Saturday, December 18, 2010

My love

The day Randy met Susan, Erin, and Ashlee
Randy and I met on a dating site called Plenty Of Fish in March of 2007.  We talked via messages on the website for a couple of weeks and decided that we wanted to meet each other.  Before the end of the month, we had met and been on multiple dates.  Coffee shops like The Electric Brew and Firefly Coffee House were our favorite places to spend an afternoon or evening.  We also spent a lot of time going on walks to a variety of parks.  We knew very quickly that this was "it" and that we wanted to make the permanent commitment of marriage.  By June we were engaged and we were married in October.  Our families are still trying to catch up with us.

I loved Randy for so many reasons.  He is smart and always looking to learn something new.  He's adventurous, glad to explore new places.  He had values that I agreed with.  He got along with my friends and family.  He was funny.  Mostly, he was a great companion and I knew that I wanted to love him more and more.  I knew that I wanted our lives to continue to grow together.  (By the way, his friends thought I was crazy for wanting to marry him, but they agreed that it was a good idea for him).

Diamond Mining
Our first really big adventure happened while we were dating.  Randy and I had talked about how cool it would be if we could find a diamond to put in to a ring and have it specially made.  Not that either of us could afford such a thing.  Somehow we stumbled across Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.  We dreamed about how neat it would be to go there and mine for diamonds.  Our dream quickly turned into a crazy reality.  We gathered up all of our friends who were willing and able to go with us.. all both of them.. and headed out to camp in Arkansas and spend a few days digging in the mud and sifting it in large troughs in order to find gems.  We found a lot of jasper, some quartz, calcite, and a variety of other pretty stones.  We did not find any diamonds.  I loved Randy more for his willingness to go on this crazy diamond mining adventure and do back breaking labor to look for a tiny stone in a large field!

Our families approved of our wedding.  I'm not sure why.  I very rarely took a boy home to meet my family.  Maybe they thought I was crazy but they could not talk me out of it.  They did not try and talk me out of it.  They actually seemed to like him, or at least think he wasn't a terrible person.  I'm pretty sure my dad had someone run a background check on Randy to make sure he wasn't some terrible criminal in hiding.  It was a whirlwind of activity.  It still seems like we're in a whirlwind, but that is another story!

Randy's girls, yes those are all bees
I mentioned before that Randy loves to learn.  He has so many interests, a lot of them are related to ecology.  Randy dives in to things that he wants to learn.  He absorbs all of the information that he can about an issue, activity, event, topic.  One of Randy's long time interests is beekeeping.  When he first told me this, I thought he was kind of crazy.  He kept learning and reading and I learned a bit too.  Eventually, Randy was able to purchase some beekeeping equipment, and he was even given some used equipment from a man who used to keep bees.  Last year Randy had 3 hives, 1 did not make it through the winter.  This year he only has 2.  We do not know if they will make it over winter or not.  We are hoping that they do, or if they don't, that he will get some early swarm calls to fill his empty hives.  We have some amazing honey at our house!

Randy works hard for our family.  He currently works 12 hours a day 3-4 days a week (depending on the week's rotation).  He drives 35 minutes each way to get to his job in a factory to try and make ends meet for us.  He does not love his job, but he does it out of love for his family.  I hope that some day he will be able to get a job he loves (and is closer to home).

He is a faithful follower of Jesus.  We all have struggles and he is open about those too.  He wants us to raise our boys in a way that honors God.  He participates in a fellowship with several of his male friends, and attends church with us on his Sundays off.  He greatly misses the church fellowship on weeks that he has to work.

Daddy Randy
Randy is a GREAT daddy and he loves his boys a lot.  He is willing to go the extra mile to spend special time with them, doing things like building projects at Lowes, and playing at the park or library.  The boys adore him.  Manasseh is sad that it is winter and he can't sit on the front step to wait for daddy when it's time for him to get home, but thrilled on the days we take daddy to work and get to pick him up in the evening.  He's got great dreams for our boys and is glad to be a part of learning what it means to raise boys that need a little "special" care.

I am so thankful for Randy.  God brought him in to my life at just the right time (although I wish sometimes that it had been much sooner).  He is a great leader to our family, example to our boys, love to his wife.

Thank you Jesus.

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