What started as a typical English course at Utah Valley State College (UVSC) ultimately became a great adventure.
"UVSC ultimately became a great adventure"
When Clark burst into the classroom in his typical fashion—probably singing some silly tune—he saw a demure redhead, Maryann, sitting in the seat adjacent to "his spot." It turns out that both had taken a course the previous semester in the same room (at different times); Clark, a creature of habit, was headed for the same seat he had occupied each class the last term; Maryann, looking for a new view, had switched to the other side of the room.
"He saw a demure redhead, Maryann"
Those early days are a bit foggy, but for every degree to which Clark was "Here I am!", Maryann was almost equally reserved. These seemingly opposite personalities (we think of them as complimentary now) may have induced the initial attraction, but we're not so different from each other now.
"We're not so different from each other now"
Clark was almost immediately attracted to Maryann; she was sweet, honestly kind, concerned for others, and she had an amazing smile that could make anyone comfortable. Before long, simply sitting next to her in class just didn't seem enough—feelings were growing.
"Sitting next to her in class just didn't
seem enough—feelings were growing"
"How's your boyfriend?" was answered: "Great... considering I don't have one." This question meant to test the volatile waters of attraction had a reassuring answer. With a perceived go-ahead, Clark and Maryann nurtured their friendship that naturally grew to something more.
"Their friendship... naturally grew to something more" The Early Days
From courtship to engagement to marriage. Life, and love, move fast when encouraged by tender feelings and a hope for the future.
"Life, and love, move fast"
December 15, 2001 brought a magnificent blizzard to Salt Lake City and northern Utah in general. The trip to the temple was the last adventure that we would face before we really were together. While the blizzard snow kept many wedding guests stranded at home, we were in the right place—the temple. If white represents cleanness and purity, our wedding day was very much of both! The snow made for a smaller ceremony and frosty breath, but the pictures were amazing!
"White represents cleanness and purity"
Long after we were married we would be asked if we had just been, or why we still had the newlywed glow. For Clark the answer was simple: "I have the most wonderful wife; every day is heaven." Maryann, on the other hand, always seems happy independently of others—she really is an angel.
"She really is an angel"
Our beginnings were at UVSC, where we met, fell in love, were married, and had loads of fun. In fact, one semester will always shine as the greatest semester ever. We took all of our classes together—including two ballroom dance classes, aerobics, chemistry, and calculus—and got straight A's! We were the best study-buddies. We ultimately graduated (Cum Laude) and we continued our fun and education at Brigham Young University (BYU). We had great fun together in between classes, on hikes in the surrounding canyons, and in starting family traditions of our own. With a deeper, more mature love for each other, we felt ready to invite children into our lives.
"We continued our fun and education at
Brigham Young University" Texas Time
We spent five years in Pflugerville, a town outside of Austin, Texas, for Clark to pursue graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'em Horns) in civil/environmental engineering (water resources).
"Hook 'em Horns"
Two degrees later, we entered "the real world" and are still getting used to life without classes and tests (for Clark, at least).
In case you were wondering, the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.
We say that we're getting used to "the real world," but it's probably still a bit off because we have our own little bit of paradise in Florida, as the sign on our swing set reminds us!
What do we do for fun?
We spend all of our spare time playing as a family—we take walks, go for family bike rides, explore the beauties of Southern Florida, and we often take trips to Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale (where we worship at the temple). While we miss the family and friends (and mountains) that we left in Utah, we are finding a wealth of new family and friends (no mountains, though) here. We love life here, and we welcome and invite visitors to come and explore with us the excitement of the Sunshine State!
"We spend all of our spare time
playing as a family"