Tuesday, December 13

things to know BEFORE the wedding

i thought i'd make this list because, number one, IF i have a daughter someday (hopefully only one, if i do...), there are certain things i loved about my wedding and was really grateful to know and a few things i wish had been thought of. and number two, i think there are mothers or soon-to-be brides out there who also should be aware of these things.

so here we go. 

1. be sure to enjoy the day, (as cliché as that sounds) reminding yourself that despite the hassle it might be to interact with the endless numbers of guests (including several you may not know well or even at all), this is maybe the only day in your whole life that so many people will be celebrating only you and your companion. i found that after the festivities--which i had not necessarily been looking forward to--i wished the reception had been longer. looking back, it truly was the only time i have been given so much attention from members of my church, family, and friends. and although i tend to dislike attention, particularly in large groups, it felt nice to have the spotlight on Dalin and me for a few hours. so soak it up for the day.

2. talk to your future husband about the honeymoon before the honeymoon. yes, this sounds kind of awkward or even obvious, but it really needs to be done. i don't really want to go into this, but you and your future companion need to talk about this. sometimes it's hard, but it truly helps ease nerves, and gives you an idea of what to expect, and anything you can work out beforehand, so that your first weeks together can be stress-free and enjoyable. don't be afraid to ask each other questions or for advice. truly, try not to be embarrassed...after one day of being married, you already will begin to overcome any shyness or apprehensions you may have had before. President Spencer W. Kimball said, 
“The Bible makes plain that evil, when related to sex, means not the use of something inherently corrupt but the misuse of something pure and good. It teaches clearly that sex can be a wonderful servant but a terrible master: that it can be a creative force more powerful than any other in the fostering of love, companionship, and happiness, or can be the most destructive of all life’s forces.”

3. do NOT listen to all that you are told about the honeymoon. this includes information from friends, family, roommates, and especially the internet. especially if they have not been married themselves because you'll find that your situation is probably (most likely) completely different from theirs. i promise you that most of the things that you hear will be incorrect for you. i was fairly naive and had a lot of questions for all of the types of persons and other sources mentioned above. most of what i was told made me incredibly nervous and afraid. i felt intimidated and more anxiety than ever. because of this, i cannot stress the importance of developing a positive and accurate attitude regarding marital intimacy. go to a pre-marital course, like the one offered at BYU-Idaho or by a trained doctor. once you have correct facts and views, you will feel much more ready to face what is coming and learn that uncorrected fear [of pain] can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4. if, like Dalin and myself, you were engaged after a rather short period of time, you may feel you need to justify yourself, or even deflect rumors that you're only doing it because you're "probably pregnant" or something as thick as that. don't feel as though you need to justify your pending marriage. for most people, when you know, you know. the Spirit will tell you, and probably not everyone else. stop caring about what other people think unless they have a truly valid reason to make you question yourself. if people think you're demented, they are most likely jealous, or they have no understanding of you, your circumstances, or your relationship. many of those potentially criticizing you, might find themselves in similar situations and won't they feel silly when they are receiving the same treatment from others.

5. here is some of Dalin's advice: keep notes about what they tell you in the temple. if you think you will be too busy to do it yourself at some point during the day, give a notebook and pen to a close friend or relative who will be present, but preferably not your parents--they'll want to enjoy the moment for themselves. if you are unable to do this, take a minute to make some notes in a journal before going out to take pictures. after pictures, you'll be too flustered to remember the key parts of your ceremony. 

6. speaking of pictures, try to enjoy the picture-taking. it sounds impossible because you have to tolerate a lot of group photos with various families, but make sure you take a break to take some fun ones with your spouse. as you've heard endlessly, the best way to remember your wedding day is through the pictures, and it does go by fast enough. i actually wish i had taken the time to plan out some pictures of the two of us together. i also wish i had some nice bridal photos, featuring in more detail my ring, bouquet, and especially my dress. so: plan ahead, and have patience with the photographers. 

7. plan through each day of your honeymoon. this does not mean that you have to stick to your plan! but it is my advice to have one. know what places or activities you would like to go to and participate in each day and have an idea of some places to eat. you don't need to go to gourmet restaurants each day, and it would be a waste to do so. think of ways to save money and still have a nice time. Dalin and i stayed close to home (well close to home for me) but we enjoyed our unique honeymoon and i was able to share many memories from my past with Dalin and we made plenty of our own as we tried new things together. 

