Tom and I celebrated ten years of marraige yesterday. Well, celebrated might be a little too strong of a word. The real celebration came over the weekend, while the actual day yesterday was marked with two trips to Salt Lake for violin rehearsals, a pot of soup left on the stove for Tom to eat with Max and Ashlynn, and both of collapsing in front of "House" after all three kids were in bed. Not quite the romantic, exciting life we envisioned when we tied the knot ten years ago!
I spent the summer after my junior year of college working at a music camp in Michigan. It was a crazy, wild, fun summer. I was pretty involved with a boy from my single's ward who moved there, and we had some pretty intense, romantic times together, but it ended badly. I came home to Utah with a incredibly broken heart, only to learn that every single one of my girlfriends were either engaged or married. Every. Single. One. It was terrible. I was roommates with two of my engaged friends, and they so smitten and sappy that you couldn't carry on a conversation with them without it including the words "tulle" or "wedding cake", and it seemed that those who were married may as well have fallen off the face of the earth for all the interacting with the real world they did.
I was so tired of dating, tired of relationships that lasted forever and went nowhere, tired of being around friends with whom I could only discuss wedding plans that I decided to swear off everything. No dating, no boys, no relationships, nothing. I was going to graduate school. I started sending away for brochures, planning audition trips, and talking to people about letters of recommendation. I was even determined that I was going to go to a family ward, because the last thing I wanted was more of the Singles Ward scene.
Then, one fateful October night, one of my engaged roommates convinced me to go with her to a Sunday night church social. It sounded as much fun as practicing Kreutzer Etudes, but I knew that I needed some semblance of a normal social life or I was going to need my practice room turned into a padded room. So I went, and she promptly ditched me, leaving me to navigate through a room full of strangers. I started talking to the boy sitting behind me, making all the normal small talk. You know, "What's your name, what are you studying, etc." When I told him I was majoring in violin performance, his eyes lit up and he immediately blurted out:
"Will you marry me?"
He explained to me that he had been to the symphony for the very first time the night before, sitting on the front row, right in front of the first violins, and had been mezmerized the whole night. We chatted a bit for a few more minutes, but I didn't really think anything of it, other than that was definitely the first time I had been proposed to after knowing someone for approximately 42 seconds.
A few Sundays later at church, I was feeling lonely and awkward. I noticed Tom sitting down, (and miracle of miracles, I actually remembered his name!) and asked if I could join him. I spent my time listening to the lesson, and he told me later that he spent his time watching me. As we left class, he asked me if I would like to go dancing with him sometime.
I groaned inwardly. I had no desire to date, in fact, it was exactly the opposite- I wanted to stay as far away from that scene as possible. Plus, (and this was the real reason,) I can't dance. I really can't. The joke in my family is that there was only so much grace to go around in my family, and my sister the ballet dancer received all of it. It's really embarassing. You would think being a musician and all that I would have some innate sense of rhythm and movement. It just ain't happening. Many people have tried to teach me and have failed miserably. I'm a lost cause, really. It's embarassing.
I tried to explain all these reasons to him without making it sound like I was giving him the brush-off. (I didn't tell him the no-dating thing, of course, just the part about being a completely hopeless dancer.) He tried to convince me it would be fun, and that he had taught others girls to dance. I kept trying to explain to him that it wasn't a good idea. Finally, he suggested something else, and I hesitantly agreed.
"It's just one date," I reasoned to myself. "I need some kind of social life, and really, what can one date hurt?"
Abby is eleven and in fifth grade. She practices like crazy, love performing, and "really, really, really" wants to be in the symphony someday. She loves ice skating, riding horses, and has more energy than both of her parents put together.
Ashlynn is nine years old and in fourth grade. Ever since her arrival in the front seat of our minivan on the side of the freeway, Ashlynn has always done things her own way. She keeps everyone in the family laughing, and is always there for a hug, a smile, or a cuddle. She loves gymanstics, playing the piano, and frequently is found bouncing off of one piece of furniture or another.
The Big Brother
Max is a four year old ball of energy and fun. Obessed with the iPhone, Toy Story, and Phinneas and Ferb, he regularly has us laughing hysterically at his antics. Max was born with metopic craniosynostosis and has had two major skull reconstructions, and has come through with flying colors.
If there's trouble to be found, two year old Ian will be in the center of it. Ian is charming, articulate, funny, and incredibly determined to make the world exactly the way he wants it. He loves his brother, climbing on the counters and waking up at obscenely early hours.