Five years ago today, we were here. I couldn’t imagine that anything would make me happier.


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And then there was this.

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And then this.

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And my incredible, strong Todd has been by my side the whole way. Leading our family, guiding me, and teaching our boys.

It’s been a big year with lots of changes. And, yet, Todd is my constant comforter and protector. Reminding me to pray and turn it over to God. Reminding me to focus on our blessings. And loving me despite my unlovable ways.

I’m excited about the next five years and can’t wait to see where we are at our 10 year anniversary. How our family grows as we settle into our home. And then at our 50 year anniversary when it’s just back to Todd and me.

Todd is the strong, level-headed one that keeps us all grounded. And I’m so thankful he chose me.

I’m thankful for all the laughs and his quick wit. I’m thankful for his kindness and humility. And I’m thankful for his big heart and the way he loves me and loves our boys.

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Happy anniversary, My Todd.

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Love and Marriage: in the beginning

Another group of bloggers is hosting another fun link up series this month all about love and marriage. I have really enjoyed reading their posts today, so I thought I’d link up. You can see some of the other posts here and here.

Today’s post is all about how we got started.

If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, I’m sure you know most of this already. But it’s fun to have it all in one place for Todd and me.


Todd can tell you the exact day that we met because it all goes back to Gamecock football. Is anyone surprised? We met the day of Steve Spurrier’s first home game at USC.

It was the fall of 2005. I had finished college at Louisiana Tech in May 2004. I moved to Columbia, South Carolina (where we live now) and I started graduate school at USC for Hospitality Management and Event Management. The following summer I graduated and began my first “big girl job” in the summer of 2005.

I hadn’t dated anyone through most of college. I hadn’t dated anyone in graduate school. I had dated my high school boyfriend on and off long distance, but that didn’t work out. And I had started dating someone who was a lot of fun, but I couldn’t see myself marrying.

Many of my friends had already started to get married, and at 22 years old, I was beginning to get concerned. I know. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that at such a young age, I was worried that I’d never meet someone. I had always thought I’d meet someone in college, and then college came and went. And then grad school came and went. Where could I possibly meet someone in this next phase of my life?

I was working on staff at a big law firm in town. I always said I had the best seat in town. My desk looked out from the 16th floor and I could see so much of the city from my desk. I was working to help plan events and meetings for the law firm on their meeting room floor, but I was also in a “reception” role.

One day in September, a handsome, polite, friendly guy walked up to my desk to ask if I could buzz a friend of his. He was there to pick up some football tickets for that night’s game. It was a Thursday, and Steve Spurrier was coaching his first home game.

He introduced himself as Todd Carroll. He was from Columbia, but had just moved back from Virginia after finishing law school. He had just finished up with the bar exam and was about to start working at the same firm where I was working.

What a nice little convenient coincidence, right?


A couple of months went by and I didn’t see him that much. I was still dating someone else and my best friend had moved to Columbia for grad school, and we were really having the time of our lives that year.

One night, while walking through the frozen foods aisle at Publix with Catherine, I ran into Todd. He was in his work clothes and was carrying just a small little basket with milk and cereal in it. I said hello and reintroduced myself. We stood there and talked for a while and then went on our way.

The next day at work, I saw him again, and said, “Hey, Todd!” And he jumped a mile. I think I scared him, or he wasn’t expecting me to say hello, but he did end up waving and then he got on the elevator and was gone.

About two full minutes later, an email popped up in my email box. From Todd. And my heart stopped.


And that’s when our month of email flirting began. I’d email him at the end of the day, and by the morning when I got to work and checked my email, there’d be a reply from him. We talked about absolutely nothing important. Mostly the good stuff like Saved By The Bell trivia or Christmas Vacation and Home Alone.

But we also found out a little about each other and our general backgrounds. Where we’d gone to college and how we ended up back in Columbia.

On my mom’s birthday, November 28, he asked if I wanted to go to lunch. So I met him for lunch. And then I ended my relationship with the other guy.


On December 5, 2005, Todd and I met each other at our church. We were both attending the same church, but just different services. So we met there one Sunday and sat together. And then we went to lunch with my parents afterward. (Talk about meeting the parents early!)

The following weekend we went on our first official date to Nonnah’s in The Vista. I can still remember where we sat. My good friend had come into town that night to visit and I remember telling her that I just knew it would be the last first date I’d ever experience.

And it was.

On February 15, 2006 we got Boudreaux. Boudreaux lived with me in my apartment, but he was “our” dog.


Todd and I broke up for a couple of months in the spring/summer of 2006, and got back together in September. I had a few panicked moments where I knew he was the guy I was supposed to marry, but I just got so scared about being married. But I came to my senses, begged for his forgiveness, and promised to attend every football game with him that season.

No, seriously, being broken up was really horrible. And getting him back was excruciating. But God’s plan is perfect, and I’m so thankful.


On April 28, 2007, we got engaged. I had just finished my big event for the year the day before, and I was just exhausted. Todd had made dinner reservations for us and told me that he wanted to take a walk before dinner on the Horseshoe on the USC campus. Which is a really random thing to want to do. But I went along.

While we were walking, he started talking about how the university means so much in our “story” because of Steve Spurrier, Gamecock football, my dad had moved our family to Columbia because of the university, I moved to Columbia because of graduate school, I was employed by the university, and now…. we were going to be engaged on the most historic part of the university.

I cried. I said yes. I kissed him. I hugged him tight. Someone took our picture.


And then we went to dinner. When we walked into the restaurant, I was absolutely shocked to be greeted by my Mom and Dad (who Todd had flown in from Dallas) and my brother (who had been flown in from Louisiana.) Todd’s mom, dad, and grandmother were there, too. Everyone was there to celebrate us. But having my family, who meant so much to me, sitting in that restaurant ready to celebrate, meant more than anything to me.


We got married on May 3, 2008 in Greenville, South Carolina. We had family and friends that had come from all over the world- literally- to be there. I can honestly say that it was one of the most fun days of my life. The little details aren’t what stick out to me– it’s the people, and the celebration. We made this commitment to love and honor and respect and care for each other for all the days of our lives in front of all of our “people.”


This blog actually started during our engagement, so there aren’t many pieces of this story that haven’t already been shared.


Since our wedding day, we’ve obviously been busy. Hudson was born in June 2009, Hayes was born in May 2011, we’ve traveled, we’ve sold a house, we’ve lost a baby, and we’ve begun building a house. Life has not been boring. We have worked hard. But we love it.

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