On Friday, September 24, three days before I was to start in Tulsa, I received a call from UPS that I was going to be put on a project in Abilene, Texas, instead. I was devastated. If you have ever been to Abilene, you know that there just isn’t much there for a young, single woman. It was too late to change my mind about taking the job. However, if I had known what I know now, I would have been rejoicing and thanking God.
On Monday, September 27, 2004, I reported to the UPS center in Abilene. I met my trainer and the other supervisors and managers in the center. They were all very friendly, and my gloom was starting to change. I even met a handsome lad named Todd. J After introductions in the office area, I was standing against a set of storage cabinets. Todd came over to me and said…wait for it…this is the start of a beautiful story, y’all, so brace yourselves for the awesomeness that is coming…”So, what’s your name, again?” I was immediately smitten! In hind sight, his attempt at hitting on me was lacking, and.it.worked!
|We were so young!|
A mere ten days later, on Thursday, October 7, 2004, we began dating. I was 23, and Todd was 33…or was he 32?! (That’s another story for another time about how Todd accidentally told me the wrong age at the beginning and was afraid to tell me his real age later for fear that I may think he was too old. 32 was not too old in his mind, but 33, well that’s a different story! <enter sarcasm font here> It wasn’t until I took him to Urgent Care with an asthma attack that I learned his real age, but only after he still tried to cover it up for fear that I would break up with him. Hmmm, I guess that’s a story for now, not another time. No suspense for you, dear reader.)
We spent four-and-a-half years making sure that there was absolutely no way in the world that we would get divorced if we decided to marry. Afterall, there were children involved, now. This was a tough 4.5 years, but we had a lot more fun than we did pain. For the majority of our dating period, we did not have the support of most of our friends and family. (There were exceptions. Some never doubted. Some came around sooner than others. Regardless, there were plenty of naysayers.) They thought we were making a big mistake for multiple reasons, one of the biggest being that I didn’t understand what I was getting into with a blended family since I had never been married nor had children. I am positive that each of them would tell you that they have eaten their words, now. J
On March 27, 2009, we took the kids to church for a spaghetti dinner and movie night, Fireproof. Between the dinner and movie, Taylor (our middle child) made a comment about my mom coming to watch the movie with us. (We have since realized that Taylor’s strengths do not lie in her ability to keep a secret. Consider yourself warned.) I told her that maybe my mother was watching the movie with my dad in Corpus Christi (10 hours from where we lived in Dallas), but she was definitely not coming to watch it with us. Still, I continued to peak around corners, wondering if there was some surprise in store. By the time the movie had ended, I had forgotten about Taylor’s little slip. After the movie was played, Todd was asked to lead the congregation in a closing prayer. I didn’t think much about it because that was the type of thing he would do.
Then, this happened…
I am aware how adorable this is!
|My sister helped the girls make the signs.|
|My mom did fly in from Corpus Christi to surprise me!|
That's my sister, Amber, and my niece, Campbell, in the middle.
We both cried.
|Every bride has to check for deodorant balls, right?!|
|My soon-to-be daughters|
|My handsome guys|
|I wore my mom's wedding ring on my right hand.|
|Cutest flower girl ever, Campbell|
|I'm a daddy's girl.|
|Todd's dad married us.|
This family of four welcomed me.
And we danced...
And we danced some more...
|Maggie, my college roommate, brought the entertainment.|
|Taylor danced on Todd's feet.|
"And Todd, you can now call me Harry." My dad's toast was unforgettable.
|Mom, Paula (Jenny's mom), me, and Jenny (my best friend from childhood)|
|It was an OSU garter.|
|My cousin, Bradette, with our girls|
Almost six months later, on October 20, 2010, we met Dr. Prough to discuss our options for having a baby. You know the rest of the story.
There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about how lucky I am that I have Todd as my partner in this life. My mother has been known to say that he is the nicest man she has ever met. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He’s genuine, compassionate, and selfless. People that know him agree. I literally get teary-eyed just thinking about how awesome he is. My body begins to ache when I’m away from him. God has blessed us immensely with our relationship. Even if God never intends to give us a child to raise together from the beginning, we will live the rest of our lives knowing that He gave us something else so incredibly remarkable and special…our marriage.
Tuesday marked ten years that we have been together. Ten short and long years full of happiness and sadness, growing and regressing. For the last ten years, I have often thought about how sad I was that we weren’t younger and couldn’t spend more years together. Since our wedding, I have regretted not getting married sooner, so we could celebrate more anniversaries.
Tuesday, I had an epiphany. I realized that the years are just numbers, like age. What matters about those years is how much life you live during them. Tuesday, I realized that I have already had the miracle of living enough happiness with Todd in 10 years to fill an entire lifetime for some people.
I am so blessed.
Thank you, God, for my love.