WEDDED Wednesdays: The Chapmans' Story
Welcome to "WEDDED Wednesdays." We enjoy sharing stories of love and marriage with you! Real LOVE stories. This week - Meet the CHAPMANS - Paul and Randie!
How long have you been married?
5 months and 25 days. We got married on April 24, 2016.
"Our newlywed experience has been magical, challenging, loving, fun, and hard. Marriage is something else entirely. It is not for the weak or faint of heart, AT ALL.
But being a newlywed also matched my expectations and current reality. We knew it wouldn't be easy but nothing worth it ever is.
Marriage has opened up my whole heart and taught me a different level of vulnerability and submission. It showed me that while I thought we conquered communication, we have not and there's always something to learn, lol.
I'm proud of us because we have resolved to do this marriage thang until one of us dies or kills the other, lol, and I believe we can." - Randie
"Lol! Wifey said a mouthful, but I agree with every word.
I honestly expected the honeymoon phase to last a little longer for us, we had been friends and in a relationship for so long that part of me believed there would be little to no change other than a few more disagreements here and there.
The reality is, no matter how long you've been together, or how much you believe you know each other, 'time tells all and with time I've learned that I don't know everything.
My wife is my greatest accomplishment and biggest challenge to date. My experience has been a rollercoaster of laughs, cries, celebrations, and frustrations, and I am loving every twist on this ride." -Paul
How did you meet?
We met in elementary school.
"He was in 5th grade and I was in 4th grade. We spoke for the first time in middle school and he swears I ignored him. I honestly don't remember him. I was 11 and madly in love with someone else, lol.
The first conversation I remember (he swears there's another one) is me asking him if he was okay. He was sitting by himself on the bus. (We were in high school on a trip sponsored by an organization we had joined in middle school.)
He looked so sad, but he was happy that I'd stopped to talk to him. He told me he wasn't okay and that he and his girlfriend had just broken up. I can't remember exactly what I said but I did tell him it would be okay." - Randie
"She has selective amnesia.
I remember very clearly the first conversations I tried to have with her I was in 7th grade and she was in 6th. I was playing a game of chess with one of our middle school friends at the time and Randie walked into the room and sat beside my opponent.
I took a break from the game I was winning and said, 'Hey, how are you?' And I was met with silence...the longest silence ever. I will never let that go, lol!" - Paul
"Well we became friends after the field trip and we referred to each other as 'brother and sister.' HA! But I was developing feelings and I literally felt like I was dying every time I was around him.
One day my mom was so fed up with me, she said, 'Listen, if you don't tell him, I will.' I believed her. She's crazy.
So I pulled him aside after school and struggled to tell him how I felt. He was dogging me because he was missing a basketball game.
He was like, 'You better be happy you're cute, or I'd be gone.' LOL. So I just blurted out, 'I'm in love with you.' I was 15! And he replied, 'Really?'
That's how I shimmied my way out of the friend zone." - Randie
"My wife was a bold kid.
I was completely oblivious to any feelings she had towards me.
Now sure, back then referring to each other as 'brother and sister' was the way to get close to a girl just so you could catch her off guard later by telling her you always loved her, but I seriously only allowed myself to look at her as a friend because I felt like she was a great person who deserved WAY better.
It was just another day for me...I had my shoes laced up ready to go play basketball. And this girl comes up to me, holding me up, lol. But I stopped to talk to her because it's Randie and I always have time for Randie.
She finally got it out and said, 'I'm in love with you,' and I was genuinely shocked. She threw me soooooo off balance that all I could say was, 'Really?'
One thing led to another...and this girl had me on the hook." -Paul
How long did you date?
We dated for 8 years.
"We broke up once when I was 16 and he was 18. My mom always said everyone breaks up once, snd so I told him early on that we had one time. If we broke up again, we would have to stay broken up. It worked in keeping us consistent, making sure we communicated, and affirmed that we were serious about one another.." - Randie
"We got back together a few months before Randie's high school graduation. I knew she was the one in high school.
I had been in relationships before and could recognize the difference between healthy + positive and unhealthy + toxic, and there was nothing better for my life than this girl.
Randie encouraged me to take care of business before play, she gave me a listening ear, and I had never felt more comfortable around any other girl before in my life. Randie pushed me when I needed to be pushed and held me when I needed to be held, she knew me when I was still trying to figure out who I was myself.
I knew she was going to give that same love, affection, attention, understanding, healing, and peace to my future children when they were in need.
2009, that's when I knew Randie would be Mrs. Chapman." - Paul
"Studying abroad and my grandmother's death in 2012 let me know that Paul was THE One.
When I left to study abroad we'd been together for 4 years already. I thought I was asking a lot but I knew I had to go and he did too. We talked every day, Skyped whenever the internet in Ghana acted right, and still prioritized communication.
My time abroad let me know that while it was great that I got to study abroad and needed that experience to be the woman I am, I never want to travel for that long, alone, again. People need people. I wanted to grow and experience all that I did with my man and my family.
Sadly, my grandmother died while I was away—the day before Thanksgiving. Paul was considered family by that time and he was there the whole time when I couldn't be. That meant everything to me.
Everyone can't handle death. He technically didn't have to be there if he didn't want to be, but he was. He also picked me up from the airport when they had to rush me back two weeks earlier than when the program ended.
I knew then that Paul was the kind of man I wanted to be my husband. He helped all of us so much. His presence and help during that time still means the world to me." --Randie
How would you describe your wedding?
Our wedding had beautiful weather, it was emotional, and it was just the right day. It was perfect. We were ecstatic the day was finally here.
The ceremony was outside, and the reception was inside. We had about 70 guests show up. We consider our wedding intimate because we got to talk to everyone and to take pictures with everyone. It was so nice! We were exhausted and ready for our honeymoon, but it was a great day!
Marriage Mission Statement:
We, The Chapmans, will do our best to create the family we always wanted to have. We want our family to be loving, caring, present, understanding, whole, joyful, adventurous, close, and transparent.
Best Advice you received before marriage:
"The funniest and realest advice came from my mom, 'Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty." - Randie
"Honor her and respect her. Keep her in mind in all things." - Paul
Favorite activity to do together:
"Sex! Don't withhold sex. Sex helps with decompressing and de-stressing. That's my thing, and just laying down and talking. It gives us a chance to talk about everything and block everyone out. I like Randie in spaces where she doesn't have an agenda--where she can just be. I like when we go for long drives and she falls asleep. She's just cute. I've never seen anyone sleep as comfortably as she does in a car. Watching TV Shows and cooking is also a favorite of mine." - Paul
"All of his favorites are true for me as well. I like intimate activities where it's just us. I'm such an introvert and I love when we get uninterrupted time together to do all the things we daydreamed about when we were in college and long distance, and before we were married." -Randie
Advice for engaged couples:
STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! It's hard not to, but don't stress about the little details. (We still have all our customized cake napkins from etsy.) When planning the wedding, make time not too. The wedding is a good day, but just one day. Make time for other conversations. Participate in pre-marital counseling and talk about your desires--emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
DO the first look. It was the best decision.
Blog Link(s): [For more on this adorable duo and to follow their adventures, be sure to check out Randie's blog] wordswithrandie.com