Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beauty or Beast?

A few weeks ago my brother Drew graduated from Brighton High School. Here are some pictures of graduation and the morning of. Drew has... interesting taste in hair styles. Usually it looks more like a dinosaur tail down the back, but in honor of the occasion he put it in a pony-tail and asked my mom to tie a bow. Some people thought it was very George Washington-esqe. It just reminded me of the scene in Beauty and the Beast when the Beast is getting all dressed up for their big dinner together and they end up tying his mane in a big bow. Anyway... here's Drew. Beauty? Beast? You decide. All I know is  despite his rough exterior and sometimes "teenage behavior" he has a really big heart and I know he will do such great things in his future. It will be fun to see how he will change and not change as he "grows up". But one thing that won't change is that I love him and am glad to be his sister... odd hair and all!

See the bow?

Apparently long, shaggy, unusual hair is "in" at Brighton. Check out the kid behind Drew. 

Of course the light pole was right in the middle of my shot... but Drew looks good!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Years

Bret and I have been married for 3 years, as of Sunday. Time sure flies, huh? I know that every marriage is different and that just because we have had a smooth start doesn't mean we won't ever have bumps in the road, but would it be okay if I brag a bit on Bret and why he makes our marriage so fantastic?

(Since I can't hear your response, I'll just assume you said "Yes." If you're thinking, "Ugh, please don't. We're sick of this mushy mush," then feel free to locate the little 'x' button at the top left of your screen that means "exit." No hard feelings.)

1. Bret doesn't get mad. We don't always agree on everything, but in three years we have never had anything that qualifies as a fight. I think our biggest disagreements center on men in tights and other art-related subjects. :)

2. Bret lets me be Mrs. Blabbermouth and doesn't complain. By this I mean that when it is just the two if us alone my mouth generally gets yapping and I say anything and everything that passes through my brain, whether or not it is worth sharing. He just listens. I must amuse him or something.

3. Bret is so darn good looking. Is that essential in a marriage? Not really. Does it help that I can't get over how incredibly handsome my husband is? Yup.

4. Bret is money-smart. Neither of us are big spenders, but he can think in numbers a lot better than I can, and I know that has prevented any monetary issues from affecting our marriage. He remembers to keep tabs on bills and deposits and tithing... things that I tend to forget (often). He is a TJ Maxx kind of guy who doesn't criticize me for loving a good sale at Banana Republic. He knows how to balance fun and frugal, live-it-up and save-it-up, nice and necessary.

5. Bret wants to be a provider and a professional. I love that he is learning so much in school and that he is excited about the profession he has chosen. I appreciate that he wants a career that can support his family, but not take him away from his family too much.

6. Bret is just vanilla. There is no such thing as drama with him. He doesn't get petty and critical with others. Things always seem to be in perspective in his brain... no blowing things out of proportion, worrying too much, etc. He helps me look at things more clearly.

7. Bret always makes the bed (unless I'm still in it). I've never had to ask him or remind him. And although we have different bed-making preferences (don't all girls like the sheets pulled tight and straight, tucked in at the bottom, or is it just me?) he is vigilant about making it and it always looks very nice.

8. Bret is never critical of my weaknesses. I think he sees more in me than I see in myself. He is patient with me and always makes me feel good about who I am.

9. Bret supports me in my love of the arts, even when he doesn't fully understand why I am so passionate about them. This year when I chose to quit my job at the high school for a full-time, self-created position doing dance outreach for the ballet, he supported me fully, even though it complicated some aspects like health insurance and job security. He listens while I hash out ideas and share my experiences working in different classrooms, even when I'm talking over an NBA championship game.

10. Bret is going to be a wonderful dad! We haven't put anything about it on our blog, but I'm assuming that everyone who reads this knows we are expecting a little baby girl in October. I secretly hoped for a boy for Bret, but he is so thrilled about this little girl. I know he is going to be so patient, kind, and FUN with her. I know it will bring a lot of new responsibilities into his life (yes, he will have to change his first ever diaper), but I'm so grateful that even though "loosing freedom" is a big sacrifice for him, he is more concerned about creating an eternal family. I'm grateful to him for trusting that the joy accompanying this new phase of life will outweigh the struggles.

Here's to the happiest and most confident three years of my life, and to 3 million more to go. I love you Bret!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Zenna's Wedding

Bret's sister, Zenna, got married yesterday to Kurt Heward. It was a small and beautiful ceremony held in the Wardle's backyard, followed by a nice reception. We are so happy for them and pray for the best for their marriage. 

Kurt & Zenna Heward
Married by Bishop Gerrard

Cute baby Audrey! (Jake and Amy's youngest)

Their decor was very "shabby sheek" - they had old windows and doors set up around the yard and it turned out to be really cool looking!

Everybody pitched in and made a jar for the tables that either held a candle or flowers.

