Monday, August 3, 2015

You're Short, I'm Tall.

So, us newlyweds have officially been married for 3 months... That's like 1/4 of a year! Nothing makes me more happy then to have my Braiden by my side through every up and down of life. And yes, there can be that many up and downs in just 3 months! 

Anyways, I decided to share with you all something about Braiden and I that makes us pretty unusual and AWESOME. Some of you may have noticed already, or maybe you haven't! I thought that it would be fun to fill you all in on my thoughts and feelings about ME (6 FEET TALL) marrying BRAIDEN (5 FEET 7 INCHES) because most are probably exactly how I felt in the fact that there is just absolutely no way a girl should marry a guy shorter than her. Let alone 5 inches shorter. :) Hopefully after you are done reading this you will realize just like I did that height really does not matter, and... you don't always have to go with the norm. 

Alright, so my entire life, height was always such a huge deal to me. With me being tall, I always knew that I was going to date and marry someone at least 6'4. Yeah I know that sounds picky and ridiculously tall, but I had to be able to wear heels people! So that was it. I never even considered dating someone shorter. The thought never even crossed my mind! Nor would I let it. 

Now, lets fast forward time a little bit to the mission. I met Braiden, and like I said, he instantly became one of my really good friends.  But that was all to me. I do recall that I would think about how easy he was to talk to and how amazing of a person he was, and how I loved being with him, but then those thoughts would quickly dwindle away because he was just way too short for me! No no no. I just left it at that, and enjoyed the time that I got to chat with him. After the 9 months that I never saw him, we finally saw each other at a conference down in Laoag. I was so excited to see my favorite elder again, and I was quickly let down, when he wouldn't say a word to me. (There is a story behind why he was like this.) Anyways, he just gave me one worded answers no matter what I asked him. I was appalled! And then I went back to my area that was far away and started asking myself... Wait, why do I care if he talks to me or not? I don't even like him... Then I just came up with the reason that I could be bugged because we were good friends! Come on! 

And then I got transferred to the same area he was in... I couldn't deny that I had a crush on him, but I didn't want anyone to know because the tall sister can't like the short elder! At that time, I just wanted him to go home already! And then the battle began within myself... This kid is 5 inches shorter than I am... It won't work. That's what I kept telling myself. Oh I can't even count how many times I tried to talk myself out of liking him. After he went home, it felt better because he was never around and I could think things out haha. I remember some conversations I had with one of my companions who is not even 5 foot. Yeah, even though we are sister missionaries, we still talk about boys. At this point I realized how much I liked Braiden and I began talking my way into it. I told my companion, "Ah he has every single thing I would want in a husband besides his height. Like seriously everything, but that." She was one that told me that it would just be unpleasant to look at a couple where the girl is tall and the guy is short! So then I asked her, "Okay, how would you feel if a guy told you that you are perfect and what he wants, but you are just way too short? Or, how would I feel if a guy wouldn't marry me only because I was too tall. Which is something we can not control!" We both came to the conclusion that we would both be heart broken if someone was to say that to us. And from then on I decided that I wanted to be with Braiden and that I was going to set aside the whole height thing because it really didn't matter! But it wasn't as easy as I am making it sound. I remember praying and asking for help to overcome that because it was something I would be so uncomfortable with and something I have never experienced. Guys, it was rough! That height difference was basically against everything I believed in haha! I loved him though.

When I met with my mission president in my departing interview, the whole thing was about Braiden, and I will never forget what President Barrientos said to me when I told him my concern about our heights. He told me, "Sister Wood, it is not about how tall he is, all that matters is how tall his spirit is." Bam. Done. The Spirit really touched me and helped me feel like everything would be just fine, and it is okay to be different than the social norm!

