I'm Tonie - my hearts desire is to work with brides who are not afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone for a dance in the rain, a romp under a waterfall or a blustery day that might put wind in her hair!


My Fairytale is No Fairytale – Part 1 – Breakup’s Are Hard But You Never Know What is on the Horizon

May 9, 2014

I want to start this series with an open heart. Knowing that many people that come across this blog post series, may not know me personally, my heart, or parts of my story that MAY get left out. During this time in my life that I am about to write about over the next couple weeks, I was told SO much “Man you are so lucky Tonie” or “Gosh I wish I was as lucky as you!” I want to clarify that thing right now. I am NOT Lucky. I am Blessed. Blessed by my Heavenly Father who wrote my love story in a way that I never could have and I sincerely believe He gave it to me to share with young women who maybe feel like it’s not worth waiting to find a wonderful man or who have lost heart in the relationship they are in currently. My “fairytale” is no fairytale at all. It’s a true story of redemption, love and sometimes hardship.

That being said, I am EXCITED to share my story with anyone who chooses to read it. In addition, I also want to share with you my experience in dating9.com where I learned a lot regarding to dating, I learned a lot actually and I applied it to my relationship.

To face the reality and REALLY bring my story to light, I will say that I was between a rock and a hard place in July of 2012. Having just walked away from a 6 year relationship and choosing to allow God to write my love story was one of the hardest decisions I had ever made. But like He tends to do, God waited until I was ready to surrender what I thought my story SHOULD be, in order to reveal His perfect plan. On July 4th 2012, my life changed from everything I knew it to be. Breakup’s are HARD and long relationships are even harder to walk away from. BUT there is life on the other side … and I had NO idea that 4 short weeks later I would go on a blind date with a man who was then in Vietnam dating a Vietnamese woman would literally sweep me off my feet – and that’s exactly what happened and it all happened in 90 days. ย Dating was FAST, FURIOUS, PASSIONATE and FUN!

So here is “His Version”:

The First Date-

I’ll never forget how gorgeous Tonie looked in her grey dress as she opened the door when picked her up….she was stunning. The date started off with us grabbing some coffee and walking around Greenlake. We never stopped smiling. We talked about how similar our families were, the types of architecture we liked and didn’t like, and all our passions in life. The three mile walk went way too fast so as it came to an end, we both decided we needed to grab a “quick” bite. We ended up closing the place down talking…maybe 3 hrs. I remember thinking as we left I should have kept the receipt and signed the back saying I’m going to marry this girl. I dropped her off said goodnight and drove home. On the way home I got a text from her saying how much fun she had..and we ended up texting a few more hours. I think somehow I had already planned a second date to go to a baseball game via Facebook before we went on our first date, but it wasn’t for a few more days so I told her I don’t think I can wait till that game to see you, so we are going to have to go on another date in between the game….turns out we almost saw each other every day for a month straight after that first date ๐Ÿ™‚ I could go on about all of our dates, but well, I’ll just say I’m crazy head over heals in love with Tonie.

(This is literally THE i-phone photo of me in my gray dress that I sent to my sister moments before E knocked at the door!)



And here is “Her Version” (Mine:)

The First Date:

I happened to text my sister 2-3 (ok maybe more like 5-10) pictures of possible outfits for my date around Greenlake. (Mind you, Eric had pitched other ideas such as the zoo or a Mariners game, but I turned them down stating directly to him via chat โ€œWell, honestly, those are a bit of a time commitment, and if we canโ€™t stand each other, than a walk around Greenlake might just be enough time before we bid adieuโ€) I finally settled on my favorite โ€œcausal yet cuteโ€ gray dress and red flats. I jogged down the stairs to open the door and much to my delighted surprise my very first thought as he turned his head towards me was โ€œOh.my.gosh, how did it NOT don on me that this guy would be so good looking?!โ€ We proceeded to joke about the combination of our last names as we got to Greenlake and talked the whole walk about this and that โ€“ but I was somewhat preoccupied on if he was wondering the same thing as me โ€“ WHY OH WHY had I picked such a short date option?!ย  We are rounding the last corner of the lake and my heart just MIGHT be racing a bit when Eric says โ€œWell, I THINK this date is going well, do you want to grab a bite to eat?โ€ Insert sweet smile and batting eyes- โ€œwhy gee, Iโ€™d love to!โ€ -meanwhile FREAKING out inside! We actually sat for about 3 hours until the place closed!”

Here are a few “early” dating photos just for fun!


