Life + Style

November 14, 2012

Let's Get Personal: My Story Part 1

For those of y'all that only like the interior design eye candy or outfit boards, this ones not for you.  Feel free to stop reading here.

I'm answering the more personal part of my questions post today and tomorrow in one long very wordy answer post.  I tried replying to some things and saving others for later but, like in real life, they're all so closely tied together.  Who I was and who I am.  And I thought if I just get it all out of the way quickly we can get back to colored denim skinnies and animal print flats by the end of the week.
 Plus I don't have the balls to let this all seep out slowly.  This post has been really hard for me and I've been putting it off.   I seriously think I'd rather post a picture of me in a bikini than hit publish.  It makes me anxious.  Maybe I'm not who you think I am.  Who do you think I am?  Maybe I should turn the tables and just find out who YOU are.  See, I'm getting anxious already.
Maybe I'm less of an over-sharer than I thought.

Today I'm sharing with you all how I met my husband and a little bit of our journey.
I'm going to make this the long version in case our children read it one day.  
I want them to be proud of their parents love story.
I want them to know that I am more than just their momma, but if that's all I ever succeed in, I'm okay with that.

Our Story
I grew up in Richmond, Va and I went to an all girls school.  I have an older sister who's an attorney and a younger brother who's studying to become a priest.  My parents still live in the house they raised us in.
I majored in Communication Studies at the College of Charleston and thought it was the best thing in the world when I learned you could get a degree in talking.  I was in a sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and met some of my forever friends.
Matthew grew up in Pawleys Island, SC and majored in Political Science at the College of Charleston.  He has a much younger brother, who happens to be the youngest member of the SC State House.  His parents still live in his childhood home as well.
Despite having mutual friends, frequenting many of the same bars, and even pinpointing a class we're pretty sure we took together, despite a regular appearance by both of us at O'Reilly's on Tuesdays and Dengates on Thursdays, we never met in college.
I stayed in Charleston after college, it's a nearly impossible place to want to leave.  Matthew bounced back and forth a few times.  He spend some time back in Pawleys and some time in Louisiana.  Every time he left something brought him back.  I dated someone seriously for several years around that time.  So did he.  Neither of those relationships worked out. 

When my previous relationship ended after four years I was completely over dating and more than ready to be single.  I had wrongly assumed that not being part of a pair meant you were missing something.  My first month going out with just my girlfriends proved me wrong.  I absolutely loved the frivolous attention boys were willing to throw out there along with free drinks.  It was good for my self esteem.  It was good for my head.  I realized that my happiness needed to come first and only I could dictate how that happiness was achieved.  
Despite how nice it was to be by myself and unattached I joked around with my friends that I needed a date for the upcoming wedding season of my bestie Amanda.  All you ladies in the South know what I mean about a friend's wedding season.  A bridesmaids dress is not your only requirement.  Especially when your ex-boyfriend is also part of the wedding party on the groom's side.  Showing up to party after party alone is not an option.
So out to the universe the message went.  I was in need of a date.  Nothing more.
Here's a side story that will help explain our first introduction better.
So I had a sorority sister from Pawleys Island who married her high school sweetheart.  That sweetheart just happened to be a triplet and grew up across the street from my husband.
Neither Matthew nor I was at the wedding.
But my other sorority sister and dearest friend Jen went to that wedding weekend and met the second and single triplet.
Two years later they got married.
Her roommate from college, another friend of mine, met and married the boy next door to them.
So needless to say, I was up there visiting a lot.  Driving right past Matthew's parents house.  Pawleys is a tiny town and you can't not run into everyone.  But Matthew was living in Louisiana at the time and I was still dating someone else so our paths still never crossed.
The third triplet also married a girl from Pawleys Island, Amanda, and they happened to live across the street from my husband's parents.
So she knew I was single and she knew Matthew was single.  And that he had just moved back to Charleston.  This is where it gets cute.
So technically this all takes place, embarrassingly enough, pre-facebook back to the days of myspace.  
Which I promptly dropped as soon as facebook became available to those of us too old for an .edu email address.
Amanda was a mutual myspace friend to both Matthew and I.  While they were chatting one afternoon in Pawleys, Matthew happened to mention that she had some good-looking friends.  Two back and forth emails later she convinced him to get in touch with me.
So we chatted back and forth via emails and texting for several weeks casually joking that we should meet up for a drink sometime.  Yes, social media, emails, and texting.  Modern romance.

