Man, oh man, when life wants to get hectic it can definitely do it with a bang!
I haven't written in the last 6-8 months, so a monthly recap (or MONTHS of recaps) are in due order! May is not over but there are more than plenty of things to choose from that are my absolute favourites.
Let's begin! First things first, welcome to my blog and I hope that you enjoy catching up on what I've been up to for the past half year!
No? Just me?
Let this be a lesson for me to journal AS it's happening, and not to wait until the end of the month with no notes taken on what's happened me in the last month to blog about it. This is how you lose precious moments, my dear friends. It is not that they didn't happen to us, it is that we forget to remember and cherish them.
But, luckily, this month has been beyond exciting and very memorable for me. This month, I got married to the love of my life and eternities in the Sydney Temple. I'm a married woman!
You don't blog for 6-8 months since you get into a relationship and this is what happens. Bombs left right and center! I started talking to Christian (That's the sexy and goofy spiritual hunk in the photos above) in October (But I met him actually on my 19th birthday, in March 2015) and sure enough that's when my blog entries started to slow down around and inevitably came to an abrupt pause as I was preoccupied with this Canadian man who won me over with Jeffrey R. Holland quotes, his Dad puns, and fangirling over books for hours. One of these days I'll blog about our love story (Once I finish all my other side projects, such as scrapbooking our wedding. Yes. I will become that Pinterest Wife, and I will have no regrets about it!) but today is a monthly recap to let you know that I'm not dead, I'm married, and everything that happened in these short 31 days!
Obviously this is the biggest things that's happened to me! I'M MARRIED GUYS. A GUY LIKED IT AND PUT A RING ON IT. I got married on the 6th of May, and it was the absolute best day of my life besides the day I was baptized into the LDS Church. I'm planning to have a separate blog post about it, so I don't forget those who couldn't be there or who have been following through my social media, but getting married was an absolute adventure of the best kind. Stressful, exciting, exhilarating , and entirely spiritual. I was determined as a 14 year old, after having joined the Church, to be married and sealed in the Temple of the Lord. It was my goal, my plan, and the only way I'd ever be married in this life. I didn't want any half measure, or man's replica of what the Lord has instituted. I wanted the real thing and something that would last.
One of the things I never expected was just HOW much love and support there was from so many friends. Sometimes it takes these big moments in your life to realize how many people are there for you, who want to help out in any way (If that means cooking meals, money, buying your first pot for your new home, or just a simple reaching out to help wherever possible) and who love you unbelievably. I never quite dreamed of what my wedding would be like, I want more so focused on the marriage, but NEVER in my dreams or fantasies did I ever expect to have the support and love and the receptions planned for us that we did. It was nothing short of a miracle from the Lord that ANY of it was possible for two poor Young Adults who were simply in love and wanted to be together.
Married life is doing me well, and I have never been happier :) Marriage is basically getting to spend my life with my best friend who I get to smooch, cuddle, and do everything with. It's like sleepovers for the rest of my life! <3
2. My First Flight
For our honeymoon, Christian's Mum Linda (My new Mummy-in-law!) actually paid for us to come back to Canada with her to meet the family, see Canada, and get some more one-on-one time with us. This was an absolute treasure, and something I can't thank her enough for even if I tried. I have never been outside of Australia, and have never been as far as Brisbane. I've never been on a plane, and have only ever been in an airport to pick up others who had flown in. Before this trip, I never even owned a passport!
To say I was nervous is putting it extremely lightly and casually. I was gripping my passport and was extra stressed out by the fact that we didn't have a place to stay in Sydney the night before and we had to drive up at 3:00am to make the 6:30am flight. Hours later, a $300 taxi ride, a manic dash to make it on time only to realize that our flight was not actually at 6:30am but at 10:30am so we had hours to kill, and a very nervous Ash is what you get.
I'm a big fan of theme parks and the extreme of extreme rides. I love G-forces and feeling like I'm getting thrown around and I'm not fearful of heights at all, but when you've got your Husband (hehehehehenevergoingtogettiredofsayingthat) cracking jokes and not caring since he has been on 20+ flights, it makes the idea of planes a little more daunting than usual. I was terrified of security and making sure that I got everything off of me and crying while running through the security line and not holding up the line. I wore my anxiety like a fat clingy friend holding on to my chest like a baby possum holds onto its mother.
But the moment we sat down in the plane, and I got the window seat (When you're a bride or recent bride, people want to give you everything and it's super sweet but my gosh so I feel like an extra sucky parasite. *sucksuck*) I couldn't tear my eyes away from the view. The take off had me holding up my camera and grinning like a moron. To feel the vertigo moving my innards around was fun. I got to eat plane food and was happily surprised at how decent it was, and even some of the meals I'd say were delicious! I took many videos and photos of the moment when we were higher than the clouds, and was just in absolute awe in the fact of how smart humans are to get this steel contraption of death up in the air and carry little ants across countries and continents. My very first flight ever was from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, USA and was a 14 hour flight. I've never experienced swollen feet before, but I did that day. I did that day.
