Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm So Big...

...that I try to wash my hair on my own. Mom and dad won't mind, they're busy elsewhere. Cameron can't help me because he's sick. I will do it all on my own, they will be so surprised!
I hope Mom doesn't mind me using her bath soap as shampoo, it's the only soap I can get on my own. I'll smell good, anyway.
There, all done. Now I'm good to go!

Monday, May 24, 2010

While You're Here...

Would you mind reading this story from my friend? Holy ridiculous!! Health care in this country is SO insane!!

So Excited...but with NO Motivation...

This upcoming weekend is Memorial Day Weekend (I know, you already knew that, didn't you!?) and our family's annual camping trip. Since my parents bought a motor home a few years ago, we haven't been able to get to our usual site (too many high bumps and too deep dips). Last year we tried camping in an actual campsite, one you have to pay for...and the rules stated that we couldn't even let the tires of the 4-wheelers touch the ground inside the campground. It was very sad and quite boring.
This year, we decided that we needed to find a new spot, one where we could play like we want to, and one that's still pretty. So we took a scouting trip on Saturday. The drive was fun. Jake kept calling out when he'd see horses or cows. Then we got to the forest, and Cam began worrying about bears. The weather wasn't very was snowing and blowing, but at least it wasn't sticking. We drove for a while, talking and laughing and then we turned off where my uncle suggested. We drove around a little and came across THE most beautiful campsites I've seen in YEARS. There aren't any outhouses, but that's okay. There's tons of trees, and a little fire pit. There's also a small creek that runs through.
I can't WAIT to go camping now. I was excited before, but now that I know where we're going, it's making the wait almost unbearable.
I have much packing to do (and with that little creek, MUCH laundry to do so I have extra clothes for the boys...) but my motivation to do all the packing has left me. I need to be inspired, but I just don't want to do much of ANYTHING.
Before Thursday, I need to help my mom pack up her motor home, take my camping gear to be stowed on the motor home (including the tent, sleeping bags, mattresses, and playpen...not including my clothing and extra fun stuff), I have lots of laundry that needs done so that the boys can play in the mud and I won't worry about them being cold, and my messy house needs to be in order, so that I can leave. The bummer part is that Steve won't be coming, he has to work, and the saddest part is that he'll be away from us, and working ON his birthday. I know, that's life, but I feel bad. That also means I need to get his birthday present before I leave.....
Oh, so much to do....where's my motivation?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Steve was in a minor car accident yesterday. No one was hurt in either car. (Thank heaven!) But the cars had some damage to them. Our new-ish car now has a big black streak and a cracked bumper.
I guess Steve was pulling out of his work's parking lot, and didn't see the other car coming and they side-swiped each other. (Steve OFTEN doesn't see other cars coming...his blind-spot in the car is HUGE, but he really REALLY needs to look TWICE! I have to tell him when I ride with him NOT to go because a car is coming...)
After calling everyone yesterday, we don't have to pay anything extra, our insurance is covering it all (well, except the damage to OUR car, but that's only the $100 deductible) and our premiums won't go up either. YAY for good insurance.
Here's the car....poor, poor car.
Like I said though, I'm glad no one was hurt, it could have been SO much worse!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why Do I Always Get This Way?

Tonight at Family Home Evening, my aunt, who has brought her girls to our family's FHE for years and years, announced that all three of her daughters (ages 23, 21, and 19) are pregnant. None of them are married, but two DO plan on marrying the fathers of their babies soon.
I'm just bummed. I know that life isn't fair, I get it, I truly do, but why them? I am a faithful daughter of my loving Heavenly Father, I try my best to do what's right, I'm married in the temple....why not me?
(Yes, it's a pity party...)
After my aunt announced this, she turned to me and said it was my turn. I only WISH it was that easy. (To be truthful, we've been trying for another baby for a while now....I wasn't too concerned about it, but when I hear news that others are getting pregnant SO easily, or what seems to ME to be easily, I freak out a little.)
I'm going to be a booger for a while, don't mind my will pass, but for now, I'm a bit bitter and upset.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

They Spoke to ME

Today was our broadcast Stake Conference. (In other words, it was stake conference, but it was broadcast to each stake center in the area from Salt Lake City.) I was surprised to see President Monson was there.
The messages were FANTASTIC! The whole feel of the meeting was wonderful, but once President Monson got up to speak, I was enthralled. He was speaking directly to ME! He spoke of saving those who are lost (our lost battalions of the old and lonely, the ones who have alienated themselves from family, and the inactive members.) The whole time I kept thinking about my brothers who have become inactive. I felt the power of the prophet's words about loving them, and encouraging them to return.
I love it when I truly feel the Spirit speak to my soul! It is so wonderful!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Remembering The Important Things

