25 Things I Admire About My Parents’ Marriage

Today is my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. TWENTY FIVE YEARS of the best marriage I’ve ever witnessed. The most adorable, giddy, happy, selfless, in-love couple I know officially sealed the deal (literally), 25 years ago.  I’m so glad that as one of their six lucky children I’ve not only had the privilege of being raised by excellent parents, but also witnessing an excellent marriage. In celebration of their 25 years together, here are 25 things I admire about my parents’ marriage:

  1. They always put Heavenly Father first. As distracted as we were during scripture study with 4 ADD family members.. we read every night. As impromptu and thrown together as our Family Home Evenings were… we spent that time together on Monday night every week. As late as we may have been, and as uncoordinated as our outfits were, we made it to church every Sunday in time for back-tickling, hand massages, coloring, tic-tac-toe… er…. Sacrament Meeting. As incoherent as our way-too-early-for-this, fresh-out-of-bed, wrapped-up-in-blankets-so-we-don’t-have-to-put-clothes-on family prayers may have been, we woke up and said them every morning.
  2. They always put each other second. Right after Heavenly Father, their relationship to each other was always next on the priority list. I remember being so annoyed as a kid at how they always went on dates without us, and always sat next to each other in church so we only had 2 of the coveted next-to-a-parent spots to fight over, and the fact that they made us go to bed at what seemed like unreasonable hours, just so they could squeeze in some time together without us before going to bed themselves. Funny how that’s now one example of theirs I’m most grateful for.
  3. They are all about the PDA.  I love it. Really. I have never doubted that my parents are madly in love with each other. They are constantly holding hands, stealing kisses, and cuddling up together. You know those engaged couples that are sooooo gross and touchy? Or those teenagers who sneak into the woods to makeout on the church pioneer trek? … that’s my parents after 25 years of marriage. It’s adorable.
  4. They have open hearts and an open home. Our house may not have always been spotless growing up, but let me tell you, it was FUN. Everyone was welcome, and I can hardly recall a time when there weren’t kids riding down the stairs on exercise mats, launching each other on to bean bags, or having some sort of nerf or airsoft gun war outside (sidenote: I once had a guy coming to pick me up from a date and had to warn him to yell “CIVILIAN!!!” when getting out of the car to pick me up so that he didn’t get shot down in the crossfire)
  5. Seriously, they have a REALLY open home. I remember countless times we had family members, friends, or even friends-of-friends crashing on our couch for days, weeks, or even months at a time. People who were traveling through and needed a place to stay, friends who needed to save up some money before getting a place of their own, or people who just needed some extra support through a rough patch in their life. Our extra space was always put to good use serving others.
  6. They compliment each other. In private, and in public to other people. They speak of each other’s strengths (and how stinkin hot they both are – have ya seen ’em?).
  7. They are supportive parents. I cannot even fathom how many hours upon hours my parents have spent driving us to dance rehearsals, karate classes, soccer practices, and school. On top of that they paid for everything… AND went to every game and performance they possibly could, consistently out-cheering every other family in attendance.
  8. They spend time in nature. Camping, hiking, Sunday night strolls, and road trips to national parks are what my childhood was made out of. We spent time outside as a family constantly, and they spent even more time on outdoor activities as a couple.
  9. They let things go. I know too many couples who bring up old fights over and over again. My parents rarely argue, but when they do… they never let their argument over something temporary cause permanent damage to their relationship. They resolve things fast and then they let it stay over. Forever. Done. Not brought up again. It’s resolved.
  10. They go on dates. “Seriously??? You’re going on a date AGAIN?!?!?” -Me. All the time as a child. Whether extravagant or simple, they make time to go out and spend time alone together.
  11. They miss each other. It’s actually really, really, REALLY adorable how mopey they get when they don’t see each other for a few days. When Mom went to church Young Women’s camp as an adult leader, us kids reaped the benefits as Dad tried to mend his wounded heart by taking us all out to nice dinners, movies, flow-surfing, and every other adventure money could buy.  When Dad goes on a business trip he always tries to bring Mom, and if he can’t, she whines about missing him the whole time (it’s a good thing).
  12. They stand together. I remember multiple times when I KNOW I WAS RIGHT in an argument with my Dad. Mom always took his side, even when she knew I was right too. Without fail, he backs her up as well – even if she’s being a little nuts.
  13. They compromise. Mom lets dad watch golf… and she sits next to him and reads her book. Dad watches Jane Austen films, and Mom watches Mission Impossible. Sometimes they love the same things, but a lot of the time, they choose to learn to love what the other ones loves. Dad got REALLY into Downton Abbey – but I’m pretty sure it isn’t something he was inherently drawn to.
  14. They make gaga eyes at each other. Across the room. In public. S’cute.
  15. They never talk bad about one another. Sure they’ll tease each other – but never about anything the other is sensitive about. They both acknowledge that neither of them is perfect, and they may occasionally roll their eyes, but they don’t trash talk each other. I’ve heard my parents vent about things before… but never about each other.
  16. They have dance parties together. 
  17. They encourage each other to pursue their talents and interests. Mom’s cooking and writing, Dad’s snowboarding, mountain biking, and racquetball.  There are some things they don’t do together (hard to believe, I know), but they encourage each other to develop those talents and pursue those passions, even if they don’t share them.
  18. They know each other’s love languages and use them as much as possible.
  19. They set goals together. In parenting, in health, in spirituality, in their marriage. They are always working on improving, both individually, and as a unit.
  20. They grab each other’s butts. A key to success in any marriage.
  21. They exercise together. They are pickleball wizards and are constantly recruiting people to come join them in this greatest sport on earth, they are volleyball champions, and do not miss a chance to play every Wednesday night, and they even spent a week riding along the Pacific Coast Highway on their bikes. (#HARDCORE)
  22.  They support each other in serving others. Home teaching, visiting teaching, baking casseroles, or spending time with those who are struggling and need a friend. They encourage each other to help those around them and fulfill their callings.
  23. They love making each other happy. I remember Dad getting SO EXCITED to show me something… when I went to look at what he had hiding in his room, I saw their bed COVERED in jewelry boxes. I burst out laughing and said “Mom is going to KILL you.” “I know!!! But I couldn’t help it! I have a plan…” he explained, “I’m going to space them out when I give them to her so she won’t even know I went out and bought them all at once. Besides, they were on sale… what was I supposed to do?!???”. I also remember mom walking up to me like a giddy school girl with a magazine in her hands the moment I walked in the door on a trip home to visit, she was SO excited about showing me the Christmas gift she picked out for Dad months ahead of time.   (Tell me those are not the cutest things you’ve ever heard).
  24. They choose each other. I recognize their love probably sounds like an impossible fairy tale in this world full of divorce and difficult marriages… and it certainly looks like one from up close, but I’m sure they’ve had their struggles. I’m sure they’ve had days and years it wasn’t all a piece of cake, but they have fought to keep their love and marriage healthy.
  25. They just really, really love each other, and that has always been unbelievably clear.

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