Monday, February 16, 2015

Quotes from Tonight's Game Night #2

"I forgot how to play"
"You hit A."

"They really went to town on this DLC....Hyrule Town that is!"

"Steven hates all babies."

"You hear that? You have to hit the baby."

"Eat boomerrang!"

"Stupid blooper!" "Ah! Bats!"

"A need-based grant is, 'Give us all the money you can, and then we'll pay the rest.'"
"AND your first born child."

"When you're in twelfth place you can afford to go backwards."

"He's the hero of time! He'll just go back in time and not get poisoned."
"Like Bill Nye!"
"It's like a Dr. Suess book! 'Who would Bill Nye be murdered by?'"
"Any two syllable-named person."
"He would be murdered by Brennan Dye. I'm on to something! I'm going to write a book!"
*Everyone keeps talking obliviously*
"Red shell, blue shell, lava, dead..."

"You know what I want? I want to do a brownie. I want to do a brownie in my mouth."

*A couple minutes later*

"...Bill Nye couldn't fathom nothing, so he died."
"That narrow-minded scientist."

"Fabio all over your face! can't get mad, that was everyone's fantasy."


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lindsley Year in Review: 2014

...As told by Rebekah, who is the main author of this blog.

JANUARY 2014: Rebekah was paid to sing for a recording studio, which was a first. Our grey car broke down requiring yet another costly repair (the alternator this time). Rebekah continued to volunteer in the crisis nursery a few hours a week, and in probably the most spontaneous night of our life, we bought a new TV.
This led to us gutting the entertainment center so that the new TV would fit inside it. 
FEBRUARY 2014: Rebekah toured Santa Barbara California with the UVU Chamber Choir, including a trip to Disneyland where she wore matching shirts that her friend Candace had designed for them.

Because we love Frozen.
And while at Disneyland, Rebekah got an amazing extra bonus to the tour, which was a visit from her sisters! They brought their husbands and kids for a special visit and luncheon at Disneyland, AND brought pizza for all of her friends because they are the best family ever.

We celebrated Valentines Day at Tucanos as per our tradition, and finished off February with Rebekah singing in the worlds longest Concert of Mendelssohn's Elijah.

MARCH 2014: Rebekah was recruited to once again relive her nanny days as the Porres family came to Park City for a week of skiing.

My little munchkins
March also marked the somewhat unexpected passing of Rebekah's last living Grandpa, Robert Ashpole.

But the most significant thing to happen in March of 2014, was that the last week in March was the last shift Rebekah worked as a night auditor at the Fairfield Inn.

Last night shift ever!
Farewell Fairfield 
List of all the coworkers I had while working there....
Through a happy and quick series of events, she was officially hired to WORK FOR The Family Support and Treatment Center that she had been volunteering at for the past two years. A huge huge blessing. 

APRIL 2014: Rebekah turned 25 years old and celebrated with a "Hot Glam Girl" themed birthday party inspired by Ellen. Guests were invited to dress up (either prior to the party or with props which were provided), play Ellen's app "heads up" and participate in group karaoke which was the most fun I've ever had at a party ever.

The spread. Thank you Sams Club!
Breanna and Eric
Me and the best cat shirt ever
Joe and Taraya

Pregnant Xanthe

Next big event was Steven's graduation. He graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a double major in Linguistics and German Studies and a Minor in Linguistic Computing. He was also accepted to Grad School. Because he's awesome. And hot.

We finished off April by celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. This year we did a "staycation" and spent a couple nights in Salt Lake City, visiting Tracy Aviary and The Natural History Museum of Utah.

Lunch at Siegfrieds 
Spring semester finished off with UVU's final concert in which Rebekah had a small solo.

MAY 2014: We "celebrated" Memorial Day by hiking squaw peak, which is the last time Steven will ever take me on a hike. It was horrible.
Then Rebekah started summer classes, which almost completely finished off her generals.
Google Fiber came to Provo and we got free internet! This came in especially handy for using our new Wii U that Steven purchased for himself as a graduation present.

Later in May Rebekah's best old BYU roommate Lauren Moss visited from LA. We were sad to find out our old dinner haunt "Spark" had been replaced, but found a new dinner home at Banana Leaf where they have hot food AND hot waiters.

