Friday, December 23, 2011

me : the story of us

I've never told the story of Joey and I on my blog. I've mentioned tid-bits here and there, but never given you the full story. So here it is folks, the story of us:


The condensed version: We met in September, got engaged in October, decided in November to get married n December. 


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The extended version:


It all started at the University of Central Oklahoma. On Thursday nights the UCO Christian Outreach Center had a devo night. We ate pizza, sang, had a devo and then played Jungle Pong until we were all tired or had to rush home to cram for a test or finish a paper/project/assignment. 


{ the guy in the foreground, on the left, with the dark gray shirt and dark hair... that's him. now look in the middle of the pic at the girl in the pink shirt. go 3 people to the right, that's me. i didn't know when this pic was taken that he had been looking at me all night. ;) so sweet huh? also, just a little trivia, the cute girl on my right in the black looking shirt... that's my awesome friend Ashley, who some of you might recognize from all the times i talk about her. }


I didn't know, when this picture was taken, that he liked me. That he had liked me for about a year.  I didn't know that he had talked to Kevin,  the campus minister (his friend), about me and had been wanting to ask me out. I didn't know that he broke his ankle working for a large animal vet and had to go back home to New Mexico so his parents could help take care of him. I didn't know this was his first devo back in over a year and that he still liked me, still wanted to ask me out. I didn't know, when this picture was taken, that he was going to Kevin's afterwards and tell Kevin that he still liked me. I didn't know that Kevin was going to tell him he didn't have a shot with me. I didn't know that Kevin was going to give him 3 months to ask me out. I didn't know that I would say yes. I didn't know that he was about to become the most important person in my life. 


September 9th, 2006. (A couple of weeks or so after the above picture was taken.) The night we first hung out at Amanda's house. It was a game night. There was dinner. Lots of people. Some I knew, some I didn't really know. I did goofy things... like laying on railroad tracks. I had a lot of fun.  


{ acting like a damsel in distress. not knowing that that very night, I was about to spend time with my real life hero. }

We were on the same team in Scene It. We had matching pants. 
{ our matching pants }

{ I went through a phase where I wore boys cargo shorts. I'd do it again, those things are so comfy! }


Then we won. I had a lot of fun playing with him on my team. He made me laugh a lot. That was a good sign. He also liked playing games. That was an even better sign. 


September 15th, 2006. On my way home to see my family for a weekend, we talked on the phone at least 20 hours that first weekend. Soon we went on our first date. We talked non-stop. On the phone and in person, we were always talking. We asked each other the big questions and the little questions. We both had been in previous relationships and we knew exactly what we were looking for and what we weren't.


Later that week, we went on our first date. He took me to Olive Garden because I'd never been there. Then we went to the bowling alley to play some arcade games. We dominated the shoot-em-up zombie game. Afterwards, I took him to my two favorite places in Oklahoma City - Lake Hefner and the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. 


{ A bit later we were officially a couple. }

{ Joey didn't mind my goofiness. }

{ Or the fact that I dominated at Jungle Pong... or at least tried really hard. He even accepted my bossiness... most of the time. }


Many songs stand out to me during this time. 


This is the song that was playing on the radio the first time we held hands. We sometimes joke that we wouldn't be together if it weren't for Journey and this song: 







This next song means a LOT to me. Anytime I hear it, I'm taken back to us dating. The line, "Those three words, are said too much, they're not enough." That's how we felt. We both wanted to say "I love you" but we both knew it would be too much and not enough at the same time:






Fast forward a week or so... 

October 9th, 2006. We had just spent the weekend with my family. It was Monday and we were about to drive back to Oklahoma City. But there was one little thing left to do. Joey was going to ask my dad if he could marry me. It had only been a month since we had first hung out, but we knew it was right. The actual "who popped the question?" question is where we both get a little fuzzy and have different stories. But basically, we both just knew that we wanted to be together forever. "Like the way you know a good melon."  (If you have never watched "When Harry Met Sally" and therefore have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a video for you.) I remember we decided we would get engaged and then wait a year or so until getting married. But Joey had to ask my dad first if he could marry me. Surprisingly, my dad had absolutely no problems with this. Although the asking part was pretty funny since Dad had just been watching "Walking Tall" and when the movie was over he stretched real big and said, "Welp, I guess I'm gonna go get my gun." He was going to go hunting, but the look on Joey's face was pretty priceless. But Joey mustered up the courage and asked him anyway. He gave us his blessing and we headed out of town as a newly engaged couple. 


