Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bob the Builder

Today has been suuuuper busy!

1. I got up this morning before JT did! Amazing, I know. I got up, took the dog out, let the cat out, fed both animals, got dressed, ate breakfast--all before JT even moved. Man I was awesome.

2. JT and I took Mija to Petsmart for socialization. We've also been watching Cesar Millan on "The Dog Whisperer" and he suggested getting a cat stroller so the animals could bond on walks together. Price check: $60 stroller means they can stay enemies for life. While at Petsmart Mija pooped on JT's white shoe. With the entire store at her disposal, she chose his shoe.

3. JT's latest project is building Snickers the perfect kitty playhouse. I had to help hold the wood while he sawed it. I was terrified. I also got my gloves, jacket, and hair covered in sawdust. Tomorrow he's going to go buy cheap carpet to line the thing with. He's still got a couple more boxes and loft-thingies to add to it.

4. My proposal for the Japanese research paper is due on Monday and I completely switched topics last minute. So JT and I were at the library at 10 pm rushing from floor to floor as I gathered up a MILLION books. He had a little too much fun there. When a girl walked through the security detectors the alarm sounded. JT turned around and yelled "BUSTED!!!!" and ran off laughing.

6. We are attempting to have Mija sleep in the kitchen from now on. We realized that she really likes heat because she battles it out with Snickers for the living room heating vent. So rather than buy a $30 petbed, we bought two $3 pillows and $4 fabric to sew around it. Genius, I know.

The End.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday John!!!!!

Well everyone, today is my brother John's 19th birthday! Yay!!!!! He has grown up soooo fast. Today I bet he's going to go to classes, soccer practice, and then his roommates will throw him a birthday bash. Otherwise, I see him going home to celebrate. Wish we could be there!

I have the BEST funny story about John ever. This also took place while I was in Utah--unfortunately. I would've loved to have been there. So John usually had his friend Pablo cut his hair on a pretty regular basis. But one day, John decided that it wasn't so hard and he could do it himself. He pulled out the razor, flipped it on, and began down the center of his head. He forgot to put the guard on. HA! You could've ridden a hotwheel down that groove! He stopped, stared in the mirror, and went into shock. He kept almost laughing but stopping short in disbelief. Poor kid! He was soo proud of his hair too! He couldn't bring himself to shave off the rest so he wore a beanie to school the next day. He almost got away with it! At the end of the day when he was with his soccer team, his coach laughingly pulled off his beanie and the entire team stared at him in shocked silence! He came home that day and immediately shaved the rest off. Of course, it's impossible to keep John down. All the girls still swooned and told him he looked just like David Beckham.
Well John, 19 is a crazy age especially for you. Don't stress! Enjoy it! You're also officially elligible for a mission. I hear Hawaii is pretty nice! Love you John! Happy birthday!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vote! Vote! Vote!

I am currently taking a Japanese cultural history class. It's a new experience for me, but I love it. The main focus of the class is on a research paper due in April. Our paper has to be based on a primary source (meaning an original document). I have chosen the 1904 Russo-Japanese War as my focus. I have 10 possible postcard images to choose from. However, I can't choose!!! They each would make for an awesome paper. So....I was wondering, would my friends and family be willing to help? If you are willing, THANK YOU! I know I could just choose without hosting a vote. However, I think it's fun sometimes to include others in the decision making process. Love you all!

"Asia Rising" is depicting Japanese newsboys selling the headlines from the Russo-Japanese War. It shows the different classes of people interested in the war and the dispersal of news in mass quantities.
"Ujima". I don't know the significance of the title yet--hence, further research to do. This postcard illustrates the national unity and common interest in the war. It also shows how westernized society is.

"Children Holding Japanese and Russian Flags" is a little confusing right now. I'm not sure if it's a cops and robbers type of game. Maybe it's just showing how involved the children of Japan are. I'm also interested to see why the one kid is holding an American flag.

"Mother and Child Giving Soldier a Send-Off" This shows the common interest all Japanese citizens have in the war. It also illustrates the homefront for the first time in media.

"News From the Seat of the War" Same message as the previous one, but different depiction. Shows that everyone is waiting for a letter. Helps to inspire national unity.
"Nurse Holding a Branch of Camellia" This is a Red Cross Nurse. The public was proud of their nurses because it emphasized the global participation of Japan as well as their humanitarian efforts. "Nurse Holding a Cherry Blossom" Illustrates the exact same thing as the former. However, there may be some cultural background to the iconic cherry blossom that I could pull in."Nurse Looking Over a Wounded Soldier" This postcard is really cool. When it's held up to the light the soldier appears. I'm not yet sure why the artist would have done this. I'm pretty sure once I begin researching that some cool explanations will come up. Otherwise, it depicts the same thing as the first 2 nurse postcards."Returning Home" This shows the Japanese soldier as a father, coming home in victory. It illustrates family relationships. Lifting the child over his face could signify the rising of a younger generation whose future as a world power is secured by the preceding generation. I could also draw something in about the "way of the warrior" (bushido) being passed on to the next generation.

