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.

Advertisements

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.

ofa

it was 13 days after V-day.. but a package finally arrived from New Zealand today. with my Valentine’s gift from M. and it made me smile through my whole body.. the way a junior high girl does when her crush talks to her.

I’m silly like that.

sue me for being a romantic..

but the card turned me into a puddle.

he did well. here’s the front of it. the message he **wrote inside was the best part.. but that’s just for me.

 

I know.

take a moment and sigh wistfully…

and he got me a beautiful Tongan necklace with matching earrings and a photo album.

he’s cute.

 

so, moving to the next item..

I figured I would intro my news with something romantic to get you in the mood.

ready?

okay.

it’s official. my ticket is booked and I am going here in 2.5 months..

yes. those are the beaches and palms and crystal blue waters of Nuku’Alofa Tonga.. where M is from. why am I going there, you ask?

oh you know…

to get married. 

May 18th is the day.

and here’s the deal.. in the LDS church handbook, one of the stipulations that allows couples to be sealed in the temple less than a year from their wedding date is when the country they are marrying in does not recognize temple marriage as legal. that is the case in Tonga, and you have to be married civilly first and THEN get sealed. so I talked to my bishop, and (especially since Mote’s family aren’t members, aside from his youngest brother who is on a mission in SLC) he said the point of the rule is not to dilute the sacredness of the temple sealing, but since we have to be married civilly first anyway, it’s not different to be sealed there vs being sealed here with all of my family present in the temple with us. (so his family can participate in the part they care about and mine can be there for the part that’s important to them)

so this is my convoluted way of telling you that we are going to be married on the beach in Tonga on May 18th, and then we will be sealed here when he comes to the states in the fall once his green card paperwork processes.

YAY!!!

but you guys… do you realize what this means??

I’m going to be a WIFE in 2.5 months.. Mrs. Havea.

whoa.

after all these disasters.. after all of these obstacles… it’s finally set, and it’s finally happening.

and we will appreciate each other so much more after the struggle and effort we’ve had to put forth to stay together and make this work. it’s been just a month shy of a year of across-the-world dating.. and I’m ready to not be across-the-world anymore.

now.. after all this happy news, there is some sucky ace stickiness.. a new hurdle that’s been placed in my path.. (because just when I think we’ve figured it out, something else hits us in between the eyeballs and laughs at us. we can’t catch a break.)

as of last week, with notice of only a few hours, I lost my source of income. I still technically have a job teaching college, and I tutor English a couple of hours a week; but due to low enrollment in the billing and coding program, I don’t have a class to teach this module. this presents a grave problem when you are attempting to pay your bills AND save up for an international wedding while somehow being able to support your husband when he moves across the world to you. and normally I would be ok to search for a job like a typical person.. except I’m mid-semester, which means my schedule is slightly weird, and I also am leaving to Tonga for 3 weeks in May. that’s always a fun thing to have to tell a brand new employer.. “oh by the way, I know you just hired me, but I’m just gonna head out of the country for 3 weeks, aight? cool. deuces!”

so let’s just say there have been many tears and hours of lost sleep trying to figure out what to do. I’m trying to have blind faith that the Lord will provide, but it’s reallllly tough to understand the timing of this one. and to top it off, he’s not working this week either, until his company gets another job.. so we’re both awesomely unemployed at the mo. my faith has had to be tested over and over again over the past few months, so it must have needed some heavy strengthening. I’m not sure what will happen, but I hope I can find a solution soon. and of course church this past Sunday was all about fear vs faith. I need to hand my fears over to the Lord and have faith that my efforts will be rewarded with blessings. (not a strong suit for my independent personality)

one bright spot in all this, though, has been the support and love and help of friends and family.

I am so blessed for the people I have in my life. they are proof that Heavenly Father must love me a whole lot.

woo!

okay. this post turned into something much more complicated and detailed and overshare-y than I intended it to be. apologies, friends!

but thanks for making it this far if you stayed with me.

the bottom line is.. I am so excited that I finally get to marry my best friend. 🙂

cuz it’s about freakin time!

