Eleven years ago I made the best decision of my life. Little did I know life would just keep getting better. Not without change and growth and lots of hard work, but better. Every minute, of every day, of every week of every year. Happy Anniversary my sweet Brent.
November 21st, 1998
Denver, Colorado Temple of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Here is a photo journey of the last 11 years together...get ready for a long-winded, family and personally directed, somewhat sappy, but totally authentic post.
The First Five Years 1997-2003
...We will start in 1997 when we met. I had a bit of the Colorado "granola girl" in me. It still shines through a bit but Brent cured me of most of my baggy jeans, no make up, and "Simple" shoes. This is September of 1997 the first time I met his parents.
October of 1998...one year later we are engaged and ready to take the plunge...if courtships only involved 2 people, ours would have been perfect. But they don't. Families and friends sketch out their own visions of life and sometimes the two aren't harmonious. Such was our case. Brent and I never faltered and the disbelievers came around.
Our very first apartment was around 500 sq feet in the basement of a wonderful Mexican family. We grew to love their children and Josephina's salsa! It was small but quaint. We loved our huge brick fireplace.
First year memories include... school, we both went full time, cockroaches in the apartment, riding our bikes to and from school in the winter forging ahead as a single car family, making wonderful friends with all our neighbors, making bread with my little bread machine, eating shepherds pie for dinner every night on BYU campus. Brent still refuses to eat it after 10 years. Sometimes too much of a good thing is just too much.
I was a research assistant for my professor, and was a server at the China Lily, and Brent did computer tech support in the wee hours of the morning. We worked out at the BYU gym and ate lots of fruit snacks and Cheez its. My how things change! (I think in that picture of the kitchen I saw Crisco and PAM, I tried to zoom in to see what other delights I stocked my kitchen with but couldn't see.)
Our first year anniversary, November 21st, 1999, we spent in Colorado. We cut our cake top for historicity.
Our second year together brought lots of BYU football games, a new found passion for mountain biking, and graduation. Whew. I graduated in August of 2000 in Biology Composite Teaching, and Brent in December in Economics with a Business minor.
Best memories of this year were my insect collection for Entomology, I couldn't have done it without all those darling little neighborhood kids who, bless their hearts brought me dozens of grasshoppers, cockroaches, and bees. They thought I was the coolest lady around.
I started working teaching Earth Systems at a middle school about 25 minutes from our home. Remember that grubby white couch in the photo above? I used to come home at night, that first year teaching, turn off all the lights and just lay there for about 45 minutes. Brent was still at school or work, I can't remember. I was just trying to recover. Everything they say about the first year teaching is true. It was so hard. But I loved it and attacked it with a passion.
Brent built a full size half-pipe in our neighbors backyard with the local neighborhood kids. They finally took it down before
This is the year "Demon Sports" and the "Stomplock" were born. We made playdough molds and took a shot at a trade show in Las Vegas. Who would have ever thought, this little idea would bless our family so immensely for the past 9 years and the future.
I began teaching Honors Biology in addition to Earth Systems. In 2002, our fledgling company needed all the cash flow it could get. We sold Brent's 4 Runner, and even the "hoopty" (my grandpa's old toyota camry, beat up courtesy of Brock's High School adventures).
Brent got his car dealers license and we rotated through Malibu's, Hundais, and other semi-sketchy cars we tried to turn over to help sustain us. My inheritance from my grandfather was unloaded into the company (which was explicitly only to be used for a home, sorry Grandpa!) and we barely eeked by.
In 2002 we purchased our first home. A brand new condo about a mile from our little basement apartment we had been living in for 3 1/2 years. It was a good change.
Our condo was about 1500 sq feet, with huge vaulted ceilings and everything just right. Except a yard. We lugged our bikes and groceries up those stairs.
We didn't make as many great friends, because of the transient nature of the area.
My teachers salary was always extremely tight, as we continued to independently finance the company. I remember the sick feelings I had for about 6 months when we couldn't pay the full balance on our credit cards. This is the year I became pregnant with our first baby. I constantly had classic, tactless remarks from the Junior High Students.
Our life without children was coming to a close. We worked our guts out. And played a lot too. Mostly mountain biking, and we also did our first triathlon. We built a solid relationship those first 4 1/2 years which has proved invaluable as children have entered into our lives and the demands on our time have changed so drastically.