Tuesday, June 14, 2011

8 years ago...

Eight years ago today, I married my best friend. It has been the best decision of my life. We have had our shares of highs and lows and God has kept us together. We have made some pretty incredible memories together in this time. And we've shared our fears, desires, secrets, goals, dreams and so much more. Now, we have a beautiful boy that reflects our two personalities with a little quirkiness of his own and it has gone by so fast! You may be asking yourself, "Wow how do you guys do it?" Here are a few things we've learned along the way (in no particular order.)
1. The couple that pumps together stays together. That's right people, working out together has kept us accountable to each other and God to take care of our bodies.
2. Compromise and selflessness. Neither one of us are perfect, but we learn from our mistakes and press on. When we serve each other we both win! We look out for each other's needs and then our own needs end up getting met. We've got each other's backs. :-)
3. Core Sin. At church we have learned what our main "issue" is. Meaning, how we usually get caught in sin or temptation to sin. We have learned to help each other through these sins and FORGIVE each other. (yeah, the Bible tells us to love unconditionally and forgive so we do that and it saves a lot of unnecessary issues.)
4. Communication. We are not perfect at this, but we've both learned (sometimes the hard way) to talk to each other, ESPECIALLY before confirming attendance to events, activities and spending money. This has saved us MANY arguments.
5. Financial Peace. We attended (and graduated) from Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. We learned (after many mistakes) how to take care of our finances God's way and have a completely different outlook on the way we spend the money God has provided us. REALLY wishing we would have learned about this course before we got married or at least when we were newly weds. None the less, we will be saving ourselves years of financial issues because of taking this class. We are not debt free yet, but we are getting there.
6. Stuff is just stuff. Less is more. And the more you have, the more issues seem to arise. We seem to be much happier after removing some of the clutter of things in our life. And we regularly give away and clean out stuff we don't need. It's amazing how much stress extra stuff can cause (cars, clothes, things in the back of the closet that you never use/read/etc). Not to mention how much time is wasted cleaning these things.
7. Take one for the team. Yeah, you can interpret this however you like, but sacrifice isn't always bad. Ha ha!
So, there you go. There is plenty more, but these popped up in my head in the last 5 minutes. Here are some photos of life together over the last 8 years. And here's to many more memories to come!

Dating Days:
My first trip to Santa Barbara to say goodbye. We had been on several dates over Christmas break 1999, our freshman year of college. Shelley, Colin's mom drove Colin, Tymon and I to Santa Barbara to see the campus and hang out. I stayed the night with Shelley in a hotel. This photo is at Westmont a few minutes before we headed back to Lake Elsinore. Westmont freshman must live on campus, and they can't have a car on campus, no room.
 This was my first Easter brunch with Colin, the Bardsley's and the Maietta's in April of 2000. Man, look at my hair (eeeee.)
 This was a trip that Colin and I took to Disneyland, pretty sure it was also in 2000. We didn't go back until like 2006 or 2007.
 We both love the beach. This was at Oceanside beach in 2001 or 2002. The boys covered all but my head in the sand. And then I was real tan when they were done (ha ha!) Good times.
 This was our last night of dating... Christmas Eve 2002. We were engaged the next morning.
 This photo is one of our engagement photos at Westmont in Santa Barbara. It is amazing to see how far camera's and photography have come since we got married. Digital was not really heard of (or used commonly) I had a regular (and crappy might I add) camera. Photos took forever to develop and you didn't get to look at them right after they were taken. Regardless of the clarity, we've changed so much since then.
Here is a slide show of some of our wedding photos. Chris Bence Photography, pretty sure he doesn't take pictures of weddings any more.

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