Answers to Your Questions Part 2: Our Story

These are the more in depth and tougher questions about marriage/relationships:

1. I'm curious about how you met your husband, engagement story, and why you're a Tenn fan when you graduated from UGA?
Oh boy! Well, I'll answer the UT/UGA question first! My dad and his entire family are from Knoxville, TN. All of my relatives on his side of the family still live in Knoxville.
I grew up going to Knoxville about once every 2 months and spent a lot of my summers there with my family. Because of this, I grew up going to UT games. My great-uncle had season tickets and my dad used to sell refreshments in Neyland Stadium as a teenager. I basically just grew up cheering for the Vols and wearing orange and white. I got accepted to UT (my letter is framed on the wall) my senior year of high school. Out of state tuition was over $30K a year, but if I stayed in state (Georgia) then I got the HOPE scholarship for having a high GPA and graduating with honors, which meant all of my college would be payed for except for living expenses as long as I kept my GPA at a certain level.
I knew that I would take the same classes my first 2 years no matter where I went, so the plan was to transfer to UT after those 2 years. 

As fate would have it, I met Brandon in October of my Freshman year of college at a UGA-UT game in Athens in 2004. 
I was wearing orange, of course, and he was wearing red. 
The Vols won that year, so I was happy. We had mutual friends and went to a restaurant called Sons of Italy that used to be on South Lumpkin Street. (We both were going to North Georgia College and State University in my hometown of Dahlonega at the time)
The first thing he ever said to me was, "Is that all you're gonna do-just sit there and smile all night?"
To which I responded, "Excuse me?" with a major attitude, of course.
We ended up talking for several hours though I'm not sure he remembers much of it.
 We ran into each other again at his fraternity's (Sigma Chi) Halloween Howl costume party.
I was the DD as usual and somehow he ended up in my car with a load of others for me to taxi home at the end of the night.
I dropped him off at his house and before I could get home he was calling me.
We went on our first date mid-November, however, I was under no impression that it was a date.
I thought he just wanted to hang out as friends. 
I suggested he go and see the movie Friday night Lights because I had already seen it and fallen in love. After all, I'm kind of obsessed with football. I had no intentions of him thinking that just because I suggested he see it meant that I wanted to see it with him.
Anyway, it was a Tuesday night and he called to cancel because he had an intramural football game, which was fine by me.
I was in the student center studying anyway. 
He called back a little while later and said he felt like going after all, but he needed to go get a shower first and then he'd pick me up.
We saw the movie and I cried as usual. 
After the movie we ate at Longhorn and I ordered a steak and ate the whole thing.
He said that's when he knew he wanted to be with me because every girl he'd ever taken out would order a salad and pick around at it.
He said he wanted someone with a healthy appetite that could cook!
I know it sounds cliche but the first time we ever saw each other we just knew.
They say you know when you know when you know when you know, and we knew.

We saw each other again before Thanksgiving break. Then I went to Knoxville to be with family and go to the UT-UK game and he went to Oxford, MS, to watch his best friend Slate (played for Ole Miss) play football. 
He told me he loved me for the first time after he got back and of course, I said it back.
Things moved pretty fast from there and we were engaged on June 11, 2005.
He proposed on the beach at Pawleys Island, SC, where his family was vacationing.
He knew I loved the beach and wanted a beach wedding someday, so he proposed on the beach.
He used driftwood to form letters on the sand earlier in the day that said, "I Love You, Cherish."
We had been walking that night and when we got to the end of the island I saw the words he had created. He got down on one knee and said some of the most wonderful words and I said YES and we shared some tears of joy and prayed together.
I was 19 years old and he was 22. We were young. Too young according to most.
We were engaged 13 months.
We got married on July 8, 2006 (I was 20 and he was 23) in a beautiful beach ceremony with over 200 of our closest family and friends watching.
It was the best day of my life.
The week we got back from our honeymoon we moved to Athens and he started Vet school and I transferred to UGA. 
I never dreamed I would graduate from UGA, but I love my Alma Mater, and I still love those Vols.
They were my team from the day I came into this world and I have so many wonderful memories in Knoxville and going to UT games that I'm not willing to surrender my loyalty just because fate sent me elsewhere. You can cheer for more than one team!

