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Wedding Anniversary in Venice Italy


A very heart-warming love story of Richard and Carolyn who celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Venice, Italy. They met on a dance floor when she only was 14 and he was 18 – they have been together ever since. They never stopped dancing, they never stopped holding hands, they never stopped laughing together and they never stopped saying ‘I love you’. They’ve got 8 beautiful and loving daughters, 32 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren (expecting 2 more!). Their oldest daughter Heather booked a wedding anniversary photoshoot in Venice as a gift for her parents and I was honoured to take a few photos for them – they gave me all the feels and I almost cried five times when shooting. They are so genuinely in love with each other I felt like it was their honeymoon shoot in Venice. Over 50 years together and counting!

You can read a story of their love and life below.

It’s honest. It’s inspiring. It’s not a fairytale.  It’s a story of ups and downs, it’s a story of real emotions and real struggles. It’s a story of eternal LOVE.

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How we met

Carolyn: ‘It was a lovely spring evening April 17, 1965.  I went to a church dance with a girl friend of mine.  I was dancing with a fellow I didn’t know.  My friend was dancing near me with someone else we did not know.  I looked over again and saw she was dancing with someone else. I thought, why can’t someone like that ask me to dance. Then surprisingly he tapped in to dance with me.  He was a cute, well-built, tall guy with dark brown hair and blue, blue eyes.  We danced the rest of the evening together.’

Rick: ‘In the spring of my senior year of high school, (Carolyn tells me is was April 17, 1965); my friend Doug and I attended a church sponsored dance for the youth in our area.  We scanned the girls and two really, cute blonde-haired girls caught our eye.  We wanted to dance with them but we both wanted to ask the same girl. We did what all good friends would do and flipped a coin.  I lost and that is how I met my future wife Carolyn Beffort. I danced with Carolyn the rest of the night.  The next Saturday night dance we surveyed the girls and decided to dance with Carolyn and Mignon.  Again, we both wanted to dance with Mignon but said we would trade later.  I lost the flip and danced with Carolyn.’

Carolyn: ‘Strange as it sounds on my way home from the dance I told  Mignon,  “I think I might marry him.”  I was only 14 years old I would finish Jr. High School and Rick was 18 and graduating from High School.’

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Richard: ‘What do I love most about Carolyn? I love HER.  All of her.  She is a part of me and I don’t know how I could be without her.

One thing you should know.  I love her more than she loves me – and that is OK.  She is better than me.  Did that sound like we are competing? We are not – it is just a fact.

We are very happy now and we always found joy in being together.  Every day when I came home from work the first thing I wanted to do was find Carolyn and give her a hug and a kiss.  Often she was busy tended others needs and would try to pretend she didn’t have time for my silliness, but she still smiled or laughed for a moment.  If I came home late, as I often did, she would have dinner on a plate for me and sit down so we could talk as I ate.  Sometimes, on my way home I would stop and get her a chocolate cake donut with chocolate frosting.  Of course I got one for me too so that we could eat them together after all the kids were in bed.  I believe Joy is different from Happy.  Happy lasts a moment but joy is born of a lifetime of sharing and caring.  We found happiness in our marriage because joy grew from commitment and love. We truly are happy together and find laughter comes easily.
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Richard: ‘When she works around the house, she sings. Never the whole song and it is hard to tell where one song ends and the next starts.  They can be songs from our teen years, or little songs her mother taught her, or songs from church and you never know what is next.  These quiet little songs flow from her happiness.  She may complain about all the work she has to do but I believe she finds joy there in. It makes me happy to see her singing and working.’

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Richard: ‘I should mention the “first kiss” on a warm July night under her tree.  I thought that first kiss would come a lot sooner but she seemed to treasure her kisses as much I did. It was worth the wait!  I met my friends at the Hi Spot Drive In later and I savoured the memory as I tasted the sweet smooth caramel milk shake on my lips.’

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Carolyn: The next few weeks after we met we would meet each week at the dance and enjoy each other’s company.   Rick did not take me home after the dance because my mom said, “You go home with the person you went with.”  

