Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Love Story

Sunday night my kids found an old video tape ("Goodness, Mother! What is this ancient tool of recorded media?") of my husband and I, so we spent the evening meandering down memory lane. Then, when I recently came upon the following questionnaire, the timing just seemed right to tell our "How-We-Met" story. I think it's a pretty darn good one! *wink*
(Merry Christmas, Honey. I love you!)

Where did you meet?

In a tiny auditorium in Firth, Idaho. He was a returned-missionary killing time while waiting to start back to Ricks College. I was a senior in high school who was crazy enough to try out for every musical I heard about (even one going on in a small town 30 minutes from home). The Firth High School Drama department always opened their auditions to everyone in the community (and beyond, I guess!), and Russell and I both happened to join the cast of "My Fair Lady" in February of 1992. We each had solos as chorus members. (Translation: Lots of time to spend sitting around getting to know one another.)

What was the first thought that went through your head when you met?

I know it may sound hokey, but the minute I saw him, the thought "I'm going to marry him" struck my mind like lightning. I immediately blushed, told myself to stop being such a dork, and tried not to be too obvious in my admiration. (Gosh, he was HOT!)

Do you remember what he was wearing?

YES. A black silk shirt, black pants, black boots, and a tan trench coat. Did I mention that he was definitely the "dark and mysterious" type? He looked like no RM I had ever seen! I had a hard time keeping my eyes off of him... *blush* (still do...)

Where did you go for your first date?

We went and saw the movie "My Girl" and then went dancing at the "Galleria" dance club in Rexburg. I could not believe that he had asked me out!!! But by the end of the date, I felt like his little sister-- not any kind of love interest. I later found out that he had gone to rehearsal the night he asked me out intending to ask out my best friend. Since she wasn't there that day, he settled for me. (Don't worry-- I NEVER let him forget it! *wink*) I came home from the date and emphatically told my mother not to worry-- I definitely wouldn't be marrying him-- he was not interested. (He still can't pinpoint when he started thinking differently about me. Maybe it was the fact that my crush on him was so obvious???)

Where was the first time you kissed this person?

In my parents' kitchen, after Junior Prom. (No, I was not a Junior, but I finally had a boyfriend, and I was going to attend a dance with someone besides my little brother or a blind date!!!) It was a first kiss for BOTH of us, and was kind of awkward, but very sweet. He told me he loved me, and I stammered for a few minutes before admitting the same thing. (I was scared spitless! Senior graduation was still two months away!)

When was the first time you realized that you liked this person?

Again, I had an immediate crush on him. Actually, I remember my friends Brian and Krisalyn talking about this RM with a great tenor voice they had met at the audition call-backs. My interest was VERY perked before I ever set eyes on him. *hee*

How long did you know this person before you became a couple?

Let's see. We met in early February, and had our first few dates before the month was out. Then at the end of the month, he went back to his mission area to visit a family (their daughter, actually!) he'd been good friends with while serving in their area. He and I both knew that it was now a competition between me and her. I spent an incredibly stressful week at home waiting to hear from him, telling myself over and over again that she was with him for the present, but that I would be waiting there at home with open arms. (My stomach still ties itself in knots just thinking about it.)

The first time I would see him after the trip would be when he attended a performance of another musical I was in. (I played "Jack's Mother" in "Into the Woods.") I don't know how I went onstage that night. I saw him watching in the audience, but I had no idea what was going to happen until the end of the show. When I cautiously stepped into the foyer after the curtain fell, I saw him standing there, grinning at me, holding a single red rose. And I knew everything was going to be wonderful.

How did this person propose to you?

Disclaimer: Being a really dense and naive high school student, (and the oldest child in my family, to boot) I had NO CLUE about how these things are "supposed" to go....

We'd been seeing each other every day since he got home (rehearsals, etc.) and were getting pretty serious. (Yes, my parents and friends were all freaking out!) The first Sunday morning in April, he came over to my house to watch the morning session of General Conference with my family, and then we planned to drive over to his parents' house, eat dinner with them, and then watch the afternoon session with his family.

Soon after we got in the car to head out, he gently asked what was going to happen to "US" after the play was over in the next couple of weeks. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I awkwardly blurted out "I don't know!" Neither one of us said another word until we were in his parents' driveway. I suppose I made him gather up his courage to mention the "M" word, and then everything came spilling out.

