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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Goobye to you..

When Josh and I decided to get married it was a big step in our relationship. I knew that things would change, not only in our own relationship but with our friends too. We have been married for the last four months now, and I have loved every minute of it. At times things get hard and stressful especially with school and finals coming to an end. Knowing that I would be having a break I have tried my hardest to reach out to the people who mean the most to me. Friends and family alike.

This week I got a package from my grandparents whom I haven't talked to in years largely due to my mother and her stupidity. Inside of the package was a bunch of pictures from a photo album they had of me when I was a baby. Although the thought was nice it got me thinking about how few and far between it has been since we have talked. It is sad at times to think that I don't talk to my family as much as I would like to. I watch Josh talk to his family once a week and I'm glad to know I am apart of that, but it makes me miss my family that much more.

It also made me realize that I am losing the people I am close with. I feel as if I have tried to reach out, but nothing seems to be reciprocated. I guess people really do change when someone gets married. I am the last person to point fingers, but I have brought this very thing up several times, and as people insist that things will change I assume they will, but that is the problem with people- sometimes things just don't change. What am I supposed to do, get rid of them, delete them from my life. Unfortunately, the real world isn't Facebook, and I can't click them away that easily.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Fathers Love

So I wrote a portrait on my dad for my English 4030 class, Creative Non-fiction. I took a few creative liberties, but for the most part this story is completely true. Be prepared: it's long...

