Saturday, December 31, 2011

oh my word.

good golly miss molly.
this holiday season has gone by much to fast.
i have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past few weeks and i think this feeling won't go away until after March 9, 2012.
So many things to catch up on...
Katie Porter's wedding
Staying at the Beeson's abode
The kid who threw up during the opening prayer, all down the aisle... splash zone
flying on the tiniest plane I have ever been on in my life
A very Portland Christmas
The best crepe I ever had
Packing and moving (so glad phase one is complete)
Driving to California all by my lonesome while my oh so kind fiance decided to take a trip to L.A. and leave me alone on New Years. It's ok. I promise...

It is now time for me to relax and put my dogs up... at least for a day or two.
And then about to begin phase 2 of wedding planning. Let the fun begin!


Friday, December 2, 2011

quite the thursday night.

Sometimes the Turkey works a lot.
And by sometimes, I mean for the last 6 months or so.
You see, he and his friends started a business. It's called Scan Inc.
They are hoping to make their website public this week.
They are busy bees and nothing makes me cherish those moments that I have with the Kirk more.
Last night, we decided we probably should go on a date since I can't remember the last time we did so.
Usually, our evenings consist of me hanging out on the couch watching all manner of television - Sister Wives, House, Big Ban Theory, Friday Night Lights... The list actually is quite extensive and I just would hate to bore you with all the shows I watch. It really is pathetic.
(However, my cable at my apartment is not currently working due to my lack of motivation to do something about it... so I don't really watch TV unless I'm at Kirk's.)
Anyway, I watch TV while Kirk works in his office. Sometimes I make treats or dinner by myself and bring it to him as if I am his 1950s housewife. Sometimes there is no food around and I beg him to take me out.
Well, last night was my lucky night. We went to Guru's for some ever-so-delicious sweet potato fries and tortilla salad. I was mid sweet potato fry when in walks none other than Jimmer Fredette with his fiance. 
I was all, "Hey Kirk, I think that's Jimmer."
And Kirk was all, "No... he wouldn't come here."
You see, Kirk isn't really a huge fan of the Guru's sweet potato fries. Sometimes they mess up Kirk's order every time he goes there and he doesn't like caesar salad wraps! So clearly, his logic is that if he doesn't like it, neither should Jimmer.
Moving on.
Jimmer ordered his food and sat only 2 tables down from us. Onlookers from around the restaurant stared and whispered and smiled and giggled.
I, on the other hand, played it cool... and snuck this photo:

I'm one sly dog.
Kirk then tried to demonstrate the way looked while I took the picture:

The Jimmer finished his meal while his fiance was on her phone... I thought this would be the perfect moment to ask to take a picture with him. Kirk begged me not to, but I stood up about to walk over when Jimmer and his beloved got up and walked out of Guru's never knowing my hopes and my dreams. Kirk told me that Jimmer could probably sense what I was about to do and hopped out of there so he wouldn't be bothered. Shoot.

The night continued. We wanted to see a movie and after careful research, it looked like HUGO would be the best option. 8.6 on IMDB? Ok. We'll give it a shot.
I came home to change into something more comfortable for the 10pm movie when Kirk informed me that he wouldn't escort me to the theaters if I didn't wear his gift to me.
My jumpin' jammerz. I fought him on the matter but ultimately gave in. I found it only suitable to wear some jumpin' jammerz to the movies on the night I saw Jimmer. They are my jumpin' jimmer jammerz.
I was only mildly embarrassed when the lady behind the concession counter complimented me on my cute pajama pants... and then I unzipped my jacket to unveil that the pants were actually a onesie. Oh the humanity.
I know I look psycho. And those UGGs. I already know all of the fashion rules I am breaking, ok?

The movie was pretty good in my humble opinion. Definitely long and kind of slow, but I focused on the story and the details of the movie and fell in love with it. Kirk on the other hand, slept during the vast majority of the movie. 

Oh well, at least I had fun on our date night.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Day - The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

Thanksgiving this year came too soon and felt too short!
Ani, Kirk, and myself made the 11+ hour drive to California (deja vu anyone?) and spent the Thanksgiving holiday with the Parkinson side.
The food was remarkable and the company was amazing. We chatted and chatted and chatted and lingered and lingered some more. I was so busy gabbing with my CDF (Crazy Dysfunctional Family as we so lovingly call ourselves) that I didn't even get to enjoy the dessert!

All the grandkids with the pops... or Poppi as we call him. Can you say estrogen much? Girls rule in this family. 

Calvin enjoying a nice beverage from his very own goblet. He was pretty proud of that thing.

And the scruffy turkey as I affectionately call him. I LOVE a little scruff on a man and it only took minor convincing - he ended up loving it more than I did! And it's red! Who knew?

I love this picture of my mom and great uncle Dellenbach! They look so happy.

After the feast and festivities, a few of us cousins decided to go see Breaking Dawn that night and drag our significant others to the movie - Kirk was a trooper. (I highly recommend movie theater going on Thanksgiving. You get the whole theater to yourself!) We had a grand old time pointing and laughing and cringing throughout the show. I didn't know honeymoons could be so awkward...  

On Friday, we decided we wanted to get our hit of Chipotle - a must if you are in the Fairfield area - and invited everyone and their dog to join. It wouldn't be a true family outing if every family member didn't attend. We couldn't find enough seats inside the restaurant to we took over the outside patio area and dinned like true Parkinsons do - burrito bowl style.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out, watching home videos, talking wedding, and eating sweets. I even made a batch of chocolate covered oreos thanks to the great mind of Kirk Ouimet. (I know, the chocolate covered oreo thing is getting a little out of hand. But they are so fun to make and so delicious.)

