The one. 1

I knew my husband was the one this past winter when I’d come home a raging mess of snot in snow-caked coveralls—evidence of a long day’s work in subzero temps. I knew he was the one several times throughout our nine years of dating, through silly things like assembling a full-size bed in the oversize closet that was our second apartment. Or when I added up all the hours he’d spent watching me horseback ride when he could’ve made other plans. Or when he’d driven to meet me anywhere, no matter what scenario, just because I’d asked him to.

I really knew through the hard things—surviving each other’s families, surviving food poisoning on his birthday by way of decadent (albeit definitely undercooked) cookies, and surviving arguments, hang-ups, and deep truths.

I had always imagined this to be what marriage might be like—a roller coaster to which you aren’t strapped in but holding onto each other, at each rise in the tracks a snapshot of you at your worst and then you at your best and all the while, when you’re riding this thing out together, you remind yourself why he’s the one and you grasp tighter.

My marriage still carries that new car smell, still sports the tag of the unworn. We childishly enjoy the cling of our rings when they tap against anything, the chance to fit husband or wife into any conversation. I recently marched myself into the Social Security office to change my last name like I was boarding a boat to America. One ticket to forever, please.

The stories within this issue are the patchwork of love—whether it be a humble beginning or the celebration of a 47-year anniversary (congrats, Vicky and Robert!). For the Emma and Evan Foundation, love could be the thread we use to sew something much larger than ourselves. It’s the places we find to commit to one another, with our mountains as our witnesses. It’s us in the raw, with our something blue, something true.

On the Cover

A stunning Montana sapphire set in a custom setting at Montana Gems in Philipsburg. 
Photography Pamela Dunn-Parrish