My husband, Pat and I met at Eastern Arizona College, in Safford, AZ. We had actually met once before at a Youth Conference dance in Globe, but remet and reestablished our friendship in college. It was the year before Pat left on his mission, and I was in my sophomore year there at EA. We actually became really close friends, but I had vowed I wouldn't date any pre-missionary guys anymore, and Pat did not want a girlfriend before his mission, so we were both of the mindset that we could be friends, but we needed to make sure we didn't get too romantically involved with each other. One night I felt very strongly prompted that I needed to talk to Pat about my feelings shifting from "just friends" to "really liking him" feelings. That was a difficult prompting for me to follow. I remember struggling with that prompting for about an hour and half before I finally got the courage to say, "My feelings for you are changing, I'm not so sure I like you as just a friend anymore, but I DO NOT want to lose your friendship!" Pat was silent for a REALLY long time (as I remember it...really not more than about 30 seconds), and then said, "I actually am feeling the same way! We talked for a long time that night and again after church the next day, Pat invited me to his house for dinner (Yea! I was so excited not to have dorm food!). That Sunday afternoon we talked for another couple of hours, convincing each other that we couldn't get married for reasons X, Y, and Z. Although Pat always walked me home, that particular night someone came to pick him up before I left, and I assured him I would be fine while I walked myself home. I proceeded to walk out and get hit by a car. So, Pat realized that I could have been killed, and he REALLY cared about me, on a deeper level than he knew, and that was the beginning of our "romance". I was on crutches for the next 4 months, and slowed down enough to really let Pat into my heart. He got his mission call in January 1991 and reported to the MTC in April of that year. He served his mission in Padova, Italy and I wrote to him the whole time...but never officially said "I will wait for you". By the time he was out for about 9 months, I knew there was no one else like him for me, and I stopped dating and concentrated on school at NAU. When he got home in 1993, I just had my student teaching left to do, and we got married within 8 weeks (June 23, 1993). He really is the love of my life, and my best friend. I am so glad that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing!
Our first child, Stephen was born in August of 1995. I actually had a miscarriage before he was born, was diagnosed with endometreosis, had 2 surgeries and hormone therapy, and was told I would "probably" never have children. We felt incredibly blessed to have him, and realized that we could very well be the parents of an only child. I was still teaching school when he was born (actually starting my 2nd year), and Pat was finishing college at ASU. Stephen is a very musical child. He loves to sing and has started piano lessons. He is very exacting when it comes to right and wrong (we had a teacher say that he would make a good lawyer), and expects you to do just as you have said. He tends to be a bit of a procrastinator, but I've been working hard to help him overcome that...he is a hard worker, and LOVES his dad. He has a shy streak, and tends to be hard on himself (like I was).
When Emily was conceived, my doctor (an LDS man) said "How did this happen?" I had experienced a 2nd miscarriage in early 1996, and was very excited to know that my son would have a sibling. She was born in July of 1997, and had been very strong-willed since she was very small. I would characterize Emily as somewhat of a tomboy, and yet not. She loves to hike, climb trees, be outside and imagine. She does not like me to do her hair or wear dresses for anything other than church. She reminds me a lot of myself when it comes to having to work hard in school, but doing well. She is very outgoing with other people, and reminds me of Pat in her personality. She and Stephen both love to cook. Pat has been waking them early to cook breakfast with him one day a week, and they both have become quite proficient.
In 1998, I had a 3rd miscarriage. I remember thinking as I went in for the D&C, "How many more times can I do this?" I was emotionally and physically drained at that point, and while I wanted a larger family, I was unsure of whether or not I could carry a child again. That fall we went to Salt Lake City for a wedding of one of Pat's brothers. During that time, I actually had an experience that helped me know we would have more children. Within a couple of months, I had become pregnant again, and in July of 1999, we had Nathan (the last of our kids born while we lived in Mesa, AZ). Nathan has my shy spirit completely. He is also the kindest hearted and gentlest spirited of our children. I actually waited an extra year to send him to kindergarten (under promptings of the spirit) in order to not overwhelm him socially. I love to hear him laugh, and it has been really amazing to see his confidence grow as he has been successful in school this year. He loves to play outside too, and took really good care of our garden this past year. I see him getting ready for baptism (next summer) in a lot of ways already. He is a joy to have in our family.
Thomas was born in October of 2000. Within the first year of his birth, he needed eye surgery and by the time he was 2 and a half, he was wearing glasses. He is a very affectionate little boy, who loves to cuddle and put his arms around you and kiss you. He is our little engineer. He loves puzzles, and figuring out how things work. He will go to school next year, and I hope he will be successful. He still does not know his colors, so I'm not sure if there are issues with color-blindness, or if we will just have to work extra hard to help him learn things.
Before Rebekah was ever conceived, Pat actually approached me and told me we needed to have another child. I laughed. I had experienced postpartum depression after both Nathan and Thomas, and had very little social support from the ward or town we were living in, even though we had lived there for 2 years. I had no clue how I could deal with another pregnancy and birth. I told him I would fast and pray about it, and within a week, I had a very clear answer that I *could* do what the Lord was asking me to do. Rebekah was born in June of 2002. She is all girl. She loves to dance and sing, and dress-up. She'll even come and ask me to do her hair. She wants to be independent...and loves her older sister. She is working on being obedient all of the time, and has learned the importance of telling the truth! She does not have a shy bone in her body. (I remember telling Pat at Nathans 3rd birthday party that we had just had our 3rd child in 3 years. His response was, "No sir!" Once he counted, he realized it was true, and I think some of the physical implications of what 3 pregnancies in a short period of time had done to my body sank in. I did not experience any physical difficulties or PPD during or after Rebekah's birth. At that point, we chose to wait a little while before trying to have another child.)
Our "baby" Samuel was born last February, here in Silver City, NM. It has been really nice to have so many older siblings as helpers, and all of them really love Sam. He is a sweet baby. He is very content to sit on my lap, and ducks his head or puts it on my shoulder when other people try to talk to him, so I think he'll be shy. He is persistent...and happy. He is walking around and loves to play with the other kids. His favorite word right now is "nana", for food...as he loved bananas for a while and would eat 2 or more a day.
We feel like there is at least one more child that belongs in our family. Right now, that is a concern for me health-wise. I need to make sure I can still take care of the rest of my family before I try to bring another spirit to earth. I am very overweight, and need to make some progress on that front before we move forward with having another baby. That being said, I know we will trust in the Lord and strive to follow His timetable.