The "us" I'm talking about is my husband and myself. ;) I don't know if I've ever written about that before, but my house is quiet, the kids are at their grandparent's and so why not?
Todd and I met for the first time at kids camp when we were about ten years old. He doesn't really remember me, but I remember him. He was the kid who went around, asking for all the girl's phone numbers. I don't think I ever gave him mine! That made me smile.
Fast forward to our teenage years, age seventeen, to be exact, and we met again at church. I had grown up going to this small church in Collierville, but the youth had gotten so small in numbers that it was no longer possible for me to remain there. Often times on trips, I had to take a friend or two with me, just so I wouldn't be the only girl. I remember approaching my dad about this, and I told him that I wanted to start going to a different church. It seems like he and my step mom followed me to this new church pretty shortly after I started going there.
I did not love this new church, but a plus about it is that I met my now husband. The youth group was huge, and though I didn't have many girlfriends there, I had two really sweet ones, named Michelle and Heather. And, Todd, of course. I met him and right away, we were good friends. We stayed that way for a while before I worked up the courage to ask him out on a double date. I had dated other boys before him, but the more our friendship grew, the more I liked him. He had this way of paying attention to me that made me feel so special, and if you are a lady reading this, you all know what I am talking about. It's that thing that our guys did to get our attention. It's what I still tell my boys to do someday! (And one, who is implementing it now.) He made me laugh, he flirted relentlessly, he singled me out and made me feel like I was the only girl in the world.
And thus, our time of dating began. We broke up a couple times and ended up back together, for our senior proms. He might have liked me more, at first, but I remember the night it hit me that I was in love with him. My mom and I were staying at my sister's house, babysitting her kids while she was gone. It was a Sunday night, I'm pretty sure, and Todd had come back over with me after church. We loved being with my niece and nephews, and we had been outside jumping on the trampoline with them. My mom called them all inside for showers, and they went to bed. Todd and I stayed on the trampoline and were just talking when all of a sudden I realized that I had fallen in love with this boy who loved to make me laugh.
I wrote "I love you" in a note and gave it to him, telling him not to read it until he was at home. Then he called me and said it back. :) Not too long after that we graduated from high school, and we attended each others' graduation. I love that we were able to do that, and be there for those milestone moments. After Todd graduated, he went on a two week long trip with a friend and ended up having an accident that changed his appearance. He was mountain biking and ended up wrecking the bike, was thrown off and skidded down the road, face first. He escaped with a face that had to be stitched up and a nervous girlfriend.
After he came home from this trip, he left with my dad, my step mom and me for another long trip to the beach. We started out in Destin and ended in Orlando, at my brother's house. We did the whole Disney theme park thing and had a blast. In fact, this picture was taken in the backseat of my dad's car on our way:
:) I think he was the one taking the picture, hence the open eyes. He usually does not kiss me with his eyes open. ;) Man, I love this boy. We always had so much fun together, and we were (are still) so goofy together! I think that might have been one of the things I most loved about him~the fact that he was silly and dorky, like me. We are still so much like that...one of the greatest things we share is our love of laughter and messing around with one another.
I know it's hard to believe, but right before I left for college, he broke up with me. Later on he told me that he thought I would get to college and find somebody else. He didn't want to be hurt, so he broke it off. It didn't last for long, though, and two months later, we were back together. Shortly after our reunion, he proposed. By then we knew that each of us was "it" for the other one and we didn't want to waste any more time dating anybody else. Though, when he broke it off with me before college, I never dated anybody else. I can't remember if he did or not, I think he did go out on a couple dates, but I don't think I did. I had guy friends that I hung out with, but that was it for me.
He proposed to me, I believe, on the night of October 11th. I say the eleventh, because we wanted to wait a full year before getting married. We ended up changing the date of our wedding to the fourth of that same month, instead, so that his dad, who was a full time fireman for the city of Memphis, would be off duty.
How did he propose? Well, I had been away at school and was planning on coming home one weekend. (I came home every weekend, actually.) I don't think he made a big deal about me coming home, but he had told me that he would be there when I got home. I was glad to be home, and just wanted to sit and relax for a while, but he would not have any of that. He had a present for me and was dying for me to open it. I opened it, and inside the bag was a grey fleece shirt. It didn't seem like a huge deal, that shirt, but I loved wearing his shirts and this one was oversized, the way I like them. He kept on trying to get me to go try it on, but I didn't want to. I just wanted to sit and talk to my mom and him.
My mom finally intervened and told me to just go and try the shirt on, for goodness' sake. I'm pretty sure I huffed my way down the hallway to my room and tried the shirt on over what I was already wearing. Todd was standing in the doorway of my room watching me as I pulled it on, and all of a sudden I felt something in the pocket. I remember thinking, "What in the world...", and I pulled out a small, velvet box out of the shirt's pocket. He told me to open it...I did, and he asked me to marry him.
I'm pretty sure my mom was in the hallway behind him, crying. Of course, I said yes and I ran into his arms. My engagement ring was beautiful and simple, just the way I like things to be~a gold band with a round half karat diamond. He told me to hurry up and change clothes, because he was taking me out to dinner, to Duck's in the Peabody Hotel. :) And the rest is history.
We were married on October 4, 1996 at 7pm on a Friday night. Our wedding was beautiful, as was the reception afterward, though I don't remember much of it. We spent our wedding night at the French Quarter, a really nice, quaint hotel near the downtown area. We got to our hotel by limo. The next morning we met the parents in the lobby for breakfast, then we left to go on our week long honeymoon, in Banner Elk, North Carolina. That was the greatest week of my life.
I tell "my" girls at church and in community group all the time, that someday when they get married, if they have to choose between a fancy wedding or a special honeymoon, choose the honeymoon! That first week together as a married couple is pure magic, and it's a time that can never be regained. So many people think that they'll take a honeymoon later, but later usually never comes. And when it does, it's become mundane.
We were married at the age of nineteen~though just a few months later, we turned twenty. We waited two years before having our first child, then another, then two more. ;) I wouldn't do one second of anything over again. We've had our ups and our downs, but the good far outweighs the bad. The one thing I regret is the fact that we didn't always have the Lord in the center of our marriage. That changed after I had Jonah and Noah, and it's remained this way ever since. That's another piece of advice I share with the girls in my life~to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus!
I love our story and loved writing about it this morning. Even if nobody else reads it, it's here for our boys someday to enjoy. And if you did enjoy reading about us, then I am glad. :) I pray your day is wonderful. Love to all!
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