"First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage."
I'm sure we all can remember singing that idealistic love song as young ones, but for Tommicus Walker and LeToya Luckett-Walker, it's more than just a child's game--it's real life. With their beautiful new baby Gianna close-by during our conversation, the vibe you get from this married couple is one that's mixed with authenticity, love, soul, country, spirituality, and laughter. And it's a vibe that they say is only present because they decided to forge a new and better path individually before joining their lives together.
The two Texas natives originally didn't meet until a month after their first conversation, but it was during that time that they began to establish the foundation their relationship would be built upon: love of God and commitment to self-evolution. "After getting out of my previous marriage, where I was married for eight years, I began to really take a step back. I was fasting from dating, having sex, wanting to be around a lot of women, and just really clearing my soul and mind to hear from God," Tommicus tells xoNecole. "I was focusing on my daughter [Madison], running my business, waiting, and preparing myself for my wife to be presented to me."
As for LeToya, she explains that in life and especially in love, if you want something you never had, you had to be willing to do something you've never done. "I wanted to do things differently this time around. I didn't want him to know my name or what I did. In the past, I had put the physical sometimes before communication but for this I put communication before the physical," she says. "And there was laughter and great conversation, I felt like I knew him before. We read the Word together, we prayed, it just felt right."
With a year and three months under their belt, a new bundle of joy to add to their bliss, and new ventures on the horizon, it seems as if LeToya and Tommicus are quite literally a match made in heaven.
Read on as they share their insight on life and love in this latest segment of Our First Year.
LeToya: He just felt like home from our first conversation. I know I've been in Los Angeles for the last 13 years, but we're both from Texas. We had so much in common with the way we grew up and eating, and family time. We both wanted to raise our family in Texas so off jump, we had a lot in common. I think the first time I prayed with him, I felt different. And I was also one of those girls who had a list before, and I finally threw it away. Because, there were things that he had that were on my list, but there were other things that he had that I didn't know I needed that weren't on my list. Sometimes we can get in our own way as single women. But it's nice to know that somebody is there that can be supportive. Once I had certain conversations with him, met him, prayed with him--God put it on my heart and told me this was it. This was my husband. He felt like a teammate and there was a real partnership that came into play. And I hadn't felt that before.
"He just felt like home from our first conversation... And I hadn't felt that before."
Tommicus: I think she said it best, we had so much in common. She was country as hell and she felt like a homegirl from the jump. But when we started praying together and having that spiritual connection--it was over. Outside of my ex, she was the only other girl I actually prayed consistently on a daily basis with. We read the Bible together, we read the book of Proverbs before we even met. Knowing that she was a Christian woman and a woman of God, it just felt right. God presented her to me. I knew after the third date she was going to be my wife. And I never looked back or questioned him.
"God presented her to me. I knew after the third date she was going to be my wife. And I never looked back or questioned him."
Overcoming Fears in Marriage
Tommicus: Being that I was married previously, I always said I would never ever get married again. I didn't want to have any more kids. I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I was heartbroken and having to pull myself out of the hole again. But honestly I can say, with LeToya, I never had any fear. And that was because my mind, my body, and my spirit was so clear and God was talking to me on a daily basis. I believe Toya is my soulmate, she's my best friend, now the mother of my child, my wife. I had my heart open wide and I didn't try to have my guard up. The thing is when you know, you know.
"With LeToya, I never had any fear. And that was because my mind, my body, and my spirit was so clear and God was talking to me on a daily basis. I believe Toya is my soulmate."
LeToya: When you're in and out of relationships, you learn to practice divorce. It becomes easier and easier because you know you can survive that. When certain things would come up in our marriage, it would trigger certain thoughts where I'd think: 'is it over?' And I had to learn to work through that and let him know my triggers. And he would do the same for me. So it was just fearing having to go through a breakup, that was what my biggest fear was. Because I don't get into marriage for it not to work out.
Important Lessons in Marriage
Tommicus: The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of our tongue. And so what I've learned to do and what I continue to do is to speak life over my wife, over my kids, and our situation. I always look at the positive, me and my wife have received so much favor in this first year. And to be able to have that covering is something I believe is so important.
LeToya: Marriage isn't a sprint, it's a marathon and it's a lifetime. You're getting to know this person, you're getting to know yourself in different lights. As a wife, you got to stay on your knees in prayer, because the enemy doesn't like marriage. And you can't take your prayer life lightly when it comes to praying for your husband, your family and for our covering. And also I came into the marriage trying to be superwoman, I had to do all the right "wife" things. I learned quickly I can't do that because I'm not a superhero. I am flawed and I had super high expectations of him and myself. You have to take this thing day by day.
"I came into the marriage trying to be superwoman, I had to do all the right wife things. I learned quickly I can't do that because I'm not a superhero. I am flawed."
Tommicus: We had to just communicate with each other about our different trigger points. That was definitely key. We both came from childhoods that's similar to a lot of others. I came from a single-parent household but I always had a stepfather. As a child, I was never able to get these things out that I somewhat feared. And this is something me and my wife talked about not too long ago, the importance of not holding stuff in. So one of the things we try to do is try to communicate with each other and listen and try to see where the person is coming from. From a relationship standpoint, I was married for eight years so of course being a new husband, Toya wanted to know what happened.
LeToya: We've had moments where Tommi can go into that mode and retreat, and he's such an incredible father. But a lot of times I have to tell him, "Babe you're not a single father anymore. You have a partner, you can come to me. You don't have to go through this alone." So that was probably one of the biggest things we had to deal with.
"We had to just communicate with each other about our different trigger points. That was definitely key."
Tommicus: I try to speak her love language through spending time, communicating, and she likes to be complimented a lot. She wants me to be the first one to say she looks beautiful or pretty. I'm always aware of that and she looks beautiful all the time. So I know that's a part of her love language and what she needs.
LeToya: We're still learning every single day! There are things that I didn't know he likes or appreciates that I do and it was something simple. For me, mine is quality time--I love having that time. Yes I love gifts as well! But I appreciate gratitude, when someone takes a beat to say, "I appreciate you for doing that." A lot of times I don't get recognized for doing certain things, I'm just expected to because I'm a woman. As women, men just expect us to do everything and to do it right and perfect. But I'm finally with someone who doesn't overlook certain things. And Tommi definitely shows gratitude a lot. For him, I think he develops new things every day.
Tommicus: I would say take care of yourself first, do not lose yourself. Make sure your mind is good, you're exercising properly and you're taking care of your body. And also know the order of marriage: putting God first, yourself second, then your wife or husband next, then your kids after that.
LeToya: The best advice I would give to someone else is marriage doesn't have to be what you saw growing up. You get to decide what your marriage is going to be. You and your spouse are in control of where your marriage takes you, outside of God. Take the time, take premarital counseling, and understand that when you get married, it's no longer about just you. Go into it with an open mind and know that there's going to be some stretching on your part. You can't have a selfish mindset going into that. So I would say: keep Christ first, make sure you're communicating with one another, go to counseling. Here it is: Christ, communication, counseling, and commitment. Those are my four C's.
"Christ, communication, counseling, and commitment. Those are my four C's."
Tommicus: The best part is traveling the world! Being able to reproduce, hitting the goals we set each year as a team and making money together with my wife.
LeToya: There's someone there to go through life with, you know they're there through the ups and downs. The partnership and the love, I'd say those are the best parts.
For more of Tommicus and LeToya, follow them on Instagram @letoyaluckett and @tommicuswalker.
Featured image via Denisha DeLane / Shutterstock.com
Originally published on April 24, 2019
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood