US: The Final Chapter

A promise is a promise...
and while I might be tripping out on cold meds
with a head so congested it might explode...
I've got to finish this saga.

I just re-read the last portion and it is like a soap opera...
and I'm realizing,
it's time to bring it to a fairy tale ending.

(Spoiler alert? Nah, you already knew that.)

May 13, 2006

Lauren slips out of the dress
her friend, Laura, had leant her for the day.

After an entire morning, lunch, breakup
and the mattress-sob scene...
it's starting to look less like silk & more like crepe paper.

She changes into a t-shirt, jeans, and hoodie
looks in the mirror and realizes that her squinty eyes 
have practically disappeared into swollen oblivion.

To an outside observer,
she might as well have no eyeballs...
just giant, puffy skin flaps that overcrowded her sockets.

Lauren grabs her biggest pair of sunglasses
and heads downstairs 
just in time to hear Tyler pull up.

Before he has put the car in park,
she is sulking out the door 
and collapses in the passenger seat.



And they drive.

Lauren pulls her legs up to her chest,
crosses her arms around her legs,
and looks out the window.

Tyler drives aimlessly,
waits for her to speak,
and does his best not to notice her new ring.

He just enjoys the last few minutes 
of something that he thought was really special.

After a while, he pulls into Sonic 
and parks in a parking space 
on the back side of the lot.

He turns the car off 
and adjusts himself to face her...

"So... what happened?"

He waits to hear what he predicts 
will be the end of their story...
but as Lauren begins to recount the afternoon's events,
Tyler realizes it's not their relationship that ends today. 

She just couldn't do it, she explains.

Her boyfriend had started to hug her...
and when he did,
she just decided she couldn't wait all summer 
to make up her mind.

She already had.

It was obvious... 
and it's over,
and her (now, ex)boyfriend was so sad.

For all she knew, 
her (ex)boyfriend was somewhere on a highway
dragging his roller-suitcase behind him.

And she feels terrible.

And she cries again.

Tyler rubs her back
and doesn't say much 
as he digests the news.

Eventually, they realize how long they've been parked there
and decide to move along.

They drive around for a while...
and slowly, the conversation begins to shift 
from her old relationship 
to what lies in store for theirs.

And while there are some fresh wounds-
it's immediately as if a weight's been lifted off Lauren's shoulders.

It feels as if her life just started over.

It's just the two of them- 
together at last!

It's the beginning!

As they work their way past the city limits...
the late spring sun pours through the window
and, for the first time,
they're free to be who they've been wanting to be.

 By the time they reach the country hills,
there's an electric pulse running through them.

Editor's note: I'll never forget that car ride for as long as I live.

That night they go out with their friends one last time.

And when they arrive, 
no one has to explain a thing.

It was like everyone had known all along...
maybe even before they had known themselves.

note: residual puffy eye 
And everything felt right.

May 14, 2006

Editor's Note: This section is here just for your enjoyment...
and for a warning that, indeed, karma is real.

The next day,
Lauren says goodbye to Tyler...
though she knows she'll see him again soon.

Her brother & her head to Dallas 
 for Mother's Day brunch,
 are leaving later than they should have.

As they drive, she spills the big news.

She tells her brother everything & guilt washes over her again.

Her brother tells her it's okay...
 she made the right choice,
but she still feels awful.

As they cross the state line,
Her brother gets pulled over for pushing 90.

The country cop yanks her brother out of the driver's seat
 forces her brother to "spread 'em" against the car hood,
and gives him a Texas-sized frisking.

Lauren just stares blankly at the scene.
At this moment, she is so emotionally drained,
that nothing is registering.

As they arrive at lunch,
she tells her family the news:
she broke up with her boyfriend...
and now she's dating Tyler.

As gifts begin to parade across the table, 
Lauren continues to sob.

my four year old nephew took this picture at lunch. from the lens of babes, the truth speaks.
 In the midst of the chaos,
her mom opens a card from Lauren's older sister:

She's pregnant!

Everyone chokes back their words of comfort 
and expresses their excitement at the news.

A baby!

surprise! we're pregnant! not the atmosphere they had in mind...
As the conversation shifts to due dates & gestational stages,
the sound of Lauren's grandmother slapping her grandfather's back
turns the focus of the conversation across the table once more.

Her grandfather is choking.