3. Honeymoon in Canada, ey!
After around 40 hours total of travel time, I was dead. We arrived in Nova Scotia, Halifax at around 2:30am and as soon as I got off the plane I knew this little Australian was not prepared. I got hit with a wave of cold and it nearly knocked me back into my seat, buckled it, and took the plane back to Australia where it was a tad warmer.
The very first thing we did in Canada was, of course, buy a Tim Horton's Hot Chocolate for me. That was the moment my addiction for the next two weeks began. We arrived at the place we'd been calling home for the next 2 weeks, and the first thing that I am welcomed to is one of my new brothers-in-law coming outside, handing me a bouquet of flowers and chocolate, and sweeping me into a hug.
As we dropped our bags off in our room, I was seized then upon by a swarm of closed-eyed and PJ'ed blondes who jumped me on my bed and cuddled me, continued to call me Sister and stroke my hair, and then retreat back to the warm confines of their beds. Christian is one of 6 siblings, you see. I am one of 3. A big big difference. I had met all of his siblings on Skype when he was back in Canada, and now I was meeting them in person as Christian's wife. I felt like I was living something out of the Twilight Zone. The next 2 weeks were a CRAZY adventure of excitement, and a flurry of new faces and repeating questions of marriage, study, home, and how we met. I got to see many touristy sights of Nova Scotia, like Peggy's Cove which is Nova Scotia's prized possession and is like the Eagle to the American's. It must be protected and put on everything at all costs. There were even Peggy's Cove Lighthouse necklaces. I wasn't that "patriotic" or Canadian, but I appreciated the gesture of pride in their beautiful landmarks. I was also gifted for the next 2 weeks to try every single fast food restaurant that Canada had that Australia didn't.
Burger King (which is basically Hungry Jack's I'm told), A&W, Wendy's (Ugggggh their poutine was GOOD), and a whole rest that I don't remember in the haze of potatoes I managed to eat in those two weeks. Luckily you can survive off of Potatoes, because if it were ANY other kind of food, I'd probably be dead by now. I'm not complaining, it was one of the highlights for me to be able to taste test every fast food joint known to Canada.
We got to travel around and see all the differences, but the biggest and most important thing to me was spending time with Christian's family. I wasn't a stranger to them, but I was definitely a new person to get to know. I got to sit down and have hour long talks with his brothers, and to laugh with his sisters. I got to go on a Harbour Hopper with his mum and see more Canadian flags than I can throw a thong at. It was truly such a pleasure and joy that trip, and I for the first time got to experience a different culture by being immersed in it. All the accents stuck out to me, all the different shops and the ADS WERE HILARIOUSLY AMERICAN, driving on the other side of the road was wearying mentally from preparing to die every time I looked and a car came from no where, seeing all the different nature and animals (Though I wanted to go to the Zoo to see some Moose/Meese, Beavers, and probably a wild Maple Leaf in its natural habitat, we didn't get the time to go and do so, so all I can say is that I got to see a Squirrel while we were hiking and that was extremely cute, and a lot of dead roadkill Raccoons...which saddens me greatly cos Raccoons are absolutely adorable and they are Australian's equivalent of Kangaroos. Greatly saddened.
Going home was a whole other thing in of itself. Jetlag had finally started to leave just 2 days before we were to leave, and so I was finally getting into the swing of things and not collapsing from exhaustion at 3:00pm on the dot and being coddled in the backseat in my Halifax hoodie. Knowing that I had to leave Christian's family and that I had only gotten a small bit of time with them was tough, as I wanted to get to spend one-on-one time with every single one of them for hours, but that wasn't possible or realistic. It sucks, but Skype it must be!
And no, the flight back to Australia was not NEARLY as hard as the flight to Canada. Though on one of the flight which was like...4 hours, I had to sit one row ahead of Christian with strangers and I wanted to curl into a ball and roll away off of the plane. Strangers are eww :(
And now the end of the month ends with me as a married woman, looking for a home with my husband as we adjust to a new life together. AND IT'S BRILLIANTLY FUN!
