life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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17 Days.

Where did the time go? I checked Dayne’s and my wedding website today, and it felt completely surreal to see that there are only 17 days left until our wedding day.

Our five-and-a-half month engagement has been a whirlwind. There have been some amazing moments, and some decidedly painful moments. There is not one moment I want to forget. I have been forced to grow as a person and as a future spouse. I have appreciated my friends, family, and new family in a deeper way than I thought possible.

Every so often, I find myself staring at this person in front of me whom I have decided to spend the rest of my life with… and I am baffled by how people make this kind of a decision everyday. How do you know? What is ever certain? Can you trust yourself? Can you trust anyone else? Who has a “good” relationship, and what does that look like? What is healthy fighting? Will our relationship change? Will we change? Will it bring us closer together, or push us further apart?

I wanted to blog throughout our entire engagement – to give mundane status updates on all the little details of wedding planning, to post pictures of all the DIY projects, to describe what we were learning through our pre-marital counseling, to document our growth as a couple… among other things – and yet, most things that have transpired were either too awful or too private. And I was always too busy. Overall, I didn’t want a published microscope looking into what our lives have been like over the last few months. Now that we have gotten through it, and are almost at the altar, I feel like I can finally bring myself to blog again.

I am excited. I am nervous. I have NO IDEA what the wedding day is going to feel like. But my bridal shower and my bachelorette party were three of the happiest days of my life, and I truly have an amazing support system, and I cannot wait to see everyone in one place celebrating this huge event of passage — and I can’t wait to look to my right and see Dayne there, and to take his hand when I get to the end of the aisle. He is the best person I know — incredibly patient, strong, and caring, and his love for me continues to humble me everyday. We’re not perfect, but I hope and pray that we can learn to love each other in a way that fulfills each of us, makes us stronger, and pushes us to love God and others more and more.

As for all the little details? They’ll come together on our wedding day and speak for themselves. At the end of the night, we’ll walk away with the warm glow of love from our family and friends, and the anticipation of our lives to come, beginning with the time we need to solely focus on each other and why we fell in love in the first place.

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Quick Wedding Update.

Hey! Wedding planning is crazy! Especially crazy when you’re trying to nail down a date for a wedding less than six months away. But I love it.

And I love my fiancé! (Or my Beyoncé. Shortly after we got engaged, I called Dayne my fiancé, and he thought I called him my Beyoncé. And it stuck.)

Cheers! Lengthier updates to come soon when I get five minutes. 😀


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I’m Engaged!!! :D

Dayne completely surprised me and caught me off-guard with the perfect proposal!

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to marry Dayne, so even though we’ve only been dating ten months, I have been ready to get engaged for a while 🙂 We looked at rings together a couple of months ago, and I’ve been on pins and needles wondering what would happen and when. We talked about getting married often and both wanted it to happen this year.

So on Saturday, Dayne worked and then came over in the afternoon to hang out and run some errands with me – post office, Blockbuster, the library… you know, really exciting stuff. While we were in the car, Dayne suggested that since it was such a nice day, we should go for a walk. I agreed; the idea of getting some fresh air was really appealing to me after being sick for a while. He then suggested we go to Marsh Creek:

I love, love, love Marsh Creek – I’ve been going there for years and it is just a beautiful spot, particularly at sunset. Dayne and I went on a date there this past fall; we rented a rowboat and went out on the water, ate a picnic dinner, and then stayed after dark for a Star Party (a free event for astronomers and non-astronomers where you can hang out and look through telescopes at all kinds of stuff in the sky!). We also went for a walk on a trail that day and took some pretty pictures, such as this one:

So I told him I thought that idea was so romantic, and he drove me there. We got out of the car and it was actually pretty chilly with the wind blowing, but Marsh Creek was gorgeous with ice covering the lake, the setting sun reflecting on the ice, and the sound of near-silence as we were two of the only people there. We decided to walk, and went over to one of the docks. As we stepped out on it, I thought about how perfect it was being there together with the sun setting and how it would be a great place & time for Dayne to propose, but as far as I knew he hadn’t even bought a ring yet. We didn’t stay on the dock long; Dayne wanted to walk the trail we walked the last time we were there. That posed a bit of a problem because, as I told him in the car on the way there, I had worn the worst shoes for walking – ballet flats. That and it was actually a bit icy, and where it wasn’t icy it was muddy from all the melting snow. I decided to try anyway and we took a few steps down the trail. Then Dayne told me to hold on a second and ran back to the car.

