Friday, July 30, 2010

Bitter Sweet (with the emphasis on the sweet!)

Recently, we had the opportunity to fly a space mission at the Christa McAuliffe Elementary School with my family.  My sister has been volunteering there this summer and we decided to check it out.  She grew up going on camps here and has fallen madly in love with the place!  Ironically, until our mission, she was the only one in our family that had experienced the space center.  We were short staffed--the space ship was supposed to have 8 people running it (I think) but we only had 6.  This was the bitter part of the experience because I was assigned to 2 computers and had to keep running back and forth between them in addition to being responsible for passing notes back and forth.  The sweet part is we passed our mission! (...barely!  But we still passed!!!)
It would have been sweet if I could have sat by Casey the whole time...
So for anyone following this blog that knows the size of my family 6 seems strange because Julie was not apart of our commanding team.  She was behind the scenes volunteering....  So, to get to 6 we had my mom and dad, my husband and myself, and my brother and his FIANCÉE!!!  Brian and Jenaé have been engaged for a little less than a month now and this is totally sweet news!  The only bitter part is that they can't decide on a date... it goes back and forth.
Can anyone guess how we took the pictures?  We used the self-timer mode on Casey's camera and his tripod...
This would be probably my favorite, except my sister is back behind my brother...
Casey and I have continued to attend the temple every week.  I love being inside this amazing building with my sweetheart.  The bitter news is that the Provo Temple has been closed so we had to travel up to a different temple.  The sweet news is starting this week, the Provo Temple is back open!!!  I really like living so close to a temple and honestly hope that no matter where we go that we will always be blessed to live so close to the House of the Lord.  (Only in Utah is a 20-30 minute drive considered far to get to the temple! LoL!)
Ignore the squinty eyes... it was super bright and we were trying to take this ourselves with my phone.
Draper, Utah Temple
Some more bitter sweet news in our lives is I was hired to work as a GED Tutor at Stevens-Henager College.  I loved to watch people succeed and understand what I was teaching.  But at the same time, with other students, it because really frustrating when I would explain something countless times and they still would not understand.  The really bitter news about working is that I was only hired for one week.  It was supposed to be long term but the corporate level decided that the local campuses were not allowed to have tutors, advertising or marketing or a direct phone.  So, this means I was laid off after working for a week.

We had a wonderful time celebrating Pioneer Day!  In the morning, I made Monkey Bread while Casey was still sleeping and then we watched the parade together on the TV.  The only bitter part about this was the monkey bread was so delicious that we both ate a lot.  Oh well!  Later on, we went to my grandparents house and Casey mowed their grass and did some basic pruning because Grandpa insisted.  Grandpa watched Casey from the window and kept saying that he was doing such a good job!  I heard him say how hard of worker, beautiful yard, etc was countless times.  It was wonderful to see him so happy!  The bitter part about seeing my grandparents is watching how old they are getting.  Grandpa is beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's and it is hard to watch him suffer!  But I love spending as much time as possible with him anyway!  We also went to my mom's extended family BBQ at my aunt's house.  It was nice seeing everyone together again!  And the food was delicious.  I made chocolate bon-bons (it was kind of potluck...) and have fallen in love with them.  Casey tried to take some pictures for his photography class.  Unfortunately, the film was not loaded right so they didn't turn out.

To conclude our 24th celebrations we went and watched fireworks near Butler Park.  We went to the same place we watched them the year before.  It was really nice just being there and beginning a tradition.  I don't know if we will go back to that park (we were actually on Church grass) every year but I greatly enjoyed it.  The only bitter news is that we got home really super late because after the show ended we still had a long journey to go back to our home.  But I would totally pay the price of being tired because fireworks are just so beautiful and amazing to watch!!!  Especially, when the person laying beside me is my best friend! :D
Poor quality but considering it was pitch black and this was from my phone, its not so bad! :)
Again from my phone... I was pretty impressed!  I love fireworks!! *\
We also celebrated my other grandma's birthday recently.  It was nice to see my dad's side of the family too.  The only bitter part about this is that we don't live very close to any of his family so it was a long drive to the party... and we were late.  But late was better than not at all!  My grandma is such a sweet lady!  And everyone loves to laugh.  It was great!  Plus the cake was delicious!!
Celebrating being alive for 80 years!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

8 Months

This day 8 months ago started the best years of my life.
Eternal marriage has great opportunity for reward.
Yes it can have some huge challenges, some of which I have not yet faced.
But the blessings are innumerable.

