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Our Love Story

This year we are blessed to celebrate 9 years of marriage – 9 years ya’ll!

At 9 years (and 4 children) later, life looks a little different than it did when we first started dating. Our relationship has grown and developed into a beautiful story that we enjoy writing out each day in memories and experiences! But there is something so special about looking back on how we first met and fell in love, so we wanted to share a brief summary of our love story here for you. 

Before We Met

Before I met Leroy I was in a very long relationship. It was a very unhealthy time for me. Through that time, I could feel the Lord pulling me to Him, but felt stuck where I was…unsure of how to let go of my “wants” and take care of my “needs.” Slowly over time, the Lord softened my heart until one day I was ready to let go of the past and move on with Him. At that point of my life I completely let go, broke down, and let God take control of my future. This was a very big scary step for me, but I trusted Him and I had realized that God would be a way better matchmaker than I was turning out to be for myself.  I didn’t care how long it took for me to meet my future husband, because I knew God’s timing is perfect and I trusted that when He was ready for me to meet this special man, I would. Everything wasn’t butterflies and rainbows after that – it was still a rough time, but I soon found out that once I gave all my trust to the Lord my whole world would change for the better.

So in 2009, I was working for the Student Union Board at McNeese State University campus and finishing my junior semester of college. That same year, Leroy was finishing up his senior semester of college. He was fully convinced in his mind that he was graduating college and then moving all the way to Chicago to get a job working for Sears corporate headquarters – he even went to Chicago all by himself to visit it in person not very long before he and I met.

How We Met

Leroy and I met at McNeese State University through mutual friends. Leroy was a founding father of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at McNeese (which kept him very active on campus) and I was the Head Marketing Coordinator + Vice President of the Student Union Board on campus. Basically, I was helping plan all of the events that Leroy was busy attending with his fellow Pike brothers. The Student Union Board President and a few other coordinators also happen to be members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and being the “social butterfly” that he is, it wasn’t long before Leroy was invading our office to visit his friends.

We ran into each other a few times on campus and one time at Sears where Leroy worked, but we never really made a significant attempt to talk to one another for quite a while. Then one day, I was on Facebook and saw Leroy tagged in something and realized his last name was Tademy. This stood out to me because when I was in high school my best friend recommended that I read a book titled “Cane River” which was based on the authors maternal family history from central Louisiana. The authors name? Lalita Tademy. Very quickly in my head I put two and two together and thought “Well if the book is based on the history of a family in Louisiana, and I live in Louisiana, and this guys last name is Tademy – maybe they are related?” So I sent Leroy a Facebook message saying something along the lines of “Do you have family in Colfax, Louisiana and you might think I’m crazy but are you related to the author of this book?” Since he was online he responded pretty quickly and said that his dad’s family was actually from Colfax and he is related to the author (though way down the line). At that point, I was pretty proud of myself that I made the connection and that kind of opened up the door of communication between us. But looking back, I can see that God was weaving our lives together long before we even met one another by having me read the book way back in high school. Not only that, but my sisters husband used to help coach his high school basketball team, so they knew him before I even did!

The Proposal

I can see bits and details of the whole story in my head and it seems like it would have taken up a lot more time than it actually did, but we officially started dating in May of 2009 and got engaged in September of that same year. It’s only fair to hear the story of our engagement from Leroy’s points of view (since I obviously was not a part of the planning of the proposal) so I’ll take a step back and let him share that story:

Leroy: It all kind of happened fast. I remember sitting in my car on the phone with my cousin (not sure why I was on the phone with him at this time, but I was) and some kind of way we started talking about how much I love Chelsea. He tells me, “Why don’t you ask her to marry you?” I had never really sat down and thought it all out, but immediately after the idea was verbalized I realized that was exactly what I wanted to do. That same day, I headed to Chelsea’s parents house and made a bee-lined for her dad. My palms were sweaty and I had a frog in my throat. I was trying to be as calm and collected as possible, but my thoughts were racing in my head. Eventually, the words in my head sounded smooth and cool, but when my mouth opened they all kind of squeaked out.

ME: “Dad how is your day going?”

MR. TOM: “Pretty good and yours?”

ME: “My day, ohhhhh its going great.”

MR. TOM: “Thats good to hear.”

ME: “Well, I wanted to ask you a question. As you know Chelsea and I have been spending lots of time together. She is a really nice girl and I really love her a lot. I wanted to ask you if it would be ok with you if I asked her to marry me?”

MR. TOM: “What?”

ME: “I would like to ask Chelsea to marry me, if thats ok with you?”

MR. TOM: “(Chuckles) Your a good kid and I can tell you really do love her. You have a good head on your shoulders. I think she will be a good wife for you.”

ME: “Ok I am going to ask her!”

MR. TOM: “Good Luck”

***I proceed to leave out of the house.***

MRS. SANDY: “Wait, what just happened?!?!?”

ME: “I am sorry I forgot to tell you, I am going to ask Chelsea to marry me. See you later!”

I went straight to the jewelry store to see one of my good friends at Marks and Morgan Jeweler and picked out Chelsea’s engagement ring. A princess cut diamond. It sounded really fancy and the name Leroy is french for “the king” (feel free to Google it if you like.) After I got the ring I had to find a way to make sure the ring box wasn’t easily spotted before I was ready, so I went to The Great American Cookie Company and asked for an ICEE cup. In my mind, I needed a common everyday item to hide the ring in.

Chelsea was working at an event on campus that evening so that was my next stop. I asked her boss at the time if she could be dismissed temporarily for me to speak to her. He said it was fine. After being probed with tons of questions about why I wanted her to come outside, Chelsea finally agreed and she followed me out to the quad on campus. I wasn’t prepared for all of the questions, so I made up some story about needing her to help me find my keys that I dropped on the way from the car (there may have been a story about a squirrel chasing me in there…)

When we got to the middle of the quad I stopped and got down on one knee and asked, “Chelsea, will you marry me? She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said….”No way!”

I’m just kidding, she said “Yes!”

He may have planned the proposal on the spot, but the moment was one I will never forget. The weather was perfect, the sun was just setting so the lights were coming on in the quad, and we were the only two around. It was a truly special moment! (There was definitely something about a squirrel in his “losing his keys story” and I do remember asking Leroy why he had an empty Icee cup in his hand before he got down on one knee haha) Then after we took a moment to ourselves, we went back in to the event where I was working, and told all of our friends that we were engaged!

We very randomly, with the exception of deciding we needed to plan it for after I graduated college, set the wedding date for Saturday, June 12, 2010. It was a perfect and beautiful day surrounded by so many special people in our lives.

One of the most wonderful blessings that I carry with me every single day from our How We Met story is how when I let go and trusted Him, the Lord brought me the most perfect man – one who loves the Lord first and foremost and with whom I grow closer to the Lord.  A lot of people say “It takes two to make a marriage work” but the truth is, it takes three. The Lord is the glue that hold your relationship together. He is the one that gets you both through the tough times (because there are tough times). 

As we celebrate our 9 year wedding anniversary and 10 years together, we are so thankful for the many opportunities God has blessed us with to meet new people, develop new friendships, and grow and learn together. At the time we were married, we never planned on running our own business, let alone becoming wedding photographers. Here we are 8 years later! It has truly been a blessing to be present and document the beginning of so many beautiful marriages.