Well, I guess that if I'm starting a blog for the Jeff and Kira Pond family, I should probably explain our story, but first, a little snippet about each of us (more detailed explanations will come later).
Jeff is 28 years old and a student at the University of Utah, studying exercise science. He works for a small printing company in Salt Lake. He was born and raised in the Salt Lake area, and served his mission in France.
I (Kira) am 24 years old and a recent graduate of BYU-Idaho. I got my degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in ESL instruction. I will be teaching 3rd grade at American Preparatory Academy in West Valley. I was born in Logan, Utah and raised in Idaho Falls. I served my mission in New Mexico.
Anyway...as for US...
I moved to Utah on New Years Eve so I could do my student teaching. I didn't really know anyone, so after I finished my lesson plans each evening I would sit and read. Within a week of moving, I was reading a book (can't remember the title right now) that was a story about a girl who worked for an online magazine writing a column about the awkward dates one could get through an online dating site. But, in the end, the girl found love. I sat there on a Sunday night a week after I moved and my thought process went something like this:
I just moved to a new city. I don't know anyone. I don't have any friends. I'm 23 years old, and haven't had much luck (okay...I haven't had ANY luck) with dating. I've heard stories where online dating works. Maybe I could try it? But mom and dad would totally freak out. Buuut...what do I have to lose? I doubt I'll find anyone that would progress to a serious relationship with, but why not get to know new people? What the heck...I'll sign up.And that was that. I opened up my computer, went to LDS Singles.com and created my profile. Then I browsed through profiles of several men on the site in the Salt Lake area, and sent out a few flirts. (I may or may not have sent out a flirt that was a little stronger than others, but more on that later.) I didn't pay right off the bat... I wanted to first see if it could be successful. Well, I logged on the next night and I had a couple flirts, and a message. So I paid the money so I could read it. This guy introduced himself to me and asked me a few questions. I replied. And got a response back. And so on and so forth. This went on for a week or so, then we exchanged Skype addresses so we could start to instant message back and forth.
As soon as we started instant messaging, I began to realize what a great guy Jeff was. And so easy to talk to. We would literally sit at our computers for hours chatting. We both lost a lot of sleep over those few weeks because we stayed up so late chatting. One evening after we'd been chatting back and forth for about 3 weeks, Jeff finally asked me what I was doing the next night. And, seeing as how I had yet to make any friends, I was doing absolutely nothing. So he asked me out and I said yes. I was pretty excited because it was my first date in a long time, and we seemed to get along pretty well (as best as I could tell from our online conversations anyway), and I knew that I would be able to talk to him because we always had so much to talk about.
I admit, I was nervous. I sat there at my closet trying to decide what to wear for this first date. I finally decided on an outfit to set out for the next evening. I would have one hour after I got home from school to get ready for this date. And I wanted to make a good impression and not look sloppy. As soon as I got home, I ran downstairs and started getting ready--redoing my makeup and curling my hair. I was just putting my shoes on as he rang the doorbell. I took a deep breath, grabbed my coat, and headed out to meet this guy I'd been talking to for the past few weeks.
We introduced ourselves, and he walked me to his car where he opened my door. I could tell he was going to be a keeper. We had some small talk in the car as we headed to the restaurant where we were going to eat--a small French pastry shop downtown called Gourmandise (If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going there, even if it's just for dessert!!). After we ate, we headed over to the Gateway where we walked around a bit. Mind you, this was the end of January and it was close to 7:00 at night, so it was cold. But we survived just fine. We eventually ended up at the Olympic fountain where we stood and talked. As we were standing there, we continued talking. Okay, somewhat. Neither one of us are very talkative people. But the silence wasn't awkward. I stood there, wishing he would hold my hand. As much as I wanted to keep it in my pocket so it would stay warmer, I kept it out so it would be available if Jeff wanted to take hold of it. Eventually, he looked at me and asked if he could hold my hand. I said yes, and he reached over and interlocked his fingers into mine. It felt amazing. When we left, we walked hand in hand back to the car, and he held my hand the whole way home. We got to where I was living at the time, and got out of the car. He asked if I was free the next night, and I was, so he asked me out again. We said goodbye at the door, and he gave me a big hug. I found myself wishing he would kiss me. And, I found out later, he'd wanted to kiss me, but didn't want to spoil anything that we might have going, so he didn't. I was on cloud 9...and couldn't focus on anything for the next day.
Friday night rolls around, and once again I get ready for a date with Jeff. This time we went to his house and made soup and watched Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jeff's favorite Disney movie. It was during this movie while we were cuddling on the couch in his parents' TV room that Jeff first kissed me. It was wonderful. When he took me home that night, I asked him if he'd come over for Sunday dinner with me, and he accepted.
After church on Sunday, Jeff was there waiting for me when I got home from church. We made dinner together. I'd stayed up late Saturday night baking bread so we could have fresh bread with our Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches I was making. We talked some more, then after we enjoyed our meal together, Jeff helped me clean the kitchen and we put on a Disney movie. This night we decided that we wanted to see where things would go with us. We both really liked the other and we got along well. Conversation came easily.
Our first picture together
We continued seeing each other multiple times a week, sometimes me going to his place and sometimes him coming to mine. Mostly he did homework while I did lesson plans. But we still had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other. By Valentine's Day, we knew that we were going to get married. (Yes, this wasn't even 3 weeks after our first date.) The first weekend in March we went ring shopping. And on March 9, Jeff asked me to marry him. See this post for the story of our engagement and a video of him proposing.
The Ring and a VERY happy Kira
Since that time, we've been planning a wedding. I finished student teaching and graduated. I have been living in our apartment (see pics in a future post) for the past month. I've been hired full-time to teach 3rd grade in the fall, and now we're less than a week away from our wedding. And I am also in Idaho away from Jeff, which is kind of a bummer. But, in just 6 more days we'll be sealed together for time and all eternity! We are so excited!!!