Friday, October 3, 2008

One Heartbeat at a time

Two hearts, two of a kind Love at first sight, why do they say love is blind Slow down, we don't have to move fast Cause the love that is real is made to last


I can remember the moment like it was yesterday. It was September of 1986, I was 15 years old, it was my sophomore year in high school. I was walking to math class when I saw him. He was wearing Levi button fly jeans, a baby blue Nike t-shirt and yellow high top converse. I thought he had the cutest walk...he had a bounce to it. I asked my friend, Tamara if she knew his name...."Ashley" she told me. I must have looked at her funny cause she said, "really, that's his name." Wow I wasn't expecting that and I thought how cute...I like that name, Ashley. He must have heard us 'cause he turned around and made eye contact with me and smiled then winked. My heart skipped a beat. Maybe two.

After that moment he started coming around my locker and would twirl my hair and call me Madonna. (I was in that phase back then....dressed all crazy....different than everyone else.) He would only tease me or poke my side never really talk with me. Within this time he started dating my friend Pam....I was pissed because she knew I liked him. Although he dated Pam he continued to flirt with me. They broke up after only two weeks. (he later told me he dated her to get closer to me!) After they broke it off is when he actually started talking to me and holding a conversation and not just flirting. The first real conversation we had is when he told me his first name was John but everyone calls him Ashley....his middle name.

Homecoming was coming up that week and he asked me if I was going to go to the game. I had to work that night at TCBY but told him I would try to get off early. He said if I could get off early to meet him on the top bleacher of the stadium to the right of the concession stand. I begged and begged to get off early and they finally gave in. I had come to work prepared with a cute outfit to change into. I changed and walked over to the football field. Which by the way was about 2 miles from where I worked. I was so nervous walking up to that field. I hadn't had a "real" boyfriend before and I was imagining him asking me to be his girl. Maybe he would give me his ring. I spotted him immediately. I walked up to him and said, Hi, Ashley! And you know what he did....he shushed me!!! I was so mad. I just looked at him like seriously, you asked me to this game and then you shush me?!! I guess he could tell it bothered me cause he said, Oh, sorry I'm watching my friend Sean play. I thought of a million things to say in that moment and not one of them was pretty. All I could think of was I took off work for this? For him to be rude? To ignore me? To shush me?!!!! But, I thought he was cute, and I liked his personality, and the cute way he walked so I brushed it off and took a seat. I just sat there while he watched the rest of the game, we didn't say another word to each other until the game was over. Then I had all his attention. We went to the homecoming dance after the game. We hung around for about an hour then decided to drive around in his VW Beetle. We talked about our futures....what we wanted to be, where we wanted to go to college. We talked about family, friends and work. It was the best night! Obviously, one I've never forgotten. When he pulled onto my street to take me home I glanced at my watch, it was 11:45. We sat there for a moment just gazing into each others eyes. Then it happened, oh the butterflies were fluttering in my tummy, he asked me if he could kiss me....I didn't mouth a word....I guess my smile was yes enough. He leaned into me and kissed me.....my first real kiss! I was so nervous I said goodnight so fast and got out of the car. He yelled out, See ya later as I slammed the door.

I watched him turn the corner and as he did I let out a squeal of delight! I went in the house skipping with joy. I laid across my bed just giggling and hoping to see him the next day. My mom walked in and asked me how my night went. I told her that I just kissed the boy I was going to marry! That was October 3rd 1986!

Here we are 22 years later still together. We married 14 months after we met and had Meg 2 months later....I was only 16 years old! We decided to extend our family and had Tori 20 months after Meg. We did try for a 3rd child but was never successful.

This photo above Meg was 8 days old. This was the first time John got to meet her. He was in Tech School when she was born.

I was 4 months pregnant with Tori in this photo.

We beat all the odds that were against us being a young couple. A very young couple with a baby!!! I couldn't believe how many people were rude and would say horrible things like....It'll never last.....They don't know how to be parents.....They'll be divorced in a year...etcetera etcetera. Hurtful mean things!! Fortunately, My parents were very understanding and supportive!! Not once did they tell me we couldn't do it...they always said we could!! We celebrate this day more than our actual wedding anniversary (December 23rd) cause this is the day we fell in love with each other; the day we shared our hearts.

I believe being young parents helped us be better parents....we knew what to expect and we weren't shocked when things happened. We reacted differently to them then "older" parents would have. We knew when to be the parent and when to be the friend. We have always had the best relationship with our daughters. We have always been open and honest with them and they are the same way with us. I love it that they can call their Daddy or me and tell us secrets that most kids would only tell their best friends and would just die if their parents found out. Now that they are adults our relationship with them has become even stronger.

Above is a picture from this summer of our tattoos. We say 3 instead of I love you....cause of Oct. 3rd....we decided to get matching tattoos of our love.....John drew it up and we decided to put them on our ankles.

To my love, John Ashley....

Thank you for 22 amazing years. They weren't all easy but we learned from the mistakes we made and in return our marriage got stronger. Thank you for giving me two beautiful daughters...who we raised together to be beautiful strong women. I'm so thankful to God that we found each other at such an early age!! You are my soul mate!!! You still make my heart skip a beat and I still love the bounce in your step. I'm so happy to have grown up with you and happy to be growing old by your side. As always we will take it one heartbeat at a time. I love you. 3


27 comments:

BITRCountryGirl said...

That is sooo sweet! Does your hubby still go by his middle name? Definately beat the odds thats for sure! Have a great weekend!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Yes he still goes by Ashely! I started calling him John when he was in the Air Force 'cause he asked me too. I still call him Ashley though....when I'm upset with him!

letstalkmodern said...

