This picture was taken . . hmm, I don’t know where or when this picture was taken but I think it was taken shortly after we got married or shortly after Chad and I moved to Kentucky. It looks kinda like my sofa behind us but I never had curtains like that. And, since I don’t see quilt paraphernalia hanging all over the sofa, I’ll assume I didn’t live wherever this picture was taken.
Most of you know that Vince and I met on the internet way back in, oh heck . . I think it was late 1994. We weren’t in one of those dating type places . . I don’t even know if they existed back then. We met totally by accident. Both of us were going through a divorce. His was pretty civil, mine was not. Almost the first thing we said to each other was “I’m not looking for a relationship!” That was the last thing either of us needed/wanted but . . well, we did end up with a relationship alright! 🙂
Vince lived near Atlanta and I was in Lake Charles, LA. At first I wouldn’t give him my phone number, but after a month or so, I gave him my number at work. Then I figured it was safe to give him my home number. After 5 or 6 months of talking on the phone and e-mailing, Vince wanted us to meet. Wait . . that’s kinda scary!! My mother was just panic stricken. She did NOT want me to go meet him. If she’d had any idea that he’d move me so far from home, she probably would have tied me up and kept me from meeting him.
After a while, I finally agreed to meet him and he sent me a plane ticket but I got scared at the last minute and canceled the trip. That happened 2 or 3 more times and Vince got a bit aggravated with me. Imagine that! 🙂
Finally I admitted to him that I was scared to fly to Atlanta, have a stranger pick me up at the airport, take me almost two hours to his house. We agreed to meet somewhere kinda halfway between us, which we decided was Navarre Beach, FL and we’d each have our own cars and our own rooms. If I didn’t like him or he didn’t like me, we could just enjoy some time on the beach and then go our separate ways. I remember driving to Navarre thinking I must be totally NUTS! Vince was probably thinking the same thing. We must’ve liked each other ok! 🙂
For the next couple of years, we’d see each other as much as possible, usually at least once a month. At some point, Vince changed jobs and moved to Kentucky. We began talking about getting married. Now that was really scary! We always managed to change the subject before things got too serious though.
Both of our divorces had long since been finalized and Vince and his ex were on friendly terms. On my end, things weren’t always so friendly. There was a constant battle about something, mostly involving Chad. In July, 1997, my ex was being served with papers and my attorney (who was also my boss) told me to get out of town for a week or so. I had no place to go because all my family was right there. Vince and I talked and I truly didn’t know where to go. He said “come here”. I could’ve gone there but I wasn’t going to stay at his house with Chad because that could maybe have been used against me in our custody struggles. I was scared to stay in a hotel and I was scared to stay at Vince’s house without him there. We decided the only safe thing to do was for us to get married. If we were married, it couldn’t be used against me that I spent the night at his house! So . . we got married. Not so romantic but . . that’s how it happened.
Chad and I left Lake Charles, drove to Memphis. Found a trashy hotel but it was late and I was tired after a very stressful week. Got up early the next morning, drove to Owensboro, got married on August 1, 1997. The custody issues had to be resolved so Chad and I had to go back to Lake Charles after a week or so. It was October before we were able to move and . . here we are, 11 years later.
I can’t imagine where I’d be or what my life and Chad’s life would be like had we not met Vince. During our discipline years, Vince was so much better with Chad than I was. I’d lose my cool pretty quickly but Vince could always talk and reason with Chad. I’m a pushover and Chad, at 9 and 10 years old, was walking all over me. Vince helped me realize that I needed to set boundaries/rules, state those boundaries and make sure Chad understood them, and then I had to make sure those boundaries weren’t negotiable. Vince understand that with him being the stepdad, the best solution to most of our problems was for him to let me handle things with Chad, for Vince to be there to back me up, support me, give advice when requested and take over when I could go no farther.
Vince helped me find me! For those who knew me before and know me now, I’m not the same person I was then. Material things were real high on my priority list back then. The mall was one of my favorite places and home was a least favorite place. How things have changed. I like me much better now.
