Monday, May 23, 2011

I Do

So, blogger universe, it's time to dazzle you with my exciting news.

I, Kirsten-Anne Elizabeth, am going to be married to Ryan Craig by the end of the summer. By August 5th, to be exact.

Why August 5th, you ask? We didn't want to get married in the middle of the semester (ruling out September-mid December) and our winter break is only two weeks in length and will be crammed with holidays, visits, cold weather, bleak winter atmosphere...plus, December is too far away. So we thought and prayed about marriage in August and felt that was our best option if we wanted our families to attend. So, here we are. Seventy-four days until I'm entering a new stage of my life.

An avid reader of this blog (and friend of mine) pointed out this little blurb from a previous post a few months ago that amused him greatly:

"I am in NO position to be married now. No way. Nuh-uh. But I can't help but flush green with envy when I see a happy couple that isn't super cheesy and just look content to be in each other's company."

What I've learned from this entire experience so far is that there is nothing prior to a relationship that prepares you for marriage. You can take cooking classes, know how to clean your room and keep a place tidy and also know how to get along with people without immaturely storming out and calling him a meanie, but there is nothing that quite prepares you for the inspiration that comes and the personal revelation that you'll receive that the man you're staring at is the man you'll be staring at for time and all eternity. And there is nothing quite like the feeling of peace when you have that thought and instead of freaking out (like I would have three months ago), I realize that what I'm feeling is true.

Yes, it was a short dating period. We'll be engaged longer than we dated before getting engaged. And I would always criticize those people who got married quickly and wonder how someone can know so soon. My parents were one of those couples, so I can't judge too harshly since they've been married for 36 years and are still going strong and growing together. But I had no idea I would be one of those people. I had NO idea that marriage was going to come so soon for me. I wasn't planning on this! Believe me when I say that marriage was not under my 2011 New Years resolutions! I was accepting of the fate that I would be married AFTER I got my degree. But Ryan just had to show up to FHE and lure me in with his shy demeanor and child-like energy.

Anyways, I'm done trying to convince all of you that this is as much my choice as it is Ryan's. Just trust that we have the best intentions in our hearts and aren't doing this just because we had nothing better to do with our summer.

I guess you'll be wanting the engagement story? Funny thing: there really isn't one. I can give you the 24 hour period though since that's more of a story than the actual proposal. But really, this story starts back on Tuesday of this past week. Since the topic of marriage and how we wanted to be married already came up a couple of days previous, we decided to go ring-browsing so I could show him my favorite designs and he could choose from there. So we go to some stores and I tell him what I like about some rings and what I don't like about others. And after an hour, I'm exhausted and my finger is chaffed so we go back home and that was it for talking about rings. We were going to go again on Thursday, but he felt he had enough of an idea to pick one.

Ryan apparently bought the ring the very next day when I was at my interview with Cracker Barrel. I had NO idea, as he was not dropping any hints that he had bought the ring. He was so convincing at this from that moment to the proposal that I was getting discouraged about getting the ring sooner than next week. So, with the ring bought, he made plans to have a nice dinner after I was done working on Saturday. I didn't think anything of it because the next weekend we had another nice dinner planned and it was going to be on our two month anniversary and in Salt Lake City...so that looked like the more likely time I would receive a ring.

Jump up to Friday. At around 9pm, we decided to go on our usual walk down the Provo River and to our favorite duck pond/park area. This is a walk that we take almost every Sunday and it's become something sort of meaningful and special to us. When we get to the park (after a lot of creepy people passing us and dark tunnels, mind you), I head to the swings and the playground and we just swing and I play on the structure like a kid. Eventually, we find both of us at the top of the slide area in that little enclosure that you see on every playground and everything feels so perfect. I can't remember feeling any more at peace than at that exact moment. And I remember thinking "If Ryan had the ring right now, I would be so okay with him proposing to me on this playground structure."

