Saturday, March 31, 2012

what i wish i'd known about marriage

When I was in the singles wards, there was one very common topic throughout all of the many talks and devotionals and FHEs.

Marriage.

We've heard it a million times, right?

And it's usually approached in either one of two ways: you should get married ASAP to the right person in the right place at the right time, or marriage is really hard but worth it regardless.

About a month after we got married, I was even part of a Relief Society meeting where the lesson's main point was [amongst many tears and negative comments]: marriage is a huge trial but you have to do it anyways.

I wanted to raise my little newly-married hand and say something positive about marriage but I had the feeling that most of them would roll their eyes and humph condescendingly, "Newlyweds," as if I'd never witnessed another marriage besides my own.

And while being married for eight months certainly doesn't make me an expert, I think it's given me an insight into something important.

Marriage doesn't have to be hard.

Unquestionably there are marriages which are hard for reasons completely out of our control.  [Victims of any type of abuse come to mind.]  And my heart goes out to the women [and men] in those situations.

But generally speaking, I think that statement is true.  Marriage doesn't have to be hard.

Sometimes I think our marriages are a product of our beliefs about marriage before it even begins, so that it becomes a type of self-fulfilling prophecy.  Aka if we think and act like marriage is going to be a trial, it will be.  But if that is true, then the reverse is also true.  If we come into marriage believing that it will be beautiful, it will be.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky few who already had visions of what a beautiful marriage could be like.  And perhaps I am one of the even luckier few whose husband had that same vision.  [Thanks, Mom and Dad.]

But I don't think our beliefs about marriage at its inception have to be an indicator of what our marriages will be like, either.  Beliefs can change, just as people can.  And thankfully, we are given some tools to make our marriages stronger, better.  Praying together.  Studying the scriptures together.  Continually dating each other.  Spending quality time together.  Making intimacy a priority.  Being willing to put each other first.  Going to church together.  [To name a few.]

And if I could share one thing with the 20-year-old me who was feeling daunted by the "marriage is hard" lessons it would be that marriage doesn't have to be hard.  Certainly hard things happen.  But the marriage itself doesn't have to be hard.  And it doesn't have to feel like work.  In fact, ideally, it makes things easier.

Sure, it takes time.  Yes, it takes effort.  But effort doesn't have to feel the same way as work.  To me, work has a negative connotation.  But effort?  Honestly, putting forth the effort to pray together, to read scriptures together, to date each other, to be patient with each other doesn't feel like work at all.  It feels like the best thing I've ever done with my life.  And it's pretty hard to feel like I'm working at it when I'm smiling and laughing so much of the time.

And so, yes, marry the right person in the right place at the right time.  But right time doesn't necessarily mean right now.  If it takes you awhile to find a right someone who earnestly believes that marriage can be beautiful, wait for them.

Why am I writing all of this?  I guess because I wish I had heard a few more positive messages about marriage whilst in singlesland.  [Sheesh, I wish I heard a few more of them now.]

And because I can attest to the fact that marriage really can be beautiful.


Beautiful and fun and wonderful.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

XXIII

Today I am the big 2-3.  Twenty-three.  One hundred minus 77.

Yep, that's right.

Today is my birthday.  And I'm turning 23.

Twenty-three is the elusive yet greatly anticipated age which many greet with giddy enthusiasm.  [The others never find it.]

I programmed this post to appear magically at 10:00am [since I'm high tech like that], which hopefully means I'm on my way to Sedona right now.

That's right.  For the big 2-3 the hubby planned a day trip to Sedona, where we will wine, dine, and hike to our heart's content.  [Except we don't drink wine.  But we will Dr. Pepper to our heart's content.  Or Mr. Pibb if we're lucky.]


And hopefully we'll see flowers like that one.

Or flowers not like that one.

I'm not picky.