8. register for gifts at a few places. this basically sums itself up. if you get duplicates, most places are pretty good about returns. even if you don't know where something came from, wal-mart, target, and bed bath and beyond are safe bets. sometimes they'll just take it if they aren't sure. registering is time-consuming and probably should be done before announcements even, so that you can make mention of your registries in the announcement....a word to the wise....

9. this goes along with the last two notes: request a few restaurant giftcards. whether they come from friends, your parents--whomever--we felt so grateful to have a number of $25 giftcards to some common local restaurants (such as Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee's, and others). they held us over for at least one nice meal a day and we didn't feel the strain of paying each time. i would highly suggest doing this. 

well, that's all i will advise for now. you might check back in for any additions, as i'm sure other things will occur to me. best wishes! 

Friday, October 7

Oh, the places we'll go!

did i catch your attention? well i hope so. 

i have decided that it is my intention to share with you, our dreams. dalin's and mine. while we certainly have them, we are fairly realistic (not that i want to be >:[ ) and i don't necessarily expect to be making these trips anytime soon...or in this life...but we can hope! 

anyway, the point is this: dalin and i want to see some places in this world. so here they are and here's why.

#10) EGyPt. <click here to see pictures!
obviously the pyramids and sphinx and whatnot are things most people are dying to see. i think it would be a tad scary to actually go into a tomb, primarily because i would worry about it becoming my own tomb. but apart from that, egypt seems like an interesting place. did you know that egypt has the greatest population of arabs in the whole world? well it does. plus it has the nile river which i would like to see some small piece of. just don't drink the water...from the river of course, or anywhere else for that matter.

#9) INdia.  <pictures!
the birthplace of buddhism! according to my high school soccer coach, the people are not necessarily the most polite out there...i will certainly be wary of people spitting on me or worse. but thanks to indiana jones and the jungle book, i want to go to india for the sheer beauty of the jungles and maybe for a detour to the taj mahal.

#8) PaRis. <pics...
strictly for the eiffel tower, the seine river, the louvre, notre dame, and maybe versailles.

#7) BaRceLoNa. <fotos
i would love to take a stroll down la rambla and shop and practice my spanish skills. also, i love spanish history and would like to experience it first-hand. 

#6) CoPenHAgEn. <pix
it just looks beautiful and they say the happiest place to live in the world is denmark and so i am slightly curious about what it is like there. check out the pictures...

#5) Jolly Old EnGlanD. <photography...
home of "the fab four"/"the mop tops"...aka the beatles. i definitely would like to visit london and look for platform 9 3/4 and diagon alley of course. among other things, i want to see big ben and several other lovely things. plus it's fun to practice english accents and vernacular.

#4) Peru. <más fotos
i would like to see machu picchu and follow the inca trail. although this is unrelated, south america makes me think of el dorado which, apart from being a good movie, would be a sweet place to travel to. also it'd feel so adventurous i think. i want to see the amazon river...maybe from a distance, but still. 

#3) StocKHolm SwEdeN. <you guessed it...click here!
my cousins are from sweden and i just wanna see it. 

#2) NicaRagua. <if you wanna see some Nicaragua...
my former roommate at BYU-I is serving a nursing mission there and it looks incredibly fantastic. i want to see that part of the world and speak spanish and help the people there. 

and above all, ahead of everywhere else on our list...

#1) IReLaND & ScOtLanD. <see the beauty....here.
i wonder if an explanation is even necessary, it seems so obvious to me. since i have seen the movie leap year (and also coming from irish and scottish descent), i have wanted to explore my heritage and witness the beauty of the irish landscape and scottish castles more than ever. in particular, i want to see where harry potter was filmed. but that would just be a bonus. ;) anyway, the views are stunning and i want to experience the romanticism of irish spring rains. and maybe feel like i'm a small part of that land like my ascendents. 

as a side note, i do want to see each u.s. state and canada...but those don't count as cool so that is why they are located in this afterthought. 

