cookies + a love story


so i thought you guys might want to know that there's a really fun post i helped my mom with over on her blog of our favorite glazed sugar cookies, from my favorite little cookie + sandwich shop in the town i grew up in, bountiful utah, called cutler's cookies. find the recipe for cutler's famous glazed sugar cookies here.

i also thought it would be fun to just tell our love story. you know – the story of how my husband neil and i fell in love. if you're single and ready to gag or click away because you're worried that this might turn into some sugary sweet sappy unrealistic liar-face fake story, have no fear. it's full of real ups and downs, a couple breakups, even a break-off of our engagement story and ultimately a pretty happy ending. keep reading.


neil and i met in lake powell, on a grown-up spring break(ish) vacation, on a houseboat that should sleep 14 but really housed about 50(ish) single kids in their 20s. let's be honest, most of the girls there were about 18. and neil and all his friends who, at the time, were 27. “we keep getting older and the girls just stay the same age” or something like that. ha.


 (different year, same trip)


(literally our very first conversation)

so when neil met me he was certain that i was 18. i took one look at his sideway pink trucker hat and gigantic tattoo on his back and figured he was the king of the toolshed. turns out we were both wrong.

we started dating that fall and by christmas time i was pretty sure i had found the real love of my life.

i also felt pretty special because i was the first girl he ever said the magic ILY words to or talked “marriage” with, and he was 27. that meant something, right?!

what it meant was, he was scared stiff of commitment and, surprise! he dumped me 2 days before christmas. i was devastated.

well that didn't last. we couldn't stay away from each other and got back together 5 days later. things kept going pretty well for the next several months and right about at the year mark of when we met, neil proposed by having each of the most special people in my life hand me a rose and a love letter over the course of a day, that ended with him singing me a song on the guitar and reading me the final letter.


i know right?! SO CUTE. the end. happily ever after.


you guys, we broke up again. except this time it was me breaking off our engagement. about 2 months after getting engaged, right after we spent a perfect weekend in new york city together. it was an ugly-cry, giving the ring back, hellish torture of a nightmare (wait is this still a love story?). in all my self-centered drama i really thought i was the most picked on person of all time. after all, i had already been through a painful divorce, and now this? it just wasn't fair.

i'm not going to lie. it was a struggle. i couldn't eat or sleep or think or see straight for several days. i felt like i was going through my divorce all over again, except even worse. because with my divorce (especially initial separation) there was a huge sense of relief too. this was just pure pain.

this time around we stayed apart for a lot longer than that first break up. it took several weeks before we saw each other in person. but about a month later we started spending some time together again. i can't even begin to tell you how awkward it is to go from the progression of guy-you're-dating to boyfriend to fiance to … um, i'm not sure what he is now?

well anyway, we took our time and dated for a couple more months. just dated. nothing serious, no pressure, no serious wedding talk, just taking our time and making sure things felt right.

and then one night in january we went to a movie (tangled, my choice!) and then spent several hours talking and talking and talking some more. aren't those the best? we just knew. we knew we were supposed to be together. for sure. forever.


he pretty much said “wait right here” and got the ring out and came over to where i was sitting, knelt down on one knee, and poured his heart out to me about why he wanted to be mine forever. i wish i could have recorded that speech somehow because it's the best one i've ever heard and would put any nicholas sparks movie to shame. i loved both proposals from him but this one really came straight from the heart. not rehearsed, not planned. just pure heart. it still makes me emotional.

i'm a religious person and i prayed a lot about this. i prayed a TON. and i knew. i knew it was right in my heart and that i truly had zero hesitations about being with him forever, making babies and having a family and sharing ups and downs and fears and character flaws and vulnerability and committing myself to being his teammate and partner in everything.

so that summer, on a perfectly sunny day in august, the two of us kids got married.

wedding2i remember feeling so unapologetically happy, so sure and so calm and peaceful.

we had a really simple wedding. but we wanted to celebrate, and we wanted to dance. and dance we did.


i really believe that all the ups and downs that neil and i went through over the two years we dated prepared us to know each other for real. there were very few surprises once we got married and moved in together (except the way he dunks literally 8 graham crackers into his milk at once. seriously?!). this isn't the right thing for everyone but for us, for someone like me who had once made a mistake in who i married, it was everything. because that absolute 1-million percent certainty on the day that i made promises to be with him forever was something i was determined to do right.


fast forward several years. we're still married (yay!) haha. we still love each other. we fight sometimes. we get annoyed with each other. but we are both committed. we make sacrifices for each other to support the other's needs, passions, and ambitions. and we both love milkshakes and laugh at the same things and dance to oldschool rap together and share the same goals and dreams. we are pretty much polar opposites in almost everything else, but it works for us.

it's nice to reflect on our love story and on real love. because it feels good to remember all those yucky times so that i can be even more genuinely grateful for the good now.

happy valentine's day, friends. i love you!


Corrine Stokoe

Corrine Stokoe is a blogger, podcaster and content creator behind the brand Mint Arrow. She and her husband Neil live in South Orange County with their 5 kids, she runs her blog and business with 7 team members, where they find the best daily deals and share favorite finds in fashion and beauty. They also run a podcast called Mint Arrow Messages. Mint Arrow has been featured in Forbes, Women's Wear Daily, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, AdWeek and Allure. Corrine is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as often as she can and teaching others to use social media for good.

