Boston Cream Cake by KristenDuke.com. This decadent cake is assembled in under 10 minutes
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Family Meal Plan #6 by KristenDuke.com

Love Endures {You’re My Butter Half}

You're My Butter Half by KristenDuke.com

I’ve been typing out my love story the past year or so here on my site. Sharing chapter by chapter about how I met and dated my husband. It’s a complicated love story, but it’s mine and I love it. Everyone loves to hear a good love story. We all like the stories of the beginnings, the butterflies, and the new-ness of love. But those of us who have lived just a little bit of life beyond the… Continue Reading

My Love Story: Chapter 22~Houston Texas

July 4th

{If you missed previous chapters of our Love Story, click HERE to catch up. Or for a refresher of Chapter 21, Mixed Emotions, read here.} It’s my 14th wedding anniversary, so I HAD to share the next chapter of our love story today!! I arrived home in Houston on June 25th.  I hadn’t really told anyone in my family what as going on. It was all happening so quickly, from when I stepped onto US… Continue Reading

My Love story~Chapter 21: Mixed Emotions

roommates and friends

{If you are new to my love story, start here. To remind yourself of the last chapter, click here.} As I flew across the world from Egypt to the United States at the end of my 7 week adventure, I felt a peace. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next in my life, and I was kind of excited about the clean slate ahead of me. As the airplane touched down on American… Continue Reading

My Love story~Chapter 20: Moving Forward

sunset on the sea of Galilee

{Happy birthday to my man! In honor of his birthday, I hammered out another chapter of our love story. If you’d like to read from the beginning, start here.} Letters of uncertainty from Matthew. 5 emails waiting for me when I returned from a few days unplugged. While he was tormented in California, this is what I was experiencing on the other side of the world:   {Top: Floating in the Dead Sea Middle Left:… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 19: My Boyfriend

on the bus

{If you are new to my love story, start here. I got the sweetest email from a new friend in Vermont telling me that she was told by her friend about my love story, and sat and read for 3 hours straight all the chapters thus far. It prompted me (once again) to force myself to write the next chapter. This has been the hardest chapter to write, it’s taken me 3 months to sit down… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 18: Oceans Apart

friends in Jerusalem

{If you are new to my love story, start here} After the email I got from Matthew, I went home happy, but quite confused. Did he really feel that way all along? Why didn’t he tell me before we parted ways? How do I tear down the wall I built around my heart? He was several states away, and I was leaving in less than 24 hours to fly across the world to Jerusalem. I… Continue Reading

Love Story~Chapter 17: The Letters

love story letter kristen duke

{If you’ve missed the previous chapters of  my love story, start here} He left. He actually left. I had this hope that he wouldn’t leave, and that he’d beg me to stay. But he didn’t. Just gave me a hug, an old t-shirt, and said goodbye. It made me feel that much better about the farewell letter I wrote. It wasn’t “see ya, lets keep in touch” in my mind, it was goodbye…for good. I… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 16: Semester End

studying

{If you have not read the previous chapters of my love story, start here} At the end of March 1999, It was just 30 days til I was to depart the U.S. soil and head on my world adventure to the Holy Land. Though I thought all along I wouldn’t actually go (I hoped Matthew would beg me to stay) it was looking more and more like a reality. It was a month filled with… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 15: Just Friends

BYU cougar

{If you are new to my love story, you can start from the beginning HERE.} The timing was off. Would our timing ever be ON?  Being with him I felt so much happiness, but when we were apart, that constant knot in my stomach never went away…for months. It was agony. Choosing to stay away from him for a day or two gave me a sense of power over my roller coaster of emotions. Though… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 14–Bleeding Heart

flower

{If you are new to my love story, you can start from the beginning HERE.} This (and the next) is perhaps the toughest chapters to write of my entire story because I look back at this time as the most vulnerable time in my life. Filled with lots of uncertainty and heartache. A real deep aching and bleeding of my heart.  Even still, when I look back at  pictures of me, and of him at… Continue Reading

My Love Story: Chapter 12~Valentine’s Day

valentine's

{If you are new here, and want to read my love story from the beginning, START HERE.} The week before Valentine’s Day, things were looking good for Matthew and I. Every Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. my roommates, friends, and I gathered to hear the weekly devotionals held for the entire student body in the basketball gymnasium. On February 7th, we had just heard from President Thomas S. Monson (then 1st counselor), and I was… Continue Reading

My Love Story Chapter 11~Uncertain Heart

z1

{If you are new here and missed the first 10 chapters of my love story, get caught up here.} After our first kiss, I was on cloud 9. The next week was fun, we hung out with a bunch of our friends, with a few alone outings to the store or a concert on campus. At church activities, I knew all eyes were watching, and I felt more cautious with the public displays of affection.… Continue Reading

Love Story Chapter Ten~ First Kiss

roommates

{If you haven’t read the first 9 chapters of my love story, CLICK HERE to start from the beginning. For those that have waited patiently for this chapter–thank you!  It’s well overdue…} After my 3 day weekend away to California, and with Matthew’s recent declaration of love via a 4 page handwritten letter, I was sure things would progress quickly. I mean–it was “out there” now, and should be much easier to follow the next… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 9: California Weekend

journal

{If you are new here, and missed the first 8 chapters, you can find them here, easy link on my sidebar, too.} As the plane descended into San Francisco, I couldn’t stop my heart from fluttering, and feeling all flushed inside and out. I’m sure my face was a beet red, but I had to calm myself down.  The 4 page hand written letter that Matthew insisted I wait to open til I reached 10,000… Continue Reading

My Love Story~Chapter 8: Ten thousand feet

handwritten letter

{If you are new to My Love Story, Click HERE to read all of the previous chapters.} After a tumultuous Christmas break, then having an email exchange with Matthew that left me feeling better, I was excited to get back to school to see what the future was going to bring us. I was giddy, sure that things would progress quickly once we got back in the same state. Together, with our roommates, we spent… Continue Reading