Ugh. A family let us house sit for them as they went to Hawaii for a month, and it's so fantastic after months of not really having our own kitchen where we could cook meals, and a TV where we could watch movies or TV shows together and laugh, it was a gift. Last night, we actually decided to not go to the movies and stay in and bake cookies! I GOT TO BAKE COOKIES WITH MY HUSBAND. I never dreamed of this day and yet it is better than anything I could have dreamt :P
1. Engagement Ring
Now, I didn't buy this, but it is one of the most beautiful things I've ever had made for me. Yes, you read that right. My engagement ring was custom made between both Christian and I :) His Father had created and had made the ring that he gave his Mother, so Christian wanted to follow that tradition and I have always loved custom made things and jewelry with a bucket load of sentimentality. None of my jewelry match or stand out for the simple fact of looking beautiful or eye-catching. My necklace (In the photo actually!) is the YW's medallion, which I earned in a year through completing the Personal Progress Program in the LDS Church. It's been my symbol of the Temple, of being a Young Woman and Daughter of God, and always reminded me of what was truly important to me and who I was becoming.
My infinity ring was bought for me by my uncle Van Phi when I got baptized, to help symbolize the covenants I made and to remind me of that day every time that I look at it on my ring finger. Little did I know that in 6 years time, I'd be using that exact ring now as my wedding band, but it meant the world to me and was symbolic of infinity, the gold tendrils wrapping around the silver band and made me think of how I need to wrap myself around Heavenly Father for eternity.
My CTR ring (I wore on my right hand) is a little more obvious, but I wore it to remind me to always Choose The Right. It's a simple band, which reminded me that decisions truly are simple when you base them on the Lord's commandments and standards.
So when Christian and I sat down together to construct my ring, I was beyond excited. I got to have a one-of-a-kind ring that was going to be bombed with symbols and sentimental reasons for me. I picked a ruby stone because I've always loved the colour red, and also because in Proverbs 31:10 it talks about the price of a virtuous woman being higher than rubies. It ALSO was designed to match my YW's medallion. It truly is a remarkable design, and very intricately detailed. I love taking it off to show people and to point out all the little details, the meanings.
2. Kikki.k Wedding Scrapbook
I'm not normally the one for scrapbooking. I'm a perfectionist, and for some reason, scrapbooking just grates me the wrong way. It's so personalized that I compare my scrapbook to others and then I just feel bad about mine and chuck it out. I know, productive hey?
But I was adamant about journaling/scrapbooking about our wedding, and so I went on the hunt for something like a Memory Book which I bought my mum for one Mother's Day. It has little prompts, sections for pictures, and while it's fully templated and it leads you on what to write about, it still is very classy and personable. I managed to find one for $30 at Kikki.k that was absoluteley perfect, and not only was it a wedding scrapbook, but it was an 'Our Story' scrapbook, beginning from the start of your relationship even until the honeymoon. AH! PERFECTION! <3 It makes my little heart sing.
I hate expensive wedding dresses. I will say that right now. It's disgusting to me, someone who love op-shopping and gets slightly turned on by sales for things that I need or have wanted for a super long time. The idea of spending anything even remotely close to over $500 on a wedding dress, a dress I'd wear for one day of my life, was so gross it made my skin crawl thinking about it. Christian was all for it, but my pride got the best of me and I made up a game in my head to see how cheap I could get a beautiful wedding dress for. He doesn't know this, but he will now when he reads this (Hi handsome!)
We all know that I have tendencies for impatience. Whether that be waiting for other people to get ready, or waiting on food, or having to wait weeks to get something, it will drive me nuts and I'll be like one of those cats that just, in the middle of the night, freaks out and runs from one side of the house to the other. I spent AGES(probablyjustadayorsoofhoursofresearch) looking for a MODEST, LACE AND LONG wedding dress that was under $500. I know. I was pretty much asking for a miracle bigger than the parting of the Red Sea. Every website, every store I went to (I went to one store...so that's probably why) all their wedding dresses was sleeveless. It's ridiculous, and especially when the ladies tries to sell me a jacket which is the tackiest thing besides camo pants or camo in general. You don't have to choose modesty over style, you can have both but you're gonna have to work for it.
After a while of not finding anything, and getting unbelievably frustrated, I ended up finding my beautiful and quite perfect wedding dress in the distribution store at the LDS Sydney Temple for a grand total of $60. It was long sleeved, lacey, and long. My gosh, how often Heavenly Father hears my prayers and answers them in ways that are beyond perfect. What made it even better was that because it was bought at the Distribution Store, technically it was a temple dress, so I could use my wedding dress as a temple dress afterwards every time I went. HOW PERFECT?!?!? <3
In the end, I got it hemmed up for free by Melissa Mahe, one of the sisters in my ward and whose children I love so dearly I am always tempted to steal one when I come over. To accessorize the dress to make it feel more 'weddingy', we found a multi-usable jewelled piece at Lovisa for $30 which can double as a headpiece, a belt, or probably a necklace too if you tried hard enough. Boom. Wedding dress done and dusted and looking fabulous <3
4. Superstay 24 Colour - 025 Keeping Up The Flame
Okay. Okay. Okay.
