|Cari and James at Their Wedding. They will have been together 11 years in August.|
by Rachel Terzo
You can’t tell Cari and James Talarico that love at first sight doesn’t exist. These two lovebirds debunked that theory.
Cari met James through her sister who was also her roommate at the time. “He was sweet, we were friends right off of the bat, then we became best friends. We started dating after two weeks of knowing each other! It scared the crap out of me when he told me he loved me, but I knew I loved him back after he volunteered to watch my sisters’ kids so that my sister and I could go to a concert together. He is such a sweetheart!”
According to Cari, after making James wait for the return “I love you,” he didn’t even know how to reply when she finally uttered those words! The Talarico’s eloped after a little over six months of being together. This adventurous, spontaneous duo will have their 11th marriage anniversary this August, but they have been together for almost 12 years. Being parents of five children, that gives them little time to reminisce and celebrate their anniversary. They have two girls, 11 and 10 years old, and three boys, 8, 6 and 4 years old.
“You know you’re in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams,” says Dr. Seuss. Well, sometimes in her dreams is the only time Cari gets to see her husband, or right before bed. Both Cari and James are full-time students and full-time parents. “When we’re not working on homework or helping with our kids’ homework, going to church, soccer or karate night, we try to spend time with each other as long as we’re not completely exhausted!” Schedule discrepancies are understood between the couple, and they spend as much time together as they can with their hectic agendas.
Cari and James do just about everything together. They are both currently active in their church. The two have a true appreciation for nature and the outdoors. They go rock climbing and hiking, horseback riding, they attended rodeos and they have volunteered for Habitat For Humanity. They also participated in an organized peace rally for a local fallen soldier this past fall. The Talaricos do just about everything together.
She had only one minimal complaint about her husband, and she takes it in stride. “It drives me nuts when he tells me I should have made a list! I'm very laid back, and a fly by the seat of my pants type of person. He’s more organized. It drives him crazy that I’m not sometimes!” Colin Raye says, “I laugh, I love, I hope, I try I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we're really not that different, me and you.” Cari and James learn to take their differences in stride, and understand that they are actually a lot alike, even in their differences.
Plenty of people are pondering how to get a relationship to survive these days, especially when the media illustrates so many failed relationships? Cari has a “life is too short” mentality pertaining to love and life. “Laughter is a big part of our relationship. We’re just big goof balls. We try not to take things (and each other) so seriously. You have to be able to laugh at and with each other. We are good enough friends to be honest with each other but still be light-hearted about things.”
Even for those who aren’t completely familiar or don't follow the Bible, this quote from 1 Corinthians 13:4 may ring a bell: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” The Talarico’s faith in God is a big contributing factor to the success of their relationship. The couple shares ideas, views, and worship. “Our faith and God is #1 in our lives. Both have always been very important to us and is definitely something we have in common.”
While maintaining their own relationship, they maintain one with God also, which in turn helps maintain theirs. They both head leadership programs at their church.
Education and extra-curricular activities are extremely important to the Talarico family and their children. “Before anything else, we are parents. We want our children to know the value of a good education, so we make sure one of both of us are there to help them with homework and answer any questions they may have.”
Cari says that they haven’t had cable television for over six years because they manage to stay busy doing other things. “We don’t miss it, and what’s the point? We’re too busy to watch TV anyway! We don't know what to do with ourselves if our schedule isn’t full every day.”
She admits that while she is a major advocate for her children and their education, snow days are a relief from what can be a grueling schedule with five children. The Talarico kids are involved in an array of activities such as soccer, karate, and school and church programs. Cari was a professional photographer for 11 years, so she has been able to capture lots of memories with her husband and kids.
Unquestionable love, God, their similarities and differences, and their mutual love for their children nurture Cari and James Talarico’s relationship. Some may find it comforting to know that love can still exist and exist extensively, even for people with hectic schedules. When it seems like there is no time in the day to even think about love, these two have learned not to take for granted what little time they have, and enjoy each other and their lives to the fullest. In the words of John Lennon, “Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”