November 7, 2010

In the Seventh Year

Self pictures from our day out on Friday. . .
at the temple, the art museum, and the mall.

In the summer of 2003,
I was almost 19, had finished my first year of college, and
was working as a part-time nanny for two different families.
One of the families was very rich (E says I shouldn't call them rich because it makes me sound snobby, but there's no other way to put it. They were. They were not just "well-off". They had money dangling from the trees in their spacious backyard. So sorry if I sound snobby, but they were definitely rich. ),
had a beautiful home,
a state-of-the-art kitchen they never used
because they ate out every day,
A working dad, a working mom, and a 5 year old daughter.
The dad seemed busy.
The mom seemed tired and stressed.
The daughter seemed sad and lonely.
They never seemed happy and
always seemed a little awkward around each other.
In the summer of 2003,
I was also dating Eric Allred.
After about 3 months of dating,
E proposed and we were engaged.
I told the families I worked for.
This particular mom seemed a little shocked.
The next day,
her 5-year old said to me, "My mom said you
shouldn't be getting married."
She explained what she overheard her mom saying--
I was too young, it was too fast,
and I shouldn't be doing it.

Seven years later,
this post is for her.
I have now been married about the same amount of time
that she had at the time,
though I'm about 20 years younger.
I am not rich, I do not own a beautiful home
or have a state-of-the-art kitchen,
and I do not get to eat out everyday.
I am happy.
I am more in love with my husband than ever before.
And he's my best friend.
Our marriage and our family is strong.

Eric and I have been talking lately about why--
even though we have our fair share of trials and chaos and stress,
we are so happy together.

In a conversation with Julie Beck and her daughters,
they recalled their mom's advice to them,
to safeguard their marriages.
Eric and I agree that safeguarding your marriage
is a daily thing
and must be a priority.

Our seven years of marriage wisdom,
may not amount to much or anything new,
but during a conversation we had recently,
we noticed a few things that have helped us.
We pray together every night.
Even when we were living in separate states
and we both had to have a phone to our ear,
we prayed.
We go out on dates just about every week.
We talk and make decisions together
so we're on the same page and consistent
especially when it comes to things like parenting.
I've learned a secret about E, too.
The best way to get him talking is to walk.
Strolls around the block and through the neighborhood
do wonders for our communication.
We've also learned to let go some of the "small" stuff
much more quickly.
We realized that there was a pattern,
One of us would do something or not do something,
then the other would be upset,
tension and hurt feelings for awhile,
and then we would work it out,
and be happy again.
So what we realized was that,
since we always seemed to end up there anyways,
we could just skip ahead
to the forgive and work it out part
and bypass a lot of the upsetness
so life is just better and much more fun.
We try to be supportive of each other's hobbies and interests,
whether it be piano lessons or basketball,
we encourage each other.
By no means,
do we have anywhere near a perfect marriage,
we both get frustrated, annoyed, worn out, and upset.
I think each day we make the decision
to be committed to each other,
to our marriage,
and to our family.
And so I know that we can look forward
to many, many more years together,
each better than the last.

Happy Seventh, E!
Stefanie Hyer said...

Awe! That was beautiful Laura! Happy 7th Anniversary! Keep up the great work that you guys do! We love you!

AnneMarie said...

What a wonderful tribute to the both of you! Happy Anniversary!

Jenna Allen said...

Ohhhhh... That is INDEED beautiful, Losie! I love you!

Emily Widdison said...

You don't know me but I absolutely LOVE your blog! This post was awesome. Those boys are so lucky to have such a great mom (and dad:).
Happy 7 years!
(I just celebrated my 8th anniversary and I agree with everything you said!)