Robby & Tammie | Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After Project: Featuring Robby & Tammie Perry

Our easy friends. This is how Tammie’s mom described our friendship one time when they were talking about the fun we had hanging out together. It is always easy to just be ourselves when we are out with Robby & Tammie. Easy to laugh. Easy to treasure the time together. Easy to love.  We were young couples doing life together and raising our babies. Much has happened and we can go awhile without seeing them, but when we come back together, we are still the same. We simply couldn’t imagine our journey without them. And we are inspired always by their love for each other – protective, nurturing and strong.

Perry Couch




Love Notes from TAMMIE:

How we met, what attracted me…
Robby and I knew of each other in grade school.  After high school, we saw each other at a mutual friend’s memorial service and just said “hi”.  A few months later, we happened to be stopped at the same red light in Five Points.  He blew the horn at me and I waved back.  He called me a month later and asked me out.  Of course, my parents had to meet him first before I was allowed to see him.  After the first date, my mother asked me if I had a good time.  My answer was, “If I don’t marry him, I’ll marry someone just like him!” We were married 6 months later.  I’ve always laughed and told him and the kids that what first attracted me to him was his cowboy boots, but in all honesty, it was his kind, gentle spirit that won me over.

Describe a memorable story of the two of you…
I think our entire marriage has been one memorable story with chapters still unwritten.  There are very special moments within our story and one of them that I cherish is a trip we took to Cades Cove.  We took an old quilt, spread it on the ground out in a beautiful field and shared a simple Subway lunch.  It stands out to me because it seemed like time just stood still.

Key ingredient to your success as a couple, biggest challenge to overcome…
Key ingredient…first, I believe in the covenant of marriage and that it is a gift from God. He is the one who joined us together.  The words love, commitment, communication, and trust all come to mind when I think of key ingredients too but the one most important aspect of our marriage that stands out to me is that Robby is my very best friend.

Our biggest challenge would have to be when our daughter, Savannah, was called home.  We allowed each other to grieve in our own way but also chose to stand strong in our faith and turn to each other instead of others for the support, comfort and love that we each needed.

Favorite quote or verse… 
Isaiah 40:31 is my favorite verse.  Those who wait upon the Lord, will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.

Best gift ever…
So many gifts have been given through the years.  Robby is a very giving person but he also knows that jewelry, flowers and all the things a girl loves are just that, things.  The best gift Robby has ever given me is his time.  Time is something that can never be taken back and can only be spent once, and he chooses to spend it with me.  I will never take that for granted.

Something he does very well…
Robby is great at anything he chooses to do.  But if I had to pick one, it would be his craftsmanship skills.  Thru our 30 years of marriage, the same house has been our home for 27 of them.  As time changes us all, our taste has changed too and every change, redesign, addition, etc. that we have made to our house he has taken on himself and has mastered with great success.   There is not one room in our home that does not have his personal touch in the construction of it.  Needless to say, it will always be home to me.

Favorite food, favorite color…
Robby’s favorite food would have to be a good grilled steak.  I think he would even prefer to grill it himself.  His favorite color is blue although he may tell you something different depending on what day you ask.

Something you still dream about doing…
Robby and I have always talked about traveling together when the kids moved out.  There are so many places in the United States we would love to see.   Now that Jonathan has joined the Army, I’m sure we will begin by visiting him wherever his career takes him.


Love Notes from ROBBY:

How we met, what attracted me…
I first saw Tammie in grade school.  I thought she was very pretty but I was a couple of years older than her.  A few years later, I was working with my dad, he was doing some work for her dad at their house.  I didn’t know it at the time, but she tells me that she was watching me from her window.  We didn’t really see each other again, for several more years until a mutual friend’s memorial service and then we just said hi to each.  A few months after that, we were stopped at the same red light.  I waved at her and she waved back.  I thought, “I need to see if she is dating anyone.”  I asked a friend of mine who knew her to find out for me.  It turns out she was not so I got up the courage to call her and we went out. Two months later, I asked her to marry me.  Four months after that we were married.  It’s been 31 years and still going strong.