I just love it when the Conference issue of the Ensign comes out. I love looking through the pictures and re-reading the talks that I either missed the first time (aka, slept through) or ones that I didn't hear because I wasn't there for it (aka, Priesthood session or Young Women's session). I was excited to hear a few talks, because when Steve got home from the Priesthood session, he was fired up and excited about them.
Thursday, instead of taking a book with me to Cameron's therapy, I grabbed the newest issue of the Ensign. I was in heaven! I am constantly in awe of the things we're reminded of at Conference...usually they pertain directly to my life. I couldn't believe all of the talks in this last session that were directed at families and especially mothers.
In one of the talks, I felt especially touched when I was reminded to speak gently and kindly to my children. I have SUCH a hard time with this. I need to remember it.
I've even been reading this issue in place of my usual bedtime book. It's THAT good! Last night, I even continued reading, past the time I was ready to sleep because I was SO happy and enthralled with the messages. That is something I rarely do with my scriptures or Church magazines.
I'm truly grateful that we have living prophets to guide us. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father STILL speaks through His servants and that I can feel the Spirit guiding me to understand and learn from these chosen men.

Monday, May 10, 2010

No, We Don't Just Live in the Past, or ONLY Watch Videos...

My extended Love Story and the Mothers' Day Videos have kept me from updating you on my family. (Well, mostly, I did a FEW updates...)
The school year is winding down, and Cameron is anxious to go to his new school. Even though his current school does go from Kindergarten to sixth grade, the DACC (Developmentally Accurate Curriculum Classroom, aka Special Ed) only goes from Kindergarten to third grade. Next year he'll be at a different school, still in the DACC, but one that goes from fourth grade to sixth. We have a transition meeting on Friday, and I am also feeling the nerves. I hope that his new teacher is as motivated as his current teacher. I have to admit, the thing I absolutely LOVE about DAC is that the teacher is the same the whole way through. Instead of switching teachers yearly, Cam has had (until this current school year) only 2 teachers: his Kindergarten teacher, and then the DAC teacher. This year, he got a new teacher because his old teacher took a position teaching pre-school. I have LOVED that Cam is more obedient to this teacher, that this teacher believes in Cameron, and that he's a MAN. Honestly, I used to think all guy teachers were boring and jerks. (Coming from my OWN experience in high school.) I never knew any male teachers who taught elementary, so I was shocked when Cam's pre-school teacher was a man. I had pre-conceived notions, and his teacher, Mr. Lange, showed me that a man can be a GREAT teacher for little kids. When I heard that Cam was going to have another male teacher, I wasn't as trepidatious as I had been with pre-school. He has THRIVED under his teacher's care. He responds better to him, and has had less bad (reported) behavior. It's been great. I've been trying to petition Mr. W to follow Cameron to the new school, but he assures me that he is needed at the current school, and that the new teacher is wonderful too. We will be anticipating meeting her on Friday.
Cameron has also had a mohawk for a while. The terms when I gave it to him were that he must be obedient, and show good behavior. This morning, the bad behavior ran amok. Cam woke up SEVERAL times in the middle of the night (once before Steve went to work at 4:00 am, when I woke up for my potty break at 5:30 am, and then again at 6:00 am....) and was a BEAR to wake up this morning. Once he finally DID get ready, he was still defiant (which, actually is a typical morning behavior for him, before his medication and all...) and got three warnings. After the third warning, I told him what was going to happen, and pulled out my hair clippers. The crying ensued, and I stuck to my guns, when he was warned he KNEW he could stop and would be able to keep his mohawk, but he continued being defiant and bratty. Good-bye mohawk. Happily though, he was much better behaved after the loss of his mohawk....yay!
Jacob has become QUITE independent. I put a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, and in the last 10 minutes he's brought me two bananas. He can help himself to most things, which isn't always a good thing. He does dole out "I love you" often (even to someone at church was very cute!) And he blows kisses and makes the noisy *mwah* noise afterward. He talks a LOT, understands, A LOT, and has a great personality. He's lots of fun, most of the time.
He's also picked up a bad habit of screaming loudly in enclosed spaces and at a very high pitch. He thinks it's funny, and will do it, JUST for our reaction.
He's quite the entertainer, and even likes to show off for people he doesn't know very well. (Although he does play bashful first...) His favorite place to be is outside, and will often grab our hands and say, "Ousside!!! PWEEASE!!!!" When we agree that he can go out, he erupts with, "YAY!!" and then claps his hands.
I'm having a hard time believing that he'll be 2 next month.