Going to President Millburns (my mission president) homecoming reminded me just how blessed I am to have Lisa as my wife.  President Millburn talked about how important his wife was to the work.  And I agree that she made all the difference.
My wife has been the greatest companion I have ever had!  She makes the difference in my life.


Friday, July 16, 2010

"New Spice" Study like a scholar, scholar

This is a new advertisement from BYU's Harold B. Lee Library.  It made me laugh and was too good not to share!!!  Though, I do have a confession, I rarely studied in the library.... :/

(It is copying an "Old Spice" commercial.  But honestly, I like the "New Spice" better!!!!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

one year ago...

Some of you might be wondering what I was doing one year ago today... seems like a legit question right?!  

Well, since you asked... 

One year ago today, I was at EFY and was walking well over 4 miles a day.  My poor ankles couldn't take the impact.  I was granted a short leave in order to go run and buy some ankle supports.  This leave turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise!

EFY kept me so busy that I had very little time to talk to Casey.  We talked as much as we could on the phone but it wasn't very much or was super late at night.  Nearly the entire time that I left on my leave (to Walgreen's) I was talking to Casey.  

He asked me a very important question... we had a DTR over the phone... LoL!  It was hard though because I was gone for whole weeks at a time.  Anyway, I bet you can already guess but one year ago today, Casey and I officially began dating!!!  

Funny sidenote:  When I left for EFY on Sunday (just a few days before we were officially dating), I started crying because I didn't want to leave Casey.  It was tragic!  I hadn't been homesick for since I was a young teenager but now as I was leaving, I was Caseysick!!! :(  The picture posted below was taken a week or so earlier while we went on a picnic!  My mom printed it for me from her computer because I was so Caseysick and put it in a frame.  I kept that on my dresser that week and it still sits on our computer desk today! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Busy Days with HUGE Blessings!

There have been so many wonderful things happen this week! :D  I honestly can't believe that it is only Wednesday because that means that there is another half week to go of amazing blessings.  But for now, I want to focus on what has meant so much to me!!

*My car, Cami, obtained only minor injuries from the hit and run she was involved with sometime during the night.  We are honestly so grateful that the car was not hit worse than it was.  
*Also, some more blessings is that I drove the car the day before and then we drove it to church so we could prove it was the previous night.
*And we were able to attend our entire Church meetings and file the police report after!

*I was able to take bridal pictures in the morning!  (Note:  I imagine everyone has already heard this story... but just in case... I picked up my wedding dress the day before our wedding because it was made wrong and then stuck in customs.  I was never able to take them before our wedding because my dress was literally stuck in China!)  They turned out beautifully!  My cousin did them and she is *amazing*!  If anyone needs a good photographer, let me know!!!  (BTW:  I will hopefully post some more of my favorite bridals later...)
*My mom took me shopping after my bridals and we were so deeply grateful!  
*My little sister came and spent the night with us and it was fun to see her!
*We had ward FHE and popsicles! :)  I found my favorite flavor--rootbeer!

*We had a wonderful institute lesson!
*Nothing broke when our kitchen shelves fell (Casey put an opened box of Graham Crackers on it... makes me wonder what is in the crackers... hee,hee,hee).  We had a tile quote plaque on there as well as some candles, toaster oven, etc and nothing broke!  I was especially grateful for the tile!
*Our room was cold while we slept.  (Normally I wake up sweating so this was a nice change!!!)