Miracle Boy
            I was eighteen the first time I watched the video of my dad, Joe’s surgery. Eight different hands poked at my lifeless father. In a sea of red and blue a tiny hole not much larger then a dime would end his life. That one hole would mean never talking to my best friend again. It would mean no father daughter dance at my wedding and no Grandpa Joe for my niece and nephew— or my very own children. They would never know the dad my sister Lindsay and I grew up idolizing. Instead he would be just a distant memory in stories we told them in a hope his legacy would never die.
November 27, 2004
            An oxygen mask covered his mouth and nose as two defibrillation paddles shocked him back to life. It is said he was complaining about having stomach pains. He thought it was gas, or maybe something he’d eaten that didn’t settle well, but it was much more than an upset stomach. Little did Joe know that inside of him the most important artery in his body was shutting down. Again. A heart monitor was connected to a wire clamped onto his finger. A slow inconsistent beep rang from the machine. He laid still on the gurney, not breathing. When the medical responders reached our home, they told Virginia, his fiancĂ©, she had to take her own car to the hospital because there wasn’t enough room to ride along in the ambulance. She jumped into the driver’s seat threw the Dodge Ram into reverse, and headed toward the hospital. She called me, as she sped up Highway One.
Aortic dissection is an uncommon occurrence. It happens when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta caused by pressure from within the artery allows blood in between the many layers forcing them apart. The aorta is the largest and most important artery in the human body. It’s like an onion. The aorta has layer upon layer of tissue that function as a wall to circulate oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body. Once it is cut open the layers begin to disassemble because it no longer has support amongst itself. My dad had already been in the hospital to repair this very issue. Eighty percent of dissections resulting in rupture of the aorta are fatal. His had ruptured just two month prior to today. The latest rupture was sure to be fatal. .
September 22, 2004
            It was a cloudy California morning. Not uncommon for living ten minutes from the beach. The ocean brought in a layer of fog and mist that settled in the Lompoc valley of central California. Everyone in our house was just waking up or getting ready when his aorta tore the first time.
Dad was in the shower when a loud thud sounded from the bathroom. I could hear him screaming for help. I was the first one to hear him. I rushed into the bathroom, but was directed back out to wake up Virginia. Virginia got him dressed, and into him the car, and I headed to school. As she drove to the emergency room she called the hospital to make sure medical staff was waiting when he arrived.
She told me later, “It was about 7:00 a.m. when he woke me up screaming for help and to get him to the hospital. I remember he was in a lot of pain, and holding his chest. He said there was no time to call an ambulance and to get him in the car.” Virginia said. “He was not one to go to the hospital, let alone a doctor, so I knew it was serious.”
            I left my house not knowing what to do. My father was stumbling into the truck as I walked to the bus stop a few blocks away. I wanted to go with them. I didn’t want to leave him, but Virginia insisted I go anyway. I watched him grasp his chest as she tried to put him into the car.
His medical records states he was in critical condition from the moment he entered the hospital. Lompoc’s hospital was small; its primary use was delivering babies and treating an occasional gun wound from gang violence. No one knew how to handle his condition, and they didn’t have the equipment to treat it even if they did know what it was. He was transferred to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital only minutes after being admitted. Before being taken to Cottage Hospital he was diagnosed as only having a heart attack which would require double bypass surgery.
            The symptoms of aortic dissection have similar symptoms to a heart attack. The rare few who survive it describe the pain by using words like, ‘sharp, stabbing, tearing or ripping’ from the center of the chest bone all the way back into the shoulder blades, and down the stomach. My dad was an uncommon candidate for the disease; on the outside he seemed healthy. Two in every ten thousand people in the world die from the occurrence every year. Most often it presents itself in men between the ages of forty and seventy. He was only forty-five when he was diagnosed. The doctors found they were going to need to do much more than perform a double bypass on his heart in order for him to survive. I still wonder if he would have survived if time wasn’t wasted.
His Early Life
Leslie Joseph Bocook was born on July 11, 1959 to Earl Allen Bocook and Margaret Sue Henderson at 6:39 a.m. in Louisville, Kentucky. He weighed in at nine pounds one ounce and was twenty one inches long. He was one of eight children. Five boys and three girls, and he was smack dab in the middle as number three.
“He was a strong boy with a big heart,” Sue, his biological mother, said. “Always getting into things that boy. He was a fighter. When he was passionate he went for it.  Got into lots of fights over girls in high school too. Knew what he wanted that’s for sure”
            His brothers told me countless stories of just how much he fought growing up. He fought over sports, he fought over girls, and he fought over family. It didn’t matter what it was if he cared about it he fought for it. He even beat up his little brother Eddie for throwing a cold bucket of water on him and his girlfriend Sheryl King while they were making out in the backseat of his ’68 Camero.
At sixteen he and his sister Kim, who was fifteen at the time, were adopted by their grandparents, Earl and Marjorie Henderson. The family has two stories about the adoption. Kim, Joe, and several other siblings claimed the only reason his biological grandparents adopted the two was because the government had offered several scholarships for college to students who had been adopted. They wanted to succeed, and Dad thought going to college would be the only way to do so. His biological parents didn’t like the idea of their children being adopted, and thought they chose to be adopted because they no longer wanted to affiliate with their family who didn’t have the money to send them to college, but their parents agreed to the adoption anyway. This caused a lot of contention amongst the family, but my dad continued to see them throughout the years. The family was always close no matter whose parents were whose.
“He was family oriented,” Eddie, his younger brother said, “but don’t get me wrong, he did what he needed to do to get where he needed to be; even if that meant stepping on some toes to get there. He didn’t really care who he hurt, as long as it wasn’t family. He was always a fighter.”
            He never out grew this trait. He ended up in a job where he fought to gain higher positions, and later would fight for his life. The FBI would push him much harder than he had ever been pushed in anything else.
September 22, 2004
            Hours passed as family and friends gathered in the waiting room of the Intensive Care Unit. Every so often an update would come from a doctor or nurse who was working on him. The first update came just after his first MRI.  Doctor Westerman walked through the double doors, his hands held up and wet from just being sterilized.
            “We found something. We have to act fast. He is being prepped for surgery. Mr. Henderson has suffered from a heart attack which means he will go into open heart surgery right away. The MRI shows his aorta has burst. If we don’t fix it now, he will die, and even if we do fix it he still has a high percentage of not making it after the surgery.”
            The doctor rushes back through the double doors, leaving Virginia and I scared. We were unsure what to do with the information so in a panic we began calling family and told them he wasn’t going to make it. If they wanted to see him the better come now. The words, ‘he’s dying’, ‘he probably won’t make it’ and ‘come before it’s too late’ were flying around the waiting room in rapid succession. Kim and Eddie flew in to see him before he passed. My sister, Lindsay, also flew in from Ohio as soon as she heard the news.
            The doctors removed a large artery from his left leg to replace the torn section of his aorta.  They replaced the artery in the leg with a synthetic stint. He would have a scar running up the entirety of his calf and another on from the middle of his breast bone past his belly button after the first surgery. The aorta was properly grafted together and stable, but surgery wasn’t over yet.  Lindsay spent three days in California hoping our dad would wake up, but he never did. She never got to see him conscious before he passed away.