We decided that should head east back to Utah on Saturday. We woke up kind of late and wanted to say goodbye to our mama llama and Bebe and Dolly (our family has quite the nickname repertoire.) The early afternoon turned to noon and by then we thought we should probably eat before hitting the road, so we made a trip to In-n-Out with everyone in stow in the back of the van and retrieved the extremely large order of cheeseburgers, fries, and diet cokes. $40 to feed 11 people? Not too shabby.
After our feast, we lingered a little longer in hopes that maybe if we stayed long enough, the day would never end. But alas, 4pm rolled around and we thought we should probably get on the road before Monday comes.
Travis, Rachel's BF, even loaned us his radar detector in an effort to help get us back to mormon-town faster. It did help. We shed off at least 2 hours of the drive and made it back and snug in our beds by 2am. We are leaving at 4pm every time now... JUST KIDDING.

Sidenote: The drive always seems to work out nicely for Kirk. He sets up camp in the back of the car and "works" while I manage to drive the whole way... funny how that happens.

Now it's time for the Christmas festivities to begin! Christmas shopping, staring at lights, listening to holiday music and a possible musical or two!
Happy Holidays EVERYONE!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a dress story.

The time has come for me to knuckle down and do something important for the impending nuptials taking place in March.
I make it sound like the world is going to end. And so what if I am a negative Nancy about planning my own wedding? Have I ever mentioned that before? Are you sick of it?
I met with the oh-so-very talented Melissa Blackburn to whip up a wedding dress of the century. A wedding dress fit for a queen. Let me tell ya, when you see it, you will DEFINITELY think Kim Kardashian/royal wedding status. Only kidding.
Since she is working with probably the most indecisive person this side of the Mississippi, (that's debatable... I can't quite decide if I am...) Melissa has some wonderful and fabulous ideas to help move the process along.
The first meeting went something like this:
Me: I want it like this and like that and like this and like that.
Melissa: Ok, let's do this.
Me: Good. It's settled then. See you in three weeks.
She informed me that we don't have to make any hard plans at this first meeting.
I told her with every fiber of confidence in my being that I am "not afraid to commit to the plans."
Wait. What were those words spilling out of my mouth?
I just wanted to her to think that I wasn't going to be one of those "difficult brides." Or I suppose wishy-washy could also work.
I left that meeting feeling great about all things discussed... except for the sleeves, and the neckline, and the fabric, and the color... 
I waited a day to contact her in fear that my indecisiveness was only happening because she said I could change my mind and it would be okay. Don't give me options, I will definitely abuse them.
I finally mustered up enough courage to email her (I couldn't call her because I did not want her to hear my weakness through the phone.)
I told her of all the things that I was unsure about and how I didn't want to seem difficult but, I think I want to change a few things.
We had a second meeting.
Melissa: You don't have to make all the decisions now. We can conjure up an outline and work outwards from there.
She just gets it.
And so we spent the afternoon brainstorming ideas and making me feel comfortable again. The stress of the wedding dress is no longer and I now I know that I will at LEAST have a dress for the day. If nothing else, it's all I need.

this is actual brainstorming at its finest.

Friday, November 18, 2011

this and that.

Well, as it turns out, this sicky is sick once again.
What the heck.
I'm not quite sure where I got it/am getting it from but it's getting a little old.
Today I had to cancel on my lovely friend Trudy and our outing to H&M today for fear of getting her and her little family sick. I am such a good friend.

Wedding planning is going... Everyone always asks me how it's going and that's just what I say. It's going. Who knew I would hate it so much? I think planning other people's weddings is fun, but planning my own is a whole other story. The one that I'm telling right now.
I am still on the search for a venue. I think I have decided that it will be in California for sure. I was going back and forth between a few ideas. And even considering a destination type wedding but in the end, I think I just should have a party for everyone, k?
I'm so back and forth with EVERYTHING. From location, to colors, to the actual wedding dress. My poor dress maker is probably wanting to strangle me.

However, moving is kind of fun. Well the actual act of moving is not. Packing, packing, organizing, packing and driving to the Golden State will probably not be a walk in the park, but I would rather move 10 times than plan my own wedding. HAHA!
I am moving down to California in January to live with my aunt and uncle (where my mom is) and staying there until Kirk and I get married. Kirk will (hopefully) find a place in the city to live in January and it will be the place we move into once we do get married! I have found a bunch of places that I LOVE and I am trying to convince the Turkey that they are all wonderful places to call home. He is not so keen on living in a loft apartment... He wants office space so he can work at home (which I am totally all for) but there aren't many decent spaces with 2 bedrooms. Well, there are. Just not with the San Francisco charm and architecture that I was hoping for. I mean, we will probably only live in the city once and not for that long... I want to soak up all that it has to offer!

I am seriously SO excited to live there. I have always wanted to live in a city and San Francisco is pretty cool with some awesome views. I have always felt like northern California had a piece of my heart and now I get to reunite with that piece of my heart very soon. I just can't wait to explore and find cool things. Don't you worry, I will document it all. Well, most of it. I'm still working on documenting my life now. But hopefully with new surroundings and basically a new life, I will be more motivated to do so.

We are going to California for Thanksgiving this year and it's a bitter sweet thing. I said this last year, but it's just not the same as having a place to call home. Holidays and family get togethers are always super crowded there (another reason why I'm excited to move there. Then I can just go home at night instead of drive the 13 hour drive back to Utah.) But I am excited to stuff my face with mashed potatoes and stuffing. Oh, stuffing.

