Living and spending every moment together was everything we had hoped for. Shay and I were slowly building a foundation for a life long journey, and the bond just kept getting stronger.

Together we enjoyed bike rides around our amazing picture-perfect neighborhood, walks on the beach, dining out, and other fun little excursions. Even the simple things such as grocery store runs were an exciting outing.

After the daily outdoor adventures we would come home to our tiny one-bedroom garage apartment. It was small, but all we needed. Decorated to our liking with a comfy and homey feel featuring hand-built rustic furniture we crafted together. Jerry, our wonderful little old lady landlord praised that it was the cutest she’s ever seen anyone make the place.

Our biggest accomplishment while staying there was the creation and start of our food blog. Shay always wanted a blog, I had the design and photography background, and we both loved food. So starting livingchirpy.com became our main goal in hopes of one day build it into a full-time income.

We worked day in and day out posting new recipes every day. We were slowly watching the views rise, eventually making our very first dollar on the web! Woohoo! From there the curve just kept rising as we put in the effort – the potential for a full-time income was looking more and more believable.

Our life together was growing with excitement, but there was a time limit that we both were not looking forward to. Due to an expiring tourist visa, Shay needed to return to South Africa.

As sad as we both were, we knew it wasn’t going to be for long. On DATE, the day before she had to leave the country, I proposed to her – knowing that this was the girl I was ready to spend the rest of my life with. And with her feeling the same, she said YES!

It was official. We were Engaged. And now worlds apart – staying in contact through daily messaging and FaceTime. It was tough and heartbreaking, but the drive to be back together was strong.

We spent the following months getting the appropriate paperwork together for her K1 Visa. Only when everything was approved could she return to the states for us to continue where we left off. But until then, we passionately wait…

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