a mint green makeover

hi friends.

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

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

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

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 and it just looked old and outdated.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

here’s the before:

and the after:

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

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

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

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

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

but here’s a sewing close-up:

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

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

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

okaybye!

sincerely,

Aubrey

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10/30 things. part 3. and a new name.

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

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

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

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

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

Wicked Aubrey H Ritzy Slam

Juicy Aubrey A

XL Aubrey a.k.a. Madam Tender

or A Aubrey Booty Nugget

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

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

and I liked it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

weird question.

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

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

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

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

28. What is your love language?

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

here’s the description:

Physical Touch

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

so there’s that. (Mote.. take notes.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

haaaaaa.. yes! I finished it!

BAM!

y’welcome, internets and future posterity.

sincerely,

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

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.

“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. ❤

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