"Hey Baby! I'm home", its 12:00 a.m. and my fiancÚ, 33, is just getting home from a long day. From 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m., his day consists of working full time at an insurance company assisting people in the confusing world of health benefits, then traveling down the road to his second job at a local boy's home, where he is a jack of all trades. He is a mentor, staff supervisor, activities director, big brother, and on top of it all, he does the grocery shopping and provides homework assistance. From there, he coaches ten year old boys basketball and then back to the group home to wait for the overnight staff. On his days off he doesn't rest, but instead, he goes to kids' games and extracurricular activities to show support to HIS kids. In a world where great fathers are sometimes so hard to find, my fiancÚ is a father to many young men when he doesn't even have his own children. He works so hard ALL of the time and who doesn't love a hard working man who still manages to find time to always keep me smiling and laughing. In addition, he is a loving friend, son, and family member who will drop anything at a phone calls notice.

Thanksgiving day 2010, our home was burglarized and the intruders took everything they could, including some of my fiances favorite belongings, his music (he DJ's as well) and his shoe collection. Since the insurance company depreciated everything, he was unable to buy back many of the timeless, exclusive items he once had. Instead of being upset, he was concerned about me feeling safe. Ever since this experience, we agreed to save our money in order to move to a safer neighborhood. On October 31, 2011, we bought our first house! YAY! Anyone want to help us unpack?

Over the last three years our friends, family, and other random people kept asking "when are y'all going to get married and have kids? You take care of everyone else's kids.... get your own..." After seven years, FINALLY (I was patiently waiting), he proposed! Down on one knee, we celebrated our first Christmas in our first house, in front of our very own Christmas tree just him and me. It was PERFECT!! The comment we heard the most after announcing our engagement was, "it's about time!" Well I'm sure they didn't consider after buying a house, that he would turn around and buy a ring, but he did. (I sure didn't think so) He is so amazing!

But equally amazing and hardworking, my middle school math students have experienced much success because of me (it's funny talking about yourself). By believing in my kids, cultivating a love for mathematics, building relationships/self esteem, and setting high expectations, I am fulfilled. I purchase school supplies/prizes to motivate my students. To afford this, I do after-school and personal tutoring. In addition, I have been coaching track for many years at my school and a local high school, which is very time consuming, because we practice after-school and have meets on Saturdays. After practice, I spend time planning lessons and reviewing content so that I can assist other math teachers at my school. In order to be on top of my game, I am constantly increasing my own knowledge to grow as a teacher/teacher leader. Only getting paid once a month and with new expenses, I know what it is like to plan on a budget; BUT A WEDDING....I have NO CLUE! There are not enough hours in a day to do my job AND plan a wedding...or better yet, pay for one.

Through all of the hardships and hard work, carving out time for each other has been difficult, but we have had the utmost support from our family and friends. Our best time is spent hanging out with them. My grandmother, 90 years young this year, and my Uncle Charles, 65, a Vietnam War Veteran, are my greatest heroes who both love to travel. My uncle has recently survived two life threatening surgeries, and is now confined to the Veterans Hospital, where my mom spends most of her retirement caring for him. With dialysis 3 days per week and constant depression, he remains steadfast on being mobile and traveling once again. What a gift that "his buddy" could help him.

How great would it be to start OUR life together with a vacation for our family and friends to celebrate our love? EXCELLENT!


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