Richard: There is one thing I haven’t mentioned that complicated our romance a bit.  I was 18 and she was 14.  I wasn’t too concerned about her age because I was going to college in August.  My life was dominated by sports and I viewed college fully believing that focus would continue. I think her mother was concerned enough for both of us anyway.We met often that spring at the dance but our first official date was her Junior High Graduation Dance followed by dinner at Heaps of Pizza.  I had attended her Junior High Graduation with her mother the night before.  I was invited to have dinner with her family several times and fell in love with her mother’s meat and potatoes. 

The first week after school ended with $22.00 in my pocket, I went with four of my friends to California to “look for a summer job”.  This was my first time I left Utah except a quick trip to Evanston, Wyoming to buy fireworks.  We camped on the beach, swam in the ocean and a got sunburned.  After two week, when the money ran out, we drove back home.  

Carolyn: We did eventually go to the dances together. We enjoyed dancing. We usually went every week.   We dated through that summer.  He took me to see the Sound of Music with a friend and his date. It was a wonderful summer.  Once he and Doug came to my house on Doug’s motorcycle.  Rick also came down to the lake to find me one time when I was there with a friend.  I hoped summer would never end.  

Richard: I did get a full time job supervising boys baseball for Orem City. Doug had a motor cycle that often happened to pass Carolyn’s house that summer with me on the back.  We stopped if Carolyn “just happened” to be outside.  Having 8 daughters of my own I am now sure that Doug and I arriving on that motor cycle wearing short cutoff levis and no shirt or shoes had her parents praying for a quick end to that summer. The end came early when we left for football camp at the college of Southern Utah in Cedar City the first week of August. 

       Carolyn: When summer was almost over, Rick left early for college.  He wanted to try out for football.  He was hopeful but he was just too small for college football. That fall I started high school and we started writing a lot of letters to each other.  He would come home at least every other month.   We would go out together and say good bye again on Sunday when Rick would again go off to school. That year there were more letters and sometimes a phone call.  Long distance was expensive so our calls would be brief but it was nice to hear a voice. 

Richard: Things did not go as I thought they would at the College of Southern Utah.  The football coach did not think he needed a 150 pound safety or running back.  So I put all my hopes into basketball and became a gym rat. I played basketball a lot with the guys on the varsity team and thought I had a good chance to make the team.  The week before tryouts, I injured my ankle.  Nothing was broken so they carried back home and laid me on my bed.  By this time reality began to sink in.  I did not know how to study and my grades were suffering.  It was time to find new direction in my life. I felt lost and alone.  I had to hit the books like never before.  I wrote letters to Carolyn and she wrote to me. Every day I walked across the campus to check my mailbox for a letter from Carolyn.  

In the spring, I accidentaly shot one of my friends in a lung with a 22 pistol.  I was devastated.  I had spent a weekend with his family a few weeks before.  Now they waited with him in the hospital with his recovery uncertain.  My life seemed ended.  What could I do? How could I be so stupid?  How could they ever forgive me? Where could I hide? Where do a turn?  I wrote letters home to my mother and Carolyn. He did recover and somehow he and his family did forgive me. I was learning that life always goes on and we just move forward.

I do not think Carolyn had any real problems that we shared that year but I believe we began to learn that all problems are our problems and we can get through it and move forward together.  

  Carolyn: When summer came again Rick returned from school he started to work at PDM (Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company).  Although before long he met a man who was taking a crew up to Washington to build trails.  Rick could earn some good money and that would help with school.  Therefore, off he went to his father’s dismay because he had gotten Rick the job at PDM.   We wrote again for the summer.  

While building trail Rick had a run in with an axe and cut his ankle really bad. We had a little time together before he went off to school in Cedar City again.  Letters started again to go back and forth.

Richard: It was not easy with a girlfriend that is too young to have a serious relationship.   The frustration came to the boiling point.  I knew I should not visit Carolyn where she was working as a nanny but I wanted to try to smooth things out, again.  Soon we were yelling and she threw the ring I had given her at me.  I left filled with anger and determination to finally end this impossible relationship.   I drove around going nowhere seething and going over and over the argument unable to let it go until I finally realized I could not accept a future without her.  After a big bite of humble pie I swallowed my pride and went to her hat in hand, ready to do whatever it takes.  That reality has never changed.  I cannot imagine my life without her.  We still have our conflicts, disagreements, and frustrations but I love her still and anything else is just a bump in the road.  If we could work it out than we can always work it out because I know

she is my sweetheart. 

