Saturday, July 18, 2015

Celebrating 25 Years with many more to come!

Cathleen Nielsen was kind enough to say yes, 25 years ago
today.  Taking pity on a poor soul in love!
Today Cathy and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, marking a quarter century together.  We have been blessed by two wonderful children in Jessica and Sarah and both were miracles in their own right.  I wrote back in February about our first date.  Our courtship was short, about six weeks before she agreed to take me on as a project and we were married four months later.  When I prayed about marrying her, the answer was to marry her and make it quick.  For the naturally shy guy, this was a leap of faith but one in which I've never regretted.  Cathy and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple on the morning of July 18, 1990 by Hugh W. Pinnock, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  Elder Pinnock had been one of the visiting General Authorities when my father was called as Stake President of the Rose Park Stake and had become a family friend. We both had our mothers (Verda Mae Christensen and Lois Nielsen) by our side and her father Franklin Harvey Nielsen (Frank) was a witness along with my brother Elliott.  It was a beautiful morning and I was nervous!  That morning, I had my brother Brad drive me to the temple and he was kind enough to shine my shoes, so they looked decent!

Cathy worked for the LDS Church, so many of her co-workers
followed us around the grounds as we took pictures
At the time of our marriage, I was serving as the Elders Quorum President of the Rose Park 9th Ward and another couple we had been working with, had decided to be sealed in the Temple for eternity.  It often takes a lot of effort to help individuals get to that point in their lives after they had made other choices, and I had a desire to witness it.  I was a little hesitant to bring it up to Cathy since this was her day, but she readily agreed to join me after our pictures, to return to the Temple and witness this other couple's sealing.  While the events surrounding our wedding were wonderful, this became one of the more memorable events of the day.  When you share what you cherish with another, the joy only increases.
Our wedding reception in Cathy's parents back
yard in Layton
We held two receptions, the primary one in Layton in Cathy's parents backyard.  Her neighbors helped serve and many of the Nielsen friends came that evening.  However, three of the Steenblik sisters, Fannie, Mary and Pearl were insistent that they come to Layton rather than to Rose Park.  They were looking for an adventure.  Her family had done a lot of work in preparing the home and the grounds and it was a wonderful evening.  We did not trust Cathy's family with our car, so we left it in a secure parking garage in Downtown SLC and I arranged to have my friend Karl Steenblik pick us up at the conclusion and drive us to SLC where it was parked.  Trust but verify is my motto I learned it from Ronald Reagan!
This picture was not only memorable because I had the most
beautiful bride in the world, but the flag pole which was
erected in my father's honor, was a reminder that he was with
us in spirit.

Because of my service as Elders Quorum President, I also wanted to have a Rose Park reception the next night.  My mom was initially resistant, and understandably wasn't interested in paying for both the wedding breakfast and the reception.  I had told her that I was fine with punch and cookies and that I could get my quorum members to help.  My sisters Maribeth and Nancy offered to help, my mother later decided to contribute and they made this huge spread.  The food ended up being so good, we couldn't get people to leave and the Large Hall at our Stake Center was filled the whole evening. I still didn't trust my in-laws, so I hid my car in an area by the Church near the kitchen for the Small Hall/Multipurpose Room for those who know the building.  My in-laws were getting frustrated that they couldn't find our car. Both were wonderful evenings of celebration.

I don't think I could have ever imagined that what we began 25 years ago today, would have taken the direction or path that we've traveled, but it's been a wonderful journey together. I think it's fair to say, that neither of us are perfect, the ride hasn't been entirely smooth but we love each other's company and cherish each day God allows us to travel it together.  I love you Cathy!

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