Monday, July 20, 2009

Engaged-ness


WARNING: This post is kind of long, so now is the time to go get a snack and make yourself comfortable


So I was thinking of a title for this post and came up with such ideas as "The Proposal" and "Up" and those sounded too movie-ish so then I considered "Fully Invested" and "The Quest For Perfection" but those have recently become overused, particularly here in the Utah County. Feel free to suggest anything better and I'll consider changing it.
So now that I have a title, where to start the story? At the beginning, I suppose. Now I just have to decide what constitutes the beginning.........
A few months ago, Amy invited me to her family reunion that oddly enough was going to be located at a cabin outside of Lake Tahoe owned by my little brother Matt's mission president. It was the first time in like 4 years (I can't remember the exact number) that all of her siblings were to be gathered together in the same place at the same time. Her dad offered to fly us out of there and if we could get a ride up to Salt Lake, we could ride with them over. The reunion lasted from July 10th to the 14th and was a TON of fun. The cabin was stocked with food for us when we got there, there was a ping pong/pool table downstairs, a tennis court with a basketball hoop, a beach volleyball court, some horseshoe pits, mini dirt bikes, plus the tons of trails around that led to either great views of the mountains and valleys, or to great views of Lake Tahoe. On the last day that we were there a few of us went over the mountain to see what we could see. The other side of the mountain was covered with trees was all that we could mostly see, which was kind of disappointing since they blocked our view of Tahoe. Some of us ventured to a better spot while the others headed back and it was well worth it. Other activities while we were there included doing some service in gratitude for the Dyches in letting us stay there (mostly weeding, clearing out brush, etc). We also went to Tahoe after church on Sunday so that we could take pictures (There was one family picture I was in but I couldn't find it so I'm putting in the one I took). All in all it was a great experience for me. Whether I shooting pool with her brother Aaron, beating her brother in-law Seth at basketball, or sipping cider on the back patio with Seth and Nathan (her other brother in-law) I felt pretty comfortable around her family and felt like I got to know each of them well. It was great to be able to be around all of them at the same time and kind of sit back and notice some of the things that I would expect to see in my own large family.

