Thoughts on Marriage

We attended two different weddings over the long Memorial Day weekend and also because J.R. and I just celebrated our second wedding anniversary - I wanted to share with you one of my favorite quotes about marriage. 

Our Wedding Day
photo credit to: Bellissima Images

"Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. Many stories of fiction end with marriage and "They lived happily ever after." We have come to realize that the mere performance of a ceremony does not bring happiness and a successful marriage. Happiness is a state of mind and comes from within. It cannot be purchased with money; it cannot be taken for nothing. Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness. Lasting happiness is possible, and marriage can be more of an exultant ecstasy than the human mind can conceive. This is within the reach of every couple, every person." - President Spencer W. Kimball  

To me this quote is uplifting and enlightening in many different ways. It gives us a secret about how to find happiness and also gives us hope that this happiness is available to each person. 

Us - Just one week before we got married. 

I love J.R. with all my heart, but I am an imperfect person and so sometimes I fail at being a good wife and friend. I learned this weekend how important it is to respect your spouse in every word and action. I realized just how hard it is to take back words that are said out of frustration or in anger. It can be hard to erase the hurt and damage that angry words cause to your relationship. 

I just hope that J.R. and I can always forgive and love each other - even when we may not be very "lovable" at the time. 

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." - President Thomas S. Monson

 I need to remind myself of this often. Sometimes I magnify problems so that they seem all consuming, but I am learning just how important it is to be loving and kind - especially when things don't go as planned. 

Jackson Hole Wyoming

We planned sort of a last minute anniversary trip to Jackson Hole Wyoming. 

It seems to rain on every trip that J.R. and I take together.
It rained on our honeymoon, our first year anniversary, and a little bit when we went to Disneyland.
So it only seemed fitting that it rained on us in Wyoming as well.   

We saw some beautiful things in Wyoming. 

Everyone should visit the "Forever West" state at least once. 

We saw some elk, but the pictures didn't turn out that well.

Don't worry though, we got pictures of some cuter animals... 

J.R. loves to speed, and these guys created quite the road block. You can't see it in the picture, but there was about 40 of them in the road. 

When we were in Jackson Hole we did some window shopping.

J.R. bought me the most amazing Stetson cowboy hat. (Picture coming soon)
He was sooo patient with me while I picked it out, because of course I had to try on every single hat in the store before deciding on the perfect one.  

We also ate at the most amazing restaurant called Gun Barrel Stake and Game. 

J.R. ate the Buffalo Sirloin, and now he says that he will never be able to enjoy a beef stake again. 

It is definitely worth the 5 hour drive from Utah.  

(I'm so lucky to have him.)

After dinner we went for a bike ride around town.

Our hotel had beach cruisers that they let their guests use.   

I loved our ride. It was nice to get our legs moving after being in the car for so long.  Plus I have always wanted to try one of these beach bikes - and I was not disappointed.

 They are as fun as they look. 

But for some reason J.R. was a little embarrassed about being seen on a beach cruiser; I guess he thinks they aren't as cool as mountain bikes. 

But I think he liked it a little bit more when he realized he could still jump it. 

(I could live with this as my drive way)

When we returned our bikes to the hotel they had fresh chocolate chip cookies and cold milk in the lobby. 

We grabbed a few of these and headed up to our room for the night. 

This is part of our hotel suite. 

 The next morning Jackson Hole held their annual antler auction called the Elkfest.  

It was amazing.

Afterwards we decide to go for a drive through part of the Grand Teton National Park. We had planned on doing a hike by Jenny Lake, but it had rained so much that everything was cold and muddy.   

The drive was still beautiful though. 

Jackson Lake

Jenny Lake 

We were sad to leave Jackson Hole, but we made promises to return again when the weather was warmer.

For now we will continue on our journey looking for our next adventure together. 

Journeying for Joy

May 21st will be mine and J.R.'s second wedding anniversary and we decided to go to Jackson Hole Wyoming to celebrate. 

When we made our reservations we planned on the weather being sunny, but as we got closer to leaving the forecast predicted wet and cold weather.  And even though it rained on us almost the entire time, we still had a ton of fun. 

Rain can be romantic right?

