Today, Renaldo and I are celebrating 3 years of marriage, and 9 years total together. If you’ve ever been around us, double dated with us, or even just ran into us in the grocery store, you’ll easily recognize that we are each other’s best friends. As much as we bicker, we love and honor each other so much. Some people (our close friends and obviously family) know our story, but most don’t.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about our love story, in honor of our anniversary.
It all started in 2004, I was an awkward and nervous 11 year old, in middle school and barely able to find my classes. As I was walking through the (wrong) hallway, I walked past a handsome, pop warner football player, that had a mustache. So I instantly thought he was in 8th grade, and was a mature older guy lol. So of course I was attracted to him. I told all my friends about my little crush, and my best friend at the time told me she had class with him and told me “he’s in the 6th grade and his name is Renaldo Bonnaire”. From the day she told me his last name, I began doodling my future last name, for whenever we got married. Let me remind you, Renaldo probably didn’t even know I existed. Throughout the years, we actually became friends but I still never shared my little secret. My best friend when I was in 8th grade, had a major crush on him, and I use to deliver her love notes to him, but they never dated, and she eventually stopped crushing on him.
It wasn’t until summer of 10th grade year, I was staying at a beach hotel, and we decided to go shopping at a nearby plaza, and as we are looking for parking, guess who I see walking in the parking lot with his mom and sister? RENALDO! I jumped out of the car and ran to him to say “Hi” and give him a hug ( SN: do y’all remember giving hugs was a thing in middle and high school lol), because how random is it, that we are both here at the same time?! After that encounter at the beach, Renaldo messaged me on Myspace and said “You looked really pretty today at the beach”, and from there we messaged each other back and forth for weeks!
In high school I use to do student athletic training, so we were the girls on the sideline at all the football games (home and away games), and after one of the away games, Renaldo asked if I wanted to sit next to him on the away bus. DUHHHH! (I was lowkey melting inside). On the bus we flirted with each other, and talked about biology (we both had the same bio teacher) and made plans for that Sunday, September 21st 2008 to study for the upcoming biology test together. When Renaldo came over, we legit studied. But after we were done studying, and his mom called to say she was on her way to pick him up, he asked for a kiss. Instead of saying “YESSSS KISS ME!!!” like I wanted to, I said ” I don’t kiss guys who aren’t my boyfriend”. Renaldo tried to play it cool and just said “Can you walk me outside?”. So we go outside, and he asked me to be his Girlfriend, outside, in my moms driveway, waiting on his mom to pick him up, and then we kissed! So not romantic lol. but you know what, our first kiss was actually before all of this (so I’m a hypocrite lol), it was after football practice, and he smelt like sweat and feet haha.
Quick Synopsis of our relationship 2008-2011: We dated from beginning of sophomore year, went to homecoming together and prom. I was at every single game, wearing cute shirts that said “Mrs. Bonnaire #25” or “His girl” on it. He always walked me to class, even if it meant him being late. Senior year of High school we were in like 3 classes together, so of course he was my partner for all the group projects, I practically completed Spanish 1 and 2 for him haha, and I’d even pack him sandwiches for lunch. He always visited me at work, and took me on weekly dates. Aside from the JROTC Drill team, and my best girl friends, Renaldo and I were INSEPERABLE.
After Graduation, we both went to Seminole State college but I attended the nursing campus, and he attended the main campus. So for the first time in ever, we were not with each other all day long. College was a ton of fun for both of us, and we wanted to be as safe as possible, so we can finish school, so I decided to go on Birth control. I went to my Doctor to get a script for Birth control, and it was at that appointment that I discovered I was 5 weeks along with RJ. At that moment I felt like my life was over. When I called Renaldo to tell him the news, he was at the bank getting his first debit card (shows how far along we’ve come lol) and he wasn’t worried one bit. He was actually excited and couldn’t wait to meet me at my mom’s house. When he saw me, he began rubbing my stomach. Not once was he stressed or nervous about having a baby (and he still is this way, he would have 30 babies with me if I agreed).
After giving birth to RJ on October 23, 2012, he moved in with me at my moms house. We’d stay weekdays at my moms house, because I was home all day while he worked, and on the weekends, we stayed at his mom’s house. After living with my mom and partially his mom for 6 months, we saved up many paychecks, and put a deposit in for our first place. We moved into a 2 bedroom townhouse, right down the road from my mom. And man, moving into that place was so surreal. We felt like real adults, and coming home was so exciting every single time. I think that feeling wore off when we started paying bills lol.
On September 20th, 2013 Renaldo proposed to me at that house. I could share our proposal story, but that’s a whole other blog post. So I’ll just share a picture instead. As soon as he proposed, we immediately started planning. Little did Renaldo know, I had been planning our future wedding since I was 11, and when Pinterest became a thing, My 11 year old vision, became a Pinterest board. After 2 weeks of planning, and adding expenses up, I thought, “This is expensive, lets just get married in a courthouse”, Renaldo was down for whatever. After I shared that with my mom, she told me “Aseky, you only get married once. Have the dream wedding you’ve literally been planning for years”. So we did it! We booked our dream venue, and everything else just fell into place.