Early Life
             Joe was very active growing up. He loved to play basketball. In high school Joe was a tri-athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. His name is still printed on ‘State Champion’ banners in the West Carter gym in Kentucky.
            “He was two to three inches shorter than everyone, but worked two or three times harder.” Eddie said. “He pushed himself so hard he would make himself sick, didn’t matter what sport he was playing.”
            My family had no idea this characteristic would be the one that led to his death. Each year the bureau required each of their staff members to undergo a routine physical. The turn your head and cough kind, not the extensive type. This was the only time he went to a doctor appointment all year. His activities outside of work began to die down as he got older. He put on some weight, and continued to eat as he pleased. It made sense that his blood pressure would shoot through the roof over the short year between his physical and his death. He took on some added stress at work, a new love life, and three more women in the house. His life was moving much faster than normal, and his body took the brunt of it. He started playing too hard at the game of life.
September 22, 2004
            Hours had passed, and not one doctor or nurse had been out to give the family updates. Each time someone entered the waiting room the Virginia, Eddie, Kim, Lindsay and myself  would shoot our eyes toward the door then look down in disappointment when it wasn’t someone with more information. The doors to the waiting room swung open again. Dr. Westerman stood in the doorway.
            “The first surgery is over, and Joe is going in for another MRI.”
            Half an hour later the doctor came in again.
            “He needs another surgery. During the last seven hours Joe has not had blood flow to some of his major organs, and has lost a lot of blood. This caused a few organs to shut down. He needs to have several inches of his large and small intestine removed and his entire colon. We will place him on a colostomy bag so he can still perform regular bowel movements. I have also noticed the valve leading from his aorta to his heart is not working properly. We are going to replace the valve with a pig’s heart valve because it works similar to the way his would. Any questions?”
            The family looked at him dumb founded. Their minds had the words ‘remove’, ‘failed’, and ‘pig’ floating through them. After a brief moment of silence he left the waiting room again.
            Fourteen hours worth of surgeries and seven complete operations later my dad was placed into recovery in the ICU. Monitors and machines were hooked up to his fingers, chest, and back. He was naked except for a small cover over his penis which was hooked up to a catheter. For a while he was hooked up to a machine to help him breath and pump blood until his heart and lungs could work by themselves. The machine forced him to breath. He looked like something out of a science fiction movie with all the electronics hooked up to him. He was a little robot lying there helpless hoping someone could put him back together. Family was only allowed to visit him between the hours of six and eight. Most nights we would sleep on the chairs in the waiting rooms. I would get up, and make the hour drive to school then come back as soon as it was over.
            My fatherwas in the hospital just shy of two months. He hit milestones none of the doctors or nurses thought he would be able to make. After a week his heart was beating steady on its own. Two weeks passed, and he was able to talk. His sentences were at times incomprehensible, and every time he saw a nurse he yelled rude comments and called her Jacqui, his first wife’s name. At three weeks he realized none of the nurses were Jacqui, and on occasion he would flirt with them. By the one month mark he began to eat soft foods, and the doctors and nurses began explaining to him what had happened.
“Each time he heard something about the surgery he got frustrated and complained that he didn’t want to be in the hospital, and wanted to go back to work,” Wendy, his ex wife said. “A few times he tried to pull out the IV’s and tubes connected to him and leave.”
During week five Joe had a setback in recovery. The cut made in his calf during surgery wouldn’t heal. By now it should have started to mend itself, but instead it had developed gangrene; a staph infection that festers in open wounds and it began eating away at the surrounding skin and tissue on his leg. The doctor placed a suction cup resembling crinkled saran wrap connected to a large tube over the wound. This would suck out the infection, and keep it from spreading any farther. For a while they were worried they would have to amputate. Over the next two weeks Joe made more progress, and the nurses started calling him “Miracle Boy”. He was walking on his own with the help of a walker, and the doctor said he was free to go home under intense supervision and care.
November 27, 2004: 10 p.m.
            The paramedics pulled my dad out of the ambulance. Virginia cried ‘I love you’ as they rushed him into the building. He said nothing. I ran with them into the Emergency Room. He looked up at me and said the last words he would ever say ‘I love you,’ and disappeared behind two doors with a sign that said, “NO VISITORS BEYOND THIS POINT.”
            “The night drug on for hours.” Virginia said. “We waited until four in the morning to hear word from a man they hoped to never see again. Dr. Westerman.”
            “I need to talk to his next of kin?” the doctor asked.
            I stood up from my cold waiting room chair. Since my sister was in Ohio I was the one he needed to talk to.
I left the room and entered the hallway with the doctor.
            “Your dad isn’t going to make it. I want to explain to you what is going on.”
            He led me into the operating room. Two chest x-rays hung on an illuminated board.
            “These are your dad’s lungs. Right here is the aorta,” he said. “This dark spot is where it has torn again. This time we cannot fix it.”
            “Why?” I asked. I knew the answer, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to accept it.
            “The aorta is too weak to go under an extensive surgery like that again, it won’t sustain itself even if we tried. His lungs have filled with fluid. At this point he is drowning inside of himself.”
            Just as the doctor said this, my dad let out one loud gurgling breath. I could hear the fluid bubbling in his lungs.
            “Right now your father is in cardiac arrest, and his heart won’t be able to pump blood as soon as we take him off of it. Watch that monitor.”
The line spiked and dropped rapidly, and then would flat line for a while. His heart rate would peak at highs over three-hundred beats per minute, and lows near five in a matter of seconds.
“What would you like for us to do?”
            I ran to the waiting room already knowing what I needed to do. I talked it over with my mother and called Lindsay to ask for advice. For the first time I realized my father was going to die. He made a promise to me when I was four that he would live forever, and forever had come. After about an hour I went back to the doctor. It was time to let go.
            “Take him off life support.”
            “Would you like to have a prayer first?”
            “Yes.” This would be the hardest word I would ever have to say.
            “Joe wasn’t a religious person,” Virginia said later as we discussed those last moments with my father, “The only person they could find was a Jewish rabbi. So we all gathered around his bed, and said our last thoughts. The rabbi said a prayer as they staff started to unhook him from the machines. After the prayer he took one last breath and passed away.”
            Joe died at 5:40 a.m. on November 28, 2004. He was buried in Olive Hill, Kentucky where he grew up; right next to his adoptive parents on his family’s property.
            I look back on those last moments with my dad and can’t help but think about his life. To me he was so much more than a father. He was my best friend. Dad was the one who got me out of trouble, and sometimes got me into it. I loved the secrets we hid from my mother, but I wonder if he had ever hid anything from me. Did he know he was sick? Did he know he was dying? It all happened so fast there was no time for questions. I will forever remember sitting with him night after night praying he would make it so I could ask him how he got here.
            For a long time I thought his death was my fault. What if I would have waited just one more minute before talking to the doctor?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Give Thanks.

