Our Love Story

Our Love Story

I was married once before .. Just  24, I cried on my wedding day because in my heart I knew I wasn’t ready.. but the wedding train was rolling downhill and by the time I realized this, I was wearing the white dress.. and I was too much of a wimp to stop it..
The second time to Marc at age 37, I started bawling on my way down the aisle, because I knew just how much I loved him, and  that I WAS ready and from past experience, that it wouldn’t always be easy.. So this was a TRUE commitment..

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My reasons for getting married were very different each time.. The 1st?.. I wanted to be in love of course, but also security and someone to “take care of me.” Physical attraction and fun  were also on my “list.”. but mostly I was looking for someone to make my life easier. I wanted to live a life of artistic expression but also to have an American Express card! I thought that ring would make an automatic “happily ever after…”

The 2nd time, my intentions were all heart.. My criteria for an ideal husband was that if we were stranded together on an island somewhere, we would never be bored and we would never run out of things to talk about… Well, at least Marc never would… I have my limits.. lol


We met at a self-help seminar that was suggested to me by my current boss – An intensive seminar that lasted from 9 till midnight for three days straight! The point – to unleash your potential and help you overcome self-limiting beliefs.
He was recommended to the seminar by his current girlfriend, Lori..

After running into each other in a hallway, we literally felt a “ZING” feeling when our eyes met, and the “deal was sealed” after sitting next to each other and having to work through an exercise where each of you told each other your three best traits. ( for me anyways..) I have no idea what those three traits were, but how he described  his, floored me. I spent the rest of the seminar trying to sit next to him again, but I wasn’t successful..He is still always popular in a group setting!

In complete frustration , I asked him to walk me to my car at the end of the final evening.
I’ll never forget standing outside my car talking for HOURS, and trying not to hold hands – after all, he still had a girlfriend.. I finally excused myself as I had to go to work in the morning and it was nearing 3 AM!

It wasn’t until 6 months later, we had our first date…( AFTER he and the girlfriend had broken up).. and that was that! We have been together ever since. There were a whole bunch of hilarious stories and 6 degree of separation stories during the 6 months apart  but I’ll save those for in-person story telling, preferably after a glass of Chardonnay 🙂


Our romance started strong in San Diego, but 4 months later, I was offered a very lucrative job in Las Vegas. I decided to take it, ( because I was in debt and needed to make more money!) and I was hopeful the romance would survive long distance.

I sound like a Pilgrim here – but when we met – neither of us had a computer, so to keep in touch, we wrote letters to each other.. I still have the box of cards and letters that Marc wrote to me..

Luckily, this was before 9/11 and roundtrip airfare  on Southwest was $49 if you booked far enough in advance – Every weekend I went “home” to San Diego. After a year of taking my suitcase to work, I asked Marc to come to Vegas for a weekend.

Our weekend included a horseback ride through Red Rock, A gourmet dinner and a Cirque du Soleil show.. I wanted to show him that life could be exciting without a beach! ( a lifelong surfer and beach volleyball guy in the desert – this was a hard sell)


It worked! Marc moved to Vegas..

The first year was MISERABLE!! I have never heard anyone complain so much in my entire life!!! Seriously, I thought I was going to lose it!! But eventually, he found things to love about Vegas, besides me, haha … and the tides began to turn.. NOW, I dream of moving back to the beach at times, and he says, “NO WAY!!!” whaaaaat???…

Many friends tell us our love is “inspiring” and that we make such a good couple.. and we do..

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How is it possible to be married for this long AND work together? … Well, I have one word for you. THERAPY!

Being together for 19 years is not always easy. I don’t always like what he has to say and I really don’t like his beloved ripped jeans and Ponchos! lol He challenges me constantly ( in a good way)  and there are days when I really don’t like him…

And of course, I am no picnic!! I came to this marriage with a full set of “luggage” and I know it!  God had a real belly laugh when he put the two of us together..


Luckily, we found a great counselor and he helps us navigate through the choppy waters called Marriage! Yes, it can be a challenge to cross the river.. but we live for those days when the sun in shining, and the water shimmers and shines and beckons you to a perfect day of smooth sailing..

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be with a husband who is willing to “work on it” even when it’s not easy..who is an amazing father and friend, who has supported my dreams from day one. But mostly, a partner who treats me like it ’s Valentine’s every day and makes me laugh HARD at least a few times a day….
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Happy Valentines Day Marc Abelman!!! Thank you my love for being my rock, my love and my best friend!

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Jill Abelman

Jill is the Mad Designer on a mission. Leading her team with an unforgettable personality and impeccable taste, clients know to come to her for the best. With the characteristic "organiglam" style and a decided air of good taste, she'll tell you, once and for all, what works in the best home designs.

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