Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Things

We had another epic night at Sharon's. Although we were told dinner would be more snacking food than a gourmet dinner (like last time), Sharon had the idea for Serious Nachos. Now, these aren't your pitiful broken little chips covered with cheese and thrown in the microwave. These are nachos layered with beans and meat seasoned to perfection, broiled in the oven, and then slathered with a whole gluttony of toppings. Yeah. Not for the faint of heart. We were absolutely gorged by the end of the night.

But what the night was really meant to be was a game night. Sharon had surprised Jaime with an awesome game called Things, which relies on each players ability to recognize how the other players would answer a question. It was a very good way to get to know everyone in an entirely different way. Apparently, Sharon doesn't believe Justin Timberlake could kayak, Andrew would not recommend a cow prod for a wedding gift, and Chris wish he would have thought through flying off a cliff. So, yeah... like I said. Enlightening.

It has been really fun to get to know Sharon better through these dinner and game nights. There is something about getting to know someone in a different setting than the usual (work). She is so quick to laugh and service-oriented. And I think her lying abilities are improving! All in all, Chris and I agreed on the way home that night we would like to be more like her when we grow up.

June 30th - Golden Gestation Day!

You know how special it is when people have their golden birthday? The birthday where they turn the same number as the day of the month (i.e. the year you turn 15 on August 15th)? That is serious business. 

Well, I realized today we have reached 30 weeks of pregnancy on June 30th!! Golden Gestational Day! Whoo!!

And it also just so happens to be the day I am 2/3 of the way through my temporary job! ...not that I am counting or anything.

Introverts

Recently life has seemed like we’re living in the fast lane. Super fun! We’ve had quite a few dinners with friends, vacations, play dates and classes. I have loved running around being with friends. But for an introvert who expends energy in social life, it has also been exhausting.

I realized the other day as I thought about what it would be like to have a restful evening, I imagined myself thinking of taking it easy with Chris by my side. That may not sound surprising, but I was caught off guard by the contrast that thought had to my visualization of a restful evening a year ago. The latter consisted of me being alone in the apartment, re-energizing myself by organizing a long put-off project. Or reading. Or trying something new. Alone. Just about anything that sounded the most restful involved me being by myself, doing my own thing.

I’ve been married to Chris for 8 months now. In that amount of time, its amazing how he has become very much a part of me. Now, I realize he is his own person with his own thoughts, very much an individual. What I mean is that I am coming to know him so well. It is fun to see his facial expressions and accurately guess what he is thinking about, or to be in a situation and know how he would react. And now to realize that instead of draining my personal energy when I am with him, he is someone I feel rejuvenated around. As if he is an extension of me. I have allowed myself to feel this way around Chris because he allows me to be completely myself and loves me for it (or despite it ;) ). 

I feel like Chris has taught me the freedom and liberation that comes from unconditional love.

Cute Chris at a Zupas lunch date

Dinner with the Ds

We were able to have dinner with the D's, a family that Chris has grown up with in Petaluma. They are just an awesome family in general, and I have enjoyed seeing Chris interact with them because they all know each other so well. Wholly entertaining :) Plus, their whole family seems to be on the culinary chef status, so that is always a huge perk!

But I forgot to take a picture... :(

Marriage Prep Graduation


Marriage Prep is OVER!

You would think after a solid half a year of marriage Chris and I would have learned it all, especially because we are a veteran couple of the ward! Well my friends, I hope I don’t put anyone into shock, but we found ourselves learning a ton as we prepared for these lessons, and even more when we discussed the comments from the singles in the class. Those singles are some smart cookies! I absolutely loved their insights towards marriage, and what it ultimately came down to—their attitudes towards living their lives in the gospel. I have loved the opportunity to study the topic of marriage in the context of church doctrine.

