the best news of post-wedding life so far.

hi friends.

this is a little video I created to show little snippets of videos my parents took of husband and me on our wedding day in Tonga.. plus photos.

enjoy some more wedding.

5.17.12

song: “Arrivals” by Aqualung.

 

also. so sue me, I changed my blog name again. I know, you guys..

but it turns out I didn’t like the other one so much. I’m in a transitional phase, ok?

BUT..

here’s the awesome news you’ve been reading for..

which is part of the reason I wanted to wet your appetite with the wedding vid.

I got word from U.S. Immigration last night that the thing I’ve been waiting for since.. um.. last April, when I started a long-distance relationship with the man who would become my husband.. has happened.

well.. I guess it hasn’t COMPLETELY happened. but the first, hopefully most time-consuming, step in the process is over. MY PETITION HAS BEEN APPROVED. officially. and it only took just over 3 months instead of 5 months. basically, last night consisted of a lot of screaming, hyperventilating, pacing, frantically reading instructions and going through paperwork, yelling at the crappy phone and internet service in Tonga that messed up convos with husband, and staying up talking to him till 4am in happiness.

so now we are moving into the process of getting the paperwork ready for his immigrant visa application, and when they get back to us, then comes the interview in Fiji at the U.S. Consulate.. and then he COMES. TO THE UNITED STATES. TO LIVE WITH ME.
THIS IS A BIG FREAKIN MIRACLE DEAL, YOU GUYS.

now.. Heaven help me in figuring out how to pay for all this and get ready for a life together here..
how to stretch my salary into extra money as the sole breadwinner, dealing with insurance from my car accident from this week, immigration application fees, paperwork times 5 million, proving our love/marriage to an interviewer, plane tickets, regular bills, finding a new apartment, paying for adult life, finishing training at my new job, transitioning to a new team at work, getting husband admitted to school, financial aid, and learning how to be an in-person wife, among other things..

anyway. enough about my my messy little life.. obviously with this happy news comes a new tidal wave of stress.. but when it’s all over, it will SO be worth it.

can 2012 be done already?

cuz in my world.. the Mayans have totally been right about this year. the Apocalypse of Aubrey 2012.

I’m over it.

next please!

kthanksbye!

xoxo

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<3

I did this to my nails last night.

I thought it was creative.

but I sent this pic to husband and he didn’t get it. I had to explain it to him. and then he gave me a, “yes I’m proud of you, babe, good job on your nails,” but he was laughing.
pff. I think he had his nail haterade this morning.
please say somebody gets this besides me.. (hint: look for the shape in the middle of my 3 nails that are touching. toooooo easy.)

anyway. maybe someone in cyber world will appreciate my nail artistry. feast your eyes:

ok, I know.. not actually THAT impressive, but at least it’s cute, right?
and when I make the “rock on” sign.. people will feel extra special and loved.
so.. BAM. a rockstar AND a lover.

eat your heart out, um.. (who’s a good iconic female rocker to reference? Joan Jett? Hayley Williams?) let’s just say eat your heart out, rockstars.

love love.

Sincerely,

Aubrey

a mint green makeover

hi friends.

during my superfun period of unemployment.. I have been a little bored, in case you haven’t noticed by the increased amount of blogging. so I’ve taken to doing projects to feel like I am accomplishing something worthwhile.. mostly projects from Pinterest that I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time.

so I just thought I’d post and share a couple of the cool things I’ve done, since I know I’ve really enjoyed seeing what others have done as my inspiration.

the one I’m most excited about, I just finished today, which is my nightstand. I bought this ages ago from the D.I. for $5, intending to paint it.. but have never gotten around to it, due to being “too busy.”

it was a dark navy blue color, which is fine for some rooms, I guess.. but not for mine. it clashed with my color scheme.. and it just looked old and outdated. so I gave it a makeover.

here’s the before:

and the after:

I even mod podged lace onto the front of the drawer and spray painted over it to add a beautiful texture and some interesting detail. I LOVE that part.

and here’s a shot of it in its home, next to my bed. it’s good to have it back after a few days of having all my stuff on the floor while I worked on it.

the other project that I’m particularly excited about was taking my old wide leg trouser pants that I’ve had for years, and finally re-making them into skinnies. I decided it was high time, since I’m about to start a new job at which I’ll no longer be wearing scrubs.. and I need to update my business casual wardrobe, since it’s been awhile. but this kind of updating was for free.99!

I’m sorry I neglected to take before pictures of the pants..

I used this blog as my instruction set. (it’s seriously awesome.. there are some great clothing re-make ideas!)

but here’s a sewing close-up:

and.. sorry for the crappy cell phone aerial view.. I guess if I was a real blogger I would get a tripod and take real photos.. but it’s not your lucky day. also.. sorry for the black pants I had previously been wearing to sew in.. that are on the floor by my feet. sue me.
you get the idea anyway. I wish I’d taken before photos so you could see the difference, but I promise I cut out a LOT of fabric.. and solved the saggy butt problem they used to have. yeah for skinnies!

so all in all.. I’m feeling rather accomplished and proud of myself.

I might tackle a wedding-related project this coming week to occupy my time before July 30th.

okaybye!

sincerely,

Aubrey

10/30 things. part 3. and a new name.

well. shall we start by pointing out the obvious? if you are any kind of observant, you may have noticed the large black title at the top of the page has been changed.

if you did not notice, you are clearly not any kind of observant. (sorry ’bout it!)

see.. I got married.. (surprise!) and according to the government.. my last name is no longer Wilkinson.. which makes my prior blog name sadly sort of irrelevant.

I have struggled to come up with a new name for my blog that was of the same caliber as “The Wilki Way,” and no inspiration had hit me.. I wanted to do something lame and quirky and/or alliteration-y with Havea.. like.. Have-a Good Day.. or Hello Havea.. or.. something even worse. (I know, the mind reels.) but maybe I just haven’t been an H-name long enough to know the cool associations.

and last night, as I read through dumb things on the internet.. like how my rap name could be any of the following:

Wicked Aubrey H Ritzy Slam

Juicy Aubrey A

XL Aubrey a.k.a. Madam Tender

or A Aubrey Booty Nugget

and, you know… really doing useful things with my life…

it hit me that this blog is so much a mixture of my thoughts and musings and poetry and photos and.. life.. that it’s kind of like a letter from me to cyber world. it’s like a dear diary entry.. so I should sign it, Sincerely, Aubrey.

and I liked it.

who knows, though?.. at any given moment I may re-name it to The Musings of Madam Tender Booty Nugget (gross) and you will LOVE IT.

but enough of that. let’s get on to the third installment of this questionnaire and then I will feel accomplished.

