In life, friends are vital for a myriad reasons including help, support and encouragement.
But for Merle and Mandy Kidwell, their friends helped them create a forever with one another.
The two began their relationship over text after getting fixed up by mutual friends.
Their first in-person date was an impromptu dinner at Applebee’s with their friends, Jeff and Reen.
Although Merle knew that Mandy was special after just one date, it wasn’t until their second date that he knew she was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
After watching Mandy interact with his two kids, Carson and Kate, at Gattiland, Merle knew what a spectacular addition Mandy would be to their family.
For Merle, Mandy was a miracle in their lives. And in 2013, another miracle happened: the birth of their child, Selah.
As both a wife and a mother, Mandy is remarkable. “She is a great mother,” Merle said. “She is always putting our family first in everything.”
With their kids, Merle and Mandy are a great team. And alone, they love doing fun things with each other. Whether that be going out to dinner, traveling or listening to live music, time spent together is a treasured moment.
Some memories that are especially exceptional to Merle are their honeymoon, their trip to Nashville, their trips to Disney with the kids and their nights out with friends.
Merle still reminisces on the flat tire incident during the honeymoon when Mandy attempted to fix it in the cold weather as Merle called AAA.
This moment stood out to Merle because it reminded him of how independent and perseverant, she is. “She is a natural born leader,” Merle said.
Mandy is a woman of principle and Merle is always impressed by her work ethic and her love for others. She has a special quality to help others and she will always fight for what she feels is right.
But while it’s in her nature to help those that she loves, she also loves doing things for herself.
For instance, Merle is amazed at her dedication to exercising. Mandy does it all: biking, running, yoga, hiking.
She is always pushing Merle to be healthy and he appreciates that she looks out for him and pushes him outside of his comfort zone.
Together, they help elevate one another. Their shared love of family is unmatched.
“Mandy, I love you with all of my heart and appreciate all you have done for me and the kids. I love that you have pushed me to be better and to accept change in our lives.” – Merle