Has it really been 14 years?!! Wowzers….it goes by so darn fast!! We have had an amazing journey these past 14 years of marriage-- so much joy, laughter, tears and happiness we've been blessed to enjoy along the way. And yeah…some heartache too, but heck---those bumps in the road and stressful times are what bonded our marriage and brought us closer together. I wouldn't change any of it. We sure have grown up in big ways since our first prom date back in 1989…. :-)
….(and then that 2nd fateful date at Chili's in Longview, TX of all places in December of 2001…. 12 years later ---that led to our epic courtship while living cities apart and our wedding on May 10th). We couldn't wait for that date to finally arrive.
Boy, we have weathered so many seasons of life together in these short 14 years in this thing we call "adulthood" and life.
Today as I look back over these eventful and blessed years we've shared together, all I can think of is how truly blessed we are and how much we have to be grateful for. Our loving parents who we are blessed to still have in our lives….our wonderful siblings who love us dearly and are always there for us when we need them. Our beautiful 3 healthy children--who truly our gifts from God. Our health..., the education and career experiences we've been able to achieve and gain thus far….all the interesting cities and states we've been able to live and work in since we've been married. Oh and as our family likes to kid us non-stop about …all the many cars we've owned over the years!! (we do like change don't we....wink--wink)
My goodness--we've literally "stuffed" so many adventures into these past 14 years …all neat stories we'll be able to share with our children and grandchildren someday.
Today and everyday, how grateful I am for your strength in the Gospel, your dedication to your family and how hard you work to provide for us. For your deep and abiding love for the Savior and for allowing and trusting Him to guide you daily in the big and small decisions for our family leading you to what is most important in this life.... and the life to come. Even when so many around you may not always understand it.
Your endless humor and optimism....life would never be the same without Jody Ray's wild and funny sense of humor that keeps us laughing around here ---we all look forward to getting your random silly text messages or "altered" news articles that you create and send out to family and friends to make us laugh. A fun and refreshing reminder that life doesn't always have to be so serious and scary. That it's more important to face this world we live in with hope, optimism and happiness rather than fear and discouragement.
I especially love to watch how the children look up to you and admire their Daddy. As hard as parenting can be on both of us and on our marriage at times--and doing this toddler thing in our 40s--it's exhausting as we both know-- but man, these three sweet children bring SO MUCH light and love into our lives--more than I ever imagined possible.
I love how Gavin and Taylor at the tender age of 3 and 4 now love to climb into your lap, ask you to read them a book and then say…." I "wuv" you Daddy." 💞 Or how Noah at 9 now has inherited your love and admiration for bass fishing. What a sweet bonding time for you both to have together,
Yes, it continues to be an amazing and eventful journey honey--filled with many tender and loving moments along the way. As each year passes, we continue to learn more about ourselves and each other as husband and wife and each other's best friend. How to have greater patience with one another and how to love each other despite our differences. But more importantly--these past few months with some of the harder challenges we have faced with my Dad's cancer diagnosis and your health challenges, the Lord has allowed us to draw closer to Him and one another in a more intimate and meaningful way, and for that I am grateful.
I look forward to making many more memories together along the way over the years…
Happy 14th JRay…I love you with all my heart. 💜