Mom-of-four Gena Lee Nolin is inviting Celebrity Baby Scoop readers along as she shares her life experiences – and asks for advice – as she juggles her busy life with husband, former NHL star Cale Hulse, and their four children: Spencer, 16, Caia, 11, Hudson, 6, and Stella, 4.
In her latest blog post, Gena shares how she met the love of her life on a blind date. Although reluctant at first, the former Baywatch star talks about their immediate strong connection, how they “work together as a team everyday,” and how “the moments of hardships and the growing pains make it real.”
For more information on Gena Lee Nolin, please check out her official website.
“My husband and I met on a blind date September 2, 2003 at Starbucks. I reluctantly met this ‘mystery man’ after my good friend insisted time and again he was the nicest guy she’d ever met in hockey. All I knew was that he played professional hockey and was recently traded to our local team. My previous relationship was with a pro-baseball player – which was extremely tumultuous – so to say I was a bit gun shy was an understatement.
I have to admit when my friend uttered the words ‘professional athlete’ I shut it down immediately and thought she was nuts! It did take some convincing for me to give out my number, but in the end, I trusted my friend. When he called he was polite and seemed extremely genuine. Then I had a quick flashback of my nightmare with ‘Baseball Boy’ and thought if this guy thinks he’s going to get a Pamela Anderson, he’s sorely mistaken.
I called him without warning to meet for a quick coffee — that way I could get out easily if he wasn’t my type. When he answered the phone, he said he was at Home Depot and could be there in 20 minutes. Uh-oh, snap, crackle, pop! I threw on a tee and a pair of jeans, leaving the house without a trace of make-up! Perfect.
I casually walked into Starbucks and before my eyes stood a 6’3 blonde adonis! He said softly, ‘You must be Gena.’ I paused….. ‘Ahhhhhh, yes!’ I was thinking to myself, ‘You dumb cluck, why on God’s green earth didn’t you put on a little make-up and fix yourself up a bit!’
He had ordered my coffee ahead of time, so we found a cozy corner and talked for over 3 hours. He was well read, educated and interesting! Forget the fact that he could’ve modeled for GQ, played pro-hockey and was at Home Depot [laughs]!
To my surprise, I felt really comfortable with this guy, like I’d known him my entire life. Suffice to say, we hit it off! He called the next day asking for a ‘real date,’ and as they say in Hollywood, the rest was history! Exactly one year to the day, we were married in front of one hundred of our closest friends and family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we exchanged our vows, including my own. Everyone knew this was different, it was true love unfolding in front of them.
In every marriage it takes work and it isn’t always easy street. In our 11 years together, it didn’t include magic dust, darn it! We have to work together as a team everyday. The stress of having 4 kids (his, mine and ours) can take a toll, but we’ve always talked things through, understanding that it’s our responsibility and as long as we’re on the same page, things move along pretty smoothly.
I can’t speak for you all, but it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. For instance, the other day he wrote me a love letter with the lyrics to a song he said was ‘our song.’ It’s called Future Days by Pearl Jam. He printed out the lyrics and put the song on my iPhone with a note. It’s those magic moments that make me fall in love with him again and again! I can’t stress how important date nights are, getting away from every day life to just focus on the two of you really nurtures your relationship.
Love is beautiful when it’s right — it can’t be bought, it can’t be forced and it should never hurt [abusive]. The moments of hardships and the growing pains we go through together make it real. If it were always easy, it would be a bore. Great things in life are worth fighting for, and that usually requires work.
I am so blessed to have found a man who accepts me for me. He’s never once told me what, where or how I should do something. He allows me to be me and loves my silly-willy ways. He encourages my family and friends to be around, he’s a very confident man that wants to see me happy (as I do for him). Unconditional love is such a rare gift — that’s accepting your partner exactly the way they are.
This Valentine’s Day will be spent with our children, decorating boxes for school parties and cutting lots of pink and red hearts. Then we’re off for a quiet dinner for two followed by a night at a hotel with my Valentine. Zzzzzzz!
Here are my tips for keeping your love alive:
- Respecting one another and listening to each of your needs;
- Take time, even 5 minutes, to write little notes saying you love them or that you’re thinking of them;
- Make sure you give your partner space, everyone needs alone time. As they say, absence makes the heart grow founder;
- Don’t take each other for granted, not for one moment. Love needs to be nurtured, just like flowers need the sun;
- Have date nights! It reminds you of what made you two kids fall in love in the first place;
- Intimacy! This can be as simple as dancing in your backyard, kissing is always nice, maybe deep conversation, and as my grandma would say, ‘A good roll in the hay isn’t bad either!’ [Hmmm!];
My grandmother once told me the secret to her and my grandfathers long, beautiful marriage. She said, ‘Never go to bed angry, forgive one another and have lots of sex!’ Oh, Grandma Marie!
Sadly, she lost the love of her life suddenly to a heart attack and never once thought of dating since his passing 33 years ago. She’s 93 years old and still talks about her true love as if it were yesterday.
May you always treasure the love you hold, it’s such a blessing! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love & Light, Gena Lee Nolin