Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage

Nathan and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage, and I wanted to add to the celebrations by telling our story with a few words and a lot of pictures!

I’ve been lucky enough to be married to this wonderful man for 10 years, but we go back farther than that. Nathan and I met in August of 1998 a couple of weeks before we started high school. We were both in band and both on the swim team, and our paths crossed a lot our freshman year. Our sophomore year, luck would have it that we had every single class together but one. We hung out with the same group of friends, so even though we only had a few classes together our junior year, we saw each other a lot. In the fall of 2001 (our senior year) I started to see him more than just a friend. I admired him for his work ethic and his kindness and integrity. My own faith was growing and blossoming at the time, and I saw him as someone I could grow in faith with as well. I told our friend Joshua about my new feelings, and he spilled the beans to Nathan. On October 20th, 2001, we went on our first date. A few days later, our marching band went on a trip to California. We got to go to Disneyland and California Adventure. Here are some of the first pictures of us together:


On the big sun wheel at California Adventure


Our friend Joshua took this picture at California adventure

We dated our entire senior year of high school. Nathan was always caring. Once I found this note he had left in my clarinet case while I was having my lesson after school:

a9He took me to the senior prom:

a5Little did we know (as you can see by the date stamp above) that we would be getting married almost exactly four years from the day of our prom.



We graduated high school together:


And went to grad night:


We were unsure if we’d stay together after high school since I was moving up to Tacoma for college. But we decided to stick it out with the middle distance relationship. We were taking on the world together but apart.

The college years were hard, but we spent a lot of time on the phone with each other. I went home about once a month, and he came up to Tacoma to visit a few times during the year. In the summers we got to see a lot of each other. He was a regular at my parents’ house, and he came on vacation with us a few times.


Hanging out at my parents’


A trip to Lake Shasta with my family


A trip to Sunriver with my family. We both got majorly injured on this sled run. We haven’t been sledding since!

college 4

Viewing the Rose Parade

college 3Eventually, we started talking about getting married, and on November 24th, 2005 (the fall of our senior year of college), he proposed! Here we are at Christmas, a month after getting engaged:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI graduated from college 6 days before our wedding.

college 6

college 8

Two days before our wedding at the family bbq.

May 20th, 2006 was our big day. I can’t say it enough, I’m so lucky to be walking through life with this man. Our wedding day is still one of my happiest days and best memories.

g1 g2

On our honeymoon in Maui

On our honeymoon in Maui

The early years of the marriage were so much fun. We lived in an apartment in Tigard where we took turns putting each other through school. I started grad school a few days after returning from our honeymoon. I used to study while Nathan played video games. After a year I got a teaching job and he went to seminary to get a Masters in Biblical Studies. Those years were so crazy and so good, and I wish I appreciated them more at the time. Most of the pictures of us together are from travel. We didn’t take many pictures “just because” like we do now.


Our first Christmas together.


In March 2007 we took a big road trip on Spring Break in which we circumnavigated Nevada. We stopped to camp for two nights at the Grand Canyon.

marriage 8

Viewing the Grand Canyon

marriage 3

Crater Lake

One of the best parts of being married to Nathan has been watching him become a father. In the fall of 2010 after four and a half years of marriage we welcomed our first child into this world. It has been such a privilege to learn from and with Nathan as we are on this parenting journey.


Welcoming Elias Makana in September 2010 after a long labor and unwanted cesarean. We’re parents!


Navigating having a child at a big event. My brother’s wedding in November 2010. I made fun of Nathan a lot for how he used to hold Elias so low on his chest.


Our first Thanksgiving with children.


May 2011. Our 5th anniversary.


Back at Lake Shasta in 2011.


Who’s bigger?


Family fun


August 2011


Our first annual apple picking excursion. September 2011


Testing out the snow. December 31st, 2011.


4T Trail


Vancouver BC, April 2012


September 2012

Then our family grew some more and we navigated dividing our time between two children and still devoting time to each other.


Welcoming Simon Kealoha. February 2013.


First attempt at a family photo.


It was never easy but it was good because we had each other to laugh and cry with.


June 2013


October 20th, 2013 on the 12th anniversary of our first date.


Halloween 2013


Christmas 2013


Spring 2014


Easter 2014


At Fort Stevens. August 2014


September 2014


September 2014


November 2014


Christmas 2014


In Lincoln City, OR, March 2015. Our first trip together without kids (since having kids).


April 2015


At my other brother’s wedding in May 2015 in Ohio.


Family tube ride!


Florence, OR, July 2015


And most recently, we welcomed our third child.


Caleb Kepano. Christmas tree hunting 2015.


Caleb’s baptism, January 2016

So here we are ten years later! We’ve had some hard times and some wonderful times. After ten years I am still just as excited to wake up to each new day with Nathan and our family. Here’s to ten more, and ten more after that, and on and on. Let’s see where tomorrow takes us!


May 2016

This entry was posted in family. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage

  1. janet says:

    Thanks for sharing…. I would call you the “Darlings” but we use that name for our Jon and Kristine. I never think of Caleb looking like Simon, but in about the second picture of Simon (labeled “a first attempt at a family portrait” ) Simon looks to my eyes EXACTLY like Caleb…

  2. Charlotte says:

    What a wonderful reflection on a wonderful marriage and family journey! So nice to see the pictures of Simon and Caleb (Elias, too, but him I have met in person!)… Blessings to you on your anniversary!

  3. Cara says:

    Beautiful story of your life together! And what stunning wedding pictures! You’re an amazing family- your kids are blessed!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *