That's the chief problem with this blog recently. I've just been so eager to tell everyone how wonderful my son is that I need to remember to tell everyone how wonderful the love of my life is too! (I think those two facts are strongly correlated, myself.)
I love being married! I'm so thankful to my have my Sweetheart by my side. When we were rapidly approaching being engaged (I had told her 6 months ago I wanted to marry her but wasn't asking yet, and she was about to tell me that she still wasn't ready for me to ask but that when I did, the answer would be yes) (:D!!!!:D!!!!!:D) she handed me a wonderful card with 100 reasons that we were perfect for each other. (After she told me the Really Exciting Part, we ... went to look at engagement rings. I was in a trance most of the time! Was this really happening to ME?)
The picture on the right was taken the very first night we met. *sigh* I went home afterward to IM Mom and Dad about the lovely and gracious Joy I met, and the nickname stuck. Joy is the Lovely and Gracious.
I am amazed to discover that 1,212 days after our marriage, we have grown many times more perfect for each other. I acknowledge that this has come through sacrifice - it hasn't been easy for either of us to change, and our Family Home Evening discussions on communication always filled me with a kind of dread - but oh how sweet the fruits that continually flow from that sacrifice! and particularly from our many efforts at communication. I've been sitting back this week taking time to notice how much more smoothly everything goes because of some of our unique communication compromises.
I am so thankful for Joy when we're out being social. (Here she is at the LDSSA Opening Social. Tada!) I can deal with a lot of people when they're one large group, like an audience; and I can usually handle one-on-one conversation. But large group gatherings where people float from group to group and mingle really leave me feeling adrift. This means I'm deeply uncomfortable at most ward functions. But now I have an anchor. Whenever it gets just a little too much for me, I have a home port I can sail towards where I know I'm always welcome and invited and loved. (My old anchor was the piano. At a BYU freshman ward reunion a few years ago, several people reminisced that one of their strongest memories of our ward was me at the piano playing background music for whatever we were doing. You can imagine the mixed feelings that brought up! I like my new anchor better.)
As we are convalescing together, I'm reminded again and again how nice it is to just hold her hand, or put my arm around her. How perfectly and softly we fit together!
Joy is such a thoughtful, tender ministering angel. Her patience with me and with Hyrum, particularly on his many recent grouchy days, is inspiring.
I also truly admire her persistence and dedication. For a couple months last year she read the Book of Mormon at a rate of 10 pages a day while she walked back and forth across the apartment to get her exercise. Most recently she's been reading the BoM and Doctrine and Covenants by reading one page from each every day, and she's managed to do so every single day for so long that she finished the D&C and is now halfway through the Pearl of Great Price. Not just in religion, but in everything: if she says it, she does it. She is amazingly dependable, reliable, and dedicated.
Her love of family history work is not only infectious, it is amazing to see how brilliantly she smiles and gleams while she works on it! She has been known to disappear for hours on end if Hy and I will let her, only surfacing when I insist she eat something.
She is the most zealous yet natural missionary I've ever known. She happily talks to anyone she meets and often finds a way to bring in the gospel. It isn't something she does consciously - she doesn't think "I've got to convert this person." She just shares the good news that makes her so happy.
I particularly enjoy the delightful sound effects she makes when throwing herself at the ball during racquetball.
I love her beautiful voice and how sweetly she sings to Hyrum. How grateful I am for her attentiveness to him! (On the left is a picture of her and Hyrum enjoying the Groton parade. Above is her with her Excellent Parent trophy my parents gave her after our doctor said we were ... excellent parents.)
I am thankful most of all that she has chosen to love me, and chooses every day to find more reasons to love and better and better ways to express it. She really is the greatest strength and grace in my life. Would that I might someday be worthy of such an inestimable treasure! To think that she let's me be hers! Some might say we've been married three years, going on four. To me, one of the greatest parts of the gospel can be summed up as: 1212 days ... going on forever.
Thank you, Friend.