Ok, so now for the part that I know you really wanted to hear. Success rate? Let’s just say at one point, HALF THE WARD was either engaged, seriously dating, or we don’t know what happened to them because they were MIA (aka they were always with their significant other). I wish this could be some kind of credential for a resume, because those are some awesome statistics! But as proud as Chris and I are, and how much we would love to claim responsibility for their eternal happiness, the credit lies squarely on the shoulders of the proactive Provo YSA 6th Ward members. Being in this ward, before and after marriage, has been a wonderful experience. If we do end up leaving for a job before Chris graduates, this ward will be one of the parts of Provo life I will truly miss.

Brothers

At one point during the Colorado trip, Ben and Chris were taking turns quoting StarFox and laughing hysterically. This persisted for a solid 15 minutes of uninterrupted strings of video game dialogue.

I had no idea what they were talking about (or quite frankly, why what they were quoting was even remotely funny) but I found myself sitting back, unable to keep the smile off my face as I listened to their reminiscing.

Random moments like can bring so much joy.

...and make you realize you are so far behind in the gaming world that it is futile to try and catch up.

Colorado Trip Day Three

Along the way, Ben was our most consistent travel buddy. He was there to help Chris stay awake as I snoozed in the back seat, he brought the Pokemon theme songs and rap to rock out to, and he was an absolute gentleman when it came to opening doors, filling up my empty glass, etc. It was fun to have him in our car with us. Not to mention I have had the most thorough explanation of any video game I could possibly dream of! We had more fun than should have been allowed in that car.

We drove most of the morning back up to Colorado Springs, passing little one mile square towns as we went. We met up with one of Nate's old friends from Petaluma while we were there at the mall, which allowed Chris and I to peruse the mall at our leisure. At one point, we got pulled into a game store (one of our favorite past-times) and found a puzzle we both instantly fell in love with:




Is that picture not adorable?! Thank goodness we did not have our wallets with us, or we would have forked out some serious money for this puzzle! The more baby stuff we accumulate, the more we are thinking giraffes will be one of the nursery themes, much to Chris' pleasure.

When we met up with the family again, we only had a moment to take in that Mama W. was holding a few bags before she interjected her excited disclaimer, "It was all under $20!" She then showed off her bounty from The Children's Place: cute clothes for Baby Waz! They were extremely cute, especially the one that says I Love My Family, with aunt, mom, grandpa, grandma, uncle, dad all included throughout the lettering. So cute! And that is what happens when Mama W. gets loose in the mall :)


Sheltered under a church pavilion watching thunderstorms as Nate catches up from someone he taught on his mission.


Look at the picture Ben got! Pro Photographer right here

After an afternoon filled with meeting up with previous mission leaders, members, and relatives, we ended our last evening in Colorado in the best possible way—meeting some of Nate’s most recent friends. They invited us over for dinner, and the food was to die for! Their beautiful home was decorated with authentic Alaskan artifacts and we sat out on their back patio in the most perfect weather in a green, spacious backyard. And by far the most incredible part of this ordeal were the people themselves. The way he greeted us so sincerely from the very beginning and his subtle, yet hilarious sense of humor, coupled with her friendliness and sunny hospitality made us instant friends with this extraordinary couple.

Ben kindly took the picture for us
It was at this couple’s house that I made my most profound discovery of the trip: Life is about loving people.

I can’t sufficiently describe the grandour of the beautiful mountains we traversed, or the air of adventure that comes from staying in hotels with continental breakfasts with omelet bars, or the feeling of satisfaction that comes from eating an order from Sonic delivered perfectly. The trip was certainly all these things. But the highlights were unequivocally travelling with beloved family members while seeing Nate light up at being reunited with people he had come to dearly love, and coming to love them in return.

On our way home! In front of the Denver Temple

Colorado Trip Day Two

This morning I felt terrible. I think feeling sick the day before and then not sleeping well did not bode well with my body. The upside to all this was Chris and his family absolutely pampered me. Chris gave me a massage while Mama W. rubbed Deep Blue in my kinked neck. Everyone in the family is always nice, but their kind doting on me helped me so much! Full recovery by that evening :) I’m very grateful to them and their example to me to being loving.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of the breakfast served at this hotel. It was fantastic! My favorite part was an omelet bar where you could tell the chef what items you wanted your omelet made of, and he would make it right in front of you! They even had chocolate milk! (one of my guilty pleasures) Papa W. and Ben had a contest going to see how many of the different bars they could hit before exploding (hot breakfast, omelet, cereal, baked goods, fruit, yogurt, etc) They hit every single one, but I think the omelet bar stood in their way of complete domination of that challenge.

