Tera and Wes are adventurers, dreamers, and incredible parents. Tera and Wes are the type of couple you would love to just sit down with in a coffee shop for a few hours and chat about marriage. And that is exactly what we did!
Their love is beautiful and they have so much wisdom to share. Tera and Wes are an amazing example of marriage. They put each other first. They celebrate all of life’s accomplishments and failures. And they serve one another whole heartedly. We can’t wait for you to continue reading to learn more about their love story.
Tera & Wes – Florence, AL
Years Married: 7
Wedding Date: April 5th, 2008
Ryan: Tell us a little bit about your love story and how you met.
Tera: So it starts with me. I saw Wes. He didn’t see me. We were at the bowling alley, dollar bowling after 9:00. I saw Wes Wages standing across the room wearing an orange Polo. He wasn’t even bowling. He was talking to some woman. But unless it happened to you, people don’t believe this happens. Like, I swear in that moment, I knew he was my person. It was literally like a light switch in my heart.
I knew that I loved him in that moment and it wasn’t like a lust…I wasn’t like, “oh my gosh he’s hot”. There’s something about that man and I needed him in my life. And, so I went home. I didn’t talk to him because I was wearing a tie dye t-shirt. I went home and then he showed up at my apartment with a mutual friend a couple of nights later and we were the only two people in the whole room that voted not to watch “Gold Member.” I knew he was my husband.
So, we slowly started dating. Well we started hanging out. And I knew that I loved him but I tried to play it cool. And I did okay playing it cool. Kind of…
Wes: You were hot and heavy for me.
Tera: But I never was like, “oh my gosh, I’m going to marry you”, on the first date or anything like that. Even though I knew it.
Liz: So you never told him that until later on in your relationship?
Tera: No, I didn’t want him to know how much I loved him because I knew it was so early. Even though I could have…I really could have married him that night at the bowling alley not even knowing anything about him. It was my heart. God changed my heart towards Wes.
I have a lot of baggage though from my childhood. And so I wasn’t who I needed to be at that point in my life. So, Wes broke up with me that September and I was devastated and thought that my life was over. He started dating a girl and she won homecoming queen the month that we broke up. I stood in the stands and just wept. It was devastating to me. We were broken up for a year and I ignored him. I had to completely cut him off because I couldn’t handle it.
Wes: I saw Tera as wife potential. I’m not all about dating anybody and just… She was wife potential, but I wasn’t ready to be married. So…
Tera: He was also just coming out of a serious relationship as well. So, we both had just come out of very serious relationships and then immediately started dating. So, I think one of the best things that any person can do is have a little bit of time for yourself. Especially during those years it was pivotal for me. During that year we were broken up, I met my biological father. I seriously tried to work through all of my stuff and figure out who I was as an individual person. I changed dramatically that year.
Ryan: So what drew you back?
Wes: Her personality. You know, she was a really good best friend. I saw wife potential there. And so I think I just missed that friendship then.
Tera: He got a job in Birmingham and realized, “I’m about to lose this girl if I don’t get her.”
Wes: So, I moved away from her which I think is a natural “oh crap”. You know what I mean, life change. I really realized that if I don’t get her now I might not have another chance.
I proposed to her and we married four months later.
Ryan: If you had a theme for your marriage, what would it be?
Tera: I think the overall theme of our marriage would be adventure. Which I never thought would be the theme of my marriage. I was such a straight and narrow person.
Wes: Tera was gonna marry the baseball player and be a house wife and a soccer mom.
Wes: You do have a minivan already.
Tera: I do. It breaks my heart. But our marriage has been full of adventure. I mean. Crazy.
Wes: A lot of people are like “well we’ll do it one day. We’ll do it one day.” And it never happens. But, we really say we’ll do it one day, and we really will.
Tera: I know Wes is like “let’s do it tomorrow.” You know that’s the difference I think in us and a lot of other couples. We’ll say we want to do this and how can we make this happen in the next year. So, we’ve seen a lot more, we’ve done a lot more but we also had a lot of struggle as well. We’ve set ourselves up for more failure and more potential to get lost along the way, but it’s been totally worth it. Every part of it.
Liz: What advice would have for working through those struggles?
Tera: My biggest piece of advice we learned really early on. When there is a struggle, it’s really easy to point fingers at the other person or point the finger so hard at yourself that you ruin your own life. So, we have never allowed ourselves to point the finger.
Like, when our camera bag got stolen off a train that cost us $40,000, it was not Wes’s fault that he put hard drives in the bag and it wasn’t my fault that it I was distracted and not looking at the guy. We both lost that bag together. And whenever good things happen, I’m just as much a part of it as he is. We are very much a team and so when he is struggling or when he’s trying to point the finger at him I remind him, it’s not you, it’s both of us together. That keeps the struggle from being as bad because it’s not one of us carrying the burden.
We are always carrying the burden together so that makes it a lot lighter for sure.
Ryan: You have a beautiful daughter and one on the way, are there things that you try to do so that you can carve out that time together to focus on each other?
Tera: Our sitter that comes every week, we booked her for Wednesday nights instead of Wednesday day time. So, on Wednesday nights, we go out either on dates or just spend that time together. So that’s helped a lot.
Also, how we divided up the work load. Everything we do is a team effort. Everything. When we were pregnant, we decided to go ahead and talk about expectations for when she was here. You know a lot of times if the baby is crying and the dad’s holding the baby, the mom will just automatically take and comfort the baby. We decided early on it’s not going to be that way.
This morning she was crying in the other room. I thought to myself, “he’s got this. He’s okay. He’s gotta work through it and he did.” And everything we do as a team. We’re always together. We’re always doing everything together and that helps a lot.
Liz: You guys are dreamers and adventurers and I just love that about you guys. When Olive came into your life, did you ever question whether or not you were still going to able to be adventurers and dreamers?
Wes: We call her our greatest adventure. She really is.
Tera: Yeah, but we still do adventures …since Olive has been born, we’ve started three new businesses.
Wes: We drove a nine month old to Portland, Oregon.
Tera: We drove across country with her for four months. At nine months old. Which most of our friends looked at us like we were insane to do. We decided that we really want her to be a dreamer.
I want her to know that the world is open and anything is possible and the best way for her to see that is to see if through us. So, I want her to see us fail. I do. I want her to see when we struggle and I want her to see when we succeed and see how we handle it together. So, one day, when she’s in that position, it’s not such a shock; it’s not such a scare; and she will never feel alone in that.
I think a lot of times our parents try to shelter us from those types of things.
I can’t wait for our children to be old enough to backpack Europe. I can’t wait to show them what’s out there.
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