Today is our ten year anniversary. Is this the cotton year? Or, is it the paper year? I've never understood that tradition of giving a certain thing for an anniversary. I'd understand it better if it was "new bath towels" year, or even better: "new flooring through out the house" year.
Ryan and I dated for-ev-ur. We met at the Institute building near Bakersfield College. (Think Bible-study classes for church.) One Wednesday night during a lecture/lesson, there was a question asked, and I remember him answering it. Although, I didn't know it was him, and I couldn't see who it was. I just thought that he was cool, and that I'd like to meet the guy. Not long later, I found a note with a paper rose stuck under the wiper of my 1995 purple Ford Escort. It was from a secret admirer. I was kind of freaked out, based on two boys who were interested in me at the time... I had gone to the movies with one guy, who later left me a note on my car saying that he loved me. Really? After a trip to the movies? NO THANK YOU! The other one was similar... I think he just thought I was cute. Any one who claims they love me after only a day obviously doesn't know me, and I run far, far away. So, this cute note freaked me out. Amanda C. (Ryan's cousin...Hi Amanda!) read the note and helped me calm down. She didn't tell me who it was, even though she knew, but looking back, she was reassuring. Oh, I forgot to mention that I also had suspicions that the note was from a girl. The writing wasn't a typical small-cramped boy writing, so I though someone was playing a joke. No, I wasn't paranoid! Much. A week went by, all the while Ryan starting to appear more and more, but saying NOTHING. Another note, and I still didn't know who it was. Went on a date with someone who said the note wasn't from him... it was kind of a big deal around the Institute that someone was leaving me notes. This boy said it wasn't him, but could we go out as friends, anyway? Friends? You bet. Turns out, he thought friends kissed... so ended that date with an unhappy boy and an uncomfortable me. Hello?!? Liar. Enough of those boys! I think that's why I hated dating: the boys I wanted to date never asked me out, and I was too chicken, and the most of the boys who did ask me out liked me too much, too fast.
Ryan was a perfect match. We hit it off really well. I think our first date was a trip to the movies... we saw some kid movie I can't remember the name of. We also played mud volleyball with the singles ward that same week. He was impressed that I was not afraid of jumping into the canal to rinse off. I was impressed he didn't think I was heinously ugly all covered in mud with my oh-so-lovely frizzy hair. After the mud volleyball we met at the bowling alley to eat with other people (I can't remember who all was there, I was focused on Ryan- hubba-hubba!) and the rest is history. We went on our first "date" in August of 1997. We married April 08, 2000.
Okay, a secret (or not) about our wedding: we both really didn't care about it. I mean, we cared about getting married, but the whole planning a big to-do was awful. In fact, both his mom and my mom said "You don't have a reception for you, you have it for the family." If it were up to me, I would have eloped to the temple and called it good. Once we were convinced we needed a reception, we had a party. We put up one of those big white tents, had lots and lots and lots of food, and socialized with our friends. We didn't do a couple's dance, or cut the cake... that is my nightmare is to have people look at me with focused attention.
Our wedding party- Cousin April, Cousin Jason, Ryan's sister Jocelyn, Cousin David, my brother Steven (kneeling), Amy, me, Ryan, Clay, cousin Caley (kneeling), my sister Karen, bro-in-law Michael, my sister Kendra, cousin Jeremy.
The boys all wore Dickies, suspenders, and black Vans. The girls all had white Vans. These photos were taken at Hart Park the day before our wedding, as part of our "compromise" with my mother. She insisted a photographer, so this is what we did. I'm glad we did it the day before because it made the next day less hectic, but it is a little weird to not be at the actual wedding. We have hundreds of informal shots somewhere in storage of the actual day... it turned out to be a nice mix of photos because we have these formal "See what we looked like when we got married?" pictures, and the "Hey, there's _______!" from the reception.
The last ten years have included:
- Living in Coalinga, Ca (15 months), Bakersfield (4 years), a campground which shall remain nameless as I try to block the memories (14 months), and where we are now (3.5 years... does that add up to 10 years?)
- Of those ten years, four and half have been in a trailer...
- Four kids!
- I got a teaching credential and taught school for three years before answering to "mom." Ryan has been in three different areas with the CHP.
- I've changed approx. 10,000 diapers. Maybe. Ryan has changed 4. Maybe.
- We were talking the other day and we both agree we look forward to seeing what the next ten years brings... seeing the kids get a little older and wondering how they'll turn out, the house should be done (insert laugh here- it'll be done this summer/fall for sure!), and seeing if all our plans and schemes pan out. I'm afraid the next ten years will be really busy, but it'll be great!