What attracted me most to Tammie was her height and dark complexion, her pretty eyes and the fact that I felt comfortable with her right from the moment we met.

Describe a memorable story of the two of you…
The time we took trip to Crossville, TN in the fall and the leaves were so pretty.  We had a great weekend.

Key ingredient to your success as a couple, biggest challenge to overcome…
The key ingredient for our marriage thus far has to be our ability to rely on each other.

Our biggest challenge has been the loss of our daughter, Savannah.

Favorite quote or verse…
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Best gift ever…
My children.

Something she does very well…
Tammie is very good at loving and caring for her family. She is also a great organizer and her financial abilities are outstanding.

Favorite food, favorite color…
Tammie’s favorite food would have to be Mexican. When Savannah was born, she had really black hair.  A friend of Tammie’s told her it had to be from eating so much Mexican food.

Her favorite color is blue.

Something you still dream about doing…

I dream of possibly having grand kids one day.


We just have include a few family images too… remembering Savannah and celebrating Jonathan’s recent acceptance to Officer Candidate School.

familyoct2010april2013 We love you Tammie & Robbie – our easy friends…


View their Happily Ever After video:

video clipYOUR life is beautiful when you love it out! 

Carolyn Sammons - May 1, 2014 - 8:57 am

Tammie & Robby, I absolutely loved your pictures and most of all the story of your lives. Beautiful! I mean it, you are both beautiful through and through. God bless.

Debbie Kizer - May 2, 2014 - 8:47 pm


Wendy Fox - May 29, 2014 - 6:25 pm

You two are amazing! Beautiful story. So glad to call you friends

Phyllis Cox - June 18, 2015 - 5:55 pm

Just wonderful!! I loved your story. Thank you for sharing!!

A God Thing… Reading to Wildon Neely


Sometimes when you get a God thing, it’s a good reason to really listen. Our sweet Aunt Carole Swinford had one of those God’s tugs at her heart and sent me this message.

Hope you are well. I would like to ask you to do something but if you are too busy or prefer not to then I will completely understand and still love you forever. I keep telling myself that it’s too much to ask but it keeps nagging me thus I think it’s a God thing. I have a dear friend from my church that was moved to Millennium Health Facility for rehab. His name is Wildon Neely and he is 94 years old.  Mr. Neely is the most Godly man I know. I was thinking about something I could do for him, I decided to give him your children’s book, I Love You Sideways. He lost a son a few years ago to cancer and his son Randy Neely is his main caregiver. I believe your book would bless him. Now for the big part of this favor. I hope that you could deliver it and meet him. I believe you would be greatly blessed by the experience. He was to be moved today and Randy said he may in rehab for a couple of weeks.

Carole checked with the family for permission. Late into the night she wrote the following description of Mr. Neely:

neely-caroleLetterWith Carole’s heart receiving a God message Suzi and I couldn’t help but respond.

We love Carole. She has always been there for us. She too shines a beautiful light with love and beauty to all who know her. So I told Carole that I would try and visit before the day was over. Well the day came and went and I didn’t get there. But on the second day I too felt that God thing when you need to just stop and listen… God wants us to meet and know this dear man.

Carole had requested I read I Love You Sideways to Mr. Neely. Keep in mind, this is a children’s book that so far I have read to elementary students. Mr. Neely is 94 years old. But Carole thought the book was fitting because it’s a father and son conversation. In it the little boy asks his father the simple question, “Dad when do you love me more?” and ends with a father’s loving response.

We arrived at Millennium on Sunday afternoon. As we entered the facility, we could hear those good old church hymns being sung. Down the long hallway we began our search for Mr. Neely. We step around the yellow caution signs as staff clean and mop the hallways. Finally we reached room 114, Mr. Neely peacefully in his bed. We were warmly greeted by his son, Randy Neely, daughter, Dean West, and son-in-law, Claude West.