Thursday, October 6


so here i am, applying for a billion jobs when i finally get a few more interviews.
tuesday, after helping Payson to move into his new apartment by UVU, i received a couple of calls within a few hours...first from Michael's craft store............i got the job!!!!!!!!! i am a part-time floor associate and meet on monday at noon!!!!!! so after celebrating and calling my parents to brag, i also heard from Dillard's! my interview had gone well and the assistant manager wanted me to "do some paperwork" around 1pm on thursday!!!!! so i guess the only question is...does "do some paperwork" mean "you have a job"? my hopes and belief is yes. but i guess we will see today! so then i pick up Dalin from his preview to dentistry class and get informed that i have an interview with Bishop Schroeder in a short while! i hurriedly changed into church clothes once i got back to the apartment then Dalin and i walked to the chapel and what do you know, i got a calling :) technically i can't say it yet, but after sunday i'll mention it.

what a day.
two jobs and a church calling.
now my worry is...how am i going to balance it all?? ;)

Friday, September 23

getting into the swing of things :)

well it certainly has been a while since i have made a post for this blog!

but i think my excuse is fairly valid seeing as it was just over a month ago that i married Dalin Gunnell for time and eternity in the Boston Temple. sometimes i can hardly believe that we're married. but it definitely has started to sink in now that we have settled into our apartment at Wymount, and now that Dalin is working his two jobs and nearly always is at one of them or at school. being home alone STINKS. i have had two job interviews and have applied to several places but so far nothing is definite. i spend most of my day getting the apartment clean, running silly errands (like getting groceries and whatnot), and writing thank-you notes for all of the generous gifts we received for our wedding. thankfully i have finished the notes from my side...and i am nearly done with those from Dalin's. 

but enough about my uninteresting schedule.

it is officially AUTUMN!!!!!! it's too bad the weather is not reflecting this. it's much too hot every day. i'm truthfully fed up with the 80's. i want to be able to wear sweaters and fall coats! not shorts. i am also anxious because this will be my first autumn without the dramatic color-change of the beautiful trees of New England. below are some pictures that i took a few years ago back in New Hampshire. how could anyone not love the trees when they look like this?

soon, i'll be adding pictures of my autumn decorations. once i've collected some... ;) 

Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, August 2

to do...

seventeen days. 

wednesday, august 3: Olivia's mom's (Linda) 44th birthday! surely that means a trip to the ocean and probably some lobster. also, Olivia has an eye appointment. 
thursday, august 4: haircut for Olivia and Linda at Ché Bella, cake sampling with Aunt Dianne
friday, august 5: wedding hair styling practices with Sister Barbara Gumbs (see ideas at bottom)
saturday, august 6: Elisabeth & Ben Gringeri reception
sunday, august 7: church at 10, 

tuesday, august 9: Olivia's 20th birthday...woohoo...

monday, august 15: Dalin flies out of Salt Lake for NH, Olivia gets nails done
tuesday, august 16: Dalin arrives at 1am at Manchester Airport, stay at Aunt Pam and Uncle Bob's house in Andover, MA, apply for marriage license in Belmont, MA, return to NH
wednesday, august 17: Olivia gets endowed in Boston Temple with Dalin there, JeNeale & Brent (and other Gunnells) fly out
thursday, august 18: decorate reception tables at the O
friday, august 19: pick up marriage license in Belmont, Olivia and Dalin get married for time and all eternity in the Boston Temple, family luncheon at the Common Man, reception at the Opechee Inn (the "O"), stay at the Silver Fountain Bed & Breakfast
saturday, august 20: drive to Augusta, ME and enjoy the Senator Inn and Spa
sunday, august 21: church in Augusta, relax
monday, august 22: Payson's 19th birthday! head to Andy & Molly's in Portsmouth (visit downtown and Kittery area)
tuesday, august 23: spend more time in Portsmouth, ocean
wednesday, august 24: stay the night in Boston, enjoy it
thursday, august 25: drive to Manchester airport, fly to Salt Lake, drive to Caldwell
friday, august 26: help out/hang out in Caldwell
saturday, august 27: reception for Dalin & Olivia in Caldwell!
sunday, august 28: church, drive to Provo, Donovan's 12th birthday!
monday, august 29: Dalin starts school

wednesday, august 31: move into our apartment in building 5C, number 300 at Wymount!


