Thursday, November 11, 2010

Part Five: A Glorious Honeymoon

Well, dear readers, as I last left you, Devin and I were headed south to begin our honeymoon and our new life together.  Devin planned the whole honeymoon and kept it a surprise (of course, he LIVES for surprises!).  At each stage of the honeymoon, he would pull out a big white envelope and hand it to me to discover what our next adventure was – it was very exciting! There were a few set plans, but also some flexible suggestions depending on what I was interested in or how we were feeling.  We were lucky enough to both get eleven days off of work; we had the time of our lives!

This is Hines’ Mansion in Provo, where we stayed our first night.  Thus began one of the traditions of our marriage – we like to stay in Bed and Breakfasts.  It was my first time in a B&B, but what is not to like?! They are so quaint and full of history and much more personable than hotels.  Devin loves the absolutely to-die-for breakfasts and socializing with the other guests and the owner.  We’ve decided we want to own a B&B later in life.

The next morning we were off and the white envelope revealed our destination as St. George!  We stayed at another B&B, Quicksand and Cactus.  While in St. George, we mostly did whatever we felt like – wandering the city and enjoying some historic and artistic sites, and great food. 

One set plan was to visit the St. George temple.  This is another tradition in our marriage – we collect temples. J We’d like to serve in all the temples there are – or at least all the ones in the U.S., so a lot of our trips focus around going to a temple we’ve never been to together. The St. George temple is a beautiful one – so gleamingly white against the red cliffs and blue sky!

Another one of the fun things we did in St. George was to visit the dinosaur museum.  It is an actual dig site as well, of which my Grandpa Stratton had a part in the initial discovery.  We especially had fun doing our own excavating.

Speaking of Grandpa and Grandma Stratton, we spent Sunday evening with them.  They weren’t able to make the trip up for our wedding, so I was really happy that Devin included them in our honeymoon. We fixed Devin’s fabulous enchiladas for dinner, and laughed a lot as they regaled us with stories of their courtship and early married life together.  They are quite the pair and we love them.

After a couple days in St. George, once again it was time for another white envelope.  Next stop: the Grand Canyon! I was super excited, having never been to the Grand Canyon and always wanting to.  It was a bit of a drive, but we had fun along the way – talking, listening to books on CD, and making random stops at places that looked interesting. We made it to the Grand Canyon in time for a nice dinner and a beautiful sunset.

Our first full day at the Grand Canyon was spent pretty much entirely on the most demanding hike I’ve ever taken.  It was awesome! We had SO much fun, even though at one point (okay, maybe for the whole hike back up for me) we weren’t sure we’d make it back to the rim alive and with our lower limbs. We love the outdoors, and the Grand Canyon is definitely one of the most strikingly amazing places we’ve been to. 

I cannot even begin to describe to you our soreness upon waking the next morning! It was quite hilarious, although painful.  Needless to say, we took it a little slower the rest of our time at the Grand Canyon!  We still had fun visiting different lookouts, restaurants, gift shops, and historic places…we just had a taste of the pace of life we’ll have fifty years in the future!

On our way to the next location of fun, we stopped at the Hoover Dam and toured around their museum inside – we learned so much!  It was pretty fascinating to see in-person, and really appealed to Devin’s engineering side.

The subsequent white envelope  took us to this lovely place – the Las Vegas temple.  Our experience inside that peaceful place was drastically different to the rest of our night in the city!  It was my first and perhaps last time in Las Vegas, although our wanderings were still enjoyable – dinner at a Brazilian churrascaria and watching the fountain show a couple times at the Bellagio.

We flew out the next morning to Houston and were surprised to be picked up at the airport by a limousine!  Traveling in style! It took us to the wrong hotel, however, but luckily the right one was just down the street. Also luckily, we at least didn’t have to lug my suitcases to the right hotel, because they had never arrived at the airport (they were delivered to Devin’s parents’ house that night).  The next morning, Devin ran a 5K with his little sister, Alaire, and I tagged along as photographer.  We hung out with Devin’s family and my parents, who flew in for the reception we had that night at Devin’s parents’ church building.

Our second reception was fairly different than the first – or maybe it just seemed so to me, because I hardly knew a soul there.  We did get to eat a lot more food this time, and we danced more – it was more relaxed and a less hectic day overall.  J  I am very grateful to my parents for coming and joining in the festivities.  They stayed through the next day and we all went to church together, and we had fun opening our presents that night.  People are so generous! At both of our receptions we were given so much – we’re very thankful for all the help people gave us to start our marriage out. 

