Journey to Parenthood · Loss

Our First Angel Baby

When I found out, I was shocked and thrilled that we had conceived so quickly. The average time is usually between 6 months to a year and this had just been our first month trying. I speculated that I MIGHT be pregnant when I was back in my hometown at my moms house. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high (or take a preg test there…because that’s kind of awkward). In addition to that, Clayton was back home in Lubbock so I didn’t want to do it without being able to tell him ASAP. So I impatiently waited until I went back home to Lubbock at the end of the weekend.
When I returned, it was April 24th. I took a test that I had stored away. POSITIVE!! I then rushed out and bought 2 more. All were POSITIVE!!! I was ecstatic! I cried happy tears, had uncontrollable shaking that wouldn’t stop, and tried to quickly brainstorm what cute way I was going to tell Clayton the news. We were just a few days past his 24th birthday in which we had taken a birthday trip to Austin with our friends. He thought that was his only present, and it was supposed to have been!, but now I had another HUGE present to give so I took advantage of the timing!

I tried my best to act normal as I came into the living room and told him I had to run a quick errand and would be right back. (Of course this is the one day he wasn’t gone at the station when I needed him to be so I wouldn’t seem so sketchy πŸ™„ haha.) I then ran quickly to Walmart and bought a ‘Happy Birthday Daddy’ card, a baby onsie, an ‘I love my Daddy’ bib, and one more pregnancy test because I was honestly still a little in denial and wanted to be superrrrr positive! I had–luckily–already ordered a t-shirt I planned to give him when the time came as well. I wrapped all of the announcement goodies in a sack and headed home feeling super lightheaded and giddy. After the final test being very positive, I presented Clayton with his presents and watched anxiously while he unwrapped them.

He was surprised (as was I with how quickly it happened for us!!!), excited, and in shock! He kept repeating, “Really?! Seriously??” over and over again until it (somewhat) sunk in. We were thrilled to be beginning our next stage in life together as parents! 

We called our doctor the next day to see if we needed to come in to have it confirmed. They said that, without a doubt, we were pregnant if that many tests said so! Things were starting to feel more real!! We were just 4 weeks along at the time we found out. We then scheduled an initial appointment at about 8 weeks.

We decided to wait 2 weeks past finding out to tell our parents. Our moms were coming into town then for Mother’s Day and we wanted to tell them in person! We had onsies made for our moms and Clayton’s dad. Then, we waited impatiently and tried our best to keep our exciting secret between the two of us! 

When the time came, we handed them their little boxes and watched as they were unwrapped. Their reactions were priceless and we all wrapped each other up in hugs of celebration. We then wanted to be sure we hurried and told Clayton’s dad soon after so his mom wouldn’t have to hold on to that secret! So the four of us made the 2 and a half hour drive to Abilene to do so in person! He was confused as ever when we came strolling in and handed him a little present, but happy and excited when he realized what was inside! This was going to be all of our parents first grand-baby!! 

We told a few other family members after that point and just a couple of our closest friends. We brainstormed with our parents about what they would be called by their grand-baby. We made plans for the nursery, plans for our future, and thought of baby names for our little one. I even switched jobs partially for the pregnancy (I was working with horses at the time in a job that had me on my feet and walking all day every day and it was getting harder on me physically). Everything in our lives was changing and being rearranged for this amazing little bundle of joy that we were so thrilled to be planning for. 

Everything pregnancy-wise went pretty smoothly. I had just one week of nausea where I never even got sick, I just constantly felt like I was going to be. But as far as I’ve heard, I was lucky by just having that little bit. The first appointment went fine, though we were disappointed to learn that we wouldn’t see or hear anything from our baby at the time. The 8 week appointment was more so just where we went in for info, to ask any questions we had, and to be given a ton of paperwork and pamphlets and hospital options.

