It feels strange. #1 is already half way through her junior year, has taken the ACT, and is talking about college. Our baby is almost 3 years old, and all the other kids keep growing up (how rude!).
I remember being the young married wife, the young mom... I remember starting adulthood, and I remember how optimistic and absolutely clueless I was. Oh, I thought I knew everything. I figured, "hey, look at me! I went to college. I have a degree and I read a lot. I read all the books! I know everything there is to know. I am so prepared!" Older and wiser mothers would look at me with a strange expression on their faces, and I figured it was because they were blown away by my amazing knowledge and awesomeness.
Well, now that I'm older and a little bit wiser (with so much more learning and wisdom to still gain), I find that I'm looking at those young, confident mothers with the same look. And it's absolutely not because I'm blown away by their awesomeness (although many are awesome!).
It's the look that says, "I was you, once. And although you're doing better than you think you are, you're going to experience things that will stretch you further than you thought you could go. You're going to change your opinions about things --maybe even a lot of things. You're going to go through tough situations that you thought you could prevent. You're going to find out what matters most. And then you'll discover that you really didn't know very much at all. But it's okay, because you'll also find out that you're strong and loved, and you'll gain wisdom."
I've been pondering these past 19 years (20, really), and thinking about all that has happened. The wisdom I've gained through experience has been humbling and beautiful all at once. The truth is, I'm still going through experiences (even now) that are pushing me completely out of my comfort zone and teaching me that I really don't know much at all.
And now! Since I like lists and family history, stories and memories, I want to write a summary of our married life, thus far...
I met Brandon May 20, 1998. We worked together on campus at BYU, and although my first impression wasn't the greatest, it didn't take me long to find him quite attractive (like, 24 hours). Our first date was June 10, he kissed me June 20, and proposed October 20.
We were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on January 16, 1999.
|January 16, 1999|
|Aspen Grove Family Camp, Summer 2000|
|April 21, 2001|
|February 11, 2003|
|August 9, 2004|
|February 8, 2007|
We then moved from Provo and lived in Concord, CA for approximately 13 months.
|July 28, 2009|
|Buckingham Palace, January 2009|
|The Great Wall of China, September 2010|
|Graduation in Philadelphia, May 2011|
|March 2, 2012|
|February 23, 2015|
And now, here we are in Kansas. We love living here! Our kids are doing well, the ward is like family, and the community is amazing. I'm finally getting myself physically healthy, again (now that I'm mentally/emotionally doing well, the physical health is coming a lot easier), and although we still struggle with normal mortality-induced trials (some a lot more difficult than others), we are happy.
|Christmas Eve 2017|
I'm grateful for Brandon and for my marriage. Aside from mothering, I don't think anything else has taught me so much! I'm blessed to have a strong, dedicated, brilliant, handsome, hard-working, and loving husband. I love him! And I love our life.