Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And So It Begins. . .

I told myself that I wouldn't discuss wedding stuff on my blog.

I lied to myself.

It really is just such an exciting time though, and I want to share a bit of what I've already thought about and prepared. I think it is so exciting because this is the first time I have ever thought about my wedding. I didn't even know wedding colors existed until about last year. I thought wedding dresses were all the same. White. So of course, for someone new to all the wedding hoopla, this can all be a bit overwhelming. But I don't want to be overwhelmed. I do not understand the people that go on about how being engaged is 'the worst' or 'so stressful'. I don't understand how women can turn into bridezillas. I guess I haven't been engaged long, but still, I think it should be a period of time filled with anticipation and excitement.

The things I have prepared thus far, have been so much fun. I think it helps that I have never envisioned how my wedding should be. I have no high expectations. I know that it will be wonderful no matter what. I don't want to be picky or dwell on the little things that don't matter so much. I want to dwell on what matters. I want to dwell on Brian. I want to dwell on putting the beginning of what will be 'our life' together. I want to grow closer to my aunts, moms, and other women in my life as we bring our crafty brains together for this fun wedding. I want to dwell on being happy and feeling complete. So there it is. If in the future I turn into bridezilla, direct me to this blog post.

Last week, with the help of my wonderful mom, the wedding planning began. I feel like we are already off to a good start. And with 4 months to prepare, we should be in good shape. We started off by booking the place where the wedding celebration will take place. We are NOT having a reception. Standing for several hours, shaking peoples' hands does not sound like a good time to me. And we want to have a good time!! We are having a celebration. A party, if you will. Every time someone asks about the reception, I correct them and say party. So don't be offended if it happens to you. However, I am very excited about where the party will be taking place. It is the most magical place in all of Logan (besides USU).

We booked their livery stable. I think once we decorate it with some lanterns, twinkling lights, and country decorations, it will be like a dream. Also, three hours worth of wagon rides are included in the package. So get this: our guests will arrive, park, and then get in a wagon which will take them to the party. Marvelous? I think so!

Also, if you have never paid a visit to The American West Heritage Center, you most definitely should. Actually, next week is their 'Baby Animal Days' celebration. Click *here* for a schedule of events. There are adorable baby animals that you'll be able to pet as well, including a baby bear.

Here are a few pics from last year's celebration:

On another note, the hunt for the dress began. My mom and I went to the few dress shops around Logan, just for fun. We were just browsing but turns out, I found the type of dress I am almost certain I want. . .

Also, I know I don't want a veil. Nothing against people that wear veils, I just don't like them much. Besides, I think one would look weird with my short hair. I would rather have something less fancy and stuffy than a veil and something more fun and vibrant. Like a crown of flowers. . .

I am open to ideas, advice, and opinions from others! Like I said, I'm new to this stuff.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jungles, Zip Lines, and Sand Art

Day 5. Wednesday.

I stepped off the ship and set foot on land in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. As usual, there were people dressed up, wanting you to stop and take a picture with them and as usual, we tried avoiding them. Then I spotted a furry creature. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a sucker for all animals. The furry creature was the most adorable ass I have ever seen. And when I say ass, I mean donkey, obviously.

I made a beeline straight for the donkey. I am pretty sure I was making my squeaky voice, long lasting, "Ohhhhhhhh," that I make for all cute animals, and I'm pretty sure I was wiggling my fingers at the thing, if you can imagine. In my 'cute animal trance' I accidentally cut off the line waiting for the donkey, and sat right down on the wooden stool next to the beast. I instantly started petting and loving my new friend. I may even be guilty of having kissed his furry nose. He was the cutest donkey ever. Much cuter than the ones we used in the donkey basketball tournament back when I was in high school (yep, go ahead and laugh. I'm kind of a redneck) Then I looked up at the Mexican man who was holding the donkey's harness. I noticed he was also holding a basket of straw.

In my excitement, I pointed at the basket and asked if I could feed the donkey. He gave me a very odd look but still handed the basket over. I began to feed my friend. Suddenly the man holding Mr. Donkey spoke. "Okay ma'am, you need to let us take your picture now."

