One of the first things LDS Family Services requires of their applicants is to have an interview with their Bishop, which we did a couple Sundays ago. It was interesting because we have only known our bishop for about 2 months since we recently moved. I think it is safe to say that after that interview, he knows more about our lives than anyone else in our ward. He asked us about our relationship with each other, our relationship with our families, our financial situation, and about our parenting theologies.
We started out by telling him how we met. On Nick's 22nd birthday I smashed a piece of his birthday "brake" right in his face. (FYI: A brake is a brownie-cake layered pastry, this one had crushed up Certs mints in it. Invented by Robert Kevin Nelson.) He was pretty weirded out since we barely knew each other, but as always, I thought my tormenting was hillarious! After a series of flour fights, cake smashings, and awkward conversations, we bagan dating in April 2005. Over the summer Nick was in Ohio and I was in Oregon. We saw each other for a day when Logan and Kate got married (thank you) in which Nick took me to get Burgerville milkshakes in Monmouth. After that, I knew it was love. Our sisters Cassidy and Suzy began planning our wedding, and by November of that year we were engaged. We were married in the Portland Oregon Temple on April 28, 2006, approximately one year after we started dating.
Now we are both so amazed by how much we still enjoy each others' company and how these last 3 years of marriage have truly made us each others' bestest friends. We love spending time together, and occasionally get in cake fights.
What can I say other than we love our families very much. I don't know what I would do without the friendship I share with my sisters and my parents are such good examples to me of perseverance. Nick's parents are a dream come true as far as in-laws are concerned, and I couldn't have asked for a better family to marry into. Our neices and nephews (and Jacob) are such a joy in our lives and we absolutely love playing with them and then handing them back to their parents when they get fussy! Pictures of these adorable little angels adorn our walls, refrigerator, shelves, and computers! What a joy our families are in our lives!
To put it simply, we're poor. Being graduate students doesn't really pay well, and especially since I have been out of work for a while, finances have been a little tighter. However, we always have enough to get what we need and even on occasion what we want. One blessing of paying tithing is that there is always enough, and there always will be if we remain careful stewards over our expenses. We have felt that through fertility treatments and now starting the adoption process that our family is the best thing to spend money on. We know everything will work out because we are involved in a righteous cause.
The first thing that came to both of our minds when Bishop asked that was we feel it is crucial to the success of our family that if at all possible I remain at home with the children. I grew up in a home where that wasn't a possibility and Nick grew up with his mom at home as a reality. In both situations we have gained testimonies of the positive influence mothers have within the home and how important it is to have this as a priority in our family planning. Another theory we share is that it is vital that a father is involved with his children's lives through activities like FHE, family prayer and scripture study, and generally taking time to play with his children. These all seem pretty basic, but there is no doubt in my mind that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."