May 19, 2007

The Best 10 Years

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on Thursday, May 17th. Wow! The years have flown by! They have been wonderful years!

Jay gave me a simple, beautiful anniversary band to go with my wedding ring. When he asked me to marry him, and gave me his mother's very simple original engagement setting (with his own diamond), he told me he would get me something bigger and better on our 10th Anniversary (which is what his dad did, and why his mother's original setting had been abandoned). But I told him honestly a few years ago that I had no desire to replace the lovely ring I wore the day he proposed to me, the day we were married, the day we moved into our new home, the day each of our children were born.... the ring I will wear when when each of our children is baptized, when they graduate from high school, when they go off to college, when they go on missions, when they get married.... and when we are old and gray and wrinkled and serve missions together, and work in the Temple together..... again.After dinner on Thursday, we sat with our children and told them our different versions of the story of our courtship. (Jay's version was much funnier and more interesting.) As I told them my version, I didn't think they were that interested, or even listening. But when I paused for a moment, Mary exclaimed (with her enormous grin), "This is a good story!" Well, it is a good story. So, for those of you who haven't heard and are interested, here is "The Story of Alice and Jay" as I recorded it in my journal in 1997. (I told the condensed version to the kids. This version is slightly edited for the sake of space.... I tend to be long-winded.)


In February 1996, I was called to be an ordinance worker in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Because I had a full-time job during the week, the only day I could work in the Temple was Saturday. When President Shumway, the Temple President, called me into his office and we discussed when I would work, he explained that there were three shifts on Saturdays: the early morning shift, the mid-day shift, and the night shift.

He asked which shift I would like to work. I asked him which shift had the greatest need for workers. He said, “Well, that’s the evening shift, but that would interfere with your social life.” I knew that was true, but something made me say, “I want to work
when I’m needed most, not when it’s most convenient.” He smiled, and said, “O.K. Then that’s where you should be.” It was a sacrifice, giving up some of my social life, but it was one of the greatest blessings in my life!

When President Shumway set me apart, he told me that the relationships I would form with my fellow workers would have a great impact on my life and would be very important to me. I thought he meant I would have many sets of surrogate grandparents, as 99% of the workers are over 65. I did form some wonderful friendships
with the “older” workers, but I didn’t realize what that statement really meant until later.

I started working in the Temple the first of March. The first night I was there I met Wendy, Jay’s mother. Both his parents were regular ordinance workers, the youngest couple there. Since she looks VERY young, I was quite surprised when she told me her oldest son was a returned missionary "sitting right over there" (he also worked in the Temple). I had noticed another young person working there, but I thought nothing of it. I would see him occasionally, but I didn't meet him for a while.

The months went by. Then one night at the beginning of November, Jay was given "flashlight duty" (walking sisters to their cars after dark), and as "luck" would have it, he was assigned to me. We barely had time to introduce oursel
ves before we arrived at my car. I thought to myself, “Hmm. He's not my type. I hope he doesn’t ask me out.” (At the time I was seriously interested in someone else I had gone out with a couple of times recently.)

The next week after our shift at the Temple, he was waiting for me and asked if he could walk me to my car. Sure enough, he asked me if I would like to go see "The Magic Flute" (the Mozart opera) in a couple of weeks. I thought, well, I will go out with him once, because I would like to see it. So, I accepted.... even though I continued to tell myself I "wasn't interested."

The next day he called and asked me to go to a fireside with him that night. I felt obligated to go because I had already accepted a future date with him. So that was our first date. I was impressed that he was a really nice, good guy, with a nice family, but I thought he was way too serious and I thought he had no sense of humor. (I found out later that
was VERY wrong. He is one of the funniest people I know! But he wasn't himself on our first few dates because he was really nervous.)

Well, that night when he brought me home he asked if I would like to go out after our shift at the Temple the next week. I was kind of annoyed that he was being so persistent, but he asked me to my face (and I'm not good at coming up with excuses on the spot), and we still had this upcoming date to the opera, so I said yes. We went to a restaurant and had cheesecake and talked. He made me laugh that night. Friday night was the opera. We talked for a while afterward and had some really good conversations. But I was still thinking, “There’s nothing there. I’m just not interested.” I figured that was it. I had gone on three dates with him and hadn't fallen in love... I had given him a chance... that was enough. (I'm ashamed to admit what an idiot I was... no wonder I wasn't married!) I decided that the next time he asked I would make excuses until he got the hint. Meanwhile, I was still really
interested in this other guy.