Oh. My. Gosh.

This was a line to merely get your picture taken with the donkey. Now realizing, I glanced at the line of people behind me, who were glaring me down with irritated and disgusted looks. So I smiled and the picture was taken. The pictures were $12. So me, being the cheap skate I am, obviously didn't buy it. I wish I would have now though. Just imagine a fuzzy donkey and a girl with pure joy and excitement covering her face. That's my picture.

I finally found Brian, Shay, and D. They had made it through the crowd and were now waiting for me. They weren't too upset. They just shook their heads and laughed at me a little bit. Randee and Trev were not with us during the course of this day. Yep, the married people ditched us. Just kidding. It was their one year anniversary, after all. I would want some alone time too.

We finally found a decent deal on. . . .

a zip line tour!!!

We're talkin' zip lines hundreds of feet in the air, taking you through jungle.

This was an awesome activity. If you ever go to Puerto Vallarta, do the zip line tour! It is totally safe and the guys that host the tour are hilarious!

Obviously, I didn't really have my camera out through the course of this adventure. But just know if I did, the pictures would be sick. Sick in the really good way.

After the tour had ended, we had a forty minute drive back to the city. Our driver, Manny, had just ordered lunch at the bar. We told him to take his time and we would explore.

While Manny ate, we wandered around the bar, which was under a giant canopy. . .

Went off a rope swing into this refreshing, little pool. . .

And poked through the cages at these parrots. Well, I poked them at least. . .

Once Manny finished eating, we took off for the city. With the remaining time we had, we walked along the beach, and also did some more shopping at flea markets. I purchased a beautiful stitched bag and a purple poncho. While walking along the beach, we ate some of the best mango that any of us had ever tasted and admired sand art.

Oh, and remember that talk we had earlier of donkey basketball in my high school years? Here is some proof:

Oh West Side High, you were grand.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Simple Days

I remember back when I was just a little girl (back when I was still an only child) and we would go on Sunday drives. In those days, our Sunday drives consisted of me, my mom, and my dad. Sometimes the pet dog would come along too. We would all load in the old pick-up truck and ride on a dusty dirt road that led up the mountain. I had a wild imagination as a child. I was convinced that Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and the rest of the gang lived up that canyon. So during the course of these Sunday drives, I made it our mission to spot their homes and maybe if we were real lucky, to find the actual characters as well.

Oh, how I miss those days on occasion. When the biggest thing on the agenda was to find Pooh Corner. Back before work, tests, cleaning, budgeting and time management were part of regular day thoughts and concerns.

I was a wise little girl too. Whenever I would get the often asked question of, "Kelsey, what do you want to be when you grow up?" I would answer. . .

I don't really want to grow up.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Five Feel Goods

I didn't really want to do a 'Five Feel Goods' post, just because there are WAAAAYYYYY more than five things making me feel good right now. However, I will still do it. This week has been a. . . .weird week. But still a good one. I have been crazy busy trying to keep up with my schedule this week. As a result, I only made it to the gym once (that makes me cringe) and I have been lacking on my hours of sleep. As a result of being basically exhausted, I accidentally slept through all my Thursday classes. Oops. At least I got ten hours of sleep though.

Five Feel Goods. . .

My job. I have three part-time jobs right now, so what job am I talking about? Well, all of them. But right now, I have my job with A-Team in mind.

Today, at USU it was A-Day. A-Day is when incoming students basically overtake campus, along with their parents. I had the lovely opportunity of giving campus tours to parents. At first, I felt very intimidated. It was my first time even doing a campus tour. Plus, it would be with parents. I knew they would have plenty of questions and concerns. . .more so than the students would be willing to show. But I actually LOVED spending time with the parents. I found myself enjoying all the questions and being able to give answers that put these nervous parents at ease. It was fun to watch as they grew excited and interested as we went throughout the tour and as I gave them certain bits of information. I absolutely love Utah State University. I feel like it doesn't always get enough credit from people. It is so rich in history and tradition. I love being able to pass my passion of this school on to others. Also, Brian and I made it on a poster displayed at A-Day. I was proud. I took a picture, but it turned out blurry on my phone. So here is the picture that made it on the poster:

Bronze skin. This tan of mine is the best souvenir Mexico gave me. Well, besides my fiance and my diamond ring of course.

