Our Story

Doug and I met in the 5th grade when he moved from a few hours away. We became friends in the 9th grade when he was a wrestler for the Hewitt-Trussville Junior High team and I was a MatMaid for the wrestling team (we cheered, kept score, cleaned sweaty mats, etc. for the wrestlers). Now his memory on dates, events, etc. far exceeded mine so I may be slightly off in telling our story, but just know that my facts are as close to accurate as I can be.
We became best friends our sophomore year at Clay-Chalkville High School. By junior year we were an official couple thanks to his relentless pursuits  We were inseparable. He played football while I was at the games dancing on the danceline. We rode to and from school each day that was possible with each other. I got my 1st job with him at Lonestar Steakhouse, to which I shortly got my 2nd job with him at Winn Dixie. He would bag as I would cashier. We had so much fun people would call the store complementing our joint customer service (work was fun together). By senior year in high school (1998/1999) we scheduled as many classes as we could together. Yes, we were that couple. We were voted on the homecoming court together. He was voted our class funniest guy.
I was accepted into Auburn University, had my roommate, and was planning to attend. But in the end I couldn’t leave Doug for that extended period of time. I told you, we were that couple. So I stayed in town and went to UAB after high school graduation while Doug got a job with UPS and began his studies at Jeff State. This is where Brain Callans came into Doug’s life. From day 1 Doug looked up to Brian. Doug wanted to be just like him, in a mentor kind of way. He began working for Brian’s valet company and I worked valet as well on a few occasions. Again, we were that couple. Fast forward to December 24, 2001 when Doug proposed. We never doubted that we would marry. Sure, there were bumps in the road, but we never claimed to be perfect.
On June 21, 2003 we married on the beach, which was my dream wedding location. It rained, but was still a perfectly imperfect day. Throughout the 1st 6 years of our marriage we bought 3 homes, and added several petbabies to our family: 3 goats, 1 pot-bellied pig, 1 cat, 5 dogs, fish, etc. (not all at one time). There was always the question of when we were going to add babies to our family. That answer came in the form of a surprise to us in May 2009. We began trying earlier in 2009 and were told by a primary care Dr. that some issues may not allow for kids. So we stopped our efforts. Decided it wasn’t God’s time. Oh, but apparently a few months later it was His time. In a week’s time we went from celebration of 3 positive home pregnancy tests and a positive hospital lab test(after the initial shock wore off), to feeling devastated at the possibility of a miscarriage, only to find out at 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant we had not 1 but 2 healthy heartbeats growing! At that news we both went into instant laughter of joy. The ultrasound tech said that wasn’t her usual reaction to the news of twins.
At 24 weeks and 4 days into the pregnancy we were tested yet again. My water broke, because apparently Sawyer was trying to push Braddock out of the womb. This was our biggest challenge to date. I was put on immediate bed rest in the hospital and we were somberly told by the neonatologist of the boys chances of survival at that point. Each day was filled with prayers and each day we made it without delivery was a blessing and a miracle. Almost 8 weeks of living in the hospital on bed rest is what the rest of the pregnancy consisted of. Doug would work full days as a UPS Driver then come to the hospital late at night after his shift. When he finally got home each night he had to learn to live the life of a single man again after over 6 years of marriage. He took care of our dogs, did all the laundry, cleaning, etc. With the help of our great friends he got the nursery done, crib assembled, furniture moved, walls painted, etc. All while I was in the hospital. And on weekends he was with me and his nights consisted of sleeping on a cot that was not meant for a man of his size in my hospital room floor.
The boys were born at almost 32 weeks and stayed in the NICU a month and a month and a half. More trying times for new parents, as well as Doug still working full shifts as a driver to come visit our sons in the NICU after his long work day during those last visitation hours of the day (this was Christmas season, after all, the busiest time for UPS employees and drivers). In the end our 3 lb 15 oz and 4 lb 5 oz fighters grew to be perfect healthy little boys. We knew they had a good chance because big Doug himself was a 3 lb preemie.
Fast forward through 4 birthdays, 4 fathers days, celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary, 4 seasons of baseball for the twins, countless sleepless nights, fights, make-ups, tears, laughter, many memories, and here we are. At the age of 33, on September 23, 2014 a person walked into UPS and shot and killed Doug and Brian. 2 men who dedicated their lives to UPS. 2 amazing men. 2 innocent men. 2 very loved men. Doug had over 900 people attend his funeral and I know Brian had a high number as well. It is still so unreal that this is my life. The man that has been by my side for over 17 years (and as a friend even longer) is gone. The father of our 2 perfect boys who look and act just like him. Gone. I planned his funeral. I picked out his casket. Wrote his obituary. I attempted to pick out his suit for that day and found myself in a heap on our closet floor. His family thankfully took over that daunting task for me. I picked out his music. And man that was tough because Doug loved music. I picked out his plot marker for his grave and what it would say. All the things that come with planning a funeral. And thankfully I always had people by my side to help me through this and give advice. I was not alone. I am one of MANY who will be grieving the loss of Doug permanently. Never would I think I would be doing these things for Doug at the age of 33. He had so much life left. He was the life of the party anywhere he went. He was moving even further up in the management chain at work. He was full of goals, be it day-to-day or life goals in general. His mind was always active. We used to joke about that. He survived on an average of 4 hours of sleep a night due to his work schedule, his always ringing cellphone, and his active mind. This blog post would turn into a novel if I wrote of every memory of Doug and every awesome thing he did for people. I began this blog as a form of a baby book for the boys and blogging about their daddy will contribute to this. Who knows, I may separately write things for them to keep in hopes of their memory never fading of him. That is my biggest fear. They hero worshipped him…he could do no wrong in their eyes, and I want them to forever remember him that way. It’s a day-to-day thing with the boys. Some days they are very angry with Jesus for taking their daddy (to which of course I correct them that Jesus needed him, not to be mad at him). They ask often for details of Daddy’s accident at work. I will not specify and luckily little 5 year old brains move on quickly. I dread the day when they find out or demand from me to know. To find out they were robbed of growing up with their daddy by their side. I feel there will be anger and rage to come from this. I pray they will continue on a positive path throughout life and not let this horrible act by evil done to their Dad affect them negatively. I know the future will be a challenge. Every minute of every day is already a challenge. I still want to call him on the phone when something happens that makes me think of him. I still expect him to pull in the drive way some days when he should be getting home from work. I still hear his voice in the house when he should be here carrying on conversations with us like a normal day.
I took the boys to visit Doug’s grave this past weekend for the 1st time since the funeral. I normally go alone to see his grave. That was hard. Man, the questions that came out of their 5 year olds mouths. And when I told them to say bye they attempted to hug the ground. Nope, we are not okay. But we are surviving. Because that is all that we can do. With love, and support, and faith, and prayer, and God and each other we will carry on the memories and legacy of Doug Hutcheson.

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About twicethekisses

I am learning daily the joys and trials of raising twin boys. This blog is to document the journey that includes double of everything, including twice the kisses.
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