25 YEARS...

Reason 1: She is my best friend. Wow...TWENTY FIVE YEARS! or Nine Thousand, One Hundred, Twenty-Five Days. How blessed we've been over the years. Side by side I have shared with my best friend Michelle some incredible experiences...what a ride so far. This fantastic journey officially began a beautiful late summer day September 9, 1983 in Santa Monica at the magnificent Los Angeles Temple and has kept going. We're taking a brief pause today to celebrate this fantastic journey.

A Few Snapshots Of The Last 25 Years With Michelle:
-Kneeling across the altar from the absolute most beautiful, radiant, gorgeous woman and being joined with her for eternity for the balance of my life. I was so excited and nervous that I attempted to say "yes" to the officiator at a pause before it was time for me to say "yes."
-I couldn't grab Michelle and leave for our honeymoon hotel fast enough after the grooms luncheon. We were the first ones to leave.
-Keeping my young wife alive and holding her hair many many times while she lost her meal bending over the toilet while she was sick with Ashley.
-Seeing my lovely wife holding that little miracle in her arms and nursing her as only a loving mother could.
-Looking at my first two daughters all dressed up perfectly for church with their hair in braids or buns or some sort of "do" and in matching outfits with their little white tights and shiny church shoes all ready for Sunday meetings.
-Witnessing Michelle give birth to our fourth child Alexandria who we thought was going to be a boy. She arrived as Michelle.s last masterpiece and we couldn't have been happier to have our fourth beautiful little girl, who little proud "Big Sister" Abby insisted was not a Daddy! (inside family joke)
-Wandering the streets of London England with my love Michelle, not knowing a soul but having only each other to rely on and share some wonderful memories for a few days before we hopped on a train to rejoin our friends in Scotland.
-Seeing Michelle put together delicious warm meals for cold hungry snowboarders at the (Tom Thorkelson) Big Bear cabin as they arrived back from the slopes. This crew usually included all my family along with three or four boy....friends of my two older daughters. Sometime other family friends.
-Watching my wife scrapbook for days in her night gown with one of her best friends (my cousin) Shawna Farnsworth only taking short breaks to make a meal for her neglected children and husband.
-Being with my beautiful wife and our four daughters while looking over the edge of the Haleakala Crater view point in their church clothes (after attending church at the Lahaina Ward) with the wind blowing their beautiful long hair everywhere. Michelle looked absolutely radiant that day in her floral patterned dress.
-While in the witness chair in the San Diego Temple Sealing room, basking in the indescribable peace, spirit and tenderness of the moment while seeing my eldest Ashley (who looked to me a beautiful princess out of a fairytale) marrying her handsome prince Jeremy, I stared across the room at the most radiant, beautiful, stately woman I had ever seen. It was hard for me to take my eyes off of Michelle and pay more attention to the ceremony as I was transfixed with this queenly vision as she looked on with dignified tears in her eyes witnessing her first born being married for time and all eternity to her prince.

I could go on and on as the memories come flooding back to me. These are just a small sampling.

I love you so much Michelle. I truly can't wait to get started on the next 25 years. They will no doubt be filled with good times and bad, but thank goodness the good times seem to dwarf the bad and are easily recalled. More weddings, grandchildren, baptisms, reunions, memorable vacations, graduations etc. await us. How exciting.

Eternally Yours,



Reason 2: Because she loves me, and she has shown her love to me in so many ways. She works very hard to do so many little things that please me. She tries to have a warm meal on the table when she knows I'm coming home. She tries to have the house tidied up now and then. Once in awhile I'll come home and she'll have a new t-shirt or neck tie sitting on my bed waiting for my approval. She's gotten very good at figuring out my tastes. She usually know when I need a warm hug to melt away the day's worries. It usually always works too. There are times when I go for a surf or spend a portion of the day watching a soccer match on tv rather than fix (which I am soooo good at) something around the house or spend time with her on an errand, and yet she's happy that I'm happy. Once in awhile that really motivates me to put her first no matter what. I know, I know....I should do that much more often. I know what I need to work on for the next 25 years of our marriage.