My short hair. Having short hair is so liberating. I feel bold every time I walk out the door.

These new nail polish strips put out by Sally Hansen. They work great, and the designs are so much fun. People have actually asked me how I painted these flowers on my fingernails. I am flattered that they think I could pull something like that off.

My beautiful mother has been making me feel extra good this week. She always makes me feel good, and I'm always grateful for her. But it has been so nice having her around to start helping me plan wedding stuff. She really is wonder woman. I don't know how she does it all. Not to mention, she is my very best friend. My dad is cool too. Isn't the picture of them cute?
Happy weekend! Sit back and relax. That's what I plan on doing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jumbo Tampons, Beautiful Beaches, and a Proposal

Day 4. Tuesday.

My menstruation cycle is discussed in this post. I apologize to anyone that feels offended that I would discuss my period on the internet. However, it is a big part of my life, being a girl and all. Plus, as a writer, I feel it is important to discuss slightly uncomfortable topics. I do not think periods are uncomfortable topics to talk about though. I actually find period stories pretty funny. Maybe that is because I, myself, have loads of them. On a second note, I want to remember this story just as it happened. It was a pretty big day after all. The day my future husband proposed to me is what I consider to be a pretty big day. Including the 'period part' of this story will show just how miserable I was at the beginning of the day, and how Brian turned it into the best of days. He tends to do a good job at that. Thanks Bri.

My periods are from Hell. Notice I am not cussing. I even capitalized Hell to get a point across that I am, indeed, referring to the place. Seriously, I think the devil, himself, sent them to me. I know all girls say that. I have no place to say that mine are worse than the next girl's, but mine are pretty horrid. Back in bible times, supposedly women were put away during the week of their period. At first, I thought that was horrible to put a woman alone in a room and kind of shun her for a week. I guess I can't blame them though. Some girls are absolute jerks during their periods. And sometimes, I wouldn't mind being locked in a room. Usually (at least the first couple days) all I can do is sit in a room any ways. In the summer, if I am on my period, I try to avoid swimming the first couple days completely. I know, I've heard it before.

"Try a tampon, Kelsey."

I do try tampons. Jumbo ones to be exact. However, the second day of my period, a jumbo tampon will last me 45 minutes to an hour if I am lucky.

Of course, my period was due to start some time during the cruise. That's the other horrid thing about my period. It always comes at the most inconvenient times. Thinking back on most of the highlights of my high school/college career, I was on my period.

Track districts or track state. I think it alternated every year.
Family trips.
Track camp.
State volleyball.
WAC Indoor Championships.
Spring break last year.
And now. . .spring break this year, during the cruise.

Basically, every time something important happens to me, I'm on my period.

Tuesday marked the second day of my period. The awful day. Which was also the day we had planned to spend our time in Cabo on the beach, snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying some of the world's best beaches. Lucky me.

I convinced myself that everything would be fine. I told myself to be positive. So I changed into my swim suit, telling myself over and over again that I did not look bloated, and loaded my beach bag full of tampons.

Once on land, we booked a boat tour with a glass-bottom boat. They took us around the bay (which was gorgeous) and then planned on dropping us off by Lover's Beach with snorkeling equipment. We would then stay there for several hours before the same boat would return for us.

Being in a small boat on the ocean water was a crazy experience. It was fun, but I may or may not have gotten nervous a couple times.

Finally, the time came that we were dropped off on the beach to do some snorkeling. Snorkeling was one of the things I was the most excited for. Turns out, I am disabled or something when it comes to trying to snorkel. I think it was all those years of being a runner and being taught how to breathe correctly. So trying to breathe completely through my mouth while snorkeling was very foreign to me. Every time I went under water, I was instantly greeted with a face full of delicious salt water. It also didn't help that my period was causing me to feel extremely uncomfortable and short of patience. After trying several times and feeling frustrated. . .the worst thing happened. That stupid jumbo tampon failed me. I was completely embarrassed and felt like crying.