But you'll find that most people aren't picky on their 23rd birthday.

p.s.  I may have had to look up how to write 23 as a roman numeral, but now that I have, my life will never be the same.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

jerome

Have I told you that I love all of the touristy little towns in Arizona?  Oh.  Well.  I do.  I love the fact that you can walk down the street and it doesn't take too much imagination to pretend that you're in the late 19th century, because, well, everything still looks pretty similar to how it did in the late 19th century.

[Not that I'm professing in any way to be good at history, because let's face it: I'm not.  There's a difference between liking something and being good at it.]

[Let's not even talk about my geography skills.  Jerusalem is not in South America, p.s.]

Earlier this week, Tim and I had the opportunity to go with my brother Jeff to the little town of Jerome.  Um, have you ever been there?  Cutest town ever.  It's an old mining town and is literally built right into the side of a mountain.


I loved all the little gifts shops.  If I were lying, I would tell you Tim and Jeff loved them, too.  [Just kidding.  They liked some of them.]


We went to their little mining museum, which purportedly brought the town back to life...back in the day.  Sometime.  [Remember how I'm not good at history?]



Jeff reads approximately 653.22 times faster than the general population, which meant he was done reading all the little plaques much faster than we were...so he had to find other ways to entertain himself.


And don't worry, I found ways to entertain myself, too.


And I made Tim be entertained with me.


Bar turned soda shop.


Red light district.  Always classy.



Tim loved it as much as I thought he would.  But he loved the Tuzigoot Indian ruins even more.  [Which I unforunately don't have pictures of because our camera died.  And my phone won't let me upload any pictures right now.]  [Who am I kidding?  You're probably tired of pictures anyway.]

Moral of the story?  Go to touristy little towns in AZ.  [And Jerome in particular.]

[Also a] moral of the story?  It's much more fun when you bring your lover and your brother with you.  [Which sounds suspiciously like a bad rap song.]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

11 things

Ok kids...are you ready for this?

My friend Alexis tagged me and you get to hear not five, not eight, not even ten...but eleven random things about me.

Why, you ask?

I'm not really sure.  But.  All the cool kids are doing it.  

[And Alexis's blog is one of my favorites, so, you know, when in Rome...] 

[Wait, what?]

Let's get this party started!

1.  I am a compulsive picture straightener.  And it's actually really annoying.  I can't comfortably sit still if something is crooked.  Which is why, if I'm not in my own house, I spend a lot of time sitting uncomfortably.  [Trying to restrain myself from awkwardly straightening someone else's picture.]  Tim thinks this quirk of mine is the funniest thing in the world.  Sometimes I think he makes things crooked on purpose just to see how long it will take me to fix it.

2.  This one makes me feel guilty.  Gulp.  I like dogs better than babies.  There.  I've said it.  Judge away.  I have been this way my entire life.  And even though I just recently caught the baby fever, if a dog and a baby are in a room together, I will most likely want to touch the dog first.  But.  I do like babies.  I do.  [And certainly way more than I did before I got married.  Weird how that happens.]


3.  These are my new boots:


And I love them.  I emailed my mom a picture of them and told her that, you know, if she wanted, she could get them for my birthday.  But my mom has a hard time waiting to give presents, so I got them more than a month early.  And I didn't complain.

4.  My favorite number is 8.  I remember sitting in the reading corner of Mrs. Freschette's 2nd grade classroom, looking at all the possible choices, and deciding that I liked the number 8 best.  For one thing, the odd numbers were...well...just odd.  And for another thing, it's very symmetrical, unlike the other even numbers.  And that's nice.

5.  Tim and I sing together sometimes.  Have I told you that?  We haven't done it in awhile, but we used to sing together all the time.  We want to get back into it.  Here is a song that Tim wrote:

video

That recording is from one of the open mic nights at Tim's old house when we were engaged.  [There are a few off notes, I know.  Don't judge me, please.  I was nervous, dangit!]

6.  I am not a huge lover of super fancy schmancy restaurants.  For one thing, they are usually way out of my price range.  For another thing, they usually give you a fourth the amount of food that you would get at a normal place.  And for another thing, the food has names I've never heard of and doesn't even taste all that great.  For another another thing, I am generally just more comfortable in a casual burgers and fries kind of place.  Or a casual Mexican food kind of place.