From then on we just went on impatiently waiting for our 12 week appointment where we could see that sweet baby! We excitedly couldn’t hold our tongues very well and let it slip more and more every day to people that we were expecting. Honestly, the closer we got to our 12 week date where you’re supposedly ‘in the clear’, the safer we felt and the more people we told! One of my best friends got married not long before our 12 week mark and I was a bridesmaid. She suggested another one of her bridesmaids, that was also a photographer, take a few announcement pictures for us on her big day since the backdrop was gorgeous and because I would already have my hair and makeup professionally done as well as Clayton and I being all dressed up for the occasion. So I took her up on that great idea!

Everything was approaching so soon and I couldn’t wait to share our news with the world! We had our announcement picture all ready and were ready to tell people the day of our ultrasound when everything came back perfect and normal.

We knew from very early on that we didn’t want to know the gender. I wanted this to be the biggest, most amazing surprise of our lives. After all, what’s more exciting than that?! I also knew, though, from very early on that I was having a baby boy. A lot of moms say that they ‘just knew’ when it came to what gender they were having, and that’s exactly how I felt. I had a deep, deep down gut instinct that was telling me this baby was 100% a boy and so from that moment on, that’s what Baby Longmire was to me in my head whenever I daydreamed of him and our future.

We had just recently passed the one year mark of my dad passing away unexpectedly. It was the hardest thing I had ever been through but I was able to get through it a little easier knowing how excited he must have been looking down on us at this time in our lives. It was bitter sweet because I know how amazing he was with kids and how happy he would have been to be becoming a PawPaw and it broke my heart approaching this chapter in my life without him being there for it, but I knew still how excited he was for us looking down and seeing it all play out. We knew even before I was pregnant that our baby would have my dads name as a middle name, regardless of the gender. The day after Father’s Day was our ultrasound appointment. I felt like the timing was my dad saying he was there with us for it all.

We went in on the 20th of June. Anxious and nervous and giddy, we waited for the technician to speak as we looked on the screen at our baby. She wasn’t saying anything though. She said she would be right back and left the room. Clayton and I later discussed how we knew then that something wasn’t right. When she came back she had a doctor with her. He then continued the ultrasound and continued to take measurements. We saw our baby. We saw his body, head, arms, legs, fingers, and toes. But we also saw the look on the doctors face. It wasn’t good.

He told us that there was no heartbeat. Our baby had stopped growing and developing at 8 weeks 5 days. We should have at this point been at 12 weeks 5 days. We were in shock and completely devastated. Yes, we knew that there was always a risk of miscarriage. You hear occasional stories about them. But you never think that it will ever happen to you until, all of a sudden, it does.

We had what is referred to as a missed miscarriage. That is what happens when your body doesn’t realize that the baby it’s growing is no longer viable. My body just kept continuing on as if it was still pregnant. That’s why I never had any signs that things had gone wrong and no reason to assume anything was less than perfect. I was mad at my own body for betraying me and letting me go on thinking things were okay with our baby for a whole extra month when they indeed were not okay.

I had to take this horrid medication that caused my body to go into an unnatural type of labor. I don’t think that day could have been any more awful than it was. From then on I was a grieving mother. I became depressed and withdrawn for a piece of time. All I could do from that point on was just try to keep living. That’s all I was doing really was just surviving. 

I eventually somewhat came out of my funk (though I don’t think it is something I will ever really fully get over). I still had the urge though. The strong, strong urge to be a mother. That hadn’t gone away. If anything, I think the urge and want and need to be a mother became even stronger because I had a small glimpse of it. I wanted to try again.

Apparently, when some women get pregnant they lose their immunity to mumps, measles, and rubella. That’s not something you want to go without having. So I got that vaccine again. The catch here was that you have to wait to even think of getting pregnant for 3 months after getting this vaccine or it can lead to problems for baby. Now, 3 months doesn’t seem like such a long time. But to me, it was devastating and just another huge set back in becoming pregnant again. I’m an impatient person in most things in life and this was no exception at all. I wanted our family. The one we had hoped for, prayed for, and planned for. I knew it wouldn’t be the same because of our loss and that it would in no way replace what we had lost in our first sweet baby, but I also knew that I was ready to try again and when we couldn’t it was hard.

So we waited those three months and continued to learn how to live after this awful loss. I never got mad at Clayton or at God, like I’ve heard are both sometimes common in this case. I kept praying and kept looking forward to our next shot at starting our family.