Steve has finished his choir concert, which was very nice. He was even on the local news when they played part of the concert on the news. He noticed that he looks QUITE somber when he sings, I told him that he just needs to smile....we'll see. He is also getting ready to try-out for another musical. I know that I've mentioned that I HATE it when he is in plays, but I want him to participate with groups that are family-friendly, and this choir, has proved itself to be otherwise.
At his last big performance, I took Jacob and Cameron, by myself, to hear him sing at a church I'd never been in. I felt uncomfortable, and should have just left, but I stayed to support my husband. This concert was late at night, after a long day at church, and Jake was very unhappy. He didn't want to sit still and be quiet any more. So he cried and screamed. I took him out of the sanctuary and tried to calm him down, but I knew I couldn't leave poor Cameron all by himself for too long, so I went back, but this made Jake upset, and I had to leave with him again. This cycle repeated itself about 4 times. I was so humiliated and frustrated by the end of it. When it was over, Steve was carrying Jake out, and a lady, who we KNOW well, and actually invited Steve to the choir, shook her head at Steve, giving Jake the stink-eye. Steve asked her what was wrong, and she said, "He shouldn't have been given a second chance to come back."
Are you KIDDING me!?
Then she didn't stop, she kept going, "There is a reason MOST concerts have an age limit. He shouldn't have come back because they were recording this concert...." blah blah blah.
I felt about an inch high, and was SO thoroughly embarrassed that I just grabbed both boys and left. When I got to the van, I was in TEARS. How DARE she act that way? Kids are kids, and it's not like I could just take Jake and leave Cameron sitting by himself. He has anxiety issues, you don't just abandon a kid with anxiety issues.
I kept trying to calm down by telling myself that she didn't know any better, and that I was a good mommy, and it was just her being an ornery old lady.
The next concert, the next night, Jake went again, and was MUCH better behaved. The guy in front of us at this concert commented on how well behaved he'd been, and that we should have heard the loud child from the night before. I was embarrassed, AGAIN, and vowed to not take him anymore. I didn't want to even go myself.
So this time, I went with JUST Cameron to the second performance, and we enjoyed it. But there were noisy kids at this concert. I let the noise go, because, heck, I'd just been reamed for having a noisy kid at the last concert, I wasn't going to be a brat. Once the concert was over, that lady, the one who'd chewed ME out for taking a noisy child, under a concert, hugged on these kids. THEY WERE HER GRANDKIDS! I was so mad! SO mad! I just ignored her and left.
I know that the organization that he's going to try-out for is child-oriented, and I feel better knowing that if I bring a noisy child to a performance with this group, I won't be shunned, humiliated, or made to feel bad.
And me? Oh, I'm just plugging along. I was spoiled with my Mother's Day stuff yesterday. I got two sprouts that Cam planted at school, a marigold from Jake and nursery, and two bamboo plants from Steve. I am LOVING the color in my life.
I also got some cute cards, a book light, and TWO corsages. It was a very fun day. I even got to talk to my missionary brother in the Philippines. He'd called my mom VERY late at night to tell her to set up Skype. She was so loopy, and didn't know who he was (he didn't identify himself...) But she got my other brother working on it, and he set up my parents' big screen TV as our Skype. We talked with him for an hour, and got to see his SEVERE tan line, and his teeth. (LOL, apparently, in the Philippines instead of fixing teeth, dentists just PULL them out, so we asked him if he still had all of his teeth...) It was so much fun to SEE him, and talk with him. It was great. We now have a countdown date for his homecoming, and my boys got to talk to him a bit too. Jake kind of ate the microphone, and ran around, but Cameron LOVED talking to him. When it was over, he begged to do it again. We told Cam that he could talk to Braiden when he comes home in 3 months. He got very excited and did a little bit of a happy dance.
I also participated in Bountiful Baskets. A food co-op, where you pay $15 or more, if you want organic, and you get equal parts fruits and vegetables. This last week was my first time, and I quite enjoyed it. We ended up with TONS of yummy food. This last week's basket had lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, spinach, brocoflower (or as my brother prefers to call it, "cauliflocceri"), corn, watermelon, apples, bananas, mangoes, and tangelos. It was SO yummy. I still have a ton of stuff left. I may have to do this every once in a's just too fun.
Saturday I also went to my cousin's wedding. It was lovely, and a big adventure. Things got a little mixed up when we went to the reception, but we figured things out. She was gorgeous, and I enjoyed talking with her parents. I don't see my aunts and uncles nearly as often as I used to.
Overall, things are going well. We're happy, healthy, and surviving. :)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Just One More

Happy Mothers' Day!