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

dude. easy. I would be able to teleport ANYWHERE I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. like.. apparate Harry Potter style. and the first thing I would do with it? obvi. go see my husband. errrday. and then go see Europe.

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

hm. 5 years, I see me FINALLY living with husband, in the same country, hopefully still working at my new job.. but promoted, and also doing freelance photography and design work on the side. and provided husby is fairly solidified in a career or education.. having a kid. (yikes. yi-hikes.)
10 years? I prolly wanna be done having kids, considering I’ll be 37 by then. so I guess I should get a move on in the next decade. I see us having 3 kids or so. and since husband wants to go into the military, I’m actually not sure where we’ll be living at that point. if we CAN stay close to my fam, that’d be sweet… but I kind of don’t see that happening, based on the career choice.. if that works out. but I imagine I’ll still be working at least part-time as a mom, so I can help pay the bills. but within 10 years, I should have enough freelance design and photography work and experience to really be able to contribute to our income without having to be away from home a lot. (so hire me! I’m good, I promise.)
15 years.. uh… pretty much the same as the 10 year summary.

I’ll be honest, since I don’t even have a guarantee that my husband can get in the country yet.. I’m not banking on any plans at this point. my future is extremely unknown, given that he has to start over from ground zero in education and career when he finally does get here. and I’m not sure how it’s gonna pan out. this question is making me stressed.

NEXT.

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

didn’t we already do a question like this?
…maybe not.
let’s see.. in no particular order.

  • photography – I love capturing life through my point of view.. because no two points of view are ever quite the same, even of the same subject. and the darkroom and/or photoshop manipulations and edits are so much fun to me.. I love the artistry that comes through composition and manipulation of a photograph, either to portray reality, or to distort it into something else.
  • I’ll just summarize this one into a range of fine art. I love drawing with graphite the most, but I also really like working with pastels and charcoals and pen and ink.. and of course graphic design on the computer, translating from hand-drawings to computer graphics. I’m not a huge fan of painting or sculpture, but sometimes they’re aight. I guess I’m more a 2-D kind of gal. (yes I realize painting is mostly 2-D. it’s whatever.)
  • music!!! I love singing, playing the piano, and listening to (literally) all kinds of music. I can find something from every genre that I like. I grew up in a highly musical family, so that’s always been one of my favorite activities.. it’s necessary, like breathing.
  • I’m a really big sports fan. in my family, we watch sports together. it’s just what we do. and my mom screams louder at the TV/game than my dad does. I am a huge Ute fan and a Utah Jazz fan.. my favorite sports to watch are football, basketball, and rugby.. and my favorite sports to play are volleyball and softball.
  • it’s hard for me to pick a top 5 here.. I enjoy so many things.. I could say dancing, movies, reading, shopping, decorating, concerts, camping, theater.. but I think I’ll go with traveling as my other top 5 hobby. I absolutely love seeing new places, meeting new people, taking in new culture, trying new food.. I have an adventurous soul and I am always itching to go somewhere and experience something new. (I think I have to be this way in order to deal with marrying someone from another country, and potentially moving around with a husband in the military. I don’t think it would work otherwise.)

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

my family dynamic hasn’t actually changed that much. I’m the oldest child and I would take the lead when we (my siblings and I) were kids with my imaginative crazy ideas.. but we were always great friends and very close. we enjoyed spending time together and playing games and watching movies, and that hasn’t changed at all. I am super close with my siblings.. we are all just older, but we are still tight. now we are just adding new spouses into the mix, who, fortunately, like hanging out with the fam just as much as we do. I feel very lucky.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

sheesh. I guess I’d pick Abraham Lincoln. I’m really curious as to how he was in real life.. I like him. (not as a vampire hunter.)

and we’d eat… good.. food? idk. whatever early American food was delicious.

weird question.

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

haha. interesting. today we just had a lesson in Sunday School about Korihor the Anti-Christ from the Book of Mormon, and how the world latches onto his attitude even today. I also have seen a couple of articles about Christ lately that have made me think.. generally I think most people accept that Jesus Christ existed, as a human being, but so many reject the notion of his divinity.. that he could be the Son of God and our Savior. if you pray in sincerity about this principle, you can feel the truth of it… unequivocally. intellectuals want to intellectualize their way out of belief and faith. but the other thing that most of the world has wrong about Christ, is, even if they believe he’s the Savior, they think they don’t have to do anything besides “believe” in him or say they accept him to be saved. the world is lazy and they want “now” results. I think deep down, we all know that it takes a lifetime of righteous living and repentance in order to be saved in the end, and then Christ makes up the difference where we fall short after all we can do. people just don’t want to work that hard. really, though.. if you think about it, life is a whole lot easier when you don’t have the consequences of bad choices and/or sin to deal with. plus, you get eternal happiness. winner!

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

hm… visually: my lips. my lips are shaped the way kids always doodle them. (I always wanted to be a makeup aisle lip model. haha.)
functionally: my hands. I mean, really.. what would I do without them? I have very capable hands, and I need them.

28. What is your love language?

when I have taken the love language quiz, it tells me my love language is physical touch. I also scored high in words of affirmation and quality time.

here’s the description:

Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face–they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

so there’s that. (Mote.. take notes.)

29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?

I don’t really know how to say this the right way.. please don’t think I’m being conceited or something. but from the comments I get all the time, I think people think I’m really confident and good at everything. I always get comments about how talented I am and get asked things like, “Is there ANYthing you’re not good at?”
I think I come across this way because my talents are very visible. many of them are performance-related or art-related or physical, tangible things that you can see. I also realized I have been very blessed with my talents and I feel a great responsibility to not “hide my light under a bushel,” as it were.

but what I think people don’t understand or see are the insecurities inside.. or the fear of not measuring up compared to other people who are also talented in the same areas. I come across as confident, but I don’t always feel that way inside. my philosophy is always, “act like you know what you’re doing and people will believe you.”

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

okay.. this question is surprisingly difficult. but I’ll give it a shot. (remember, this is what I HOPE to be remembered for.. a.k.a. things I’m still working on.)

