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Friday, March 9, 2012

Wedding Bells Will Ring....Twice!

And Cupid strikes again!

Back in June I had shared with you that our middle daughter was engaged to be married, nuptials to take place on June 17th of this year. We had anticipated this nearly from the day she and her fiance began dating. So for the last few months we have planned, shopped, crafted and chatted about the upcoming special day when we will welcome a new member to our family. Now with 100 days and counting down till the special day, I have another announcement to share with you. We will have another bride in the family only three months later; our oldest daughter Chanda announced she and her intended will marry on September 15 or maybe 16th...seems to jump. 

We are not at all surprised by the announcement, but simply by the timing and how soon after the wedding of one daughter, another will take place. We are even more taken aback by the amount of money the couple will have to put it all together; 500.00 is it! Rebecca had 5000.00 and well that has been fudged on here and there as we knew it would be. We all are scrambling to put together a lovely wedding that will measure up to our daughters wishes, but on a Dollar Tree budget....a very tricky situation. We are doing our best to do this, but it is an uphill battle we need help with; I will chat about that later. First, let me introduce you to my daughter and her beloved.

This is Chanda, our oldest daughter
This is Jason, he was a Marine,
and plans to re-sign up, if he can not get full duty,
he will go for full reserves. 
The love story began online, not unlike our daughter Rebecca who met Jared on eHarmony. Jason was stationed in Hawaii in July of. 2010. Bored,on leave,having decided when getting out of the military might be looking to move to Houston,decide to see if he could find people maybe make some friends so that he would have some in place when the time came. One day my daughter logged onto her computer, seeing a message from a random guy, she ignored it for couple days. Then deciding why not answer him back, she did just that. About an hour later, there was a response. Come to find out he was stationed in Hawaii, was in the military,and he was just looking for a friend; someone cool to hang out with when he moved back. 

They emailed back and forth for a day, and that turned into texting, and this continued on for some time. One day he asked if he could call her, she of course said "yes". After that first phone call we talked almost 24/7. Then one evening they were on skype,talking how she had never been to Hawaii. Out of nowhere, he offered to fly her out so they could meet in person. Of course she was skeptical, but when the tickets were confirmed and the arrangements all made, that all went out the window. She called me and told me about it all, of course as a parent I was protective and wary, but she is a big girl I told her, and said just go with no expectations past making a new friend and enjoy the trip. In September she flew from Texas out to Hawaii. 

The love story begins.

Jason got out of the car to pick her up at the airport, put the lei around her neck, and as she put it "I knew we were going to be more!"  Chanda says it was an amazing 5 days of spending time together. Sadly, of course she had to fly back to Texas and leave her new love behind. After that, they spent almost 3 mo in a long distance relationship, "the 5 hrs time difference was killer but we made it,and we have been together ever since!" The young couple had no idea the trials and tribulations they would have as their relationship in the same state would begin.

Jason being fresh out of the Marines, having been in since he was a teen right out of High School had no job, and not much money to find a place to live, so against better judgement, but not wishing to see him move many hours away after enduring the last thee months, moved him in with her. She was working full time, suddenly was sharing her space with someone new, money was an issue as it had to go a lot further. Jason did not know the area, his family being from another part of Texas, no car and knew no one past Chanda had a very rough adjustment time which really put a lot of pressure on their new relationship. Jason was wishing to go to school in Houston for an associates in Automotive technician, but unfortunately the G.I. bill would not fund the school there. 

Time quickly came they had to make a decision on where they would go so that he could go to a school that was funded by his grants from the government. Chanda's lease came up and with plans up in the air, they spent a period of time living two hours away with Jason's Aunt and Uncle, and Chanda was able to transfer to other locations of 5.7.9 , her place of employment. The strain at times was overwhelming for the young couple. Eventually they choose to move to Arizona, a new state for them both, so he could attend UTI. They packed up in April of this past year, and with her younger sister's help, who flew out to assist in the move, they relocated. Now neither of them knew a soul, they had a new to them city, Phoenix, Chanda had new co-workers to get used to, and the two of them were dealing with getting Jason settled in school and helping him to seek out part time employment. 