Truth be known; you threw the ring I gave you. After you left with a slam of the door I went to check the baby and heard the door close again and found the ring on the floor. You needed some humble pie.

 Fortunately, the year that followed gave as limited time to see each other.  All of the rest of that summer I was in Washington building trails and saving all my money for school. The following year of college I was on the Basketball team and didn’t have the time or money to come and see Carolyn very often.

Carolyn: I believe it was that year that Rick invited me down to Home Coming.  I couldn’t believe my mother would let me go but she did.  I rode the bus to Cedar and Rick picked me up.  That evening we went to a movie “Wait until Dark”.  It was quite scary, not a horror film but really intense and frightening.  Then we went to the home coming dance.  When the dance was over, I was going to stay with some girls in a soriety house.  I had gone there earlier in the day but most of the other girls had now gone home for the weekend.  I was supposed to sleep downstairs in a large room with some other girls but they were all gone too.  I was scared after that movie and I couldn’t get to sleep.  Finally I called Rick he came to get me and we started home to Orem.  It started to snow and the roads got really bad.  Before long we couldn’t see the road in front of us. We were both worried now. It was really late and we were moving so slow.  A big truck was in front of us. If we stayed close we could see well enough to keep going.  When we reached Fillmore, Utah, the truck pulled of the road. We were only half way home.  We were both so tired and couldn’t drive anymore.  We went to a motel, one of the few there.  We didn’t have much money and it was really crowded because of the weather.  We asked for 2 rooms but he said they only had one left with 2 beds.

Richard: I admit I thought of what this could lead to but I also knew Carolyn.  We did stay in separate beds all night and slept well before driving home the next morning.

We wrote many more letters that year.  They were not mushy letters proclaiming our love but simple small talk most of the time.  Many years later, Carolyn with one of her clean up sprees; threw away almost all of the letters.  She said they were stupid anyway and she was probably right but I would still walk a long way to read one again.

The next year I transferred to BYU because I wanted to be with Carolyn and make sure no other boys were coming around.  We dated and spent more time together that year.  Going to school full time and working part time limited the time and money for courtship but her family did see me a lot hanging around her house and at their dinner table.  For me the end was in sight and I could wait.  But it wasn’t easy.

    Carolyn: Rick was cute not just to look at but he was so fun to be with.  We went to almost all my school dances together.   We went for walks, on drives, to movies and just talked. 

He made me happy. 

We always had a lot of fun together.  We teased each other and laughed together.   In fact that is one of the best things about Rick he can always make me laugh.  We laugh at the good things and at the bad or sad.  We have a lot of inside jokes no one else understands.   Sometimes even without speaking we can know what the other is thinking.   When he is happy or watching a show he laughs out loud.  We use to call him Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.  My mother said he was her Peter Pan son in law.  I thought he would never completely grow up.  Maybe just maybe he has.  Just maybe! 

     Rick would say if I don’t like Carolyn it is my own fault.  I raised her.  I know the real  truth is Rick was one of my kids and I wondered if he would ever grow up. 

He kept me going.


Richard: We married June 12, 1968 three years and two months after that first dance.  You would think that by this time her mother would understand and support our love.  I exchanged pop bottles at the last minute for enough cash to pay for the marriage license.  Do you think that should make her mother remind us it was not too late to change our mind before she would sign permission for her to marry me? A few dollars was just a small bump in the road. 

    Carolyn: Rick and I dated for 3 ½ yrs.   He ask me to marry him 3 times.  The last time I knew either we would have to marry or break up.  I really liked or loved Rick but I felt I was too young to get married.  I hadn’t even graduated from high school yet. I decided to pray about it very seriously.  After a day of much contemplation and prayer I woke up the next morning and told my mother I was going to marry Rick.  I knew when I said it that it was the right thing to do.

