The photo above was the very first picture Terence and I had taken together. 13 years ago….gosh how time has flown. I made him get into one of those cheesy booths at the mall to take a picture. The was before everyone carried their cell phones and snapped photos of everything. It was just a casual date, and little did I know I’d end up married to this man.
I truly believe God brings people into our lives for a reason. We had both just started our first year in college and it was our first time to be “on our own” if you will.
We dated for a year then Terence and I got engaged, 8 months later we married.
My advice to any gal…enjoy the dating phase. As much fun as marriage is, looking back at the times we dated I have such fond memories.
Let me start off by saying marriage isn’t for wimps. Marriage is cool. I love being married to my best friend, but lets face it, it’s not a cake walk. We were very young when we got married. We both just turned 20 that month and I was so nervous on our wedding day I thought I was going to pass out. Seriously. What was going on here….
Terence had just finished basic training for the Air Force and we were married and about to move on base. We got married in August 2001, a month later the unthinkable happened on September 11th and we knew things were about to change. We had one car between us, little money, and we were just getting our little base house fixed up. That house was straight out of the 70’s baby! But home is what you make of it.
For the next 5+ years it was 12 hour night shifts, deployment, and sleeping alone in our bed. Two cats and one dog. We made the best with what we had and thankfully we were stationed close to my parents in Arkansas. We made lifelong friends and memories I’ll always cherish. Those were some of the toughest times, but I also look back at them fondly because we had no clue what we did or didn’t have. We had each other.
After military life Terence decided to go back to school to finish his undergrad degree. He finished with honors and we both worked very hard for the next couple years. I worked an 8-5 job, then I had a 2nd job from 5:30-12am. Those were loooong days! But we somehow made it work. We lived in a small one bedroom apartment, no cable, and no extras to speak of. We didn’t have time for those things anyway. Those years seem like a blur.
After Terence finished college we decided to move from Arkansas to Texas, where he is from. I had never been away from my family and was extremely nervous. The only interaction I had with my in-laws was short visits and holidays. In 2007 we made the big move to Texas. We stayed with my in-laws for a while until we got on our feet. Terence started working for his family’s business and I took a job with the bank I still work for today. What was supposed to be a temporary living arrangement turned into almost 2 years. Terence decided to go back to school and got accepted into the accelerated MBA program at TCU. So we lived with his parents for a couple of years, he finished grad school, I worked 8-5. Just living life…..it was hard for me to get used to a new state, city, DFW driving….ugh. I went home the first couple weeks crying. I wanted to go HOME! Terence kept saying were home….
So now, almost 6 years later Texas has become home. I still say I’m from Arkansas though. That will always be home to me. We’ve been through a lot together. On this blog, or anyone’s blog, you only see fragments of their lives and not the whole picture. Usually it’s all the positive things. Terence and I fight, we have our weaknesses, he is very black and white and I am very colorful. We butt heads a LOT. Especially over finances. He’s a super saver and spreadsheeter and I’m more of a live your life for today kind of gal. I mean I don’t want to go and blow all our money, but sometimes it’s a bit extreme. Lest we argue. Sigh…..
It’s hard sometimes to reach that middle ground. But I guess you could say we balance each other out. Struggles make you stronger. Without God and prayers I know we would not have made it this far. Ter-Bear (as I affectionately call him) is my best friend and though we struggle, there is no one else I would rather spend my life with. I’m grateful he puts up with me and my flaws, and I hope he knows I love him more than anything. I hope he is grateful for me too. Don’t forget to show your husband/wife how you feel. Don’t forget to say those words of affection. Don’t take each day for granted. Live and love each day to the fullest.
Ask yourself “Is this argument really worth it?” Is it worth damaging your relationship or tearing the other person down? In the end, probably not.
To have and to hold…..for better for worse….
Follow the Love and Marriage series with these gals: