By Anita Debro
Special to the Birmingham Times
“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone who would, please send nominations to Ariel Worthy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
WHITNEY AND DON MOSELY
Married: September 20, 2014
Met: Following the devastating April 27, 2011 tornadoes that wreaked havoc on Alabama, Don, a native of Houma, Louisiana, and Whitney, a native of Eufaula, volunteered for storm clean up in a neighborhood in Clay. Don saw Whitney first. “She was lifting a log and I just went over and helped her out,” he said. Whitney said she appreciated the help and was happy to meet someone else out volunteering. “I was impressed that he was taking his time to help other people,” she said. That day, Don asked Whitney for her number. He called a couple of days later and they planned a date.
First date: Whitney and Don agreed to a movie date in Hoover. “I remember he did a little spin around and said ‘how are you’ at the movie theater,” she recalled of Don’s playful hello. The two were joined by Whitney’s friend and her boyfriend. The couple can’t recall what they watched at the movie. “We just wanted to spend time together,” he said. After the movie, the couple sat in his car and talked about an hour before deciding to continue the date at the Waffle House, Don’s favorite breakfast spot, where they talked and ate into the wee hours. “We just wanted to see more of one another,” he said.
Dating: “She kept me running after her after that first date,” Don remembered.
Whitney said she and Don were both busy students when they began dating. She was completing her prerequisite classes at University of Alabama at Birmingham, in order to apply for the nursing program and he was finishing up his undergrad degree at Miles College and preparing for the Birmingham School of Law. “We realized we both had a lot in common,” Whitney said. They are both very family oriented. Don is from a big family in Louisiana and Whitney has a small, tight-knit family in Eufaula. Whitney said they had to make time to date because of busy schedules since both were focused on finishing school. “We just said why not do this together,” Don said.
The proposal: “She is from a very traditional family,” Don said. “So I made sure, three months prior to proposing, to ask her dad.” Her dad agreed, saying it was going to be his responsibility to take care of Whitney now.
After receiving permission from Whitney’s father, Don planned a surprise gathering for the family on the day before Whitney’s birthday. But the family knew this was not a birthday celebration, rather it was a surprise proposal. Don took Whitney to her grandmother’s house for the celebration and when she arrived her family yelled “Surprise!” There was a birthday cake, but when Whitney turned around to look at Don, he was down on one knee, preparing to ask for her hand in marriage.
“I was surprised,” Whitney said. “I wasn’t even expecting a birthday party. He did a great job of planning that under my nose,” she said. The day after the proposal — Whitney’s birthday— the couple went to the beach.
The wedding: The couple married at Bluff Park United Methodist in Hoover. What she remembers most about that day was a small gesture made by Don. “On the morning of the wedding, he called and checked on me,” she said. “I was in the middle of getting my hair done and he just called to see if everything was ok and if I was good.”
For Don, he remembers talking to Whitney’s father that day. Her father reminded Don of his new responsibilities to Whitney. “I also remember her walking down the aisle and I was just thinking ‘Wow this is actually happening.’”
Words of Wisdom: They had good example of marriages to observe growing up, Whitney said. “I always admired my parent’s marriage,” she said. From watching her parents she learned how important communication and trust are to a successful coupling.
“Live, laugh and love each other as much as possible,” Don said. He said laughter is a key ingredient to maintaining a healthy relationship. “Laughter keeps the spirit up,” he said. “If I can keep her smiling, then I have done my job.”
Happily ever after: Don, a graduate of Birmingham School of Law, works for the City of Birmingham as the executive assistant in intergovernmental affairs in the Mayor’s Office. He hopes to open his own law practice. Whitney is a unit support specialist for Children’s of Alabama’s NICU. She is also pursuing a doctoral degree as a nurse practitioner with an interest in cardiology. Whitney is also a human resource specialist in the Army Reserve for nine years. The couple has three children — son Tyler, 6; daughter Kennedy, 5; and son Aaron, 7 months— and a “fur baby,” a dog named Charlie. They enjoy family time together and when they have a babysitter they like to go out in Birmingham or Atlanta. “We go Groupon dating,” Whitney said, referring to the site that offers discounts on activities.
The couple fondly recalled an anniversary outing that had them riding Don’s motorcycle to Atlanta. “It was hot going there, but freezing coming back,” he said. They were not prepared for the cold, so Don gave Whitney his jacket. “I remember she was just clinging to me in the cold and I would not have made it without her holding on to me.” Riding home in the cold with him was worth it, she said. “We had a great time.”