A November Letter

Dear friend,

There is something about the fall that makes everything seem deeper, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the cool air dancing on your skin or the urgent knowledge that you have to hold onto this perfect in-between time before the frost and ice come and overstay. It could be those spicy, pumpkin-y, rainy, baked sugary smells that make you take notice. Maybe it’s just the feeling of change that can’t be dodged as it envelopes the air. Maybe it’s the holidays that make you remember what really counts. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I know it happens to me every year.

Things with me are fine. I’m learning how to be a wife and also a human. I know I’ve been away a long time and haven’t written to you. I think there’s a period of time when you start a new life that requires you to cocoon yourself in it until you know what it is. That’s what I feel like, anyway… like a new world has started. I still don’t know how to balance things yet. I’m learning slowly. But it does make sense as to why my friends would marry and disappear from my life before. Going from a “me” to an “us” is tricky. It’s especially complex when you dive into another culture outside of your own. You are jolted with shocks from all unexpected angles regularly. It can be quite invigorating and quite terrifying all at once. And sometimes you forget entirely because it doesn’t matter at all. Isn’t it beautiful how two worlds can collide and create something confusing and fresh? I really do love change. Sometimes it racks me with anxiety, but it always erodes at least one of my rough edges a little.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t think I would be good at being famous. I always thought I was very confident. This is actually untrue. I am fueled by praise. When I am boiled down to only my own self-love, without external influence, I nearly drown in insecurity sometimes. And as extroverted as I can be, I am always shocked when I learn someone is thinking or talking about me when I’m not there. The thought shakes me to the core because I’m genuinely baffled I would be important enough to discuss. And it especially causes me fear that it might be uncomplimentary . Does this ever happen to you? I think this is one of my great follies because I also often don’t realize that I can actually affect others with what I say or do – I don’t process that it would be important enough to cause offense. I accidentally offend often. And if I think too hard about it, I am afraid to speak at all for fear of being an inconvenience. I laugh at myself now, even writing it. How foolish and hilarious it sounds.

My husband is not like that. He doesn’t move out of anyone’s way when he’s walking. He doesn’t bother trying to impress or befriend anyone who isn’t friendly. He doesn’t feel pressured to small talk if he doesn’t have something to say. I admire this about him. He has the most deeply reserved, abiding, internal confidence in himself, and people love him for it. You’d love him too.

That’s what I’m thinking about this fall. I want to get to a place of self-worth where it doesn’t even matter who does or doesn’t think well of me, because I know in my deep heart that I’m all right.

The sun is setting as I am riding the train home now. The flares are coming through the window and warming my cheek. I’m going to walk home toward the sunset and smile into the increasingly chilly orangey-pink air and love myself today. And I will love you, dear friend. It makes me smile to think you can see the sunset, wherever you are, too.

xo,
Aubrey

The Freshness

Well hello dear friends. I have successfully maintained, yet again, my totally unreliable posting habits for another year. Guess I achieved my resolution. Jk. You’re welcome.

But as 2012 has drawn to a close, I can’t help but reflect.
I think this is happening with bloggers and humans (two different things) all over the globe as we speak.. so I’m cliche and it’s whatever. But I would be sad to look back if I didn’t at least document some of the feelings washing over me currently. So, I guess what I’m saying is.. deal with it.

I’ll sum up last year with: 2012 was really hard.

But now come the miracles. You know what I’ve been waiting for for the past 7-8 months. Well, we finally got our wish granted and got an immigration interview appointment for husband. Now we’re just hoping the immigration gods smile upon us and allow him to pass. If he does pass, he’ll be rolling into town on January 29th. (In case you need a recap.. that’s literally in 26 days.) We bought his ticket on faith in advance cuz it would be more than double the price to wait till last minute. We weren’t down for that.
So errbody pray for the consular officer on January 23rd in the Suva Fiji Consulate who is interviewing him.
There are 4 ideal outcomes here:
1. He/she loves Mote instantly and they are able to bond and establish trust while confirming the validity of our relationship and they approve him, give him his visa, and send him on through.
2. He/she pretty much doesn’t give a flying fart and just conducts a quickie 5-minute interview and gives him the visa.
3. He/she is having the BEST day and is in the most giving, happy chipper morning mood and just feels like Mote deserves a good deed and gives him a visa.
4. He/she comes to work drunk that day. Visas all around!

