Monday, July 3, 2017

The Day our Family turned 8 years old

written for June 19th, 2017
Today is our eighth anniversary. Eight years ago, I woke up on this day in our newlywed apartment with my mom. A special, sacred day, the beginning of a new life, it was a day to celebrate. I wanted to look my best for you, and Mom and I waited for the makeup and hair artist to arrive.

Today we live more than 1500 miles from that apartment. We have four kids, age 6, 4, 3, and 1. Our fourth baby pulls at my fingers hanging over the side of the bed, urging me to wake up, while you shower for work.

Eight years ago I searched for you after entering the temple doors. We looked starry eyed at each other as our fathers signed our marriage license.

Today I hurried four little people out the door to pick up the groceries, our marriage license hanging on the wall in the background. I'm picking up groceries for the family we dreamed of all those years ago. You're supporting this family dream too, as you work steadfastly day after day after day.

Eight years ago we knelt across an altar and committed to keep our Savior and each other as our first priority. We had tears in our eyes as we both affirmed our desire to keep such a commitment.

Today the kids and I share a laugh as we eat warmed up leftovers in our breakfast nook. It is small, but warm and inviting. You talk deadlines and radars during a lunch meeting.

Eight years ago we sat together holding hands as family and friends gathered for our wedding luncheon. Each one gave us a warm hug, and extolled our virtues as they wish us well.

Today I put the youngest baby down for a nap and load the dishwasher. My mind wanders to you, as it always does, and I finally have the chance to send a short message. "I miss you, Happy Anniversary."

Eight years ago you wore a tux with a silver tie. My white dress was bedazzled with sequin flowers and lace.

It's a far cry from what we are wearing tonight-- both of us covered in a different child's urine. Delaney, 4, had been taking a nap, starts sleepwalking and before we know it has peed on the bathroom floor! Frank, 1, is crying too as he clings to our legs, wanting to be held. Ephraim, 3, ends up on your lap and you discover that he too has peed his pants. And Cheyenne, 6, is dressed up in a princess costume.

I couldn't help the smile forming at my lips with the ridiculousness of it all. "Well, is this what you expected your life to look like eight years ago?"

Family life is not glamorous or romantic as the movies teach us is the way two people in love are supposed to live. But it's always been our dream to build a family together, side by side. And here we are doing it. Grocery shopping, work meetings, urine and all. And there's nobody else I'd rather create this life with than you, Ben. Thanks for giving your life to me, I cherish that choice you made eight years ago. I love you.


  1. Ashley this is so beautiful. I especially love how you went back in time every other paragraph. You are experiencing real eternal bliss! And yes, it does look much different than the movies. If only everyone could know that and have that. ❤ long live eternal marriages!

  2. Ashley, I love it! This is what eternal bliss is. We are old and some of our memories have faded but we still remember being submerged in exactly what you are experiencing with you and your siblings. I would go back there again if I could have a long nap each day and go to bed really early! Mom

  3. This is so wonderfully sweet. Congratulations!