true love

It all started in December of 2009.

As a freshman at BYU, I received a letter from an “Elder Gilbert.” But I had no idea who this "Elder Gilbert" was.  After reading the (semi-awkward and obviously forced) letter, I learned that Elder Gilbert was the LDS mission companion to one of my friends from home, Jordan Mckee.  Previously to receiving this letter, Jordan had written me a few letters trying to convince me to write Elder Gilbert.  He swore to me that we were “meant for eachother.”  I just rolled my eyes at these letters, and shrugged off his pleadings for me to write this Elder Gilbert.  But the poor Elder Gilbert had clearly succummbed to Jordan’s pleadings and sent me a letter.  Like I said, the letter was a little awkward...a lot of “How’s the weather?” “Is it snowing there?” “Do you like the snow?”

After letting the letter sit on my desk for a few days, I decided to write him back.  My letter was probably just as pointless, and probably even more awkward than his.  If I remember correctly, I even included a few lame jokes in the letter to fill up space.  I sent the letter off, and was surprised when I received a second letter from Elder Gilbert a few weeks later.  While the letter seemed a little less forced than the first one, it was still nothing special (I mean, what else would you expect from two people who had never met before?).  Once again, I placed the letter on my desk.  Soon it was covered with homework and textbooks, and I had forgotten all about it.  After stumbling upon it about six weeks later, I decided that it would be strange to write back after so much time had passed (plus, I didn’t know if he was even living at the same address).  So, I went about my life and didn’t think twice about this temporary pen-pal of mine.

Fun side note:  While Jordan and Taylor were mission companions, Jordan gave Taylor a picture of me, since he was convinced we would end up getting married.  Taylor jokingly carried the picture with him throughout his mission.  The picture moved with him, hanging from fridge to fridge, as he was transferred to new areas. I was known as “Puppy Girl” to him and his companions.  Hence the picture.

Taylor and I both randomly kept the letters that we exchanged.  While we were dating, we decided to frame them, along with the infamous "Puppy Girl" picture, and Jordan's prophecy about us getting married. This now sits in a special place in our home.

Almost a year and a half after this letter exchange, Jordan arrived home from his mission and moved out to Utah.  After moving to Utah, Jordan lived with Taylor’s family  for a few weeks while waiting to move into his apartment.  When Jordan came to Utah, him and I reunited as old friends.  While picking Jordan up at Taylor’s house one evening, Jordan invited me inside to meet the Gilberts.  I didn’t quite connect that this was the same Elder Gilbert I had written a year and a half ago.  It was kind of an awkward moment--the Gilbert family was in the middle of eating dinner (waffles to be exact), when Jordan dragged me inside.  A quick “hello” “how are you” and “nice to meet you” (and probably a “who are you?” from the Gilberts) was exchanged.  Ironically, the first time I met Taylor, he was sitting next to his girlfriend of the time.  Of course, I didn’t think anything of it.  I didn’t even know these people, and I was currently dating someone else.  After leaving the Gilbert’s home, Jordan asked me, “Do you know who that was?” Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about.  He then told me, “That was Elder Gilbert!  The one you wrote on his mission!”  And then it clicked!  But, like I said, the letters were nothing special, and I was dating someone else, so of course, I wasn’t interested. I probably muttered an “Oh, cool.” And then the subject shifted to something else.

Well, our good friend Jordan was persistent.  About a month after this first meeting, Jordan invited me to a party at his and Taylor’s apartment (they were now rooming together).  Luck would have it that Taylor and I were both recently and currently single.  Aside from a much-less-awkward-hello compared to the first time we met, Taylor and I didn’t talk much at the party.  We connected who each other were and had a laugh over the awkward letters we exchanged a year and a half earlier, and then mingled with other people during the remaining of the night.

Side note: I feel like I’ve used the word “awkward” a lot in this story.  And that’s really the best word to sum up the whole experience up to this point. Awkward.  Two people who really didn’t know each other, but wrote each other over a year earlier, with a mutual friend who is insisting they are “perfect for eachother”= definitely awkward.

About a week after that party, I went to Taylor’s and Jordan’s apartment complex one night to go swimming with them and a bunch of other people.  While Taylor has his own version of this part of the story, I attest that mine is true and accurate.  I tried striking up conversations with Taylor, but was receiving nothing in return.  Maybe it was because my eye-makeup had started to run down my face, turning me into a human-made raccoon. Awesome.  It actually was quite funny, and I laughed about it with everyone else.  But, I guess I can’t blame him too much for not being interested in Kelli, the raccoon. ;)   So, I shrugged it off and continued to enjoy my night. Great love story so far, eh?

A few nights later, Jordan invited me over to their apartment.  Conveniently, about a half hour after I arrived at their apartment, Jordan had “somewhere to be,” which left Taylor and I alone.  Even though we both caught on to Jordan's wily intentions, Taylor and I laughed it off and enjoyed a fun and easy conversation.  It was during this afternoon that I realized how funny Taylor was.  He probably thought I was a total ditz, because I was laughing uncontrollably the whole time we were together.  Maybe if he had stopped cracking jokes, I would have been able to act like a normal person.  So now, he knows me as his “old pen-pal who has awkward hello’s, looks like a raccoon, and laughs like a banshee.”  

