At church actually. I had just moved back to California and was a nanny for a local family. I’d been in the area a few months when this tall, dark and handsome ‘newbie’ showed up one Sunday. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him throughout all of Sacrament meeting. I have a thing for tall, skinny guys and at 6′ 8″, 215lbs, he fit the bill perfectly. He came and sat next to me for the next hour, Sunday school, but didn’t say a word! It about drove me nuts, and then when the class was over he got up like he was just going to leave. So I quickly struck up a conversation with something lame like ‘where do you buy your shoes’, blaming it on the fact that my brother is also tall and has a hard time finding larger shoes. It was pretty comical, but it did the trick.
I found out he was home from school – BYU-Idaho – on his off track, and we started hanging out with some mutual friends for a few months until one day, at Institute (A.K.A – bible study) he was reading the bulletin board in the hallway, and I walked by and slapped his butt. Then just kept on walking. I was dying in my head – ‘did I really just do that?!?’. But in his head he was thinking ‘green light!’ and he finally asked me on a proper date.
How long have you been married?
We sealed the deal in the Oakland LDS temple on August 26, 2006. It was the perfect day. Sunny, not too warm, the fountain at the temple was on and I was beyond happy. I probably did, but I don’t remember feeling the ‘jitters’ at all. I remember sitting in the waiting room wondering ‘can I go in yet?’.
Always the impatient one.
How did your husband propose?
It was one of those crazy rainy years in the SF east bay area. We literally had rain for 32 days straight. So when the first sunny day came along we took advantage and went into SF. Ironically enough it was April Fools Day – which only now is really funny, but I didn’t even think about it at the time.
We’d been talking about doing all of the funny touristy stuff that I’d never done before. He took me to Ripley’s believe it or not, The wax museum, we had lunch at The Jungle Cafe and to finish off the day we drove up and waited in line forever to get to Coit tower. I even remember saying at one point ‘we don’t have to wait, we can just go’. But he was adamant, so we stuck around.
He took me all the way up to top and we ooohed and awweed at the views of the city and Alcatraz, it really was something else. Then he leaned over and whispered in my ear ‘Kelly, I have a confession’. I looked up at him with my oh no, what did you do look and he said ‘I didn’t just bring you up here for the views’. Then he got down on his knee, brought out the ring and said ‘Kelly, I love you more than anything in the world. Will you marry me?’
I remember being a little shaky but very strongly saying ‘yes!’ and grinning from ear to ear. He slipped the ring on and I turned around and yelled ‘I’m getting married!!!’ to everyone in the tower and they all clapped for us. Someone even volunteered to take this picture so we could remember that exact moment.
It was pretty perfect.
What is your favorite part about being married to your husband?
I’ve heard many girls say that they’ve married their best friend. I never qualified Eric in that way when we were first married, but I certainly do now. I get to spend the rest of forever with my best friend. The man who fathered my children, helps to raise them, and is working so hard right now so that he can provide for us as a Chiropractor. He’s my confidant, my lover, my shoulder to lean on. Marriage is hard but I feel like we’ve finally hit our stride and we’re in a beautiful place right now. I can’t wait for the end of the work day to come so I can rush home to spend my evenings with him. We swap stories, have some great laughs, flirt like crazy and snuggle up at the end of the day because we just love to be around each other.
What is the hardest part about being married?
Communication was our biggest battle. I had the hardest time just coming out and telling him what I wanted and needed and he had the hardest time understanding what the heck I was saying. I’m an emotional being and he’s a rational being so we literally weren’t speaking the same language. It’s taken time, understanding, patience, some loving counseling and a bit of heart break to finally strip down all of our walls so we would let the other person in. It’s not such an easy thing molding your life around another all of a sudden.
After being independent and free for so long it’s quite a change to all of a sudden have someone else to be held accountable to, who knows the intimate details of everything going on in your life. I wasn’t even that close with my mother so it’s been a big transition for me. But it’s worth it. It’s worth every tear and heart breaking moment because the joy at the end of the tunnel is so much better than the pain you go through to get there.
Do you have a children?
We have a son, Quinton, and we just had preemie Twins, Avery & Rhys. We both want a fairly large family. Somewhere between 4-6 kids. Lucky us, we’re almost there!
How has this affected your marriage and how do you cope?
Having a child has been such a blessing to our lives and our marriage. It was a huge transition going from just the two of us to now three. Loosing our ability to go to Monterrey on a whim or stay out late just because. And learning how to work with each other the way we each needed and wanted. That odd period of time when my body was healing from birth but we had a new suckling baby who couldn’t be away from mamma for too long was quite a trial. But I feel like we handled it really well and came up with a system that worked for us both.
Eric was a grad student at the time and I was out from work on Maternity leave but just because I got to be at home didn’t mean that I wasn’t still in pain and exhausted from all the newness. If Eric had simply said ‘sorry babe, I’ve got to sleep through the night so I can do my classes in the morning’ I would have felt so alone and abandoned. Instead he recognized that he could play a part in the crazy night time routine, ease my burden and show his deep affection for me. He would wake up with Quinn at least twice every night, change his diaper and then bring him to me for feeding. It was small, but significant. And I felt us grow closer together because of it.
In those small moments I felt like Eric was showing that no matter what was happening in the life and world around us, that he would always put his family first. And he most certainly does.
What do you think is the “key” to a successful marriage?
Desire. If you desire to be loving, kind and helpful and to make it work no matter what, then you will. I always think of the movie ‘The Break-Up’ when I think about this. That moment when Jennifer Aniston’s character is telling Vince Vaughn’s character that she wants him to ‘want to help with the dishes’ and he reply’s with ‘why would I want to help with the dishes’. It wasn’t the dishes, it was that he had no desire. No desire to show that he truly cared, that he would brave the dishes to show his love and dedication. If you desire to be the best spouse that you can be, then eventually you will be.