Saturday, March 3, 2018

Grandma Wall

It's been a long, hard, empty year since my sweet Grandma passed away. I honestly haven't been able to put down the words on the computer or in a journal since she passed. Every time I would put pen to paper I just could not get the words out. I'm just still not over the shock of losing her. Without trying to seem like the worst granddaughter in the world, I honestly did not know losing her was going to be this hard. My world seems quieter, duller, & lacking. I have struggled over the last year trying to write this, sometimes only typing a sentence or two & then quickly admitting defeat. I apologize for the rambling but I truly just needed to finally get the words out.

I still can't believe she is gone. I just keep waiting for her to walk in with my Grandpa at work & instantly ask where Brynlie is. Then offering to take her off my hands any day we are too busy at work to have her there. She would light up whenever she saw her. But that was just who she was. She loves her kids, her grand kids & her great grand kids. In general she loved all children. She taught preschool for 32 years & it still bring a smile to my face every time someone tells me how much they loved Mrs. Wall's preschool. That preschool room is one of my fondest memories of my entire childhood. Within two minutes of getting to her house we were up playing in the preschool. Then when it was time to clean up she'd turn on the "preschool clean up song" (Heigh-Ho from Snow White) & she would help us clean up our mess.

When I was younger I thought it was funny to tease her. We would go to their house & I would try too sneak in without giving her a hug knowing she was going to chase me down till I gave her one. Spencer always teased her that she was shrinking when he started to tower over her.  She loved spending time with us whether it was taking us to the zoo, coming to Fish Lake for the deer hunt, having every one over for dinner, our Wall Family Christmas party, or just a visit for no reason. She had a way of making you feel like the most important person in the world when you were with her.

In high school when I was a sophomore I used my Grandma as a taxi service quite often. Looking back now I can not believe she agreed to drive me around so much & man I'm sure it was so annoying. But she was ALWAYS happy to do it. I can't even count how many Friday night football games she dropped me off & picked me up from. I'm sure she had much better thing to do with her time but she never made me feel like a bother. She was just sweet. Through her entire body that what was there. Sweetness, love, thoughtfulness & service.

She bravely battled ovarian & uterine cancer over 10 years ago & was able to spend many great years in remission. Which is what made her quick departure all the more shocking. She hadn't been feeling quite like herself for the last two years, & spent a lot of time going from doctor to doctor to figure it out. Aside from what we all suspected was un-diagnosed dementia most of us chalked it up to the affects of aging. You can imagine the shock we received when she was hospitalized on January 23, 2017 & we learned that her poor body was filled with hundreds of small tumors. None of us would have ever guessed that  her cancer that she had beaten over 10 years ago would be what took her.

In her last days on this earth I was able to serve her. My sweet mother went over to her house before work on multiple occasions to give her a sponge bath, brush her teeth, change her clothes, & lotion her up because we knew she would have visitors from loved ones. I would help my mom, then I would curl her hair & put on a little make up.

Driving to the mortuary I didn't know what to expect. I had never done hair or make up on a deceased loved one before. There were butterflies in my stomach & my heart was pounding as they led us into the room where they had prepped her. She was lying on a table in a beautiful room draped with white linens. We had been so worried about what she would look after being embalmed. When she passed she was 70 pounds & they did such an amazing job. They filled her up her thin face & made her look 20 years younger. When we saw how wonderful they made her look we both started crying. We helped dress her in her Temple clothes & then they left the room for us to get to work.

My mom was having a hard time. She touched her hands & they were so cold, instantly tears were steaming down her face. She tried to be helpful but I could see it was hitting her harder than she thought it would. Something in me just clicked. I had to carry her through this. I have to get this done.

