Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We Don't Like Ike

We are fine, healthy, and have food and water. We never lost our water pressure or hot water, and have a gas stove, so we were able to cook. We went without power for almost 3 days, lost most of the food in the freezers and fridge, but have plenty of water and shelf-stable food. We have many friends and neighbors who have not been as blessed as we have. The house nor any of us sustained any damage, except we do have a tree at a 45-degree angle to the boys' bedroom, which we need to take care of soon. We've even managed to clean up most of the yard, and put the net back on the trampoline, which survived! Robert was also able to go to Costco yesterday morning (bright and early!) and get us milk, gas and a few other essentials (like Hot Pockets!). We are very blessed and have learned a little better what to do next time, but overall we feel extremely fortunate to have church leaders who urged us to have supplies (candles, flashlights, etc), water, and food. I will post more details and even a pic or 2 soon; for now we need to run to the store and see if we can buy a chainsaw, b/c they are in short supply around here. Cross your fingers for us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Little Tangent Today

The Spirit guides us in the mundane parts of our lives.

So, yesterday when I emptied the washer, the towels in it were still soaking wet. I figured this was due to the large pillow I washed with them, and I just dried everything (3 times!) anyway. Well, today I found the latest load had done the same thing. I'm going, "Hmm, not good, and who has hundreds of dollars to fix this darn thing?" So I messed with it a little and realize the mechanism that tells the machine the lid is closed is not working right, a piece appears to be missing. And I recall that I found a little piece of plastic yesterday when the machine was seriously unbalanced b/c of the aforementioned pillow, and I set it aside just in case. So now I'm thinking, "Great, I have multiple magpies in my home that collect little things like that and I will probably never find it now!" but I search the floor anyways on the off chance it just got knocked off the machine, and -Lo and behold- there it is. I tinker with it a bit and finally figure out how to get it on correctly, all the while I am guided to be very careful, b/c if I push too hard I will knock it behind the drum and never be able to get it back, so even though I am impatient b/c I need to go to the store, I go slowly. Sadly, after the piece is on (I know it's on correctly), the machine still doesn't register that the lid is closed. I examine said machine and find that the little post that pushes on the lost-then-found piece has had its tip broken off, so it's touching the mechanism but it's not long enough to push it all the way down, telling the washer that the lid is indeed closed. Now I'm thinking "Crud, it's this tiny piece, I know exactly what's wrong, it's plastic for heaven's sake and probably cost pennies to make that little piece, but if I can't fix it at home, I'm going to be paying someone a lot of money &/or special ordering it and be without a washer for weeks, ugh." So, I'm praying and thinking I must have something I can jerry rig: clay, toothpicks, something to super glue to it. The problem is it is tiny, and I'm worried it won't stay stuck. When out of nowhere I think, "I might have something in my jewelry making box." Please note: this thought obviously did not originate from me, there is no way I would have thought this. I need manly tools here, not jewelry. I look anyways. As I open the box what I discover is a few odds & ends and I am reminded of some fun stuff I have left over from my jewelry making class at BYU: little plastic "beads" (Thank you, Carolyn!). If you boil some water and put these beads in it, they will soften, then you can mold them however you wish (very cool for making your own beads or jewelry pieces). At this point I'm going, "This could work. I can at least make a mold using clay then make a new plastic tip and super glue that on." OK, I admit at this point, I may have lost some of you, b/c not all of us are as crafty goddesses. But my mother always said, "You can do anything you put your mind to." If some handyman can fix this, I can, too. It just takes me a bit longer. So (and note Angel is intrigued at this point and is following me around) I boil a little water and toss an old piece of this plastic stuff into the water. It starts to soften up quickly as I stir it around, and I pull it out and go over to the washer and kind of mold it onto the end of the broken piece. I give it a little help to get it to the right shape and it starts to harden quickly. After a few minutes, it is totally hard and I can close the lid and test it. It works! No super glue, no negative molding, just squish it on there in the relatively correct shape and let it harden. Some of you naysayers may say this was just coincidence. But I don't believe in coincidence. And I came to this solution much too quickly to believe it was chance. I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide me. I am doubly grateful that Heavenly Father sees fit to help me with my silly everyday problems, reminding me that He loves and cares for us individually. This doesn't happen quite so perfectly all the time, but when it does I am reminded how mindful He is of each of us. And that is cool to me.
And now, I'm seriously going to Costco.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Promise to Post Tomorrow

Next in the timeline:
The summer before the wedding, and preparations,
the wedding (bittersweet),
and maybe the beginning of our life together if I can write all that in a reasonable amount of time.