Dog's Day Out

Yesterday we started our weekend early. I'm done with classes by noon and JT was out of work by 2. We had lunch at Zupas before heading to the dollar theater to watch Seven Pounds. Don't ever go see that movie. It was slow AND depressing!!! Not even worth the $2.50 we paid to see it! But I digress...
We decided that it was time to test Mija at a real park. Rock Canyon Park is HUGE and bowl shaped. We wanted to see how she dealt with it on and off the leash. She LOVED it! Two ginormous black beautiful poodles (they were really good looking. JT's decided that if we ever get poodles we must have two black ones)came racing down the hill to play with Mija. She did NOT like that. It over-stressed her and she began to get aggressive. I was soooo upset. I was hoping that on top of the normal training, we would not have to deal with anti-agression training. It's a little hard to do without a second dog to practice with. Looks like we're going to have to do it anyway. Mija had a lot of fun once we distracted her. She never ran away from us off the leash either! We have progress!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

He proposed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

two years ago, that is. We have this strange obsession with celebrating every anniversary we can come up with. I guess it comes from working so hard for what we have. So...two years ago today JT proposed to me!
Proposal story:
He drove out to Utah from California and told me he was with his siblings while he picked up my ring. On Sunday we went to my ward and things went like normal...or so I thought. While I was sitting in Relief Society, he had talked my roommates into taking off and leaving him the keys to the apartment. Stacie was particularly suave and left the key in the bathroom for him! I would never have known. Anyways, while I was occupied he ran back to the apartment and lit candles all over the place! I think that the most beautiful place I've ever been is the Huntington Gardens. I love being surrounded by flowers and greenery. Knowing that those gardens are not in Utah, JT tried to recreate it for me and stuck red roses in all the couch cushions. He made it look like they were growing out of the couch! Then he sprinkled red roses across the floor. JT made it back to church in enough time to pick me up, with me none the wiser. I had a lot of stuff from Relief Society I was bringing home so I wanted to get through the door fast to dump it off. He asked me to wait so he could open the door for me, and I was stubborn as usual and chose to barge right ahead! I stopped dead when I saw everything. I turned to him, smiled, and said "can I first go put my stuff down?". Classic right? I did and came back out. He told me that he had put something in the couch cushions for me. I didn't know that this was just an excuse to get me to turn around so he could get down on one knee. I started digging to China in that couch!!! He had to phsyically turn me around to get me to look at him! He proposed, I cried, said yes, and it was over. I had officially been propositioned for marriage. We went to see his parents that night and then went to breakfast at Kneaders with them in the morning. For lunch we went to Leatherby's and ate a lot of ice cream. The end.
So today we recreated as much as we dared. We had breakfast at Kneaders together, took pictures outside of Leatherby's since it closed, and had ice cream from Coldstone (dang it Leatherby's!). The whole day was super fun! JT got the day off work and I ditched classes. Today has been another fabulous day with that fabulous husband of mine. Happy February 18th everybody!

February 18, 2007

February 18, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine Addendum

I forgot to include the story about the balloons.
After we finished painting, we sat back on the couch to finish the rest of the movie. Suddenly, we heard a loud crashing noise from the next room! We were shocked by the sheer volume and didn't have time to collect our thoughts before the perpetrator made herself known: Snickers. She came RACING at top speed through across the living room. She was running for her LIFE! We found out why. Following Snickers into the room was my Valentine's Day balloon. She had taken a liking to it and had dragged it into the office earlier in the day to play with. We are guessing that in the midst of the lighthearted play she wound the string around her leg. Suddenly the fun balloon was an evil demon chasing her down!!! IT WAS HILARIOUS. She was running away from a balloon that was attached to her back leg. She tried to lose it in the living room and took off under the television. We saw her exit out the other side, finally free of the balloon. She wouldn't come out of the office again for a while! JT and I sat there in stunned silence, looked at each other, and then burst out into uncontrollable laughter!!!!! Ahhhh good times.

