Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Years of Happily Ever After

I like movies.  I enjoy a good action adventure.  I enjoy being transported to strange places.  I enjoy intricate plots, silly comedies, or pure fantasies.  I even enjoy (though I seldom admit it) chick flicks.

My strategy for watching chick flicks is that I play on my computer while my wife watches them.  This allows me to remain aloof in a manly sort of way.  But, there's nothing manly about the way I excitedly proclaim, "I knew they would fall in love!  I'm so happy!".

I didn't like chick flicks before I was married.  I thought they were boring.  I guess once I got to begin living my own love story, I found love stories to be more interesting: The excitement you feel when you meet that special person.  The thrill of the chase as boy pursues girl. The awkward feeling when you're not sure if the person likes you back.  The heartbreak when the person doesn't like you back.  The elation when they do like you back.  More heartbreak when you realize they don't like you as much as you thought.  More elation when they finally reciprocate your feelings. (Repeat those last 2 as needed.)

All of those crazy things were part of my story.  It was awkward and messy and fun and beautiful and totally mine.  My story also had a proposal, and a wedding.  But that's where the movies usually end.  I think that's unfortunate.  Because the dating story is a good one.  But it's just a prequel to the real story.

In the real world, this is the beginning of the story.
Five years ago today, the above picture was taken.  The super awkward part of the story was over.  The real story had finally begun.

In the movies, they always simply live "happily ever after".  That's exactly what I've been doing for the past 5 years.  But that simple phrase doesn't really give it justice.

I think "happily ever after" means something different for everyone.  I imagine that, even for myself, as the "ever after" part gets longer and longer, I will have an ever evolving definition of the "happily" part.  So, while it is guaranteed to change, I thought I might share a little bit about what "happily ever after" has meant for me so far.  At least during its first five years.

Happily Ever After means getting to spend every day with your hero.
Some heroes wear towels instead of capes.

Happily Ever After means learning to communicate.  Even when it's hard.  It means learning to say what you mean and mean what you say.

Happily Ever After means you laugh together. A lot.

Happily Ever After means that you cry together.  

Happily Ever After means there is a hot kiss available when you need it.

Happily Ever After means there is someone to take care of you when you are not feeling well.

Happily Ever After means that you surprise each other.  Robyn is surprising me with something tonight.  I know it involves a dinner reservation that's fancy enough that I can't wear shorts. (Or maybe that's just her way of tricking me into wearing something nicer.)  Her surprise comes next week.  It involves taking off 2 days of work and travelling to an undisclosed location.

Happily Ever After means that sometimes you have to be apart.
But electronic devices allow you to stay connected.  And be as awkward as ever.

Did I mention awkward?
Happily Ever After means that you face really hard times.  But you face them together, and that makes it easier to get through those times.

Happily Ever After means making time to go to the temple.

Happily Ever After means that you make big life decisions together.  Sometimes it's really scary.

Happily Ever After means dancing in the kitchen.

Happily Ever After means you try to do things that seem impossible.  (Like starting a family for us).  But you have faith that the two of you plus the Lord can achieve even the impossible.

Happily Ever After means spending time with great friends.

Happily Ever After means taking selfies.

Be glad I only picked 3.  I had thousands to choose from.
Happily Ever After means having someone to cheer you on while you do something incredibly difficult like try to lost 100 pounds.

Happily Ever After means experiencing the world.

Happily Ever After means trying new things.
Sometimes those new things are bacon soda.  Sometimes it doesn't turn out well.

Happily Ever After means trying more new things.
Sometimes those new things are snorkeling in Hawaii.  That's guaranteed to turn out better.

Happily Ever After means you get to wake up in the middle of the night while your partner does incoherent things in their sleep.

Happily Ever After means spending time with family.

Happily Ever After means always having someone to talk to.

Happily Ever After means appreciating the majesty of God's creation.
There's true magic in a sunrise.

Happily Ever After means that, despite the best intentions, sometimes one of you will get cranky.
She's cute when she's cranky.
Happily Ever After means having someone to lean on while getting terrible news like diabetes or infertility.

Happily Ever After means taking picnics together in nature.
Picnics with selfies, of course.

Happily Ever After means there's always someone who has your back.

Happily Ever After means that you face the world together, hand in hand.

This is just a small piece of what Happily Ever After means to me.  All of these things are part of it.  But none of them truly capture its essence.  I am so happy to have the opportunity to be with my best friend, to enjoy her company, bask in her wisdom, lean on her for support, and laugh with her every single day.

Happy Anniversary my love!  Five years of Happily Ever After barely scratches the surface.  I look forward to many, many more.


  1. I'm so glad you married my sister! And, I love that happily ever after is truly for EVER.

  2. You guys have had a great happily ever after so far. I bet that it gets even better. Thanks for joining the family Robyn.

  3. Congrats on making it 5 years! Marrying a Wright girl is always a good move.

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  5. Congrats -- Can you imagine the 6 year ago nerd in you writing this blog. Thanks for bringing such a great daughter-in-law into the family

  6. Thank you My Love for giving me my fairy tale every single day! Here's to FOREVER After!

  7. Nice work Jeff, and Mrs. Jeff. Happy to hear that life is treating you so well.

  8. This is awesome. Well written!


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