 

** sidenote: I observed tonight that his handwriting is just as good as (and very similar to) mine. and I pride myself on my handwriting skillzz. meant to be?

Remembering Brittney

Yesterday I received some absolutely devastating news. I found out that one of my amazing students passed away at St. Mark’s Hospital on Saturday at only 19 years old due to Pneumonia. I could not get ahold of myself yesterday to stop the flow of tears that kept coming throughout the day. I feel like I’ve lost a child or something. After some intensive prayer, I was finally able to feel some peace yesterday evening. And I’ve been a mixture of happy and sad as I’ve reflected back on my memories of her. But since all of my memories of her are happy, I am feeling blessed to have had the chance to get close to her. I’m grateful for my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and knowing that this isn’t the end. She’s just on the other side now. But it’s startling and it has caused me to reflect on what a precious gift life is.. and the people that are in mine. I’m especially grateful right now for every student I’ve had the opportunity to teach and for the bonds and friendships I’ve made. Today, I was asked to contribute a memory or two of her for her eulogy. It turns out writing something for a eulogy is pretty hard, and I’m sure I wrote too much. But here’s what I came up with:

Brittney Crowder… how do I say this? How do I write a ray of sunshine? From the first second she entered into my classroom I knew she was special. Brittney walked in with a big sparkling smile on her face and introduced herself and my first thought was, “this has to be one of the most polite girls I’ve ever met.” And when the woman who claimed to be her “sister” (a.k.a. mother), Cassandra came in, and the sarcastic banter between them began, I knew teaching them was gonna be a hilarious ride. And it was. They kept us all laughing. Probably the funniest part about it was hearing this typically sweet, happy girl throw out sarcastic zingers and smack talk in every classroom game as soon as it got competitive.

But one thing I’ll never forget about Brittney was her selfless attitude. She apologized more than anybody I’ve ever met because she put everyone before herself, never wanting to inconvenience anyone. She never ever failed to ask me about my day or my life or what I did over the weekend — not once. She was consistently helping everyone around her. She was one of the smartest students I’ve had, and she knew all the answers to my questions in class. I was always impressed by her ability to retain information. But she held back from taking over because she wanted others in the class to have a chance to participate too. It was so funny to watch her when my students played a speed vocabulary game, because she always knew the answer first, but she would slowly and carefully write the word out in fancy lettering so it wouldn’t be such an obviously hard beating. And then she would doodle her name or my name on the board while she waited.

Brittney was positive, she was funny, she was witty, she had a brilliant white smile that lit up everything. She had an easy and contagious laugh, and she radiated happiness, despite all the hard and terrible things she occasionally alluded to that she had experienced in her young life. She was focused and knew what was important. She was creative and she never held back expressing her love with words and hugs and gifts and notes. She was thoughtful and aware. She was never too busy to help or to stop and talk. She was respectful and considerate. And she had an impact on everyone she came into contact with simply because she cared about them. And there was a maturity in her beyond her years. I think, even though she only spent a short few years on the earth, she fit a lot of living into them.

My favorite memory of Brittney is probably when she took it upon herself to make a video for the Medical Administrative Assistant program in order to recruit more people to enroll. She re-wrote the lyrics to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” and Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie.”

One day on break in class we decided we’d teach one of the other students how to do some dance moves like the Jerk, along with the Cat Daddy and the Reject and the Dip and Crumping.  And then we taught the Dougie to the Career Services Department. She filmed it for the video and we laughed our guts out every time we watched it. And then she made me rap her “Teach Me How to Dougie” lyrics, which she revised to “Teach Me How to Study,”… into her phone… with my earbuds in to hear the beat of the song. It was one of the funniest moments ever, sitting in the computer lab, getting my white girl rap swag on. And then she told me I sounded like Lady Sovereign and had a legit rap career ahead of me. Ha ha!

I keep imagining she’ll walk through the door again with her hood on and her headphones in and her big smile asking me how I am. I absolutely love Brittney. She truly became my dear friend over the course of her time at Everest, and will always hold a special place in my heart as one of my favorite people. It feels like she’s gone way too soon, but I know she’s up in heaven radiating that same happiness and love she was famous for here, laughing and exchanging stories with everyone around her… and maybe even teaching them how to Dougie.

the best 10 days of my life: New Zealand edition… days 1 and 2

wow. 16000+ views? I’m super flattered, interwebs. I guess I better post something worth reading since you keep coming back for more.

are you ready for this?
really, though?

