How I Became An 18-Year-Old Bride

Hey there! As I’m starting out this blog, I want you to get to know me as well as possible because we’re all friends here. I believe that storytelling brings people together and creates meaningful connections, and that’s ultimately what I want out of this blog. So grab a Diet Coke and cozy on up because I’m about to tell you how I wound up getting married at 18 years old.

Whenever I tell people how old I was when I got married, I can almost see the panic in their eyes as they think of a response. They usually say something along the lines of “you go, girl,” “Wait you were how old??” or just straight up “Holy crap that’s young.” People are actually pretty nice about it, but it’s great entertainment watching people struggle with what to say.

I’m totally cool with it, and I love being able to tell my story and explain how I fell into that position.

It all started in January of my senior year. I was kind of dating a guy, I was getting ready for college, and I was just enjoying the last little bit of high school but also counting down the days until graduation. I walked into church on January 11, not knowing that day would mark the beginning of the rest of my life.

I sat down in the third row with my family just as the meeting was about to start. Everything was normal until the recently returned missionary stood up at the pulpit and started talking.

He was gorgeous, charming, and spiritual — what more could you want in a man? I specifically remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, he’s so cute but would NEVER date someone like me. There’s no way.” After listening to his beautiful voice for 20 minutes, he sat down and I carried on with my day. (Fun side note — after the meeting ended, my best friend said to me, “Lindsey, what if you married him?”)

He wasn’t at church the next week, and I honestly kind of forgot about the whole thing. But about two weeks after the homecoming talk, I was hanging out with my friend and I got a call from my sister, Maggie, who was best friends with his sister, Maloree. Maggie told me that Mal’s cute brother from the homecoming talk wanted my number, and she asked if she could give it to him.

I told Maggie she could give him my number, but I had no expectations of him ever texting me. He was older, good-looking, athletic, and pretty much everything I had ever wanted so it would have been way too good to be true. Maybe an hour later, a text from an unknown number popped up on my phone:

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And that, friends, was the beginning of something beautiful. The friend I was with at the time was the first to call it — he said, “You’re going to marry this guy.”

We texted back and forth over the next couple of weeks, and I was honestly terrified. He asked me out three times before I finally said yes (but to be fair, he asked me to go to dinner with his entire extended family before we had even talked in person and I definitely wasn’t going to do that).

I still remember the first Sunday I was actually going to see him at church. I made sure to wear something really cute and do my hair all nice, but I also had plans to run the other direction if I saw him. I remember so distinctly seeing him down the hall that Sunday and literally hiding behind my parents trying to sneak out without him seeing me because I was THAT ridiculously shy, but he was waiting for me so I had to talk to him. He had me hooked the first time he spoke to me.

I would see him at our sisters’ basketball games and my stomach would jump into my throat. He drove me home from one of their games and I literally felt like I was going to pass out the entire time. I didn’t usually get nervous around guys, so it was really out of character for me to feel like that.

After about a month of nerves, texting, and awkward basketball game conversations, I finally agreed to a real date. Granted I almost canceled the date the day of because I was so nervous, but when he showed up at my door with flowers I knew everything would be fine. We went to Cafe Rio and watched Monster’s University and A Goofy Movie on Valentine’s Day 2015, and we were attached at the hip from that day forward.

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I remember feeling so nervous but comfortable on the date, and in a weird way, I knew it was just going to work out. I went to chat with my mom afterward to tell her how it went, and she immediately felt the same way. When I was talking to her, we heard a knock on the door. I went downstairs and Karter had left this darling setup on my porch — with all of my favorite things.

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Everyone always asks how my parents felt about the whole thing, and I am so grateful I can say they were supportive the entire time. They both loved Karter and have a great relationship with him to this day, even though it took my dad a minute to warm up to the idea of his high school daughter dating a returned missionary.

Two days after our first date, we had our first kiss on Karter’s birthday. It was the most tender moment, and I had never felt anything like it. I still get butterflies thinking about it now (I’ll tell you that story another time).

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By the end of February, I had shown him the ring I wanted and invited him on our family vacation to Disneyland. It felt like we had known each other for years — we were best friends and just got each other. It was indescribable. We booked our temple date mid-March, and had to keep it on the down low because I was still in high school and people were judgemental (also another story for another day).

