Here is our wonderful story of Courtship and Marriage!
It was the summer of 2005. I was 15 years old and just finished my time in middle school. Yep, eighth grade. It was time for me to learn to drive and so my father put me in the Drivers Education at the local high school, that I would soon be attending come Fall.
It was the first day of Drivers Ed. I sat in the back with the few people I did know but pretty much kept to myself. As class got started and the instructor began introducing himself, the entrance door that opens from the outside swung open. Light flooded in and then I saw a man walk through once my eyes adjusted from the room being semi dark. It was like a lightning bolt struck through me. I knew he would be apart of my life and I didn't even know his name yet.
Since coming in late, he sat in the back; next to me. I don't exactly remember how our first conversation came to be but we both recall that we were like magnets; drawn to each other. We did not spend any time alone and kept our encounters together to our Drivers Ed class.
The time came that Divers Ed ended and we did not see each other for the rest of the Summer, but I was smitten and thought about him often. I was now 16 years old and I was looking forward to high school not only for being in a new school but also to maybe see him.
We finally saw each other again when I was at my locker sometime in the first few days of my freshman year when Summer break was finally over. He came up from behind and put his foot to the back of my knee and gave it a little nudge to get my attention (learned later that this was his form of flirting). After that, we began talking more, learning about each other more and we knew that God brought us together for a reason. We started to talk about life goals and what the next steps were for reaching those goals after high school. He knew he wanted to join the Military and I was interested in working with animals.
Without really realizing it, we were making plans that involved each other within two months from laying eyes on each other. It wasn't until October 21 2005 that he invited me out to a movie, where we sat, not even holding hands, that we made it official. On our way home, he asked "will you go out with me?" So juvenile but look how young we were.
We both knew what we wanted. We picked out my engagement ring together before we were even engaged. One year exactly from the day we made our courtship official (October 21), he asked me to Marry him on one knee with a box that had the beautiful ring nestled inside. I said "YES!"
We had a long engagement; nearly three years.
|Military Ball I attended with him for JROTC in High School.|
After he graduated high school, he left for Basic Training for the United States Army. It was then we started getting serious about wedding planning. We knew that after he was done with training, he would be going to where ever he was stationed and starting his Military career. We wanted to start our lives together as well and so we knew it was time to end the engagement and start our newlywed life. We were scheduled to marry on his two weeks of leave after Basic Training, before he left for his first duty station.
During Basic, He called me to notify me that he got his orders to his new duty station; Schweinfurt Germany (Bavaria). I knew I was working my last months at my long time job at Taco Bell. I could hardly contain my excitement since I knew what was right around the corner; Newlywed life, living in a foreign country, and starting my career of being a Homemaker. We established from the beginning, when we knew we would marry, that he was going to be the provider and I the Homemaker. We are both traditional and felt that to be the calling God was giving us in our roles in our soon to be marriage.
|Flew down to visit him for Family Weekend with his Mom (my soon to be Mother In Law)|
A few weeks after my 19th birthday, He graduated Basic Training and AIT as an Airborne Infantryman and came home for his leave before going to his new duty station in Schweinfurt Germany. We had our wedding planned. I had a beautiful white dress, invitations made and sent, had a friend hired to be our photographer, his church was set to marry us in a week.. yadda yadda. I got my first taste of Military life and how plans are always changing when his orders were changed and he had to leave on the day of our original wedding day. We moved the day up two days and ended up marrying in our local courthouse. I decided not to wear my white dress and save that for renewing our vows one day in a church. I went out a bought a yellow sun dress instead. We had just family there to witness our union and had a BBQ at Chief Timothy park where others came to celebrate. We spent our first night together in a hotel. It was wonderful. I was finally a married women and so excited for what was next in our lives.
The paperwork to have me moved over kept getting lost by the Army and four months after he left for Germany, he called to notify me that he was deploying to Afghanistan in two months. I remember when I was when I got the devastating call like it was yesterday. I was in Kmart in Lewiston Idaho. I almost started crying but managed to leave my stuff, ran out of the store, got in my car, and let it all out right there.
He deployed to Afghanistan for a year long tour with the 173rd Airborne Combat Team. That was one of the hardest years of my life. I lost my father to lung cancer and had to make such hard decisions alone at such a young age while worrying if my new husband would be coming home to me alive.
|On patrol in Afghanistan.|
We had a real struggle with it but weeks before he was due back in Germany for Deployment Homecoming, we got my orders! I had weeks to get my stuff shipped, car shipped, my cat's veterinary clearance to fly, and to get myself and Tubbles (our sweet fur-kid) on a plane. We had a really rough time getting to Germany, you can read that story here.
But we finally made the 5008 mile trip across the ocean, got housing on post, had major culture shock but was so excited, and did my best to make our new house a home before he came home. I met our new neighbors and clicked with them right away. They were all young wives as well and I loved having friends that knew all that I had gone through and could relate.
|Sitting in our new home in Germany, anxiously waiting for my new husbands return from war.|
|Together at last.|
...So grab some popcorn, and a cold beverage. Lets start from the beginning.