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.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

so… the last time we spoke, life was good. or so I thought..

but it’s funny how, just when you think things are going right, they have a way of flipping upside down on you. completely. like boom, bye bye.

in a period of about 3 weeks, the following happened:

  • my wedding has been postponed indefinitely due to personal family things that won’t be shared here
  • as a result, you can imagine the hellish strain/stress it has put on my relationship with my fiance and both of us individually.. again, too personal to elaborate here
  • my place of employment decided they are closing the program that I’ve been teaching for the past couple of years and switching me over to another program, thereby switching my schedule
  • because my schedule was changed, it made it impossible for me to continue going to school according to the schedule I had planned
  • as a result, I had to drop all of my classes and try to scrounge up a couple of last-minute evening classes so I could continue school at all
  • and to top it all off, my car got hit the in the parking lot at work, which started out as a hit-and-run, but thanks to a witness, we were able to track down the driver (now whether or not I can get the insurance to call me back about the claim is another question)

so.. maybe you can understand why my heart has been heavy as of late. I am suddenly left with nothing stable in my life to hold onto except family and friends.

(although, M has asked me to make a trip to Tonga in the spring to spend time with his family, so that would be a little bright spot in everything, if it works.)

but the only explanation I can imagine for all of this is that the Lord has a different plan for me than I had.. and his timing is not mine. honestly, at this point, I have no idea what is going to happen or how things are going to work out.. and I don’t know why my entire world has been yanked out from under me.

the feeling I keep getting when praying for peace and answers is that I just need to be patient, have faith, and wait on the Lord. that is easier said than done, but I have little to no control anyway, so I’ve come to the point of being okay with however this works out. (despite what I wish.)

never thought I’d wish I could just go back to the “simplicity” of just having problems with immigration laws and who to hire as a wedding photographer..

anyway, I just thought I should at least make some type of announcement that my wedding will no longer be happening on April 5th.. and if it does happen, it most likely won’t be happening in New Zealand after all.

we’ll see how this goes.. prayers and positive vibes appreciated.

and while I greatly appreciate the outpouring of love and support, I don’t really want to talk about all the little gory details of our private struggles with everyone, and having to hash through all of it over and over with different people’s opinions doesn’t help me. love in the form of distractions is much better. 

(also, maybe it was a bad idea to watch 2 hours of “Say Yes to the Dress” till it brought me to tears tonight? haha. I’m… super pathetic. don’t judge!)

here’s a quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland that is striking a chord with me tonight:

“Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened this dispensation. It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going…

I acknowledge the reality of opposition and adversity, but I bear witness of the God of glory, of the redeeming Son of God, of light and hope and a bright future. I promise you that God lives and loves you, each one of you, and that He has set bounds and limits to the opposing powers of darkness. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the victor over death and hell and the fallen one who schemes there. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it has been restored.

‘Fear ye not.’ And when the second and third and fourth blows come, ‘fear ye not. … The Lord shall fight for you.’ 16 Cast not away therefore your confidence.”

loves. ❤

the big news

my apologies to Lori, but I’d like to interrupt this inconsistent stream of one New Zealand travel log to actually post my big news on my blog.. because it’s consuming my life, so I figure it’s pretty much the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me.
actually.. I don’t figure. I know it is.

are you ready?

okay.

I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

everyone in my close association is already aware of this fact, but YOU.. internets.. might not be! so in the interest of information, here is my happiness being shared with the world!

and here is our save-the-date:

and because I enjoy using my blog as something of a journal for later in life.. here are the FAQ’s about our relationship:

Is he from New Zealand?
No, he is from Tonga. He lives in New Zealand with his brother and is working there.

How did you meet a Tongan in New Zealand?
We served together on our missions. No, we never really served around each other so we did not know each other well on the mission. We only met a couple of times at zone conferences and then reconnected 3 years later and it turns out that he is the man of my dreams. I visited him in New Zealand last month. We have been together for 7 months now, and will have been dating for a year by the time we get married.

Will you live in New Zealand?
Yes, the plan is for me to live with him in New Zealand until he gets his green card and we can come back to the states. The immigration lawyer I spoke with told me that the process usually takes 9 months to a year. However, that entire plan hinges on whether or not he gets his work permit in New Zealand to come through or not within the next couple of months. If he doesn’t get his work permit, we will still get married in NZ in April, but he will have to go back to Tonga soon after that. I will either go to Tonga or, more likely, come back to the states to work and establish a life here so he can join me as soon as possible. (yayyyyy immigration! *fail trombone*)

Why are you getting married in New Zealand instead of the states?
Because we have looked at all of the options for visas to get him here, from visitor’s visas to fiance visas to student visas, and all of those options are so expensive or time-consuming or difficult to get that it just isn’t going to work out that way. After much research and discussion, our option boiled down to getting married in New Zealand as the best (and only) way. I know… my life is REALLY rough. 🙂

Will you be having a reception in Utah?
We will be having an open house in Utah once we are able to get back to the states. Because it could be up to a year after the fact, we probably won’t call it a “reception,” but we will have some kind of event so everybody can meet him and celebrate with us.

Is your family going?
My parents are coming for sure and they are working on getting my siblings there if possible. We’ll see how costs work out with expensive plane tickets.

Can you work in New Zealand?
I can’t unless I get a work permit, which basically requires a job offer and a lot of paperwork and time waiting for immigration to approve it. I can if all that works out, but if not I’ll just be living with him there as a good little housewife.

How did the engagement happen?
The actual proposal and ring part won’t happen until a few weeks before the wedding when I can get back over there. We figured when we had our temple sealing officially booked then we were pretty much officially engaged and we better start announcing it. in other words, we are engaged by date. So the ring/proposal part is still to come.

and I love him.

now.. all this being said, I have a question. because I need some validation.

is it normal that I feel like I am losing it?
I mean..
back up the info truck.
I am going to school and working full-time, am still in the process of recovering from what we think was pneumonia, am planning an international wedding (i.e. about 100 times more stressful than planning a wedding where you actually live), planning a move across the world, and dealing with immigration. I am stressed and oversensitive and exhausted.
I have gathered from friends and family and hearsay that it’s normal for brides to be.. overwhelmed?
estressed?
cray cray?
when wedding planning…
but  I feel like I need to get my act together.
and I just want this semester to be over because my head’s totally somewhere else.
please tell me I’m normal.
..whatever that means.

okay, that’s all.

you may carry on with your lives having just been made a little happier by this bit of sunshine from my world.

guys.. I get to marry my hot Tongan husband in New Zealand!!! my dreams are coming true!
ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂
pinch me!

actually, don’t. we’ll just pretend you did in case you wake me up from a really long detailed dream that I’d rather not be woken from. can’t be too careful.

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.)