Our Love Story


This post is sponsored by James Avery Jewelry.

Hello friends!

In honor of Valentines Day next week and as part of a Valentines campaign with James Avery jewelry, I’m sharing our love story!  I’ve shared a bit about how Mark and I met before, but I haven’t told you all that many details, so today I’m sharing more.

Mark and I met on e-Harmony in November of 2015.  I had been single at this point for about 4 years and we were both online looking for love.  Now, I’m the first to say that online dating can be a wonderful thing, but with any dating situation you definitely have to be careful.  I wrote a post about that a couple of years ago (Dating in your 50’s) and I encourage single women to give it a try if they haven’t.  We do so much online nowadays so why not date online?  Dating has to get started by some method and online is as good as any, from my experience.  You just have to do your homework with any dating situation.  I’ve learned some of those lessons the hard way.

Gone are the days when your best friends set you up on dates or you meet someone at work or at the grocery store. That hardly ever happens, so if you’re really looking for love, then I say go online. That’s where the largest pool of singles my age were located.  We were both signed up for e-Harmony and that’s where we connected.  It started with phone conversations.  I knew I liked his voice, he had a genteel Southern accent.  He was a Southern man which I really liked, his parents were still living, and he had 4 daughters all grown up, and at the time, 2 grandchildren, which has multiplied to 4 now.  From our early conversations, we had a lot in common.  We both grew up from a young age here in the Atlanta area.  I grew up in Marietta, he grew up mostly in Decatur, so we were on opposite sides of town. But in the 80’s and 90’s, for a period of many years, we both had houses in Marietta about 3 or 4 miles from each other, probably shopping in the same stores, living in completely different worlds, never knowing that our paths would cross all these years later.

We both liked house stuff and talking about that came naturally and it’s something that draws us together now, our excitement for making a house pretty.

{Mark brought me home these beautiful tulips that he knows I love, to celebrate our 6 month anniversary last week}

It’s not the easiest thing to merge lives when you are our age.  There are so many circumstances to look at and you have so many factors to consider, including family and children, houses, money, and lots more conversations to be had before you can determine if someone is a good fit for you.  It takes a lot of trust to get to the point of thinking about marriage at this age.  Trust was a huge thing for me and Mark passed those tests with flying colors.  He’s a trustworthy man and has been since day one.

Our first date was to a BBQ joint that Mark loved and it happened to be in Smyrna, a place he had been going to for years. So that’s where we met for our first date.  We talked non-stop for over 2 hours and I knew from the first date that he was someone I was interested in getting to know better.  He had so many good qualities and was a good conversationalist. Besides he was pretty cute and I even liked his bald head! I’d rather see a man shave his head than pretend that he’s still got plenty when it’s half gone.

We made plans immediately for our 2nd date and he took me to the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas tour that year for the candelight tour.  It was so romantic walking around the sidewalks of Marietta and going in and out of these houses, just chatting and getting to know each other, talking about what we liked about each house.  We had dinner at a great Italian restaurant before the tour and that was so romantic too.

We first met the weekend after Thanksgiving that year and so we went into the Christmas season on our first dates together and that was a very special time.  It made for wonderful holiday memories.  Mark was such a great guy from the very start and I knew he was someone special and I’m pretty sure he felt the same way about me.  He’s a very normal (thank goodness, normal is really good), down to earth guy and that’s what drew me to him and his love of family was evident.  We’ve always gotten along so well and just had fun together and that was such a big plus, exactly what I needed.  We are best friends and enjoy spending time together.  We don’t fuss and bicker, but we do have fun picking on each other and teasing back and forth.

He asked me out for New Year’s Eve in early December and we had that special date planned in advance and what a fun time to look forward to.  We decided to get all dressed up and go to the Square for dinner and dancing and it really was a magical fun evening and one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had.  Love was blossoming between us pretty fast and we were both a bit smitten.

In late January 2016, I went on a cruise for a week and when I returned, he told me he loved me the night I came home. It was such a sweet reunion and what a wonderful beginning for us.  Falling in love was the best feeling!  We only dated each other from our very first date and then we built on that relationship, allowing it grow and blossom into love in those early months and beyond. We took the time to get to know each other though and didn’t rush into anything.  It was nice to not be playing any games.  We were committed to each other.