Our baby’s due date is now rapidly approaching. He was due this coming December 30th. This is a hard, unexplainable season in life and I can’t even begin to verbalize all the emotions that we’ve been going through and will be going through on that actual day. I don’t know if the hole in my heart will ever go away or if, like it did when I lost my dad, it’ll just become a more manageable pain that I carry with me forever. But I do know that when our baby boy opened his eyes, he was greeted by The Lord and by my daddy up in heaven. And I know that I’ll meet that sweet little boy someday and that, until then, my dad will be raising his grandson just like I’d always pictured he would be. πŸ‘ΌπŸ»

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Our Wolf Creek Vacay πŸ—»β›·

When Clayton and I very first started dating we went on a ski trip with his family. He grew up in Abilene, which is a pretty far drive away from any good skiing mountains, so he had never been up until this trip. I, on the other hand, began skiing with my parents when I was around 4 or 5 years old. Growing up in Amarillo we were always a quick trip away from the mountains, so I grew up going most winters with my family. I was looking forward to helping him learn and getting to share in one of my favorite things with him! Being a naturally athletic guy, he picked it up very quickly. From that point on he’s been hooked and it’s been one of our favorite things to go do together ever since! We try to make at least one trip a year now.
To say we needed a getaway as of lately would be an extreme understatement. So that’s exactly what we did! A few of my favorite memories with my parents growing up were in Pagosa Springs, CO. I’ve wanted to take Clayton to Wolf Creek/Pagosa Springs for as long as I’ve known him. We were finally able to make this year the year and booked our trip!

The Wolf Creek Ski Resort doesn’t have anywhere to stay on the mountain. It’s a little bit of a drive from where you can stay in Pagosa Springs, but totally worth it. Wolf Creek is famously known as having the most snow in Colorado, which makes it an amazing ski destination and every bit worth the ~30 minute drive to the mountain. As far as staying in Pagosa Springs goes…the name gives away what is so appealing about this location. THE NATURAL HOT SPRINGS! 


We found a cute little Airbnb in Pagosa and then just checked out the cute little Pagosa Brewery down the street for dinner on our first night in town. Since I’m not the biggest beer fan, hubby enjoyed the house made brews (and by enjoyed I mean he completely loved them) while I fell in love with all the yummy food!


The next morning I was sweetly surprised with this little homemade breakfast fella by my darling hubs πŸ˜†

Our first full day there we were off to the slopes! The snow was as amazing as I had remembered. They had just received quite a bit of snow in the days before we arrived, so there was really good powder. Luckily for us, the storms had stopped in time for us to come in safely and the sun was out and shining for us during our whole trip!

Later on that night we went to dinner at a delicious Country French restaurant where we raved about our food choices throughout the entire meal because it was just THAT good!! Afterwards we went to one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to, The Springs! They have 23 natural mineral hot spring pools ranging from 83 degrees to 114 degrees F. They’re all positioned along the San Juan River and the view is amazingly beautiful! The mineral waters are also said to have healing powers. We always used to go at night (since we’re busy skiing during the day) so that’s what we did this time as well. I love the nighttime atmosphere because they turn on a bunch of pretty, twinkling lights and lanterns to light the area and it gives off a pretty glow throughout the springs. The springs being so hot in the crisp mountain air make them billow out steam over the entire area. The thick steam in the dark night sky makes you feel as though you’ve been taken to another world full of warm pools pouring off of huge mineral buildups. It really does feel magical! The steam, however, makes picture taking very hard if you can imagine! So below are the few pictures I could get while we were actually there. The daytime ones are taken from afar to better show the springs. I highly recommend everyone make a visit at some point in time!! You won’t be disappointed. 

After a refreshing soak to help our bodies recover from our first day of skiing, we were ready for our second and last day on the mountain. We found several new trails that we hadn’t been on the day before. Our favorites wound all throughout the trees and were pleasantly secluded in comparison to the rest of the mountain!​

​We wrapped up our last night at another cute brewery, Riff Raff Brewing Co., where I had a delicious sangria (cinnamon + brown sugar added in — who would’ve thought that’d be so tasty?!!)