Mrs. Betty, I love you & Mr. John! :)

Becky said...

Wow! What an amazing, beautiful story! That is so awsome! You words are dripping with your love for each other. I think I will be lucky too in the fact that my daughter and I are so close. She is 15 in 3 weeks, and while her friends and their parents are growing apart, she trusts and confides in me.
I think you having the support of your parents really helped your marriage. It is tough out there, and people say mean things. Good thing you 2 know better, and listen to your heart!

Heather said...

I am loving this post! October 5 is our wedding anniversary (I did a post kinda like yours today). And I thought we were young!

You and John obviously have a great relationship, both with each other and with your girls. What a blessing.

Thank you for sharing. I'm all teared up over here. You are truly an inspiration!

EmmaP said...

what a cute love story!!! The Madonna hair-twirling thing -- what a riot! And Yes - I LOVED guys in their button fly jeans...I had a few pair too, from where else but "Fall into the GAP, Fall into the GAP, Fall into the GAP!" Remember that commercial??? what a hott! Thanks for stopping by on your layover from BATW!!!

Holly said...

Oh I could just bawl that was so sweet! Your story is so beautiful and I love that you two beat the odds and still love each other. Praise the Lord! (I'm not pentecostal, I really mean that. :) Not that there is anything wrong with pentecostals. Oh I should backspace this).

mrsbear said...

That's beautiful. I love the flashback photos. It's wonderful that you were able to prove all those people wrong. You have an awesome family. Wishing you a wonderful day.

Melody said...

Ahhh! What a great love story! Happy Anniversary!

Brian and Staci said...

WOW! What a beautiful post! Staci here...from Oklahoma...I'm just getting around to thanking everyone for stopping by on my spotlight day. Thanks so much! I'm glad you have been to Oklahoma and enjoyed it :) Your girls are just beautiful and what an incredible story! GOOD FOR YOU!!!! And it sounds like you are even more in love! I LOVE IT that you defied the odds ! Have a great anniversary!

Your Man said...

Thank you Betty, not just for putting up with me for 22 years but for for always finding little creative ways to express your love for me like you did in this blog. I wish i was half as good as you when it comes to surprises and creativity. But hey I can fix just about anything you ask me to, that must be my nitch come to think of it. Love the blog its a great story, best of all its our story. I love you baby, have a great day. Loving you always, John 3

Tori said...

I'm so happy to say i have parents who are still in love after twenty two years together-we all know that's not extremely common anymore!
i love you both & you are, handsdown, the most beautiful parents.
hope your day is amazing!

Mommy2lilgems said...

what a beautiful and touching story! My parents are celebrating 30 years next month and it is always an inspritation to hear about successful marriages like their and yours!

Aubrey said...

*sniff, sniff*
Dang it! I was hoping to get through that post without shedding a tear. It reminds me a lot of my story and the love I have for my husband and my kids. You are an inspiration to me!
Happy Anniversary!
*sniff*

Nicole said...

Oh, that is so sweet! Love the trip down memory lane :o)

Tori said...

feel better pretty lady!
love you beaucoup, momma!

Evi said...

Happy ANNIVERSARY to you both. My husband and I have been married for 14 years and I love him more every day. It's so nice to know there are still others out there with the same affection for each other as we do.

I appreciate you coming back for another visit to let me know what you do. I wish we had people like that around here who were more readily available. Thank you for the link as well.

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Omigosh...this teared me up.. I loved reading this. I have been with my dh since I was 16..and am now 34....time flies. Thank-you soooo much for coming by and congratulating me on sits. cherry

Serahs said...

What an amazing love story? I was searching for love story blogs and then I found yours. When I read your bio and it said that you had two beautiful grown daughters, I said, "She looks like she should be in college herself!" You and your husband are definitely an inspiration and I'm glad you had such supportive parents. I know so many people who don't have supportive parents for young love. Cherish each other forever. :)

WheresMyAngels said...

What a great story!!

I know several people that were married at 16 and are still together after 20 years or more. Me, I can't imagine having been that young, but I wasn't very mature at that age either!! lol

Soon I am going to set a date to have an 80's days where we post our 80's pictures. You look like you have some great ones. I used to dress a little different too. I miss them days!

Happy Anniversary!

Julie said...

What a fun story to share with us... I loved reading it, especially the part about Madonna... didn't we all have her look for a while? Gotta love the 80's!! What a blessing that your family was so supportive, isn't that what families should be like? What a wonderful way to honor your husband by praising him on your blog... and I LOVE the fact your husband and daughter commented on the post... so precious! I have really enjoyed getting to know you through your blog! Thanks for sharing your life with us, and the pics, they are great!

Barbara said...

Even tho your dad and I lived most of the last 22 years with you guys, I still cried through the whole blog like it was the first time hearing it. Maybe because I know just how hard it was for you two and you beat all the odds. Your dad loved you both and was real proud to call John his son-in-law. I do too.
Love you both,
mom

American in Norway said...

OK..that is ther SWEETEST story! You have such a beautiful family...

WOW! I love all of the flash back photos... takes me back!

momto1 said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing and happy 22 years (plus two days) to you both! I really love your photos!

52 Faces said...

I got goosebumps on my arms reading this it was so romantic! You did beat odds and I love this post.

Found you through Just Call Me Sleep Deprived (which I found through her sister's cancer blog). Nice to meet you!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

What a wonderful post & story. Congrats & happy 3 years! I love the tattoos!

Becky :) said...

What an inspiring story. The love you have for each other is just amazing. I salute you and here's to 20 more years.