He is stable, comforting, sweet, funny, generous, definitely not boring, and everything I could have asked for in a man and husband. He makes me laugh all the time and we do a lot of laughing together.  I do believe God brought us both into each other’s lives at just the right time.  We had both been through some very rough years in our past and we had that in common too.  But neither of us had given up on love and we weren’t bitter, amazingly enough.

We got to know each other’s families very well during that time and felt very confident that we were making good choices in each other.  Not that we needed it, but we got our families approval on our relationship.  It was a risk worth taking again.  Love is a wonderful thing to find at any age and I think with difficulties come a greater appreciation for a really good solid love.

You all know the rest of the story.  We dated for a total of 20 months and got married last July in Savannah, GA and we bought a house together.  It was a sweet and romantic wedding with just the two of us along with an officiant and photographer.

We both feel very blessed to have found each other and just celebrated our 6 month anniversary. I told Mark the other day that the only thing I’d change is that I wish we were 20 years younger, so we would have more time together.  We are having the time of our lives in our new house and making it our own.

When I got the opportunity to work with James Avery again on this Valentines campaign, it was an easy fit.  They wanted us to share our love story and wear our love story.  Have you ever thought about what you’d choose to wear in jewelry to wear your love story, besides your wedding ring?

I along with some other bloggers were invited to shop at a local James Avery store here in Atlanta and it was so fun to get to look around the store and find something that commemorated our special love story.

I chose this beautiful necklace in silver and aqua tones.

We got married in Savannah and it reminded me of a treasure I’d find at a vintage shop, sort of an heirloom looking necklace with beautiful blue stones and  gorgeous fine details.

It also reminds me of one of our favorite places to visit, the beach.  We both dearly love the beach and have traveled to Florida twice with Mark’s family beach trip.

Blue is the color of the ocean on our favorite Gulf coast of Florida and reminds me of simple and sweet times on the beach, walking and looking for seashells.  This necklace will remind me of our love story when I wear it.

I had never shopped in a James Avery store, but there is one here in Norcross at The Forum, if you want to check them out.  I’m very impressed with their story and how they make their jewelry.

James Avery is a family owned company and they make the jewelry, a well as market and sell all their own products.  Skilled artisans in the Hill country of Texas make the jewelry and their designs represent values and timeless designs that commemorate what’s important in life.

Memories are made with their jewelry and from the comments you all left me on the last post, you all love James Avery jewelry too and have many family pieces that you’ve collected over the years. This jewelry is crafted with care and attention to detail, it’s evident in the necklace that I chose.

We all enjoyed our time at the James Avery shop, along with goodies and drinks while we were shopping. In case you don’t know about James Avery, the company has been around since 1965 and has grown and expanded since then.

There were so many beautiful things to choose from, but I’m so glad I got the necklace.  It’s a new piece to their line called the Tessares Necklace with Amazonite and Mother of Pearl and it immediately caught my eye when I saw it in the case.

I know I’ll enjoy this beautiful necklace for years to come and when I wear it, I’ll always remember picking it out especially to wear to celebrate OUR love story, Mark and I.  It’s a gorgeous piece with fine intricate details in the way it’s made and I will certainly wear it with pride.

What’s your love story?  Comment below and share your love story and click the link to visit James Avery and read more love stories! Please visit James Avery and your heart will be full reading more love stories.  

I don’t know about you, but when someone shares their love story, I always enjoy reading it.  I’d love to hear your love stories as well, if you’d like to share them with me here in the comments, please do!  I get giddy over love stories and it makes me so happy to hear when love blossoms between two people.  It’s extra special to me now at this stage of life and was SO worth waiting for!

Love is a wonderful thing and truly God’s gift to US!











- Rhoda


  1. What a sweet story! I am absolutely thrilled for you. It reminds me of one of the stories they tell at the beginning of “When Harry Met Sally,” the couple that lived really close to each other in New York all those years and then met in Chicago. God’s timing is perfect! <3

  2. I love you story, I’ve followed you from the beginning when you started blogging. You both have been wonderfully blessed.

