More than 16,000 people celebrated a wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day in 2018. More than 600 of those have been married for 12.5, 25, 40, 50 or 60 years.
Greenbrier couple David and Naomi Meeks are one such couple. On Thursday, the pair will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary since walking down the aisle in 2009.
The Log Cabin Democrat wanted to see what the duo thought about those years together, the proposal and all things marriage.
Where did you first meet, how old were you and when did you start dating?
David: Bible Baptist Church. It was a Sunday [evening service.] [I was] 36-years-old. We started courting a few weeks later.
Naomi: We met May 18, 2008, when he visited our church. He had just moved back from Florida and was searching for a new church home. I had just turned 25-years-old. He invited me to a concert a week after we met, then we went to dinner a couple times, and then started courting within a few weeks.
How did he propose?
David: I preached a sermon in the evening service. After the sermon, I proposed on one knee.
Naomi: We were engaged August 10, 2008, less than three months after we first met. David was preaching the Sunday [e]vening service at our church. After his sermon he got down on his knee and proposed in front of everyone.
How old were you and when did you first got married?
David: 36-years-old, Feb 14, 2009.
Naomi: We were married February 14, 2009, so it all happened pretty quickly.
Why Valentine’s Day? How did that day go?
David: It made our first Valentine's Day special and it makes it easier for me to remember. It was the perfect day.
Naomi: I felt like Valentine's Day would be a romantic day to get married. [I’d] always have a Valentine and it would be romantic and memorable. Plus jewelry and candy are always on sale.
Biggest challenges you have faced since being married?
David: Infertility and busy schedules.
Naomi: The biggest challenges I have faced in our marriage would be battling infertility and balancing my schedule. David jumped into politics a couple months after we were married which was [way] outside of my comfort zone. Navigating the waters of politics, infertility, becoming foster parents, and subsequently adopting our [eight] children has been an absolute roller coaster journey. I wouldn't trade our story and the challenges we faced for anything. It made us who we are as a couple and the family we are today.
Best advice you've ever received?
David: Take time for your wife.
Naomi: It is almost impossible to be upset with your spouse when you are holding hands and/praying with them. It really works too.
Best advice you've ever given?
David: Make laughter important in your marriage.
Naomi: Patience and forgiveness are essential in any relationship.
If you could sum up your 10 years of marriage in one word/one sentence what would that be?
David: It's exceeded far beyond what I could have imagined.
Naomi: Unexpected and amazing. I never could have imagined that this is how our lives would have turned out but I wouldn't change anything.
What do you love most about her/him?
David: Her beautiful blue eyes, an amazing singing voice, her love for God, and her love for our children.
Naomi: I love that David has a heart for helping people. He always goes above and beyond to help anyone.
What's your pet peeve about the her/him?
David: She is a planner, so, it can be hard to surprise her.
Naomi: Sometimes he gets too engrossed in his work. Of course, he is usually helping someone with a problem or issue, which is one of the things I love about him.
Something you've learned about her/him along the way?
David: She is really good at budgeting and saving money by catching discounts and coupons. She is the best mother.
Naomi: That he has a big heart for helping families and children in Arkansas.
What is one thing you've learned about YOURSELF during the last 10 years of marriage?
David: I am able to do so much more than I ever thought possible.
Naomi: I thrive on chaos, caffeine and Christ.
What has your favorite thing about marriage been so far?
David: Having such an amazing woman to share so many wonderful experiences like adoption and foster care and knowing she is there for me and supporting me.
Naomi: You always have someone to support you no matter what life throws at you. For good, for bad, sickness and in health, through politics, the highs and lows of adopting, forever, and always.