Last week Scott asked if it felt like it had been nine years. When I think back to all that's happened in these nine years-- 2 bachelor's degrees, a masters degree, 5 moves, a house, 5 children-- it does feel like we've been married forever. And I'm glad because I honestly wouldn't have it any other way and can't possibly imagine being any happier. I feel very blessed to have been able to catch Scott's eye. I was only 19 when we were engaged(20 when we got married), which now, looking back, seems a little young and scary. But we both prayed about it, we did some serious thinking, we went to the temple with questions in mind, sought out and listened to the counsel of our parents, and we both felt good and peaceful about taking that next step. From things that I saw during our months of dating, I knew he had the most important qualities: he loved the Lord(this says SO much about his character: honest, loving, faithful, service oriented, etc), he loved me, and he was a hard worker.
As individuals and as a couple, we've grown a lot over these 9 years. A lot of that growth happened because we went through different stages of life together: poor college students, having children while we both still continued on with our education, getting through a masters degree, worrying about our parents health(cancer, kidney stones, high blood pressure and old age), buying our first home and managing finances with our rapidly growing family, me being really sick with each pregnancy and more.
When we were first married we lived in a tiny, 300 square foot studio apartment. There was one room, a tiny kitchen and a tiny bathroom that could only fit a narrow shower. We decided to get pregnant only a couple of months after being married which we were fortunate to have happen right away, but I got really sick. I threw up several times a day, every day, for months. We were both going to school full time at BYU and working part time. We would come home around 530 at night, I would go straight to our bed and fall asleep. Scott would make us dinner, wake me up to eat, and then I'd promptly lay back down, feeling miserable and try to go back to sleep. Scott would clean up and then take his book bag in the bathroom and do his homework on the seat of the toilet so he wouldn't disturb me because we learned through experience that if I woke up when I wasn't ready, I would throw up even more and have a hard time getting back to sleep again. We did that for months. Even though it was a hard for both of us, I look back on that time with a deep feeling of love, appreciation, and adoration for my dear, sweet husband. And then we did that again four more times, but at least we were no longer in a studio apartment. With each pregnancy, Scott always took over household responsibilities(getting breakfast and dinner for the family, cleaning, bathing kids etc) on top of his work, which is a lot. Each one of the challenging experiences we went through together, provided an opportunity for growth as individuals and as a couple. I'm grateful for all our experiences because once endured well, they brought us closer as a couple and made us stronger people.
Here are a few things I've learned about marriage so far, both from experience and from things I've read(I majored in Marriage Family and Human Development, so I read some on this): A good marriage takes work. A good marriage will have both partners consciously making sacrifices for their spouse. In a good marriage, you'll always be thinking about and considering the welfare of your spouse over yourself. In a good marriage, you make time for each other: make time to talk, to listen, to go on dates(preferably every week). In a good marriage you're respectful, loving and kind, even after years of living together and being familiar with one another and knowing each others strengths and weaknesses.
When my 20 year old niece came to visit from Mexico for a couple of weeks, she said to me one day, "You and Scott have a very happy marriage. You always talk nice to each other." What she said was interesting to me and when you consider the examples portrayed through media, which shapes our culture, what she saw between me and Scott was very different. We're not sarcastic and rude, we don't try to one up each other or say mean things with humor. Not only do we love each other, but we like each other and we're faithful and devoted to one another. Scott and I are best friends and I am so grateful to have him and look forward to spending an eternity together.
Here are a few pictures of us nine years ago, from when we were on our honeymoon (these are different than the ones I put up last year).
|Beach in South Carolina where we stayed for a week before leaving for Europe|
|Kissing in a phone booth in London. I've always wanted to do that!|
|On the Eiffle Tower in France|
|On a train in Italy|