Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Love and Marriage

A few blogs I read are doing a Love and Marriage link up this week (check out Shay) and I thought I would join in.  This week they did an introduction on their marriage, where it all started, etc. 

Here is my story and maybe some pictures if I can find some:

Nick and April
Nick and I met in December 2000 at The Limited (yes the retail store).  Nick was a cashier and helped with unloading merchandise from boxes in the stock room and I was just getting hired for a job as a sales person.  There were only three guys working at the store at the time and at this time I thought this was only going to be a seasonal job for me.  I was in my Senior year of high school and wanted some extra money during Christmas Break and some work experience to put on my resume.  My first thought was what guy would want to work at a girl's retail store, but I found out real quick - why not!? You get to be around women and he got free money to shop at Structure (now Express for Men) so he had nice dress clothes for work.  At this time Nick and I were both in relationships and were just friends who saw each other at work.  Moving forward I graduated from high school and was still working at The Limited (I liked it).  I had many friends who worked there and to this day I am still very close too and married too (ha!).  Nick and I started hanging out that summer and then in August I went off to college in Aggie Land.  We kind of had a mis-communication before I left and stopped talking for about 6 months.  Come December 2011 I got a call from Nick that he was having a party at his house and a friend of his wanted to meet me - would I like to come hang out.  I was actually in town for my 19th birthday visiting my parents and I went because I had nothing going on.  That was the re-start of our relationship!  We hung out most of Christmas Break and when I had to go back to college for the start of the new semester it was really hard.  Nick lived in Houston and was working and doing the community college thing.  Our relationship became long-distance which was something I was use to (previous boyfriend), but not Nick.  He would surprise me up at school to help me out with my Architecture projects or him and friends would come up to go to my Delta Zeta sorority parties or I would travel home to visit.  This went on for 2 years and then I decided I wanted to transfer schools and change my major.  I ended up moving to Fort Worth to attend TCU in the summer of 2003.  Nick tried to move up to Fort Worth, but it did not work out.  I lived in Fort Worth till December 2003 and during that time every other weekend I was in Houston and every other weekend he was in Fort Worth.  That semester was my worst semester of college.  I loved Fort Worth and TCU, but my major did not work out for me and even though my sister was attending TCU as well, I didn't have any friends up there.  I tried to start a chapter of my sorority at TCU, but there was no room for another sorority on campus.  Nick and I bought two dogs (Oscar and Max).  Therefore I decided to make another college change and major change and ended up back in Houston the Spring of 2004 attending University of Houston and living downtown.  Nick and I were excited to finally not have a long distance relationship, but again another major change for me.  I finally finished college in the Spring of 2006 (a year later than I should have) with an Art/Teacher degree.  I rejoined my sorority on campus and ended up moving again to start my student teaching - which was no where close to downtown.  December of 2005 Nick and I had been dating for 5 years.  We had many highs and lows during those five years.  Long distance and trust was a huge learning experience.  Rebuilding our relationship with God separetly and together was another big thing.  Nick finally proposed to me in a intimate setting December of 2005.  Of course I said "YES". 

The night he propsed

He had already asked my dad and had the ring during our Thanksgiving with my family (sneaky).  Fast forward - we knew our wedding had to be either in June or December because I was still in school (decided to start my masters degree in Education) and Nick was now attending SHSU for his teaching degree so we had to plan around school breaks.  We ended up getting married in December 2006 - a week after my birthday and a week before Christmas.  (sucks for Nick on the gift giving).  We really did not need a year to plan a wedding, but we were both so busy with school, so my mom helped out alot!  We had a beautiful wedding with lots of friends and family there to celebrate with us.

Cutting our cake
Mr. and Mrs. Bryan

Moving along -----> During our marriage from 2006-now:

I started my teaching job in the Fall of 2006 and Nick and I were both in school.  Nick worked random jobs around his school schedule to help pay for bills.  Nick also lived a semester up at SHSU and would come home on the weekends because his school schedule was so busy.  We ended up having our first child, Connor on Christmas day of 2008. 


Bought our first house in the summer of 2009 and then Nick graduated college in the Fall of 2009. 

Nick's college graduation

The struggles of him finishing school were very hard and then when he graduated we thought life was going to get way better with him having a salary job.  Boy were we in for a shocker.  This is when the economy went down and teaching jobs were very hard to come by.  Nick's major is in Kinesiology with a teaching certificate.  Those jobs are very hard to come by and we struggled with him finding a job for almost 2 years.  Nick was frustrated because it took him 10 years to graduate college (because he did not know what he wanted to do) and when he figured it out and did it  - he couldn't get a job for the life of him.  Those two years of our life really made us turn to God and trust that he had a plan for our family.  We really got involved in our church and life group during this time and our faith pulled us through.  Nick eventually got a job - not with what his degree is in, but something that he can make a career out of and support our family.  I am currently still teaching and coaching as well and we ended up being blessed with two more babies.  Caden in the Spring of 2011 and our baby girl Codi in the Spring of 2012. 



God has blessed us beyond what we could of ever asked for and wanted.  We learned some valuable lessons on finances, being patient, building our faith and being there for each other.  We are blessed to have wonderful parents who love us and our babies and our great examples for our marriage.  The things that really work for us and we feel our the key to a strong marriage is open communication, a Christ centered relationship, enjoying each other's company and doing things together, and being each other's number 1 fans.  I will go in more detail on those topic in the next weeks- come back and check it out.

Codi's baby dedication at church

The Bryan Family


3 Frogs and a Princess said...

Love your story and your kiddos are precious! Just found you through the Marriage Series. Looking forward to reading more!

Brenden said...

What a cute love story you guys have!!! Such a cute couple :) I think I might link up to! I just discovered Shay's blog, and I love it!

The Bryan Family said...

Thank you!!

You should Brenden - yes I love it too!