Spencer Scott Strickland and Katie LaRee McKinney
Sealed September 17,2011

Friday, March 30, 2012

Marriage that Bwessed Arrangement

September was a crazy month full of so much joy!
Before the Arkansas reception we took a new family picture. It has everyone except Eldon, he is my baby brother who I am super close to, he is serving in the SLC south mission for our church.

I love these people and must say it was great having them all together to celebrate with me.

 I must thank Spencer's Aunt Liz for getting this picture taken of all of Spencer's family together they are missing Spencer's oldest sister Sunell and her family; they live in California.  

Things did get a little messy...but that happens at a BBQ? Right?? I had such a good evening with many people who had taught, loved, and raised me in the gospel.

Wowzers getting married was an awesome crazy thing. Our Arkansas reception turned out great....all those years of being single and I still had no idea what I really wanted..plan now...and now 6 months later I can tell you it really does not matter what is on your tables or other decor at the reception. You just don't realize how much it doesn't matter until later. Our colors were red and black which matched our announcement and inadvertently the Razorbacks ( we have a growing collection or Razorback decor for our Razorback nursery).
It was great to meet so many of Spencer's relatives who came to our reception. His Aunt Liz and Uncle George came up from Tallahassee, FL  (they live in my step grandpa's ward) . It was a fun BBQ catered by "uncle Nels" and "Nelsy" aka Nels Jr.

    Our wedding weekend was just what we wanted all of our families together. We all drove over to Memphis (Spencer and I took a pit stop to get the marriage licence) . We stayed at the La Quinta and had a pool party Friday night with Spencer's siblings and mine. We had a blast spending time together. My nephew Jacob with Down Syndrome loves to swim and he and Spencer are big buddies. Spencer's calling when we met was to be Jacob's "primary buddy" for church. He was so good with Jacob! I loved him the minute I saw the two of them together!!

The temple sealing was a most joyous occasion! We were sealed by President Nebekur, we share a wedding anniversary, we were introduced at Stake Conference when I spoke with Elder Christofferson who was visiting our stake..it was nerve wracking and exciting all at once. Before we went to the sealing room I was sitting in the brides room and was just so grateful this day had finally arrived. I knew that my loving Heavenly Father had promised me that it would. I had the most peaceful, grateful, calm feelings.

 I'll never forget the smile on Spencer's face or the tears running down our mother's faces. It was great to have our family their too! My poor grandparents were falling apart during that time and none of them could make it.

 Our honeymoon was fast and furious! We drove to Utah and had 3 days there and drove home. We stayed in Anniversary Inns and Suites; in the Swiss Family Robinson room...tree house. ( It is tradition --all the McKinney siblings have stayed here on our honeymoon)

    I had such a fun time showing Spencer around Utah; old mission places, temple square, old apartments and a few historical places. Spencer even made the news as a first timer to see the SLC temple in person. It was neat.

.  I have to give a huge no gigantic shout out to my mom's mom's sisters Aunt Marie and Aunt Gerrie for all their help!! We used their ward building and it was just great, they helped mom and my mom in law Sue decorate, food, shop ...everything! Our Utah reception was perfectly small and intimate with people who mean so much to us who we hadn't seen in years, it really was touching to see so many come out and celebrate with us.
          Several people I worked with on my mission came and it was so wonderful and a powerful spiritual experience to share this joyous event in my eternal life with people who I had helped put on a path to eternal life. FULNESS OF JOY that was exactly what I felt as I saw the Praags and Allens and others. Also several of my dad's relatives came his sister Mickey and two of her kids Robby and Richard. I haven't seen those McKinney cousins in years and it was just marvelous to see them and see their adorable children.
  I love this picture! This is the McDonald's, Beth McDonald was a second mom to me when we lived in Pennsylvania and her youngest daughter Molly and her baby girl Reese. Like I said it was such an intimate wonderful open house and I thoroughly enjoyed it.      

We got to go to conference me with mom and Spencer got to go to Priesthood session. It was a marvelous time. One night after a dead cell phone and some meeting up frustrations (wedded bliss isn't quite always blissful is it? =0)...we went up to THE ROOF to eat and on the weekends you have to have a reservation which we didn't have (more frustration and I was on the verge of tears) but a table opened up and we ended up having  a sensational meal with a simply superb view of the temple.

