Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wedding Sneak Peek

I love seeing how things for the wedding are coming together.

I've mostly gotten announcements sent out, except for a few stragglers.

I am feeling terribly stressed about getting everything done so I can come home and get married (who decided it was a good idea to try and finish a master's program the week before the wedding?).

Luckily, my mom is a saint and she's doing tons of stuff. So is Chad's mom. Today my mom was telling me about the floral arrangements and how she had asked someone to help her with them but then, on second thought, she decided maybe to do them herself. She just didn't want to be left out. She said, "I mean, it is my wedding! [pause. . .] well, I mean, sort of. Okay, it's your wedding." Haha. Oh, Mom. Anyway, here's a sneak peek at some of her craftiness.

cute framed chalkboard I found at a yardsale. Mom painted the frame green and added the little bow. Now what to write on it. . .

banner...will be hung with twine or something

another cute banner

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

hammock hammock hammock

My mom gave me a hammock for my birthday and I LOVE IT! I even slept in it this weekend when I went to the beach with church people. My new favorite Sunday activity involves going to my favorite park and reading while lounging in the hammock. This weekend: camping in Louisville with Chad, James, and maybe some other friends. I will be camping in style in my sweet hammock. Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I have a theme song?!

A google search for "Camilla the Gorilla"  brought up this video. (I was looking for a specific post I made a few years back and  was too lazy to dig through the archives on my blog). Anyway, what a weird clip (what on earth are kids watching these days? and is that Melissa Joan Hart? weird).

I would say, "Enjoy," but that might be insulting. How could I not post this, though?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sweet Song

I heard this song playing at Chill yesterday and knew I needed to rush home and learn it. Love her voice, the lyrics are sweet, and it's just catchy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Man in the Red Shoes

Definitely the most important thing that has ever happened to me in my life happened one year ago. Well, almost one year ago. I meant to wait until Saturday to post this, but I got too excited to wait.

This time last year, I was at a Young Single Adults' (YSA) Conference (for church) in Kentucky. I had been feeling somewhat juvenile when they handed me my jade-colored t-shirt and later I was shuffled out to the hallway to meet the other members of my "group." (That's right, I was being assigned to a group, in order to maximize socialization. Definitely feeling juvenile.) I was also feeling a little out of place, and hoped I wasn't the oldest person there. (I wasn't, but I thought I might be.)

Anyway, all I remember about that hallway is a pair of red tennis shoes who walked over to introduce themselves. Their owner was tall, handsome, and seemed gregarious as he stuck out his hand to shake mine. We exchanged names briefly and were then hushed by our group leaders as people began circling up to do introductions. When it was my turn, I said, "My name is Cammie, I'm from Colorado, I live in Alabama, and I like to do triathlons." Chad, the handsome man to my right, also introduced himself, saying he had recently moved to Kentucky and was from Idaho. He then hissed at me, "You do triathlons? That is sooo cool." I sensed the enthusiasm of someone who had some connection to the sport, and asked him if he did them too. "Yeah, I've done a couple," he said. "I'm more of a runner, though." Ohhh, I liked him.

After the introductions, our group walked back to the dorms together. Chad and I chatted the whole way. He was in dental school, I found out. Although, I didn't find out much more than that. I'm a little ashamed to admit I think I talked about myself a lot. I was just so taken in by his rapt interest in whatever mundane thing I was saying--my normal role of conversation-starter and keeper-upper went right out the window and I shamelessly droned on about grad school, or therapy, or. . . something.

My thought process about Chad went something like this: He is cute. He seems normal. He likes triathlons! He's smart.

Truthfully, I don't even remember how our conversation ended. Once we got to the dorms, we were shuffled into a "social room" for snacks. The room was noisy and filled with people and as soon as we got there I looked for the friends I came with, joining them as soon as I spotted them. It's weird that I don't remember being aware Chad was in the room after that (he assures me he was). I honestly thought he was a nice, cute guy who I'd be happy to see around over the next few days. I felt reassured that there were cool, nice guys left in the world, even if it didn't cross my mind that this particular guy would have any special significance for me.

