Friday, July 30, 2010

Sleep the Heck Over!

Thanks to the ingenious ideas and brawn of the man above, we were able to create the fort below in honor of Tessa's arrival in Provo, Utah! (And no, Lane was not invited to the sleepover). This is the first time she has been back since she moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming 3 months ago! We were giddy!

In our fort, and in honor of our roommates, we made wedding binders, looked at wedding invitations, and toasted our friendship.

Then, we went up to my room and painted nails (I had to test out all three colors I bought)...

...and practiced wedding hair!

We then went online and studied the 100 most mispronounced words and learned a few things about ourselves. I have been pronouncing the word "clothes" wrong my whole life. See how you've been doing speaking the English language below:

(Disclaimer: I don't know if it's totally legit because it's not a .org, but I believed a lot of it).

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why so serious?

The next two pictures have been posted in honor of how serious my blog has been for the past 2 posts. Sweet dreams!

On Relationships

Today, I had the opportunity to take my little sister and her friend to Especially For Youth at BYU. Christina and I picked them up from the SLC Airport and I brought them to the parking lot across from the Lavell Edward Stadium to check in.

On the way, I was listening to the girls chattering in the backseat and was interested to hear what was being discussed. Anna's friend said something to the effect of, "If I had a boyfriend and we broke up, I would want the breakup to be mutual." She went on to list the reasons why this would be an ideal circumstance. It would clearly save a lot of pain and everyone would be happy.

As I listened to them talk, I found myself remembering a younger me, one who was determined at age 20 never to date seriously again until I found my husband. I came to this decision because I realized that breaking up was WAY too hard to do.

My first breakup was earth shattering. Ultimately, I told him I was not ready to be married and he was kind and gentle. It didn't stop me from bawling my eyes out and refusing to leave the house for a year after. I knew that I never wanted to date again because it caused too much heartache when it ended.

What kills me now is how much I really believed that I could control my dating life. I thought I'd meet "him" and know immediately if it was or wasn't worth pursuing all the way to marriage. I figured the connection would be so strong that we would never question whether or not it was right. It seemed so simple and valient.

As it turned out, I had so much less control than I could have imagined at the time. In the 7 years since I made that bold decision, and after well over 20 blind dates, I have met several men with whom I really felt I found "the connection." I learned the hard way, however, that it wasn't all up to me. I've been out with a few other guys who felt a connection with me, but I didn't have the same reaction. I've also been in a couple relationships where we both wanted it to be right. We eventually realized it wasn't, but not before investing an enormous amount of ourselves into trying. Each circumstance is painful, no matter who initiates the termination.

2 years ago, after my engagement ended, I remember my friend Mollie saying, "I know it hurts. And you'll probably date many more guys and get hurt again. But you have to keep trying." As her words sunk in, my insides screamed, "No! NO! I'm almost 25 years old!! I can't go through this again. I WON'T go through this again!" As it turns out, I've felt pain over other guys since then. She was right. I guess, yet again, I didn't have control like I thought I would.

The moral of the story is that relationships are so much more complicated than I thought when I was 14 years old and planning my perfect husband, proposal, and wedding in my spare time. I had scheduled myself to be married no older than age 24. But I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer predict my future. I can only strive to create the best future I can and hope the stars will align one day so that what's outside of my control will fall into step with what's in my control. A little miracle.

I walked away from that experience in the car on the way to EFY aching a little bit for the inevitable growing pains facing my baby sister and her friend. We all make sense of love and relationships through our own experiences, the bitter with the sweet. The hurt is unavoidable. The path is rocky. The older you get, the more complicated you realize it is.

But, from what I understand, if I work hard enough at it, it will one day all be worth it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

110 in the Shade

I had an amazing experience this evening.

I went to see 110 in the Shade at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. My roommate, Melissa, had free tickets and invited me to come. She told me nothing about the show on purpose so I could experience it entirely by myself first.

The protagonist, Lizzie Curry, is a single woman in the 1930's. She lives with her two brothers and her father. They are intent on finding her a husband; she, however, believes she is excruciatingly plain. She sees herself as awkward and unlovable. The musical follows her on her journey to see herself as a beautiful woman who is worthy of love. Watching this show was an incredible experience for me. I felt myself echoing the words she was singing and wondering, "How can a fictional character in a musical know exactly how I feel?"