2. I think you and your husband are just precious! How did y'all meet? Do y'all plan on having any babies? 
Aww, thank you! I answered the first question above. Babies-the question of the century!!
Well, considering we've been married for 6 1/2 years, most think we should be having them.
I have had 2 miscarriages, though we weren't trying either time and we currently are not trying.
I will say that I have not taken birth control since we've been married. I have some reproductive health issues and after years of struggling with medications and doctors I finally decided to eliminate them all when I was 20. I changed my diet and take specific vitamins and those things seem to help.
I've always wanted to be a mama and I've always wanted at least 4 kids.
I thought I would have baby fever by now (I'll be 27 in a month), but I just don't. I swear that every friend I have is either already a mom, pregnant or trying to get pregnant, minus a few. I love celebrating with them, but I don't know why I don't have the urge like they do. I know this sounds crazy to some people, but I believe that while the Lord knows the desires of our hearts, if we are submissive He will take them away if it's not the right time-His time. We have had a tremendous amount going on in our lives since we got married.
4 years of vet school, 2 years of living in South Georgia, and we bought our practice and home in Middle Georgia almost a year ago. Brandon is under a lot of stress at work trying to make the practice his own, update, and practice high quality medicine. Honestly, if we had children right now he would never see them and that's not how it needs to be. That would put even more stress on him. The first 2 years of owning a business are the hardest, at least that's what all of our mentors tell us, so we are hoping that things will fall into place in order to eliminate some of the stress in Brandon's life in the next year. It's just going to take some time. But, if and when the Lord decides to bless us with a baby I'll definitely let the blog world know! :)
3. I was wondering about how you got into such a good marriage. What are your thoughts on courtship/dating/living together/premarital sex?
Oh Lord! Whew! 
Our marriage...I know I'm with the person God intended me to be with, but it's not always a bed of roses. Believe me, we have had our share of ups and downs and being at each other's throats.
A lot of it is because we are both incredibly independent and strong-willed. A door-mat is about the last thing I am, which tells you how feisty I can be. I ain't going down without a fight!  A lot of it is because we got married really young and were both in school, I was working full time, and it's been a roller coaster ride since we graduated and moved 2 more times. 
But, at the end of the day there is no one else I'd rather ride this roller coaster with.
Some people seem to have a storybook romance and they just float around in a perfect little bubble.
Not us. We have to work at it. Marriage takes work. It takes prayer.
But it is totally worth it and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I often joke that we are more like roommates or brother and sister because we are so much a like.
He is truly one of my best friends and I love that he lets me be the free-spirited, unbridled person that I am.  We are both dreamers and love adventure.
We don't try to change each other, but he does encourage me to overcome my fears while I keep him a little bit grounded.
The answer to making it work is God. He must be the center of your life, the center of your marriage.
We fell in love very fast and knew immediately that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with one another.
But, there is more to it than that. There's reality.
So, I had serious questions that I asked while we were dating. I like to say that I "interviewed" him.
I wanted to know his religious convictions, his beliefs and where he was at spiritually.
I wanted to know where he stood politically on every issue. I wanted to know his priorities. 
I wanted to know what he envisioned our marriage looking like. 
I wanted and needed to know that we were the same when it came to core morals and values.
Personally, I could never be married to someone that shared different religious and political beliefs as me. I don't have a problem with people having different views, but for me, when it comes to the personal I'm going to spend the rest of my life with, I want to be on the same page.
My advice is to ask those tough questions when you're dating. You need to know. He needs to know.
We also were involved in couples small groups through our church for years and it was a huge help to have that support and accountability. 
Being involved in church brings you closer to God and closer together.
As far as living together...I'm old fashioned and I think it's best to wait until you are married to live with one another. However, I got married really young, so I was never in a situation where I really had to think about it. I have several friends who are engaged and living together. I don't know. I don't judge them because I think everyone needs to do what's best for them, but for me personally, I would rather wait until marriage if possible.
Premarital sex...well, again, ideally I think it's best to wait until marriage. I hate to spell this out on here because I know I have family that reads this, but I have to be honest. I did not wait and it is by far one of the biggest regrets in my life. I have so many friends that did wait and they have wonderful intimate lives. I have had some issues because I felt guilty for a long time. I know that God intends on us to wait, and if I had to do it over again I would have waited. Of course, just because I believe you should wait doesn't mean I'm judgmental to those who don't, obviously.

4. So my question is...is Brandon's brother single? ;-) Just kidding (kind of!). I know others have asked, but I would love to hear more of your story - how you met, etc.
Actually, Russell is single-I think. He lives in Vancouver, BC, so we don't get to see or talk to him much.
There are several of you single ladies that read that I would love for him to meet, but I don't really think he's into being set-up or being in a long distance relationship.
 By the way, I'm picking him up from the airport tonight and I am super excited to see him!! 

