The leaves on the trees changed to brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges. The cool winds lurked down from Logan canyon and lashed out on all USU students that dared to wander outside.
I put on boots and legwarmers, and I was happy. September to December is my favorite time. I love all the changes that take place as summer goes to sleep for the year. I love the holidays. I love the smells. I love the way the grass goes brown and the skies grow more grey. I love waiting for the first snowfall of winter. I love cuddling deep within layers of quilts and I love having an excuse to eat Tim Tam cookies with hot chocolate.
And it really is such a romantic time. Summer is just too cliche for me. Don't get me wrong, there are so many wonderful things about summer. But summer is more like the guy that was fun for a moment, but you knew he'd never really stay. Fall and winter. . .that's the guy that will hold you in his arms and keep you safe for as long as you'll stay.
This fall season was filled with discussions of marriage. Discussions that never got very far. We were both very afraid. We knew we were in love, but we also knew we were very young. We took turns running away from the topic. It was like a game of tag. Then one day, the game of tag was put to rest.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, Brian and I were in what could have been a very serious accident. Due to very slick roads and heavy snowfall, we rolled off the road while driving through Logan canyon. We rolled right off the road and down a steep embankment where we landed in the Logan river. You can read more about that adventure by clicking here.
I look back on our accident often, and think about how very lucky we both are. We were protected. Our accident could have been fatal and our relationship could have ended at death. A tragic story for the newspapers, of a college couple dying in a rollover accident. That's when we decided we needed to take this marriage thing more seriously. Because we realized we could have lost each other that evening. And with that realization, it also dawned on me that I could never bear to lose Brian. I knew I wanted to marry him in the temple. Because then, if something horrible happened and one of us died, we would be together again one day.
Before our accident, I had spent months and months praying, asking the Lord to tell me if Brian was the man I was supposed to marry. I never felt like I received an answer. Not the answer I was looking for, that is. I was waiting for something huge to fall out of the sky. I guess I was waiting for a booming voice to say, "KELSEY, THIS IS THE MAN YOU MUST MARRY!"
Instead, one night, after saying the same desperate prayer, I received a little answer.
It was more like, "Kelsey, do you want to marry Brian?"
And I thought to myself, "Yes. Yes, I do."
And then it was, "Then why are you asking me for an answer, if you already know the answer?"
And that's the night I really knew.
The accident then just really helped things move along.
Christmas passed and it was wonderful. Pretty soon it was February, and the cold was getting old, just like dating was getting old. I was ready to be engaged. I didn't know if Brian had a ring yet. It was a secret. We called the temple and set a date. So I counted the months and tried to map out the possible times a proposal could take place (proposal story found here).
Then one day, after I had been gone for the weekend at a work retreat, Brian and I took a walk along the river.
He said to me, "You'll never guess what I did this weekend."
"What," I asked.
"Maybe I shouldn't tell you. You might be mad."
After some persuading, I got it out of him, "I asked for your dad's blessing."
I was quite shocked, and I thought about how horrifying it would be to be the man that must have such a conversation with my dad.
"I just started thinking about it. .wondering what I'd say to him. . .and before I knew it, I was driving across the Idaho border. Pretty soon, I pulled up and was at his shop."
Brian told me about how he'd walked in and my dad was more than surprised.
My dad took him back to the office. I can envision my dad sitting behind his desk, peering over at Brian, knowing exactly what Brian had come for, but probably not wanting to believe it. I am the first, after all. And with the first child, it seems, the parents never want to believe it's really possible for a child to grow into an adult.
Brian started the conversation by saying, "Sir, I'm in love."
My dad answered with a swift, "Sorry. I don't swing that way."
But in the end, Brian clarified he was in love with me, and my dad gave me away. Because he knew Brian would love me. And if he didn't, I'm sure my dad made a promise he would kill him with his bare hands. Because that's just what dads do. Daughters can make them violent savages. Just as love can make for mushy blog posts such as this one.