Wednesday, July 13


wonderful bridal shower thrown by my roommates. even though they kept me cooped up in my room for the entirety of the morning, i forgave them fast when i saw how fantastically they did. the shower was sweet and small, with creative game ideas, an amazing home-made mint ice cream cake (my favorite!!!), and exquisite yellow and blue (wedding colors!) balloons and decorations. and, best of all, it concluded with a surprise visit from my wonderful, handsome fiance himself!!!!!
              before he arrived...
the girls had a game where i had to answer questions about dalin, (thus testing my knowledge of my future husband). for each question i answered incorrectly, i had to put a piece of double bubble in my mouth. did i do well? well, not going to lie, dalin's answers to a few of those questions totally threw me for a loop. like his favorite movie?! Madagascar 2??!!?! since when??? all in all, i think i remembered more than i thought i knew. i got maybe 5 or 6 wrong. but i can promise that now i will remember those answers!!!

anyway, as the game was coming to a close, courtney and rachel suddenly started to get antsy and began to hurry things along. i was confused about them rushing things all of a sudden. i was thinking we have all the time in the world today, what is going on?? i admit i was totally oblivious that dalin had driven all the way from provo that morning.

in fact, dalin had fed me this stupid story which i was dumb enough to believe...especially since i had known for a fact that he had nothing planned for that saturday--no work, meetings, or anything apart from watching the Wimbledon--so it was incredibly silly of me to not suspect a thing when he told me that someone from his ward randomly came to his door and asked him to go on a service project with them to salt lake. having been cooped up in my room all morning, i was annoyed at first when he told me that he couldn't skype but was easily satiated when he promised to talk to me on the phone on the way to "salt lake." he told me he was in a van with a bunch of others and that his bishop was driving. when i asked why it was so quiet, he said that everyone else was asleep. probably from getting up early on a saturday to do a service project. (okay, am i an idiot because why would every single other person be asleep on the forty minute drive to salt lake??) as dalin listened to some "Motab" he asked if i could hear the bishop blasting it. after a bit, he told me they would be arriving soon, and that he would text me when he could.
                so, clearly i am not as observant as i had sort of thought i was. either that or the excitement of my bridal shower was diverting enough to completely blind me to the obvious...

when dalin walked in our apartment--all of a sudden--with a yellow rose (my favorite of all roses) and my actual engagement ring--i had NO IDEA what was going on. i have definitely never been so surprised in my life. my parents know i am not a huge fan of surprises and never really did them. so after i rushed into dalin's arms, i was at a loss for what to do. i was so shocked that he was there. perhaps that tells something about long-distance engagements. it pretty much feels like eternity before you see the other person again. also, that was the first time i had seen my "real" engagement ring (i am still very fond of my first ring and still wear it--but on my right hand) and i loved it immediately. dalin knows me so perfectly and i was so, so, so happy with his selection.

pretty ring, pretty rose

juntos :)
after dalin's arrival, the bridal shower pretty much ended but i was just so HAPPY to be with dalin that i didn't mind at all. it was a perfectly executed surprise and completely made my entire week as dalin stayed in rexburg and went to classes with me until thursday, after which he returned to provo and brought me along to spend the fourth of july weekend with him! our first holiday :)

in provo, i stayed with abby billin from thursday night to monday night. staying with her was wonderful--particularly because i loved her cute apartment and it gave me many ideas for my future apartment with dalin. throughout the time i spent in provo, here were some of the highlights:
  • while dalin was working, i spent around 5+ hours in the mall (shopping from claire's to zumiez to victoria's secret to american eagle to a used book store)
  • seeing Transformers 3 in theaters (which was sweet)
  • eating some fro-yo (hun-cal ;)
  • going to church together (something i love so much)
  • making every meal together (also love so much...)
  • eating Sherbet ice cream! (please note the spelling...i was unaware of this before this weekend)
  • watching movies in his apartment
  • watching lots of sports on TV
  • eating shaved ice (and, like always, i lost at "whose flavor is better")
  • reading together
  • falling asleep on the couch together (before curfew rolled around and he had to drive me back to abby's)
  • "tanning" (ahem) by the pool in the bright, bright sun
  • watching fireworks on the grass together
  • going for walks
  • viewing campus and going to the bookstore
  • spending the Fourth of July together...like we will be...for the rest of eternity :]
  • eating hotdogs from Sonic on the Fourth
  • having me eat a huge dog from J Dawg's...
  • talking about the future and our children and plans and being patriotic by wearing red, white, & blue
  • grocery shopping at Wal*Mart (it's much more fun together :)
  • getting raspberry cheesecake shakes from Arctic Circle
  • learning more and more about one another
needless to explain, it was a wonderful (full) eleven days together. it was incredibly hard for me to get on that salt lake express bus to return to rexburg. it was slightly comforting to be reminded that i only have three weeks remaining of classes before dalin comes to retrieve me and bring me to boise for his sister cassie's wedding! and then to the salt lake airport so i can fly home to new hampshire! and then dalin will join me in new hampshire soon enough! and then we'll be sealed forever and ever :). i just need to be patient. just about 36 days...thank heavens we have eternity ahead of us! ;)

