When Andrea Met Mike

It was the summer of 1992. Hot Texas days and equally humid evenings. My high school BFF and I were constantly in search of ways to entertain ourselves while she was home from college and before beginning my 4th semester at a local college, we did what most 19/20 year olds did during that era…..go work out at the local fitness center! Yep, our free time pretty much consisted of step aerobics classes followed by a stop at the local frozen yogurt shop. Saturdays were laying out in her back yard followed by a trip to the mall and movies. There were many fun memories that summer as I had gained a lot of independence and was just living “girls just want to have fun” mantra if you can imagine.Looking back, I was in a bit of a rebellion period. I seemed to attract some not-so-great guys and went through a series of pointless relationships. But, much to my surprise, I caught the eye of a certain guy at the gym who was equally shy as he was inconspicuous.Part of our workout routine was making post aerobics laps around the upper track, and each time we passed “the guys weight section” I passed by my future husband (unbeknownst to me). One day another guy made it clear to me that his “friend over there” (yep, quiet one in the corner of the room) was wanting to meet me. I politely said, “who?” We joke about it know, but I honestly never noticed him. His well-meaning friend actually threatened Mike telling him that if he wasn’t going to introduce himself to me that he would just take care of it! Even then, it still took him a couple more weeks to finally approach me, but the rest is what you know as “history”.From our first date he captured my heart. He had such an easy way about him and these ocean-blue eyes that cannot be missed!

I loved that he was so real and uncontrived. Nothing seemed to be about impressing me, but just about getting to know me and making me laugh (which, he STILL cracks
me up). We began a casual relationship, then he went back to A&M the next month and so began our 3.5 year long distance relationship. As time progressed, I knew he was the one for me. He wasn’t as sure, as he was encouraged to “play the field” by well-meaning people.
We ended up getting serious but I always had an unsettled feeling. In the midst of my “rebellion” I was also dating this young, kind, caring man who also wasn’t as serious about Jesus as I wanted to be. I don’t recommend it, however, God who is so rich in mercy, did a miracle. Without going into all the details, we spent 6 months completely broken up. I spent that time getting my heart right again with God while he was going through some hard stuff too with his family. What I found out 5 months into this was that Mike’s sweet Mom was battling cancer again and was very ill and in the hospital. It was during this time that God began to do a separate work in Mike’s heart as he was being drawn to His Father’s heart through it all. We ended up reconciling and were engaged on Valentine’s day that year and married 3 months later. God is so GOOD!
 
Sadly, the week of our wedding, we learned that his mom’s cancer had spread to her brain. She was scheduled to have surgery to have it removed 2 days after our wedding! Selfless as she was, she insisted she would be in an induced coma anyway (her thought was, I will be asleep and not know if you are here) for 4 days so by all means, “Go on your honeymoon!” Which we did, and honestly, it was the rest and joy we needed to begin our new adventure. We came back ready to fight along with her as a team.
Rich in mercy, God supplied all we needed and grew Mike to become an amazing leader in our marriage during the issues with his Mom’s health. We ended up moving in with his parents during his mother’s last months of life. I recall waking up one night and seeing Mike in the wee hours of the morning , leaning over his mother’s hospital bed in the dimly lit dining room, reading Scriptures to her.
He spoke a beautiful eulogy at her memorial service. That young college kid, whom I met working out at the gym, was transformed into something so beautiful I wept in gratitude at the work I witnessed the Lord doing in his heart.
Since then we have experienced so much joy and adventure in our marriage. We’ve also endured   more heartache with losing my mom and our little boy, Marshall in the following 10 years…. Even then, God has blessed us with 6 sons who are so full of life and teach us so much more than we could have imagined!
I am blessed beyond measure. Through it all, I have seen how God works in our hearts when we are simply seeking His purpose in our lives, open to the blessings He wants to give, and just loving Him and each other.
 
Mike and I have been married now for almost 18 years (been sweethearts for almost 23!) and fall in love more and more each day. It really
does get sweeter.

