Thursday, September 23, 2010

Once and Future Honeymoons

Things are plenty crazy and although I never want to say "the honeymoon's over," we're definitely facing life head-on, without some of our favorite honeymoon type blessings-the extra time together, the temporary lack of laundry or dishes, the almost constant dates. *sigh*
I'm scheduling my next honeymoon right away. I'm not counting on it coming around for another decade or more, but I'll get another one someday. Mark my words. :)

So, besides being fabulous, what does that picture up there have to do with this? Well, I'm here to tell you. :D Jennie Karges of Ampersand Photography did our engagement and wedding pictures and I LOVE that she captured this moment. I looked at that and was so excited that she caught this part of our relationship. This is exactly what it looks like and how we stand when we're talking things over and deciding on something together.
It's okay if the honeymoon's over, because I love the "figuring it out together" part of marriage that we're getting right in the thick of. Mind you, us figuring it out these days doesn't look quite as cute as it did on our wedding day, but oh well.

And in case you weren't paying attention, here's another plug for Jennie: Ampersand Photography


Catch Up

Chase is at ASU and MCC working on prerequisites for Dental school and working at the Scout Shop. He's serving as Cubmaster in our Ward and doing an amazing job! Seriously...ask anyone! He's the best.
I'm our ward's music chair, chorister and choir director. We're trying to get a choir going again...which is a LARGE point of STRESS for me right now. We'll start up practice in October and until then I will probably be praying frantically. :P
Scholastically speaking, BIG CHANGES for Melissa: I've taken a leave of absence from ASU to do a 30-wk. Massage Therapy program starting next month. Like I said-BIG CHANGES. I'm definitely a little nervous going into something completely new and different, but I'm really happy about it and Chase and I are way excited. :)
Because my school schedule is going to be 9-5:30 M-TH and pretty hard to schedule, I'm not working right now, which is tough, but we'll survive.
Anyhoo...I hope everyone's doing great. :)

P.S. Blogging friends,
I want to see you blogging more. I miss you when you're not blogging. That is all.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just Married

July 2, 2010-Chase and I were sealed in the Mesa, Arizona Temple for time and all eternity.

Married life is treating us wonderfully. Marrying this man was definitely the best decision of my life. He's so amazing as well as amazingly good to me. He's the strongest and gentlest person I know and much more concerned with my welfare than his own. He even cleans my kitchen and does the every day. Alright, so maybe he does it more for his own sanity than mine, but still. I dare you to top this. :P Being married to him feels like the most normal thing-like taking a breath. Despite the adjustments, I feel like I've been his wife forever-and I really will be. :)I should put more pictures soon. I've still got to write about the Alaskan cruise family reunion, though, so there's some catching up to do. For now-just know that we're doing great, that we're crazy busy, that we're both looking for new jobs and getting ready for school to start. Love you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Love Story and a Wedding Announcement

I'm getting married July 2nd to the most amazing man in the world, universe, eternity...etc. His name is Chase Kimball. We met in our Principles of Leadership class at the Tempe Institute at ASU. I had my eye on him from the beginning and we became fast friends. We sat next to each other all semester...(at first with a little sneaky arranging on my part)..and just had a blast. We spent lots of time whispering back and forth and making each other laugh, but still managed to learn a ton from our great teacher Bro. Hofeling. {He gets a special shout out, since I took his class before and his counsel was a huge blessing to me when I was going through a tough time and considering taking the class again. I did and, will be paying off for eternity.}

Chase tells me he had his eye on me as well and that he had been praying that the right girl would be in one of his classes.
Well, there we were. We were always on the same page when discussions got weighty, family and future oriented. I felt uncannily normal around him...and now I'm addicted to the feeling. I told him I liked him, but he was dating someone else at the time. I was devastated, but resigned myself to being the best friend he could ever have. As one last ditch effort I made him peanut butter chocolate brownies for his golden birthday-March 24th. We walked down the stairs of the institute together as we always did and he asked me out. We went to the Renaissance Festival for our first date and just walked and talked all day.

Chase and I have the best time wherever we are and whatever we're doing. Our courtship has been such a comfortable thing for both of us. I remember wondering out loud, "Is this what it feels like for everyone-finding the right person?" He said, "I don't know...but if not, it's a shame."

When he proposed we went to a neighborhood with a beautiful lake view and went for a little walk. We arrived at a bench overlooking the lake and there were flowers waiting for me on the bench. As I sat down to pick up my flowers, he got to one knee, addressed me by my full name and asked me to marry him. I'm so glad I said yes-for obvious reasons...but also because there was a candlelit picnic dinner to follow. It was glorious. He's glorious.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be sealed to this wonderful man for time and all eternity. I wish everyone this kind of joy. We all deserve to feel this. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ it's all possible.

We love you and want to see you come celebrate with us.
(send me addresses on facebook if you want an announcement)

JULY 2, 2010
7-9 PM
LDS Extension Building
616 S. Extension Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85210

Monday, April 12, 2010

Orange Colored Sky

Sometimes I forget about certain parts of me.

