13 years

happy couple 2001

John and I were married thirteen years ago today. Some interesting facts about our engagement and wedding day:

The Proposal: In a nutshell, John and I met back when we were LDS. We started dating, and then started knocking boots, and for mormons that pretty much means get married or repent, stat. With the limited options being to get married and keep doing it, or stop doing it, we started talking marriage. We went and looked at rings and everything, but I was kind of freaking out a bit because I’ve always been sort of a commitment-phobe. I mean, I loved John — but I couldn’t help but wonder if I loved him, like til-death-do-us-part/ time-and-all-eternity “love.” I had the sinking suspicion that eternal life with anyone would get wearing after a while. So I kind of started lashing out, falling back into some bad habits and hanging around with friends who I knew John wouldn’t like.

For about two weeks, John and I went back and forth, talking marriage and looking at rings, and then fighting about me being distant and non-communicative and smelling of tobacco and pot. Then one day he tells me we need to talk, and we drove out to Tumwater Falls. The entire drive, he was very serious and stone-faced — later, he told me it was nerves, but at the time I didn’t realize that he was just preoccupied. I thought he was pissed, and as the silent drive continued with him not responding to any of my conversational ventures, I thought, “Oh my god, he’s breaking up with me. I’ve screwed up so bad.

I wanted to cry, I was so scared I’d lost the best boyfriend I’d ever had. We reached the Falls, and John parked the truck, got out, and made a beeline for the park. He usually opened my door for me, so that was weird, and I read it as another sign that he was breaking up with me. I hopped out of the truck and trotted after him — he realized that I was lagging behind and stopped to wait for me. As we walked toward the little brown wooden walking bridge, John started talking, saying something like, “These past few weeks we’ve been talking a lot about the future of our relationship.” It was worded in such a way that it honestly sounded neutral, and I really thought he was leading up to, “And I’ve realized we have different visions for the future, so I think we should break up.”

But instead he said, “So I was wondering …” and then he dropped to one knee and opened a ring box as he asked, “Will you marry me?”

And I yelled and hit him in the shoulder and said, “I thought you were breaking up with me! Yes, yes!”

The Gown: My mom was supposed to sew my wedding gown. It was an a-line, fitted-waist dress with a boatneck and a lace overlay. I was going to wear a Spanish veil. In the end, my mom was unable to complete the gown due to illness. I wore the pictured dress and headpiece, borrowed from my sister’s sister in law. The previous owner was much more ample in the bosom than I, so my mom and sister tried to stuff the bodice with toilet paper to make me look bustier. I tossed out the toilet paper, and John stared down my dress for most of the ceremony. 🙂

The Bouquet: John was working for a plant nursery at the time, and was given quite a deal on wholesale flowers. My mom didn’t initially realize the flowers would not arrive pre-arranged, and then when she did realize she just assumed that my extremely talented and creative fiance would take care of it. Somehow, she neglected to tell John or me about her expectations until the morning of the wedding, so that was a surprise. John (of course) rose to the challenge and crafted the beautiful bouquet I am holding in the picture, as well as the boutonnieres and corsages of the wedding party.

I’ve been joking all month that since John and I knew each other for about a year before we got married (yes, the whole frenemies to friendship to dating to engaged to married happened in the span of a year) that we should call this our 14th anniversary and skip “unlucky” 13 altogether. But the truth is, neither John nor I believe in that sort of superstitious bullshit, and I’m really proud at how far we’ve come together.

My husband and I have been married 13 years, and that’s pretty cool. I’m really happy to have such an amazing, creative, talented, driven, funny, and kind man in my life. He’s a wonderful husband and a great dad, and he strives to do his best to show his love for us each and every day. We’ve hit our bumps in the road, like any couple, and we will probably hit more bumps in the future — but I know we’ll hit them as a team, just like we always have.

Oh, and yes — it turns out I am in love-love with John, the for the rest of our lives/ til-death-do-us-part kind of love. The kind where if I believed in eternity, I’d be happy to have an eternity with John. We got pretty lucky!


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