Valentine's Day

Yesterday was the most fun day in the HISTORY of Valentine's Day! I was so glad we ditched the whole romantic candlelit dinner thing. We don't have kids yet so nights like those aren't very rare. JT had an APX cabin meeting Friday night and wanted to leave me with some valentine love. Wasn't he sweet?! He said the store didn't have a bouquet pretty enough for me. So he bought two and mixed them. He also sprinkled the floor with rose petals (although it's hard to see in the picture) and put roses in the glasses we drank from the night of our wedding. The balloons he also bought me are a necessary part of the story. You'll see.

JT didn't get home from his APX cabin fun until 3am yesterday because the roads froze over. We gave in and decided to sleep in on Valentine's Day. Around noon we finally got out the door and over to his APX manager's house to meet up for snowmobiling in Springville. The three of us headed up the canyon (Darren's wife planned to come up later) and found the official snowmobiling spot. We had a little trouble getting one of them to start...so I let JT ride that one. :) The roads up there were really bad. We didn't have too much trouble since Darren's car has four wheel drive. His wife's car, however, would not be able to make it. Darren left us there when we realized that without reception on the mountain, there would be no way to tell her to not even attempt the drive. It was good that he left us when he did because Adria was already on her way up.

JT and I were left to our own devices for a while. I have never ridden a snowmobile before. I am a big fan now. It was a little too fast for comfort right off the bat. I wish that I had taken my mom's advice and brought a helmet. The path had a LOT of trees in the area. Before long, JT's snowmobile died and got stuck! Since the machines are so loud though, I didn't know he wasn't behind me until I turned to look and saw him back there. I stopped and began trying to pull myself around. I got stuck in a snowbank....and then I tipped the snowmobile over on its side. I laughed because of course, I would be skilled enough to pull that off within 10 minutes! I waved to JT to let him know I was ok and then literally (the snow was REALLY deep) dove into the bank to begin digging the machine out. JT decided that getting me out of the snowbank was the priority and ran out to help. Between the two of us we got it out pretty quickly. The snow came up to mid-thigh.

Once freed, we drove my snowmobile over to JT's and he proceeded to work with his. At one point he hooked his up to mine and I tried to drag his out of the rut. We eventually got his freed and headed back to the road to meet Darren and Adria. We came right on time since Darren was ready to come looking for us. After that adventure I decided that my preferred spot would be behind JT on his snowmobile, taking in the scenery. It was soo beautiful! I was awe struck by the beauty of the place and the perfect works of God. I wondered if we would have snowmobiles in heaven. I hope so! This picture is one I found on the internet since it was a little difficult to take pictures out there. I picked this photo because it looked EXACTLY like where we went, except for the fact that there were more trees around the pathway.

We had sooooo much fun! The snow kept coming down really hard and the sky was grey. We were IN the mountains and we couldn't see them! We made our way to a clearing and had a lot of fun riding the snowmobiles around. Walking through the snow was REALLY hard and sometimes I'd take a step and be in up to my thighs again. I let myself fall off the machine into the snow a few times because it was easier than trying to step off of it. Well, eventually we had enough of the cold and realized that as bad as the meadow was geting, the roads would be getting worse. We got downhill safely and enjoyed a Valentine's Day cookie with Darren and Adria before heading home for a quick nap. It was after 5pm by this time.

I had forgotten to get together supplies for a Valentine's Day dinner so JT called Outback. That was impossible with a 2 HOUR wait! We ended up calling ahead our order to Cafe Rio and JT ran out to grab it. Yummy!!!!

We then pulled out our kitchen table and set it up in the living room. We put in What Happens In Vegas and painted a mug and cereal bowl for each other. So much fun!!!!

Afterwards we headed out at 11:30 pm for strawberry smoothies from Sonic! From start to finish, our Valentine's Day was amaaaaaaazing!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Year Ago Today.....

...he came home. That one fact has meant the world to me. If you add up all the time he spent deployed (not counting the time apart in different states) he was gone exactly 14 months. The majority of our relationship was based on a telephone and reinforced by the short wonderful trips to Utah he managed to squeeze in. I am so happy to have had him home this year.

The night/early morning JT came home was really.....interesting for me. I remember experiencing a myriad of emotions. I was so tense that I couldn't really talk about it. I remember standing on the parade deck with my arms crossed just staring straight ahead. It took FOREVER for him to show up. His platoon ran into problems with another and a fight almost started. When he finally showed up I was so scared that somehow something would go wrong that all I could do was stand there, stare, and call his name once in a while. When they finally got released he came over and gave me a hug. I couldn't even really enjoy the hug. To be honest, it had been so long since I'd last hugged him that I didn't really believe it was real. It all didn't begin to sink in until we were almost home. He was really there and he wouldn't be leaving me again.