     We got engaged in late Feb.  We planned to marry in June after I graduated from High School.  All the preparations for our marriage put me on edge.  My mom was not very happy about us marrying .  She had to sign for our marriage license because I was only 17yrs old.   We were painting the house where we would live.  It was all really stressful. 

The night before we were to marry, we got in a fight.  I wanted to call it off. 

We talked, and talked.  I said all the invitations were out.  How would we tell everyone it was off.  Rick was really sad.  I started thinking I do love him.  Everything was done if we didn’t do it tomorrow the possibility was we would just want to it later soo.. We might as well go through with it. 

We married June 12, 1968.

Richard: “WE MIGHT AS WELL GO THROUGH WITH IT?”  Is that the best you can do?  

I loved you! You were my compass and sexton. I loved it when you laughed and I still love the times I can make you laugh. We find our greatest joy when we are together and knowing this makes life worthwhile.  Beside that, you were too sexy and I could not wait any longer.

Marriage is still a dance.  Now we might sit out the fast ones but I still love to dance with my sweetheart, slow and close together but sometimes fast, almost out of control spinning and spinning.  We still love to listen to those same old love songs and remember that first love in the spring of ‘65.


What were a few of the challenges of your married life and how did you overcome or weather them?

Richard: That sounds like I simple direct question and needs a simple direct answer.  Well I do not have one!

First I will try to give some perspective to the problems.

We married in June 1968 and July 24, 1969 Heather was born. For over a year I had been working 30 hours a week and attending BYU full time. I burned out.  I quit going to school and was fired because I quit going to work. I kept all of this from Carolyn at the time. I was so far down I just wanted to disappear.  Carolyn was heartbroken, angry, frustrated, frightened and wished she could quit. But I could not hide and she could not quit.  We were married and we knew that meant more than anything to us.  Some times in a marriage you feel like you are on a merry-go-round and just wish you could jump off but you can’t. 

I told Carolyn everything and together we moved forward.  I found new fulltime job by the next summer we knew there was no future for us on this road.

The company I worked for, Manufactured Doors; shipped Doors to California and Phoenix, Arizona.  Carolyn’s mother took Heather for a few days so we could have time we needed together in the truck. On the way back we stopped at CSU in Cedar City and met with enrollment. We found we could qualify for a student loan and I could graduate in a year if I enrolled that summer.  We loaded everything we owned in a small U-haul trailer and Carolyn’s Dad’s pickup and he pulled it to Cedar City. We took all our savings ($20.00) and followed in our old VW Beatle. 

We moved into a cinder block apartment in the student housing.  I contacted the track coach. He watched me long jump 3 times and said they could give me a scholarship for part tuition. Then he helped me get a part time job cleaning at 6:00am every morning.  Soon after the head of the PE department asked me to be President of the PE Students Organisation, which would give me a small stipend. That and Student loans got us by.

By the next Spring I had completed all of the requirements for graduation except student teaching. We moved to Orem and I did my student teaching at Granger High School. In April we welcomed a new baby girl into our family and named her Spring.  Even thou we still had little money we thought we were over the bump and ready to move ahead.  Life was not good but it was getting better.  With the end of student teaching I went to work at 7-eleven part time and we moved into the house Carolyn’s mother owned. Soon I was made assistant manager than manager.

In December of 1971 I heard that during Christmas break a teacher was quitting.  I interviewed and I started teaching that week at Pleasant Grove Jr High where I loved teaching for the next 30 years. New problems were always part of our life as they are part of everyone’s life. That first teaching contract paid only $3,000 split evenly at the end of each Month for January through August. That was less than half of what I was making at 7-eleven. I also needed to complete two classes at BYU to receive my teaching certificate. I did not finish the classes until early September resulting in that check being held for a month.  I really do not know had we made it.

In the summer of 1974 I Started building a house on the end of my parents lot.  I had never built a house before but I did work as a framer the previous summer and Garth Fielding and I hung sheetrock nights and Saturdays the previous 2 years. The plan was he would help me this summer and I would help him the next summer.  The first of February we moved into our new 2 bedroom rambler with an unfished basement. Our forth daughter Holly, was a new baby when we moved so in March we got our first second mortgage to finish a bedroom in the basement.

