Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eight Years

Today is our eighth wedding anniversary! What a year, huh? A year of tragedy and triumph, that's for sure. Fortunately through our challenges this year, we're able to look back years from now and see ways we pulled through together, and became a stronger family as a result.

Did I ever tell you our engagement story, friends? It's a good one. I thought it might be fun to write that one down this year before the memory fades like the blond of my hair... :)

We got engaged on Saturday, May 17th, 2003. While we were dating, we made a habit of attending the temple together on Saturdays. It was such a great, uplifting activity, and I'm so glad Josh suggested we do it. We had discussed getting married by this point, and even shopped for a ring together, but Josh wanted to leave the official proposal for another time. Following this particular Saturday session of the temple, he seemed a little distracted and rushed. He was checking his watch and had to make some phone calls. Then he said, "We need to leave now. I have made some plans and we are running a little late." We went back to my house and he dropped me off with the instructions to bring a change of comfortable clothes. About five minutes later, he pulled into my driveway in his Uncle's white BMW. Whatever we were doing, it looked like we were going to be doing it in style...

We arrived at the Melting Pot (a fondue restaurant). We were greeted by the friendly hostess and escorted to "our" table. I took Josh once before for his birthday, and we got this great table overlooking Main Street. Sitting at the table waiting for us were two dozen beautiful pink roses! Ah, the power of flowers...

We enjoyed a lovely and conversation-filled dinner. I love that restaurant because it's more of an experience dining. Go there sometime for cheese and chocolate fondue if nothing else. It's great to experience at least once!

Enjoy this dinner, kids! You won't be able to afford this place ever again! :)


After dinner we got back in the car and without saying a word, he started driving towards Kingsbury Hall on the U of U campus, where Josh worked during that time doing marketing for the theater.

Isn't it a beautiful building?
We got to go to dozens of amazing dance performances for free while Josh was working there. Fun memories!

"Did you forget something at your office," I asked?
"Yeah, I'll just be a second, but you can come with me." I hopped out of the car and Josh proceeded to lift the floor mat at the entrance and produce a key. We went into the Hall and instead of going down the stairs to his office, he unlocked the main stage door and said, "Come in here for a second."

We walked onto the main stage. The entire hall was dark except the floor lights in the stage and a pale blue spotlight that cast a pattern of snowflakes onto the stage floor. SNOW...FLAKES! In the middle of the stage was the theater's grand piano and bench and ONE (count 'em) one red theater seat that had been unbolted from the theater and placed on stage. Seat K-18.

I was invited to sit down in my seat and Josh said, "Since I first met you, I wanted to learn how to play the piano well enough to be able to sing for you and play at the same time. I've been practicing a little, and I'm really nervous, but I want to play a special song for you."

He nervously sat down at the piano and from memory, played a song called "True Companion" by Mark Cohn.

The lyrics are heart-felt and beautiful. A little-known fact is that Josh is quite musical. His family all burst into song spontaneously at family gatherings in four-part harmonies. Most can play an instrument. Although Josh doesn't claim to be able to play anymore, he took viola lessons as a youth! Well, the story goes that Josh had ordered the sheet music for this song months before, and had been practicing almost daily to learn and memorize the song to sing it to me. Thanks to his patient family for enduring the rehearsals!

Josh did a fantastic job performing. I was gushing with pride! You can imagine what a romantic atmosphere it was on the dark stage with your most wonderful person singing out his heart to you. It was beautiful, and I felt like the most special girl alive!

I later asked him why he didn't propose there on stage following the song. He said, "I didn't want to propose at WORK." Good point. ha, ha.

The weather was rainy and a little windy, which was a bit of a concern to him. I learned later her had plans for a little picnic with candles and Martinelli's, but the weather wasn't cooperating. Josh suggested we change out of our church clothes, but in all of his planning, he forgot to pack his sneakers, so he just stayed in his suit! What a trooper!

We headed up Emigration Canyon. We had a date there a month or two before, for dinner. We hiked up to the spot and the clouds broke into a beautiful pink sunset sky, complete with (I kid you not) a RAINBOW! It couldn't have been more perfectly orchestrated.

Josh started talking about the significance of the Canyon to the Pioneer saints and how they left their homes to start a new life in the Salt Lake Valley and how much it reminded him of me, traveling from Virginia to Utah to start a new life in Utah. He said how grateful he was that I made that decision, and that we were able to meet and fall in love. And with that, he got down on the muddy ground in his suit and said, "Amy, will you be my companion?" I got down on my knees too, and gave him a hug, a kiss and a "yes". That was a happy day.

I still love my ring!
Even if we had a million dollars, I wouldn't want a different one.

We were married on August 9, 2004. Unlike the pioneers, our journey didn't end in the valley. We've had and will have many more lessons to learn, joys to experience and memories to make.

Here's to another year of being companions!

*In looking for these pictures, I finally found one I'd been searching for. For our wedding luncheon at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, I wanted a table of wedding day photos from all of the couples from both sides of the family on their temple wedding day. It took a while to acquire them all, but I put each in a fitting frame and had them there on display. I wish I would have had our photographer take a really great picture of this table, but I'm glad someone got this snapshot at least. It's a great reminder to me of forever families. It was a neat experience to look at each face, so young and full of love and hope. I think if I were to ask any of these couples, they would tell you that marriage isn't easy. It's a lot of work! But, it's also wonderful and I wouldn't trade it. I'm so thankful for mine.


JBpaulsen said...

Wow, it all sounds so cheesy now...love makes you do funny things. Thanks for capturing the memory, I had forgotten many of those details. Happy Anniversary Amy.

Brett said...

Happy Anniversary! I love your story - Josh never does anything half way.

Dianna said...

Sorry, I didn't know Brett was logged on. The last post was from me.

Chad said...


Joshua said...

Happy Anniversary Josh and Amy. I love this post!

Catherine said...

Thanks for sharing the details. I always thought Josh proposed on the stage. We love you guys! -Catherine and Peter

Nicole said...

happy anniversary! I would have to say Josh is still doing awesome things for you...example: Harry Potter dates! Oh and I love your last post about friends. I have loved friends everywhere I have lived and hope that in turn I am a good friend to someone who needs me too...

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story! That is the sweetest date and proposal.

Catherine said...

Its hard to believe its been 8 years!! It was great seeing Josh and the kids on Saturday. The kids had a blast playing together and we were so sad to see them go. Happy Anniversary guys!

steph said...

Happy Anniversary. Sweet story.