Monday, February 14, 2011

Five Years Together....

It is hard to imagine that only five years ago Juan and I stood in front of the Brisbane Temple as husband and wife for the very first time. Part of me feels like we have been together forever, while another part of me finds it hard to believe so much has happened in such a short space of time!  Between moving houses and jobs, studying, bringing our own children into the world, laughing til our sides hurt, sobbing in each other's arms, dirty nappies, sleepless nights, sweet gestures, cheeky winks and elbows in ribs, travelling, rolled eyes, cleaning kid's vomit, all-night study sessions, and everything in between, life has been a wonderful ride for us since we 're-met' each other on that city train five years and five months ago. 
Do you all know the story of how we met? Most of our friends would, but I think I will tell the cliff-notes version for those who may not, and just so we have a family record we can always refer to. Here goes:

Juan and I met at early morning seminary when I was 16 and he was almost 17. My family had just moved back to Brisbane from Tasmania and his family had moved into the area the same month. We were instant friends and found we hung out in the same circle for most of our youth and 'YSA-hood'. We have old pics of us attending balls in groups and even together as friends once. We always got along well, but our friendship was only that.

Over the years our lives took us in different directions. We both served missions, dated and socialised in different circles and between studying, travelling and everything else we didn't have much to do with each other except for the occasional catch-up in passing.

Then, after the mission I moved out and began working in the city. He also had a full-time job in the city while finishing his degree. We were both surprised one day when he looked down and I looked up from my seat on the train to see each other after such a long time. We chatted that ride home and then both caught the train at the same time the next day ( I actually rushed to the train that afternoon but didn't tell him that, haha). Conversation came easy and it was fun and interesting to notice we had so much in common. I then offered to drop him off at his house which was on the way to where I was going that night, and we walked back to my place together. That was the first time we had actually been alone with each other since we met all those years ago. Who would have thought we would enjoy each other's company so much?
The next night after work he mentioned he had nothing on that evening and I took the bate and invited him around for dinner. We had a great night. The following night was just as fun and, needless to say, by the weekend we knew we had met that someone 'special'. Despite how easy and fast it moved, it was a nerve-wracking time for both of us, as we knew that further commitment would head to even more commitments; something we knew was inevitable by the way we were feeling. So over the next few days we each silently assessed the situation and each other and within the second week of hanging out we knew we didn't want to let each other go.

About six weeks later we began looking at engagement rings, and about another month after that, much to my impatience, Juan proposed at the Brisbane Temple, the place we were sealed together for eternity just three months later.

So, was that cliffs-notes enough? I think I did pretty well considering I could have gone into a lot more depth! Needless to say, I finally found "The Juan" (haha, love it) and to our friends we quickly became "Juani". Thank heavens those nick-names end after marriage...

Anyway, THIS anniversary we were excited as it was one of the few times in the year we make the effort and time to get a baby-sitter and venture off for a fun-filled night together. You certainly know you are out of the newly-wed stage when your night goes like our's did... This was our night...

We had a plan to get our favorite take out (a great Malaysian place we know), and head to the drive-in to eat and relax through a couple of movies. (Hey, when you go to the movies as little as we do, every chance you get you try to fit in as much as you can!) Being the parents of two toddlers we ended up running late, and arrived 15 minutes after the movie began. Rather than go to the movie late, we opted to watch another movie playing on another screen. So we set up our little picnic in the front seats (not easy to serve out take-away in a small sedan) and settled in. Within five minutes we were sick of the swearing and knew this was not our type of movie, so we decided to drive over to the other movie, the original one we had intended to see. Five minutes into watching that, we were disappointed to find out that that movie also was completely inappropriate and neither of us wanted to stay. So we decided to get our money back. Unfortunately they wouldn't give us back our money because we had been at the drive-in for "almost 30 minutes", so we sighed and took the free vouchers to come back another night. It was 7.45pm.

What were we going to do now?  How about bowling? No, Juan was too nervous because I was too clumsy and I agreed it wasn't really an 8-month pregnant woman activity. A walk through the city? I didn't think my legs and butt could handle the pressure of walking that late at night... parking at the 'local mountain'? Na, too many punk kids... Cafe and Latino dancing? Not as fun with a baby between us, and besides, we had just eaten and were both full... a ride on the river-cat along the Brisbane river? Yeah right, after our last river-cat adventure getting off at the wrong pier and having to walk 4km back to the car? No way! What WAS there for an 8 month pregnant married couple who had already eaten dinner, to do around here?  A different movie? We would give it a try. So we drove to the local cinema and stood infront of the list. The time was 8 o'clock and the next movie didn't start until after 9.15pm. Did we really want to hang around? We sat outside the cinema and contemplated the idea. After a short while of sitting in eachother's arms talking we remembered there was a movie on TV that night that we actually liked. Sure, we had it in our collection already, but at least it was something we actually wanted to see. So by now it was about 8.30pm and we decided to just leave and head home and have a night in.

My sister Alisha, the baby sitter for the night, was very surprised but after she left we had the idea to bring our queen size mattress downstairs so we were more comfortable while we watched the movie. Lying there we laughed about what a disastrous night it had turned out to be, but also relished in the fact that were were comfortable and relieved to be in our own house, just being with eachother spending the night together infront of our little 51cm TV watching a movie we had seen many times. Needless to say, before we knew it we were both asleep and when I awoke at 11.30pm and turned off the TV, I was content to settle back in bed with my husband and call it a night.

So, that was our big romantic anniversary evening! At different times it seemed like such a sad and disappointing night, but as we layed there in eachother's arms laughing and just being together, we realised we didn't need to go and do something that cost money or go somewhere 'special' in order for us to enjoy being together. It was also nice to see that we both have helped eachother maintain a good standard of what kinds of movies and entertainment we allow in our lives, to the point where we both still want to walk (in this case drive) out of places we find offensive. And I think, all in all, for a fifth wedding anniversary all these things were really great to notice.

Juan, just in case telling you every day is not enough, I want you to know again that I love you! Thank you for being the wonderful, sweet, selfless man you are, as well as being a wise, kind and fun father to our babies. In the past five years I have smiled and laughed more than any time in my life, and the reason is because of you. You know me better than I even know myself and I know that you always strive to make me happy. It has been a joyful and exciting five years together, and I look forward to what the next five years will bring!

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

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