I was a bit suspicious as I watched him rifle through everything in his trunk (from a distance). I wondered if he might possibly have the ring in the trunk and if he was trying to sneak it into his pocket at that point. But I didn’t think too much of it because I truly doubted he had gone shopping more than once for a ring. I yelled over to him asking what he was doing, and he said that he was looking for another pair of shoes that I could wear. He didn’t find anything except his ultimate frisbee cleats, so he came back over and I told him I was fine and we started walking. I tried to be a trooper through the mud and slipping on the ice but we soon got to a point on the trail that was just totally soaked with mud puddles. I told him I didn’t think I could walk any further, so we turned around but he looked a bit disappointed. I wondered why it meant so much to him, and he just said he wanted to go back to the bench we had spotted the last time (see above picture). So we stood there hugging for a little bit and I looked over at our shadows. I said how they looked really cool and how it would be a cute picture, and he asked if I wanted him to take a picture with his phone. I said it was alright, but he said he wanted to. So he reached into his pocket and then he said, “I have something better.”

And THEN, it was such a blur – all of a sudden he pulled out a blue box and knelt down on one knee, opened the box revealing a gorgeous Tacori engagement ring, and said, smiling, “Will you marry me?” I get a lump in my throat thinking of it now; I think (and hope) that image will always be burned in my head. 🙂 I was SHOCKED. I kissed him immediately and said, “Of course!” and then, not sure because of how fast everything was happening if that was the same as saying yes, I said, “Yes!” He asked if I wanted him to put the ring on my finger and I said yes, so he put it on my finger — it was perfect.

It turns out he picked the ring that I had specifically pointed out the last time we were at Benari Jewelers. We had spent an hour looking at plain solitaire engagement rings and picking out what kind of setting and diamond we wanted, and then on the way out I couldn’t resist looking at the beautiful Tacori rings again and I pointed out one that was a solitaire but had some hand engraving and tiny diamonds on the sides that made it unique. I told him I really liked that one. He was so frustrated with me that night because of the time we spent picking out and agreeing on a certain type of ring, and then I picked out an entirely different ring on the way out! But it turns out that is the ring he ended up buying me, which I thought was so sweet and special.

AND he made it even more meaningful to me because he went over to my parents’ house to ask their permission this past Tuesday night, and he told them he would bring me over after he proposed. So we went to my parents’ house and I was able to share the news & show them the ring first! Dayne called his parents and his brother on the way over and then while with my family we called some more of my family (Erica, my aunts and uncles, etc.). That started the chain of phone calls and texts that continued throughout the night, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear everyone’s excitement and support!

I am SO EXCITED to start planning our wedding! I cannot even believe that I am going to be moving in with my best friend for life and we are going to be a family and I am going to be Lisa Kilheffer. I NEVER would have imagined last Valentine’s Day while I was going to church and the movies by myself and eating red velvet cupcakes that I would be ENGAGED by the same time next year! And I’m thrilled to be sharing this whole process with everyone we love.

So, needless to say, this blog is going to see a lot of wedding planning. And lots of other things, but I’m pretty sure wedding and marriage planning is going to be a big part of my life for the next few months!

^^This is a picture I took of the ring on the way home from Marsh Creek.

^^I had to take a picture as soon as I saw this: Dayne knelt down in the mud to propose!

^^Another view of the Tacori setting. It was perfect!

🙂