Long ago, in 1981, was born a wee baby girl. Her name was Julie and she grew up in a tiny town just over the Tennessee state line called Greenhill, Alabama, outside the more notable city, Florence. Julie grew up with two incredible parents Linda and Ronnie and in the middle of two sisters, Anna and Audrey.
She grew up playing softball, taking piano lessons, art lessons, and very much being into style (usually a year later than they were cool). She was very detail-obsessed: wouldnt put on her shoes until her socks were at the same height, always ALWAYS wore a hairbow that matched her outfit, made sure all the “pumps” were out of her ponytail, and refused to go to the mailbox without fixing her hair. She was probably described as a girly girl, but wasnt afraid to get outside and play in the dirt. Laying out house plans in the backyard out of pine needles with her sisters is one of her favorite memories.
When Julie grew up a little, she got very into the arts. Her parents put her in private painting lessons and encouraged her creativity in all things. Julie played the flute, piccolo and xylophone in the high school band, and learned to play one song on the guitar: Feliz Navidad.
After high school Julie attended Northwest Shoals Community College for one year singing with a performing group, with a genius name: The Singers.
The Singers traveled all over the area singing, of all things, and even got lucky and performed at Carnegie Hall. Julie’s first trip to NYC, which she now dearly loves.
After a year of turning down record deals with The Singers, Julie transferred to Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN, where her older sister was a student. It was there that Julie fell in love with mission work and even more in love with the Lord. Although it was a very conservative and strict university than might be comfortable for some, Julie credits her time there with who she is today. She began her official studies as a Math major, minoring in Computer Science, hoping to one day build rockets for NASA, but ultimately only learned to write a program to balance her checkbook. When she’d had enough of that nonsense, she remembered how much she liked art and switched her studies to Graphic Design.
In the last years of college and afterward, Julie spent many years traveling the world doing mission work, moving to Nashville and living an abundantly blessed life.
Cameron Blake was born LONG before Julie was. In 1980. NINETEEN EIGHTY! So much older
than Julie. Wow.
Blake was born in backwoods Culleoka, TN to wonderful, loving parents, Ralph and Peggy, and two older siblings, Heath and Summer.
From what I hear, Blake was an angel! At least that’s what his parents thought (hey, I dont know, I’m just the writer reporting on evidence I’ve seen and heard-- *cough* SummerAndHeathSaidSo *cough*). Blake came into the world with dark hair and big brown eyes. Some reports say “The most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen!” and that was from a woman who wasn’t even related to Blake. He grew up a gentle lad, loving animals, especially his childhood dog, Nick. Blake spent much of his time outdoors, except for when he’d go inside to change clothes after he’d gotten dirty, or to catch the latest episode of Days of Our Lives. You’re probably asking yourself how Blake grew up to be so manly, and trust me, I’ve asked myself the same question. Julie says he’s manly, so I’m going with what she said.
Blake grew up a Boy Scout, learning to build a fire with a bar of soap and a carrot stick or something like that, learning to serve others and work hard. Blake spent his growing years working on the family farm baling hay, feeding chickens, and taking care of bottle calves.
He, too, was a big fan of art early in life. He mastered Microsoft Paint at an early age, painting a blue Batman with a day-old scruff. Blake designed a logo and painted it on his go-cart when he was 10 years old, and as a freshman, designed his high school’s mascot. In high school, he played a little bit of b-ball, cruised the Columbia, TN strip with friends in his red Jeep Wrangler, learned to play guitar and went on lots of dates.
Blake knew all along where he wanted to take his career. He wanted to be a professional dater. KIDDING! He spent one year at Columbia State Community College then transferred to Middle Tennessee State University and began his studies in Graphic Design and Photography.
After college Blake moved to Nashville and traveled to some far away, exotic places, and then in 2010 met Julie. That’s an interesting story…
In April of 2010 Blake met a girl named Betsy at a concert in Nashville. They exchanged some flirting and exchanged their numbers. They went out a few times, and during those dates, Betsy would talk about her friend Julie and how Julie and Blake had much in common. They were both designers and had similar taste in style and seemed to have similar personalities. After a few dates, Blake invited Betsy to meet some of his friends at a cookout in Franklin, TN. Betsy didnt want to go alone, so she took her best friend Julie.
Julie decided to go with Betsy and meet this Blake Allen. They were instant friends, making jokes, aggravating each other. Julie thought “Way to go, Betsy! I wish this Blake guy had a clone”. A few days after Julie met Blake, she left the country for 3 weeks to teach English in Thailand. But before she left, Blake & Betsy fizzled, and Blake invited Julie to hang out. Julie turned him down saying she wouldn’t do that to her best friend. Blake cried a LOT, but didnt let it stop his pursuit. Before she left, Julie told her friend Kara, that she couldnt figure out if Blake was a creep or if it was fate, but that if it were fate, the only way it would be ok for her to go out with him was if Betsy started dating a guy Julie used to like. We’ll call him “Loop Hole”. So Julie went on her trip and thought about Blake a few times, but still wondered if he might be a loser for asking out the best friend of the girl he just dated.
In the last days of Julie's trip abroad, she got an email from Betsy saying they needed to talk. Julie was very worried that Betsy was going to break up their friendship because that creepy dude, Blake, had asked her out. So when Julie got back from the airport, Betsy came over that same night to have this discussion. Julie was nervous, but played it cool.
Betsy wasn’t sad that she and Blake fizzled. Not at all. She’d moved on—to the guy that Julie had said was the ONLY Loop Hole for her being able to go out with Blake. Betsy just wanted to ask Julie if it bothered her that she go out with Loop Hole, even though Julie used to like him. WHAT?!?!?!?!
So Julie said, “Uhmm, yeah, please do.”
About a week later Betsy and some friends were headed to a concert and Betsy invited Julie along. She said she thought Blake had an extra ticket, so she called him to secure it for Julie. Betsy was unaware at this point that Blake had asked Julie out before her trip, and that she'd turned him down. So Betsy innocently told her “Hey, I want you to go to this concert and Blake will be there, and Loop Hole will be there, and it’ll be awkward so I’m gonna need you to flirt with Blake so that it’s not weird that I’m here with another dude.” Julie obliged. Energetically.
And that, my friends, is how Julie and Blake came to be. A weird twist of fate, or as I like to call it, the Lord’s intricate and exciting plan for both our lives.
We are SO happy to have found each other. The things we have in common would blow your mind, and we truly feel that God led us through this life intentionally, tho some of the times were terribly trying, and brought us together in HIS perfect timing.
“He makes all things beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11