love notes ;)

as a way to keep a simple record of a few of the more loving messages i have received from dalin, i will compile a brief list.

dalin told me that one of his favorite scriptures is alma 37:37. "counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and he will direct thee for good; yea. when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

one thing that i admire (among several things) most about dalin is his thorough knowledge and interest in the scriptures. that is very important to me and increases my desire to learn them, and learn them well.

now for some other examples. men, take a look if you are unsure of what to say to someone you love.

april 29: being married to you will be the best thing ever
april 30: yes, i love when you wake up! how was your night? i love you
may 3: every time that i open my phone and see your gorgeous face my heart cartwheels, literally. i am very much in love with you
may 3: and i love you, Olivia Searle, more than the world itself.
may 3: i appreciate that Olivia, and you will make a fantastic wife and mother. i want to be with you always, we have a lot of potential
may 4: i am so excited for that too, Olivia, that will be the best day of my life--being sealed to you. i'll be the luckiest man alive. and i cant imagine my future without you
may 7: i love you, Olivia Gunnell:)
may 7: ...i can't wait to go on walks in the park with you, just hold your hand in the beautiful weather and talk about our day. also it will be amazing to raise children with you...just figuring things out together. we have such a great time ahead of us. and it will be spent together...i love that
may 8: i love you, i need you, i live for you:)
may 10: Olivia, i love you and yes, you will win the "where to live" battle, i'm working on accepting that right now:)
may 13: i love you so much Olivia O'Rissa Searle
june 4: i talked to my dad...he says you have a heart of gold:) i love you!
june 13: :) i promise you that i will do my best every day to make you happy and to be a good husband and father.

just a few of the MANY examples of the loving things that i love to hear from my soon-to-be eternal companion. any guy who is not dalin, you should try some of these...as long as you are sincere.

Friday, June 24


dalin and i are at (just about!) 55 days now until we are married. it's slowly getting there. we took engagement pictures while he was visiting me in rexburg. and though it was crazy (definitely my fault...) it was a lot of fun. my roommates courtney and rachel took them (free of charge haha) and did a marvelous job. it seemed like a nice sunday activity as we walked around the different parts of the gardens on campus.

things seem to be falling into place finally...as i knew they ultimately would. dalin has been working so hard to find other jobs, i have been occupied with school, (thankfully i am finishing up a few classes soon enough), but i had my first dress fitting done at circle of love (incredibly corny name for a wedding place, but not surprising for out west), i found my shoes, my mom has reserved the reception place and different hotels for dalin and i, flights were paid for, and decoration and cake ideas are coming together. i think the only thing i have left to do out here really is find a veil. and finalize and address announcements. i'm hoping that's all...anyway, thank heavens for those who enjoy helping out with this kind of thing. they are certainly blessing our life and unquestionably their own. dalin's mother and my own mother are prime examples of these people. what would we do without our mothers?

here are a few (temporary) engagement pictures. they turned out dang cute. at least of dalin ;)

happy, happy, happy

Friday, June 17


dalin is coming up to rexburg to visit me this weekend! hopefully i will see him tonight before curfew. i have missed him terribly. it is incredibly hard to be apart from someone you want to be with for eternity. thank goodness there are only SIXTY-TWO days left on the countdown. i'm gonna die.

today i learned the difference between fiance and fiancee. i think i had already heard this before, but i had forgotten. according to wikipedia, fiance refers to an engaged man, and fiancee refers to an engaged woman. that seemed fairly obvious...but i thought i would share that for those of you who are ignorant like i was ten minutes ago.

dalin should be in rexburg in a little over an hour! i am so excited to see him!!!!!!

our plans for the weekend include, but are not limited to: temporary engagement pictures (for our invitations), a possible service project, a double date, church, lots of eating (grilled pineapple...hopefully), lots of love, lots of spending time together. i will just be overjoyed to see him!

