Friday, April 27, 2007

Yellow Roses

We're remodeling here at work. They're taking this big open space area outside my office, and making another small office, as well as a work space. All this is happening as we continue on with business as usual. It's a little bit noisy and distracting, but definitely interesting.



Today we're going to talk about my favorite color.



It's Yellow



You already know this if you've been reading this blog or know me well at all. It wasn't always that way though. When I was a little girl my favorite color was light blue. In high school I was one of those girls whose favorite color was teal (Yes, as a matter of fact, I did attend high school in the 80's. Thanks for asking). At another point my favorite color was maroon. But, it's yellow now, and has been for at least 15 years or so. I don't particularly like yellow flowers, except for daffodils. Interestingly enough, I have no use whatsoever for yellow roses. That had made for interesting moments when men I've dated have tried to give me yellow roses, just knowing that they would make my day. I'm not a great actress, so I'm sure it was confusing to them when I didn't just gush over the flowers.



Actually, I remember one time in particular. . . I had been dating a guy for a little while, and we got into kind of a tiff or something. It was a bit of a rocky time, and we were both young enough and inexperienced enough that we didn't really know what do to about it all. So, I kind of gave him the cold shoulder for a few days (I'm not proud of it, but there you are). To his credit, he persisted in trying to work things out, and showed up at my door with a handful of yellow roses, sure that they would melt my heart. Poor poor guy. I was frustrated already, and then to have this man that was supposed to know me show up with a bunch of what were possibly my least favorite flowers clutched in his hot little hand - well, it wasn't pretty.



Granted, I had never told him that I didn't like yellow roses, and I had told him that yellow was my favorite color. But, still why in the world couldn't he read my mind? Honestly, is it THAT difficult?



The story has a happy ending though. That particular evening wasn't all that great, but once I had cooled down from my irrationality and unrealistic expectations, we made up and were able to do quite a bit more good dating before we decided to go our separate ways. He later married, and I can only assume that he is now blissfully happy.



Kind of like this one particular girl I know.



(In case you are wondering, Eric never made the mistake of giving me yellow roses. I learned my lesson, and alerted him to the "I love yellow but not yellow roses" paradox quite early on in our friendship.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Higgins

Warning--Some of the images posted may not be appropriate for children (as in, they could be kind of scary!)

So, back when Eric and I were dating and I started hanging out at his apartment, I noticed a particular figure that he had displayed quite prominently in one of the common areas. I hunted around the Internet and found that its proper name is "Horrorclix Cthulhu". It's creepy looking, as you will soon see.

Well, soon Eric and I took to calling this hideous creature "Higgins". Once he had such a safe, cuddly name, it was easier for me to see him as the misunderstood, deformed, kind-hearted creature that Eric told me that he was, rather than the hideous, violent, repulsive figure that he really appears to be.

So, when Eric moved his things over to our house, Higgins came along. Eric situated him on the piano, and I told him that he could stay there for a minute or two, but that there was no way that Higgins (kind-hearted or not) was going to have a permanent residence in the living room of our little love nest.

As a joke, I moved him into the guest bathroom a day later, and hung an extra roll of toilet paper on his arm, turning him into a butler of sorts (and really, doesn't the name "Higgins" scream "I am your butler"?). But, we (one part of "we" more than the other part) determined that having a monster in ones guest bathroom is probably not a great thing to have, particularly if one has young nieces and nephews who come over to visit periodically, which we do.

So, Higgins has found a new home. He's still in the living room, much to my surprise. We'll see how long this lasts.
(Now, tell me that I'm not willing to compromise!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

A few more wedding pictures


This will be kind of a quick post, but here are some wedding pictures, courtesy of my Uncle Warren and Aunt Lou Jean. You can see more on their smugmug site.


The first two are pictures of me and Eric with his family and my family, respectively. Fun, huh? Some things that I love--in the first one how Joseph is yanking on his ear. In the second one, I like how the two girls are holding my bouquet in the front. (Marian and Kaylee really got into the whole bride/princess thing). You'll also notice that Spencer is crying. That's because a fly landed on him. Spencer has some kind of phobia about flies.