I'm obsessed with red lipstick, right? But it's so hard to find a shade of red that you LIKE and actually SUITS your skin colour, and besides that it has to be the right consistency so it's not smudging and wiping off on absolutely everything, and if you do manage to find something that works perfectly in all of that, it's probably going to cost you more than you're worth, right?
One thing that I really wanted to do was to wear red lipstick on my wedding day. I think I look great in a certain shade of red lipstick, and it matched my red bouquet. BUT my red lipstick smudges, and I didn't want to not be able to kiss my husband (Because that is a tragedy!) and sometimes I get it on my teeth which is beyond horrifying, especially when you'll be taking thousands of photos as a bride. So I went on the hunt with Linda, and somehow...miracles upon miracles, we stumbled across this blessing.
This stuff is made out of Voldemort's soul, I swear. I am in possession of a Horcrux. This thing can't be destroyed unless Harry Potter the Wizard himself comes to destroy it, I have eaten, made out, and wiped this lipstick ferociously with my wrist and it has NOT come off. It is truly amazing, and I highly highly recommend it.
5. My Halifax Hoodie
This one is a little sentimental gift from my trip to Canada, and it's a beautiful hoodie :) I'm sure I'm wearing it HEAPS in the photos because
1. I was cold a lot of the time 2. It's the perfect shade of navy that looks fantastic on me 3. I don't like dressing up and hoodies remedy that quickly <3 Looking cute and homeless!
Please be gentle on me. I just got married, I really have had the time of late to read books, though I did actually finish one! And boy did I love love loooooove this book!
1. The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis
I'm in love with C.S Lewis (Sorry Love, love you too!)
He is basically a mormon without being a mormon with the things that he writes about, especially when it comes to Heavenly Father and the Pre-Existence. I loved the idea of hearing from Satan's side, from a few of his demons, and to imagine what it would be like to listen to the language patterns of one who is against our progression. Every single chapter I felt like there was so much to learn that I couldn't even begin to process how amazing it all was, that my brain wasn't even capable of getting that information IN and to understand it, let alone how to apply it. On first reading through ('Cos let's be honest, there's going to be quite a few read throughs throughout my life of this book) I just wanted to highlight every verse in different colours according to what I felt it was important to get out of it. It's a book that I feel everyone should read and even if they aren't Christian, just imagine for a second that it is all true and that these demons are talking about them this way. It's a beautifully true book, and I fell in love with it by the end of the first chapter. Now I want to get all of C.S Lewis's books, and have them all sitting up on my bookshelf proudly and beautifully <3
I actually sat back and tried to think really hard on the music I've been listening to this whole month, and I can say that there isn't really much that is NEW. I've been obsessed with Twenty One Pilots for a while now, and most of the time when I get the opportunity to play music, my general first go-to suggestion is 21P. I love singing their music when I'm in that mood to just belt out some lyrics and feel it emotionally charged, I love listening to the words when I'm in that mood to just reflect and go introspective about life and living it, I love having it on as background noise when I'm cleaning or blogging because I like the beats. It's just good for every mood and time, and I'm finding that a lot of the new music at this time generally sucks compared to these two albums by 21P.
If I had to pick a favourite song at the moment by them, it'd probably be 'Fake You Out' on the Vessel album.
2. 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' cover by Sleeping At Last
You're probably thinking, 'Oh my gosh I love that song! It's those scottish dudes who belt out 'Da Lat DAAAA!' in their scottish accents!'
Yes, it is that song. It is also the song that I danced my first dance with my husband :) I found this beautiful cover by one of my other favourite artists/bands called, 'Sleeping At Last' who do beautiful, gentle, and melodic moody tunes :) Their covers are beautiful, and this song just reminds me a lot of my relationship with Christian as he flew all the way from Canada to court me. He definitely walked his thousand miles just to get to me.
3. 'Can't Help Falling In Love' covers by Joseph Vincent and a separate cover by Haley Reinhart
I love this song so much since Savannah sang it at my reception for me. Ugh. I'm obsessed with it :)
4. 'Brand New Eyes' and 'RIOT!' by Paramore
While on the drive back from Sydney after Canada, I was driving and decided to go back through some old music that I used to like. I remembered I hadn't listened to Paramore in a LOOOOOONG time, so I chucked it on and I remembered every. single. lyric. After all these years, their music still stays with me somewhere in the deep recessives of my brain. So since then, I've been listening to them on repeat and utterly SCREAMING the music while I clean :P
Sherlock is my absolute favourite TV show, besides The Walking Dead and Avatar The Last Airbender (That show will always have a spot in my heart when everything else changes) and to be able to watch it over again just makes me so happy! <3
Besides Sherlock, I also want to go through Scrubs after having the WEIRDEST urges to watch that with my husband and to relearn exactly all of the reasons of why I absolutely loved it so so much.