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Once I finally graduated, we were able to get engaged and really start planning our wedding. It was quick and I was young, but we were in love. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so grateful that I was blessed with Karter so early on in my life and that he stepped in when he did. I don’t know how I could have lived the past few years without him — and I love him for the amazing person he is.

This was a long post, but I hope you feel like you know me a little bit better. I’ll keep telling my stories about how we dealt with me being in high school, how we got engaged, planning our wedding, and all the other things you want to hear, but I thought this would be a good place to start. Thanks for reading!

We Thank Thee, Oh God, For A Prophet

I have two favorite weekends of the year. One is the first weekend in April, and the other is the first weekend in October because it’s General Conference!!! I LOVE hearing words of guidance and encouragement from the leaders of the church. Who couldn’t use a little wisdom every so often?

The Saturday morning session was a very special one because our new Prophet of God was sustained. I watched as President Eyring asked the world to stand and raise their right hand to sustain President Russell M. Nelson, and as I stood, I had an overwhelming feeling of love and knowledge that he is a prophet of God, called to lead us in these modern times.

Leading a church during this day and age can’t be easy. There is so much evil in the world today, but I know without a doubt that President Nelson will lead with love, grace, and inspiration from Heaven.

As I was scrolling through Facebook this evening, I came across a quote that strengthened my testimony of President Nelson even further. It said:

“Speaking of hearts … it’s interesting that you’ve been called to serve as the prophet of the church at this time. Your entire life has revolved around fixing other people’s hearts. Literally. You performed the first successful cardiac operation in Utah and are known around the world as being one of the most important pioneers in the field of cardiology. You repaired a bad heart valve and saved the life of previous prophet and president of the church, Spencer W. Kimball. You know hearts … maybe better than anyone on this earth. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I don’t think so for a minute. Consider the symbolism and imagery involved as we live in a day in which the Lord states that ‘the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them.’ You just happen to find yourself positioned in these last days to help repair those spiritually broken hearts through your teachings, testimony, and love of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

How incredible is that insight? A man who knows how to literally fix broken hearts is called to help heal our hearts through inspiration and direction from God himself.

Yes, we live in hard times. People are ruthless, circumstances can be unfair, people are dying, and I hesitate to look at the news because there is always something heartbreaking. Our world is in commotion, and men’s hearts are failing them, no question. But how incredibly blessed are we that we have light, hope, and truth if we just turn to God and obey our prophet’s inspired counsel?

I want you to know that if your heart feels broken, you’ve lost all hope, or you feel you’re clinging to a thread, God knows and has felt your pains. He has been there so He could understand and take your burdens upon Him if you just let him into your life. I’ve been lower than I would like to admit, but letting Christ’s light into my life has made a world of difference.

God loves you, knows you, and wants you to be happy. I don’t believe we were put on this earth to be miserable, and I know that we can all find happiness and light through the gospel. It won’t happen overnight and fixing a broken heart takes a lot of faith and patience. But when you let the light of Christ shine through the cracks of your heart and soul, you’ll be better than you ever were before.

*Photo by Cari Osborne Photography

 

 

Disney Products I’m LOVING

If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with all things Disney. I grew up with annual passes to Disneyland even though I live in Utah, and there is more Disney merchandise in my closet than I would like to admit.

I would shamelessly wear Mickey Mouse on my sweatshirts every day of my life if I could. But sometimes that’s not acceptable, so I have to get creative to keep my love for Disney without screaming it to the world.

I have found some incredible shops with darling Disney gear that I want to share with you! Here are some of my favorites:

1. D. Crew Design

Okay, seriously? Does it get cuter than this? This minimalist jewelry is perfect if you need a little Disney in your life. Follow them @dcrewdesign.

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2. Lillian & Co.

These bracelets are the perfect touch for any outfit. They’re simple, darling, and they have something for everyone. These are a few of my favorites! Follow them @lillianandco.

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3. The Magical Trading Post

These Disney tees are adorable for the parks or just for a normal day in real life. They have darling designs for the parks in California and Florida, and I honestly want every single one. Follow them @magicaltradingpost.

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4. Ink & Paint Co.

These tees are so cute for the person who just belongs in Disneyland ALL the time. Follow them @inkandpaintco.

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Just Your Average Wednesday Night…Or Thursday Morning?

It’s currently 2:29 am, and Karter is laying next to me studying for his chemistry test this week. I’m tired — he functions best at night, so you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, right? Right?? Is he the only one or is it a normal thing to study in the middle of the night? At least we’ve got Chuck on Amazon Prime to keep us company.

