10 Year Anniversary

Where has the time gone?
Wow, where has the time gone? It only feels like yesterday that Katie and I were in High School passing notes between classes and chatting on IM into the wee hours of the night. Never would I have imagined that God would have granted me the privilege of asking this girl to be my wife. But here I am, 14 total years of life with this amazing women.

Summer 2002 – Myrtle Beach
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The early days
10 years ago today, we made the scariest decision you can ever make at 19 years old. We said our vows and our I do’s and got married. We had a great showing of friends and family, as they supported us on the most pivotal day of our lives. I’m sure many people had their doubts about two 19 year-olds getting married so young. Even I, when I look back, think how crazy it was for us to get married. We spent the first year of wedded “bliss” in her parents basement, going to school and figuring out what ticks each other off. I was working at UPS at night and going to school during the day, while she worked as an office admin, while also going to school. After a year of let’s just say, iron sharpening iron, we decided to get our first apartment. I quit my job at UPS and got my first design job working as an interactive media guy for our church.

August 19, 2006 – Our Wedding
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Our first place
Getting in our own place really allowed us to learn alot about each other. We both grew up in entirely different house holds and we were still seeing how these 2 complicated puzzle pieces fit together. But some of the best memories I share with her are memories like living directly behind the The Derby in Grove City. Every night, they would dump trash cans of beer bottles into the dumpster. Friday’s were the worst. Or even when our neighbors behind us, would bang on the walls and make weird noises. Still haven’t figured out what they were doing.

Christmas 2009
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Joining the military
After a couple of years between a couple apartments, I started talking to Katie about joining the military. For the longest time I had this burning desire to do something more than work on the computer. Not to mention, after almost 4 years of being married to an excellent cook I had started to gain a little weight. So after a couple years of talking with my good friend and mentor, Terry Habegger, and several conversations with Katie that ended in crying, she and I decided to take the oath. 2 weeks after swearing in, I left for basic training. 10 weeks of nothing but letters back and forth took our relationship to another level. She was incredibly supportive and I couldn’t wait to see her. Graduating basic training and her being by my side was one of the best feelings to this day. I could tell she was genuinely proud of me, and that made me proud to be a soldier.

June 2010 – Graduated Basic Training/AIT
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Going to be a dad!
But if we back it up 10 weeks, something even crazier happened during basic training. The first week of basic training, a layover guy from a previous class was still in our barracks. He had already graduated and got his phone back, so I made friends with him real quick, and asked if I could send his number to Katie in case something happened at home. Well, that week Katie left an urgent text that I needed to call her. So while I was on fire guard at 2am, I crouched on a toilet in the barracks, whispering to her, when she told me she was pregnant. Say wha??? Suddenly that changed everything and I had a renewed sense of purpose (after I woke up from passing out in the bathroom – jk).

Natalie was born on October 23, 2010. Katie showed me how tough she really was, carrying Nat for 9 months pretty much on her own. Natalie came into the world and for nearly a year that kid was not happy. Every night she cried. Meanwhile, I had gotten my first adult job at Thirty-One Gifts and I was trying to make my mark in the industry, while managing the military. Katie primarily woke up at night and took care of Nat so I could be fresh for a long days work. Having our first kid was challenging, no doubt. But Natalie was by far the most incredible gift God has blessed us with, and seeing her grow up has been the highlight of our lives.

August 2015 / June 2016 – First and last day of pre-school
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Number 2
Our family was starting to grow, and the apartment life was getting too small. So we decided to buy our first house. We finally got around to meeting our neighbors, who turned into some of our closest friends. The Ortiz’s had 2 girls and were constantly helping us out. After about three years, their friendship was even more valuable. We were about ready to encounter another life changing moment. Katie was pregnant again! Except this time, I had just found out I was deploying to Afghanistan, and she was due 2 weeks before I left. 9 months went by fast and suddenly Katie was in labor with Ellie. Ellie was born on May 9, 2014. We spent 2 weeks together, and as soon as we went home from the hospital, I knew Katie would have a tough next year. Ellie was a cryer, and that’s pretty much all she did.

Ellie at our new neighborhood pool
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Deployed
After 2 weeks, I was on a plane heading for Fort Bliss, Texas and after a couple months, on another plane to Afghanistan. I got to see Katie and the girls for a short period of time before flying out, and Ellie was as crazy as ever. Thanks to Robbie and Jeni Todd and their awesome friendship, and the fact they lived in El Paso, they took the girls from time to time so we could hangout. Katie and I stayed in contact over the next 7 months living in different time zones. We Skyped over 20kb internet in the mornings and at night. Like the incredible wife that she is, she sent me care packages, letters, pictures, and always let me know that she cared and missed me. This made being away much easier to deal with. After 7 months, I was on a plane home and 2 weeks before Christmas I was reunited with my entire family.

December 2014 – Christmas surprise from Santa
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Loss and Addition
After a couple years of life settling down some, we had been surprised once again. This time it was a real surprise. Another member was being added to our family. We were not planning on more kids, so we were definitely not ready for this. We were terrified. How could we handle 3 kids?? However, this time it was a boy. Eventually, we became excited by the idea and hopped on board. About 16 weeks into the pregnancy we had another unexpected challenge. The Lord had decided that he was better off in heaven. This was heartbreaking. My wife and I struggled in different ways, but we knew that if we stayed faithful God would bless us.

However, going from thinking 2 was enough, my wife decided in her heart that 3 was what she wanted. So 2 months after our loss, we found out we were pregnant again! Except this time, as many of you know, we are having TWINS! If things weren’t challenging enough, having twins was by far the furthest thing from our minds, and if we were scared about having three, four petrified us. But just like in all things, Katie has shown how resilient she is. In every challenge she has shown how much tougher she is than me! Haha. Even though we’re still anxious about having 4 kids, we’re confident this will bring us even closer.

August 2016 – The Twins!
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Today
So that brings us to today. 10 years of marriage. We have bought our second home to make room for our addition. Our neighbors, the Ortiz’s, have moved into the same neighborhood, and we’re seconds from the country. We’re confident that God will continue to show us grace in the hard times, but more importantly God brought together two 19 year-olds from two entirely different worlds to take on the world together.

So, thank you Katie Webb for sticking it out 10 years with me and enduring all of our challenges and adventures together. We have soon to be 4 incredible kids, a roof over our head and a lifetime ahead of journey’s to look forward to. Thanks for being my co-pilot in life and I look forward to tackling and enjoying what lies ahead.

June 2016 – Just sold our old house
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