Ok, I will get back to healing my sick nose and scratchy throat and finishing my online wedding registry (that part is fun. 1 point for me.)
Happy Friday!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Have you seen this?
I love it. 
I feel like the older we get, or rather, the older I get, the magic of life tends to be pushed by the wayside and I get caught up in the every day craziness of real life.
When I was a kid, I used to imagine my life and how it would be now. How different it would be once I became an adult. I used to make lists of my goals, my dreams, my aspirations. And although, I feel like this is definitely not the life I thought I would live, I wouldn't change it for the world. I still plan on doing all of the things that are on my list. But I plan on doing them with a partner. With my best friend.
I am so lucky to have someone in my life, someone who wants to be with me forever, who supports me and my dreams. Someone who wants me to succeed and someone who is there when I fall. 
That is what love is.
Sometimes I feel like there is a confusion about what true love is.
We live in an era when comparisons are made left and right and there is that constant knocking on the door to remind us of what we don't have; what we are lacking.
I am so grateful that I have waited this long to be with the man that I know I am supposed to share the rest of my life with. 
To be able to recognize true love and to be able to embrace it.

I have always been drawn to music and dance. And although I am no expert on either, I feel like I can appreciate the beauty and the expression of dance. And I can appreciate the ability that music has to move us. And the way a story can be told by both.
And this,
this is the perfect example of those two worlds coming together.
How amazing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

as luck would have it.

Today was the first day in 2 weeks that I did not go to the gym.
I am getting a sore throat and I am blaming the gym.
It is so hot and steamy in there (and not in a good way, or else I would be there regardless of my health status...) I feel like it's the perfect place for the common cold and flu to infest and grow and spread.
I feel like every time I start to go to the gym again I get sick.
What the heck is up with that?
I noticed the sore throat when I made the trek up to Anthropologie blasting the heat and singing my heart out to Celine... I couldn't make that last note. How embarrassing.
I cleared my throat and continued on as if nothing or no one was around.

Once in the glorious store, I was floored by the Christmas decor. I felt like I was in holiday heaven. I couldn't get enough. Then I saw the price. "I can make ALL of this," I thought. Possibly true. Probable? Probably not.

(Photos taken by me and my iPhone. HENCE the quality... I do not credit myself to be a photographer. And I probably won't ever. So don't judge, eh? Sorry, bad mood sickness kicking in.)
I went ahead and began shopping around, losing the purpose of why I was actually there. I needed some Christmas presents. Specifically, some Christmas perfume. But, I was lost in the overwhelming racks of clothing and suddenly my closet needed everything. Everything including skirts and dresses. "My skirts and dresses selection is getting pretty pathetic."
I made it to the dressing room with my arms full of dresses and skirts galore. I tried them on but much to my dismay, not a single piece of clothing was inspiring me to pay the big bucks. About halfway through my dressing room session, I started to feel ill.
But, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It was just a feeling. A sudden feeling of dizziness, headache, throat ache, nausea, confusion, hot flash, body ache... Do you know the feeling? The feeling before you get sick but you don't quite know what it's going to lead to.
The dressing room and I were not getting along so I walked out feeling defeated by Anthro's skirt and dress section.
I decided I would just get what I REALLY came to get which was perfume for some christmas gifts.
I needed two, they only had one.
I immediately asked one of the kind sales associates to check the back to see if they had any more. Since I  was not about to walk out with only ONE of the TWO things I came all the way to Salt Lake to get.
She ran to the back and within the 5 seconds she was gone, I thought I was FOR SURE going to lose my lunch right then an there in the middle of the holy Anthropologie bedsheet section.
No, no. This could not happen to me.
I fought the urge to purge when she came back out and informed me that the one perfume I was holding was the only one left.
At that point, I didn't care anymore. I just wanted out.
So I made my purchase and left the store, got in my car and vamoosed out of there faster than you can say, "Tossing cookies."
I had also meant to make a little detour to Nordstrom Rack to return an item or two but, made an executive decision to just head back to my home in the good old land of Provo.
What a waste of a drive to SLC.
Once home, I made another executive decision to ditch the gym.
And that is the abbreviated version of why I didn't do my work out today.
I started to feel a little better. At least not nauseous which I feel is the worst of the worst of illnesses.
But the sore throat is kind of staying around.
I am trying to fight this bad boy with all my might. Vitamin C and hot tea with lemon and honey. I even read somewhere that you can kick a cold by ingesting a teaspoon of honey mixed with a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon every 4-6 hours. So I am doing that as well.
This always happens when I'm trying to get in shape. And then, when I am better, all of the hard work from working out was all for nothing and I have to start all over again.
No siree bob. This girl is NOT going to let a sore throat and stuffy head get in the way of her goals.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

new news.

I have some news.
Something I have been wanting to share for quite some time... and I may have let it slip a time or two - not really knowing my audience.
You see, it wasn't really a secret. It was more of a technicality. A not for sure thing.
But now, now this is a for sure thing. Sure as the sky is blue and the poppies are orange.
Oh, poppies.

Kirk and I are relocating to the city by the bay.
That's right, 
San Francisco.
Source: via Alix on Pinterest

This will be quite the adventure to say the least.
Some people are even telling us not to do it.
But, you see, I have always wanted to live in a city. At least for a time, just to see what it's like. To feel the energy and the hustle and bustle.
I am a country girl at heart. Give me a cozy cottage and a quiet town and I am good. As long as there is a Nordstrom near by. Oh, that's not real country? Shoot.
The point is, I am excited. This will be a new chapter in our lives and I can't wait to start it!
And when I go, I'll be sure to put a flower in my hair as Scott MacKenzie so eloquently put.
To blend, of course.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

selling clothes.

Hello ladies!
The time has come for me to go through my closet and part with some pieces that are near and dear to my heart.
I have decided to let everyone enjoy this momentous occasion and I have put these items up for sale!