The last couple days I've been immersed in New York Voices...which I love, but hadn't listened to in years. I missed Vocal Jazz. It makes me want to get my degree done and go do my masters at Sacramento State. *sigh* Like I said, I forget about parts of me. I really hadn't thought about that love for three years.

Change of Subject:
I'm tired. Someday I'll have a really good excuse to be tired, like being a mom....For now, I'm just tired. :/

In better news:
I'm having a really lovely time with most aspects of my life. I'm getting slightly better at piano, I think I'm becoming a better teacher, I might just survive the school year, I've been spending a lot of time with a guy in my institute class, and I'm really hoping (and praying) for the best.

...I'm mostly praying that I don't screw it up royally. I've been handed a lot on a silver platter...I just hope I'm not nearly as clumsy with these blessings as I've been in the past.

I'll take prayers, if you've got any extras. :P


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Current Events

Things are going excellently well. Things are just as difficult as they ever were, but significantly improved. I can't quite explain what's happened. I really don't have any idea. School is crazy. Work is crazy. Home is crazy. Church is crazy.

The first week in February my family and I went to the Renaissance Festival. There are some adorable pictures I need to get up. It was a blast. I must tell you all a story about the "hair stick" I bought. Another time.

The next weekend we went to the VNSA book sale. I should write an entire blog on that as well. For now I'll just say that I love books and I purchased a great many of them for cheaper than dirt cheap. ...I had to wait in line at 4 am to get in early enough, but it was worth it.


Stake Conference was this last weekend. It was quite a trip. I learned in the adult session of conference that a dear friend of my family's died suddenly of a heart attack that day. I was completely broken apart and cried through some of the talks. It was, very difficult...and still is. My sister Lisa played a beautiful musical number on Viola. She's so talented, I just can't stand it!

For the general session I was in the choir, as usual, and shared a descant with Lisa. The music was very mission-centric and got me thinking and crying. I listened to the Spanish translation during the meeting. I often feel the spirit more strongly in Spanish and it's a good challenge for me to practice translating in my head along with the translators-two of which are relatives (my Dad and my T -->ío Ron) and another who's my Primary President (Soy la 3a consejera...yes 3rd counselor). Fun stuff.

School is as it always is. My favorite class this semester is of course my Institute class-Principles of Leadership. The class is fabulous and it is only improved further by the superb company. :) I'm doing incredibly well in my Italian class. It's really astounding how easy it is if you're a Spanish grammar geek who already took a class on Italian pronunciation. weird... :P

Work is insane. Of course it is! :P You can't expect anything less working with kids. I've been bouncing around the preschool a lot lately. I'm really getting fond of working with the threes, though....which is probably why they put me back in the twos today. :P oh well... Hooray for potty training twos!

In other news,
My family's in the middle of approximately ten million projects. So far, the prognosis is good. I am impatient with myself, though. And I'm betting I'd get more done if I weren't so tired...or still sick.. either one. ;)

Well...that will have to suffice for now.

How is everyone doing?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Safety for the Soul

I love this talk by Jeffrey R. Holland from last October's General Conference. Read it. It's wonderful. There's video at the bottom of the bolded text. Yes, it's long. Read it anyway. :P

"Prophecies regarding the last days often refer to large-scale calamities such as earthquakes or famines or floods. These in turn may be linked to widespread economic or political upheavals of one kind or another.

But there is one kind of latter-day destruction that has always sounded to me more personal than public, more individual than collective—a warning, perhaps more applicable inside the Church than outside it. The Savior warned that in the last days even those of the covenant, the very elect, could be deceived by the enemy of truth. If we think of this as a form of spiritual destruction, it may cast light on another latter-day prophecy. Think of the heart as the figurative center of our faith, the poetic location of our loyalties and our values; then consider Jesus’s declaration that in the last days “men’s hearts [shall fail] them.”

The encouraging thing, of course, is that our Father in Heaven knows all of these latter-day dangers, these troubles of the heart and soul, and has given counsel and protections regarding them.

In light of that, it has always been significant to me that the Book of Mormon, one of the Lord’s powerful keystones in this counteroffensive against latter-day ills, begins with a great parable of life, an extended allegory of hope versus fear, of light versus darkness, of salvation versus destruction—an allegory of which Sister Ann M. Dibb spoke so movingly this morning.

In Lehi’s dream an already difficult journey gets more difficult when a mist of darkness arises, obscuring any view of the safe but narrow path his family and others are to follow. It is imperative to note that this mist of darkness descends on all the travelers—the faithful and the determined ones (the elect, we might even say) as well as the weaker and ungrounded ones. The principal point of the story is that the successful travelers resist all distractions, including the lure of forbidden paths and jeering taunts from the vain and proud who have taken those paths. The record says that the protected “did press their way forward, continually [and, I might add, tenaciously] holding fast” to a rod of iron that runs unfailingly along the course of the true path. However dark the night or the day, the rod marks the way of that solitary, redeeming trail.

