April 14, 2000. The day I wed my love, Ryan Layton. I am so grateful for the blessing of being married for time and all eternity to the man I have grown to really love, appreciate and admire. We were married and sealed in the Las Vegas LDS Temple on April 14, 2000.
Oh, this date has a story. Since I was a very young girl, I wanted to be married on April 15th. Sure, that sounded like a beautiful spring day. A day with beautiful flowers blooming all over and pretty white fluffy clouds in the blue sky. That was the day for me! … And then I grew up and realized that April 15th wasn’t the funnest of days, for this was the day your taxes would be due and blah for that. Ha. But I still wanted April and I realized a prettier looking day would be April 14th. Just the numbers rang beautiful to me! The year 2000 was the year I really wanted to be married! I wanted a number that was easy to remember how many years I was married, every year. I didn’t want to have to subtract, add, borrow, discuss, figure out, look at journals or anything else to figure out how many years it had been. So the day I wanted to marry was April 14, 2000! 😀
In 1999, my good friends from Phoenix (where I had served part of my mission) were going to attend a Deaf Expo in San Diego. I wanted to go and be with them. I packed up and headed to beautiful San Diego for a sure-to-be fun time. That is where I met Ryan. He was hanging out with all of my Phoenix friends (he knew them from his time living in the area a few months past). It was a wonderful weekend. But, it ended all too soon. We exchanged email addresses and pretty much said, “have a good life” as he lived in California and I lived in Vegas. Several months later, I received an email from him. His company had decided to relocate to LV and that very weekend he would be in town to check out apartments. Drats! That weekend was New Years Eve and I already had plans to go to an old high school friend’s home for a little party. All of my friends would be there. So Ryan and I agreed to visit the next day, if we could work out our schedules.
New Years Eve: I arrived to my friends party. I was greeted with hugs from many of my old alumni friends, catching up as we worked our way to the kitchen. I stepped into the kitchen, and there was Ryan! WHAT??? Why, how, HUH?? He was there in MY friend’s kitchen! As we exchanged the “Huh? How do you know Lauren?”‘s, we soon learned that Lauren was my friend AND Ryan’s cousin!!! What a small world! Needless to say, Ryan and I hung out all weekend! Looking back, I remember Lauren, in high school, telling me about her Deaf cousin who was at Gallaudet University. How cool I thought that was, but I was a sophomore in high school! … And that meant he was old! Ha.
January 2000: Ryan moved to Las Vegas. We seemed to hit it off well. Almost every night, after work ended, we were together. I enjoyed his company very much. Growing up learning ASL and being exposed at a young age to the Deaf community and culture, there was never a real struggle of Deaf/hearing between the two of us. It was just a natural part of life. I supported him, he supported me, and both our families supported us. That was, for sure, a blessing.
February 14, 2000: Valentines Day, lunchtime. I stood on the exit corner of the parking lot where Ryan worked. I was with a very loving and trusting friend, Angela Darling, who kept rooting me on (from her car), to be brave! Dressed up as a homeless girl, I held a sign. My sign read, “Will work for love” … or something like that! It was corny and I loved being corny, especially for something that was worthy of it! And to me, he was all that! He and his working buddies went out for lunch that day. As they were leaving the parking lot, I could see him trying to figure out what was in front of him. It took him a minute to realize that that was me holding the sign. I think he was in utter shock! Haha. … (He didn’t leave me standing there! So I guess it worked!) 🙂
February 24, 2000: It was evening. We were overlooking the glittering lights of Las Vegas as we stood up on the Temple grounds. We spoke of the city’s glittering beauty. We spoke of the beauty and majesty of the Temple and its sacred purpose. And then came a question. Yes, the question. The kind that results in being engaged. And we were engaged! Could it be so? It was! And … a lucky girl I was because he was willing to marry me on my “April 14th”. Yay for a little girl’s wishes! Smiles. Looking back, I’m sure the folks would have liked a little more time… but of course, they were in full support. (ha)
April 14, 2000: My mother and Aunt had stayed up all night to finish sewing my bridesmaid dresses and pressing my wedding gown. My mother was/is amazing! … It was a beautiful spring day! The flowers were in full bloom. The white clouds were in the beautiful blue skies (kind of all over – not so fluffy, but no matter). It was the day of my dreams. Of course, there were hiccups. The photographer arrived over an hour late, my bouquet and flowers never showed up (until the reception much later) and the beautiful glass blown cake top never came home with us. But the day was perfect anyhow!
Our days since have come with many bumps in the road. Through those bumps, I have been reminded time and again the answer to my prayers that I had received when considering this marriage. And then more prayers were answered along the way. We held on, we worked harder, and we loved more. 15 years later, and I am so grateful for the experiences we have gone through. I love him more than I ever imagined I could or would. He is a handsome, strong, patient, loving, forgiving, happy, talented, and all-around, in-and-out amazing man, son, father and husband! Sealed to him for eternity is a blessing. A blessing I am so grateful we held on to (and continue to hold on to and work for)! Happy Anniversary, my love! Here’s to the rest of time and all of eternity! *MWAH!*
This is a favorite picture…
All those ILYs and my sweet daddy trying his best!
He loves me and I know it, even if it’s hang-loose style!
My brothers and sisters! I love them like crazy!
All of my siblings have a picture like this on their wedding day! Ha!
My sister made and decorated our cake. She is just fabulous that way!
And our beautiful cake topper. At least I have a picture of it!
My dress and veil were nothing like I initially thought I wanted but when I saw it, I knew it was the dress made for me. It was so perfect and beautiful in every way!
Oh, isn’t he so regal and handsome?
Love this picture!
Even with the “emergency” white silk flowers that I used. They still kinda make me cringe but I had them and well, they were flowers, and I guess, that’s that! 😀
But it’s the honey beside me that I love the most!
The Layton Family
Established April 14, 2000