Kyle and Gloria were married Oct. 4, 2015, and share their first kiss as a married couple.

Five questions to ask before marriage

by JACQUIE PETERSON

It’s been just a little over a month since Kyle and Gloria Engdahl said “I do.”

The couple exchanged vows Oct. 4, 2015, in front of their family and friends at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Racine, Wis.

Gloria said dancing the night away at the reception with her new husband was the best part.

  • Kyle and Gloria Engdahl were married Oct. 4

    They generously offered to share some of the photos from their ceremony. Hope you enjoy! Photos by Angela Houk
  • Kyle and Gloria Engdahl were married Oct. 4

    They generously offered to share some of the photos from their ceremony. Hope you enjoy! Photos by Angela Houk
  • Kyle and Gloria Engdahl were married Oct. 4

    They generously offered to share some of the photos from their ceremony. Hope you enjoy! Photos by Angela Houk
  • Kyle and Gloria Engdahl were married Oct. 4

    They generously offered to share some of the photos from their ceremony. Hope you enjoy! Photos by Angela Houk
  • Kyle and Gloria Engdahl were married Oct. 4

    They generously offered to share some of the photos from their ceremony. Hope you enjoy! Photos by Angela Houk
  • Kyle and Gloria Engdahl were married Oct. 4

    They generously offered to share some of the photos from their ceremony. Hope you enjoy! Photos by Angela Houk

Miss the first half of Kyle and Gloria’s story? Click to read it here.

“Everyone was surprised that Kyle could dance so well,” she said.

When Gloria’s mom asked how the first few weeks of living together are going, Gloria told her, “It feels wonderful to wake up to each other every day.”

Stepping into their new life after the wedding, the couple has gone grocery shopping together. Kyle drives to the store.

They’ve paid their first bills, like cable and rent. Heat is included.

Most evenings, Gloria cooks dinner. But the nights she comes home late from work, Kyle steps in to make dinner. This week tacos and chef salad are on the menu.

While simple tasks, the couple is finding that these little things are just as important to their young marriage as the hard questions they answered before the ceremony.

Being open about their intellectual disabilities, Kyle, 26, and Gloria, 25, were well prepared before walking down the isle.

With the help of their families and caregivers, together the couple discussed important issues that could offer challenges, including:

  • Where will we live?
  • How will we spend or save money?
  • How will we get around?
  • How will our families and caregivers be involved in our life?
  • Will we have children?

However, the number one question on their list was this — how will we overcome the moments when emotions and stress become too much?

Kyle and Gloria give credit to the education they received while attending Shepherds College, a school for young adults with intellectual disabilities looking to transition from school, to work, to independence.

Not only did Kyle graduate as a horticulturist specialist and Gloria a culinary specialist, but they were also taught skills that helped them open up and become more comfortable with their challenges.

By learning their strengths and weaknesses, Kyle and Gloria found that they could help one another.

Gloria says that she struggles with her emotions and that it’s hard for her to take on too much, such as working more than 30 hours per week.

“Kyle is strong in that area so he helps me,” Gloria said.

Gloria was able to help Kyle to trust again after some questionable friendships he had before attending Shepherds.

During the half-hour phone interview, Gloria did most of the talking. But she was also caring and loved to encourage Kyle.

“I’ve learned how to help him,” Gloria said. “We are best friends.”

Daily details

Moving from their parents’ and grandparents’ homes in Oak Creek and Union Grove, Wis., the couple decided to start planting roots in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., instead.

The small village is about 20 minutes away from work for both Kyle and Gloria.

Kyle drives to work at his grandfather’s welding shop in Cudahy, Wis., where he works as a janitor and packing specialist. Gloria catches $3 public transportation to her job at the Country Rose Bakery in Union Grove, Wis.

Together, their jobs, Social Security benefits (which they were able to retain) and a little help from their family offer plenty to pay their bills.

From time to time, Kyle’s grandparents and Gloria’s mom stop by to check on the couple. They double check to ensure they are spending wisely.

Kyle continues to get support through IRIS, a program for self-directed, long-term support. His consultant comes in once a week to check on him.

Gloria has the opportunity to receive support if she needs it but has opted out for the time being.

“I have high function and don’t need as much support,” Gloria said. “They realized I’d do just fine without them.”

Also on the list

Both Gloria and Kyle scratched having their own children from their list.

Gloria said she feels having a child would be too stressful for her emotions, while Kyle’s experience babysitting his two nieces was hard to handle for just a couple hours.

“We love kids, but the crying and attention is too much,” Kyle said. “I give my sister plenty of credit for raising them though.”

The future does, however, hold plenty of play dates with their nieces.

Big football fans, the couple plans on taking time to watch plenty of Badgers football as well as watching movies and heading to Lake Michigan during the summer.

But, perhaps their most favorite pastime is talking. As most married couples know, communication is the key to a happy marriage.

“We talk a lot. We talk about anything,” Gloria said.

Miss the first half of Kyle and Gloria’s story? Click to read it here.

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