sixteen years

Oct 15, 2009

Today is our sixteenth wedding anniversary. We have been through fires, broken bones, job losses, deaths of loved ones, huge changes in philosophies, broken-down vehicles, despicable dinners, car rides full of puking, fourteen moves, sleepless nights, and lots of joy along the way.

When I think of the man I married, I am humbled to my core. Richard is good. Just plain good. He is kind, patient, loving, self-sacrificing, hard-working, easy-to-please, smart, creative, spiritual, understanding, funny, nurturing, a great listener, dedicated to our marriage and our children, forgiving, long-suffering, and laid-back. He thinks he is boring. I think he is stable. He thinks he is unattractive. I think he is the most adorable thing ever.

He is the best thing that ever happened to me.

By a long ways.

He loves me more than I ever dreamed possible.

He takes care of me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually (not that he can do my spiritual work for me, just that he supports me in it and helps me to see the truth of God’s power, love, and plan).

He always puts my needs and my wants first.

He has taught me what love means and what I need to do to be loving.

He forgives me for all my faults and helps me to overcome them…not by pointing them out, correcting me, nagging me, or getting frustrated with me, but by loving me and helping me see his vision of me and God’s vision of me. Of us.

We are united in our decisions of how we raise our family. This means the world to me. I have some pretty out-of-the-mainstream ideas and we get educated on them together and push forward together.

He trusts me.

He likes my family.

He makes popcorn for me late at night and doesn’t complain when I eat it in bed curled up with a good book.

He walks the path of creating babies with me. He doesn’t see pregnancy as something I should do alone, but as something we get to do together. He is there with me every step of the way, as I throw up day after day and have pains and cramps and sheer exhaustion and cravings and insanities and back labor and mastitis and a damaged body and tears and you get the point, right? He has been with me through nine miscarriages and all the anger, frustration, sadness, grief, denial, treatments, hopes, and heartaches that have accompanied them. He has been my number one support during our home births and pushes on my back for hours while filling my ears with love and encouragement. He believes in my ability to grow and birth our babies. In spite of the fact we were told we would never be able to have children and have lost lots of them; somehow he continues to believe we have more babies that we will figure out a way to get here. He is always ready for more little ones and is the best “papa” ever.

He thinks I am cute. In fact, he thinks I am beautiful. He even says he loves my body – how amazing is that? I mean, I have a mirror I can look at it and see that it’s not so great, but he really, really loves every single inch of me.

He is always trying to improve himself.

He is so incredibly patient with my foibles, my idiosyncracies, my poor housekeeping, my lack of organization, my temper, my clutter, my love of books, my passions, my life as a doula, my sins, and my sorrows.

His eyes change when he looks at me. They become softer, deeper, and more alive. I love that about him. I can instantly tell if he is “with” me or not by how his eyes respond when he looks my way.

He believes in my dreams and makes them his own. He does everything he can to make my dreams come true.

He is a great fisherman.

He writes me love letters…like this one. And lots of others that are far too wonderful to be published to the world.

He is a fabulous cook and creates things with bizarre ingredients that turn out delicious.

He cooks most of the important meals in our home…like Christmas Eve, Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, and every single Sunday dinner.

He doesn’t get mad at me when I lock myself out of my car…again and again and yes, again.

He sacrifices a LOT so I can serve families as a doula. He completely supports me in this calling and knows it is more than what I do, it is who I am. He brings our babies to me to nurse in the middle of the night. Our dates are often interrupted. Our vacations, weekends, daily schedule, EVERYTHING we do and everything I am needed for is up in the air when I am on call for a birth. My mind and heart are often so involved in a family’s pregnancy that it is hard for me to emotionally have anything left for him…and yet, he is patient. He knows I will return. He knows I will put him first as soon as I can and that truly, he is first in my life and heart.

He builds cool things for our children…like the kick sled I wanted, but couldn’t afford, a toolbench for Keziah, an awesome loft bed for Blythe, and a bow and arrow for Fisher. He can usually come up with some way to make me what I want for them.

He leads our home in righteousness.

He teaches family home evening.

He reads the scriptures to us and teaches us the doctrines of the gospel.

He gives us blessings.

He takes the garbage out.