A blind date.
 Matthew worked on a boat and I worked for a family managing their investment properties as well as active nanny to their two small girls.  I enjoyed helping raise those two baby girls the best.  Leaving that job, and them, was really hard for me.   I've always loved children in a one-on-one setting.   
As I tell Wells all the time, this is not my first rodeo.
We both worked a lot and weren't really looking for relationships so despite continued texting the meet-up was never really put into action.
 He was a smart-ass and his picture was really cute so I finally agreed to officially meet him after he got back in town from a trip to the mountains.
A week or two went by and I didn't hear from him so I texted him that he owed me a drink.
A date was set.  For a Saturday.  Matthew had to reschedule for that Monday, thank God.  Saturday would have been awful.  All that pressure to keep going out after the date ends which gets you clear into sticky late night territory.  Or mixing of friends too soon.  Or blowing them off only to run into them later that night.  No thanks.
But we almost didn't make it out that Monday night either.
I'd had a really stressful day at work and was not exactly looking forward to the awful awkwardness of a blind date.
Matthew got into a fender bender that afternoon and had no car.  Not his best day either.
I wasn't ready to date yet and I had a whole lot of doubt about a blind date.  Not because I wasn't over my ex, but because I was over being in a relationship. 
I almost cancelled twice that day but decided it was rude to stand him up so I told him I'd drive. 
He lived on the corner of Queen & Meeting downtown (some of y'all have noticed that picture I have of this spot, now you know why it's sentimental.  It's also where we had our first kiss) so there is absolutely no where to park anywhere on the street.  The plan was for me to text him when I got there.  Which I did.  Three times.  I waited for over 20 minutes before pulling my car out of park and into drive.  I was completely convinced and pissed that he was standing me up.  That had been my plan, not his.  I paused and decided to call him on the off chance that my texts weren't going through.  Which they hadn't.  He answered on the first ring.  As cliche and lame as it sounds, he walked down the stairs and into my life that night.
We went on three proper dates before our first kiss.
We went on approximately three more casual at home dinner dates before he asked me to be his girlfriend.  He texted me after our first date as an official couple that he'd told his mom he was going to marry me.  I told him he was a gift from God.
I knew at that point that I was going to fall in love with him.  Despite my previous heartbreaks or the altogether bad timing of our start (just weeks after my last relationship ended), I knew this relationship was special.  I knew from our very first date that God had placed him into my life for a reason.  Even if it was only to show me just once what a real man looked like, other than my father.  Clearly he was meant to be so much more.

The First Big Move
Less than a year later we packed up our things and moved an hour north to Pawleys Island and into a house together.  With no roommates. 
Wells, you are most definitely not allowed to follow suit here one day ma'am :) 

We rented a house on North Litchfield and both worked for developers.  I on the sales and marketing end and Matthew on the construction management and development side of thingsWe also both sold real estate.  That year we got engaged on the beach in front of our house.
The following year we got married in Richmond and bought a house in Pawleys Island on the same block Matthew had grown up on.  It was our dream house.  It needed a ton of work.  New floors, new bathrooms, new kitchen, new everything.  But it had a huge private lot and such good bones.  We bought it thinking it could be our forever house.  That first summer we were married I got pregnant and lost a baby.  We got a dog.  A few months later I got pregnant again and had Wells the following summer.  We kayaked in the afternoons and took the boat out on the creeks on the weekends.  We did dinners with friends and found a Church we loved.  We were living our dream. 

