It’s been a year since our sisterfriend Malinda Willams and deejay Derrick “D-Nice” Jones jumped the broom. As she prepares for a fabulous weekend at Martha’s Vineyard, the wife and mother reflects on her first year of marriage and how she keeps it feeling new.
ESSENCE.COM: Congrats on the first year of marriage! What’s been one of your favorite moments of marriage with Derrick that gets you the crazy moments life brings?
We have so many happy moments. One that I love the most is when he’s in the backyard cutting down trees and I’m in the garden cultivating tomatoes. We had our landscaping done and were walking through the yard. Now this isn’t our usual thing, and he’s a city boy. We’re both head to toe in goggles, masks and hoods and we’re so afraid of the ticks. It was so hot out there and he would go in and get me a freeze pop. We go out all the time, with champagne toasts and all the things that go along with our careers, but the moments in the yard, that to me is very special.

ESSENCE.COM: That’s beautiful. So does it feel like a year since you said “I Do”?
It has honestly been the shortest 12 months of my life. They say times flies when you’re having fun, and this is much more than that. It feels more like three months. I relocated from the West Coast and got married, so everything has been accelerated. Also, because it’s a marriage and you look at it over a lifetime, you don’t count time but you live in the moment. We live in the present, not the past and future, and that’s what keeps us happy.

ESSENCE.COM: That’s often easier said than done, so tell us how you mastered living in the moment.
Well, you have to forget what happened in the past, whether with your partner or your mother, especially if you are going through one of those moments. If you bring the past into it, you want to place blame and take things personal. Marriage is about healing. Your partner brings out the best in you, and they also will bring out your faults and those things you do not like about yourself. The work is in the moment. I remember it’s about my growth and our growth, and not about anybody’s fault.

ESSENCE.COM: Definitely. How have your son and Derrick’s daughter adjusted to the new family?
They love each other and they are always excited to hang out. When they get together, we’re like, “Where are Omi and Ashley?” because they are off having fun somewhere. Building the family unit is very important to us.

ESSENCE.COM: And how are you celebrating your anniversary?
The truth is I know how blessed I am. I’m grateful every day I have my husband in my life and celebrate my marriage and him every day. This is another day to do that and we’ll be at Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend. I’m looking forward to our future together.

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