Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ten Years!!!

In the midst of our travels and travails over Thanksgiving, Warren and I celebrated our ten year anniversary! I cannot believe that we have been married for that long - or that we have packed in as much living as we have in 10 years. We often laugh that we have snuck a lifetime of experiences into our first ten years! Here is my list of my:

"Top ten (things) in ten (years)!"
(In no particular order)

10: Living at a snowmobile lodge our 2nd year of marriage.
How many people can say they've done that? We were the night managers at a gorgous lodge at the summit of Logan canyon. We lived there, so we had no living expenses. They fed us every night (only steak, chicken, or salmon, though... :-)) and every morning. On top of all that, they actually paid us for the 'trouble' of driving up for an amazing get-away each and every night.

9: Law School.
Although, at the time, I'm not sure we would have put this experience in the top of our great experiences, we learned a LOT. Our marriage was tested and strengthened, we learned how to be a family with our new little Matthew, and we learned so much about ourselves. It was our first real taste of full independence and I felt such a sense of pride in that independence. It has also set the course for the rest of our lives. Even though things didn't always turn out as we had planned (the first year, NOTHING turned out as we had planned!), and sometimes the whole experience seemed to be kicking us in the butt, it has turned out well.

8: Moving to Boston.
I still remember the excitement when Warren was asked to interview for a job at a large firm in Boston. It was around our anniversary and he and I went to Boston together for 2 nights while he interviewed. Then, a week or two later I answered the telephone when the managing tax partner called to extend an offer to Warren. We were so thrilled! After a really challenging law school experience, Warren had a job - a GREAT job! We finally felt like 'real' adults, going off to the big wide world to make a name for ourselves. Our hopes of owning a home were dashed, however, when we realized how expensive Boston was! We drove through neighborhoods of what we thought were 'starter homes'. We would get ourselves all excited about how, "these would be okay for awhile - they're not quite what we imagined, but they'll do." Only to find out that those homes were easily $750,000! It was eye-opening! Boston was a blast, though. Spending time at the ocean, becoming familiar with downtown Boston, eating fresh seafood, visiting all of the museums and historical sites, day trips to Cape Cod, New Hampshire, or Maine. Boston was amazing!

7: Living in Chicago.
Chicago has been a mixed blessing. The offer to move here came at a time when we needed a new job. Warren's firm in Boston dissolved, and we needed a good opportunity. The move was a great one professionally. Warren feels like he has learned more in 2 years here then he learned in 4 years in Boston. However, his hours are long - very long - unbelievably long. But, suburbia is very nice. We live in a comfortable home, in a nice neighborhood, on a quiet street, with lovely people all around us. Warren also served his mission here in Chicago. I think that it has been fun for him to be back.

6: The birth of Nathan and Andrew.
TWINS! We were so thrilled when we found out we were getting a '2 for 1' deal (well, I was thrilled, I think Warren was mostly shocked)! The pregnancy was fairly easy for me - I only gained 75 pounds. :-) Watching two little personalities emerge and then begin to interact with one another has been one of the most rewarding parts of the past 3 1/2 years. They have their ups and downs, but it's been mostly ups. Having infant twins was a new experience for Warren. Usually, I am able to be up with the baby at night and I don't mind doing that because I am the one feeding them! However, with two babies to attend, Warren was needed on night duty much more frequently. He kept talking about how hard it was to be up at night with the babies. I just had to smile! See, he would have missed that if we had not had twins.

5: The birth of William.
We nicknamed William our 'little bar baby' because he decided to make his debut the day of Warren's bar exam! Now, in hindsight, perhaps we would have postponed the exam, but that day it seemed like the thing to do for Warren to go ahead and take the bar. He had, after all, been studying for almost 3 months straight! At 3 a.m. the morning of the Bar my water broke. When I realized what had happened, I woke up Warren and we could not stop laughing. Will was two weeks early and what a day to choose to arrive! Luckily, all worked out well. Even though my water had broken, I was not in active labor. In fact, I was not in active labor for most of the day. It wasn't until Warren met me at the hospital after day 1 of the exam that contractions really began. Then, once they started, everything went very quickly. We checked into the hospital at 7:45 p.m. and by 8:08 p.m. I was holding William! Warren was able to do all the 'dad things' at the newborn nursery, visit with me for an hour, and still made it home and was in bed by 10:00 (he had to be back early for day 2 of the Bar exam). We joked that if he failed the exam he had a good excuse, and if he passed the exam he had a great story. Luckily, he ended up with a really great story! William has been a joy to have in our family. He has such a spontaneous, fun personality that it was only fitting for him to arrive in the manner that he did!