Though I really do need new TV shows to watch. If you have any recommendations, let me know!
1. Kneeling Across the Altar with my Eternal Companion
This was such a sacred and special moment for me. It has been etched into my brain the imagery, the way that Christian looked and looked at me, the way I felt and just how unbelievably happy and grateful I felt to the Lord. It was one of the things that I was the most eager to write about in my journal, and it is something that I hope to never forget or lose its specialness to me.
2. Wedding Night/Hotel
When I got married, I NEVER imagined in my entire life that I would get to spend my wedding night at THE FANCIEST hotel I have ever had the pleasure of being in. Linda was an absolute saint and wanted our Wedding Night to be special so she booked a beautiful hotel, but some of the information got switched around and our rooms were booked for a different day. While they were getting that all sorted out, I was admiring the lobby and utterly blown away when Christian came walking back to me with this big grin on his face and a bounce in his step announcing that the Manager, upon finding out it was our wedding day, put us on the 34th floor. The top floor. The best suit. I was bloooown away! When we got up to our room, it was so advanced for my peasant brain we didn't even know how to work the lightswitchs. The view was immaculate and I felt like an absolute princess.
The joy that really touched my heart and made me so happy was to finally spend a night with my husband to cuddle in bed and have it be allowed, welcomed, and encouraged! Agh! That is the happiest thing that has come with marriage :) I am a cuddle machine.
3. Hiking up Cape's Split in Canada
In Canada, I really wanted to see all the special sights and tourist spots because it was Canada! One of those was Cape's Split, a 2-3 hour hike up to the amazing view at the end. One of the biggest things I noticed when I came to Canada was just how different all the nature looked. It was so green and lush, and the birds actually sing instead of the thing that birds do in Australia. I had never been in a 'forest' like trail. Let's just say that it is very different from the Australian hikes that you can go on. What I truly enjoyed and remember about this hike was not the views or laughing and running with my husband through the paths, but actually spending the entire time walking back down talking to Christian's little brother (Who reminds me a HECK LOT of my little brother) Peter who spent the time together asking me questions, like 'How did you know that you were ready to get married?' or 'How did you know when you wanted to marry Christian?'
It was so strange to be getting asked for advice on dating, on what you should and shouldn't do when you're 16 and dating, and about certain things about the gospel. It was my absolute favourite and I came away from the talk feeling so happy and loved and that I got to spend time getting to know my new brother-in-law, and even got to consider my own thoughts and feelings about what we were talking about.
People will try to convince you that I'm a model (Hey, this isn't the time to laugh) but I always get really blushy and shy in front of the camera unless I'm with someone I absolutely LOVE. With Savannah, I am an absolute mess in front of cameras. I'll do double-chins, I'll get flung onto someone's back with my legs doing the splits in the air, I turn into a 180 version of myself.
That's why when we organised with Sydney, a friend of Christian's from Canada who is a professional photographer, to do our late "engagement photos" I was partially excited but also partially scared that my inner potato would come out and I'd look back on the photos and just think, while smiling,
'Oh gosh, the saying is true. You do become what you eat.'
Within a few minutes of picking up Sydney and meeting her, I realized how similiar we are. Jokes were easy, because it's easy to joke when both of you know that you're both socially awkward and think that perhaps commenting on it early will break all the heavy shards of ice that are cracking underneath us. She is such an easy person to talk to, and it made the experience just THAT much more fun and relaxed. I had no idea where we were going to take photos, but the one place I had DESTINED SINCE THE PRE-EXISTENCE was to take photos of my husband and I in a second-hand bookshop or some place with books (Hence why the first set of photos are in a pristine, modern, and almost hospital-grade clinical library, and then the second set are in a really REALLY alley-way second hand shop. Sydney knew what I wanted and what I was imagining in my head)
But the first place we went to was a Beach. Yes, apparently Canada has beaches. To say that I giggled when I saw it was to be putting it very lightly. It was like I was talking to my dog, Koko, again.
"Awwwwwweeeeee isthatyourwiddlelittlebeach? Oh my gosh was that a little wave? IT'SSOCUTE! I can't handle it. It's an itty bitty baby beach." The inner Australian was coming out of me. Sometimes I forget that Australia has such beautiful and nearly fake looking beaches because I grew up with it, just like how some people grow up with snow and to me it's basically Narnia cos I ain't ever since it.
