how about some wedding photos?
5 years ago today I woke up without a worry in the world.
ok let me rephrase that- I woke up to Joette by my side. The night before she got this sweet crazy idea that we should sleep together as sisters "one last time" before I get married. I wasn't dying or moving across the world but we did share a bed growing up and so I took her sleeping together request to be loving and sentimental- but she had some bizarre dreams that night- and she talked in her sleep the whole night and kept stealing the covers saying over and over in her sleep "I am sooo cold...it is sooo cold" only to wake up the next morning not remembering a thing...
ok so despite the sour start...November 22, 2003 was one of the most peaceful freezing days of my life. I felt beautiful and confident. I knew I was going to marry Chay. It was the obvious perfect next step in life...and the spirit confirmed it over and over.
My hairdresser kept asking me if I was nervous. "not at all" "not at all? Are you sure?" "you need to meet Chay Eileen...you would know if you met him"
I am a "kind of all over the place" type person. I am genuine, love people, kind and the sorts- but when it came to liking men I was sort of displaced. I was kind of set in who and what type of guy I wanted to marry--so when I met Chay for the first time (in Portuguese class after the mission at BYU-I) I just knew he would be one of my "buddies" for the semester and nothing else. To be honest I was kind of stupid to not realize that this soft, funny, sincere, humble, respectful guy would be anything less than the perfect match for me.
While I was seriously dating a strong willed meant to be successful guy who seemed to control the universe, Chay and I steadily became good friends. I was on the look out to marry some big buff pre-law type personality who I could discuss politics, nature and psychology with- and so I almost married this someone who supposedly fit my perfect profile...and during all this drama, Chay was just there...apart of my life and patiently allowing the best of life to happen all on its own.
I knew Chay liked me. I could tell by the way he always wanted to be with me. He even asked me to Homecoming and I had to tell him no- I was already committed to someone else at the time. Chay was calm and respectful as I juggled through what I wanted. We would study together and laugh- play guitar and take walks. We always made sure we were in the same study group together. Everyone knew if they could find Chay they could find April. But I was distant when it came to romantic feelings and Chay never once tried to pull anything flirty on me- He knew me already- his steadiness and his non flirtiness approach was actually very smart on his part- because through his friendship- and me realizing that this guy likes me even though we have never made out or held hands during a movie (holding hands is definitely a bigger deal than kissing in Rexburg when it comes to "moving on to the next step commitment type stuff") I knew that this guy was the real deal. The real deal. Chay was waiting for me...and he did it respectfully. Which is weird to explain- but I knew there was something different about this guy...
Well we didn't touch each other for a whole semester...but we hung out all the time. The guy I was dating broke things off with me and I was devastated...for a little while. And then Heavenly Father just kind of sort of allowed me to see what has been in front of my face for the last 5 months. Oh and I forgot to add that Chay actually started dating a girl mid semester but it didn't even faze me- He could kiss on her all he wanted to- I knew he would drop her in a second if I told him I wanted to be together...I know that sounds a little egotistical of me...but come on- it was true- you girls know when you've got a hold on a guy.
I can't explain Chay very well. He is just something else I tell you. He is your typical guy- loves 4 wheelers, cars, fixing things, watches pointless movies, eats hamburgers and pizza quite often, loves...me. But he kind of glows if you know what I mean. He gives off this light...and just talking with him for the first time people are suddenly aware of his pureness...He is extremely likable. Everyone is Chay's friend. And although I have my armful of certain friends that I care deeply about, Chay makes armful of friends by the day. He is comfortable around all types of people and he is simple enough where everyone can enjoy Chay on one level or another. He is just this all encompassing loving all people type of guy. He is sincere...and never fake. Are you getting him yet?