This guest post was written by Andrea Studt, devoted wife, mother, and homeschool teacher. Join us for more romantic stories all week long during our How We Met series on Messy Mom.com 

By | February 11th, 2015|Marriage, Uncategorized|11 Comments

When Kailei met Brad

I’m Kailei.
He’s Brad.
And we are two best friends in love.
We might as well start from the very
beginning…
and then we will fast forward to the here and
now.
Brad and I met in Preschool.
Really.
We were instantly best friends… mainly
because I insisted on such!
One day, I noticed that Brad was playing with
another little girl.
I wasn’t okay with that.
So I walked up to him and said “Brad, I
need to talk to you!!”
He obediently followed me away from
Allie.
“You can’t play with other girls
anymore.”
Again, Brad agreed.
Some may say that this is where my bossy
nature began. I choose to call it life planning.
And our life-long friendship began.
 We moved on to Kindergarten and were blessed to be in the same class. 
I’m on the left. Brad’s on the right.
Apparently, I let Brad have more friends once
we reached Kindergarten.
Throughout elementary school, we remained
great friends.
Brad is Swedish, and each year he chose a
friend to play St Lucia as he told about the history. I got to do it in 3rd grade.
 We both ran for Student Body Historian
in 6th Grade.
And Brad beat me.
I’m not still bitter or anything
And then Junior High came. You know that
awkward age where you’re trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in?
When you want to make sure that you get to sit at the “cool kid’s
table” during lunch? When you want people to start noticing who you
are?
We sort of grew apart.
Then one day, we realized that we really
missed each other.
That it was silly to not be friends.
And then it was just like old times
again.
In 9th grade, we ran for Student
Council.
This time, I made sure that we ran for different offices.
And we both won.
We thought we were pretty cool.
Once we started in to high school, I think
that everyone knew that we really liked each other. A lot.
But neither of us would admit such things. We
were best friends. That was all.
The day I turned 16 was the day of the big homecoming
game.
I was so happy that I would be old enough to
go.
I really hoped that Brad would ask me.
And he did!! We were each other’s first date.
Maybe it sounds weird; maybe a 16 year old
doesn’t know such things,
but something about that date just felt right.
It just felt good.
It wasn’t awkward or weird at all.
It was perfect.
But then things got weird.
We started going on dates more and more often
and we were together all of the time.
It was fun, but we were getting worried. We
didn’t want a steady boyfriend/girlfriend.
We were discouraged from having steady
boyfriends/girlfriends and didn’t want
 to go
against what we felt was right.
Could two people who really liked each other
just be best friends?
So instead of rationally talking it out and
making sure that we were just friends, I cut things off completely. I still
remember the night that I explained all of that to Brad
and basically told him that I couldn’t see him
as much.
 He cried.
I felt like scum.
For about a year, we didn’t really see much of
each other.
I hated it.
And then, just like in Jr. High, we realized
that we really missed each other,
and became best friends again.
But it was different this time. More
cautious.
We had many common interests…
though Brad now claims that lots of them were
my interests that he jumped on board with.
We really liked American Idol, and even went
to an Idols Live concert.


We are both very musical and did Choir and
Orchestra.
We were able to go on a trip to Washington
D.C. with our music groups and it was a blast!
And we graduated from High School!!
Before we graduated, Brad already had a call
to serve an LDS church mission in Nicaragua.
He was off to South America, and I was off to
college.
Brad and I wrote every now and again, but
nothing serious.
I knew that he was loving his mission and
serving the Lord with all of his heart.
I knew that he was a great missionary.
Meanwhile, I was loving university life. I
loved going to institute and learning more about the gospel. I loved meeting
new friends and I really loved the education that I was receiving.
 I dated a lot while Brad was gone.
I dated good guys. But something was always
holding me back.
I wanted to serve a mission, but when I prayed
about it, it didn’t feel right.
I was sad, but listened.
Brad got home and we started dating
exclusively a few months after he returned.
Something didn’t feel right.
I was devastated. I had always thought that it
would work out once we were older.
The day before I broke up with Brad, I felt
that it was time.
I could now serve a mission.
We broke up.
Brad asked if it was forever.
I said yes.
I received my mission call to Argentina and I
could not have been happier!
My mission was definitely the most amazing
experience I had had up to that point.
It was wonderful to be able to serve the Lord
100% of the time
and not worry about anything else.
Again, Brad wrote every now and again, but not
often. He went to school.
He dated a lot. But he didn’t get
married.
Coming home, I was nervous to see him. I
didn’t know what would happen, if anything.
After all, I had told him I wasn’t interested
in dating again.
Only problem was, I was interested.
But would he be?
The first time I saw him again, I got that
tingly feeling. Something felt good. Right.
And I knew then that I would marry him.
Luckily, he was feeling something too.
We began dating very soon thereafter.
 Our first date after the mission was a
“thrifty ball.”