Finally, in what turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of her life, Rebekah was a Douala at her best friend Xanthe's second babies' home birth.

JUNE 2014: Working at The Family Support and Treatment Center has completely changed Rebekah's life. Daily she gets to witness random acts of kindness, like in June when someone walked in off the street and anonymously donated 1000 dollars to our agency. Also in June, Rebekah took a Humanities through the arts class that was the best class ever. She was allowed to sing a musical theater piece in class as a "final project".
In June Rebekah's sister Elizabeth returned from her full-time ASL mission, and Steven and Rebekah walked with Mormons Building Bridges for the second year in the Utah Pride Parade and were even featured in Yahoo news. This year we were also joined by friends from Chamber Choir, a family from the ward, and cousins!

JULY 2014: Steven celebrated Independence Day by going on a three day hiking trip through the Uintas, and Rebekah went to Vegas with some girlfriends. Later in the month Rebekah helped to host what turned out to be a very successful ward yard sale, and we both attended the 1st Nathan Jenson family reunion in Springville.

Sisters! Melissa, 17; Me, 25; Jessica 27; Jennifer 31; Elizabeth, 23.

Aren't my nephews the cutest??!? 
AUGUST 2014: Rebekah really threw herself into some church involvement near the end of the year. In August she put together a group musical number for sacrament meeting, and put together a slideshow for a Relief Society lesson that featured photos from each of the girls weddings.

When school started up again (grad school for Steven this time) Rebekah auditioned for the UVU Chamber Choir again and this time was named as a section leader for the Altos. She was also voted as Stage Manager for the second year running. Rebekah also took her first official conducting class. And if that wasn't already enough, she decided to also take on another extra curricular, a community choir called "Cantorum"...which she later dropped out of because it was just too much on the plate.

SEPTEMBER 2014: Rebekah attended the 2nd annual "Provo Pride" festival with her friend Elsa and they both got Henna.

Later in September it was time for Comic Con! Our favorite event of the year! This year Steven dressed as Spiderman and Rebekah went as his nemesis/lover black cat.

We pretty much made the entire costumes ourselves. 
A "My Little Pony" cosplay that I thought was hilarious
After the Con we went out to dinner in our costumes at The Cheesecake Factory in City Creek. It was the perfect opportunity to use a gift card someone had given Steven for graduation. We got a kick out of all the stares and approving looks that we got from Cheesecake Factory patrons. A few little kids even ran up to meet "Spiderman". One little girl brought him a flower.
"Spiderman, party of two!"
Steven kept his mask on THE ENTIRE TIME. Our waiter was like, "That's commitment!"
OCTOBER 2014: Rebekah attended a "work retreat" for her job which consisted of some mild training, a talent show and then a sing-along. Her job is awesome.

Steven turned 26 and celebrated his birthday by playing Super Smash Bros on the Wii U with his friends.

We attended the beautiful wedding celebrations of two different couples in October: Rebekah's cousin Halle and her wife Becky, and Steven's best friend Eric and his bride Breanna.

NOVEMBER 2014: The UVU Chamber Choir performed "Path of Miracles", a 45 minute, 17 part, a capella piece.

UVU Chamber Choir at Halloween
 Over Thanksgiving break the grey car died once again, and to our dismay the verdict was that the transmission had once again failed for the second time in less than two years. Having no money to repair it, we decided to finally let it go. *cue music* After several failed attempts to get a buyer, we ended up selling it to a junkyard for $200. Goodbye grey car. Goodbye thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

Our first car. 1998 Hyundai Sonata. 
DECEMBER 2014: Steven and I were put in charge of the Ward Christmas Party, which meant that our ward had the best Christmas party of all time, catered by Tucanos. Rebekah was in charge of the UVU Christmas Choir concert, which meant coordinating seven different performing groups. Rebekah and some choir friends also attended a Messiah sing-along, which will hopefully become a yearly tradition because it was a blast. Finally, Rebekah helped with pretty much every musical number for the Ward Christmas program, and we both passed all our classes and finished off Fall semester with high GPAs.

Hooray for another year of memories!