Right along with Lizzie, I felt the grief of inadequacy and the bitter disappointment of wanting something that feels out of reach due to personal weakness and self-doubt. I empathized with her desperate longing for a life full of "simple things." I felt as though she were voicing the tender plea of my own heart when she sang the song, "Love, Don't Turn Away." I've included the lyrics below:

I have so many things I want to do for you
I have so many things saved up to say
I have so many longings that belong to you
So, love, don't turn away
I have so many songs I want to sing to you
I have so many smiles that I could cry
I have so many kisses I could bring to you so, love don't pass me by!
I can't offer lots of fancy things to make you come and stay,
But I could wash your socks and mend your coat and cook you lots of good things every day.
So, love, if you're looking for a quiet place, I've a heart that is absolutely free;
Open arms that are aching for their first embrace so, love discover me!
Love don't pass me by,
Love don't turn away.

I have to thank my roommate for knowing so well how much seeing this musical would mean to me. As we sat in our living room talking about boys tonight after the show, I realized that the inclination to put myself down diminished slightly. Just like Lizzie, I learned tonight that I am lovable only when I realize I am lovable. That is the big secret of the universe...I found the key that unlocks the door for people everywhere to be brave enough to unite their lives with another person. The only thing keeping me from love

The Perfect Summer Afternoon

Today, I went with a few friends to downtown Provo on Center Street for "Taste of the Valley," probably the coolest idea anyone ever had.

We paid a $10.00 entrance fee and were able to go to booths set up by some of the best restaurants around and get mini meals.
  • Krispy Kreme gave us each a glazed doughnut.
  • We got a lettuce wrap and a rib from PF Changs.
  • CPK gave us two mini slices of pizza.
  • We had a sample of a philly cheesesteak sandwich from a place called Angels of Philly. That was one of my favorites!
  • We got a little cup full of chocolate yogurt from Spoon Me with strawberries and crushed graham crackers on top.
  • Sam's Club provided us with bottled water.
  • Rubios offered a fish taco for each customer.
  • A catering place (I think called, "A Viking's Feast") had he best mashed potatoes and gravy...and those who know me know what a big deal that is to me!
  • Good wood had pulled pork, potato salad, and a delicious meat ball.
  • ..and many more! We didn't even make it to all the booths!
It was SO FUN, and a must do in Provo!

Just wanted to express my gratitude to the blessed, honored pioneers who literally gave blood, sweat, and tears to protect their religious beliefs. They trekked miles on foot to settle in Utah where they could practice their faith without religious persecution, allowing the gift of the gospel to be bestowed on many generations to come, including my generation.

"But with joy wend your way..."

The Perfect Summer Evening

I wish I had pictures, but I temporarily lost my camera.

My friend Jay has a little gas stove. He invited everyone to roast marshmallows around it when it got dark and we made s'mores. We all sat on blankets under the stars on a grassy area right by our complex. There ended up being quite a few of us there, talking and enjoying each others' company.

We played catch phrase and cards by lantern light. The weather was exquisite.

At midnight, Jay brought out his big T.V. and we watched Madagascar 2 outside.

Could a summer evening be more lovely?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A closer look...

My roommate, Kate, got some beautiful pictures of Tina's reception. I am obsessed with weddings so, going off the assumption that others might feel like I do, I wanted to post some more pics. Sorry if this seems like wedding overload, but it's my little sister and I can't get enough!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Hiking Stewart Falls...

...and seeing Willa Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the Scera outdoor theater!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reception: Take 2!

Getting ready to leave...

Welcome to the Utah reception, hosted by the Barton family!

Sweet Anna and sweet cousin Keiana!

My cute pregnant Mollie and her baby twins!

Cousin Bracken (above) and dear, sweet Jared (below)

Grandma Marva and Papa Don (above) and Christina and Jeremy Pendleton (below)!

Russ (above) and Jared and Kylie (below)

Chris and Caytlin Sampson

Baby Josiah and baby Arlo! Almost walking!!

I asked Tina and Jer to show me how they felt after standing in the wedding line for 90 minutes and this is what I got.

Family from the Houston side!

The whole Thompson crew!

All the can tell which ones are related by the height.

Opening presents...I can't get enough pictures of Jer's little brother Cam! I love that kid.

And, since my Internet is so fast right now and the pictures are loading quickly, here are some more bridals!

It's a good thing I'm so funny.