Friday, June 10

how "we" came to be

olivia's version.
as mentioned before, dalin served his mission in san diego, california (spanish-speaking). he returned in february 2011. across the continental united states, all the way to the east coast, (specifically in new hampshire), marisa johnson received a call to the same mission......

over the weekend of general conference, on saturday, april 2nd, my roommates and i were in salt lake city, hoping to make it into a few sessions. while there, i met up with some members of my old ward family. included was my best friend, sarah ayer, and another friend from our home ward, marisa johnson. the three of us had lunch together during which, sarah and i questioned marisa about her mission. as marisa was talking, she grew suddenly excited and blurted out, "i know this missionary who would be perfect for you!" she was speaking to me. as she was bouncing in her chair looking through her phone for pictures of this missionary, i thought little of it. i would never meet him probably anyway. she told me that he was calm but funny--his sense of humor was more dry wit, and you had to listen for it. "isn't he cute??" marisa demanded, showing me a tiny picture of the former elder gunnell on her cellphone (marisa and dalin had come home from their missions at the same time). it was difficult to tell on her phone, but he looked tall and handsome from what i could see. "yea, he is," i agreed. growing excited, marisa announced she was texting dalin right then to tell him about me. shortly after that, i forgot about the occurrence, convinced that the most that would come of it was a meaningless facebook friendship where one says hello once, an awkward conversation ensues, and then the two never speak again. little did i know.

on sunday, april 3rd, (the very next day i might point out) i received a text from marisa saying "i told dalin to friend-request you! say yes!" and then i soon did receive a friend request from dalin gunnell. i accepted it, kind of curious, and soon after got a message on facebook chat reading: so, we have a friend in common... i replied immediately, mentioning marisa. he then said, yep, so, i've never really just talked to someone on facebook that i've never met...do you know how this is supposed to go?

two and a half months later, i certainly do know now how this is "supposed to go." after talking well past midnight every night for the first week, (and beginning to text, skype, and call one another well before that week ended) it became evident that we were clearly very interested in one another. and i felt incredibly good about dalin...even though in the first week, he did manage to insult me, saying i was prideful and flirtatious. i, in return, told him that he was the prideful one, and also cocky. (brief pride and prejudice moment there). i also sarcastically told him that i hated him one day, to which he replied: really? i kinda like you:). that, and after receiving ELEVEN PAGES of messages between april 6 and april 9th (completely from dalin...that is twenty messages per page!!!), caused me to become increasingly interested in this man. we continued to talk by various means every day...for the majority of the day.

because spring break was coming up at byu-idaho, and because i have no family out here, i was planning to hang around my apartment alone for the next ten days (my roommates had all left for the break already). instead, i received an invite from dalin to come stay with him and his family in boise. and feeling good about the idea, i accepted. monday morning, i was rushing around packing a backpack of clothes, doing laundry, and cleaning the apartment. dalin and his 19-year old sister cassie arrived around noon. when i heard the doorbell ring, my face got really red and i had to calm myself down before i could get the door. i was so nervous about this first meeting. i said a brief prayer, and then answered it. cassie was the first one i saw, and she smiled and said hello, but i was just looking for dalin. he gave me the cutest smile that made me so happy and i noticed that his eyes were so blue. then i moved forward to hug him. he was so tall. and i loved that. on the ride to boise, dalin insisted that i sit in the front with his sister and got the door for me (a very charming habit of his). he sat directly behind me and the drive back (for them) began. i rested for much of the car-ride, wondering how this week was going to go. dalin, i realized, was leaning forward and his hands were resting on my seat. i was curled up in the passenger seat and was turned toward the window. his hand was clenched on the seat and i moved my fingers toward him and daringly touched his hand wondering what i was thinking. immediately he adjusted and held my hand. and he continued to for the remainder of the multi-hour drive. 

