The J & L Story
—The Love Series—

Our story... told as if in a series of wines with a new release each year!

New Beginnings 2013

It all started as a chance meeting via the wonders of the interwebs when two souls, who had missed each other all their lives, finally decided to find one another. Their journey led them to a quaint little café in the foothills of central Virginia where a connection was immediately made. That connection grew deeper over time until a love had blossomed. From this love emerged…and continues to emerge…many moments and memories of joy, beauty, laughter, and of course, love. Enjoy these New Beginnings with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

New Adventures 2014

The J & L story continues as their hearts drew nearer and their love grew stronger. Joey, born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, spent his childhood summers on the South Carolina coast and yearned to be back. Laura, born in Texas and raised in Massachusetts and Virginia, spent her adult summers exhaling deeply from the craziness of teaching and yearned for a really good vacation. Both yearned for something different. And that’s when the sea called. And the principal of a high school on the Grand Strand of South Carolina, offering Laura a new job teaching theatre, her true passion. They answered the call together and moved to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Joey was back at the beach and Laura finally got her really good vacation. Adventure was afoot. Enjoy these New Adventures with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

A New Home 2015

With a year at the beach under their belts (as well as several pounds too, due to all the delicious seafood the Grand Strand has to offer and Joey’s yummy cooking), a new home was in order. A cute cottage bungalow in Conway caught their eye, proudly positioned under a huge live oak tree dripping with Spanish moss. This charming edifice beckoned them home, promising stability, serenity, and sanctuary. With the help of a fantastic real estate agent, this dreamy abode became their very own. It also became an incredible canvas on which Laura was able to release her creative soul and bring her interior design visions to life. A happy home was in the works. Enjoy this New Home with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

Conway Living 2016

The story deepens as Joey and Laura fell in love with Conway, South Carolina—its quaint Southern downtown, friendly people, and gorgeous scenery and natural resources. Many a day and night were spent meandering along the Riverwalk by the Waccamaw River, strolling through the tree-lined streets admiring the beautiful homes, and visiting historic sites and museums. Joey, so enamored with his new city, launched, showcasing the people, places, and spaces that makes this sweet town “on the way to the beach” such a treasure. The site was a hit, and he quickly became known for his stunning scenic photography. Joey’s photos were even featured in Grand Strand Magazine and in the WPDE 15 Weather Calendar. As well, his breathtaking “Down by the Bridge in Fall” photo continues to be regularly featured as the backdrop for the weather segments on WPDE 15! Joey’s photography makes Laura so happy, as they both share a love for the arts and creating beautiful moments for people to enjoy. Enjoy Conway Living with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

The New Designs 2017-2019

Through their mutual love of old things (Laura often says this is why she loves Joey…because he’s old!), Joey and Laura breathed new life into their old home. With a sander, saw, and hammer in hand, Laura’s renovated room designs were worthy of a magazine cover. While removing and replacing molding, adding wall treatments, and sanding and staining hardwood floors (among many other things!), they were able to create a feeling of cozy warmth in their little 1950 bungalow. This was not without its struggles though. Many days were spent trying to remove extra wood added to the dining room floor, as well as repairing some badly damaged boards, picking about a million staples out of the floors, as well as scraping stubborn paint, melted carpet foam (the South Carolina sun can be brutal!), and wallpaper off of nearly every floor and surface! Joey was always such an encouragement throughout the whole process, amidst Laura’s ebb and flow of frustration and irritability—he always reminded her of her design talent and bragged about her skills on social media. Because of this, their love flowed stronger, building resilience on which to design and create a life together. So much so, that Joey proposed to Laura on August 6, 2019!! She said YES, of course, and looked forward to planning a wedding and all that the future would hold. Little did she know what would happen next (spoiler alert: 2020) that would put the kibosh on any wedding plans for the foreseeable future. But, spoiler alert again: it all works out! Enjoy the New Designs with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

The Crazy Years 2020-2021

And then 2020 happened. Followed by a teensy weensy less brutal 2021. Enough said. Ya’ll know. Next. BUUUTTTT….before we move on, something sweet, precious, and beautiful did come out of the COVID lockdowns, and that was some very special visitors…three baby opossums! They somehow got separated from their mother and decided to make Joey and Laura’s home their own, living under the house via the HVAC system. Eventually two, Piper and Pickles, went their separate ways, but the third, Perry, stayed for almost three months, coming back everyday around 4 PM for his daily meal. Despite popular belief, opossums are actually very gentle creatures and extremely beneficial for the ecosystem. Then in early 2021, Joey and Laura had to say goodbye to their precious furbaby, Hadley. She was 16 and had lived a wonderful life, blessing them with so much joy for so many years, but it was her time to cross the Rainbow Bridge, where her body was restored, and she was able to run free again without any pain. Even out of craziness comes blessings, beauty, and renewal, so enjoy The Crazy Years with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

The Rising Phoenix 2022

Just like the hero in an action movie, the world slowly walked out of the rubble that was 2020 and 2021, with the dust still settling behind. Lockdowns, multiple bouts of COVID, too many quarantines to count, distance learning/teaching, and fewer times with family and friends left Joey and Laura feeling like they were actually living in Seinfeld’s Bizarro World. The world turned upside down and it took its toll on everyone. When toilet paper futures are trading higher than gold, you know something’s wrong! But like the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes, Joey and Laura too have risen from the ashes of the pandemic and are stronger for it. Laura even chose to change schools and begin a new drama program in a school where there was none before, working hard to help young people realize their true potential. Joey’s loving support and continued hard work in his businesses helped them both navigate through this challenging, yet hopeful time, in their lives. And through all of this, God was preparing them for the next very special season of their lives together! As always, enjoy The Rising Phoenix with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!

New Beginnings 2.0 2023

After a decade together, doing life together, learning together, the ups and downs, the trials and the tribulations, the tears and the laughter, Joey and Laura have found that they have come full-circle, and are now back at another New Beginning. The big news is this is the year of their wedding! It almost didn’t happen, and in fact, was postponed once and almost postponed twice, but they were able to make it happen this year, October 14, 2023. It’s the reason you’re here anyway, reading this, IF you’ve gotten this far! But the big, BIG news is that Laura decided to resign from her teaching position, from the career she has had for the past 20 years. There’s a lot to unpack there, but the bottom line is she made the right move for both she and Joey and their life moving forward, post 10.14.23. Laura plans on continuing to teach but in different ways—local children’s theatres and maybe some work with a local charter school that’s focused on the arts. But she will also be embracing her other passion—houses and interior design, including furniture design and refinishing, upholstery, and creating home décor. She is also currently taking the course to become a licensed real estate agent. She is excited about this new beginning and is looking forward with new vision. Joey has also made quite a few changes. He has always wanted to do more business ventures with Laura and now he’s gotten his wish! Hopefully, they won’t get too sick of each other! Joey is also working to become a real estate agent, and together, both he and Laura will create a powerhouse team in the housing market with their collective talents and skills. In addition, he is embracing his other passions as well—golf and teaching—and is giving golf lessons online. So, wherever you may be in the world playing golf, Joey can help! Both Joey and Laura are very excited and hopeful for their new future together—where God guides, God provides! Enjoy the New Beginnings 2.0 with good friends, family, and happy times full of fun!



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