He stays up late and listens to me even when he is exhausted.

He takes me to the temple.

He is easy to cook for and compliments anything I make.

He snuggles with our children.

He goes swimming with us even though he hates to swim.

He reads books to our children.

He lets me fall asleep in his arms even though it makes him hot and uncomfortable.

He buys me ice cream.

He likes to chop wood.

He likes learning.

He gives me wonderful full-body massages.

He dreams of being a physicist.

He cleans out the fridge of all the disgusting leftovers we have forgotten about and now I can’t bear to look at them and definitely can’t open the containers to throw them away without puking…so he does it for me. Amazing, isn’t he?

He rocks our babies at night.

He doesn’t give up on me.

He is a fabulous kisser…and his hugs, ahhhh, they are THE best.

He doesn’t make fun of me – even when I make a fool of myself.

He makes me laugh. Humor is one of the most important things in a marriage and he brings me smiles and laughter day after day.

He is my yoke-mate.

I am so grateful to be his. He took a big risk in marrying me. I was determined to be a working girl and to get my PhD. I wanted to do “important” things with my life and that didn’t really include spending my days with children. In addition, I was pretty messed up psychologically after my parent’s divorce and didn’t trust men at all. I couldn’t cook, sew, create a home, nurture a baby, or any of those other skills it is helpful to have in a wife. And yet…he knew. He knew we were supposed to be together and that it would all work out in the end. He trusted that feeling and let God work a miracle in changing my heart to become the woman he knew was buried down deep inside of me. I am so grateful he gave me a chance, well, LOTS of chances.

To give my heart to him fully and to have him entrust his heart to me is the greatest blessing of my life. There is no other place I would rather be than by his side, working our way through this life together.

Happy Anniversary – I love you.

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  1. Anne

    What a delightful piece of literature! Uplifting, humorous, honest, touching, tender and inspiring. You are so blessed. And so are your children, to see fatherhood modeled so appropriately. You’re right . . . he’s p.e.r.f.e.c.t!

    [Darn . . the rest of us just have our normal husbands]

    • tracy

      Lest anyone really believe he is perfect…he makes messes that he doesn’t clean up, he doesn’t remember to tell me important pieces of information, and when he cooks he doesn’t notice he is using every pan in the house…just don’t want ya’ll to think he actually is perfect!

  2. You two truly are soulmates, and made for each other. I am glad to have been a part of your family. :) Our 15 year is coming up in December… doesn’t time fly?

    • tracy

      Yes, I really think we are soulmates and I just can’t reconcile that with President Kimball’s talk that said there is no such thing…it really baffles me because I feel so strongly that God brought us together and that we were meant to be together…I don’t know, one of life’s mysteries I suppose.

      Fifteen! Way to go. We are beating all those divorce statistics!

  3. Anne

    He’s p.e.r.f.e.c.t for you! You know what I mean. He is a wonderful guy. He’s awesome! And so are you! Thank goodness eternity is so long. You will be blessed for eons! I’m so thrilled you found each other and I don’t even mind the freckles, in fact they are endearing! Love you both!

    [And I was really only talking about my own situation when I said darn]

  4. April

    Beautiful. Congratulations!

  5. Congratulations on 16 wonderful years! Was Richard able to come home early and surprise you? He said he might be able to and I told him that wives love that! He told me about his dinner! What did you think of the chicken??

    • tracy


      No worries on the cashew parfait…there is some left for him!

      The chicken was delicious! The biggest treat of all was just getting to see him for an extra 2 hours today!

      He is a gem at bringing in groceries and putting them away. To be honest, he also usually does the shopping as well, at least when I am pregnant!

      You are really cracking me up. If you ever did get to meet me you would be so disappointed! I am nothing fancy, nothing great, my bedroom looks as if a tornado hit it, my laundry room has load of batches I need to get to, and my dining room table is buried!

  6. He also told me about taking in the groceries and putting the veggies away and finding old veggies so he cleaned out the drawer and how wonderful it was to you! I totally agreed! I am about in tears when my husband does silly little things like that! They seem to make my day and make me so happy too! I told him I so bad want to meet you!

  7. Oh, wow. What a beautiful post! I am in awe. What an amazing, amazing man. You two are an amazing pair!