The month of our wedding was amazing! All the events leading up to our big day, was so fun and exciting. The first week of September, Myself and all my bridesmaids, and close girl friends embarked on a 4 day bachelorette Cruise to Nassau Bahamas, and COCO Cay. Everything about that weekend was perfect. The following weekend, Renaldo embarked on his 4 day bachelor cruise with all his groomsmen and his closest friends. Still to this day, him and his friends talk about that weekend. They swear it was “The Hangover” haha.
After our cruises, we had our wedding! On our wedding day, I woke up to NO VOICE! I lost my voice (from all the stress) the day of my wedding. Never in my life have I lost my voice, until September 21, 2014. You know the tradition, You cant see or speak to the groom/bride until you walk down the aisle. Well, When I opened my mouth at the altar to saw our vows, I sounded like a man, and Renaldo’s face was like (😳😳😳) haha. But everything about our wedding was perfect. When I first arrived to the venue, instead of hiding out in the bridal suite, I peaked into the ballroom, and I literally cried! My vision from when I was 11 years old, was right in front of me. Everything I wanted, that I thought we couldn’t have, WAS THERE. We had a string quartet, we had the led uplighting, we had the gold chiavari chairs, literally everything. When I started to cry, my wedding coordinator, ran to me worried that I was disappointed, but nope, I was just an emotional bride lol.
Walking down the aisle, to meet my groom I was escorted by mom, and I walked down to “Paradise” by Coldplay, played on the string quartet. Saying our vows, felt so surreal. I was REALLY marrying him. This is real! After we said I do (in my raspy man voice), The quartet played “Clocks” by Coldplay, I just bawled like a big emotional bride baby. After taking pictures, we made our grand entrance to the ballroom with the song “Sky full of Stars” by Coldplay (can you tell I’M OBSESSED with Coldplay?). I said our first prayer, and somewhere in the prayer, I prayed for plenty babies….well God answers prayers haha!
Amy Van Epps Photography
But the rest of the night was amazing. We literally danced the entire night away. It was such a great time, with great people. It was drama free, and everyone had a great time.
After the wedding, Renaldo and I PASSED OUT on the couch, and crawled to our bed in the middle of the night. The next day, we were scrambling around our house (like in HOME ALONE 2) trying to get our bags packed, get RJ situated with my mom, and clean up as much as possible, before we left for our honeymoon. We woke up at 8am, and we were out the door by 10am to drive down to Ft. Lauderdale so we could board our 6 day cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Our cruise was phenomenal, and we pretty much ate our weight in burgers!
Exactly a month after we got married, we found out we were expecting baby number 2. We were so excited to be giving RJ a little brother or sister! We found out our little guy was indeed a little guy on my birthday, at my birthday dinner. We had all our friends and family, at Kobe’s steakhouse for the big reveal.
I gave birth to Elias on June 17, 2015. And shortly after his birth, we bought our first house. After living in that house for a few months, we got pregnany AGAIN with our third baby. We chose to not know the gender of our third, and on December 13, 2016 we met our THIRD BOY! So remember that prayer I prayed on our wedding day for plenty of babies, well God heard me loud and clear!
Ly Sue Photography
So here we are today, September 21st 2017 celebrating 9 years together, and 3 years married. Looking back 13 years, when I was 11 years old, I’m amazed at where life took both of us. We’ve literally been through everything together, from being broke high schoolers relying on our parents for everything, and asking them to go out on dates, to really living our own lives, and going to bed with each other every night, Paying bills together, and signing checks with my new last name. I’m still pinching myself that he’s MY husband!
I wish I could say marriage is easy, but its not. Just like anything you really want, You have to work for it. Everyday we are working on our marriage and working on improving it. There are some days I just want to lock myself in a bathroom and scream, and I’m sure I make him want to do the same. But you know what, there is no one else in the world I’d rather feel this way over, than him. Everyday I learn something new about Renaldo, and he learns something new about me. Many people say that high school sweethearts grow apart, and many people are amazed when I say we are HS sweethearts, but you know what the key to making a teenage love work and last? Being on the same page about everything and maturing at the same time. You cant have one person ready to settle down, and another just wanting to go clubbing every night. We both are so committed to each other, and have the same goal with our marriage, to make it lasts until “death do us part”. When we said those vows, we really meant it. We also have grown and evolved together. We are in tune with each other, and understand each others wants in needs. He meets all my needs emotionally and physically, and I do the same for him. I love the man he was in 2008, I love the man he is today on September 21, 2017, and I love the man he wants to become. I support him in every way (not just career), and he supports me. He doesn’t question my target addiction, and I don’t question his obsession with Banana Republic. Very cliché’ but he’s my better half. When he has road rage, I calm him down, and when someone takes our parking spot, and I’m about to get out of the car and fight someone, he calmly drives to another spot. We literally really complete each other. So here’s to 9 years together, and 90 more years.
Norma Fayak Photography