We travelled farther south found the house of Elder and Sister T.– an amazing couple who had loved Nate as a missionary and who I ended up teaching at the MTC. They are still on their mission, so we didn’t get to see them, so we decided to creepily take a picture in front of their house. 

Elder and Sister T.'s home

We made our exodus east, parallel to the New Mexico border, then made our way up north again to Colorado Springs. On the way we met up with some members Nate knew who were bee keepers. Although their bees hadn’t survived the harsh weather conditions this year, they did have a little bee house where they kept the hives and showed us how they worked. Bees are so interesting! Then they kindly gave us a jar of honey.

Lunch at Big Burger World-a place the missionaries frequented. It had a TON of selection!

Today we travelled from Colorado to Springs to the south. Nate’s first area was in Roton, a city just across the New Mexico border. We weren’t able to go that far south, but we did make it to Alamosa. The drive down was so different than the drive to Colorado Springs. Instead of massive canyons and green pines with snow, it was more flat and deserty. Except for the River Gorge of course.




At one point we even travelled through what looked like an interstellar dust storm! This leg of the journey was the first time that Nate was in the car with us, which made it a completely different experience. Instead of just driving through a beautiful state, it made everything more meaningful. This is where he and his companion got stranded on the side of the road...this exact house is where he lived for 7 1/2 months of his mission...this library is where he would send his weekly emails...It gave everything more depth and purpose.

We made it to the hotel around 7pm, and Ben, Chris and I decided to stay there while the rest of the company travelled farther south to see some people Nate had taught. We were going to do our laundry while they were gone, but the local laundromat ended up being closed.  So we had no other choice than to lounge ;)


Chris the Hobo showing me how to lounge properly

They contacted us when they were on their way back, and we decided to meet them for dinner so that we didn’t fall asleep. We went to Sonic, which apparently Papa W. has a history with. Every time he has gone to Sonic, they have gotten his order incorrect. So this time, he was meticulously studying the menu and writing down a gamut of different foods to test if they would live up to their notorious reputation. Amazingly, they pulled through! A perfect order. I’m not sure if it was complete redemption from so many past failures though – we’ll have to see what this means for Sonic in future family road trips.

It was this night as we sat scattered in our hotel room, eating our perfect order of Sonic, that I learned to fear the Wrath of Mama W. Mama W. is probably the most loving person I have ever met, and I still stand by that claim. However, I learned that you NEVER mess with her kids, or she will TAKE. YOU. DOWN! The topic of a former girlfriend of one of her boys came up, and apparently she had treated her son less than favorably. It was amazing as these past feelings rose to the surface- Let’s just say she is not one to mince words. I was thoroughly entertained, my favorite part being when she pounded a fist into her hand and said, “I will take her out!” And in that moment, any onlookers has no choice but to believe her. It was an awesome power to behold! My only regret is that there was not a video tape rolling so I could give girls fair warning before they date her boys. :)

Colorado Trip: Day One

At a gas stop. The Colorado River is behind us, and it was FAST!
The Wasden's came in to town June 18th, when we were in our Hypnobabies class. We finished up at 9:30pm, and went straight over to see them in Salem. It was so good to see them, even if we were a little out of it from our birthing class (we were so relaxed!). In fact, I was so relaxed that I hit Grandma Hardy's water right out of her hand as we were hugging each other good night. I think I am destined to create memories in whatever form they come in.

Monday we were off to Colorado to see Nate's mission. My favorite part of the drive was driving through Aspen. We'll just establish the fact right now: Colorado is absolutely beautiful.

We couldn't help but stop along the road and admire the sights

We drove on crazy windy roads that overlooked quaint little towns amidst wetlands and passed sheer mountainsides with massive boulders. The pinnacle was reaching the Continental Divide.

