Saturday, October 8, 2011

OUR story

Ok, maybe we are not the best at maintaining a blog. I don't feel like its right to say we are going to "get back to it" because 3 blog posts don't really count as being committed to blogging. But we will attempt to do better.

How we met

Some of you know Andrew, and some of you know me, but only a few of you know US. So I figured it was about time to tell OUR STORY. Andrew and I have an interesting history, to say the least.

September 2005: yes, the story begins over 6 years ago. I started my sophomore year at BYU and I needed a job. I got a job at the Global Service Desk. That is the tech support office for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I worked on a team that was the home base for people who were installing wireless internet into church, institutes, seminary buildings and family history centers across the United States. Andrew was on that team, along with several other BYU students. Well, everyone on the team was SUPER nice to me, except Andrew. He wouldn’t say two words to me. But alas, you can’t win them all, right? I happen to be so charming, however, that I broke through his shell and we became work pals. One day at work we were talking about BYU homecoming week and how the next day free pancakes would be served. We decided we would get some friends together and go together. I think we both were semi interested in eachother, but we gotta start slow.

We became good friends, but I started dating someone else, and dated him for several months. Andrew and I stayed friends through that whole semester, and in January, my boyfriend and I broke up. But no no no, Andrew and I did not start dating then. We started hanging out a lot though.

"Hanging out" at his apartment sometime in 2006

Fast forward to April, end of the semester, I was about to go to Vienna to study abroad for the summer. I asked Andrew on our first date (he was kinda shy back then, guys..). Our first date consisted of going to Color Me Mine and painting sushi plates for eachother (which we still have!). That evening, we got back to my apartment. Previously in the evening Andrew had told me that he walked in on a Mary Kay party the other day and participated in the Satin Lips event. Well, in my apartment, before he left, I gave him a hug and he looks at me and said, “Ya know, I still have Satin lips…” Well, I caught the hint. First kiss, accomplished.

I went to Vienna, and just before I came home I remember thinking, “uh-oh. I hope he doesn’t think we are TOGETHER!” So I wrote him a very clear email stating that I wanted to be friends and I didn’t want him thinking that we were a couple.

Through the next few months we hung out a lot, we went on a date or two, but I could not commit to dating him. In fact, he asked me to give it a shot, and I did for two weeks. But then I broke up with him. It just didn’t feel right and I don’t know why. Once again, I started dating another person just after Thanksgiving (we are now in 2006). Well Andrew and I didn’t talk too much between then and April, when the semester ended and I went to Arizona for the summer. Well the guy I was dating and I broke up that summer. And in fall 2007 I went back for my Senior year of BYU.

That first semester I decided that I needed a break from school and I wanted to go on a mission for my church. I distinctly remember Andrew saying to me, “you don’t seem like the type of person to go on a mission.” I also remember thinking, “I’ll show YOU!” We were very good friends that semester, and just after Christmas as I was preparing to go on my mission to South Korea, Andrew came down to Arizona to visit.

Well I was gone for 1.5 years. But I had a distinct thought towards the end of my mission that Andrew and I would probably start dating when I got back. Again I thought, “I dunno if that’s what I want…” But I went home and by that point (after knowing eachother for 4 years) Andrew and I had become best friends.

My best friend and I, goin to the temple

Through several years of up and downs and working together, and spending so much time together, we really were best friends.

I think we were cleaning the floor..?

Well Lucky for me, Andrew was still living in Provo and working in a nearby town. He had graduated a few years earlier and was just working.

I went back to finish my degree and we started doing things together every day.

Getting ready for a BEATLES party
Jammin to Beatles on rockband, we are THAT cool!

The first time he kissed me (this time) I said, “what are you doing??? We are not dating!” He said, “Hey, I never said we were. This doesn’t mean we are exclusive! CALM DOWN!” well slowly but surely we started dating. We saw eachtoher every day even though both of us were so busy in our own worlds.

Welp, fast forward to April 2010. I was getting ready to graduate, I didn’t know where Andrew and I were going, and he was unsure about getting married. I decided that after graduation if Andrew hadn’t made a decision by graduation, then I would need to break it off and move home to Arizona, because there wasn’t anything for me in Provo except Andrew. Well, coincidently enough, the day I had planned to break up with Andrew, he proposed to me.