A funny and a serious looks at being a mom. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Love Story, Part 17: Epilogue

It's been 11 years since our story started, and since then:
We've had many ups and downs,
We've been blessed with 2 wonderful boys,
We're more in love with one another now than we were when we first fell in love.
Steve, I love you, and I appreciate you putting up with me and loving me for all my faults.

Love Story, Part 16: The Wedding

October 1999:
Steve called me the night before our wedding, "Do you think you could bring me some board games?" He was living in our soon-to-be new apartment and had an old mission companion and my cousin keeping him company. I recall rolling my eyes and saying that I was going to bed, and he should do the same.
I slept fitfully that night. When I woke up, I hurried to get myself ready. My mom went with me to my friend to get my hair and make-up done. I had wanted freeze curls, and she was able to make me beautiful. She also asked me if she could wax my eyebrows. I declined, not thinking that I wanted bright pink eyelids for all the pictures that were to be taken that day.
My mom and I went home. Things were basically in place for the luncheon and the reception. When we walked in the door, my dad was in the entry, HANGING doors. "DAD!! I have to be at the temple in 20 minutes!" His face went from calm to shock.
"Oh, I'll go get ready then."
He took a SHOWER!! UGH!! I was sitting in the living room waiting for my dad to be ready so we could go. I watched the time get closer and closer to the time I HAD to be there. I knew that Steve would be freaking out. (It turns out he was...)
We finally left, and got to the temple RIGHT before I was supposed to be there. My mom kept assuring me on the way there that they wouldn't start without me. (Duh, mom! Thanks, but I WOULD like to be there on time...)
When we were filling out our papers, I got to meet my future father-in-law for the first time. (Yes, THE first time....we kept trying to meet up, but never could.) He was so much the opposite of Steve that I was taken back. He was very sweet, and said, "Nice to meet you..." then shook my hand.
Eventually I was taken back to the bridal room to get dressed. There were a few other brides, and I was nervous. My mom helped me into my dress and then I was ready to go. The matrons working in the temple told me to sit down and wait. They told me that on my wedding day I needed to make HIM wait.
When it was time to meet up with Steve, he looked so nervous, but SO handsome! The men who worked in the temple had told him that the next bride to come out would be the one he had to marry, so he kept chanting, "Let it be her....let it be her...."
We were able to sit together in the Celestial room for a while before going to our sealing room. Those few minutes were possibly the closest to heaven on earth that I've ever experienced.
As we walked into the sealing room, I looked at my grandpa. There was an empty seat next to him, and I felt in my heart that my grandma was sitting next to him. I could just FEEL her, it was a very tender and sweet experience.
The sealing was wonderful, the sealer gave us lots of great advice and talked about the many children that we would have. He actually told us, "You will have MANY children." I still take comfort in those words. For a few minutes before the actual sealing, the sealer told us, "Go ahead and look into one another's eyes for a minute, because once I start the sealing, I want you both looking at me." That minute was an out of body experience. I felt like I saw into Steve's soul. It was fabulous.
The kiss across the alter was pure and sweet, just like our first had been.
Then came the time to be congratulated by friends and family. My aunt gave me a big hug and said, "There ARE holes in the floor of Heaven, Grandma was here." The tears started all over again. (Did I forget to mention that I was leaking all through the ceremony?)
We quickly went to change for our wedding pictures. The day was a beautiful CLEAR autumn day, but it was VERY windy. My veil was flying everywhere. Steve had to hold it down, a LOT that day.
After the pictures, we went back to my parents' house for the luncheon. To our surprise, Steve's grandparents, aunts, uncles and many of his cousins from his dad's side of the family came. There were lots of hugs all around and I felt instantly attached to these wonderful people.
After the luncheon, Steve and I went with a few other people to go and get the last minute things for the reception (goldfish for the centerpieces). After getting back, we put things together, and then it was time to get dressed again for the reception. I asked my mom to come help me zip up my dress, and she said, "You're married now, have your husband help you."
Oh, yeah! We could do that now, couldn't we?
The reception was wonderful. I was completely comfortable, because I insisted that instead of fancy shoes, I wanted to wear my piggy slippers. The same slippers that I had worn the night Steve proposed to me. My bridesmaids also wore their slippers, it was one of the coolest parts of my reception.
When the reception was over, we stayed at my parents' house and opened up our gifts. It was lots of fun, and I made plenty of jokes about how the new pie pans would be handy, Steve would be able to make me a nice pie... My poor grandma didn't know whether I was joking or being serious. She'd look at my mom and say, "She's not going to make him pies?"
The only downside of the night was my gall bladder started acting up because I hadn't eaten in so long. My mom was wonderful and made me some Ramen Noodles.
When all was done, my mom and dad let us borrow the car to go home. Neither of us had a car, and my parents CERTAINLY didn't want to drive us home that night. We didn't want them to either....
Overall that day was wonderful, and a great beginning to one of the biggest learning experiences of my life.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Love Story, Part 15

