Leah Elizabeth Photography

Hey y’all

Welcome to Value Minded Mama. This is my creative space where I document motherhood moments, cool kiddo and family finds, my super simple casual mommy style, saving time and money tips, our travels/adventures and being a stay at home mom. I love that you're here! Please stop by one of my posts (or fill out the contact form) and let me know how you found me. I love making friends and connecting with new people. Feel free to check out my social media channels below for more from Value Minded Mama.

Our Story

Our Story


Since tomorrow is the day of love, I thought I’d share my husband and I’s love story. It’s actually quite sweet as far as love stories go. I moved to Columbia in 2010 (from Charleston) and one of the first things I did was attend Midlands Tech Community College. What was one of the classes in my first semester? Calculus. Where did I meet my future husband? Calculus. That’s right, we met at a tech school, in a Calculus class. That’s not when we started dating or anything, that’s just where we met and became friends. He was very outgoing and funny. Most people in community college just go and get it over with, they aren’t there to make friends. Not Matthew. He talked to everyone around him and even goofed off with the teacher. After a few classes and chats, he invited me out a couple of times as friends. I was a little confused as to what he wanted us to be, but I didn’t care enough to question or pursue it. I actually ended up up dating someone I worked with towards the end of that semester. By that time, we were pretty decent friends and had both thankfully (somehow) managed to pass the class. Well, I know how he passed, he copied off my homework. But I digress, we went our separate ways after that semester ended…  


Fast forward to 2012, when he invited me to hear a local musician (our friend, Jon Rooks) play at a hotel bar. I was slightly uncomfortable with the idea because I hadn’t seen him in a couple years, but I ended up going just to be adventurous. You see, he had been inviting me to random things here and there for years and I had just never accepted. I always found an excuse, but not this time, I wanted a little fun in my life. I’m so glad I went, because that night put both of us on the path towards each other. I made friends with the other girls that had been invited and we all talked and danced the night away.


A couple weeks later, Matt was celebrating his 23rd birthday party and invited me to that as well. Of course I accepted, and it was the biggest party I have ever been to in my life. There were over 200 people, open bar and it was in a friend's huge house. The part that made it so memorable for me was the fact that when the dancing started, I was the first girl that he slow danced with and the song was Stand By Me (that would later become OUR song). I tried not to read anything into it at the time, but it was still cute and super sweet. I knew he was just being a nice guy though.


Then out of the blue, I attended a concert at New Brooklyn Tavern with my friend and I invited Matthew because I thought he would appreciate the music. He apparently took that as me being interested in him, because I had never initiated a hang out before. He then decided to ask me out, but not until he got back from his mission trip to New York... which would be a month later. So naturally, since I was in fact interested in pursuing a relationship with him, I waited until he got back from his mission trip. But, he did not leave me hanging! He sent me sweet appropriate texts asking me about my day and reminding me that he was looking forward to spending time with me when he returned.


Finally, he came back and we went on our first date and laid it all out on the table what we wanted our first godly relationship to look like. This was the first actual godly relationship for either one of us to be persistent it in. So we ended up dating, at first, once a week, and having a Jesus day where we did not talk to each other at all during that day to focus on who was really important (Jesus, not us). And then as we grew closer, we would spend more dates together and still keep the Jesus day. Our dates got really interesting as we progressed. We got ear piercings together, did crafts, volunteered and went to a couple NASCAR races. Now one thing I have yet to mention about Matthew is that he rides a motorcycle, so there were a lot of motorcycle rides and events that we went to and that in of itself was quite an experience.


The day I knew I loved him was when we were on a trip to the upstate (about 3 months into our relationship), going to ride the tail of the Dragon in North Carolina through Tennessee. I just remember thinking “Wow, this man is such a sweet, godly and respectful man. He will make such a good husband and father. He truly cares about the souls of others and especially his friends. And he wants the best for everybody around him.” He is just so lighthearted, even tempered and fun to be around that you can't not love him.


So, I waited. I waited for him to love me and tell me he loved me. He might have at that point too, but I told him that I did NOT want him to tell me he loved me, until he was ready to propose. I had been told I love you before and it always ended in empty promises. So I was not about that with this one. Either he loved me and wanted to marry me, or he didn't and we would go our separate ways.


Then one October night, when we were out with a group of friends for dinner, at the table Matthew announced, “Man, I love this girl”. And they all looked at him and said, “Yeah, we know”. He responded with, “Well she doesn't, this is the first time I've told her”. And that is when I found out he loved me. And THEN he made me wait another torturous month before proposing to me. It had been a total of 8 months of dating by the time we got engaged. Which may not seem like a long time to those of you who have dated your significant other for years, and were also engaged for a year or more. But it was a long freaking time for me. When you know, you know, right?




We ended up throwing together an amazing  wedding in four months and had the sweetest southern wedding I could've hoped for. And believe it or not, I was not stressed once about any aspect of our wedding. That's how smooth and helpful our venue coordinators were. We were married on March 9, 2013 during our spring break. Oh yes, I also forgot to mention that while we were engaged, we were also both finishing our associates degrees together. We only had one class to take before we could get our diplomas and it was a science, so naturally we chose the easy route and went with Astronomy. It went very similar to the Calculus class, in that I did all the work. We had some major senioritis when we came back from our honeymoon, from being married, and being back in the classroom with a few more weeks still of school to go. We felt like we were living in the real adult world, and college life was for kids (which it is, stay in school while you're young, kids). But I think it's so cool that our relationship started in college and we were able to graduate together as husband and wife. It's like it came full circle, and my diploma says my married name, that's pretty awesome.



At this point we've been married almost 4 years, have one sweet 1.5yr old angel boy, traveled to 3 different countries, lived in 2 residences, own our home, gone through 3 motorcycles and have toured all over the nation. I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store for our marriage. It's already been such a blessing and better than anything I could've ever imagined. I am so honored that I get to be the one to share his life and love him and the family we’re creating. <3 Amanda

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