He went to his house to pick him up, my family was coming into town for graduation and we were going to dinner with them (my roommate had convinced me to wait to break up with him…she knew something…). Well Andrew said his brother had a dead battery at work (which was the same place we worked at together) and asked if we could go give it a jump. So we went out there and they “jumped” the car that did not have a dead battery. His brother told us that we could look around the building etc since it had changed so much since we worked there. I thought, “uh, ok. Its raining, its 40 degrees outside, and my parents are waiting for us…but sure, lets look around.” We went inside, talked to some people, and then Andrew says “Hey lets go walk down the path and look at the place I camped at a few times!” I said, “Andrew, its cold…its raining….” Andrew: “please?? It was so fun! Plus remember how we used to go on walks out here all the time! Lets go! Just really fast??” Brittney: “fine…” (ps…im not a fan of cold….). So we are going down this path, its raining, and we see two baby cougars walk out from the brush. Andrew: COOL! Lets get closer!” Brittney: “HELLO??? Baby cougars means MAMA cougar is somewhere…lets GO!” Andrew: “Lets go around them…come on!” So we are walking through the muddy grass when he grabs my hand and I turn around to say “WHAT?? ITS COLD OUT HERE!” and instead I see him on his knee. BOOM, engaged.

8 weeks later we were married.

4 weeks later we moved to Colorado.

2 weeks later I started my job as an Athletic Trainer.

1 week later Andrew began graduate school after 3 years of no school.

And here we are!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lemons Family Rules

Dedicated to Joyce and Vince Lemons (Oops, Joyce Eagar-Lemons :))
BRITTNEY: While speaking via Skype with my mother-in-law, she told me I really ought to document some of the rules my parents had for us while we were growing up. I know that all children are different and so parents need to cater their punishments and beatings to the personalities of the children. And that's what my parents did. that what they did. Now many of these rules had sub-rules so that all of the "loopholes" as my MIL calls them, are covered. My parents (Joyce and Vince, lovely people really, despite my memory of some of the punishments) also had a sub-clause that stated they could add or take away from rules, punishments and beatings as they saw fit..because they were the parents. That's the worst phrase to hear as a kid: "because i'm the parent". Shudder.
Rules, in no particular order except perhaps the ones I remember most are being listed first because they were seared into my head.

1. You must eat all food on your plate. Always. Sub-rules: you must take at least one spoonful of everything prepared for dinner, but you do not have to have seconds if you do not like it. If you choose not to finish everything on your plate, you do not get any other food to eat until the next meal. No snacks, nothin'. Now, if I, as the child, did not serve myself, and say my father served me dinner, maybe the portion was too big. But i had to try everthing on my plate. Sub-rule 2: this rule applies when at friends' houses as well. Mom: "I don't care how much you do not like broccoli, if it is served at someone elses house, you will eat at least some of it and smile while doing so."
Lesson learned: I can stomach anything. Seriously. Because of this, maybe i do not like certain foods, but i can eat anything, and i never find myself pushing my peas around my plate when im a guest at someones house. This came in handy while i was in Korea, i ate all sorts of "different" things there.

2. If you complain about what is on the menu for dinner, you are sentanced to a week of cooking dinner for yourself. Sub-rules: the dinner you cook cannot be instant (i.e. ramon noodles, mac and cheese, pb&j, cereal), it must be cooked, and it must include a meat and a vegetable.

3. Because there were five people in the family, the next rule worked well: everyone has 1 weekday/week where they clean up the kitchen after dinner. Each individual is responsible for their own dishes, but then whoever was in charge of clean up had to: clear the table, wipe the table and chair, wipe the counters, stove, sink and inside/outside the microwave, and sweep the floor. Saturdays we were usually gone, and sunday everyone helped out. Occasionally we would be blessed by someone else in the family getting in trouble and their punishment would be to have dinner kitchen duty for a week or two weeks. This meant you got off free for the week. Unless you were the one to get in trouble. Then it wasn't so great.

3. The "JOB BOX". My parents were anti-clutter and anti-stuff-laying-around-the-house. What'd they do about it? They had a job box. If a shoe, a sock, a backpack, a book etc. was left in "common area" (that means: not your bedroom), then it was allowed to be placed in the JOB BOX. If an item was placed in the job box, you had to do a job assigned to you by mom or dad to retrieve that item. No IOUs were allowed, so if monday morning i needed my homework folder from the job box, i had to do my job (usually cleaning spots of the carpet or shoveling snow in Colorado, or sweeping the walkway on Guam) before i could go to school. And those of you that are thinking "you could have snuck the folder into your bag"...wrong. Mom took inventory on the box regularly. And honestly, the punishment for "stealing" from the job box was far worse than the original job would have been. Also, no item was allowed to stay in the job box for more than a week. If it was in there for a week, mom would approach us with a job to do.

4. Promises were always kept. Good and bad. "If you get in trouble at school, you will get in worse trouble at home." True. Always true. "If you lie to us, the punishment will always be worse than if you had just told us the truth in the first place." True again.

5. You ALWAYS finish your homework before the TV goes on. And the TV never goes on before 5pm. We were allowed to watch 2 half hours hows (we usually chose Full House and Home Improvement).