Wedding plans went along well. My dad was working hard to finish up some parts of our new house. I wanted to have my wedding reception in the house, and he wasn't close to being done. There were doors to hang, ceilings to finish, and just a lot of work left to do.
My mom was making my wedding dress, and when she was finished, she showed me. I LOVED it. Then my mom showed her mom the dress. My grandma was a sewer. She sewed things for me all the time, and she wasn't pleased with my choices in this dress. She took me to a craft store, asked my opinion on a few things and then took my dress to "fix" it. She added embellishments to the neckline and then pronounced it "done." I never told her, but I was fine without the extra embellishments, and didn't really *like* what she'd done to it.
About a month before my wedding was my cousin's wedding. I went to her luncheon and reception and instantly started to get really excited. I was going to be doing all the same fun things in the next little while. THIS WOULD BE ME!
The night before our wedding, I took out my endowments and felt such a sweet spirit in the temple. I was most excited for the next day though. Glimpsing Steve across the room was the highlight of the session. The hug in the celestial room wasn't too bad either.

Love Story, Part 14

(Don't worry, there isn't too much more to our story...)
At the end of July, my grandma was not doing well, and I decided that I needed to change my wedding date. I sat down with Steve to pick a new date. We had picked October originally, so that would work, right? We picked the 9th and then called the Temple to change dates.
My mom and grandma would work together on making my wedding flowers. My grandma had a talent for flower arranging, and I love the fact that she helped with my flowers. My grandma would lay on my parents' couch and wrap the flowers in floral tape and tell us how SHE would do the flowers if she could. I can still picture her in my mind in her frail physical body, but her strong, quick mind telling us what to do.
When the original wedding date came and went, I thought to myself that I could have been married and living with Steve, but I knew that I wanted my grandma to attend, and I also knew that couldn't happen in her current state.
August 24-25, 1999:
My grandma was dying, and we all knew it. She'd been in a coma for a while, and my dad had gotten a call to go help assist my grandpa in giving her a blessing of release. I wanted to go with my parents and Steve came along as well. My grandpa, dad and Steve gave my grandma a very sweet blessing, and then we sat around with all of my aunts and uncles laughing and telling stories about their growing up years. I sat close to Steve, grateful that I had someone to help support me at this sad time.
Around midnight, we all said our good byes (I kissed my grandma and squeezed her hand telling her I loved her) and then we went home. A few hours later we got the call that she had died. I went back with my parents, alone this time. We made plans for the funeral, and I remember my grandpa asking me if my "sweetheart" would be willing to be a pallbearer. I felt safe in saying that he would.
Then came the next week.
It was a blur, but I wasn't as sad as I could have been, I was being supported by my knowledge that I would be with my grandma again, and I had my rock with me. Steve.
My only sadness was that my grandma wouldn't physically be there for my wedding....