My mom & I had colored her red hair a few weeks prior & it looked perfect. You never saw a gray hair on her head as long as she lived & we know she would haunt us if we let her have gray roots at her funeral. I carefully & precisely curled then pinned her hair knowing exactly where each hair was supposed to go. We had the mortuary use their base make up but I did her eye shadow, blush, eyebrows, & mascara. My mom delicately painted on the perfect shade of lipstick as I combed out & styled her hair. Last I painted her nails then stepped back & felt an enormous rush of relief. She looked absolutely perfect. I knew she was smiling down on us for the service we had administered on her & made her look they way she would want to be seem by all of those who loved her the most. I felt an enormous amount of pressure to make her look like herself & to have her look good enough for an open casket & I felt confident that I had done that.

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be able to do that. I was absolutely terrified I wouldn't be able to do it or that I wouldn't do a good job & my Grandpa would opt for a closed casket. Even though it was so hard to do, it is now one of my most precious memories.

My final act of service to my Grandma was singing at her funeral. The song I chose was full of raw emotions, the very emotions I felt at the very moment singing it & as much as I didn't want to sing at her funeral I knew she wanted me too. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders & wanted to come to see me sing any chance she could. I could always pick out her shining red hair in the audience accompanied by this proud smile on her face. It still makes me giggle that she couldn't carry a tune to save her life but that never stopped her from singing. She did so many performances with her preschoolers for all the parents & there are still some Christmas songs that come on & all I can hear is her off tune voice singing along. It brings a smile to my face every time.

When I close my eyes I can just see it now.....I would ring the doorbell & listen to it sing. Waiting anxiously I could hear footsteps coming towards the door. Bright eyed, with her wide smile light up when she see me. Her red hair glowing in the sun she would hug me tightly & give me wet lipstick kiss to the cheek. She was excited, she was dramatic, she was loving......she was my Grandma Wall.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Grandma Shepherd

Abraham Lincoln so lovingly said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." Which pretty much hits the nail right on the head but the same thing could be said about my Grandmother.

It has taken me a little too long to really appreciate my Grandma for who she is. I think my sweet Grandpa stole the spotlight from her a lot during their time together. Grandpa was seen as the fun loving, tan, smiley guy who always tried to tickle your neck while Grandma was strict, the one who was always in charge, always gave you a bowl of ice cream at her house, & was the one who made you clean your rooms.
 I recall a time when my parents were out of town & my Grandma was staying with us while they were gone. My cousin Kiley wanted us to meet her at Seven Peaks. My Grandma said we could go after we cleaned our rooms. So what did I do?? Made my bed, picked up a few things then shoved everything else under my bed. Now my Grandma is no fool she knew exactly what I had done to clean my room so fast. She came in to inspect my room & being the clever woman she is used a broom stick to pull out everything I had shoved under my bed. In that moment I thought what a drag she is such a clean freak, but now when I think back to that memory I am reminded of a very important lesson she was trying to teach me. She was teaching me to follow through on my word. She was teaching me to do a good job the first time so I wouldn't have to do it again. She was teaching me to keep my room clean. She was teaching me that she loved me. 

As a wife & mother I have noticed I am 100 times happier when my house is clean. {A cluttered house equals a cluttered mind}If my house is a mess I can not relax. My mind just keeps thinking of what I need to get done & I don't get a moments rest until it is clean. I take pride in keeping up on my house because I feel that my house is a reflection of me.

Even when she was having us clean our rooms & go through our toys (if we hadn't played with them in the last 6 month they were donated to the D.I.) she never once made us clean alone. She was always kneeling down next to us helping clean our rooms. She taught me that "cleanliness is next to godliness" & that many hands make light work. I can't help but see the correlation between the way she would help us with the way the Lord helps all of us each & every day. He does not stand above us barking orders & telling us what to do, he is there kneeling beside us helping us along the way. He has shown us by his example the way to happiness & he leads by example, just like my Grandma does.

