Words by Reesa
I will never forget the first time my eyes met TerriLynn’s. My entire world spun around. Our adventure began on May 19, 2012, at a mutual friend’s wedding. I remember standing there, watching her walk towards me. And having this innate feeling that she was someone who was going to change my life.
After a year or so of friendship, we made things official and began dating. The more I got to know her, the more I knew that we were meant for each other. TerriLynn and I are both from small towns in southern Louisiana. It’s ironic that it took us twenty-five years to meet because we grew up thirty minutes away from each other. Attended rivaling High Schools (GO TARPONS!), went on to attend the same college, and even have mutual friends.
TerriLynn is, in many ways, the opposite of me. She is a social butterfly, very outgoing, and doesn’t pay much mind to people’s opinions on who she should be. I had never experienced someone like that, someone who stood so strongly in the world with little to no worries. In other ways, we are very similar. Family is a big part of our lives. We love to travel, we love our furbabies, and her love for music matches mine. You can bet that if I turn on Otis Redding, she will grab me, and we will circle the kitchen island slow dancing to the music. Life sometimes gets complicated, but she always knows how to bring me back to my center.
Coming out as gay ten+ years ago was not easy for anyone in America. But coming out as gay, ten+ years ago, in Southern Louisiana just ups the ante. We have always found solace in traveling because visiting other places provides us with a perspective on how small-town beliefs/thinking can be quite close-minded at times. Seeing this wondrous earth has opened our eyes to new cultures. Beautiful landscapes and allows us to grow alongside this diverse and ever-changing world. There’s something about discovering new places with her that makes me feel at home with myself, our love, and who we are as a couple.
In March 2017, we took one of our most memorable trips to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to see the life-changing Teton Mountain Range. These aggressively steep, snowcapped mountain peaks boastfully soar through the air and provides one of the most phenomenal views. One snowy afternoon, TerriLynn surprised me with a Clydesdale horse and sleigh ride to the top of one of these amazing mountains. Once the road ended, she convinced me to get out of the sleigh and climb up to the tip-top. I hesitated and said I didn’t want to climb up in my usual cautious fashion because I just knew the snow was too deep and I would slip.
She was standing up there, so eager, talking about how beautiful the view was and that I just had to see it. Once I mustered up enough confidence, I climbed up to meet her, and we stood there together. Being mindful of the beauty and how thankful we were to be seeing it together. She grabbed my hand, turned me around, and got down on one knee. Before she could finish saying, “Will you….” I already had my glove off and eagerly said YES!
After many celebratory kisses, I said, “Hang on, I have something for you too!” and rushed to the sleigh to grab my bag. I remember her facial expression being so puzzled. I raced back to her and pulled out a journal that I had been writing for the prior two years about our life, love, and everything in between. Reading aloud the first journal entry that talked about how I wanted to capture our life experiences on paper to relive them over and over for years to come. I then pulled out her engagement ring, got down on one knee, and also proposed.
TerriLynn and I decided that for our wedding, we were going to travel to Denver, Colorado. We are getting married on November 9, 2018, exactly five years from our dating anniversary. We made a recent trip to Denver to finalize all the details of planning a destination wedding. Also, we took engagement photos in Kenosha Pass with our amazing photographer Jenna Porter of Jenna Noelle Photography.
Photography by Jenna Noelle Photography