People seem very curious about how Manny and I met when they hear I’m from Florida and he’s from California. It’s interesting, funny, weird, and awesome! Here’s our love story: 🙂At the end of my junior year in H.S. (2008) I was having some “boy trouble,” so I really wanted to spend my summer with my family in California. The first day I arrived at my aunt’s house she said we’d be having dinner at a restaurant called Palermo’s and that a family friend was going to treat us. When dinner time came around I heard him in the next room and I figured it was the guy that was gonna be taking us out, and I went to go meet him. We met. That was it.
It wasn’t love at first sight or anything interesting like that lol. I actually thought Manny was such a chatty cat. He would always be over and at times when I would hear him in the morning I would get a little annoyed! Hahaha! He told me he just thought I was quiet and weird. We didn’t bother to get to know each other until the day before I had to leave. He sent me a text asking me if I wanted to get lunch with him and my cousins. I replied by saying yes. The plans didn’t fall through, but instead we went to shopping and had dinner at a sushi restaurant with the whole family. When we arrived back home, Manny suggested we stay up the whole night till I had to leave to the airport. I figured that would be fun, so that’s what we did! We baked cookies, drank some Red Bull, listened to music, played hot hands, and just talked till 5am. It was a fun time! When we arrived to the airport I gave him an awkward one handed hug as I was sitting in the back seat and as he was falling asleep in the passenger seat lol. According to him, he said he felt sort of empty as they left the airport and he couldn’t explain why.I got back to Florida and the next day was my birthday! I got a text from Manny saying “Happy Birthday Carol.” or something like that. After that we would text back and forth for days on end, and started talking on the phone. I started to fall for him, but knew nothing would ever happen because of the distance. I just thought it would be silly, and so did he. Manny was always my go-to person to call whenever I just wanted to talk, and vice versa. And I really don’t like talking on the phone, so that says a lot haha. He knew everything about me, like the very beginnings of my walk with Christ. He would encourage me to walk with Him and to go against the things of this world. He was a blessing to me!Random story that I always laugh about… I was dating this guy from my old church and I told him about Manny. How we met and how I fell for him at one point in my life. He asked me “Do you love him?” and without even thinking who I was talking to, I said YES!! L.O.L. it wasn’t funny at the time, but it is now. It caused a lot of problems. Eventually he got over it and his friend gave him great advice… “He lives thousands of miles away. Nothing will ever happen with them…”Back on track… One day, Manny called me up and told me he’d be joining the Navy. I was totally bummed because I had a feeling we wouldn’t see each ever again, so I just said “Oh, that’s cool.” & after that we started to talk more. In the summer of 2010, I had plans of going oversees for a missionary trip with my old church. Till this day, I still look back at that trip and realize that God gave me a new pair of eyes. I’m not gonna go into great detail about my trip, but I will say this… I had recently gotten out of a bad, destructive relationship and at the time I didn’t feel worthy of serving such a wonderful God. In H.S. I didn’t really have boyfriends here and there. It wasn’t a sport to me. I dated with intentions to marry because I felt like I would’ve wasted time if I just dated to have someone next to me, and that’s probably weird because I was so young but whatever. One night during my missionary trip, I asked God that the next person I date, “Please let him be my husband. Please.” When I got back from my trip Manny and I talked everyday till the day he had to leave for boot camp. For some reason I felt sad that he was leaving, but it was weird because he wasn’t even near me lol. A few hours before he was gonna get on the plane, we said our good-byes and he said he would write me, and that was it. A couple minutes later I sent him a text telling him I had something to say, and he called me. My heart was beating so fast, and when I picked up I told him I loved him, and he said he loved me too. We wrote each other letters back and forth. His letters were the best. He had a list of things for me to do, like go buy his favorite chips/candy and eat it, watch some movies… Things he couldn’t do in boot camp pretty much. Eventually when he got out of boot camp I was dreading hearing the place he’d be stationed because I thought it’d be far and a place I could never go (My parents were strict). Either way, I have a feeling he would’ve found a way to me lol. When Manny found out he was gonna be stationed in Florida we were both so excited!! He drove down to visit me several times and we fell in love as each day went on. We both knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together… We dated for a couple months and got married on September 9, 2011.Many people have commented or asked. “Why can’t you wait?” or “You’re so young, enjoy your life!” when I was about to get married, right after, and even till this day! Usually I just laugh because the person saying that won’t understand because Manny and I enjoy each other. He’s my best friend. & I don’t say that to sound cute, he really is. From the moment we got to know each till now, he’s been my best friend. We like each other & we love each other, and we don’t love each other on our own because we’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked. Through the grace of God we have a wonderful, joyful, patient, loving, kind, marriage. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.