Jim & I settled in to married life and moved into an older-2-bedroom rent house on Watt street in Waco. Our landlady was so sweet and only charged $350/month rent. Our neighbors were nice as well. I joined the Lutheran Church after having attended classes, and became a member just in time to be a "Sponsor" (God Parent) to Brandon Kubitza. His mother Kathy was at our guest book at the wedding, pregnant with Brandon. Seems like we were always doing something with the Dutschmann family: the Kelm Reunion; Thanksgiving at Uncle Lee & Aunt Millie's house in Irving; family birthdays - wiener roasts at the Hassells or out at the Mach farm; camping with a whole big group in Navarro or elsewhere; church activities - youth groups for the kids; teaching young ones in Sunday School; singing in the Choir; helping with Vacation Bible School. We always made church a priority as well as family. We actually have photo albums from our early married years, but not so much later, except for the kids. Jim and I used to joke that we were each other's 'last ditch effort' to get married. Makes me wonder sometimes....! He was always one to want to joke - especially with Stephanie and with me. Of course Stephanie is a lot of fun anyway, but she and Jim have a 'special bond'.
Jim lived at home until we married, while I had been in my apartment for a while. When he was 13 months old, he ate rat poison and was taken to the hospital, where he actually died on the table and was brought back. At the time, the doctor's thought this is what caused his seizures. After several years of marriage, and lots of seizure episodes, Jim wanted to pursue a surgery to stop the seizures. He was tired of the meds and the seizures, so who could blame him? He was so brave and such a witness while going thru it all. I was nervous for the possibility of brain surgery - but they found it scar tissue and thought that removing it could alleviate the seizures.
More on that later.
Lindsey was born in 1985, just before our second anniversary. Jim surprised me with a diamond ring. He was and still is a proud Dad. We argued over names - like Kayla, Hillary, Jeffrey, Amanda, etc. (we didn't know if we'd have a boy or girl) , but when she came, Jim proudly announced "Its a Lindsey Kathryn" as he went down the hall from the delivery room. He worked at United Bank at the time and they posted the birth announcement on their sign for all to see.
Jim loved to shop and buy things for everyone, but especially bargains, bargains and more bargains. Lindsey did not want for anything with the help of her sponsors: Stephanie, Carrol, Beth and Michael Brodowski. It was a happy time - holidays with the family - and the Dutschmann family with their first grand-daughter - so she was probably a little spoiled. She was the second on the Mathews side, but I am a little biased that she was favorite along with Amanda. I was a first on the Mathews side, too, so I know where it comes from!!
We certainly would never have made it through our early married years without family and friends. We knew several couples at church, one of which was Jim's brother John and his wife Norma. We would get together on occasion, usually at a choir party or cookout, and always had lots of fun. A tough time we went thru was when Jim's dad, Eddie, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He suffered a long time it seems, and they tried different things to help, including traveling to Mexico for treatment. It was really sad when he passed away. I think that was my first real experience with the death of a close family member. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather - barber to all and then some. He retired from General Tire before he was diagnosed. He loved his Lindsey, that's for sure!
When he was in the hospital in town, I learned that John and Norma were having difficulties. I do not know all that happened - but was shocked when they divorced. Seems like several couples did the same thing, though, and divorce was not as surprising as it used to be. We had our ups and downs - for things like money and other things - but held it together.
Ryan was born in 1990, again to proud parents. Lindsey was quite the little mother herself. She was five and so attentive to her 'bubba'. I don't know what I would have done without her. We had moved to our home in Hewitt just two years before I found out I was pregnant with Ryan.
I was still at Sears and I think Jim was at the motor bank, working in the vault. (ya'll feel free to make corrections in the comments section)
Both of our children were in daycare from 6 weeks until they were in school. We both had to work to pay the bills, which seemed to accumulate as fast as ever. Daycare was great and I knew of no problems with ours at all. The ladies loved Lindsey & Ryan. I think our kids have done great - despite the daycare/after-school programs/mom & dad work routines. They were very independent from an early age - and still are to this day. Stephanie kept them once when we went on a trip to Las Vegas, and she was astounded when they got up and made their own breakfast cereal and then got dressed. She said it was like they were on automatic pilot.
The kids always loved to play with their cousins...or 'cuddies' as they are sometimes called. Jeremy and Jeff liked to wrestle with them, so it was no surprise to hear from the teachers when Ryan 'was a little aggressive' today, as he wanted to keep wrestling at daycare.