Many people have questioned me on my choice of major. Why would I study family life? Some are especially perplexed when they find I was originally working on English as a career option.But to those who don’t understand why I study marriage I say this: I am studying the most important institution every established. This has always been my belief, and being married has only solidified that.
Two and a half months ago Paul and I knelt at an alter and made special promises to each other that bonded us together as husband and wife. This decision wasn’t a hasty one made amidst the high of teenage hormones, nor was it made in the chasms of desperate loneliness. It was made in a dairy fridge where I knelt on the cold metal floor and asked if this was truly the next move I should make. A calm and reassuring feeling confirmed my choice, and two days later when Paul asked me to marry him my answer was a resounding ‘Yes!’ Still I had this little place inside me that felt like I could be giving something up. I secretly mourned for the loss of selfish time I was planning on spending for me. I could no longer set my course to orbit around myself.
Ten months is a long time to be engaged-- everyone told us that, and it felt long. Many people didn’t think we could make it unspotted to the temple, and we were encouraged to move up the wedding as some kind of insurance. I tried grasping that idea for two days, but I cannot adequately describe the sickness I felt. The Lord let me know that my ten month engagement was his plan for me too. He knew I still had so much growing up to do. Trials I faced at school, home, and work enabled a hardening process to occur within myself which helped solidify the lessons I had to learn to make me into the wife Paul deserved.
But we didn’t ride off into the sunset to live out the rest of our perfect life carefree. Last Saturday when I tried to wake up early so I could shower before work I was overcome with exhaustion from the night before. Sleep had not come easy as shivers from the chilly night air woke me from time to time. I tried to snuggle closer to Paul’s warmth but was elbowed in the face as he tried to shift his arm around me. Sleeping together takes coordination like a dance.I was never good at dancing. I rolled back over to the cold side of the bed rubbing my face as I fell back asleep for the fourth time. I had not completely drifted off when my alarm began to ring, and before I could quite register the sound my hand swung over uncontrollably on top of the snooze button. . . fifteen times. . . no kidding. When I finally realized what time it was I had just enough minutes left to shimmy into some wrinkled clothes, grab a quick bowl of cereal, and hustle out the door, still unshowerd.
Work was hard. I was tired of hearing customers complain about things I can’t fix, and my shoes were digging into my pinky toes. I just wanted to go on a date with my sweetie. Upon arriving at my apartment I realized I hadn’t done the dishes from the night before and had no towels left in the house. No food remained to make anything other than a toasted cheese sandwich and there was no money to go out. I started to dust the living room and realized that I was sweating profusely from the heat of our toaster we call home and I turned the AC on high. I was starting to feel really down and by the end of the evening I began to cry thinking about the possibility that I may not be able to go back to school. Life just felt so hard. I kept reminding myself I signed up for this—not just when I said ‘yes’ to marry my sweetie, but to my Father before I was born.
Sunday morning as I got out of bed, sun beaming through the curtains, I looked over at my cute husband who reached his hand out to the wrinkled spot I had been laying, and I smiled. All the hardness of Saturday was gone in that moment when I was perfectly content to just stare at his lidded eyes and listen to the sound of his sleeping wheeze. Sometimes. . . well, most of the time, it is the hard experiences that make happy moments that much more sweet. I laid back down beside Paul and held on to his outstretched hand knowing that many more hard times are coming. But I can’t think of another person I’d rather spend them with.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Paul and I were finally able to go on a honeymoon in Anaheim, California, and the majestic Disney land. We woke up at 4:30 to be able to make it to the airport on time and we were exhausted.
It was my first time on a plane since I was ten. I was very exciting to be so high.
We stayed at the Sheraton hotel and it was beautiful. But don't let that bed fool you. It was hard as a rock. We missed our bed at home all week.
Paul wanted to unpack when before we headed over to the park.
So I nibbled on some cheese bread we had packed for breakfast. I had a meal plan for our trip that would save us some money. We would eat the complimentary breakfast at the hotel each morning. I packed small snack lunches and the plan was to only pay for one meal at the park each day. However. . . I was mistaken. The hotel charged a buttload for breakfast. Sixteen dollars for a poached egg! So, without the free breakfast we had to split the three snack lunches into six meals. Hunger was a constant companion for us most of the trip, closely followed by dehydration.