In the years that followed, we finished the basement and had four more girls. I worked part time during school in construction and full time summers unless I was attending school full time. Carolyn was a full time mother. She had to take over paying the bills because every time we tried to do it together we ended up fighting.  I felt like I was a failure.  I was doing all I could and I knew it wasn’t enough. There was never enough money. 

We could not have had the wonderful family and the loving marriage we had without Carolyn’s ability to manage what could not be managed. 

How did we overcome or weather our Challenges?


We know we love each other and that this marriage will last through anything that comes into our lives.  Together we are strong enough to move forward and we always will.  If you look closer you will see that we never did it alone.  Family and friends will be found all along the way helping us and you may not see it but our faith in God is there too. He blessed us many times in many ways.  Understanding that our marriage is eternal makes problems smaller and we are able to see beyond the moment.

  There – you asked and that is my answer. Love is Eternal.

What do I appreciate most about Carolyn? Her sexy body!  That first time I saw her and wanted to dance with her, I LOVED her body.  I still do.  I always long to touch her and hold her in my arms.  I still get a bit of a thrill with a full body kiss; but I also love to hold her hand as we walk together or sit quietly at home watching TV or in church..

I love living in a home that is always clean and love crawling into a clean sheets. Carolyn is a bed czar. She not only insists the bed be made first thing in the morning but it has to be exactly as she wants it.  Now that I am usually home in the morning, we make it together.  I have learned exactly how to do it right, but sometimes she lets me get away with putting one of the throw pillows out of place. She gives me “the look” then smiles.  We laugh knowing this is one of our many silly little private jokes.

Carolyn, like her mother; is a great cook.  She insisted dinner was at 6:00pm every day.  With 8 kids, especially teenagers, getting the family together for dinner is a major challenge, but we both knew it was very important to eat together as a family.  It was a cherished time to talk and bond.  Good food can do that.  Often teenage friends, sometimes even boys; would also find a place at our table.  Carolyn was the glue that brought us all together.  I loved her willingness to make it happen.  Each of us learned she expected and appreciated help whenever possible especially cleanup.

What do I love most about Carolyn?

I love HER.  All of her.  She is a part of me and I don’t know how I could be without her.

  Carolyn:  ‘It was difficult being married.  I thought we would spend all our free time with each other but Rick wanted to spend time with his friends too.  I felt like I was supposed to do all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry.  I was also working at Kentucky Fried Chicken. He worked and went to school but also wanted to play ball (Rick was an athlete)  and spend time with his friends. For me marriage was defiantly an adjustment.  We were in love though so even though there were fights there was also love.

        After one year and one month we had our first child Heather.  She was born on July24, 1969.  How we loved her she was perfect.  This was only the beginning Rick and I wanted a large family.  Right after Heather was born I was changing her diaper one day I saw a large bump in her groin.  We soon found out she had a hernia and required immediate surgery.  Even before Heather had surgery I got really sick.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me but I was vomiting, and that night I could not sleep.  Someone from the church came and with Rick they gave me a blessing.   The next morning I was talking to my mom she said my grandmother had said if there is even a chance it could be appendicitis don’t mess around with it.  I said that is strange when I couldn’t sleep last night as I was pacing around whenever I would sit down for a minute I would get a pain in my right side. Sure enough I had appendicitis.  I was in the hospital for several days my appendicitis we so large the doctor said he couldn’t believe it hadn’t ruptured.  I know why it didn’t I had received a blessing.  The day I was released from the hospital Heather had surgery for her hernia.   Oh the bills yuck.  

      Rick was still going to school but he was attending BYU at the time.  He wasn’t very happy with his major so he was missing a lot of school.  I found out he and a friend were hanging out at the student center and playing pool.   That made me mad, what was he doing.  He decided to quit school and just work for a while.  He was working at a door fabrication company.  They started letting employees drive the truck occasionally.  Rick had the opportunity to drive the truck to Arizona.  I could go with him.  We ask my mother keep Heather, I don’t think she really wanted to but she did.   We stopped for a break in Cedar City, Utah.  We walked over to the school and Rick thought he would like to go back to school there.   He thought he might go into education.  We talked to a couple of people there and one of them thought he could get a teachers scholarship if he wanted to come back to school.  We had just been marking time, going nowhere.  After we were home he spoke with the people again at the school.  The scholarship was a go so we moved to Cedar City.  

