Monday, March 31, 2014

This just in

We figured out where we're having our wedding, so now I don't hate being engaged anymore.
I am so excited for the party
and I'm excited to eat wedding cake
and I'm excited to move into our first apartment together
and I'm excited to not have to stay up late every night and then watch him go home
and I'm excited for all of our food to be in one place: our pantry
and I'm excited to be out of school for the summer so I can cook him food all the time
and I'm excited to have time to work out again
and I'm excited to read books together
and budget together
and be poor together
and improvise furniture because we can't afford the real stuff together.
Yippeeee marriage! Yay for love!!

I can't wait.

April 26 is looking better and better!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So far

engagement is insane.

Planning a wedding.. Well I don't want to say it's the worst but I will say that we consider eloping on a daily basis.

Dress, check.
Florist, check.
Photographer, check.
Invitations, in the works.
Married housing, kill me now.
Getting in shape, I've pretty much given up.
Sleep, ha ha good one.
Solid plans on reception vs. luncheon vs. open house vs. absolutely nothing (I've honestly considered it), nowhere to be found.
Wedding date, still not 100% decided.
Money, don't even ask.
Decent grades this semester, growing ever more unlikely.

I can't make up my mind about anything. I feel like I am teetering on the edge of my sanity. Tyler thinks I'm crazy (and he is rarely wrong). I'm pretty sure he is wondering what happened to the girl he agreed to marry.

I am wondering too.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Proposal

I really didn't see it coming. Honest. I should have when my roommate asked me what kind of flowers would be pretty for our apartment but then the flowers never showed up. But I didn't even think he had the ring yet. I thought I'd still have to wait at least another month.

I woke up at 7:30 knowing it was going to be a full day. Tyler and I had planned a temple trip that morning, after which I would promptly get on the Frontrunner to go to South Jordan for my cousin's baby shower. He made my mom promise to get me back in time, cause he had a plan and a ring burning a hole in his pocket.

I got back to Provo around 3 and we were discussing where we wanted to eat for our date that night. Poor Tyler, wanting to do something special, suggested Communal, but I insisted that we go somewhere less expensive. Not wanting to push the matter and tip me off to the surprise, he obliged. We instead went to Tommy's Burgers, a teeny, run-down little burger joint near downtown Provo. Afterwards, he said he heard about this pretty walk around some park and he really wanted to go. This also should have tipped me off, because rarely is Tyler inflexible when it comes to evening plans, and he seemed relatively set on this idea.

We began walking through the park, past a couple of people doing campfires. We crossed a bridge, and I noticed that there were little strips of tulle and roses woven into the fence.

Tyler said "hm, looks like a party" and I said "looks like someone's getting engaged." I didn't think it was going to be me, but my heart was starting to pound a little. Then I caught a glimpse of some lights through the trees. At this point I was pretty confident about what was about to happen. Tyler led me to a path that headed into the woods, and at our feet there was a jar of flowers. He picked it up and handed it to me, and we continued down the path, which led to a little table next to a creek set with a white table cloth, another jar of flowers, candles, plates and champagne glasses, and a boxed cake.

There were candles in small mason jars strung around the dining area to look like little lanterns. And my coat was there waiting for me, in case it was cold (it was a little. Thanks for thinking of me, babe). He poured sparkling cider and cut us some cake. We ate and fed each other bites of cake and joked about what if my coat caught on fire when I reached across the table over the candle. I laughed nervously a lot. We stared at each other a lot. I watched his every move to see when he was going to reach to the ground or into the cake box or into his pocket and pull out a little box. Finally, he spoke. He told me how he doesn't want to miss a day seeing me, being with me, or laughing with me. That he couldn't live without me and that there's no one else he would rather spend his life with. He then stood and came around the table and got down on one knee (still taller than me when I'm sitting) and asked me to marry him. And I said yes, because I thought he gave a pretty convincing argument.