And, as always, thanks to our amazing photographer Alana Dunn. 
See more of her stunning work at: Beautifully Dunn Photography

Sunday, September 21, 2014

20 Things We Wish We'd Known

Too often in our young naive dating life we thought that "getting to know someone" meant knowing their favorite food, color,  sport, past-time... All the silly surface-level stuff that comes out in the first few dates.

As many young RM's embark on the world of post-mission dating

which a little too often looks like this...

we humbly offer up to them, and every other 20-something year old considering marriage, our list of things we wish we would have known before getting married.

*This list began as things we thought of that we personally regretted not addressing in our courtship, but quickly expanded to things our married sisters, friends and even coworkers (I work in family therapy) came up with.*

So, in no particular order, and in no way necessarily relating specifically to our marriage, here is our comprehensive list of things you might not think to consider when you are young and immature (that DOES apply to us directly) and in puppy-love with someone.

1. What is their family's "culture"?
I'm not talking necessarily about their racial or ethnic background here, I'm talking about the culture that their individual family unit has developed through traditions and hobbies.
What does their family do for fun? What are their inside jokes? Favorite movies?
What do they all do when they get together?

Chances are, what they grew up doing with their family is something they are still going to be into and want to incorporate into their own family some day.

My family culture involved a lot of Muppet movies.
2. What do they spend their spare time doing?
Beyond their obvious hobbies, what is it that they like to do when they are wasting time? Does that bother you? ...How often do they waste time? 

Kind of goes with the above one, but it can be interesting to consider. 

3. Financial Maturity.
Maybe this seems obvious, but it's a biggie.
How are they with finances? Are they self-sufficient? If they are self-sufficient, how long have they been that way? If their parents are still paying their bills for them there is a pretty good chance they aren't ready to manage basic house-hold expenses.

***My snarky side wants to add here, "If their parents are still paying bills for them, tell them to man up and get out of their mom's basement. Seriously. WTF."  But I won't.***

Okay, so they pay their own bills. How do they manage a budget? What is their monthly budget? Do they have a savings plan? Are they building credit? Do they have debts? How do they feel about debts? What do they feel is worth going into debt for, and what is not?
Do they have a healthy relationship with money or does it stress them out?

If/When they have "fun/extra" money, what do they spend it on? Is that what you would spend it on??

There are just so many layers to this one.

4. Job history
I cannot stress how ridiculously important this one is, and how intrinsically connected to the previous one.
How many jobs have they had? How long did they hold each job? What kind of field were those jobs in? (Chances are they will continue to get jobs in the same field...) Why did they leave that job? Were they fired? How long have they ever gone without having a job...why?

This can tell you volumes about not only their level of financial responsibility, but whether or not they are committed, loyal, and a hard worker, or if perhaps they are lazy, picky and a huge mooch.

Important stuff to know, people.

5. Loaning money
How do they feel about loaning money to people? What would their reaction be if you suggested you loan someone a significant amount? Do they have conditions about it? 

How do they feel about borrowing money? 

6. Dating history
Now, this is not about the nitty gritty details or anything, just the basics.
How many serious relationships have they had?
-If they haven't had other serious relationships yet, they are likely NOT ready to marry. Give them a chance to date.

As Elsa so wisely said:

and I would add, "You can't just marry the first person you meet".

Dating is like a buffet. You have to sample all your options before you go back for seconds.

...maybe that's a terrible metaphor. Oh well.

Moving along...

With their dating history, how many people have they dated? How did those relationships end? Who broke up with who?
If they've broken off every relationship they might be a player...or have commitment issues...
If they've bounced around from person to person with little to no in-between, you too might be a rebound.

This might not be the last time I use this girls picture in this blog. She's like the theme of this blog. XD
7. SEX
So much to talk about here, but I'll try to stick to the basics.

Along with relationship, you may want to know their sexual history.
Have they had previous partners? How many? Does it bother you?
Are they so virgin that they don't even know basic anatomy? Probably something you should talk about.

If they are getting married just to have sex because they are a horny, that's not going to be a good basis for a relationship.

How often do they want to do it? Do they have any preferences that weird you out?
This is also the category that I am going to throw sexual addictions under.
Porn. You have to talk about it. You have to know. Don't go into marriage blind about sexual addictions.