Continental Divide. Courtesy of Ben

The only downside to this incredible part of the trip was I came out of the canyon feeling terrible. When we had been towards the top, it felt like the line down the middle of my stomach was on fire, and as we descended, it felt like i was having Braxton Hicks, but only on the right side. It was a little nerve-wracking. Mama W. pointed out that it may have to do with the elevation in the mountains, which made a lot of sense. In my mind I was already deducing what we would do if things got more serious because it felt so weird and I was worried. Thankfully, everything normalized once we reached Colorado Springs.

We made it to the Black Forest that evening to see a family Nate had stayed with as a missionary. He had lived in what the missionaries called 'the barn'- a little dwelling in the expansive backyard. The house was very nice and the forested backyard was enticing (especially after driving all day), but the best part of that night was the family. They welcomed us in immediately, and were especially excited to see Nate again, this time as a returned missionary.

They LOVE Nate! ...and Uno!

They fed us dinner, then we ended up dispersing through the house, pairing off into individual conversations. The father made sure to show a group the theater room, the grandpa entertained Ben with aerospace engineering facts, Nate was constantly requested to follow the children to all the things they wanted him to see, and I talked to the mother about childbirth (are you surprised?).  Towards the end, we gathered up most of the children to watch Ram's Horn for entertainment, which they thoroughly enjoyed. When it was getting late and we knew it was about time to go, it was requested that Nate say a closing prayer. It was the perfect ending to that night. His sincere prayer vocalized the feelings of love between family and missionary that I had been sensing all night. It instantly took me back to my mission and the indescribable feelings I had for those I had come to love with all my heart.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Interview

"Kimber, can I just say that PEOPLE LIKE MY STUFF?!?!?!"

Chris had his preliminary interview with Telltale on Thursday (June 18th). He has been working diligently on an animation clip for a good two months in his spare time (he is currently the pipeline lead for BYU's new animation short Papa and one of the four people working on Previs. In other words, he already has had a lot on his plate animation-wise). It has been fun to hear him tell me about his thoughts about the company, to hear his excitement as the clip has come together favorably, and to sense the underlying research that has gone into all of this. He even was able to network with someone who currently works for Telltale to get into the referred list of applications! Once he turned in the clip and application, we mostly were praying simply for an interview so he could have a professional experience to build on. So we were so excited when he actually did receive an email wanting to set up a preliminary interview!!

If you are interested on seeing the clip he created, here is a link to the movie.

I was at work when he had his interview, and had my phone in hand, ready to dash out the door to hear how the interview went as soon as he was done. When his call came in, I excitedly asked, 'How did it go?!' to which he responded, "Kimber, it was so good!" Even his tone of voice gave hints at his ear to ear grin and his humble exhilaration. He then relayed a play by play of what happened in the interview. The HR interviewer had acknowledged that they were very impressed with his clip. They had watched it as a team, and before it had finished, one of the viewers said, "I don't have to see the rest of it-I've seen enough and it is good!"

My Man is stinkin' awesome ;)

They will be contacting him via email to set up an interview over Skype so the team can meet him and see if it is a good fit on both sides.

Even if we don't end up getting this job, it has been a neat experience to see how much Chris has learned about animation in the past few years, to the point that he now has marketable material! I am very proud of him and all his hard work, and we will see how things go as we continue to look for job  opportunities.

Miller Reunion


Friday and Saturday I witnessed the most populated reunion I have yet to set eyes on.

The Miller Reunion consisted of Grandma Hardy (Chris' mom's mom) and all her siblings. Let me clarify: all her FOURTEEN siblings.

Needless to say, there were a bajillion people there.

Unfortunately, I had to still work on Friday and Saturday, so I do not have a cool play by play of all the reunion events. I will say that I was there for a fantastic dinner on Friday and some last day socializing on Saturday. It was neat to see how many people came. I enjoyed looking around seeing so many people becoming reacquainted or excited to be reunited with long lost cousins.

Most of all, I love that I get to be a part of this family!!

What a good-lookin' family, right?! (Excuse the bad quality; I hi-jacked this from Facebook)

Hypnobabies

We have officially started a birthing class! This is getting real people!

