Confessions of a Valentine's Hater

My former Valentine’s Day hatred has roots from my childhood. I disliked it because Mom and Dad usually disappeared on that day or weekend, if they could, and left us in the hands of some television-obsessed teenager. Yet Mom always had the living room decorated in pink and red and she even made sure we had bags of little gifts, like heart-spotted socks, along with cards to tell us how much she and Dad loved us.  But still…
Something about Valentine’s just never settled with me. By the time I hit middle school my personal vendetta against the holiday had commenced. Carnations were sold in the cafeteria for a buck and these multicolored tufts of flowers appeared everywhere- usually in admired people’s lockers. Even worse, they would sometimes end up in the hands of singing telegram people who would burst into your classroom and make your ears bleed.
I grew to despise those weird tasting conversation heart candies and the way people would stick crudely cut out heart shapes all over doors and cement walls. Half of the girls spent the holiday mourning their boyfriendlessness and the other half abruptly felt the need to giggle and gawk at boys like they’d never seen them before. It was just pathetic. If I was ever dating anyone during Valentine’s I requested that we treat it as if it were just a normal day. Nothing special.
Then Roy happened, and I suddenly will take any excuse to celebrate our amazing, disgustingly romantic love. Hence, this year was the best Valentine’s Day EVER and I believe my vendetta has spiraled into nonexistence.
I snuck over to Roy’s apartment early in the morning, decorated his car, and left a small gift and corny, cliché poem inside. Then I ran upstairs to see him where I was surprised with the sweetest letter ever written among other little gifts (my favorite, a DVD of Tom & Jerry’s best episodes of all time).
Throughout the day we ended almost everything we said to each other with either, “I love you” or “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Wow… if only my middle and high school friends could have seen… they never would have believed it.
We made a cake for Roy’s sister, Leah!
We cut the cake in the shape of a heart! We are so cute.
We dropped off 312 water bottles to Utah Charities to be shipped to Haiti.
We hung out with the McMannus’ where we watched Rockadoodle and colored in coloring books with Mylee and Maddox.
And Sarah had this adorable idea to make cake pops.
They were supposed to look like this…
She should never have let me into the kitchen…
They may be ugly, but they still tasted delicious! I love eating my weight in sugar.
Roy, I love you! Thanks for giving me a reason to love Valentine’s Day!

See Ya in Two Years 'Lil Bro

Mason has been in the Missionary Training Center for over twenty-four hours now, with no contact with the outside world.
Dun dun duuuun.
Yesterday at noon Roy and I met up with Mason and my parents at the Provo, Utah temple, which was right across the street from the MTC.  Roy had snuck away from the accounting firm for an extra long lunch break. I wish that Zac and Alexa could have snuck away from school, but they had to stay down in Tucson.
Lots of other Tucsonans showed up, though, as well as some of my dad’s family in Utah.They came to see him off, to give him encouragement and support, and maybe to capture a clear memory his face so that they’ll recognize the missionary that walks off the plane two years from now.
Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been something Mason has wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It always seemed so far away, so it’s insane that the time has finally come. In California he will be sharing the Gospel and helping bring people to Christ. It’s one of the biggest sacrifices a basketball playing, videogaming, 19-year-old can make; he’s dedicating some of his best years to the Lord. This is a big deal.
After getting their fill of pictures with Mason in his suit and tie, everyone said their goodbyes. Roy left, the family left, everyone left until it was just the four of us in the little Cadillac my parents rented.
Squished between Mason and his huge suitcases, I watched as we pulled into the MTC parking lot and passed suit after suit. Everyone gets dropped off on Wednesdays. I remembered how old I used to think missionaries were- and how much I looked up to them.  We were directed around the side where numbers marked car slots against the curb. We pulled into number 22 where a short, dark haired guy with a black plastic nametag waved to us. Mason’s welcoming comitte to this new way of life.
“Mason, you’re going to have one of these,” I said, pointing at the guy’s nametag when we crawled out of the car. “Elder Collett.” The short guy told us he was getting ready to leave for Chile. Cool! I wonder whose welcoming committee Mason will serve as.
Elder “Chile” took two of Mason’s bags and was ready to take him away from us, but Mom and I had to get in three hugs each. Don’t worry Dad gave him one too. In a very Dad way.
I took pictures of Mason getting his coat on, posing with Mom, and even called to him when he was walking away to get one last shot. It was well documented. And yet it was such a quick event. I don’t know what I expected… but somehow something more grand or epic… like bells ringing, angels singing, or at least for Mom to start crying.
But it was just like saying goodbye to him when I leave home. Everyone happy and smiling and excited for him…
All there was to say was, “Welp... see ya in two years, lil’ bro!”

Addicted to Licking Envelopes

It was 1:39 a.m. when I finally licked the last envelope…
Roy and I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our save-the-dates that we made online. We hadn’t realized that they would take almost three weeks to produce and mail to us. By the time they were in our hands we were determined to get them mailed pronto.

Recently Roy bought a calendar notebook. Ever since we’ve been making and executing goals like no one’s business.  (And we have a lot of goals lately.)  It was our goal to mail out our save-the-dates the weekend after we received them.  Hilarious that we received them on a Thursday and were leaving for our trip to Oregon on Friday.
But we did it!

We buckled down right away, whipped out the address lists our moms put together for us, checked out our facebook group of addresses, and wrote and sealed all night long. Because we were pressed for time, we decided against labels and convinced ourselves that handwriting was more personal… no matter how sloppy. We weren’t quite done yet when Roy had to go home, but I couldn’t stop. What a weird addiction! In fact, I think I dreamt of addresses all night because when I woke up in the morning I had four or five names that I had to quickly jot onto more envelopes.

While I was in class that day, Roy went to the post office with our cardboard box filled with weighty envelopes. The cranky old lady behind the desk handed him a stack of postage stamps and… poor Roy… he had to go through every single envelope and stick on stamps. Some envelopes stuck together, hence a few envelopes sitting on my kitchen table right now with “RETURNED FOR LACK OF POSTAGE” stamped across it. Heartless postal people…

But honestly, within twelve hours we received our save-the-dates and turned around and sent them out. As soon as they were in the mail we were in a car headed to Newport. I have to admit, we amaze me sometimes.

Welcome to Our Lives

The process of planning our wedding has officially begun.  We hope you all received your save-the-date magnets!  If you didn't, we're sorry and we most likely didn't mean to forget you! We've had a few returned to us in the mail and now we'll have to figure out how to get them out.