This story is kind of like a lot of other stories about times I met people--some people who I met only once, and others who became important pieces of my life. Of course, I wouldn't tell this story were it not for the fact that Chad became one of the most important pieces of my life over the weeks and months to follow. I feel really, really grateful for that warm summer night in Kentucky and the handsome man in red tennis shoes. 

Do you see us? It's too bad I was too shy to ask him to take a picture with me that weekend. I definitely had my camera. Thanks, facebook!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bridal Shower

My roommate, Esperanza, threw me a bridal shower yesterday. She and Marty and Melanie made the most amazing food, and it was also the only thing photographed. :) I thought along with sharing the pictures, I would also share some of the advice people wrote down for me. Some of it was pretty funny, and some of it is probably really wise.

One really awesome surprise was that Melanie, who was the stake camp director this year, had invited the YCLs (youth camp leaders) to come to the shower. (I went to girl's camp this year as the YCL leader). They made a loud, surprise entrance after everyone else was already sitting down. What a great surprise! And honestly, their advice was some of my favorite to read. 

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorites:

"Pick your battles. Socks in the living room: maybe not a big deal. Toilet seat staying up at night: much bigger deal." (from Misty, in the branch)

"Make time for the 'me' as well as the 'we.' (from Amanda, in the branch)

"Lots of sweets, it makes them fat and jolly." (from Emma, one of my YCLs)

"Hmmm, I really have no idea! Smile, laugh. Have some alone time. Read the scriptures!" (I think this one came from Grace, in the branch)

"Stay close to the Lord together. The best thing you can do to strengthen your relationship is to pray and study together. Have a hobby or interest you share and always have a weekly date! Be patient and laugh a lot!" (I'm pretty sure this was from Sister Beesley, whom I worked with at camp and whom I admire immensely)

"Don't be embarrassed to talk to your old married lady friends. Stuff that you think should be easy is sometimes the hardest to work out." (from Aubrey, in my cohort, who is only a couple years older than me but has been married for 4 years)

"Don't let him make you do all the hard work. You should share all responsibilities equally." (from a YCL, who probably doesn't know what a hard worker Chad is and that maybe her statement should be reversed)

"Scriptures, prayer, and a kiss before you leave home every morning." (from Marty, who was the longest-married person at my shower and has one of the sweetest relationships I know. She added, "It's really hard to be mad at each other if you do that.")

". . . important words to use when needed: I'm sorry, you were right, I didn't mean to. Words to use every day: I love you, thank you, you are amazing. Keep the romance alive. It is easy at first, but harder as life gets busier." (from Melanie, another long-time married who I trust big-time)

And finally, Esperanza's joke-advice, "Never go to bed angry," (therapists don't like giving cliche advice) which she later modified. "Don't forget the value of complaining. Self-sacrifice is crap." (Also semi-jokey, the last part is poking fun at things we've heard MFT professors say.) 

There was more advice, but that's probably enough for one blog post. I'm really grateful so many friends could come celebrate with me. And now, pictures of food:

the spread. yummmm

cherry limeade (in the colors!)

cake (again, the colors!)

cake balls. wow

chicken salad sandwiches

puppy chow--one of my all-time favorites

honey-butter carrots (organic! :) )

lemon bars

Esperanza's famous cheese ball

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sick Chad

I ran and swam some this morning, and read more of Stephanie Nielsen's book. I cried like a baby out by our apartment pool--luckily I was alone.

Today my sweet roommate Esperanza is throwing me a bridal shower. I'm excited to see friends and to celebrate. I'm sure I'll post some pictures later.

