Just over 12 years ago, I met the love of my life.
I was a senior at LSU and just content to finish up my year and head out into the "real world". I had dated on and off through college and never met "the one", so I figured it would just come later. So much for my "Mrs." degree (joking, that was NOT a goal when I went to college).
In December of 2001, I received a call from my childhood friend, Lisa, who told me her boyfriend's best friend and roommate was going to be moving to Baton Rouge for the spring semester of 2002 for an internship. She wanted to know if I would be so kind to show him around, maybe email him with ideas of places to live, and places to stay away from. I agreed to do so, not even thinking potential love connection. Nor was she.
Matt called later that week and woke me up from my regular afternoon nap. Not a good start to a relationship. But once I got over my irritation, he sounded like a nice guy. We agreed to meet up when I returned after Christmas break and he got settled in the BR.
Well, we did end up meeting up that January --- and while it wasn't love at first sight for either of us, it was definitely "like". I had a boyfriend at the time (we'll use that term loosely because apparently I wasn't his only girlfriend) but I continued to talk with Matt and foster our budding friendship. I remember spending hours on the phone with him, and as we spoke more and more about family, friends, our faith ---I started to look at him differently. In a short amount of time, we drew very close (again, just as friends) --- and it had been a long time since I just had a guy who was a "friend".
Anyway, as the story goes, it was confirmed that my boyfriend (whom Matt nicknamed little Stiffler - b/c he looked like the guy from American Pie, but about 6 inches shorter) was indeed cheating. I was devestasted and decided to go drown my sorrows in New Orleans for the weekend --- with Matt and a few of his buddies who were coming in town.
And that's when it all became official. The first hand holding. The first kiss. The first of many things.
From then on, we were inseparable. Two weeks after that impromptu trip to NOLA, we talked about marriage and celebrated our first Valentine's Day together. Six weeks later we officially said "I love you." 9 months after we started dating, we were engaged. And 11 months after that, we were married on a beautiful day on September 13, 2003 - and whoa, was it a wedding! Time of my life. And whirlwind courtship to say the least.
We moved to New Orleans right after we got married where we lived a happy, little newlywed life in a 590 square foot apartment. We had good jobs, good friends and a cozy existence. We bought our first house (a duplex, really) in January of 2006. In September 2006, it was destroyed by the infamous Hurricane Katrina. We were refugees so to speak for a time, living in a company apartment in Baton Rouge, with Matt commuting back and forth to New Orleans 6 days a week. That grew old fast and we decided to just rebuild and sell our home and make the jump to Houston. In reality, we had always wanted to get back to Texas ---we just didn't think we would swim there!
We were elated to be back in Texas - yet, tough things were on the horizon. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed away within 2 1/2 months of his diagnosis. I was fortunate to be only a 4 1/2 hour drive away during that time versus the 8+ had we still be in Louisiana. But between Katrina, my dad's death, new pressures with new jobs, a new house --- things got tough between us. Like really tough. Like I didn't think we would make it tough.
I used to be ashamed to say or write that. Not anymore. By the grace of God, He saved our marriage. He brought us to a new church home where we had an opportunity for a new beginning. And slowly but surely, the pieces of why we fell in love in the first place began to fall in place.
Later, as we healed, as most married couples do, we desired to start a family. Shockers, of all shockers - we were told we had less than a .5% chance of conceiving on our own. In vitro fertilization was pretty much our only option. So we took some time and prayed and began the process. Much to our surprise and delight, we got pregnant the first time out --- with twins! (See "The Twins" tab to learn more!)
Our life since then has been a blessing of babies, hard work, comprimise, tough decisions but ultimately, love. We aren't perfect - and our marriage isn't perfect. But it is based on God's Love for us and we are forever thankful for His blessing on our lives and continue to let His will be done as we grow together, lean on each other, and love always.