After resolving the problem a bit, I wanted nothing but to feel the sand and sun on my body. So that's what I did. I went to a nice spot to lie down and Brian tried to convince me to go on a walk with him. I didn't think anything of it. All I knew is at that moment I did not feel like walking.

Randee got all excited and said, "Where are we walking to?"

Trevin replied quickly, "Not us! Just Brian and Kelsey."

I remember thinking, "Whoa, you guys can go with us."

However, I didn't walk. I collapsed in the sand, wanting to die, and told Brian that I would go on a walk in a few minutes.

Shortly after, the three boys decided they wanted to go find a more private beach. As afternoon had drawn upon us, so had dozens and dozens of other tourists and the beach had grown very crowded. So the boys hiked around some rocks and out of sight, while the girls hung back for some relaxation.

After a while, Trevin and Brian both eagerly came back, telling us they found a great beach and no one else was there.

Dallin was not present. Turns out he was back guarding a very special ring, as well as chasing people away from the beach.

Fighting off my fatigue, I got up and started the hike to our beach. The little beach they had discovered was just as great as they had said. The sand was amazing and the beach itself was hidden by some very pretty rock structures.

Once we arrived, Brian led me away from the rest of the group. He was acting slightly awkward. I did not know what was going on. He led me to the top of the beach, right below some awesome cliffs. I looked down at the sand and saw a big X formed with flip flops.

"What the heck is Dallin doing with his flip flops?"

Brian smiled and replied, "I don't know. Maybe we should take a look."

With that, he bent down, moved the flip flops, and began digging into the sand.

At this moment, I think I rolled my eyes a little bit. Let me explain.

Brian is the biggest tease. Ever. We have been planning on getting married for some time now, I just was waiting for him to pop the question. I had refused to help shop for rings so I didn't know at this point if he even had a ring or not. Before we had gone on the cruise, Brian had already fake proposed to me TWICE. Rude, huh? But slightly funny, I'll admit. So I had already planned on him fake proposing during our cruise. I mean, it's perfect. Getting proposed to in Mexico. By the ocean. How romantic. So obviously he was going to fake propose here.

So that is why I began rolling my eyes. I knew the fake proposal was coming. Then he pulled out a rolled up wad of socks from the sand. I just stood there, deciding I would let the boy have his fun. Then he took an actual case out of the socks. Then he opened up the case and there was an actual sparkly ring in that case. Very sparkly. Wow. . .very, very sparkly! Then he was down on one knee, smiling up at me. Smiling that big Brian smile that I just can't resist.

Then he said, "Kelsey, will you marry me?"

I stood there for a few seconds with big eyes and my mouth hanging open before replying. I was pretty sure this proposal was not fake. This was the real deal.

"Wait. . .is this for real?"

Those are the words that came out of my mouth.

Brian began laughing, "Yes, this is for real!!"

So of course I said yes. Over and over again. Yes, yes, yes. I did not even look at the ring, I basically just attacked Brian. We kissed and hugged and all that gross, mushy stuff. He twirled me across the sand, and we looked down at our friends, who were cheering and taking pictures.

Then we heard more cheering from boats by the shore. People had been watching. Some Mexican fishermen even started yelling congratulations to us. It was unreal. We were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. On our very own beach. We were engaged. My life officially rocked. Take that period. Try ruining my day now.

When I got around to actually looking at the ring on my finger, I instantly fell in love with it. I am so glad that I let Brian do it by himself. I had so many people pestering me about going ring shopping with him. I didn't want to though. I wanted the ring to be completely from Brian. Not something I told Brian to buy. Plus, if a boy can get you a ring that is your style, it is probably a pretty good sign that he knows you. Well, my pal sure does know me. Check this bling out:

He designed it! Just for me!

The rest of the day, I was basically in La La Land. As you could imagine. That night we had a fancy dinner in honor of our engagement.

