Once Upon a Time in a Hardware Store…

Our first photo together!

This time of year brings back so many great memories, because this time last year I was busy falling madly in love with the man of my dreams. With our one year anniversary approaching, I can’t help but reflect upon the journey Matthew and I have started together. Many of you don’t know the story of how Matt & I came to be, so I thought I’d share it here.

It begins, “Once Upon a Time in a Hardware Store,” because my new husband and I met in a local hardware store. Matthew’s family owns TP Outdoors here in Monroe/West Monroe, where he works as the hardware manager in the West Monroe location. At that time, I owned Salt & Pepper…just up the street from his store, and I frequented their establishment for items to complete miscellaneous projects for my store displays.

Hard at workBeing the hardware manager, Matthew was always the one trying to help me figure out ways to make my crazy ideas happen. He special ordered items for me, spent 20+ minutes helping to fix purses, delivered boxes to me when the store needed to move…the list goes on and on.

Finally, after working on so many projects together, I noticed myself finding excuses to go to his store. (The large stack of TP Outdoors receipts from this time confirms this notion!) Matthew was always so positive and welcoming and knew just what to say to encourage me through whatever I was facing. He would ask about my day, and I’d find myself really telling him how my day was going. Next thing I knew, I found myself showing up at TP Outdoors every time I had a bad day. And as usual, I’d leave feeling much better and carrying an unnecessary bag of screws. (Don’t judge!)

My handsome husbandNext, I needed help with figuring out some projects for our 2012 Spring Market booth, and Matthew came to the rescue with ways to make all of my ideas happen…plus more ideas of his own! This is how I knew we would make an awesome team. (See a few pictures in my 2013 Spring Market post.) He took the project and ran with it…building pallet walls for us, hauling in railroad timbers…and made our 2012 booth my favorite one of all. (Of course, I could be partial.) After seeing the approach he took to this project, I felt like there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish as a team. So, a few weeks later, we began seeing each other as more than just work associates.

In the beginningIn those first couple of months, we were practically inseparable. We texted until crazy hours of the morning, spent every evening together, and literally talked about everything you could possibly imagine. Salt & Pepper was moving to its new location during this time, and Matthew was my right hand man. We spent many late nights installing purse hangers, mounting railroad timbers to walls, hanging pallets, building custom tables…and the list goes on and on. During these two short months, we not only spent an insane amount of time together, but several of the projects we worked on were strenuous, stressful, and demanding. For example, we spent 8+ hours in a shop with no air conditioning one day (Remember, this is summertime in Louisiana….HOT!!), building a custom table from scratch. Imagine sweating profusely with sawdust clinging to your skin, as you constantly make adjustments to the original plans to make them “work.” On the drive home, I had a sudden realization that we didn’t kill each other! We didn’t get mad, frustrated, or testy with one another. The moment that I realized that this tough task had been so successful, I knew we had something special.

Tiny girl, big wallThe following weeks were full of similar exciting discoveries and adventures. We began a whirlwind romance that ultimately ended with the wedding of our dreams, just a few short weeks later. I will forever and ever look back on this time as some of the most exciting and wonderful days of my life.

Salt & Pepper Grand OpeningMore about our special love story coming soon…

Read more about our first year of marriage here, here, and here.

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