We got up the next morning and did some shopping around the adorable little mountain town of Pagosa Springs on our way out of town. It was a quicker trip than we would have preferred but I loved every second of our much needed vacay! Until next time, Wolf Creek πŸ’™β„οΈπŸ—»β›·πŸŽΏπŸ’‹

Journey to Parenthood · Loss · Our Pack

Our AnnouncementΒ 

Several months ago, we hit huge bump in the road. Not once, but twice. We lost something we had longed and prayed constantly for. We lost our two first babies.

Once we got married, we wanted to wait a little while before expanding our little pack of a family. What I didn’t know was that I would become ready not too long after that decision. All of a sudden I had a strong urge to be a mother. This was probably half a year to a year into our marriage. I had agreed we should be married a little while first and adjust to that and enjoy that phase a little first. But then..out of nowhere..it hit! This urge and want and need and longing to be a Mama, and it didn’t lessen from that point on. It just grew!!

I told Clayton of my feelings but knew that we would probably still wait a little. He wasn’t quite ready and it was a huge decision to make and I wanted us to both be fully ready (or as ready as you can be). So we continued to wait and pray about it and had occasional coversations about it to check in and make sure we were both still somewhat on the same page. I was impatient, but I knew that this couldn’t happen before he was ready as well and that it for sure wasn’t something I wanted to rush or pressure him into. So I tried my best to be understanding while my urges grew stronger and stronger with the time that passed.

Finally, one day we talked and he said that he was ready!! I didn’t think he would be saying that as soon as he did, so I was shocked and thrilled!! We didn’t waste any time. We started trying.

Things took a turn from that point on.. If you follow me on my personal social media accounts, then you know the gist of what happened. Below I’ll share our announcement that was made on social media. It wasn’t the announcement we hoped and planned for, but it was one that after everything I felt needed to happen. I will go into more detail of each pregnancy and where we are now in my next several posts. So for now, here’s our announcement…:

“It’s with a sad and heavy heart that we’re about to share what has been going on in our lives the past several months. Social media has become a place of perfection where everyone posts the happy and the best parts of their lives, but I believe that we should also share our struggles and be real and vulnerable from time to time to truly be able to share in the happy and the joyous moments when they do come.
8 months ago we decided to expand our family, and we were quickly blessed to find out shortly after that we were expecting. We then, unfortunately, went on to lose that sweet baby due to miscarriage. We tried again and shortly after were blessed by another baby. And this week we have just lost our second angel baby to miscarriage. Along with the loss of my dad, this is the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. And all 3 losses in our first 2 years of marriage.

We never thought miscarriage was in our future. Why would it be? We’re both very young and healthy. We thought we were lucky, we conceived the first month we began trying. And then even after our first loss we thought surely our pain and suffering was over. We again counted ourselves lucky when we conceived on the first month back trying again, but the fear of miscarriage loomed in the back of our minds throughout the second pregnancy, only to have it happen again.

It wasn’t until our first loss that we learned how common miscarriages actually are, and that’s because they are never talked about. Whether it be because it makes people uncomfortable or because it’s hard and painful to discuss. It being so seldom talked about also makes going through one very lonely. You feel as if you shouldn’t talk about it for other people’s sake, when in reality it should be a time to talk about it for comfort and sake of healing.

I learned only after telling people of our loss that many, many women I knew had experienced this loss as well. And otherwise I would have never known it. Even men I knew had experienced it with their own wives. That is where I found some support and comfort. In the people that had been through it and experienced what I was now experiencing. I then learned just how common it was and then wondered even more why it was something that wasn’t talked about when it could truly be so healing to put your thoughts and feelings out there and to just have them be validated and understood. I realize that talking about this loss might not be what feels right to everyone and that if not comfortable with doing so, then that’s definitely their choice to make, but to me it feels right.