Fast forward a bit of “dating” and during that time Eric had learned that in all my travels, living abroad and working for an airline, I had never made it to the ONE place I had dreamed of going my whole life. Hawaii. He actually booked this trip earlier than I realized and called my Dad to ask if it was ok if he took me with two friends and promised I would have my own room and place to stay! My Dad of course said yes… Little did I know that just a couple weeks later E would call my dad back and ask to “meet with him” before he took me to Hawaii. With this meeting between my Dad and Eric taking place just about 70 days after E and I had MET I can imagine E was nervous, but the chat with my dad went off without a hitch and of course my dad gave E his blessing to ask me to marry him in Hawaii, on a trip I had no idea I was about to go on. ย E woke me up BRIGHT and early at 3am wearing coconuts. a grass skirt and playing hula music in my room. I was startled, confused and thought he was throwing me a party downstairs for some crazy reason. It took a few min, but when I finally woke up enough he rushed me out the door to our very early flight! ( poor quality photos :/, just had my iPhone accessible to document!)



Now, some people asked if at this point I knew he was going to propose… that could have not be FARTHER from my mind at all! I thought to myself “Oh my gosh THIS is why E has been acting so funny lately! He was trying to keep this a secret!” Going to Hawaii was the PERFECT distraction from my desire to speed up our dating process! After all, Eric and I had just a few weeks prior “agreed” that he was not going to rush things, he wanted to get to know me and enjoy dating me and maybe “after the new year we could come back to the discussion of getting engaged” He told me he wanted us to be on the same page from the start so that I knew he wanted to marry me, but that he didn’t want me to feel rushed… so I was TOTALLY and completely NOT thinking of him proposing in Hawaii!


He planned it down to every last detail, he had the friends we were with (pictured above) were totally on board to the point that he had Jenna, the wife of his best friend and now a friend of mine, convince me to get my nails done with her on the second day we were there, just because he knew I would want my hands to look nice if I was about to get engaged that night!

We we scheduled to go out to dinner that night and got all dressed up for Eric’s birthday dinner. With reservations at the most gorgeous resort on the Island, we made our way to the Wailea and we walked around hand in hand and Kamran and Jenna were doing little video filming for us, which was not weird to me as they had been doing it the whole trip and I had been showing Jenna on and off, how to use my camera so that I could take photos of them at fun sights and they could take photos of us! Needless to say I did not know I was about to set up my OWN engagement photos. E wanted the sun to be setting when he proposed in a specific spot so we made our way down there and the boys began to stall to make sure the sun was just right! I was “setting up the photos for Jenna” with the boys in them so that I could get the camera settings right and then I would go over and join E to have her take some shots of us.. here is that series of photos… and see the video at the bottom that my dad created for us with the footage Kamran captured!




In the below video watch closely when E reaches in his pocket… that part ALWAYS makes me nervous! HAHA! ENJOY!! – Stay tuned for our struggle to choose WHERE to get married and how we landed on the idea of a destination wedding. And, if you made it this far, well thanks for reading along and I am super impressed, so leave a comment at the bottom and let me know you made it to the end! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Proposal from Michael Duchemin on Vimeo.








  1. Traci Thompson says:

    Definitely read the whole thing! Can’t wait to follow the rest.

  2. Christy Palmer says:

    You have such a thoughtful guy! So sweet!

  3. Erica Duncan says:

    So so cute!

  4. Michaela Gormley says:

    Such a sweet story!!

  5. Meredith Lauren Virant says:

    So beautiful!! I love it.

  6. Erica Duncan says:

    Btw…love the skipping at the end of the video! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Lauren Flint says:

    That video made me cry!! Your story is so sweet ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for sharing!

  8. Michele Wiler Kolbas says:

    There’s nothing better than a great love story! Thanks for sharing the beginning of your beautiful story, I can’t wait to read the rest!!

  9. Samantha Nutley says:

    Read it all and I’m excited to hear the rest! xo Love you sweet girl! <3

  10. Mark Jackson says:

    Don’t tell any of my guy friends… I really like this story

  11. Katie Jewel Sexauer says:

    Love it, and love you! So grateful Eric found you ๐Ÿ™‚ he is blessed!

  12. Marlene Grooms says:

    ADORABLE!!! I recently broke off my 8 year relationship and now dating. Nice to know there is happiness on the other side of heartbreak. Thanks for the reminder and sharing your loverly story.

  13. Rachel Peterson says:

    This is so sweet! I think it’s so great you are sharing your personal story and heart.
    Congratulations – you guys are beeeautiful <3

  14. Alyssa Polly says:

    What an amazing love story so happy you shared it!!!