4: The birth of Matthew.
We decided to begin our family after we had been married one year. We were still young, we had law school ahead of us, and I know some people close to us thought we were crazy. However, our sweet baby was the highlight of our first year of law school. Warren often said that coming home to our smiley little boy with hair sticking up everywhere, was the high point of every day. Matthew made us smile when we felt like crying, and made us pick up the pieces over and over again when things kept falling apart our first year. He was a delight to us that first year and has continued to be a joy to raise ever since. He is mindful and kind and sensitive and smart, and I feel like having him in our family has been a tremendous blessing - from the very beginning.

3: Serving in Tully.
After our first year in Syracuse, Warren and I were asked by the Stake President to begin attending a small branch about 20 minutes away from our home ward. This branch was really struggling. They didn't have enough members to keep things running, so as one last attempt to keep it open, they asked 3 young couples from the ward to come serve in this branch. It was such a sweet experience. My testimony of the gospel was strengthened as I slowly realized what things were and were not necessesary in the church. Of course, it is nice when wards can have greeters and 7 different music people, and full presidencies in each auxillary. However, the Spirit can be just as present, and very strong, in tiny church buildings, with just a handful of people, and things that don't 'look' like you think they should look. I met the most amazing people - two of my closest friends in that branch turned out to be women 30 and 50 years older than me. These ladies and I connected on a very personal level, and I know I can attribute that relationship to the fact that we were together in this little branch. Had we been in a large ward, I can't imagine us ever getting to know one another. Whenever I get caught up on the idea of perfection at church, I try to think back on our little branch. As I think about serving there, I think I understand a little bit better what the gospel is all about!

2: Celebrating our ten year anniversary at the 'Boulders'.
After Thanksgiving, Warren and I left Matt and Will with his mother, and Nate and Drew with my mother and he and I escaped for 4 days to Arizona. It was so BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL! It was so nice to re-connect with my wonderful husband. We ate fabulous meals together, spent time in the sun, read, shopped, and relaxed. The resort was so quiet - the day after Thanksgiving is a great day to begin a vacation, FYI! We had our own little 'Casita' which was sort of like a cabin with a real log burning fireplace, large hot tub, and two comfortable leather chairs. It was a perfect celebration for our anniversary. Now I just want to go back! Since we have never gone away together on a vacation, this one absolutely makes my TOP TEN!

1: Our wedding day.
I don't know if it was a good sign or a bad sign, but the day we got married it was POURING rain! Really, for those of you who know Utah weather, how often does the rain come down in torrents? Never. Except on my wedding day. :-) Our wedding photos outside of the temple all include this gigantic, rainbow colored, golf umbrella. You know, though, it made me smile then, and it makes me smile now. I think it is a little bit different, and a little bit special - sort of like my marriage. The number one highlight of the past 10 years is the day I married Warren in the Logan, UT, LDS temple. Our life together began on that day, and I am so thankful that he chose me. I would choose him, and our life, and our experiences, good and bad again in a heartbeat. When we were engaged, we believed all the discussions about how any two young people can have a successful marriage if they are committed to the marriage, pray together, etc... Not that I disagree with that - I don't. It's just that now Warren and I have been married for 10 years, I believe we are meant to be together. I don't believe that I could be as happy, or have as successful of a marriage with someone else. He and I both feel that we were designed for one another. And that makes me happy.

Thanks for a terrific and eventful ten years, War!


Katie said...

What a sweet post! Happy anniversary, too! And for what it's worth, the Irish consider it very good luck if it rains on your wedding day (as it did mine and yours!)

April said...

That was fabulous, I almost cried (I am prego though). Congrats on 10 exciting and wonderful years. And especially making the effort to spend a wonderful vacation with the man of your dreams!