Friday, March 11, 2016

A Stripper and A Hiker...

When I was 18 years old I became a stripper to make money for college.

It was there that I met Marc, my stocker.


You don't believe me?

You don't think I would be that open about my life?

Well, let me give you all the dirty details.

It was a place called System Connection.

They were a company that put together parts for computers and I was the one who would strip the casing from the ends of the cords so the inside was exposed for attachments.


That was really my title.


But the only thing I had to take off was the plastic from electric cords and Marc was the guy who stocked the parts in my work area, so technically he was a stocker, not a stalker... I did use the right grammar all you english majors out there.


I told you I would be honest...

Well, that was how Marc and I met almost 21 years ago, August of 1995.

Marc was 27 and I had been 19 for twenty days when we got married in 1996.

Yes, I was really young.

I know, believe me you don't have to say, "Wow! You were so young!" because I already know that, I lived it.

It's quite a culture shock to go from living with mom and dad and your 4 younger siblings to living with a husband and having a full-time job all on your own.

It was also a culture shock for Marc to be living with a 19-year-old girl who had lived on her own the total of four months before they were living in an apartment together.

I guess what I am trying to say is that our marriage didn't exactly start off like a fairy-tale and it was an uphill climb, most of the time.

We had many trials, bumps in the road, obstacles, and hurdles to get over and through.

It was hard.

Really hard.

I'm not going to lie.

I can't lie.

I'm not good at it.

Even when telling a stripper story I can't keep the charade up too long (wink).

I'm saying this because I don't want newly-weds or oldie-weds to think that as soon as things get tough that it is time to give up.

I also don't want them to think that if things stay tough for a long time that it is time to throw in the towel.

Love is strong.

Really strong and it can get you through a lot.

But, like anything that is strong in a storm, you need to learn when to bend and when to stand firm.

If you always stand firm, you can become rigid and unmovable, better known in life as stubborn and unfeeling.

If you always bend, you can stay bent and never reach the sky, better known in life as a push-over and  not confidant.

I am so proud of Marc and I for getting through all the tough times and rising above it all to find us where we are now.

We just celebrated 20 years of marriage this week!

20 years!

Now-a-days, I feel like that's quite an accomplishment.

I am so glad that we made it through the storms of what life has thrown at us because now we are more in love with each other than I ever could have imagined!

It was work that was worth it at each peak we came to.

I am so excited for the many more adventures and experiences we are going to have together.

Last week we went on a trip to St. George and it was one of the best trips I ever remember being on with my husband. We had such a great time just relaxing and enjoying life.

It was great to be in the sunshine and it was great to be out and active. I'm not going to complain about going out to eat every night either.

It was so fun to see flowers blooming. It's a lot warmer in Southern Utah.

The view from one of our little hikes

Just a cool view

Another cool view...

This place was so cool!

We ate at a Thai restaurant the second night we were in St. George and Marc was sneakily taking a picture of the guy behind me because he was so loud and so conceded and I believe loved the sound of his own voice...
we got a good chuckle.

The icing on the cake was our final night on our trip we stayed in Springdale, the town that nestles into Zion National Park, at a little motel. It was only $59 for the night because we had come before peak season had hit.

We explored the East side and had fun taking pictures of scenery, each other, and the desert bighorn sheep.

If you zoom in you'll see the baby sheep. They were my favorite!

This is my favorite panoramic from my shots

Marc took some great shots

It was these kind of moments that I was kicking myself for forgetting my real camera back at home, but I was also grateful to, at least, have my phone to utilize for my camera.

Pretty fancy. I got the rainbow trout and he got the steak.

We ate at a great restaurant and met some great people there and then we retired early so that we could be up early to hike Angel's Landing. It's one of the more popular hikes in Zion National Park.

I love to hike.

I didn't used to.

I do now.

I was excited to hike this Angel's Landing I have heard so much about all these years.

A shot to document the beginning of the hike and showing the summit behind us.

Here we are getting ready to get started on the section of the trail they call "Walter's Wiggles"

The path zigzags back and forth a lot in order to climb a very steep grade a little easier.

Here we are at what I thought was the summit, then Marc pointed behind me...
I didn't know we would be crossing such a narrow ridgeline!

Ascending to the summit

Finally at the real summit!

Beginning to head back down after a long picnic and enjoying the sight

Walter's Wiggles going down

We walked past a girl who was playing some hip-hop dance music really, really loud and we were laughing so Marc took it one step further and re-enacted how he felt as she was DJ-ing her way up the trail. He was even making the scratch-record sound effects.

The trail is so pretty in some of the spots.

The river at the end of the trail... we're done.

I saw this bumper sticker at the store... I was too cheap to buy it so I took a picture instead.

A big meal after a big hike

We took pictures to document the trail up, but Marc took video of us actually hiking/scrambling up to the summit of Angel's Landing.

When I was putting the video together for you to watch I was getting a little sick because I'm amazed I was up that high on ridge lines without a rope and harness.

It was so beautiful. I hope that the video kind of gives you an experience of what it is like, but you truly can't know the beauty of it until you see it with your naked eye.

I also realized while watching this video that life, marriage, experience is like climbing a mountain.

There are curves in the path, rocks that make you stumble, steep grades, slick sandstone, narrow crags to get through and heat or cold that wear you down.

There are also rails to keep you from falling, sights that take your breath away, joy in accomplishment, meeting new friends along the way, encouraging each other to do your best, and incredible views when you see the top.

I want to thank Marc for the climb.

I am so thankful that my life hasn't been a desert plane, but instead has had the mountains and valleys that have taught me tolerance, love, compassion, empathy, joy, acceptance and self-worth.

I also know that we could never have done all that we have done in our marriage and as parents of 3 children with Fragile X Syndrome without the help of our Heavenly Father.

God is good.

So is life.

With God we can have a good life.

It's all about the view point you choose to see; look down at the sheer drop from the ledge and be afraid and hesitant, or choose to look up at the climb ahead of you while keeping the goal of the majestic view in your sights.

Disclaimer: I don't want anyone to think that I condone staying in an abusive marriage or a harmful marriage. Each marriage is unique. I only want to give encouragement to those who don't have it easy.

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