Yesterday was our 9th anniversary. It was a sweet and special day, with a little bit of drama in the middle. I decided on a whim that it might just be a good day to finally get our family photo done again. We already had two beautiful white dresses for the girls thanks to a friend of ours, and I decided to go in search of another inexpensive one while the girls were napping. After looking in six different stores (and giving my little helper Everett two turns down the mall slide and a slushie), I finally found one at WalMart. It was the last one on the racks, just the right size, and on clearance.
We got everyone ready, loaded them in the van, and drove to the mall. Unfortunately, Lana got carsick and threw up on her dress. Thankfully I had left all their bibs on as a precaution and I was able to clean it up pretty well with the Clorox wipes I keep in the van. Next time she'll be getting dressed at the portrait studio though!
Afterwards we had dinner in the food court and took them all on the carousel for the first time. This photo was taken on Cary's phone while the carousel was stationary.
After the kids were in bed, we got to go out and celebrate some more. I say some more, because the children are a beautiful part of our marriage too. We went for a nice, long drive (which made me extremely curious because Cary didn't tell me where we were going), and had a nice dinner. Then Cary took me shopping. Though he doesn't give a lot of input on the clothing choices, I love having him around so it was a treat. And we didn't talk about the kids the whole time.
I've been thinking about a lot of fond memories from our dating and early marriage. One of my favorites is how we used to go grocery shopping. I don't know why, but we have always enjoyed doing the grocery shopping together. We still go as a family almost every time. As a young married couple without a car, we would take our backpacks, strategically fill them to capacity, and carry bags in our arms as well. Sometimes when we got back to our apartment we'd weigh ourselves to see how much we were carrying.
I loved walking everywhere together. We also liked to go to The Malt Shoppe on Tuesdays. (It was buy one get one free night with your University ID.)
We used to have tickle fights all the time, but it seemed like I always ended up getting smacked in the nose. It sticks out pretty far I guess.
We also liked it when our car broke down. Just kidding! But our car did break down on just about every big trip we ever took. Cary waited for me to graduate before we moved for the start of his grad studies. Then we placed all of our earthly possessions in a small U-Haul trailer and drove the 2000 miles to PA. But first we broke down about 15 miles into our trek. Since we had already officially moved out of our apartment, we spent the night at Cary's sister's all girl apartment. We spent the whole next day trying to figure out what was wrong with the car, and spent the next night in a campground. Finally we were on the road again. Then we broke down in Podunk, Illinois. After some more adventures there, we made it "home" without further incident. Somehow all the times we have broken down have become fond memories for me. We were always together, and though it was somewhat stressful at the time, we stayed positive and had fun in the circumstances. Changing the brakes together, rollerblading, camping, and other somewhat unusual situations brought us closer together. We wanted to have children sooner than we did, but we really cherish the time we had as "just us". Knowing what we know now (getting four children in 2 1/2 years), it is really confirmed to us that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and has a plan for each of us. We have been so richly blessed.