Jay called me the next morning at 9 a.m. (after our 7 or 8 hour date)! I was getting worried. I had never had a guy pursue me like this. He invited me to have lunch that day but I told him I was too busy. He said, “Just for an hour.” I refused. THEN he said, “I just want you to know that I am very glad we met. I think you are really neat.” He didn’t give up!

He called the next night (this was the week of Thanksgiving) and asked if I had to work the day after Thanksgiving and invited me to do something that day. I said, “No, I’m going to spend time with my family.” THEN, he said, “I want you to know that I really like you. You have all the qualities I want in a wife, and I want to keep dating you.” Yikes! I was terrified! (That really scared me, but now I appreciate that he was so open and honest and didn't play games.) I said, “Look. I think you are really nice, but I’m interested in someone else.” I w
as pretty sure he had taken the hint. (He later confirmed that he had given up and wasn't going to call again.)

I couldn't stop thinking about him all week. For a long time I had been praying everyday for Heavenly Father to send me a righteous man...that’s all I wanted. I realized that Jay had ALL of the qualities I was looking for, and MORE. Duh! "What have I done?" By Friday, I was worried that I had burned all my bridges. I knew that he would never call me again. So, I got up my nerve and called him, which is a REALLY big deal for me! I invited him to go the movies with my family that afternoon, and he another date! Ouch! I needed that. My disappointment finally made me realize that I was interested in him. He had the integrity to keep his other date, but he immediately invited me to do something the next night after our shift at the temple, which we did.

The next week was a whirl wind. I was really freaked out because it was happening so fast. We talked every day, and I finally let him kis
s me.

Sunday we went to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. During the fireside I realized that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with him that week, and I knew I was going to marry him! AND, I wasn't freaked out anymore. I was totally peaceful about it. A week and a half later (just before Christmas) we went to the Temple together and agreed that we were going to get married. It happened very fast, but it was so right.

At the beginning of January, we flew to Salt Lake for a short trip. We arrived Friday evening, and had dinner at the Roof Top restaurant at the Joseph Smith Memorial. ......... (the mushy parts have been edited out.... all you need to know is that he proposed marriage)....... We stayed at his aunt's house that night (in separate bedrooms, of course), attended the Salt Lake Temple the next day, and then flew home.

We were sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple on May 17, 1997, by Vernon Watkins, who was a member of the Temple presidency at the time, and a long time friend of Jay’s family. (I was 26 and Jay was 25.) It was the best day of my life. Each day since then has only been better. I’m happier than I ever imagined possible. I have the best husband in the world. Jay is so good to me, and so good for me! I am so blessed. Jay was definitely worth waiting for! (OK, I probably should have taken out that mushy part too.)

It's amazing to me when I think of the whole time line of this. We met the first week of November, and by the middle of December we had decided to get married. I had always scoffed at people who had such short courtships, but hey.... when it's right, it's righ
t. We were engaged for 4 months, which seemed way too long. :)

Jay got me one other anniversary gift.
He finally realized he isn't the only Suns fan in this family.
I'm sad the Suns are out of the play-offs, but I will still wear the shirt with pride, and look forward to next season. I'm no "fair-weather-fan" when it comes to the Suns.


  1. That IS a good story! And it's brought back a flood of memories. I remember hearing it happen and seeing you two together for the first time at the Temple lights. I'm so glad you got past you know who! AND I love the way the Lord works with us... blessing us with what we need, ultimately what we deeply desire! I love you Alice~!

  2. Alice, I don't even know you, but I do know Liz and Kathryn (Hall) and I read your comment on Liz's blog and linked my way over here (and I love to read Nie Nie's blog and I saw your Friday Face installment a few weeks ago :) Anyway, I just finished reading this whole courtship story and I loved it! I just love reading about how people fell in love...and especially about how they stayed in love. Thanks for sharing...this was really darling. And Happy Anniversary!

  3. I love you too Jen! I can't wait to hear a story like this for you!

    Thanks Emily. Staying in love is easier if you remember to put the other person first!

  4. That's very sweet, Alice. We are coming up on 10 years ourselves. We have kind of a similar I-never-thought-I-would-get-engaged-this-fast kind of story. Sorry that your fun anniversary dinner had the bummer ending of the big L for the Suns.

  5. I love the story Alice. I'd love to hear Jay's version as well!

  6. Alice I had no idea you were one of "those" people. I'm guessing the parents were a surprised at the speed.

    I'm sure Jays version has some added details.

  7. Eldon,
    I NEVER thought I would be "one of those people." Gross! Actually my parents weren't surprised at all. In fact, they said they "knew" I was going to marry Jay from the first time they met him (when he picked me up for our first date)... and were rooting for him long before I was! I guess they knew me better than I knew myself. :)


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