I taught Brad how to make Argentine Empanadas.
Basically, we just had a lot of fun. There
were moments where I had little “freak outs.”
I had only been home a few weeks when we
started dating exclusively.
That didn’t seem normal.
We were already talking about marriage.
That was fast!
I knew that it was right, but I just couldn’t
move forward.
Then, I went on a trip with my family.
And I missed Brad terribly.
I knew I couldn’t be without him.
So we got engaged.
And 5 months to the day of me returning home
from Argentina,
we were sealed for all eternity.
Thanks to Darby Elizabeth
Photography
 for the amazing
pictures!!
We don’t remember life without each other
and now we won’t ever have to.
We now live in Utah where Brad is attending
law school.
We have been married for a year and a half and
are expecting our first baby!
This year and a half has been a blast and we
are loving every moment we have together.
We aren’t perfect,

 

but we are perfect for each other.

Kailei and Brad have a blog where they write about the things they do to increase their love for each other every and they  hope to help readers feel inspired to do the same. From date nights to dinner, love notes to faith you can find it all at www.twobestfriendsinlove.blogspot.com
You can also follow them on BloglovinPinterest, Twitter, and Instagram

For more love stories be sure to follow the How We Met series all week here at MessyMom.com .
By | February 10th, 2015|Marriage, Uncategorized|13 Comments

When Karin Met Cameron

For 28 years I always heard common clichés like, “You’ll find the one when you least expect it” or “Don’t go looking for love, let it come to you.” When I began graduate school, meeting a man, dating, and marriage where not what I was expecting nor what I was searching for. The dread of working full time while putting myself through school, writing papers, and late night studying consumed me as I attended my first class of grad school, Lifespan Development which now seems ironic. In the same class was Cameron, one of all four guys in that class… and one of only a hand full of men in the program for that matter. We were both beginning our graduate school journey towards becoming professional counselors. He sat a row ahead of me, constantly glancing at the clock anxiously waiting for the class to end.

Change began to happen one night during a group presentation. The activity was to list your negotiables, the values and beliefs there were flexible in a potential relationship, and non-negotiables, the values and beliefs that needed to be exactly matching for the relationship to be viable. We then compared it to the list of the man assigned to the group of 4 or 5 women. Out of five women in my group, my list came out more compatible for a relationship with Cameron than the all others in the group with only 1 category not matching out of 5 negotiable and 5 non-negotiable items. The leader of the exercise joked if there were going to be any love matches from this, but I didn’t think much of the match at that time and wrote it off as an interesting little activity. Later in the semester, Cameron flagged me down in the parking lot near our class one night to introduce himself and talk about our mutual interest in traveling to Peru as I had posted on Facebook about going someday. We made small talk from then on, but lost touch over the Christmas break.

A semester later, we ran into each other on campus. We enjoyed catching up, talking about the new classes we were enrolled in that semester, various theories of counseling, and discussing Viktor Frankle’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” which Cameron had loaned me earlier. Through our conversations, Cameron learned that at the time I was living in a notorious part of town (considered by some) and he expressed interest in coming to visit and checking it out for himself. One weekend in February he came over …and continued to come over every weekend after that (and I mean EVERY weekend)! We enjoyed doing things together like going to a roller derby, shopping in the farmers market, going for hikes and walks, and watching our favorite TV shows (Firefly is the bomb!).

