My senior year of high school I was so lazy. Out of seven class periods I had methodically arranged my senior schedule to have three empty class periods in which I was a teacher’s aid two periods in a row (through lunch) and a study hall period. I still worked at Pizza Barn and would babysit occasionally. The town of Greenwood was hopping with a Taco Bell/KFC combo, McDonald’s, and a Sonic. Two high school kids dating in Greenwood, Arkansas meant we went to church and shared the number two meal at McDonald’s (two cheeseburgers, French fries, and a drink), and frequented the high school football games.
Following graduation we both attended the newly renamed University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. Chris knew from the beginning he wanted to major in Business even though he had surrendered to ministry during high school. I knew nothing. I was undecided for two years and working almost full-time at a local hospital. My boss at the hospital kept offering me a full-time gig but I kept declining. Then finally he said, “Work for me full-time and get some insurance and make more money. When you figure out what you want to do you can go back to school.” I’m 36 years old and still haven’t finished school. But I worked for that hospital for almost ten years before we moved to Texas.
While we were in college Chris proposed on Christmas Eve. I knew it was coming but I had no idea how he would do it or when. He waited until we were at the Fayetteville Square walking under Christmas lights and got on one knee and asked me. I said yes and starred at that ring all night long with the biggest smile on my face for days.
Once the holidays settled down we set a date for May 12, 2001. It was a year and a half away. We had plenty of time to plan a wedding. I was living at home with my parents during our engagement. I started working full-time and officially stopped school in January 2001. During that semester leading up to our wedding I was working full-time at the hospital and Chris was going to school full-time and working part-time at our church in the Middle School Ministry.
The Easter before our wedding my knee dislocated in the middle of JCPenney and stayed dislocated for awhile. After a speedy trip to the ER, an MRI and some doctor appointments I was told I needed surgery on my knee. I explained to my doctor that wedding invitations had been mailed and the honeymoon had been paid for. Knee surgery before May 12th was not an option. The compromise between me and my doctor was I wear a knee brace all day, every day and have surgery as soon as we get back from our honeymoon.