When you hear the phrase, “time flies, when you’re having fun”, couldn’t be more true! I am so astonished that the last 9 years have flown by! But let’s start today's blog at the beginning, in 2009 in Buna Vista, Florida where the couple met!
Growing up I (Ericia) was extremely close to my grandparents, LC and Delvin Rains. Their lives and love story impacted so much of my life. In 2008 after my Grandfather passed away, shortly after my grandmother and a very serious relationship ended, I wanted a fresh start and decided to apply for the Disney College Program. Not thinking I would be selected in the highly competitive selection process; I took the offer to be a “Fairy Godmother in Training” at the Bibbity Boppity Boutique as soon as I was selected. Once I was in Florida, along with all the other College Program Students, we had a mandatory orientation to attend. And that’s where the real magic begins.
On the very first day after arriving, I got dressed in a white skirt suit and went to orientation, little did I know at the time I was moments away from meeting my now-husband. The orientation was a collection of classes and scheduled breaks. I don’t recall much of the classes, but I remember the first break my best friend (Brittany) and I went into the lobby and were standing around talking to some new friends we had met, I remember looking up (cue the dramatic slow-motion moment here) and seeing this (super-hot) guy across the room tucked away in a hallway not talking to anyone. Now, I am an extroverted introvert, meaning I seem like I am an extrovert, but in reality, I am a total introvert and so shy, so this next part t is a total mystery as to how I managed the courage to walk over to him and start talking, but I did. He introduced himself (Tyler) and said he had noticed me in the classroom and wanted to say hello, so we chatted until it was time for class to resume. Thinking nothing of it, I went on with my day. After class, we were walking out of the building to leave and he came up from behind me and asked to use my phone (this is so 2009), to which he puts his number in.
So here's the thing about the DCP, there are thousands of college-aged adults all moving across the globe for this opportunity. We lived in communal housing and met 100’s of people within a day or two who were all working crazy shifts. We were all trying to get settled and make friends, so I didn’t really think anything of it when after a few days Tyler texted asking to go to a movie. I agreed to go with a group of people and we went to see “Up”, and in true fairy tale fashion, on the night we go, it was pouring rain, like soaked all through our clothes raining. Now, I totally get that everyone cries in the first few minutes of Up, and rightfully so, but when I say I was crying, I don’t mean a glistening tear rolling down my cheek, I mean I was fully bent over SOBBING with a red face type of crying. Tyler asks if I’m ok and I shake my head, we finish the movie, and he walks me (and Britt) to my car and says goodnight. You guys, when I say it couldn’t have gone worse, I really thought that was the end of the book for us.
A few days later I get a text saying he enjoyed the evening with us and had something he wanted to tell me—knowing no good news comes after a sentence like that, I braced for impact. He had a girlfriend back home in Kansas. I had just been cheated on by my longtime boyfriend and explained to Tyler that I would never be “that girl” to another woman and that it was best for us to go our separate ways. He was reluctant but agreed.
Every few months I would get a random text asking how I was, but we remained only friends. I went home to Texas after ending my College Program and was working on finishing school, during which time I had a baby and was in another serious relationship. When I had my son, he had some heart issues and we were sent to Texas Children’s Hospital, and I remember posting an update on Landyn and Tyler “liked” it, and I thought, man this guy is always checking up/in on me and keeping up with my life. About 3 months later I received a phone call from Tyler, when I answered he said that he had ended his relationship and he really wanted to try to make something between us work. To which I told him I was in a relationship, and he told me “When you guys break up, call me. I know we’re meant to be together, someway, somehow.” I laughed him off and thought he was so arrogant for saying that to me! Not even three weeks later, I called him to say that I was also now single.
So, I was in Texas and he was in Kansas at this point, and I didn’t know how we were going to figure this out. He suggested that we go on a trip together and see how things went, and if we even wanted to move forward at this point. In March of 2011 we went to Vail, Colorado together and you guys, it was like a DREAM, we got along well and were able to connect and really get to know if and what we wanted to do moving forward. We decided that my education was important, and I should go home and finish my degree (I only had one full semester left) and try to make a long-distance relationship work. Then we would move to be together once I graduated. We made many trips that year between Texas and Kansas (10-hour, one way, drives) on long weekends and thousands of texts got us to November, to which he was coming to have Thanksgiving with me and my family. On Nov. 23, he asked me to marry him. In December of 2011, I graduated college and moved to Kansas to be with Tyler!
We planned our wedding over the next 9 months and were married on November 10, 2012. We have so many happy memories and have also been through life-changing events together. Marriage is truly a roller-coaster of ups and downs!
And we never forget “It all started with a mouse!”—Walt Disney.