Hello Everyone! I’m so excited to start this blog!! I have always loved writing in a journal, but sometimes it is really hard to be consistent, or other things just always get in the way! I feel like a blog is a perfect way to not only capture and document our memories, but also to share them with friends and family who we don’t see often. I’ve also decided that this will be the space where I spend most of my time journaling and recording our life events (since there is only so much time in the day-and you can only commit to so much!).
I named the blog, “We are the Watkins” because I want it to illustrate our family, and all the fun, silly, spontaneous, and beautiful moments that take place in day-to-day life. If you want to see more of our day-to-day happenings, follow us on instagram @wearethewatkins.
First I will introduce Braden and I – and how we met. It is actually quite a fun story, and one neither of us would’ve ever imagined 3 years ago!
It is funny where our story starts…because I never thought I would marry someone from high school! Both Braden are from the small town of Kaysville, UT, and attended Davis High School. At the time, both of us were super involved in student government, dance, band, and many other student activities. We crossed paths often and had similar friend groups, so sometimes by chance we would hang out together in big groups (like you are supposed to do in high-school ;) Surprisingly we never went on a SINGLE date our 3 years of high school, but I was always very impressed with Braden’s character and maturity. So whenever people ask if we were high school sweethearts, I say “nope! we never even went on a single date!” However, my senior year I started to really get into photography and even started my own little business for a while taking my friend’s senior/mission pictures. It was really fun for me and I loved seeing how I was progressing and being a part of my friend’s lives. One day Braden asked me if I would take his senior/mission pictures. Of course, I told him that I’d be happy to and we went and took pictures. It’s funny because I don’t even remember a lot of what happened that evening, way back in 2014…haha but I do remember Braden offering to pay me with dinner (since I’d offered to do it for free.) I thought that was really sweet, and we had a really good time talking and eating yummy settebello pizza. Here is a picture from our shoot. Isn’t he so cute!?! How did I not realize this before..???? haha
Fast forward to graduation – We had finally finished high school. The day of our graduation my mom came to our high school and we took all of these fun pictures pretending like we were in high school musical or something. And again, Braden and I, side by side in our pictures. Who would’ve known! After graduation I went to BYU to start school in the summer (literally no break) so I moved out pretty quickly. Braden left on his mission to Washington that same summer. I went home for his farewell and remember him giving a really good talk, but I didn’t think we’d run into each other post-mission since he’d decided to go to Utah State to study Aero Dynamics. There were many tearful goodbyes that summer as we all left to serve in different parts of the world – but we were all so happy to be following Christ and doing something that would change people’s lives.
I was in school from June-December of 2014 and then I also left on a LDS mission to Cuernavaca, Mexico. Just like my friends, I was so eager to serve and to give of myself for a year and a half. It was such a fun time as I prepared to leave, spent time with family, and thought about how serving would change my life. My mission was an incredible experience and I learned so much from the people of Mexico. I love them with all my heart. For more on that – go to lds.org (and yes…my hair was very dark!! teachers still give me a hard time about that!)
When you get home from a mission it is kind of crazy, because your lifestyle changes so drastically. On top of that, all of the sudden the “next” thing is graduating college, getting married, starting a family, etc. I remember feeling like, “whoa! I’m not sure I’m ready for this next phase in life!” Luckily I had the support of some of by closest friends who had also served and we roomed together our first semester back at BYU (highly recommend that!) Together we made it through the awkward dates, the dreadful rejections of “I think we should just be friends…” and trying to figure out what heavenly father’s plan for us was. That was when Braden “came into my life” for a second time.
While on his mission, Braden felt impressed to go to BYU instead of USU. He told his family to change his applications and to get everything squared away for him to start school at BYU in the fall of 2016. It wasn’t until I moved down to Provo that I realized that Braden was also living in Provo and would be attending school in the fall. We caught up, picked our books up together, and he helped me set up my google fiber internet in my apartment – and that was the start! Because most of my roommates and Braden were friends in high school, he would come over to our apartment a lot. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I kind of liked Braden and could see him as being “more than a friend.” :) It took a little while for us to go on a date, and especially for me to tell him how I felt about him. However, once we were open and honest with each other, things started to progress really fast! We almost couldn’t be separated! We hung out every single day and always found a reason to be together. We memorized each other’s school and work schedules so that we could always maximize our time together as well. We were funny. And I’m glad my roommates put up with us hanging out on our couch all winter!
We had only been dating for about 3 months when I left to go to New Zealand with my family over christmas break. It was a 3 week long trip – and both of us were eager to see what this meant for our relationship. Would we miss each other? Would we not? What would happen after I got home…? Anyway – those three weeks – though SUPER fun – were the longest 3 weeks EVER. I missed Braden so much, and he missed me. On my travels home I got some beautifully written letters from Braden and knew that things were going somewhere once I stepped off that plane. And actually, as we were waiting for our luggage Braden popped out of nowhere and welcomed me home (the most surprised I’ve ever been!)
That night we went on a drive, and that was the first time we talked about getting married. Weeks passed and we talked more, prayed, went to the temple, and really sought to find out if it was right. It definitely was and IS right. I’m so glad that we can find answers to our questions through prayers and feelings we have in our hearts.
After getting our answers that YES, we SHOULD get married – we started making plans, scheduling dates, and went ring shopping (which was SO fun!) The ring took a little longer than we thought, so a big chunk of our wedding was planned by the time he proposed. Waiting for the proposal made it all the better though. I was so anxious and so ready to be called Braden’s Fiancee! He proposed in the most spectacular way that was perfect for me and what I’m passionate about. The best part was that all of our friends and family were there as well. It couldn’t have been better!
Braden and I finished winter semester without failing our classes, despite wedding planning, and counted the days till our wedding. The days leading up to our wedding were some of the my favorite & the most memorable.
Our Wedding Day
We were married on May 11, 2017 in the Salt Lake City Temple. The whole day was a fairytale and perfect in every way. Being surrounded by all of our friends and family was amazing, and honestly the best part. Everything was beautiful. The day was beautiful, the temple was beautiful, and the decorations were beautiful. Honestly, I wanted the day to last forever and to never end!
Now, a month and a half later, we’ve learned so much together. Being married is so much fun! You get to be with your best friend, your biggest supporter, and you start to create your future together. Braden has helped me to become better than I was in so many ways. He has also taught me a lot about believing in myself more and knowing that I can do hard things. He helps me to strengthen my weaknesses and empowers me to go for my dreams. I am so glad I get to be by his side every day and hope that I can give him a small part of what he’s given me!