I love being married to Spencer Scott Strickland! He is such a wonderfully sweet and thoughtful man. He makes my days brighter and my nights warmer, no more bedtime prayers for someone to love and cherish. The Lord answered that prayer in such a miraculous way, He lives and loves us, this I know!!
          September was a whirlwind or wonderfulness! Stay tuned for the FALL of October....when things went crazy...literally.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Story

Marrwage that blessed arrangement…………of Spencer and Katie
             Yes, we are getting married and can’t believe it is really happening but it is!!!! We could not be any happier. We’ve both been praying and seeking for the right someone for aloooooooooooooong time. We can’t believe how in a few short weeks our lives, perspectives, goals, and ambitions have changed so much. The Lord does keep His promises, I never should have doubted for one second that He would come through in a big way, I never truly doubted but knew that if I stayed with the Lord he would “not forget me (because) He has engraven me upon the palms of His hands” Isaiah 49:15-16

How we met—Meetcue
                 In April our church created a new congregation from 2 larger ones; it was there that we met. My dad was the Bishop of this new congregation, the Choctaw Ward, and after visiting with Spencer he asked me if I knew him and suggested I start to get to know him. So I added him on facebook, where I saw he was a big Mavericks fan; I knew nothing about them so I did some research and thought I should root for them too, GO DIRK!!! We communicated via facebook until the first Choctaw Ward activity where we visited and played a bean bag toss game called Bago, me and my neice Emily lost to him and Eliseo. Then I got news that two of my close friends were getting married Katie Hill, in Alaska and Mike Hebert in Utah; Mike on the 16th of September and Katie H on the 17th. So I decided to fly to Alaska to be at Katie Hill’s wedding and visit all my Alaska friends; and to drive to Chicago to visit Mike before his wedding. I gave my number to Spencer and told him to call me while I was gone; I had a great trip! When I got home I tried to book my flight to Alaska several times and just didn’t feel right about it now I know why I didn’t. So two days after I got home from Chicago Spencer hosted a party at his house, which was tidy and well decorated. He was a great host and soooooooo funny, we laughed non stop. Saturday night I hosted a party at my mom’s same thing again great time laughing and talking we liked the same movies, music, food. We saw each other or have talked everyday since that night. Several nights this week we drove down to Cadron Settlement park by the Arkansas River and talked politics, religion, family, music, parenting, and life in general, he was a John Wayne fan so I knew he was a keeper. =-) He spoke about his feeling for adoption and that was huge for me with PCOS. We were having a blast and things were going great. I was worried he was going to run off and find some other girl at the YSA conference that weekend , I told Spencer this and he said no way!! he was excited for us to go out on a date up there; we were supposed to go to the Razorback museum and out to eat.

the girls on the way to the conference
                After our first official date my nephews Ben and Gabe (my oldest nephews who are hilarious) asked if he had kissed me yet and I said,” no” and Gabe said,’ yeah right was it a daddy kiss?, you know like when he kisses you before bed”, then Ben said,” or a John Wayne kiss, did he grab you and kiss you for awhile,” then “Gabe said or was it a 007 kiss and then he stuck his tongue out and mashed it into his hand and ferociously moved his head around.”. I was busting up laughing and knew I was in trouble when my 10 and 11 year old nephews knew more about kissing then I did. Ha!
On the way up to the conference I really wanted to ride with Spencer but I drove some girls in my truck, instead. Well, the air conditioner stopped and the compressor stopped working on my truck we took it to a part store and decided it was best to leave my truck in Alma, AR and pack in with the boys. Spencer was just so supportive and calm during the crisis, I was impressed. Needless to say after the truck break down my nerves were shot!! Me and some other people were going to stay with my sister Janeen in her apartment but now since I didn’t have transportation we girls got a hotel room which was next to Spencer’s and Brandon Smith’s room. That night we were not into the dance, and I was still anxious and disappointed about the truck so we snuggled up in the chapel which immediately made me feel better; and visited until my brother Spencer aka lil Spence got there; then we went to dinner and had a nice time.
When we got back to the hotel we visited in the courtyard of the hotel by the pool for hours. We talked and I learned how my brothers and his family had been interconnected in the old Quitman Ward for the last several years. Quincy ordained him to be and Elder. I was smitten with this gentle giant!!! That night I didn’t sleep well and that morning I was praying and thanking Heavenly Father for His blessing of a kind hearted man who seemed to care for me, when I had this overwhelming spiritual experience and knew that Spencer and I were supposed to be together and that our relationship was the answer to countless prayers offered on our behalf by so many who loved us on this side and those on the other side as well. Saturday I told Spencer about my feelings and special experience and he was shocked and surprised. We joined up with the other conference goers, after a stop off and picture at the Razorback stadium We both love the hogs but he is a huge fan. We ate lunch with everyone and then we found an empty lobby of a building on campus where we just wanted to sit and talk. Through our talking we knew or had a pretty good idea that marriage was in the near future for us. Saturday night we went to a devotion done by Donny Osmond’s son ,Don, where he talked about how we are more than our facebook profiles but the product of generations who had shaped us and these people are all around us wanting good things for us. It was a confirmation of the experience I had. We ditched the dance for some putt putt golf, again we visited in the courtyard of the hotel for a long time and things were just so perfect; even this drunk women who walked by thought so she gave us her glow in the dark bracelet and gave us her approval, it was hilarious!!! I also learned that he had some great John Wayne and 007 skills. I told him about Ben and Gabe’s categories and he thought that was the best!! At first I was sooo upset that I would not have my truck at the conference, but it was sooo much better staying in the same place as him!!

