A big thank you to a wonderful expectant mother for many of these great questions!
How did you meet? How Long have you known each other?
Rick and I met on a blind date and we hit it off pretty quickly. I had just finished serving as a full-time missionary for our Church and he was teaching missionaries that were getting ready to leave. He took me on a hike up to a gorgeous waterfall. I was impressed that it wasn't just another dinner and a movie date that I had been on before. I have a passion for the outdoors and it was totally amazing. We both had so much fun and had so much to talk about. I loved that he took me to a nice restaurant afterwards even though we were all dusty/muddy from our hike. We didn’t care. We just had fun.
Rick and I lived 100 miles apart while we dated for a year, but he drove up to see me at least twice a week until we got engaged, one year to the day after we had met.
What was it about your spouse that made you fall in love with him/her?
Mal about Rick - I loved that Rick was genuine and real. There was nothing fake about him. He was a really good listener and genuinely cared. I could be myself with him and he loved me for me. I could let go and just have fun. He remembered everything that was important to me and made it his priority to make me happy and take care of me. I loved that he put God and his family first in his life. We had a lot in common. He enjoyed many of the same things that I did and he had a lot of the same goals for life. He is still all of these things and more!
Rick about Mal - I had a lot of moments along the way. My first impression when I met Mal was she had the most bright beautiful blue eyes I had seen, and then when she got in the car and recognized the band I thought to myself and nearly said out loud (jokingly) that I should marry her. But I think what actually made me fall in love with her is her goodness and faith as I got to know her and talk to her.
How long have you been married?
Have either of you been married before or have children from a previous marriage?
No neither of us have been married before and have no children from previous marriages. We have three that we were able to have through infertility treatments in our marriage.
When did you first decide you wanted to to start a family?
We have always wanted a family and talked about it when we were dating. We decided that we would start trying to have kids as soon as we were married. We are glad that we did because we didn’t realize that we would have issues with infertility and that it would take many years of treatments and challenges to have the three children that we have.
Why do you want to become parents?
Mal - We love kids and we love family! I have always wanted to be a Mom and have a family. I love the connections and the love and depending on each - having people who love each other and love and support each other and help each other grow. Having a safe haven in this crazy world with home and family is such a beautiful thing that brings us so much joy.
Rick - My whole life - I was raised by a fantastic family and wanted to do and have the same. Family is the most important thing to us. And we would love to continue to grow our family.
How many kids do you already have?
3 Miracle Babies!
How would you describe yourself?
Mal: I am an outgoing introvert! I really love people and getting to know people - but I’m also super content just spending time with our family. I’m really passionate about things that are important to me. I am determined, don’t give up and am an optimist.
Rick: Family person and love with being with people, physically active, religious.
How would you describe your partner?
Rick about Mal - Happy, passionate about life, love kids and being a Mom, organized, faithful and faith filled.
Mal about Rick - Rick is the most selfless person I know. He is always putting me and our family first. He is compassionate, patient, kind, committed to us and everything he does. He is genuine and thoughtful and a hard worker.
What’s do you like most (and least) about yourself?
Mal - I like to try new things and be open to new possibilities. It makes life feel like I’m exploring and having an adventure rather than feeling stuck. I don’t like when I get too focused/one track/so set on something that I miss other beautiful things around me and don’t stop enough to enjoy what is right in front of me.
Rick - Most is a good question and I don’t know really as I’ve not thought a lot about it. Exact moment maybe that I generally don’t let myself get too down with the downs and I’m generally pretty steady. Least - either that I am too comfortable settling into a routine or that’s it easy for me to assume that others see the world like I do.
What do you like best (and least) about your partner?
Mal about Rick - I like best that Rick gets me. I don’t have to explain myself. He understands me, sometimes better than I do myself. He always has my back, loves me, and supports me no matter what. I love that he is gentle and patient. I love that he works hard.
This question gets me because I really have to scrape the barrel to think of something which says how lucky I am to have a man like Rick. I might like least that he is a people pleaser. It is such a blessing and curse that he puts everyone ahead of himself. Sometimes he wears himself out, or he won’t give his opinion or say what he really wants because he wants everyone else to be happy.
Rick about Mal - What do I like best about Mal? More than anything the same things that made me fall in love with her - her goodness and faith and the mother she is and wants to be.
Why do I like least? Nothing
What’s the one thing you want people to know about you?
Mal - I have a big heart. I genuinely care about and love people. I’m the stop to help anyone on the side of the road type of person. I think if more people in the world would just get to know each other and give each other a chance the world would be an amazing place.
Rick - I am a hopeful person in that I firmly expect that things will work out in the end even if it’s not exactly the way we think it would. That hope shapes who I am more than anything else.
What’s the secret of your relationship?
Mal - an eternal perspective. We believe that our marriage will last forever - even after we die. When we keep that in mind, hard things aren’t so hard when we realize we have each other to get through whatever we go through and that we will always have each other. Another thing is helping each other and supporting each other. Working everyday for each other’s happiness and wellbeing as well as the kids’ happiness and wellbeing.
Rick - We share common goals and perspectives. We also put each other’s needs before our own.
How often do you have disagreements and how do you work them out?
Mal - not often. We often say that we are a team and if we don’t see eye to eye on something then we talk about it until we better understand each other. We have come to understand that we don’t have to agree 100% on everything, that it is okay to have differences of opinion on some things. When we do have disagreements they are pretty short lived and usually come when we are both super stressed and/or exhausted. Rick has always been good at being calm and apologizing for anything pretty quickly and I have tried to become more like that. We agree that we are on the same team and it’s not worth being upset at each other.
Rick - How often do we have disagreements? Not often. We work them out by knowing that most of those things that we disagree on aren't very important in the end so they get let go, or we just talk it out. We both are very open communicators so we tend to talk things out pretty often.
What kinds of things do you like to do, individually and together?
Mal - I love staying home with the kids, being with them, helping them learn and grow. I love road biking, being outdoors in general - in the mountains - in the garden. I like organizing and creating things.
Rick - I like doing whatever we are doing as a family, mountain biking, reading, family history.
Together - we love being outdoors, going biking and hiking, creating fun family traditions, visiting with extended family, kayaking, taking trips together, camping, movie nights and game nights, going for walks, baking yummy stuff, etc.