We grow up watching fairytales and wishing that our lives will turn out to be a real-life romance. We want anything for our lives but normal--to be the princess in our own story. Had I been told that I would someday be desperately wishing for normal, I would never have believed it! I watched friends meet their spouse, get married, and have babies all before JT and I could even get engaged, much less married. I wanted normal soo badly. I guess when you get blessed enough to have someone in your life like Jonathan, normal isn't an option. If an out-of-the ordinary life is what I have to settle for to have JT, I will embrace it full-heartedly!
The Fall of 2005 JT came to visit me at school and wore his dress blues. I had not been able to go to military ball and he wanted to make it up to me. As we walked through campus taking pictures, we stopped off in the BYU bookstore. A little boy with his mom stopped dead in his tracks when he saw JT and pointing, said "look Mommy! It's a knight!!" That little boy was right. Jonathan is my knight in shining armor. He's rescued me more times than I can count. I hope to never take him for granted. I have a magnet up on my fridge as a daily reminder that reads "live everyday like he deploys tomorrow". One of the many facets of love is sacrifice. Another is joy. Now is our time for joy. I couldn't be happier!
JT: congratulations on being home for a year! We did it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Developments

The MOST exciting news ever: JT got promoted to lead teller at Wells Fargo!!!! He has worked sooo hard for this promotion. He managed to grab it at a record speed of four months. That is nearly unheard of. In fact, in California it takes a required minimum of 9 months to become a lead teller. He's just that amazing. For a while JT has known that there was an opening position and so he took the initiative and asked that his name be added to the pot. The managers soon picked up on how well he does his job, how thorough his knowledge is, and how great his customer service skills are. BINGO! The only problem is that there was another teller up for the same position. The managers are out of town until Monday and they want to tell him they gave the job to JT in person. So until then, JT has to keep it quiet from everyone at the bank. It is soooooo celebration time!!!!!

On another note, we had decided to sell with APX alarm systems this summer. This week we found out that we will be going to Little Rock, Arkansas! I'm not thrilled about being in the midwest for the summer, but my experience with Missouri in July tells me that I can at least handle it. I think we are mostly excited for the drive down there though! We will be driving through Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. I have family in all three states and JT has an awesome aunt and uncle in Kansas. We plan on taking some time to visit. Being the nerdy history major, I am REALLY excited about Little Rock because of its historical significance with the civil rights movement. Little Rock Highschool is where the 9 African American students (the Little Rock 9) agreed to integrate into an all-White school as a result of the Brown v. the Board of Education ruling from the Supreme Court. The school, parents, and even city officials refused to support it and President Eisenhower ended up having to send in the National Guard to protect these kids from their own community! I can't wait to visit and see what kind of digging I can do around in the local libraries!!!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Lacie!!!!

Today is our sister-in-law Lacie's birthday! Yay! It seems like just last week we celebrated Stephen's birthday. I hope she's spent all day partying!
One of my favorite memories with Lacie was this Twilight movie release dance party the four of us went to. We had soo much fun! The party was hosted by an ex-boyfriend of hers in another city (ok so I don't remember which one). We laughed and talked the entire way there. She is soo much fun. Once we got to the party we saw only 2 other cars in the parking lot. We started getting out of the car but quickly began having second thoughts. She was sure that her ex had seen us arrive since it's pretty hard to forget and miss a lime green bug. She threw caution to the wind and we all followed her as she took off back for the car! We drove around trying to find a place to have a snack. We were talking and laughing so much that the windows of the bug started to fog up! We ended up going to Denny's and having a lot of fun. I don't think I've ever giggled so much. Lacie is spunky and fun. We were happy to be able to spend time with her! Tonight's Olive Garden celebration should be awesome!

Quick side note: my little brother Jarom met her and said she was really fun!

Happy birthday Lacie!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's a good thing I'm an undercover CIA agent

OK, so I'm not a CIA agent. But last night I wish I had been. Joe and Christina already know this story since we saw them last night when we dropped by to borrow Wall-E (soo cute by the way!).

Yesterday evening we noticed that Mija wasn't listening to me...at all. It was like all the obedience training applied only to JT. That was weird since I have been helping to train her. Yes JT takes her out on most of her walks, but I take her out once for every 3 he does. Apparently that isn't enough. So once I chased her down, I put her on the leash and took her outside for a good strictly guided walk to reinforce my dominance. It worked like a charm. It was just after dusk. It definitely wasn't light outside, but it wasn't pitch black.