*I dropped my sister, Julie, off at the space center in Pleasant Grove and then had some spare time before my interview.  Julie walked me around all of the space ships and then I was in the command room for awhile
*My second interview at Stevens-Henager College as at 10 am.  I thought it went REALLY well and was certain I would be hired soon.
*My back was adjusted by the chiropractor and wow did it feel really good!  (Maybe too good... I might be addicted... LoL!)
*At 3:26 pm, I missed a call (at the chiropractor).  When I checked my voicemail, it was from the person who interviewed me stating that I am officially hired and they would like to have me come fill out the paperwork tomorrow morning!!!!!!! :D  Seriously, this is the biggest blessing for us because I have been applying for jobs since March!  And the great news is that this will turn into a full-time job once I graduate from BYU!! YEAH!!! :D  I keep jumping up and down and squealing!
*Casey and I are going to go out for ice cream to celebrate the end of my job hunting!

Friday, July 9, 2010

"The Lost Chord"

I know this post is a little old considering it happened on Father's Day... but I am sure that there are some who will still appreciate seeing this!

While we were up in Salt Lake on Father's Day, I went to visit my grandparents while my darling husband stayed at my parents house to study for his final the next day. (Note: Normally Casey tries really hard not to study on Sunday but with his final being first thing, bright and early the next morning, he felt he needed to.) Anyway, while we were at my grandparents (mom's parents) my grandpa was laying on the couch--like always. He is really showing the signs of old age. There have been some times that he doesn't even remember my mom's name or that I am married. Some days are better than others. I have always been my grandpa's shadow and loved to follow him around and help him while I was growing up. I still love spending as much time as possible with him. I was sitting in the rocking chair right next to the couch and spent a lot of the time just talking to him very slowly and clearly while everyone else chattered away amongst themselves with my grandma.

I asked my grandpa if anyone ever played his piano any more. He said no but that he sure missed it. My little sister went over and played a couple of hymns and then my mom went and found some difficult piano songs and was going to play that for him. She played a few and everyone kept happily chattering but grandpa and I listened. Grandpa misses the piano in general and I miss hearing my mom play it.

Then as a complete surprise to everyone in the room, Grandpa began singing. A little history lesson for those that don't know, but Grandpa sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1959-1981 as a Tenor. He sang all over the world and I have loved growing up hearing the stories related to the choir and traveling including Europe, singing at Pres. Nixon's inauguration, Mount Rushmore, Mr. Kruger's Christmas and many more.

(Grandpa is on the bottom row on the far left side. He used to sit right in front of Richard Condie, the conductor and would help him and arrange his music, etc. They assign a non-choir member to do these responsibilities after Grandpa had his heart attacks. This picture would have been taken in the early 1960's.)

(Grandpa is on the top row of men, right next to the alto. This was used as a postcard.)

The reason why Grandpa singing on Father's Day was such a huge deal was because he had not even tried to sing for so long. I didn't realize how important it was until I looked up and saw Grandma crying. I quickly grabbed my phone and tried to take a video as fast as I could. I did not know how long the singing would continue but wanted to capture it once I realized how much it meant to Grandma. The videos are not the best quality... but the memory is priceless! :) Oh and make sure your volume is up loud. Between the static of the phone and Grandpa singing softly, it is slightly hard to hear.

(This first video is in the middle of him singing "The Lost Chord." It is the first song Grandma has heard Grandpa sing in well over a year, if not longer. I don't remember hearing this song before but I keep thinking how the title of it is almost ironic. This experience really was the finding of a 'Lost Chord' for Grandpa.)

(This is part 2 of "The Lost Chord" because my cell phone was set to only record for 30 seconds so it could be sent in a text message. Originally, I didn't want to take the time to switch modes because I was afraid he would stop singing.)

So, now you have to bear with me because I started playing the piano and my sister was recording things with my phone. My piano skills are rusty--so be patient! And also, my sister did not know how to use my phone very well so she is doing the best she can. Again, it is not the best but we all agreed that it was better than nothing!!

("I Need Thee Every Hour" At the end, Grandpa is wondering why these songs are never sang during Sacrament Meeting anymore. Julie and Grandma state that people still sing them. The reason Grandpa doesn't realize that they are still being sung is because he has the Sacrament brought to him now.)

(So this last video is really going to need some patience. It starts out near the end of "I Stand All Amazed" with Grandpa singing. Well, one of the cords near the end, I completely mess up and my mom starts laughing. Then the next verse my mom continues to sing and then when I get back to that same cord... it presented problems once again. Well, Grandpa tells me to go back and fix that cord before I can go on and so I continue to struggle with it. As the video is ending, you can hear Grandma telling the story of how Grandpa was supposed to inherit his parents old piano because he was the only one that really learned how to play out of his siblings. But it ended up staying in the house he grew up in.)

