Fairytale, Chapter 15: Year 3

We are catching up fast with reality. When I started writing this fairytale, it felt like it would take forever. Our third year of marriage was pretty pivotal for us, so let's get to it.

Year 3

Fall 2008

My cousin got married in California, so we flew out for there for a few days. I was asked to play guitar for the beautiful outdoor casual wedding overlooking Laguna Beach.

We also were able to spend a day at Disneyland. This was a super fun day and gave us a taste for what we would experience the following year at Disney World. (My mom planned that trip two years in advance, so we knew it was coming.)

For my mom's birthday we got tickets to go see Shawn Johnson and Friends. She is a big gymnastics fan and we had lots of fun cheering our our local star in the 2008 Olympics.

Winter 2008-2009

In January we enrolled in Financial Peace University at our church. The 13-week course lasted until April, and it challenged us each week to get on track. You can read more about our experience in our debt-free story.

In 2009 we were invited to 13 weddings, attended 10 of them, and one or both of us were in five of them. It was a crazy year of love!

Spring 2009

I turned 25 in March. I think we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings and had a coed indoor volleyball game.

After we took FPU at church, we wanted to pay it forward so we helped teach it to a small group of our coworkers from April until July. It was a lot of fun to be able to share the knowledge that we had just learned with others and also get an instant refresher. (Have I told you that I have a terrible memory?)

Also in April we helped out/participated in the 30 Hour Famine with our youth group--no food for 30 hours to help fight starvation around the world. We did service projects and slept half the night outside in cardboard box huts to get a real sense of what it's like to live in poverty. Of course, when it started raining at 3 a.m., we went inside and slept in the church.

Kelsey was also asked to model in her first Big Hair Ball. I remember not being very sure if I wanted my wife to be a model of any kind, but I have embraced her dream and I have come to realize how talented she is and how much she enjoys it.

Our friends Emily and Andy were hitched in May and we both were asked to be apart of their big day. Kels is always the bridesmaid, and I'm always the usher.

Summer 2009

Our friend Brenna lived with us from May through August for the second time. This time she was planning a wedding and we were both honored to be apart of her and Justin's big day.

We spent a week of vacation in Okoboji, of course. Our twin nieces were at the point where they could have some fun at Arnold's Park, an amusement park, and also got to experience what they call the "big water" (West Lake).

In August, our good friends Doug and Jess got married. Do you remember them from our KC trip? It was the hottest day ever on the face of the universe. And this was Jess' face when she found out the limo's air conditioning went out...

On Sept. 15 I started a second job at Lomar, a food distributing warehouse. It was a pretty rough decision to make, but ultimately it worked out great.

Kels turned 26 at the end of September and on that day she had her first experience with heartburn. Her birthday was on a Wednesday which only meant one thing: bowling league! She was a QueenPin again, but they had a new member that year.

Third Wedding Anniversary

For our anniversary, we purchased tickets to see Wicked! Kelsey had seen it performed in Chicago and introduced me to the soundtrack, which we both came to love over the years of long drives home and to and from Okoboji.

We also had some photos taken by our talented photographer friend Crystal. You can see more shots here.

Other highlights from our third year of marriage


  • Nada Silent Night
  • Hillsong London
  • David Cook/Needtobreathe at the Simon Estes Amphitheater
  • Eric Hutchinson (Kels and her friend only, I had to work)
  • Britney Spears (Kelsey and her friends, I was having no part of that)

Other fun events:

  • Iowa State Fair
  • Numerous bachelor and bachelorette parties
  • Ankeny Parade of Homes
  • Jocelyn's birthday party
  • Company holiday party--always a spectacular time
  • I was able to go on Honor Flight with my father-in-law as a guardian