the rest of that week was bliss. i met each member of dalin's family and also his grandmother when we visited her house. i really enjoyed being with dalin's family. i met a few members of his extended family as well and loved them. we had a dtr (determine the relationship) that thursday in his parents' mini van in their garage. i will never forget it because while we were talking, some guy walked in to the dark garage and looked inside the van in which we were sitting. it scared me so bad, but dalin calmly got out of the van and watched as the guy turned and walked back toward his car (with his three friends waiting on the lawn) and drove off. good thing dalin is brave. after deciding that i would, in fact, like to enter into a relationship with dalin (i had never been in an official relationship before), the remainder of the week got, if possible, even better. we spent more time with his wonderful family and went to his singles' ward together that sunday. i loved going to church with him. and sitting on his grandma's porch swing together. i did not want that week to end.

from then, things have only gotten better. he has visited me in rexburg, and i have visited him in provo. his family has also visited me in rexburg and been so kind to me, taking me out to lunch and bringing me groceries. on saturday, may 28th, i was in provo with dalin and we decided to go for a walk/hike through provo canyon and bring a lunch. suspicious. we saw three snakes (i screamed all three times) and walked a ways by the river there, across a bridge, through some trees, and across a dried up river bed. climbing over rocks, we approached the rock cliff to see where the falling water was leaking into. we climbed up to a cut-out in the cliff and there, dalin knelt down, said a number of sweet things, then asked me to marry him. naturally, i said yes, with the biggest smile on my face. he put a beautiful band on my finger, then we climbed down, called our moms, and returned to the park area to eat our lunch overlooking the waterfall. after, we skipped rocks in the river under the bridge. it was a very happy day. and it felt amazing to be engaged to the most wonderful man that i have ever met.

before i met dalin, i had all kinds of guidelines for myself. i wouldn't get married until i was at least 22 years old (that way i'd be graduated), i'd date the guy for a year, i wouldn't say i love you until we were engaged or married....all of that went out the window when i met dalin. i had even considered serving a mission before i met him. but it was just right. he was just right. and i knew i would have to do things in the Lord's timing. i began praying about him right from the start. and i never felt any bad feelings. only confirmation that he would be good (if not perfect) for me. he makes me desire to be a better person and when i think of him i have more Christ-like thoughts and behavior. at the temple during my weekly trip, i began praying extra earnestly to know if dalin and i were right for one another. and each time, i felt firmly that the answer was a resounding yes. i am so thankful that we managed to find each other in this life and that our time together will extend beyond the grave, which is why i am marrying him in the temple in the first place--so that we can be sealed together for time and all eternity. and so that when we have a family, they can be a part of that celestial marriage. i am so thankful for these blessings Heavenly Father has created for us on this earth.

Wednesday, June 8

a couple of facts

  • dalin brent gunnell was born in oregon. his family moved to arizona for a few years before making their final move to the boise, idaho area. they lived in a few different towns (nampa, boise) and currently reside in caldwell, idaho. dalin is a student at brigham young university and plans on entering into dentistry. he served a mission in san diego, california where he taught the gospel in spanish. his parents are brent and jeneale, and he has three sisters: cassie (19), shaina (17), and jensen (8). they have a dog named cricket. dalin loves: olivia, reading, tennis, golf, watching football and basketball, watching baseball, and basically any sport. he works really hard and makes olivia incredibly happy. dalin loves olivia with every fiber of his being, and wants to spend every second of eternity with her. 

  • olivia o'rissa (searle) gunnell has lived in little old gilford, new hampshire for all twenty years of her life. she attends brigham young university-idaho in rexburg, idaho, where she is studying professional writing in order to become an editor. she is minoring in spanish and would like to teach her children someday. her parents are keith and linda searle, and she has two brothers: payson (19) and donovan (12). they have a dachshund named buddy. olivia loves dalin*, reading, drawing, painting, camping, hiking, fishing, tennis, frisbee, and any other outdoor activities. she loves the ocean and would like to live by it someday. olivia is so thankful to have dalin in her life. he is a terrific example to her and brings her a tremendous amount of joy. and for the record, she loves dalin best. 

*she loves him most.

Tuesday, June 7

dalin & olivia

they met: april 4
they started dating: april 14
she knew she wanted to marry him: april 15
he asked her dad: may 23
they got engaged: may 28
they will be getting married: august 19

after that...happy forever 

         and ever.