Crystal and Kelly "CHAPTER 1 - FIRST DATE"

If their first date was any indication, Kelly and Crystal should've known their relationship wouldn't always be easy.

Crystal: "He's just so pretty! I was like, 'he's got to be a jerk'".

Kelly:  "I took her to Ozark Empire Fair. It was bad.  It was a really bad, good first date.

Crystal: "Kelly didn't know that I get motion sick very easily, and he made me ride a ride.  I told him that I can't ride it, and he said 'yes, you can.' After that ride, I spent 40 minutes in the bathroom."

Kelly:  "I thought she left!  I sat outside the bathroom and eventually thought I got stood up. Then she came out and said that she had to go home, so I took her home...and got lost trying to find her house. It was a pretty memorable date."

Crystal And Kelly_Fell In Love

Despite that rocky start, their romance progressed quickly.

Crystal:  "I only knew him two months, which was really unusual because I don't think either of us was looking for a serious relationship.  It was just really natural - after two months, I just knew.  We were engaged after only eight months, but it felt right.

Kelly: "Marriage feels even more right.  It's so great coming home from work and having someone there."

Crystal: "It's strange that way. I mean, I'm very independent and he's a loner-type person, so marriage has definitely changed us in that way.  We're so much happier being around each other."

After the wedding, Kelly and Crystal had to deal with some preconceived issues regarding their relationship.  Kelly had entered into marriage thinking everything was going to be perfect, similar to what he saw in the movies.  

Crystal and Kelly - Chapter 2: "Still In There"


KELLY: "I seriously thought everything was going to be perfect, that we would be the perfect couple. However, one of our biggest struggles was that I had a son before meeting Crystal and after a year and a half of our marriage it was like my son flipped a switch.  He became very unsocial with her, and then with me.  It put a lot of troubles on us, but we worked through it the best we could. 

CRYSTAL: "His son was of the main reasons I fell in love with him. He was four months old at the time and I just saw him taking care of this little baby. So for something so sweet to become a struggle, that was really hard."

The couple didn't just sit back and say "oh, it will work itself out." Kelly and Crystal took marriage counseling classes.

KELLY: "The classes helped me more than they did her because I think a lot of men think they are tough and can get through anything on their own. Well, we can't and classes help you learn how to make smart choices."

Looking back on their marriage, the couple has advice for others considering marriage:

KELLY: "Don't expect it to be perfect. You have to work at your marriage - it's not given to you on a silver plate."

CRYSTAL: "Compromise, and remember why you got together in the first place. Even though it seems like people change over the years, that same person you fell in love with is  still in there."

KELLY: Almost 12 years later, we are better everyday together.