And, guess what? HE HAD THE RING. I was snuggled up to him on his right side and his hand was weirdly placed on his right thigh at the base of his pocket so that I wouldn't FEEL THE RING SITTING THERE. He told me later that he wanted so bad to propose at that very moment, at the place we return to every Sunday, and was about to but he hadn't officially gotten permission from my dad! ARGH! So, we got off the playground and walked back, my finger still bare.

Come Saturday, I had an inkling that Ryan might propose. So I tell people at my work this fact and because the track meet I was working at was going to go ALL day, I was trying to see if I could leave early. They told me I could leave right at that moment. So I worked a total of 30 minutes that day. Ryan had some other things he needed to do like laundry, errands, the basic stuff. So I sat at home and painted my nails (in case a proposal came that night) and did my hair nice and just prepared half-heartedly for a nice evening. When 7:00pm rolls around (we had dinner reservations at 7:30pm at a nice italian restaurant) he gets a call and goes outside to take it. I'm freaking out because I'm afraid it's the bishop telling him that he needed to do clerical things at our church building, ruining my nice dinner. But he came back and when I inquired, he told me that it was just his work calling. So then we go to the restaurant.

The food and atmosphere were fantastic. There was a live accordion player singing and roaming the restaurant. We split a delicious dessert and overall had a nice time. At this point, I had completely forgotten about a proposal. So when he started fishing around in his pocket after we were done eating and started saying "So, before we go, I have a question for you..." I was completely and utterly shocked. I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged out and my heart stopped for a minute. Ryan then got down on one knee in front of me and asked those fated words: "Kirsten, will you marry me?" And I said something like "Oh gosh!" and watched as he put the ring on my finger. Yes, readers, I didn't even say yes, but he already knew the answer. I hugged him and gave him a very modest yet earnest kiss and couldn't stop smiling. The couple eating near us were staring and our waiter said congratulations. And we were out of the restaurant and I was absolutely excited and bouncing back to the car, staring at my hand and then staring at him and smiling.

We went to tell his family, I called my family and bestie, Sara, and I don't think I stopped smiling at all. I'm still smiling as I recall the events of the past couple of days. Oh, and that phone call that I mentioned earlier? That wasn't his work. It was my dad returning Ryan's frantic calls so that he could propose at dinner. If my dad hadn't returned the call, Ryan would've waited to propose AGAIN. Thank goodness dad called back. Whew!

So, that's really it. And now I'm in the process of telling everyone that I'm engaged and will be married August 5th at the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan, UT. SEVENTY FOUR DAYS. Save the date, friends and family. It's going to be a day to remember.

Oh, and pictures of the ring.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What have I been doing

I am definitely not a fan of how noisy it is to keep a lawn well-groomed. For the past couple of days, Raintree has been at it with lawn-mowers, those obnoxious weed-whacker things that trim the edges of side-walks (which is what is bugging me currently. GRAH!) and all kinds of grounds-keeping devices and, oh my gosh, will it kill you to let it get just a little bit wild-looking?! My peace-of-mind is about to shatter to pieces!

Okay, enough ranting. So, I'm still at it with the job-hunting. Nothing yet. My highest prospects have yet to contact me (since they were like "we'll call you" and stuff), so I think it's time to take the initiative and contact them. What's the worst that could happen by disobeying their calling standard? They blow me to smithereens? 

I guess that would be pretty bad. As for other news, there really isn't anything else to report to the general public except that I've needed to pee for the last hour and a half and I haven't gone yet. And that I finished my FAFSA (took me long enough), and that I've yet to return a couple of phone calls to siblings who have called me this weekend. As you may know by now, my weekends get pretty full pretty fast. There are probably a few precious waking hours that I have to myself on weekends, and I guess I should text/call you guys then and hope for the best.

I guess I can share a couple of childhood memories with you all. I've been thinking heavily about the past twenty years of my life and some random memories have been uprooted in the process. And why not share them, just for fun? I have nothing else to report.

