Our story starts about eight months ago. My name is Chelsea Hammond and my fiance's name is Todd Hover Jr. I graduated from highschool in June 2010. My graduation party was July 17, 2010 and I received the best surprise ever. I was having a blast at my party; my friends and family were making it one of the best days ever. Little did I know my cousin, James, was going to attend my party and bring his best friend, Todd, to the party with him. I had met Todd a few times while I was hanging out with my cousin James. Thing is I hadn't seen Todd since he graduated and joined the marines. Todd had just got home from an Afghanistan deployment and was spending time with my cousin James. They had both been in California for a get away trip, and just got back to NY the day of my party. They arrived at my party and I was already in utter surprise because James told me he most likely wouldn't make it to my party. I ran to his arms and gave him a huge hug of course. Then I saw him. Todd was standing in the back part of the tent just looking at me. I walked over and gave him a huge hug. I was in total shock to see him again, considering I hadn't seen him in over two years. All I wanted to do was catch up with him, and see how he had been. Of course everyone at the party didn't want that, they wanted me to start the blacklight party with all of the paints. We ended up doing that and a few hours later James and Todd had to leave. They were going to another party with some of their friends. At two in the morning I received a text message from him. Lets just say he had a little bit of beer in his system. He was asking me how I was and such. I soon after passed out from exhaustion. The next morning I woke up to a text from my cousin and from Todd. James told me how Todd had been asking for my number the whole night before, and how he couldn't get me off his mind. Todd asked me if I wanted to go to the movies. In the end my cousin, sister, Todd, and I went to the movies that night. Me being an extremely old school girl, I wouldn't allow Todd to hold my hand for a while. He got a little antsy and finally just grabbed my hand. We were in the theatre watching Despicable Me. We were laughing and having a great time. After the movie we were in the lobby waiting for James to use the restroom and Todd leaned in to kiss me. I just put my head down and then looked at him. I had never dated anyone or kissed anyone before. He just pulled me in close and hugged me. He drove me to the Whitney Point gas station and tried to kiss me again before he sent me home with my sister Keilanna. He asked me why I was afraid to kiss him and I told him how I had never kissed anyone and I was afraid I'd be bad at it. He just shook his head, leaned in, and kissed me. Then he looked at me and said, "best kiss I've ever had." Then he grabbed me and gave me a huge hug. My cousin James was then telling us "enough guys, wrap it up." He started laughing and Todd walked me to my car and said goodnight. The next morning my aunt Carlita gave me a phone call. She told me that Todd went over to her house and said he had the best date ever and he couldn't wait to see me again. Immediately after hanging up with my aunt, Todd called me. He called to ask if he could come over after lunch with his parents and spend the evening with me. My father, Kurt, and my mother, Callise, were both a little hesitant to letting a guy come over to see there baby girl. They let him come over and he spent the whole evening with us. We were laughing, watching television, talking about random stuff the whole night. He didn't leave my house until 3 in the morning. He had to leave around 8 in the morning to go back to where he is stationed. My aunt Carlita told me she and my cousin James were meeting Todd for breakfast in Binghamton at 7. So I got up and surprised him. He teared up and told me that was the best surprise ever and he held me tight the whole time. When we had to say goodbye we were both really upset. We had only seen each other for three days, but we both already felt something. For about a month and a half we just talked on the phone on weekends and texted whenever we could during the week. He was able to come home for a weekend and we went to the state fair together, the JC Field Days, and spent time with both of our families. He had to leave again, which was getting harder to do. I wasn't going to see him for 3 months this time. It was a really hard 3 months to get through, but we did it. We skyped a few times just so we could see each other's face. In November, my mother, sister Kirsten, and I went to North Carolina to see him. He had invited me to the Marine Ball. We spent a week together. It was a perfect week. He took me for walks on the beach and we went swimming a few times. We just seemed to click no matter what we did. Everytime we did something it was fun. On November 11, 2010 Todd took me to his Marine Ball. I got all dolled up and he was in his dress blues. My mother opened the separating door between the two rooms we were getting dressed in. As soon as he saw me his jaw dropped, he walked over to me and said "wow. You look....you look absolutely beautiful." He then kissed me on the chick and put me in his arms. We headed down to the ball and he introduced me to all his friends. I was so nervous being in a room full of marine wives and marines. Todd managed to calm me down just by looking at me, holding my hand, and kissing me on the cheek. The morning after the ball was the worst. After an absolutely perfect week together, the last thing we wanted to do was say goodbye. I had to go unfortunately, so with lots of tears, hugs, and kisses...we said goodbye. With more phone calls and texts we managed to make it to Christmas. He flew in the night before Christmas Eve, and we both burst into tears when we saw each other. The next day we went to my house for a while and played some games with my family, and later that afternoon we headed over to his family Christmas get together. He "forgot" where his aunt lived so we circled around the block a bit. Finally, we stopped and he took me to his great grandmother's final resting place. He started telling me how much he loved me, and how proud his great grandmother would be of him for finding a girl like me. He asked me to close my eyes, but me being stubborn I kept telling him no. Knowing I wasn't going to give up he handed me a little box. I asked him what it was and he told me to open it. I opened it, and there was the ring. I, in tears now, just looked at him. He told me since the moment he saw me he knew he loved me, and the day at the ball he knew he wanted to marry me. He then asked me to make him the luckiest man alive and be his bride. I was choking on tears at this point and said "YES!" He grabbed me in his arms and we kissed and hugged for a while. Then we went to his family get together. He introduced me as his fiance and everyone was like "Oh my goodness! Congratulations! and Welcome to the family!" It was by far the best day of my life. That weekend and time together went by way too fast. He had to leave the Wednesday after he arrived to go back again to his base. This was by far the hardest goodbye. He kissed my cheeks, my forehead, and my ring on my ring finger. He then said "I'm coming back for you. I love you, and I will come back and marry you." I love him with all of my heart. Dating a Marine, being engaged to a Marine, and soon enough marrying a Marine is a very hard task to do when you have to say goodbye. But the "I'm back" is always the best part. I can't wait to marry my Marine on July 15, 2011.
Living Your Life With a Marine
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