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The Winner Is...And A How We Met Story

Well before I get started on the real story of the day let me announce the winner for the cabinet in my master bedroom, ready? It was the stencil idea! Followed closely by leave it as it is. I was pretty surprised! I was leaning towards the idea to paint it black and put the mirrors in the doors, so you all surprised me! Thank you for all the messages and comments through Facebook and Instagram! I was kinda caught off guard, so I had to do a lot of thinking and searching for inspiration on how to make this work, but I finally figured out a plan! Thank you all again! You can see the finished product here.

Now, I just want to let you all know that today is mine & my husband's wedding anniversary! Today it makes 19 years married!! When I write it, that sounds like a long time, but somehow it feels so short. I guess time flies when you're having fun!

Our Wedding Day!

I thought I'd share with all of you how my husband and I met, because it's kind of a funny story...

All those years ago I was a single mom with 2 little girls. I had been praying and praying with my girls for a husband for me and also a man that would be a father to my precious children. I didn't trust myself to pick out a good man, because I made a big mistake in the past.

Even though I was busy with being a mom, and going to college, and working, I was very lonely and cried and cried for my husband everyday. I'd been single for over 3 years, waiting and trusting God to bring the right man at the right time. It took forever and seemed like it would never happen! But, I kept waiting and trusting (and crying!).

I am from a large family with seven kids. My parent's owned their own business, an advertising agency, and all seven of us worked there along with my parents and a few other employees as well. I was super super close with my family and that's who I did everything with. I also lived at my parents' house as well. So, I worked with my family, hung out with my family, and lived with my family. There wasn't much chance for me to meet new people. I didn't want to go out to bars to meet anyone and I tried going to church, but not a lot of people like to talk to single young woman.

Needless to say, I got set up on a lot of blind dates. Those are not fun! Most of the time someone would like me until they found out I had kids, then I didn't hear from them again. Or else, some men were so lonely, they wanted to be in a serious relationship before I even had the chance to get to know them and I felt suffocated! I wondered when my man would ever come!

Every now and then, when work would be slow, my sister and I would sit down and talk about who we knew that was single, to try to think of someone for me to date. We would go through every man we could think of and would always end up with this one guy who we worked with, Tony. He was a manager for a company that our business used to print signage, and develop our photography, etc. I had never met this guy. But she told me what a hard worker he was and how he always bent over backwards to get things done, because we always had deadlines to meet. He sounded like a good guy, but I wasn't interested in another blind date!

Some time went by, I kept waiting and praying. Then one day, my older brother, who's normally pretty shy, told me he wanted me to go "check out" some guy who he was thinking of setting me up with. Guess who it was? The same Tony that my sister had talked about months ago! My brother had never heard those conversations but somehow had decided that this would be a good man for me.

I normally worked in the front office at our work. I was the office manager and didn't do deliveries and pick-ups, but I got talked into going to Tony's work so I could see what he looked like. I went, he was there on the phone, and I saw him. I thought he was cute but I told my brother I wasn't interested in another blind date. I thought that was the end of it.

About a week later my brother told me that he had gone and talked with Tony and that Tony would be expecting me to come to his work at a certain time, on a certain day, and he was going to ask me out. Ugh! My brother didn't take no for an answer! I did not want to go!

Finally the dreaded day came, I got the courage to put myself out there and go see this guy. I went to his office to pick up some work that we needed and he WASN'T EVEN THERE. Phew! He must have chickened out and didn't want to go through with this. I was off the hook!

But then my Mom and my sister got wind of what was going on, and they INSISTED that I go back again. Now there was no getting out of it! I went back, and this time I saw him and he saw me. He knew what company I was from and asked me if I was the one who was supposed to be there the other day, and I said yes. And you know what he did? He handed me the package I was picking up and said, "See you later." That was it! I was so disgusted! I put myself out there and this guy wasn't even interested! Ugh!

Normally, someone in my position would probably never go back there again. But I was not that lucky. Everyone was now involved and they all insisted that I become the full-time pick-up and delivery person for projects going to and from Tony's company. We had a big project going on and that meant deliveries or pick-ups everyday. Fun fun!

So I went back. Again and again. And each time I saw Tony. He would talk to me a little more. I would linger a little longer and a little longer. But every time I would leave, he never asked me for a date. Finally, the project was wrapping up. I had to go there after hours to pick up the last thing we needed. It was just him and I there because he stayed late to finish things up for us. I stayed and talked a little bit. He asked me if I would be back again. I told him no, that this was the last thing we needed, and I would not be returning. And I meant it, this was the last time I would be going. He responded with "Well, see you later." I couldn't believe it! I left his building and I heard him lock the door behind me. I went out to my car and was reaching into my purse for my phone to call my sister and tell her that he still hadn't asked me out, when I looked up, and there he was at my window.

I had a huge smile on my face (I'm smiling now just thinking about it!) and rolled the window down. He said, "All the ladies at my work are going to kill me if I don't ask you out!" (They all knew what was going on!) So, of course, I said yes!

This is the first time Tony came to my house to meet my family!

And the rest is history! I'm definitely thankful to my Mom and sister, for pushing me along! I knew from the first date that what we had was something special. There was a sweetness between us that I'd never felt before. I had finally met my man! This was the man that I'd been hoping and praying for, not just for me but my little girls as well. We were engaged 3 months later and got married 11 months after our first date. A few years after we got married, he was able to adopt my daughters, even though he stepped into the role as their Dad from the beginning. We have added 5 more children to the mix (we named our oldest son after my brother who set us up), a cross-country move, and tons of highs and lows through these past 19 years. I love this man with all my heart and I'd follow him anywhere. I have never been loved so completely. Tony gives me a glimpse of God's love for me. He lays down his life everyday to provide for our family, he leads us with integrity, he is our strong and steady, and is the most humble person I know, he never asks for anything for himself. He really has a servant's heart, always going above and beyond. He has given me more than I could have ever wished for. And he told me that all those years ago, he wouldn't ask me out because he thought there was no way someone as beautiful as me would ever go out with him. Happy anniversary to my Love!!

Sorry Ladies, he's all mine!!

I hope you enjoyed our story!

Take care! Maria

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Hi there!

I'm Maria (sometimes called Mama Ria by my little ones) and welcome to my home and my life! I hope to encourage you to find practical ways to Make Home Sweet!

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