{So if I didn't bore you to death today you can come back tomorrow for part 2}

Now it's your turn, how did you meet your significant other?


  1. Aw, so sweet, and thank you for sharing your personal life with us readers-to me, a blog touches me so much more when I can read into the life of the blogger-unlike Pinterest which I love, but feels so much "colder". Hope that makes sense! I was a ZTA at C of C! And I met my husband at work-we met, were in relationships, remet a few years later, and that's when it stuck and the rest is history! We quickly realized our paths had crossed several times in Charleston, Amelia Island, and France, but had never met there...

  2. I absolutely adore hearing your love story, Julia! It amazes me how people can cross paths or have so much in common without actually meeting until the moment is just right :) My husband and I actually met in the dressing rooms at The Gap, ha!

  3. Julia, I love reading this - it makes me long for those CofC days.

  4. What a sweet love story! I meet my hubby in college. And I kissed him first;)

  5. A post like this is why I really like your blog. It was very revealing and brave. When a love story has so many connections to other parts of your life, it truly is a gift from God

  6. So fun to hear your sweet story. I met my man my first Sunday that I was living in Charleston, at church. I was dating someone seriously at the time. But, five years later I love looking back on that meeting and seeing how providential it was.

  7. Julia, I really enjoyed reading your post and getting to know you better! I love color denim and pillow posts but the reason people keep coming back is because of you!

  8. Such a sweet love story. I don't think I have commented on your blog in awhile but I do love your style and your home! Ironically just today I wrote a post about my recent trip to Charleston and then I found your post. I thought - oh what a coincidence, now I just have to comment! Can't wait to read more tomorrow!
    Cheers! - Shelley

  9. My husband and I met at a party at his parents house while they were on a church mission trip. I was going into my senior year of high school & he was going to be a sophomore at Tech. I actually came to the party on a blind date set up by my best friend (also a Gertie alum). Needless to say, I was smitten over someone else at the party and we've been together ever since! 12 years later we have 3 year old triplets & 1 more due this summer. Clearly it was meant to be!

  10. What a cute story. Now that I see your hubby I know why you guys have such cute kiddos together. What an adorable family.

  11. LOVE this story! It is such a perfect Love story! Makes me want to share mine but mine is tricky since he was getting divorced! xoxoxoxoxo

  12. Such a terrific story! I love it, read every word and am excited for part 2! I love all the old pictures. Seriously had to do a double take on that first image to make sure your hubs wasn't canoodling some glam movie star, you look SO gorgeous. xo

  13. That is a great story! I actually have known my husband my whole life. We grew up in the same town, same church, parents in the same circle of friends.

  14. So... randomly, my family has a house at Pawleys too and a big part of my love story is centered around that island.... the most astonishing thing about all of this is how many people you know that actually "live" there. Full time... astonishing :-) Sweet story!

  15. This story made me tear up for real girl. So sweet to see how God brought ya'll together. Can't wait for part 2!

    love ya!


  16. Tear. So Sweet. I feel like I need to meet him stat.

  17. I love it! I met my husband through my sister who had liked him for over a year!

  18. I'm so glad you did this. What a great story!! Thanks for sharing it :) I met my hubs in college, at a bar. Long funny story I guess I should share one day. :)

  19. So I haven't read it yet, but just had to say, when I saw your post in my blog reader I thought your wedding picture was Heidi Klum! Seriously. And I didn't understand because the title was Let's Get Personal. You're gorgeous!! Now I'm going back to the story!

  20. Aw! Love this... can't wait for part 2! And by the way, my hubby and I started dating in the days of myspace too... embarrassing, I know.

  21. Love hearing your story! Can't wait for part two!

  22. Love this! Wish O'Reilly's was still around!

  23. I'm so glad you shared your story with us! It is so sweet! PS - I miss O'Reiley's and Dengate's! Pretty sure I was an underage frequenter though..woops.