The last day of our honeymoon we flew out of Houston to Las Vegas, then drove all day.  We enjoyed our eleven day adventure so much - it was a terrific start to our marriage, with many exquisitely happy memories.  We arrived home in Provo in the late evening – home! to continue our joyful eternity together…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Part Four: Our Wedding Day

Despite the weather man’s uncertainty and our worry, the morning of Thursday, May 21st, 2009 dawned with beautifully blue, clear skies and ideal temperatures that continued throughout the day, adding to the perfection of the happiest day of our lives. 
That morning I was at my parent’s home, practicing my song for the wedding luncheon, and being helped with my hair and makeup by my good friends, Sarah and Ali.  Devin, meanwhile, went in search of his dream, a shave and a haircut on his wedding morning, with his younger brother, Kyle, accompanying.  Sadly, he couldn’t find a place that would give him a shave.  By the time that Devin came to pick me up, most of my family had gathered at my parents’, but I still wasn’t ready.  He patiently waited, then we said our last farewells as an engaged couple and drove off very excitedly towards the Salt Lake Temple to be sealed for time and all eternity.

Although some parts of that day have become a little fuzzy, I will always remember the happenings in the temple that morning, and especially my feelings.  I was so happy! It was very worth the long (to me) wait and all the dating “adventures” to re-find Devin Moore and be married to him in the temple.  While he and I were waiting in the temple before we were sealed together, we sat in a special room with several other couples who were to be married that day as well – we noticed with amusement how pale/green/nervous some of them looked.  We both felt very calm and peaceful, very excited and joyful.
Soon we were ushered to another special room where our family and friends were waiting for us.  The man who sealed us, Robert Ferguson, is like another grandpa to me.  He gave us some wise advice and made some nice, insightful commentary before he joined us as man and wife through all time and eternity.  It was such a special and sacred feeling there that we all shared together – and I am so grateful for the restored gospel and the power of the priesthood and for temples and eternal families.
Mom then helped me into my gorgeous wedding dress, which with its million buttons took much longer than I had expected!  Everyone was outside on the temple grounds waiting for us when Devin and I emerged to be greeted and congratulated and much picture-ified. I couldn’t help but smile constantly…but I don’t remember my cheeks hurting… We were finally married!

We took hundreds of pictures with friends and family... 

...and just the two of us before we crossed Temple Square to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for our wedding luncheon. 

I used to work at the JSMB as a banquet server (for mostly weddings…imagining my own someday), so I know the food is quite good, but I don’t remember it that day – probably because I didn’t get to eat much. I was too busy talking to people, and listening to the program that Devin and I had arranged.  Devin’s dad emceed the event, which started with my dad explaining about the temple sealing and marriage and Devin and I exchanging rings, for the benefit of those who couldn’t attend the sealing in the temple.  We then had people close to us speak about us so everyone in the families we were marrying into could get to know us better – my mom, Devin’s mom, my older sister, Serity, Devin’s older brother, Brett, my friend Ali, and Devin’s friend Carl.  Then it was my turn to talk a little about my feelings for Devin and why I can’t help but love him, and I played guitar (no mean feat with huge fake nails on for the first time in my life!) and sang “I Will”.  Devin then spoke about me and played guitar and sang a beautiful song that he wrote just for that special occasion, “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, and Forever”.  

Sigh…it was more perfection packed into the best day ever! Devin and I stayed talking for a long time with family before we drove to my parent’s house – him driving in his tux, me squeezed into the passenger seat with my huge dress - Groom and bride!
We didn’t get the nap we wanted, but pretty much had to be whisked straight off down the street from my parents’ to the Parkin’s home, where our reception was held.  My grandpa and grandma Stratton used to live in that home, so it is a sentimental place for me – my sister Serity had her reception in their backyard as well.  The yard and decorations were beautiful... 

...but I’d have to say the reception was the most blurred part of my day – we arrived early to take pictures with our families in their wedding garb as well...

...but we already had guests coming early to congratulate us!  We had informed our parents we didn’t want a traditional line and instructed them to mingle. We intended to do the same, but got stuck in pretty much the same spot between the “get-to-know-Devin-and-Karina table” and the refreshments table as a VERY LONG line formed itself and never diminished!  We did take a momentary break to shove some cake in each others’ mouths (which was delicious!), 

but never got to try the other refreshments or enjoy the other decorations/areas of the reception as we were kept very busy with well-wishers until the sun started going down.  (Here is the video we showed at our reception - WARNING: it won't allow the audio, so put on your own music or it's very long! - or just imagine "When You Say You Love Me", "I've Got You Under My Skin", and "You're My Best Friend".)