The next day, I invited Jordan and Taylor to play racquetball.  Once again, Jordan “conveniently” had somewhere to be, but insisted that Taylor was “free as a bird.”  This quickly (and accidentally) turned into our first date.  I must have given off a better impression, because from this day on, Taylor and I saw each other everyday.  It was an automatic friendship, and soon Taylor and I became inseparable.  

The following weekend, Jordan asked us if we wanted to take a quick trip down to Sacramento.  And it really was quick....20 hours in the car for a 24-hour visit home.  While we were in Sacramento, Taylor and I spent the evening together with my family.  My family just adored the boy.  I was beginning to wonder: who doesn’t adore Taylor?  That evening was actually the first time we held hands...which has its own funny story.  But I’ll save that one for later.

And thus began the start of mine and Taylor’s “romantic” relationship.  We got along perfectly, and I really felt like I was living a fairytale.  

A week after the trip to Sacramento, Taylor ended up driving down to LA with me for my brother's wedding.  I didn't want to drive the 10 hours alone, and at this point, Taylor was the only person I wanted to be around.  It was during this trip that I realized how fast I was falling for him.  I noticed my mom giving me strange looks throughout the wedding reception.  Towards the end of the night, while we were watching Taylor dance with my three-year-old niece on the dance floor (precious, right?), my mom came to stand next to me and said, “I think he’s the one.”  As much as the thought scared me, I realized I had been thinking the same thing all night.   

 Our trip in LA.

The day that we arrived home from LA, Taylor randomly turned to me one evening and asked, “We’re going to get married someday, aren’t we?”  Way to make a girl’s heart beat a million times a minute!  I think I was too stunned/excited/crazy in love to respond with anything comprehensible.  

Maybe it was when we instinctively knew how to share the arm rest at the movies. Maybe it was when we noticed how well our hands fit together. Maybe it was when we started finishing one another's sentences. But somewhere along the way, we realized we were made for each other. 

The next few months consisted of more roadtrips, more dating, more courting, and continuing to  fall deeper and deeper in love with one another.  Everything happened so quickly, but time meant nothing when we realized that the only thing that mattered was the thing we both wanted most: to be together, as Taylor and Kelli Gilbert, for time and all eternity.

Then on August 6, 2011, Taylor made me the happiest girl on earth when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I will have to tell you the whole story at some point. The whole proposal was beyond creative, and the cute boy had me fooled the entire time!  

I guess he was pretty happy too... ;)

And on October 8, 2011, I became the luckiest girl alive when I married the man of my dreams, the love of my life, and my best friend.  The day I became Kelli Kristine Gilbert and stood side-by-side with my husband, Taylor Ray Gilbert, was the happiest day of my life.
Sacramento, CA Temple

And on October 8, 2011, I became the luckiest girl alive when I married the man of my dreams, the love of my life, and my best friend.  The day I became Kelli Kristine Gilbert and stood side-by-side with my husband, Taylor Ray Gilbert, was the happiest day of my life.

(Sacramento, CA Temple)

Who would have ever thought that I would marry that temporary pen-pal of mine? Or that Taylor would marry his "Puppy Girl"? :)
This love is ours. And we cherish it deeply.

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same


  1. This is soo cute! I can't handle it.

  2. Cute! My husband & I have a pretty similar story except I was the one who sent that first awkward letter haha

    1. haha! I didn't know that! how funny! you feel my awkward-letter-pain then...ha!

  3. Seriously, you guys are adorable! I honestly just love this so much.

  4. so cute! i lived in sacramento this summer and photographed several weddings at the sacramento temple. it's gorgeous and i must say i'm missing that california sunshine :)

  5. Such a sweet and romantic love story. Ah, I love it!!

  6. Such a cute story!!! Would love to hear more about how he proposed :)

  7. Oh my gosh, I just died. Thank-you for the sweet comment on my blog! I had to come over to yours right away. Your love story is adorable, I love it!


  8. this story is adorable - i loved reading it!

  9. So glad you found my blog...because now I've found YOURS!!! And your love story is absolutely adorable!!!! I loved reading it...and now, I will be stalking your archives for your detailed engagement story. (It better be in here somewhere!!) :)

  10. Oh my goodness. You're love story is really special. You guys are clearly meant to be together - there is just way to many coincidences! ... "puppy girl" hahaha I can't get over that. So cute.

  11. Thank you for stopping by my blog because then I was able to read this story! I love it, especially all the awkwardness! Makes me feel much better about my dating life :)

  12. AH! I love a good love story! This is SO cute and I love how awkward it started out and then how natural it suddenly became! When your husband asked you if you were going to get married someday it reminded me of a conversation I had with my husband when we were dating.... we were on a walk and he randomly said, "so when do you think we'll get married?!" It caught me TOTALLY off guard because of course I had thought of it, but we had never ever talked about it. You and your husband are ADORABLE and I can't even get over the pictures of your engagement... Like I'm dying over the cuteness! :)