"Every little thing that you do..."

TJ Pond first came to a knowledge of my existence via his younger brother Skylar, when he was still Elder Pond. TJ tells me that when he first saw my picture, he wanted to meet me and get to know me...and apparently something more.
The first time we met, I invited him to come to TCBY (frozen yogurt shop) with a bunch of friends and then go back to my apartment for games. It. was. awkward. (I decided to give him a break since he'd only been home less than a week and still didn't know how to socialize.)
We had already started texting back and forth. I conveniently needed to take a desk to Goodwill, and he just happened to have a truck. And then I asked if I could call him one night. We hung out almost every day for two and a half weeks. During that time, he took me on two official dates...one to a BBQ in the woods and a softball game, the second to dinner at a friend's and the Lava Tubes. Both were with his friend Clay and Clay's (then girlfriend, now fiancee) Julia.
{On a side note, TJ almost didn't think the second date would happen. You see, we had been at his house watching a movie, and he held my hand for the first time. When he dropped me off....well...he went in for the kiss and I...uh....turned my head into his shoulder. Apparently I was the first girl to ever deny him, and he thought it a sign that I didn't like him. Little did he know, I was VL...never-been-kissed...and basically just downright terrified. The next morning I sent him a text explaining that I did indeed like him, I just wasn't ready for a kiss....yet.}
The day after our second date, I went to his house to watch the BYU football game and eat BBQ chicken and whatever else amazing things his mother concocted. Like her homemade salsa (seriously heaven). After the game and everything, he drove me out to Lake Mary (because he "hadn't been there since being home"). There, sitting on the tailgate of the truck, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said with a smile, "Okay." :)
That was September 5, 2009. During the next four months, we would become best friends, and grow closer than I thought possible. There were many ups and downs, but the good outweighed the bad.
On January 27, 2010...he drove me out to Lake Mary. On the ride out there, he played songs from a playlist just for me. When we got there, he set up a propane heater (because I'm recovering from being sick), rolled down the truck windows, and we stood outside looking at the beautiful frozen lake. Then, he went back to the truck and put the iPod on "Amazed" by Lonestar (a song that has special meaning for us). Then he said, "Let's dance."
As we danced, he kept telling me how lucky he was :) I got kinda suspicious when he checked his jacket pocket. Twice. When the song was over, he asked if I wanted to know why he'd been acting a little weird that night. I said sure. My hand was on his chest....his heart was pounding.
He got down on one knee and my hands flew to cover my mouth.
He gently pulled my hands down in his, and said:
"Kylie I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. This isn't a joke. Will you marry me?"
He pulled out the ring as I said, "Yes!!"
Then we hugged and kissed and all that jazz.
So, I guess this is the beginning of...y'know...our life together.

"...Baby, I'm amazed by you."


I love having soup, stew, or chili on a cold winter's night with snow falling softly outside my window.

Here's the recipe for tonight's dinner:

White Bean Chili

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cubed

1 med onion, chopped

1 ½ tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2-4 cans great northern white beans, rinsed & drained

1 can chicken broth

2 cans green chiles

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

*1 c sour cream

* ½ whipping cream or canned milk

Cook chicken, onion, garlic powder in large pot until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chiles, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat until simmers and let it cook for 30 min. Take off heat and add sour cream and whipping cream.

*optional ingredients.

PS. I used home-canned chicken and did not have cumin. I did not have broth, but used the liquid the chicken was in as well as about a cup of water, plus a cube of chicken boullion. Also, I did not add the optional ingredients, but did add a splash of 1% milk to add some more liquid. My chili was thick, but that's the way I like it. It got a stamp of approval from the roommates and boyfriend. :)

PPS. If you haven't already, read the post below this one.


*Photo by Natalie Norton

I follow a lot of photography blogs.

I think Google Reader tells me I have around 70.

Anyways, sometimes these photographers post things about their personal lives. Many of them have children and share how those children grow and the things they do.

One photographer in Hawaii, Natalie Norton, recently had a baby boy.
Her baby got sick after just a few weeks of life...and he lost the battle for that life.

However, Natalie's story is inspiring and full of faith and hope. I was touched deeply by this little boy's life (and death) and I never knew him or his family. Please read Natalie's inspiring post on the power of prayer here.


Yesterday, I wrote a sad post.

It was kinda depressing.
I posted it.
I got more sad.
So I deleted it.
Today, I just want to say:

Sometimes, life really sucks. (excuse the language)
it will always get better.

Now, my day wasn't the worst I've ever had.
But it sure seemed pretty dark.
And it reminded me of this quote:

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come."
-Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin-

(PS, I know I always have people I can turn to. I'm grateful for that.)