Phillip and Yolanda have been together for 10 years, married 5 years.

Who talked to who first? Phillip: I spoke to Yolanda first.

Who said “I love you” first? Phillip: I said I love you first.

Did you go to the same school? Phillip: We went to college together (Baker University but we weren’t into each other then)

Where do you go the most as a couple? Saint Mark UMC

Who is more social? Phillip: I’m the social butterfly, Yolanda enjoys alone time. Yolanda: Definitely, Phillip and people truly enjoy being around him. If I never had to leave our house, I’d be happy.

Who is the neat-freak? Yolanda : We both enjoy a clean house Phillip was raised to make his bed when he gets out of it so at time’s he will even tidy up his side of the bed if I’m still in the bed. I’m a minimalist, Phil collects a little bit of everything and it drives me nuts but he keeps it extremely organized.

Who is the most stubborn? Phillip: Me, but then I will come around! Yolanda: I tell God on him and keep it pushing! He will defend his point until death…lol. We used to argue about a little bit of everything, but thank God we have learned to love more and be bitter less.

Who wakes up earlier? Phillip: By far I do since I must be at work earlier. Yolanda: I wake up at 4 a.m. but I doze back off sooooooo technically, I wake up earlier but I am definitely not a morning person.

Where was your first date? Phillip: First date was at Old Chicago in Old Town first dinner date was Sweet Basil; Yolanda: We lost a game night at church because he didn’t get this answer right, glad to know he finally remembers correctly.

Who has the craziest exes? Phillip: Personally I think it’s a tie. Yolanda: He does, he is really good friends with one of my exes. I appreciate the respect they have for each other and the maturity in which they deal with our blended family.

What is your secret to making marriage work? Phillip: To me it’s been God and communication. Yolanda: When we led our relationship, we loved selfishly. With God at the head of our relationship we love selflessly. We are accountable to more than ourselves and we do our best not to disappoint God, so it has helped our bond.

How did you decide on the household chores? Phillip: I try to do the traditional things like take the trash out, cut the grass, bring in the groceries and she does laundry but, my wife gets in the middle and shares it all with me if she is not busy with work or preparing a sermon. Yolanda: We are a dynamic duo, neither of us are afraid of hard work, and we enjoy being with each other, so if he’s cutting grass, so am I – if he washes the laundry, I fold it. Team work. Makes the dream work! Don’t tell him, but I help as much as possible so we can get done quicker and I can have him back to myself.

What do you appreciate about your spouse that you did not know when you first married? Phillip: Her grind is like no other and I respect the hard work that she puts in everyday. Yolanda: He will support me through any and everything.

What aspect of marriage were you most pleasantly surprised by? Phillip: How we came together and built a wonderful home after a few years of getting ourselves out of debt, the willingness to make sure we were both ready for that journey. Yolanda: We are a team, there is no hidden agenda’s and we want each other to win. We go hard for each other and our children. He’s the yin to my yang; where I’m weak, he’s strong and it works!

What do you think is the most challenging part of being married? Phillip: Trying to out love the other. Yolanda: Keeping things fresh and not falling into a mundane routine. I want to be his girlfriend, forever!

What has been the greatest obstacle you have faced over the years? Phillip: We are a blended: I have 3 kids and she has 5. I would say different parenting styles is a huge obstacle that we both adapted to and overcame. Yolanda: Uniting our families and learning our unique roles in our bonus children’s lives, WHILE not allowing the challenges to tear us apart.

What’s one thing that your spouse does that makes you feel glad you married? Phillip: My wife is and has been a church-going person and it was her that kind of brought me back to the doors of the church and since being back it has been a blessing that I have been missing out on. Yolanda: I can depend on him …this man changed my flat tire in a ice and snow storm while his foot was in a cast.

What advice would you have liked to receive before marriage? Phillip: Speak to God more often when she doesn’t listen. Yolanda: Rome wasn’t built in a day – be patient and don’t give up!

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