This is us 17 years ago today. It was such an amazing day that is full of memories and happiness. I married my best friend that day and have been blessed to have him by my side ever since. I like to joke with Kenny that we were betrothed before we came to earth, our meeting and our marriage was meant to be. I can't believe that I was 18 in this picture and Kenny was 21. We were so young and yet understood the seriousness of what we were doing.
From the day that we met I knew that he was the "one" and that somehow things would work out for us to get married even though we had some differences to work through. I will always be thankful for some wonderful advice that Adrian gave me when he could tell that I was struggling with some big decisions that needed to be faced. There were so many times that either one of us could have changed our minds and said that this was just too hard, but we didn't, we talked through all of our fears, our plans for the future, and all the reasons why we could still make things work. I know it has only been 17 years since we said "I Do" but as I look back over the years I love to see how things have followed what we had planned and how a few of those plans have changed.
On April 16, 1994 none of those things were on my mind. I spent the morning getting my nails done and then my dad picked me up and drove me to Grantsville. Kenny's Grandma had spent days and days making carrot cake for us to serve at the reception. Kenny's aunt Katherine did my hair and it turned out wonderful. His aunt Patti made our wedding cake and it was amazing. We didn't have any decorations for our reception until that afternoon when Kenny's uncle Roger brought over some decorations he had from a previous event and things quickly came together. We had to wait until an unexpected funeral was over so that we could get into the church and decorate and get everything ready. We were young and poor and our Mom's were both single mom's and didn't have a lot of money, but our wedding and reception turned out wonderful because of all the family that pulled together and made our day one to remember. I am still so grateful for everyone who pulled together and worked so hard so our wedding could be so nice for us. Even after so much time, I still don't know how to truly thank all that stepped in and helped.
We got married in the same church as Kenny's mom and dad got married in. When I found out that we got married in the same place as his parents I thought that was so neat and a memory that we will all always share. We were so blessed to have all of our family around us for our wedding ceremony and for our reception. I look back and think of how hard I was on myself and know now that we could have been married in the Temple, however, none of our family would have been with us. Even knowing that we could have just been married in the Temple instead of waiting a year to be sealed, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I think it would have broken my heart to not have my parents with me and my sister with me when I was married. I know that Kenny feels the same way.
Over the 17 years that we have been married we have faced many challenges and I am so proud of us for not running away from any of the hardships that have come our way. I am also proud of us to have used those times to grow closer. It hasn't always been easy (I knew it wouldn't be) but our life together so far has been worth every challenge and adventure that we have shared.
I still can't believe that it has been 17 years since my dad walked me down the isle (and stopped offering us money to not get married :) ) and we stood before so many of our family and friends and pledged to love one another for the rest of our lives. There are days like today when the memories of that day are still so fresh in my mind that it feels like yesterday.
I love you Kenny and will for all eternity! I am so thankful that we were brought together and now I get to spend forever with my best friend.