This was such a sweet experience for all of us! And the most amazing thing happened!!! :) Grandpa's memory came back to him after all the singing (the power of music!). He was able to tell me about his day and details from the past and then he talked a whole bunch about Casey (really amazing because a lot of times he has no idea who Casey is!). He told me how blessed we were to have each other and how Casey is such a good boy. I truly am blessed to have such wonderful men in my life whom I love so dearly!

Eat Mor Chikin...

In celebration of "Cow Appreciation Day!"

I felt so silly walking through the mall but was totally worth it because we both received free combo meals from Chick-fil-A. 
And I decided anything is possible with Casey by my side!  Some people were laughing but being together made it not so bad!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

10 Reasons Proving Casey is an Amazing Husband!

Not that this needed proving because it is obvious that Casey is wonderful... but, I felt like stating the obvious!  Being married for time and sealed for eternity to my best friend seven and a half months ago is the *best* thing that has ever happened to me.  And I truly am so deeply blessed to have such a MARVELOUS husband! <3

1.  He fixes things like broken pilot lights and stubborn door locks.
2.  He kills the spiders (even during the middle of a Sunday School lesson we are teaching together)
3.  He helps wash the dishes after dinner.
4.  He hand washed my car because it was dirty and I wished we could afford to take it to get clean!
5.  He leaves me sweet love notes in random places.
6.  He holds my hand or puts his arm around me during our institute class.
7.  He is willing to match his tie to my dress most Sundays.
8.  He holds me close when I'm tired or sad or scared or happy or any reason really.
9.  He listens to my dreams and helps make them become a reality.
10.  (And the *BEST* reason) He makes time to take me to the temple every week!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Funny Church Sign

(Please note: sign was created as and does not really exist...
But I think it is hilarious--and sadly, true!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunshine, Festivities and 4th of July Memories

