Our love story takes place in the great state of Wisconsin, more precisely Kenosha, Wisconsin and then travels all the way down to Orlando, Florida.
My husband (John) and myself met during middle school. We had the same group of friends and developed a crush for each other. At that age you have no intention to find your “one true love”. Little did we know that our crush would one day turn into REAL LIFE LOVE.
“A school age crush that turned into real lasting love.”
During middle school I had such a crush on John that I decided to sign up to participate in a science club only because John was involved in it as well. It gave me the opportunity to hang out with him more. I remember coming home and telling my mom “I’m going to sign up to be in a science club.” She thought that was strange and knew something was up, because back then I wasn’t very involved with school AND science was by no means my strong suit…
During our wedding my sister even framed the “Lincoln Middle School Science Club” shirt that we still had just sitting in our dresser drawer. I guess you can say that’s where our Love Story begins…
John and I could not be more different from each other, which led to many fights and anywhere from 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month of break ups. During highschool it was pretty rough for us to be in a relationship. We literally fought all the time, but for some reason we had such a strong bond and connection that life kept us together through it all. I was never the very social type and I got jealous many times, but I knew that I NEEDED him in my life and apparantely he felt the same way…
“Our differences brought us closer to each other, although the one thing that we do share is a sense of humor.”
There is something about my husband where he truly understands who I am. He supports me through anything I do, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. He trusts me 100% and does everything he can just to make me happy. I even knew this back then, so I couldn’t let him get away. I knew we were truly meant to be.
Now, I added the REAL LIFE part because our relationship is NO WHERE near perfect. We still fight and have our ups and downs but one thing is constant, which is our divine love and respect for each other.
After high school we continued to be together. I went off to college (UW-Whitewater) and John stayed in Kenosha and attended Carthage College for a while and then UW-Parkside. I commuted every weekend back to Kenosha just to be with him (I also worked 2 jobs so our time was limited together). Even through college we had our ups and downs, but our bond was so strong that we made it through.
The BIG Move
After I graduated UW-Whitewater I had this brilliant idea for us to move 1,227 miles away to Orlando, Florida. NO JOKE! I presented the idea to John and he was very hesitant at first. (it was sort of an ultimatum that I put him through, BUT before there’s judgement if you talk to him today he is very happy with the decision and wouldn’t change it for the world) After he saw how badly I wanted to move he supported me 100% and decided to come with me! He left all his friends and family because he knew this is what I truly wanted to do and would make me happy. NOW THAT IS TRUE LOVE RIGHT THERE FOLKS!
I knew from that moment on that in his mind it wasn’t about where we lived, but the fact that we would be together no matter what.
We literally packed up our 2011 Toyota Corolla with everything we could fit in it (lots of space-saving bags were involved!) We sold as much items as we could in order to put it towards savings, and gave ourselves about 3 months to get everything situated for our move (mind you, it was in the months of December-February so it was VERY cold in Wisconsin) We had no friends and no family members that lived in Orlando.We did it literally on a whim and in some ways not the smartest with some decisions, BUT we made it and are living a very happy life. It makes us appreciate things more today. On February 28, 2012 (John’s birthday) we pulled into downtown Orlando right by the beautiful Lake Eola and we just fell in love (no wonder Orlando is called City Beautiful). Then our adventure truly began…
“We did not have any furniture and no apartment lined up. John didn’t even have a job. We were living on my measly Banana Republic income until John could find a job and I could find a teaching job.”
Within this time frame we also got engaged and in the year of 2013 we were married!
After finding an Extended Stay for a few weeks John and I HAD to find an apartment to live in. We were running out of our savings and needed to commit so that John could find a job. It was very stressful! We only had one car so John was lucky enough to find a job within walking distance while I took the car to work. We both ended up working 2 jobs and rarely saw each other. We lived in a studio apartment that was VERY run down without ANY furniture. For 6 months we slept on an air mattress and even had an inflatable couch that my Nana ended up shipping to us. We both worked very hard to get ourselves out of that situation. We didn’t want our family member worrying about us (although I know they did) so we did everything on our own, but we knew that if we did need anything we had the support.
When we lost our car it led me to taking the city bus to work (1 1/2 hours each way).When John could, he would even meet me at the bus station because I had a few blocks to walk home by myself. I also was a substitute teacher for a little while and even road my bike in the early mornings anywhere from 5-10 miles to work. (I developed some strong calf muscles!) When I finally did get my teaching job I secured a position at Mollie Ray Elementary, and that is where I developed some strong friendships that helped John and I through this period, such as rides to work and even furniture given to us. We were able to move into a decent apartment just a few blocks down the road near the beautiful Lake Eola, which we currently live at.
“We did not have much, but it truly made us appreciate things. I remember how exciting it was to get a coke at the gas station as a treat or McDonald’s for dinner.”
This period did not last too long, and it truly wasn’t as bad as how many people have it. To look at it with a positive outlook we had a roof over our head, food, clothes, and each other. It really could have been worst.
Things Started to Get Better
I received a full-time teaching job as a 1st grade teacher, which provided us with extra income and John transitioned to working at an MMA gym. We were starting to make a home in Orlando, and really finding our place within the City Beautiful. As we look back at that time period of our life it seems exhausting, but we had the strength and determination to get us to where we needed to be. We had ups and downs, just like any normal relationship. This time period really brought us closer together as we learned to depend on one another. As my husband quoted in his vows…
Our REAL LIFE love story is turning into a SEQUAL…
On January 15, 2016 the greatest gift in the world was brought into our lives. Our baby boy, John Colton Morehouse was born (Johnny). He has brought so much joy, and laughter into our life. He has helped us to grow even stronger together as a family and seek new insights in life. We love capturing the moments of just being together. We spend less money now on entertainment and are more happy then we could ever imagine. (Johnny is our entertainment, and we are perfectly happy with that!) We teach Johnny about our interests and involve him in those activities. He truly is a blessing.
When we tell people that we are not just high school sweethearts, but middle school sweethearts they are VERY surprised. John and I have literally grown up with each other and have seen changes within both of our insights on life. We’ve watched each other mature into adulthood. Thinking back to all that we have been through together at such a young age I couldn’t imagine life any other way. Our story is continuing to add more chapters and turning into a sequal. We truly have a REAL LIFE love story to tell…
Thank you John for all that you are. I love you John Morehouse.
The Florida Morehouse Family