We almost didn't take photos at the Beach because of the sheer amount of WIND that was whipping my hair back and forth for me, and was chilling to the bone. You can't tell in the photos because Sydney is just that great of a photographer and person that she made it fun and made it look seamless, but it was beyond cold. Between each shot, Sydney would run to throw my coat (Which was like putting a thin cotton sheet of sheerness on me because the wind managed to find every crook to slip through) and gloves on and I'd violently shake into Christian's arms until we got to the next spot for photos, but besides all the environmental hissy-fits, it was soooo much fun! We couldn't stop laughing as Christian would pull a serious pose and then his suspender strap would fling off and I'd have to fix it again. The scenery was BEYOND gorgeous, and nothing like I had ever seen. In one spot we found on the cliffside this little foresty area that legit looked like something out of Once Upon A Time and I just felt like a Princess lost in the woods.
It was GOOOORGEOUS.
Then it started to rain. Then the hail followed.
We ran to the car and had a hoot as we all had moments of nearly being blown over by the wind, and eventually made it to the car to go and have lunch at Cora's (UGH CANADA WHY CAN'T YOU SHIP ME YOUR DELICIOUS FOODS?!) which then led to us going to the library and second hand bookshop. My gosh, I could not be any happier with my wedding photos from Brooke Fisher and Sydney MacLennan, in nearly every photo I actually felt like I was beautiful and it captured the spirit of the moment so beautifully and transparently. I'll always remember the moment that Sydney tripped backwards, took a photo, and as Christian went to go and help his suspender strand flew off and he stumbled a bit.
5. Hen's Night with Savannah
With most wedding traditions, I'd be told it and I'd laugh as I would walk away and do the complete opposite. Most wedding traditions are complete and utter rubbish, and a Hen's Night was one of them. I was only really familiar with what they were through movies, and I knew I definitely did NOT want one of those. I just wanted to spend it with my Bridesmaids maybe watching a movie or doing something fun.
Unfortunately, due to last minute emergencies and travelling issues, two of the three could not attend. FORTUNATELY, my bestest friend in this world had my Hen's Night with me.
What was my Hen's Night?
We went to IMax in Sydney (IMax is a cinema with a ceiling to floor screen. It is the trippiest experience, and it nearly gave Savannah and I panic attacks when we entered the cinema due to the sheer drop with only a little bar holding back idiots in the dark from falling who-knows how far!) to watch
Captain America: Civil War, and got to sit and talk in the Darling Harbour at night. It was so perfect to be able to laugh with Sav as we had a delicious pizza, took selfies, and then left for the movie.
IMax, in my personal opinion, is something that you need to try at least once in your life, and then you can decide from then on if it's really something that you feel that you need in your life again. I walked in and my mouth dropped at the size of the screen, then it continued to drop as I saw the SHEER drop that allows that big of a screen. I immediately felt dizzy, and Sav led us to our seats in which I almost wanted to buckle myself into because at the angle the seats were at, I felt like I was going to fall onto the people in front of me. The 3D glasses and effect didn't help much with that either, and I was left gripping the seat not in suspense but fear through about a quarter of the movie.
But the fact that the movie was so good actually distracted me from my weird urge to throw myself like a freed potato and rolling over the people in the rows in front of us and over the death-cliff-of-death. It was super fun, and during the WHOLE movie Sav kept looking at me confusedly because she hadn't seen the first OR second Captain America so I could just read her facial expression as such:
"Who the heck is Bucky?"
"Woah when did Captain America have a girlfriend, and why is she super old?"
"How did Captain America become a part of the Avengers? Did he just MUSCLE his way into it? Gettit? Muscle? Cos he looks like a giant series of muscles with a blond head?"
"Who the heck is that? Bucky? Who is he?"
"WHAT THE HECK IS A BUCKY AND WHY DOES HE LOOK LIKE A GORGEOUS THING OF ANGST AND EMOTIONS?!"
"I'm siding with Ironman. Wait, I change my mind, Captain America's got it right. WAIT. Okay, no, I see why Ironman is doing what he is doing and it is completely logical. HOLD UP, WAIT A MINNUT, CAPTAIN AMERICA JUST RUNNING PUNCHED EVERY GUY IN THAT ARMY IN THE FACE. My ovaries are siding with Captain America."
It was an absolute hoot of a night, and after the movie we went and got Gelatissimo which ended up dripping EVEEERYWHERE. This is why you can't have nice Icecream in Australia. As soon as it's out of its container, it's DONE. The heat can have it!
6. The Last Plane Back from Canada
The first two planes were NOT fun. I have no idea what it is, but there's a weird trade when you fly from Australia to Canada, or from Canada to Australia.
If you're flying from Australia to Canada, you get to have a pretty decent series of plane rides and it's the long one first and then just all these little shorter ones and then it's over, but to PAY for that you have to have jetlag like no bloody tomorrow. It took me nearly the whole 2 weeks of being in Canada to finally get OVER the jetlag, as we were flying BACK TO AUSTRALIA. EW.