  • a strong testimony and outstanding faith
  • my awesome sense of humor
  • the art, photos, and things I have created
  • my writing and poetry
  • my love for people
  • being a good wife, mother, grandmother, etc.
  • my spunk
  • that I stood up for what I believed in
  • that I made the world a little bit more beautiful, better place
  • the music I made

haaaaaa.. yes! I finished it!

BAM!

y’welcome, internets and future posterity.

sincerely,

Aubrey (<—-eh??? see what I did there??? I think this could work.)

10/30 things. part 2.

aight. everyone please compliment me on how well I’m doing with timeliness in following up on my last post. I deserve it! this is a BIG DEAL.

haha…

it so isn’t.

anyway. here we go! round 2:

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

  • hands down, number 1 is people who don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and when to use them.. as well as “they’re,” “their,” and “there.” this makes me cringe and automatically put them in the idiot category.
  • people who respond to something with, “that’s funny..” with a straight face and no laugh. fake.
  • people who talk down to me or treat me like I’m not at their level. I will slap a pedantic ho.
  • driving under the speed limit makes you a skraight up hazard, and furthermore, it makes me hate you. (this might be my lead foot talking..)
  • married men who flirt with other women (I am appalled at how often I’ve been hit on by married dudes.)
  • the way my nail polish always gets screwed up before it dries. no matter what. I suck at letting my nails dry. and/or I’m awesome at messing them up. I’m A.D.D.
  • being interrupted.
  • being micro-managed like I can’t be trusted to do a good job at something.
  • being awoken abruptly.. (including but not limited to: being suddenly shaken awake, somebody barging into my room at full speed and full voice and scaring the daylights outta me, and having a pillow dropped on my face from the second story, yanking me from a dead sleep — you know who you are!!!)
  • people with no sense of humor who don’t get, make, or appreciate jokes.

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

well… since, as mentioned in my previous post… my current life is awesome… I don’t have a typical day. because I have very few steady obligations at this time, and no money to do anything with. I sleep in, I job search, I go somewhere (errands, tutoring, family events, etc.) sometimes, perhaps take the dog on a jog, clean or help around the house, and then chill on the couch or my bed and chat with husband online for anywhere from a couple hours to all night. I have no routine at this point.

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

again with the top 5 or 10 lists… how much should I expose my flaws to you, internets? can you handle me? we’ll see.

  • I’m kinda prideful. not in the, “I’m full of myself,” way.. but in the, “you’re not the boss of me,” way. this can present a problem with authority figures on some occasions. if I don’t like you, I’m a bad follower. you could also describe this as.. I’m a sassy pants.
  • I compare myself with others too often.. and I’m too harsh a critic of myself, and expect near perfection. (perhaps universal to most women.)
  • if I’m not good at something the first or second time I try it.. I give up on it quickly.
  • my emotions are very close to the surface, and they are passionate. I can’t ever hide what I’m feeling..
  • I’m really bad at saving money. not one of my talents.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

  • I guess this is the flip side of the passionate coin.. because I have a lot of personality and deep emotion, and when I do something, I do it big.. that can sometimes bring great results.
  • my sense of humor. I was raised laughing, I naturally find and appreciate humor all over the place in life.. I find a lot of things hilarious and people tend to be laughing when I’m around… probably mostly at me because I’m apparently a blast to make fun of.. but I dish it back.
  • my creativity. I have been blessed with the ability to see and create things of beauty. to me, art is not just a hobby, it’s the way you see life.. and it translates to everything.
  • I’m observant, and I read people pretty well. I am, as I’ve mentioned before, fascinated with people, and I watch them closely. this oftentimes helps me understand and connect with them. I can make friends easily.
  • I’m pretty quick to forgive. I hate conflict and feeling like somebody is angry at me or vice versa. I tend to want to resolve unkind feelings like.. asap. that doesn’t stop me from getting really angry at times, (apparently I’m scary when I’m mad) but afterwards, I don’t generally tend to hold grudges too deeply or too long..

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

um. I guess a white tiger.. that’s always been my favorite animal.. because they’re unique and super cool.. but they have an edge, and you shouldn’t mess with them.

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

  • after working my butt off through jr. high and high school.. being awarded 4-year, full-tuition academic scholarships to both Utah State and the University of Utah, and most recently a departmental portfolio-based scholarship to SLCC for my art studies
  • being give the “Outstanding Faculty Award” by my work at graduation in April for going above and beyond in my teaching and job. that was fulfilling, after putting so much in with my students.
  • serving a full-time mission for 19 months for the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints where I was able to do nothing but serve people, and reap the benefits of seeing so many people find the gospel through me. I was so blessed to be a part of that and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
  • having my piece be displayed in an art show. that was an exciting first for me.. actually I consider some of the fine art and photography I have created to be some of my greatest achievements in general.. they are like parts of me. (in the non-creepiest way possible.) especially when I find out my stuff is being displayed by random people in random places. it’s a cool feeling to know my art touched someone.
  • making it to the temple to marry the love of my life.. being worthy, and having it done by the right authority, where it will last forever.. fulfilling the first step of my goal for an eternal marriage to a worthy priesthood holder. I guess that’s not really a typical accolade according to most people in the world.. but for me, it’s worth more than anything.

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

hm… I’m honestly really struggling coming up with an answer to this question. I think I’ve been sitting here avoiding it, doing other things, for about 20 minutes now.

I guess I wish I was great at getting rich. because that would honestly solve most of my problems right now.

I know, I know.. how materialistic of me.

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

hm… that’s a little personal, there, questionnaire.

I’ll answer it generally and say it’s a toss-up between getting my heart broken.. or more like crushed, and dealing with someone who deeply hurt and messed up the life of a dear friend of mine.

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

ah… man. toughie. how do I choose? obviously I love the good old U.S. of A. it’s my home and my family is all here and it’s a wonderful place to live. but if I go outside of it..

can I give you a top 3?
look at me, asking permission on my own blog. it’s my hot body, I DO WHAT I WANT. top 3 it is!

New Zealand. (okay you probably saw that coming a mile away, since it’s one of the 3 countries I’ve been to besides the U.S.) it’s seriously one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever seen.. and it has a lot of similarities, as far as the quality of life, to America. not exactly the same, but not vastly different. and people are just so NICE there.. and how can you not love that accent? I mean, really..