Ever since I have gotten pregnant, I have felt an insatiable fascination with pregnancy, birth and babies. As in, if I did not have a decent filter and abounding mercy on Chris, baby monologues would be a consistent threat in our household. In my searchings I have been amazed at the amount of information and opinions on these subjects. It seemed that as much as I consumed, there was so much more I was missing. I remember one day feeling a little overwhelmed with it all. I mean, how many opinions of 'this is the best way to...!' can be heeded and applied?! 

On that day I was on the phone with Ray, and she said something profound. She quoted our cousin Whitney, who had said something to the effect of, 'God knows your needs and He knows your baby personally. What better source do we have in making these decisions than Him?' (Sorry if that is completely butchered Whitney/Ray-hopefully I got the gist of it)

That was kind of a 'duh!' moment for me. How many times have I been guided and lead with difficult decisions in the past? Come on now! Why would this huge decision in my near future be any different?

So although I did not stop my tireless search for information, I turned to the Lord for help in leading me to what was best for our family. I began feeling drawn towards some articles and away from websites-I felt more able to discern between what would work for us and what wouldn't. Hypnobabies has been the product of this method of deduction.

Hypnobabies is a program designed to teach a birthing mother how to relax and work with her body during birth rather than relying on medications to deaden the pain. While I am not against getting an epidural, I have felt the most excited about the opportunity to listen and work with my body rather than have no feeling at all. While there are still some ideas and methods in Hypnobabies I am not in total agreement with, it has been the closest to what I feel are my highest priorities-making birth a positive experience rather than one to be feared and being able to work with my body.

Working with my body sounds so appealing! Majoring in Exercise Science has given me so much appreciation for the body and what it is capable of. Also, as I have slowly learned to enjoy running, I have been intrigued by the power of the mind and what can be accomplished when we truly decide to do something. It has been a thrilling and educational experience for me in self-discipline and coming to know myself better.

Overall, I'm excited for this class and what I get to learn. So far we've only been to two classes, and there are six altogether, so I will keep you updated.


29 1/2 weeks. Thank you for the dress, Momma!




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Explorations

This morning I laid in bed, wide awake, observing the routine 5am explorations of Baby Waz.

She would be more on my right side,
                then leisurely meander to my left,
                                then quickly do a barrel roll while her elbow or knee pokes out momentarily…

And I absolutely love every minute of it.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised  at how much pregnancy has brought richness to my life. I have mostly heard of the aches and pains to beware of for 9 months while your life is not completely your own. I was expecting that.

What I wasn’t anticipating was how I have come to be in awe at the miracle of life. I have been intrigued at how I have come to know myself in a new way, as I have come to become more acquainted with my inherent feminine nature. I’m amazed Heavenly Father allows us to have such a sacred and exciting experience. As her birth date approaches, I have become more aware of the trust, awareness and love Heavenly Father has for me, Chris and our little girl.

All these thoughts run through my head as I lay there in bed, awake way too early, enjoying the playful antics of my adventurous little girl.


Open-minded

Our Sunday lesson was on scripture study. The teacher asked which scriptures have had an impact on our lives. Immediately my mind went to the Book of Mormon scriptures Alma 32:27-28 and Moroni 7:13. She then asked what the difference these scriptures have made in our personal lives.

I realized these scriptures have made me more open-minded. Now, I know that normally those who are not religious see just the opposite-that religious people are typically close-minded and unaccepting of those who are different. But my experience has been that as I have taken to heart the things these scriptures have taught me, I have come to the realization that this life is about learning and growing. It has made me gruel less over past mistakes and be more willing to try new things. We are meant to try, and we are going to make mistakes. And that is OK. If we are honestly trying to do what is right, we can rely and trust on the spirit to help us navigate this life without fear, and we can let others do the same.

June 13th, 2015

Chris’ cousins asked if we could babysit on Saturday. I work on Saturdays, but Chris was willing to go babysit himself.
 