Oh, and I made some new friends. . .

So basically, the moral of the story is that everything exciting in my life happens when I'm on my period. Actually, I would be on it during our wedding most likely. Thank goodness my friend, birth control will solve that problem.

August 5th. Logan temple. I will go from Kelsey Keller to Kelsey Weller. Drastic change there.

Or even better, I could be a Dr. Seuss character. Kelsey Keller Weller. Catchy, right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scooters, Tacos, and Flea Markets

Day 3. Monday.

Monday. A day of excitement. We woke up early to prepare for our departure from the ship. We had made it to our first stop. The beautiful Cabo San Lucas. It was strange to walk on deck and see land around us, since I had grown used to being surrounded by nothing but sky and water.

The time finally came for us to get on a ferry and head for land.

Reaching land resulted in being bombarded by Mexican folk, wanting us to give them business. We tried our best to walk past and ignore them as they shouted prices our way. There was one man who was very persistent with us though. He had a deal on a boat tour and snorkeling. When he announced his very reasonable price, we all stopped in our tracks. We had wanted to go snorkeling our second day in Cabo, so this seemed to be perfect. Lucky for us, Brian speaks fluent Spanish. He went to the man and started speaking to him in words we couldn't understand. After a moment, Brian turned to us and said that we had a deal with him to go snorkeling tomorrow. Brian then asked the man if he knew anyone that rented out scooters.

Lucky for us, again, the man had a friend that rented out scooters. So we followed him a couple blocks to his friend. Within minutes, the scooters were ours for five whole hours. I even got hooked up with a fancy helmet. Pink with a unicorn on the back. Riding the streets of Cabo in style.

I felt so free and cultured just roaming deep into the heart of Cabo. Away from the extreme tourist part of the city and into the authenticity of it. Rushing through traffic, my arms tight around Brian, as we passed colorful shops and smells of spicy food, I couldn't help thinking I was the luckiest girl.

Before finding some good flea markets, we hit up the beach.

After washing the sand from our feet, we hopped on our scooters and headed back into town. I picked up a great amount of souvenirs. Boy, do I love Mexican shopping! I started out not doing my own bartering. When I was in China Town in NYC a couple years back, I found out I was lacking in the bartering area. So for a while, Brian spoke in Spanish and got me some deals. After a while, I decided to stop being pathetic and try my own bartering. Turns out, I'm not half bad. Brian lost track of me (or I lost track of him) while bartering for some bracelets. Once the man wouldn't go down any lower, I just started walking away. Then he called out for me to not leave and gave me the deal I wanted. Brian showed up shortly after and the man told him,

"She's a tough customer."

Is it bad that I was proud of myself?

To say the least, I already miss the way you shop in Mexico. A lot. No more of this:

"Hey pretty lady! I offer you good deal! Twenty dollar. That a good price."

"Um, how about twelve dollars?"



"K, k. Twelve dollar."

I picked up five bracelets and a gorgeous amber ring. Plus a Mexican Coke. . .which I enjoyed very much.

Before turning our scooters in and heading back to the ship, we made sure to eat some authentic Mexican food.

Best sweet pork taco I've ever had in my life. Sorry Cafe Rio, you were put to shame.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Nice Tan, A Broken Plate, and a Hypnotist

Day 2. Sunday.

I woke up not knowing what time it was. Since our room was toward the bottom of the ship and we didn't have a window, the room was always dark. It was a possibility to sleep until noon and still think it was night time.

After we had all gotten out of bed, we headed up to the breakfast buffet. The weather was glorious and it was still only 10:00 in the a.m. After stuffing myself with bacon and french toast, I changed into my suit and hit the deck.
The sun felt so nice kissing my pale, winter skin. I loved it. I had no obligations, no place to be, and no clock that demanded me to keep checking the time. One moment I was playing in the pool, the next I was lathering up in tanning oil, the next I was reading my book. And don't even remind me of the blasted soft-serve ice cream machine. Ice cream is one of my weaknesses. So having the ability to go back and forth, filling up a cup with chocolate and vanilla goodness was a dream come true. Not to mentioned I drizzled caramel and chocolate sauce all over the already fattening ice cream, and topped it off by smothering the stuff in colorful sprinkles.

