I had started working for Papa Murphy’s Pizza in 2004. The owner of that store had four other stores. He was looking to shake things up a bit and shuffle around managers. As a result Tony and I met in February of 2005. I would like to tell you that it was love at first sight, but unfortunately, it was dislike at first sight. I heard that a new manager was going to be coming, and I wanted to impress him. Hello Promotion! I took it upon myself to clean all the glass in the store including the glass on the pizza make line. I took out all the pieces of glass very mindfully and cleaned them. I got thru all of them and got all of them put back in place except the last one that went on the top. Very carefully I maneuvered the last piece in place. It was in, cleaned and all the sudden. Crash! It shattered all over all the food in the make-line. Tiny little pieces of glass everywhere. We had to throw away all the food. It was horrid and to make matters worse food cost was part of his bonus. He had not even stepped foot into the store and he kissed his bonus goodbye. Tony was to be my boss and I, his employee. Not a good first impression. He would have me doing things that he would never ask the others to do. Like deep cleaning, folding towels, and organizing. I would get so mad at him. I was coming out of a very abusive marriage filled with pornography and adulterywith two small children and was not looking to be treated like that ever again. Tony was not even a consideration, at that point.
My best friend worked with both of us as well, and soon became the mediator between us.Over the course of the following weeks we began to see each other differently. After a while he began to take the time each night to call me, and we would talk for hours and hours, from dusk until dawn. We talked about faith, children, family dynamics, works, our families, details about ourselves, etc. We were so tired and then had to get up for work and children, which was hard, but oh so worth it. He would take me places and we would just talk. He would go over and have dinner with my mom and help her around the house while I was working, to try and get to know her. We would go up to the top of this huge hill, where there was a park that over looked the whole city. The city where I lived overlooked a river and had lots of green trees and flowers, it was so beautiful! He would take me shopping and offer to buy me anything I wanted. I never got anything because I never felt that I was worth enough to ever warrant him spending his money on me. Very quickly, those lustful feelings turned into love. I found myself head over heels for him. The highlight of every day for me was seeing and talking to him. It felt amazing. He cared so much and seemed to love me so much back. He treated me so well. Opening doors for me, writing me letters and text, scraping off my windows, carrying things for me, holding my hand, all the things that most every woman would want. All the thing I wanted/ needed.
Thru out that month he was very conflicted with continuing a relationship with me because I had been divorced. He would go hot and then cold on me all the time. I never knew what was going to happen that day or the next. My heart felt like it was being ripped out and stomped on every other day. Finally, I told him I can not do it anymore. The back and forth was too much for me to bear anymore and I was done.
He came to drop off my things to me at work the next day and said good bye. He went to leave and for hours and hours he sat outside in his truck. My friend and I were working togetherand we just looked at each other bewildered. Three hours later, Tony called our work and asked to speak to me. I told my friend, to tell him no, knowing that he was still my boss. It was a fine line, but I did not care, I was done. He said please for about five minutes and I came to the phone. I’m such a sucker. I got on the phone and said, “what!?” He asked if he could call me tonight? I said no, absolutely not. This continued for about twenty minutes until I finally said, sure whatever. Do what you want. I tried to guard myself so I would not be hurt again, but I also knew I loved him greatly. This time the conversation was much different. He asked me one question and said one statement. Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior? That he came to earth, wasborn from a virgin, and was crucified and killed for your sins. I said yes, I do! He said I love you, and never want to hurt you again. I will never leave you and I want to spend my life with you. My guarded self thought ya right, and I told him that. He said I will prove it to you. I thought, ok, what’s the harm in letting him show me because I already loved him greatly. A month later he asked me to marry him. I, of course said yes! I was beyond words excited. I was ready to start my life with Tony. It was going to be magical. It was going to be my fairy tale. He rescued my two kids and myself from a horrible existence and now I was going to live a life of tranquility, a life of love.