England. my whole life growing up my dad has instilled in me a love for the motherland. he served his mission in London, so it’s always been a place I’ve wanted to go.. and stay.. I think I’d love it, like a whole lot.

my third one is actually in the U.S… so I guess I lied about the outside the U.S. part, but it’s not in the continental U.S., so… that’s something. yep, you knew. Hawaii. I absolutely adore the island life and feeling and scenery.. with the higher standard of living that comes with being in America. I think it’s a rather ideal balance. and kind of a perfect mix for husband and me.

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

I grew up in Sugarhouse as a child. I loved it. I remember we had a HUGE tree in our backyard and every fall it would drop so many leaves that we’d rake them up and we could bury me plus all my neighborhood friends to the point that only our faces were visible from amongst the pile. it was perfect. I’ve loved fall (especially the fall leaves) ever since.

also, on our corner was our church building. it was one of the cool, old, unique churches with lots of character. it had a giant ramp that went up to a door from the parking lot that I loved to play in, but my favorite part about the church was a giant newspaper recycling dumpster in the parking lot. I remember I used to go climb into the dumpster and sit and look through the papers (I loved to read).. one time I found a magazine that featured figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. I LOVED to watch figure skating on tv.. it was like dancing on ice. and I took the magazine home with me and read it over and over. I thought she was the greatest.

I was a very imaginative child. as the oldest child, I used to come up with elaborate games or scenarios and make my siblings play them with me. (a.k.a. I kind of bossed them around. so… woops.) but we used to play this game where we’d pile every blanket we could find on my twin bed and we’d have a captain who was steering by the headboard, the middle man – the coveted spot because you got the comfiest blanket coverage, and the lookout in the back. we used to pretend that the bed was a ship full of laundry and the bad guys were trying to track us down and get us, but whenever we saw them coming, we’d hide under all the blankets and they’d think it was just a big pile of laundry and not be able to find us. we thought we were tricky. and it was the comfiest game ever. I had a million games like that.. turning our house into a hotel.. couches into carriages.. or escapes from lava.. turning the bathroom into my own gameshow.. making “anything passes” which were cards that could get us into anything and anywhere we wanted for free.. etc. I dream big. haha.

alright. the second segment of 10 questions is complete. you can expect the next installment soon. 

much love, boys and girls. 

p.s. I wouldn’t hate hearing other people’s answers to these questions.. if anyone wants to play along. 

also…

on a completely unrelated note..

just because my uncle, Danny, has lately been doing showings of the extended blu-ray versions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy at his house for our fam.. and tonight was movie #2.. it was a good time. but I just wanted to share one quote from the movie that really struck me tonight, if you’ll indulge me. I think I needed to hear it:

Frodo: “I can’t do this, Sam.”
Sam: “I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”
Frodo: “What are we holding onto, Sam? ”
Sam: “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for. ”

so there’s your uplifting thought for the weekend. take it and keep fighting through the darkness for the good.. because darkness is only a passing thing, and those are the stories that really matter.

30 things. actually, 10. part 1.

30 Things:

So.. I think I must be bored lately. (Not having a steady job and being a newlywed with your husband on the other side of the world and no money to go out nor friends who are very available to see you will do that to a person.) Not only have I finally decided to take on a “Photo-a-Day” project for July on Instagram.. (username: aubreyhavea) but I also found this on a random blog. The instructions here, are that I’m supposed to post something about myself each day, according to the following list of questions.  The idea is to record different parts of my personality for my posterity, and I guess you get to know me better by default. This could potentially be very hilarious, emotional, and/or TMI. Sorry in advance, kiddos! And it’s also suggested that this list would make a fun date night?

BUUUUUT we all know how awesome I am at daily posts on my blog. ha.

laughable.

so I’ma do this in one big she-bam. because I’m in the mood. answers will be kept brief. and future great-grandchildren… y’welcome.

k. here we go.

THE LIST:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

  • I hate every kind of cheese. literally. yes.. even the cheese you were just about to ask me if I hate.
  • my first time out of the country ever was going to New Zealand. by myself.
  • I once put $500 worth of damage in a car with my hip, attempting to close the door.
  • I sang my first solo in sacrament meeting when I was 3 years old.
  • I said my first word when I was 5 months old.
  • cold cereal is my favorite snack. and daily breakfast. I feel wrong without it.
  • I can’t waterski to save my life.
  • I got my first kiss in high school over Spring Break in St. George. it was super lame.
  • I once ripped a huge hole in the butt of my jeans while climbing over a fence at a concert.. and I just wore them like that all day. I still have those pants.
  • I hate feet. that includes foot massages. no thank you.
  • I always have lip gloss. Victoria Secret Beauty Rush. always. I even sleep in it.
  • I still play the piano and sing, but growing up I also took lessons for the ukelele and the viola for brief periods of time
  • I once kayaked surrounded a pod of dolphins after snorkeling in a bay in Hawaii.
  • I own over 70 pairs of shoes.
  • the summer after high school, I was a cook at Domino’s Pizza.. and I could even toss the dough up in the air and spread it with my fists, like a pro.
  • I can wiggle my ears and do tricks with my lips, but I can’t, for the life of me, flare my nostrils.
  • my right foot is about a half size smaller than my left foot.
  • I am a closet Disney buff. and I have never been stumped in Disney trivia.
  • I’m fascinated by morbid TV shows like Criminal Minds.
  • I’m only 27.. but I’ve already had 14 jobs since I was 14.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

  • SHARKS. I could not be more terrified of them. I don’t know how it developed. I remember having nightmares about them as a child.. but now, as an adult, I have a full-on phobia. I have a panic attack and cry at the shark encounter at Sea World. I have nightmares from just the previews of shark horror movies. I even cried watching a TV show about them with husband in Tonga because I went into a panic attack. I don’t think he fully grasped my true terror before.. but he believes me now, when I say I’m terrified.
  • divorce and/or ending up alone. I think this is common. and this is depressing.. but.. does it really need further explanation? I am so lucky to have parents who are still so in love.. so I’m grateful for the hope that it can actually last.. despite what I see happening so often these days. (p.s. not concerned about my marriage. we’re fine. it’s just always a scary thought.)
  • losing everything.
sheesh. this question is a downer. NEXT.
3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

it’s wonderful. I couldn’t ask for better parents. they would do anything for me, and I am so undeserving. I’m a lot like my dad and we like to crack jokes back and forth and tease each other.. and my mom and I tend to have deeper conversations. they are just seriously the best. I’m so blessed.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

woof. where do I start?