----x----

I remember softball games as a girl. The exhilaration as I put on my uniform and shoes and my hat and driving to Cosmo park to play whatever team was lined up. I was always so nervous to bat, afraid of disappointing my team and my parents. But I loved the feeling of being in the outfield, scuffing my shoes against the dirt, pounding my little fist in the glove, and squinting towards the batter, urging that ball to come towards me, daring it to escape my grasp. The thing I looked forward to most, funny enough, was not winning, but the refreshments afterwards. No matter if you won or lost, there was always a cooler of Sunny D or Capri Sun and some sort of snack like granola bars waiting for you. I'd put my drink and snack in my glove and walk with my parents back to the car, pleased as ever, talking about the different plays and what I did well or didn't do well.

I am so grateful that my parents let me do as many things I as I wanted while I grew up. I dabbled in many sports: softball, basketball, track, tennis, and fencing. I also did dance classes, theater, voice-lessons/choir, band, orchestra, many different things. Hardly any of them stuck for very long, but I have many fantastic memories of going on band trips, getting lost when we first went to my fencing class, my love/hate relationship with the violin, getting head-shots for my "acting" career, and (as seen above) my short-lived future of being a sports star, whether in softball or basketball.

I particularly remember being so excited to play basketball on my Friday evenings at the elementary school. That was when my city team practiced, and we were easily the best team around. Every year, our team would win within our age group and I'd bring home a shiny metal donning the "1st place" lettering, proud as a peacock (are they even proud?). We would have these random competitions within the team to see who was the best three-point shooter. And, most often than not, I was the winner. I remember winning a glow in the dark basketball that really didn't dribble well, but it was cool and I WON it with my sharp-shooting. My coaches were parents of one of my classmates and they treated me like their own daughter. I remember they couldn't pronounce my name well, so as a nickname they called me Kris. I didn't mind. It's a nickname that I don't use anymore since it's the inappropriate shortening of my name.

So many fond memories of my childhood. So many I don't even remember until something sparks up a thought. It's amazing how twenty years feels like no time but a lot of time all in one. And I have a long way to go before my life is complete.

I should be a philosophy major. I feel like I'm taking really simple concepts and making them into something complex (which I am). Anyways, that's all for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FINALLY! Day Number Thirty

I never thought I'd get to this day! But it's finally here and I'm LATE, as usual. I've been sleeping all day, trying to kick this cold, so I'm kinda wired from all the orange juice and chocolate milk I've consumed. So here I am, watching things to help me to get at least a little bit tired so that when I lay my head down, I'm not just staring at my ceiling, laughing to myself for no good reason.

Did that image creep you out as much as it creeped me out? Good.

a picture of someone you miss
This photo isn't very flattering for ANYONE. But I don't care. And it's not just Kelsey and Daniel I miss. I miss everyone back in Missouri that I haven't seen since Christmas break or since last summer. But I do miss my very best friends the most and hope to see them when I come and visit for the very short week I'll be in town (the actual days of the week are being kept secret except to those I really want to know so as to avoid having to say hello to people I really don't want to see since my time there is sparse and I would like to spend time with people I WANT to see). 

So far, though, only my family knows when I'll be coming to Missouri. So if you want to know and think you're amongst the worthy few that are allowed to know, contact me and I'll inform you and we can plan something. Preferably a Clue party, as usual. *cough*KELSEYDANIELSTARTPLANNING*cough*

Well, that's all folks! The daily posting is DONE. For now, at least. Now I can blog about whatever I want whenever I want! YEAH! Hope you all enjoyed it. But I'm excited to be back on my own schedule/topic choice.