We were hours behind schedule, so we deserted the rest of the line and had our dances – first I danced with my dad and Devin with his mom, and then we danced our first dance as husband and wife.  I suppose Devin had had enough by then, because after our dance he surprised me, and I think everyone, by shouting out our thanks to everyone for coming and then running away, dragging me with him for our escape!  A mass of startled family hurried after us across the street to our now well-adorned and embellished car and we had time for a few hurried hugs and goodbyes before screeching off down the street.  And here was the ending of our perfect wedding day: as the sun disappeared in the west, we disappeared to the south – Mr. and Mrs. Devin and Karina Moore!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Part Three: Engaged Bliss

Devin and I were engaged for a typical length of time, at least by LDS standards; 3 months. I think it’s amusing that we dated for less time than we were engaged (only 2 ½ months, even if you count December when I was still dating other guys).
In between me freaking out with the stress of wedding planning (mostly all the decision making was what killed me!), we had great times together doing a variety of activities.
Devin was actually super helpful and involved with the wedding preparations, which I greatly appreciated. The one thing Devin couldn’t stand was the long photo shoot for our engagement pictures – here he is at his wit’s end about to give up on the whole wedding idea and drop me off the bridge:

Devin is a really well-rounded person, which shows in the different kinds of dates we went on. On the spiritual side, we started our tradition of going to the temple together frequently:

Also, we often attended his Institute class in American Fork, went to the MTC a few times and listened to Spanish-speaking missionaries give us lessons, and we loved April 2009’s General Conference and our opportunity to sing with a group by the temple before one of the sessions. This picture is with our friends Carl and Tracy, watching General Conference in the Tabernacle:

Devin’s 2nd love is food, so you can imagine that a lot of our dates involved trying new restaurants or simply going on a “Fast Food Frenzy”, making cookies, and we also celebrated Pi Day (March 14th) with a beautiful and delicious love pie:

Sadly, Devin has an incurable addition…to RockBand; I can’t even count how many times we played that! Once until 2 in the morning…Plus sometimes we played guitar/sang for real.

We often watched movies, but we also like to be cultured and learn together. We toured BYU, the Conference Center and their art exhibit, went to the Thanksgiving Point dinosaur museum, and Indian Night at the U of U. We actually got into ballet for a little while too, inspired by the Chinese Swan Lake (see YouTube):

We like sports (watching and playing) and the outdoors too – here we are at a basketball game:

And canoeing in the bitter February cold with his BYU team:

And rock-climbing (Devin’s favorite) with Serity and Ric, just a few days before our wedding:

We spent a lot of time with family – double dates with Serity and Ric, Family Home Evening with my family, playing games with his surrogate family in American Fork, and hanging out with our cousins and grandparents – Devin moved to his grandma’s house for the last month before we got married – so he only lived 5 minutes away! It was great.
Devin did leave me for a week – in March, he went to Mexico with BYU to do some engineering projects:

But mostly, we were inseparably connected, blissfully and happily engaged!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Part Two : Courtship

Due to popular request, I, Devin, will complete the next section of the best love story ever. This “something” mentioned by Karina was indeed our second date (the first being when we smashed pumpkins together, which was planned (moments before), paired off (even though Karina insists that another of our friends was there) and paid for (I got in trouble for smashing the pumpkins!)).

I drove up to Holladay from American Fork, where I was living with a mission buddy (Skylar Haws) and picked up Karina from her house, that I had visited 6 years previous to that date for the first time. Karina was completely overwhelmed with my dashing appearance…just kidding. We drove to Temple Square, it was December 6th, 2008, to see the Christmas lights there.

We saw a lot of lights, but more importantly we spent the whole evening talking. I asked Karina a hundred questions about school, work and her life. I was absolutely enthralled with her. As we walked from Temple Square back to the car, I struggled to resist taking Karina by the hand, but lo, I resisted. I pretty much decided right there and then in the shadow of the temple (although there was no shadow, it was evening), that Karina was special; there was something inside her that I needed. My deep love for her really began at this moment.