Or you get super gross plane rides from Canada to Australia where you have to get off and on after 2 hours or 4 hours in smaller uncomfortable planes, and even when you're not sitting with your partner on one of them! But it all pays off on the last flight from LA to Sydney, the 14 hour trip, where you have your own little row to you and your partner, and it's 14 hours. Baby you can sleep, you can write, you can watch a movie, you can sleep again, you can wake up just to say that you're going back to sleep, you can do whatever you want! It was soooo nice to have that last plane back with just Christian in my row after a 4 hour plane trip with two strangers sitting on either side of me. I wanted to throw up on them as an instinctual reflex. The last plane back was absolutely amazing, and it's one of my favourite memories because Christian and I just cuddled and talked and slept for ages. We got to have our own little moment in the middle of this enormous plane trip back home :)
7. The Receptions
I will never be able to thank everyone, and never be able to thank them sufficently enough to express how amazing it was and what it meant to me, but my gosh. I am a very lucky and loved girl.
I had two separate receptions; One in Canberra hosted by my Relief Society President for those in my ward, and a reception for Christian hosted by his mum in Canada.
The one in Canberra was incredible. It was one of the few things that I was super worried about, and it got to the point where Christian and I just agreed to have a potluck with no decorations because we couldn't afford anything. We were broke little Young Adults! But my Relief Society President, the amazing and crazily awesome woman that she is, just came over to us before Church and inquired about what we wanted to do for our reception, and after hearing our ideas, just completely took over all of it. She didn't want us to stress, she didn't want us to pay for anything, she didn't want us to make anything, she didn't want us to help set up or take down, she wanted us to focus on the sealing and then when we came back to Canberra, there would be a potluck reception waiting for us. I was COMPLETELY blown away, and marveled at this woman who was an utter answer to my prayers. The reception was so beautifully decorated, and had beautiful blue boxes with pearl sequins on it where people could leave their well wishes and notes of advice to us as a newly married couple. There were hanging lanterns which mde me smile and it was just beyond amazing. Because so many people said that they were coming, we couldn't even place tables down and just had to have seats formed in a circle and people had to eat balancing it on their laps.
I never realized how loved we were, or how many people wanted to support. I was taken cared for so well at my own reception, and had the time of my life dancing with my friends and eating delicious food and getting to see and hug so many lovely people. It was everything and way more than I ever expected or dreamed of being possible. I loooooved it!
The Canada reception was a bit more stressful for me, because in Canberra I knew everyone. They were my ward family for the last 6 years, but in the Canada reception the only people I knew were Christian and his family. Linda, Christian's mum, literally made my jaw drop when I walked into the Hall of their Chapel. She had managed to get hung with fishing line this draped sheet with fairy lights through it and white little clipped roses, and had all our photos of our dates, road trips, temple trips, and silly random photos plastered on the walls, and my PERSONAL FAVOURITE DECORATION which was a picture of both Christian and I as little kids holding our younger sibling and smiling in a very similar fashion on our head table. It was truly astonishing what she managed to do with such little time, resources, and help.
Though I didn't know these people, the amount of LOVE, kindness, and friendliness that they extended to me was out of this world. Christian's sister, Rachael, watercolour painted us the Sydney Temple (Which, if you know me, know that I have a major love for people making me things. Whether that's drawing, painting, knitting, crocheting, singing, writing. I don't care, as long as it's hand-made, I'll keep it forever like I belong on that show, Hoarders.), Joseph's Girlfriend drew CHRISTIAN AND I slow dancing together in the space of something like 10 minutes and the moment I laid my eyes on that drawing I wanted to cry, it was beyond something I'd treasure.
Our receptions truly were amazing and everything I'd ever hope for. I can't thank everyone who helped and gave of their time and money to help us out, and give Christian and I a reception that we will NEVER forget and that we hope we can help other newlyweds down the track like how we've been helped :)
8. Watching Christian Fix His Laptop
This seems like a bit of an odd one, but it really was. I love Christian working, and just seeing his whole focus and center of his universe shift into the task before him. It's been months since he had use of his laptop as one of the parts inside of it broke, and when he was back in Canada he went to go and get it checked out. Apparently, if he bought the part himself and did all the work, it would only be about $200. If he got the guys at the shop to do it, it'd be $400-$450. So, of course, being the frugal man that he was raised to be, ordered the part online himself and looked up Youtube Tutorials of how to fix it. We got the part from Canada, but never had time to fix it. FINALLY, we bring the laptop AND the part back to Canada, and one night while I spent time talking to Christian's brother, Timothy, he spent 45 minutes downstairs ripping his laptop apart and finally running upstairs to ask me to come down and put it back together and see if it works. I dont' know why it brought me such joy, such amusement, but to see my HUSBAND so giddy to get me to watch him do something brought the biggest and dumbest grin to my face. I sat on the workbench and watched patiently as he explained each part, screwing the tiniest screws I've seen in one by one and working meticulously, always side-glancing to see if I was still watching and impressed.