While waiting for the shuttle Paul got to touch his first palm tree. I remember when I touched my first palm tree and the excitement that surged through my body; I desired for Paul to experience that same feeling. He humored me.
We made it to the park and decided to start at California Adventure. People were taking pictures by the big letters and we wanted to as well. 'F' was the only letter no one wanted to take pictures with. So we did!
The sights of the park were so beautiful. . .
And humorous too! This made me laugh every time I walked by.
Celebraties were not in short supply. We were running into them all over the park. This was the first star we saw. Sully!
Our first ride was the Hollywood Tower of Terror. We were so scared. . . can you tell? It was one of our favorites.
Goofy sauntered past me so I snapped a shot.
I even got a video of Mickey cheating on Minny with Cinderella. It was suppose to be a picture but I didn't know my camera was on film mode. Most of the video is me running and discovering last minute that I didn't get a picture. But the proof is there at the beginning.
Dang! I done didn't know he was here. Shoot, he's so much more perdy in person!
It was getting hot so we stopped to cool off in this hat shop and tried on a couple hats.
Pretty wedding Mickey ears.
Look. The little couple!
Day two we walked over to Disneyland and skipped down Main Street USA. I even made a charming new friend.
Paul was getting a little jealous!
Before riding any rides we ran around Tarzan's tree house.
The hunger was getting to us. . . here's Paul posing by some old trunks hoping we'd stop taking pictures and go grab a bite to eat.
Paul was really starting to feel Walt's vision.
We had to stop when we saw this honey.
We were just so hungry and were still looking for a lunch spot.
We finally found one and ate until we were too full to move.
We spotted Pluto being tackled by scary moms with strollers.
Finally, a picture with a letter other than 'F'.
At City Hall we were given these pins that said, "Just Married". They helped us get a couple rides on the Matterhorn without standing in line.
Mr. Incredible sighting.
Space Mountain was another of our favorite rides. We rode it three times! The third time we were lucky enough to land ourselves in the front row. As they check our seat belts and send us forward to go we were informed that the ride was broken and we had to get off. Directed back in line while they fixed the ride, we ended up on the back row. Feeling a little jaded, Paul suggested that I cry a little, bat my Disney princess eyes, and pull the "we're on our honeymoon and just want to ride in the front row before we have to leave" trick. I didn't though.
We were able to catch a parade before we ended day two.
Day three was started in Disneyland where we shot down Zerg.
We made Buzz proud.
We also got to take a trip to Fairyland.
We were wishing and wishing for dinner.
I met another new friend. He was so sweet I thought we'd invite him to dinner.
Paul didn't like that idea or my new friend for that matter.
It's a small world after all.
And it was messing with our brains. We couldn't stop singing it.
The night was getting late and dark. We wanted to see the fireworks but there was one ride we hadn't been able to ride that was calling our name. California Screaming-- with drops, fast turns, and upside down loops. We stood in line for forty-five minutes but it was worth the wait. Paul and I looked at each other as we stepped out of our cart and realized that it was worth another forty-five minutes to ride again. We jumped back in line as the park announced they were closing and no more people would be admitted into the lines. By the skin of our necks we were back on the tracks within ten minutes screaming our heads off.
Immediately after we were ushered out of the park at .02 miles per hour. Shoving, tripping, and cutting off was not only permitted but religiously practiced as angry fathers, Mickey Mouse ears perched atop their head, elbowed there way to the exits so their toddler in the stroller could sleep through the fireworks. By some miracle we made it out of California Adventure and stood out side the gates. Paul wrapped his arms around me and we stared at the sky as the finale began.
The fireworks were beautiful and the week was majestic, but it was while standing under that night sky I realized what made it so special. It was Paul holding my hand and starving with me. It was sunburned noses because we didn't wear sunscreen. It was getting soaked together on water rides. It was celebrating the beginning of a life together knowing that many more years of experiences were ahead with the man that I love.