    About a year and a half later he began his student teaching at Skyline High School in Salt lake city, Utah.   Rick graduated with a degree in education but he didn’t have his teaching certificate.  

     Things sound like they were moving along but we were struggling all the time.  We were never financially stable.  I had another baby, another girl her name was Spring born Apr. 14, 1971.  Rick started working at 7 eleven, a gas and convenience store.   Soon he became the manager of the store.  We were supposed to start paying back our student loans.  What to do?

     The one day Rick got a call from a man in our church, was the Alpine School District Superintendent.  They were in need of a teacher at Pleasant Grove Jr. High school.  A teacher was leaving at Christmas time and would not return. Rick was ask to interview.  This was what he wanted even though we wouldn’t make much money.  That first year he taught English and Math.  Neither subject he was prepared before for.  Rick was well liked there after the rest of that year he taught Math only and coach basketball and track.  

    They came to Rick and told him that until he got his teaching certificate they would suspend his pay.  What would we do we didn’t have any money and we had two children.   A young teacher, Garth Fielding came one evening and said he would lend us some money until Rick could get his certificate.  We became really good friends.   Garth was engaged to a young woman Ruby Fowls so we all became good friends.  Rick finally got his certificate of education thank goodness.

Education was not a lucrative field we were always behind on our bills and just scraping by.  Rick hated sitting down to pay the bills, there wasn’t enough money.  He always felt like a failure.  We would fight what a mess.  Therefor I decided to take over the bill paying.  Often not everyone got paid, we had to eat. 

    We added another baby girl, Lark born Jan. 27, 1975.    Our family was growing but our budget wasn’t growing fast enough to keep everything a float.  Rick started sheet rocking with a friend Gary Ekins.  Later he taught Garth and they continued to sheet rock together this help supplement our income.  Rick would go to school at about 7:00 am.  He would take clothes to change and go straight to work after.  They started doing a lot of work in the summers. 

   We started camping with friends the Fielding’s and  the Hollis’s .  Every Spring vacation from school we would load up everything even a potty and go out to the desert no water or anything.  Whatever we needed we took with us. While there Rick and our friends would hike around, climb, and motorcycle.  The children would climb around on the rocks and cliffs and wear out the knees and bottoms of their pants.   We would come home sunburned and dirty.  We loved it.  I just hated getting ready to go with all the cooking, washing and packing.  I also hated coming home it would take me a week to get back on top of everything.  We also took the kids camping other times like during UEA (utah’s education ass. Meetings) or sometimes during deer hunting season.  I really didn’t like camping in the cold though or the rain.    

Rick and or Garth hatched an idea to each build a home.  Garth was kind he said you have more children will build your house first and then the next year will build mine.   It was a small home with 2 bedrooms upstairs and an unfinished basement.  I was pregnant with our fourth child at the time. I was tired all the time and busy with three other children and my husband was never home.  After Holly our 4th girl was born Sept. 1, 1976.  One day I was doing laundry and feeling pick on.  I thought I might as well be single, I’m always alone.  I had thought that before but now I was serious.  All of a sudden I realized what are you thinking, you idiot who do you think he is doing all this work for?  Thank the Lord it all became clear after that I saw things more clearly.  

     We thought we would be able to move in to our home before Christmas in 1976, but the company we had ordered our cabinets from went out of business.  We had no idea about it for a while.  When we did find out it took us until Feb. to actually get into our home.  You would think now everything will be all right but no.  We under estimated and we didn’t have enough money to finish our home.  We took out a 2nd mortgage before we could finish.  We had only been in a few months when we thought we were going to need to sell we can’t afford to make the payments.   Fortunately my parents came to our rescue.  They said we will help you out for a little bit we don’t think you should sell you have to live somewhere.  

