Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The day it all began

Fourteen years ago today, as the early morning sun came up over the Wasatch mountains, the Husband and I were married.

We were young, dumb, and oh-so-in love. He was 21, and I had just turned 20. We had a whirlwind courtship that surprised no one around us. It just felt right. It was meant to be.

As I look back on the last 14 years, I am struck by depth of my heart that he still holds today. If I had known just how lucky I was on that spring day, I would have shaken that 20-year-old girl with a bad perm and told her that this was the first day of the rest of her life. I would have told her that everything she knew about herself to that point would grow and change over the next few years. I would have warned her that she would move somewhere beyond the life she had known, and that it would challenge her to do things she had never done or even dreamed of.

For him. This skinny, shy boy that came along quite by accident.

Him, the boy she loved with all of her inexperienced heart.

But we can't go back and tell ourselves to appreciate it, can we? All we can do is look back and smile at the memories and moments that now make up our history together. And laugh at him because he can't remember half of them.

Like the pans and pans of peanut butter bars I made in the cinder block one-bedroom apartment, and how we wondered why both of us were gaining so much weight.

And the quiet drives up the canyon in the white VW Fox, where we planned and dreamed of our future together.

Or the roller blades we thought would be so practical in Minnesota, and how we only used them twice.

But the memories that most fill my mind are the ones we have made as parents, and as a family. I could not have known what an amazing father you would be. You have made our babies your entire world. You gave up golf, a hobby you loved, because you couldn't bear to spend a whole Saturday away from us.

You are a man who walks in the door, never needing to unwind after a hard day at work. You want us. You've missed us. You are not only ready to just be with your family, but you crave it. We know that we are your whole world, and our children are better for it. Your first thought after a long business trip is of me, and providing me with a break from the kids. It's you half the time who suggests a girl's night out. You, who happily takes off work so I can get away for a few days with my girlfriends.

Your unselfish nature is but the tip of the iceberg.

I love that you would do anything for me, if it made me feel pretty. I want new clothes? Go for it. Make-up and makeovers? Whatever I want. Shopping sprees? You deserve it, baby, you say. I know how lucky I am.

I just want you to know that I know it.

I don't always show my gratitude. I know it's hard to hear me complain when you're in another state, working 90-hour weeks for nightmare clients, and I'm whining about trivial, everyday stuff. Problems you'd love to have right at that moment. But to your credit, you take a deep breath, and tell me how sorry you are that I'm feeling that way, and ask what you can do to help.

You never complain or look disgusted when you walk in the door and I've got yesterday's matted ponytail and a pair of sweats on. You smile, hug me, and make me feel as though I'm the most beautiful woman you've ever seen.

You are always supportive of how I spend my time, even when it's going to daytime movies by myself, reading novels, or spending time blogging. I wonder if the tables were turned, could I be as big a person as you are? Could I work so hard knowing this person was being less productive than they could be?

Whatever I do, whatever I say, I am grateful. I am grateful that you support me staying at home. I am grateful that you never question how I spend my time. I am grateful that you love our kids. I am grateful that you love me, in spite of my many flaws. I am so grateful that you were able to look past the fuzzy hair, terrible clothes, and neurotic insecurities 14 years ago and take me as your wife, your partner. I cannot imagine my life without you.

Chiche though it may sound, you really do complete me.

I love you more today than I could have imagined on that early spring morning. Here's to many more years of adventure, laughs, and growth.

I love you,

Your little Stie


Jessica said...

love love loved it. If I put all that in a card next Aug. 16th, do you think Ryan would know it wasn't from me? (I'd probably have to take out the work-trip part, but the post marriage weight gain, and the family-centeredness both are the same).

I'm so happy that you are so happy.

Annie said...

A toast of fizzy apple cider to you both.
Happy anniversary and many, many more to you. We're glad to call you our friends. You really do deserve each other.

Annie said...

p.s. Holy cow, the train on your wedding dress! I don't think I ever saw that before.

Melain said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Sounds like you scored yourself a good one. Does he read your blog? If so, this will make a lovely anniversary surprise for him. Feeling poured onto paper is the longest lasting gift around. My husband wrote me a sentimental letter a couple years ago and I still get it out and cry over it as if it was the first time I read it. It's my favorite thing he ever gave me. And he's given me a LOT.

Jenibelle said...

You were starting your family and I was adding to mine on the same day. Your dress is beyond gorgeous and what a beautiful couple. Obviously you both made a wonderful choice of who to spend eternity with. Happy Anniversary!