Earlier in the week, before we left for our trip, I read a talk given by Richard G Scott titled, "Finding Joy in Life."
In the talk he asked, "Do you take time to discover each day how beautiful your life can be? ... For this wondrous world in which we live, for the extraordinary beauty our Heavenly Father so freely shares with all who are willing to see. Truly, life is beautiful" 
I thought about this on our journey - and it is true. Life is beautiful. 

Richard G Scott continued in his talk by saying, "Sadness, disappointment, and sever challenges are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are... But they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do."

I learned this week that one of the ways to find happiness is to focus on and be grateful for the people and blessing that I have in my life. 

Instead of "being depressed by concentrating on the things I don't have."

I realized how many blessings I have in my life, and each one can help me find happiness - if only I will look for and remember them.  

Wisdom Teeth Love Story

I don't remember much about the day I had my wisdom teeth removed, but I'll tell you what I do remember: 

J.R. was there with me and we were in the middle of our wedding engagement. So all I had been thinking about for weeks was: flowers, dresses, cakes, and invitations. I hadn't given much thought to this surgery I was about to have. 

Before the procedure the doctor warned me, "When most people wake up from anesthesia, they are either angry or upset and crying. So just prepare yourself for that." 
I had never been "put under" before, so I didn't know how I would react. 

A nurse walked us back into a room and I laid down in the dental chair. I was nervous now, but I wanted to be tough. Trying to stay calm, I just kept telling myself to relax. The nurse put the needle in my arm, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. 

My body started to get heavy and my breathing slowed. I smiled at J.R. and thought to myself, "Even when I'm nervous - I'm really great at this relaxing thing." Then I wondered if it was the medicine making me feel that way. "Nah. It couldn't have worked that fast." I told myself. 

J.R. got up and held my hand. I remember thinking how much I love his hands. We whispered "I love you" to each other and then the nurse told me to count back from 20. . . I don't remember what number I got to. 

I don't remember a lot about the rest of the day, but I do vividly remember having a dream about flowers - beautiful gorgeous wedding flowers. I remember a women's voice telling me to, "Wake up and open your eyes." I tried so hard to lift my eyelids, but they just would not open. I drifted in and out between a heaven like dream world and consciousness. 
I didn't know where I was, and I didn't care. 

Then, I heard a women say, "Come right this way. She's just waking up"... "Candace, J.R. is here to see you now."

"He's here!?" I shouted in my dream to myself. I was beyond excited that J.R. was actually here. Even though I didn't know where "here" was. All I knew is that we were together and that was all I cared about. 
To me, it felt like months since I had been with him. I wanted to be close to him, but I couldn't see him. I couldn't even open my eyes. 

Then his huge hand was wrapped around mine. I heard him say, "How are you honey?" 
"I'm great." I sighed, "I just want to feel you." My hand left his and started moving up his arm. In my mind, I just had to know it was him. I just had to feel him. 
My hand moved across his shoulder and up his neck, then onto his face. "Yes. It really IS J.R. and he is here with me. I love him so much." I thought to myself. 

I remember being so comforted and at peace knowing that J.R. was here, that I stopped the fight to stay awake and I passed back into blissful unconsciousness - with my hand still on his face. 

I don't remember walking out of the dental office. I don't remember telling multiple nurses that I loved them or that I thought they were beautiful. I don't remember the ride home, how I got into my mom's house, or half of the day. 

But I do remember thinking, "J.R, is going to take care of me and everything is going to be alright because he is here."

Which was true. And I will always remember that. 

Welcome to Simple Luck

I read somewhere that, "Life is a mission in which it is your duty to make the world a better place for having been in it." I try to remember this saying even though some days I forget and I become to self-centered. I know my darkest days are the days I'm focused to much on myself. So I was a little apprehensive to start a blog because, although I would love to share my story and have a place to record my thoughts, I worried about becoming to self-centered.

Then one day I read a quote about Henry David Thoreau that said, "He writes of himself, the subject he knows best. Through his story, he hopes to tell his readers something of their own condition and how to improve it. " And even though Thoreau was considered to be narcissistic - I liked this idea. 
If my life, my story, and this blog could somehow help improve someone's day even for a minute, then it would be worth sharing. 

To me the written word is about learning, sharing, and growing. And hopefully through this blog we can learn and share and grow together. This will be a place where I record the things that inspire me and share the things I love, and maybe by doing so - I can somehow leave this world-wide-web a little bit of a better place for having been in it.