From time to time I like to hold a contest on my facebook page. If you aren't connected to meon facebook, you can do so here or check out our fan page here.
The contest ended last night at midnight, and I am overwhelmed with the responses. There were so many, and so many I LOVED, that it was so so hard to pick! I chose 3. One grand prize winner of a free love session and a 16x20 of an image of their choice from that session, and 2 gift certificate winners!
I was originally going to only pick one, but just like when you go shopping for one thing, you end up with a bag full of happiness :) You know, it's pretty much the same thing!
DRUMROLL PLEASE! Here is the story of the GRAND PRIZE WINNER :) Grab some tissues! It's a good one!
This isn't your typical love story of boy+girl=Happily Ever After. Instead, this is a story of 2 young kids starting a family and trying to figure out their place in this crazy world!
Lucas and I began dating when I was 16 years old. We had the same circle of friends so we were friends first. We graduated high school and went to separate colleges. He was at IU and I was at Franklin. He did a lot of driving that year to come see me on the weekends. He sent me cards, drew me pictures and took me to the ballet. At the end of our first year of college we found out I was pregnant. Now, for 2 pretty straight laced kids this came as a shock to everyone. We felt like we had let everyone down. Then there was a flood of questions and the "When are you getting married?" All we knew was that we weren't going to get married unless we wanted to for all the right reasons.
So, late summer in 1998, Lucas went back to IU and I stayed home and got a job. I will never forget the one weekend Lucas came home to visit and brought baby clothes. He had stopped at the outlet mall on the way and bought an outfit for our unborn baby. I fell so deeply in love at that moment. Not only was Lucas a really great guy, but he was going to be an AMAZING father!
On the evening of January 25th I went into labor and Lucas sped home from IU. I do believe in record time! :) On January 26, 1999 our most amazing gift, Austin was born. He was perfect and beautiful and looked like his daddy. I had never felt such love. We were a perfect family of 3. Lucas drove home every Thursday night after that to be with us and then he'd head back to school on Sundays. I was 19, living at home with my mom and my son and missing Lucas so much. I was a kid raising a baby and needed my partner. In May of that year Lucas moved home for good. We got a place of our own and the 3 of us started learning how to be a family and it was more fun than we could have imagined! Watching Austin grow and learn new things was the greatest joy of our lives.
In 2001 we got married and Austin in his little tux was there to witness it all. A year later added a daughter, Kylie, to complete our family. I never knew a heart could hold so much love! I felt like I could burst.
I am now 31 years old. Tomorrow, 1/26/11, Austin will turn 12. I sit here and reflect back over this crazy journey of a life and I can't help but smile. Things weren't always easy. We didn't do things the traditional way and it's not a path I recommend. All the love in the world doesn't necessarily make the road smooth, but Lucas, Austin, and Kylie are the most amazing gifts God could have ever blessed me with. Lucas and I have became adults together, overcame so many challenges together, learned how to be parents together, and we look forward to the future together.
Our love story, 1 dad+1 mom+2 amazing children=Happily Ever After
Thank you, Nikki, for making me cry! ;) AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUSTIN!!
The gift certificate winners submitted these wonderful stories!
The summer of 1998 while away at Lakeside church camp, I was sitting on "section porch" with my girl friends. We were sharing about our boyfriends, friends and families back home and getting to know each other better. That year, Julie Gulick and Amy Kaylor were talking about Julie's little brother Josh. Amy was "dating" him at the time and they were asking for prayer for him as they called him "a rebel". They passed around a picture of him- and he was one geeky looking fella, but regardless, I went home that summer and prayed by name for Josh Gulick.
Flash forward to the Fall of 2001. I was attending and working at college and met a great friend, Tyson Nofzinger. Having just ended a very long and serious relationship in which I had shut out the rest of the world, I didn't have many friends or good relationships in my life. Tyson had been asking me to come to Campus Crusade for Christ with him on Thursday nights but I just wasn't sure about it since I didn't know anyone.
One night in October, Tyson asked me to go hang out with a couple people. When I got to his house, he introduced me to Josh Gulick. Immediately I said, "Aren't you Julie Gulick's little brother?" Yes, it was the same geeky boy I had prayed for years earlier. He jumped in the front seat with Tyson and I jumped in the back. You know how it goes in the back- you can't hear much so you're kinda out of the conversation. When we got to the party- he went to one side of the room and I stayed on the other. Neither of us was really impressed with each other.
I decided after meeting some of the people that night that attended Campus Crusade for Christ to give it a try. I loved it! Well, almost all of it. Josh Gulick was in the Bible Study before the events of the night and it seemed we couldn't agree on anything ever that was said. He was SO annoying to me!
