Warning - this is a really LONG post. Feel free to skim... I put this together for personal history's sake and it focuses on our first years together).
10 years, 7 months ago (circa June 2000), Ben and I were dating during our junior year at BYU. I lived in the lovely Plymouth building at Liberty Square off campus. My parents came in town for a weekend visit and we decided to have "pie night," where we made something like nine different pies and invited friends over. Ben and I had been dating since March, and this was the first time that my parents met Ben. They liked him. A lot. I met Ben initially because his friend from California was dating one of my roommates - he and a handful of guys came by our apartment one day to pick up my roommate. I opened the door to let them in, and there was Ben and his pretty blue eyes. :)
Anyway, here's Ben taking a nice snooze while the pies were cooking. Wasn't the couch in my apartment beautiful? :)
Here we are enjoying our pies -
Here's the view from our front door - the good ol' Wash Hut. Such a view. I think my address was 448 E. 600 N. in Provo. (I think??) There's my beautiful red '94 altima that I bought earlier that year for $3,800 of my hard-earned money from working for the BYU Locksmith Dept.
Not sure what this was from (below). We took a lot of pictures like this (Ben stretching his arm out with the camera to do a self-portrait).
Ben went home for the summer and I stayed in Provo to take more classes and work. I flew to San Francisco for a quick visit at the end of July. Here we are in front of the LDS Oakland Temple.
On Fisherman's Wharf -
The picture below upset my brother Davey so many years ago when he saw this - he would say in a worried way, "She's taking him down!" We were exploring tide pools at this beach that day, though I can't remember which beach it is. I'm trying to remember who was here with us at the beach taking our picture - maybe his sister Danielle?
Here's a picture at Ottavio's when Ben was back in the Fall -
We were so skinny!! Ben looked at these pictures today and announced we're going on a diet on Jan. 1st. I had my wisdom teeth out that August and lost a ton of weight after painful complications made it hard to eat for a few weeks.
I think this was in American Fork canyon -
This is out of order, but I took this picture a few months earlier in May when I tried fishing with Ben at Fifth Water (south of Springville). I was a much better sport about tagging along on Ben's fishing adventures back then.
Ben proposed in October. We were engaged for 2 1/2 months - totally normal in the Mormon world :) Super fast to the rest of the world.
Here we are in November in front of the Chicago Temple -
And on Dec. 16th, we were married in the Bountiful Temple.
In case you haven't realized this already, all of these pictures were taken with film (and I scanned them in today).
Oh how I wish digital photography was more common when we got married. Here are some scanned in pictures from our wedding album. The pictures have a texture on them that make the scanned versions not look as great, but you get the idea :)
I know, my scanning skills aren't great. But the album is big and awkward... so it was tough.
In case you're wondering, yes, it was cold that day.
The group at the temple - basically both sides of the family, my 11 (yes 11 - Ben's two sisters, four close friends from high school, and five college roommates) bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, and a few other friends.
My family isn't as big as Ben's...
Exhibit A (mine) -
Exhibit B - (Ben's - and this is a small fraction of his very large extended family :)
Bridesmaids, flower girl, and the groomsmen. The reception was at the Cliff Lodge Ballroom at Snowbird (ski resort near Salt Lake). In looking at it now, this must have been a huge pain for photographs - the lodge was pretty dark inside.
This is as we were leaving -
We stayed in Utah for our honeymoon. Not so glamorous, but we were traveling to Chicago and California for other receptions a week later, so it was nice not to go to yet another place. We ate at Al Forno's and loved it (in Salt Lake) -
We stayed at the Pinecrest Inn in Emigration Canyon - it was beautiful in the wintertime.
Here we are at my parents' house with my cat (who is now deceased), Marmy. I'm glad Ben had a chance to know her before she died - I think I cried all day when she was put to sleep.
I think this was the first summer after we were married - the ward campout. Natalie, don't kill me for posting this picture! This is a test to see if you read my blog... :) Do you remember this, Laura?? I remember Ryan kept teasing me about being a journalist democrat since he's Mr. Republican.
Too bad there was a gigantic fire not too far from where we were camping that night!! We were told that our campsite was safe, but I was still nervous.
Everyone from the ward who camped that night -
Here we are at the Salt Lake Temple for my old roommate Amber's wedding -
Here's another camping picture - this time with the Maureen and Ryan Corless. I'm pretty sure this is called Silver Lake. The memorable thing from this weekend is that we camped on a Friday night...
On Saturday we took a hike to this lake, then packed up our stuff and headed home. That night, I went to the ER because I had appendicitis and my appendix was about to burst. Good thing this didn't happen when we were in the middle of nowhere camping the night before!! I have a lovely two-inch scar from my emergency appendectomy that I had five hours after being admitted to the ER.
The next two pictures are from our exciting weekend up in lovely Brigham City, UT. Ben and his old roommate Eric ran in the Top of Utah marathon. We were super cheap and shared a motel room with Eric and his wife Chrissy at the Galaxie Motel.
It was disgusting. And sweltering hot. With a huge big rig truck on right outside our room through the night, sending truck exhaust into our room. Yuck.
The boys did well in the marathon, despite that they didn't sleep very well the previous night.
Here are a few pictures from a summer visit to Chicago (we met up with Amber and Stephen there) -
We were in Utah for just under two years and had a condo at 1659 Hickory Lane in Provo. It was such a nice place! I think we paid $91,500 for our 2 bedroom, 2 bath place with access to a pool, hot tub, tennis courts, racquetball court, etc.
Here we are in the winter sometime before we moved to Chicago. Northwestern flew us out to check out the grad school program for Ben. This was the weekend when we had lunch at the Hancock Building downtown (with the rest of the recruiting group of students) on a crazy windy day and scaffolding fell from the side of the building down 42 stories and killed two people - all while we were inside eating lunch. It was a crazy day and Ben was the only one of the group that day who decided to attend Northwestern in the fall!!
Last set of pictures, I promise - these are from our camping trip at Goblin Valley State Park.
So much has changed in the last ten years - we haven't been camping since I first got pregnant with Eli. We survived five years of graduate school, job hunting, two babies, buying/selling two condos and one house (and the packing/moving that goes into that), going from a one-car family to a two-car family and back to a one-car family. We survived an attempted break-in. We've had numerous callings at church with varying time commitments. We have disagreed plenty. And agreed and compromised and had happy and hard times.
We were able to sell both condos by owner (seriously a miracle with both - the first was sold with the help of BYU's classified board, the other was just luck because there were two people who wanted to buy another unit in our building, so the second person bought ours instead.) Here is the flyer I made and plastered all over the place when we were trying to sell the condo here. It makes me a little sad that Eli doesn't remember our old place! He spent his first 18 months of life in that tiny condo and after six years there, I am still so appreciative that I have my own washer/dryer now. And a garage. Even if it's ancient and detached from our house. :)
We've traveled to California, Florida, Boston, Peru, Mexico, Door County, Michigan, Madison, Arkansas, Utah, Texas, Oregon, Washington DC, and driven across the country. I still can't believe that it's been 10 YEARS! Here's to lots more decades together! Happy Anniversary, Ben. I love you.