on the way home as I was lost in the most WONDERFUL of thoughts.  It cost me 15 minutes cause I drove right past the gas station I had been meaning to stop at all day, and my car was on empty.

Not only do you make me weak in the knees, but you make me laugh too.  AND AT WHAT LEVEL ARE YOUR BUTTERFLIES NOW my dear Mara?  I think I’ve got enough of them that I’m just kind of floating.  haha!

I just got home, I need to make some food (I’m starving), and then I will promptly return to praising you.


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  1. Jaxon Peterson December 5, 2011 at 7:38 am - Reply

    I don't think I can thank both of you enough for sharing these experiences. I have laughed, cried and felt a renewed hope in what awaits for me as I have read these posts. Again, thank you!

    I also wanted to mention that I cannot help but marvel at how equally connected you were. It does not appear that either one of you were pursuing the other faster than the other. Simply amazing.

  2. Rik December 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    These are amazing!!! haha! I'm getting butterflies FOR you guys! I love it.

  3. Carin December 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    These emails are so amazing! I'm blubbing every time I come here and read your stories. I love that you were so open with each other right from the start, that divorce hadn't hardened you or madee you bitter. Thank you again for sharing your story!

  4. erin m. December 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    This is fantastic. Love that you share these emails. xo

  5. kh December 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Oh thank you! You guys give me such optimism and hope in future dating. Thank you!

  6. AllieD245 December 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    You both fill my heart with such a sense of hope and joy knowing that there are others in this world that feel the same excitement and wonder for life! Thank you thank you thank you!

  7. lisset December 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    oh my goodness! i am beaming. and totally totally giddy over what new love, real love can do to a person. you guys are just so sweet.

  8. Caro December 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    This is so beautiful… I just love how we can feel the magic between you two right from the start. Such a harmony, a communion of souls right from the beginning. Just magical, you give me butterflies!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Amanda Greer December 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    I'm grinning from ear to ear!

  10. Kim Russell Photography December 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I just love all these. When we were first married my husband worked second shift and I worked during the day. Because we missed each other and to stay connected, we left each other love notes every day. I have notebooks full of these notes. Some are silly. Some are sweet. But they are all beyond priceless to me. We have been married 16 years now and I have saved these notes to share with our daughter someday.

  11. turleybenson December 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara,
    I'm remembering a few years ago you coming to our ward Christmas party and watching you adore Danny, listening to you talk about him. It was so gratifying to see someone finally appreciate him for the amazing guy we all knew he was. And I'm sure all of your friends would say the same for you, about him. Still so happy for you two. Merry Christmas!

  12. danny December 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bensons, and Merry Christmas to you too! We miss Boston and keep trying to find a weekend to go up there (funny…one of us was making the Boston-NYC trip almost every weekend for a while, and yet we can't manage to get up there anymore :)).

    Say hello to our Boston friends at the Christmas Party!

  13. The Faustino Ohana December 7, 2011 at 2:38 am - Reply

    Happened along your blog and read this post. It made me realize how much we miss you guys. I felt like I re-lived watching your courtship then marriage in the post and want you both to know how truly amazing you both are. Hope that our paths cross again someday. Happy Holidays!

  14. danny December 7, 2011 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Awww, the Faustinos too!?! Our boston friends have been good to us today. I'm glad our friends seemed to have just as much fun watching us fall in love as we did. If having our paths cross again means Mara and I need to go to Hawaii, count us in 🙂

  15. Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Truly beautiful, so happy I found this blog a few days ago now I have so much amazing-ness to read. Aw! I'm beaming.

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