So...Christmas break 2002 Chay hugged me for the first time. It was one of those missionary side hugs with one arm. Nothing special...but I loved it. I stopped by his Dad's house on the way back from Utah. He was so excited to see me...and his eye brows had been shaped and plucked (he has monstrous eyebrows) He seemed to be overly good looking to me all of the sudden. A couple weeks later we were driving back to his Dad's house to go snowmobiling. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. I knew Chay liked me a lot and I was afraid to keep things going. He could tell I was apprehensive about everything. He just said, "April, we are going snow machining- that is it- just have fun" I noticed in the truck his amazing profile and sexy jaw line- and I remember thinking "how come I didn't notice that before!" I talked to Chay the whole way and he listened...and well I kissed him the next night.
It was a good kiss...followed by more good kisses.
So we fell in love. He was calming to my "all over the placeness" He kind of just lets me be and lets me figure things out- and at first I didn't like how laid back he was- I was always so sure I wanted someone aggressive and Mr. Powerhouse...but can you imagine if I did marry someone like this? Oh my gosh just imagine the fights!!!! My house would have broken doors and punched out holes in every wall.
Chay is a powerhouse. He is. He is a spiritual powerhouse who relies on the spirit to direct his choices. He loves. He is full of love. He fasted and waited until we we were sitting together in the celestial room at the Idaho Falls Temple to tell me he loved me. We went out to the sand dunes late one night to look at the amazing stars (stars are much better and brighter out in the middle of nowhere)and he said as we were laying there, "this is how I know there is a God"
When we were dating it was like a "coming home" type feeling. I never had to worry about impressing Chay and trying to constantly win him over. He was mine and I was his and no matter the quirkiness in each other we were already committed. We didn't have any huge discussions on what each other wanted and expected from each other- it was just comfortable. It is good to remind myself how I felt when I was getting ready to marry Chay. Sometimes when life takes a turn and children pop into the picture, it is easy to forget the qualities, the talents, the love Chay possesses as a human being- who he is- He really is remarkable.
Minutes before we were married, Chay and I sat together in the celestial room- just waiting to be sealed. We were sitting there on the couch giggling about who knows what...and then he really started to laugh "April...you have some carrot in between your front teeth...you ate carrots for breakfast?" He still had much to learn about me didn't he? What a funny moment that was-
Sometimes I will think, "how did I end up with this guy? We are so opposite!" We really are. I love to watch the news- He would rather watch the Simpson's (we both love The Office however) I would rather walk and hike, he would rather ride his 4 wheeler. I like to analyze, He likes to fix things right away. I would rather just talk about the gospel, he would rather just get his home teaching done, I eat spinach and soy, he eats pizza and jalapeno poppers. I like to go to bed early- him late, I like art and philosophy, psychology- he could really care less. I like Alanis Moresette, He likes Butt Rock from the 80's...
I could go on and on.
But you know, He is just what I need. I hope I am just what he needs...but he allows me to be me. I know if I could just understand myself more and get over my own insecurities, Chay would continue to allow me to grow and expand to who I could truly be. He does not ever hold me back. He believes in me. He always tells me, "April you need to make a CD with your music" or "April, you need to write a book" "April maybe you should get a job at night so you can get out of the house more" "April you are an amazing teacher" When he says things like this- my heart melts and I know that regardless of how different we are- together we can create a synergy that is full of potential- we can do amazing things together. I know we can- we are still trying to figure that out- but I know we can.
Things are bumpy of course and in my irrational thinking sometimes I just want to runaway and give up...but those thoughts have never lasted more than 20 minutes- because Chay will go and do something wonderful and he will interrupt my negative thinking-He always does that. Even when I want to be mad at him I can't. He is so patient with me when I am mean and rude. He knows I am upset when I shut drawers a little harder than normal- and he adjusts quickly to my attitude- He is really amazing that Chay Clark.
There is a lot of truth to the whole concept that freedom makes you thrive and grow where security can do the opposite and impede all that is good and necessary in a person and in a relationship. I think it is pretty self evident to me that I chose freedom- I really did..as cheesy as that sounds- yeah that sounds cheesy. Chay will make fun of that one...oh well.
ok well Happy Anniversary to us- many more to come. I love you Chay. I love you so much. I love you. I am so grateful to have you. It's ok that you hide dirty dishes in the oven and leave empty pizza boxes in the fridge. Your pickle breath is tolerable too. You mean so much to me- to many more great years together.