Good night!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Two More Days...Day 29

I really don't want to go out and job hunt today. This cold that developed over the weekend is not something I'm enjoying. It's making my head all foggy, my nose all runny, and in general my energy level isn't as high as I'd like it to be. I might call Denny's to set up an interview or to see if they're still hiring (I hope they are!). Going in might be more than my energy will allow me. I want to be as high energy as possible tonight so that I can attend the ward BBQ without being such a sick blob.

a picture that can always make you smile
Okay, story time.

On Saturday, me and Ryan went to Thanksgiving Point to attend the Tulip Festival, which is pretty much exactly how it sounds: a festival to celebrate the blooming of thousands of tulips in this amazing (and huge) garden. I'm not much of the type to take pictures of people, but Ryan was so kind to point out that if we didn't make appearances in the photos, then it would look like I went by myself. Well, I couldn't have that, now could I? So I made him sit in this chair all by himself and I gave him one command: "Look whimsical." He spent about three minutes trying to pose and laughing, not really understanding what I meant by "whimsical". When he sat still enough, I got this picture, and I must say that he captured "whimsical" quite well...even though I really wasn't looking for anything in particular.

That entire afternoon's worth of pictures are all smile-worthy, so any of them would've sufficed. But why not showcase my "whimsical" boyfriend? If only I had captured that moment when we both said "Rosebud" in our creepiest voices at the same time without knowing the other was going to say the same thing. THAT, right there, is a smile-worthy moment.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nearing the End Here: 27-28

These two days kind of go hand in hand, so I guess I'll tell you that I "planned" on not posting yesterday until today. Yeeeeeah, lets just keep it at that and not that I was so busy with other things to post.

a picture of yourself and a family member
&
a picture of something you're afraid of

So this is a picture of me with my newly born nephew, Noah, in November 2007. He is three and a half now and is absolutely precious and adorable, growing each day and becoming such an amazing little person. I'm not afraid of him, no.

I think this appropriate to talk about motherhood and my fear of it on Mother's Day. I'm not necessarily scared of kids. I'm afraid that I won't be cut out for raising children. It's easy to babysit and serve in the nursery because at the end of the day, it's not your kid. But I guess that's also where I can't judge too harshly: if I don't babysit a kid effectively or do well in the nursery, it's because they aren't my kids. I have a feeling that I won't know if I'm a good mother until it happens. I can take classes, read books, but nothing really prepares you for the challenges and blessings that will come when you have your own child. But reading a couple of books won't hurt, right? I just think of my own mother, who had her first kid at 20 years of age and how she's been such an amazing influence for me. For the most part, all of her mothering is done and she can sit back and watch her handy work. I hope she's pleased with how I turned out. I was the last one, so she had tons of practice beforehand.

Now I'm rambling. I'm so glad that this challenge is almost done. And, boy, it's been a challenge.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 26

Each night it's the same routine. But that is one thing about my day that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Some nights we cook dinner together, some we see each other, already fed (but he'll be hungry in a short time, his appetite is hardly satisfied for long) but no matter what we do, I love that we can laugh at each other, with each other, and just laugh at absolutely nothing (this is usually something I do). 

Did I mention to you folks that he was growing a mustache most of this week? Yeah, I was going to get a picture of it, but I completely forgot and now he's probably snuggled in his bed, fast asleep, something I should do since I have a headache and my eyes are aching to be closed. Tomorrow morning, though, it's coming off since he's sick of it. But for one glorious week, he had the beginnings of what would be a dark, large and very distinguished mustache. But we won't know its full potential until the next time this delirium overcomes him and he can muscle his way through the beginning stages of the growing process. I will say that my face will greatly appreciate the absence of bristly hairs.

Onto business though. I'm SO GLAD that I'm almost done with this. I'm ready to blog when I want instead of pushing myself to blog daily for the sake of this bizarre thing I decided to do.

a picture of something that means a lot to you
It's hard to pick out actual faces, but this is a picture of the senior cast members of my last musical, "Li'l Abner". My experience with Hickman High School theatre is something that I will always treasure. I miss the days of rehearsing in the Choir room, helping with the set, blocking on the stage, and seeing something become a wonderful production one day at a time. I hope that in the future with my film-making that I can once again partake in the beauty of making tons of little pieces into one, magnificent whole.