The next one is a shot of some of my nieces (and one nephew) with the train of my dress. They really enjoyed holding that up and making sure it didn't drag on the floor.


Below is another "dress train" shot.





















And then, this is our fabulous wedding cake! Isn't it beautiful? Those are chocolate-dipped strawberries on top. If you haven't heard the infamous story of me and the chocolate dipped strawberries, I'll have to tell you sometime. It's kind of along the lines of the "hypothermia" experience that I had earlier this year.


And that's probably all I have time for today.


Hasta pasta,

Char

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wedding Pictures
















These are just some more wedding photos for all who are interested.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Jean




A little over a month ago, I wrote a bit about my paternal grandmother, some of her story, and some of how I felt about her.

Well, today it's my other grandmother's turn.

I was born on the wedding anniversary of my maternal grandparents. I'm the second oldest grandchild on that side of the family, so, I was kind of spoiled for a few years there. My Grandma Willis was great to pretty much all of her (33 I think) grandchildren though. I remember how she and my grandpa would travel down to Southern Utah at least once per year, and spend a week or so in our house. If it was winter time, she would take my little brother and me outside and pull us up and down the neighborhood streets on our sled. I remember how neat I thought that was, to just be able to ride all the time, and not have to get up and walk with the sled up the hill to start another ride.

When I got older and started participating in my high school choirs and track & cross-country teams, my grandparents would come see me anytime I was doing anything in the Salt Lake area. That was always very special for me as well. Even when I got a lot older, and probably didn't need the support as much as I had when I was younger, they still gave it to me in buckets. I still remember the time they came to the Assembly Hall to hear me sing with an Institute Choir. I was one of about 150 voices, didn't have a solo or featured part or anything, just singing a bunch of songs. I was at least 24 years old at that point, and this concert really wasn't all that important or memorable to me at the time. It's memorable to me now though, because my grandparents came to support me in it.

My grandpa passed away a few years before my grandmother, and by the time he did, I was living in Northern Utah, much closer to Salt Lake City. During those "widow years", I would often travel down to Salt Lake and spend a night or a weekend at grandma's house. Also, if there was every any family event going on in Cedar City, I would pick up grandma on my way down, and we'd make the trip down together. At times I wasn't all that pleased with this arrangement, for the simple fact that I couldn't drive as fast with grandma looking over my shoulder at the speedometer as I could when I was alone. However, now I count those times on Interstate 15 as some of the most treasured memories I have.

To sum up, my Grandma Willis and I became pretty good friends over the course of the 30 years we had together. Ours was a relationship that was very special to me. So special that there were several times during the course of my engagement that I would catch myself wishing that somehow I could have met and married Eric while she was still alive--just so she would be able to be there with us.

Funny thing though. For those of you who aren't familiar with LDS temple sealings, there's always a temple worker, a woman who is assigned to help the couple through the process, leading them to the different rooms where they need to go, making sure that they are where they need to be at the time that they need to be there. I think she's also probably there to keep the bride and the groom from getting too anxious or nervous about the fact that they are about to change their lives forever.

Well, Eric and I were fortunate to have a lovely, kind, gentle woman assigned to us. She was about 5' 4", with silver white hair, lovely eyes, and a very sweet smile and voice. She was calming and so very helpful. I felt completely at peace as I was able to follow her around with my Eric.

I'd never met her before that day, and I'll be kind of surprised if I ever meet her again. But, guess what her name was . . .

Jeanine Willis

You can believe what you want, but I will never be convinced that it was a coincidence. I was lead through my temple sealing by a woman whose name was almost exactly the same as my grandmother's.

Sometimes I think we convince ourselves that God is only involved in the big events of our lives, that He only "checks in" when we are in dire need or headed for disaster or something. I think we are wrong when we think that way. I think God is involved in our day-to-day lives, every single day. I think He delights to bless us in many varied ways. And I think He knew just the perfect way to add a little bit of extra "special-ness" to what turned out to be my most special day ever.

That's what I think.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We're back!


