In a recent episode of the city’s sponsored podcast, Magic City Spotlight, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and his wife, Kendra, came together to have a heartfelt conversation about marriage and blended families.
In the latest episode titled ‘Love in the Age of Hate’, the Woodfins engaged in a conversation with Dr. Thomas and Candice Beavers.
Thomas, the pastor of New Rising Star Baptist Church in Birmingham, officiated the wedding of the Woodfins in a private ceremony last October. Since then, the Beavers have maintained a close relationship with the Woodfin family.
Kendra expressed the importance of having a trusted group of people to confide in. She acknowledged that having wise counsel like the people around her is a true blessing.
After sharing their favorite gifts from each other, discussing their preferred vacation spots, and reminiscing about Woodfin’s infamous sugar grits, both couples proceeded to recount the heartwarming tale of how they first crossed paths.
The couple had been dating since the summer of 2021 after meeting at a series of charity events attended by Kendra’s real estate brokerage, prior to the mayor’s proposal last spring.
When she first met Woodfin, Kendra felt intimidated by his status as mayor. However, as they went on their first date at the Paper Doll in Birmingham, their feelings quickly shifted. On the show, they revealed that a hug they shared sealed the deal for both of them.
“When I embraced her, I sensed a profound shift within me,” Woodfin expressed. “The entire atmosphere seemed to transform, and my affection towards her became more intense. It was a remarkable change, and it brought about a positive impact on everything around us.”
They shared their first kiss after having drinks at Paper Doll and then walking to El Barrio for dinner.
Woodfin became the stepfather to Kendra’s two sons, Aubrey, 16, and Mason, 10, after they got married last fall.
During their conversation with the Beavers, the couple delved into the challenges and joys of blended families. Woodfin openly shared that his personal journey of learning had been the most significant obstacle he faced.
He shared, “At a young age, my mother got remarried.”
“I can’t quite recall if I was 9 or 10 years old at the time. However, reflecting on those memories within our blended family has taught me the importance of being understanding and patient. We are blessed with two intelligent and well-mannered boys. Nonetheless, there is still an adjustment period for all of us… It’s a matter of finding the right balance. Personally, I have come to realize the value of not being too rigid.”
During the adjustment period, he found it beneficial to maintain a humble attitude and seek guidance from others. He expressed gratitude towards Beavers, acknowledging the valuable advice he received on gentle parenting and cultivating patience.
During their conversation, Kendra mentioned that Candice Beavers had given her a valuable piece of advice regarding the importance of prioritizing her husband while taking care of their children.
Kendra highlighted the importance of paying attention to one’s husband.
“When the kids leave at 18, you will have the rest of your life with your husband,” she said, reflecting on the advice she had received. This statement made a lasting impact on her. Consequently, she began to evaluate her relationship and her interactions with the children. She realized the importance of considering their feelings as well as her husband’s. This shift in perspective has led her to approach the blending of their families in a new light.
Kendra expressed that ever since they got married, she had been making an effort to take a step back and let Woodfin take the lead.
“I have complete trust in him and I also trust him to be the leader of our family,” she expressed. “So, it’s fascinating to me that I can allow him to take on that role even though he’s still learning… It’s not always going to be flawless. There will be imperfections, but it’s the commitment to sticking together that makes it truly beautiful.”
The Woodfins also discussed the pressures and criticisms that accompany a life in the public eye. However, they emphasized that they are mostly grateful for the opportunity to serve as a positive example of a healthy relationship for the community.
Birmingham Mayor Woodfin expressed his willingness to serve as an example for others if their approach proves successful.
“We’re cheering for everyone in their relationships because Birmingham thrives on healthy connections. We want families to stay united, whether they’re blended or not. We want the well-being of husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and all those who are dating. We believe that when love flourishes in our city, it elevates the entire community.”
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