The History of Me, JLP
I was born in Wichita, KS in 1969. I grew up in Valley Center, KS, which is a town about 10 miles north of Wichita. I graduated from high school in 1988 and started college at Wichita State University for the fall 1988 semester. I worked full-time and went to school part-time so it took me forever to get through school.
I met my wife at a church convention in Keystone, CO in 1991 (Sept. 26 to be exact). She was from Texas. After we each got back home, we wrote letters back and forth. I met her family in Dallas for Thanksgiving in 1991 and she came to visit my family in January 1992. I then spent Spring Break week with her and while I was visiting, I went and talked to the dean of the business school. I came back to visit in May of that year. At the time a grocery chain had just purchased another grocery chain and they were trying to fill a bunch of positions. I went and applied and got a job. I went back home to Kansas and told my mom and dad that I was moving to Texas. They were shocked! Their oldest son was leaving home. They tried to talk me out of it but they knew that I was in love and they both really liked my wife.
So, in the mid part of June 1992, I packed up my 1988 Buick Skyhawk and headed to Texas. I lived in a hellhole of an apartment the first year. It was horrible but I did it for love. On August 14, 1993, my wife and I were married. It is hard to believe that it was over 12 years ago.
After we were married, I returned to college. I had sat out a full year in order to establish Texas residency in order to get out of paying out-of-state tuition. I was working full-time in the grocery business and going to school part-time. My wife was majoring in Chemical Engineering and had a full scholarship all the way through. That was a huge blessing for our finances. She also co-oped (I believe that’s how you spell it) at some of the local plants. She made more in one semester than I did in a whole freakin’ year!
About a year and a half after we were married, we found out that we were expecting our oldest son. My wife was 6 months pregnant when she graduated from college. Mysteriously, no companies were interested in hiring her at the time. She had the baby in September and then in November, a local contracting company hired her and put her in one of the local plants. I then officially retired from the grocery business and began going to school full-time, while my mother-in-law watched our son. My wife was given a permanent position with the firm she was contracting in so she left the contracting business in May 1996.
Our oldest son was barely 9 months old when we found out we were expecting our second son. SURPRISE! My wife’s second pregnancy is a story all its own. Let me just say that our second son is on this earth because God wants him here! (I know that’s true for all of us, but I really emphasize it with my second son because of the all the troubles we had trying to have him.) I finished up college with a finance degree in December 1996. I then interviewed and took a position with PaineWebber (now UBS). I left PaineWebber after about a year and went to work for my father-in-law’s insurance company selling an employee benefit plan for mechanics (long story). I left my father-in-law’s company in the early 2000’s to go out on my own.
In hindsight, I probably should have gone to work for Charles Schwab. The reason I didn’t is because there are no Charles Schwab branches in the town we live in. We would have had to move to Houston or Dallas, which would have meant that my wife would have had to quit her job.
In 2004 our daughter was born.
UPDATED on April 20, 2009