Carole had already asked the family if it would be okay if Suzi and I could come by and read to Mr. Neely.  We asked if it would be okay to take a few pictures. We wanted to capture a nice one for Carole. After spending a little time meeting Mr. Neely and hearing bits and pieces of his beautiful life and serving in the Navy, I was awestruck at what an incredible man we were honored to be meeting that day. Mr. Neely was married 69 years to his wife Alda Towry Neely. Sadly, his wife Alda, his son Gary Neely, and his grandson Cary West had all passed away within the last three years. His kids spoke highly of their father.  It was just a sweet conversation among all of us.

I told Mr. Neely about Carole, of how much he inspired her, and how much she looked up to him as a Godly model. He was truly touched.  I explained that Carole purchased one of our books as a get-well gift and she asked me to deliver it in person. I told him, “After hearing what an incredible man you are to so many I couldn’t pass this chance.”

So reading I did, and I was doing pretty good until I got to “Tony’s Teachable Thought” located on the very last page of the book. Suzi knew when my lip started shaking I was going to probably lose it and lose it I did. Sometimes I just get too emotional. Well, most of the time I get too emotional. That’s just me.

As I broke down finishing the book, Mr. Neely with his kind heart and soul comforted me. “God bless you son,” he said and held my hand.  

Never did I know that in just six hours Mr. Neely would pass away.


As you look at the pictures I hope you see the heart of a beautiful man. I was honored to meet Mr. Neely.


neely-collageThe following is borrowed from the funeral program:

Daddy left very detailed hand-written instructions concerning his last wishes. On one page of his instructions he wrote:

I want my funeral to be a celebration. See! I have run the race and now I have reached my goal. Praise the Lord! I am now in the Promised Land and I hope to see each of you there some day. I have sent up spiritual material there for more than sixty-two years. My mansion is now complete, so the Good Lord has called me home to see and enjoy my new dwelling place. Revelations 21:4 says, “Go shall wipe away all tears from your eyes; and there shall be no more death; nether sorrow, nor crying. Neither shall there be any more pain.” So! Please prepare yourself to join me there some day. Amen.

What a wonderful legacy he left to us all.

Leave us comment and share your thoughts. Did you know Mr. Neely?
Do you have a special someone like Mr. Neely in your life?

Blessings and remember, your life is beautiful when you love it out.

Tony & Suzi McGehee

Christi Cuckler - April 17, 2014 - 10:09 pm

I knew Mr. Neely my whole life. As I look out at the church from the choir loft every Sunday, I can still see him sitting in his pew. Such a wonderful man!

Suzi - April 17, 2014 - 10:27 pm

Thanks for sharing Christi! 🙂

Sonia Bradford - April 18, 2014 - 2:40 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Neely through doing theater with his son, Randy. Randy shared much of this story with me the day after his father passed. Thank you for your obedience to go minister to him and to take pictures that will be cherished by the family. He was a unique man, always ready with a joke, and always ready to attempt to get a Roll Tide out of anyone that wasn’t a Bama fan. He will be missed but leaves an amazing legacy behind.

Sharon Womack - April 18, 2014 - 5:10 pm

What a blessing Mr. Neely was! God’s love just poured out of him. When he said “Did you know I love the Lord and I love you?” you knew him meant it. I have never witnessed a more precious sight than this amazing man at the alter with my son. It was all he could do to kneel there with him, but I believe he had a God tug and knew that was where he needed to be. Thomas says he believes he is sharing peppermints in heaven and he says he will carry a part of Mr.Neely with him always so they can share Thomas walk with the Lord.

Suzi - April 18, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Sonia – We are honored to have shared time with Mr Neely and captured a moment for the family. We believe Randy and his sister Dean also have their dad’s way of making others feel special too 🙂

Sharon – Tell Thomas that we love the idea of Mr. Neely sharing peppermints in heaven. That’s the sweetest thought!

Robby & Vickie | The Best is Yet to Be | Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After Project: Featuring Robby & Vickie White

What makes a marriage? What’s the one key that holds it all together?

As Suzi & I celebrate our own 30th anniversary, we thought it would be worthwhile to look closer at couples that are beating the odds and living happily ever after. Every marriage is different and we’re interested to see what we may have in common that keeps us all loving it out! This month we are honored to highlight Robby and Vickie White’s love story.