Reason 3: She is a great mother. This reason 3 may seem like a repeat of other reasons why I love her but it's not. I touched on her being smart which has served her children well. I have mentioned what a devoted scrapbooker she is for the family and in chronicling the children's lives. I have mentioned what an immense sacrifice it was for her to even bring these girls into this world. These all are a small part of her being a great mother, but there are so many other reasons she is.

I'm sure that our daughters will be the first to attest that Michelle is not a perfect mother, however they cannot at any point contest the fact that she has the absolute deepest love and devotion to each of them. Michelle has always put our children first and above her own concerns. She has always had their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional happiness and well being as first priority, no exceptions. I have never ever been concerned for my girls in regards to them being neglected by their mother because of her putting her own concerns or desires before them.

Thanks Honey. You are AWESOME!!!!!!!



Reason 4: Her Gorgeous Smile. Anyone that knows Michelle with any sort of depth has seen her let her hair down (which she doesn't do unless she's comfortable with someone) and flash that million dollar smile. Her beautiful lips, cheeks, dimples and eyes completely light up and brighten the entire room that she is in. I don't think she even realizes the power she possesses with this incredible "gift of happiness" that she bestows on those around her when she smiles. Pure nirvana is what I feel when she is in this smiling mood. Love you BABE!


Reason: Her Chicken Tortilla Soup. When I come home from tough day at work and catch that wonderful aroma wafting through the air, I am home and all will be alright.



Reason 6: Her great sense of humor. I mean....she married me right? Now this doesn't mean she has the same sense of humor that I do as I wish I had a dollar for every time I've gotten the rolled eye routine when trying to get a laugh. Generally Michelle can find humor in many things and I love her laugh. Once in awhile I've caught her laughing at herself from some silly predicament she found herself in. Very precious.



Reason 7: Her intense love and bond for and with her grandparents. The first family of Michelle's that I met the spring of 1983 was her grandfather Odell "Ted" Tedrow. Michelle's mom Melinda and her grandmother Grace were on a geneology trip to SLC and Grandpa Ted was holding down the fort. It was amazing and inspiring to watch Michelle's deep love and devotion to her "Pampa." It has also been one of the great blessings of my life to be a part of that special family relationship. I was readily accepted as Ted and Grace's grandson and some of our most treasured memories in the early years of our little family was hauling little Ashley and Arica on a plane or in a minivan all the way to El Paso Texas to visit the doting grandparents. The love and adoration that was heaped upon our little family on those visits will be an incredible memory in a very special place in my heart. I owe all that to my beautiful wife and devoted granddaughter.

Thanks Michelle, I love you and dedicate this Reason 7 to two of the most beautiful people I have ever known, Ted and Grace. Thanks for sharing them with me.



Reason 8: Her perfect "Brooke Shields" gorgeous eyebrows. I mean have you seen them? They are amazing and I honestly don't think she's ever done anything to them...ever. Honey, Brooke Shields has nothing on you. I love you girl!


REASONS 12, 11, 10 & 9

Reasons 12, 11, 10 & 9: Their names are Ashley, Arica, Abigail, and Alexandria or as I refer to them; Ashers, Air, Abbers and Al.

I honestly cannot believe that Michelle wanted more children (as perfect as Ashley was) after her nightmare 7 months of morning-noon-night sickness. She could barely if ever hold anything down. At it's worst she had to survive on very tiny (half a teaspoon) sips of sprite passing through a blood raw throat. When it went fairly well she could down a soda cracker or two. I couldn't believe she could survive such a thing. I couldn't believe that after Ash was about a year old that Michelle was talking about having another crumb cruncher. Oh yeah this is after having almost a full day's labor still having to deliver Ash with a C-section. Michelle's pregnancy with Arica was almost a carbon copy of Ashley as was Abby's. Alex's was less sickness but more uncomfortableness and a ton of more abusive kicking.

Clearly Michelle's love for bringing these beautiful spirit's into this world way out weighed her desire for comfort, beauty, and self preservation (four c-sections). I see those scars and I think they are the most beautiful things in the world as I know what they represent.

Also, Michelle has done a phenomenal job in raising these young women. Not an easy thing to do this day and age. Certainly we're never done being parents and we still have two that the jury is still out on (not really). I'm grateful that Michelle has always followed our churches council and stayed home to raise these gals. It has made a huge difference. They have a bond with their Mom that is priceless.