7.  I love happy-sounding music.  It makes me feel happy inside.


After all these years, this song is still a favorite.

8.  My husband is way too nice to me.  Like the kind of nice where he'll literally jump out of bed to get me a drink if I offhandedly mention that I'm thirsty.  I tell him that he needs to stop or he's going to make me lazy.  [But what I really mean is: please don't stop.]


9.  I am terrified of the dark.  You would have thought this would go away by the time I turned ten, but I am probably even more scared of the dark now than I was when I was a little kid...if that is even possible.  If no one is around, I spend a lot of time running places.  [Even around my own house...running from room to room...so special.]

10.  I try to be a runner.  Often.  I am not a natural by any stretch of the imagination, and I have really bad ankles [they turn in really far], but I still keep trying.  The most I've ever run consistently was 30 minutes.  And that took me forever to work up to and it killed my knees and ankles at the end of every run.  Right now I am back to 10 minutes [running 10 mins and walking 30 mins], and so far, all is well.  [Cross your fingers for me.]

11.  Petsmart is one of my favorite stores.  Tim and I have already decided to wait on getting a dog [apartments and big dogs just don't mix that well, especially with our crazy schedules], but I am always trying to convince him to let me get a pet other than our beta.  Last time we were in Petsmart, I tried to convince him to let me get a rabbit.  It didn't work.  [But I could tell he thought about it.  Progress.]

And now for the fun part...I get to nominate some of you!

Drum roll please...


Katie at Katilda
Emma at Race & Emma
Chantal at Piece of Panache [seriously kids, go look at her new challenge]
Brooke at Silver Lining
Alycia at Crowley Party
Fran at FreeBorboleta

I read [and love] way more blogs than that, but I think that's a good start.  So congratulations, kids, and get to writing!

Kthxloveyoubye.

"i quit"

I just did something crazy and totally unKatie-like.

I dropped out of graduate school.

And it felt great.

A little over a year ago, I applied to my program.  I thought I had wanted to be a counselor since I was about 16, so it seemed like a good idea.  But honestly, I had my doubts about if it was really what I wanted to do.

A couple of months went by, and I thought that maybe I hadn't gotten in.  And suddenly, I was devastated.  I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and what seemed like my only option appeared to have vanished.

But, alas, I did get in the program, after all.

And I stepped off the plane from our honeymoon feeling completely hopeful about the experience.

Then school actually started.

And even though it was the hardest thing I have ever done, I could have handled that and more if I'd actually enjoyed what I was learning.  But the further I got into the program, the more I doubted my choice.  I liked it less and less every day.

I passed the first semester with flying colors [albeit an abnormal amount of tears].  And the euphoria from the highest GPA I've ever gotten in my entire life was enough to get me to sign up for the next semester.

Two weeks after the semester started, however, the euphoria wore off and I realized my mistake.  I didn't like what I was learning.  And even worse, I was getting more sure by the minute that I didn't want to be a counselor.

It was too late to drop without serious financial consequences, so I decided to try waiting until the end of the semester.  But I was miserable.  It's never taken so much work and effort for me to be happy every day.

Which is what lead me to the decision to drop out after the 60% deadline [where I would still have to pay back my loans, but I wouldn't have to pay them all back right away].  And even though it took an insane amount of debating with myself, an incredible amount of talking with Tim about it, and a badly-needed amount of prayer to make this decision, once I'd made it and taken steps in that direction, all of my agonizing and heartache about the whole situation were simply gone.

And now?  I don't regret the last semester and a half at all.  If I'd never tried it, I'd have always wondered if maybe, just maybe, I would have wanted to be a counselor.  And now I know.

And who the heck knows?  Maybe five, ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, I'll want to go back to school for something similar.  Or maybe I won't.  Maybe I'll want to go back for something different.  Or maybe I'll be content enough with wherever I'm at to never go back to school.