We met Robby & Vickie early in our marriage when Robby came to serve as the new pastor at Locust Grove.  Now almost thirty years later, Locust Grove continues to flourish and reach out to the community.  Robby has a way of making people feel special – a natural encourager. And with Vickie’s sense of humor, there is never a dull moment.  Vickie is a hoot. Always.

Vickie & Robby are always delightful. They are genuine. Their love for each other and optimistic attitudes are contagious.


Cozied up together and enjoying popcorn can only be topped by adding their childen and grandbabies 🙂


Love Notes from VICKIE:

How we meet, what attracted me…
Robby and I met at my home church when Robby’s dad came to be our new minister. I saw Robby and thought he was cute.

Describe a memorable story of the two of you…
The birth of our first son was very memorable in many ways. The doctor came in our room after he was born and told us Rob had yellow jaundice and then he just left. We both looked at each other and started crying because we had no idea what yellow jaundice was. We finally composed ourselves.  Then Robby called our pediatrician’s office and they assured us he would be okay. Robby thought it was some kind of jungle fever. We were so young and knew so little about babies.

Key ingredient to your success as a couple, biggest challenge to overcome…
Our key ingredient would have to be love. Biggest challenge to overcome would have to be financial difficulties. Robby’s determination and hard work got us on a road to financial freedom. We struggled financially through school, seminary, and early days in pastorate. He started teaching at ASU as a 2nd job.

Best gift ever…
Our home on the lake. He knew I wanted a bigger home so we could entertain and I wanted a big kitchen! Again, his determination and hard work got us to where we live today – my dream home.

Favorite quote or verse…
Favorite chapter in Bible: Psalm 100
Quote: Scatter Joy

Something Robby does very well…
Motivate and encourages me/others. He’s my biggest cheerleader. He’s always telling me “you can do it.”

Favorite food, favorite color…
Robby’s favorite food is peanut butter. His favorite color is blue.

Something you still dream about doing…
We love to travel and dream of a retirement filled with travel.


Their home is welcoming and full of positivisms (yes, you know like happy pics and quotes).  We liked their personal space/offices too.

3 office_space

Love Notes from ROBBY:

How we meet, what attracted me…
Vickie and I have been married almost 38 years. We met each other at a church when we were teenagers. My dad went to be the pastor of Oakdale Baptist Church in Limestone County when I was 15 years old.   There was a young lady sitting at the piano that caught my attention. I was singing in the choir at the time (primarily because my mom and dad made me). I happened to glance at the piano one Sunday morning and noticed that the young lady sitting there winked at me. This was not a common occurrence for me, especially in church.

Not long after that we had a youth outing around Halloween. She dressed up like a mummy and we ended up sitting by each other. She found a way to sneak a kiss my way–it was a Zombie Apocalypse! I was hooked from that moment on. She is a beautiful person inside and out. Needless to say I have always been attracted by Vickie’s spirit of adventure, joy, and passion for life. Truly, life has been an adventure with her.

Describe a memorable story of the two of you…
How do you narrow down a lifetime of experiences to one story or moment? Our wedding was certainly a moment. The birth of our children and grandchildren are great One of the memorable moments occurred when I was in the pulpit of one my first churches. I was preaching a sermon and looked up and saw Vickie rubbing her finger across her throat. I thought initially that I had cut myself shaving that morning. It turns out that became her signal to me that my sermon had gone long enough.

Key ingredient to your success as a couple, biggest challenge to overcome…
I would say one of the key ingredients to our marriage has been the ability to remain friends, genuinely love each other and keep romance alive. Life would have been dull without Vickie in my life. I am closer to an introvert and Vickie is definitely an extrovert. Together we have made a great team across the years.

One of the biggest challenges in earlier years was simply to keep our heads above water financially. I was in college when we got married and then went for my masters and later my doctorate. This was a sacrifice on both our parts. Without Vickie’s willingness to work and help support me achieve these goals I would never have completed my education. There have been plenty of other challenges across the years for both of us. Raising teenagers and dealing with the pressures and demands of life in general at times have been difficult. We have learned to encourage each other. That has made all the difference.

