8.21.2014

Love Story, Part 5: The "M" Word

Back to Jim for the rest of our story, hooray!
{Check out the previous parts here}
The first picture we ever took together. ;)

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We started talking about the “M” word not too long after our first kiss. Yeah, we were feeling pretty good about ourselves and what we had. I wasn’t super sure about it at first, but I felt really comfortable with Ashley and discussing our feelings and anxieties and goals for our future. By late January we were talking seriously about getting married and up to this point there hadn’t been any hangups with the idea in my mind. Nothing about her made me wonder if she would be a great person to spend my life with and who would raise our children. We figured that since she was going to be able to do EFY in the summer and earn some extra money we would get married sometime in September so her sister could be there for it. She would be returning home from her mission by that time and it would be wonderful to have her there. It seemed like everything would work out perfectly.

We were already committed to one another 100% and we just never wanted it to end, so we started looking for a ring. It didn’t seem real at first. We went to the Cache Valley Mall to get an idea of what was out there and Ashley could hardly believe she was trying on wedding rings. I could hardly believe it. I kept thinking, “Do we know what we are doing?” It was new territory for both of us. But I knew she was the one.

I knew she was the one because I thought and prayed long and hard about it. I went to the Logan Temple and asked for guidance. I came to the conclusion that she was all I could ask for and more. I had been through so many experiences before this that taught me what I should be looking for in a friend and a companion. She met all of my “must haves” on my list. She was what I needed and I still need. Ashley has made my life into something I have always wanted to have: purpose.

I have always needed a reason to pursue the next goal. I have found the purpose of making a family as the most exciting one yet. 

I had been looking out for number one up to that point in my life and I was about to finish school. What would be next in my worthwhile pursuits? More school? There is only so much schooling you can do while you’re on your own until it starts to becoming a lifestyle. Never-ending school is not what I wanted. I could do it, but it would not be as fulfilling as the life I have found in my wife Ashley. She has given me the opportunity to learn so much more about myself, about her, about how to care for someone more than yourself in such a new way. Yes, siblings, parents and even friends are people I’ve cared about but it just isn’t the same. Anyone who is living happily in marriage can say that your heart is exercised so much more than ever before. 

Back to the story...

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I know, he says "back to the story" and then I end the post. I'm so mean. But I just had to interject here and talk about that first time we talked about marriage for real. I had gone to St. George for a weekend in January with some friends for EFY express. It was a wonderful trip that I thoroughly enjoyed, but the whole time I couldn't stop thinking about Jim. I mean, I was in his hometown, after all. As my friends and I were driving to our destination, someone suggested we listen to a John Bytheway talk about dating and marriage. While I don't remember much of what he actually said, I do know that as I was listening to him describe the way he felt about his wife, I started to get this overwhelming feeling that I felt all of those same things about Jim. Obviously Jim was thinking the same things, because the Sunday I got home, we went for a little drive and talked about getting married. :) For us, the conversation was easy. We were on the same page and although we hadn't told each other yet, we both knew we wanted to get married. Funnily enough, that night was also the first time we said "I love you", but I think we both knew it was love long before that. 

By now it's pretty obvious that we didn't wait until September to get married. More on that coming up! And stay tuned for Jim's next post about the proposal...

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