A few things to know:
1. I am not getting rid of clothing that is worn or ugly. No, no my friends. These are simply items that I am just tired to see in my closet and are not being worn like the beautiful clothes should be.
2. I will ship anywhere within the U.S. A $5.00 shipping fee will be charged if such is needed.
3. If you live in Utah, we can arrange for a pick-up/drop-off sort of thing.
4. I use paypal and will give out the information when needed.
5. If interested, please email me at
Let the shopping begin!

Gap Striped Long Sleeve Cotton Crew Neck
Size: M
Slightly worn 

Old Navy Toggle Cape 
Size: M
Only worn twice

Gap Striped Tee with Sheer Neck
Size: M
Worn once

Nordstrom Sheer b.i.p. top
Size: L
Worn once

Shade bow tie Tunic
Size: S

Gap Dolman V-Neck top with gold buttons
Size: M
Worn once

Forever 21 nude/grey sweater
Size: L

Gap Dusty Rose v-neck with rouched sleeves
Size: S
Worn once

Anthropologie Odille top
Size: 6

Anthropologie Odille lavender top
Size: 6
Small bleach spot on top left bust

Xhilaration ruffle top dress
Size: XL (runs kid of small)
Never worn

Shade Teal Pencil Skirk
Size: S (4-6)
Never Worn

H&M black skirt with pockets
Size: 10 (medium)
Never worn

the ultimate goal.

As previously mentioned on my blog, I spend a lot of time doing a whole lot of hanging out with Kirk.
And I admitted that I have gained x number of pounds in the past 6 months (a number that I will not share. I'm too sensitive about it.) I blame the relationship because as most of you may already know, relationships make you fat.
There's a whole lotta eating out and hanging out and not a whole lotta working out.
So my goals have shifted a bit and I am trying to reverse my bad habits.
Which is really hard by the way.
I can't quite remember what I used to do before I did the things I do now... to replace the bad habits.
I haven't ever been a really unhealthy eater. Except for carbs. Those are my weakness.
But I am excited to report that yesterday while at dinner, I did NOT eat my slice of bread. A major feat in my eyes as I never pass up a slice of bread.
I have decided to make my goals small enough to reach. And to give myself rewards for reaching my goals.
Hunter rain boots when I lose x amount of weight
A facial when I lose the next amount of weight.
Until I reach my goal.
However, I have also decided that the scale is not really something I will be using to track my success. I am choosing the way I feel and the way I look as a measuring tool of my success.
Yes, it is nice to see numbers that tell you how hard you have been working, but we all know that the scale doesn't measure strength or inches. 
It's not easy. I find that I get pretty hard on myself and sometimes I don't see the results of my hard work and I want to rip my hair out.
I also have made other goals that I feel are attainable for me and I can reward myself when I do them.
Drinking more water throughout the day. This is super hard for me because I love my diet coke. I have a hard time drinking the water here in Utah because it tastes funny to me so I have drink purified water or bottled water. I know I'm particular but listen, this is the only way for me.
Water allows the body to rid itself of the toxins you may gain from working out. It also helps the body rid of water weight AND makes my hair and skin nice and hydrated. In this dry Utah weather, there ain't nothing better than a glass of water to heal all dry wounds.
I won't beat myself up if I can't make it to the gym every day or if I eat something awful... I just need to remember that just because one mistake is made, doesn't mean I have to quit altogether. This is something that I want to do and change for the rest of my life. 
I want to be around for my children and show them how to have an active lifestyle.
And that, my friends, is my ultimate goal.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Here I am on this glorious Monday morning putting off going to the gym.
I should be more excited about the gym because Kirk has set up my phone so I am able to watch movies on it... and who can really say no to a movie and a treadmill?
Since Kirk has moved into his new apartment, I have gained a certain amount of weight that I will not share the exact number of.
What I will share is that Kirk makes sure to fill his cupboards with treats and snacks galore and with his amazing talents of having every single show known to man on his computer, I spend most of my time vegging. 
And do you know what? He still wants to marry me!
So the gym is where I am headed after I write this pretty pointless post about my eating habits and my loathing for the gym.
I would say that it's a shame... but her $18 million wedding has already been paid for and I may actually agree with Khloe Kardashian Odum and her hatred for Kris Humphries. His voice really is too deep.
 So with that in mind, I will clean my bathroom, finish my laundry and do some grocery shopping before heading to the dreaded gym.
Where is the motivation when you need it? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the second engagement shoot.

Tessa has done it once again!
These photos we took up in the canyon are climbing into my favorite's category very quickly. And let me tell you, that is not an easy feat!
Since we were rained-out last sesh, we decided to enjoy each other's company amid the mountains of Provo canyon for yet another photo shoot.
This time, the weather agreed with us nicely and the lighting was quite ethereal in my humble opinion.
Don't you even worry your pretty little selves, we are probably going to do another photo shoot because Kirk is that in love with me, and I am that in love with Tess. Say what?
Here are a few of my favorites.

Tess has some real talent. I love this shot.

This is what I mean when I say ethereal. Lighting from behind couldn't be more amazing.

My friend Ryan says this is Kirk's GQ face. I'm marrying that.

And of course this one is my favorite. 

Can't wait for the next shoot. Third time is a CHARM! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Lately, I have noticed I am telling people that Utah is feeling more and more like home.
Such a strange thing for me to say because I remember always thinking that Utah will never be home for me.
But, with the very definite four seasons that this state has to offer, who could really argue that?
Fall here makes me want to write poetry, and to read it.
It makes me want to read everything with romantic flair.