We stopped on our way to Oklahoma City at a pawn shop for a ring. They were too expensive. Neither one of us had jobs, all we had was the tiny amount left from my student loan check and love. We ended up going to Kohl's in Oklahoma City and we picked out a $14 wedding ring for me. I felt there was no need in putting us in major debt for just a ring. I also felt like I wanted a really nice ring, and that I could wear a cheap ring for a while if it meant I got the ring I wanted later. So a $14 ring it was. No one ever knew. We never told anyone (until I got a brand new ring 2 1/2 years later) and people ooohh'd and aaahhh'd over my $14 ring just like they do over my real ring. Kinda funny how that works, huh?

Originally, we set the wedding date for October 20th, 2007. It would be a lovely fall wedding with rich plums and soft browns... Then we decided we couldn't wait that long and since I'd always wanted to be a June bride, we picked a date in June 2007. But then, another quote from "When Harry Met Sally" kept coming back to us and we didn't want to wait until June. "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with a person, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." (Here's the video if you want to see it too.) At the time, Joey was living an hour away from my apartment and it was hard for us to get to see each other and spend as much time together as we wanted to spend. Siiigh... young love. 

Thanksgiving 2006. We were in Carlsbad, NM, with Joey's family for Thanksgiving. We went out one night and sat by the Pecos River and talked. We knew we wanted to be together. We knew we loved each other and wanted to get married and be together forever. So, we decided we would move the wedding up just a bit from June 2007 to December 2006. That's right... it was going to be in just a few weeks. We went home to tell Joey's family and I called my Papa and told him as well. Everyone was sooooo supportive and encouraging. Joey's family prayed for us and loved on us. Although, I did find out later, after we were already married, that Joey's brother had pulled him aside to ask if I was pregnant. I wasn't. haha. But he was only the first in a long line of people who thought that was the reason we were getting married so quickly. I got the "belly look", as I like to call it, for at least a year after our wedding. [insert eye roll here]


It was at this time that Joey's mom and dad gave Joey some money to buy me a real ring. They didn't like the idea of my fake ring. We found one on ebay that I thought would be pretty and would be a great right hand ring one day.... not so much. It's terribly uncomfortable, not as pretty as I thought and well, I just liked my fake ring better. Thus, I had TWO engagement rings. 


Also, while in Carlsbad for Thanksgiving, we had Joey's brother, George, take our engagement pics. Here's a few of my favorites:





So many people thought we were crazy for getting married so soon. Others, completely understood. Some people wanted to scold us for not being prepared financially, but lines from this song kept ringing true. "Even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey..."





We also sang this song a lot: 






We set the date for December 9th, but I realized I had finals that week before and thought that would be too much. My best friend was getting married December 16th, and I was in her wedding, so we decided to set the final date for December 23rd, 2006. And that was it. That was the final date. 


This was another important song for us. Joey used to play it on the guitar all the time and we'd sing it together. It's been a while and we're rusty, but I'm sure if you asked sweetly enough, we'd do it for you sometime. :) 





I wrapped up my semester while planning our wedding. I made the invitations and programs. I made all the decorations and the bouquets, my Matron of Honor made the boutonnieres. My mom handled the reception. We found the Bridesmaid dresses on ebay, my wedding dress on Craigslist and got the ties for all the men in the wedding at Kohl's. All in all, I did our wedding for less than $500. Yes, that includes my dress. Thank goodness for a sweet lady whose husband was being stationed in Germany and she was going with him and couldn't take all the dresses from her in home dress business. We picked teal, white and silver for our wedding colors and things came out beautifully. We didn't have nearly as many people at our wedding as we would have liked, but that's what happens when you plan a wedding on such short notice AND the wedding is the day before Christmas Eve. But it was okay. Our families were there and while we wish more of our friends could have come, we had a few close friends that showed up and it was wonderful to have them there. Oh and Kevin, the campus/youth minister and our friend who told Joey he didn't have a shot with me? He did the wedding. ;) 


