Valentines day is right around the corner..
But instead of rounding up the kiddos for annual mini sessions, I decided this year I wanted to do something different. I wanted to find a couple who didn't mind sharing their love story & weren't afraid to get in front of the camera. I had over 100 people respond or reach out to me in some type of way but when Jacey emailed explaining how much her parents deserved this session, I knew I couldn't say no.
Jason & Sissy were the first couple for my project & their story will definitely pull at your heart strings.
This was the initial post I made on Facebook last Friday asking for help, within minutes my notifications were blowing up. I knew that I would have a pretty good response because I normally do when the word 'free' is involved, but I had no idea just how overwhelming the response was going to be.
Here is the email Jacey sent over that caught my attention from the beginning..
My name is Jacey Baughn & I would like to nominate my parents, Jason & Sissy Baughn for your 20yr+ couple giveaway! They’re going on 27 years in May. They got married when my mom was 17, a senior in high school, while my dad was at home on leave from the Marine Corps. I think they are so deserving of this because they are always so willing to do for others & deserve to be treated! They have made it through so many things in their 27 years, from my dad being deployed to Japan while she was pregnant with me, also giving birth while he was gone, raising my brother & I which was no easy feat I’m sure, to all the odds & ins between. They would be so appreciative if they were lucky enough to win! Thank you so much for your consideration!!"
Then she included these perfect pictures at the end.
I immediately emailed back & we set up a good time to get together. When Jason & Sissy walked into my studio I could tell they were nervous. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous myself, having never done anything like this before. We jumped right in & I explained to them the way it was going to go down. I had them get comfortable on the couch & I had my camera, list of questions, & phone in hand, ready to record. As soon as I hit record on my phone & went into the first question, I could feel the tension lifting from the room. Sissy immediately began to answer & the rest was history.
How did you two meet & how old were you?
"Highschool, I was 17.. no 15." Sissy said as she looked over to her husband with this school girl grin. Jason nodded in agreement & confirmed that they did indeed meet in high school. "I was 15 & he was 16" She said.
Tell me about your first date?
Jason & Sissy both paused for a minute then let out a little laugh that definitely said, without actually saying, we have no idea! "I honestly don't remember, I remember us riding around in my cousin's truck that I borrowed & that's about it, that's what I remember." Said Jason.. I smiled and looked at Sissy & said "you were 15?" She nodded & grinned & I asked if her daddy was mad about it. Jason interrupted & explained that her mama was the one to be afraid of, definitely not her daddy.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO SPEND FOREVER WITH HER?
"Pretty much as soon as she turned and looked at me & said Hi Jason, and knew my name." He said. 'True story, it's true." Sissy's cheeks began to turn red & I could see them both blushing. It's not every day that you meet up with a complete stranger and profess your love for your spouse in front of her!
Who said I love you first? Sissy shot him a look and said 'definitely him.' Jason nodded & smiled & said "It had to be me, because I already knew it."
And how long have you been married? "May will be 27 years" Sissy responded "I was 17 & he was 19." "May the 1st, 1993" there was a short pause before Jason made sure to throw in that she wasn't pregnant or anything like that, it wasn't a shotgun wedding. "I went to the Marine Corp & she came with me right after she graduated."
What's your favorite thing about him?
cricket cricket... "SNAP IT NOW CAUSE SHE'S CLUELESS & DOESN'T LIKE ANYTHING ABOUT ME" Jason jokingly said while we waited for Sissy's response. I quickly moved on to the next question to see what their reactions would be.
Okay, what's your least favorite thing about him then? Everyone giggled & she finally answered, "how hard he is on himself."
There was a short break because the son called to see if Mom wanted to buy him some jeans, "no, I don't. Bye"
What's your favorite thing about her? "Awh man, I can't really say, I mean.. um, she's just good to me. She always has been. She's always taking care of me & she knows what I need before I need it. True story. & she gets it. I never want for anything, I never have. If there's anything I ever wanted, it doesn't matter how much it is or whatever. I'll say I want you to have it & she will say no I want YOU to have it."
About this time is when my eyes started to get cloudy!
What's your least favorite thing about her? "ummmmmm....." Jason mumbles under his breath as Sissy laughs and says "COME ON, OUT WITH IT." He voted to move on to the next question & I told him that was a good answer ;)
Have you ever had pictures made together, just the two of you?
"Yeah, a longggggg time ago. Back when I had hair." Jason joked. "Jacey will be 25 & it was before I had her" Sissy said. "So over twenty years ago"
Tell me about your wedding day? "That was chaos" Said Jason. "Complete chaos" Sissy laughed. "There was almost a fight that broke out." I couldn't help but giggle & throw that good ole "gotta love Lamar County" line in there.
Tell me about a time that the two of you might've struggled in your relationship & what you did to overcome it? "Mmmm, I would say probably whenever I first got back from the Marine Corp. I was a Dad now. Jacey was what? 9 months old by now?" "I was a single Mom & he was a bachelor.'" Sissy blurted out and smiled while Jason tried to assure me that was in Japan but he wasn't fulfilling any bachelor roles. "He got to come & go as he pleased &
What do you see when you look at each other?
Jason paused & thought really hard before he answered me. "whatever our next move is. what are you thinking? I'm thinking,... where are we gonna eat at? I'm facing that right now, where are we gonna eat after this?" as they both laughed.
Using only one word to describe your relationship, what would it be? "awesome" said Jason. "perseverance" said Sissy. I nodded my head in agreement & told them both that those were really good answers.
What does love mean to you? Jason without hesitation, took the lead on this question, & let me tell you, his answer made us all cry.
"Love means waking up every day even if you went to bed not on the up and up, waking up every day knowing she's right by my side no matter what. It's a new day, new beginning, and I can right any wrongs that I did. Ya know? That's love to me, knowing she's still right there & she's not going anywhere."
We jokingly laughed while Sissy wiped her tears & she told him over & over to stop. I smiled & continued to snap pictures while I wiped tears from my own eyes. Watching him explain how much she meant to him was priceless & I knew she wasn't expecting his response at all. I turned to her and told her it was her turn & that I knew it would be hard to top that but to give it a shot. The only thing she could say was..
"Just that I can't live without him."
What advice would you like to leave for the younger generation?
"It's hard, it's really hard, but never give up." Sissy said. "But it's worth it, it is worth it, ya know?" followed Jason, "Stick it out, It's too easy to quit, It's easier to quit than to do the right thing & stay with your mate. If you married your mate then you should know that they are your soulmate. Stay with it. Don't leave. If you do, come back. It's not all peaches and cream."
To say that these two are madly in love after 27 years would be an understatement. I could tell by the way he looked at her & the things he said that they are more in love today than they were when she was 15. Sissy is a lucky woman to have Jason & the same for him. But after it was all said and done & the camera was off & the door was shut I couldn't help but feel like I was the lucky one for getting to meet them. Getting to share their love story with the world & getting to be apart of a moment that they will never forget.
Keep your eyes open for more blog posts this week spotlighting couples in Lamar County & their love stories.