Reason 13: She let me hang surfboards on our living room walls. How cool is that guys? I remember reading that BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall who fell in love with surfing a few years ago wanted to decorate his living room with surfboards (in Utah) and his wife was having none of it. My wife said yes. Take that Bronco. Thanks Michelle. I love you.



Reason 14: She is so darn cute. When I first dated Michelle she would do this cute little pleading-girl-talk when looking for sympathy or her way on a minor issue. It was ever so endearing. She doesn't do it very often anymore but when she does I tend to melt and she receives her desired reaction from me. Let it be known that I posses no equal artillery.



Reason 15: Michelle has selflessly spent a multitude of hours scrapbooking our daughters' lives. It finally donned on me how selfless this was when I realized that she had handed Ashley (our oldest) seven or eight massive scrapbooks chronicling her life from birth to marriage. Some of you know how meticulous these amazing photo journals are. I couldn't believe that Michelle was giving these away. How tender these memories are. I love her so much.



Reason 16: The way her beautiful hand fits in mine. Michelle has the most beautiful perfect feminine hands in the world. I've told her she could easily be a hand model (ala George Castanza) they are so perfect.



Reason 17: Her natural beauty. Michelle has this absolutely beautiful olive skin and she rarely if ever wears makeup (as she doesn't need to). I wake up with the same woman I went to bed with.


Reason 18: She is very smart...and thank goodness it rubbed off on our children. Honestly, once the kids start doing math in middle school I'm of little or no help. Thank goodness my children have their Mom. Michelle has always stressed the importance of higher education with our daughters. Thanks Honey....YOU'RE AWESOME!!!



Reason 19: Her Chocolate Eclair Cake. This dessert takes her half a day to make, but oh my, my is it ever worth the wait.


Reason 20: Her spiritual/service commitment. Michelle and I have always served and accepted callings in our church since day one of our marriage. Michelle has served in many capacities, some "high profile", some not. Young Women's President, Relief Society Presidency, Nursery worker, Primary Chorister (current calling) to name just a very few. She always does a great job and usually puts me to shame in her level of organization and quality of service. I love her as I see her get up at 5am to go serve in the temple (she loves her morning sleep and detests early morning wakeups).



Reason 21: Her "Desire For Goodness." Michelle will be the first to admit that she's made a few mistakes or bad calls in the last 25 years, but it's never been for the wrong reason. Fortunately she's done pretty darn good. We've been blessed with good children (not perfect) who are active in our faith and also have a "desire for goodness" like their mother. I am soooo lucky.


Reason 22: She Is Very Frugal. Not that we've ever had a lot of money, but I'm so grateful that "things" just are not that important to Michelle. She's never made me feel inadequate as a provider because we cannot afford this or that. When we do decide to buy a major purchase such as home furniture or a car she is fanatical about getting the very best deal and not spending money we really can't afford. How lucky am I?



Reason 23: She Allows Me to Be Me. I know that there have been many times over the years when Michelle has bitten her tongue which has resulted in her being completely embarrassed by me. I also know that she has never tried to micro-manage my free time but allowed me time to be me and find some personal happiness in a few of my hobbies. For that I am so grateful and I know that I am a very lucky man.


Reason 24: Her white sauce chicken enchiladas are to die for. The old saying still stands the test of time, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Trust me when I tell you all that much of her love has passed through my stomach on the way to my heart.


Today begins a 25 day count down to our (Michelle & I) 25th Wedding Anniversary (Sept. 9). I'd like to celebrate this with a daily reason why I love this woman so much as to be married to her for such a length of time. Some days my reason will be lengthy....some short and simple.

Reason 25: Michelle is a very, very loyal person. She will be your greatest advocate and your best ally. She will give you strong support and thoughtful consideration in all she does. A select few qualify for this "blessing" of hers however it is something to be coveted. One case in point: Chris Stokes (formerly Earnest), was befriended by Michelle when Michelle was serving in Young Womens over a decade ago. Michelle became Chris's loyal friend at a time when Chris's teenage home life was in major turmoil. What has ensued over the years is a relationship that is to be treasured. If someone was to see them you would think "mother & daughter!" There are other examples that are too sacred and sensitive to share here.