The first pregnancy, only the people whom we had let it slip to when we were excited later came to know of our loss. And I regret hiding that part of my life from everyone else now and didn’t want to do that again this time around. Going through such joy and then through such loss and grief truly changes you and who you are. It isn’t a bad thing for people to know why and to share in your journey. I want to be able to help those that go through this in the future and I can’t do that if no one ever knows of my own struggles. I don’t want going through losing a child to feel lonely and like you should feel guilty to open up about what’s happening in life for fear of making others uncomfortable. 

Any life, no matter how short, should be able to be acknowledged and celebrated. I have two angels in heaven that otherwise wouldn’t be known about because I was doing what is more comfortable socially. But now, I’m celebrating my babies and everyone else’s angel babies that are looking down on them. We’ve prayed throughout this whole process and talked to God the entire time. We know that He has a huge plan for us, the hardest part now is just patients. I also want to ask for prayer from whoever chooses to read this. Prayers for Clayton and I and our journey to parenthood, prayers for successful future pregnancies, and prayers for all who have to go through the same thing. 

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” πŸ™πŸ»β€οΈπŸŒˆπŸ‘ΌπŸ»πŸ‘ΌπŸ»”

Beauty · These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Lippy ObsessionΒ 

Let’s me just start this by saying NO, I do not sell the product! I’m just obsessed and wanted to share with others that haven’t heard of or tried it yet πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸΌ The lips that don’t quit!! LIPSENSE πŸ’‹

This lipstick is to die for. I’m not even normally a huge lipstick person but this changed my mind. I usually don’t like it for the mere fact that if I were to wear it, it’d be to dinner or a party with drinks or something of the sort where I’m eating or drinking. I don’t like reapplying in public! It takes away from what I’m doing and it’s almost always necessary after eating or drinking anything. With LipSense, you just put on gloss before you eat and all the color stays put!

​​
So, naturally, I went overboard and got a million colors πŸ˜… In my opinion it’s money well spent if you aren’t reapplying all day long. It’s just one and done so the product ends up lasting longer than your other lipsticks that you’d be having to touch up all throughout the day.


Many I know have trouble even getting it off at night when they’re TRYING in every way to get it off! I will say, the LipSense Oops! Remover + coconut oil OR Neutrogena wipes will do the trick! Otherwise, you might be wearing the same shade again the next day πŸ™ƒ

All of their colors are amazing and you can mix and match different ones to create a whole new color or to lighten or darken the shade. There are also different types of gloss that can change any color you wear into something slightly different.


The way you buy this product is through a distributor. There are tons of them so one near you should be easy to find if you’re looking! I can also direct you to mine if needed — just contact me! ❀️ The distributors are awesome because they can look at your skin tone and tell you what colors you would look amazing in and what colors you should stay away from (oranges for me!!). I’m able to pull some from the warm shades and some from the cool shades as well whereas my mom has to stay more in the warm color zone.

So long story short, if you’re a fan of makeup… just trust me. This stuff is gold!! Give it a shot πŸ’‹πŸ’„

Beauty · These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Change!

Change is good! Change is sometimes a necessity and sometimes just a fun little decision. When life gets hard, sometimes you just want to make a change. And so, I did!

Everyone tells me to NEVER EVER cut my hair.. haha I get it, it always been long, pretty, and healthy. But after all, it is MY hair! I wanted and needed a change in my life that I could actually have a say in and control and so…*snip snip*!

BEFORE:


AFTER:


I’m loving my new change and glad I took the leap! After all, hair is just hair and it WILL grow back! I fully intend to grow it back out and until then, I’ll enjoy being several pounds lighter πŸ˜† 

Married Life · Our Pack

The Wife of a Firefighter πŸš’πŸš¨πŸ‘°πŸ»

Many people don’t know that being a firefighters wife is any different than being any other persons wife. In many ways it isn’t. In many ways it’s an amazing job with great benefits, awesome perks, and as I hear all firefighters say, “It really is the best job ever.” In some ways, though, it can just downright suck (excuse my frankness).

When Clayton came to live with me that summer before we got engaged, we got spoiled! We were spoiled the summer before the engagement, the rest of the summer afterwards, and for several months past summer until he became employed by the fire department. We saw each other every day and every night around school and work. That became our new norm after the year and a half of long distance apart. And then our real life began.

