Today marks the eight year wedding anniversary for Valerie and myself, which is hard to believe, yet at the same time completely believable since it is difficult to remember life before Valerie.
Here are some memories from the past eight years that make me smile when I think about them:
1. On my birthday before we were married Valerie gave me a small camping pillow which she dubbed "Campers." I slept with it every night and used it to cover my face in the mornings when the sun was too bright and I wanted to sleep in more. Shortly after getting married at some point Valerie took over ownership of Campers and claimed him as her own (even though he was my birthday present). If I was ever caught using him or drooling on him I would be reprimanded and he was quickly snatched away.
Switch to present day. For Valentine's day this year Valerie surprised me with a new Campers. Finally, I have my own camping pillow again and can use him without any fear of repercussion, right? Well, I haven't even had him a month yet, but recently I've been waking up to find him clutched under Valerie's arm alongside the original Campers. The lesson is that Valerie is very giving, but also greedy when it comes to camping pillows. I find it very endearing.
2. When I was in Grad school we got tickets to go to a BYU basketball game. I think they played Air Force and I think BYU won by a large margin. Pretty interesting right? Well, sitting right behind us was one of my professors with his wife. So I introduced Valerie and Brendan (who got scared when they turned the light off to introduce the players at the beginning of the game) my professor and his wife. We chatted about the game a little and probably about how I was such a fantastic student, it's kind of fuzzy at the moment, but that's probably what happened. So, another evening shortly thereafter we were at Target and we ran into my professor and his wife again. The next day in class, not sure how the subject came up, but he said "Wow, have any of you guys met Chris' wife? I mean, wow, he really married up. Chris really got lucky when got her to marry him." Sure, indirectly he was inferring that I'm a nerd that deserved to marry another nerd, but the real point is that he was completely impressed with Valerie, which is how I feel too. But it just took me by surprise how blown away he was that I was able to marry someone like Valerie. It should be noted that he met many other students' wives, but never made any comments about any of them like that.
3. One thing I've noticed after eight years of marriage is that it's the little things that Valerie does that I remember the most. She does little things like making up all sorts of songs about random things. For example "I like hot dogs, they make me take big logs!" She also comes up with nicknames for people and animals and then those nicknames change every few weeks. Her cat, Special, had about twenty different names over the span of his life and Brendan and I have quite a few as well. Valerie also likes to hide in the bathroom and jump out and scare me when I walk by, which she did this week. She also has this funny habit of reading the last few pages first in nearly every book she reads. She says she just can't handle the suspense of not knowing how things end. All these little things are small, but make me happy.
That is why eight years of marriage is definitely not enough. What funny little things will Valerie do next? For all I know she's hiding behind my desk right now waiting to pop up and knock me over.
In related news, Brendan peed in the toilet for the first time about two weeks ago. He doesn't do it regularly and in fact Valerie put him in pants today with no diaper and he peed all over his chair, but it's progress and he loves flushing the toilet, but let's face it, who doesn't?