DanandCindy said...

That was a nice post, but haven't you already blogged about that?

I thought you were always dressed in yesterday's matted ponytail and a pair of sweats.

bedelia said...

I like that you guys are shaking hands in your wedding picture. That's not something you see everyday.

Melissa Walker said...

I have a wedding photo just like that! The wedding photographers of the 90s were so original, weren't they? I think your husband and mine have much in common and we are both very lucky for that! Happy Happy Anniversary! Enjoy some peanut butter bars!

calibosmom said...

That was really sweet. Congrats on 14 blissful years and to a great hubby!

Emily said...

I'm with Annie, my first thought was--Wow, that is some train! It does look beautiful falling down the steps. And here's to Josh, you totally deserve him! I'm glad you guys get a weekend together and I am so so sorry to miss it (uh, left a message on your cell if you haven't got it yet). Anyway, happy anniversary and have a great time!

Nataliekhill said...


this is Natalie, here. little nicole sussy's big sister and your delinquent garden swap partner. many apologies for the tardiness of your sussies. deaths, cancer and a demanding broadway show schedule contributed to my procrastination ...but a pressie is on it's way today.... and like i always say,

better late than pregnant.

xoxo, n*

Nataliekhill said...


this is Natalie, here. little nicole sussy's big sister and your delinquent garden swap partner. many apologies for the tardiness of your sussies. deaths, cancer and a demanding broadway show schedule contributed to my procrastination ...but a pressie is on it's way today.... and like i always say,

better late than pregnant.

xoxo, n*

Nataliekhill said...


this is Natalie, here. little nicole sussy's big sister and your delinquent garden swap partner. many apologies for the tardiness of your sussies. deaths, cancer and a demanding broadway show schedule contributed to my procrastination ...but a pressie is on it's way today.... and like i always say,

better late than pregnant.

xoxo, n*

Nataliekhill said...

oh, and happy anniversary. what a beautifully well written tribute!

momy4him said...

happy anniversary to the two of you! your post is so beautiful!

Hollyween said...

Gorgeous couple!
Ya know what, it sounds cliche, but I swear to you that John is the exact same way. I think the two of them would be best friends.
Having a supportive husband is the best.
Happy Anniversary!

Bridget said...

You guys are a beautiful couple.Josh is a great man for you. I'm glad you guys found each other. Happy Anniversary to you!

andrea said...

nice. i'm crying all over my keyboard. i COULD get electrocuted, you know.
i love sappy, and i appreciate it so much more now that i'm married to a man i feel that way about. i wish we had your 14 years behind us, and i can only hope god grants us an extra 14 to make up for the ones we didn't get together. i'm glad you love your husband like you do. it's inspiring to hear about it. thanks for a beautiful, quasi-electrocuting post.

Lindsey said...

Lucky girl. Don't you just LOVE spring weddings? Congratulations. I can't wait to celebrate 14. I can only imagine the retrospect. We got married a little older (27) so, we are only at 8, but I am probably the same age as you! I am happy you feel so much joy in the decision you made so long ago. :)

dcrmom said...

I am literally wiping tears off my cheeks. That was beautiful. You truly are blessed.

RobynandJoe said...

I'm pretty sure we drove to Utah for your wedding. Kimberly and I were probably fantasizing about our own future hubbies...Happy Anniversary! I hope I'm as in love with my husband when we've been married for 14 years as you are with yours! What a sweet tribute!

Queen B said...

How wonderful! You both are so blessed.


Amanda said...

Congrats on 14 years! That is awesome, and definitely something to be proud of! I hope you get to do something fun to celebrate!

Great photos, great post.

Holly said...

Oh my ever lovin' goodness, this was beautiful! I loved hearing your story.

Happy Anniversary and many, many more years of love and happiness.

Becky said...

Happy Anniversary to you, my friend. I forgot our marriage dates were so close! Sorry he has to be outta town. You guys will make that up, I know.

Oh, and thanks for writing the sappy letter that my heart feels but for some reason I cannot do. It was the best!

Michael said...

I feel like I've been going to cousin weddings every year since then. I guess I'm the last one... Happy Anniversary. Too bad Sir Croaks-A-Lot had to die so tragically close to your anniversary. I hope you're coping okay!

Kate said...

Happy Anniversary! I loved this post.

Kimberly and Devon said...