Looking back over the past weekend, it is amazing that we were able to fit in as much as we did.  Celebrating is huge in Provo and we have taken advantage of the Freedom Days celebration.  It has been so much fun and we now treasure wonderful memories of our first 4th of July together.
To begin the weekend, we enjoyed a free french toast breakfast from Macey's.  It was delicious and definitely worth the long line!  The homemade buttermilk syrup was the best part.  We picked up a copy of the recipe and I will have to share it later.
(Wearing hats makes it difficult to get our faces close together... :(  but, neither 
of us are sunburned after being outside for large amounts of time so it was worth it!)
Our next stop on Saturday morning was wandering around Freedom Days.  It is like a huge festival/ booth vendors/ kiddie rides.  While we were there, we were both able to get free 5-minute massages and that was amazing.  I don't remember ever having a professional back rub before but I am pretty sure I am hooked! :)  We watched a demonstration (and were given free samples) of some very expensive pan sets.  There was no way that we could afford them but it was nice to dream.  Our water bottle ran out while wandering around all of the booths.  It took some work to find a place to fill it up but we finally found a Boy Scout troop with a huge container at their booth and were more than willing to share.  I was deeply grateful because drinking water is probably one of my favorite pastimes! ;)  We also found a Wells Fargo photo booth.  I was so excited because it was the first time I had been in one.  
(Considering how we were both too tall and the camera didn't 
show on the screen, I think these turned out great!)
After we finished looking at the various displays, we had just enough time to eat Asian chicken wraps and watch a movie at home before I needed to report for work.  This was perfect and exactly what I needed.  I am deeply thankful for a great swamp cooler, comfy couch, and sweet husband.
I was really excited to work at Stadium of Fire.  And for the most part, I loved working as Gate Security.  I had to search bags and enforce the rules of no outside food or drinks, no umbrellas, etc.  Generally it went pretty well but some people were so angry about not being allowed to bring in their water that they would dump it on my feet or swear at me.  I kept thinking the people should just be grateful to be allowed to bring in empty bottles!!!
After the majority of the people had come through the gate I was assigned to, the police officer sent about half of the people in to wander between the portals.  I was very lucky and was the first to be assigned to go in and was placed at the lower portals.  I was able to watch nearly the entire show.  The fireworks were by far my favorite!!! :D  I wanted to take pictures of them but didn't have any cameras in my pocket (not even my phone) because it wasn't allowed.  The scary part about being so close though was that one of the fireworks shot sideways instead of up.  I saw it coming and turned around and ducked.  The guy that was on event staff didn't react fast enough though and it hit and slightly burned his hand.
(The picture isn't the greatest...  but the memories are!)
Casey volunteered to come pick me up after because there was no where that I could park that was even remotely close to the stadium.  Once we arrived home, Casey offered to rub my feet because he knew I had been standing the entire time.  It was so sweet and I seriously have the *best* husband!!!
We taught Sunday School on the 4th of July and wore our "Patriotic" outfits.  It is just fun to dress up for holidays and to celebrate them.  
(I am so grateful I married someone who loves celebrating as much as I do!!!)
After church (and Casey taking a short nap--due to the fact that we didn't go to bed until about 1 am) we drove to Salt Lake to have a family dinner/ party.  It was great being together! :)  We also went to a lake--near Brian's (my brother) work--and took some family pictures using Casey's camera and the self-timer feature and his tripod.  I have to wait to post them but hopefully soon!  We also went to my grandma's house and watched fireworks lit by my sister.
Monday morning, we woke up pretty early (again sacrificing our sleep) to go find a place to watch the parade.  I ended up resting (though never fully asleep) on our blanket on top of the road.  I have never laid down on a road before so it was a new experience! ;) LoL!  We had great seats and fortunately the weather wasn't super hot.  It was really enjoyable!!
(Trying to take a self picture while a float was going past.  We have 
several of just the road but finally got a good one!)
(Casey's school mascot: the Wolverine at UVU!)
(Lisa's school mascot: Cosmo the Cougar at BYU!)
Following the parade, we decided to go walk around Colonial Days.  Casey used the opportunity to take pictures using the black and white camera for his photography class.  I was looking at the negatives he developed today and they look really good.  I loved going to Colonial Days and hope we can make this a tradition in the future!  I think it would be so much fun for young kids because all the people were dressed up from the time period and their were tons of  free crafts.
(My knight in shining armor!!!!)
(Holy cow that thing hurt... I don't think I have that
big of neck but this thing was super tight...)
(with Abraham Lincoln)
(with Ben Franklin)
(In the center is a piece of fabric from the original flag that was flying 
when Francis Scott Key saw it and was then inspired to write the
Star-Spangled Banner.  I thought this was so neat--maybe because 
I will soon have a degree with part of it being in sewing/ textiles.)
To end the night, (and weekend of celebrating) we had dinner with my parents and sister at Purple Turtle because she had a break from space camp for a few hours in Pleasant Grove.  We were first timers... I throughly enjoyed their sweet potato fries and onion rings!!
It truly has been a busy weekend but so much fun!  I am so thankful to live in a country where I am able to enjoy such freedoms that allow me to celebrate and take pictures and be with my dear husband.  The best freedom (if I had to pick just one...) would be the ability to go to church and believe in the Gospel.  And along with that, the blessing of being sealed to my darling Casey forever!!!  I know some places are not as blessed to have such freedoms or such knowledge and I hope I never take being an American for granted!
(I know I already posted this picture... but it fits so perfectly...  
I truly am so richly blessed for my freedom and for my testimony!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

the simpleness of yesterday...err, yesterdecade

While I was attending training to work as Gate Security for Stadium of Fire, we had a fairly long presentation on how to use...
...the police radio.  I thought it was the funniest thing when the officer kept emphasizing that you have to hold the button to talk and then you have to let go.  And also, the key pad on the front, does not text--you have to actually communicate through speaking while pressing the button and then let go.  
This presentation went on for probably 15 minutes and I kept laughing (quietly!) for most of that time because it was so funny hearing the officer explain how to push the button and let go.  Really... has our generation forgotten how to use walkie-talkies/ radios now because of the convenience of a cell phone?