After getting a full day of fun and sun in, we got dolled up for a nice dinner. Turns out there was loads of stuff on that ship to do. The previous day we had merely gotten angry in our ignorance. So we got all pretty for dinner and went to the nice restaurant called Versailles. Not only did we look dang good for dinner, but we looked dang tan. At least it was dang tan compared to what we had been that morning. Pale Utahns.

Turns out, every dinner we ate like freaking royalty. We're talkin' three course meals here. That is a major shocker to the microwave using college student. At dinner, I decided I could either go big or go home. So I decided to go big and ordered two entrees. The steak and the plate of delicious pasta.

After I placed my order, my friend DWebb turned to me in what I couldn't tell was horror or admiration.

"You can order TWO entrees?"

"Sure, why not," I replied.

He then ordered a second dish as well.

D seemed to be so excited about the food that he couldn't keep his hands on his goblet of water. This kid has talent, let me tell you.

He managed to drop his glass on his plate, then catch the glass before it fell to the ground. He spilled some water, but besides that the glass was unharmed.

I can't say the same about the plate. . .

Nice work, D. You are the man.

After dinner ended, we hit up a hypnotist show. I have always wanted to be hypnotized. So I figured, what the heck, it's spring break, I might as well go a little wild.

Here are some little gems that you are more than welcome to watch:

Jeans, Exhaustion, and a Lost Suitcase

Day 1. Saturday.

As we crossed the bridge, the ship came into plain sight. My heart skipped a few beats and did somersaults in my ribcage. The ship was massive. So massive it caused me to forget to breathe.

The Norwegian Star. She would be my home for a week.

I had no idea what to expect. Bring on the adventure.

After we parked, a lady helped us with our luggage. She was wearing a jacket and gloves. A jacket and gloves in 80 degree weather? Seriously? She was very nice though.

"Lucky you came on such a nice day to travel. It's not raining today. Where you folks from?"

Utah, I told her. We had escaped the snow and we were quite enjoying the pleasant California weather.

She let out a cackle, "Oh, so this is nice weather for you people!"

We waited in a long line of people, anxious to get on the ship. I could feel my jeans clinging to my sweating legs, suffocating them. Why was I wearing jeans? My skin felt sticky from the unusual heat that was so foreign to me.

I called my mom to pass time and to let her know we had made it safely. After going through several people, showing them my passport and such, I finally found myself on board 'The Star'.

Once on board, we ate some burgers and fries. We watched other people play in the pool as we ate. I was so jealous. I found myself wishing I had worn my swimsuit under my clothes. Instead, I had to wait for my suitcase to be delivered to my cabin.

Once our bags were finally delivered, we changed into our swimsuits. Except for Brian. His suitcase was no where to be found. He seemed to almost enter a panic over his missing luggage. He told us to go enjoy the sun while he hunted down his bag.

So we went to enjoy the sun. But by this time it was setting. So we wandered around the ship, getting ourselves lost several times. We also discovered that many things on the ship required more money. This upset us. Of course, we didn't know what we were doing or where we were going. But we jumped to the conclusion that the people on this ship were only trying to rip us all off. We were angry. I think we were mostly just tired though. So we watched a movie and retired early for the night.

When Brian came back with his bag, he was quite upset. Apparently, he had been accused of packing a knife. After searching his bag several times to find no knife, they were still not satisfied. Finally, they came to the conclusion that Brian was, in fact, not a crazy killer with a knife so they returned his bag. I couldn't believe how furious Brian was about the incident. Brian being Brian, got compensated for this incident by getting a free unlimited soda card, and ship credit. Little did I know that Brian had gotten so worked up because there was a lot more in his suitcase than swimsuits and toothpaste. There was a one-of-a-kind, stunning diamond ring in that bag. A ring Brian had designed and was planning on giving to me only days later.