What was your life like before you met Jay?
I was born November 22, 1966 in Las Vegas, Nevada to J. Clinton and Kathleen Holmstead Harris. I'm the oldest of four children and the only daughter. I was raised primarily in Burbank, California. At 17, I left home to attend Brigham Young University.

What were your plans for the future?
I planned to finish a five-year degree in Elementary/Special Education and begin teaching. I thought about serving a mission for the church when I turned 21. I definitely wanted to get married and raise a family.

How did you meet Jay?

Jay was working as an Admissions Counselor at BYU while I was going to school there.  One day, my mother called
from California to ask me to pick up a BYU application for my brother who wanted to attend school there the next year. I thought it was strange that the application I had already sent had been lost in the mail. She insisted that I go in that day and pick up another one. When I got to the admissions window, I ended up standing there for quite awhile. Everyone working there was either on the phone or busy with something else. Finally, this guy dressed in a suit and tie (who obviously didn't work at the window), saw me standing there and came over to ask if I needed help. It was Jay...and that was how we met.

Were you very familiar with the Osmonds?
Other than watching "The Donny and Marie Show" as a little girl, I didn't know anything about the Osmonds other than that they were members of the same church as me. I didn't realize that there were nine children in the family, and I had no idea that the entire family was so talented!

What was your first impression of Jay?
My first impression of Jay is one that we laugh about now. When I first met him, I thought he was kind of "pushy" because he was so outgoing and confident. I have always been a bit shy by nature, so he just kind of "rubbed me the wrong way" at first. Isn't it funny how opposites attract!

What did you do on your first date?
We went to a Mexican restaurant called Chi-Chi's in Provo, UT.

How long did you date before you were married?
We met in November of 1986, but didn't start dating until February of 1987. He proposed in June and we were married in August.

What are some special memories you have of your courtship?
Jay and I spent half of our courtship dating long distance. We dated for two months in Utah and then I went home to California to my summer job working as a secretary for a school district. During that time, we flew back and forth from California and Utah between our jobs to see each other.

How did Jay propose to you?
I was in California and he was in Utah. He called me on the phone the night of June 22, 1987 and asked me to marry him.

What was your wedding day like?
It was wonderful! Everything was beautiful! We were married at 4 PM, Tuesday, August 25, 1987, in the Salt Lake Temple. It was the same place that each of our parents were married, which made it extra special. Our marriage was performed by Elder Paul H. Dunn, who was a good friend of the Osmond family. It was a wonderful ceremony attended by both of our families and our closest friends. Afterward, we took photographs outside the temple. Then two horse-drawn carriages escorted both sets of parents, my grandmothers, and Jay and I from Temple Square to the Marriott Hotel where we had a beautiful wedding reception. It was attended by about 3,000 people. It was wonderful to get to see so many of my friends and relatives, and to meet so many of Jay's family and friends. Our only regret was that there wasn't much time for Jay and I to visit with anyone for very long. We spent the entire evening in a reception line greeting our guests.

What is it like to become a member of the Osmond family?
I found the Osmond family to be a very easy family to marry into. Everyone has been very kind to me. The Osmonds are genuinely nice people, so it is a pleasure to be around them.

How do you keep your marriage happy?
Jay and I feel that the key to a happy marriage is to always remember to put the other person first. We also try to make it a point to go out together once a week, just the two of us. Spending time together is very important.

How is Jay as a husband?
Jay is a very kind and considerate husband. He cares a great deal about how I feel. He always wants me to be happy. I appreciate that. He also has become great at helping out around the house with the kids and the housework. I appreciate that, too!

What kind of father is Jay?
You'll never meet a man on this earth who cares more about being a great dad than Jay does! He is very devoted to our boys and spends a great deal of time with them. They absolutely adore him! When he comes in the door everyone yells, "Dad!" and runs to him. He loves it. More importantly, he spends time talking, teaching, and disciplining them. I think boys really need a positive example in their father, and I'm very grateful that Jay is that for our sons.

What is your biggest pet peeve about Jay?
My biggest pet peeve about Jay is that he worries too much about everybody. I'd like to see him relax more and take better care of himself.

What do you believe makes a marriage successful?
I'm no expert, but I do believe that a marriage is successful when each person thinks about the other person before they think about themselves. That's hard to do, but I really do believe it's the key to success. It's also very important to include the Lord in a marriage. When Jay and I pray together each night and ask for the Lord's spirit to be with us, it makes everything go smoother. It's pretty hard to have negative feelings toward your spouse when you kneel down to pray with them at the end of the day.




Jay and Kandilyn have an ongoing tournament of the game "Rummikub."
It's a game they both love and play equally well.
They usually run neck in neck, but more often, he wins!

Kandilyn loves the Star Wars movies and was a real buff as a teenager.

Kandilyn went by the nickname of "Kandi" until she turned 25,
then decided it was time to start using her given name--Kandilyn.

As a young child, she was afraid of balloons.
It frightened her to see them being blown up.

Jay and Kandilyn are 11 years and 8 months apart in age.

Kandilyn's favorite color is navy blue.

Kandilyn sends birthday cards to everyone on both Jay's and her side of the family.
That's a lot of cards, but she thinks it's important to recognize birthdays.

Jay and Kandilyn refer to the their children as their JEMs.

Kandilyn's nickname for Jay is "Honey Bear."


 Be sure to visit Kandi's Korner

Back to the Family Index Page



Information compiled by Cathy Kinsella.

Send your questions to Terri Shoemaker.

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