I turned left with Mija at the next street and got engrossed in a sign barring pets from a neighborhood I had planned on walking down. Confused, I reoriented myself and was about to walk on when I noticed a man to my right on the other side of the street. He was anywhere from 5'10" to 6', wearing jeans, an orange shirt, a huge black winter coat, and a black baseball cap. He was standing on the front porch of a townhouse. His clothes were a little too big for me to tell whether he was fit or just lean. Anyways, he just stood there looking. I ignored him and continued walking straight.

When I reached 800 East (one street away from our house) I turned left. I planned on making a big square back home. The street wasn't well lit and the only residents I saw the entire time got into a car and left. It's a long street. It wasn't long before something caught my peripheral vision and I saw the same man across the street from me again! He was calmly walking so I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I thought it was a little weird that he happened to turn down the same street, but if he lives nearby he could've just been going to visit a friend. All the same, it made me uncomfortable.

I stood a little taller, took firmer control of Mija, and looked confidently ahead of myself (while keeping very aware of my peripherals). I'm naturally paranoid and this situation was not helping. I remembered a safety cop once saying to be sure to take note of anyone else in the area. The last thing a girl needs is to be caught in an ambush. I looked over my shoulder and saw no one there. I didn't hear anyone behind me the rest of the time. The man across the street was still walking, and he was in perfect step with me.

Remembering further training, I picked up the pace to a light hurry. His pace picked up similarly and we continued neck and neck down opposite sides of the street. My mind began to run through the logistics. Here's a look at what went on in my head in the flash of milliseconds:

I began to feel like the possibilities of this being a coincidence were growing less and less probable. I began to run through scenarios in my head of possible actions to take. I could have taken out my cell phone and called JT. I decided against this because safety cops say that cell phones can distract more than help, depending on the situation. A woman talking on the phone to a friend is less aware and easier to sneak up on. I wanted full reaction time. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and held it in my hand--I was ready to call JT or 911 at an instant. The man was across the street. I knew I would have enough time to take off running and call before he reached me. My plan was the same if he was armed. A moving target is better than a sitting duck. Like I said, I'm paranoid and I ran through every possible scenario. If the man were to attempt to enter the street between us, I planned to immediately call out to him and firmly request that he stay on his side, stating that he had made me uncomfortable. If he took another step forward he would have clearly defied a warning and I would have run and called 911. However, police profiling labels most stalkers as predators in search of easy prey. They want the person with the least amount of fight and confrontation. Simply confronting a possible stalker will usually throw them off. This is another reason I reinforced my demeanor when I became suspicious. Predators prefer weaker looking individuals who are distracted and looking down at the ground. I pay a lot of attention in class.

Now that you're all probably convinced that I'm paranoid (see? I told you.), let me tell you what happened to my emotions. Angry doesn't even cut it for how I felt. Livid and enraged is more accurate. At this point I had picked up my pace again and was almost jogging. He changed his pace and kept up with me. If he was indeed a sick predator, I was angry with him for daring to even THINK of attacking me. If he was just playing around with me, I was angry that he would even THINK that doing this was funny! Either way, I was sooooo ready for confrontation. I was surprised with how enraged I got. I was shaking. I wasn't even scared. JT says that this was a combination of adrenaline and my tendency to take things like this personal.

At this point I decided on one last test and I abruptly stopped and told Mija to sit. The man kept walking but now he was glancing over his shoulder every so often. I had enough of this. I continued walking and soon reached the edge of the street. He turned right and I turned left onto one of the busiest side streets of BYU...the street I live off of. I got home and asked JT not to panic, and told him the story. He began to quiz me up and down about the guys appearance, where I was, what house I was in front of, etc. I did well for the most part but realized that I still had some work to do.

So there is my looooong and dramatic story. If there's a moral, I guess it's to pay attention in self-defense and safety classes you attend. In the future I've decided to call JT as soon as I get suspicious and to remember address and the shoes they were wearing. Live and learn.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rise and Shout the Cougars Are Out

It's official! JT has applied to Brigham Young University for the Fall 2009 semester!!!!! This is really exciting for him. He worked REALLY hard on his two essays. I am soooo proud of him. They turned out amazing. One was about why he joined the Marines and the other about the type of man he's become and what he hopes to bring to BYU. They're lucky to have his application. We just hope the board of admissions sees that too!
Today is Sunday, stake conference, and the super bowl. In the midst of all this, we are praying like crazy and fasting. BYU is really what he wants. Say a prayer for us and be prepared to hear him cheering from the rooftops come 28 days from now!!!!!