He talked about how wonderful his family was and how I was going to be apart of that. Something I had never had. I was so excited. I had never meet them and thought that our wedding would help to bring everyone together. I wanted to have this huge wedding within a budget and not over the top. A wedding where all of his family could be apart of it. It would be an awesome celebration of our love and the uniting our our families. It for me, would be a fresh start to a new me, a new beginning. I had the found a picture of the dress I had wanted, and had found a place in town that could get it. I had gone with my best friends to try it on and I had paid for half of it. On a flip side, I also knew from talking with him all that time that he wanted more children as soon as possible. Something was nagging me and I knew what I needed to do. I told him that we could either have this big wedding or we could start a family right away. I knew that we could not afford to do both and I was not about to live off of welfare to be able to. He said it’s up to you. I knew that I needed to give up my wedding to be able to afford the children he had wanted. I loved children very much as well, so I told him what I wanted to do. In October of 2005 we went to the court house in the town where we were living and we got married. His oldest brother was there and so were our two children (Tony from day one, always considered my two children his). A couple of months before the wedding I had gotten a positive pregnancy test. I know that it was wrong. That we should have waited until we were marriedfor sex and that is a mistake I think about often. After we were married in October things were amazing. Tony would bring me home gifts, he would write me letters and text. He would help around the house, hold my hand, cook me dinners on his days off. He would spend every second he could with me. I felt the love that he had for me. It glistened off of him. I, in return, always made sure he had a clean house to come home to, lawn cut, drive way shoveled, and dinner on the table. The fairy tale seemed to be a reality.
Our son, number 3, was born in February of 2006. We were so excited. Our family was growing, our marriage was growing, life was good. In the mists of all of our joy, I had also rekindled a relationship with my dad. Him and I were talking almost every other day. In late 2005 we had purchased our first home together. A family member had shown it to us and talked/guilted us into purchasing it. We knew that the payments were going to be to steep, but they assured us we could afford it. We believed them. After all, it was their job and they knew, right? In late 2006 bills started to mount. We prayed and prayed together to see what we thought GOD wanted us to do.Tony started to look for other job opportunities because things got really hard. Then out of the blue my dad calls and asks me if I would want to move down by him. I said we can’t. We just don’t have the money and a job. He said ok, we talked a bit more and hung up. He called back a couple of days later and said ok, I want to invest in a business opportunity, and I want you guys to run it. What??!!!! He said I want you guys closer and this will work out perfect. I got off of the phone and called Tony to tell him. He was excited as well. He came home and we prayed and prayed and asked GOD what direction he wanted us to go in. We prayed for many weeks. At that time we only had one car that worked. One day I was driving Tony to work, and we were praying in the car, asking God for a sign. Before we got done praying, a moving company called Tony’s cell phone, and asked him if we wanted help moving or a moving truck. WOW! We took that as our sign.
We were moving across the country within a month and a half. We packed up everything we had and started on a new adventure together. We would have to move in the dead of winter, but we did not care. It was a new and exciting chapter. We had a dead line that we needed to meet, so we needed to hurry. Tony needed to be on a plane in five days for training so that we could get our store open. In the process of driving we got about half way to our new home, and a HUGE snow storm hit. Road’s were absolutely horrible. At one point the traffic was traveling at 15MPH, and even then semis were rolling into the ditches. Freeways were shut down. State patrol made sure that no one would continue to drive on the freeways. We had to evacuate our moving truck on the freeway. It was so bad, they called in the National Guard. It was scary. That was everything that we owned. Plus, we had to meet that dead line for the flight. Day after day turned into a week. Ugh! The stress was horrible. There were times in those couple days, where we thought maybe GOD is telling us to go back, or maybe the devil is trying to block our path. We decided on the latter. The freeway opened a week later and we were able to rebook his training because of unforeseen weather conditions with no repercussions. The rest of the drive was very uneventful, Thank you GOD!
We had finally made it. My dad met us at the house we were renting to help us unload. So great to see him! We had arrived at the next chapter. Tony left a couple of days later for the week of training. The only time in the two years we had been married, that we were ever apart over night. We talked every night and text all the time. I called and arranged for him to receive dinner delivered to his hotel room, and for him to have snacks and items so that he did not have to worry about that, while he was gone. A week later he was back. Longest week of my life at that point. It seemed we needed each other greatly. Corny, but we completed each other. A couple of months after training, the doors opened to our store. It was so exciting! We both got to work and we were able to have our children with us. Such a huge blessing! I wanted to be able to raise my children, not someone else. Money was never more important to me, then my children. The opportunity was perfect, or so it seemed. Fast forward a couple of years. Exhaustion and fatigue hit hard. We were working ten hour days, seven days a week. Plus, I had taken on a part time job because we could not pay ourselves huge amounts, as we were a small business starting out. We had hit a wall in our marriage.