Now, Karina stated that I fell in love with her while seeing her in the performance of Savior of the World - that is not completely true, but indeed my interest was perked. A miracle actually happened to allow me to see her that night. I showed up to the theatre expecting to be able to purchase tickets, but alas, this was not the case. Dejected and unsure of what to do, I stood a little bewildered when a man approached me and asked if I needed tickets. I said that indeed I did. He told me that he had planned on bringing his family, but that his wife and son were sick, so it was just him and his daughter and they had 2 extra tickets! I shrunk as I realized that I had no cash on hand and explained that to him and that I wouldn’t be able to purchase the tickets. He sighed to himself, looked at his daughter then back at me and said “Merry Christmas,” handing me the tickets. I thanked him and actually had a great conversation with him during intermission as our seats were right next to his. Thus the Lord saw fit that the tickets should be laid in my hand having taken no thought beforehand what I was to do to obtain tickets. My good friend Carl once said; “It is going to take some miracles for us to get married!”

Back to our second date…having not yet dined that evening we drove to Café Río for some good Mexican food. Our conversation was very pleasant the whole evening and I took her home after being filled with intrigue at the treasure of a friend I had so neglected, filled with anxiety to see her again soon, filled with questions and unsurety as to what the future with Karina held, and filled with Mexican food!

Going on dates with a busy woman is hard to do, and so I found out over the course of the next month. Our next date was a typical suburban American date, ice cream and a movie. During the course of the movie, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (which Karina had never seen) we ended up cuddling! After the movie, while we talked we ended up holding hands! Things were moving quickly and felt so right.

A few days after that encounter - excited about Karina and seeing her more frequently - the following impromptu date took place… Carl and Tracey Leder were in town and in need of a ride to the airport, really early in the morning. After I took them to the airport and was driving home I thought that I needed to pass Karina’s house to head home and I couldn’t stand passing by her house without stopping and seeing her, the complication was that it was 5:00 am! I made a bold move, that could have gone horribly wrong, but it was worth the risk! I drove to Karina’s house and called her hoping to awake her and I heard a groggy “Hello”. I invited her to breakfast. After a few seconds of silence she agreed and came out her door in a hoodie and sweats. I was impressed and we had a fun morning together, breakfast at Dee’s.

Christmas break was fast approaching and I was to travel home to Texas for the break and holiday. My desire to see Karina was unrestrainable so I called her with the intention of not hanging up till I had another date lined up with her before the Christmas break. To my dismay her time was completely filled with work, Savior of the World performances and other “commitments” (probably dates with other guys). Before hanging up she mentioned casually that I could come to the Flegal family Christmas party, which was the day before I left for Texas. “You could see Ali there!” (since Ali married Andrew Flegal and thus was now one of Karina’s cousin) she exclaimed with a tinge of laughter. I thought momentarily of the awkwardness of attending someone else’s family Christmas party and that Karina and I were not at all serious (at least in her eyes) in our relationship. I declined the sarcastic invitation having lost hope that I would see her before January. The next day I called Karina after having received help emotionally (I don’t remember from whom) and asked if I could accept her offer to the Christmas party. Very surprised, she consented to have me come along! The party was indeed awkward at stages, but I was able to meet many of Karina’s family members and have candid experiences with them where we could laugh together, sing Christmas songs together, and eat good food together.

I went to Texas happy with the progress that I had made with Karina and eager to see her again. I fought with myself whether to call her each night or not. The spirit constrained me and I called her only twice while I was in Texas although I desired to talk with her every day! Turns out that it was good for me to listen to the spirit, for Karina, in that time with little contact from me, pondered her future with me and saw that I was what she had been waiting for in a companion and spouse. All the while I thought I could convince her, but really it was her that needed to convince herself and I had done as much as I could do at that point.

Early January 2009 Karina and I started dating seriously; twice, thrice a week. One Saturday after we had spent the morning together we sat in my car outside her house and I begged her to allow me to spend the evening with her as well. She very suavely let me know that it would be better for me to do something else, that she was busy. Finally, after defining our relationship as steady dating, she admitted that she had a date with another guy that evening! I thought it was funny, but I was sorry for making the situation very awkward for Karina on that date that night. See, turns out that Karina didn’t know how serious I was about pursuing her so she kept accepting offers for dates from others all the while I was dating no one but her. That was the last date she went on with anyone besides me!

We had a wonderful courtship after that moment. Karina was still very busy and took on the task at work to repaint the interior of the building. I, seeing an opportunity, jumped at it. I told Karina that I loved to paint (which is true) and convinced her that she should let me come help her. We spent many evenings painting Turnabout Stillwater Academy.

One of the moments that defined Karina as my future wife was when I was heading to her work for the second time to paint. I called her and asked if I could bring her dinner to eat at her work before we started painting. Karina said, “Well, how about you pick up a Hot-and-Ready from Little Caesar’s or something”. That was the deal clencher! A woman of my own heart! If she would have said, “Bring me leg of lamb with goat cheese” I would have been excited, but a Hot-and-Ready!? It was true love.

