But first a little background on us... I met the love of my life at 17 years old on a hot, warm summer night before I entered my senior year of high school. Both of us were busy, driven to reach our goals and focused-- I planning my college career and focusing on securing an academics and sports scholarship, and Derek was finishing up his last year in college and launching his first business. I had plans, he had plans-- but ultimately you never know what is in store when love enters the mix. Finding love so young was the last thing either of us expected, but "Cupid" had other plans... And let me tell you this, his plans were way better than ours!
When we are together there is pure JOY-- something I had never experienced before meeting Derek. There is nothing I can not tell my husband— and how is this the case? Because he is literally my best friend. He has this way of calming every anxiety or stress. When we are together there is no worry of what the oncoming future holds because as long as we have one another— we are A-OK!
After dating for just two months, Derek asked me to marry him. It was all so surreal! We were married a year later. We've now been married for 18 beautiful years and have three amazing sons.
We have had many good times, but no marriage is perfect every moment of every day. I had a lot of "self" to get over. By nature I was a type-A, always-anxious performer, that needed to learn to chill out. I was an independent woman -- but the truth was, I was stronger, better, happier when I was with Derek. Relationship stress always occurs in a marriage for a variety of reasons, but as I grew in learning to value myself — regardless of my performance, and realized I was worthy to be happy no matter the conditions, all the little relationship battles disappeared. Best of all, I learned to love myself and therefore love others better.
It’s not enough to tell someone you love them. The things you do speak volumes. That is how you communicate with your partner how you feel about them. We overcame every odd: Marrying young, different backgrounds and goals! If we can ignite a spark for an amazing marriage, I truly believe anyone can. It's not always easy, but it's worth it! I'm married to my best friend, my leader, my confidant and the man of my dreams. These are a few of the most powerful ways I know to show my sweetie that I love him and how we've built an incredible marriage!