Throughout that spring and summer, Cameron made an effort to come visit every Saturday and even came from his home 47 minutes from mine on Sundays to go to a small church I attended and worked at with the youth group. During that time we did a lot of talking about our background and faith. Cameron often mentions that during this time of our relationship, I really ran him through the ringer of questions and discussions concerning our personal relationship with Christ, general beliefs, and values. Honestly, I would agree with his account of being a 21st century Spanish Inquisition, but I had waited 28 years and had been on several dates with a wide array of men that after getting to know them I knew were not a good match for me. At first glimpse he didn’t fit the mold of what a “Christian man” looks like from my dreams and expectations … he sure didn’t speak “Christian-ese” or fit the image of the Boaz I was going to marry one day.

We had many discussions about this idea of the “Christian man” and how that can look many different ways. I was battling those ideas that I had in my head and what I was experiencing as a true connection. I even went as far as showing up at his door step fully prepared to end the relationship despite my feelings that this was a genuine, great thing. Ultimately, Cameron proved his heart for the Lord and for me through action and deed.

 

His relentless pursuit of my heart while daily seeking the heart of God was very evident. When I was in the throes of a dark, depressed, and stressful time, Cameron lovingly supported and comforted me. When I drove over a curb, popped all four tires, bent three rims, and ran over a baby tree late one night, Cameron took off work and came over first thing the following morning to serve me by assisting with the repairs. His thoughts are towards me and shows love in my love languages…quality time and physical touch (Although he argues that my love languages are all five!). His heart is filled with compassion for his friends, family, and the clients that he works with, and as we have discovered he is my “like opposite”. His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa.

We’re only a year and a half into our marriage but Cameron has embraced his role as husband, protector, provider, and leader of our family (just the two of us and our little fur baby, Seren). We are working hard to honor God with our resources, choices, actions, forming healthy family habits, and planning for the future. However, it isn’t as story book as it may read. There are disagreements and hardships. I have said it is like running the 3 legged race of your life, for life! In the words of Cameron though, the sweet is never as sweet without the bitter…I’m sure he took that from a movie, he always quotes something. I know this though…this man was well worth the wait, not only as my first kiss, but also as the man I would marry and do life with, together

 

This guest post was written by Karin Schober and is a part of the series How We Met. Join us for more romantic stories all week long on Messy Mom.com
By | February 9th, 2015|Marriage, Uncategorized|12 Comments

How We Met- A Series of Love Stories

This is the biggest bloggity announcement I have made in a long time! After 7 years and over 1,400 posts I have never once had a guest blogger. All of that is about to change starting this week as we begin the series “How We Met”.
work21-872x1024

Each day this week a different couple will be contributing their own love story, and I hand picked my favorites. So you are not going to want to miss it!

The whole idea began with the time I wrote the post Where Did You Meet Your Spouse.

I thought it would be fun to take a poll about where my friends met their spouses, and to put a spin on it what would it be like if they got married at that same location. The online conversation really took off and I got over 100 responses.

Here is the question:

If you got married in the exact place that you first met your spouse where would that be? 

And here are some of the answers:

On a football field sideline
A bar 
At the mall on Black Friday
Sand volleyball courts
U-Scan at Kroger

That’s just a handful, but there were plenty of people from my poll that had met at college, someone’s house (through friends), or at church. It’s not so much about where you met your spouse it’s how you met your spouse that tells the story.

That is where “How We Met” comes in. Here’s a sneak peak at the couples that will be writing on Messy Mom this week. I’ll share WHERE they met, but you’ll have to come back for the rest of the series to find out HOW.
 karin
Met in a Grad School classroom
       picture-17
Met at  preschool
Met at the gym

Met in his pick up truck in her driveway

164808_494379364699_1620903_n
Met in a parking lot
I cannot wait to hear from all these amazing couples and read each of their unique love stories.
Tomorrow kicks off my first guest post.
 Happy Valentine’s week everybody! 
By | February 8th, 2015|Marriage, Uncategorized|8 Comments

15 Years Ago I Wasn’t Quite In Love

This is a really exciting year for me you guys. I am a bit of a romantic, and while most of our anniversaries are low key, the 5th and the 10th were unforgettable. Seriously. My wedding day, 5 year, and 10 year anniversary rank super high on the best days of my life list. This year will mark our 15th anniversary and so you are going to hear me talking about about this milestone A LOT. Even our Christmas card will be paying homage to our 15 year mark.