I was anxious to see how it would actually be in person, and to see if my feelings would change about our heights. When we aren't missionaries, and we are out on a date or something. So when he came out to visit, I was so nervous. Oh my.. But you know what, it wasn't bad. Yes, it took some time to get used to! I mean it would for anyone. Everything is different! I knew that I wanted to marry him, and I didn't care about how tall he was. Of course me being a girl thought about things like, "Ugh what are our wedding photos going to look like? Cause I am taller than him! We can't do all those cute poses of me standing on my tippy toes and stuff! " Come on Courtnee, our wedding photos aren't going to give us salvation! I had to get over stuff like that quick, and I was so grateful that I did by looking at the eternal scheme of things. And like seriously, our engagement photos and stuff couldn't have turned out better! I am in love with all of them. It's all in what you make it, and it was kinda fun having to be a little more creative than usual!

Location: St. George, Utah

Obviously with time, it has gotten easier. The occasional stares from strangers in public, and the whispers we hear remind me that I am taller than him by a lot, but Braiden is usually the one that notices people doing that! We did have one experience at Costa Vida a while ago where one of the workers was laughing and basically making fun of us to another co-worker. I think that was the first time that it bothered Braiden, but I just told him to let it go! I mean look at us, we are so happy! Why should anyone else's opinion matter? They don't. :) 

Now, I have to stop and think to realize that I am taller than Braiden! It's just a part of our life. And there is nothing wrong with it at all. I love Braiden so much and I know that I was supposed to be with him. I am so grateful for him, because you'd think that for a guy, their pride would be shot if they were that much shorter than their wife. He has never once said anything about it. If it ever gets brought up it is because of me. He is such a saint and has been such a good example to me about what really matters. Totally cliche, but we were a match made in heaven. 

I was really excited to show all of you our wedding photos. Like I said earlier, I had always been nervous about they would turn out. Kailey Rae Photography did them, and she was amazing. She was so great about being creative with different shots and stuff. When I looked through them when I got them back, I couldn't have been more happy with them. There were so many that you could totally see that I was taller than Braiden. You know what, I was really glad they were like. It showed the way Braiden and I actually are! It's so real! It's so us! They were perfect, and I couldn't have been happier with them! I have learned to completely embrace who we are, and lots of times that includes a good laugh because they just don't look "normal!" 
Enjoy these too:

He is standing on the step above me in these ones. ;)


Photography: Kailey Rae Photography

I want all of you to know that we don't have to be like the world. I am not telling you all to go marry guys shorter than you, this could be for anything! Going against the social norm was difficult, but I AM SO HAPPY because it was the right thing to do! Isn't that how God wants us all to be? The blessings have been amazing! Whether it is with fashion/modesty, or friends tempting you to do the wrong things. Whatever it may be in your life, you don't need to be like everyone else. You need to be what the Lord wants you to be. I know that the Lord wanted me to marry this incredible man that's a bit shorter than me even though we might not look picture perfect to the world when walking around town! It is hard to go against what is socially accepted in our world, but through faith and courage, you can do it. I promise. And God will help us through the whole thing. I would have never imagined in a million years that I would end up marrying 5'7 Braiden, but every single day I am reminded why the Lord lead me to him. He is everything I am not! Including his height! :) I could write forever about how much I love him. 
He is Sexy.... -- (Braiden's addition to this post.) 
But I agree. What a blessing it is to be sealed to him for all eternity. 

Before I end, here's a little shout out to Filipinos, because I love them to death. When Braiden and I were on our honeymoon, we were on a cruise, and a lot of the workers were Filipino. The night of the dressy dinner on the ship I wore 4 inch heels hahaha. They all knew we spoke tagalog, so they would make comments to us. When they saw us that night, one of them said, "Ang laki ng asawa mo brother!" Your wife is so big! And then all the other Filipinos join in saying how its okay if I am taller, and that it doesn't matter, AND how alot of their parents are like that! They seriously are the most loving people and know how to make you feel good! :) And yeah, you might think I am ridiculous for wearing heels still, but I mean why not? Five inches and nine inches is basically the same thing. :) 

Courtnee Van Brunt