Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. I can't believe all that has happened. Michael and I met just over 11 years ago in a potato field. It was harvest. I was piling potatoes and working in the office for one of the farmers north of Rupert. Michael was driving tractor for the same farmer. The last night of harvest he was the last worker that we took dinner to. That was the first time I met him although I had heard a lot about him. The other workers in the office would tease me about needing to meet him because he was the only single male that spoke english! Shortly after harvest the farmer I was working for moved me to his potato packing plant to work in the office there. That was near the end of October I think. When beet harvest was done Michael, too, came to work at the plant in the maintenance crew. That was towards the end of November in 1999.
We went on our first date a few days after News Years. We were together every day after that. We took our lunches together and spent our evenings together. After the first week, we both knew that we wanted to stay together. It was just one of those things. I didn't know a lot about him, but I just felt he was who I had been looking and hoping for. We bought the engagement ring by the end of January. He didn't give it to me until near the end of February. We were married two months later.
We had a lot of opposition to our marriage. It was hard to deal with. This was supposed to be a happy time, yet there was disappointment in the reactions of some. Our love for each other and the strong knowledge that we knew we were to be together helped get us through it all, along with the support of some of our family.
The next 11 years seemed to come and go quickly and at the same time, last forever. We have been blessed with 6 beautiful children. They have changed our lives and changed who we are. It has been extremely hard and heart breaking at times and overflowing with joy other times. The roller coaster never ends and I don't think that I want it to!
We have moved many times. Sometimes just from house to house, sometimes across country. Our first year of marriage brought two moves, two jobs and one child. Our second year brought another move and another child and the opportunity to be sealed to Michael and our children for time and all eternity in the House of the Lord. Our third year brought child number 3. Year four brought a new job and a move far away from all that we knew. It was a hard move but a necessary one. We needed to go and be our own family, learn to rely on each other and establish our dreams and goals in life. Year five brought another child and a move back home and back to a previous job. Year six brought child number five and another move. Year seven brought a miscarriage, two moves - one across country again, and back to the same job there. Year eight brought us our last child and many wonderful memories and fun times. Year nine brought yet another move and another job. It was an extremely hard move. The hardest I have ever had. I still, 2 1/2 years later struggle with it. Things stayed quiet for year 10. No moving, no children, a few broken ribs, a few trips to the emergency room, but nothing life changing. Year eleven however, brought change again. New job, cross country move, two new schools, and another in town move. It brought us closer to family, which we love, but farther from dear friends, which we don't love.
Over the years, I have changed. I have gone from short hair to long, thin to not so thin, newly wed to mother of six, country life to city life, small little hyundi to 8 seat expedition. I have left my 20's and am now half way through my 30's. I look for potties instead of bathrooms and I snuggle in blankies instead of blankets. My idea of dressing up involves pants without elastic waists and my night out on the town is fast food followed by Walmart. I love it though. I am so blessed. I am so grateful that I met Michael when I did. I was ready and he was ready. We didn't know what the future held but we were ready to take it on together and we have. We have come so far and done so much - maybe not in worldly standards, but in what matters most to us. Michael works hard and takes care of us. He is patient with me and doesn't get mad when I go to town and come back with more than just the necessities. I love home so much and I am so glad that I have him to share my life with. And just like 11 years ago, we are ready. We don't know what the future holds but we are ready to take it on together!