This will be quick, but I just wanted to write a little post and say that Eric and I are back from our honeymoon-ette. We'll take our real honeymoon in a few weeks.


The wedding was WONDERFUL.


The reception was great. I was able to see more people that I ever thought I would see. At times the line seemed that it would never end, and I felt badly for all the people that had to wait so long, with only the thrill of being able to see us as the reward for all their patience. But, it was SO fun to see so many friends and family and share the joy.


The wedding was probably the very best 30-45 minutes of my entire life so far. I can't even express what a fulfilling, thrilling, peaceful, joyful thing it was to enter the sealing room and see ALL my brothers and sisters, ALL Eric's brothers and sisters, ALL of our parents, and nearly all of our aunts and uncles as well as many of our friends there, waiting to witness our sealing. My Uncle Bud (really his name is George--I don't know why we call him Bud) performed the sealing and it was just beautiful. I cried much more than I had planned on crying.


After the wedding we took pictures and then went to the luncheon. It was great too.


After the luncheon, Eric and I took off for the honeymoon-ette in Salt Lake. We played around for about three days down there, and mainly just relaxed. We were able to go to church in the Salt Lake 8th ward, in an old building across from the Salt Lake library. Other than that, we pretty much just did whatever we wanted, when we wanted. It was wonderful.


We arrived back home on Monday afternoon, and spent most of Tuesday settling in and opening present after present after present! It was a dream!


And that's about it. I'll post a picture that one of my friends e-mailed me today (she took it with her cell phone). I've got to run, because I'm late for a lunch date--but I'll write more later, and I'll definitely post more pictures later--once I have more pictures to post that is.


:)


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The last pre-marriage post?

This may be the last time I post for a little bit. Friday is our wedding reception, Saturday is our wedding, and then Eric and I will go on a little mini-honeymoon for the weekend. Our real honeymoon will be taking place in early May, once Eric's class is over, but before things start getting unreasonably busy for me with the opera season. So, unless I find myself with extra time tomorrow, this will pretty much be it.

The out-of-town visitors are starting to arrive. Last night I met up with some of my dear friends from far away. They were working at the opera company when I started, nearly 12 years ago. Four of them have moved on to other things now, but I feel so lucky that we've been able to stay in contact with each other, across many miles (we're nearly coast to coast now) and several years as well. Anyway, we had a great night of eating lasagna and fruit pizza, and chatting and catching up. There was a lot of laughter as well, which was naturally my favorite part.

Tonight I've got a different party to attend, but this one will not be in my wedding-ness honor. It's a birthday party for one of my friends. Eric has a test tomorrow, so rather than hanging around and distracting him from his study, I'll go to the party and try to distract myself from the thought that I am only three days away from what is surely the most life-changing event that I have ever experienced. I'll be attempting this internal distraction at precisely the same time that I will be fielding different forms of what has turned out to be the question of the week. ("Are you getting nervous yet?") This question is generally immediately followed by the second most popular question of the week, ("Do you have everything all ready?"). I'm reminded of how I felt the month or two before I became a Mormon missionary. I wanted to wear a sign that said,

--Santa Rosa, California, Spanish-speaking
--June 7
--Yes, I'm very excited
--Yes, I'm a little nervous as well*

Now I think the sign would say,

--Yup, it's getting pretty close
--Not so nervous any more, just mainly excited
--So far, I think we have everything under control**

So, we'll see how that goes. Really though, if I were to answer those questions honestly, they would be more like this:



--Yes!! It's getting close and I'm so excited that I can hardly stand to keep from dancing and singing as if I was one of those Seven Brides for Seven Brothers performers! Is there a barn-raising anywhere close by?
--No!! I'm not very nervous at all! Would you be nervous if you were marrying your best friend, in the very place and in the very manner that you had hoped for since you were nine years old, with all your family there to see you and share the joy?
--I don't know if we've got everything arranged for the celebrations. I actually don't really care at this point whether we do or not!! I'm marrying Eric in the temple. Our family members will all be there, along with more friends than either of us really deserve to have. Knowing that, I'm having a really hard time being concerned with whether or not we have enough plastic forks.



Yup, that's what I'd really say.