My Grandmother also gave me my love for music. My Grandma has the most beautiful singing voice. In high school she was in a quartet & would sing for many school functions. She is nothing short of an artist in her craft for music as she led her ward choir & directed the music for many year. Any time she tells that story she talks about how unworthy she probably was to be in that calling. That she didn't know what she was doing & that she was always so nervous each time she got up to lead the music or conduct the choir. My mother said you would have never know she felt like that because it was the most beautiful ward choir she ever heard. Much like our clean rooms my Grandmother expected nothing less of perfection & that included herself. She passed down her voice & her love of music to my mother, who has now passed it onto me. Anytime I have ever sang at church my Grandma has come to watch me. I look down at her in the audience & see her beaming with joy. She is always so encouraging, always telling me to share my gift with others. Another thing that I will carry with me for the rest of my life is the comment she always made to me before I was going up to sing. If you prepare yourself & give 99.9% the Lord will give you that 1% & bring you to 100%. She started telling me that at a very young age & has continued saying it to me my entire life. That started a relationship with my Heavenly Father teaching me that if i do all I can the Lord will make up the rest. This taught me to rely on the Lord for the things I need help with. 

 My Grandmother has been through so much in her life & she has handled all of it with such love, grace, & more understanding than anyone I have ever known. When I was 16 & obviously naive I would tell my mom that I am never going to be like you when I grow up. Pretty much anyone who knows me can attest that I am exactly like my mother in every way. Which in turn means I'm exactly like my Grandmother in every way because my mom is an exact copy of her. Which I am more than happy about now because she is a beautiful person inside & out. 

When my Grandpa passed away so unexpectedly there was so much I wish I could have said & done before he left us. What I wouldn't give to tell him that I loved him & have him ask me to roll my big, beautiful eyes at him one last time. But I have treasured the time I have spent really getting to know my Grandmother better. Going to her house, spending countless hours listening to her talk about my Grandpa, their life together & her life experiences. 

Grandma, I love you more than I can ever express in words. You are such a great example to me & you have been a constant light in my life. Thank you for loving me enough to try to teach me how to do things right the first time. Thank you for teaching my mom all the lessons that you have taught me. Thank you for raising your family in the gospel. Thank you for always bringing a wonderful spirit with you every where you go. Thank you for showing me the importance of serving others. Thank you for expecting more of me & helping me become who I am today. Thank you for making Fish Lake such a special place. Thank you for all the memories that I cherish. I know you wont live on this earth forever but I can't even imagine my world without you in it. I don't know who I would be without you. I'm so grateful you were able to meet Brynlie, when I was pregnant I prayed so often & asked God to keep you here long enough to meet her. It completely melts my heart when I see her with you. I cant wait to share stories with her about my amazing Grandmother & remind her know how much you love her. It meant the world to me to have you come to the hospital when I was in labor & basically refuse to leave when it was after midnight. I will never forget how eager you were to come see us, but when you opened the door we were still sleeping so you went to the nursery for two hours & just watched Brynlie. I adore all of your visits with us. Brynlie loves her Great Grandma so much.

I absolutely dread the day when you will be called back up to Heaven. I know that when you leave us you won't really be gone. You will be watching over all of your family who you love so much. But that doesn't mean I won't miss seeing your sweet face. I will be so happy that you are reunited with the love of your life who you have been apart from way too long. When I was 16 I never thought any ones death would break my heart more but i honestly don't know what I will do without you. You are my example. my idol, the constant light, my best friend, my everything, My grandma Shepherd. I love you.

I want to be just like you when I grow up. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brynlie Jo Bird's Birth Story

My entire experience with my pregnancy was to say the least wonderful. I was quite blessed with a pregnancy that never really slowed me down in daily life, or made me rarely sick. I know not everyone has such great pregnancies that seem to agree with their bodies like I did so I know I am truly blessed. I loved being pregnant, I loved knowing my child was growing inside of me. Feeling every little kick made my heart flutter. Building this relationship with my child before she was even born was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.

My due date was September 7th & at both of my ultrasounds they confirmed I was actually a week further than we thought. But if it’s not a difference of over nine days the doctor doesn’t change it because these sweet babies really don’t care all that much about their expected due date. So I just counted up seven days & August 31st was the due date I was going off of. My mother was always early with each of her kids so I was convinced that I would have this sweet baby in August. Not to mention we have so many birthdays in September I thought an August baby would be so fun!! (Well that didn’t turn out like I thought did it?)

