My Fifty Shades of Love

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My Fifty Shades of Love

For Valentine’s Day I would like to share my fifty shades of love that have led me through 18 years of marriage, six children, and have defined what true love means to me. The kind of love that can’t be borrowed, bought, stolen, perverted or imitated. The kind of love that requires effort, dedication, selflessness, respect, humility and perseverance.

This road has not always been smooth sailing. It’s been threatened by storms of worry, stress, temptation, selfishness and pride. But through faith in Jesus Christ, honoring and keeping covenants, 110% dedication to each other and lots of “I’m sorry’s”, we have managed to stay on course. The peace and joy that come from a marriage filled with true love is worth every effort and worth fighting for. Don’t accept any imitations!

This is our journey through fifty shades of love…

  1. Walking in to a new BYU singles ward and making eye contact with your future husband sitting at the front of the room

  2. Gabe visiting my apartment as the new Elders Quorum President and finding out he was also a Southern California native and a designer!

  3. Going grocery shopping on a first unofficial date and finding out we both like ham and pineapple on pizza

  4. Talking for hours on the lawn outside my condo

  5. Saying goodbye at my doorstep and feeling chills run up at my back as he simply gives me a hug goodnight

  6. Walking home late at night after waitressing at Brick Oven to see Gabe walking towards me in the distance to escort me home

  7. Going away for two weeks and being reunited with Gabe at the airport with one of those “I don’t ever want to leave you again” kind of hugs

  8. Dancing in my apartment to U2’s version of “Can’t Help Falling Love With You” and saying  “I love you” for the first time 

  9. Holding hands while walking on BYU campus as an advertisement to the world that “I’m taken”

  10. Feeling enveloped by a power beyond our own pushing us forward as our lives began to entwine

  11. Sitting under a gazebo at a cousin’s wedding and both of us simultaneously feeling “we’re going to do this”. The confirming presence of the Holy Ghost was so strong no words were needed.

  12. Gabe kneeling in the snow with a shiny diamond ring officially asking me to spend eternity with him

  13. Calling my Dad over a long distance letting him know I was engaged

  14. Telling Gabe’s parents we were engaged only to have them hug me first

  15. The birth of our joint professional career working together as the art director and promotions manager for the BYU newspaper, The Daily Universe

  16. Gabe always turning the car heater on several minutes before I got in to save me from freezing

  17. Enjoying silly movies, roller-blading, and art shows with my best friend

  18. Gabe cleaning a row of horse corrals with me to gain an appreciation for my upbringing several days before our wedding in the Los Angeles LDS Temple

  19. Kneeling across from each other at the alter being sealed for time and all eternity

  20. Gabe suffering through a temperature of 103 F on our wedding day to smile and wave for all the festivities and photos

  21. Driving back to BYU as the new Mr. and Mrs. Bonilla to begin our life together

  22. Enduring dwindling bank accounts, top ramen, and $1 movies throughout the remaining 18 months of our university career

  23. Walking across the graduation stage together in April of 1998 from the same department with our bachelors degrees

  24. Having our car break down on a Los Angeles freeway the day before starting our new jobs

  25. Moving to Orange County, California and driving each other to work while we shared one ‘barely running’ car

  26. Acting on faith to begin our family while I started working from home as a freelancer

  27. Welcoming our first daughter into this world as our lives were changed in an instant

  28. Gabe showing unending patience and love as I battled through the baby blues and adjusted to life as a mother

  29. Two years later welcoming our first son to our family and moving in to our first home

  30. Becoming a sacrament widow, yet grateful to support and share Gabe as he served in more demanding church callings

  31. Welcoming our second son in to our family

  32. Witnessing Gabe’s incredible and instinctive talents as a father as we shared in the responsibilities of providing for and nurturing our family

  33. Acting on strong promptings to move our family to Chandler, Arizona

  34. Building our dream home together

  35. Welcoming our second daughter in to our family and adjusting to the increasing emotional and physical demands of a growing family

  36. Struggling through the unexpected loss of several of our key clients

  37. Learning to push past our own selfish desires and becoming more willing to be led

  38. Losing our dream home but not our faith while riding out the economic storm

  39. Welcoming our third son and fifth child in to our family

  40. Learning first-hand that the Lord’s richest blessings have nothing to do with money

  41. Bringing home a wonderful and loving boxer puppy, thinking he would be our sixth child

  42. Professionally growing and expanding together in new ways with the progression of technology

  43. Witnessing three miracles in the surprise birth of our third daughter and sixth child

  44. Being called to serve as a family in the San Tan Branch with the Native Americans on the Gila River Indian Reservation

  45. “Adopting” 25 younger brothers while serving on the board of directors of an addiction recovery program

  46. Designing for and performing in the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration

  47. Choosing to continue in fierce loyalty to each other and our temple covenants

  48. Admiring Gabe’s expanding talents for loving patience and acceptance

  49. Courageously sacrificing and improving our physical health and well-being

  50. Feeling grateful for every single day I have the privilege of sharing my life with my soulmate while striving for the eternal blessings of real, true love


By | 2019-01-02T17:11:39+00:00 February 14th, 2015|Family, Holidays, Spiritually Speaking|1 Comment

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  1. FreeBSD VPS May 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Weird, you d think a movie called Fifty Shades of Grey would have a senior discount regardless of age, just to pull in the early-onset dementia crowd.

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