  • you will barely even hang out or have contact with your friends from high school when this is over. stop worrying so much about their approval.
  • LOVE yourself. you are okay.. really. comparing yourself to those girls will only make you insecure and hate everything that makes you you.
  • you aren’t going to marry your “high school sweetheart.” you won’t even have a high school sweetheart. none of these boys will even be in your life in 5 years. they aren’t worth your wishes and energy and tears and boy crazy thoughts.
  • this rad little Subaru… will hold lots of memories. and it will teach you about how to deal with old breaking down cars. love her.
  • these are the dates and times of your forthcoming speeding tickets and accidents, and here’s how to avoid them. (this will save you a buttload of cash.)
  • you won’t get asked to prom. please prepare yourself starting now so it doesn’t break your heart later.
  • start working harder now to take care of yourself and be healthy and fit; it will make you feel better about yourself now, and it will make life a whole lot easier for you later.
  • you will bloom after high school. college will be about a million times better for you. you’re one of those people who gets better with age.
  • at your high school, almost all the kids are excellent, driven, and talented. this is a vanilla group where you won’t get a chance to stand out much. this doesn’t fit you very well.. just remember, it doesn’t make you less talented if you don’t make it into a group or organization. don’t lose faith in your talents. you are still special. you are still good. (and don’t bother so much with choir. maybe go for moonlight singers instead.)
  • focus your career preparation, starting now, on art, photography, and design. you already know how much you love those things. you’re good at them. don’t get side-tracked thinking you won’t be able to have a career in them. (you’ll like your Psychology studies, but trust me.. you’ll end up not wanting to work in that field when push comes to shove.) follow your passions.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

  • my husband
  • my camera
  • music
  • the gospel
  • my family

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

actually… honestly… I think right now may be (at least one of) the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I must say.. I never thought I’d be 27 and married, but with my husband across the world — not knowing when I’ll see him again, living in my parents basement, with a job that’s falling through — searching hopelessly for solid employment, unable to afford anything — even my bills for the month, and awkwardly stuck in limbo between a single and married social life, with no friends around to hang out with.. feeling pretty alone, with no control over or knowledge of what’s going to happen in the future.

I have to say.. whatever lesson I’m supposed to be learning now.. is a very hard one.

but let’s not turn this into a pity party. woop woop!

7. What is your dream job, and why?

honestly… growing up my whole life, I always wanted to be a superstar singer. that would be my dream come true.

but my other passion is what I’m more actively pursuing… and that is art, photography, and graphic design. if I can get a stable career in that field, I will be one happy camper.

8. What are 5 passions you have?

  • anything artistic/creative – especially: photography, drawing, design, poetry
  • music – the window to my soul
  • the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or rather, the doctrines of the gospel that it teaches me, especially about my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ
  • dancing – I do it on a daily basis. I can’t help but move when I hear that beat.
  • people – they fascinate me. I love to be around them, to watch them, to draw them, to photograph them, to study their behavior, to be influenced by them, to learn about them.. etc.

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

in no particular order…

  • I’ll start with the obvious: my parents. they have shaped me into the person I am. they have been the most stable, driving influence I’ve had in my life. I will be eternally grateful.
  • my grandparents (I realize I’m grouping here. but they can be counted as one.) both sets, on mom’s and dad’s sides are the most extraordinary people that I’ve met.. and they would certainly claim otherwise. but they humbly and quietly and steadfastly go about doing good. they are loving and kind and always looking to serve. they have raised righteous families and created a legacy of humble, hard-working excellence.. and I couldn’t be more lucky to have them.
  • my aunt Tiffany. she is only 9 years older than me, and she was my hero growing up. I worshipped the ground she walked on and hung on her every word. she is like the big sister I never had. I always wanted to be beautiful and awesome like her.
  • my siblings. as a group. each for different reasons. I am extremely close with them.. they are my friends, not just my brothers and sisters (including my new sister-in-law, Kristi). even though they are younger than I am, they consistently teach me with their examples. they are all better than I am.. I have been raised in a family of spiritual giants. I don’t know how I got here. but I am privileged. and especially now, I am more grateful than ever for them. they are my closest friends.
  • my cousin Amberlee. through all of the friends I’ve had in my life, she has been the stable friendship that I grew up with since before either of us can remember. we’ve had more sleepovers at each other’s houses than either of us can count.. she put up with all my crazy over-imaginative antics, and even though we are opposites in personality.. I will always adore her.
  • my best friend Cambria. we grew up around the corner from each other, but she is 2 years older than me, so we never knew we were destined to be best friends until I moved back home from Utah State and we discovered that we were so similar it blew our minds. she helped me learn how to just.. be happy.. even in the face of trouble. she was the one who never turned down a crazy adventure with me. and I can’t even begin to count all of the greatest memories we’ve made together. so epic.
  • my high school best friend, Kathryn. so many good times.. she helped me learn how to take care of myself, how to do my hair and makeup, how to feel pretty.. she opened me up to new experiences in life that taught me and shaped me as a person. she even fostered my love for rap and hip hop. and she made me feel loved and included.. which was exactly what I needed as an insecure teenager.
  • you knew this was coming.. but, of course, my husband, Mote. he is the love of my life.. I had to go all the way to Tonga to find him. (I always loved poly men, but I never thought I’d have to look quite that far.) I can’t believe I found someone so much like me in so many ways.. someone who can be my best friend and my husband at the same time. he makes me feel loved and special and good about myself.. he’s funny and handsome and talented and smart and chill.. he brings out my desire to be better.. and I get to be with him for eternity. suckas!!
  • my favorite mission companion, Audrey (Nonoa). my sista from anotha mista. from day one in the MTC it was a special bond. we went through the ups and downs of our entire missions together, we spent a transfer over Christmas together, and then we finished it off together, the way we started. she is the perfect example of Christlike love and selfless service. I have never met someone more capable of such great love for so many people. she is one of my all-time favorite people ever.
  • I’m gonna do one more group.. this one is my aunts and uncles in general. I have grown up with an extremely close relationship with my extended family. we gathered for weekly Sunday dinners, and I cherish all the time spent with my aunts and uncles, on both sides, during my life. I am the favorite brunt of all their jokes and target of all their teasing.. but I dish it right back to them. (in particular, Danny on Mom’s side and John on Dad’s side.) but I think it is largely attributed to them that I’ve always had such great relationships with adults as I’ve grown up. I will always be so grateful for them.
  • honorable mentions: Andrew McMahon, Zooey Deschanel, Coach Downs, Marjorie Pay Hinckley, Pres and Sis Colton – who should actually be on the list and not just honorable mention, Chris Farley, Ryan Reynolds, Bishop Solt, countless friends, Batman.