Two days ago, Chad threw out his back. Poor dear. I feel really bad for him, because I know he can't get around very well and it's hard for him to get comfortable, even just lying in his bed. However, I have secretly enjoyed the flurry of sweet and dramatic texts that being bedridden seems to have elicited. "If I die, I want you to know I loved you." And, "Someone is thinking about how wonderful you are." Poor little sweetie. Hope he gets better soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Being a Therapist

Every once in a while, I feel like I'm really good at what I do. Lots of other times, I feel like I'm decent at what I do. Sadly, there are days when I feel I don't know what I'm doing. This post will be about the former. Of course, names and most details will have to be left out.

I loooove couple's therapy. I saw a couple earlier this week for their first session. The man had come in by himself last week, and strongly resisted my urges to bring his wife in, stating that they had tried couple's therapy once or twice before and she had a tendency to become angry and storm out. They had never made it past a single session together. He insisted that bringing her in would not be helpful; I continued to insist that if he wanted to save his marriage, coming in by himself could actually have the opposite effect (I did not make that idea up, it is substantiated by therapy research). Anyway, he surprised me by bringing her in, and the session went great. Afterward, I was the first to exit the room we were meeting in. They lagged behind me by several seconds, and I wasn't sure why, so I backtracked to see why they weren't coming out of the room. There they were, embracing and kissing. I quietly turned and left them there, so happy. I know it's a small thing, but it was really gratifying to see some immediate relief of a huge rift in their relationship (he'd been sleeping on the couch for several months).

Then today, I saw one of my court-ordered teens. This kid is tough, and he's probably in a gang. He doesn't like me much because he thinks most white people are racist and I haven't been able to convince him otherwise. He usually alternates between refusing to talk and glaring at me with such intense hatred that I think he's going to leap out of his chair and pummel me. I've actually been quite terrified a few times. Anyway, we had a breakthrough moment today. It came after he told me to shut up, I told him I wasn't going to let him speak to me that way, and then he glared at me so intensely I had to look away because I was so afraid he was going to hurt me. His mother, who was in session with us, pointed out that she felt he was angry because his dad wasn't involved in his life. As furious as he was with her for sharing this, he began to cry and cry and cry. I could tell he was mad at himself for showing that kind of emotion. He insisted he didn't need his dad. I agreed that he (my client) was a very strong person and probably didn't need his dad, but offered the idea that dad's disinterest still was hurtful, and that my client deserved to be cared for by his dad. It just wasn't fair. He kept crying as I talked. Later, his mom let me know she hadn't seen him express emotion like that for 3 years. My heart ached for him, but I felt like something about our session had been successful. It probably sounds weird, but I think it's really good for people to cry sometimes.

And that is why, sometimes, I feel like I'm really good at what I do. And why I'll probably keep doing it. Change happens oh-so slowly much of the time, so these kinds of moments make it all worth it.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


training buddies
I've been feeling pretty bummed about not doing a triathlon this year. Then I went to Girl's Camp and made friends with these lovely girls who are now my training buddies! We've been running a little and we'll do a sprint tri in Lenoir City, Tennessee this fall. I'm excited!

Here's an interesting question: what do you think about indiscriminate honesty? Chad recently shared a piece of advice he had received from someone that in marriage, and especially when you are first married, you should focus on being 100% honest with your spouse. The person giving the advice had heard an older, married man share this advice. The man said he had never been untruthful with his wife when she cooked a meal he didn't like. He said it was great, because he had never had a bad meal twice, and now he liked everything his wife cooked. But hearing about it made me a little sad. Isn't it okay to lie sometimes to spare someone's feelings? How important is it to constantly give accurate and piercing feedback?

FORTY-FIVE DAYS LEFT. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait. Must wait.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Which I Remember How Much I Struggle to Like Salespeople, and an Update about the Jam

The jam set up! The jam set up! And it tastes like jam! I had some on a pb&j I made myself for lunch. And now, I have three lovely jars of blueberry jam to stick in a pantry--as if I were the kind of woman who does that! And just guess who will be eating homemade jam on his sandwiches this year. I hope he likes it.

this is him and my friend Lauren eating the cheesecake he made for my birthday. I hope he likes jam as much as we liked that cheesecake. Let's just say it wasn't around for long.
On another note, I had an interesting set of run-ins with some unnamed make-up salespeople this weekend. Despite a longstanding personal resolution to avoid meeting with this sort of person at all costs (ever since my mom and I got cornered into free makeovers once when I was in high school. Free makeovers=high pressure sales), I am getting married next month. I want to have nice makeup on that day. I feel relatively incompetent in the world of makeup. And so, with some encouragement from my roommate, I looked one of these people up and called her.

