Sunday, August 9, 2009

12 years of AwSoMeNeSs!!!

Today Ken and I have been married for 12 years. It is hard to believe that we have made it that far and it's also easy to see that we have. Sometimes our wedding day feel like it was just yesterday and other times I feel like it was 50 years ago. The only reason I can tell you that is because I know pretty much every married couple has had both emotions. Luckily for me, I feel like it was just yesterday A LOT more often that I feel the other way.
I know this picture is a rerun but I LOVE IT!

In honor of 12 years married, here are a few fun facts about US!

*We stole salt and pepper shakers from The Old Spaghetti Factory in Seattle, WA the first time we went there. We were with my sister, Heather. After about 4 years of holding said shakers hostage, I confessed to a manager and asked if we could pay for them. He said no, and told us to buy a dessert and we'd be square. I don't know how that can be the case, but we did and my conscience is clear-er, the reason we stole them in the first place is because we thought they looked like Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper from Blues Clues. Today, the kids don't watch that show anymore and ironically, we don't use the shakers either.

*In 1 day Ken and I ate breakfast is Lehi, Utah, lunch in Newport Beach, California, and Dinner in Bremerton, WA. We were tired when we finally got home.

*This is our 12th anniversary and our 5th that we have actually spent in the same state and or town. For many years I was working summers with my parents and I had jobs away from home over our anniversary. Our reasoning then and our belief now is still the's okay if we aren't together on the 9th of August every year. Although that is our anniversary, we love each other every day and don't need 1 special day to celebrate it.

*We take a separate vacation every year in July. Typically Ken goes and visits with his family and in years past I have gone and spent that time with my family. For many it wouldn't work out, but for us it does and we look forward to that time. Let it be known that we also go on vacations together every year as well.

So often when people find out how we met, they want to know the whole story with all the details...In honor of 12 years, I'll tell all my reading audience...

When I was a senior in HS, Ken was a Full Time Missionary for our church. Missionaries are not allowed to date while they are serving and I wasn't interested in that anyway. The first time I saw him, we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting on a Fast Sunday and he stood up to bear his testimony. The first things he said were, 'Hi, My name is Elder Cheney. I'm from Provo, Utah, please don't hold it against me.' At that moment, the spirit whispered to me, 'you're going to marry him.' My response back (in my head) was, 'what about him companion? He's really cute!'

After I had this experience I non chalantly asked my Mom if we could have the Elders over for dinner. She agreed and we signed up only to have them cancel the night before they were supposed to come to our home. When they canceled, we didn't invite them again for over 4 months. During this time I continued with HS and taught my Primary Class every week. Occasionally the missionaries came in for Sharing Time, but Ken and I never had 1 conversation.

About 4 months later, Ken and his new companion approached us, asking us to sign the dinner calendar. My mom did and they came over later that week. I was so NERVOUS!! For no good reason. Beside the one thought I had 4 months earlier, there was no indication that he even knew who I was and if he didn't, that would have been completely appropriate since he was a missionary!
They ate dinner with us. My parents videoed them so they could send home a tape to each of their families. Garen and Adam, 2 of my little brothers, agreed to go on splits with them. (Splits is when 2 non-missionaries volunteer to work the full time missionaries so they can creat 2 companionships and cover more area. They now call it exchanges.)

A couple weeks later, after Garen had been hanging around with them A LOT, he announced one afternoon, 'Elder Cheney said when he gets home off his mission, he's going to come back and date Dedra.' I WAS FLOORED! How many times in a girl's life is she certain she's going to marry a certain boy? ESPECIALLY in HS? Since my experience in the dating department was being friends with my guy friends and not being the girlfriend, it would be putting it mildly that I was nervous and didn't really know how to respond.

After this announcement was made, I told my mom about the experience I had when Ken was first transfered into our ward. Shortly after that, Ken had written me a long letter that was kind of a getting to know you letter. I wrote one back. He gave me a picture of himself and wrote me a lovely little poem. I said thank you and giggled a lot. While he was in our area, I graduated from HS, started working my PT job FT and we wrote letter back and forth, even though he was in my ward.

Near the end of his time in Bremerton, I started having trouble with gall-bladder, but couldn't have surgery since my insurance hadn't kicked in yet at Fred Meyer. I was off work for about 10 days, which allowed me more time to know Ken, as a missionary. I was able to drive them to appointments when my brother was on splits. On a p-day they came to our home to do laundry. 2 days after he went to a new area, I went back to work.

That was all! We wrote a couple letters back and forth and then he got a new Mission President who wouldn't allow us to converse. We spoke on the phone I think 3 times for about 5 minutes each time...he was calling to talk to my Mom and I answered the phone. All of our communication ended in July 1996.