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Hi, I’m Corrine and it’s pretty simple. I think you deserve to buy the things you want at a price you can afford. Here you can find the best deals and steals on high end fashion, as well as beauty and wellness tutorials.


  1. Corrine! This made me cry! I knew the timeline but not the specifics. It makes me SO HAPPY to see you so happy. I am so glad we became friends under the FWC. love you forever girl.

    1. aw, i love you TOO and i’ll always be grateful for the support and love you gave to me during some of those times that no one else could have, the way you did. maybe i’ll write about that someday too 🙂

  2. Love it! 6 years ago today we got engaged and I love to think back, like you said, and have a feeling that I know it was the best decision I ever made. After one baby and a miscarriage this past year I couldn’t imagine going through my life without him!

  3. Corrine you already know how much I love you and your blog! This just tripled it! 🙂 You are so sweet, so honest, I love it! Honesty is one of the hardest things to find in the blog world, and you are true to yourself. I agree with Jen! Your husband is one lucky guy!

  4. What a sweet story! Marriage and relationships can be so hard sometimes and reading your story shows that the good ones are worth fighting for! You guys seem absolutely perfect for each other!! Love love loved it! ❤️

  5. Corrine! I loved loved loved reading this! You are incredible, and so is He and so is your beautiful little girl. I always think the world of you. 🙂

  6. I remember ALL if this. You two earned a deeper love as you pushed through those break ups. Love to see your happiness. Love you two beyond!

  7. Cookies and a real love story. That’s the jam.

    But seriously, thanks for posting this because so many people think (thanks to us sharing great everything all the time but not the bad/awkward/real moments) that everything in life is supposed to be perfect. And it’s not! And past breakups can mess with people’s heads! Or not! Because that’s life. And love. And most importantly, cookies. All the best to you and your sweet family.

  8. I never reach out to bloggers I follow, but you’re great! Loved your story, and glad I found you on instagram. So awesome the way you’re using your platform to share the gospel as well. Hope you continue to find success in your blogging as well as your personal life. Also thanks for helping me score deals on the BOB double, Kids Hunters, and Zella Leggings(my favorite leggings now! 🙂

  9. I love reading people’s love stories and was interested in yours when I saw a post from a week or so ago. As I started reading and read that you mentioned a lake Powell trip and a ton of kids I thought hmm yea I did that once. Then I saw your picture and I’m totally in it! I was on the same trip! Haha so random and what a small world! I had no idea i had met you before! Love following you and seeing your wonderful family! – Alexa

  10. What a wonderful love story! Hooray for second chances. I was married once before as well. After two years of verbal abuse he hit me, over and over. So I packed up my things, my hamster Sprinkles and drove away. I eventually met Ben, my six foot six inches tall hubby who doesn’t have an aggressive controlling bone in his body, he was 27, I was 23.

    1. Wow I’m so glad you were able to get OUT of that situation and into one that’s loving and safe. Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

  11. You’re awesome, Corrine. I’m so glad you found everything you wanted and needed. I never told you this, but I was super bummed when you left the piano program. ? You were so real, and I felt like you were someone I could relate to. I knew you were going to find something epic in your life someday, because that is just who you are. I wish you lived close to me so we could reconnect! Let me know if your ever in the Phx area! Thanks again for sharing!!

    1. Karali this comment was so sweet, thank you!! I always really liked you too, and I always admire you from afar for sticking it out!! You’ve accomplished so much and worked so hard. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, and yes I’ll let you know if I’m ever out that way! 🙂

  12. BAH. this made me cry today. Sure love you and this beautiful love story. Its inspiring, real, and better than any movie. Marriage takes so much work but it really brings such great joy when you can raise kids together, and work through the hard times. I love seeing that in you two. LOVE YOU!

    1. Oh Mel! You are so kind. And I agree it really does take work, but that’s what makes it so meaningful and joyful and worth it. Love YOU!

  13. Thank you so much for your beautiful and honest post!! Your love story is absolute perfection because it was written just for you!! <3 i think its soooo important that people realize that perfection in a relationship is individual not collective.. everyone has their own story and all of the bumps and hills and mountains create a greater strength and deeper connection. Congrats on yours and again, thanks for sharing your truth!! Love it!!

    1. I couldn’t agree more, everyone has a story and every story is different. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! XO

  14. I’ve been following your blog and instagram for some time now, and just wanted to tell you that I love reading your honesty! Thank you!

  15. Such a sweet story! I love that you two have worked and fought for your marriage. You seem like such an awesome, down to earth person. I’ve loved seeing your blog grow too!

  16. So so sweet. My hubby and I married after dating for 10 days. Although we were young (20 & 18) we just knew! And then we separated a year and a half later.. it was absolute torture. We stayed apart for a full year and when it came time to go to the court to finalize the divorce we couldn’t do it. We immediately got back together and that was 11 years ago. We are more in love now then we ever were that first year and a half. Marriage is work but it is the most rewarding thing you will ever experience too! Also we are complete opposites.. I can’t even think of anything we have in common.. lol When you accept the other person for who they are it doesn’t really matter and it keep things interesting in my opinion!

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