     When spring came the following year Rick was coaching the track team.  He was trying to teach a young boys how to pole vault with a demonstration.  As he came over the bar and was laying back to fall in the pit he realized he was over the pit.  He put down his right hand to break his fall.  Needless to say something happened to his wrist.   We went immediately to the doctor.  They did x rays and said it wasn’t broken so they gave him a brace.  After a few weeks it wasn’t any better it was swollen and he couldn’t move it.  I made him go back to the doctor again the x rayed it and said no it isn’t broken.   A month passed one day the doctor’s office called me about our insurance.  I said my husband’s wrist is no better but he won’t come back again because you will just tell him it’s not broken again.  It is no better than the day we first came and it is swollen, he can’t use it.  The nurse ask me to wait.  When she came back she said the doctor wants you to see a specialist.  

       We went to see Dr. Prattly he was the orthopedic doc. for BYU.   We went to see him he told us that Rick’s wrist was badly dislocated.  He wanted us to go to Salt Lake City and see Dr.  Mark Green.  He made us go back to Provo and get the first x rays we’d had done.  He did surgery on Ricks wrist.  It was the first surgery he had done like it he drilled holes in several of the little bones in his wrist and tied them together.   The surgery took 8 hours I thought it would never end, I was so nervous waiting there. 

    Rick eventually had 2 more surgeries on that same wrist over the next few years. They could not get it out of pain.  They finally fused that wrist so it would not move.  

We added more children to our family Nov. 11th  1978 we had another little girl named Ginger.  Then Oct.20, 1980 we got another little girl we named Capri.  That makes 6.  I thought maybe we are done having children.  This was a lot for me to handle and Rick was working a second job a lot of the time sheet rocking .  We still couldn’t make ends meet.  

     When the girls went to school they were lucky if they got one new outfit.  We were fortunate we were given hand me downs .  The girls shared clothes and we passed things down from sister to sister.  I kept a box full of still good shoes and clothes we use regularly.   My oldest girls now in Junior high got two new pair of levis or jeans a year.  I was always washing mending and fixing.  Also cooking and cleaning.  One time as I was cleaning I thought I am one of the only mothers still a stay at home mom.  The world tells me I am of little value.  I should have a job but what about my children?  They need me.  Then I realized this is what I really wanted the most.  I was fulfilled.  

      After almost 3 yrs. I became pregnant again.  No it wasn’t an accident, I didn’t quite choose it but we knew it would happen.  We were unprotected.  Yes, I did get pregnant once again.  

It was kind of a strange pregnancy, at two months I couldn’t wear any of my clothes.  I didn’t have a waist but this was my seventh child.   I kept having this strange feeling that I should have one more child after this one I was carrying.  In my 4th month the doctor did a sonogram.   He found I was carrying twins.   Well God was smarter than me. He knew I couldn’t do it again so he gave me two at once.   It was really hard being pregnant with twins.  I had a lot more nausea so fixing food was hard.  We had more sandwiches than ever.  When I was 7 months along the doctor told me that at 7 1/2 or 8 months my uterus would be as big as at delivery with my other children.  He warned me that I would need to try and stay down as much as possible.  Was he kidding I had six children and a husband to care for.  My angel mother came to my rescue.  She came Monday thru Friday to do the laundry and keep my house clean while I lounged.  I was trying to potty train Capri and she would not let grandma take her to the bathroom so I had to do it myself.  Weekends I was on my own with the girls.  

     Rick taught school and sheet rocked when he could get that work.    He also served in a young men’s church group.  In this group he had an activity once every week.  On occasion he also took the camping on the weekends and also for a few days in the summer.   There were many times I really hated and envied Rick for his freedom to go.  He never had to worry about what to do with the children or would there be breakfast, lunch and dinner, and what about clothes to wear.  I thought women really get a bad deal in life.  I also knew that I was doing an important work that no one else could do.  My family needed me even if they didn’t acknowledge it.    I did have purpose in spite of what others my think. 

     On Apr. 9, 1983 my twins were born.  Yup, you should have guessed it was two little girls.  We named them Amy Joy and Ivy Lee.  This would be the end or last of our children.  We were a family of 10 people.  Wow what a full time job.

