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This is it. My final "Inspiration Behind the Song". I don't even know where to begin. There really are no words to describe how much the song "Stepping Stone" means to me.
The song is about my journey with my husband, Gwith. The beginning phrase, "There's a million sounds yet you're the only one I hear. There's a trillion moments, but I can only recall just one" was written before I ever met him. After I wrote that part, I never knew what to write next. I hadn't experienced it yet. Then, about a year later, I met him. Here are the lyrics for the first verse and the story behind them:
"There was something special in your eyes. The way you touched me, no words could describe. Your eyes danced in the moonlight. They shimmered and I shivered all over my spine."
My family was traveling to Australia because my dad was racing as part of Team USA in a World's Triathlon. My mom decided that since we would, in her words, "never be in that part of the world again", we'd go to New Zealand too. Little did she know, I was going to find the love of my life there and most certainly be back there again!
My family stayed at a hotel in Auckland. This hotel had three different restaurants and the one we ate at the first night was so disgusting that we decided the next day to try the Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant. If my husband were typing this right now, he would love to tell this part. From the first moment I walked into the restaurant, our eyes locked. But because of my allergies to bell peppers (he was already cooking at another table), he couldn't cook for us. His best friend cooked for us instead. What I didn't know was after we had left, he told his friend that "Next time, I'm cooking for her." The next day, I encouraged my family to go back to the restaurant for lunch. After all, I wanted to get another look at this cute boy. This time, as fate would have it (or as Gwith made sure of it), he cooked for us. I can't explain it but there was this moment when I looked up at him and I knew. That little voice in my head said "He is going to be special to me." And I was right.
While cooking for us, Gwith offered to show my family around Auckland on his break. As he walked us down to the pier, he and I started to walk ahead of everyone else. Well, mostly everyone else. My older sister (who I love dearly) kept tagging along cluelessly! But she did get some photos of us from that very first day!
A few deadly glares later, she got the hint. Eventually, my family decided to head back to the hotel. Gwith and I decided to stay back for a little bit. Once we arrived back at the hotel, he asked me out. I remember thinking "I don't really know this guy. I'm not really sure if I should go out with this stranger in another country." So I told him: "I might be tired." Of course, that night, I went in to the restaurant to think about it and when he saw me, he was doing a juggling trick for a customer and dropped his spatulas. It was so cute that I knew right then that I had to go out with him.
We had an amazing night on the town. We danced. We talked. In just a matter of hours, we felt such a strong connection. But the next day, I left Auckland. That didn't stop us though. For the next 6 months, we wrote emails to each other every day and talked on the phone or Skype at least twice a day. There was never a day that went by when we didn't talk to each other. I remember, there was this one day we were on Skype for 12 hours just talking and telling each other stories. It was incredible.
And that's just verse one. Here's the inspiration behind the second verse:
"From the moment you came off that plane, the way you kissed me, I knew we were the same. Our lips danced, till the daylight. They flittered, my heart melted, throughout the night!"
After 6 months of waiting to see each other, Gwith flew out to the US for the very first time. I have two types of memories now every time I enter the airport. Our incredible hellos and our heartbreaking goodbyes. From the moment he came off the plane, we were inseparable. Even my parents have told me that after his 3 week trip, they knew he was the one. In those weeks, we fell so deeply in love.
Every time I read the lyrics to the next verse of the song, it takes me back to this amazing day.
"From the moment we sat by the brook, the things that you said, I knew my life had changed! Yeah my heart thrived in the sunlight. It pounded and I realized you'd be mine for life."
After Gwith's first trip to the states, I flew out to New Zealand a couple of times. The second time was for our one year anniversary. To celebrate, we traveled to Brisbane, Australia. Well, actually, we traveled to Coolangatta, Australia and quickly realized the error of our ways. Beds that felt as hard as blocks of ice, having to buy our own toilet paper in the hotel, and all of the restaurants and grocery stores closing at 5:30 (when we arrived from NZ at 5:35?). That adventure was pretty bad...in a funny way now, of course. Anyways, back to the romantic part of the story. And no. This is not when he proposed to me. But it was when I knew he was going to someday. We were walking along the brook in Brisbane and he sat me down on a bench. Yellow flowers were blowing around the bench, the water was drifting down the brook, and all I could hear was him. He looked me in the eyes and he told me, "There is one thing I want you to know. One day, I will marry you." That moment was the moment my whole life changed forever.
About 8 months later, Gwith flew out to Denver and when he saw me again, he realized he never wanted to leave my side. He proposed to me on a beautiful horse carriage ride in Downtown Denver!
"And every second of my life was counting down until this moment. Every day was just a stepping stone. Leading me to you."
I hope you enjoyed reading about my inspiration behind the song and enjoy listening!