For Valentines day I've decided to dedicate a post to the two loves of my life: Nick and Toby. I have been thinking a lot lately about when Nick and I first met and what exactly attracted me to him. Well, let me first give you a quick run-down on how we met. We met in early October of 2004. I still look back on that time in my life as the "golden months." It was fall - my favorite season. I loved my apartment, my roommates, my job, and that was the season I fell hard for the man I would someday marry. Sometime during the first week in October Nick's friend, Kurt (who lived in my same apartment complex), had invited me and my roommates to a corn maze. When we arrived at Kurt's apartment, Nick answered the door. I can still see his tanned complexion, messy hair, and brilliant blue eyes staring back at me. Was it love at first sight? Well, lets just say I was definitely attracted to him and very interested in getting to know him better. Nick soon discovered I had just returned from visiting my sister in Palmer, Alaska and right then we had instant common bond. We loved the beauty of Alaska. The whole evening was spent talking about the different places I had visited and I could just feel his homesickness as I described how beautiful the mountains were and showed him a picture of them on my cell phone. By the end of the night I remember telling my roommate, "I like Nick. I definitely wouldn't mind if he asked me out." Well he did ask me out - 3 weeks after the corn maze! I still tease him about dragging his feet for so long. At the beginning of our first official date I was pumped and so excited to spend more time together, but was later disappointed with the anti-climatic ending. Nick spoke very little the entire time. I remember feeling frustrated that I had to carry most of the conversation and so by the end of the night, I had mixed feelings about whether I was truly into him or not (later I found out he was a little nervous and intimidated by me which was a complete shock , but also a bit flattering as well :) I never thought of myself as intimidating.) I know this will probably sound a bit superficial but I was always very black and white with the guys I dated -I was either 100% into them, or I wasn't. And if I wasn't, I didn't waste any time in letting them know that. So after our first date, I was kind of like "Meh...I don't really care if I go on another date with him." Well, he ended up asking me out a few more times after that and I don't know what changed but we totally clicked. All our conversations were so natural and real. We laughed about all the funny Alaskan ways, we spent hours talking about both dumb and serious things, and we even had a game of asking each other 20 questions every time we hung out. Every moment I spent with him I fell a little deeper in love with the man who is now my husband and father to my son. Tonight I began thinking about all those little things that made me like, and then eventually love Nick. Here are just a few of the traits that I still treasure today:
- Nick intrigued me with how blunt he was about everyone and everything. He was real and open and 100% genuine in everything he said. I loved it.
- Nick wasn't going to school when I met him, but he worked extremely hard at his job. I remember being so impressed at how many hours he put in even though he absolutely hated his job. I saw in him a strong work ethic and good provider.
- Nick always surprised me with random phone calls and text messages that would brighten my day. We never had a cat-and-mouse relationship. It was always comfortable and easy. No second guessing on where we stood. I could see him being very loyal and devoted spouse - and he hasn't disappointed yet.
- Though he grew up with a dad who was not LDS (but very supportive of his beliefs), Nick had a strong testimony of the gospel and love for the Lord. I remember being extremely impressed when I learned Nick paid for his entire mission out of his own pocket. How often does that happen anymore?
- Nick is the ultimate handy man. I remember sometime while we were dating mentioning to him that one of my headlights on my car burned out. Within 3 days he had ordered the a new bulb and installed it for me. Whenever anything is broken or needs to be repaired whether its a garage door or car door, Nick is on the job. I can't tell you how much money this has saved us.
- Nick has always had a way of seeing right through me. Even though sometimes I wish he would butt-out of my head so that I could enjoy being just a little mysterious, I am grateful to have a husband that is very in-tune with my thoughts and feelings.
- When we were dating Nick loved making me dinner. His specialty was BBQ chicken. To this day whenever he makes it, I think of us sitting in his apartment in Provo devouring his savory chicken dinner while watching 24. Now-a-days Nick is the kind of husband and father that most women pine over. He will start a load of laundry, put away dishes, vacuum, watch Toby whenever I feel I need a break (which is at least once a week), and make dinner all with out any nagging or prompting. His way of showing love is through acts of service.
I am so grateful to have met you, my quirky Alaskan. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication to school and work. You are AMAZING and I love you.
And now for my the little guy who is already larger than life...
Toby, you are your mommy's best friend. I don't consider the time with you a chore. I love spending my days with you - even if some of them are completely exhausting. Though you are such a spirited little guy, blessed with an iron will and lots of energy I know these tough traits are a blessing in disguise. Your spunk, love for life, and moodiness may turn out to someday be: "strong ambition" "perseverance" and "sensitivity to others." Just looking at you makes my heart melt and I am so proud and grateful to call you my son. Here a few things about you that I hope I will always remember during this precious time in your life where you look to me for everything:
- I love your enthusiasm for everything you do. Whenever I ask you "what does a cow say?" Its never a weak "moo" its always "MOOOOOOO!" I love how you are a risk taker (though some days you almost give me a heart attack with your bravery).
- I love that when I look at you, I see little pieces of me. You have your mommy's almond shaped eyes, elf ears, and Rarick chin. I love how we laugh at the same silly things together.
- I love how sometimes all you want to do is hold my hand when we are running errands together. Even though my arm is sometimes about to fall off from reaching it back to you in your car seat, I treasure these times where just holding my hand is such a comfort to you.
- I love how you will grab my face and pull it into yours with a little mischievous grin and then give me a kiss. You are THE most affectionate toddler I have ever seen.
- I love how observant you are. No matter what we are doing you will drop everything to point out a bird in a tree, an airplane in the sky, or a kitty running across the street.
- I love how you are so sweet and patient with other kids your age.
- I love your athleticism and willingness to try new things. And I love that you can keep up with kids twice your age. I get teary eyed thinking about attending your little league games and eventually High School sporting events.
- And most of all, I love that Heavenly Father sent you to our home. You are the light of my life and am so humbled to call you my son.
Happy Valentines Day to the two wonderful guys in my life!