The week of the 31st came & went but there was no sign of baby wanting to make her debut. Then over the next couple of days I started to have contractions. This made me so hopeful that she would be coming soon. Then an entire week went by, I was still having contractions pretty regularly  & my mom was doing everything to try to get me into labor. She was constantly pressing & rubbing certain pressure points on my body, making me press golf balls into the pressure points of my feet while counting cards at work. I even bounced on an exercise ball for 4 hours during a BYU game at my mom’s house trying to make my contractions more intense. Nothing we did ever made my contractions more intense. It was Labor Day weekend & we kept debating on whether we should go to the hospital just to have my contractions monitored & finally just decided to wait till my next doctors appointment the following Tuesday.

Tuesday September 8th I went to Dr. Nance’s office for my weekly routine check. They checked my protein levels, my weight, & my blood pressure. The nurse had to walk out of the room to grab something & as soon as she got back she read my blood pressure off the machine. It was 154/98, which is very unusual for me since during my entire pregnancy I was always in the 120’s. I wasn’t nervous or anxious, nothing had happened to my to make my blood pressure so high. Dr. Nance then came into the room & checked to see if I had progressed over the last week. I figured with all of those contractions I would have progressed a lot but he said I was still only dilated to a 2 & 75% effaced. He was very concerned about my high blood pressure so he decided to send me to the hospital to be induced…I was going to have a baby today or by the latest tomorrow morning!!

I called Chance to tell him the news & my mom took me back to my house to get my hospital bags. Chance met me at the house & then drove me to the hospital. As we were driving he looks at me & says, “you know this drive to the hospital is a lot less stressful than I anticipated. At least we aren’t rushing to the hospital at 2 in the morning after having your water break in a complete panic!!” My mom & mother in law met us at the hospital at about 1:30 & we waited about an hour till my room was ready & then I was admitted. They started monitoring me & checked my blood pressure ended up being absolutely perfect. So they called my doctor to make sure he still wanted me to be induced. My dad left work to come give me a blessing before everything started. In the blessing he asked our Heavenly Father to watch over the baby & I during this labor which brought me so much peace. I had always been so scared about going through labor but I knew that I was being watched over & had faith that everything would be okay. They started me on Pitocin at about 3:00 p.m. to get my contractions going & they had Doctor Thorpe who was the on call doctor at the time come in & break my water. It was so incredibly painful & he couldn’t break it, I was too posterior & my water sac hadn’t dropped into place where it was supposed to be so they would just have to wait until I progressed a bit further. So at about 5:00 p.m. Dr. Nance called my nurse & suggested I get my epidural so that when his clinic hours were over he could come break my water. I was hesitant to get the epidural so early into my labor but knew I did not want to feel them trying to break my water again so they got the anesthesiologist & I got my epidural. Every half hour they came in to turn up my Pitocin & soon enough I was on the highest dose they could give me. I couldn’t feel them but my contractions were going crazy on the monitor. Dr. Nance came & broke my water at about 7:00 p.m. & I had progressed to a 4 so we still had a ways to go.

Around 9:00 p.m. is when things started to get a little tricky. They kept flipping me to different sides because of my epidural but every time they shifted me over to my right side baby’s heart rate would drop. Most of the time it would jump back up to the baseline heart rate but at times it would take a lot longer than we would have liked. They turned me over to my left side & put me on oxygen. At one point babies heart rate dropped from 140 to 53 & that really got us worried. The nurses were fantastic though, as soon as her heart rate dropped they were in my room trying to figure out what was going on. They made me feel so well taken care of which I was so grateful for. In such a stressful situation they really helped me stay as calm as I could. We kept on watching the monitor & kept a good eye on that heart rate. They had to keep adjusting my Pitocin & at one point they turned it completely off that would help “restart” my body & help with the babies dropping heart rate.

