Back in September, I got this really great idea from Pinterst.  I get a lot of really great ideas, but this was one I just had to do.  It was an idea to do the 12 Days of Christmas for your husband.  Basically, you give your husband a gift for twelve days leading up to Christmas.  The gifts relate to the number of the day…day 2, Shawn got a pair of shoes, day 8, he got eight ounces of cashews.

Today is the eleventh day.  So in honor of the Eleventh Day of Christmas, I want to share 11 FAVORITE MEMORIES with the love of my life!

WARNING!!!  The following list is not for the faint of heart.  {This might get gushy people!}

1.  I love that I remember the first time I saw you.  We were playing sand volleyball at Mid America and you were on the opposing team.  The team I was on was having a winning streak and you were trying hard to impress us so we’d ask you to play on our team.  However, the very first impression I had of you was not your volleyball skills, but your sweet smile.  You are so transparent when you smile and it makes everyone around happier for seeing it.  I remember introducing myself and actually shaking your hand. (so romantic of me)  I probably freaked you out by my forwardness…sorry 😉

2.  You invited me to attend the final for your preaching class in college.  I sat in the pew of the very small chapel on campus where you transformed from this very mild, quiet guy to a crazy, passionate, chair throwing man (yes, he actually threw a chair and broke it to pieces).  It was obvious to me, at that very moment, that I wanted to follow you wherever you went because I could tell that God was taking you places.  I didn’t want to miss out on the adventure!

3.  Excitement, nervousness, embarrassment and love were all things I remember feeling the night you proposed.  You sent me on a scavenger hunt through your magically empty house (moments earlier it was roaring with laughter from Canasta with your family).  It lead me to find you outside standing in the muddy yard, since the new grass hadn’t taken root yet, at your parents new house.  Your dad had fashioned a light-up sign popping the question.  The smile on your face assured me that this was the right choice.  Once you had asked, I had answered and we were both crying, your family applauded from under the three foot high deck where they had secretly witnessed the whole thing…even videotaped it!  I love how they didn’t want to miss out on this huge moment for us all!

4.  We have laughed many, many times over the last almost 14 years.  But one of my favorites was when we were driving back to Tennessee after visiting with my family in Missouri for Spring Break.  It was this moment I realized the severity of your Directionally Challenged Disorder (DCD).  We were just going through St. Louis when you told me to go ahead and take a nap.  I looked at the map (yes, it was that long ago…before GPS) and told you that the next turnoff was about 50 miles down the road.  About two hours later you woke me up in a panic saying we were lost.  After locating where we were on the map, which took a long time due to the fact I was looking at the wrong state, I realized we were not in Illinois or Kentucky, but BACK in Missouri!!  You had managed to miss the exit and travel from Illinois back to the the sticks of Missouri.  Remember how nervous we were to take the short cut the gas station attendant gave us to get back to the highway we needed to be on?  But sure enough, we made it!

5.  One of my favorite youth ministry memories was from Estill Springs, Tennessee.  You had given a crazy challenge for the students to bring 120 people on a Wednesday night.  You followed through with your promise after they met that challenge.  Your sister couldn’t have been happier to have the razor in her hand as she shaved off the hair from your head, arms and legs!

6.  Childbirth is nerve wracking enough but thow an emergency c-section on top of things and you have a party!  I know you were so stressed out when things did not go according to plan when Ashton was born.  I don’t know if I’ve ever told you how much I loved opening my eyes and seeing your sweet face staring back at me when the rest of the room was buzzing with doctors and nurses.  I know God protected me but it was your face that gave me peace in the biggest storm I’ve ever faced.  I was reminded of this when Landon was born two years later, and you were by my side again…where you belong.

7.  Having two boys 25 months apart was very interesting.  One of the sweetest things you ever did was taking the time to call and make me hair appointments when I wouldn’t.  I had that crazy momma guilt going on and didn’t feel worthy to spend that much money on myself.  You knew it was important to me to look nice and would surprise me by coming home to watch the boys so I could go get my hair done at the appointment you secretly made.  It was so thoughtful!

8.  You’ve gotten into some trouble raising these boys.  One time I remember vividly was when we were taking the boys for a walk after dinner.  I pointed out to Ashton a pretty bird in a neighbors yard.  He excitedly said, “Daddy hit a birdie”.  You had been teaching him about golf and I was impressed he remembered that term.  When you started laughing uncontrollably, I knew something was up.  You explained that he was talking about golf, and that you had hit a birdie.  But it wasn’t the kind of birdie I was thinking…you hit an actual bird!  You had been practicing with Ashton in the back yard when it happened.  You told him to promise to not tell Mommy.  Well, that didn’t work out so well for you.  Haha!

9.  When we lived in Colorado, we were visited by our dear friends Lewis and Stacey.  We decided to go skiing and were excited when we got really good deals on rates because it was the end of the season.  We didn’t know that this meant the conditions would be icy and the smaller hills would be closed.  For me this was a pretty big deal since I’d never been skiing before.  You gave me a short lesson and assured me that I could do it.  The problem was, I believed you!  Once at the top of the BLUE, I  uncontrollably sped, (at Olympic speed I’m sure) down the hill passing everyone I saw.  After screaming, one-legged a good distance, I finally lost complete control and tumbled head-over-feet to a halt loosing both skis, polls and hat.  After a couple of minutes you all caught up with me.  My first trip skiing ended very quickly with a motorized trip down the mountain to the clinic.

10.  Another great memory for me was our time in Michigan when you were taking classes online.  Our nights were very quiet as you spent many of them downstairs responding to comments and writing papers.  If you weren’t working on that, you were studying how to build websites.  You were determined that our youth group needed a cutting edge website and you were going to figure out how to build it your self.  And…you did!  You’ve always been able to figure things out that to the “normal person” would seem impossible.

11.  My most favorite, recent memory was when you couldn’t sleep for three nights in Michigan.  You had talked with Lewis and he asked you to pray about the possibility of moving to Missouri with him and Stacey and starting a church.  It was the craziest idea I’d ever heard.  I’m so glad that I did decide to follow you anywhere after hearing that first sermon.  It seems like you’ve taken me around the world and we’ve ended up back at the beginning, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!!  I love you!




{For those of you who actually made it to the end of this post, here’s your reward…this lovely picture of Shawn and me this past Halloween.}