I was able to get off early on Saturday, so once I was done I walked over to their house. I got there with half an hour before the other babysitters were to come and take over. Although I wasn’t there for very long, it was fun to see Chris with the kids (4 kids 8 years and under) and it made me excited to see him as a dad.
 

Even though I wasn’t there for very long, I unintentionally managed to alienate the youngest child by observing that she needed a diaper change. I didn’t realize that those words were recognizable, let alone the deep feelings of dread they would invoke when spoken aloud. But boy, that little girl knew EXACTLY what I was talking about and immediately ran to Chris for refuge. From then on, I was The Mean Diaper Lady, and whenever she would glance in my direction, she would start saying, ‘no, no, no, no!’ This resounding phrase would crescendo and was coupled with emphatic head shaking until she was removed from my sight. So… I think I left an impression! :)

What did I tell you? Unfeigned Horror. Chris is impersonating her very well!
 
When we were leaving, she was NOT having it. Chris was her buddy! He tried to sneak out, to no avail, so we left her in wailing anguish as we went out the door.

Check out her death grip! Her older brother is trying to distract her

Chris needs to learn not to be so fun :)

After babysitting, we planned our Marriage Prep lesson, then got ready for dinner at Sharon’s. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but Sharon is an amazing cook. There has been many a day she has saved me from certain starvation at work (or at least it has felt that way!) or let me try some new concoctions she has tried. I think she is the one to credit for Baby Waz’s health and growth up to this point. Anyway, this lady KNOWS how to throw a dinner! She invited Chris and I over, as well as another couple she knows from her job at the MTC, and we had a BLAST!



We cooked food as we talked, and Sharon showed us how it was done. I wish I could infuse this post with the smell of baked beans that hit us as we entered her house. It was heavenly! Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture of dinner (what was I thinking?!) but it was SO GOOD! Here is a picture of dessert at least:

It was fun to get to know the other couple. They are so sweet, and it just so happens they live in the building next to us in Wymount! Small world! Plus, it was fun to have Chris meet Sharon for the first time after I have told him so much about her, and she even shared one of her stories! It was hilarious–we were all eating and laughing our heads off-I can’t over-emphasize how much fun we had.
 
Chris took up washing dishes after dinner-what a champ! I’m pretty sure he single-handedly washed almost every dish in that kitchen. He’s the best!

 
Chris as a Dish-washing Machine!
 

Technology

I have officially entered the 21st century!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Temple

No matter how tired we are when we get home, or how much we feel like we would rather relax, going to the temple has always paid off. I’m so glad we went.
We typically go to the Provo temple, but went to Timpanogos this week to shake things up.



Pretty sure the temple is being translated in the background.

June 11th, 2015 -- Baby Shower

The boredom of work reached its pinnacle this week. I actually had a good amount of work to do on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it felt so good! I’m not sure if it was the contrast of going from work to absolutely nothing on Thursday, or if I was just having a dramatic day, but Thursday just about did me in! It’s official: I would much rather be crazy busy at work than have nothing to do.


Thankfully I did have a baby shower to look forward to that night! Shell was so sweet and threw me a shower at her place in Lehi. 

My greeting banner! Made by none other than Shell's very talented oldest son 

Other than me being despicably late, it was such a fun evening! Shell did a fantastic job with decorations, especially using pink ;) 


Impressive Shell!
Personalized pictures of Baby Waz. The top right picture was proclaimed as the cutest by the artist.




It was great to be surrounded by people I have come to love over the years, from college, to mission, to post-mission. The decorations were darling (as you can see), the activities were perfect (simple and sweet, with genuine application), being able to talk with everyone (some which I haven’t seen in awhile!) made the night relaxing and full of laughter.


Diaper Cake!

It's too bad this one is blurry-it is a homemade doll from Gail Winert! 
I love how getting with friends tends to make time disappear and is a poignant reminder that life is so good.


I have the best friends!


Baby Waz and her self-proclaimed Godmother


War

We’ve had a few nights where we had some time and rediscovered our Wii.

I’m amazed at how Chris is winning WWII single-handedly. He kicks some serious Nazi tush. Too bad he wasn’t around in the 1940s.

