My previous post was about myself & now I’d like to talk about my husband & marriage.
This is my handsome husband. He is my best friend, my biggest hero, a hard worker, & ultimately, my soul mate.
I met my husband at an underage drinking party in 2007 during my freshman year of college. My friend Tiffany had the party that night, but I was technically supposed to be in New York City for a family member’s first MMA fight. I ended up not being about to attend the fight. I didn’t really drink a lot though, but we played drinking games. We played “never have I ever” where I disclosed that I was a virgin. No one believed me & later Brandon told me that girls from york county are all sluts. He was wrong about that, obviously. As the night progressed, I gave subtle hints that I was “into him”. I took a drag off his cigarette (I’m not a smoker & usually find it repulsive), asked him to take a shot with me, & sat next to him. I whispered in Tiff’s ear, “How old is he? Is he single” She said “19 & yes”. I said, “Good, I’m going to make out with him by the end of the night!”Her friend then asked what I said, Tiff repeated, & her friend plotted something. Unbeknownst to me, Brandon’s ex girlfriend was there (& he still lived with her which is why she invited herself along).
Tiff’s friend hated Brandon’s ex so she plotted to have me kiss Brandon. We went to Tiff’s bedroom to take silly photos. On our way out, her friend whispered, “now’s your chance” in my ear. I grabbed Brandon by the collar of his shirt and kissed him. Apparently his ex girlfriend (that I still didn’t know about), was watching us & left because she was upset. I also pissed off another guy that I met through Tiff the weekend before. Our meeting had a little drama thrown into it, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. The next night we had plans to go dancing at a club in York. Brandon, who hates clubs, people, & dancing said he’d go with. He was a good sport & danced with me all night.
The next weekend we planned to get together for our first date. Brandon lived 45 minutes away from me, but we made it work. Brandon & I both wanted new piercings. He wanted snake bites (lip piercings shown in photos) & I wanted my belly button pierced. I got lost on my way to pick Brandon up, so he and his mom drove to where I was. I met his mom on our first date! I picked him up & we met my then niece (she’s removed by divorce now) at a tattoo shop she worked at. The owner did piercings. He pierced Brandon’s lips & my belly button. We then went out to eat, which was a bad idea since he just got his lips pierced, haha! Brandon met my mom that night as well! He stayed the night (slept on the couch). I drove Brandon home the next morning. Home, though, was his ex girlfriend’s house. He didn’t move out because he didn’t have the best home life. Eventually, after many disputes, he moved back home (where it definitely wasn’t a good place to live).
The First Years
I’m not going to talk about all of our Ups & Downs, but I’ll briefly mention a few. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years together during our first year. Right after Valentines Day, he broke up with me. He had problems at home & lost his first job. He became depressed so he basically got rid of me too. A week went by & we got back together. I decided this was too much to handle & asked if we could just be friends for a while. I didn’t explain what I meant so he thought I was “done”. There was some drama, but we got over it. He then moved in with a heroin addict & her boyfriend (he didn’t know she was doing heroin at the time). This girl was No Bueno. Come to find out, this girl was friends with Brandon’s other ex. (grrrrrrr). This ex & the heroin addict did what they could to break us up, but it didn’t work. I was also going through major depression & suicidal ideations due to my birth control. So, for almost 6 months I dealt with a lot of shit I shouldn’t have had to, but we worked through it. (this was in 2008). He then moved in with a very loving person we call “momma”. In 2009, we moved into our own apartment in York. We asked a friend to move in with us. Our relationship had gotten so much better since he wasn’t surrounded by bad influences who tried to ruin his life (no, Brandon wasn’t doing drugs & never has) over jealousy & spite. My mother, unfortunately, passed away in November 2009. I inherited her home so we moved into that & broke our lease. We also couldn’t afford our apartment due to MANY factors. The New Year came around (2010) & Brandon had gotten a better paying job. We lived in my mom’s home and made many “home improvements” since then. (we still live here in her home, but will be buying our first home by 2018).