5. How is your relationship with your in-laws? As in your mother-in-law especially.
 My in-laws are really wonderful. I don't think we got off on the greatest start because we were so young when we got married and everyone was skeptical and I really don't blame them. They were the same age as us, a little younger actually, when they got married, so I think a part of them understood. I really do love my mother-in-law. She has been so good to me and is always so respectful of our space and she never tells me what she thinks I should do, even though I'm sure she may want to.
We can talk to each other about pretty much anything. Do we agree on everything? No. Do we have the same taste and same sense of humor? Usually not. But, I appreciate the things about her that make her different from me and true to herself. I love her because she helped create my husband, and he has so many of her qualities. I love her because she is gentle, patient, talented, intelligent and such a good peacemaker. I love her because she is my other mother and my friend.
Our families are from the same towns, so they very similar. My in-laws have always been so welcoming to me and I honestly can't remember what it was like to not have them in my life.
I hate it that you said your mother-in-law doesn't like you! She is truly missing out. My advice is to pray for the relationship-that God would open the door for growth and renewal. 
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to like us, but it really stinks when it's such an important family figure. Have you talked to her about it? Maybe just the two of you could get together for lunch or something and you could just lay it all out and ask if there's anything you've done to upset her over the years. I don't know...I'm going to pray for you and your situation because that really bothers me.

6. I noticed you don't have pictures of your dad much on your blog. What is your relationship with him like or do you have one? 
Deep stuff right here. I could write an autobiography on this topic. 
Basically I don't really have a relationship with my dad. This pains me and yet I am at peace with it.
I'm praying about and debating on whether or not I should answer this question any more in depth. 
Maybe I'll come back to this one...

I also got several questions about my diet/exercise/health routine, which I will be posting on at the beginning of the new year!
There were some veterinary questions as well, and I believe that Dr. Pinson has agreed to do a video for y'all answering the questions himself, so stay tuned for that. Not sure exactly when we'll be doing that, but it will be soon!
Thank you again for asking these questions! I hope that I haven't disappointed any of you with my answers, but I want you to know the real me. I want to be honest and I also want to glorify God through this blog, but I am not perfect. I know I've disappointed myself a lot in my life and if anyone else could learn from my mistakes then it's worth it. I certainly don't want to embarrass my family in any way, but I also want to be a role model to others and to do so I have to be honest.
Love you all.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9


  1. Thank you for doing these questions. You are truly an inspiration. I look forward to you new post everyday. Merry Christmas! Xo

    1. You are welcome, Jenny Beth! Thank YOU for your sweet words and for the encouragement. This brought tears to my eyes! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too! xoxo

  2. Appreciate your honesty. You are a great role model.


  3. Thanks so much for taking the time to open up your blog for questions, and for taking the time to honestly answer them.
    I am so happy that I found your blog, I look forward to your new posts everyday.

    1. You are so very welcome, Kelli! You are precious! Merry Christmas to you and your family!! xoxo

  4. I have enjoyed reading your story so much and it just affirms that you are beautiful inside and out! Merry Christmas, my friend!

    1. This made me cry, Michelle! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too, my friend :) xoxo

  5. I love your honesty, Cherish! I totally agree about the "interviewing" ... I don't know what decision I would have made differently, but I definitely wanted all that info going into an engagement. I know couples of different faiths, and they really struggle on how to raise their kids/what to celebrate/how to explain things. And there is no way I could live with Andrew if we majorly differed in regard to political opinions.
    Good post, and thanks again for your honesty!

    1. Thank you so much, Beth! You nailed it with your words on the "interview." You are so right about the issues that arise when children are involved. Have a very Merry Christmas!! xoxo

  6. Your honesty is beautiful - thank you for sharing! I enjoyed reading more about your story. Merry Christmas ~ prayers & blessings for you!

    1. Thank YOU, Becca! You are kind!! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!! xoxo

  7. Thank you for answering my question:) I think God has a great plan for you, for us all really:) You are too sweet to give us a peek into your life! Merry Christmas!

    1. You are quite welcome, Kathryn!! Thank you SO, SO much! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!! xoxo

  8. thank you so much cherish for answering these questions so honestly! you are such a wonderful example of a Christian woman for college girls like me to look up to. I hope you have wonderful Christmas!

    1. Allison, you are so welcome! Thank YOU for the encouragement-I needed it after writing such a post as this. You have made me day with your words. Truly, you have. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas, too!! xoxo

  9. Love your blog! Love all things southern! You mention that you are 5' 10", how tall is your hubby? You two are quite photogenic! Thanks for sharing...you seem very wise for your age and I bet you hear that often. Enjoy this awesome Christmas Holiday!!!

    1. Thank you SO much, Barbara!! You are sweet!! Brandon is just under 6'4" -so he's pretty, tall, too. I have heard that I'm wise for my age before, but I really do appreciate it each time I hear it. It humbles me to know that I have less room for error-haha. Seriously, you are precious and I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment such thoughtful words! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas, too!! xoxo

  10. Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! xoxo

  11. Hi! New reader here, hence commenting on an older post. I think its so fun you're both a UGA and Vols fan! Nothing wrong with that. I'm currently living and going to school at UT. If you plan on attending any games in the fall you'll have to keep me updated, I would love to meet! :)

    1. Hey! SO great to get to know you-thank you for introducing yourself! :) How awesome that you are going to UT! I will definitely let you know when we head to Knoxville next so that we can meet up! :) Have a blessed day! xoxo


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