Life isn't always easy, especially when people find themselves down on their luck.
That’s the case for one family who came to Texas for a fresh start.
To say they've had their ups and downs, you could say, is an understatement.
At the table at Price's Chef on South Alameda Street, Keisha Thomes helps her young son who seems to have a habit of breaking crayons.
One look at the two and you’d most likely realize there’s nothing quite like the bond between a mother and her child.
There’s no question that two-and-a-half-year-old Jackson is the apple of his mother's eye.
Behind Keisha’s contagious laugh and infectious smile lies a life that hasn’t always been easy.
But it's those tough times, she says, that made this single mother even stronger.
As Keisha began telling us her story, it sounded like the odds were stacked against her.
“Yes, they definitely were,” she told us. "We were losing our house in Wisconsin,” she said, adding it was the same house she grew up in for 20 years.
So with jobs scarce and money tight, Keisha and her mother realized that after two decades, they needed to move on.
They came to Texas in 2013 and along with them brought the painful memories they couldn't leave behind.
"My mom wasn't really there for me,” Keisha’s mother, Katrina told us. “My stepfather got custody of me.”
Adding, "he abused me. Mentally, physically, sexually.."
She told us as a child, Katrina couldn’t comprehend it.
“So you have to get back up and try and you may have to do things differently, but you'll still be able to do things,” Katrina said as a way to handle life’s challenges.
But then two years ago, their lives would change once again. And once again, for what they call the better.
"This man right here who may not like to be on the camera has done more for me in the last two years than anybody has done in my entire life,” said Katrina as she reached out and smiled at the man sitting beside her.
That man is Katrina's boyfriend, David, and on the day we met them, it was the couple’s two-year anniversary.
It’s an anniversary the two never expected.
"Before her, with everything that was going on, I was honestly probably going to end up on the street,” Katrina’s boyfriend, David Augustine, shared with us as he reflected upon his own trials and tribulations.
"She had a lot of fears,” David remembers. “So did I. But when things lined up for us, they kind of just slowly fell into place and we started really seeing what we could be.”
When we asked what they could be, David said, “a very healthy relationship, a very happy relationship.”
Now is the first time in all of their lives, they say, where the hardships they faced alone have made each of them stronger for not only themselves but also for each other.
The two have no questions about their love for each other. “It's unconditional between the two of us.”
And for Katrina, she says it’s that unconditional love that helped her realize that just because people abandoned her in the past doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen again in the future.
“He's given me hope that that's not the case because no matter how many times I try to push him away or scare him off, he showed me that he would be there for me,” Katrina joked, thinking that her strategies to be single would never work.
The family then continues on with their brunch with little Jackson still breaking his crayons.