“I beheld,” Nephi says later, “that the rod of iron . . . was the word of God, [leading] . . . to the tree of life; . . . a representation of the love of God.” Viewing this manifestation of God’s love, Nephi goes on to say:

“I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, . . . [who] went forth ministering unto the people. . . .

“ . . . And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; . . . and they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.”

Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” That phrase—taken from Moroni’s final lines of testimony, written 1,000 years after Lehi’s vision—is a dying man’s testimony of the only true way.

May I refer to a modern “last days” testimony? When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum started for Carthage to face what they knew would be an imminent martyrdom, Hyrum read these words to comfort the heart of his brother:

“Thou hast been faithful; wherefore . . . thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

“And now I, Moroni, bid farewell . . . until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ.”

A few short verses from the 12th chapter of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Before closing the book, Hyrum turned down the corner of the page from which he had read, marking it as part of the everlasting testimony for which these two brothers were about to die. I hold in my hand that book, the very copy from which Hyrum read, the same corner of the page turned down, still visible. Later, when actually incarcerated in the jail, Joseph the Prophet turned to the guards who held him captive and bore a powerful testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Shortly thereafter pistol and ball would take the lives of these two testators.

As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?

Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”

I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, . . . a rock of offense,” a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. “They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.”

Now, I did not sail with the brother of Jared in crossing an ocean, settling in a new world. I did not hear King Benjamin speak his angelically delivered sermon. I did not proselyte with Alma and Amulek nor witness the fiery death of innocent believers. I was not among the Nephite crowd who touched the wounds of the resurrected Lord, nor did I weep with Mormon and Moroni over the destruction of an entire civilization. But my testimony of this record and the peace it brings to the human heart is as binding and unequivocal as was theirs. Like them, “[I] give [my name] unto the world, to witness unto the world that which [I] have seen.” And like them, “[I] lie not, God bearing witness of it.”

I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days.

My witness echoes that of Nephi, who wrote part of the book in his “last days”:

“Hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, . . . and they teach all men that they should do good.

“And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day.”

Brothers and sisters, God always provides safety for the soul, and with the Book of Mormon, He has again done that in our time. Remember this declaration by Jesus Himself: “Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived”—and in the last days neither your heart nor your faith will fail you. Of this I earnestly testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

It's true. All of it. That's all there is to it.

Merry New Year

...thank you for correcting my English, which stinks. :P

Hello all! Hope you had a fantastic new year. More importantly, I hope you keep having a fantastic year long after it's lost its new-ness. :)

I rang in the new year at gameworks with lots of people I don't know, some awesome people I do know, and some moderate playing of games I'm no good at. I obviously went for the company-which was excellent. I spent the whole night mostly just hanging out with one of my best guy friends. Not much for me on the singles front, but it was the first time I'd really gone out in a while so it was fun to get gussied up...even though I just went in jeans and a t-shirt. :P Most of my gussy-ing happens on my face. haha.

New Years day I went for Pupusas with the fam and the afformentioned guy friend. Man, do I love Pupusas!... :P It sure makes the new year look good. :)

So, the new year so far has got yours truly into a bit of a planning frenzy at the moment. School schedule. Lists. Lists. Primary. Lists. Sharing Time. Music Time. Lists.

Speaking of school...As with every semester, I'm way excited. It's the novelty of it. I wish that zeal would stick around, but it tends to wear off in a hurry for me. It's no big surprise that, as with 2009 as a whole, last semester was a disaster for Operation Existence.

A toast to a new semester and a new year:

May the sleep be habitual!
May the food be on purpose!
May the messes be few, far between, and brief!

Dang...those sound kinda resolution-ey...oops...Oh well.

So, some fun goings on:

Last night...or I guess now it would be the night before sisters, cousin Marlee and I had a girls' night. Big success! You rule, Beck! It was beautiful in its simplicity. Homemade peppermint ice cream and Flight of the Conchords. Good stuff.

Also, I'm becoming surprisingly sporty. ...No, really. I'm playing soccer again. My dad's kind of unofficially coaching my family's little recreational soccer group. He's the best. Love you, Daddy! Happy Birthday on Monday!
I've also taken up tennis. Don't worry, I'm not any good. I'm finding some tennis muscles in my arms though. Weird. :P It's fun, though. It's kind of funny to think of me playing tennis when all my tennis-related knowledge comes from either the movie Wimbledon or a cartoon. Still, I'm psyched. :)

So...apart from all that fun, I've been occupying the rest of my time by wasting it-One of my many talents. :) Auto-Tune the News, is probably my favorite time waster at the moment. :) I can, no joke, watch them for hours on end. So far, there are 9 (at times very wordy) episodes and I'm well on my way to memorizing them all. My fanaticism is obvious.

Anyhoo, more Existence and Operations to come.

Happy New Year!