I mean.. this literally changed pretty much everything about my life so I figure it’s pretty heavy.

yes?

okay, if you’re sure…

well, you’ve seen for months now that I’ve been mentioning my upcoming trip to New Zealand (here on out referred to as NZ) in October. and now it’s the end of October. that means I’ve been home for a little over a week now. (fail trombone.) 😦

why am I home, you ask?

I wish I knew the answer to that question.. because somehow trivial everyday life seems empty and meaningless post-NZ.

I know… “Aubrey, stop being so dramatic.”

but this is legit. you would feel empty and meaningless if your other half was on the other side of the world too.

so, since everyone asks, I’ll begin with the airport. let’s not even talk about the 24-32 hours of travel. suckfest 5000. fast forward to the good stuff. the NZ airport has a visitor area after you’ve already gone through baggage claim and customs and everything. they were SO slow getting everyone through, so apparently poor Mote was standing there waiting for me for more than 30 minutes. I walk out the doors and am instantly uncomfortable because they have it set up like a stage. the people waiting to pick up their respective passengers are all sitting on benches/chairs facing these electronic double doors that you walk out of by yourself because you just got through customs all by your lonesome.. you’ve been on 3 planes across the world for..years.. and lo and behold, errbody is staring at you.

hiiiiiiii…

so I’m attempting to scan the crowd for Mote’s face, but quickly moving to the side of the crowd so everyone will stop staring at ME.

I don’t see him.

I move around to the back, scanning every face… no Mote.

I start to panic.

I am in NEW ZEALAND.. this is not a quick little jaunt for kicks.. this is a foreign country. what if he isn’t here?!

attempting to keep myself calm, I keep looking around and through the crowd.. standing awkwardly with my bags and hoping he will magically appear..

finally, I turn around.. and there he is. right behind me. we make eye contact and relief floods over me. I run at him and throw my arms around his neck and knock his hat off. he hugs me tight and I can already tell that I have found my new favorite spot to be in the world.. and he tells me that he took a potty break right when I came out, apparently, and didn’t know I was there.
(sidenote: in NZ they call it the “toilet,” not the bathroom. they’ll look at you weird if you call it the bathroom. luckily I already knew this. and also.. Mote is not from New Zealand. he is from Tonga. but he learned English in America, so he calls it the bathroom.)
anyway, we called the rental car company and walked to where we were supposed to meet them.. and that’s when he kissed me for the first time. it was over.

that night, we went back to his brother’s house.. I briefly met the fam (I think it was amusing that everybody seemed surprised about how “gorgeous” I was. like.. did you think I was gonna be ug? but still flattering.) and I showered real quick and we set back out for some dinner with his brother and his wife, Sieli. I, regrettably, was still not functioning on all cylinders and forgot my camera like a champ. no photos were taken. but we went to the Sky Tower in downtown Auckland for dinner and hung out there at the casino for a bit.. I realized, again, that I do not speak Tongan. so that was a feeling I became used to over the course of the week.. given that most of the people in his life DO speak it. he often would forget that I didn’t know what was going on and expect me to be ready for whatever we were doing.. and I would look lost.. and he would say, “oh!” and then laugh and explain. luckily, however, his bro and sis-in-law also speak English, so I could still communicate.

okay enough with verbose intros.