Birth control. What do you want to use? What are their thoughts on family planning and contraception?

Marriage is not just about sex, but it is about intimacy, and sex is important.

8. Church history/Spirituality level
Have they ever been inactive, and if so, for how long, and why?
How did they observe the Sabbath day in their family? Do they uphold that tradition now?

If they aren't traditionally religious, how do they maintain a spiritual balance in their life? How important is spirituality and religious practice and does that work with what you do in your life?

9. Priority of service
What priority do they place on service in their life? How often do they do community service?
What type of community service are they interested in offering in the future?
What priority to they place on improving their community?

10. How do they treat waiters? Homeless people? Other races? Other cultures?
How do they treat people that they have nothing to gain from?
Are they respectful of cultures and religions different from their own? Are they even educated about cultures and religions that exist besides their own?

11. Politics
How active are they politically and what issues do they passionately care about, if any?

12. What is their level of cleanliness?
There are different levels of messy, from being disorganized to being downright filthy.
Ask their roommates; can they clean? Do they clean up after themselves for one, but also, do they chip in on the household chores?
Try to get a peek at their room/bathroom when they are not expecting you to be over.

13. School priority
What are their aspirations in education? What are their studying habits like? How much of a priority is school for them, and how dedicated are they to getting a degree?

14. Kids
How much experience have they had with kids?
Do you think they will they be a good parent and provider? How do you know?
Who will raise the kids, and what parenting techniques are they used to or do they want?
How do they want to discipline their children?

What do they want to do if you can't have kids?

Saddest picture on the internet
15. Life goals
If their only goal is to get married, it's going to be pretty boring life. What do they want to do with the rest of it?

16. Social life
Are they an extrovert or an introvert? How do they act in crowds? How do they act alone? How do they introduce themselves or carry themselves in social settings? Are they classy or are they immature? Are they polite or obnoxious? Do they need to be the center of attention, or do they prefer to melt into the background?

How do these traits work with the way you prefer to act socially?

Friends say a lot about a person. Literally, they can tell you things about your significant other that you wouldn't know otherwise. Ask questions. Get to know their friends. They will be your friends too.
Do they have friends? Do you like their friends? How long have they had those friends?
Do they want to spend time with their friends and spend healthy time apart from you? *That's a really important one!!*

18. Compromising
How do they argue? (If you haven't had an argument or disagreement in your relationship, it's not a mature enough relationship to consider marrying them. Seriously people. Seriously.)
Do they insist on being right or are they willing to compromise? Are they humble and open to change? (Not that you should try to change someone, but that we should all be trying to better ourselves all the time.)

Do they think they are perfect the way they are? Do they think YOU are perfect the way you are?

This kind of thinking adequately demonstrates an immature relationship. 
Knowing that you can compromise together makes you stronger in marriage, which is essentially one big compromise after another.

19. Do you know who you are?
Are YOU confident in yourself and who you are as a person? Are they???

Do they want to spend 100% of the time with you and neglect their family and friends? If so, they are probably low on self esteem and confidence and need constant reassurance from you that they are special.

Figure out who you are so much that you don't feel like you have to conform to anything when you're with them.

Figure yourself out. Love and care about yourself first.

20. (Last but not least...) What are their weaknesses/flaws?

If you don't know any/can't think of any, you DON'T KNOW THEM WELL ENOUGH.

"You are not going to find someone who is perfect. You are not looking for a perfect person, you are looking for someone whose strengths you love so much that you can work with their flaws." ~The best quote ever directly from my sister who wisely dated her husband for well over a year before getting engaged.

I don't think more need be said.

So that's it! Those are our tips, narrowed down to a 20-point bullet list.

We have one central goal in putting this together and taking so long to think it out. It's not meant to be a deal-breaker list, or discourage anyone in particular from getting together. Our one hope is that anyone considering a more serious, permanent and ideally eternal relationship will take a moment to consider all that it will entail. Take a step back. Consider all the elements. Be smart.

Marriage is amazing, but it's hard. You can make the journey a lot easier if you are intelligent, patient and informed going into it. Save yourself some hardship by asking hard questions now.

So there you have it.