2009: Erin Keough Photography shot this just for fun
There were a lot of firsts & new things happening throughout our relationship. I started talking to my biological mother and younger sisters in 2009, which I was warned they were trouble & should have listened. In 2010, I met my biological sisters & brother on my dad’s side. My sisters turned out to be amazing individuals! Meanwhile, Brandon’s family was always sort of distant other than cookouts at his mom’s house. We stayed in touch with his mom, aunt, & cousin, but didn’t come around much due to not liking a few people.
In 2010, I had the worst depressive episodes I ever experienced. I didn’t know I had a depressive disorder & we didn’t understand what was going on. I was emotionally abusive to an extent because I was hurting so badly & felt so unloved & alone (nothing he was doing wrong). At one point, we pushed each other away & almost ended our relationship. He confided in someone at work & I quit coming home. I stayed with a friend, a lot. We decided to work through it & I attended counseling at Penn State where I’ll be doing my internship this year! I found out I was “clinically depressed” (not a true term by the way) & was put on Zoloft (I no longer need the antidepressant). A few months after that hard time, we talked about engagement & marriage & even started “window shopping” for rings. I picked out the style I liked & gave him a few ideas.
I am unsure about the year these were taken, but these were literally just for fun. We went with Erin to a photo session & she took a few of us as well. This was probably from 2013.
Brandon bought my ring sometime before my 22nd birthday (April 2011). I was expecting him to propose on my birthday because of how everything was falling together in our lives. My dad would make “subtle” hints during dinner about proposing to me on my birthday & even offered to give Brandon money to buy me a ring, haha (my dad was apparently desperate for me to be married). We were going grocery shopping one day, but forgot the keys. We locked ourselves out. My dad lives 2 doors down so Brandon road his bike to my dad’s for our spare key while I hopped in our Explorer to stay warm. I saw the edge of a gold bag (Kay Jeweler’s) sticking out of the glove box. Yep, I opened it! It was my engagement set! I was so giddy & excited that I called my friend Erin right away. Brandon could tell I was overly happy all of a sudden, so he figured I knew. I didn’t “tell” him I saw anything and tried to play it off as much as possible.
I came home from class on the day of my birthday. Brandon baked me a cake. While standing in the kitchen, Brandon walked up behind me and handed me the box. He didn’t even propose! He said “Here, happy birthday”! *rolls eyes*. He knew that I knew so I guess he felt annoyed about even proposing since I ruined the surprise. I had to put the damn ring on my own finger too… *rolls eyes*. We went out to eat sushi/hibachi (one of our faves) with friends that evening to celebrate.
The rest of 2011 was filled with wedding planning, internships, & my last semester of college. My whole 2011 summer was filled with an engagement party, bridesmaids meetings, & wedding planning while at work. I worked for Penn State’s computer lab so I was always researching wedding ideas.
Erin Keough Photography shot our engagement session. Here are a few favorites from our engagement!
Brandon & I had a fun spring before our wedding. January was our groomsmen & bridesmaid shopping month. My girls & I went dress shopping & jewelry shopping. The guys picked out tuxedos then went out for drinks. That was a fun evening…filled with arrests & throwing up *rolls eyes, sighs, then giggles*. My bridesmaids threw my bridal shower at my matron of honor’s home & I knew about it. I snooped through Brandon’s phone & found the date. This is the first time I’m admitting that, haha, so I’m sorry to everyone who thought I didn’t know! Erin & I strategically planned how I should be surprised. In May, my girls took me out for hibachi then to the hardware bar in Mechanicsburg. We all dressed up like 50s pin-up girls (not too sexy haha). The guys took Brandon to Hollywood Casino. I don’t know about Brandon’s night, but mine was a freaking blast!!! I had that card game filled with dares. I did almost every single one someone pulled. I wrote my name with red lipstick on a guy’s chest, piggy back road someone, kissed a bride on the lips, spent more than 2 minutes in the men’s bathroom (taking inappropriate photos with them lol), had drink after drink bought for me, kissed a bald man’s head, & a few other shenanigans (nothing considered “cheating” I assure you).
