Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman and her husband Stephen have been married for six years and share two daughters, Daisy Pearl and Dolly Grace (named after Dolly Parton). However, before they were married, Schlapman experienced a heartbreaking loss. It was through this tragedy that Schlapman and her husband found one another and their relationship, and eventually their family, bloomed out of grief.
Love Grows Through Grief
Before marrying Stephen, Schlapman dealt with an unimaginable loss -- the death of her first husband, Steven Roads, who passed away from a heart attack in 2005. Kimberly's now-husband, Stephen Schlapman, was friends with Roads and was also impacted by his death. After the tragedy, Kimberly and Stephen found one another through their grief, and eventually, feelings began to grow.
"I wasn't planning on falling in love, at all," Schlapman once said, according to The Boot. "I didn't want to ... I wasn't sure that I ever would. So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died, all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friend. We had known each other for about six years, and he started calling me just like everybody else did. But he started calling me more than everybody else did."
Schlapman shared that she and Stephen bonded over their shared loss of Roads, and Stephen was a listening ear she could talk to about her late husband, as he was dealing with his own grief. Although they had that common bond, Schlapman was still shocked when she began developing feelings for Stephen.
"I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings, I just thought, 'OK, this is so weird. What is this? I haven't felt this in a long, long time,'" she said. "But eventually I allowed myself, and it's been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I've ever been in and healed me."
The Gift of Their Daughters
Schlapman's marriage to Stephen has been a blessing in more ways than one, as shortly after they wed, she became pregnant with their first daughter, Daisy Pearl. Schlapman and her first husband were never able to become pregnant, so she believes her daughter was sent as a gift from him.
"When we got pregnant on our honeymoon, it was just the most incredible gift," she told People. "I believe that my first husband, who was in heaven, I believe he begged God, 'Let's give her what she's always wanted for a wedding gift.'"
When Daisy was young, she began asking her parents for a sibling and even started praying to God for a little brother or sister. The couple tried to conceive a second child both naturally and through artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, but they did not succeed. Eventually, they decided to adopt, and in December 2016, they welcomed their second daughter, a baby girl named Dolly Grace, just in time for Christmas. The addition of Dolly and the answer to Daisy's prayers for a sibling inspired Schlapman to write the 2020 children's book, A Dolly For Christmas. The book is meant to tell their story and encourage other families who are going through similar situations.
"I just want people to be hopeful and to know that if they're in the middle of a struggle, they are not alone," she says. "We walked those same roads, and they are very, very difficult. But, in the end, there is restoration and there are children who are waiting for them."
Kimberly Schlapman has been a member of Grammy-winning, Nashville, Tennessee-based country music band Little Big Town since its formation in 1998. The band, also consisting of Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet, released their debut, self-titled album in 2001. Since then, the group has released eight more studio albums and multiple hit singles, including "Better Man," "Girl Crush," "Day Drinking," and "Pontoon." Other notable singles include "Happy People," "Your Side Of The Bed," "Little White Church," "Boondocks," and more. In addition to their four Grammy awards, Little Big Town has taken home nine CMA Awards and eight ACM Awards.
Schlapman often posts photos of her family on social media and can be found at the name 'ohgussie.' Schlapman also enjoys cooking and published her own cookbook, Oh Gussie! Cooking and Visiting in Kimberly's Southern Kitchen. She has also taken her cooking skills to the small screen with her TV show, Kimberly's Simply Southern.