Happy Together – Marrying the girl, or boy next door
When you think of a famous love story, many things can come to mind. Probably one of the most thought of was “Romeo and Juliet.” We all know what a tragic ending that story had.
Let’s look at a more recent love story. This couple grew up together. They lived in the same small Iowa town, on the same street, attended the same church and schools. They eventually got married.
Is marrying your high school sweetheart a good idea?
For Christopher and Jessica Reynolds of Huxley — it was. When you grow up together and then grow old together, there is a real advantage of having been each other’s best friend…forever.
Remembering special moments and reliving them by talking about them — both coming out of the same generation that bonded a very deep connection and built a solid foundation. Chris and Jessica, you could say, learned about each other as they grew up together.
Let’s follow this journey with the Huxley couple, who grew up in Murray, a small town of about 800 people, located in southern Iowa in Clark County. They did live on the same street, played together as small children, went to dances together in high school and never had to endure that initial “first meeting.”
“We really don’t remember when we didn’t know each other,” explained Jessica. “It was a situation where we lived on the same street, did everything together, attended the same church and schools.”
Jessica, now the Story County attorney, had a plan. Like most little girls who dream of meeting their prince and getting married and having a family and a career, that too was her plan. Only thing was, she already had met her prince in Chris.
Chris, who is the chief operating officer of Phoenix Renewable Resources, located in Des Moines, admits that he had similar future plans that ran right along with Jessica’s.
The first date for the couple was a group outing to Ames, to a Van Halen concert in 1995.
“That first date to a concert in Ames was really the beginning of feeling in love,” commented Jessica. “We were exclusive all through high school and we have not been apart since then. Chris is and always has been my favorite person to be around.”
After high school, Chris and Jessica enrolled in Central College in Pella. She studied political science and he studied business. Jessica went on to attend law school at Drake. The proposal was just around the corner.
“We were actually celebrating our ‘dating anniversary’,” said Jessica. “We were out of town and he surprised me — getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. I said yes.”
The wedding date was set for Dec. 22, 2001. This was after Jessica’s first semester of law school, a break from classes and rehearsal and a snowstorm the day of the wedding.
“With both of us growing up in a small town, we knew everyone,” said Jessica. “It was a cold, snowy day and we had 200 people come to the wedding, despite the weather. It was beautiful, with each of us having six attendants. I always wanted a Christmas wedding, and the red dresses and red roses made it perfect.”
Jessica and Chris agree on many things. One important thing is the element of staying married. Chris said that always doing things as a team makes life a happy experience. “Jessica is so dependable and caring, I can’t imagine the two of us not being together,” he said.
“Our flow of life, moving from one stage to another, just makes things click for us,” Chris added. “We speak the same language, so therefore we ‘get’ each other,” added Jessica.
The couple agreed that they are both at their best because of each other. He says that she is extremely caring and always puts family first. Always believing in each other since they were 16 years old has led them to really know each other.
Along with being tuned into each other and their two children, a very active son and daughter, they often take time to consider world problems around them. Both agree that taking care of the planet Earth, poverty and diseases are major topics on their minds.
Liking and loving each other is easy. What a couple finds inspiring about each other was easy to acknowledge as well. According to Jessica, she is inspired by how hard a worker Chris is.
“Chris is such a hard worker in his workplace, and when at home we split the work that goes along with running a home equally,” Jessica told. “We really do have each other’s back.”
According to Chris, he is inspired by Jessica’s enthusiasm for life.
“She is so enthusiastic about anything and everything she takes on,” he said. “She will take on things that people never would and makes you want to be involved in whatever the issue or project might be.”
Chris and Jessica have much in common. They both tell that they love the same music and that their values are the same, but what is most important in their marriage is that they are loyal to each other.
“We raise our children together, “explains Jessica. “It is very important when raising children that our core values are the same, and they are, and we love our children and all kids.”
In this home, it is agreed that true love does exist and that they are soul mates. They love moving through life together, making each other smile and enjoying the comfort that comes along with their marriage.
When asked where they see themselves in 20 years they commented: “I hope we are retired and relaxing on a beach with our children,” said Jessica. Chris said very simply with a smile of course, “As long as we are together, it doesn’t matter where we are.”
A marriage built on a solid foundation with a deep connection is a formula for a long, successful marriage and happy marriage.
Perfect weekend: They both agreed — when there is nothing on the calendar and we can sleep in.