This year, I don't plan on dressing up. Sadly, I haven't dressed up since 2007 and I just don't want to kick my tradition of not dressing up quite yet. Just give me a few more years.
I remember my parents used to dress up when I was little. Halloween has always been a favorite. I loved dressing up for it and decorating for it and doing all of the fun activities that this holiday has to offer.
I still feel that way and I hope I can continue to feel this way with my own kiddlets.
My mom, always the witch with the green face and crazy witch nose.
She would tell us that one night a year she could fly on her broom and her face would turn green... that she was a REAL witch.
(She was. Just kidding.)
I have learned to develop a good sense of humor through out all of the turmoil and stress this past year had to offer.
Certain things have become ridiculously funny to us and all we can do is just laugh at it.
I am still sad about it all. There are some days that go by and it takes all that I can to not lose it and cry every second. Those are the worst days. The smallest things set me off.
One night, Kirk and I decided to go back in time and watch Land Before Time together. I couldn't watch the first 10 minutes (the part when the mom dinosaur dies) without bawling. And then I continued to cry throughout the entire movie. Bad choice.
I can't do the sad movies or shows. It's too hard.
I have to say however, that I have found things to get somewhat easier.
I am not as angry as I used to be. I am not as pitiful as I used to be. And I am not as stressed as I used to be.
I know that this has a lot to do with hand of the Lord in my life and all of the prayers that you guys have offered up for our family. I am overwhelmed everyday at how much people have been willing to help and serve and pray for us. It means a lot and has made a huge difference and impact on my life. I can just feel it.
I'm not going to lie, there was a time when I was really angry and frustrated with the cards our family has been dealt. If it wasn't one thing, it was another. I always asked why us? What have we done to deserve such a horrible thing? I felt very alone and very ignored. I forced myself to think about the positive. Because if I went down that road of hate, I wouldn't be able to come back.
It was hard for me to go to church. I felt like I had to put on a smile and pretend like everything was fine. I didn't want to talk about it. And I felt like if I were to say what was actually going on, it would put that weight on everyone else and I was embarrassed and I didn't want to do that to people.
When I went to Washington to help take care of my family and do the impossible/stressful move, I was feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed and upset. After a long conversation with my friend's mom about all of this, I told her that I just didn't know what to do with myself anymore.
She said, "Listen. I don't know how to solve all of your problems. I don't know if anyone does. But what I do know, is that you have to give this burden to God and only then, will you feel peace."
At first I was like, there is no way that this would solve ANY of my problems. It's happening now, here on earth and giving my burdens to God will not change the fact that I still have a mother with Alzheimer's who can't take care of her children and whom I can't ask what to do in this situation. Peace is not in my future. This is a life-long illness that just gets worse. It's going to get even harder than this. The weight of it all is on me.
 This last trip to California was surprisingly not as hard as I thought it would be. It was still hard to see my mom get worse. It was strange to see her as a child instead of my mom, to see her needing and depending on others more. But it wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated. Maybe things had gotten easier. I had been praying for the past year for things to be easier. To lean on Him through all of these painful emotions and to give me hope and peace.
It was like a light went off and it all made sense.
I get it.
My attitude has changed. I can handle more. I am stronger than before. And I have the support of my family and friends guiding me along the way.
It doesn't change the outcome of what is happening. That part is still sad.
But the hope part. The hope part has changed for me.
I remember having a conversation with Kirk about how there is no hope. Nothing will get better and life - especially my mom's - is just going to get harder. This disease doesn't get better. Hope does not exist with Alzheimer's.
Then he said that the hope that I should have should be the eternal kind of hope. The hope that we will all be together again, with no sicknesses. That her memory will be restored in the next life and that we will understand it all then.
Light bulb.
I'm still working on it though. It's not like every single day is a walk in the park. There has been improvement. But, I know there is still a lot ahead of me that I won't be able to control. I know I talk about it a lot. The situation our family is in and I am not asking for pity or consolation. I am mostly writing this post to remember this feeling and so I can look back on it and remind myself that even though, when times are so hard I can't breathe, that there is hope. It's so easy to forget that when bad things happen.
And I just want to be able to know that I'm stronger than I think I am.
And I'm not alone.
Oakland, CA temple.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

wedding o wedding, how i am starting to loathe thee.

I have been engaged for 3 months now.
Time sure does fly!
I realize that this wedding planning business is taking over my life.
I haven't really even done anything... just spent hours upon hours of TRYING to find the perfect venue.
For some reason I feel this immense pressure to make it exactly what I want and I know I am falling victim of the whole "bridezilla" faux pas.
I am even getting quite annoyed with myself... I can only imagine what the people around me are thinking.
I am being very picky and I am not helping the people who are trying to help me. 
They ask what I want and I simply do not know.
Well, I do. But I know it's not out there because I looked... time and time again. 
I swear if I have to look at one more time I will torch my eyes. See? Now I'm just getting violent.
 Although I already knew this about myself, I am surprised at how much I am caring about everything.
I want it to be fun - a celebration of loooove.
But for me, part of the fun is being able to put my heart and soul into it.
I want those that will be there to think, "this is totally Alix and Kirk." 
So, yes I am having a hard time honing in on one place. Well, if I'm being completely honest, I am having a hard time finding any places to hone in on. 
Every place that I think I like has had serious issues that I just can't overlook:
1. It's too expensive.
2. Too far away.
3. Too big - since the guest list is only about 100 people, I really would hate to have a venue fit for 1,000 people. That would just be ridonculous.
4. Too ghetto. You'd be surprised at how many ghetto places I have seen.
5. It's a winery - call me a crazy mormon, but I think it may be a tad inappropriate to come straight from a temple ceremony to a winery. However, don't judge me if I end up using a winery for the venue... It hasn't been entirely ruled-out.
6. It's in the city. Apparently, going across the Bay Bridge during the weekend is a nightmare and you can never be sure of what the traffic may be like so the easiest thing to do is just say NO so San Francisco. But,  for me... this isn't all ruled-out either. Don't be surprised if the reception is in SF. 

