Elliott's "Welcome Home" cookie pie we made in my new Bosch. I did the "Welcome" and Elliott did the "Home Elliott." It was a team effort and a divine cookie in looks (clearly) and taste-- thanks to the best chocolate chip recipe on Earth (courtesy of Trevor and Brianne's dental school cookbook). Key ingredient: butter.
Elliott just returned home Sunday night after being in North Dakota for 6 weeks on a dental rotation. It was less than exciting for me, despite the fun week spent up there in the middle of it. I was talking to my good friend from school today (who is also married) about the little things in marriage that make it everything it is for you. It's not the anniversaries, the gifts, the trips, the money made and spent. It's getting excited to cook and bake together. Watching our shows that have been filling up the DVR over the past 6 weeks because I refused to watch them alone. Making plans for after the rotation was over including family dinners out, upcoming date nights, and of course, park trips with Beckett.
In my Tests and Measurements class that I took in July for my Master's Program, we discussed life activities that individuals with impaired IQ's would not be able to aptly perform (i.e. drive, hold a job, etc.).I, feeling slightly snarky and less inhibited since Brianne was taking the class with me shouted out, "BEING MARRIED." The professor laughed and said "No." To which I simply replied, "Well, I live my marriage every day!" He had to stop the class because he was still laughing and said, "No. Nono. But I've certainly never heard that one before!" I'm sure Brianne reallllly appreciated being associated with me that night. It was a fairly goofy and unplanned comment and I too, laughed at myself. While it certainly didn't fit into the category we were discussing in class (and I understand that all walks of life can be in happy and successful marriages), I have thought of that night several times and reaffirm to myself, "I really do live my marriage everyday." It is something Elliott and I work at constantly, and yes I know that we have "only" been married three and a half years. However, we listen to and are receptive of one another. We openly express our values, priorities and goals. We have tools that will prepare us for the road ahead, despite the unknown. Developing these tools took years and continue to benefit from evaluation refinement; What's working here. What's not.
I often think of a comment my dad made when he was Bishop several years ago in reference to a BYU devotional given by Spencer W. Kimball , "Most any man and any woman can be happy and successful in a marriage together if they respect each other and apply the Gospel in their lives (President Kimball referred to it as, 'if both are willing to pay the price')." It is a loaded statement I know, and I have often speculated its validity. However, time and time again I have thought of it while observing the marriages of those I know as well as my own and it rings true in every aspect (though understandably, there are many who have different standards and religious beliefs, but have successful marriage and those should be valued and respected just as much). It's a perk that Elliott and I naturally click together so well, but that really is only half of it.