The nurses let me know that Dr. Nance had been in contact with them about ever half hour & that he was monitoring they baby & I from home.  Then around 12:30 my nurse asked me if anyone had talked to me about the possibility of having a C-section. This threw me for a loop because not once during my labor had that ever crossed my mind. Then the phone in my room rang, it was Dr. Nance & he wanted to talk with me. He let me know that he was on his way over to the hospital & he was just calling to make sure I was doing okay. He said he could come & check my progress but he was very worried about my baby girl & her heart rate. He told me a C-section might be the best course of action to get her here safely. I was a nervous wreck, I started shaking uncontrollably so Chance & my mom tried to calm me down. Chance was a champion during the entire thing & my mom took care of every need I had, I couldn't have done it without the two of them. My mom was constantly asking me what I needed & what could she do for me. For hours she kept blotting me with a wash cloth because I was so incredibly warm the entire time. Chance presented a strong front the entire time especially when the babies heart rate was dropping. Even though he says he was nervous he never let it show & that really helped me through the entire labor. 

I was so relieved when Dr. Nance walked into the room. Throughout my entire pregnancy I had always felt so safe, & well taken care of by him. When it came down to it I just trusted that he knew what he was doing. He said I was progressing nicely but I was only a 7+ so I would probably be in labor for another 5 hours & the baby was just not tolerating labor very well. He promised he would take good care of us & they brought I the anesthesiologist to numb me for the operation. Chance got dressed in his hat, mask & gown…. he looked like a lunch lady & it made me laugh. My mom gave me a hug, kissed me on the forehead & told me that everything was going to be just fine. I tried to give her a reassuring smile as they wheeled me down the hall in the operating room. I felt like I was in a movie, looking up at the ridiculously bright lights in the room. They transferred me from my bed to the operating table & put up a blue drape to block my view. Chance sat diagonally besides me while the brought me a anesthesiologist, and then hooked it up to this hose that blew warm air in it. The entire time I had been in labor I had been so freaking warm so when he told me he could turn the air on cold I felt so much better. Even with the air cranked on me I was still so warm. Chance said that room was absolutely freezing. I was asked if I could feel any pinching on my stomach & I couldn’t. I was so numb all I could feel was touch & pressure. Chance gently brushed his hand back & forth over my forehead, his hand were cold & it felt so nice. I felt uneasy starring at the drape or the ceiling so I just closed my eyes for the majority of the operation & tried to focus on something else.

It was about ten minutes into the operation when Dr. Murdock warned me I was about to feel a bunch of pressure in my chest cavity. After a few seconds of this pressure I heard the most beautiful cry I have ever heard in my life. It was loud & strong, it instantly brought tears to my eyes. One of the nurses walked over to me with my sweet baby in her arms & said, “hey Mom!! Okay Dad come with me.” Chance got up & followed the nurse into another room where they cleaned her up a little bit & weighed her. A few minutes later Chance walked back into the room holding our sweet girl in his arms. In that moment my whole world changed. As I looked up at him holding our baby I swear I felt my heart burst. I had waited for this moment since I saw those two pink lines on my pregnancy test back in January. That is my baby. She is my girl. She is my daughter. I am a mother.

We took a few “family pictures” & then the nurse asked Chance if he would like to bring the baby to our room down the hall to show our families. I told him to go ahead & go see the Grandma’s since I wasn’t able to hold her yet anyways. So he ran down the hall while my C-section was being finished. During the C-section the doctors & nurses were so calm which really helped me stay as calm as I could (plus whatever drugs they gave me to calm me down) It was an amazing thing to just listen to them as they worked. They talked about half marathons they had ran & it was just another day at work. The entire procedure was about 45 minutes & before I knew it I was being wheeled back into my labor & delivery room. It wasn't till I got back to my room that we were told what that when they got to the baby the umbilical cord was wrapped so tight around her neck, then lodged against my bone & her head then wrapped around her forehead. The nurse had told my mom it was such a good thing that we did the c-section when we did because if we had continued on with labor there was a very high chance it wouldn't have been a good outcome. 