I don't remember much about the conversation, other than the fact that I was bawling like a baby, and that I told him I wanted to wait until I had a chance to live on my own. (I was still 17, afterall.) He gulped and said he would wait. (poor guy!) I also remember that as he told me what he wanted for his future life, that I got a strong, warm, peaceful feeling that he was the one I wanted with all my heart. He wanted all the things I did, and I could see, in that moment, our beautiful life together.

We finally went inside and ate when the second session was nearly over. I guess we had a lot to talk about! LOL!

A few days later, he officially "asked" me, but I was all confused, thinking we'd already "done that." Yes, I was quite the ditz. (Not any more, of course. Uh... ya.)

Do you and this person have kids together?

Oh, my, YES! *grin* We are the proud parents of TEN. He's the oldest of eleven, and I always wanted a large family, so... there ya go!

Have you ever broken the law with this person?

I am pleading the Fifth...

Do you trust this person?


Do you see him as your partner in your future?

Forever and ever and ever... :-)

What is the best gift he gave you?

(My son tells me I should say "The kids!") And that IS true. ;-) I don't know many husbands who would be so willing to let their wives be mothers 10 times over. (Thank you, Honey!!!)

As for a material gift... our second Christmas together I was GREAT with our first child (she was born on Dec. 27th), and I was slightly hormonal, but when he presented me with a beautiful new wedding band, I broke out in tears. I'd been wearing the wedding band he'd been handed down from his great grandmother, which was so cool, but I was always scared I would lose it and have several generations ticked off at me. I don't know why this new ring meant so much, but I still tear up, thinking about that Christmas morning with just the two of us.

What are your FAVORITE things about this person?
I love that he reads books that make him think, and that he shares his thoughts, dreams and desires with me. He and I still have amazing, lengthy conversations, about deep and important things-- many times late into the night. We just LOVE being together. He has helped me see things in a whole new way. (Who knew how helpful and interesting logic can be?! LOL!)

I love that he considers me his best friend, and his family as his #1 hobby and concern. I love that he'd rather spend time with me than any one else in the world. :-)

I love how he pampers me on my birthday and when I have a new baby. I love that he cooks so brilliantly, and that he loves to do it!

I am so grateful that he loved me enough to take me to the temple, so we can be sealed forever. And I love that he honors his priesthood and is a righteous example to our children and to others he comes in contact with.

I love that he has big goals and dreams, and that he loves God and the Gospel. I love that he is always reaching and trying to become a better person. I have grown so much, and become a much better person, myself, in the years we've been married-- all because of him.

What is one thing he does that gets on your nerves?

He has gotten much better over the years, but he still does have a hard time overcoming his propensity to criticize. He rarely criticizes me, actually, but the kids do still get it, sometimes.

Where do you see each other 15 years from now?

Hmmm... Fifteen years from now, our youngest three will be 15, 16, and 18. Hopefully, his business will be booming, we'll still be healthy, and we'll be enjoying our beautiful last three daughters, a son on a mission, and grandchildren too numerous to count! :-) I'm sure we'll be counting down the days until we can start traveling around the country/world, visiting all our children and grandkids, and hopefully serving a mission or two.

What causes the most arguments?

Willful misunderstandings-- usually from me. If ever he is wrong, he apologizes immediately and treats me with a greater increase of love. I can never stay mad at him! (That stinker!)

How long have you been together?

We've been married sixteen years, as of this past August.

Who Do you Tag?

I'd love to read the responses of my family and friends! So, whoever has time, post away! :-)



  1. What a fun story! Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. I'll post mine tomorrow...

    I hope you are staying down and getting some rest.

  3. I thought your first date was at someone's reception -- Nathalie's? :) and I was there with you. :) It's fun to read the whole story--how in the world do you have the time? Well, back to the laundry. Since you have the time, let's see more pictures of Avalon, too!

  4. That was a cute story. I was so young when you met, so I didn't know a lot of that.

  5. That was is a cute story. I was so young when you guys met, so I didn't know a lot of that.

  6. So romantic. I really enjoy reading about how much you are still in love with him. It practically oozes off the page. AWESOME!!! Merry Christmas

  7. Misha:
    Nathalie's reception was our second date... I still blush with embarrassment about putting you in that awkward position... :-D

    I can't wait to read YOUR answers, too! :-) Thanks so much for your comments!


  8. Rachel, I found your blog through one of your sister in laws! Thank you for sharing a beautiful love story....I feel immense love and respect for Russell..though he will probably always remember me as the pesky cousin who was Lisa's age...we did bug the living day lights out of him! You have a marvelous family!!!


  9. ReNee,

    It's so fun that you found us! I am enjoying getting to know you better by reading your blog. :-)



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