*How did you meet your spouse? Was it love at first sight or did it take some time?
I met my husband, William, while working at Dr. Slavin's office. He came in to work as a medical assistant intern, and I was the receptionist. He had called to get directions before coming in, and I, being a horrible direction giver, directed him in the exact opposite direction from where he needed to go.
When we met, there was an immediate attraction on both our parts, but I would not call it love. Willie was exactly the opposite of anyone I had ever been attracted to. He was dark, hairy and Hispanic, not very into culture, music or dancing, and probably, most importantly, not gay.
We met on July 8, 1991. We started dating on August 8, 1991. Our first date was dinner at Fuddruckers and going to the Improv comedy club. Bobby Slayton performed.
*How long did you date before you got engaged? How long was your engagement?
We had talked about marriage a lot after dating for about 6 months. Willie asked me to marry him on May 16, 1992. We married on August 14, 1992. We eloped and got married at the Miami Beach courthouse. After our little ceremony, we visited some friends and went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant and to the movies. Our church wedding was actually on our first anniversary.
*How did you get engaged? (The story.)
I graduated from Navy bootcamp on May 16, 1992. Willie and I had dinner at the Olive Garden with my family. After dinner, we went back to his hotel (Days Inn), and "reunited." As we lay basking in the afterglow, the most romantic words ever spoken dropped from his lips: "So, do you want to get married or what?"
I can't wait to tell my grandkids that story.
*Who did most of the wedding plans? Who helped?
I did all of the wedding planning. We had a very limited budget, and did everything ourselves.
*Who were your bridesmaids/best men?
Bridesmaids: Lisa Smith, Dorothy Mayse and Maria Marrero (Willie's sister)
Groomsmen: Joseph Dowling (My cousin), and Christopher Morris (My best friend, who also walked me down the aisle)
*Describe the details of your wedding: the colors, the cake, the decorations, etc.Where did your wedding take place? Who performed the ceremony?
Our wedding took place on August 14, 1993, at the MacArthur Memorial Chapel in Miami Shores, Florida. My dress was ivory. My bridesmaids wore peach colored gowns. Willie and the guys wore morning suits. My bouquet was osiana roses and stephanotis. The bridesmaids carried tiger lilies.
The wedding was small. The pastor who married us was sick and had to frequently wipe his nose. Dorothy brought her year and a half year old son with her (after I specifically asked her not to), and he started screaming as soon as he saw her and he did not stop until my boss asked his father to remove him from the church.
Our reception was held in the backyard of my landlords. The food was set up buffet style in the screened in patio. We set up a canopy with tables and chairs on the lawn. The decorations were crepe streamers, balloons and tissue paper bells. The favors were plastic swans with jordan almonds.
Our cake was a three layer buttercream cake from the Publix bakery. I made the topper with a statue I had purchased. My mother-in-law made the boutonnieres, and provided the napkins.
*Who attended your wedding?
We had about 60 guests. We had only wanted to invite friends and family, but my grandmother insisted I invite every person I worked with.
*Where did you go on your honeymoon? What adventures did you have?
We went to Universal Studios for our honeymoon. We stayed at the Ramada Inn Resort. We had a great time.
*Give your children's full names, birth dates and places.
We have one son. His name is David Angel. He was born on December 11, 1996, in Aventura, Florida.
*How did you choose their names?
Well, if the baby were a girl, the name would have been Gabrielle (after the angel Gabriel) Rachel. David was named after my husband's two best friends. He got each of their middle names.
*What were the circumstances of each child's birth?
I did not find out I was pregnant with David until I was 24 weeks along (long story). I had a very short, pleasant pregnancy. The due date I was given was December 8. I was having frequent contractions, but no pain. I went to the OB for my weekly appointment, and the decision was made that I would be induced the following day. The doctor arranged for me to deliver at Aventura Hospital, as I was originally planning to deliver at North Shore Hospital. I had hoped for a completely natural birth.
I went in to the hospital that evening. My husband helped the nurses start an IV (I have terrible veins.) and I was hooked up to the monitor. In the morning, the pitocin was started, and the contractions started right away. They were strong, but tolerable. At 2 pm, the doctor broke my water, and the pains got so bad...... I had to ask for something for the pain. They gave me Stadol in my IV, and I was out like a light. I would wake up during the contractions (I had terrible back labor), and then fall right back to sleep. I remember at one point, when a particularly bad contraction hit, and I could not get Willie's attention, because he was watching "Baywatch."
Finally at 4, they checked me and said it was time to push.....I said, "I guess it's too late for that epidural now." I was so out of it, I couldn't figure out why my doctor was putting on gowns and hats and stuff. She said, "I'm here to deliver your baby." Oh, ok (zzzzzzz).
I pushed and pushed and pushed......finally, they had to get the vacuum extractor, and two nurses had to help push the baby out. David came into the world at 6:36 pm. He weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce. He was born on a Wednesday.
*What are some funny things that each child does/did or says/said?
My son is extremely funny.... it would be impossible to pick just one thing about him. He is also very easy going, and willing to be my PIC (partner in crime). One of my favorite moments was a couple of Halloweens ago, we came across a banana costume in Target. Of course I made him put it on, and he was so awesome, he immediately started doing the PB&J dance!
*What do you love most about each child? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
As, I only have the one.... I love that David shares my sense of adventure and love of travel. I love his creativity. I love his sense of humor. I love his love for me.
His strengths are his strong moral compass and his sense of humor. His weaknesses are his lack of empathy and his unwillingness to see the importance of education.
*What are your children involved in?
David is involved in a video game club at school. Other than school, he draws, paints, does graphic design work on the computer.
*How do you spend your time with your children?
Our favorite thing to do together is travel, even if it is just driving along a road we've never taken and seeing where it goes. We also like to go hiking together, or even just walking. Just being together, and talking. He is great company.