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Childhood friendship blossoms into love

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Childhood friendship blossoms into love

George and Nicole Hough and their two-year-old daughter Amandalynn focus on a coloring book.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED February 11, 2012 1:14 a.m.

It was love at first sight for Nicole Hough.

Growing up on Stockton’s East Side, her husband of two years, George, lived only two houses down and was good friends with her older brother. Seeing him around the house on a regular basis only made the feelings grow stronger but nothing ever came of them – she left to attend high school over on the coast and he remained to finish his studies at nearby Franklin.

But just over two years ago when she came back to their old stomping ground, they reconnected and decided to make a go at something that had always been bubbling just under the surface.

“I’ve always been in love with him – ever since I was just a little girl,” she said. “Even after I left that never changed.”

While he had always viewed her as somewhat of a little sister, that all changed when the two reconnected and he realized how much she had grown up in the time that they had spent apart. The things that he had simply overlooked before were suddenly obvious and staring him right in the face.

“There was just something different there when she came back. It was in the way that she treated me – she never second guessed me on anything,” he said. “We had a history there and just kind of made sense.”

It was Nicole that brought up the subject of marriage, and six weeks later they were exchanging vows in front of the boathouse at Oak Grove Community Park on Eight Mile Road . They took care of all of the food preparations, the decorations and the planning themselves. The guests included close friends and family members – about 45 people in all.

While there have been ups and downs in the relationship since then, the closeness that comes with 20 years of friendship helps create an atmosphere where communication is never an issue and problems get hammered out almost instantly.

“We’ve gone through good times and gone through some rough times, but we always know that we have the strength to make it through whatever is before us,” she said. “I think that the biggest strength in our relationship is that we can talk about anything. There’s never any embarrassment or having to swallow your pride – there’s just that connection.”

George spends his days working as a lube technician at SpeeDee Oil Change and Tune Up in Manteca while Nicole stays at home with their daughter. The trick to keeping the spark, they both say, is finding those small blocks of time to do things together – even if it’s just running out together to go grocery shopping or see a movie.

“Even the simplest things can make the biggest difference,” said George – who still vividly remembers the first Valentine’s Day they spent together going out to dinner and a movie. A few weeks later they took a train ride down to Southern California, he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s just shopping. Yesterday I jetted home just to hang out with her for a few minutes. If that’s what it takes, then that’s what we’ll do.”



— Jason Campbell
staff reporter

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