10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.

pff. it’s hard for me to pick a “most” embarrassing moment. but one that still brings me to the point of blushing and shutting my eyes when I think about it was thanks for my dear, sweet friend, Cambria. we were at a young single adult regional conference. we went to the treats room to get food and mingle afterwards. I saw a boy I’d had a crush on in high school across the room. I had taken him to the Christmas dance and he was the first boy I’d ever held hands with. I whispered that and pointed him out to Cam as we roamed the room. I avoided him. but a little while later, we made contact and began talking. suddenly, Cam walks up to us and blurts out, “hi first boy that Aubrey ever held hands with!” my jaw dropped and I could have died. right there.. as if I had raved about this experience and never gotten over it since high school and she had been dying to meet him all this time. when in actuality, I had never even mentioned him to her before today. he chuckled and said, “I hope I wasn’t the last..” at this point I was simply gasp-laughing.. mouth still open.. unable to respond out of embarrassment, but she continues with, “oh no. she’s held hands with LOTS of boys since then. not that… she’s a floozy or anything…”
and that’s when I had to cut it off. I had never felt so humiliated. like I’d been ruminating on this high school crush all these years and still held on to a few seconds of hand-holding like it was the greatest moment of my life. I pretty much felt like driving straight to a cave and moving in.
such a special day!

okay. so I lied. this thing is WAY too much to tackle in one post. just those 10 questions were exhausting. I think I’ll break this up into 3. so here’s 10. now it’s bedtime.

nighty night boys and girls.

here’s a sneak preview of the questions still to come.

to be continued… 

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

12. Describe a typical day in your current life.

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

28. What is your love language?

29. What do you think people misundertand most about you?

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

once upon an island wedding..

so hey guys. here it is.. finally..

the wedding post, as promised! (even if you guys don’t care, it’s for posterity. and me. and many, if not most of you, have already seen a bunch of the wedding photos on Facebook. there are more there than there are here, but here’s the backstory.)

ready.. steady.. go!

so as I’ve mentioned, husby is from Tonga.. and that’s where we had our wedding. on a little third world beautiful friendly tropical island in the South Pacific. it was nothing like I ever thought my wedding would be.. but it was wonderful, once it finally happened.

after an uber long flight and a fat layover in Fiji, where we toured the island but were so tired it barely sank in, the afternoon and night that we first arrived in Tonga were blissful.. I was reunited with mister, and could not have been happier. that night, after we’d taken my parents around for awhile and then dropped them at the hotel, he took me out to the shore and we sat on a rock wall and he had me pick a ring*. we talked about us and marriage and happiness and how strange it was to think that we were marrying “Elder Havea” and “Sister Wilkinson,” respectively, from the mission (the good old FTM) in a day or so. and then it started raining.. and we stood on the rock wall along the ocean and laughed and kissed, soaking wet, in the rain. it was a perfect night.

(*sidenote: the ring saga. since I’m basically using this blog post as a journal entry, and I’d like to look back and remember how it all went, I’ll include this part. the ring I’d been wearing throughout our engagement was a flat gold band with little diamonds set into the top that his sister-in-law had given me in New Zealand. Mote had ordered me a ring from New Zealand and his brother and sis-in-law were supposed to bring it with them when they came to the wedding in Tonga, but.. they ended up not coming. so.. Mote, being stressed, went to a local woman who makes jewelry to get me a pearl ring, and he had me pick out of 3 options. I ended up liking the pink one, which surprised me. but it’s gorgeous. and I wore that on the wedding day and for the majority of the time I was there, until it started to tarnish and turn my finger colors. we went back to the lady, because the ring was way too big anyway, to see if there were any other options for settings. she said the pearl is real but I should get a real metal setting that fits when I went back to the U.S.. but then she suggested that we get a whale bone ring with a pearl set on top from her, because it was much more durable. we said we’d give it a shot and she made one for us within a few days, right before I left, and we ended up really liking it. it has a super cool look and everybody loves it because of its uniqueness.. but just two nights ago, I was cleaning and putting away laundry, and then realized..
my pearl had fallen out of the ring.
I was obviously super upset.
my ring life was over, which is one of the few connections I have right now to husband that make it seem real.. since we’re living apart.
but later that night I felt like I should look on my closet floor, so I pulled out the shoe rack and parted the sea of clothes.. bam.
there was the pearl.
I’m not wearing the ring now because it’s pearl-less, and I want to take it into a jeweler and get it set in real metal on the whale bone, rather than glued in something cheaper. so at this point.. I’m half wearing the other tarnished metal pearl ring that’s way too big, and half not wearing a ring. and it’s been a big dumb mess. so there’s the saga of the ring. all you ladies who had easy peasy lemon squeezy times with getting the ring of their dreams in fancy proposals by their hubbies should now count themselves luckier. please and thank you.. because nothing about my wedding gets to be easy. end sidenote/saga.)

SO. in case you haven’t had enough drama yet.. and you’re getting bored.. here you go.
the day before the wedding.. we had basically the most stressful day of our lives. we’d had somebody go check for us prior to the trip exactly what we’d need to do to get married in Tonga with me being a non-citizen of the country, we thought we were good to go, but apparently they didn’t check with immigration. so we found out we were supposed to have had one of us living in Tonga for at least 6 months prior to the wedding, (he was living in NZ, I was in the U.S.. none of those initials spell Tonga) and have completed all sorts of applications and gotten approval from the supreme court of Tonga, etc. and that the process would all take about 2 weeks to process through immigration.

TWO WEEKS.

let me remind you.. this was
the. day. before. our. wedding.

can we say meltdown material?