So, I leave you with a picture. The newspaper ran our wedding notice in Sunday's paper, and I was able to take a digital copy of the picture they put on the on-line site. So, for your viewing pleasure I give you yet another picture of Eric and Charlotte.

Happy Wednesday,
char




*(The questions that this sign would answer are: Where are you going on your mission? When do you leave? Are you excited? Are you nervous?)

**(You're on your own for this one)

Monday, April 09, 2007

a whole bunch of random stuff

Right now I'm listening to a track from my "Tales of Hoffman" CD. It's loaded in my computer, along with a whole bunch of other music, and so it comes up in the random mix from time to time. I've gotten so that I can recognize it and distinguish it from the other opera that comes up. Not a great feat, when you realize that "Hoffman" was written by Offenbach, and the vast majority of my other opera collection was written by Puccini, and that the two have almost nothing in common when it comes to writing and composing styles. But still, I'm pleased with myself.

My insurance agent is retiring and turning the business over to his son. I just got a letter on Friday telling me this. It's not a big deal of course, but it's kind of a bummer. This is a man who has known me for going on 10 years now. I put my insurance with him because he kind of "adopted me" during my first year at school here. (Eric is always teasing me about how I have a tendency to "collect" fathers wherever I go. He should be grateful. Those fathers come in handy time after time after time.) Anyway, last July when I accidentally ran my car through a big bakery window (a story for another time), I can't tell you how nice it was to be able to call him and tell him what had happened, and have him take care of everything from an insurance standpoint.

I went walking past the "Lions in the Driveway" house again on Saturday (and this time I had my camera), but guess what? The lions are gone! I don't know where they went. The suspense is killing me.

I just found that my friend Harmony has a blog. That makes three of my friends who have started blogging in the past month. How fun. The other two friends--for those of you who are interested--are Jeri (a/k/a Jennalyce on this blog) and Heidi (a/k/a Henrietta on this blog). Harmony has no pseudonym here on this blog. Don't ask me why.

And the final thing is that Eric gave me a little Easter/pre-wedding present on Saturday night. check these out! Talk about random, quirky, and just plain fun!



Friday, April 06, 2007

Singing

I love to sing.

I've been singing since I was a little little girl. One of the first singing memories I have is when I was about 4 or 5 years old. We were living in Columbus, Georgia, and my father taught some people in our ward there how to sing "Give Said the Little Stream" in Spanish. I don't remember too much about it, just being in a gym, and singing it as a family for the ward.

Then I remember when I was still in Georgia (I think) I sang a solo in church. I sang one verse of the Hymn "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning". I don't remember how it ended up that me, a mere 6-year old at the most (we moved from Georgia to Utah before I started first grade) sang this song, but I'm pretty sure that I did.

When I was a little older, I would listen to our recording of Amahl and the Night Visitors, and I would imagine that I was playing the part of Amahl. It was kind of a hard thing for me, because Amahl is a little crippled boy, and I was a little non-crippled girl. But, I've always had a healthy imagination, so I managed.

When I was a little bit older, (probably 10 or so) I decided that I wanted to sing "The Rainbow Connection" for our family reunion talent show. I told my mom, and she got me a copy of the song, and arranged to have my Aunt Liz play for me. So, I practiced at home in Southern Utah, and Liz practiced (not very much, because she was already a master pianist) at her home in Northern Utah, and then we met up in my Uncle Scott's cabin and I sang it for my great big extended family. I remember after I was done singing, my cousin Emil, who was serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the program, made a joke that someday soon there would be a young man who would want to sing along with me or something like that. Emil was right, but I don't think he imagined it would take 25+ years for me to find and be found by that young man.

I could go on, but this is probably long enough. I was in many choirs in high school and college, and I took voice lessons for many years, and I've taught voice lessons for a few years as well. I've recorded three very amateur CD's, I've given two pretty amateur recitals, and I've sung at more funerals than I care to remember. I'm strictly a hobby singer, but I have to say that I can't think of many hobbies that are more enjoyable or rewarding than this one.