6. Mom will do the laundry, but you have to fold your own laundry and put your own laundry away. And you will fold the laundry while watching your shows at 5pm. Laundry must be completed being folded by the end of the two shows (we had a tendancy to forget about the laundry and just watch).

7. You make your own lunch for school. You may buy hot lunch 1x/week. When you pack a lunch the following must be included: A sandwhich or something to sub as a sandwhich that must be approved by mom, a piece of fruit or some vegetables, and then we were allowed a string cheese or other nutrient filled snack, a less nutrient filled snack (gushers, moon pie etc) and a juice. I made my own lunch starting 1st day of 1st grade. Also, lunches get made the night before. Always. (We found ways around: for one year i took a pickle every day as my vegetable, and my brother took a mayonaise and cornflake sandwhich)

8. You never lie. Ever. Now my sister (Bekka you know i love you) had trouble internalizing this rule. Anthony and I got it down quickly because we hated being grounded, but Bekka seemed to enjoy it. Scenario: Bekka was about 7 or 8 years old. She was in the shower. Suddenly we hear "MOOOOOM. MOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!!" coming from the bathroom door. I run to see what the comotion is about, cuz im nosy. Bekka has the door cracked open with just her nose sticking out.
Mom: whats wrong?
Bekka: I cut my leg, see??? (she sticks her leg out of the crack in the door, its dripping wet with water, and also dripping blood. It is clearly a razor cut...i deduce in my 12 year old mind at lightning speed that she had attempted to shave her legs while in the shower and cut her leg).
Mom: what did you do? (always a test to see if the truth will come out, since she already knows)
Bekka: I cut my leg!
Mom: HOW did you cut your leg bekka?
Bekka: well i was coming to talk to you and when i opened the door the corner of the door hit my leg and cut it. (smart, but just wait..)
Mom: well what did you want to come talk to me about?
Bekka: i wanted to tell you that i had cut my leg! I told you!
Mom: but...well how did you cut your leg?
Bekka: On the door.
Mom: And how did that happen again?
Bekka: I was coming to talk to you and cut it.
Mom: and what did you want to talk to me about again?
Bekka: I needed to tell you i cut my leg!
Now, this proceeded for another round or two and then my mom finally asked bekka if she cut her leg with a razor, bekka confessed and was either grounded, or sentanced to kitchen duty for a week.

9. No bouncing/kicking/throwing the ball in the house, no jumping on the furniture (beds included). "If you break it you buy it" meaning, if you break it, you have to fix it or replace it. Now, this did not apply to dishes that get dropped, or other accidents. But if while kicking the ball in the house it broke a lamp, we had to forfeit our allowance for however long it took to replace the lamp. Or, if while jumping on the couch (or wrestling with friends on the couch as one case has it) and the middle wood pannel breaks, you have to purchase the wood to fix it and fix it (with the help of dad).

10. You can disagree, but there is no need to argue, yell, scream and fight. And if you do, you get to hold hands on the couch with the sibling in which you are fighting with on the couch for a period of time determined by the parent (typically dad), because you love eachother and will learn to be near eachother without hitting eachother. This typically resulted in us wrenching eachother's hands trying to cause as much pain as possible without letting out any sort of noise to let dad know we were still fighting, because that would result in more time on the couch.

Now, it may seem like these people were cruel, but alas, they weren't. They were necessary. As we got older they loosened the reigns a bit (because we were so conditioned and kept the rules naturally). Mom told us they figured if they were strict with us as children (and most of these rules i remember from when i was in elementary school), then they would be able to trust us more as we got to be teenagers. I think, in general, this worked the way they had planned. So if any of you want to implement any of these in your household, i say go ahead.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So here in Foco (that's Fort Collins Co. to all of you non colorodoans) our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is undergoing a big media effort to help try and dispel some of the myths that people might have about our faith. They are going to be showing lots of videos about people in our faith like this one There is also a site that let's you see other profiles of people in our faith and learn more about that church. It's kind of cool to be part of a project like this.
I'm a Mormon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy birthday to me...