Then, my dear friends emerged from the darkness. Merrilyn, Hilary, Julianne, Keira, and sweet Caroline came into view and squealed with me about how I'm engaged! Tyler's beautiful cousin, Chelsea, came out with a camera and started snapping pictures with a blinding flash (not sure how respectable I look in any of those but so grateful for the documentation of that special moment nonetheless). (P.S. these are not those pictures. I am still waiting for them. These are crappy iPhone pictures.)

Wasn't sure what to do here. Do I hug my fiancĂ© (!!!!!) or do I show off my ring? In the end, I did neither of those things and stood there awkwardly. 

I about lost it. It meant so much to me to have loved ones there and to see how much everyone came together to make this happen. I felt so much love and support and I couldn't have asked for it to be more magical. I feel so blessed to enjoy so much kindness in my life and I have received the ultimate blessing in the form of this man who wants so much to make me happy and worked so hard to create an experience that would be special for me (even though I made it as complicated as possible through his entire planning process).

I had coincidentally painted my nails the night before. That was a stroke of luck, cause that only happens about once every two weeks.
I hate to be gushy, but this is my blog and if ever I have license to be gushy, now is the time.

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I found the most wonderful man, and he adores me more than I could ever hope to deserve. He is so sweet, so giving, so selfless. He is my calm in this storm of a life. He is my private beach, my getaway, my vacation when I need a break. He is my safe harbor, my anchor, my common sense. Before him, I never knew that someone else could make me feel beautiful; I always thought I would spend my whole life trying to convince myself of that. In the gentlest of ways he tells me no when I need to hear it, even though all he ever wants to do is tell me yes. He gives me direction and, at the same time, freedom to be myself. Watching him smile is better than watching the most beautiful sunset, and we could giggle like 8th graders at the stupidest things for hours. I love him in such a sweet and simple way, and it's the most wonderful thing in the world.

I don't mean to brag (although he totally deserves to be bragged about). I mean to set a standard.

I believe every girl deserves to feel this way. I believe everyone can feel this way. I believe that, no matter what mistakes a person may have made in their past, no matter how smart or funny or attractive or accomplished you are, every girl deserves to be made to feel like the luckiest, happiest girl in the world, and every boy deserves to find someone who brings out his tenderness and inspires him to fight for her. I believe that men and women can make each other happier than we could ever be by ourselves. I believe in not settling; holding out until you get exactly what you want. I don't mean perfection, but I mean someone who has worked as hard as you have to be the best person they can be, and finding someone whose personality complements yours, who will make commitments and stick to them.

My senior year of high school, my English teacher told our class that who you marry should be the most selfish decision you ever make. That's one of the few things I took with me from high school, and ever since I have been so picky. Probably much pickier than I really had a right to be. And it was frustrating and I was afraid sometimes that I would be alone for a while as a result. I am grateful that I did not have to wait long, not nearly as long as many people do. But I am also grateful for the time that I did wait. It gave me a chance before trying to give myself to someone else to become so much more than I used to be, to learn what I liked, what I'm good at, and what I need to work on. I am ecstatic to be in love, but I learned to be happy single as well. Happiness is for everybody.

I don't believe there is ONE right person for everyone. I think each person has probably hundreds of people in the world that could complement them and make them happy. I don't think that Tyler is the only person it could have worked out with. He is not "The One." But he is the one I choose. I could not be more satisfied with that choice, and I will stand by it forever, no matter what trials we face or what stresses we endure. I accept his happiness as my personal responsibility, and I feel so thankful and humbled that my Heavenly Father has entrusted me with that. I am full to the brim with gratitude that he chose me too.

I love you, Tyler. Thank you for loving me.
I can't wait to be Mrs. Dalton!

The Beginning

I met Tyler my Freshman year of college. He was my home teacher.

Yes. It's one of those stories.
But also not.

