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Week two ~ Phil & Joy's "LOVE" story continued . . .

"To Phil" . . . by Joy Hoover


Philip Mark,

I've never really believed in soulmates, but I've always hoped there was a person with the personality, strength, and ability to love & accept me fully and who had the ability to accept my love fully in return. The night we chatted over carrots and dip till 3am, I had a feeling that person was you, and 12 years later, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was right, and I still am.

Phil, I'm the proudest woman in the world to be your wife. You are the greatest earthly example to me that miracles do happen, and that God is real and His love changes lives. You have taught me to be cautious yet brave, to grieve yet to not lose hope, to acknowledge your pain and past but to not let it define you, to be full of excellence and integrity even if it's the unpopular thing to do, to be confident yet humble, and to love and sacrifice and give, even if it costs you everything. You are my person, my best friend, the one that I immediately want to share both good and bad news first to, and the love of my life. You are the calm to my storm and the peace to our chaos.

These last 10 years have been filled with so many ups and downs. I will never forget our year in California when you daily carried me up and down every stair, helped me get dressed, helped me in and out of bed, and handled our household as I was almost debilitated with arthritis. I am so grateful for the way you served me, prayed for, and cried with me during that time and during so many other times. You have shown me time and time again that you will be present with me in sickness and in health, and that has made the depth of my love for you even greater.

The testament of our marriage has been enduring some of the most tragic and terrible days, and committing to move forward together. I'll never forget a week after we lost your family, you turning to me in the depth of your grief and saying, a very bad thing happened. I can crawl down into a deep hole or I can enjoy this beautiful life with you and Vivian and be the husband and the father I need to be. You made the commitment to do the latter, and you have fulfilled that commitment by doing whatever it takes to heal and to have hope. You are a man of great character Phil, and I admire that so much about you.

Our 'for better' times have been beautiful and amazing memories, and one thing I love most about you is your sense of humor. Whether it's throwing a super size drink down during a tense moment, dressing up in a ridiculous outfit, or saying a cuss word, you'll basically do anything to make me laugh, and that laughter has settled me down more days than I can count. Thanks for showing me how to not take life so seriously.

You have always done whatever it takes to provide for our family whether it be medical clinical trials, sleeping at Best Buy to resell electronics, or working multiple jobs and you rarely complain about it. Your work ethic is incredible and I know your dad would be really proud of you to see that. I'm confident that whether we are eating ramen noodles, or organic grass fed meals, our food will taste amazing, and we will laugh and enjoy each other and be grateful for the life that we get to live. Thanks for always seeing the glass half full, and for pouring my empty glass with wine when it's been one of those days.

Thank you for loving, cherishing, and accepting me for me. Thanks for telling me a thousand times that I don't look fat in that outfit, and for loving the bump on my nose and my wide feet. Thanks for opening my car door still and for telling me so often that I'm the most beautiful woman in the room. Thank you for helping me believe that I am beautiful and valuable. You help me want to be better and you are my biggest cheerleader on my journey towards it.

Phil today I vow to try and out serve you. To stop counting who did what, and try to be the first to give.

I vow to love you better, to forgive faster, and to try and be quicker to give in. I vow to be faithful to you, to look at you and only you with lust, and to always look for new ways to spice up our marriage.

I vow to go through lots more therapy, and to always try to work on my weaknesses.

I vow to work on my communication, to work together to handle our household, and to love and lead Vivian well.

I vow to spend less time on my phone and at work, and more time eating snacks and watching Netflix with you.

I vow to simplify everything that I do and to work on being enough, so you're not up late at night making sugar scrubs with me.

And I vow to keep picking up your underwear off the floor every day for the rest of our lives.

I still do.

I love you.



 * about our guest writers . . .

Phil & Joy Hoover have dedicated themselves to living authentically & sharing their story. They have been married for 10 years & are committed to growing their love & friendship through regular date nights & therapy sessions at Renewing Life Center. They live in the "City of Lights," Las Vegas, NV where they balance Joy's work as a nonprofit President, Phil's work as a youth pastor & family time with their 3 year old, Vivian Grace.
The things that drive them forward in life are, in no particular order, good pizza, tea parties, God, cooking, Netflix & pursuing justice for marginalized people groups. 

* fabulous photos courtesy of ~ Sandy Dorau Photography

Learn more about their journey towards holistic peace on their blog;  
"Blow out Your Candle" 

You can also check out their life's work through their nonprofit, 
"The Cupcake Girls"

~ Be sure to join us for week three & final "notes" from Joy

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