One night I had a dream and guess who was the main character- yep you got it, Josh. I woke up in the middle of the night and just felt like God was saying I needed to talk to him. I immediately detested the ideal. It repulsed me to think about a conversation with this cat.
That Thursday at Campus I was inviting some people over for cards and he remembers me asking him to come, I remember him inviting himself. Anyway- he was coming over the next night and I wasn't looking forward to it!
When he was over- we started the night all as a group and he was clearly talking about a girl he liked. And it wasn't me. He was not a fan of me at all. As he says it now, he thought I was "totally stuck on myself!"
After a couple hours, Tyson kept encouraging me to talk to him. So I did. We wound up talking just the two of us for hours! Everyone left around 2:00 AM and at 2:30 AM my phone rang- it was Tyson. He had just dropped Josh off, as they rode together, and he talked about me the whole ride home.
You know what the funny thing was- I was ecstatic about that! I wasn't at all repulsed or annoyed. I was thinking about him too.
The next day, November 17th, 2001 Josh paged me. (Wow- that dates us doens't it?!) I called him back and he ended up asking me out that night on a date. We went to a party and left because there was a girl sitting in the chair beside me bawling her eyes out because she liked Josh and he was there with me. Talk about awkward! So we drove to the college where we met up and sat in his truck until 6 AM talking. It was the best night of my life.
4 1/2 months later, he proposed. And 4 1/2 months after that on August 10th, 2002 we were married.
This geeky boy that I prayed for by name 3 years before I met him- and at first encounter wanted nothing to do with him- is the man of my dreams. He's incredible- and the absolute love of my life. God knew exactly what He was doing!
I originally saw Robby one day at wal-mart. He stood out because he was extremely attractive and wearing a polo from the radio station I had just been hired to work at, WCSM. Shortly after the passing in Wal-mart I met Robby at a meeting at work. We got to chit-chatting about his college and hometown and just simple get to know you things. It was then that I found out that he grew up in Circleville, Ohio (about half an hour south of Columbus). Circleville was the same town that my grandparents were born and raised in and where most of my family on my fathers side still lives today, small world.
Robby had a fascinating passion for radio. His passion for it drew me towards it and I wanted to know more and learn more. I started job shadowing with him, any morning that I didn’t have school I was at the station by 6am. After months and months of me coming into the station we became best friends. I had a world of trust in him and confided everything in him and he had the same in me. We started to do small things out side of work. Started with walking around town, “work dinners”, walking my dog to the park, basically anything we could do to spend time together.
Relay for Life came up that summer and he and I were both extremely involved through the radio station. We spent 24 hours together, walking all night in memory and celebration of cancer patients throughout the area. My aunt had passed from pancreatic cancer only three days before relay so Robby’s comforting hand and smile meant the world to me even then. In the early morning of relay we walked to the Light House on Grand Lake and talked of our hopes for a family and our goals and dreams, which all somehow perfectly lined up. I knew from that moment on that God had placed me at WCSM and him in Celina at WCSM for a reason and that the love I felt for him that night would do nothing but grow over a lifetime.
Shortly after Relay Robby got a new job and moved two and a half hours away to Newark, Ohio. I was devastated, I had no idea how we would ever have a chance of having a relationship with him living in Newark and me starting school at Ball State University in the fall. I saw him about every other month and we kept in touch by texting and the occasional phone call but somehow our flame never got put out. We had an eight year age difference so dating with me being so young would have been impossible but we stayed as close of friends as we could not really knowing what the future would hold.
On April 25th, my best friend finally gave me my last first kiss. I am happier than I ever could have imagined knowing that I am spending the rest of my life with not only my best friend but the man God had chosen for me from the beginning and is perfect for me in absolutely every way, it's such a wonderful peace of mind! We have our work cut out for us though in many ways. I currently live in Muncie and he's in Newark so we have about a three hour drive one way to see each other. He has a full time job with a demanding schedule and I have a full load of classes so our time is limited but we make the most of it. It's been almost a year now and everything is falling into place by the grace of God just like it has from the beginning! I have five more years of school left but I have no doubts that we will make it through perfectly! I can't wait till I get to make the call to you to set up our engagements pictures!
Congrats, Ladies! And thank you to allllll that entered, I loved reading all your stories!! Keep on entering the contests to win big!
ALSO! This Saturday, January 29th, I will be at the 2011 Van Wert Bridal show at Willow Bend Country Club. I will be handing out information there and would love to meet some future clients! I will also have a past bride be there to share her experience of working with me. Plus, my hunky husband, Troy, will be there, and he's pretty nice to look at. If you just want to come by to look at Troy, feel free. ;)