Love Story, Part 13

Keeping our engagement a secret didn't last very long. I ended up telling my parents the next Monday. Mom was shocked, and asked if I had prayed about it, I assured her I had. My dad just grinned and acted pretty happy.
That Tuesday, I met up with Steve and we picked out a ring. I was pleased with it, but it wasn't the ring I was in love with. I have to admit, I'm glad I got the ring I did, it's pretty, and I always remember that time with Steve at the ring store.
That next weekend we went camping with my parents. It was rainy and cold. Steve didn't think ahead and ended up bringing only sandals. (He had a soggy feet that weekend.) That weekend our kissing REALLY started getting better, and we kissed as often as possible. My sister didn't enjoy the love-fest, and ended up throwing a blanket over our heads. (All the more to kiss under, my dear...)
After that weekend, we began our plans for the wedding. Initially I thought October was a good month to get married, and then I talked to my best friend growing up. Imagine my surprise when I found out that SHE was engaged as well. They were going to be married in August, and after talking with her I thought August was a good month to get married, then we could both attend the other's wedding. HOW FUN!
Plans kept moving along, Steve and I figured that he needed to move closer to where we were going to live after we got married, so he moved into my parents' basement. I lived upstairs, but NOTHING ever EVER happened. My siblings were always around, and even when they weren't we were good. I didn't want to jeopardize marriage in the temple for a moment of pleasure. Steve felt the same, and I have to say, there were many nights when we'd have to say, "Okay, that's enough....good night." And then leave the room.
During this time, things got rough. Wedding plans were coming along, but my grandma, who'd been diagnosed with cancer the year before was going downhill quickly. AND Steve's mom, who when I first met her never said much TO me, but mostly talked about herself and the kind of life SHE'D lived, was accusing us of being inappropriate. According to her, I was pregnant and we were lying to our bishop. She'd talked to a bishop friend of hers (not HER bishop or OUR bishop, but a bishop she knew) and told him our situation (according to her.) She told us that this bishop told her flat out that he would NOT give us a temple recommend because we were unworthy.
Anytime Steve would call his mom he would end up pacing the floor in frustration. Then once he got off the phone with her, I'd break down in tears. It just felt like this woman did not like me and was trying to do everything in her power to break us apart. It hurt. How could the mother of the man I love ACT that way?
We continued to go along, until the end of July....then I realized, the wedding date would NOT work, and I absolutely HAD to change it. Grandma would NOT make it to the temple for my wedding, and I was devastated.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

He's Getting it....

Tonight, my dad was talking on the phone with his step-mother. We call her Grandma Sue, to differentiate between her and other grandma's. While my dad was talking, Jake asked me, "Mom, 'pampa talk to?"
I told him that it was Grandma Sue and he said ,"Oh, G'ama Sue? And 'Pampa Sue?"
At least he makes the connection! It's just cute.
It reminds me of when Cameron was starting to understand that he had different grandparents. My one set of grandparents we called, "Grandma and Grandpa Frei (pronounced like "free"). One day Cam asked, "Mom, when are we going to see grandma's Four and Five?"
Oh, the silly things our kids say....

Love Story, Part 12

End of May 1999:
The weekend before Memorial Day, Steve had come for a visit. I was finished with school, and was missing him terribly. My parents had decided to take the day to go scouting around for a new campsite for our annual camping trip. They invited Steve to go camping with us, and he agreed to go. We drove ALL over the place, and couldn't find a place that we really loved. All through the drive, Steve and I sat in the back seat of my parents' suburban, him with his arm around me, and me snuggling up to him.
After getting back to my parents' house after our drive, Steve and I watched a movie. It ended late, and I was going to take him home, but my mom said that she would feel more comfortable if I took him home the next day. He was okay with that, and I felt the same. My sister had her friend over, and it was time for her friend to go home and my mom asked me to drive her home and then fill the suburban with gas. I threw on my piggy slippers, and grabbed Steve and we were off. On the way to dropping off this girl, Steve asked me if after we'd dropped her off if we could take a detour. I knew what he meant. He wanted me to take him to the temple. I didn't think it was too bad of an idea, but I did think, in the VERY back of my mind, "He's gonna propose."
"No, you're just being paranoid, stop thinking things like that, because when they don't happen, you're going to be upset."
"But, he's gonna propose."
"NO! Stop it!"
After arguing with myself, I dropped off my sister's friend and we were off. Once we pulled into the parking lot, I found a close-ish parking spot, and listened to the radio play, "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You." I turned to Steve and said, "Well, I would get out and walk with you, but I'm wearing my slippers. Don't worry, I'll wait here."
He smiled and took my hand. It was nice.
Then he asked, "Can I ask you a question?"
Bells were going off in my mind, "He's DEFINITELY going to propose!" But then the other part of my mind pushed those *crazy* thoughts aside. I told him to go ahead.
"Dawnyel, I love you, would you spend the rest of your life with me? Will you marry me?"
I would say shock was there, but you already know what I was thinking. I did pause for a split second to decide if this was what I really wanted, and then my pounding heart answered for me. We kissed (again, sweet, innocent kisses...) and then we drove away. As we got to the first stop light, I began laughing. He asked me why I was laughing and I told him, "I'm wearing my piggy slippers." We joked about that for a minute, and he said, "It will be a good story to tell our kids." (THAT statement shocked me a little, I mean, I was only BARELY engaged! Kids??) As I turned the corner, I was in such a blissful fog that I thought the road was a one way, and I drove on the wrong side of the road. I corrected my mistake, and then continued on. We filled the vehicle with gas, and then we went back to my house. I told him that I'd like to keep our engagement just between the two of us for a while, but that I would like to get married that fall....maybe October.
He was fine with it, and so was I. I was going to MARRY him!

