In August 2000, on the 3rd day of college, Tim and I met. I literally wrote in my journal that day that I had met my husband. Little did I know, he did not even remember my name. Ironically enough, the entry the week before stated that I was not interested in dating anyone for a while. Finally, by November, we had become friends and he asked me out on a date... on his birthday. The rest is history! We dated for 4 years, got engaged as seniors in college, and got married March 6, 2004 during our internships.
We have the best families, the greatest high school memories and lifelong childhood friends, and even ones we don't get to see that much we catch up like there is no lapse in time. We love all our family. Our families have taught us the biggest life lessons about people, positive and also negative. Sometimes the ones you love the most can fall away and cause the most hurt. We have learned a hurtful side of this world with broken relationships, but raise our kids in a way to always have a forgiving heart and leave a bridge for those that may come back in at some point in our journey. To live in peace and go about the path God has for your family. To say our parents are role models is an understatement. Yall are both a rock in our life. And some our our friends have become like family, it's neat how God does that.
We graduated from North Georgia College and State University. Our college experience was so positive. We both loved our roommates, I was in a discipleship group throughout college with Stephanie and Jamie, we loved our friends there and were involved with a fraternity and sorority. Another thing I said I would never do, but ended up being Sorority President my senior year. I was an RA and lived on campus. I felt like my ministry was to freshmen women. We met more lifelong friends through college that we think about all the time. A couple by the names of Frank and Tanya were mentors to us through Campus Outreach who we would end up going on staff with after we got married and graduated. Our wedding was the best day of my life. Every single person there. I will have those memories forever.
We moved to Athens to do full time ministry at University of Georgia. We made new couple friends at church with the Bosleys who ended up being our best friends there. We went to church at Green Acres, Tim bought a motorcycle, we had students spending the night, and we loved our staff team. We spent a lot of time with Frank and Tanya, Cara Lea and Jim in our neighborhood, Tim tried cutting down his first tree and dropped it on our neighbors house. And for some reason we had more crap than we owned at that time then any point in our marriage. We renovated that house in Athens. Think that was our first love with real estate.
We finished our 2 year commitment and Tim decided to take a job in Canton, Ga doing regional sales for a construction company. I was also pregnant with David so we were so excited about a new chapter. We moved to Canton and lived next to our best friends Greg and Jess. I joined a playgroup that I will always remember the sweet moms and our babies. Those were the women that I navigated into motherhood with and I love each of you! We made really good friends with some old friends of Tim's from Alpharetta that now lived in Canton: Peggy and Eric and George and Megan. We joined a small group that we loved and Mike and Emily hosted. We loved our neighbors 2 houses down, Kyle and Audrey, and we lived next door to a real live witch. She even gave us a spell for Christmas one year. We didn't know what to do with it so we put it in our grill. We loved to drive around and look at houses. We hated new construction, starting finding house projects, went apple picking, we were so close to mountains, and we did some camping. 2 of our kids born in that Canton house, little did we know we were 15 minutes from Z, the child we just adopted. His orphanage was near us and we had no idea he existed yet. Mackenzie was born and our babies learned to crawl and walk there. That home was a little haven and Tim and I became a family in Canton. We had a good bit of lows in that house from miscarriage and job loss after the construction sales company filed bankruptcy, but we sold our home and started over to find a different industry.
After selling, we moved into Tims parents house to re-group. Tim found HVAC for his new career path, he got a full scholarship to get his degree, and a part time job until he finished. I did a lot of sidework, including cleaning houses off craigslist, to help make ends meet during our crazy time. We found Nellie Mae, a house my great grandfather built that had been a family rental. My parents said they would sell it to us and since we had no where else to go in our budget, we bought it. We moved to Marietta, renovated that insane house, found our church, we were near our family, our school system we would go to, and joined a small group. We still had parties in that crazy small 800 square foot house, we had to have it outside! I tried to have a garden, we had the best neighbors ever, started my super part time event planning career, and we got back into our ministry avenues with people. Hospitality was our deal and we were all about it. Nellie Mae and that season was refining and re-defining for us. It has memories of really hard work. Really hard manual labor work. We lost more babies there, but we grew closer to the ones we had and eachother.
We got back on our feet and decided to rent it out and find another investment property. We found the Hope street house. We knew it was built for us. It had 12 offers the first day on the market and we got it. I knew it was for a purpose. For another child. For hospitality. The Hope Street house was a mess. We have renovated it slowly and at one point we were without a kitchen for 80 days. We finally watered the seeds of Adoption and God provided. Ben and Cristina and Haley and Jeff were our first friends and kids friends at church, our street and surrounding street has become some of our closest friends now, and almost everyone we live around goes to our same church and school. We have been in small groups non stop, me in a moms group, Tim has met with men, I plug in with moms at our kids schools, and we hunt down people. I love our community. This house has been a season of joy. More hard work and manual labor, but loving what we do.
I know people say it takes a village to raise children, but it takes a village to stay married also. I could tell you a lot of lessons and mistakes Tim and I have learned, but I just want to share one really big thing. Tim and I have always surrounded ourselves with people. All the time. And not just fakey relationships, but real authentic people who ask how you are doing, keep you in check, and love you through all the crap you do. If thats not your thing, make it your thing. Be Brave. Be Vulnerable. Its a hell of a lot better than getting a divorce. I mean, really. The right people give you perspective, they push you on, they tell you when to bring in back in, they are the Body of Christ. Without Christ, our marriage would have fallen apart many times. We lost 5 babies, had many job losses, a career reset, moved along with major renovations, and just adopted a 7 year old last year. Tim and I operate very different. I am a structured OCD mess and he is a spontaneous risk-taking dare devil. But when we said I do before the Lord, God really did commence us as One. We are one in thoughts and actions and we function as a workforce together. When we do it, we go all in. The most important thing we said 10 years ago was not just "I do" to eachother, but to the Lord. I committed that day to follow Tim, but more importantly to God and and where He might lead Tim to go. There have been times when I didn't trust Tim and want to follow, but I knew I had vowed to God as well and that God would ultimately deliver us and also bless our obedience.
I love you Tim. I know we were made for each other. I love our life. 10 years later, I love you more and am so excited about where we are going. I am happy, like a real happy. We have learned contentment together and I feel like together we can conquer the world! We are taking a special family trip to Seaside at the end of the month as a new family of 5. Z has never been to the beach and we are so excited to share our favorite place on Earth with him.
A few verses/thoughts that have meant a lot to us:
Emmanuel, God with Us
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world
1 Co 9:25-27 All athletes are disciplined in their training. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Matthew 28:18 ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.
1 Co 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
HAPPY 10 YEARS TIMMY!! Here is a little slide show of some of our favorite pics!
*At the end, there is the one and only baby-ish pic I have of Z. At 5:38.