I am feeling very discouraged at this point considering this whole trip to California was to find a wedding venue. I kept telling myself I wouldn't start the fun planning (decorations, dresses, flowers etc.) until I found the venue. Plus, I feel like those things would fall into place once a decision has been made on a location.
Are you sick of hearing about my wedding planning woes?
I am sick of talking about them, feeling them, sharing them, ignoring them...
I have deemed this task IMPOSSIBLE and I am beginning to consider eloping. I am being serious.
The only thing holding me back from running off into the sunset with my handsome fiance is the fact that all families may be devastated. There is no way we could really know for sure unless the action is made so I can't say that the outcome will be entirely sad.
I mean, we would be married after all.
Brides have told me that after a while, you start to think that you're just doing the whole wedding thing for everyone else... but then those people don't really end up caring a whole lot about it.
The guy who cuts Kirk's hair told him that him and his wife just sent out announcements and got married in the temple with close family members and a few friends and then went on their honeymoon and called it a day.
That option sounds the tastiest.

Friday, October 7, 2011

this is for sure not that important.

Remember how it's the first snow of the season today?
And how cold it was today?
I had to bust out my wool sweater and boots today.
It's throwing me off because I'm heading down to California to do some wedding business (what's new?) and it's going to be in the 70's there!
I am wanting to pack my fall clothes but that would be ridiculous in 70 degree weather. Just ridiculous.
Does anyone watch the Jersey Shore anymore?
I watched it tonight - definitely lost some brain cells but who's counting? 
I just feel like if I lived with any of those people, I would go crazy. No wonder everyone on that show is wacked out. Kind of random, but felt the need to share I suppose.
Did I mention I'm driving to California? Oh man, I am not looking forward to that 11-hour drive. I actually dread it. Whatever. It has to be done!
I'm trying this new thing where I drink a lot of water.
Don't you worry yourselves, I still am in a committed relationship with Diet Coke, but I am making it a point to drink much more water... especially when I'm thirsty. I swear there used to be days when I would just drink Diet Coke and nothing else. Of course I would be bouncing off the walls and jittery to the extreme. And in all honesty, I was just feeling dehydrated. I know there will come a day when I need to quit the golden drink, I just don't know if I could part with it quite yet. Especially on those days when I have a thousand things do to and a thousand places to go. It just keeps me going, ya know?
I am excited to see some family and get the ball rolling on these wedding plans.
I have mentioned before that I am just beyond overwhelmed that I don't even know where to start and what to do to make anything happen. I feel like after I make this trip, I will find a venue and then I will get the momentum to keep planning this wedding!
I will say that taking engagement pictures made it feel that way too. It was pretty fun. And Kirk was such a good sport... It's not every guy who enjoys dressing up, posing and getting his picture taken. At least, that's not really Kirk's thing - and he did it without a single complaint!
Anywho, I suppose I should get back to packing for this CA trip.
So, for now, enjoy this picture that won't make the cut. haha!

Uhhh, don't mind the part where my right leg went missing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

the story of engagement pictures.

Engagement photos are hard.
First of all, I am the awkward queen of North America.
How on earth can I make them look the way that I want without trying so hard?
Secondly, I have found that I like it when pictures look unintentional and not so overly edited.
My friend Tessa has been taking film photos for some time and I have always loved her work.
We scheduled a session for this afternoon somewhere outside in some awesome places but, unfortunately it was pouring rain.
Definitely put a damper on our session but we decided to go with the flow and just try out a few indoor places to see if we could get some good pictures.
We went to the local grocery store and just improvised.
Tessa has explained a few key things about film photography that make a really good picture and one of the things was avoiding the flash.
It was difficult because grocery stores have terrible lighting but, I really like how some of these turned out!
I love the rustic look of these and how they look almost raw. 
Of course we are going to have a few other photoshoots (with some seriously awesome ideas.)
Be excited for when those come! 
Here are a few of my favorites!

We finished up at the grocery store and kind of thought we should find some other indoor spaces that have good lighting. Kirk offered up his office - there are brick walls, a fireplace and dark wood floors. It's quite industrial looking and we thought it might look good in photos. I had never seen it before and as it turns out, it's way too dark in his office for any sort of photoshoot to happen. 
However, the office is located right next to the train tracks and as we were walking back to the car we just thought, "Hey, let's just take some pictures here..."
I LOVED the way the colors look in those pictures. Oh my goodness. 
Can you just see how good the lighting looks outside?

Kirk's office is also located above a consignment shop that Tess and I could not pass up shopping through.
We found these little brass deer for $3 each and had to have them. How cute are they?

P.S. Did I mention that ALL of these pictures are COMPLETELY unedited? Amazing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

true story

Everywhere I go, people ask me the story of how Kirk and I met.
However, through the years, we have noticed that my version of how we met tends to be a little on the snarky side while Kirk's is a little more sweet.
Obviously he doesn't remember it correctly.
Anyway, I always have to give the abbreviated story because it really is quite the novel. (We used to live at the same apartment complex.) And since blogs really don't have any sort of restrictions on length, I shall proceed with the story to the best of my recollection.
Almost exactly 4 years ago, I moved to Utah on a whim. I really had no reason to move there other than my sister was living in Utah and I just did not want to go back to Rexburg. Who can blame me?