Chris has introduced me to Banjo Kazooie. It has been awhile since I have gotten into a video game. It was fun to do together! It reminded me of Donkey Kong 64 days.

June 9th, 2015

We're in the THIRD TRIMESTER!!!
We went to the doctor and I stepped on the scale…and almost fainted! I gained 10 pounds for the first 5 months of pregnancy. ...and then all of a sudden gained 10 more pounds this last month! Whoa, Nellie! #majorgrowthspurt

As we have been picking out items for our registry, we have been trying to stay away from pink items (as adorable as they are!) so we can use these things for later children. We weren’t going for any specific color, but today I realized everything is green…  

June 8th


I haven’t known much about professional storytelling until I met Sharon. Sharon is one of my coworker friends from Nu Skin, and she won’t be there for that much longer because she is too talented for her own good and will be going to coding school in July. But in the meantime, she has educated me thoroughly on weird Southern phrases, kept me out of trouble by dispelling boredom and entertained me with missionary lesson stories (she also works at the MTC as an investigator). Sharon came out to Utah from Tennessee largely because of the Timpanogos StoryTelling festival, where she got a job telling stories. I didn’t realize there is so much that goes into telling a story, and how to make it memorable and entertaining, so it has been fun to hear of different techniques from her. On Monday she invited me to the Orem library, where she is teaching a storytelling camp for kids. So I took an early lunch and was able to see her share three stories. She told one of those repetitive stories, so it was so fun to hear the kids’ reactions as they predicted what would come next!



This is Sharon sharing Jack's First Job. My favorite is the faces of the girls in front of me-totally into it :)




























It reminded me of teaching the Large Group Meetings at the MTC, and how I learned to love being up in front of people and getting them into the subject for that day. I am loving learning more about storytelling, and have been researching it a bit in my freetime. I’m dead set on going to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival this year on September 5th, so I hope little baby Wasden cooperates!


Tangent: Oh, by the way, we are taking a break with the name Marian for now. We both still like it, but there are other names on the horizon that are coming more into favor. We’ve decided there is no way we are going to be able to decide on a name before she is born-there are so many good ones, it will just be a matter of matching her personality/looks.

Back to the day: Later that day, about half an hour before I left work, Chris informed me via a very excited text that he had just submitted the Telltale previs he had made to apply for the job. This was a complete surprise, because he had told me just that morning that he was planning on cleaning a few things up before sending it all in. Turns out that Chris’ connection to the company, Andi, had found out that the position would be closing soon, and told Chris to get it in pronto! So when I picked him up we were full of jittery, high spirits and decided to celebrate before running over to FHE. We had a quick dinner and ran over to Rita’s (a local Italian Ice place we discovered recently and fell in love with) before heading out to the golf course to meet up with two of the FHE groups. By the end of the meeting, we were both completely sick! The rest of the night we lethargically laid around the house until we felt better. I don’t know if it was because we ate quickly, or the Ritas was just too much, but the conclusion was that in celebration of Chris’ exciting application news, we made ourselves sick :) Irony at its finest.


The next day Chris was sitting in the lab, doin’ his thing, when his phone rang. He looked at the unknown number-the area code was 707. California. Which just so happens to be the same place Telltale is. He barely kept himself from hyperventilating as he answered the phone…
And it ended up being State Farm! True to their motto-State Farm is there. Apparently even when you are on pins and needles waiting for a job interview. :) It took him a few hours to fully recover from that traumatic experience.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gratitude


I am so grateful for my job at Nu Skin. It has been flexible with my LDS Family Services schedule, It is a great job to bring in the money we need, and I have learned a lot about stuff I never knew existed. The best part-the people I work with are phenomenal.
And I am so ready to be done.
This morning my concentration has been deplorable. Yet again I have no work to do. Typically I have been pretty good at going over the same projects again, looking for documents to update, making up projects, etc, but this morning I have lacked the motivation to do my pretend work. So, naturally, I have went through my calendar and marked every vacation and a general countdown of when I will be 2/3, 3/4, etc through this job.
It is an interesting experience to have coinciding feelings of gratitude and listlessness for the same thing.