Love Story, Part 11: The Doubts

May 1999:
To be completely true to my love story with Steve, I must admit that after a month and a half, I began doubting what I had been feeling. Chalk it up to hormones, PMS, whatever, but I was finding myself irritated at EVERY little thing he was doing. I thought, perhaps, I wasn't really in love with the man, but rather the idea of being in a relationship.
I took some time away from Steve and spent my time pondering and praying about whether what I was doing was correct. I wondered if that thought I'd had the first time I saw him was correct, or if I had made the whole thing up.
During this time, my eyes wandered, and I found myself thinking more and more about another guy in the Institute choir. (And yes, I still remember his name, but I don't want to mention it, because really, he wasn't THAT important of a character in this story.) One rainy day, he offered me a ride to my dorm room. I found that I was comfortable with this other guy, being around him gave me butterflies in my stomach and I quite enjoyed his company as well. The only difference? My thoughts were NOT on the conversation, I was thinking about Steve. After this guy dropped me off, I again began thinking about my situation, and I prayed again. The answer was pretty clear, not a lightning bolt or something that shocked me....I knew that my path with Steve was the correct one. I also knew that if he ever asked me to marry him, I would tell him yes, even though I HAD been planning on going on a mission, I would chose him over everything else.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Love Story, Part 10: The Kiss

Officially, Steve and I had only KNOWN each other for about a month, but we were so deliriously happy. We spent a lot of time together, and I'm absolutely sure I made my good college friends SICK of my constant Steve-talk. Usually the talk would turn from me retelling our exploits to my girlfriends asking, "So, has he kissed you yet?"
I would bashfully tell them, "No, not yet..."
Now, we both were happy, but why WOULDN'T he kiss me?
I tried not to dwell on this too much, but it was constantly on my mind.
The day before my birthday, my 20th birthday, Steve, Candace and I went to my home for a birthday visit. (My birthday that year was on a Sunday, and I was going to stay at school for my birthday, but my mom wanted me to come home for my birthday AND to attend a wedding with her.) That morning, I went shopping for my annual birthday clothes, and found some cute things, and I fell in love with a green dress, I planned on wearing it to the wedding that day.
At the wedding, Steve and I watched as the couple married, and he leaned over to whisper in my ear, "When I marry, I want it to be forever, none of this 'until death do we part' stuff." I squeezed his hand in response.
After the wedding, Candace wanted to go hang out downtown, and I agreed. My brother, Shad and cousin, Jerid tagged along. Candace had told me that she thought Jerid was cute, and Shad just thought Candace was my gift to HIM. The three of them took off once we got to our destination, and Steve and I were left alone to walk and talk.
I asked him about work and he confided that his co-workers were asking him when he was going to kiss me. I asked him why he wouldn't and he told me that the time wasn't quite right. I think I told him that I wouldn't mind being kissed and then I let it go. Then we went in search of Candace and the boys. We found them and went back to my house.
That same day we'd gone grocery shopping with my mom. While at the store, we saw one of those toy machines that dispenses a capsule with a toy in it. This particular machine had little silver rings in them. We looked at one another with mischief in our eyes. Why not stage a mock-engagement for my friends at school? He'd buy me the cheap 25 cent ring, and I'd wear it back to school, showing it off to my friends so that they'd think that he'd proposed. It was PERFECT!! We got the ring, and he gently adjusted it, and then he slid it on my finger. It was going to be hilarious.
That night, my mom and brother took us back to school. I was driving, and Steve was in the passenger seat. As we were getting out of the car at his apartment he whispered to me, "Stay behind for a bit..."
I KNEW what that meant...he was going to kiss me.
Now, remember, I'd never had a real relationship with ANY guy, Cody was the closest I'd come to a relationship, and that dork couldn't even hold my hand....this was all new to me.
My mom and brother took a quick tour of Steve's apartment, and then they left. I hung back.
The butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. I was SO nervous. Nervous, but secretly thrilled.
He gave me a hug, and then slowly we closed our eyes and kissed.
It was a sweet, innocent kiss that made my lips tingle. I smiled at him when it was over and said good bye.
I practically floated back to the car. No one really asked what happened, and I was glad.
I don't remember the drive home (which is quite scary, because I was driving...) but I remember when I got to my room I closed the door and sighed. My roommate saw the ring, my face and said, "HE KISSED YOU!"
I guess I couldn't hide it very well.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Recipe I Love