There is a tradition that would occur minutes before we would go on stage in which the director would read letters from past students to the cast of the show. And they would always say how nothing will ever capture the magic of the theatre and friendship as that stage would. You would never feel the same again after you had performed your best with the people who know you best. And it is so true. I miss those days of putting in a hard days work of dancing, acting and singing. I truly do. High school was fun because of all the productions I was a part of. Thank you, guys (who I doubt will read this) for being a big part of my high school memories. You all are truly astonishing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day Twenty-Five

a picture of your day
Lots and lots of "Gilmore Girls"...I wish I had something better to post here. But really, my day consisted of waking up, showering, getting ready, watching this show, watching my "roommates" move in, but not really since they were moving into the wrong apartment, spent the evening with Ryan and all the usual things. I even applied to a restaurant called Pirate Island...I actually applied to this place a year ago, but didn't pursue the job too avidly for some reason. Anyways, I'm hoping I get some kind of restaurant job since my retail job options are slimming down.

So, yeah. Not too interesting of a day. Janica abandoned me again and is at her grandmother's funeral. So I guess it's for a decent reason, though now I'm alone in this apartment again, eating the rest of the brownies I made yesterday and watching, well...why do I mention it anymore? It should be assumed.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on going to the library, to Lowe's to look at paint, and to some other places. I might apply to some places, but Fridays are always hard to apply since they're busier for businesses. But we'll see. Tomorrow would be a better day to talk about since today was QUITE boring.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 24

Today has been one of those days that the hours seem to pass by without any effort but at the same time they seem to take forever. The days are becoming more like this the longer I go without something to do. I can't go running because of my fracture, I can't work at BYU concessions for the same reason, I'm not in school, I don't have another job...it's so BORING sitting at home all day. I sleep until my body doesn't let me anymore and then take my time getting ready because I don't go job hunting until after lunch, when the stores/restaurants are at their slowest. And then I job-hunt and browse places that have job-potential until about 4:30, right before people get off work and things start picking up again. I come home, eat, and read my Stephen King novel.

Today hasn't been any different, but I'm sick of the same old routine. I want something stimulating for my mind. I feel like I'm getting fat, my mind is getting sluggish, and that all I'm doing is wasting space. I'm ready to go to Lowe's and choose myself a good paint color and start painting this apartment so at least the place I'm living has more life than me.

Anyways, I guess I'll make brownies. A sure-fire way to make sure I DO gain weight. And I'll update this blog.

a picture of something you wish you could change
My hair is SO LONG. I like it but at the same time I really wanna do something with it. Chop it off to my shoulders? Change the color? Maybe just get a blunt trim and change up my bangs a bit? I'm at a loss. But my hair is due for a change and it needs to happen SOON. Maybe it's just because I'm sitting at home going crazy, but I want to change a lot of things: my hair, my wardrobe, the walls of my apartment. AH! I need to do something with my life!

Maybe I'll get a library card and live there for a while...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 23

Today, I decided to do some domestic errands instead of going out and looking for jobs. I had laundry to do, a desk to reorganize, and other things to maintain, especially my soul. So I took some time to myself to read for my own pleasure, I cooked dinner for me and Ryan, and I just let myself enjoy this weird motivation to do things around the apartment. Tomorrow, though, I'm back in the field. Do some follow-ups, turn in more applications....I'm really hoping I find a job soon. High Schoolers are going to be out of school soon and so the market will be vastly limited as they find their summer job.