Good night, sweet friends.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Life Since Meeting Robert (Chapter 2 of the Life Since High School Chronicles)

To be completely honest, Robert proposed to me about 2 weeks after we met. I had decided that we were getting pretty serious pretty fast and there was one tiny detail about my life that I knew I needed to share with him, in order that we would both know how far we wanted to take our relationship. Those of you that are family or knew me in High School, particularly senior year, already know of the "tiny detail" I am referring to. I don't really want to make it completely public (especially since there are members of my family who do not know to this day), so I won't tell you what I mean here, but if you are a good friend, rest assured you do know or will know one day. The point is I needed to tell Robert at that time, so I told him I had something important to discuss with him, and we met & talked in a quiet spot in the Cannon Center (the cafeteria where we met in the dorms). He wasn't very talkative, but listened carefully and intently. I was scared to death that his opinion of me would be forever tainted, yet he did the most wonderful thing. He told me he wanted me to be his wife. He expressed how he was glad I had told him and that he know knew me better and loved me even more for having gotten to understand who I was now.

The times after that were nice. Robert would get up and meet me to walk me to my 7 am classes every morning. I purposely scheduled 7 am classes my entire 1st year to make myself get out of bed and to give myself plenty of time for shows (theatre) and work in the evenings. We would see each other between classes as often as our feet could make it across campus in time, meet for lunch whenever possible, study together in the evenings, stay out late together, then stay up on the phone for hours on end. Robert always tells people who think it seems like we got married fast, that we spent so much time together that we both felt like we crammed in years of getting to know each other. We became best friends, and who better to marry than your best friend? There were many times that Robert would come meet me at work, and my boss, Jen, would gush over how cute and sweet he was. Think here how neither of us had a car, so he had to walk or take the bus to come see me... and campus was a good few miles from my work.
The time after the 1st proposal to the "official" proposal was interminable for me. I even had to endure one couple (friends of ours) who met after we did and got engaged before we did! Also for those of you who did not attend BYU, engagements are very common.

I skipped our 1st kiss, didn't I. That's a funny story, so let's rewind....
Robert had a date to Homecoming with another girl. He made the date before we met and we had just gotten serious, so he kept the date to be nice (with the express idea that this was just a friendly date). I waited in the common room of my dorm, and when he got back (much too early for the other girl to have had a lot of fun) we sat on the couch with other friends of ours completely ignoring them and enjoying each others' company. I remember him telling me how the entire time he was thinking about how he just wanted to be with me and not out with this other girl. I also remember him touching my face. When it got to curfew time in our common room, I walked him to the outer door and tried to use my feminine charm on him. I'm pretty sure I was totally unsuccessful, but he leaned in to kiss me anyway, with quite a few of my girlfriends watching! It was very sweet, and I was embarrassed about people watching and ran up to my room to avoid the inevitable barrage of girls wanting details as to this very quickly formed relationship.

"I love you" came soon after that. I am proud to say he said it first. I don't know why, maybe because it is such a hard thing to say knowing your heart could be broken. And, so you don't think he was totally fearless of his heart breaking, he told me on my answering machine. Slick, huh?

At Halloween, one of his many "Hispanic girlfriends" did his makeup and dressed him up as a dead clown. It was gruesome. I kissed him anyway. Gross.

For Christmas, we were both going home (Him to California and I to Houston; me thanks to the generosity of one of the friends who helped me financially get to BYU) and dreading being away from each other for so long. (I know we are so lame! Stop reading if you have to go throw up now, you don't want it on your keyboard). We exchanged gifts before we left. He gave me a BYU sweater (I still have it) and I gave him a picture of me in front of the LOVE sculpture that used to be outside the BYU Museum (He still has it). Then we stayed up until 3 or so in the morning, hanging out in the HFAC (the theatre/arts building on campus) the night before he left. We called each other long distance (this was when you payed by the minute!) every night at the same time, and somehow got through all the fun holiday stuff without each other. Charlotte took me to see the Nutcracker that year, I got to spend Christmas Eve at the Haines annual Xmas Eve dinner and program, and I surprised my mom while caroling that night; She thought I wouldn't be home b/c they couldn't afford to fly me out.