The trip back was an adventure in and of itself. We got an early start to the morning (partly so I could have a private conversation with Amy's dad) and got dropped off at the Reno airport three hours before our flight took off. We then proceeded to fly to Oakland, where we changed planes to finally head on to Salt Lake. After landing in Salt Lake, we took a bus to a TRAX station near the mall and headed down to Sandy where we were met by our friend Jeremiah who gave us a ride down to Provo. All in all, the amount of time it took from the hotel in Reno to Provo took about the same time as if we would've driven home from Reno. Hooray for modern transportation!
The next day was Amy's birthday. I had to work, but she had the day off so after my work, she picked me up and we went and enjoyed the newest Harry Potter movie and then walked around the mall with Kellie and another of our Jacob Lake friends, Meggie Fresh. Later that night I arranged for Kellie's place to be decorated with a Mexican flag and twinkle lights (Amy's favorite) and we had a great Mexican dinner with tacos, corn, beans, chips, and cake. We also had "mocktails" and I made up songs on the ukelele with the three chords that I know how to play.
After work on Friday I went downtown to some stores to look for a ring. I knew that she wanted something that was antique-ish and white gold, and inexpensive but other than that vague description I didn't really have anything in mind to look for. Eventually, I was able to find a ring that I knew she would like and began setting in motion the plans for proposing the next night. The plan was to somehow get her out of her apartment and steal her keys and then give those keys to Kellie and Matt with instructions to decorate her room with flowers and pictures of us and then leave the ring on her dresser where she would be able to find it. The first opportunity to do that would've been when she went to work, but I wanted to wait until later in the day to do it. After she got off work, we went to a stake activity and after that we went back to her apartment. Determined to not spend the night in her apartment, we decided to go to Wal-Mart and get some supplies for painting. While there, I removed her keys from her purse and called Matt to let him know the plan was in motion. We took the bus to the mall, where we helped Kellie close her little booth thing that she works at and I slipped her the keys while we waited for Matt to pick us up. They were going to see a movie later that night so I asked if we could watch a movie at her place while we painted there. She agreed and after dropping us off at her place, they left with my moneys to purchase the flowers and decorate Amy's bedroom before heading off to the movie. Amy and I watched Big Fish to get in the painting mood and the movie ended about the same time that Matt and Kellie got back. I slipped the key back in Amy's purse and we thanked Matt and Kellie for letting us use her place and then I walked her home. It was late and Amy was pretty tired but I wanted to be in the apartment when she went in her room so when we got to her place she wanted to say goodnight and go to bed but I asked for a glass of water. I drank it as slowly as possible but instead of going to her room, she waited in the kitchen for me to finish my drink. After realizing I wasn't leaving, she informed me that she had to go to the bathroom and walked right down the hall without going in to her bedroom. Once she was in the bathroom, I decided to turn on the light in her room in hopes that she would notice it and walk inside, but when she came out and saw the light on, she tiredly concluded that she had turned it on and didn't think to go inside. I was still drinking the cup of water so she tidied up the living room and for a second I was afraid she was just gonna lay down on the couch and fall asleep and not go to her room at all. I suggested going for a walk, hoping she would agree and grab a sweater from her room, but she said she was too tired (which turned out to be a good thing becuase both of her sweaters were on the kitchen table). Finally, I told her I was going to go on one and that I'd walk slowly in case she changed her mind. We said goodnight and I walked out the door and down the steps and called her to see if she had started getting ready for bed yet. She hadn't, so I simply told her to "call me when you love me." She immediatly called back, and I thought "She's finally gone to bed!" but I was wrong. She was merely being cute and was calling to say she loved me now. By this time I was beginning to think she'd never go in there so I told her to go to bed and hung up. I then started walking back up to her door, when my phone rang. She had finally gone in and was completely surprised. I had her describe to me what was all in there and she described the dozen white roses on her bed, the boquet on her dresser and the pictures next to it with a white ring box in front. When she said there was a ring, I asked her to bring it outside and show it to me. Once she did, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me and she said yes.
So there you are folks. Our engagement story. Amy said she's glad that we at least have a cute story to tell. The next day at church she had to tell the story in Relief Society and that night at Ward Prayer my roommates re-enacted the entire scene (or at least, their version of it). Yesterday she went dress shopping with her parents (who were just making it back from Washington and flew out today to Texas) and actually ended up finding a dress last night, officially starting the wedding preparations.
We will be getting sealed in the San Antonio Temple on November 28th. Until then, I'll do my best to keep this blog updated with the fun times that are sure to come as we prepare for that date!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Part the Second

So, two other things that I would like to mention, one of which I have mentioned before, is the events of the past weekend. Now that I think of it, there are three things that I would like to mention. Actually, there are four, but the last one I will wait to mention for another week.
Item of the First: I got to see my brother Chris and his family (Leah and Jonathan). They were up here for couple different events and spent the night at my apt Friday night so that was nice and fun to have them around. I even got to see Baby John practice smiling. Cutest darn thing you ever did see.
Secondly iteming the blog: Matt, Amy, and I went and saw Disney/Pixar's latest production: Up. IN 3D! It was cool. Thats where we got these sweet glasses. They told us to be green at the end of the movie and throw them away, but the opportunity was too golden. As fairy godmother says "Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor." So we took advantage of the moment, and by we I mean me, and pocketed said glasses. What a rush! OK, so maybe not so much.
Last item of business. We went up to Ogden today to go hear our friend Melanie give her farewell talk. She has been called to serve in the Arizona Phoenix Mission (my home mission) and enters the Missionary Training Center on June 10th. We all worked with her at Jacob Lake and it was nice to see some of our other fellow Jacob Lakers there. I'm not entirely sure why Matt looks like a hunchback in this picture. Actually, I think it might be so that he doesn't hit his head on the tree branches. I did that once. Not too fun. Kinda like that one time I fell out of a tree in Rexburg. That was also not fun. At least, not for me. I know Matt and Alex laughed their respective heads off.
Oh wait, there is one more thing!
Epilogue: We went to some hot springs a little past Fillmore. It was nice. The End