As he clipped the final piece in and plugged in the charger, hitting the power button and stepping back to either be immensely satisfied or frustratedly disappointed, I watched the man I love revert back to a experimenting and hopeful boy. He didn't ask me to come down and see to help, or to even offer advice or lend a hand, he simply wanted the person he loved most to watch one of his achievements. At some point I stopped watching the laptop and just watched him, I felt so much love for this man who was pushing himself to learn how to fix things so that one day, when we have our own family and I ask him to fix the laundry machine or to change the oil in the car, he will know how to do it and be able to show our future children. This is one of the many reasons why I love him, and have learnt so much from him, and will continue to do so :) it was a tender moment, and one that was quickly put aside as his laptop resurrected and Christian garnered a manic laugh and announced,
Am I allowed to be cheesy? Please let me be cheesy for once. Normally I write about an object, or activity, or piece of art that I'm really obsessed with, and normally I do not write about people I know because that's utterly creepy and I don't normally become obsessed with people, but all of this month I have spent most of my time with my husband, and for myself I just can't enough of. Perhaps it's just because we are newlyweds, or because we're in our 'honeymoon phase whilst on our honeymoon' but I am completely and utterly in love with my husband, Christian Fitzner :)
He brings the biggest smiles to my face and the most serious contemplative ones too. He and I are basically a pre-dad and pre-mum with our jokes and inclinations towards child-rearing. With his Dad jokes and my mum stares, we're practically halfway there. As I've gone through each experience of hardship and absolute inhuman joy, I've seen Christian in all shades of light. I've seen the suns and the moons, and the little stars in between. I've gotten to sift through all the little bits and pieces of him that function to create this amazing human being that I never realized or even understood I could love this much, and yet here we stand and I still roll my eyes and giggle every time another pun comes out of his mouth.
Next month, my obsession might be about candles as we move into our new home, or books as we go through our individual bookshelves that we had as single adults that we are now combining, or journals as my 6 month mark is nearly approaching and I finish a journal roughly every 6 months. I don't know, but all I know is that right now, I am enjoying every single second of watching and being so immersed in studying and learning more of Christian Fitzner.
He's definitely easy on the eyes ;)
This talk meant a lot to me during the month, and I've listened to it probably between 5-10 times already. I continue to ask myself what I should be doing, what shall I do, and what do I need to do. Sometimes I get answers to those questions very distinctly -
Go and clean your room.
Message that friend that has been waiting for you.
Go for a walk and clear your mind.
Journal that experience so you can remember it later.
Do this chore to make so-and-so's life easier.
and other times it's not so clear. Sometimes I ask what more shall I do and I can't seem to find any answers or clear impressions. This talk came to me at a time when I was praying, and believing that I was doing all that I could do but it wasn't enough, that who I was was not enough anymore. Heavenly Father doesn't JUST speak to us through scriptures or big revelatory moments. Sometimes it's through the people around us, and that especially includes General Conference talks. It taught me to be an example, and that the things that I wanted in this life were good and righteous desires that the World definitely does not agree with or at least looks down upon. It gave me a sense of hope and peace, and it is now one of my favourite talks that I've written down on a little Post-It note at the front of my scriptures. I highly recommend it, especially for Young Women and Young Adults :)
I had a goal earlier this year to read the entire Standard Works.
That's kind of hard to do when you realize that you can't just read through things, you like to study them in depth and with commentary and add-ons.
I started reading in the Old Testament, accompanied by the institute manual. My gosh have I ever started studying the Old Testament. Right now I am in Exodus 24 (Yeeeeah...as you can see in the last 6 months I REALLY haven't gotten that far, but mind you I am also reading the Book of Mormon alongside it too, so they're both going at a very even pace together) and learning about the Mosaic Law, the Ten Commandments, and about the sanctification of the Children of Israel before these miraculous and sacred events took place. It just BLOWS my mind of how intriguing the Old Testament is, and how many signs and symbols just point to the Saviour and how all these people were getting prepared and taught about the Saviour's Atonement WAY before it ever happened or even before the Saviour was born.
Growing up, even as a youth in the Church, I always saw the Old Testament as this really sinister and extremely obedience to the law set of scripture. The God in it seemed unfamiliar to me, and almost at times seemed like a bully.
Don't keep this commandment? Smite thee and burn thee.
But as I've been reading and learning more, I can now see just how merciful and kind and PATIENT the Lord of the Old Testament is, which is Jehovah. It has really opened up my eyes, and I definitely feel that just reading through the Standard Works would not have given me the insights that I would have gathered from in depth study. Sure I can say that I read the full standard works, but could I say that I understood and learnt it?
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9, 15-18 -