I know a lot of you already Facebook stalked, but the rest of you are probably here for this.. here come the pics! (I took 500+. I won’t be posting them all. sorry ’bout it.)

the next day we got up in the morning for the LDS General Conference. (in the states, it had been broadcast the week earlier, but since NZ is a day ahead, they wait a week to watch it because their Monday is our Sunday.) our first pic together:

after conference we chilled for a bit and then packed up some overnight bags and got on the road to Hamilton, a little over an hour away. (he lives in Auckland.) the whole drive was gorgeous because.. well.. NZ is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!

seriously guys, interlude for a second for me to exclaim about the beauty: everywhere you look is pretty!! it was breathtaking. the views of the city.. the bay.. the lights.. the rolling hills of green.. (SO GREEN!!!) the foliage.. the everything! I was like, “really?!?!” okay. end of interlude.

so we meet up with my favorite comp from the mission and her husby there.. you may remember the famous Nonoa.. who I should now call Audrey because she is no longer a Nonoa, she is a Pere.. but whatevs. love her.

this photo was actually from the next day, but it fits the flow, so it’s going here.

we meet the sister missionaries, they hear about our mission connection.. the looks on their faces are priceless when Mote and I kiss before he went to the car to grab something and we were heading inside the visitor’s center. hahaha. like, looks of surprise and then, “met on the mission, eh????”
(don’t worry, world. we barely knew each other as missionaries. we only met once or twice at zone conferences. we never served around each other. we keep it approp. in this piece!!)

anyway, we tour the visitor’s center and see the temple and then head back to the Pere’s for some grub and the All Blacks/Argentina game.

oh wait, first we stopped to meet her darling mom and pretty much a thousand aunts and uncles and friends who were all preparing for a funeral.. none of whom I can even slightly remember. but they were all super nice. THEN the house for food and the game.

Mote taught me some rugby, since I was heretofore mostly clueless about that game. I knew I liked the men involved.. (like him.) but I have wayyyy more knowledge about american football than rugby. anyway, I learned stuff. this entire trip was rugby saturated because it was the rugby world cup while I was there. it was amazing to see all the entire country get so into it. flags and decorations and paint and decked out cars and signs EVERYWHERE!

I just noticed that I am the only one on a brown body. will someone giggle at the irony with me?
 the last two photos are also from the next day in Hamilton but I’m a rebel and I do what I want.

so… I abruptly just decided I’m gonna post about my trip in increments, because otherwise it will take me like 6 hours to write one post. that’s not happening. I have a midterm in the morning. so that concludes the first two days.

(I promise the next one will be real soon. don’t throw fruit.)

 

back to life.. back to reality..

hello dear friends.

not that I wanna give excuses for so severely pushing the blog to the back burner… but…

holy cow. life be CRAZY up in this piece, homies.

in case anybody missed the memo…. since I… actually haven’t posted it on the blog, so unless you know me in real life, you would have missed it…. I’m HOME! I said goodbye to Texas a week ago and Utah has opened its non-humid arms to welcome me in, and then swallowed me whole.

and I mean that in the most literal sense, because I haven’t even had time to unpack until today. I only finished doing that like.. 1.5 hours ago. can I get a HALLELUJAH for no more suitcase living?!

…………………………*crickets*………………………………………………………………………………

FINE you guyz.. I’ll do it myself. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!

geez.

haters.
so to summarize things,

I packed up, cleaned, got my Volvo fixed only just in time (after nearly the whole FREAKING summer. F that noise.), said goodbye to my Del Sol friends 😦

and to this:


and drove. (Texas, outside of the cities, was ug. especially West Texas. no pics were taken.)

after most of the day, we made it across Texas to El Paso, almost got STUCK in El Paso because Lisa’s car was upset about driving too fast, so after much anxiety-ridden deliberation and inspection at Firestone, we drove slower and made it to Albuquerque, stayed the night in the most comfortable hotel beds ever, and drove.

and drove.

made pit stops, complete with bathroom stall reading:

what’s better than a rose on your piano?
tulips on my organ.

………….

ahem.

and drove.

and then New Mexico started getting real pretty. and I started loving the scenery.

but then I remembered that I had been driving for TWO DAYS straight and that my book on CD (“The Color Purple” -weird/sad/raw/interesting/gross/good) was long over and that I wanted to kill myself.


and I drove.

until finally…

so what did I do?

I drove some more.