Happy Anniversary! Has it really been 14 years? I wished I lived closer so you could go out and pamper yourself for the night while I watched the kids. Have a great night and celebrate in a BIG way when your hubby gets back! Love ya!

Holly said...

Oh my gosh, what a beautiful tribute! Happy Anniversary!

Wendi said...

Happy Anniversary!

Fabulous post...You are a very lucky girl!

Kristy said...

A very refreshing & uplifting outlook on marriage! This is what God intended when he designed the marriage relationship. We as women should praise & uplift our good husbands as much as possible. You said it all so beautifully. Congratulations on the 14 years together, & may God grant you many, many, many more!!

Lauren said...

Happy, Happy Anniversary!

I loved the things you said to him! You said things in such a beautiful way.

I loved the pictures, too!

Diane said...

I loved this post! Happy Anniversary! It just is NOT possible that you've been married for 14 years! It seems like just yesterday you guys visited us in So. Cal. and J. was so impressed with the LA Times and the Register. Lots of good things have happened in our lives since then. It's good to know that the best is yet to come! We love you guys!

gab said...

Happy anniversary little Stie!

I remember bawling through the whole ceremony. I was soooo happy for the two of you. Who knew it would turn out to be such a great match?!

So glad you have been part of the family all these years.

p.s. Thanks for not posting hideous bridesmaid photos!

Denae (a.k.a. D-dawg) said...

Stie, you are seriously the best writer.. this gave me chills. I have wondered before too if the tables were turned if I could be as good and sweet as my husband. Some men are just so good! He's lucky that you recognize how great he is. Happy anniversary.

Ashlee said...

Congrats on all your years together! Sounds like you've got it pretty good! :0)

Rosie said...

"Yesterday's ponytail and a pair of sweats~" that's my uniform! Happy Anniversary, our 11th is in two weeks. Did you get married over spring break, like us?

Lauren said...

I know I already commented but I had to come back and say that I really loved how you said that you husband is so supportive of how you spend your time, (at movies or reading etc.) I think that is such a fantastic compliment to him. I am grateful that my husband is supportive of how I spend my time, too...even though I know there are many days I am way less than productive.
Thank you again for this post. The way you worded things was so great and this post really will help me articulate to my hubby how grateful I am that he is so supportive of how I spend my time. Don't worry though...I won't plagiarize ;)

marta said...

happy anniversary you two. am glad to hear that your happiest memories were made with your kiddies.. you guys have some of the cutest! you guys are such great examples.

you were always a cute match, from the beginning days when you made out at temple square. and your wedding is a day i'll never forget either; you didn't warn me you had invited Aunt Flow to the reception!!!

xo. love ya.

Anonymous said...

wow. I'm crying.

AMAZING letter.

You are BOTH blessed.

Emy5 said...

Happy Anniversary, Stie. It's obvious that your love for each other has only become deeper over the years! Lovely wedding dress!

Amber said...

Sniff. Such a sweet letter. I always suspected you were a secret sap at heart. :-) Happy anniversary to you both!

And I love the new design. Your site just keeps getting better and better!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary from the Czech Republic. You are the best. Love, The oParents.

2happy+2 said...

You both are very blessed. Very sweet tribute to your sweetie!! Happy 14th and here's to many many more!! Congratulations on making a wonderful family full of love and happiness, and that is a feat in these later days.

Lisa @ Take90West said...

LOVE your new look!

This was a great post...ditto for me. I could never joyfully go off to work everyday if I knew my husband would be sitting around at home all day. I would be a bit crabby. Just a bit.

Jenna said...

I so can not get over the fact that your hubby gave up golf. My hubby's deep in golf and that's just how it is.

Very sweet tribute to your hubby. Congrats on 14 years.

I just wanted to say HI! and "meet" you. I'm going to Blogapalooza and I'm just a shy backward type, unless we've already met. So now we can say we've met. See ya!

Heidiram said...

What an awesome tribute to your husband. And he gave up golf? WOW! Happy Anniversary!

thimblefingers said...

I am so happy to know that you went for the gold.

Purple CJ Diva Duckie said...

Happy Happy Belated Anniversary!
Loved the post and uplifting things you said. Made me teary!
And the train on that dress...WOW!
I have seen those doors before. Love that place!
Good times!
Here's to many more blissful years!

Mique (as in M-i-c-k-e-y) said...

Happy Happy day (sorry so late)- more proof that you two are the perfect match.