THE MAMA | Engagement Post

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Our Story//

Here's a short little recap: I lived in Arkansas my first 16 years—North Carolina for three years to finish out High School and played soccer my first semester of University at Gardner-Webb. After my fall semester, I decided I wanted to be back in Arkansas. I made the big move in January 2011 and met Justin during biology class that spring semester.

We were in a lab group with two other people and y'all, I was so smitten by him. So handsome. A few classes went by and I still didn't know his name, so I offered to turn our assignments in at the end of class, peered down at his paper, Justin Bolinger. In the era where Facebook stalking is totally acceptable, I did just that. I told him that about a year ago, he called me a "stage five clinger", I called it adamant and we agreed to disagree.

We finished out our spring semester, both working part-time jobs, him at Guido's and me at Gymboree. He played basketball with his guys every Tuesday and I caught up on homework. We loved us. That first summer we spent together are some of my best memories, we lived without a care in the world. Summer came to an end and school started back up and early October we found out we were pregnant. Pure shock. That's all. No excitement, no plans, just worry. Those carefree kids that worked a solid 18 hours a week for a total of $496 a month had a huge decision to make. A decision that no longer just affected us. I will say abortion never crossed our minds, but adoption did. I felt irresponsible. All I've ever wanted to be is just a mom. A stay-at-home-play-all-day mom. Not a nineteen I didn't. I was scared and felt like I had to prove that I was good enough. Nevertheless, we made the choice to raise her, our baby, a symbol of what I thought was love. I thought I loved him then.

{this is the night before we found out we were expecting}

We had our trials during my pregnancy, just family drama, pressure to get married, ect. {Something I'll look forward to in future pregnancies is being able to enjoy it and not stress so much.} Ultimately, it made us stronger. He became the person I rely on, my emergency contact changed from my mom to Justin Bolinger, boyfriend. He was my rock, he is my rock. The day our daughter was born I watched the cute boy I met in biology become the father of my baby, the man who I would marry and help raise our children, and I thought I loved him then.

I don't want everything to sound so perfect because raising a baby is hard. Raising a baby at nineteen, with someone you're still getting to know, and paying for literally everything on your own, is stupid hard. I will say we appreciate every single thing we have because we know how much work was put in to get to where we are now.

Fast forward to 2014, we've been dating for 3.5 years, have a two year old and we still celebrate our date-aversary like tacky high schoolers. I love him more everyday and wonder how I loved him less. He's such a hard worker and does so much to provide for our family! I can't wait to see what our future holds together as the Bolinger's.

How he asked//

Well, because doing things unconventionally is how we do it, I was with him when he got the ring. We had it sent off and sized and twelve days later got it back. I tried it on and then he stuck it in the safe until he was ready to "surprise me!". So I had been patiently waiting about a month and the time finally  came! We were on lunch break together doing our parenting duties and taking McKinlee to the pediatrician for a check-up. After the check-up we walked out to our cars and he said he had something for McKinlee in the truck {me thinking it was fruit snacks or candy} she's comes out with a little note that says "will you marry my daddy??" and had the ring around her neck on ribbon. Seriously, I was so shocked and excited! He knew I wanted McKinlee to be involved and it was so sweet! I can't wait to be Mrs. Baylee Bolinger.

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