 

Dear Senior Girls…You Don’t Have To Serve A Mission

I was a sophomore in high school when our leader and prophet President Thomas S. Monson stood at the pulpit during General Conference and announced that the age was changing for young men and women to serve missions. I distinctly remember hearing the news, texting all of my friends, and feeling excitement and anxiety at the fact that I could have a mission call by the end of my senior year. It felt so surreal.

The announcement came with a flood of excitement from all of my friends. I went to a high school with a super high Mormon population, so everyone was constantly talking about “the age change.” From that day forward, a common topic of conversation was whether or not you were going to go on a mission.

It was a weird position to be in. The guys I was friends with were leaving a whole year earlier than they could before, and girls who probably wouldn’t have thought about serving had a very real decision to make. I had friends all around me who were praying and pondering about whether to serve a mission, and they were getting solid answers. I, on the other hand, would occasionally half-heartedly pray about whether I should go because, in all honesty, I was terrified that my answer would be “yes.”

It’s not that I didn’t want to go and serve my Savior. I love and believe in Him with my whole heart, and if He would have told me to go, I would have served in a heartbeat. The problem was that I felt uneasy, and with most of my friends preparing and planning to go, I felt serious outside pressure to start my papers.

Every time I thought about serving a mission, my stomach tied in knots. I felt so guilty for feeling that way — after all, we’re commanded to give our hearts and service to the Lord. I felt selfish, and there were times when I felt I wasn’t as adequate as some of my friends who were fearlessly moving forward with their decision to serve for a year and a half.

At this point, I was approaching my senior year. I knew I needed to sincerely kneel and pray to figure out if I should serve, but I was still terrified of that “yes.” After months of anxiety, stomach knots, and gentle promptings to “just pray about it already,” I humbled myself and said a simple, sincere prayer to know whether I should serve an 18-month mission.

I felt relief after I prayed, but my answer still wasn’t quite clear. I went about my life, and my amazing bishop counseled me to prepare to serve, even if I didn’t end up actually going on a mission. This gave me so much peace because I knew I would be prepared if I eventually did get that “yes.”

A few weeks passed, and I was reading my scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants. I stumbled across Doctrine and Covenants 11:15-17 and it says:

“Behold, I command you that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called. 

Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know a surety of my doctrine. 

And then, behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith shall it be done unto you.”

I still get teary-eyed when I read those passages in my high school scriptures. Underneath the verses, I wrote, “Mission?” When I read those words as a scared 18-year-old, I felt peace. I knew that the decision was mine to make and that if I waited a little longer, I would know what I needed to do.

About four months later, I met and fell head over heels for a returned missionary, and I knew that my mission at the time was to marry him and spread light right where I was. I felt peace in knowing that I didn’t have to embark on an 18-month mission to be a missionary, and I was thrilled to finally have my answer.

I am forever grateful that I found my answer for myself and that I didn’t give into the outside pressure to go on a mission. For you high school girls trying to make this difficult decision, the choice is between YOU and the Lord. It’s no one else’s choice to make, and if you sincerely pray you WILL know what to do. He may or may not tell you not to go on a mission, and He may or may not tell you to get married. He might just tell you to stay right where you are, and that’s perfectly fine because it’s the Lord’s plan for you. If you sincerely ask and listen for your answer, you will know and be guided to where you need to be.

As I considered my options during my high school years, I came to realize one important truth — and it’s that the most important thing you can do is get to the temple. The temple brings incredible peace and comfort whether or not you’re serving a mission, and the blessings you receive from it will help you in every aspect of your life.

If you decide to serve, that is truly incredible. You’re changing lives, and there’s no better thing to do than serve the Lord. Missionary work is a sacred responsibility that helps the church to grow. Bringing people into the gospel and giving them the knowledge of eternal life and family is absolutely priceless.

However, if you decide not to serve, you are NOT less of a person. You’re still incredible, and you can still do amazing things right where you are. Share your light and love with all you come in contact with — after all, we’re all here to share the happiness the gospel brings, whether or not we’re wearing a name badge. As long as you’re living the gospel, doing the things you’re supposed to, and keeping the Lord close, you’ll be led to where you need to be. Whether your answer is a “yes” or “no,” never forget that your answer came from the Lord, and He has a divine plan specifically for you.