Life Story Part 1 HERE
Life Story Part 2: Budding romance
Our first date was October 10, 2002. And from that day on, it was always Ethan and Whitney. Our attraction to each other was powerful. We spent the cold fall evenings in front of his fireplace talking and kissing, kissing and talking. We found such comfort and peace in each other. He liked my sense of humor and confidence. I liked his broad, manly stature and his gentleman ways. I very quickly couldn’t see myself with anyone else.
When we were cuddled up in front of the fireplace, we were at shows for his band. He was the lead singer and his housemates played the instruments. They played shows throughout Utah Valley, crooning and playing and catching the eyes of just about any girl that came. I always was front and center, singing and dancing my heart out for the boy I was quickly falling for.
In our days and evenings together, we would talk endlessly, getting to know one another while our whirlwind romance picked up speed. We told each other of our lives growing up. He confided in me and told me of the deep emotion of losing his mother very unexpectedly when he was 6 years old and having her quickly replaced with another mother. He told me of his confusing childhood of having his father marry his sister in-law, Ethan’s mother’s sister. It was always very sad to hear and I tried to be as compassionate as my inexperienced 18 year old heart could be. It was almost too heavy for a budding romance like ours.
Before we could even catch our breath, Ethan was headed to the Mt. Timpanogos temple because he was feeling a prompting to make our relationship more permanent. He knew that if he took the question of eternity to the temple, God would give him the inspiration and answers needed. Since I didn’t have the blessings of the temple and endowment in my life yet, I relied on long drives alone and heartfelt prayers. I knew that I liked this Ethan enough to be in love with him and make a life with him.
On December 27th, under the Newport Beach pier and with shaking hands and voice, Ethan asked me to the marry him. I still remember the way my ring glistened inside the petals of the white rose. We were young, helplessly in love and hopeful in our future together.
A wedding date was set for March in the towering Los Angeles Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. I got to know my future in-laws and I was overwhelmed with their instantaneous love and support. Ethan’s family was beyond large. 10 siblings and over 90 first cousins, all of which were close to each other and welcoming to me. I was so thrilled to be apart of this fun, kind and exciting family.
In our decision to getting married, we had to start talking about the realities of life. Where were we going to live? Where were we going to work? What did Ethan want to do for the rest of his life? Did we want children? How did we plan to strengthen our marriage? Luckily, these questions were easily answered and we had very similar goals. It was decided that Ethan would work for his dad and the family catering business. He would learn the ropes and the ways of the family business. We would live in Southern California and make our life amid the endless summers, citrus trees and sandy beaches.