Power Couple: Chris & Erika Ward

BY: - 15 Aug '13 | Couple's Spotlight

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I always learn new tips, tricks or advice when I do these couple interviews. They are always inspirational and full of fun and laughter. So chatting it up with Chris and Erika was no different. The Wards have been married almost eight years, and have their hands full with four kids (six-year-old twins, a four-year-old and an eight-month-old). She’s a well-known interior designer in Atlanta, and he’s a former NFL player, now coaching at Morehouse College.

In addition to all of this, they each own and operate a non-profit organization. Erika founded Room Service Atlanta whose focus is to give back to the city of Atlanta, one shelter at a time. Several local designers share their talents to create comfortable and relaxing interiors for homeless families.

The Transition Awareness Program (TAP) was founded by Chris as a result of what he experienced during his freshman year of college. TAP aims to increase the chances for student athletes to fulfill their potential and accomplish their goals as well as prepare them for campus life.

This lovely couple met…well, I’ll let them tell the story…

ChrisErikaWeddingChris: The real story, okay. Well, how we met…we met at my cousin’s wedding reception which is actually one of Erika’s sorors.

I was at the wedding and I saw Erika from afar (I did not know her name at the time). And she was sitting with one of her friends, and didn’t seem to have a date or anybody with her. So, whenever I could get my cousin’s attention, I asked her, ‘who is THAT over there?’ I pointed in the direction and she told me who she was and I told her she had to introduce me to her. So as time went on, my cousin finally introduced her…I think she pulled Erika, didn’t she pull you…?

Erika: Yes, and told me I was not allowed to leave until I met her cousin because she was not going to live it down if I left and we did not meet

[All laugh]

Chris: So, I finally met her and I walked her to her vehicle. I could tell she was kind of skeptical. I think she reluctantly exchanged numbers because I was the cousin [of her soror]. I think that was the only reason why she gave it to me.

Erika: Well, I wasn’t interested in dating anybody at the time and just as he said, I was getting ready to leave…literally, I mean I had my purse and I was headed towards the door and getting ready to kiss his cousin goodbye and she said, ‘Oh no, no you can’t go yet’. So she literally stopped me as I was on my way to my car.  but I gave him my information because like he said, he was her cousin.

He had been travelling overseas coaching football and we kept in contact via telephone for the most part and snail mail—by postcards, which was cool. I just thought we were becoming real good friends and I liked it that way. We saw each other maybe twice at the most in that six month period. Until I invited him to dinner, it was New Year’s Eve and I don’t know what made me invite him to dinner but I did.

Chris: Yes, during that time, let me clarify: we only saw each other two times, but that wasn’t my fault. I wanted to see her. She was usually busy, but I was trying my best to see her more than those two occasions.

Erika: I invited my cousin and her kids to go with us because I could tell he really liked me, but I wasn’t really interested in a relationship. I met him in July, he asked me in September if we could date exclusively, and I told him I wasn’t looking to date anybody right now. And he didn’t bug me about it, he just continued to be my friend. Sometimes it can be awkward especially when you tell a guy you’re not interested in him. They either don’t call anymore or they bring it up all the time. He did neither.

BMWK: Is that when she asked you to go out for dinner, Chris?

Chris: Yes, she asked me for dinner, she wanted to go to a restaurant, am I correct?

Erika: Yep, uh huh!

Chris: We met up at Houston’s so I thought to myself, New Year’s Eve, we’re going out to dinner, this is huge! You know what I mean? So we meet up at Houston’s, had a great dinner, great conversation. The moment when I knew that she was going to be my woman was when she ordered dessert—it was a pecan pie, right? With ice cream!

Erika: No, it was like an apple cobbler with ice cream.[laughs]

Chris:  So it was apple cobbler with ice cream, and she was eating it, and she was like, ‘Oh this is so good!’ She was just telling me how great it was and she wanted me to taste it. So she got her fork that she was using and she leaned over and told me to taste it with her fork! And I tasted it and I said YES! That was it! That was the turning point: when she let me eat off of her fork.

[All laugh]

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About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 144 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.


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  • Finally

    This is beautiful. Thank you for your story and your transparency.

    • http://www.momsncharge.com/blog/ Christine St. Vil

      Thanks so much for reading, I really enjoyed their transparency as well :)

  • Bolaji

    You guys are amazing! It’s great to read your story. You guys are an inspiration!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  • http://www.livelaughdecorate.com nikk

    Love these two. Quite the love story and an inspiration to all couples that marriage is hard work! You definitely need to be there through the ups and downs.

  • Tish

    Truly inspiring! Thanks for sharing! A 3-fold cord is not easily broken and they have the BEST bond in their marriage. May God continue to bless them.

  • Tracie

    Thanks for sharing your love story with all of us. I’ve always thought you were such an amazing couple. May God continue to bless your marriage and your family!!!

  • Des

    Proud to say that this beautiful couple are my cousins and their story is inspirational and a true testament that God is alive and orders our steps. They are truely a great example to all couples of their commitment to one another and their family and how Iron sharpens Iron (Prov. 27:17)

  • Somich

    Aside from the wonderful questions in this interview, what made me marvel is how much laughter there was. Loved it!!! Thank you.

  • Pingback: SPOUSAL SUPPORT: CREATING A SHARED WORKSPACE YOU BOTH ENJOY - BluLabel Bungalow | Interior Design Advice and Inspiration | BluLabel Bungalow | Interior Design Advice and Inspiration()

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WW2 Veterans Celebrate 66 Years of Marriage

BY: - 23 Aug '13 | Couple's Spotlight

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Odessa and Joe Marshall

Joe and Odessa Marshall both turned 90 years old this last spring and have been married for 66 years. While they both served in the military, they didn’t meet each other until a few years after the end of World War II.

In an interview with the Pocket News, they both shared such love for each other’s stories, often stopping to compliment the other.

“She looked great in a uniform and I got so attracted to her because of her personality. It was so different. I never met anybody like Odessa and I developed such a great respect for her. She’s still my little poochie poo,” Joe Marshall said about his lovely wife when they finally did meet back in the late 1940s.

But rewind. They didn’t meet in the army and much of this story has to do with their time in the army, a time when troops were segregated and Black women were just getting the opportunity to go overseas.

Joe Marshall went into the army in 1942 and was discharged in 1944. He was living in Mississippi at the time and then went to training post in Fort Riley, Kansas in the Calvary, where he got good training from his sergeant. He then went to headquarters in Breakaville, Texas before heading overseas. He was shipped to Africa where he stayed in Morocco and Tunisia. From there, he went to Sicily, then to Italy when the war ended in Japan. He was in the first troops from Europe to go to Japan.

“Mama — She has a totally different story. We didn’t know each other in the military. She was inducted, I think, in the same year,” Joe Marshall said.

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Odessa joined the army there and was inducted in Fort Leonard Wood.

“I just started school and I wanted to do something different. I was 18. To get in the army I had to put my age up. I had to be 20 to get into the army, but anyway I started in school,” Odessa Marshall recalled.

Read the full interview here on Valley Community Newspapers.

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BMWK Staff wrote 1127 articles on this blog.

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