Suppressed


“Emotions aren’t good or bad. They just give you information.’
I heard this awhile ago, and I believed it. But I didn’t realize that I wasn’t living what I believed.
I’m a pretty chill person I would say. Typically it is difficult to get me riled up. I have come to be proud that I am not explosive or overly dramatic - I like that about myself. I’ve come to like it to the point that when I do feel emotional or angry, it is embarrassing, I feel like what I am doing is wrong, and I want to hide it. And I am good at that too! Maybe people around me are aware that something is going on, but stuffing emotions and hiding them, even from myself, is a specialty.
Something else I have heard: The opposite of love isn’t hate, its apathy.
I’ve read in history books and seen first hand the destructive nature of apathy I have held it in disdain, not realizing that my habit of stuffing emotions was exactly the same thing. I would rather distract myself from emotions and not feel them rather than letting them come into my life. Growing up has been a slow progression of recognizing that this isn’t something I have to do. Just because that is my natural inclination doesn’t mean it is right or irreversible. It’s not just ‘who I am.’ Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, it is possible to change.
So this last week when I was feeling frustrated, angry and hurt, I resolved to not push them aside, shrug them off, or joke them away. I just let myself feel them. And I accepted that I felt them. And I didn’t push them away. All day.
And then I got physically sick because of it.
...
...so maybe there is still some things I still need to learn about emotion and boundaries.
But overall, it was a neat experience to let myself feel rather than opting to feel nothing. If we are going to truly love, we will get hurt or sad in the process. Its nothing to feel embarrassed about or feel like it is something to repress. Feeling the sadness is evidence that we were happy and felt love at one point, and it can happen again.
I am slowly learning firsthand that vulnerability is a strength.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Feisty



I caution any pregnant ladies out there against Dinamita Doritos.

They were served as part of the Nu Skin BBQ on Thursday. I grabbed them because the bag looked cool.

Deception.

So yes, they had 'Dinamita' in the title, the bag shows some sort of explosion happening, and the flavor was called, 'chile limon,' so maybe I could have caught on that they were a tad spicy.

...but I was hungry, OK?

Maybe 15 minutes after eating these things as fast as I could between cups of lemonade to staunch the burn (because eating them quickly was the only way to get through it-apparently throwing away food was not an option), Marian started stirring. ...then she started rolling around like a rotisserie chicken ...then she went NUTS! After awhile of ruckus I would put my hand on my stomach to calm her down, but she immediately would start pummeling me with kicks. I put my hand on the other side, she furiously swiveled around started kicking me again! Wherever I put my hand, there were a few seconds of impassioned positioning so she could continue the barrage of attacks. At any rate, she let her opinion on my eating habits be KNOWN.

Holy smokes

...I am SO excited to meet this girl :)


Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 6, 2015 — Crummy

Some weeks are crazy awesome and are burned into your memory because of how amazing they are.

...and some come around to help you with humility and are burned in your memory against your will.

This week was more of the second.

I will not try to hide the fact that this week was crummy, and it resulted in mental and physical exhaustion. I slowly deteriorated until I was A Haggard Mess by Friday. (Believe me, that is the optimistic way of putting it). Unfortunately, I think the mental exertion actually made me physically sick because of how I dealt with the emotions.

Not fun,
No likey,
and good riddance to this week.

But you know what is cool about these bummer weeks?

I feel like Heavenly Father uses these times as an excuse to show He really cares and He is really there. The lowest of the lows make such a stunning contrast against the little things He puts in place for us to enjoy. Rachel surprised me by ‘kidnapping’ me on Thursday (and she brought food!). I was able to talk to Mom for over an hour on Tuesday (not common). You would not believe all the free food that cropped up recently. Gorgeous weather to walk in. Oh, and did I mention food? Most of all, a loving husband who is forever selfless and kind (dishes, dinner, hugs and crying with me).

As terrible as this week has been, I have to say knowing Heavenly Father loves me has made all the difference. And these are the weeks that we have the best opportunity seeing that.