This is a special place for our family. I was thinking I would wait and do this post in April on our anniversary, but I didn’t want to wait.

First of all, just to get it out of the way, these are old photos. Taken in the days before we had a digital camera. So really they are photos of photos, so sorry for the low quality compared to my other posts. The photo up top of the Orlando temple was taken in September 1998, just a few months before I met Carey. When I took it, Carey was still in Portugal serving a mission. Just four months later I would meet him and instantly fall in love.

Anayway- Orlando is our temple. We were sealed there.

We had a pretty fast courtship. Met January 18th, got engaged on Valentine’s Day, and then we eloped on April 22.

3 months. We barely knew each other. But we were crazy in love and knew it was right. 18 years later we’re still getting to know each other, and loving (almost) every minute of it!

Like a couple of crazy kids, we ran off and got hitched without telling our families until after the fact. I think it was the most spontaneous thing Carey has done in his entire life. Neither of us knew when we woke up that morning that we would be married by that afternoon, in t-shirts and jeans no less.

Reality sort of set in the following morning when I had to call my parents and tell them that I was married. They hadn’t even met Carey yet! I felt so bad- I was their first child to get married, and they didn’t even get to be there. They were so gracious, as they have always been, and have been supportive of us from day one. My dad just made me make one promise- that we would be sealed together a year later. I promised as that was Carey’s and my desire as well.

Growing up I had always known the importance of being sealed to your family. Well, I thought I understood. But being married and starting a family without being sealed was my actual education and testimony builder. I had so much anxiety that first year, knowing that we were not sealed. I eagerly awaited our one year mark so we could go to the temple together.

in-front-of-orlando-florida-lds-templeJust two months after we got married I got pregnant with our first son. So, if you’re doing the math, we had known each other for only 5 and a half months. My poor husband. I was sort of a crazy emotional pregnant woman. (Carey- when you read this, I’m sorry for that time I made you go to Taco Bell at 2 in the morning and then found the popcorn while you were gone and got full on that and didn’t want tacos any more.)  … Anyway, again- starting a family was scary to me without the blessings of the temple backing it up.

I went through the temple for the first time when I was eight and a half months pregnant. I was freaking huge. It was a little awkward, but such a great experience. On the way home from the temple, we got rear ended by a guy who was driving a stolen car. I started having contractions, and he took off. I went to the hospital and they monitored me for a few hours and then sent me home. Michael came along 3 weeks later, a week late and ten and a half pounds!!

sealed-in-the-orlando-florida-templeOur family was sealed in the Orlando Temple on our one year anniversary. Michael was just 2 weeks old, and it was the sweetest experience I will ever have. This time we had family there, and just a few good friends.

I’m so grateful for the temple. I’m grateful for the knowledge that we get to be together for eternity. I’m grateful for the spirit it brings into our lives and family and home. How incredibly blessed we are!

PS- How flipping great is my husbands smile?!?!

Date Visited: Pre-blog, April 22 2000 and thereabouts..

Miles From Home: 3,094

Location: Windermere, Florida

Dedication: October 9-11, 1994 by Howard W. Hunter

From the Dedicatory Prayer:  May those who come to be sealed in marriage kneel at these sacred altars and resolve within their hearts to be ever true and faithful, that the sacred relationships here solemnized may continue with happiness throughout all eternity.