A few memories from my bachelorette party night!
Brandon & I got married in Gettysburg at his Lutheran church on June 2, 2012. Our day was long & definitely not without flaws. The boutonnieres were stolen/thrown away the night before our wedding, there was a tornado warning the day before the wedding & messed up our reception decor, I became sick the night before, a friend got a speeding ticket during rehearsal, someone else’s truck broke down, Brandon was slightly late to the rehearsal due to our friend’s truck breaking down…you know, the usual shenanigans, haha. Our wedding day was absolutely gorgeous & I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day! We drove to Devil’s Den in the Gettysburg battle field for photos. We were an hour late to our reception. My family rushed to the reception area to set up for us since the storm knocked over a lot of decor the night before. When we got to the reception site, we all had to pee soooooooo bad! People had taken photos of me running down the road to the bathroom.
My whole wedding party was drunk & ready to party in the limo. Even though we were late, no one left our reception & basically majority were drunk & having a blast. People loved our food though, so that went well!
We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon & loved every minute of it! We didn’t go to bed till almost 1am & had to leave for the airport at 3am. The minute we got to our room we went to sleep. The rest of the week was super relaxing & amazing.
Our wedding day: June 2, 2012
Us: The Cools
I’m not going to sit here & air out my dirty laundry, but just know our marriage isn’t perfect & neither are our lives. We’ve had plenty of downs. We’ve experienced 6 deaths in the 9 years we’ve been together. Five of those deaths were in my family & the 6th one was his mother. We argue like any other couple & sometimes, I have to admit, those arguments are silly & a waste of energy. We both have depression, although his is triggered more by circumstances. We’ve both had our fair share of familial drama. I have a spending problem & he prefers saving or holding onto the money. So on & so forth…
The first 2 are from 2012. The middle & last two photos were from 2015. We try to make Christmas cards for family & friends each year. *Taken by Erin Keough Photography
We are perfect for each other.
We are complete opposites when it comes to a lot, but it works for us. For those opposites there are plenty of similarities. We have the same morals & values. We agree on how we will raise our future children. We have similar tastes in music & movies (although I love horror & he thinks they’re dumb). I love photography & he hates his photos being taken, haha! He loves playing the same video game or watching the same tv series over & over again…I hate watching/doing the same thing over & over again. We also disagree on what type of house we should move into…ugh. He loves winter & I love summer. I feel these opposites are positives in our marriage. I am not a negative person despite my depression. I’ve learned to focus on the positive aspects of our marriage & lives. We don’t live in the biggest most beautiful home, but we have a home together. We just bought brand new cars last year ONLY because we worked our asses off to afford such things. I honestly can’t sit here & think of any “negative” things in our marriage/lives. We really do have it good with each other.
Our one year anniversary photos in 2013 (taken by Erin Keough Photography).
Our three year anniversary photos. We did not do a 2 year session (we forgot, honestly).
We have been saving money for a downpayment for a house. We still live in the inherited home from my mom. I refuse to have kids till I move into a bigger house. We won’t start trying for babies until next September. My Implanon birth control doesn’t run out till September 2017 so that’s why we won’t be trying till then. This means I want to buy our first home by the end of next year!
We both work full time, 3rd shift, & barely see each other. I’ll be starting my last year of grad school on August 29, so we definitely won’t be seeing each other much. After graduation, I plan to start my steady career so we can focus on us again & spend more time together. I’m hoping to get a few good months to a year of “us” time before I have children. We have vacations planned as well. Other than spending time with friends & family, we don’t have too much excitement going on currently.
Our four year anniversary photos (2016). Shot by Erin Keough Photography.
Well, I hope this blog has inspired some people or at least showed people that marriage isn’t perfect, but we make it work! Always remember, “This too shall pass”.