  3. I love to read love stories too Rhoda! Thank you for sharing yours with all of us. Mine is similar in that I found myself single at the age of 46 after 18 years of marriage. After my divorce, I bought a little house in town. Almost 2 years later, I was getting ready to let my dogs out for the last time that night when I heard several loud noises outside. I looked out of my front door to see a car had crashed in my driveway and the driver was taking off on foot. I called dispatch to request someone come out to my house if for no other reason than to get the car out of my driveway before I had to go to work in the morning. Being as it was a small town, dispatch sent every.single.person who had anything to do with rescue/law enforcement to my house. It was late at night and there I was standing in my driveway barefoot, in my pajamas and my hair pinned back off of my face with not a stitch of makeup on having just put on my old lady cream :). Minutes after half the town’s arrival, a police car pulled up and out came a 6’3″ state trooper. I immediately thought how handsome he was and was mortified at my appearance but figured since he was probably a bit older than I was, he was married. Well, he came back the next day to take some pictures of the crash site and made it clear he was not married. After testifying at the hearing, I didn’t think I would see him again but a few days later he asked me out. Like you, we started dating during the holiday season and the first gift he ever gave me was a necklace with our birthstones. He had it engraved with the day we met. We married three and a half months later and also like you, we did it alone with just the officiant and his wife who took photos. Next month we’ll have our 2 year anniversary. I never thought I would remarry but God sent me exactly what I had prayed for and I thank Him every day. Thank you for letting me share my love story.

    • HI, Shawne, oh my gosh, your story made me smile so big and what a neat way to meet and get married. I could just see you standing out there with no makeup on and still noticing a handsome trooper. Such a sweet story, congrats on your happily ever after! I LOVE love stories!

  4. Your love story should make any doubters believe in love!
    My husband and I married 17 years ago after meeting at the hospital where we both worked and where our son was eventually born. Just like you, we married in a very private ceremony. We were the only ones that mattered in that special moment.

  5. Deborah Dickson says:

    Rhoda, I surely enjoyed reading everything that you wrote. Thank you so much for the in-depth look into the making of your new love and marriage. I am so, so happy for you. Also, I love the way that you explain to inform without trying to impress. You seem so real, and if you were right here in Little Rock, I know we would be friends. Many happy wishes for a love that never ends. And, yes, I definitely believe that God brings people together. I want to share something with you that I have had for years. It is a quote by Dr. Charles Stanley … “His invisible hand is already at work on our behalf – arranging situations to accomplish His will, opening hearts, and preparing us to receive what He wants to give.”

  6. My husband and I have been married almost 41 years. We met on our college campus passing each other on the sidewalk going to class. We just smiled and said hi! Back then, if you were Greek, you would wear your tshirt with your letters and your name was across the back. Apparently, after we crossed paths, he turned around to see my name and called the president of my sorority to get my dorm room phone number. The first time he called, we talked for three hours! He invited me to a frat dance and we married a year to the day of that dance. Now, two daughters, one SIL, and two grandboys later, we are still best friends. Oh, yes, the James Avery! As a Texas girl, I have many pieces, as do my daughters. I wear a JA ring every day and I have the cross with pearl necklace mentioned above. I have followed your love story since you introduced Mark to your audience. He is a keeper! Best wishes for a long life together!

    • Thank you, Terry, loved reading your story too. So many of you have been married so long and I love hearing that.

  7. Hi Rhoda –

    I was pulling for you and Mark from the beginning…I just had a feeling. Your story and family makes me smile every time!

    I met my husband in an interesting way. I worked with an “interesting” woman who wanted to introduce me to this guy who lived in her apartment complex that she thought would be perfect for me, but I wanted no part of someone she thought would be perfect for me. She was telling him that he should meet someone she works with who would be perfect for him, but he wanted nothing to do with someone she thought would be perfect for him because of who she is. On a side note and to tell you what kind of a guy he is, he continued to be “friends” with her because she had a young son, and he felt sorry for her son, so he hung out with the boy. Anyway, I work for a local government that was having a special night at the Baltimore Orioles, he went with this woman’s son, and I was there with friends, so she had her chance to introduce us.

    Literally, we looked into each other’s eyes, said nice to meet you and that was it. That was on a Tuesday in early May in 1997, we talked for three hours on Friday, had our first date on Saturday, and spent nearly every weekend together after that. We got engaged in August and married in November. That was 20+ years ago and still the best decision we’ve ever made. Because it seemed so fast, we used to say that we had been together for many moons. :0) .

