Sunday, May 24, 2009

Celebrating Ten!

A week ago, May 18th, Doug and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary. 10 years! What a wild yet wonderful ride! Just looking at these photos, I remember the spirit of the day. We were married in the Salt Lake LDS temple. It was a simple ceremony, joyous. The rest of the events were celebratory. In our little world, the day was perfect.

After knowing each other for six years, writing through two LDS missions (Doug in Korea, me in Illinois), and dating off and on after I returned, we were finally confident in our decision to marry. I remember riding horses with a friend up Millcreek Canyon and having the thought come to me. "No one loves you like Doug does." It was soon after that, I went groveling to Doug, asking if he'd be willing to try one more time (we were not dating at that point). Doug was pretty much through with "us" after three break-ups in a year. I mean how many times can you be told "I don't think it's right" and keep coming back?? A man only has so much patience and self-respect to endure that kind of rejection. So I knew if I had any chance at all, I would have to come to the table, willing to put all my cards down.

And I did. Ready to jump in with both feet and give it all I had, I knew he was the one. Thankfully, he took another chance on me. And we never looked back.

I love Doug. When considering marriage, you usually don't have the wisdom, humility or foresight to know what kind of spouse will complement you best. You go on a feeling that what you are doing is right. But I can say now - Doug was the perfect complement to my idealistic spirit. He is grounded in truth, careful about important and sacred things, a champion of those who have less and need more, an exceptional father, and a husband who is willing to let little things go and love unconditionally. I have never wondered how he feels about me or about our children.

We laughed over dinner last week about the struggles of combining two backgrounds and lives the first couple years of marriage. Things that easily flared as "issues" those first few years go undiscussed or unnoticed now. The way I cleaned the toilet, black lint from Doug's socks on the carpet (ok - that was an issue for a little longer than a few years), my sloppy loading of the dishwasher (this surfaced after we finally had a dishwasher), and Doug's addiction to ice cream and television LATE at night. Have these things changed? Not really. But you learn to accept and love each other. You realize what matters and what doesn't - that there's "no use sweating the small stuff" - right?

The day we were married, the tulips around Temple Square were magnificent. Ironically, the gardeners were pulling the bulbs out all around us as we scurried to take pictures by flower beds that weren't yet torn up. Last Monday, we walked around Temple Square and they were pulling the bulbs out then too. Must be the week they change over the gardens. Still beautiful.

So we were hoping for a big trip on our 10th Anniversary. Hana, St. Martins, Puerto Vallarta (some beautiful white sand beach would have been my dream-pick), but carrying the boys @ 31 weeks - a charming getaway - further than a 15 minute drive from the hospital - wasn't a possibility. So we talked Doug's parents into watching our girls for a night so we could stay downtown in Salt Lake at the Grand America.

It was a beautiful hotel. We enjoyed a gorgeous mountain view from our balcony and a quiet, peaceful dinner outside on the veranda of the hotel restaurant.


Here is the view from our balcony. City and County Building in forefront.
The hotel gardens were bursting with poppies, pansies, and mountain lupine. Looking at this picture Doug just said over my shoulder - "look at my gut." I said, "Your gut?? Look at mine!"

Flattering. This shirt makes me look like I have a gigantic water balloon slung around my neck. These days that's exactly what it feels like.

View of the gardens from our balcony.

The next day we walked around downtown Salt Lake, something we haven't done in many years. We went into the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (the old Hotel Utah), where we had our wedding luncheon and ate lunch on the 10th floor. (Here's a picture Lori - for Dave and his old stomping grounds). We did some shopping, bought bedskirts for the boys' cribs, special bath gels for the girls, and saw a matinee movie. Star Trek. Which, for the record, was quite good - even if you're not a Trekkie. I'm sure I missed some of the quips any mediocre Trekkie would have caught, but at least I got "Beam me up Scotty" and "Live long and prosper."

It was a fantastic day, just having time together, unattached, and in no kind of hurry. By dinnertime we were pulling into the driveway, anxious to see our girls.

Here are 10 reasons I love you Doug. One for each of the years we've been married. Thanks for all you do to make my life so happy and complete.

1. Your HONESTY. With me. And others. You have exceptional integrity. I trust you with anything and everything. That is priceless.

2. You're a keeper of the two great commandments. You LOVE GOD and you LOVE OTHERS. I noticed it today, the way you stood in the hall with me at church to talk with an old friend and the way you taught our girls this week about obedience.

3. Your SENSE OF HUMOR. Thank you for laughing when I'm perturbed and ready to pull my hair out. You help me see the comedy in frustrating situations. And you laugh easily at yourself. That is an art.

4. Your LOVE OF NATURE (and the outdoors). It's so fun to appreciate adventures, wildflowers, sunsets, the earth's creations - together.

5. Your THOUGHTFULNESS. Thank you for doing the dishes lately - since reaching the bottom of the sink has me hunching over like Quasimodo. Thanks for taking the girls on errands so I can have a few peaceful minutes alone, and for a "day away" before the babies come!

6. Your RESPECT for others. You are a true gentleman. You have great respect for women. Remember how enamored my Mom was by the fact that you always followed me home when were dating and opened car doors for me? You respect my parents (and yours). I have always appreciated the way you remember my parents, love them, and treat them like your own. You have the same graciousness and thought for your parents.

7. Your ATD (attention to detail). I'm so grateful you can fix my book-keeping errors, the broken blinds, a glitch in my word document, put together a bench for the girls in minutes, or save a dinner I have flopped. I'm so challenged in these ways. What would I do without you?

8. Your DEVOTION to FAMILY. Thank you for taking the role as "provider" seriously - especially during these intense years of raising our children. I am so grateful I can be at home right now. I'm thankful we have the same goals for our family - where we are going, what we want to teach our children, who we hope to become.

9. Your ENCOURAGEMENT. If you think I can do it, I begin to believe I can. Your support in my passions, dreams, and desires to be a good mother mean the world to me.

10. YOU. Just having you. Around. With me. Makes me feel whole. Thank you for reaching over our girls today while sitting in the church pew to tenderly take my hand. It was a quick touch - a reminder of what we are doing together and that it is right. I love you.

8 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Your comments made me wish I knew Doug. I can relate to the waterballoon hanging down from the shoulders (carrying one is making me feel that way - I can't imagine 2).

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  2. This is beautiful! Happy Anniversary. You both look great.

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  3. Congratulations. We miss you both so much. Glad you had a minute to get away and relax to celebrate. Love you.

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  4. You look beautiful! I can hardly believe you're at 31 weeks already.

    I'm so glad you guys got to spend such a nice day together. Times like that are precious. Happy Anniversary!

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  5. Seriously...I cry every time I read one of your posts. What's up with that! I love you guys!! Happy (late) Anniversary.

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  6. Happy Anniversary! And what a sweet tribute to Doug. You're such a good wifey Cath!

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  7. You have the most lovely way of describing your life/marriage/self--I love reading your posts. You should write a book! And congrats on 10 years! What a milestone!

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  8. Keep that list on your frig and each time Doug gets on your nerves go read it. Sometimes we forget why we love these men who put up with us every day. Like you, I am very blessed. Love you guys!

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