Thursday, March 15, 2012

September 8th, 2012.


I have a memory involving my cousin Bevany.  As a child, I idolized my cousin Bevany.  She was older and gorgeous and funny and stylish and she had perfectly pouffy bangs.  I wanted to be just like her.  On one of our trips to Utah I remember going with Bevany to 7-Eleven to get nachos.  In the car the song "Going to the chapel and we're gonna get ma-a-a-rried!" came on the radio.  Bevany cleverly sang, "Going to the TEMPLE and we're gonna get ma-a-a-rried!"  I don't remember much else from that particular trip, and Bevany might not remember that at all, but it has stuck with me ever since.

My whole life I knew that when I grew up I was going to meet the man of my dreams and that we were going to be married in the Temple for time and eternity.  It's what my dreams were made of.  I even remember a wedding dress that I tore out of a catalog and kept in my room for years.  (I still remember exactly what it looks like and I still love it.)  As I grew older and as I found myself in relationships with people who did not have the same goals for the future, that dream slowly started to fade away until it seemed unreachable.

Then along came Kyle Lee.

Oh, Kyle.  This cute, terribly shy boy that I worked with but never spoke a word to.  One day we started playing "Words With Friends".  It's a scrabble game on the iPhone.  Super fun and super addictive!  It also has a chat feature which allows you to have conversations with the person you are playing.  I'm pretty sure this is where we had our first conversations.  And then we started texting.  And emailing at work.  And before I knew it we were constantly texting.  And we were constantly emailing.  But we still didn't talk in person.  I even borrowed his Criminal Minds DVDS and when he dropped them off at my desk I don't think he really even looked at me.  He was so shy and it was so adorable.  And a little known fact about me... if I really like a boy, I also become incredibly shy.

This cute, shy boy that I was talking to (texting) every waking minute of the day told me that he was leaving to Alaska for the summer.  My heart did a flip-flop.  WHY?!  There was no real reason for me to not like that idea, I could still text him while he was in Alaska, but I still tried to talk him out of it every day.  I tried everything that I could via text and email, short of begging, to get him to just stay.  But he didn't.  So the week before he left, we decided we should hang out.  He came over and we watched Criminal Minds.  And we basically sat on opposite ends of the couch.  I.  Was.  Terrified.  Of.  This.  Boy.  But he came over again.  And eventually, we sat closer.  We even kind of cuddled!  And then... this incredibly shy boy who couldn't even make eye contact with me at work KISSED ME!  I was over the moon.  So, so giddy!  But, even though he kissed me and it was wonderful, he was still leaving in a couple of days.

The day before Kyle left to Alaska I drove to his house and delivered him 24 FunDip Lik-A-Stix.  Just the sticks.  I had carefully taken 24 from their packages and wrapped them in a cellophane bag for his trip.  (He once mentioned to me that he wished he could just buy the sticks and not the powder.) We hugged good-bye and I drove away.  Leaving his house I was fighting back tears and I didn't even know why.  I hardly knew this boy.  I hardly knew him, but I sure knew that I didn't want him to leave.

The month that he was in Alaska was basically the longest month ever.  I texted him constantly.  I still emailed.  I missed this boy I had only spent a few short hours with like crazy.  Luckily for me, Alaska didn't work out the way he had planned, and he came home early.  He flew in from Alaska the same day that I flew home from a trip to Washington.  The next day he was on my doorstep and when I hugged him I did not want to let go.

Over the next few months we spent more and more time together.  At first we would see each other every few days outside of work.  Then every couple of days.  Then it was hard to not see him every day.  I wanted him to always be around.  Those months were tricky with introducing him to Ayla and really getting to know each other.  We took things pretty slow.  But by the end of the summer we both knew that there was so much more there than either of us was willing to say out loud.  Looking back I can really pinpoint when I first remember thinking to myself, "I love him."  I had gotten into a particularly ugly argument with someone and I was a wreck.  He met me in the Orem RC Willey parking lot at like 3 AM.  With Ayla sleeping in the backseat of my car Kyle stood there and hugged me.  That's all I needed.  I melted into him and nothing else mattered.  I didn't even care about things that made me feel so completely hopeless just minutes before.  I loved him.  I felt safe and I felt comfort and love.

I eventually got to meet his family.  I was scared that they wouldn't like me and really scared that they wouldn't like Ayla.  I already struggled with the fact that Kyle was willing to love me AND Ayla, I thought that he deserved better than a girl with a child, and if I thought that, why wouldn't his family?  But I pushed those thoughts aside and I did the only thing that I could do:  be myself.  And I slowly fell in love his family too.