    He is so kind, caring and loving. I am so lucky to still have him….he nearly died three years ago from a serious illness, which makes me appreciate him all the more!

    Thank you for the chance to share.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Hi, Lisa, thanks for pulling for us! It was meant to be and I loved reading your story too. That’s so cute, that “interesting” woman must have had an idea that you 2 would be a good match.

  8. The sweetest thing about my husband’s and my love story is that when he was ready to propose to me (unknown to me at the time) before he surprised me, he asked my then 9 year old daughter if it would be all right for us to get married. I knew he was a keeper when we started dating! We’ve been married 23 years now.

  9. Kellie Smith says:

    Thanks for the beautiful post! I have been wanting to know how you met! Great story.. Sorry to say, I don’t have a great love story to share. I’ve been divorced 15 yrs. I have tried online dating off/on.. just hasn’t been a good experience. I’m so happy it worked for you!
    The piece of jewelry you chose is really pretty! I enjoy your daily post/ blogs.. Thanks for sharing,

  10. Hi, Rhoda. I’ve followed your blog for a long time. You may not recall, but I decided one day to tell you how to spell mantel. Lots of bloggers and realtors get it wrong and usually hear from me. You and your special man have my best wishes and congratulations. I married my fourth husband when I was 47 years old, and our 30th anniversary is coming up on May 7. I won’t go into details on my past marriages because this one is the best. I give all the credit to my wonderful husband. He’s truly a blessing. Oh, yes, I’m one of those Texans with a large collection of James Avery jewelry. I’d like to add that James Avery started in 1954, not 1965. My first piece was a bracelet with a sand dollar on it that my aunt who lived in Kerrvile, TX, gave me when I was a teenager in the 1950s. Love all my James Avery items. It’s a wonderful company with beautiful products.

    • Hey, Daphne, I vaguely remember a mantel correction. I do have a reader who regularly spell checks for me and sends me early morning typo corrections, which I don’t mind, I just go fix them! So happy you finally found your Prince Charming too. For some of us, it takes a lifetime!

  11. Our love story…..we met at church Easter Sunday 2011, his marriage had gone south the year before, I had been widowed for 5 years. I was handing out bulletins and he was one of the last people to arrive. He was dressed in a suit, overcoat, grown a beard and tanned. I hadn’t seen him in a year and I think my jaw dropped! When he came over to say hi, I told him I loved the beard and he invited me to lunch. I think I told him I don’t think so but he looked wonderful! Problem was, I kept turning around looking at him and thinking this guy is way up here and I’m low on the hog, not going to work out! So after the service, I had made up my mind, this def was not going work out, but I walked over to him and told him it was really nice seeing him again. He asked me the second time to lunch and in a split second, I grabbed a paper, wrote my name and number on it and told him, if he was interested, give me a call. He did, we went to lunch, 3 weeks later we knew something was going on, got married in late June. I found out on the first date he was 14 years older than, “ my GF’s words were “ age, smage, what’s the difference, he’s good looking, great guy, what’s your problem”? After that analysis there wasn’t one! We needed to clear it with our children, all 6 of them. We had a lovely small wedding in a local park, God is so good!

  12. Oops, I forgot to mention, he is 86, I’m 72.

  13. Vicki Davis says:

    Dear Rhoda,
    Thank you for sharing your love story with your readers. Mark is such a fine man and it is a blessing to see you so happy. You know my love story! We met at a Halloween Party when I was 18 and wouldn’t dance with him when he asked. We had mutual friends and ran into each other throughout the next year and began dating. During the 5 1/2 years we dated, we had problems including a broken engagement. Once we both committed to living according to God’s will for our lives, we had an 8 day engagement and were married in a private ceremony at my parent’s church, AT CHRISTMAS TIME! You were my only attendant! Yes, the past 36 years have been mostly wonderful with some bouts of anger, bitterness and unforgivingness. But it is the tests of difficult times that strengthen the bond. Our history from our younger days, our families, and now our sons, daughters-in-law and our 4 precious grandchildren are integral to our commitment to each other and to God. We had a deep love for each other from the very beginning. God has blessed our efforts. “A cord of three strands is not easily broken”. Blessings to all.

