day 13: our love story

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 13: Your current relationship status. If dating/married, give us a glimpse of your story! If single, share about this special season.

For those who are hopping over today from Bailey's blog, hi! I have been married to my Airman, Austen, for almost 4 years. Our anniversary is October 28. We can both say (and do) that we are more in love with each other now than when we first got married. Having been younger when we got married, and having gone through all that the military puts relationships through, I truly see how much of a blessing it is to be able to say that. 

Prelude to all of this: when I was in elementary school, my family was visiting the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. There was a wedding happening in their chapel, and we waited to see the bride and groom come running out underneath a saber salute. I remember being in awe of in and asking my mom if she was a princess. She looked at me and said, "No, she just married an Airman." I looked back and said dreamily, "Someday, I'm going to marry an Airman." Who would have thought I actually would?! Here's how it all started...

we weren't married in the academy chapel, but we were able to get a picture there last christmas while we visited my sister-in-law in colorado springs. also, their christmas eve service is such an incredible experience, for anyone in that area.

Austen & I were introduced through a mutual friend of ours. He was bouncing between living at his parent's house, an hour away from me, and his grandmother's house, about two hours away, when we first met. My friend had a crush on him, and one night that he was at his parent's, she wanted me to meet him. She was house sitting for someone with a pool (a hot ticket item for a bunch of college kids in Texas) and I was having a crappy night. She and Austen came over to my house, and the three of us went to where she was house sitting. Long story short, Austen & I stayed up all night talking. We both said we'd felt like we'd known each other for forever, and just hit it off right away. Later that week, we had our first date. He took me out to his great-aunt's hundred acres, right near my house, and we just laid in the bed of his truck talking. If you know me, that was the absolute perfect first date I could have ever asked for. 

Needless to say, my friend was not too thrilled with us. Even at the time, I knew he was worth it. 

It wasn't until a few months into our dating that we became monogamous, and actually started calling each other "boyfriend-girlfriend". He started to stay just at his parents, which kept us closer together. For a couple of months, we were long distance, as he got a job managing a deer lease for the company he had been working for, about four hours away. It was during this time that we actually grew closer together. It also was good prep for 8 1/2 weeks apart during basic training. 

One thing that we had agreed on that wasn't super normal of young 20s in relationships is we agreed to not say, "I love you," until we knew we wanted to get married. We'd both been hurt by those words in previous relationships and said from the very beginning no matter what our emotions felt, we wouldn't say it until we knew marriage was what we wanted. I really think this saved us a lot of heartache, and made that moment of saying it for the first time all the more special.

This whole time, I knew he wanted to join the military. It was just a matter of which branch, and the timing of it all. I don't really remember the process of him taking his ASVAB, or anything logistical like that. I do remember vividly when he called me to tell me that he was leaving in 5 weeks for basic training with the Air Force. I was happy on the phone with him, and immediately called my mom after crying. The 2 weeks leading up to him leaving, we spent pretty much all of our time together. Including going to a Texas Rangers baseball game in the box seats. 

It was within the last few days before he left, and it was our last big date night out together. His dad got us box seats from someone he knew, and it was awesome. Free food, free drinks, and just an all around great time. At one point towards the end of the evening is when he looked over and whispered, "You know what? I love you." I about melted. Maybe it was the fact we'd both had a couple of drinks, but hearing him say he loved me, and just before he was about to leave for 8 1/2 weeks was exactly what my heart would need to get through the long stretches of no letters or phone calls that were about to come. And of course, I told him I loved him, too. 

Basic training lasts 8 1/2 weeks with the Air Force. I got a quick phone call the night he got there, which was completely scripted, in which he gave me his address. I don't remember what he said at the end of the phone call, but it was something off the script, and I cried for days hoping he wouldn't turn into some robot personality. I heard from him that following Sunday for maybe 5 minutes, and then nothing for 3 weeks. Not a letter, not a phone call. I think I got maybe 4 phone calls his whole time there, and the longest one lasted 12 minutes. His last week before graduation, they had earned an hour long phone call. He called his sister for 15 minutes, his parents for another 15, and I got the last 30 minutes to talk with him. I was in heaven. He wrote me 2 letters while he was gone, and I still have them both (he's not much of a writer). I wrote him a letter a day. It was my only way of telling him what was going on, and I honestly loved my evenings to sit down and write to him about what I'd done that day, or how much I was missing him. He has 2 letters that he never got to open from me, and he said someday, maybe after the Air Force, he'll open them. 

His graduation was one of the happiest weekends of my life. I know that's cheesy to say, but it was so emotionally charged for me, I loved every second of it. It was 4 years ago this week (September 9-12), and it was incredible. The hardest part was saying goodbye again. 

Lucky for us, his tech school was 2 1/2 hours away in Wichita Falls, TX so I was able to go see him on Saturdays for the first two phases, and he was able to come home during phase three for 30 hours a weekend. It was his first weekend home that he proposed. It was crazy romantic. From a walk in the rain at the Dallas Arboretum, to ring shopping, to a limo waiting in front of my house to take us to Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas where we had a table waiting at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant upstairs with a dozen red roses sitting on the table. Oh, and lots of champagne. 

Five days later, we got married in a courthouse just outside of the Air Force base. Our immediate families were both able to be there, and it was also so, so sweet. 

Fast forward to almost 4 years later... Now, we've got two fur babies (Lilly & Shiloh) and are going to have our first baby! 

Not everyone would say a couple who knew each other for 15 months, got engaged, then married 5 days later when they were 21 and 22 years old would make it. I've actually had people tell me that to my face before. I think it goes back to our original mindset of not saying, "I love you," until we knew. Love for us was never about the emotions. It was about a decision, and knowing that the other person was the right one for us to spend our lives with. We've gone through our rough times, and I'm sure we have more to come. It would have been easy to say we got married too young, or too fast, or for whatever other excuse we could have come up with, and lots of people wouldn't have judged us. But that's not an option in our book. Because we know that love isn't how I feel about him, or how he feels about me. It's a choice. 


  1. I loved your story!!!!! The way he said I Love You was great! Did he have it planned or was it spur of the moment feeling?

  2. What a lovely story! Me and my husband spent similar time apart early on in our relationship, I remember those short and awkward late night phone calls! I love the perspective that love is a choice, because that is so true- every single day it's a choice.

  3. Love seeing those older pictures of you guys! And it's pretty awesome that when you were little you said that you wanted to marry an Airman, how cut! I definitely don't have anything against young married--my husband and I were only together 8 months before we got married, were long distance the entire time, and I was 19...and we're coming up on our 4th anniversary, too! 2010 was a good year. ;)

  4. What a beautiful story! My fiancé and I also waited to say 'I love you' until we knew that marriage was in the future for us. It was so special to save those words until they meant something more than 'I really like you'. I really 100% agree that love is a choice, and I'm sure that commitment with serve your relationship so well in the future. Thanks for sharing this :)

  5. Enjoyed reading your story :) The Academy Chapel looks so beautiful!!


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