, Corbin, KY

September 20, 2013

My first year of marriage has been a blessing


CORBIN — By the time you all read this, I will be in the second day of a four-day weekend celebrating a special occasion.

On Sept. 22, 2012, my wife, Carmen, and I said our vows and got married here in Corbin at Hopewell Baptist Church.

A year later, we are spending a few days in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tenn. for our very first wedding anniversary.

This first year of marriage has been such a wonderful time for me, and a true blessing from God.

We got to spend a nice week in Destin, Fla. for our honeymoon immediately following the wedding.

When we got back, it was pretty much fall and Thanksgiving season. So Carmen had our new home decorated with the latest home interior from Hobby Lobby. Then for the actual holiday we made our rounds to our parents’ houses and my grandparents’ house stuffing ourselves with turkey and dressing.

After that, it was Christmas time so we got to trim the brand new white tree my mom bought for us. We would make our rounds again visiting our families. But we did make time to celebrate Christmas for the first time as a married couple in our own home.

Once winter really got underway, we got to see our trees and backyard blanketed in snow — which is always a hazard for my Camaro, but pretty nonetheless.

Then when spring rolled around, we planted a redbud tree in our front yard, and some tomato plants in our backyard. We also hung a hummingbird feeder off of our back porch, which has really attracted the little flappers.

In the summer, we spent a long weekend at the Kings Island theme park for the Christian music festival Spirit Song. I got to really experience my first outdoor Christian music concert while Carmen got to experience the Kings Island rides for the first time.

And just this past August, we welcomed our new puppy Skipper into our home. He has really been fun to be around — but I don’t know if our cat, Lexie, would agree.

In between all these moments, Carmen has learned and cooked some excellent recipes for us. My personal favorite is her cheesy black bean chicken chili concoction, which I think could win any chili cook-off if I do say so myself.

But most of all, it has truly been a blessing just being able to wake up with her every morning and come home to her every night.

As many of you know, I am not originally from Corbin but I know God’s plan all along was for me to end up here and meet the woman I would spend the rest of my life with.

Carmen has truly been a blessing and a Christian inspiration for me as long as I’ve known her but even more so since we’ve been married.

I know as long as we keep God first in our marriage, He will continue to bless us for all of our years together. And I am so excited to find out what our years together will bring.

Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at You can also visit his blog at