My wonderful nephew, Bradley reminded me that today is the 14th anniversary of the day I moved to Utah.
14 years! Man, that made me feel beyond old.
I expressed this thought of aging with Bradley, to which he replied, "Ya, but it doesn't matter because you're still as fabulous as ever!"
Ya, I knew I loved that kid.
Little did I know he was just buttering me up. :)
I had just returned from my 18 month (not nearly long enough) mission for the LDS church in Montreal, Canada.
I came to live with my father, whom I hadn't lived with since I was 2 years old.
My dad had moved two doors down from Mr Bird's family while I was in Canada.
The morning after I arrived, my dad and Mr Bird's dad were talking in the driveway, plotting to get the two of us together.
They planned to bring their family over to meet me and my sister and her husband, we had all moved together, the following evening.
When Mr bird heard this plan, he had no desire, at all, whatsoever, to come over.
All RM girls are weird, he thought.
Plus he was at that age where everyone and their dogs were trying to set him up with girls and get him married off, in true Mormon fashion.
Mr Bird had grown tired of it.
Yet, somehow, the following day his family convinced him to join them in the visit.
He showed up, all smiles and his happy self that I would come to know and love.
Introductions were made and he was pleased that I did not seem as awkward as he had imagined for an RM.
Everyone went into the living room to sit and visit.
As everyone took their seat, Mr Bird and I found ourselves the only two left standing with two spots, side by side, left unoccupied just for us.
How kind of them.
We awkwardly took our seats.
I don't remember anything that we talked about or what was said that night.
I do remember that it was arranged that Mr Bird would give me a ride to institute within the next week.
I remember being struck by his confidence and how he just seemed comfortable in this intensely awkward moment.
So the day of institute came and we drove together.
It was pleasant, but nothing special.
On the way home he had to stop where they kept their horses to feed them.
It was early Spring, but a nice warm day. I got out and helped fling some hay over the fence.
I think I managed to get more of it on myself than to the horses.
During this time, little did I know that his dad was giving him a hard time, trying to get him to ask me out.
Mr Bird was dragging his feet (in his dad's opinion, there was nothing slow about our courtship), so his dad decided to up the stakes.
Mr Bird wanted to borrow his dad's laptop for a computer gaming party with his friends, so his dad told him he could only borrow it if he asked me out.
That did the trick.
He came over to ask me out, but we ended up hanging out together all afternoon, then saw a movie later in the evening.
From that day on, we were inseparable.
I was looking for a job, but was not yet gainfully employed.
He had a part time job and had classes at the local university.
Whenever he wasn't in class or at work, we were together, every single day.
Living so close to one another made it really hard to stay away.
We were like two magnets, we just couldn't be apart.
By the first weekend in April we realized things were developing, yet we hadn't even held hands.
After spending the day together watching the semi annual conference of the church, we just couldn't part ways. We ended up at a friends house hanging out and watching movies.
That's when the snuggling began.
On a light tan leather couch in the basement family room of his best friend's house surrounded by chaos of people.
I never wanted to get off that couch, if I could have just melted myself into him, I would have.
He walked me home night after night, then came the goodnight kisses.
We'd stay up sometimes until 4am talking and playing games.
It was so hard to send him home every night.
I just always wanted to be with him, and I think he felt the same.
That lasted until my dad made a rule that wherever we were at midnight, that's where we'd have to stay for the night.
He was tired of us waking him up night after night.
We obliged and we all got to be more rested, but then Mr Bird started skipping work so he could do more things with me.
Within 6 weeks we were engaged to be married.
But in dating time it was more like a year because of all the time we'd spent together.
He took me on horse rides with his family and we did everything together.
I went to his family gatherings and met all his married siblings.
I was at his house a lot so I saw how he interacted with his family, how he treated his mom and younger sister.
By the middle of June we were married and have lived happily ever after since.
Yes, we had a whirl wind courting and engagement.
We only knew each other two and a half months from the time we met until we got married.
Yet, it has been the best decision I have ever made.
That man owns every inch of my heart, I'd do anything if I had him by my side.
Our marriage has not been all rainbows and butterflies, we've had our shares of troubles, but there has always been a whole lot of love.
With each passing year I find it hard to believe that I could possibly love him more, yet I do.
Moving here those 14 long years ago was the best thing I could have ever done.
I'd do it over again a million times if that's what I had to do to get to where we are now.
Each baby we have brought home has multiplied our love that much more.
I think all the time about how lucky I am to have him.
He's such a true and honest and hard working man.
Everything he does is for me and our kids.
I don't know how I ever got so lucky, but to quote the iconic Sound of Music,
"I must have done something good!"