Despite hardships and hard times during their
entire relationship over the last year and a half,
they have learned to still have love be the center,
and have fun. 
Over the last several months while dealing with school, work and a new city, there was battles with getting his G.I. money to help with bills and to pay rent, buy food. Jason continued to on a regular basis also battle for the appointments to be treated at the V.A facilities for treatment of a variety health issues both those that happened as a result of serving our country, but also those hereditary that truly could threaten the young mans life. Our daughter would call in tears and out of high stress over all the hoops they were jumping through and with little to no results; facing the same brick walls many of our Vets face once out of the Military. Throw in both their cars breaking down constantly, living on bare minimum, you could say life was putting up more road blocks in their relationship than green lights. Somehow no matter how bad it would get, no matter how many times they both most likely thought of walking away from it all, love prevailed. 

The young couple having had enough of Arizona, as well as the struggles, Jason decided to see if he could transfer, and finish up his schooling in California, at the UTI that just happens to be in Sacramento, a mere 25 minutes away from where we live in Roseville. The date was set for the transfer, it would happen two weeks before her sisters wedding in June, perfect timing. There was an issue tho. With yet another move, and this time both Chanda and Jason will be unemployed, still in battles to get the grant money that has been promised, bills piling up, a car that will not make the move, so down to just Jason's truck, also seeming to always need repairs; money weighed heavily on their minds. Jason made a tough decision and Chanda has supported him in it. To help support themselves and basically just make it in life, have health care and perhaps one day own a home, Jason would put school on hold, and try to re-up for the Marines. 

As Jason found out, it may not be that easy. With troupes being cut and downsized, the government now preferring new recruits, he may be turned down. Other options include going into full time reserves, being a trainer, being able to keep his disability, both require yet another move, and not too past the time of their move to California...they could be starting over in a new place come October. One other option is to stay in California, continue schooling, hold down whatever job(s) may come and just do their best, and adding into the mix being a reservist and serving one weekend a month. Everything is up in the air for the couple, all but one thing, they feel that to make it easier, avoid the hoops that come with getting married after re-enlisting, should that happen, they would get married on their dating anniversary this September. And so the race begins to make that happen.

The great thing about our family is that despite our ups and downs, and our fights and clashing from time to time, we are there for each other. Rebecca in the middle of her count down for her wedding in June, has become wedding planner/organizer. With loads of emails, phone calls, Skype time, and pins on pinterest the plan is coming together. We have a theme of black, white and silver. It will be a back yard wedding and my hubby, Chanda's Father will preform the wedding. Rebecca even has done some mock ups...

The trick here is to do this all on a 500.00 budget as I mentioned above. So in a desperate move, and well humbling myself once again to my readers, I am, we are asking for any and all donations towards this endeavor.  Now that does not mean money, but if you have anything that fits our theme that we can use, and that you are no longer using, we ask perhaps you pay it forward, with the promise that it will in turn be paid forward in the future. I know it is a lot to ask, and I have asked before for help for you, my readers and it has not come to pass, but over and above my dental and health needs is the need to see my daughter be truly happy. Her life has never been easy, she has battled many demons and hardships and set backs, and it seemed our hands were tied behind our backs many times...this time I am using what I have at my disposal for this request, and I pray it will be taken in the right manner. I hope you will open your hearts and do what you can for this young couple.

Please help Chanda and Jason NOT have a shot gun wedding!
Even though they are under the gun!


  1. WOW, what an inspiring story to read. I wish them both all the very very best

  2. ahh I <3 it :) and thanks to everyone in advance for your help and or donations :D

  3. Barbara FortenberryMarch 9, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I wish Chanda and Jason lots and lots of happiness. You deserve it! I will keep you in my prayers.

  4. Ruby, they are a special couple. God Bless them and I will keep them in my prayers. You raised a strong daughter. Good job mom! I wish I had something I wasn't using anymore that would help you, but I just don't own anything like that. If I could donate I would, but we are a one paycheck family. I'm sorry, but prayers are free and I'll give you lots of them.

    Dee xoxo

  5. Wow, how sweet! :) I got married on 2000.00...if you plan just right and seek out re-using maybe some of younger sister's stuff...then they could really cut costs! (Blessing of having weddings materials)


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