I mean seriously guyz, I swear was suffering like a freaking pioneer by myself in that air-conditioned luxury sedan with all of my many possessions jammed in all around me eating treats and drinking Coke Zero. skraight up torture.

anyway, you get my point. I finally made it. went straight to Gram’s for a little family partying, and then home at last. but I started work the next day and school on Wednesday, so pretty much I don’t know what I was thinking doing that to myself, because by the time Friday rolled around I was so dead that I probably looked like a zombie.

but don’t get me wrong… the busyness is not all just from suck. it’s from fun stuff too. like hangin with fam, seeing friends, going to a concert, watching Jersey Shore (ha), going to Ute Fan Fest 2011 and meeting the football players.. my life is not bad, guyz.

now somebody help me not feel overwhelmed when I think about school and work equaling 12 hours gone M-F.

but probably the most exciting part of my life?

40. days.

that’s how many until I go to freaking NEW ZEALAND, to see my love.

yep.

and I have never been more excited/anxious for anything in my life.

🙂

okay so…. now it’s somehow 1:15am? what? I’m going to freaking sleep.

goodnight boys and girls.

I love you.

xoxo

Bats. Real ones.

I tried to upload a video from my phone of the time, two days ago, when I watched 1.5 million bats fly out from under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin. but apparently the video is the wrong format. and I don’t want to upgrade to costly wordpress instead of free wordpress. (–>cheap<–)

I also considered just leaving this blog post blank..
because the title is kind of enough.

but I’ve been seeing and reading and laughing and thinking.. so here are some thinks.

I h.a.t.e. it when M’s internet is down. it’s been 3.5 days now. it makes me feel like I’m walking through a pool about waist-deep because everything feels harder and like it’s in slow-motion. Missing someone makes you realize that he is essential to your well-being. my phone battery is going dead everyday from my constant and hopeful checking of messages.

Austin is lovely. I was up to my earlobes in unique and pretty treasures that I wanted and needed just by perusing two amazing Congress Street shops. and I found my best friend’s wedding gift.

today I took a tour of the river in San Antonio via riverboat. the entire time a 4 year-old boy named Danny had a kicking war with me and then moved on to a finger war and then a hand-stacking war. it was one of the greatest times I’ve had all month. he had a faux hawk all the way down the back. I told him he is mi nuevo novio. his mother scolded him in Spanish the entire ride. his parents wanted me to keep him.

^those photos counted as thoughts ^ 

I went to the most expensive restaurant I’ve been to since we came to Texas tonight, and it was ironically the worst experience I’ve had in a restaurant since we’ve been here. but thank you for my $13 appetizer that was a bed of spinach leaves and 4 thumb-sized slices of pan-seared tuna. and your guac was good. won’t be back.

there is now a Justin Bieber poster hanging in my room at the foot of Lisa’s bed. I never thought that would happen to me in my life. but Ryan Reynolds is also there to diffuse the situation.

today I read a poem that goes like this:

On Art

I don’t think art

is so much a tribute to beauty

as it is a good reminder

that we don’t have to be so boring

-Dallin Bruun

I never want to be boring.

Cars 2. yes. made me miss my friends.

I also miss my dog, Shandi, because she is cute and the sweetest dog in the world. she turns 8 on Monday. my sister suggested we baptize her.

today I emailed Dan Dan the Volvo man about where my oil pan is when it ought to be in my vehicle. he sent me bad news but then quickly followed up with good news and I hope it arrives by Monday. my Volvo (M named it the Go-Getta) has been sitting at the curb in front of the apartment for weeks looking wistful and lonely. and walking to work on humid mornings makes me feel like a sweaty monkey.

I recently had my first paid design job for a little icon within an iPhone app called Calvetica. my icon is an absolutely minimal contribution, but it made me feel official. I am a graphic designer after 1 semester of school.

and I never shared my great news.. I got a departmental tuition waiver from my school for the whole upcoming school year! a.k.a. they are paying for me to go to school. it took much effort and turning in an essay on the day of my kidney stone surgery as I almost threw up in the line and then a portfolio review with several professors at a very long table and it made me feel naked as they passed around my artwork and asked me questions…. so that phone call telling me I got the waiver was magical. the timing of this waiver is also magical, given upcoming immigration expenses for M in my life.

I hated the movie “Waiting for Forever.”

did I mention I miss M? 😦

okay… no more thinks right now.

goodnight, moon.