  24. LOVE THIS POST!! I started dating my husband shortly after my college boyfriend (serious relationship) broke-up with me too! I admit, I was not over the ex when Chris and I started dating. There may if been some back-and-forth with Chris and the ex for a few months (at first). So horrible! You get what I am saying!

    Looking forward to Part II!

  25. Such a sweet love story! I haven't met my 'the one' yet but I hope my story is as cute as yours! Can't wait to read more

  26. What a sweet story....great getting to know you better too. :-)

  27. Loved getting some real dirt :) My husband came along right when I had planned on being single as well! :)

  28. I loved reading this Julia! What a sweet story and you two are a beautiful couple. That first photo (your wedding) you look stunning! How fun to get to know you a little better. You are a great writer! I met my hubby through mutual friends. I said no three times when he asked me out...decided I needed a break from the dating thing...and on the fourth time he asked me out I said yes! So glad that I did!!

  29. Love you getting all personal and love all the pictures of you and Matthew. Such a sweet story:)

  30. Love this love story! God's working His Divine intervention here :-) You totally look like Heidi klum in that 1st (I assume wedding) pic! Love your blog, btw!

  31. Such a lovely story! Loved to read about it and found out I was too, not at all into a relationship when I met my husband and he had to be the one. Met him on a girl's night out when suddenly a friend told me that on the other side of the bar, there was a handsome guy looking just exactly my type! I looked and yes he was.I ended up meeting him that night and spend the next week talking for 6 hours every night and never left each other... Can't wait for part 2 of your story Julia! Cheers.

  32. Agree with everyone else - I love this more than colored skinnys! Looking forward to part two!

  33. Love hearing this back story! Glad you pressed "submit" husband and I just celebrated 8 years yesterday! I had given up all hope on relationships too!

  34. Love this!! Can't wait for part 2! If you ask me, my husband and I met through a mutual friend...if you ask him, we met at a bar...both are technically true! :)

  35. Love your story - so sweet! I was a Theta at UCT and a high school classmate was a Theta @ CofC!! I met my husband at work - we thought we were so secretive but our co-workers will say otherwise!

  36. Your love story is so sweet! It was wonderful to read about where the years have taken you since we last saw each other! You always find love when you least expect it! Joe and I met in the 7th grade. I thought he was cute and promptly asked my brother , Conor, to become friends with him as he was the new kid in school. We shared both our first ever first kiss that year at our church's spaghetti dinner. Our 7th grade romance ended (LOL) but we remained the best of friends for years. After getting my heart broken in Charleston after college (Go CofC), I moved home to DC and found Joe and my friendship was much, much more. We decided to love each other forever and now we are happily married and live with our 1 year old son Joey and two pups. Jules... we really NEED to catch up in person the next time you are in DC!

  37. Girly, I loved reading this! J and I met in Charleston on a blind date too (i knew you and i clicked for some reason). So sweet and I love reading your sweet story!

  38. Love reading your words and thoughts. I am the kind of gal who only likes reading memoirs......your story is so damn romantic with hints of serendipity :). Glad you met the man of your dreams.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. This was such a great story, Julia. I am so happy that you met such a wonderful man and vice versa.

    Now, to mine. I met my husband in high school. I was starting to date someone else, but on my first date with my husband, I kissed him goodnight at the door and knew I was going to marry him someday. My sister even told me that. Eight years later we got married!

    I dated this other guy for several years and dated other people after we broke up, but I still really had a crush on my husband. Eventually, I just chased him till he caught me. ;-)

    I am an old lady now, and we have been married for over 30 years. Hopefully we will be married for 30, 40, or 50 more! I wish you the same!



  41. loved hearing your story!!! sooo sweet!!! i went to CofC too!! I had no idea y'all went!! i was there from 97-01 and was an ADpi! such a small world!!


Thanks for joining the conversation!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig