Whitener Wednesday-Our First Year

Welcome back to the next part of Tom and I’s love story. I left off last week with how Tom and I met at Worlds of Fun in 2007.


Our first year together can be described in one word: bliss.

It was the perfect year.

When Tom and I met, he was taking a semester sabbatical from school to focus on working. He was a little lost with his life, and work was the only enjoyable thing for him. He gave me the liberty to say here that I was the reason he went back to school that fall. Yes I am that awesome folks.

So we were both seniors at the University of Central Missouri, and our apartments were mere minutes from each other.

I was doing my student teaching and graduated that fall. Tom pressed on to finish his criminal justice degree. I stayed in Warrensburg after graduation for another semester knowing that I would start a grad program in the fall. I had the illustrious career that spring of working at a gas station and as a administrative assistant at a dance studio. It was great to still be in our college town with my best friends and boyfriend for a few more months before I started traveling the country.


We just lived it up as we continued to grow further in love. Our life was fairly typical for a college couple.

He went with me to Phi Sigma Pi functions. We went to parties. We stayed in and watched movies and played lots of rummy. We ate scads of Chinese food at our favorite buffet. We had the world at our fingertips. (And all that love sick mumbo jumbo)

first year 2

He got along with my friends, and I with his.

We were just on cloud 9 that year.

It did not take us that long to realize love was the feeling, and that there was a long future ahead of us.

(If you didn’t guess it already, I had crumbled the beast exterior, and now Tom could see marriage and kids in our future.)

first year 3

While on the surface as a fairly odd couple (me being the nerdy shy gal and him being the boisterous fearless guy), we managed to have it all that year.

This was the same year, I started searching for grad schools. None of them were in the state of Missouri where Tom would continue to be.

So we had to have a serious conversation as I applied to assistantships and various programs to decide if we could handle long distance for two years. It boiled down to two serious offers that meant two very different futures for us.

first year 4

What would each place look like for us?

Depending on where I went, there could be months in between seeing each other. We talked about engagements and if he could follow me after he graduated during my second year or possibly third year of grad school.

In the end, I chose to go to Clemson, which also happened to be the farthest school from MO that I applied to. Nothing like challenging our relationship to the max.

The decision was to do long distance for two years, and then figure out the rest as it came.

At this point, I was ready for Tom to propose. This however did not happen before I left.

That summer before I left for South Carolina, we both lived in Kansas City. Tom worked in the downtown district, while I finished my last season at Worlds of Fun.

We made the most of that summer and tried to not count the days until the long distance began.

first year

The picture on the left is about a month after we started dating. The picture on the right is a year later right before I left for Clemson.

We had grown so much together during that year. We were sure we were ready for what lied ahead.

Come back next week to read about the first long distance portion of our relationship.

6 thoughts on “Whitener Wednesday-Our First Year

  1. Long distance is hard! Stephen and I never did real long distance, but the little taste of it that I get from deployment makes me really respect people who do a full on long distance relationship.

  2. Pingback: Whitener Wednesday-The Engagement Year | Army Crafter

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