Come February and I was dreading Valentine's day. Granted I had a sweetie, but I knew he couldn't afford a ring yet. Add to that years of bigger sisters getting flowers, candy, gifts galore and me getting nothing and you can imagine how I did not like the thought of Valentine's day.
Robert changed my opinion that year.
At each class I attended that day, I found a friend of ours with a flower. The 1st was a white carnation. the 2nd was a pink carnation, the 3rd was a red carnation, and the 4th was a rose. Each was supposed to have the stanza to a poem on it, but only one made it, so I didn't get that until later.

Will You Love Me When I'm Old?

I would ask of you, my darling,
A question soft and low,
That gives me many a heartache
As the moments come and go.

Your love I know is truthful,
But the truest love grows cold;

It is this that I would ask you:
Will you love me when I'm old?

Life's morn will soon be waning,
And its evening bells be tolled,
But my heart shall know no sadness,
If you'll love me when I'm old.

Down the stream of life together
We are sailing side by side,
Hoping some bright day to anchor

Safe beyond the surging tide.
Today our sky is cloudless,
But the night may clouds unfold;
But, though storms may gather round us,
Will you love me when I'm old?

Robert met me after my evening class with a huge long stemmed rose that was almost as tall as I am, and walked me to my dorm to put my things away. Then we walked to Viva Spaghetti at Brigham's Landing (the spot where companies go to die, as Robert says. No business can survive in that spot for long.), with me blindfolded the whole way! At our table was another red rose. Then we walked to the Provo Temple, walked around the grounds, and sat & talked until the night watchman told us they were closing (this was about 11pm). Robert can tell you the dirty trick he played on me there, if he dares! I refuse to tell it.

On the walk home I was subdued. I had spent weeks and then all day telling myself he wasn't going to propose tonight and now our night was over and I had to admit to myself I was right. Darnit! Didn't he still want to marry me? Did I do something wrong? Will he ever propose? These are my thoughts as we are walking home. He declined walking me to my common room saying he promised his family a phone call and he needed to get my present (some wool socks I needed, which I don't still have). I dejectedly sat down on the common room couch and chatted with some friends who were playing cards. Some guys Robert and I knew who were in a band were hanging around our common area, too. Tania asked me about borrowing a cd, and we went up to my room to find it. For some reason by the time I had gotten to my room (the 2nd to last from the end), half of the girls on my floor had followed me. When I walked into my room, I found I had been "Heart Attacked!" This is one of those BYU dating things. You put up hearts all over someone's room and a sign that says something to the effect of "You've been Heart Attacked," except my room was also filled with gifts. And Robert had used hearts I had used in his room earlier in the year when I had filled his room with balloons (did you understand that sentence at all?). That was fun. Anyways!

The wool socks were there, a print by Bouguereau, and more things I don't remember. When you come to our house you can see that print, framed in our entryway. He even stuck one of the small hearts to my Elmo doll. Then Tania asked me if my stereo was on. I was confused. What was she talking about. The she started fiddling with my blinds. What is this crazy girl thinking? But music was coming from somewhere... We opened the blinds to see Robert and the guys from the commons room outside playing and singing "More Than Words." Note here, I lived on the 3rd floor, so even though Robert and the guys were not expecting it, they had 3 full floors of spectators that night. It brought my depressed state to an abrupt end, and I was glad he chose to end our Valentine's day that way. Then he disappeared, and someone said he was coming up the fire escape stairs. I was glad he came up for one last good night and a kiss.

I hugged him at the door to the fire escape and he pushed me back, and proceeded to gag me. Then he got down on one knee and recited the last stanza to the poem.

When my hair shall shade the snowdrift,
And mine eyes shall dimmer grow,
I would lean upon some loved one,
Through the valley as I go.
I would claim of you one promise,
Worth to me a world of gold;

It is only this, my darling,
That you'll love me when I'm old

Then he asked me if I would marry him, reached behind me to Tania holding out a box, and opened it with my engagement ring inside! I, of course, said yes, and to the chanting of Besa! Besa! Besa! (I've already told you we had a lot of Spanish speaking friends) we kissed. And he left me to be bombarded with my girlfriends for all the rest of the evening's details and to ooh and ahh over my new ring. Oh, and one of our friends was clever enough to have a camera, so I have a few pictures.
p.s. For those of you wondering, the gag was b/c we were getting "engagged." Robert is very corny.