We did see each other 1 more time before he went home but I don't really remember it. I had my Gall Bladder out in October of '96 and he in town for a Zone or District Conference. My mom was at the church dropping something off and saw him. He got permission from his president to come to the hospital and give me a blessing. That took place approx. 40 minutes after I was woken up from being under general anestesia.

Ken got home from his mission January 1997. My mom had been in contact with his mom and she had volunteered to cater his homecoming party, so we went to Utah very shortly after he got home.

January 24 was our first date. I was really sick when he arrived to pick me up but I went anyway. We went out with Ken's friends, the Darringtons, now our friends, along with a few other people that I don't remember. We went ot Mexican, my favorite, but I was too sick to eat. I had a temperature over 100 degrees and secretly just wanted to go home. After dinner, we drove around looking for something to do, the bowling alley was packed so we went back to Randy's parents house...they were out of town. Everyone started doing their own thing, so Ken and I left and went back to his hose and watched a movie with his parents.

The next night we doubled with his Brother and Sister in Law, Brian and Susi. Went to the movie, 'That Thing You Do' at the dollar theater in Provo.

The next night was his homecoming talk at church and his homecoming party that night at his home. That night we played phase 10 with 6 other people and ate a lot of good food. When he drove me back to the house we were staying at that night, I told him that I got my temple recommend but didn't have a date set yet. He told me that night that he'd fly up when I went through. While he was driving me home that night, he ran a red light ON PURPOSE and I told myself when I got out of the car I could never marry him.

The next morning I flew back home and we talked on the phone every night. I set my temple date on February 15 and flew in on the 12th. On the 14th we ate dinner together at Heather and Farrell's house. He spent the night in my parent's living room and the next morning I went through the temple. On the 16th, we went to church together in my ward, the ward he served in. That night around 10 we went for a walk around my neighborhood and down to Lion Field, about a mile away...

This is how our engagement came to be...We were walking and talking and it was mostly Ken doing the talking. He was saying things like...I don't want to be engaged a very long time. I'd like to start a family soon. I think I'll probably live in Washington. I don't want my wife to have to work after the kids get here. I think getting married in Seattle would be perfect. Finally I asked him, 'are we engaged?' His reply??? 'Yeah, I guess so.' YOU CALL THAT AN ENGAGEMENT? HMPH! But that is how it went and we were engaged that night. We got home around midnight and since it wasn't Sunday anymore, we went to Shari's the celebrate. The next day we set our wedding date. He called his mom and told her he was moving back to Washington, and 3 1/2 weeks later, he did. He lived with my sister, Wendi and her family while we were engaged except for a short week or so where he stayed with Heather and Farrell...but they moved out of their hosue.

August 9th, we got married in the Seattle Temple. I was 19, he was 21 and had been home from his mission a short 7 months. We lost our clutch in my clunker car on the way home from Bellevue, so we ended up piling Ken and me, the Darringtons--Jessie was 8 1/2 months pregnant, along with Mom and Dad and 4 siblings into their car and drove home on one of the hottest days of the year with no AC. It was AWESOME.
and that's our story...12 years later, I wouldn't change any of it. I LOVE YOU KEN!!


  1. Happy 12 years!! You guys are awesome. I think it's okay to feel like you've been together for 50 years. Cause it's then that you know you've been through a lot together. I was just thinking of you guys while I was driving tonight. Kylie had put in the Joseph coat of many colors sound track and I thought of that night with you guys. FUN!! Take care and Ken is still in our prayers along with the rest of your family. Love ya'!

  2. Happy Anniversary :) It was fun to read your story! Miss you!!!

  3. Happy Anniversary, Dedra and Ken! You two are truly a dynamic duo!

    One thing that struck me from early on when we met you is how well you two compliment each other. You laugh and smile and each other's jokes and mannerisms, you genuinely enjoy each other and gain strength from the other's influence. It's a really beautiful thing.

    I hope the upcoming year is the best year yet!

  4. Oh what a day! You forgot about the beautiful ferry ride over to Seattle. That was awesome! I got a bagel and saw the beautiful Puegette (I know I didn't spell THAT right) Sound. I have to tell you that while we were waiting for you to come into the sealing room, I got lost in the halls of the Seattle temple looking for the the right room. It just so happens that it was the most peaceful experience I've ever had in a temple. The sun was shining through the windows and warming my big round tummy and calmed my nerves about "my" upcoming visit with my mom that trip. I never told you that because it was your day. But, I was so grateful to have been invited and to get to experience that. And then to watch you two kneel across the altar and be sealed for all the eternities and start your family together, helped me realize that no matter what happened with my "crazy" mother that trip, all that really mattered was Randy. Thank you for that. We love you guys.

  5. i lve the engagement story. I will have to email you mine... somewhat similar. :)

    Congrats to you and Ken!!! I hope you had a great day!