First comes love, then comes marriage…

On this blog, I’ll be sharing the joys, struggles, and faith involved in marriage, infertility, pregnancy, and motherhood. But, first I’ll take a step back and share how my fairy tale began when I met the teenager who became my soulmate.

I grew up in a small rural town in southwestern Ohio “where everybody knows your name”, we showed sheep at the county fair, and went to the $1.00 movie theater on Friday nights (yes, tickets really were just $1.00).

When I was in the eighth grade a new boy moved into town, Brian Gregory, and he was enrolled into my Spanish class. I was a whiz in Español and I always had a heart for befriending kids who were new or frequently picked on, so I introduced myself to him and helped him get acquainted. Before long, we developed a group of mutual friends and started spending more time together. By the time we started our freshman year we had become best friends and our friendship soon evolved into love.

On the day of my 16th birthday party, Brian was the first guest to arrive, unnecessarily early, and while it was just the two of us he played “Unchained Melody” (which later became our song), got down on one knee, gave me a rose, and asked me to be his girlfriend.

Jamie's 16th birthday party
Jamie’s 16th birthday party.

The years rolled by as we grew up together throughout high school. We shared experiences like getting our driver’s licenses (I’ll never forget the first time we drove ourselves on a date to dinner and a movie), cheering each other on at sporting events, and participating in FFA and powerlifting together (can you guess who initiated each of those activities?). We were inseparable and at the mere age of 18 we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but with college looming ahead we were nervous about the survival of our relationship.

Brian and Jamie - Senior Picture

Fortunately, we both received acceptance letters from the Ohio State University and navigated the next chapter of our lives together, becoming Buckeyes and transitioning into adulthood. In our usual style, college didn’t consist of wild parties for us but rather things like Harry Potter reading marathons, late night study sessions, raising a puppy, and mischievous fun like the night we built an 8-foot tall snowball and rolled it into the middle of a campus street where it stayed for several days until it melted.

OSU football game
Cheering on the Buckeyes at an OSU football game.

In the blink of an eye, we were college graduates starting our careers, him as a mechanical engineer and me as a high school agricultural science teacher. We got married, bought our first house, and the years rolled by.

Wedding picture

As adults, we’ve supported each other in times of adversity — the loss of loved ones, career changes, infertility, miscarriage, and operating a business together — and we’ve embraced each other in times of joy — adventurous vacations, growing our faith, sharing passions like hiking and playing guitar, and now welcoming twins into the world.

Jamaica horseback riding
Horseback riding in Jamaica.

It’s been nearly 16 years since a boy knelt before a girl and asked her to be his girlfriend. I can’t express how blessed I’ve been to have Brian by my side since that day, and I pray that someday our kids will be equally blessed to fall in love with their best friend.

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