Before I get too excited about all that lovey dovey stuff, let’s time travel to see what our relationship was like at this time 15 years ago.

This photo is from ’98. J is being silly with the heart sunglasses and I am sporting my American Eagle overalls because it was the 90’s. 

I am in High School. J is in college.

Here is an excerpt from my diary from February 8, 2000. I did leave out names, but other than that it is exactly as I wrote it 15 years ago!

On Friday “J” and “Friend” were as clingy as ever. Everything is cleared up between me and them, but I have to admit I still get very annoyed by them. My mom doesn’t understand why I am bitter, but she doesn’t see the same side of J as I do, but don’t get me wrong I love the guy to death and I would do anything for him.

Here is my translation now that I am a grown woman looking back at my hormonal 17 year old angst. 

Jeremy is  friends with another girl. They flirt and I am extremely jealous. I would never admit that. Not to Jeremy, or my mom, and certainly not to myself. I have feelings for this guy that I claim are  platonic, but the truth is I don’t know how to process all these emotions, so apparently I am “bitter”. 

Here is another one from just a couple weeks later. February 15, 2000

“Yesterday was absolutely horrible. I had no valentine and was exhausted from working ALL WEEKEND. I got home from school and I just went in my room and cried. Then my mom came in and told me I had a visitor. It was “cute boy”. So I tried to pull myself together and went out there, and we talked for a long time. You know what? I know I’ve been acting weird and emotional. I’ve just felt different lately. So I am going to leave out all of the details of my lame teenage life for just a moment. I may get to talking about it all sooner or later, but for now I am just going to write.
Jeremy is sick tonight. He just has the flu, but I feel bad for him. I know I have said a lot of mean things about him, but he is the greatest guy I have ever known (or at least one of). I love him very much in a way that I cannot explain. It’s not romantic love, or brotherly love, or even friendly love, I don’t know what it is, but I care about him a lot and it kills me to see him sick.”

Translation: 

I am so mad because I have no Valentine and I had to work. What could be worse?! Oh the agony!!! Then this cute boy shows up at my doorstep. He really likes me. He said and did all the right things, including giving me sweet little gifts that were inside jokes between the two of us, but I am not mentioning any of that because I have other things on my mind. 
Out of NOWHERE I have decided I am going to stop talking about boys and teenage stuff and start to dissect some of the emotions I am feeling for J who is a long time close friend of mine. At this point I am not ready to admit that I am head over heals in love with him, but I am suddenly falling hard and fast. For now, suffice it to say that I care about him and I want to take care of him. Whatever that means. 

Even though it’s embarrassing to share the unfiltered thoughts of my teenage diary, I can barely read that February 15th journal entry without tearing up now. Because in hindsight it’s like I can see the exact moment that I fell in love. Even if I claimed it wasn’t romantic.

It’s crazy to think of how quickly things changed. 15 years ago we were very close, but not quite in love. If someone had told me at the time that we would be married by the end of the year I would have thought they were insane. I would have bet money that I would become a famous actress by the end of the year before I would have believed any kind of marriage nonsense, but I am glad that I was wrong because I’d rather be married to J than be in Hollywood. Yes we were married young and there are definitely obstacles that come along with that, but that’s for another post. I’ll leave you with my favorite line from “The Fault In Our Stars” and I think it applies to our love story quite nicely. 

And 15 years later I am more in love than I have ever been. 

By | February 4th, 2015|Marriage, My Life, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Where Did You Meet Your Spouse?

Today is my anniversary (by the time I finally publish this it will be “yesterday was my anniversary”). I thought it would be fun to take a poll about where my friends met their spouses, and to put a spin on it what would it be like if they got married at that same location? *The online conversation really took off and I got nearly 100 responses between Instagram, a blogger forum, and Facebook.