Another evening after painting I treated Karina to a bottle of chocolate milk from the local grocery store. We drank the milk in her dad’s Buick and I serenaded her with Elvis’ love songs. At this point Karina had no power to resist falling helplessly in love with me.

One date was to the Clark Planetarium where we together enjoyed a program about the Utah Sky in January, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. It was fun seeing the exhibits there and learning with Karina. I loved her thirst for knowledge.

This story can go on forever, and actually it will! I’ll try to be brief here and leave out the boring details from here on out.

Karina came with me every other week or so to my institute class in American Fork and everyone was impressed by her beauty, which made me feel good, of course.

By this time (end of January) things were getting serious and Karina and I had talked about marriage and the prospect of us being wed. On Martin Luther King Day I took Karina engagement ring shopping to see what kind of ring she had always dreamt of. Turns out Karina wasn’t one of those girls that toiled over what her ring would be like someday! We went to Zale’s and were the only ones in the store that morning. The sales people were excited to see a cute couple come walking in the door, got us hot chocolate and began quizzing Karina. After she had seen a few hundred different options, she narrowed them down to her top 10 and she had had enough. She and I talked about what it was she liked, but her experience there had been long enough. We thanked the sales people and went to the car. I felt good because I now had an idea of what Karina wanted, and I had just got free hot chocolate! Karina turned to me and said, “Take me away from this awful place”. I said, “Sure, Jared’s is just down the street, should we go there next?” I actually took her to the Training Table for some comfort food: cheese fries and ice cream.

One of the choice experiences was going to the Draper Temple open house in mid January. It was so peaceful to walk through that sacred building with Karina’s hand in mine. It felt so right to be in a place that I loved so much with someone I loved so much. Sitting in the sealing room at the end of the tour was spiritual and I think we both had confirmations there that what we were doing was right.

In early February Karina traveled to Minnesota to visit a friend (Sarah Herrington) and I took the opportunity to contact a little business while she was gone. I have a friend in the diamond business in Rexburg, Idaho, so I drove up there to get a ring for Karina. I also had friends up there that I visited. I secured a ring that I was sure Karina would love and headed back to Salt Lake City. My big mistake was calling Karina while I was on the road back to Utah and I talked to her for hours, and she deduced that I must be driving (from back ground noise) and determined that I was driving from Idaho with a ring for her. She was right. That weekend I also called and scheduled an appointment with her dad for “The Talk”. He laughed when I said that, but agreed. The Talk was actually an involved discussion…two and a half hours later I had his permission to marry his second daughter.

One of the hardest things for me at this point was that I knew that Karina wanted to meet my family. The problem was that it was the middle of the school year, she was working and my family lives 24 hours away from Salt Lake City, Utah! I was ready to proceed and ask Karina to be my wife, but I knew of the need she had for meeting my family…I didn’t know how to do it. Miracle number… oh who knows, keep reading.

I was shopping in Ross one day and I called my mom to ask her what birthday presents my siblings wanted (hoping to find them at Ross, discounted). She gave me the answers I had suspected and then asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I thought for a second and responded that I could use a new white shirt for Sundays. She then said excitedly, “How about we fly you and Karina down for your birthday weekend?” How could I reject that offer and answer to my prayers?! Mom told me that she had suggested the idea to my dad and he said, “If that’s what you want for your birthday, we’ll do it” (my mom’s birthday is the day after mine). I was super excited and planned to surprise Karina with the trip. After consulting with male and female friends about whether to surprise her (not tell her where we were going, just “on a trip”) or to let her know we were going to visit my family, I decided to let Karina in on the secret, but I did hold out on her for a week or so.
We flew down to Texas, which was a fun thing to do together. It was a surreal experience walking down the airplane breezeway with luggage in hand with the destination of taking this beautiful woman home to meet my family.