(fortunately, Mote, although stressed to the gills, with all the pressure on high, handled everything amazingly. he was very calm and collected and impressed my parents very much with his composure in a super tough situation. because of everyone’s calm and practical positivity, we were all able to hold ourselves together fairly well. my only brief meltdown was sitting in the waiting room at the temple, as we waited to discuss our predicament with the temple president (our sealer) and tentatively cancel our appointment, crying into Mote’s shoulder for a few minutes.)

anyway, upon finding all this out, we went driving to get my parents, and then happened to stumble upon a lawyer’s office, which are not common on the island. divine intervention? you bet. so we hired said lawyer, who typed up all the documents for us, and his assistant went personally with us to the supreme court and the immigration office and the marriage registration office and the temple.. back and forth.. all. day. she was great. and my sister wired us more money from America for this unplanned surprise.. yet we still didn’t know that night if everything was going to be approved by the next day. our wedding was up in the air.

do you see how miserable we look here? this was at the wedding registry government office. or whatever it’s called. we look like we’re about to be ushered in to a funeral. my dad sneaked this picture, apparently.

so I went to bed that night at the hotel with my parents, hoping.. but not sure.. riding on pure faith. everyone in Mote’s family and circle of acquaintance who is employed with the Tongan government was pulling every string they could reach, and we would see what the morning brought.

and the next morning, Mote called the hotel and told us..

IT WAS ON!

relieved and happy, we busied ourselves with preparations.. getting ready for my wedding was not super easy, given that I was in a third world country.. and our hotel room didn’t even have a mirror.. nor a private bathroom.. and my straightener didn’t work with the converter/adapter.. (haha, and to think I debated in my mind as a teenager as to whether I would get professional hair and makeup done on my wedding day.)
but we borrowed a mirror from the lobby and a straightener from Mote’s sister and I managed.

it turned out ok, I think.

I started out in what I call my “civil wedding dress,” because in Tonga you have to get married by the government first and then have it ratified by a church in order for it to be considered complete and legal.. so in the case of the Latter Day Saint temple marriage, you go get married at the government office first, and then go get sealed either that day or the next.

we did it the same day. I wore a knee-length lace dress that my sister and I modified with a silk plum-colored extension at the bottom to make it more modest.

and then the aunties arrived to dress us in our ta’ovalas.. the traditional Tongan wrap.. and leis to wear for the ceremony.

we felt like tamales… especially Mote. his was huge. but it was super fun to have all these Tongan women surrounding me dressing me in their traditional clothes. I felt like I was in a movie or a dream. and.. gorgeous. my mother-in-law made the beading on top that I wore. it was beautiful.

we were then driven to the office where we’d be married by the government. we waited for awhile out front and then inside. only my parents and Mote’s aunty, Ngalu, were allowed in to the back office with us. it was supposed to be only one person, but Ngalu likes to get her way. haha. she is like Mote’s second mother and she is a SASSY pants.. so hilarious. loved her. anyway.

our governmental marriage ceremony was very short and sweet. the guy on the other side of the desk had us each hold a corner of the Bible, and repeat after him, Mote in Tongan and me in English, swearing to our marriage, and then we each had to kiss the Bible and sign the paperwork.. and that was it!


we emerged from the back office in a whirlwind.. and lots of smiles and comments and laughter from Mote’s loved ones. I understood none of the comments, but apparently they were pretty hilarious. although I do know that while we were waiting to be taken back, they made several jokes about my dad still being young and that he could take on multiple wives. haha. my mom just laughed. go Dad.. you Tongan lady killer.

so then, we drove straight to the temple to be sealed. as we were walking in I was introduced to the huge bouquet and lei Ngalu had made for me from flowers in her yard. she was so sweet to do that for me.. I didn’t even know how to hold so many flowers/foliage! the yellow flowers were especially really cool.

we got out of our ta’ovalas in the temple waiting room and then they took us into an interview room to meet with a temple worker briefly before the ceremony. then they took us each back to our respective bride and groom rooms to change. because of the sacredness of the ceremonies and ordinances that happen in the temple, I can’t go into detail here, but as I mentioned, our sealer was the temple president, President Hopoate. what a wonderful, sweet man. we could not have asked for a better person to seal us for time and all eternity. the spirit in those rooms was so strong it overwhelmed us. we knew that Heavenly Father had given us the miracles that had brought us to this moment, not just the day before, but over the course of our entire relationship, and me being in Tonga with my parents at all, and that this was a good thing… this was right. I don’t remember ever being so purely happy as I was kneeling across the altar from my eternal companion. I can’t even express how grateful I am that we kept ourselves worthy to be sealed by Priesthood authority in the house of the Lord. there is nothing that can compare to it. it was truly celestial.

after the sealing ceremony, we exchanged rings and hugs with family and friends.. and then went back to change into our American-style wedding clothes.

princess time!!!

I love my dress. it makes me feel more beautiful than anything I’ve ever worn. I touched up hair and makeup while mom did up a row of a bazillion buttons down my back with a crochet hook.. and I think I was even ready before Mote was. the sweet ladies in the temple kept ooh-ing and ah-ing over me as I walked out to meet him.. the beauty of getting married in a small temple outside of Utah, is that you get to be the only wedding that day.. so you don’t have to compete with others for photos or attention. it was like star treatment. but we got so caught up in getting everything ready that we failed to collect my civil wedding dress from the closet in the bride’s room. that turned out to be a problem later that night, as that was what I had planned to wear to the dance. so I had to default to a coral H&M number, but that’s fine.. and that’s later.

stop distracting me.

so we walked out of the temple to cheers and clapping and I pumped our fists in the air as we held hands, because I’m awesome.. and everyone laughed.. and we couldn’t stop smiling. it was basically pure, unadulterated happiness.

and then everyone wanted photos with us, especially the palangi and her pretty dress.. which was fine. we felt like movie stars with our paparazzi and fans.

and then, since photography is not exactly a booming business in Tonga, my dad was our photog and we did temple grounds pictures. (this was one of the hardest parts for me to swallow, and again.. not how I planned my wedding my whole life. photos were basically the only thing I really cared about for my wedding.. so the deal I made with Mote when I agreed to do the wedding in Tonga was that we’ll get professional photos done when he gets to the states, because we couldn’t even get engagement pics, let alone wedding photography. some of you know that I do photography on the side. it’s a big deal to me.. so I had trained my dad somewhat on my new camera prior to the trip and printed him a list of thumbnail versions of all the photos I wanted, so Mom helped check off the list and fix details while Dad took pics. he did an awesome job. and thank the heavens for my Photoshop skills! annnnd, glory be, I ended up loving my wedding photos! I recommend everybody make a list of the photos they want on their wedding day, it will help out even a professional photographer a great deal, and you’ll get the shots you wanted.)