So here is day 23.

a picture of your favorite book
Harry Potter is my ultimate favorite, but I decided to put "The Little Prince" since not everyone knows about the book and about it being my second favorite book of all time. All I have to say is to read it. It's about 100 pages and is the quickest read since it has animations and is fairly simple language. But it has beautiful truths and wonderful philosophies and it's just so great. READ IT. NOW.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 22 on May 2nd

There are lots of 2's today. And I'm watching my favorite number 2 playing some good ol' baseball (It's Derek Jeter, for you non-baseball folks). I applied to some more places, I might have an actual job at Sunflower Farmer's Market grocery store, except that the manager looked less than...*ahem* lets just say that I wouldn't have him pick out my prom dress. This whole applying thing is quite taxing on my nerves. I haven't received a phone call from Charlotte Russe so I'm pretty sure that job is a no. Whatever. I would've spent all my money earned there buying the merchandise.

Also, I applied to Subway. Which is borderline fast food. And have you ever spent an amount of time in Subway? That smell permeates EVERYTHING. My hair reeks of it hours after I stepped foot in the place for ONE minute. Yeesh. So if I worked there, I'd pretty much radiate Subway-scent, and might even pee a concentrated and liquid form of the odor.

So that's my occupational update. The rest of my life pretty much consists of the following:
-Wake up whenever
-eat nutella on toast
-sit on bed and check BYU website for job updates
-check other sites
-Watch "Gilmore Girls"
-Shower
-Watch more "Gilmore Girls"
-Chat with Sarah on skype
-Get ready to job hunt
-Do it
-Come back and wait for Ryan to get home from work, eat, and meander his way over to my apartment
-Ryan-time until we both have mentioned it's late about 5-6 times a piece and then admit to ourselves that it's time to sleep.
-Don't sleep, instead watch more "Gilmore Girls"

Yep. That's my schedule day to day. Kinda boring, huh? I'm hoping once I get a job, there will be some deviance to the daily schedule in the morning. I kinda like my evenings the way they are, thank you very much.

But on to the picture.

a picture of something you wish you were better at
I wish I were better at getting/finding a job (and being black, but that's my parents' fault). I kid you not, when I was driving up to Orem to talk to the Sunflower Market folks, I spent 15 minutes just driving around, singing to Lady Gaga, getting the nerve to actually talk to the manager. And I also spent 10 minutes in the store finding things to buy so I had a reason to approach an employee. Apparently, when I'm job-hunting by myself, I become self-conscious and can't do the simple task of forming sentences. I think when I went to get the Charlotte Russe application, I'm pretty sure I said "Can I...application?" to the employee. That's not an actual sentence. Yeah. I'm pathetic. 

Ugh, I'm SO ready for someone to approach me and tell me frantically that they need someone honorable to work for their prestigious company that pays well, isn't too smelly inside (Subway...that means you're out), and has me do things I want to do: sit around, edit movies, eat Cheez-its and watch "Gilmore Girls". And I would be allowed to have Ryan there and he could make money as well by just sitting there, or doing whatever he wanted to do. Yep. *sigh* If only.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

20th and 21st Days, respectively

a picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Yup. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This needs no further explanation except these two words: Butter. Beer. (put them together since the words separately are two of the most unhealthy things one could consume)

a picture of something you wish you could forget
UPDATE: This is a picture of "The Cove" movie poster. Apparently, some of you can't see it. I can see it just fine...so yeah.
I was going to do a really dumb movie I saw instead of this film, but I felt that I should be more serious. In all honesty, this documentary was POWERFUL and amazing, one of the best made documentaries I've seen. But...I wish I could un-see it. From that moment on, Sea World and all places with trained water creatures are ruined for me. I know what their siblings have been through, I know what goes on in the darkest corners of the animal-training world. I loved the film and would recommend it to anyone looking for an amazing documentary experience, but it's not for the faint of heart. You will see bloody water, kids eating dolphin meat, and lots of spy-technology.

I wish I had something more interesting to say. Today was great. As usual. I had a lot of internal turmoil laid to rest and I think things have become more clear as to my future. Andddd, we're done.