Anyway, regardless of what happens, we’ll be taken care of and we’ll make it.
I just can’t tell you how happy I am to be facing a new year with a new life ahead. The limbo period is finally drawing to a close and I feel like I can wrap up the world and put it in my pocket this year. Kind of.
So.. somewhere in that convoluted thought is the point that with Mote finally here and no more long distance marriage, I feel like I can take anything that comes at me and I’ll be okay.
It seems risky to say, but I almost feel like 2013 will be a payoff year for a long struggle of trying to have faith that it will all be okay.
Obviously it’s not going to be perfect.. but we’ll finally be together, so we’ll figure it out.

I just love the feeling of new beginnings all around this year. Everything feels fresh and surmountable.

I’m dubbing 2013 “The Freshness.”

Hello LIFE.

DSC_0040

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

<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

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.

when it hurts

people don’t know how to handle this…

I think they care,

or they’re just curious…

but they’re helpless.

just like me.

I don’t know what I’m doing…

I don’t know how/when this is going to work out and be resolved.

I am walking — charging — forward in darkness…

my only light as I stumble is constituted of hope slivers, peeking through heavy gray and black skies…

maybe that’s why God gave us stars..

so that amidst a massive darkened sky, we could see shining pieces of something bigger than us…

to remind us that we’re not alone in a shut-off world.. but rather, part of an organized universe.

we are small and helpless… but hope is not lost, if we will be patient.

there is something more than us, and someone who is everything who planned it.

that’s why things have a way of always working out…

and almost always are they contrary to our own plans… but better than we imagined.

and even if they don’t feel better at the time… they make us better in the end.

coincidence is a foolish notion.

choices and divinity are not.

we are set on a forever course.

we only have to choose how we want to run it, and where we want to go.

these are the things I remind myself…

this time, this separation, this solitude,

this aching

is only a moment in eternity.

this is temporary.

my problem is,

temporary feels like eternity.

as for now…

I don’t know how to cope with the long nights alone… with the tears in sheets…

with desperate hopeful messages that bring some fleeting respite…

only to make wishes more poignant and missing you more painful.

I don’t know how to handle the nightmares,

I don’t know how to deal with the uncertainty of, “when will I see you again?”

and I’m tired of the same questions from well-meaning mouths, reminding me over and over…

that I don’t have the answer.

and the faces of horror and pity,

and the exclamations

that it is so hard… and it sucks so bad…

and that they don’t know how they would do it,

and that they don’t know how I do it.

I don’t either.

but the worst are those who ask why I did it this way… why I didn’t just find someone here,

as if I could go to the store and choose it.

I feel the good intentions and the love and concern,

and I’m grateful,

but the reminders are hard to take.

it’s a strange feeling to be part of a two, but be living as a one.

it’s a new kind of empty loneliness..

it’s as if part of me is not there,

and I’m not sure how to feel whole.

I am surrounded by others who are bathed in a new excitement that comes with togetherness,

and I am overjoyed for them.

and I know I have a commonality,

yet nothing to hold on to.

I’ve done everything in my power…

but I am still powerless to change this, or to speed up time.

my future is resting in someone else’s hands…

and all I can do is watch and wait.

if I ever thought I knew anything about patience or helplessness,

I was mistaken.

this is hard,

and the nights are the hardest.

but I’m holding on.

I didn’t know I could miss someone so deeply,

from the parts inside my soul that were reserved only for me,

until you.

so when it hurts,

and those deep places are aching,

I close my eyes and try to remember, again,

now is temporary,

I have you for eternity.

and I say a prayer,

swallow through the pain,

turn up the corners of my lips,

and just try to breathe.