  15. Renee Sexauer says:

    It is so much fun to read this love story again! We love you both and we are so blessed <3 Michael's Vimeo always makes me tear up, I want to watch it over and over again! So, I just noticed Kamran in the water taking pictures. . . so funny, I think a couple years earlier he had wanted to jump in that same fountain and I see he got his chance! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Trina Fisher Williamson says:

    I love your story!!! Can’t wait for the other installments!

  17. Amy Syverson says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! It was a great Friday read. I can’t wait for more.

  18. Genesa Boosz says:

    How incredibly sweet and so so special that you have photos AND video of that amazing moment. What a story!! Can’t wait to read more! <3

  19. Elaina Trostad says:

    I finished it!! (not hard at all….and cried!!) Thanks for posting your story! This is something I plan to show to Olivia. Every girl, lady woman needs inspiration & a challenge to save themselves for their husband. Thanks for being so open and letting us into your life! i love celebrating with you! <3 Elaina

  20. Brittny Nesbitt says:

    Im excited to be able to read these!! I cry every time I see that video too! So sweet. Im so happy for you girl.

  21. Brandy Lee Nation says:

    Absolutely gorgeous story!! Thank you for sharing Tonie. God is SO amazing and His plans/ways always seem to amaze us human-folk ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats!

  22. Kelcie Lomas says:

    What a beautiful story! I loved reading it! You guys are perfect for eachother!!

  23. LeAnna Sandy says:

    When you let God’s plan happen in your life, it is a joy like no other! Such a beautiful story.

  24. Alex Jacobson says:

    Amazing story and SO honored to have been a part of it!

  25. Kamran Mostofi says:

    This whole blog thing is incredible!!! The experience was amazing!!! I look forward to more years of surprise with E for your and Jenna. Love you guys.

  26. Lindsay Hoiby says:

    Oh my goodness Toni, this is a beautiful beautiful story!! I have to admit, I think I cried a little ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so excited for the next part!

  27. Kari McCall says:

    Goosebumps from my toes up!!!! What a guy!!!!

  28. Maggie Hemphill says:

    Nope, that’s a fairytale ๐Ÿ™‚
    A beautiful one too!

  29. Stephanie Montgomery says:

    So so sweet!! God is truly the ultimate love story Author! Tonie, I went to CCBC York with you!

  30. Wendy Duchemin says:

    Yep, pretty amazing Tonie! I can remember saying “anything can happen Tonie, you could meet someone and be married in 6 months! Look at what happened with Papa and me!!” hum…almost prophetic ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Zumba WithJoyce says:

    Amazing!!!! Thank you Toni for opening your heart and sharing your love story that God blessed you with! I totally was in tears with the video and I am so happy for you and E! <3

  32. […] Hey there and welcome back! If you missed the first Installment of this series, I suggest you read that first.. so go see it HERE… […]

  33. […] you pretty much DESERVE a short and sweet post where you can just enjoy the images… (read Part I, Part II and Part III at these […]

  34. Aleya Veach says:

    Oh my goodness I just LOVE this!!! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Aleya Veach says:

    Oh my goodness I just LOVE this!!! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Dody Moore says:

    I really laughed at this… I mean come on… “fairy tale”???… yea right that is a long shot. This story has been told and played for centuries…. this is an older superficial man who wanted a younger good looking woman to keep by his side. Nothing wrong with it but willing to bet he has a wallet and dong that matches his ego. Nothing “fairy tale” about this other than thinking this is somehow “fate” or a “love” story. Older man with money gets younger attractive woman…… wow….what a story!

    • Tonie says:

      Haha Hii Dody! Sorry you feel that way ๐Ÿ˜‰ My story is actually pretty unique one that the Lord really blessed me with! My husband and I do not actually have a large age gap and my husband is the farthest thing from superficial EVER. He is hard working, down to earth and gives selflessly to his family and friends. I find it sad that you felt the need to read the whole story and look past the parts that mean the most to me. My husbands “wallet and dong” were not a part of this story as 1.) we waited to have sex until we were married, you can read about that choice of ours on another one of my blogs called “I gave away my purity ring” and 2.) I had and have a full time profession and finances were obviously NOT a part of my decision in marrying the man that God created for me! But thanks for calling me “the attractive younger woman!” ha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. Ashley Rasmusen says:

    Tonie, I just love reading or hearing you talk you always find away make me want to be so positive!!! Haven’t seen you in forever miss your face!!

you said:

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