Friday, April 27, 2012

One year already?

April 23, 2012 - Our One Year Anniversary! This year has flown by, but it has been a year of learning for both Ryan and I.  Remember, we dated for two weeks before being engaged, and were married a few short months later.  That didn't give us much time to get to know one another.  So, not only have we learned the basics of being married, this last year we have learned a tremendous amount about each other.  

We look back on our first substantial time away from each other - mid summer when I opted to stay home for about ten days to tend to my poor broken-ankle mother.  We look back and say "yeah...we missed each other..but we were just fine?"  And we compare that to last months absence, when I was spending time in Oregon for spring break.  We REALLY missed each other, especially poor Ryan who was stuck in a cold, dark basement studying for tests.  We knew we were supposed to get married, we knew we loved each other. But what we have come to realize is our love has grown deeper and deeper, and our hearts have grown more tender and bigger for each other.  It's one of those things where you think, if we could love each other this much more in a year, what about when we start having little ones and have so many more years, memories and experiences under our belts?  It is a wonderful thing to think about.

Ryan and I were asked to share some thoughts at an engaged couples fireside a few sundays ago.  We were asked to think about the question, "what do you wish you knew during your first three months of marriage?" We spent a great deal of time discussing and pondering that question, since our first three months of marriage were particularly hard.  We decided to share a few points including:

1. Don't assume.  Don't assume you like the same things or respond in the same way, or communicate the same.  Don't assume your spouse is mad or upset, or frustrated.  Learn to ask questions and be open to learn and change.

2.  Be Kind.  We have both learned that by approaching one another with kind words and a soft tone allows for cooling off and it builds a trust; trusting that we care about what each other is feeling and what we have to say.

3.  Give each other the benefit of the doubt.  If your feelings are hurt, don't automatically think your spouse did it intentionally.  We are all learning and trying our best.  

We look back on this year with such tenderness.  It was trying at times with football, school, callings and work tugging at us, but there are so many positive memories associated with our first year.  Celebrating birthdays, our first family reunions, visiting Sundance, Christmas memories, the Bowl game, late night studies, movie nights with popcorn/pretzels/m&ms, late-night icecream runs, exercising and yoga...but amidst those events we cherish the times when we learned something new about each other, or found another precious thing to love about each other.  

We have a framed cross-stitch hanging up that says, "Happiness is being married to your best friend."  Ryan is my best friend.  And I am his!  Everything in the world could crumble around us, but we know we could make it just as long as we face it hand in hand.  

 PS. Ryan really went above and beyond this year.  He planned and planned and it turned out to be a perfect day.  Trail runs and park picnics, feeding the ducks and a lovely walk, dinner and a movie, flowers and a wonderful book.  It was better than anything I could have done that's for sure :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Update

It is 6:11 pm and I am just getting home.  I get a half hour break until Ryan and I meet up to exercise.  A glorious half hour!!! Our minutes are consumed with making notecards, dinner, cleaning, studying, reading...but I have decided to dedicate this little breath of fresh air to write a much needed post.  

Easter Festivities

Easter has come and gone too quickly.  In the past, Easter weekend in Oregon meant egg hunts with my little nieces, fresh spring air, beautiful blossoms and family time.  It was a little sad to "fit" the fun Easter events into our busy schedules, but nonetheless we thought about and contemplated the meaning of Easter throughout the week, which is more important than dyed eggs and bunny rabbits.  

Our wonderful friends  - the Yecks

so enamored by the white crayon...

girls were the egg hunt champs!

Mike is 6'8'', just in case you were wondering why Ryan looked rather tiny

Easter Dinner

We are so grateful to live near Kate.  She is a darling girl.  Ryan and I have talked a lot about love languages and how we show/want to be shown love.  Kate shows her love through service "on steroids" (as Ryan accurately chimed in the other day.)  She delivers cookies, writes sweet notes, makes us yummy minestrone (she actually did that today!!) and is always being thoughtful.  As Easter Sunday approached, she organized a delicious Easter meal, which I was happy to help with since Easter Sunday is an especially great Sunday to spend with family.  We made funeral potatoes, honey ham, bread, fruit salad and garden salad.  At home, each Easter Sunday my mom dusts off the china and serves the meal on her best dishes.  I think that is such a lovely tradition, and since we don't have china, we did the best we could :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


General Conference has come and gone, and left me with a lot of work to do.  Sometimes I feel like I learned something new, other times I feel the power behind the words, but this conference spoke to my heart.  There were two talks that I especially loved, by Elder Holland and Elder Uchtdorf.  There are so many lessons and principles I want to apply to my life but as with most things, I tend to overwhelm myself.  Take studying for instance.  I typically pull out my good friend the planner and stare at the week's, or even month's work load ahead of me.  3 tests this week, 2 papers, 4 quizes, 3 essays...and my mind starts getting jumbled and confused.  It's those nights of stressful "planning" that I don't get much of anything done, just create ulcers.  Ryan is so good at reminding me to take one step at a time, tackle one task here and another one there, and the amount of stress will diminish.  As it should be with applying any kind of principle or habit to my life.  Sometimes I fail to remember that this life is all about progress, and it's just important that we keep improving ourselves along the way - it won't happen all at once.