While in Houston we went to the Temple, drove past downtown and went to Galveston and the beach. I had thought that proposing to Karina on the beach, on my birthday (Valentine’s Day) would be awesome! But I also thought it would be predictable, so I didn’t do it, even though I took her on a walk all by herself to give her the impression that it might be coming! I had to build some suspense right? After my family had also fallen in love with Karina, I knew the time was at hand for history to be made…

After waiting as long as I could after we had arrived back to Utah from Texas I decided to make the plunge (one day after we got home). I had originally planned on proposing to Karina on top of Mount Olympus! Epic right? I mean, what better place than atop the mountain of the gods?! Well as you might or might not know, February in Utah is cold and there is a lot of snow on the tops of the mountains… but I decided that it must be done nonetheless (the proposal, not climbing to the top of the mountain). I told Karina that I was coming up to Salt Lake and went to her house. I begged her to come to the trail head with me at Mt. Olympus to see how much snow was on the trail (we had talked about climbing Mt. Olympus a lot at that point). She decided that we could go, even though she was feeling a little sick. We hiked up the mountain probably only 5 minutes or so and found a nice spot to sit, overlooking the Salt Lake valley. We had a nice chat and then the conversation moved onto geology. Karina had taken a geology class at BYU-I and I one at BYU and we were discussing rock formations (romantic I know!). After discussing the origin of some of the surrounding rocks, I pointed down to one that didn’t quite fit in, it was a round white rock that in the darkness contrasted the other formations. I asked Karina what she thought it was and she said that she had no idea. I picked it up and eyed it for a minute and said, “I think it’s a geode!” Karina was not convinced, but I prodded her on to try to break it open and see. Casually she tossed the rock onto the ground and it did not break open. Eager to change the subject Karina mentioned the stars or weather or something (I wasn’t really paying attention, because I knew that rock was a geode). I picked it up again and suggested that she bash the rock against a sharper rock to break it open, I showed her how and felt the rock start to crack! I handed it to Karina and told her to rip the rock apart, she did and looked inside. At that time I knelt down and took her hand and asked her to be my bride! She looked at me and said, “YES!” She said yes!

Turns out that inside that geode was a diamond ring, a very rare occurrence. We reveled in the moment of being newly engaged and having a secret that nobody knew! It was a shortly held secret for when I took Karina home she had to show off her ring to her family. We were happy! We are happy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Time For A Story!

If you don't like sappy love stories, read this anyway! It's a good one.
Well, it's MY favorite.

Part One: Pre-Courtship

This picture above is the first picture ever of Devin and I together. And yes, that is Ali between us, which is hilarious. I give Ali all the credit of bringing Devin and I together. After the Lord, that is.
So - here is our story! Devin and I both started our first semester of college at BYU-Idaho, fall of 2002. Within the first week or so, we had both learned the tricks of the dating trade at BYU-I; one night, he and his roommates were out walking through the girls' apartment complexes, and my roommates and I were sitting in our apartment - with the door wide open to invite any such male wanderers to stop and talk to us. Here is a picture of us later at that same historic location:

Ah, Carriage House 311 - if we had only known then! But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Devin and cohorts stopped at our door and began the typical get-to-know-you chatting. Devin fell madly in love! But not with me - with Ali. (He said it's because she was the only one whose name he could remember. I highly doubt that!) Devin began pursuing Ali and I WAS MAD!! Not because I was jealous (because neither of us had any romantic interest in each other), but because I was a fiercely loyal cousin, and I was looking out for my own best interests. Ali was "waiting for" my cousin, Andrew, who was serving an LDS mission in Germany - and I was determined that my best friend WOULD become part of my family! So, I disapproved whenever Devin came around looking for her, but at the same time, never had anything against him personally. When we would all hang out, we had great fun together - in fact, everyone used to tease us that "Devin is the male form of Karina, and Karina is the female form of Devin". We even went smashing pumpkins once (more like squishing them, since we dropped them from the 3rd floor and they were very old, mostly frozen-rock-solid-from-the-Rexburg-winter-which-yes-starts-in-October pumpkins and they just collapsed).

Devin always refers to this as "Our First Date" - but I vehemently disagree, as it does NOT fit the "planned ahead, paired off, and paid for" criteria I believe in.
Well, Devin and Ali broke up, Devin went off to Spain to serve a mission, Andrew came home and promptly married Ali (hooray!), and we all stayed good friends. I ended up going to Brazil to serve a mission, and Devin found out about this via Ali (her match-making begins). He wrote me, I wrote back, he wrote again, I wrote back again, he wrote again - - I SWEAR I replied to it!