whoa. tangent. back on track!!

so after the temple photos, Mote surprised me by taking us to what are called the blowholes for some photos. one of my favorite shots of the whole day comes from this spot. we stood on a huge cliff as the waves crashed below us, spraying water like a geyser to astronomical heights above us. this made my dress smell like seawater later, (don’t worry. my mom got it cleaned as soon as it got back to the states) and I frantically kept yelling to my dad to protect my camera from spray, but it was totally worth it. what an incredible view. this is why it’s cool to get married on a tropical island.

so then we were headed to our feast on ‘Otuhaka Beach with Mote’s close family and friends! or so we thought.

enter.. the awesome Tongan roads.

so… they have paved roads in Tonga.. sort of.. but many of the roads are so bad you end up feeling like you’re going off-roading just running to the shop in town, through potholes the size of small craters in the middle of the road. the poor cars.. and shocks..

so the construction workers had conveniently closed the only way to get to the beach we had reserved and paid for with a beautiful pavilion and tables.. and nobody could get there.

I think Ngalu could see the alarm on my face when I heard the news, because she told me to calm down and that we’d get there. we drove to the spot where the road was being closed by workers, and Ngalu talked to one of the workers who she sort of knew, bribed him with money, and then yelled at him to let everybody through to the beach, or she’d come back and kill him.
hahaha. I told you she was awesome.

so we made it to the beach, but because of the delay plus Tongan time, nothing was ready. we had plenty of time for beach pictures, though. it was absolutely gorgeous. I got a temple wedding and a beach feast.. best of both worlds, baby. I was in utter bliss at this point. I was married to my Tongan honey forever, I was on the beach, and nothing else was even gonna phase me.










so once the feast was ready, we opened with a prayer and sat down at the head table full of various Tongan dishes, complete with a roasted pig right in front of us, and coconuts with straws stuck in the holes to drink from. there were several great dishes, and I filled up fast. then Mote’s sweet dad got up and spoke to the group. he apologized for not being a member of the church, (Mote’s parents go to the Church of Tonga) and said how grateful he was for this day and the ward and my parents coming all the way from America to be here for the wedding. he said he was so grateful to finally have a palangi daughter (haha. p.s. palangi means white) and he doesn’t know why I want Mote, but he is sure glad I do. ha. Mote translated his speech for me as he went, and it was very sweet. then they had my dad speak. Ngalu translated for him. he mostly talked about how grateful he was for the hospitality we had been shown and the love and warmth, etc. but Ngalu spiced it up and gave it all her own extra flavor. she started out by saying that the palangi was scared to be up talking to all these Tongans, and the laughter continued from there. and at the end and said, “and thank you to me for being a great translator, and you can take me back to America with you.” haha.
too many awesome “take me to America” jokes were bouncing around. it was highly entertaining. Tongans are crack-ups.


then it was time to cut the cake. Mote had brought this cake all the way from New Zealand, because it was a couple hundred dollars cheaper over there. this was all him.. it was two-tiered, and he had the bakery print our favorite picture of us together on the cake in fondent with “Congratulations Mote & Aubrey” beneath it. it was very sweet and nice. unfortunately we didn’t get a great photo of it.. but this was how it looked.

anyway, we cut the cake and he was very nice when he fed me a bite, and of course I shoved it in his face/up his nose a little. he was totally unprepared. everybody thought it was hilarious. but I kissed it off, so it was fine.

then they sang a hymn and closed with a prayer.

oh.. but lest ye think this day was long enough already… we were not done yet, boys and girls. it was time for the dance that the ward threw for us in celebration.

we went back to the hotel to change, and Mote went home to change as well, and that’s when we realized we’d left my other dress at the temple, so I went to the plan B dress.

Mote came back around and picked us up again and we went to the church. they had basically made a throne with ta’ovalas and mats on chairs for us and my parents, and it was very cool to feel like the queen of the ball. we danced the night away. Polynesian dances are so much more fun than white dances.. everybody actually dances, and likes it. we kept having to participate in unexpected Tongan traditions that Mote hadn’t warned me about, like having to do a dance where we walk around the room essentially gathering the people behind us in line, and leading them all in a big long line, and then splitting off, me leading the women, him leading the men, and meeting in the middle, and then splitting off in various ways, making our lines longer and longer. it was slightly confusing, but very fun. I was basically like, “uh… I don’t know how to do this.” haha.

(we forgot the camera at the dance.. so all the pictures are crappy cell phone pics. sorry ’bout it.)



and then they had us come stand at the head of the room and played songs while people came up and kissed us and put leis on us… about 20 (or 200) pounds worth of leis each. they were mostly candy leis in Saran Wrap, but a couple of flower ones as well. then we had to slow dance with leis all over us.. to “Love Can Build a Bridge.” it was very romantic and heavy. literally.




we went back and sat on our thrones and shared the wealth of the candy leis with everyone.. and various people would ask us to come dance with them throughout the night. in Tonga, when you ask someone to dance, you just stand in front of them and bow. I think if we did that in America it would really lower the rejection rate. let’s pick up the tradition, guys.

and then we had some dance performances of traditional Tongan dances by young ladies in the ward, like the tau’olunga, which is the Tongan money dance that, traditionally, the bride does.. but since I’m not Tongan and had no teacher to help me learn to interpret a Tongan song with Tongan dance moves… one of the ysa’s in the ward did it. she was wrapped in a traditional tongan outfit and oiled up all over so people could come stick money to her skin. it was very cool.

I think I need to learn how so people can come give me money by sticking it all over me, and have it be totally non-sleazy and beautiful like that. that would be fine.

anyway, we dropped my parents at their hotel, and then drove back to ‘Otuhaka Beach, where we stayed for about 5 days on our honeymoon before we went to stay at his parents’ house for the remainder of my trip.

and there you have it.. the perfectly imperfect best day of my life.. where I ended up hitched to the man who’s imperfectly perfect for me.

did I mention I love this guy?