My sister had dated this guy named Nick Killpack a few months before I moved to the beehive state. For those of you who might think to yourself, "My, that name sounds vaguely familiar..."
That might be because he served a mission in Washington, more specifically, the Redmond Stake. Ringing bells? Anyway, that didn't really work out and they parted their separate ways... So I thought.
My sister told him about the new apartment complex we were moving into and he informed her that one of his old mission companions was helping to manage it... and maybe we should all get together and do something fun.
Ani told me about this but, we kind of didn't really care or remember...
Ok moving forward. We moved into our fresh, new apartment at the end of August. Since they were so fresh and new, they had people going around to make sure everyone had their furniture, washer/dryer etc. Kirk came to the door one glorious morning when I had just gotten out of the shower, dressed like a hoodlum and wearing absolutely ZERO makeup.
He went through the checklist and then asked for my name.
Me: "Alix, A-L-I-X."
Kirk: "Van Buskirk?"
Me: "...yeah... how did you know that?"
Kirk: "Oh, no reason..."
Awkward pause... Seriously, it was awkward.
Me: (Remembering how Nick told me his friend worked there...) "Wait, do you know Nick Killpack?"
Kirk: (Looking VERY surprised) "Yes. What? How do you know him?"
Me: (Now, I'm really confused because I thought that the reason he knew my last name was because he knew Nick, but when I mentioned Nick's name, Kirk was shocked.) "My sister, Ani dated him."
Kirk: (Looking more awkward than before.) "Ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh."
Me: (I just laughed uncomfortably)
And that's pretty much how the first encounter went down.
Can you say awkward?
About a week later, Ani's dear ex came over with Kirk and invited us to get some ice cream with them.
At that point, I kind of forgot about the whole awkward fiasco.
I asked Kirk what his name was.
Kirk: "My name is Kirk Ouimet." (sounds like WE MET)
Me: "No, we haven't met."
Kirk: "No, Kirk Ouimet."
Me: (getting quite annoyed because I KNOW we haven't met) "No, we have not met."
Then something clicked. I remembered him.
Me: "We HAVE met! Remember, you came to my apartment and you did the checklist... remember? It was really awkward because I asked you if you knew Nick!?"
Kirk: "Ummm... I don't remember that."
Now this part of the story has two different versions. Kirk CLAIMS he remembers meeting me in my apartment but I definitely remember having this conversation about how he didn't remember me. I mean, I wasn't wearing any makeup. He was basically seeing me in my rawest version. It wasn't pretty and not many people get to see this side of me... and live to tell about it.
However, Kirk also claims that the reason for his so-called awkardness was because of how things ended with Ani and Nick. (I'm sorry, I have to share.)'
Basically, Ani was dating Nick and someone else at the time and there was a crossroads where she needed to pick one guy to stick with. She liked both but decided that she was going to have to break it off with Nick. Since Nick was on a trip to Boston with his family, this happened via text message. Or lack thereof. Mid texting conversation,
Nick said something to the affect of, "Boston is great, but it would be a whole lot greater if I had a beautiful girl named Ani to share it with."
To which Ani responded with: " "
Nothing. She didn't respond at all.
Poor Nick, "Ummm. Sorry, was that too much?"
"Any response is a good response."
And that is the way the cookie crumbled.
How they maintained an ok relationship after that, is beyond me.
As time went on, I started to develop a little crush on Kirky-poo. We would sit next to each other at church, I would make special trips to the management office to pay rent or make any unnecessary complaints...
One day, I went to the management office to pay my rent and Kirk was there to take my check.
I was just about to walk out of the door when Kirk said, "Hey tell Ani, we need to get together and watch the office or something."
Blow to MY ego! He liked Ani and usually there was no coming back from that. Plus, Ani and I had the same guy as our first kisses... We don't share very well.
I made an executive decision not to pass the message along.
Decision made.
This part of the story also has some discrepancies between Kirk and I. Kirk CLAIMS the reason why he told me to relay that message was because Ani had stopped him in the parking garage the night before and told him they needed to hang out and gave Kirk her number. When Kirk was telling me to relay the message to hang out with Ani, he was only following through. Kirk ALSO claims that our dear friend Nick was trying to set Ani and Kirk up. To this day, Ani doesn't remember ever talking to Kirk in the parking garage or giving him her number... interesting.
A few weeks later, Ani and I were hanging in the heated pool. One of Kirk's friends, Ryan approached us and asked if we would like to go to a Jazz game with him and Kirk.
We agreed to go but I was unsure who's date was who's. The comment Kirk made about wanting to get together with Ani was still haunting me and I was SURE that Kirk was intending to take her out. To this day, I still give Kirk a hard time about this. I was annoyed that he didn't ask me out, but instead made his friend ask BOTH Ani and I out... making it unclear who we were supposed to be with. Kirk claims he told Ryan to make sure we knew who we were going out with but Ryan DEFINITELY did not.
As the date went on, I slowly started to realize that I was, in fact, Kirk's date. That little stinker.
We ended up riding home together and singing rap songs all the way back from Salt Lake. Kirk says that's when he knew I was the coolest person he ever met... when shared my skillz of singing all of the words to "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" by Bone Thugs N Harmony. I was hardcore.
And that, my friends, is MY version of how Kirk and I met.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Officially official.

