Steve and I have seldom been able to do something for our anniversary, so usually we exchange gifts, and go to a dinner sometime in the next month or two. Last year we were unable to do even that as we spent our anniversary in the hospital, then sleeping from being up all night, and then the next day went back to the hospital and didn't leave till Ellie was ready to come home.
However, things change when you're with family. We had ready-and-willing babysitters in Grandma and Grandpa, so we decided we would go out for our anniversary - on our anniversary.
We got all dolled up, even with Ellie crying and needing comfort every time she heard the bathroom door open - poor girl was having a hard time with the separation anxiety that day... And grabbed a couple of photos before heading out. Guess which one Steve randomly had us do last minute?
Then, we headed for Salt Lake City, UT. Steve had made reservations for us at The Roof in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake. The restaurant was on the very top floor overlooking the Salt Lake Temple. The sun was right behind the Temple, but they had screens across the windows, so we still got a gorgeous silhouette of the Temple as we ate. It was a gourmet buffet style dinner. We bought an overpriced bottle of sparkling cider, sampled a lot of delicious dinners, and each tried about 3 desserts. It was fantastic. I told Steve it's funny because our dates used to only be good if they were "fun" but this date was great because it was so nice, calm, and adult. (Even if we still both feel like we're just playing dress up and pretending to be adults.)
Since we were right across the street, after dinner we went and walked around Temple Square, stopping to sit in the old Tabernacle, visit the Visitors Center which focuses on paintings of Jesus Christ, and viewing the Christus as our last stop. I don't know if it was because of the calm, happy way we felt to begin with, or because we were dressed up so we were more reverent in our thoughts and actions, or something else all together... but for some reason this particular visit to Temple Square I felt the Spirit so strong, much stronger than the few times I've been there in the past. I was moved. I really felt like I could focus on the Savior and feel His love, and it brought me to tears. It was a really special moment to share with Steve 4 years from the day we were sealed together for time and eternity in the Holy Temple.
After leaving such a spiritual high, what did we do? Saw a movie. I know, right? But, we had seen the last 3 Harry Potter movies in theatres ever since I convinced Steve to give HP a chance, and we actually had a babysitter! So, we headed to Layton to catch a show.
Now, I have to say - this may seem blasphemous for some HP fans - we didn't love it. We really felt like they missed the mark on the final movie and it left us completely unfulfilled. But, we were still glad we saw it and finished the tradition.
We enjoyed a nice car ride back to Preston, enjoying some side roads and a quiet evening. It was a fantastic date, one that makes up for missing last year and could probably make up ahead of time if we miss next year. But, although it was great to have us time, when we were at Temple Square we kept thinking of our Ellie Bell, how much we wanted her to feel the Spirit there with us, and how grateful we were for the Priesthood and the Sealing powers that can be found only in the Lord's Temple. It's been a great 4 years. We are so much more grateful for the decision we made 4 years ago now that Ellie is with us, and this is only the beginning.