When you’re with a firefighter, depending on where they work, they will have certain shifts. In our city, they do 24 hours on, 48 hours off. That means that I go 24 hours without having my husband around. While that might not seem so bad, for us it was a bit of a shock after getting used to being constantly together.

Date nights with other couples then depend on what nights your husband is home and can make it. Your everyday dinner plans change from one night to the next depending on if it’ll be for two, or if you’ll be eating alone that night. You worry about the line of work they’re in and if they’ll be safe through out the night depending on what calls might arise. You get used to sleeping alone a good part of your nights, which seems weird once you’re married. You never think ahead when you think of married life and imagine yourself sleeping alone like you did when you were single! And then if shifts need covering or if they get overtime, that adds on another 24 hours of away time.

I’m not going to lie, at the beginning I missed him a lot! I missed having him to myself every night and being able to make plans after work or school without having to think, “Oh, is tonight an off night or will he be gone for the night..?” And then what about when kids come? Would I feel like a single mom for a good portion of the time, raising my kids every 3rd day by myself?? Not to mention the fact that sometimes that day in falls on a big holiday. I started to feel like 1/3 of the time I was single again even though I was a newlywed! It just didn’t feel like I’d imagined marriage would.

Now, I know thus far it sounds like all cons..right? It did seem a little like that to me in the beginning. But then I had a change of heart after I got used to this new life. This is what I signed up for as a wife of a firefighter! This is part of their job which then, in turn, becomes part of our wife job as well. I know a lot of firefighters wives that ask how it’s so easy for me. I wouldn’t say it isn’t easy by any means, but I do think that the majority of our relationship being long distance probably made for some good practice for us!! I started to think of all the people that look up to firefighters and respect them for what they do. They really do make sacrifices to be there every third night. It doesn’t only take my husband from me on those nights, it also takes all of those men away from their families.They sacrifice family time, they sometimes sacrifice sleep (those all night long calls sound awful for a girl who loves her sleep), and at times they’re sacrificing their lives. I then realized that the least I could do was stop thinking about how it was affecting me, and start thinking about all of the other positives.

A lot of women I talk to find it difficult to find time to balance ‘friend time’ and ‘boyfriend/husband time’. A pro I realized was that I could begin to capitalize on this time I was going to spend away from my spouse regardless! I started making lots of plans with my girlfriends on nights that I knew Clayton was scheduled to be away at work. That way I was still having my girl time, without it needing to take away from my family time.

I also realized that I enjoy an occasional day alone! I’m an only child so I was used to always having time of my own that I could fill however I chose. Now I take advantage of that time and go get my nails done, treat myself to some occasional shopping, read, binge watch shows that I know my husband can’t stand…the sky is the limit for my ‘me time’ and I actually enjoy having that time back! (Not that I wouldn’t choose my husband home every night over all that ‘me time’, buuuut since he can’t be, might as well enjoy it!)

Where future children are concerned, I thought about the fact that I’ll probably be staying home with them. On days that he is off, we will both get to be at home all day raising our children together and spending that time with each other! Not many other jobs get that many days off with their kiddos. So though we’ll miss him dearly when he’s at the station (which we can still go and visit him at), it’ll almost make up for it with the days that he will get to be home and with us all day! They also get a lot of freedom with choosing time off or trading time so that they can be there for family vacations, family functions, kids activities, and be off at the drop of a hat if an emergency arises. The department really does try to make the guys jobs as family friendly as possible.The men are also there for each other. The bond between the guys at the stations are very neat to see. They become each others families away from home with all the time that is spent with each other. They have their own ‘house’ (station) where they basically live together during every third day. They hangout together, cook and eat all meals together, sleep there (in separate bedrooms) together, workout together, watch movies together, basically they do it all — together! How could you NOT become like family with that being the arrangement?! Most importantly, though, they all have each others backs. When they go on calls, they take care of each other and make decisions in the best interest of their team so that everyone stays safe and so everyone can make it back home to their other families. Who wouldn’t feel proud and comfortable with sending their spouse off to that every third night??So yes, there are a few cons to being married to a man that you don’t see as often as you’d choose to if you could.. But at the same time, it’s a job my husband loves and I couldn’t ask for more than that. Besides, doesn’t some distance make the heart grow fonder?! πŸ˜‰

Married Life · Our Pack · These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Our Love Story

Clayton and I met by chance through mutual friends. My freshman year of college I happened to be in Abilene, his hometown, on a road trip with two of my sorority sisters. We were there to see a friend of one of my road trip buddy’s that happened to be Clayton’s roommate! 

