To the subject of this blog and the love of my life:
It's been a long while since I've written about you, or our kids, or our lives together on this blog. I've composed many beautiful entries in my mind: from an account of our frosty, late fall camping trip among the red maples and the yellow aspens; to the festivities of Halloween and the success of our annual pumpkin party, the triumph of my porch decorations (a whole nest of falling spiders), and your supreme costume-creating skills; to our winter weekend spent eating Thanksgiving dinners with our families and hunting Christmas trees in waist-deep snow; as well as a hundred little things in between (including one very cute little thing who eats and smiles non-stop).
We've had a busy, crazy, wonderful, and stressful couple of months, and I want to thank you:
Thanks for loving me enough to pack up our little family of eight and sleep with us up in the mountains, packed like sardines into a pop-up trailer that is only built for six. As we learned while laying out the sleeping bags of the little ones, the game of Tetris would be a lot harder if the pieces squirmed around and kicked each other. I know it was hard with the baby there, but three peaceful days of doing basically nothing except cooking pancakes for two hours each morning, playing games each afternoon, sitting around fires each evening, and taking occasional walks through crunchy leaves wouldn't have been half so beautiful without you.
Thanks for supporting me in an extra busy time at work, when I have been less available during the day and more worn out each night when I return home.
Thanks for supporting me during what has felt like an extra busy time serving in our church. There is always more potential good to do than we could ever hope to accomplish. Thanks for recognizing that "wasting and wearing out our lives" (D&C 123:13) in the service of the Lord is the real reason we are here, and that we can accomplish so much more together than alone. I don't suppose we will ever have a break from serving the Master and I don't suppose I will ever want one as long as you are at my side.
Thanks for being a mother to six active, noisy, busy, and wonderful children. Each one bears the indelible stamp of your motherhood and the goodness and light you imbue them with radiates from them in the quiet times we have together. Thanks for helping so much to facilitate our daily routines of those things that matter most and help us keep our balance--family prayer, scripture study, dinner time, and all the other positive interactions we have throughout the day. I wouldn't be half the father I try to be without your constant example.
Thanks for being the most supportive, helpful, encouraging, and loving wife I could hope for. The constant grind of everyday life becomes bearable and even sometimes sweet because you are at the center of it. You make my day job more enjoyable because every minute that passes is one minute closer to the time I will return home to you. You make the mornings and evenings pleasant with your comforting presence. You make our home beautiful with your touch and style. You make my weekends wonderful with two days of togetherness. You truly make home a heaven on earth.
And most recently, thanks for spending hours today putting lights on the tree so that it would be ready for decorating with ornaments tonight when I got home. In the big scheme it could be considered a "little" thing, but when you're living at ground level with a hungry baby, children with lessons and parties to attend, a kitchen full of dishes, and a laundry room full of clothes to wash, I know it was a significant sacrifice to spend your time serving me in that way. My life is so much richer for all the "little" sacrificies you make every day that I seldom thank you adequately for.
I owe you so much, so much more than I can say. Please let this small expression of thanksgiving be just a token of the gratitude I feel so often, yet fail to express before it gets swallowed up in the churning rush of the tides of life. Thanks for everything.