Favorite quote or verse…
One of our favorite quotes is “the best is yet to be.” We have also claimed Romans 8:28 as our verse. Lynn Fanning taught us the truth of that verse many years ago–God is always working for our good. We both have tried to live our lives in a way that remains open and hopeful believing that indeed with Gods help the best is yet to be for both of us. This kind of hope and inspiration has given us strength and allowed us to live our life together with a spirit of joy and expectancy.

Best gift ever…
Vickie has given me many wonderful gifts across years. There have been books, journals, clothes and trips—the gift that matters most has been our children. Not only giving birth but also being a wonderful mother and now grandmother has been her greatest gift to me.

Something Vickie does very well…
She scatters joy! She does it better than anyone else in the world!

Favorite food, favorite color…
Vickie’s favorite food is Italian although she also still likes a great steak. I’m not sure she has one favorite color. I think if you take the brightest colors available and put them together that would be her favorite color. Somehow that also fits her personality.

Something you still dream about doing…
Years ago while on a cruise we met a couple in their 70’s who were sailing around the world together. If we ever had the chance, I would love to do the same with Vickie.

What season of marriage do you like best? This one.


They are happy where they are. Vickie loves her kitchen where she can share her gift of hospitality (and yummy cooking – thanks for the wonderful dinner you prepared for us!)  And they are happy where they are going.  Robby playfully pointed to a place in the lovely painting in the living room of an Italian scene –  their one-day place (where we would, of course, have a studio right down the street from them)

4 home_sweet_home

5 chair_by_water6 snuggle

Thanks for sharing. We are inspired and entertained and, after being around you, feel hugged  🙂

When we discussed our Happily Ever After photo session, we asked this simple question based on our business name and journey married for 30 years,  “What does Love it Out mean to you as a couple?” Robby excitedly answered, “I think it means to live it out. Love is supposed to be lived out.” Vicky laughing agreed, “Yes that’s right!” explaining that Robby is the ‘wordy one’.

Robby is a gifted teacher, preacher and writer. He serves as Pastor at Locust Grove Baptist Church:
Locust Grove:

Vickie is a talented musician and also owns the popular gift shop Two Friends.
Two Friends:


Enjoy their video and leave us a comment!

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YOUR life is beautiful… love it out!

Waiting for This Day | Books Are Finding New Homes

So once we made this decision to really do this children’s books thing, it has been an adventure. Its been a delight helping Tony’s stories find their way to print. And it has been an extra treat sharing the creation of the pages with the characters. Spending time with Shane & Parker for I Love You Sideways was awesome – they are naturals & perfect for our first book. And Olivia and her never-ending hugs have truly has touched our lives. What a treat to see them look at their own books where they are the stars. Below are images of Shane reading I Love You Sideways to Parker for first time.

familyReadingAnd what an experience also to embrace the reactions of others as they read them. Which page will they love? When will they laugh? Will they want to read it again? Tony read to students at Heritage recently and I loved hearing their laughter and questions.



So today we awoke with such anticipation. Our books, like a basket full of kittens, are finding their way to new homes starting today. This work of our hearts is released. Please give them lots of hugs and visit often  🙂

 YOUR life is beautiful, love it out.

Tina Bedwell - March 15, 2014 - 8:05 am

And I could not be more honored and excited that Olivia is a part of your vision! You have taken what she has to offer with her gift of joy and love, and used your own gifts by sharing this message with so many others. I am beyond touched to see this message multiplied and overflowing!!! Thank you, Tony and Suzi from the bottom of my heart and God bless you both! ~Tina

Suzi - March 16, 2014 - 1:18 pm

Thank you Tina for your contributions and kind words and for just being a beautiful you! We are so blessed by your friendship.

Happy Valentine’s Day

A little good news is great any day. And today we are enjoying some love from our local new station!  Sweet Olivia is featured on WAAY-31 for her amazing hugs. She is the star hugger and reason for writing Olivia’s Hug. Lillian Lalo did an incredible job interviewing each of us and creating this video:

Video segment link: Olivias-Hug-Ch31

WAAY-TV website link: Huntsville authors inspired by Valentine’s Day hug

OH cover_LR