"On this date 39 years ago, Star Wars: A New Hope opened in theaters. 17 years ago today, The Phantom Menace opened. Since my parents wouldn't let me go to a movie on a school night, my original date bailed on me to go see it with another group. So I thought to myself, "why not go to the movies with someone I already know I like and wouldn't mind hanging out with?" And since the group of people we were going to go with decided to go to a different showing, we ended up on a single date (GASP!). And, of course, the unthinkable happened: we had a really good time and talked for like an hour before and after the movie. There might even have been some talking during the movie, for which I would otherwise be apologetic, if not for some extenuating circumstances. See, my lovely date with whom I had been friends for a couple years already, had NEVER SEEN STAR WARS! But I decided to forgive her.
Now, you might be asking yourself what the point of all this reminiscing is, and that's a darn good question. In some few instances miracles happen from seemingly insignificant events. A single moment can alter the course of history. A goofy, chubby dude can somehow convince a practically perfect, gorgeous girl to give him a chance. Even though he's super excited about some dumb movie that she could possibly care a little bit less about, but not much. And eventually, five children comprised of more or less equal parts goofy and gorgeous are born, and that chubby dude gets to wake up to a more or less perfect life with that perfect woman, forever. So thanks to a story a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, in three days I will have been in love with my wife for exactly 17 years...So far."
Today marks 17 years since our first date back in 1999. It's crazy to think we have been married for 12 years and have five crazy kids. Tonight we went to dinner and the movies. During a particularly "wow" moment in the movie, Captain America: Civil War, I heard Ayla's screaming voice inside my head say, WHAT DA HECK!!!! And from then on, whenever there was another plot turn or intense fight scene I kept hearing Ayla's voice saying it again and again. It made me chuckle to myself in the movie theater. It's interesting...and so fitting...that our children affect our lives so deeply, even when we are not with them. I'm eternally thankful we have our loud, rambunctious family together forever.
On that note, yesterday we went to perform some baptisms for two family members who have passed on. One of them, Brady's great uncle, was particularly special. If I remember right, Wayne didn't know a whole lot about the church, nor did he care to learn about it formally from family members. Brady's dad wasn't shy about telling him he was going to get his temple work done after Wayne passed away. He even made sure Wayne knew he would be sealed to a wife and asked him which wife he wanted to spend eternity with. This last week Brady has been learning how to prepare names for the temple so we can get his ordinances done. Yesterday, Brady had the opportunity to baptize Wayne via proxy from an elderly temple patron. He also baptized me for an ancestor on his mother's side. We are taking these two people all the way through the temple ourselves. I felt quite special being able to witness Wayne's proxy baptism. Both of us felt the Spirit as the ordinance was performed, and we believe the work was well received. We haven't done any baptisms for the dead since before we were married...so it was really fun to do it again as a seasoned temple-goer for the other ordinances. I am very excited to be proxy to seal Wayne to his wife, Helen, in the near future. I hope their reunion in heaven is extra special. I am reminded how lucky we are as members of the Church today to have all of these truths engrained on our minds and in our hearts. I am thankful I have the opportunity to raise our children in the Church. I feel we all need the standards and the knowledge of the Gospel now more than ever before as the time draws near for the Savior to return to the Earth.