Singing is like nothing else I've ever experienced. Even better, depending on what kind of music I'm singing (be it classical, folk, religious, popular, or whatever else), the experience varies within itself as well. If I were to count up the top 25 "most joyful" times of my life, I would guess that at least 16 of them would center around a singing opportunity that I experienced.

It's a beautiful gift, being able to sing. It's allowed me to meet people I might never otherwise have met. It's allowed me to feel emotions and happiness that I might never otherwise have felt. It's allowed me to be a blessing to others in a way that I never would have guessed I could. I don't mean to sound boastful or proud, because as I said, I am just a hobby singer. I work at an opera company, and so I have the chance to hear great professional singing quite frequently. I know what truly great singing sounds like, and I am no truly great singer. But, I'm a good singer, and more importantly, I thoroughly enjoy being able to sing.

And that's what matters most to me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mr. Bonzo Beware

So, I was thinking about what I might write today, and I got thinking about how I would probably start the entry by saying something like, "So, I was blah, blah, blah", almost as if my dear readers had dropped in on the middle of a conversation.

And then I got thinking about how that really isn't very good English, and how my dear Mr. Bonzo (the most demanding English teacher the whole world has ever known) would have ripped me to shreds if he had ever read anything along these lines written by me.

And then I got thinking that this is actually being posted on the world wide web, and man do I ever hope that he never ever stumbles upon it.

So, let's just keep this little blog between us, shall we?

To update you on some of the events alluded to in past posts:


  • I lost dishboy's tournament challenge. I can't believe it! I came in dead last! Actually, I tied for dead last with my brother Mark. But still. In the three years that I've participated, this is by far the worst I've ever done. Terrible!

  • I'm still battling Microsoft Office 2007. I'm getting used to some of the quirks, but all the while discovering others. How I long for the good old days of Office 2000.

  • I still haven't figured out what the deal is with the lions in the driveway. I also haven't remembered to take a picture yet either.

  • And finally, I haven't had the heart (or the time) to tune into American Idol since my dear Chris was voted off. I did receive many heartfelt condolences however. These have been deeply appreciated.

And I suppose that's enough for today.


Oh-except for one thing:

Yesterday, my passenger-side rear tire blew out as I was making a five-minute drive to my piano lesson. That's never happened to me before. A year ago, that would have been a traumatic event, since I'm about as handy as a rock when it comes to cars. But, as it was, I called Eric at work, and he came out and changed it for me. It was as easy as pie (for me) and the absolute opposite of traumatic.


I could get used to this.


-c


Monday, April 02, 2007

a bed, general conference, a bit of panic and even more peace

It was a nice weekend. Friday Eric called to let me know that he and his father had moved our new bed into the town home. It looks great, it makes for terribly comfortable sleeping, and I love it. It's also quite high. I have this childhood memory of my mother and father saying their evening prayers together, kneeling on opposite sides of the bed, holding hands. Isn't that a lovely image?

As lovely as it is, I'm afraid that it is one that my children will have to do without. Eric and I would have to have arms like octopuses in order to be able to hold hands across our bed. We would probably also need to have extra long upper-bodies, which is something that neither of us have.

Saturday Eric and I watched conference together at the home of his parents, and then in the evening I went for a walk (and talk) with Bonita Juanita, while Eric attended the priesthood session with his dad.

Sunday Eric and I watched conference together again at the home of his parents. In between sessions, we watched Trading Spaces on television, which I really enjoyed. (that makes it sound like I didn't enjoy conference, doesn't it? Silly Charlotte. For the record, I did enjoy conference. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I enjoyed it possibly more than I have for years) After the last session, Eric took a nap, while I watched a movie on TV and worked on the afghan for Henrietta's baby. Later we took a walk around the neighborhood together, which was nice.

And that was the weekend. This morning I woke up to the realization that within two weeks my (our) wedding will be over and my (our) marriage will have begun. I had a brief moment of near panic at that realization, but it was quickly replaced by a sense of peace when I remembered exactly who will be joining me in this marriage. It's all good.

(I tried to make this post on the non-sappy side. I did pretty good until that last paragraph, don't you think?)

-c
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