Jake, Bret, Darla & Alan

Nate (Jake and Amy's) putting candles in the centerpieces.

 And the most entertaining part of the night was undoubtedly the post-reception karyoke party hosted by Jeremy! We were all out there singing so it didn't really matter whether or not you had a microphone. It was so much fun. The Wardles are goofy and I LOVE being a part of this fun family. I am so lucky!

Jeremy, the DJ and best singer-impersonator (he has a really good voice - who knew?!)

the Woodlands

Third stop: the Woodlands, TX.
Location: 1 hour north of Houston.
Purpose: Steven and Stephanie's wedding.

Josh and Bret
(We found out that some of the classmates like to call Josh 'Justin Beiber' because of his sweet hair-do.)

Bret was trying to get a picture that showed my face and the bride's chair behind me which reads, "Mrs. Always Right." I guess he thinks I'm right all the time. Sweet!

Stephen, the groom!

Stephanie and her father.

Brooklyn and Maddie
(both in Bret's class; Maddie has become a good friend of mine)

Boyfriend and Jenna

Girlfriend and Grant

Beautiful setting! That's Adeeb in the middle.

(top) Bret, Brandt, Adeeb, Luis, Chris (bottom) Grant, Josh
By the time I realized how dark the picture was it was too late to take it with a flash.
We still have a lot left to learn about our camera! 

Jenna, Me, Brooklyn, Maddie, Jenna

and Cesse, the doctor!
Stephanie is one of Bret's classmates and her now husband, Steven, is good buddies with all of them as well, so we were excited to be able to make it out to the Houston area to support them on their big day. This was by far the fanciest, most expensive wedding I've ever seen. They were married in a beautiful church and the ceremony was a lot like what you'd expect... think of the chick-flicks you've seen with the flower girls and the preacher. Then everyone drove a few miles over to the Marriott hotel's ballroom which was very fancy. There was "cocktail hour" in the lobby area (I can not imagine how expensive the alcohol alone was for this wedding!!!) Then we went in for dinner and dancing and cutting the cake and all of that. It was a beautiful wedding and we had a lot of fun dancing and chatting with friends. It was certainly different from most of the weddings we've attended... especially as the night wore on and the alcohol kicked in. We started seeing some new and interesting personalities come out and we knew when it was time to leave. But we do feel lucky that his classmates are so accepting of us and don't tease us (too much) about our different lifestyle choices. We love them and are glad we could celebrate with them before we all went our separate ways for summer internships.


Our second stop on our journey home...

Where: Houston, TX.
Location: 1 hour northwest of Galveston.
Reason: Explore the city, kill time before the wedding tomorrow.

NASA Museum - Johnson Space Center Houston

Model of the living quarters at the Space Station

Astronaut Bret (I didn't want to put it on my head after watching 20 sweaty kids stick it on)

Model of a Space Ship control deck

"One small step for man..."

This wall required too much thinking to understand, but it looked cool.

Model of astronauts living in space.

Astronaut Training Facility at the actual space center nearby.

Rocket Park

Rocket Park, in front of a real, huge rocket

Museums, Etc.
Can you spot the Longhorns?

Houston Museum of Natural Science 

Herman Park

View of downtown Houston from the car

On Friday we went to the NASA Museum and spent a long time there. It was a pretty cool museum with a lot to do and see. Then we checked into our hotel in the Museum/Medical district of Houston and went to get pizza at a local pizzeria called "Luigi's". It was delicious! Then we took the leftovers with us to Herman Park (where it took almost an hour to park) for an outdoor free concert that ended up being totally awesome and totally crowded. It was a Motown concert and we definitely in the minority as far as race goes. I think all the African American ladies standing up in the middle of a song and dancing or waving their arms took him back to his mission days in Georgia. The concert was held in a big outdoor amphitheater and people took blankets and chairs to sit on the hill behind the actual seating.  It was packed, but somehow we found an extra seat in the actual amphitheater so we had a great view.

On Saturday we spend the morning seeing more museums. We spent a couple hours at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and then walked over to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Both were pretty cool. Then we voted that it was definitely time for food and Chipotle sounded like the perfect choice. It was... mmm! Then we drove an hour north to the Woodlands area for Steven and Stephanie's wedding (the entire reason for going 6 hours away from Utah to spend the weekend in Houston). 

(to be continued...)


After cleaning and packing up our entire apartment, we launched our 5-day adventure home to Utah.

First stop: Galveston Island, TX.
Location: 6.5 hours in the wrong direction, Easternmost part of TX.
Purpose: chillax

Unfortunately it was super windy and the water was dirty and dangerous. We didn't get in... not even our feet (the beach was covered - literally covered, everywhere - with algae). But it was still fun to see Galveston and relax after a long drive and lots of packing.