For posterity's sake, the following is where life has taken us in the last three years.
- When we were first married, I took the bus from Provo to downtown Salt Lake while I interned at the Ensign. Since we've always shared a car, he drove me every day to the bus stop before the sun had even risen and in the freezing snow/ice. Then he was faithfully waiting for me every day when I got off. Knowing him even better as I do now, I realize how much effort it probably took for him to wrap up his studies or conversations with professors or friends every single day at the same time. And looking back, I can hardly ever remember waiting for him. Even the bus driver was impressed! Thanks, honey!
- We took a weekend trip to Denver once, just for fun, and spent a week camping in the Canadian Rockies. In both places, we found natural hot springs to relax in. Now that's how travel should be done.
- We graduated from BYU at the same time. Ryan decided to skip out on his college's ceremony and join me for mine instead. He knew how much I wanted to hold hands while we walked across the stage. :)
- Next it was off to Palo Alto for the summer, and what a blast that was. As you may remember, we lived in the weirdest little sublet in which, by the end, we had lived with two girls and a guy. Interesting, to say the least. But we also did every fun thing we could think of while we were in California, including visiting practically every beach within driving distance. I think we'll always remember that summer as the most carefree time of our married life.
- Next it was Notre Dame. The first thing I think of when I remember that year is ice, freezing rain, snow, poooorly plowed roads, and more potholes than I could have imagined. The next thing I remember is all of the wonderful friends we made there. Those football games were wild, by the way. Go ND!
- And now here we are in beautiful California, with a chubbly little fellow smiling at me from the swing as I write this. We love everything about living here. And nothing can compare to the joy of being a family forever.
I don't want to paint a fairytale here, so I hope I'm not too bold in saying that being married is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I've begun to see one reason the Lord sends us to the earth in families—so husbands and wives can be each other's refiner's fire! That is the blessing I never really expected to come out of marriage: two imperfect people who love each other deeply but clash against each other occasionally will hopefully someday make for two smooth stones! (Does that make any sense?)
Anyway, Ryan is a good man, everything I was looking for. He supports me without question in anything I want to do. And I mean anything. He is a worthy priesthood holder who loves the Lord. He is a tender father, and down the road, when parenting gets tough, I know I'll be thanking heaven every day because I have a rational, wise man to help me raise our kids.
Words don't mean as much to Ryan as they do to me, (I better go iron his shirts or something!) but I still hope that reading this helps him know that I couldn't imagine my life without him. I love you, babe. Happy three years!