Just ask our friends.
Since we're diving into some big, painful topics about infertility, we wanted to paint a vivid picture of who we are as a couple so you can get to know us a little better before you read about our biggest heartaches, most inner thoughts and personal journey to parenthood.
How did you meet?
BamHawkFan and hawkichic86 were a "match" made in heaven––i.e. we met on match.com and learned that we grew up 20 minuets from each other! How we ended up together is a pretty long love story with lots of twists and turns, so here are the cliff notes:
Met on Match in March 2015; first date May 8, 2015
Brian didn't ask me on a second date until about 6 months later...
...which he cancelled because he had to take something to his sister in college
Garth Brooks came to our city in May 2016. Brian had 8th row tickets and texted me to see if I wanted to go with him. I said, "Nah." (I know, what a badass response!)
A few months later, he saw me at a bar... on a date with another guy. I still remember the butterflies when we made eye contact
September 2016, our dogs started flirting with each other via SnapChat (I guess Millie and Chubs were on to something)
September 28, 2016 we went on that second date (we call it our "second first date")
We've been inseparable ever since: officially moved in together in July 2017, got engaged in front of 70,000 fans at Kinnick Stadium on November 4, 2017 (during the most amazing Iowa Hawkeye game vs. Ohio State) and tied the knot November 3, 2018. We've now seen Garth Brooks in concert 6 times together.
When did you know he/she was the one?
Brian: I called a friend of mine after our (first) first date and told him I could see myself marrying this girl. That inkling was confirmed in October 2016 when we went to the Iowa Hawkeye game together at 4 in the morning, and sang the whole way to Iowa City. Man, I love this woman!
Teri: I cooked him dinner at my house early on in our relationship (a.k.a threw a pot roast in the crockpot). He gave my dog, Millie, a bite from his bowl, but blew on it first so it wasn't too hot for her.
What does he/she do that drives you most crazy?
Brian: She leaves her dried up contacts and bobby pins all over the house, and doesn't fold the laundry right out of the dryer. I'm pretty lucky that the only crazy female that's in our house is the four-legged one.
Teri: He leaves his belt on the living room chair, doesn't walk the extra 3 steps to throw something in the garbage and sometimes forgets to do things. But, we don't really fight––our biggest argument was about a white flocked Christmas tree––so I count myself pretty darn lucky that these are the very minor details that bug me in the big scheme of marriage!
What is your favorite thing to do together?
Brian: Travel, go to breweries, go for drives with the dogs and play backgammon. I also really like surprising my wife with flowers or weekend getaways. (And, I like jumping out and scaring the s*** out of her, too.)
Teri: I love traveling with my hubby. We've been fortunate to see a lot of the country (plus Mexico and the Bahamas) together. Also, I love playing backgammon with him––and gloating when I am the winner!
Why do you want to have kids?
Brian: Being a father is one of the best things in the world. This is the last piece of our puzzle.
Teri: For as long as I can remember, I've dreamed of being a mom. I always wanted to have 4 kids––3 boys and then a girl (so the girl has three older brothers to protect her, and she can learn to live with men at a young age, ha!).
I've been told that I have a maternal instinct and if I had a dollar for every time someone told me I'm going to be such a good mom, I'd be rich. The thought has crossed my mind, "Are you sure you want to raise kids in the world we live in today?" YES. The next generation counts on us. We need to raise leaders, go-getters, hard workers and Christians. Kids with foundational values and moral obligations and a deep zest for life.
What have you learned about each other during your infertility journey?
Brian: I've learned that my wife is much stronger than she thinks she is. I've learned that infertility isn't always on the woman, which is what is mainly perceived in society. And, I've learned that God always has a plan even though it might not be what we thought it would look like.
Teri: I've learned how incredibility resilient we are as a couple. This is by far the toughest thing we've ever gone through––we give each other space when we need it, but we also know when and how to be there for one another. Along the way, I've learned that although the way we grieve looks different, the sadness we feel is the same.
I'm deeply proud of how open and honest Brian has been about male infertility. He has an amazing this-totally-sucks-but-this-is-the-hand-we-were-dealt mentality and isn't afraid to share it with the world. I don't know many men who would be able to de-stigmatize male infertility as well as he has/is. He is also a huge advocate of this blog because he knows writing helps me, but more importantly, he knows these words may someday help someone else who finds themselves in a position similar to ours.