She was available right away, and I went over to her house. We actually had a great time. She made me look really pretty and we had a great time getting to know each other. Of course, our interest in each other was somewhat cheapened by the fact that she wanted to sell me lots of makeup AND convince me to throw a makeup party AND someday become a makeup saleperson just like her. But aside from that, we had a genuinely nice conversation.

Anyway, as is often the case with me, I am bad at saying no to people, and when she asked me to help her with a "mock interview" the next day I stumbled to think of any reason why not. She assured me this was just an opportunity for me to help her out; her supervisor was going to be in town from Virginia and would come tell me about their company and my new friend would sit and observe. This was only a training tool, my friend assured me. I gave no firm answer, but said I would let her know if I was interested. However, on the day of the "mock interview," my friend called several times and even had her supervisor call twice (I googled the area code from the unknown number and gasp--it was a VA number). Finally, I answered the phone. I gathered my courage and weakly expressed my disinterest in becoming a salesperson. Again, I was assured there would be no pressure of the sort.

The funny part of the meeting was when my friend was trying to win me over by talking about me to the supervisor lady, while I was sitting right there. I sat there while she told her supervisor about how I was getting married next month in Utah, and then said to me, "And just tell her what you told me about why your fiance says you guys won't ever move back to Idaho or Utah!" She said this as if what I had shared was the most fascinating secret. The supervisor lady chuckled and said knowingly, "Oh, I can only imagine. . ." I halted, confused. "Um, well, we won't move back there because there are too many dentists. We're Mormon. I guess there are lots of Mormon dentists." I hadn't thought that was particularly interesting when I mentioned it the day before, so I was surprised to be asked to repeat it.

At another point in the "interview," the supervisor lady mentioned that one of the great benefits of being a consultant for this particular company is that you get tax write-offs as a business owner. I nodded. This signal of comprehension was yet another cue for her to talk about how amazing I was. ("Now, I'm going to say this right in front of Cammie, but you probably notice I don't need to go into a lot of detail with her. You really don't have to go into a lot of detail with people who are very educated like she is.") I was trying so hard to fight the eye-roll reflex.

Anyway, I learned that 1) I am interesting because I'm not moving to Utah or Idaho, and 2) I am smart because I can act like I know what a tax write-off is. I'm not sure whether to feel elated or insulted. But no matter: I am happy with my purchases, I successfully convinced two ladies I was not interested in joining their team, and I've got some funny stories to show for it all. Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

On Being Domestic

I've been reading Stephanie Nielsen's book Heaven Is Here. I used my amazon birthday money from Grandma to get it. I had read her blog a few times, and listened to her interview on the Mormon Channel once. Just listening to her enthusiasm for life and gratitude for what she has, despite severe physical pain post-accident (if this isn't ringing a bell, check out her blog), always makes me feel more grateful and content. Just happy for all the little things.

Another fabulous thing about Stephanie is that she completely glorifies motherhood and femininity and marriage. This lady loves her family. She loves being a wife and a mother.

It's a good book for me to be reading right now, because it totally builds on my excitement to marry the love of my life next month in the Manti temple. It also makes me feel like doing domestic things--or trying, anyway. I was home working on my thesis today, and since I had tons of blueberries I picked on Saturday, I decided to try jam-making for the first time. Maybe if I feel like it, I'll update you on how it turned out. I couldn't stop eating it while I was making it, because it was so good. We'll see if it sets up right and does what it's supposed to. Hope so!

Friday, June 8, 2012


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