I wasn’t even able to hold her for about 40 minutes because my epidural had given me the shakes so badly that I was afraid to hold her. So once those finally calmed down I was able to hold my sweet baby girl for the first time. As I was holding her in my arms & I looked at Chance & asked if I could name her. He smiled at me & asked, “well what do you want to name her.” I looked at him, he already knew what I wanted to name her. I had wanted it ever since I was pregnant. I gave her a kiss & named her Brynlie Jo Bird.

Welcome to the world gorgeous girl. I love you more than you will ever know. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Marriage for Dummies

This is my absolute favorite quote about what marriage is. It describes my marriage with my husband, in fact just the other night we had a little fight before going to bed. As we both said what we needed to say, exchanged apologizes, & the cuddled to go to sleep. Chance sweetly said, "Do you know what I love about us? That not matter what we fight about I always know that we will be okay. That there is nothing that is going to make either of us just give up & walk out." Yes, I understand that we haven't been married that long, but guess what if you have that in your mind that no matter what you are not going to give up on this isn't that something everyone should do?? I feel like that is a great way to start off a marriage being on the same page. No we don't agree on everything & we fight. But we love each other more than we ever fight. I have been told all my life in your marriage you always learn new things, whether you have been married 25 years or 1 year, you along with your marriage continually grows. Through my own marriage & through the marriage of loved ones around me I feel like I have picked up on enough good knowledge to have a great marriage.

Having Real Expectations
Being married isn't always easy, it's not always fair, it's never perfect, & guess what it's not all about you. You are not better than your spouse you are equals & you have to compromise, even when you don't want to. Your life is not a movie, or a fairytale, it's real. Stop expecting your husband to be like those perfect men in your chic flicks. Be real, that's just what you do when you are in love. I think too many people now a days thinks that their spouse needs to give them this fairytale love story, & devote 110% of their time to them. All these girls have these unrealistic expectations of what a marriage is. A marriage is messy, fun, & sometimes aggravating, but at the end of the day it is a team effort. One person does not have all the responsibility to make you happy all of the time. That is such a huge burden to place on someone, especially your spouse & it is incredibly unfair. 

Your spouse & you aren't identical in every aspect of life, guess what that is a good thing. Just because you both have different interests doesn't mean you can't do them together. You have to compromise, even when you don't want to. Stop making your spouse do everything you want to do, do you not see how extremely selfish that it? But just because you don't like that your spouse hunts, or plays video games, or likes sewing you do not have the right to demand that they can't ever do that again. No one wants to be married to someone who acts like they are your prison warden.

I-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t do you know what that mean?

Yes I just pulled out lyrics from a Webbie song, not the best example but let's be honest I sing that song every time I spell out independent just like I sing Gwen Stefani when I spell out B-A-N-A-N-A-S, give me a break alright. But having independence in a relationship is key. Yes you have chosen to spend your entire life with this person but does that mean you both signed on to be together 24/7 365 days a year?? NO! I love my husband but I am the type of person who has to see my friends. It may not happen as much as it did before I was married but those relationships are important to me. I do not have to be with my husband all day long, yes there are some days that we are & I love it. But we both like having time to our selves. Whether it is watching my TV shows that Chance dislikes before he gets home from working late or letting him play video games while I watch, or watch netflix on my ipad, or my husband letting me go on a week vacation to Florida while he is off hunting with his dad. Time apart is good. You shouldn't be ditching your spouse every night of the week for your friends but it nice to have some time for you. If you are never apart how are you ever suppose to miss your spouse?

Get Off Your High Horse
You are not better than your spouse, so stop acting like it. End of story.
 My awesome friend shared this quote with me yesterday that he has in his home, "The perfect marriage begins when each other believes they got better than they deserve." You are not perfect, neither is your spouse so stop expecting them to be. Don't look down on your spouse because you think you are this big catch that they don't deserve. You better just sign those papers now & spare your spouse from dealing with your crap any longer.

You Marry Their Family Too
I had already made up my mind that when Chance & I got married I would try my best to spend time with both families especially on holidays. Yes it would be easier to choose my family over his every time but guess what I don't. Want to know why?? I love his family!! Even if I didn't like them,  I understand the importance of being around family. I think it is so selfish when it is always about one side of the family. You marry their family too so you better set apart time for all sides of each family or you will create problems. This goes back to learning that it's not all about you.