Though he was around for just a short while that weekend, I took notice. He was handsome and had an attractive, deep voice, an easygoing way to him, and a talent with the guitar (swoon). But the thing that appealed to me most was the open bible he had left laying out one morning before he left. This caught my eye because most guys our age didn’t seem to have religion at such a high priority. From that point I was intrigued.

I attempted to play it cool during the brief time we saw him before we left. I thought that surely I would never see this guy again since I had no reason to ever be back in Abilene, TX. So we all said our goodbyes and headed back to Lubbock. We stopped at a gas station to fill up on our way out of town. I’ll never forget it because, little did I know then, that’s where our story would begin. I mentioned casually that I though he was attractive. My friend then took it upon herself to let her friend know this piece of information and of course, he then told Clayton (yes, I was embarrassed, but also slightly giddy at the thought that he might then be interested as well).

Apparently he was at least the slightest bit curious, because not long after I had a Facebook message waiting for me. The gist of it was that I seemed like a “pretty cool girl” (cheesy now, it still makes us giggle) and that he’d like to get to know me better if I was interested, along with his phone number. Of course the three of us girls lost it in the car ride back after we read that! πŸ˜‚ 

A little unsure because of the whole distance thing, and hello!!!, I DIDN’T hardly even know the guy…but nonetheless, I sent him a text the next day. We then went on talking, all day everyday, for the next several months. We didn’t know where anything would go and at one point I was even so bold as to ask. I was a little deflated when he answered that he just saw us as friends for now, because I had gotten past the ‘just friends’ feeling by that point. But stubborn as I am, I knew that there was more to this relationship than friendship, even if he didn’t yet (haha)! πŸ˜‰ 

He then went on to visit me several times in Lubbock. Our first (I call it date, he didn’t know what to call it) was to a movie premier. But it wasn’t just any movie….it was one of the Twilight series premieres…you know, the vampire ones that girls for some reason loved and men for sure did not…..(oops) and it was with about 8 of my sorority sisters πŸ™ƒ (bless his heart). I knew he was a good guy when he went, was the only guy, didn’t complain, AND actually seemed to enjoy himself with us! Another trip he made to Lubbock was for a date party (usually themed sorority parties where you bring a date) and the theme was “Once Upon a Time”……. Every girls dream? Probably. Every guys dream? Not so much. But he was still a trooper and even helped me come up with our costume idea, Woody & Bo Peep from Toy Story! (And trust me, that was not the end of all of the dress up parties. Ohhhh no, that was just the tip of the iceberg!! *some pictured below) He then went on to visit me another time or two in Lubbock and I went a few times to see him in Abilene.

Not even a month after our ‘just friends for now’ conversation, I noticed that our topics had gotten much deeper and our tone much more than pure friendship. I knew that I was falling for this guy that I’d met just two short months ago and I knew that there was something on his end as well. He let on that I was right and that there were feelings that had built that he had been denying, and I knew that this was indeed going to turn into something. We then developed a more romantic relationship and were seeing each other every weekend from that point on, but we still weren’t a ‘couple’ yet by label terms.

So my bold (slightly impatient?) little self decided that I did, indeed, love him and so why not just say it?! 😱 Nervous as all get out, I was home in Amarillo for Christmas break and lying in my old bed in the bedroom of my childhood house. It was Christmas Eve and we were talking until the wee hours of the morning. We said our good nights and then, with a racing heart, when I knew he would be asleep…I typed out a text saying, “I love you” and hit ‘send’. πŸ˜±πŸ˜­πŸ˜–πŸ˜³πŸ˜πŸ˜œπŸ˜†πŸ™ƒπŸ˜°πŸ˜± Yes, I said I love you first. And yes, I panicked a little after doing so!! But with the damage done, I went to sleep leaving the effects of that message to be determined the next day.