The twins struggled in school.  If Amy was sick I could not get Ivy to go either.  They had a hard time learning to read so I spent more time reading with them.  I tried to find ways to make reading fun.  They also had a hard time with the kids in their classes. They loved and enjoyed each other so much they would not be separated.  They just wanted to skip school and stay home together.   That is the way with some twins.  They were so close.  They could begin telling you something in sync Ivy might start then Amy might kick in then Ivy again and they might both finish.  Sometimes it was like stereo.

     In 7th grade we sent them to Pleasant Grove Jr. High where Rick taught.  They would sometimes trade seats and there Dad could not tell the difference.  It was good for them to change schools.  They and Rick enjoyed going to school early and waiting for him after school.  There were new friend and new expections.

We wanted them to stay there in 8th grade but they wanted to go to the school in our area.  Where there friends were.  We enrolled them in Canyon View Jr. High.  The year started out pretty good but then Amy started to have problems.  School was frustrating and she was really unhappy.   If Amy wasn’t happy then Ivy had a hard time too.  We had a really hard time for about the next year and a half.

     We had the twins go back to Pleasant Grove for half the day then I would pick them up and take them to an alternative school near Utah Valley University.  They continued at the alternative school the next year and were determined to return to Orem High School in 10th grade.  I was nervous and fearful about how it would do but they were determined.  

       Things went better than I expected.  They actually did quite well through high school and both graduated.  

      AmyJoy and Ivylee  are both grown up now and have children of their own.  They are amazing mothers.  In fact all our children are married and have children children of their own.  They have good marriages and we now have 32 wonderful grandchildren.  We are proud of them and all of our children.

     I must admit, it was difficult being the mother of 8 children.   There were lots of things to be done.  I had to get up early in the morning about 6:00 or 6:30am.  I showered and dressed for the day.  Rick would get ready for school as a teacher he left at 6:45am.  I would then proceed to get the children up, help with breakfast needs, maybe start laundry, sometimes make lunches, curl and fix hair and ect. 

   When some of the children left for school I still had little ones to care for.  I wasn’t off duty.  I taught my girls to make their own beds by the time they were 5yrs old.  The beds were not always neat but I tried not to straighten them to much, when they were around.  In the 70’s to the late 80’s we still used cloth diapers, I usually had at least 2 in diapers at a time.  I washed diapers a couple of times a week.  I made cookies a couple of times a week.  The cookies were mostly chocolate chip.  I swept the kitchen floor after breakfast and dinner.  I vacuumed the main floor about every day.  

      When the girls 3 and 4 got to be about 12 or 13, I taught them to do their own laundry.  It didn’t always work well.  They would sometimes put a load in and leave to go somewhere.  They might even get it in the dryer before they left too.   Then I would go down to start my mountain of laundry and I would end up taking care of theirs too.  At least they were learning a little about responsibility.  They were to straighten their rooms and sometimes they were ok but other times as I would go by I would close the door.  When they were young of course they needed more help.  My life was very full and busy.  

     My children never had many clothes thus I washed a lot.  We always took hand me downs.  We or I would look through them and keep what we thought looked and fit the best.  I always kept a box of shoes, mostly Sunday shoes that we used when we could.  The girls shared a lot of their clothes but had ownership,  so you needed to ask if at all possible.

       Each year when school started we would shop the girls would get one new outfit for the first day.   I would go through their old things and pass them down as needed.  The girls were clean and neat.  They didn’t know they didn’t have everything. They were very loved and secure.

       What do I love most about Rick?

   After years of hard times with children, illness, and the death of our parents I have seen Rick’s strength.  He still makes me laugh and that is a good things.  We enjoy the little things and the big things in our lives.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has been a constant in our lives and a glue.  Rick is amazing.  He has taught himself to do many things and he can work really hard to achieve his goals.  Family is so important to us both.  We can’t be there for everything and everyone with our children and grandchildren living across the western states.  We try to do what we can and let some of it go.  We now have 6 great-grandchildren with 2 more this year.

     After 50 yrs. I still love him, need him, miss him, and sometimes dislike him a lot.  Although, I couldn’t live without him.  I thank the Lord and I pray I won’t have to for a long time.’

Richard & Carolyn 1965first christmas


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