So I have been working on my master’s project pretty intensely these past few weeks since I had no other choice (I like to procrastinate until it comes down to the wire). It involved developing a two day training on a type of therapy for a group of 35-40 people. This went from 9am till 5am Wednesday and friday. Basically it was a lot of material to gather, plan and prepare. My punishment for choosing a master’s project instead of a thesis…I had to present on my birthday. I did my best to not let anyone know it was my birthday to save any possible embarrassment but I guess the man upstairs wasn’t going to help me too much on that one.
My advisor and co-presenter got word and decided that it would be a good idea to have everyone in the class sing to me before we had even introduced ourselves. Then my wonderful cohort brought me a cinnamon roll with candles on top and sang to me again. They only put two candles on top though cause no one would have guessed I am 29 years old! Yeah, that’s right almost thirty and no posterity. I am a failure by Mormon standards.
Anyway the training went pretty well and I felt so relieved when we finally finished everything up for the day. I came home and had delicious chocolate cloud that Britt made for me and we just sat and watched episodes of Friends. Britt got me some cool running shoes for my birthday (even though we said we weren’t going to do any presents) that we just found out are bad for my knees, hips, back, and pretty much everything else. (that’s what you get when you live with someone who works in athletic training)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The middle of the beginning

Andrew and I decided several months ago that enough interesting things happen to us that we ought to keep a journal or record our experiences somehow. Well...the idea was great, and the past few months....we've done nothing about it. So finally we decided maybe a blog is the way to go. We will also print OUT the blogs so we can have tangible evidence of our journaling attempts for our posterity who naturally will be grateful we kept it. So the thought is...whoever writes, will write their name at the beginning of the post, so all of our zero readers so far will know who is talking. So

Brittney: I will record my recent experience with the feline species. It was quite the unpleasant experience and I am sure that I am scarred for life now because of it. But Andrew can tell you for sure, what with his Psychology background and everything.
Our neighbors asked us to feed their cats while they were away on vacation. Well, owning a cat of our own we figured it was a job we could handle, and even do proficiently and to our neighbors liking. Last Sunday, day 1 of our cat-sitting adventure, and ultimately the last day of this adventure as well, was a day that will always be remembered Like a good sitter I went upstairs at approxmately 1.55pm to feed the cats. Cat #1: Coal. 3 yrs
old, long haired black cat with bad attitude, but typically pleasant enough. Cat #2: Asia. 3 month old, short haired black cat who is still too young to know whats going on. I get into the apartment, I pet the cats, and i start searching the cabinets for cat f
ood. I had forgotten where the food was so i opened and closed every cabinet in the kitchen. Well Coal was starting to get aggitated with how long I, a stranger, had been in his house, so he started to grumble and growl. Ya know, that deep throaty growl that cats do. i was conveniently trapped b
etween the kitchen table and the wall, pouring food into a cat bowl, Coal made it apparent he wanted me out of the house ASAP by bearing his teeth, growling, hissing and floofing his fur whilst arching his back. Still, I was unaffected because again, I grew up with cats. I took the food bag and tapped Coal on the nose which typically causes cats to CHILL OUT, or run away. Oh no no, not Coal. That was the last straw for Coal. Coal leaps at me and attaches his teeth and all twenty perfectly sharpened claws to my leg. I shriek in pain and proceed to kick Coal (sorry for all you animal activists but it HURT!), launching him across the room. Again, typically a cat would bolt after being kicked. Nope, Coal came back for more. Now fearing for my life as well as for the cleanliness of the carpet (my legs were dripping blood by this time) I took off for the door. Coal catches me in the foot, in the hip/stomach and 3 times on the legs before, while screaming profanities I finally make it to the door. Leaving the keys in the door, my flipflops at the front door and the door wide open, i sprint down the stairs to my own apartment, safe. NOT!!! COAL chases me all the way down the stairs. At this point im thinking "If he runs into my apartment I will be trapped and h
e will eat me alive!!!" Luckily he did not make it into the house. Once i slammed the door shut i stood there, absolutely HYSTERICAL. By this point my legs and bloody and I am sure that I am going to die any moment, so i call Andrew and cry/yell/scream at him to get home NOW!!! I explain between sobs what had happened, while Coal guarded my window and door so I could get go anywhere. Andrew got home, an
d he and another neighbor shooed Coal into his house with a broom. We then went to the ER because, FYI, cats are dirty. They have dirty mou
ths, they have dirty claws, and people have died from getting scratched and/or bitten by cats (yes, even housecats) and not going to the Dr. SO we went. Well those lovely ER people scrubbed my legs with a BRISTLE BRUSH and some form of stinging liquid, gave me an Rx for antibiotics and sent me on my merry way. The antibiotics were really what I was after (plus when we went to pick them up at the pharmacy, the pharmacist mentioned cookies and ice cream help heal deep wounds, so we picked up some of that too...anything to help heal!) I had five full mouth bite marks on various parts of my legs and the puncture wounds went about half an inch deep into my calf muscle and shin muscles, so this week was spent hobbling around with quite the swollen legs. The cat? Well, I told the owners i would not go back in there, and they had plenty of food to survive 3 days. When the owners got home and opened their door, Coal went BERSERK hissing, growling etc. Well they have a 2 years old daughter and weren't willing to risk a psycho cat, so they had the Humainne Society come and whisk Coal away (may he RIP). The aftermath posted by way of photos, i will spare you the picture of my hip.