The MFEO Chronicles: Sarena & Tony

Today, I bring you Sarena and Tony, who I am delighted to introduce in the next installment of The MFEO Chronicles.

Though we have never met in person (it WILL happen, it MUST!), I truly feel Sarena and Tony are kindred spirits, in a way, so much in common, similar humor, interests and personality, and I just adore these two (and I swear, Tony is the long-lost brother I never had! Love that guy!). And, not only do they strike me as the most genuine, real, and compassionate souls, they have the most beautiful story as a couple, and their story of longevity, fighting against the odds and being the life partner they both need in every single way, is just so inspiring and makes me smile from head to toe.

Enjoy – and thank you Sarena and Tony, for sharing your story. It truly is an honor to share it. <3.


I have to admit, when Jolene asked me to write a little bit about my marriage to share here with you guys, I got a little freaked out. I don’t believe in superstition (as I sit here with a black cat in front of me), but you know, putting my personal thoughts on my relationship with my husband gave me that brief thought of is this the kiss of death? What do I know about relationships? We aren’t perfect and I’m sure we don’t have all the answers. Then I thought about it for a minute and laughed at myself. Of course it’s not the kiss of death. We are more than that. So much more.
I met my husband Tony when we were 19. Yep, that would be shortly after high school. Looking back, we thought we were adults. Looking at it now, we were kids. Smart kids, since we knew to hold on to each other, but kids just the same. I said it then and I will say it now, we are old souls meant to be together. I really feel like we were together in another life. We met in college. Tony was in the art program and I was in the culinary arts program at The Art Institute in Atlanta. He caught my eye immediately. Cutie, that man was (and still is). You know, those butterflies in the stomach…yeah, those were going crazy! Tony is the first guy that ever opened the door for me. I had never met a truly nice guy that wanted to hang out with me. We were that annoying inseparable couple (and still are now) that everyone rolls their eyes at. From there, we got married a little over a year later. Twenty years old getting hitched. I know! CRAZY! We actually got married against the odds. My parents wanted nothing to do with me getting married. They didn’t come to my wedding and actually planned an event so that nobody from my side of the family would come to my wedding. That was hard for me, but I was marrying the man of my dreams. My relationship with Tony has taught me so much about love and what family really is. The most important thing Tony has taught me, what I believe is the key to a happy marriage, is unconditional friendship and love.


That word, unconditional, that is an important word. You see, I do not have all the answers as far as love goes. Tony and I are a normal married couple. We have had our down times too. We aren’t perfect! I know, it’s shocking even for me to admit. I kid, I kid. You know what we are, we are friends that understand that life is about adapting and understanding. The only thing that we can be assured of is change. It’s how we work together to get through the change that really makes us a great team.
I was that girl that had these grand thoughts on what life would be when I grew up, got married, had babies and got older. Well, life is nothing like I thought it would be. I think we all want that romantic movie where everything is perfect and happy. You get that big break and everything works out in the end. Am I right?
News flash, life is definitely not easy. However, being married to my best friend, has definitely made this little adventure called life so much better. It’s that unconditional love and friendship that has gotten us where we are today. In the last (almost) 20 years (please don’t do that math on that) Tony and I have become stronger through failed family relationships, emergency surgeries (his), the birth of our 2 beautiful boys, 2 miscarriages, tumors (mine) and career changes.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is amazing. I love every minute of it. I’ve come to realize that my relationship with Tony really has pulled me through those hard times. Unconditional love is the key for us.
Knowing, that in the hard times, he is always there for me no matter what and that I’m there for him no matter what always gives us a sense of safety. I do feel like I’m one of the lucky ones. I found my soul mate early on. We have literally been together longer than we’ve been apart in our lives. It’s so strange to think about it that way. I never take our relationship for granted. It’s special and I am forever grateful for having Tony in my life.  We are definitely MFEO.Tony's Class Reunion

19 thoughts on “The MFEO Chronicles: Sarena & Tony

  1. Oh my gosh I LOVE THIS Sarena!!!!! You and Tony absolutely epitomize “MFEO” and all that it stands for. I love what you say about unconditional love, SO SO SO true, it’s what makes a marriage truly sing, that plus being able to laugh at eachother and goof off like best friends all while keeping that FIRE and LOVE alive and burning. You two are incredible and such an inspiration to me and Scott, and seriously we NEED NEED NEED to meet, and soon. love and hugs to you both xoxo

    1. We feel the same way about you and Scott! Seriously, that meeting needs to happen soon! Love you lady!!! Big hugs back atcha!

    1. Tony, let’s not do the math on this please. Ha, good luck on finding a new young thang! That should be fun. All those late nights, clubbing, dating…sounds like fun, right?! 🙂 Love you too babe!

  2. Love it! I sometimes wonder how I will be if one of my daughters chooses to get married really early. It’s tough on a parent to see that when you think, “they’re just kids!” but sometimes, you just know, huh?

    Congratulations on a beautiful long term happy love!

    1. Thank you T! As for getting married so young. I know that is hard to imagine, but the one thing I took away from my parents not having anything to do with us getting married that young is that I will always stand by my kids. I may not agree with all of their choices, but what if they make that choice and it doesn’t work out for them or if, God forbid, there is a death of a spouse? I want them to always know that I’m there for them no matter what. Sure, it’s hard to stand by and allow them to make decisions that may not be right, but life is about taking chances and finding happiness. If even for a brief moment, if we would have not worked out, I was in the one of the happiest places in my life at the time (still am). Also, I live with the pain of my three other sisters getting married with full support of my parents (since they were older) and I have had to witness all of it…the father daughter dance, my father giving them away, full blown catered events with professional photography. I had none of that. I don’t care about the materialistic things, but I do relive the pain with every life event they all have that I don’t get to share with my parents. Unconditional love…I swear by it.

      1. Well I will always stand by my daughters. My ex’s family shut us out when we got married too (for other reasons) and I know how that feels. Doesn’t it just make you fight harder in your relationship?

      2. You two are seriously the CUTEST and totally define MFEO. I am so glad you shared your story. It warms my heart and makes me even more excited to meet you finally, in person. it will happen. XOXO to you both!

  3. Thank you for sharing our story Jolene! I’m glad I finally wrote it all out. I really do love him. 🙂

    I’m loving watching your happiness in love and life. You are such an amazing soul! Big hugs to you my friend.

  4. I love this series and this post Sarena so much, especially this “It’s how we work together to get through the change that really makes us a great team.”

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