When I asked about their story -
"It all started back in February 1987 - my senior year of high school - Jody and I were introduced to each other through a mutual friend at Walt's Bar & Restaurant in Worcester, NY. Drinks, dancing, bar food and friends were the start of our love story, but we didn't know it at the time.
What caught my eye you ask? His beautiful blue eyes and his stunning smile are the first thing you see... his sense of humor followed suit..
Through our conversations on that first night and many phone calls later learned so much about Jody (Doc - as everyone called him) he loved to bowl and play softball - was an incredible center fielder and bowled on a bowling league right in Worcester - the same place that my gym class had bowling... well, I took the initiative and left "Doc" a note with my phone number and a note to call me! He called and our first date was on March 7, 1987, we went to have pizza and then to see a movie - we were supposed to see a different movie but I was insistent that I had the right theatre - wrong... we ended up seeing "Black Widow" - not something that either one of us wanted to see.... This is the night that he first kissed me with his soft butterfly kisses. His loving caresses made my skin tingle. His attention to detail and making me happy and content continue even after all of these years.
Our courtship continued with me walking to Greenleaf with one of my girlfriends just to see "Doc" for a few minutes before heading back to school, dates every week where Jody would bring me either flowers or a stuffed animal and we would go dancing, bowling, softball games or hang out playing cards with friends.
Jody always had a way with words and would leave me poems that he wrote on the table to find many times a week, he spoiled me with either stuffed animals or flowers almost every week. Even as the years went on he would still bring me home flowers.
Education has been a big part in our lives, I went to college and earned an Associates in Applied Science with a major in Travel & Tourism and a certification in Hotel/Motel Management.The college semester ended and with that came Jody down on one knee proposing Christmas morning in front of my family. A few short months later Jody and I moved in together .
Our wedding was planned for August 6th,1988 at the United Methodist Church in Worcester. We each had 4 attendants on each side and over 150 of our friends and family came to witness this incredible moment!
Our son Shawn was born August 29th just nine days after a family trip to Virginia Beach. Two years later, September 29, 1992 Brii Cher'ri was born. We had moved a few times and we were now living in Maryland in a very small trailer.... In 1994 we bought the home we currently live in - the home that we raised both of our children in, a home where we made memories, had good times and bad.... In 2007, we took our first REAL family trip to North Carolina and that was followed with a second trip to NC in 2008. Who would have ever thought that I would "lose" my children to their first vacation state??? But at least now I have a place to visit!!!!
When we were raising our children we didn't do many date nights - we did family things, sporting events and musicals - our lives revolved around our children and We don't regret that at all! By 2010 both our children had graduated highschool and were off to college on their own paths,In 2012, we gained a son in law the wonderful Joe ! and in2013 we adopted our Pitt-Lab mix Leah from the local animal shelter.... I am not sure who rescued whom in this case..... What a pleasure she has been. It's like having a child all over again!
In 2017 brought a lot of new to our lives.... We became grandparents to Phoenix . What an incredible experience it has been! On top of that we became "empty nesters" full time, when Shawn moved to Wilmington, NC in April.
I will not tell you that there haven't been challenges cause every relationship has those... but we both come from a long line of love and when something is "broke" you fix it to the best of your ability - if the situation is repairable. I love my husband more today than I did when we exchanged vows 30 years ago. Jody has a way of making me feel special, the coffee or breakfast served in bed or in my recliner, the hand holding as we walk anywhere together, the kisses hello, goodbye and goodnight.
Our "engagement retake session" came as a surprise when brii told me to bring clothes with me when we were due to visit for Phoenix's 1st Birthday celebration. She was like you never had them done Professionally... and you know what she is right. We never had the money to pay for something like that. Our 'engagement' photo's are of us dressed up and my mom took them with her camera as we stood in front of a background of paneling. This should be a snap right.... just put the clothes on that you brought with you.... right???? Uh, No, not really.... brii is so good at her job that I will tell you I was in probably 5 different shirts, jackets, skirts... just to get the look that brii was looking for. Wow - this girl is tough - but she knows her stuff. Finally, we are ready to go shoot these photo's - this should be easy too right - just stand there??? NOPE, she directs everything; look this way, pretend to kiss (how the hell do you do that??) She calls it the Nicholas Sparks pose & to be sure if you have shot with her you know it. We were scolded many times for REALLY kissing everytime she told us to almost kiss! Put your hand here nwalk like this, look that way, pretend to laugh, dad whisper something in her ear. Which had me in stitches (I can only image what we looked like when doing this!) I will tell you that I have never had so much fun! I will honestly say that this first professional photo shoot was a blast and brii Cher'ri is incredible to work with!"
As you can tell my Mom is a much more thorough writer than I am. I get excited and babble with all the creative details so their story was much better explained by her!
I will say a few things. I learned a lot from my parents. I learned how to play sports, not great but hey I tried, they made sure of that Hahah! But Shawn got all of the sports genes while I got the artistic ones. I learned to be strong both in body & spirit, that no one can take away something you don't give them in the first place. But also that some people are worth giving to. It isn't always about you. Take care of one another, push each other to be the best version of themselves and in turn you will be the best version of a couple together too. I am sure there is a million and more things but I am so excited to share their photos with everyone & celebrate this huge moment in their lives.
Good job Mom & Dad You've made it 30 years dealing with one anothers shit and thats uber impressive especially with children like Shawn & I to stress you out!