10 years. Wow.
It was Jared's turn to plan our anniversary this year. Lucky him that he got the big one! I offered some none-too-suble hints that I'd sure love something really romantic and creative and sentimental (three things that are not his strong suits) if he could possibly manage it and wow, he sure delivered!
I really didn't know what to expect - Jared kept it all a surprise. We went up to SLC so my sweet parents could watch the kids and also because, as it turned out, SLC figured pretty heavily into Jared's plans.
The night before our actual anniversary (Sept 8th), I made Eliza's wish come true and put on my wedding dress for her and the rest of the kids. She has this bridesmaid's dress I found for her at at thrift shop and after seeing pictures of my wedding as we led up to the anniversary, she begged for us to both put on our "wedding dresses" together. So why not? It was so much fun to dress up with my little girl and she was so very excited about my big fancy dress. I couldn't exactly breathe in my dress - but thanks to the "corset" style top of the dress and Jared's help getting the laces done up the back, everything got squished in somehow and it actually sort of fit!
As Eliza and I came down the stairs in our dresses it was fun to have all the boys perk up and get into the whole thing as well. We decided to take some photos and Jared turned on some great old music like the kind we danced to at our reception so we could have a little family dance. It was so fun to share a little piece of our wedding with the kids in a more interactive way than just looking at pictures.
The next morning, our actual anniversary, we started off with a hike. Jared did a bunch of research (thanks to Google Earth) and found the exact spot where he proposed over 10 years ago. We were in such a quandry over where to go with our relationship and had just pulled off the road up Emigration Canyon near my parent's house and started hiking up a random trail. Then, after kneeling to get some help from the Lord, Jared looked up at me and shocked us both by saying, "I want to marry you!" - and quite suddenly, we were engaged! Neither of us could remember where we'd been since our minds really weren't on our location at the time. But Jared found the spot and it really is a beautiful spot and was so fun to be there again together. We knelt and offered up a prayer to thank the Lord for 10 great years and pray for guidance and support as we move forward. To top it all off, Jared somehow still had the t-shirt he was wearing the day we got engaged and he put that on for the hike. Talk about sentimental. Then we went to lunch up at the top of the Joseph Smith Building - where we had our wedding luncheon back on our wedding day. We wandered around the temple grounds and remembered all the spots where we'd taken pictures and how new and exciting everything was that day. Next, Jared helped me put on my wedding dress again for a horse-drawn carriage ride around SLC. It was so fun! Jared knew I always wished we'd left our reception in a carriage so he made it happen 10 years later! We had lots of people honking and waving and clapping and calling out "congratulations!" and I loved sitting there by my sweetheart, feeling like a bride all over again but loving the "groom" so much more deeply that I did 10 years ago.
We checked into the gorgeous Grand America Hotel and had a wonderful dinner together and Jared presented me with a really beautiful new setting for my diamond - he did such a great job picking out something I so thoroughly liked. Then we capped everything off the next morning by doing some sealings at the Salt Lake Temple and "renewing our vows" while helping those who've gone before become sealed to each other. That was one of my very favorite parts.
Here I am in our suite at Grand America. Hint: if you want a great free upgrade at a hotel, check in in your wedding dress!
What a wonderful anniversary! Jared outdid himself and I'm on cloud nine. Who would have guessed this guy could be such a romantic? I knew he had it in him - somewhere deep inside!
What a beautiful, challenging, exciting, stressful, wondeful, stretching, and enriching ten years we've shared. Wow, there have been hard times. And wow, there have been great times. And wow, there have been a lot of times where we just had to put our heads down and plow on through. Together we've made 5 children, 4 homes, several businesses, many friends and countless wonderful memories. I'm so grateful to be married to such a selfless, smart, kind, adventurous, supportive, worthy, patient, generous man. I'm so excited for all that we'll do together and become together in the years ahead!