Jumping back to September 2011.  Kyle went to Green Bay.  He got to go see his beloved Green Bay Packers play the opening game of the season in Wisconsin.  How amazing is that?!  If I thought having him in Alaska after just spending a few days with him was hard, having him gone for 4 days at this point was torture.  I didn't know how I would possibly survive!
Sent to Kyle while he was in GB.
When he was gone he sent me these lyrics:

What if I told you that I think you're perfect?

Beautiful sky in your eyes, it's so worth it.
I know you make me feel alive.

What if I told you that I'm in forever?
Nothing to hide, yeah, I'll go wherever you go.
You make me feel alive.

And I'll be hanging on every word you say to me.
Hanging on a feeling that I get,
Cause you make me

Laugh a little louder
Love a little harder.

And I feel alive when I'm with you
Every time it's something new.
Never knew what love could feel like
Until I walked away the first time.
And I feel alive when I'm with you.
Deep inside it's something true.
You're the only reason I fight,
You're the best thing in my life

When he came home we hugged and hugged and again, I didn't want to let go.  We listened to this song and he told me he loved me for the first time.  And even though I had felt it for so long I was always too scared to say it out loud.  That was September 10th, 2011.

Fast forward to today and I think about all of the great experiences that we have shared so far.  We have had so much fun!  Everything feels so complete with Kyle around.  I can't even think about him not being in the picture, I don't know how I was ever without him.

This past weekend Kyle took me snowboarding.  I had never been before.  I've never had the desire to go.  I'm not sure how eager I am to go again... :)  I went with him because he hadn't had the opportunity to go this year and I thought, why the heck not, I am willing to learn for Kyky!

Long story short- I need professional help.  I mean really.  I couldn't even stand up on the board!  After taking the lift up the mountain and trying and failing over and over I was in tears.  My tailbone was killing me!  I was sure that the next fall was actually going to break my back!  I was holding my board and walking down the mountain with my goggles on, silently crying.  I told Kyle to just ride down the mountain and that I would meet him at the bottom, but he refused to leave me.  He held my hand and walked with me while I cried and walked slowly.

Part way down Kyle suggested that we sit in the shade of some trees and take a break.  I didn't fight this because it was SO HOT on that mountain and I was hurting!  We sat and talked and laughed about how ridiculous I was and we drank some capri suns.  While getting ready to trek back down the mountains I heard Kyle (who was sitting slightly behind me) say:  "Can I ask you a question?"  I, of course, said yes not thinking anything of it.  I was putting on my gloves when he started talking about a ring.  I turned around and saw a black box in his hand and I instantly started to cry.  He asked me to marry him and I cried even harder.  I said yes (I actually think that I said "yeeeeah" through sobs).  He gave me the most beautiful ring that I have ever seen in my life.  I put it on my finger and then made him put it back in the box and back in his pocket so that I didn't lose it in the snow!  I hugged him and cried and kissed him and told him I loved him.  People on the ski lift above us yelled at us to stop making out!  We made it back down the mountain as a newly engaged couple.  I don't think I've stopped smiling yet.  Every time I look at my beautiful ring or my amazing fiance I think about how blessed I am.  I found the man that I am going to spend eternity with.  Ayla and I get to have Kyle forever.

This morning I booked the Salt Lake Temple for September 8th, 2012 at 10:20 AM.  It's official.


(Be prepared for so many more wedding planning/love-filled posts to come!)


  1. Ahhh lady tears are in my eyes! This is amazing and beautiful. I am so happy for you!

    1. Thank you! I am so happy that you are around to hear me blab about this stuff every day! We have so much planning to do!

  2. Great stuff, Tonja! Why am I yelling!?

    1. Thanks, Brad! But don't yell at me, I'm sensitive!

  3. I'm bawling right now. Such a great post. I love you!!! I'm so so happy for you. Please tell me I get to be there with you. Thanks for saying that stuff about me. I had no idea...but I do remember singing that with you. I still think about it :)

    1. I love you too! Of course you get to be there! I have a sealing room that fits 45 reserved and you need to be there! Mark it on your calendar!

  4. Many, many congrats, Tonja. You deserve it!!

  5. Tonja, you write so beautifully. We're so glad to have you and Ayla becoming part of our family. We love you!

    1. Thank you! We couldn't have found a better family to be joining! Love you!

  6. Tonja:

    Thanks for sharing you love story. Congrats to you, Alya, and Kyle! You are worthy of every blessing and happiness that comes your way!


  7. I love this! So sweet! Congrats! Welcome. To the family! <3