I am not saying that I am perfect, ask Chance he will tell you that I am not but I try. We are not perfect together but like I said at the end of the day we always know we will be okay. I understand things don't always work out between everyone so you make think it foolish of me to think that I know Chance & I will make it. Think what you like though, I think that is the right mind set before getting into a marriage & a great mindset to have throughout your whole marriage. Not thinking oh if this doesn't work out it's no big deal we can just get a divorce no big. If that is your mind set before getting married spare us all & move to Mexico so we don't have to deal with you. You have to work on a marriage each & everyday but that isn't so hard when you marry your best friend. I'm one of the lucky ones, I have a great marriage, a great husband & an even better life because of those two things. Pull your head out of your butt & you will too. :] hahaha but really.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One Year.

Since the day Chance stole my heart I dreamt about our wedding day & anticipated the sleepless night that accompanies it the night before. (& after HAHA!! ;]) I had spent a night before a wedding day with one of my friends who were getting married. Being so nervously excited she couldn't sleep so we were up all night & had minimal sleep. Then woke up very early for me to do her hair & then send her on her way. I assumed the night before my wedding would be just that. My last single night with a good friend being up all night due to the butterflies in my stomach. Instead I actually hung out with my fiance & family then went to bed. Of course I caught myself day dreaming & not feeling like this was real at all. I WAS GETTING MARRIED. Very quickly I fell asleep & you wanna know what?? I slept like a baby. (which was such a blessing since the next day was very long)

I woke calm. It felt weird to be so calm. I assumed I should be nervous with a bad case of butterflies stressing about every little detail......but I didn't. My amazing friend Melissa came over so early to do my hair for me. It was so nice to have a friend around just to talk with while getting ready just talking about old times. She told me that I was hands down the calmest bride she has ever seen. In that moment I realized it was more than just feeling calm. I felt secure, peaceful, happiness, & complete surety of the decision I was making to marry Chance. I had known since the day I met him he was different than the rest. Knowing that, I just knew that no matter what, today would be absolutely perfect. I had done all the planning I could do & I literally didn't care about the little thing or if everything went absolutely as planned. All I could think about was how lucky I was to be sealed to Chance in less than a few hours!!

Driving up the road to the Manti Temple was when the butterflies finally hit me. I jokingly told Chance, "I could still change my mind, I can still bail!" Accompanied by my amazing, worthy priesthood holding fiance we walked into that beautiful "princess castle." I can't even begin to tell you how sacred & beautiful ceremony was in front of parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends, & a special visit from someone I love & miss dearly. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I saw all these people here for us, just to be here with us as we were sealed for all time & eternity in our heavenly fathers house. Small, beautiful details such as the glow I felt I had, the way I couldn't seem to take my eyes off of my forever, the tears of joy from our parents, the glowing smiles from our mothers, the love & support from our loved ones, the feeling of my grandpa, are all things that I will always remember. Every simple detail about the sealing made this day more amazing than I could have ever imagined. 

To the one who means the absolute world to me, I just wanted to tell you that I love you. The day I you asked me to marry you I was the happiest girl in the world. You have changed my life more than anyone in my life. I know what the odds were saying about us ending up together. High school sweet hearts?? Not going to happen but lets add a mission to it to....HA that's IMPOSSIBLE. I had spent four years picturing our lives together & I could not think of a worse fate than living without you for the rest of my life. Thank you for being everything I need, always. This has been the greatest year of my life. I honestly tear up when I think of how lucky I am to have you. It still amazes me how kind hearted you are. Your compassion for others is outstanding. Thank you for being the most genuine, kind hearted person I have ever met. You are my best friend whom I share smiles, laughs, even sometimes tears & I can't wait to celebrate seventy two more anniversaries with you. Thank you for choosing me to share your eternity with. I love you more & more everyday. Knowing you are mine for time & all the most beautiful dream that I never have to wake up from.

Happy Anniversary my love. Forever & always xoxo