Fun and games

The summer is here. How do I know this? Lots of ways.
Its getting hot by the time I get off work (noon).
I've gone on more hikes in the month of May than the previous ten months before that combined.
I've seen some of this year's designated summer blockbusters. Without having to Redbox them.
I'm sweating while sitting in this bed, typing this.
And I can no longer play for free in the RB.
That last one actually has me a little ticked. Apparently the fact that I am not currently registered as a full time student for spring/summer is enough to prohibit my use of BYU's athletic facilities until Fall. Unless, of course, I'd like to pay a $5 fee. One time I thought it was a simple mistake and paid. Then I realized I really was getting shafted. Never mind the fact that I AM THE ONE WHO FREAKING HAS TO PICK UP THE TRASH OUTSIDE OF THE FREAKIN' BUILDING AND KEEP THE GRASS ALL MOWED AND PRETTY.
But oh well. Their loss. Or something like that.
Actually, truth be told, most of the time I'd rather spend be with Amy anyways (see Fig.1 to the left). Which is something I've been able to do for the past three weeks!!! She got back from Mexico (swine flu free; and kudos to whoever can name the first Hollywood casualty from Swine Flu :P) and just barely got a job to occupy her time and put money in the bank so I officially consider her settled in.
We've been spending a lot of time with our friend Matt Hardin while his girl is in Italy for six weeks (four of which are completed) and he does a good job of notifying us of fun stuff to do around Utah (as demonstrated in Fig.2 above). A few weeks ago we went on a hike up Provo Canyon by Aspen Grove to some falls that are up there. It was a really fun hike and the falls were pretty pretty. It was nice to be able to do some outdoorsy stuff and even though we went right after I worked, I was only a little tired. OK, so maybe I was a lot tired. It doesn't really matter. It was nice being able to spend time with both of them, but I know it will be so much better when it's the whole CTC and not just three members.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hooping and Hollering

So as some of you have heard, and even less of you have seen, I decided to learn how to hoop dance this last Feb. and March as part of a group that was to exhibit the hoop dance prior to the actual competition. It was all fun and games and stuff and I even got to see cousin Al in the drum circle in front of where I was dancing. We each made 8 hoops and paid for our costumes and such and learned a routine from the head lady of powwow who is also in Living Legends. Learning was pretty fun and all and I'm considering carrying on with this new found talent for a little longer. All I really need to do to develop it is learn some more formations and practice.
Well, the other day I was sitting in my bed and working on a scholarship when one of the guys who was in the class called and asked if I could dance for a married ward's culture night thing in a half hour and I said sure why not and went and did it. It was good times. Here's the video from the thing. I don't think any of them had ever seen it before, due to the fact that there wasn't a lot of cheering and such. But then again there wasn't really a lot of people there.

Towards the end of this routine my moccasin started to fall off and when I attempted to make the hole in the sphere big enough to get both it and my foot through, without having it fall off, it didn't work too well. Thats why the sphere at the end is held for not that long. Guess that means I just need to practice more! video

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free? Yeah right...

So I learned (again) one of life's lessons yesterday. This particular lesson has been on my mind for a while now beginning a few weeks back when we read a little about an anthropologist named Mauss in one of my classes. He wrote this book called "The Gift" where he argues that there is no such thing as a free gift. Which kind of goes along with the presumption that nothing in life is free. Which goes along with my story.
As some of you might know, yesterday Denny's was giving away "free" grand slams from 6-2. So some friends and I decided it would be fun to wake up before six and get us some free brekkist. We woke up about a quarter to six, picked up some other friends, and went along our merry way. We were hoping that the old equation of free food + college students= crazyness wouldn't apply here and of course we were wrong. Much to our dismay and surprise, there were hundreds of people in line for their "free" food. The line was so long that you knew people had to be standing there for a few hours. So we drove over to the Denny's in Orem. Same thing. It was ridiculous. We all decided that we would just pay for our food and went on over to IHOP but of course, there was a line there too. This was mostly due to that fact that they only had two waiters on staff at the time and the diner was full. So we decided enough was enough and went to McDonald's. And sure enough, right after we got there, the place filled up like mad.
The moral of the story? There is no such thing as a free meal. If you have to wait in line at early hours of the morning for two pancakes, two eggs, and your choice of meat then it really isn't worth it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hopi Surprise Birthday