We didn't date Freshman year. We both had our silly Freshman excuses for romances, and as the school year faded into summer and we separately faced turning points in our lives, we found a friend in each other. We text messaged quite frequently, me from Utah and he in Arizona. He sympathized with my constant food cravings during my cleanse and offered me comfort through some of my dating hardships. He always offered a patient listening ear, a word of wisdom, and a hearty sense of humor when I needed someone to talk to. He was a breath of fresh air and I always enjoyed our interactions.

Tyler was called to serve a mission for two years in San Jose, California for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He left at the end of August, 2011. He and his sweet mom had dinner at our apartment the night before he went into the MTC. My roommates and I fed him spaghetti for his last meal so that he would not soon forget college cuisine.

I wrote him fairly consistently over the course of his mission (excepting a few months that I spent pledging my loyalty in relationships that were doomed for failure, after which I bombarded him with mopey and insensitive letters that he patiently, kindly, selflessly responded to). I sent him birthday and Christmas packages full of poorly made, poorly packaged baked goods and Instagram pictures cut out of printer paper.


He surprised me with the occasional Christmas card, birthday card, and pictures of his adventures. His handwriting was always better than mine. Our weekly letters contained the week's developments and coy but increasingly frequent hints at our interest in each other. We got to know one another fairly well, but more importantly, we learned that we wanted to know even more. A lot more. Everything.

We were against the odds, I think. I heard a disheartening number of tales of girls who wrote missionaries expecting it to blossom into a fairy tale love when he got home, only to find that they didn't mesh as well as they thought they would and it fizzled into nothingness. I spent hours worrying that I would fall short of his expectations and get disappointed. I was afraid to let myself get excited about him. But I prayed that if the feeling was mutual and if it would be good for us, that the Lord would guide my life in such a way that it might include Tyler.

When the presidency of my church lowered the age for girls to serve an 18-month mission from 21 to 19, I seriously considered serving a mission. I tried to convince myself that if it was the right thing it would work out, but it never quite settled with me knowing that if I went, Tyler would very likely not be single when I got home. So instead, I continued to take classes. I got a job more relevant to my major. I ran a couple marathons. I came to enjoy myself and slowly stopped feeling dependent on being in a relationship to be fulfilled in life. It was a development process I needed to undergo. As I look back on the two years we spent writing while we were apart, I feel grateful for the time I had to grow and get an idea of what a relationship and marriage should be from wonderful couples who were such incredible examples to me. I grew in my mindset that a happy relationship would be the fruit of becoming the best version of myself that I could be. I grew emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

Before long, he only had 6 months left. Then 4. Then one. And suddenly he was coming homing tomorrow and I was full of nerves and excitement to finally be able to talk to my good friend for more than one letter a week, and hopeful anticipation that maybe he would be as fond of (er.. Obsessed with..) me as I was of him. But I still tried to calm myself with a steady reminder that nothing was certain and it might not work out. I was very afraid of getting my hopes up. 

But Tyler surprised me, and has kept surprising me since the day he got home. When I thought he would need a few days adjusting from being an awkward RM before he could call me, he called me the night he got home and talked with me for hours without a single sign of discomfort. When I thought I'd have to wait months before we'd both be in the same state, he gave me the best birthday present I've ever received: he road tripped 10 hours to see me after only 10 days of being back. He was not the exact person I had come to expect, but he was everything I had grown to need, and it just fell into place.

It wasn't perfect. Long distance was hard, and when he moved to Provo, adjusting to a full time relationship had its challenges. We had to learn how to handle each other's temperaments and work around each other's schedules. We had a few misunderstandings that required long, painful talks. But we always had a common goal of making the other happy and just wanted to be with each other.

I love this story. I have enjoyed every single leg of this journey, each bringing different emotions and teaching me different lessons. I am so grateful to have found this man who is willing to embark on it with me, with unimaginable and unanticipated challenges and joys, who above all I know will persevere with me. I can't wait for tomorrow, and the day after that, and all the days after that. Forever.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thanks Glee

Empowering thought of the day:

Hate on haters. I got too much homework to deal wit all dis drama.