To my (surprise? delight? all of the above?) I had a text waiting for me when I woke up. “I’ve been wanting to tell you for awhile now but wanted it to be in person, but I love you, too :)”. I just about died when I read those words, and then with it was another message, “Oh, and Merry Christmas!” Ummmm yeah!! Merry freakin Christmas to me indeed!!! πŸ˜† From that point on, we were inseparable (and official)!

Fast forward a year and a half of long distance (which truly does suck, if you were wondering) we were still living apart and having a hard time with it. His school kept him in Abilene and mine kept me in Lubbock. But after he finished paramedic school, we decided we didn’t want to do the distance anymore. He was going to move!! I still had some school left to go so that’s why he decided to come to me.

Marriage had been discussed at this point and we said we would most likely go back to Abilene once I finished up with school. We were ready to start our new chapter together and to FINALLY be done with all of the distance! We had shortly lived together over the summer while he was between school ending and his graduation, but I was nervous about the situation becoming permanent. I was wary about living with him just because I was a little old fashioned in that way. I wanted to be married, or at least engaged!, before I made that huge step with someone. Luckily for me, we had a little trip planned!

Our moms had gotten to know each other through us on a few occasions by that point and got along very well. We thought that a trip with the four of us sounded fun so we set off for Mexico! Once we were on our way, all of my friends were anxiously texting me little well wishes. They were all convinced that we would be getting engaged on this trip (because, hello?!?!! What better place than Cabo for a romantic engagement?!). I have to say, I too was hopeful and a little anxious.

After our first day there, I told my mom that while I was hopeful..I just didn’t see an engagement happening on this trip. We had just had an amazing day exploring Cabo but I just wasn’t feeling ‘it’. I wasn’t feeling that something big was coming and I didn’t want to waste away our vacation being anxious waiting for something or disappointed if nothing happened. So then and there before going to dinner that night I decided that I was going to drop it and just enjoy myself and my time with my people.

I somehow didn’t notice that Clayton wasn’t eating much at dinner and also didn’t notice that he wasn’t saying much. We were all just enjoying our dinnertime show that the resort put on. After we finished eating he asked if I wanted to take a picture on the beach. (Um, YES I do!) If you know me at all, you know that I, 1. Have a horrible memory and 2. LOVE to take pictures of EVERYTHING (perhaps subconsciously so that I can help with #1 and have all the pictures to remember the memories by!) So we walk down to the beach as the sun starts to go down and I notice that he’s walking a weirdly far distance away from me. I also notice he isn’t really talking and wonder what the deal is. He finally turns and comes towards me as I turn and get ready to pose for a picture. He then stops me and kneels down on one knee and I really wish I could tell you what was said after that point because honestly I just remember seeing trembling and tears and hearing myself say some shaky, choked out version of, “yes!!!” 

So yeah, that helped put my mind to ease a little about the living together situation…….and the whole being engaged part wasn’t too terrible either πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

We then had a year and three month long engagement filled with Clayton graduating and moving, me finishing school, him working as a paramedic, decorating our rental house, wedding planning, and spending time with our fur baby Sandie (whom I had had since high school).

Towards the end of that long engagement time, we bought a new furry addition to our family (Tuff) and bought our first house!! Clayton also got on full time with the Lubbock Fire Department, which has always been his dream job!

Fast forward to September, 27 2014. We got married in Canyon, TX just outside of my hometown at a place called Country Home Weddings. It was the most beautiful night and everything that we had planned came together flawlessly as we finally joined together as one and left as husband and wife!

 

Two years later here we are! Clayton is still a firefighter (which is why we chose Lubbock as our permanent home) and works part time as a paramedic in two small surrounding areas. I’m now working at a daycare and work with babies that are newborn-2 year olds and am absolutely in love with it! Sandie and Tuff are as spoiled as ever and we are currently working on expanding our little family (but that is a whole other story that has yet to come)!