He has had a stroke 
and is confined to a wheelchair
which proves to be a tough predicament 
when administering the Heimlich.

In an effort to not traumatize the entire restaurant, 
full of families gathered for Mother's Day, 
Lauren's grandfather ("Papa") is quickly wheeled
 out the front door of the restaurant
and into the flower beds by the parking lot.

Immediately, her dad, brother, and a startled bus boy 
work to hoist her grandfather up,
hold him upright,
& dislodge food from his throat.

Editor's Note: I am not making this up. What kind of person could?

Her grandmother stands on the sidewalk
next to Lauren, with tears rolling down her cheeks.

"Well, you're not that bad of a person," her grandmother says.

"I wasn't crying because of (my boyfriend)... I'm crying because of Papa!"

As the first signs of her grandfather pulling through...
 Lauren's dad pulls rank and reroutes the chaos.

He tells Lauren's younger sister to take Lauren home,
he tells her brother to go pay the bill & have valet pull up the cars,
and he tells her older sister to go find her mom...

...who at this point, 
is sitting alone at a table for 11, on Mother's Day 
with everyone's purses &  abandoned food.

Editor's Note: Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

The Weeks To Follow
(as told by myself)

I eventually stopped crying,
but I felt bad for a really long time.

Tyler came in town a few days after Mother's Day...
and my family got to meet him as more than just a friend.

They liked what they saw.

Three months later,
we booked a honeymoon,
I got fit for a custom wedding dress,
& ordered a wedding cake for 750 guests.

Three and half months later,
Tyler proposed.

And four months after the engagement,
we got married.

January 6, 2007.

I've been thankful every single day since.

Some people were really mean after all of this happened.

And honestly,
it's okay.

Well, no.

It's actually not okay to be mean to anyone.

But ultimately, it never mattered,
because I am with the right person.

It was worth every bit of worry,
every tear (of the millions) that I shed that week,
and every judgmental remark ever made about us.

Yup, it was worth it because every day I get to be with Tyler.

It might sound cheesy,
but it's true....
a little tribulation is nothing
when two people who are perfect for each other get to share their lives together...
it's worth working and fighting for. 

No matter how hard I knew it would be to amputate a part of my heart
and walk completely away from someone I cared for...
I knew it wouldn't be as difficult 
as living the rest of my life knowing I had settled.

And how will you know when it's the right person?

I can't tell you...
but I don't need to.

When you meet the right person
-and it really is the right person-
you'll know.


  1. my teary eyes definitely prove that your love story is an incredibly wonderful one!

  2. Ok I no longer have fingernails... I have just bitten my way through the last few posts and about fifteen minutes of reading. I love love the story. So romantic. So "follow your heart." So, SO sweet! Congrats to you and Tyler! Seriously. I love y'all. I really do! And, Lauren... please write a book? I'll buy it and read it one hundred times, I'm sure of it.... ( :

  3. Wow. I am crying. You guys are amazing. Truly meant to be. And how special to start your relationship with such a clear mind of where you want it to go. Aw I just love it all.

  4. You have no idea how comforting this whole series was to me. Not that your struggle is comfort! But in seeing it mimic my story makes me feel less judged. Plenty of people who originally had said "just date already" we're the first to judge is once we did. But I stand firm that why it's not an ideal love story, it's OUR story. And its just the beginning. I'm so happy you all ended up together :)

  5. I second what Michelle said- PLEASE write a book. Your story is so beautiful and reinforces the answer that I have given the hundreds of people who have asked me why I haven't met anyone- just haven't met the right one. Thank you for sharing this and I hope you feel better!

  6. I'm so glad you were able to be honest with your ex-boyfriend, at least in the end. I do feel for him because he sounds like a good guy and obviously it must've felt like he got the short end of the stick, but in reality he didn't, because you two weren't right for each other and someday he will find (if he hasn't already) a more perfect fit for him.

    that being said, I'm so sorry about what happened to your grandfather - I'm sure that must've been extremely upsetting to you. I know I would've been a train wreck if that had happened to me.

    I'm glad you found the love of your life. That's what you really deserve. A happy ending all around<3

  7. Big fat tears rolling down my face right now - I'm nearing the puffy eye stage you're demonstrating in your pictures. This is really truly the kind of thing I hope happens to me someday. (Although ideally I would be single.) It took such strength to follow your heart and you've (obviously) been rewarded a thousand times over. Now you're with the right person, living the life you were always supposed to be! Thank you so much for sharing this story with us - seriously, I love it.

