First of all, we would like to THANK all of the lovely contestants who entered our “Tell Us Your Love Story” Contest. Each story made us smile, some made us cry, and all made us think of the real meaning of Love. We loved hearing how as couples, you have made it through the trials and tribulations that life always seems to throw our way. We enjoyed reading people who claimed their love was “ordinary”, yet in reality, it was extraordinary. Taking the time to enjoy cups of coffee, watching Netflix movies on the couch, stolen glances over mac and cheese, watching your partner parent your child, etc. These are all the day to day activities that many take for granted, but in reality are the big moments that mean so very much.
Our judges found it so very difficult to choose a winner when all were so great and heartfelt. However we kept returning to one story. This story was a fan favorite from the start. This couples story actually touched the hearts of one of the fellow couples so deeply, they selflessly asked to be removed from the contest as they did not want to compete against this couple. They felt that based on the sacrifices that this couple had made, not only to each other, but to our country – that they deserved the WIN.
With that being said – we would like to congratulate Jake and Brittni Rideout for winning The Combsberry Inn “Tell Us Your Love Story” Contest. Jake, we would like to thank you for your service to our country. Brittni, we would like to thank you for being his rock. It will be an honor for us to have you as our guests! You have won a free nights stay at The Combsberry Inn anytime during the 2015 Calendar Year. While here, you will be treated like royalty and will be given the best available room on the date selected, wine, chocolates, homemade bath salts and scrubs and a photo shoot on our beautiful, historic grounds. As a very special surprise the ever so talented Karena Dixon, of Karena Dixon Photography, has graciously offered to shoot these photographs! Karenas availability may vary from the Inns, therefore your photo shoot may be scheduled with her individually.
Again, we would like to applaud all of the lovely couples who participated in the “Tell Us Your Love Story” Contest. Our contestants have shared with us some very personal parts of themselves, which is not always the easiest thing to do. For that, we THANK YOU. It has been such a joy reading your stories. They have touched us and inspired us. To all of our Love Story Contestants, we are offering a 25% discount on a future stay at Combsberry Inn – Oxford, Maryland within the 2015 Calendar year. Should you book, we will make sure to roll out the red carpet for you and include a bottle of wine and flowers in your room. We graciously thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. We are resharing Jake and Brittni Rideouts Love Story below and all the other entries may be viewed on our Facebook Page.
Jake and Brittni Rideouts Love Story
Our story goes back almost 10 years, to high school where we became high school sweethearts. We first met in sixth grade, and I knew without a doubt I would marry that boy one day. Jake and I were the typical high school sweethearts, he was the football player and I was the cheerleader. We were young but also very crazy in love with one another, and we knew nothing could stand in the way of being together. Upon graduation, Jake began thinking of joining the Marine Corps. It was not an idea that I was fond of, but I was prepared to support his decision no matter what. A few months later, the day came where we had to experience our first “see you later.” He went off to Paris Island and three months later the boy I was in love with became a Marine. Countless trips were made back and forth between Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and Delaware, where I was attending college. This is what we came to know as our “normal” until the day we got the news Jake would be deploying.
The day came, once again, that I had to tell the boy that I loved with all my heart “see you later” only now he was traveling to Afghanistan. Hugging him good bye and watching him walk away from me was probably the most heart wrenching feeling I have ever experienced. Once more, I told him how much I loved him and that I would be there waiting for him no matter what.
The months crawled by, care packages were being sent weekly, all the while I stayed clenched to my phone, waiting for a phone call I only received once a month. The weeks in between seemed like an eternity, and there wasn’t a second that went by when I didn’t worry about my Marine fighting for our country. Then one day, I woke up knowing something wasn’t right. I could feel it in my bones, I couldn’t concentrate in class, and I just knew something was wrong. My phone rang, it was Jake, and he tried telling me nothing was wrong, but I could hear it in his voice. I asked him again what was wrong. I felt like my worst nightmare was coming true as he began to tell me that his truck ran over an IED and he was in the hospital. I thank God every day that he survived the accident with non-life threatening injuries. Jake was in the hospital for about a month overseas, and finally the day came for his unit to return home.
I dreamt of the day, over and over, when I would be able to jump into his arms and finally the day had come. As horrible as it was to say “see you later” seven months prior, it was the best “hello” I have ever experienced. Feeling him, touching him, and knowing he was home safe and sound was more overwhelming than anything I could ever imagine. Upon returning home and adjusting to being stateside, the boy who had become a wonderful young man that had my whole heart asked me to be his wife. I was so excited to start planning a wedding, but then we got news that he would be deployed again. Thanks to the help of my mom we planned our wedding in just 2 short months. It was the most magical day and the boy I fell in love with, my knight in shining armor, my Marine was now my husband. We wore our rings proudly, but knew in a few more short months, we had to go through another “see you later.”
The time came, and with a wedding ring on my finger I reassured him once again, that no matter what happened I would always be right there waiting. As hard as it was to watch him walk away, I was so proud to be his wife. Another dreadful seven months passed and even though communication was a little better this time, I still worried about him constantly. He finally returned home, but this time he did so without some of his best friends. Two of his brothers gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The adjustment was hard for him, but we got through it knowing that our love for one another would carry us through these tough times. As a young couple getting married at 20 years old, we have experienced more trials and tribulations than most people our age. Through everything, our love has only become stronger and I am so incredibly thankful that our days of “see you later” are now over. We have adjusted back to civilian life at home with our family and friends, and plan to start a family of our own. I would like to dedicate our love story to every past and present military personnel and their families. These men and women sacrifice so much for our country and without them we would be nothing.
Thank you, and God Bless our Troops!!!
Our song is “I Thought I loved You Then” by Brad Paisley