Thursday, February 9, 2012

Celebrating 10 years, and a few other things, too.

87 years ago today, Neil's Grandpa Don was born.
Happy Birthday, Don!  And Geaux Tigers!

73 years ago today, my Grandpa and Grandma Butterfield were married. 
Happy Anniversary, you two love birds!  Hope you're celebrating well in heaven!

11 years ago today, my best friend, Wendy got married.
Happy Anniversary, guys!

And 10 years ago today, Neil took me on our first date. 
First photo ever taken of us - on Valentine's Day, I believe, during our shift at Chevy's.  Awesome exposure, I know.

I love the significance of this day.  It has always been an extra special one to me, and it's no wonder! 
Thinking back to the events of February 9, 2002, here's what I remember:
  • The 2002 Winter Olympics (in Salt Lake City) began.
  • I attended Mindy Mickelson's baby shower.
  • I worked an afternoon shift at Chevy's.
  • When Neil came to pick me up (sometime after 8pm), he was wearing his green Abercrombie shirt - the same green Abercrombie shirt he still has and wears today.  Ironically, Neil also wore this shirt the day Chloe was born, and also the day Ryan was born.  Purely coincidental.  Needless to say, the shirt is terribly faded and has a few holes.  Yet, he continues to wear it without shame.
  • When we first got into Neil's car and he turned the ignition, the song, "When You Say Nothing At All" by Alison Krauss started to play.  Turns out, Neil had a "date" CD that he'd play in the car whenever he was taking a new lady out on the town.  Well, I broke that trend.  :)  I didn't forget that song, nor did Neil!  By default, it became one of our songs, and the day he proposed, he, again, had it cued to start playing when he turned the ignition, on our way to temple square, where he popped the question.
  • We ate dinner at Guru's in downtown Provo.  I had a burrito, I think.  We were there with Neil's roommate at the time, Jed, and his date, whom I don't remember at all. 
    After dinner, we headed to the movie theater to see a 10:00pm showing of Mothman Prophecies.  I honestly don't remember much about the movie, as I was focused on other things, like Neil's right hand, which took a hold of my left hand about a quarter of the way in and held onto it until we left the theater.  It was an unexpected and bold move on Neil's part, as I didn't feel like we'd really made a strong connection yet.  I was flattered nevertheless, with no complaints.  After the movie, and while we were walking to our cars, Neil and Jed ran up a grassy hill off the side of the parking lot, and proceeded to roll down it.  Not sure if they were trying to show off or if they were just being boys.  Probably a combination of both.
  • When Neil took me home that night, he walked me to the front porch, gave me a hug, and thanked me for coming.   He was very polite and gentlemanly, and just made me feel well taken care of.  I liked that. 

    I honestly don't remember many other details, except that I was pretty much smitten.  It took Neil another 24 hours before we were on the same wave length, but once we were there, well, that was it.  We were Neil and Valeri

    Neil had a long work day today in Roseville, and called me the first chance he got, upon walking to his car at around 4:00pm. One of the first things he said was, "Happy Anniversary of our first date!" For him to continually remember this day - a day few husbands are obligated to remember - means so much to me. It's the day that marks the beginning of us, and that's kind of a big deal. I love it. And I love that it lands on my amazing grandparents' anniversary. What a privilege to share with them such a connection! Sometimes I wonder if they took part in the planning of Neil and me. 

I really can't say enough how grateful I am to have crossed paths with Neil ten years ago, and to have somehow convinced him to fall in love with me.  He is such a good person, so solid in his beliefs and ambitions, and such a wonderful provider, husband and father.  He has always, always put my happiness first, and I've seen it day in and day out for years.  We had a really nice time together tonight after the kids went to bed.  We talked about those early days, and about how incredible it is that an entire decade has already passed by.  We also talked about how fortunate we are to have found each other, and to be living a happy, healthy marriage, even ten whole years later.

Happy Anniversary of the beginning of us!

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Thanks for the anniversary wish! Happy 10th to you, as well! Love you.