  8. All these posts were fabulously written by I think this one showcased your writing talent the best because, although you are sick, I could tell your heart was in it because you are just so darn excited to talk about your relationship with Tyler. Sweet post.

    Just out of curiosity- were you holding someone's feet at the party? Or was I just seeing things?

  9. Thanks for sharing all of this! Decisions like the one you made are so difficult, but you only have one life.
    I'm waiting for my guy to come along, he's there somewhere :)

    In the meantime, my dating life is making for great writing!

  10. Yay! I loved following along though all parts of this story! Even though I don't know you, I'm so happy for you & Tyler! :)

  11. yay! but, i can't believe people were mean to you about this. how rude! you probably saved your ex even more eventual heartache, and definitely saved yourself and your husband some! true love never fails!

  12. Seriously, this is the stuff your grandchildren will be telling THEIR grandchildren someday... It's that good. And that wonderful.

  13. Oh my gosh. I literally stopped by to check on Well Done and realized I had just missed the most incredible week (so did an entire week go by) of posts.

    You know I love this story, not only b/c it's the story of you and Tyler, but b/c I can honestly envision where all of this was taking place.

    So, you have an anniversary coming up?!! Knowing how romantic the two of you are, I'm sure it will be amazing.

    I think this needs to be a book - perhaps it already is in the making!
    Big hugs for sharing so much with us - it's an incredible story!!!!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  14. I so enjoyed reading this story! It is an incredible story, and you are an incredible writer!!! I'm so glad you ended up where you "should" be. And have you ever considered a career as a novelist??

  15. Such a beautiful love story! True love never fails. Makes my heart go pitter patter :)

  16. Whoa. That's an amazing story and the mothers day brunch story is incredible! Your kids and grands will have dropped jaws when they hear this.

  17. loved reading your story!!! you crack me up & so glad that in the end you are with the right boy!

  18. This was such a treat to follow along with. A true fairytale!

  19. Wow what a story! Thank you for sharing!! Feel better, too! :)

  20. Precious!!! This really was a treat to read - and I do hope you will write a book. You are such an amazing storyteller!!! Congratulations to you and Tyler!

  21. I really enjoyed reading your story and agree one hundred percent that when you know, you know. I met my husband and spent three days with him before he set off for a 15 month deployment to Afghanistan. I remember telling my bff that I wanted to fall in love with him and she told me that part of me is already in love to be waiting for him. Although it was probably too scary to admit out loud, I think my heart knew from the very beginning that we were meant to be. We are on deployment #3 right now but I wouldn't trade our life together for anything.

    Love conquers all as they say, and you and Tyler certainly did!

  22. Wow, I just read this whole saga all at once and it's so happy and sad at the same time. I'm so happy that you decided to follow your heart and not try to go along with obligations and make everyone else happy with YOUR life. On a lighter note, I'm glad I wasn't the only person with a not delusional, bit still pre-engagement wedding plan.

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by, I get excited when anyone I consider "blog famous" comes over. I hope you have a wonderful week.

    Haley @ Cardigan Junkie

  23. Love it. Great end to a great story. Love is messy. People get hurt. If it wasn't worth the torture and the mess and the sadness, then there wouldn't be such a huge payoff. :)

  24. What a great love story. Skip the book and write the screenplay!! This is the stuff romantic -the notebook- films are made of. I just think it is wonderful that you married the right guy and now you're living out your life's adventure with the perfect companion. Love it!!

  25. This isn't the final chapter, it's just the beginning. You guys are an inspiration. Get better soon.

  26. Well this is just beautiful, you followed your heart.

  27. this was so so so great. i want to re read the whole thing now! :) thank you so much for sharing this! true love conquers all!

  28. Beautiful. So glad your Grandpa was alright. Yes, I have been in this situation and I know how nasty people can get. Like it's anyone's business, huh? Hopefully your story will help others to be brave enough not to settle and to follow their hearts. True love is worth fighting for. Your story needs to be made into a romantic comedy! xo

  29. This is such a lovely story.

    My Mom always told me that I shouldn't marry someone I could live with; I should marry someone I couldn't live without.