Brazilian mail is sometimes untrustworthy... In any case, Devin did not get a return letter and thus quit all communication between the two of us for the remainder of my mission.
I returned home in October 2006 and started back at BYU-Idaho the following January. Having been gone for so long, I was sad to find that almost ALL of my BYU-I friends were elsewhere. I found out somehow (now that I think of it, probably from Ali!) that Devin was back at BYU-Idaho too, and was really pretty excited because that brought my friend count up to 2. I'm not sure where I got Devin's number (again, probably from Ali), but I called Devin and we had a nice chat catching up with each other until I had the gall to suggest we should get together sometime...a fatal mistake which brought about an awkwardly abrupt end to our conversation as he misinterpreted my PURELY FRIEND-BASED INVITATION to be a bold romantic advance and spluttered something about how he couldn't because he was dating someone already. I was miffed because #1- he was so cocky to presume I was interested in him, #2- he totally rejected me in my obvious need for social-ness without even an offer to double date sometime, #3- I was back down to 1 friend at BYU-Idaho.
I think I subconsciously held a grudge about this for quite awhile, as I never went to visit Devin. He, however, (probably feeling guilty! - just kidding) came to visit me at my apartment several times over the next year and a half we were both there, and we also frequently ran into each other on BYU-I's small campus. I did go support him in a couple performances - he was part of a barbershop quartet, "3 Good Haircuts", which was the best at BYU-I by far. They were asked to sing at the Rexburg Temple Celebration, a great honor. I have put the video here, in case you're interested - he's the one on the right.

Anyway, I always enjoyed seeing Devin, however brief it was, but never thought to do more than let fate bring us together every so often - he was just my good ol' chum from the old days of freshman year. We both were busy with school and our active college dating careers - but we certainly benefited from the 6 years of growth and learning between first becoming friends and our (ahem! REAL) first date.
Well, in April 2008, I graduated and moved home to Holladay, and Devin transferred to BYU and moved to American Fork with his mission buddy, Skylar. At some point during that summer, I remember talking to Ali on the phone and protesting her encouragement to "call Devin and see how he's doing"...but Devin beat me to the punch (I think it was in October) and called me to catch up on life. We discovered that we had both moved away from BYU-I, but were still relatively close (45 minute drive). We both discussed the people we were dating at the time, and Devin suggested we do a double date (ha! 2 years later! :D). The date fell through, but I had told Devin about my involvement in the LDS Church's Christmas musical in the Conference Center Theater (called Savior of the World) and invited him to come. I played the role of one of Mary's cousins, as well as an angel in the chorus. Here I am on stage with my "sister"/fellow Mary's cousin.

A few weeks later, he decided to bring a date to see me in Savior of the World, but didn't tell me that he was coming. It was opening week, just the day after my 25th birthday when he came. Unfortunately for that poor girl he brought as a date, she couldn't compare to a glowing, singing angel, or a dancing-with-ribbons-Mary's-cousin! Devin fell in love with me on the spot...or at least became intensely interested in me. A few days later he called to tell me what a great job I had done - and ambiguously slid in another suggestion to do something together, since our double date hadn't come to pass. I agreed, wondering what the status of this "something" was...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If Blogging were a class...

...I would be failing.

Every time I get on my blog I get distracted by reading my friends' blogs...the time slips by and I haven't made having a blog worth it - only given myself countless guilt trips as I re-write "Update blog" on my to-do list each week, progressively working up to "UPDATE BLOG", "UPDATE BLOG!", "UPDATE BLOG!!". Yet it continues un-crossed-off (so painful!), a cancerous blight on my to-do list, too daunting of a task to re-cap the last year and a half of my life...
This would be the week to do it though. Or last week. Or next week. Devin went to San Francisco last week, is on a 50 miler hike this week, and is going to Scout Camp next week. Yes, that would be a majority of 3 weeks spent contemplating loneliness. It has given me new appreciation for Devin and his exhausting energy-level. :) I miss the thoughtful things he does for me each day, unwinding together from our busy days each night, and...just his face. I could go on, but I'll spare you.
Well, here's hoping to having our blog caught up by next Saturday. I'll pretend it's a class.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

There was one in the bed and the lonely one said...

I miss Devin!! He has been in Mexico since Monday, and doesn't get back 'til Tuesday afternoon. I'd like to pick him up from the airport, but I don't know if I'll be able to leave work that early...
Night time is the worst! All quiet and dark and lonely...this morning I woke up so early and was filled with "saudades" (a Portuguese word there is no English substitute for) - so much that I couldn't get back to sleep for awhile.
I've tried to keep busy, and have done a nice job of it (I made about...I dunno, 10 loaves of French bread), but it's still difficult. You'd think that only being married slightly less than 10 months I wouldn't be so used to having him around all the time...

"PLEASE! COME BACK! I'LL GIVE YOU A HORSE!" (a loaf of French bread to the first one who guesses the movie!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Life Consists Of...