I'm ok with all of those options.  Because I'm ok with where I'm at now.  [In fact, comparatively speaking, I feel ecstatic.  Although I will miss the amazing people I met along the way.  That is for sure.]

For now, I'll just see where life takes me and enjoy the [crazy, unexpected, exciting, never-a-dull moment] ride.

And so, in the words of the Herman Cain: Bad Lip Reading video, "I'm gonna teach you an expression. 'I quit.'"

Or, if you're a big fan of That Thing You Do [like I am]:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

getting food for free

I've told you that Tim and I like to get things for free, right?  Remember this?

Well have I told you that we sometimes unintentionally get things for free?

Like that time we went to Bahama Bucks and they randomly let us have our drinks for free.  Or that time we went to Oregano's and they messed up our order and gave us the whole meal on the house.

That was pretty great.

Well last Friday, we were trying to think of something creative and cheap to do.  We went through my wallet and found a few gift cards that still had a few dollars left on them.  So, naturally, we decided to make a night out of using the leftover mulah.

The first stop?  La Bocca on Mill Avenue.


We split some amazing bruschetta.  Seriously.  Awesome.


At the end, we gave the waiter our gift card.  [There wasn't enough money on the gift card to cover the whole thing, but it was enough to make it much cheaper.]  A few minutes later, he came back and said that he couldn't figure out how to use the gift card, so we could just have the food for free.  And he gave back the gift card.

Oh really?  That's too bad.  Ok, well, if I must...

The next stop was Red Robin.


We didn't have very much on the card, so we just decided on each of us getting chicken tortilla soup and french fries.  And as unappetizing as that picture may make it look, the soup was actually really good.


And, of course, I had to get a freckled strawberry lemonade.  [Because the freakin' $4.00 is worth it, unfortunately.]



At the end, our waiter brought us our check.  Tim immediately noticed that the freckled lemonade wasn't listed and mentioned it to the waiter, who said, "Don't worry about it!"

So we got that for free, too.  Whaaat!

Occasionally I wonder if things like that happen because we look pathetically poor, or something.

And if that's the case....I'll take it.

Not to mention that a few days earlier, we went to IHOP on their pancake day and got a free short stack.


Tim's sister, Melissa, suggested it and our stomachs will forever be indebted to her.

Moral of the story?  There's no shame in looking [or being] pathetically poor.

It just might pay off.

Friday, March 2, 2012

wedding day [part 3]

*If you haven't already, you might wanna read Part 1 and Part 2 first.*

We stepped out into the scorching sunlight, hands clasped tightly together, for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Devey.

[Disclaimer: I have no idea who those people behind us are.]

We were expecting everyone to be waiting for us at the bottom of the steps, as is customary, but because it was so hot, everyone was huddled under any bit of shade they could find.


And even though it was hotter than all get out, our hearts smiled magnificently.


I don't know that I'd ever felt so much love in my entire life.


My dear friend Chantal took all these lovely pictures, and she was incredible at telling everyone where to stand and how to do it quickly so we wouldn't have to be out in the heat for any longer than necessary.  [And believe me, no one wanted to be outside any longer than absolutely necessary.]

Our family and friends.

My lovely bridesmaids.

Our wedding party.

Immediately after taking pictures, everyone scurried to the building across the street, where we would be having our luncheon.  Before I walked over there, however, I needed to get a key from my mother to be able to get all of my things out of my locker in the temple.  But there was only one problem.

My mom was no where in sight.

Tim walked with me into the foyer of the temple while my dad rushed to find my mom.  After about 15 minutes, Tim left to go find my dad.

Which left me standing by myself in the foyer of the temple in my wedding dress.

I could sense the questioning stares from everyone in the foyer.  Why is she here by herself?  Did her groom leave her?  

It was an awkward few minutes, let me tell you.

Finally, they returned with the key and my recommend, which allowed me to gather all of my things.

We hurried over to the luncheon, expecting everyone to be inside the building, wondering where the heck we had been.

Instead, we found everyone waiting outside the building, wondering why the heck the building was still locked.

Continue on to Part 4.