    I'm glad to say that after going through a couple of 'someone I could live with', I finally met and married my 'someone I couldn't live without.'

    Sometimes, you just know. Bravo to you for living life with your heart, and being brave enough to follow it.

    And, for sharing it with us.
    Mandy x

  30. Thanks for sharing! It takes a lot of courage for you to be honest with your ex before you ended up too down the path laid out. And while he undoubtedly was in pain, Blair said it well above. You clearly saved him from future heartache. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!

  31. I loved this story! You're a great writer, and I'm so happy that all the drama led to a happy marriage!

  32. I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in this tear fest. Such a happy ending! Something I will never miss - ALL the drama that happened during my single days.

    Truth is stranger than fiction, right?

    Thanks for sharing your awesome love story!

  33. I mean everytime I read a new installment of your love story I cry! I just love it! Thank you so so much for sharing it with us!!

  34. Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed every minute. You're a great writer!

  35. You and Tyler have such a wonderful love story! Would you consider sharing some of your wedding photos??

  36. What a beautiful story - it shows that there may be a journey to true love, but once you find it, it is such a beautiful thing!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  37. Aww this is such a sweet story! So glad you ended up together and realised you were meant to be before it was too late :)

    Thanks for sharing Lauren!


  38. I totally didn't want this to end but it I knew it had too. What a fantastic love story, definitely one for the books. I hope you will tell more stories like this of your real life. Keep sharing! :)

  39. As much as I love you are your hubby and are so glad you "married someone like My Hubby," as you sister, I must address the elephant in the room. Were you holding A FOOT in that first picture of you and T? We are all wondering.


  40. TO ALL INQUIRING MINDS: if you look at my leg, you'll see it is pulled up on the chair... and yes, I am holding a foot, my own. :) I'm quite bendy!

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. there were SO many typos in my first comments i had to delete..sorry.

    there are so many things i want to address in this story. but it would be a story in itself.

    i can relate to this SO SO much..maybe on a slightly more dramatic scale (is that possible??) i mean, i didnt have my disabled grandpa choke at my moms mothers day lunch where my sister announced her pregnancy...BUT my love story is too with judgement.. (see: married then divorced)

    we can talk about this over dinner on the 12th.

    but what i really want to know is..

    did you seriously have 760 guests at your wedding? is that a typo? who has the famous parent? just tell me.

  43. LOVED READING YOUR "US" Series. Y'all have a great story. All true love stories are great ones. Thanks for sharing with all of us, you're an excellent story teller!

  44. Hi Lauren, I meant to sit down at the computer to catch up on a a few blogs, but ended up spending the last hour reading your entire "Us" series. Absolute tear jerker. Love it. Thanks for being so brave and sharing that beautiful love story.

  45. Wow Lauren. Firstly, bloody hell at your story! haha. Woah at what you went through but it is clear you & Tyler are meant for one another <3

    M x

  46. Wow. Almost speechless - al-most. I love the honesty and sincerity and love that flows in every crease of this story. Life is not easy, and I KNOW how it feels to feel a bit "trapped" in relationships that "sound good"; and it's so tempting to try and gloss over those feelings when they happen, and then try and "pretty them up" when you reflect on them. But you didn't. You told the truth, and it was heart warming.

    So happy for you and Tyler. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Well my dear friend Lauren, I am sitting here in my room trying not to cry of happiness. You and Tyler are two of my favorite people ever and am so happy that the two of you ended up together!
    miss you and love you tons!

  48. I'm late to the game but just read your 6th anniversary post and it lead me to read your love-story. Like a soap opera in the best way - fun to read and ya'll are obviously meant to be together. Happy Anniversary!

  49. I've just read all of the parts of your story, albeit very late. So lovely, and I have slightly welled up at work. I am so happy for you both :)

  50. i loved reading this story.... it is quite similar to my story in many ways: was with one guy for almost eight years, met a new guy friend and through time spent with him, realized i was never really that happy before at all. called it off with old boyfriend, starting dating the new guy in less than a week. i can sympathize because there were many people i thought were my friends who were "not OK" with my decision, but i've been so much happier and two and a half years later, i've never regretted it once.
    i am so happy and grateful to read a story of someone else who decided not to settle and to follow their heart instead <3 thanks for sharing!


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