If you wonder what kinds of things I make, don't wonder too much. ALL I make are easy and fast things. If it's not simple, I do NOT do it. Period. I think life is all about happiness, and a long complicated recipe that keeps me in the kitchen for hours and hours is NOT happiness for me.
One such recipe, which has been a HUGE hit every time I make it, is Can't Leave 'Em Alone bars.

Can't Leave 'Em Alone Bars
1 box white cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
Mix together, and press 3/4 of mixture in greased 9x13" pan.
1 cup chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cube butter
Pour melted mixture over crust, then crumble remaining 1/4 of mixture over the top.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Wait until it cools before cutting and eating. (Serious, molten chocolate BURNS!)

Love Story, Part 9

During this time, we went to almost every Institute dance we could. It was just our standard Friday night plans.
One Friday night, we went out to the dance, joined by my friends (yet again) and one of my high school friends.
At the dance, we pretty much danced EVERY slow song (except one, he danced with my friend who was visiting, he's such a nice guy...) During one of the dances, my friend Candace, came up to us and asked us if we knew that another girl, Jeanie (or something like that, I honestly cannot remember her name...for the sake of story telling though, I'll call her "Jeanie.") was very upset. Apparently, unbeknownst to us, she had decided that SHE was going to marry Steve, and us dancing and walking around the Institute gym hand in hand was NOT what she'd wanted to see. So she asked Candace if we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Candace, who didn't know what to say, but knew that I wouldn't appreciate Jeanie butting in, told her that we were, then immediately came to tell us what she'd done.
We thanked her for her intervention on our behalf, and then she left us alone. We got quiet for a minute, and then we looked at one another and I asked him, "So, ARE we boyfriend and girlfriend?" (You would have THOUGHT we'd have known...) And he said, "I'd like that." I ageed and from then on yes, we were.
That same night, a friend drove us home from the dance. Once he got to the dorm, we were talking about how we might look weird when we're older, and Steve squeezed my hand and said, "I'll always love Dawnyel, no matter HOW old and wrinkly she gets." *fairy dust....fairy dust*
I was a bit stunned, but in a good way. I not only knew now that he liked me, but he "loved" me. I felt bad that I didn't say the same thing back, but it would have been awkward given the conversation.
I was just glad that now I KNEW how he felt toward me, and that I was feeling the same way toward him.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Love Story, Part 8

Shortly after the belching contest, Steve became a frequent visitor. He would come and see me in my dorm room, and would stay and watch TV with me. Often, he would call just to talk to me.
One night we ended up watching "A Goofy Movie" and both of us commented on how our idea of a perfect honeymoon would be a good camp-out. I never felt uncomfortable when Steve was around, everything was just relaxing and just felt like I was home.
A few weeks after the end of the performance, Steve and I had planned on going to an Institute dance together. Of course, we would be joined by my friends, but it was going to be just another night with us.
Steve was preparing to go to Salt Lake for General Conference, and I was going home. We sat on the stairs in the Institute building and talked for a while. He invited me to go with him and his friends to Utah, and I politely declined, telling him that after the dance I was driving home. He got a worried look on his face, and said, "Please be careful. I don't want to have to find a ride to see you in the hospital. I'd have to tell my friend, 'I need to go to the hospital to see a girl I like.'"
I was in shock, it was the first time he mentioned that he liked me back. It felt nice.
I drove him home that night, and as he got out of the car, I noticed he practically skipped to the front door. I just grinned....I knew how he felt.