Stefan and Heather

EI3C9832 copy copy

Yes, we have another wedding on the horizon. January 15th.


Just for fun, I’m only using photos I’ve featured on the blog over the years (plus a few from the day they got engaged).

September 2010, Skyline Homecoming and Stefan’s first formal dance. He invited Heather, the adorable redhead up the street and one of his closest friends. The oldest of six girls, Heather impressed us with her humor, her grace, her kindness, even while in elementary school. Our families hiked, ate dinner and held game nights together over the years and I admire her parents as much as anyone I know.


So much so, that when I wrote an article on fathers for the Deseret News, Rich was my first interview. Energetic, smart and hardworking, Rich treats each daughter as an individual while encouraging them to pursue their strengths. He’s also generous with his physician skills and we’ve called him more than once for emergency help (including stitching up Stefan’s knee this summer).


Even on pioneer trek they always had a ready smile and a listening ear. I’ve rarely met anyone with empathy and wisdom equal to Elizabeth. She’s the person who notices when you’re down and sends a kind note. Everyone matters to Elizabeth; especially her children.


And Heather’s just like her. In January, I had a rough day at church. Although I thought no one noticed, I later received a text from Heather — newly returned from her mission to Canada– expressing her love and concern. Trust me, her note wasn’t an effort to ingratiate herself to Stefan; although they’d dated off and on in high school and even college, neither of them thought they’d date after their missions.


When he turned sixteen, Stefan, in his thoughtful, almost analytical way, asked me, “How can I avoid dating drama?”

“That’s easy,” I answered, “don’t date.”

We talked (and still talk) about being kind and considerate, but dating carries an inevitable degree of heartache. While Heather was Stefan’s first date, first kiss, first love, they both dated several people over the years. When they began spending time together again this fall, Stefan told me, “I’ve looked around, I’ve learned a lot, I’m ready to make a decision.”


So it shouldn’t have surprised me (and really it didn’t) when he started looking for engagement rings just a few weeks later.

EI3C0211 copy

On Heather’s 22nd birthday, October 30th, our families met to wander through the corn maze together. By this time, everyone knew they were getting married, they’d chosen a date, but Stefan needed to say the words.

Although we’ve been friends for years, everything felt different– we felt like family.

EI3C9958 copyIn case you feel like you’re seeing double, Marin is Heather’s younger sister by almost four years. She’s also one of Hansie’s best friends and Lizzy’s roommate at BYU.

EI3C9807 copy

For Marin and Lizzy, this may be the happiest event of their entire lives. Their energy and enthusiasm alone might be enough to power all the wedding preparations.

EI3C9986 copy

And can you imagine Mary’s delight at gaining six new sisters?

EI3C0105 copy

While Heather was in Young Women’s, I was lucky enough to be her leader and she’s always been a friend I admired and trusted. I’m thrilled Stefan chose so well.  For us, adding Sammie and Heather to our family has been no loss, 100% gain. They bring joy and goodness and love.

EI3C0047 copy

After the corn maze and the birthday dinner and cake, Stefan took Heather on a walk. He pulled out a matryoshka doll and explained, “At the end of my mission, I bought one for my mom, one for my sister and one for my future wife.” Heather opened the doll to admire the smaller dolls inside and something fell to the ground.

A ring.

It became the perfect moment to drop onto one knee, retrieve the ring and ask the question.

I don’t know exactly what he said. But I know her reply.

EI3C9876-copy copy

So, we’ve won the lottery twice on daughters-in-law. It’s not a blessing we take lightly. As Sammie’s dad says, “We’ve spent years praying that someone, somewhere is raising a boy or girl with kindness, intelligence and joy to marry our own sons and daughter.” And for us, those parents were right up the street and joining us on Sunday walks.

 Each one of my children and yours deserves to win the lottery when choosing their love. It’s worth praying for. I know parents all over the world devote their lives to raising compassionate, creative, humble sons and daughters and pray for their happiness. In truth, we’re all praying for each other. And God does the rest.

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” C.S. Lewis
November 10, 2015



  1. Kirsten

    November 5, 2015

    beautiful, beautiful words from Sammie’s dad! And a nudge to get on my knees for that reason more.

  2. Jeanelle

    November 5, 2015

    Oh I’ve been waiting patiently (well…) for this post and it did not disappoint. What a beautiful love story and I’m so happy for both families but especially for Stefan and Heather.

  3. Linn

    November 5, 2015

    This is such a sweet, sweet post! So happy for both of them and for all of you.


    “In truth, we’re all praying for each other. And God does the rest.”

    I love this more than I could ever express.

  4. Heather arnita

    November 5, 2015

    Wow! Congratulations!

  5. jen

    November 6, 2015


  6. Noémi

    November 6, 2015

    Huge congratulations!!!!

  7. ellen patton

    November 6, 2015

    Your family is growing in love.

  8. Ann

    November 20, 2015

    I love the story of him buying the dolls in Russia… how wonderful that he had the foresight to think about that as a young man on his mission… that he would one day want one of those dolls for his wife. You have raised such sweet boys. And I love that the oldest of 6 girls is marrying the oldest of 5 boys!! I’m sure they have many common experiences being the oldest in their families! Can’t wait for the next set of wedding pictures on the blog!

Comments are closed.