Date Night: Jeff & Shanna Hodgin

1. How did you meet?
Shanna: We lived in the same 3755 Student Squadron on Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX.
Jeff: 3755th Student Squadron, Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX.
2. Was it love at first sight? 
Shanna: Don’t tell him but I’m afraid so.
Jeff: I’m not sure I believe in love at first sight, but it was close.
When did you know that this was the “one” and you were going to get married?
Shanna: When I went to Okinawa to visit him.
Jeff: Around six months after dating when she flew to Okinawa to visit.

4. Was it always marital bliss?
Shanna: Nope. We’ve had our ups and downs like any relationship. It’s ok to think every once in a while “I’ve had enough! He’s driving me crazy!” but we’re not going anywhere.  He’s a good husband and we have a good marriage and I’m thankful for him.
Jeff: No, but it gets better as we get older.
5. What one thing do you feel has made your relationship successful?
Shanna: I believe our like mindedness with our relationship with our God has been foundational for our marriage. We might argue or fuss and sometimes even agree to disagree but we have a common foundation who grounds us and binds us together.
Jeff: Trying to have fun. Don’t be so serious. Enjoy each other’s differences. You don’t have to be exactly alike. Our differences make life fun.
6. How long have you been married?
Shanna: We were married on Sept 1, 1989 so 27 years.
Jeff: 27 ½ years

7. Tell us one thing about the two of you that not many people know.
Shanna: We were married in Okinawa. We have a Japanese marriage certificate. It was neat to watch the old Okinawan man write our names in Japanese with the brush dipped in the ink. We’ve always assumed he wrote our names.
Jeff: We were married over a year before we met the other one’s family.
8. What do you like to do for date night?
Shanna: We go on a lot of dates. We are young empty nesters. We started young and now are enjoying dating. We like to go on picnics to wineries or just anywhere along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I do enjoy going to Bia’s for a wonderful meal and a cosmopolitan for dessert.
Jeff: Go someplace you are not familiar with and stay overnight. We don’t go to chain restaurants.

9. Tell us what your most memorable date was and why?
Shanna:  A long time ago (1990) in a land far, far away (Okinawa) after a formal awards dinner we changed into jeans and went to the Sea Wall. It was late at night and we were facing the East China Sea. We just sat there and talked and watched the ocean but it is one of my favorite memories together. More recently, we enjoyed a sunny day at the Sierra Nevada brewery near Asheville. We drank and played games outside and enjoyed the sunshine.
Jeff: It was a date weekend to D.C. during the Fourth of July. We went to see the fireworks around the Lincoln Memorial.

10. Please share some words of wisdom on relationships.
Shanna:
• Try to out serve the other.
• Don’t expect perfection.
• Know their intent is good.
• Don’t be easily offended.
• Know that they are doing the best they can where they are. We all have issues and baggage that we bring into any relationship.
• Always assume the best in everyone.
Jeff: Relationships are never easy. Couples need to learn to communicate without hurting the other person but also need to be honest with each other.  Don’t use the words “never” or “always” in ways to express how your partner acts; such as “You always …” or “You never…”.

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