The thing is, now I want to hear a hundred more details because I have always said I am a sucker for love stories. I actually have a few that I am going to tuck away for a Where Did You Meet Your Spouse? Part II blog post because they are just too good not to elaborate on. Trust me!

Here is the question:

If you got married in the exact place that you first met your spouse where would that be?

And here are some of the answers:


On a football field sideline


A bar (she was the bartender by the way) 


At the mall on Black Friday


Sand volleyball courts


A Fish Camp


U-Scan at Kroger


The Bus Station Downtown


9th Grade English Class


J Crew


“In the cafeteria of my university in Thailand. My husband (from Oregon) was part of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ)’s summer project group.” 

That’s just a handful, but there were plenty of people from my poll that had met at college, someone’s house (through friends), or at church. It’s not so much about WHERE you met your spouse it’s HOW you met your spouse that tells the story. For example I noticed a lot of people put the airport. Now before all you single ladies get gussied up and head to terminal E I should explain that a lot of this is because of online dating. More people are falling in love across the county and not even meeting in person until they travel to do so. I also noticed a lot of people had really interesting answers like the food court at the mall, but it wasn’t due to a pick up line by a stranger, it was a chance meeting through mutual friends. This got me thinking.

What is the most common way married couples find one another?

After doing a little research, it looks like my personal poll mirrored the population pretty well. Some reports that I read were conflicting, but it is pretty certain that work/school is number one, with connecting online shortly behind it. Can you believe that 1/4 of couples initially meet on the web these days! All of the studies I read also show meeting through mutual friends being up there as one of the highest ranking ways to find “the one”. Friends introducing friends is one form of match making that has stayed constant through the years, unlike many trends that have fluctuated with cultural changes.

For example in what we’ll call “the old days” more people were set up through their family members. These days families usually have little to no involvement. In the old days people married younger (and were possibly more commitment minded, but that’s just my speculation) so high school or even elementary school were not uncommon places to meet your future mate. In the old days no one met at work, because women didn’t work, but that all changed as more women went into the workforce. Your job increasingly became one of the number one ways to meet your husband or wife up until the 90’s when it started to decline for the first time and meeting on the web began to surface. Online dating now trumps work place relationships by far. Makes sense to me. I am sure it’s less awkward for everyone if you can avoid having to work with exes.

One of the most interesting findings I came across was from Time.com in an article by Laura Blue called “How Couples Meet” it ends with a  statement that caught me off guard coming from a secular magazine, it said:

“But does it really matter how couples meet? Yes and no, the survey suggests. The happiest couples, it seems, are those who met through church. These partners report the highest overall relationship satisfaction.” 

That’s good news for me since I did meet my husband at church. It happened when I was a young teenager whose family had to relocate thanks to my dad’s job. I was new at this church and it just so happened that J had taken a part time position as the new worship leader at the same church. As a young college student J was much older than me. So it wasn’t like we instantly fell for each other at, but the first time I saw him he was at the alter leading the congregation in songs to the Lord. After church my family invited him to have lunch with us.


This was about 16 years ago when we were “just friends” Note the overalls when they were trendy the first time!

We became good friends and did eventually fall in love of course. A couple years later we were married at that same church.


Here is a photoshopped version of a really scratched up scanned photo from our wedding day.

It wasn’t the most glamorous location. Seriously, it was an old metal building on the side of the highway under a giant billboard for Schlitterbahn water park. I never realized it until today, but our ceremony 14 years ago was almost a symbolic reenactment of the first day I ever laid eyes on him. Me at the back of the church walking down the aisle seeing him up at the alter. It was special.

One of the things I have really enjoyed about reading everyone’s answers  to that question I posted online today is that you could just tell by the way people responded that everyone was reliving that life changing moment. Sometimes it’s nice to reminisce, and today I have enjoyed doing it with all of you. So, thank you to everyone who helped me out with this little whim of a project. Or for my married friends that didn’t have a chance to answer feel free to share your story in the comments. I’d love to hear it. You know how I feel about love stories!

By | November 5th, 2014|Marriage, Uncategorized|16 Comments