Okay . . . this whole blogging thing is new to me, but anything for my baby! So this is my attempt to document all the things Alicia and I have done in the first 8 years together. As you will see, I'm not nearly as good at the "details"!
After our wedding (Oct. 21st, 2000) we did the "Wedding Tour 2000". We had a reception in Maryland, a reception in Phoenix, and a reception in Provo. Then we went on our honeymoon to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. I had graduated from BYU that summer, and Alicia had begun her internship teaching at an elementary school in Provo. I worked that year, and applied to graduate schools for Physical Therapy. In January I was accepted to a school in Houston, TX.
We made plans to move that summer and start school, but as life usually is, those plans didn't work out exactly as we expected. Around April, the owner of the house we were renting decided to tear it down and build a new one. So he gave us 2 weeks to pack up, move, and find another place to go. We ended up moving to an apartment where we stayed for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile, Alicia was pregnant with Colton during this whole time. That didn't go over too well with the fact that the apartment we were in had 1 wall AC unit, which cooled the front room only. Anyone who knows my wife knows that she should be living in Alaska, not Arizona.
Colton was born in July, and after a week in and out of the hospital with him (he had jaundice and severe dehydration) we got ready to leave. Being in the hospital with a sick first baby is rough--there's a lot of uncertainty, and it was pretty hard for both of us. Thankfully he got better, and we were able to prepare for our move. I went to Houston in August to find an apartment, while Alicia stayed in Utah with Colton for a couple weeks. The whole experience of finding an apartment could be a blog post, but to make a long story short we almost ended up living in "the ghetto". And I'm talking about a real ghetto--not an "out in the sticks" ghetto of Cottonwood. After a couple weeks our close friends, the Sorensens, helped us find a place and even let us fill up one of their apartment rooms with all our stuff until we had moved into our own apartment. Alicia and Colton joined me, and we began the Great Adventure in Texas.
During our 2 1/2 years in Texas, our second son, Sterling, was born. Colton and Sterling both underwent surgeries for different problems--Colton for his kidney and Sterling for his club foot. Sterling also had to wear a helmet. One day when he was a baby, I was giving him a bath and noticed that his head was lopsided. Yeah, you read that right, lopsided. So when we pointed it out to the doctor they told us he would have to wear a special helmet that would help reshape his head as he grew. Well, after having gone through multiple surgeries with our boys already, the helmet didn't seem so bad (we even tried to "customize" the helmet--it didn't work that well). I went to school full time during this whole time, though I did get some long holiday breaks (man, I sure miss those). This was actually a pretty stable time for us, and my family probably saw me more than they ever will again, until I retire.
In 2003 I graduated and started the job search. During my last few months of school we had moved out of our apartment in Houston and into my parents' basement in Phoenix where I was doing my last clinical rotation. After interviewing for several jobs in Oregon and looking in California, Idaho, and Arizona, I decided to take a job in Cottonwood. Alicia was so good to just go where we needed to go with a good job--she has always been very supportive of me that way. So we packed up our stuff again and moved to Cottonwood in November 2003. We rented a house until we were sure we wanted to stay(we still keep in touch with the owners--it was a great house and sometimes we miss the master bedroom walk-in closet!). After a year we bought our first home in 2004.
In 2005, our third son Ryland was born. He had severe esophageal reflux, and we didn't get much sleep for the next 8 months or so. Then in 2006 our first girl Dacie was born. Needless to say I am wrapped around her little finger, and she is definitely "The Princess". I did some figuring the other day, and just last year was the first time since our wedding that Alicia had been not pregnant more months than she had been pregnant.
We have enjoyed our time in Cottonwood, and the opportunities it's given us to grow. During the first 8 years of marriage, we had the opportunity to serve in our church in a lot of different ways as well, and are still enjoying this. Sometimes it all seems like such a blur, but it's been fun. I am sometimes so keenly aware that this time in life is so short, and there is so much to be cherished, because our children will be gone before we know it, and we will be in a whole new stage of life. Although I may have a few regrets, one I know I'll never have was choosing to spend my life with Alicia. So here's to another 8 years, and many more, of Love and Craziness!