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.