Last night my friends threw me a surprise birthday party. Seeing as how it was 22 days after my 22nd birthday(which was a complete coincidence), you can imagine my surprise. The preparations began, I assume, on Friday. Or Saturday. My roommate Jeremiah calls me up and asks what kind of food I like, because him and his fiance, Chelsea, were having a bet on what I'd say, and so I said Chinese. I didn't really try to think of any reason that they would ask me that, so as a result I didn't connect it later when Jere told me that we were having a potluck at Chelsea's Sunday evening with some other friends we worked with this past summer. I had a meeting that night with other FHE peoples to let them know what the plans were for our ward FHE and to let them know their new families, and then I hurried home so Jeremiah could give me a ride to Chelsea's. When we got there I thought that no one else was there yet and so I went and knocked on the door and when it opened I saw that Chelsea's living room had been decorated with streamers and balloons were everywhere. Matt, Kellie, Wistie, and Chelsea yelled "SURPRISE" and Kellie sang a song called "Stevie P" sung to the tune of the Spider-Man theme song. There was a huge sign on the wall that said "Hopi Surprise", a nickname that my girlfriend, Amy, gave me once while I was playing basketball.
In case you were wondering why I am wearing a tiara, its because I said if it was my birthday then I needed to have a hat(a family birthday tradition where the b-day person has to wear a weird hat)and Wistie was wearing a tiara and told me to wear it. So yeah. Chelsea made a delicious dinner consisting of Broccoli and Beef and Fried Rice. Plus also there was Dr. Pepper, which has become a favorite of mine. After dinner, I got two cakes, one with the candles formed in an "S" for "Stevie" and another that said Hopi B-Day with a candle shaped like a "P" for "P". The cakes were made by Kellie and Matt and consisted of pink-spotted purple cake with blue frosting. Think Sully from Monsters Inc., but as a cake.
After the cake, we played a game called The Game of Things and a few hands of poker and then Kellie gave me a present from her and Matt. Its a statue of an almost naked indian, and it looks kinda like the one on the campus of BYU which is what I was for Halloween this last year so that was pretty fun.
All in all, it was an awesome party. Plus, seeing as how the Cardinals are playing in the Super Bowl, it was a good day to have a birthday. Which reminds me of a quote that someone from Pakistan sent to Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons explaining how the Cardinals even got this far. Apparently Kurt Warner promised his kids a puppy (kinda like Barak Obama) if they won made it to the Super Bowl and the Pakistani guy wrote "You don't bet against God and puppies!"
Anyways, here are a few more pictures from the party. I love my friends!

This is Wistie and the balloons we covered her with.

This is the party people minus Chelsea (she was taking the picture)

This is our wonderful cook and gracious hostess, Chelsea.

This is a close up of the "Hopi B-Day" cake

Facebook Blogging

So, as I'm sure you have noticed, I'm not too good at thinking about what I want to blog about. Or, when I do, then it takes forever to get around to actually doing it. So, in an effort to shorten the gap between blog entries, I've decided to blog about Facebook status changing. A couple of my friends pointed out the other day that I change my status quite a bit and I figure if I blog about the status changes of a couple days, it would be a decent sized post.
Example:
Monday, January 5: My first status of the day was "Stephen has to sneeze". All morning I had that tickle in my nose, and I just couldn't sneeze to save my life. And then, seconds after typing that, I sneezed. It was magical, let me tell you. Five hours later I changed my status so that it said I was talking to my girlfriend. If I recall correctly, that was one of the last times we got to talk on the phone because she was leaving for Mexico for the semester. Then a status about being back to school. And finally a status "Stephen is back, and apparently so is the snow" because that afternoon the snowfall started and it lasted for a couple days. Like all snowfall, it was nice and fun for a bit and then it was just in the way. That weekend, driving around in it, we got stuck so many times. We helped others and got help and it was good times all around.