  14. VintageBeachgirl says:

    What a wonderful love story, I’m so happy for you and Mark. Thank you for sharing your love story with us. I love your necklace, it’s one I might have chosen for myself if I were shopping for myself. I’d never heard of James Avery Jewelers before and will enjoy looking at their lovely selections of jewelry.

  15. Michelle H. says:

    I also love hearing how couples met and fell in love. I met my husband of 42 years in church. I was a senior in high school and he was a senior in college. After attending for 6 months, with him as my Sunday School teacher (high school class), he asked me out and the rest is history. He was the first boyfriend I ever had, the first boy I ever kissed, and has always been my sweetheart, my best friend, and my rock! Interestingly, it was his mother (who passed away a year ago) who suggested he ask me out! We were married a little over two years after our first date and have two daughters and two grandchildren.

    • Aww, sweet story Michelle. I love that you found him early on, you were very blessed not to have to go through some of the misery many of us have had through the years.

  16. Debra Cleary says:

    Hi Rhoda!
    I so loved your love story as I love all your wonderful posts of your beautiful life with Mark! My sister recommended I follow you telling me that I was you, so of course, I had to take a peek and I am so hooked!
    My husband and I met on EHarmony as well, we married in 2015 and are happy as can be running a ranch and a ministry, loving our children and grand children, and dogs, did I mention dogs?
    We raise wild sheep, wild goats, Bongo and white tail deer on our ranch.
    We live in a big rambling ranch house that we will begin to renovate just as soon as our ranch family’s house is complete and they move into it! I’m so excited for that! I wish you were closer to give me guidance as I love your style! I’m thrilled that you share so much on Instagram, you almost feel like a friend to me….
    As for James Avery, they are our long time friends. Every girl in our family has a loaded JA charm bracelet and many other pieces to go along with it. It’s the perfect gift, always quality, timeless beauty. We are Texans and they do that very well!
    I hope I haven’t over shared here, thank you for your lovely posts! Have a good weekend!

    • HI, Deb, it’s so nice to meet you and so glad you are following along. Sounds like a wonderful love story for you too and what an exciting life of animals on your TX ranch. Thank you so much & I hope you’ll enjoy all our projects!

  17. A beautiful story and a beautiful couple inside and out!

  18. I love your “love story” Rhoda and I remember when you met him and of course on our cruise I knew you had fallen for your new guy and although we had fun on the cruise and you posted about the week we had on Carnival you could not wait to get back home to be with Mark! It has been a wonderful story to follow and when I finally met Mark I was thrilled Y’all met and it was the real deal! A perfect match! I love y’all and can’t wait to see all the projects y’all will do! Congratulations newlyweds ❣️

    • Thank you, Beth, you were with me on that cruise and even though it was so much fun, I was excited to get home to Mark!

  19. OH, I love hearing your story!!! But, I really wish this weren’t true: “Gone are the days when your best friends set you up on dates or you meet someone at work or at the grocery store. ” I’m 46 and “single, never married” as they say here in the South. I’ve tried online and it was awful. It’s been almost 10 years so maybe I should try again? But, honestly, I wish my friends had other single friends and would introduce me. But, they don’t even have unmarried friends. Sigh.

    • HI, Kristin, oh I hate to burst bubbles, but it really has changed and it’s so much harder to get introduced to friends especially as we continue to get older. The date pool and prospective partners diminish the older we get and then we’re dealing with divorced people and yep,I’m one too, but that’s what you face, as you know. With everyone online now, it just makes sense to look there as an avenue for connecting. So don’t give up on it too fast, maybe it’s time to give it another try. It can definitely work, it did for us!

  20. Before I found this post, I was going to send a note suggesting Match.com where my husband and I met. So happy you two found each other! The two of us met at a local historical site, walked and talked as the sun set and the lights came out, then we had dinner in the park at a special restaurant. Three months later we were married! We felt like we knew what we wanted in a partner, and we found it. After so much life experience (each of us had been in long-term relationships, but never married with children), we didn’t want to wait. Crazy? Yes! Would I change a thing? No. Going on 14 years, with one beautiful son, in our second home, he is going through exciting career changes and I am ramping up for some major DIY projects and stumbled across your site. So happy to have found you!!

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