a stop on the way home from the Young Single Adult conferences

             Sunday morning we ate breakfast together in the courtyard and left for church. We were blessed to hear from the Oklahoma City Temple President and his wife; they spoke about eternal marriage and what we need to do to prepare for temple marriage and the blessings marriage bring; to not wait if we had found the one we wanted to be with. Again an overwhelming confirmation of what we were thinking and feeling. We were able to drive a car home alone, we stopped at my best friend and cousins. While telling Mandy about him I realized again how absolutely CERTAIN I was that he was the right one for me.
          We both have been surprised at how effortless this whole relationship has been, its just flowed perfectly! During the drive home we tried to work out some specifics of when and where to get married and then the how we wanted to let people know we were getting married. He decided he didn’t want to know anything about what kind of ring I wanted and that we shouldn’t tell anyone until we had time to ask for our parents blessing. Sunday evening we spent at my parents, where the crazy McKinney clan gathers for Sunday dinner and family time each week. My family LOVED Spencer before we were together and they LOVED him more with me that night. There were several marriage jokes and Ben and Gabe were giving us the stare down the whole night. Apparently, in Sunday School class they were asking Spencer’s sister all about us and trying to get the scoop from her. It is after this that Spencer was CERTAIN this was meant to be and going to work out great!!
          Monday we set up meetings with our parents for Tuesday night; also we went to Little Rock and while we were there Spencer decided he might want a hint of what I wanted for a ring so we looked, it was a surreal moment. Tuesday evening we told our parents and they were all very happy and excited for us!!! We love each other so much and know that our Heavenly Father has ordained this marriage and will continue to bless us with His Spirit to continue to lead and guide us as a couple and family. We then spent the next few days telling our closest friends and family. Everyone we told was so happy and thought that we could not be a better pair. I waited patiently for a proposal, knowing it would happen in the next few days.

The Proposal-
               Spencer picked me up and took me to the river where we ate a picnic dinner watched the sunset and snuggled on a blanket; when we left I thought he was proposing tomorrow at the lake but no we got to his apartment where when he opened the door I was so surprised to see will you marry me in rose pedals, he dropped to one knee then I started crying and held his face in disbelief. I  could hear dsome romantic tunes in the backgroun it was Dean martin; Spencer pulled out the ring and said will you make me the happiest man on earth and marry me, I said yes and looked at the most gorgeous ring ever!!! He did soooo great!

       We would like to thank all of you for your love, support, care, concern, prayers, and faith on our behalf!!! The wait has been long especially for me but so worth it; to be so in love and so certain of this love. Spencer is soooooooo good to me and treats me the way a man should treat the woman he loves. We are so blessed; and eagerly look forward to starting a family and the rest of our lives together. We would love to send you and invite so leave us your address in this link and we will make sure you get one.

We are getting MARRIED!!!!

Welcome to our blog! We are so happy to be getting married and sharing our happiness with all our friends and family! Check back soon for more pics and "our story!"