Listen up ya'll!
(ok I'm totally not southern at all, wish I was, but I ain't. Oh, there I go again.)
We have set a date!
Give me a fabulous March 10, 2012!
We have spent months deliberating on this verdict and although when I tried to set our date with the Oakland Temple, they said they only book 6 months from the date. However, with Kirk's new business venture and his busy busy schedule, and my tendency to procrastinate, we feel as though this is the best date and we couldn't be more excited!
It's all becoming so much more real.
We do realize however, that this means we will be engaged for a good 7 more months and I am feeling only a smidge anxious about it, but I mean, we have been dating for 4 years. We could practically write a book about it (hey, there's a million dollar idea!).
I have a feeling that when we get married, I will still be weirded out with myself - the one who will probably never give in to growing up. I seriously still feel like I'm wearing someone else's ring and every once in a while have to convince myself that I AM actually old enough to make these big decisions.
With such decisions, I am having quite the battle at deciding on all the stupid little things.
For example:
What color do I want to use?
What kind of flowers?
Where will the venue be?
Should I even HAVE bridesmaides?
What food should I serve?
I seem to have all the answers to the things that I don't want, and when I have those conversations with people who want to help, I can feel their frustration as I'm saying "I DON'T want daisies. I DON'T want regular wedding food. I DON'T want all one or two colors."
Such answers do not narrow down any lists.
Whatever, I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. And I always get things done when I need to. I hope I don't procrastinate the entire wedding. That would be my nightmare. I know I have full control over procrastinating. But, I always have the dream that my wedding is tomorrow and nothing is planned.
I have a few other plans to finish before the blessed day.
I want to get into shape. Obviously, this will not be a quick fix. It will definitely take determination which, with my track record, has been lacking. I HATE working out and I LOVE food. Not the best combination. I think there are some people out there who possibly hate working out as much as I do... but I have always hated it. When I was on dance team and cheer and would be on regular work out schedules, I still loathed it. Some people say you gotta get over that hump and then you start to crave the work out.
This has never been true for me.
However, the time has come to suck it up and do it anyway. Whoever said being sexy was easy?
Here's to the countdown!
7 months and 2 days!

Friday, September 2, 2011

oh my word.

I discovered these youtube videos that these guys made of their children retelling stories they heard their parents tell of themselves.
They are a series of 6 episodes and they are absolutely HILARIOUS.
This one is one of our favorites (and episode 4.)
But just watch the part when they are trying to sell candy... and one tries to get you to guess what song he's singing.
I know you will.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

holy cow!

I seriously can't believe it's September already.
Like, Ani changed her calendar and I was all, what the heck? It's September?!
I feel like there were things that I forgot to do last month because September crept up so quickly!
However, in true September fashion I have a musical snack for you:

Fall is freaking HERE!

Get ready for costumes and leaves and cooler weather. It's my second favorite season after all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I just wanted to thank everyone so much for the supportive and kind comments, emails, texts and phone calls. I know I have some good friends and people who really care and love me and my family. I seriously feel so loved and am surprised at how many people who have offered their help with wedding planning. I am overwhelmed. In a good way.
Ani and I are planning a small trip to California sometime to pick out a venue and hopefully meet with a few caterers and flower people. I think once I pick a place, everything else will probably be easier to choose.
I just have so many ideas but I'm not really sure how to
A: Execute them.
B: Pick the ones that I like best...
If you look at my PINTEREST you can see that I have gone a little hog wild with the wedding category. (I love pinterest... I spend a lot of time there. Don't judge.)

In other news, I have found another new obsession.
If you have an iPhone, I highly recommend this app. I'm not sure if it's available for other smart phones but I am seriously in love with it and want more friends to follow so download it! I love it!

The last thing I have been up to is moving Kirk into his new apartment. Which will ultimately be OUR apartment when we get married. Kirk didn't have a single thing for a place so we had to do quite some shopping for furniture, kitchen stuff and a bed! We got a lot of things from Ikea and I don't know if any of you have gotten anything from there, but you have to put together EVERYTHING by yourself.
I'm not joking when I say we spent a whole 4 days putting things together. I am so SICK of building. HAHA! But we finally finished last night and everything looks great! The last thing the place needs is a woman's touch. That's where I come in. I can't wait to decorate it all and make it beautiful. Right now, it just looks like a bachelor's pad. Boys don't decorate. And in Kirk's mind, everything has to be black, white or grey. Soon it will be time to add color and I am dying!

I also want to get some highlights and I am loving Minka's color. Anyone know of a good colorist around here... that doesn't take months to get in?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

this is going to be sad.

Tonight I am feeling very overwhelmed.
This is the first time since being engaged that the hype of it all has kind of settled and I am now faced with this seemingly exciting task of planning a wedding.
I am excited to get married and be with my one and only, don't get me wrong.
I am just feeling sad that I will be planning this wedding without my mom.
I know she is physically here on earth, but the mom I knew isn't.
There are still moments when she is here. We see glimpses of it and it's like nothing has ever changed.
I miss that.
It's hard for me to think about let alone talk about it.
People ask, How's your mom?
And all I can really do is smile and say, She's doing well.
That's all I want to say. Because every thing else is too hard to talk about.
I will just start to cry.
There are times when that's all I want to do. Sometimes I think I don't remember what she was like. Sometimes I feel like I don't know who she was and people have to remind me.
And I hate it.
Sometimes I wish I could call her and have a conversation. I wish she could take over during moments like these. She was good at that. She always knew when I was feeling overwhelmed and was there to help.
Sometimes I feel sad for her. I know it's frustrating for her. Sometimes I wish I knew what she was thinking. And sometimes I can't go there.
Everyday I wish I could take back all the fights I had with her. I was such a bratty teenager. I wish I never said anything negative to her. I wish I let her know how much I appreciate her and how much I love her.
People expect me to have it all together. To go to school. To move on with my life. Which I am trying to do. But, there are moments, moments like these when I don't want to. Because I don't want her to miss out on all the things she was looking forward to.
My wedding.
Her first grandchild.
I just miss her.
I know God has a plan for everyone.
I just hope that someday I will be able to find peace and understanding through it all.
I mean, I know I will someday.