Thursday, February 17, 2011

Engagement :)

Hey everybody!

I want to let you know how amazing these past few weeks have been, despite the normal stresses of being a full time college student. I'll tell you why. I have been going out with an incredible girl named Kiley Kartchner, and we have grown really close over the past few months. We literally haven't spent more than a couple days apart! Of course, I have been praying over our relationship for some time, and I have felt that Kiley is the girl that I want to take to the temple. However, I didn't know the timing or the Lord's will, so I decided to wait and see how everything played out.

Kiley and I started talking about marriage last month, and I could tell that Kiley had also received the same witness that I did about our relationship, so I decided to start doing some ring shopping! Here's the ring that I found:

When I saw this ring, I could picture it on Kiley's hand and decided that it was the one. I put in the order to buy it, and then it was just a matter of how to ask her! I called her parents and asked their permission for her hand in marriage, and though it was a little intimidating and nerve-racking, they were amazing and very supportive. After that huge step was over, I decided that the proposal had to be entirely original and catch Kiley off guard. I wanted her to be totally surprised, even when we had been talking about getting married. So, I designed a cookbook!

After the many inexpensive cooking dates that Kiley and I had over winter break, I decided to make a collection of the recipes we had made. I arranged them all into a cute little cookbook, filled with pictures of us cooking together and the meals that we had made. However, towards the end, the cookbook had a "Memories" section where I wrote a few entries that I had written in my journal while we were dating, along with some pictures of the two of us together on different dates.

The final page was as follows:



So, the Friday before Valentine's Day, Kiley was over at my house doing homework with me. I got a message that the ring had arrived, and I already had the finished version of our cookbook in hand. I told Kiley that I had to run an errand, so I headed out for the ring shop. I hurried as much as possible to get home with the ring in hand! A few might ask why I didn't just wait until Valentine's Day itself. Well, I believe that it would have been way too cliché. Okay, and maybe I just couldn't wait. But that's beside the point. :)

After helping Kiley finish her psychology homework, I told her that I wanted to show her something. I led her down to where I had the cookbook wrapped in birthday paper. She first opened my silly birthday card, which explained why I was giving her a birthday present a month early (to make sure it was a surprise!). She then opened the cookbook and flipped through the pages. It was fun reminiscing with her about all of our different dating adventures. She then read through the "Memories" section of the book, and I started getting nervous. This was it! She turned to the last page. Her eyes caught a glimpse of the picture of us together. She read, and I could tell that her heart was racing just as fast as mine. When she finished, she glanced up at me with a puzzled look on her face. I said, "I guess that's the part where I get on my knee..." I got down, took out the ring, and asked her to marry me.

The best part is: She said yes! :)

I couldn't be happier -- I am going to be married to my best friend! Kiley Kartchner is very special to me. Since the time we first met, we have grown together like I could never have imagined. We have made it through some interesting trials and come out all the more unified. I am crazy excited to be sealed with her for time and all eternity! The greatest adventure of my life lies just ahead.

On another note, after Kiley and I got engaged, we had a some really fun Valentine's Day dates. Kiley sent me on a scavenger hunt where I followed clues to a few different places around Albuquerque (like where we had our first date, where I asked her to be my girlfriend, etc.) until I found her. It was lots of fun! On Valentine's Day itself, we held a marriage ceremony for Violet the viola and Eugene the cello, our dear instruments. Here's the invitation that we gave to a few friends:

I know. We're kinda silly. But it was a lot of fun! And yes, Eugene and Violet are now officially married. They beat us! They were very excited also. I think that they're a little bummed out, though, because they can't move in together until Kiley and I get married, so they'll just have to wait! Here are a few pictures we took at the wedding ceremony, held in the Albuquerque LDS Institute of Religion:

Dillon Moss, who played the wedding march on the piano to start us out, was also in charge of the ceremony and marrying the two love birds:

"Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew... today. That bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam..."

I thought Eugene's cummerbund was a nice touch. :)

I love you all and hope you enjoy the news! We are planning on getting married on June 24th in the Albuquerque Temple.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wicked

For an early Valentine's Day date, I decided to take Kiley to see the broadway production of "Wicked" at Popejoy Hall. It was absolutely incredible!

"Wicked" is about the wicked witch of the west in the Wizard of Oz. It starts with Galinda (the good witch) and Elphaba (the wicked witch) when they were in college together, and it tells the story of how Elphaba became wicked. It is a fantastic musical, and I really enjoyed the music (especially the song, "What is this Feeling?"). I would write more about it, but I'd hate to give away spoilers! You'll just have to go and see it for yourself -- it's definitely worth it! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

SNOW DAY

You might be thinking: "Hey, this guy hasn't blogged in over 3 years! How come he's posting 2 blogs in a single day? What happened?" I'll tell you what happened -- it was a snow day! We found out just this morning that classes were cancelled, so Kiley and I had to make the best of it. :)


Snow Angels!


Ahhhh, how cute! Here we are after playing in the snow. It was pretty cold...

I'm Back!

Hey Everyone!

I thought you should know that I'm back from my mission! I guess you could have guessed that, and I think I've seen pretty much everyone anyways. But, I forgot to keep my fantastic blog updated, so I must apologize! I want to thank my family for keeping my emails posted these last two years. I'll do my best to keep the blog running!

Well, lots has happened in the past few months since I've been home. Since I don't really feel like writing it all down, I'll post some pictures so you can see what I've been up to. Here are a few pictures from the last week I spent in Chile. The four studly missionaries that always seem to be together are the same that roomed together in the MTC! We are: Elder Hill, Elder Mortensen, Elder Eddenfield, and me. :)

My mission president and his wife, President and Sister Bruce:

At the Matamoro family's house, where we had a really nice get together with a few of our converts.

We had a really nice visit with the Fritis family as well:

Here we are at the airport! By the way, "disponible" in Spanish means "available." Haha!

We had a full day in Santiago waiting for the plane to the States, so we were able to go to a session in the temple. It was the greatest way to end our mission!

Now that I'm back in the States, I'm getting adjusted to the "normal" life. I think I'm pretty much de-missionized, although I will never forget the lessons I learned and the people I met. These were truly the best two years, as of yet... Though I have no doubt that the coming years will be even more fulfilling and joyous! Here are some photos of our first real family get together when we celebrated all the October birthdays in the family:

Family outings aren't the only thing occupying my time now. School has started up and I'm working for a company called Nursefinders were I do home healthcare. In addition to that, I am going out with a girl named Kiley Kartchner! Which, of course, is the best part about being home, along with the time that I can spend with my family. So, sorry all you ladies out there, but I am no longer "disponible." :) We have spent almost every day together, and Kiley has quickly become my very best friend. Since I can't possibly give you all the details of the dates and things, here are some pictures:

You'll notice that there are a lot of pictures of food. That's only because it's one of the most inexpensive and fun dates there is: cooking!

To sum everything up in a nutshell: I am loving life. I couldn't ask for anything more than what I already have. I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all the blessings that come from our Savior, especially as we are true and faithful to the commandments we've been given. I am grateful to all of my family and friends that make this journey of life so much more exciting and fulfilling. I hope you are all doing well!