Here’s a funny story – When Vince and I first met, he hadn’t met Chad for quite a while. Vince and I would get together during the time that Chad was visiting his dad. Once Vince and I decided things were getting serious, it was time for Vince and Chad to meet. So . . once again we went to Florida but I think we were in Destin. Chad must’ve been 7 or 8. He was a good kid and hadn’t given me too much trouble (yet!). Vince was going to get breakfast at McDonald’s one morning and he asked us what we wanted. We told him and when he got back, Chad went downstairs to eat. I was still upstairs getting ready and Vince came up and he was fuming! He said he was trying to be nice and got Chad a box of cookies in addition to what Chad had asked for. When he gave them to Chad, Chad said “I didn’t ask for these” and tossed them across the room. WHAT?? I swear I thought Vince was making it up. Chad had never done anything like that. I just told Vince that I would talk to him about it. When I asked Chad about it, he told me it was cookies he didn’t like and he tossed them at the trash can but missed. Ughh!
Then later as we were getting ready to leave the condo, Vince was carrying luggage out. Chad was sitting right in the foyer floor with all his Legos. Vince asked him to pick them up so he wouldn’t have to step over them while carrying our luggage out. Chad didn’t know I was standing right there and he looked at Vince and said “NO! Ain’t no Laquidara going to tell me what to do!” OMG! I knew right then I had trouble on my hands.
We’ve worked our way through some trials and I’m sure there will be more ahead but I’m happy to be sharing my journey of life with Vince!
So, Happy Anniversary, Dear! Thanks for sending me that private message way back in 1994! 🙂
Freda Henderson says
Have a very happy Anniversary Judy.
What a wonderful story Judy. Sometimes God has plans for us and we do our best to get in His way – apparently He had Vince picked out just for you. 🙂 I’ve only been married once but one of my children was, well let’s just say, a bit of trouble (and that’s putting it mildly!). Eventually they grow out of it and become really nice people, thank goodness. I’m sure Chad has, too. Happy Anniversary! Blessings, marlene
Maria in Iowa says
That’s a great story, Judy! Chad turned out pretty great. I’m glad you had Vince there to help you raise him. And for other things too, of course.
Happy Anniversary Judy. Sometimes life just takes us in new and wonderful directions. I loved reading your story. It’s great that you can look back and grin at the bumps along the way.
Happy Anniversary, Judy and Vince. You, two, are a really nice couple…
Happy anniversary, Judy! Here’s wishing you a million more! (Hugs)
Congratulations Judy, Vince, and Chad. The Lord gives us what we can handle, you had yours….. and then he gave you a true gift. It is amazing how His plan works, even when we don’t know what it is.
Diana Wilson says
What a nice story. Vince is obviously a good man and you are happily married. Chad didn’t urn out bad either so that is saying A LOT! I love to hear how people met and their “story” Thanks for sharing yours.
Vicki W says
What a great story! Happy Anniversary!!
Happy Anniversary! Loved that picture of the three of you.
Happy Anniversary! I am happy for you and for Chad that you met someone to make a happy home in.
Will someone please pass the Kleenex??? What a great story. I love a good love story. Happy Anniversary.
What a great story. Happy Anniversary to you both and to many more!
Happy anniversary Judy – and many more to come !
Happy Anniversary. What a great story and you were so brave and such a pioneer. I remember how taboo meeting people on the internet used to be 11 years ago was.
Happy Anniversary Judy and Vince! Thanks for sharing your story. Really enjoy your blog.
Well, Happy Anniversary you two! I am so glad things worked out the way they did, because if you hadn’t found Vince on the internet, I wouldn’t have found YOU on the internet!! You are truly a wonderful friend and I love that Chad story even though I’ve heard it many times, it always makes me smile and I can just “hear” Chad say “ain’t no Laquidara….”
Sandra :) says
Awwwwwwww Happy Anniversary – what a great story! I know lots of people are very leery about meeting “internet people”, but if you use common sense it’s a great way to meet new friends from all over the world 🙂 I now have a godson 2 hours away from me in Canada, from a “chance” chatroom meeting with a chatter in the Philippines, 9 years ago! Every month I get together with other internet-to-real-life friends, and tomorrow I head to Ohio to meet up with some quilty internet buddies! I would never have had the chance to talk to these people BI (before internet) !
Great Story! Have a good anniversary and many more years ahead of you.
What a wonderful love story! You made my day. Have a wonderful, wonderful aniversary!
Happy anniversary, Judy and Vince.
Judy, I love your blog. I’ve learned so much ’cause you’re so willing to share your quilting experiences. Thank you.
Happy Anniversary Judy! I love how I can “hear” you tell this story, it’s such a great one! Wishing you many more happy years!
Happy Anniversary! And for many more. I’m so glad you guys found each other.
Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your story….isn’t it wonderful how things work out. I wish you many happy years to come! 🙂
Judy, thank you for sharing your story! Happy Anniversary to both you and Vince!
Happy Anniversary Judy! What a wonderful story with a happy ending. I hope you have many more.
Happy anniversary to your family!
What a wonderful story – I had (well, still have) a “difficult ex-husband and divorce” – it’s so nice to know there’s good men out there.
Hope you have many more years of happiness.
Happy Anniversary!!! How wonderful that you found one another. You “both” did a great job with Chad. He sounds like a very nice young man.
I love a good love story!!!!
P.S. You don’t hardly look a day older now than in that picture!
Happy Anniversary. What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.
Happy Anniversary! It is a balancing act being a good step dad – Keith did it well too and the boys benefited tremendously.
Happy Anniversary!!! You have a wonderful way of sharing a story. And a great story it is. Enjoy your special day.
A very special Happy Anniversary to you and Vince. Sweet love story!
Lynne in Hawaii says
Happy Anniversary Judy and Vince! I have to say…ain’t it better the second time around?!
Happy Anniversary from me too, lovely story.
Happy Anniversary Judy and Vince! It’s funny how people have such an adverse reaction to “meeting someone off of the Internet” when for years, people got to know each other through writing letters, and quite often married after a period of time.
Jim and I also met via the Internet, and we will be celebrating our 8th anniversary in 2 weeks.
All 4 of us seem to still be in possession of our kidneys, so it can’t be all that bad, LOL
What a wonderful story, Judy. Glad things worked out for you like the did, and I am sure Chad is better off. I hope all of your future anniversaries will be happy too!
Deputy's Wife says
Judy, what a great story!!!
Margo in Maine says
Very touched by your sharing…Happy Anniversary….we just celebrated 50 years in Jan….I do not feel that old and do not know where the years have gone…
Paula in NH says
Happy Anniversary! Your story is wonderful. It does sound like Vince was sent to help you with Chad.
Happy Anniversary!!! Oh, and might I say, you look exactly the same you saucy thing you!!! 🙂
Linda Kay says
I loved reading your love story! It’s so hard to be a single mom-I know- been there done that!
I almost flipped when I read about Navarre Beach- then really did flip about Destin- I lived in Destin from 1988 to 1994- my son was born in Pensacola and I lived in Destin- drove hundreds of times to Pensacola- at one time I had a friend that I worked with that lived on the beach at Navarre and I went to her townhouse quiet a few times! small world! ha Isn’t Destin beautiful? I always loved driving over East Pass bridge and how beautiful the pass looked- I’m from west Texas so it wasn’t anything I ever got used to!
I am happy for you that you found a good guy that made you and Chad happy-
Happy Anniversary to all three of you!
Also- didn’t you have a different picture of yourself on the home page for like 1 day? Short hair? Or am I dreaming?
loved reading this…happy anniversary!
Tina C. says
Thanks for sharing your story, Judy. Happy Anniversary!
Happy Happy Anniversary! I love family stories!
Happy Anniversary! I loved your story as it made me think of my dd who was 2 yo when the love of my life came into our life. That little honey did not want anyone else in our lives. She spent two years trying to get rid of him…lol… He, Mike and I would be talking and she would just (out of the blue) hit him on his thigh or legs. He let her do it a couple times and the third time, he trapped her little hand under his… never looking at her but kept right on talking. As you can imagine, pretty soon she was tired of standing in that one position and kept attempting to remove her hand. He kept her hand under his for about half an hour which to a her probably felt like an eternity. He let her hand free and I don’t think she ever struck him after that. Through the years she and he became as close as any father and daughter can be. She will be 20 this year and this past May, he legally adopted her and “he is (as she says) her father in every way that it counts. Genetics are highly overrated” She is a junior in college and is a good kid. Now I must admit, she never gave him any trouble (after the hand trapping incident) …it is me she wanted to “spar” with….lol…. Just sharing…… hope you have many happy years!
Happy Anniversary Judy and many many more.
Happy Anniversary! I wish you many more years of happiness! What a wonderful story!!
Met hubby online too !!! And it is scary to meet,, but yet the lil bird whispers in your ear…. ‘You’ve been talking to this person for how long??” then you get together and it ALL falls into place ! 9 yrs known him. 4 yrs marriage. Hurray All of US !
Congratulations on your anniversary!
What a nice story to share.