Tyler and I have been together for over a decade now. Wow. Saying that out loud really adds weight to it. July 2022 will be 16 years spent together with the love of my life. We began dating in 2005 and would have never guessed our journey to be what it had been. It's all beautiful though. We've grown and learned so much about ourselves, each other, the world around us and just being adults (and parents.)
Take a walk with me down the memory lane of our love.
Middle School Sweethearts
I met Tyler in 7th grade. It wasn't too long after meeting that we started dating and well, the rest is history. Haha just kidding.
But, after beginning to date in 2005 our parents actually got together as well. My mother and Tyler's father had a relationship which then became marriage in 2009. However, in 2013 they divorced.
We were the cutest back then though. Me with my pink eye shadow and his Hollister coat that I was OBSESSED with. Being together was just easy.
Babies With A Baby: MTV Welcomes Us
We joined MTV for their series 16 and Pregnant in 2009. Season 1 captured our journey as a couple and also as soon-to-be parents.
I became pregnant with a baby girl at just 15 years old and at 16 I gave birth to her. In May 2009 she came into our lives and changed everything for us.
However, we made the very hard decision to create an adoption plan for her because of our age and our current life situations. We felt that we couldn't give the best life that she deserved to have and we didn't want to be selfish by keeping her. She was adopted by a very loving and kind couple, Teresa and Brandon Davis who named her Carolyn "Carly" Elizabeth Davis.
They have showered her in endless love. And, since we all agreed on an open adoption, we get to have yearly visits with her and get photo updates too.
Although the decision to put our first daughter up for adoption was hard experience the reality of, I'm glad that it was documented by MTV. I didn't know anything about the adoption process so as I was going through it and learning it, it was also being aired. I think that the transparency of that was pivotal for viewers to understand the reality behind adoption.
Two Engagements Is Better Than One
For those who don't know, my hubby was my fiance twice before saying 'I do.' Tyler asked me to marry him in 2010 when we were still in high school. It was actually caught on camera during season 1 of 16 and Pregnant.
Tyler took me out to a romantic dinner. He took out a ring and said, "I wanted to ask you...if you will marry me?" I of course said yes! Although, as you can assume by us having a second engagement, this first one didn't work out.
In July of 2013 Tyler called off our engagement because he felt that neither of us were ready for that next phase of life. He expressed the value in us finding ourselves more and be sure that we weren't "just kind of settling," thinking that we're the best each other could get. And I mean, let's be real. We began dating so young and experiences so much together during peak years of self growth. What did we truly know about ourselves without the other around?
Despite it all, we ended up conceiving a second baby when I was 22 years old. And, low and behold, Tyler got down on one knee one more time during an MTV special, Being Catelynn. He surprised me with a ring that was so frigen beautiful. He even dedicated part of it to our baby on the way by having a small diamond placed on the bottom.
A Decade And Two 'I Do's' Later
2015 was OUR year. To start it off, on January 1, 2015, I gave birth to our second daughter, (first we raised together,) Novalee. The August following Tyler and I married at Castle Farms in Michigan.
We had 150 of our closest people including some of Teen Mom friends, Maci Bookout, Amber Portwood, Kailyn Lowry and Javi Marroquin.
One of my best memories from the day is seeing tears reach Tyler's face as I walked down the aisle. Not to mention the vows he wrote were so heartfelt and emotional. I already knew how strong and powerful our love for each other was but that day really validated it not only for us but everyone around us as well.
Allowing Our Family Flourish To This Day
Back in 2018 rumors of a divorce circulated the news because Tyler and I decided to live apart for 30 days. But, to keep the air clear, we were not working towards a divorce. If anything we were working towards bettering our relationship.
That "trial separation" period allowed us to work on ourselves as individuals and also as a couple. We actually don't even call it a separation anymore. We just tell each other "Hey, let's do 30 days of self-reflection time." These moments of space have been so healthy for our relationship. They're nothing dramatic. We don't stop talk to each other or see other people. We just take physical space that allows us to be with ourselves and our own minds more than we typically get to.
Since 2018 we have continued to grow our family. Vaeda was born on February 21, 2019. And our newest addition to the family is baby Rya who was born August 28, 2021. All of our daughters come into our lives exactly when we needed them too. They are each our mini angels. We truly believe that each of them hold a purpose in our lives and the helped us heal through past traumas. We are forever grateful to share a world with them.
Together we live in our octagon home where we make new memories every day. And if there's one thing we can count on it's the strength of our love. No matter the rumors or frustration that gets exploited, we have always been each other's rock and best friend.