We thought Joey's brother did such a fabulous job with our engagement pictures that we asked him to do our wedding as well. This would have been an awesome idea if it were an outdoor wedding. But it wasn't. And unfortunately, he didn't have the lighting equipment needed for really good pics. It's okay. We'll splurge for a professional photographer for our vow renewal. ;) Maybe we'll do that four our 10 years, just for fun (and party sake... haha)! :)  Anyway, here are a few pics from our wedding:



 { I also made my headband. I took two headbands from Claire's and hotglued them together at the ends to create the double headband look. Top right is my Matron of Honor Jackie, bottom right is my 1st Bridesmaid Jackie Jo (who got married the week before us) and bottom left is my 2nd Bridesmaid Belinda. }





{ And it's entirely possible that I got the "church giggles" during our ceremony and laughed through a large chunk of it. Not saying it happened... but it's entirely possible. And if it did happen, I would blame Joey. He got me started by grabbing the wrong ring. }




And now... it's 5 years later. I got a new band for my bridal set for our anniversary and got all 3 rings soldered together. It's a lovely set. And I love all of the meaning behind it. The being patient, putting our marriage ahead of a desire for a fancy ring in the beginning, the fact that we've been together 5 years and some people never thought we'd make it this long. Shoot, sometimes I didn't think we'd make it this long. But we have. Our marriage has had it's ups and downs, we've seen each other at our very worst and our very best. We're constantly learning and growing as a couple and in our relationship with God. It's a challenge, this marriage thing. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. Looking back on these past five years, I have a lot of regrets. But never do I regret going to Amanda's that night, going on our first date or saying "I do". Never do I wish it was anyone else. Even Josh Groban. I'm glad that it's him, I'm lucky that it's him. I don't thank God enough for him, and really I should. He's been the best person to ever come into my life and I'm so lucky and happy that I get to spend my forever with my best friend. 


{ background left - my original $14 engagement ring. background right - the ring he bought off ebay. front - my "real" ring. the ring we saved up for and both worked together for. with the new band representing our 5 years together. and our hopes and prayers that we have many, many more healthy, happy years together. }




And so, in closing, I leave you with one more song:





♥ Happy Anniversary Joey! I love you! ♥

And to you, the reader, if you got through all of this, bless you. And I hope you enjoyed the story of how he and me became we. 




 

9 comments:

  1. Awe! I just love your story!! Congrats! And, here is to eternity together!

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  2. Delightful love story. I enjoyed reading it. It sounds "whirlwind" to folks who dont know the great Lover Himself. I have seen Him do this several times. I believe those young singles who know and love Him, recognize His gifts immediately. And if He's given you a gift, He does expect you to open it right away and enjoy it, giving Him thanks for His goodness.

    No sense waiting like the world does to have a huge show of a wedding, house, cars, honeymoon, etc. None of that matters at all.

    Thanks for sharing............HaPpY aNnIvErSaRy

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  3. Happy Anniversary, Regina and Joey!!! I love your story! No matter how many years, marriage is always a lot of work but ALWAYS worth it. :) We got married at 18 and have been married for 37 years. When it gets hard or tiring, I remember those two "kids" we were and they are still here in these much older bodies.

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  4. Aaaw, I love your story! Thanks for sharing and Happy anniversary!

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  5. awwwwww! cute, cute, cute story! :) thanks for sharing...

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  6. Wow, that must have taken you a long time to write this post!! But I loved reading it. :-)
    And yes, I would have been skeptical getting married so soon, but I'm so happy to hear its all worked out wonderfully! My hubby and I were long distance dating for 15 months before married....that was tough! 700 miles apart, I never want to do that again. Lol
    And props for planning your wedding all for 500 dollars. You are awesome :-)
    Happy anniversary! I have a friend getting married today as well!

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  7. This is such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing with us. I loved your pictures - you were a beautiful bride!

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