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The first two posts covered the top athletes- runners that won three or more state titles in one year- and a post looking at how the winning times in the distance events have changed over time. This post attempts to provide a little more depth to the topic by looking at the next runners behind the winners. As ly, I am indebted to the incredible work of Brad Leingang, who has compiled state track meet dating back to and made them easily and publicly available. A while back, I charted the winning times in the distance events at state track, and looked at how they changed over time. You can read that post here.
If you would have told me two years ago that I would be living in North Dakota and married to a farmer, I would have laughed in your face. But here I am and I still cannot believe it. How my whole world changed and how I ended up going from the daughter of a butcher in California to married to a born and raised North Dakota farmer.
Two years ago today, I made a decision that, without a doubt, changed my life. But as I reflect on the blessings making that decision brought my life, I am blown away. I ed Twitter and the social media scene in August of So I did. And I was welcomed into all sorts of circles via social media. Farmers, ranchers, meat people, I found a whole new network through the internet. I loved where it was taking me, but my personal life was suffering. I was unhappy in my long term relationship and finally on October 31, I ended my six year relationship. I swore off relationships.
I was going to live for me.
More surprising statistics about longer distance relationships
Early December ofI exchanged phone s with a guy I met via Twitter. I knew him as sunflowerfarmer. He was funny and instantly he became one of those people on my feed that I regularly watched and tweeted. From what I could tell, he had a great sense of humor and his photo showed him with a big smile. I could always count on him to be that positive influence in my Twitter feed.
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I remember having that first conversation over the phone. I remember telling him that he has an accent. We had a really nice conversation where he made me laugh and smile an awful lot, it ended in him telling me that he liked my laugh. Now I know for him, this moment will be forever engraved upon him. It marked the turning point where I went from acquaintance to someone he had to seriously meet in real life.
I was not even close to that mindset. But I definitely knew this is someone that I could consider a friend. He was interesting, he made me laugh, and I definitely wanted to know more about him. Little did we both know what life had in store for us. We decided to take it even further and had begun to Skype fairly regularly. One night, while on Skype, he brought up the idea of coming to visit California. He wanted me to take some time off work so he could come out.
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At first, I will admit, I was a little taken back by this. Thinking to myself, Jenny, what are you doing!?
What if he is some creeper!? But the more I thought about it, I thought, why not!? And I felt like I could see his soul, and I liked what I saw.
January ofhe visited California for the first time. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was beyond nervous to meet this born and raised North Dakotan coming to California… to meet me! I went to the airport to pick him up and I am surprised nobody was staring at me. It felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. The plane landed and people flooded through the door off the flight. I tried to look as calm and natural as possible.
And there he was. Our eyes met instantly and whether I realized it or not, my nerves disappeared. That entire weekend I felt like I was spending time with someone I had known my whole life. Nothing was awkward, nothing was weird. It all just came natural.
But there is no denying that my now husband went away from the whole experience knowing this was something deeper.
All I knew is that there was something intoxicating about him. His smile, his positive demeanor, or just him. I had to see him again. We met briefly in February ofwe were both traveling to opposite ends of the country and just so happened to re-schedule our flights so we could meet in Sacramento. It was one day and one night we spent together. We visited another social media friend of ours who grows almonds in central CA and spent the evening in downtown Sacramento before we both flew out early the next morning.
Shortly after that was the turning point in our relationship.
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I will never forget the night that Sunflowerfarmer told me he loved me. It just came out like it was natural. Of course, I had almost let it slip before and so I said it back. It was that moment, I just knew.
March of rolled around and we had made plans for me to visit North Dakota. Sunflowerfarmer was terrified that I would hate it. He was in love with me and yet I had never visited North Dakota. From the minute I stepped off the plane, I loved it. There is something about the people here that is captivating.
Although we live 90 miles from any big box store, I left a piece of my heart in this small town North Dakota. I guess it was the good Lord at work. But I went away from my time spent in North Dakota giving serious thought to moving. I wrote a post about my experiences in North Dakota which then landed me on the front of our local paper.
By the end of March, I had decided to move to North Dakota. I was love sick by every definitionso much so, my co-worker told me to go home because for lack of a better term I looked like hell. I went home, laid down, cried some more, and decided to take the leap… I was going to move to North Dakota.
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I will never forget driving in the car that night to pick my parents up from the airport. I was talking on the phone with Sunflowerfarmer and it came out. I told him I was going to move.
I then spent a week trying to work up the courage to break it to my parents. Everyone else knew I was falling in love besides me.
I guess it just took me admitting it to myself. I spent nearly a month in North Dakota in April preparing to move and moving things out ahead of time. I wanted to be darn sure that I could make it in this small rural town. I came back in early May of to help my parents at their butcher shop through the busy season.
The end of July marked my lasted days in California. The last chapters of my life in California and the very beginnings of an epic love story just beginning to unfold. I moved my entire life to North Dakota, left everything I had ever known in life… all for love. It was terrifying but exciting all at the same time. Anyone that knew me, knew this was totally out of my character. I am cautious, I am safe. I struggled for a long time after moving feelings of loneliness.