...just 3 things, mostly. In order of the quantity of time spent, not how much I love it:

#1 - Work! I work at a youth treatment program called Turnabout/Stillwater Academy (in South Jordan - the picture obviously wasn't taken in recent months in light of the weather we are currently enjoying!). I love the people I work with, most especially my dad, who hooked me up with the job in the first place, right after I graduated from BYU-Idaho in April of 2008. I wear many hats at "TA" - initially, I was hired as the registrar of their private school (assigning classes and such paperwork as needed) and also I worked in admissions, talking to parents about their troubled teens and about how great our program is (because it really is amazing!). As the economy has changed over the last (coming up on) 2 years, I have been given additional jobs such as ordering uniforms, overseeing the meds, much more receptionist time, and other small odd jobs. Probably the best thing about working at Turnabout is that they have been very flexible about vacations and leaving early/coming late, etc. I wanted this job to be in the therapy/counseling/social work atmosphere to see if I wanted to get my masters in this area....I have learned that I am not cut out for the job! But I have also learned many great concepts, skills, and ideas to implement in relationships and future parenting. A shameless plug for my work - if you know of anyone that could use our services, have them check out! :)
#2 - My Devin! I have married the Energizer Bunny! :) He loves to work hard and keep very busy - whether it be working, studying, or playing (one of his favorite pastimes is playing games - here he is with his recent birthday present from my sibs "Settlers of Catan" - I am gearing up for hours of being conquered - he almost always wins. Everything.). He is in his last semester of undergrad at BYU, studying Civil Engineering. We are waiting to hear about grad schools and where we'll be moving to in the fall. This last week he got his first answer back - sad to say we won't be going to University of Virginia (sorry, Ali! we won't be moving closer to you). He was sad for about 1/2 a day, but we'll wait to hear about Purdue and Texas A&M before he applies to the U (last resort for him! :) but I'd be happy to stay near family). Devin wants to go into traffic and transportation engineering; he is in love with it, really! A day never passes when he doesn't teach me some exciting point of engineering he's learned in class or point out something really neat like a diverging diamond interchange (I am totally learning the lingo) or an "W" beam (yes, I meant "W", not "I", but they're related apparently..HOWEVER, I am informed the "W" is much cooler). Devin interned for quite awhile with UTA (Utah Transit Authority), but wanted a change and now interns for Wilbur Smith Associates. This means that he takes our one car up to downtown Salt Lake early every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and works a half day, driving down in time for his afternoon classes at the Y. This also means that (much to the delight of my mass-transit loving husband) I have become much better acquainted with routes 811 and 218 on the beloved city bus. :) The pluses are that I get naps every day, that I actually exercise at least 3 times a week (walking to and from bus stops), and I have finished 2 books already! Anyway, I digress. Back to Devin - when he's not busy with work or school or his calling (see #3), Devin likes to be with me! :D We have an overactive dating and social life, with something going on every night. He plans fun outings frequently and we are enjoying our newlywed freedom. I love my Devin so very much!
#3 - Church and Family activities. This is a picture of the Salt Lake temple on the day we were married there! Beautiful day. We have a goal to attend the temple each week, which is made much easier by the fact that we live so close to so many of them here in Mormonia. Besides that good tradition, Devin has a demanding calling as Stake Young Men's President, which gives him several meetings to attend regularly throughout the weeks, plus some fun YM and combined YM/YW activities. This gives me a chance to do such things as blog (well, today anyway!), clean the house, cook, and sleep. :) My calling is demanding as well, but only for the 2 hour time period that I am in Nursery each Sunday! I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOVE NURSERY!!! I love all the kids there - we currently have 18. I come home with funny stories to share with Devin every Sunday, and I'm learning some great parenting techniques. They are certainly special children of our Heavenly Father's - I feel such a love for them, and the love He has for them. Nursery has also made me baby hungry. :) We are now trying to get pregnant, and we'll see how that goes. My sister's children also make me super baby hungry because they're THE CUTEST KIDS ON THE PLANET (until mine come along)!! My nephews are adorable and energetic and I have 8.5/9ths of an already well-loved niece. We try to spend as much time as possible with my family, who live in the area - but Devin's family is far away in Texas still.

So! That is what my life currently is like! That was a way long post. Hope it makes up in some degree for not blogging, really since I set this blog up! If it makes you feel better - this post describes my every-day life for the past 9 months (it's our 9 month-a-versary today!) exactly. And I will blog about the exciting trips, etc. Soon. :) I promise!