"Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." Dory, Finding Nemo
Corey and I spent our honeymoon in Helen, Georgia white water rafting. We wanted something totally different from the beach atmosphere we'd enjoyed for our wedding, and we're both into water sports, so our honeymoon was perfect! When we arrived home, we checked the mail only to find Corey had been accepted to the Mississippi College School of Law. Corey has always known that he wanted to be an attorney. He was one of those kids who knew what they wanted to be from the time they were a little kid and actually became it. I wanted to be a veterinarian but math and science kind of aren't my thing so there ya go. Once he graduated from highschool, he got his associates from JCJC in Criminal Justice, then got a BS in Administration of Justice from Southern Miss all with the intentions of becoming an attorney. Here's where I brag on my husband for a second: the kid is CRAZY smart. Always has been. I think I saw him study maybe three times in college and he graduated with honors. Anything he's ever tried his hand at, he was a pro at. Athletics, school, whatever it may be, being successful just naturally comes easy to Corey. He studied for 2 months with materials he got online for the bar. No bar prep classes. Nothing like that. He got accepted to MC Law on his first try. Again, he's just a smarty and I was so proud of him!
Nothing really prepares you to be the spouse of a student in a post graduate professional program. Or at least I wasn't prepared. I'd been so use to having Corey available to me whenever. If we wanted to pick up and head to the beach, we could. If I wanted to spend an afternoon doing a craft project and needed his help, he was there. In order for him to be successful, Corey had to keep his nose in the books and studying literally all of the time. They taught him a completely different way of writing which was challenging for him. He had to give 197% to being a law school student, and I had to be the rock.
We lived on a very tight budget in a 700 square foot apartment. I'm talking TIGHT like, we bought a steak one night as a treat to ourselves and accidentally dropped it on the floor, and had to wash it off and put it back on the grill, kind of tight. We'd paid $20 for that steak and it was getting eaten. The law school forbids students to work in their first year, so I was the only one working making $10 an hour as an administrative assistant at the law school. I chose to work there for 2 years to be able to be near Corey and support him. We spent the days having lunch dates from leftovers at the fairgrounds and he would drop by to see me between classes. Now that I think back on it, I started out working there for him, but I didn't realize how much I needed to be there for me. I wanted to see him as much as I could, because once we got home, he would have to work until bed time. It was tough, but all of the little things we did to keep ourselves sane are what I really remember. We had great pools at our apartments, tons of friends, and our sweet Shadow dog. We would take the occasional vacation with my in laws, and ate like kings during the holidays. I can remember nights when we would sit on our balcony at our apartment in Brandon (which was waaaaaay better than our first apartment in Ridgeland) dreaming about the house we would buy once he graduated. It would have a yard and we would finally be able to get Shadow a friend.
I definitely wasn't prepared to spend my first year of marriage (or my first 3 years really) as the spouse of a law school student, but God had a plan. Not just for Corey, but for me. Before leaving for law school, I had a job I really enjoyed with friends I loved. Sales wasn't what He had in mind for me, though. I never saw myself working in Higher Education, but that's exactly where He wanted me to be, and I'm so glad He did. It started me on the path to where I am now. And for that I am thankful. I am also incredibly thankful for a husband who had the determination and the drive to chase down his dream. Corey is a DANG good attorney, if I do say so myself. :) He works 5 jobs these days, and is always running, but he's right where the Lord needs him to be. He serves faithfully and with integrity. I'm so very proud of the main he is. I can guarantee you there were days while he was in law school that we told ourselves, "Just keep swimming.", but all of the hard work was worth it. And I can't imagine a better teammate to have worked through all of it with. People will try to tell you, "Marriage is hard. You'll see.". The truth is, LIFE is hard. But how lucky are we that the Lord gives us a helpmate to get through those hard times and the curveballs that life throws at us? Marriage is a relationship that you work at, just like any other one. You'll have disagreements and there will be things that drive you crazy. #theboatinmygarage BUT it is a rare thing to find someone who loves you for EXACTLY who you are, despite your own flaws and your own crazy. Heaven knows Corey puts up with a lot from me! I obsessively clean - I know it. I own that crazy, though, and he does what he can to help me around the house. We know there will be tough times, but we also know that all we have to do is just keep swimming. Big hugs friends, Shea