Our First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has never really been my favorite time of year. It isn't because I'm not thankful, but because sometimes it is hard to be thankful when times just aren't easy. This year Josh and I celebrated our first Turkey Day in the company of great friends that we may as well call family, the Smith's. Maddy their daughter was my roommate last year and is now one of my best friends. I really do love them like family. When I'm around them I'm reminded of what a family should be, a feeling I never really got growing up in my crazy family.

I was reminded over the past few days of what one day I will be thankful for. One day I will be the mother who takes my daughter shopping and actually wants to spoil them every once in a while. We will be the family with traditions like putting the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving is over. We will sit around a table for meals with family, and extended family and play games until we can't stop laughing.

Although I am not ready to be a family of three, I can't wait to have these memories. Josh and I have started a few traditions of our own. This year we went to see the Salt Lake Temple lights. I'm amazed when I look at the million lights on the trees. Someone put a lot of effort into putting those up. We are also doing Christmas cards... Just wait until you get yours :)

 Christmas Lights in Temple Square

Sunday, October 30, 2011

He stole my heart, so I stole his last name.

Things have been busy in the Lund household. Josh has been going to school and decided to change his major to Engineering which I think is a great idea, and he had is first interview with the Department of Homeland Security last Wednesday. The wheels are in motion for him to get his green card. If all goes well we will be back in Canada for the summer. I honestly am beyond extatic.

I found our I am graduating this spring and am very excited to be doing so. I think I have begun to outgrow the college life, and can't wait to move onto bigger and better things. Seems like no matter where you go the people around you don't really change. Who knows where we will end up, but I hope it's not anywhere near Cedar.

We are so excited to be able to be closer to family and friends come the end of school. Josh is really missing his family, especially his siblings, and it will be nice to finally meet the brother-in-law I hear so much about.

We have had a lot of fun lately though. I celebrated my 21st birthday and Halloween which is probably our favorite holiday. I must say out homemade costumes were pretty sweet. We can't wait to spend out first holidays together making our own traditions with our new family.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We're Hitched!

So, I have broken the rules of Blogging. I knew I would. It has been one month and twelve days since my last post and let me tell you. So much has happened in such a short time. We're married now and yesterday we celebrated on whole month of marriage. How time flies. Here is a photo essay to keep it short and sweet.

Mt. Timpanogos Temple August 9, 2011

 I took some Bridals.

Call me a traditionalist, but I didn't want Josh to see me in my dress before the wedding. It was hard to keep it from him, but I'm so glad I did. I loved seeing his face in the temple when he saw it for the first time. Granted, I don't think that anyone like pictures of themself alone. It's just weird, but Karl Hughes (Studio West) is an amazing photographer and the picutes are something we will treasure forever.

August 10, 2011
Salt Lake Temple

 We got MARRIED. A long time coming, and these are just a few of the 1000. Yes, literally 1000 photos we have. There was no way that I was putting those all up here. The day was perfect I couldn't have asked for a better wedding. To be able to share it with my best friend only made it better.

Honeymoon Oahu, Hawaii

We also got the wonderful experience of going to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We couldn't have asked for a better week. Fun filled with snorkling, food, parasailing, tanning, swimming and lounging by the waves. We had such a good time.

The real honeymoon is over, but we are still having a great time learning about each other and I'm not sure the feeling of the honeymoon will ever stop. One month later and many more to come.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mr. and Mrs.

Josh and Kasi July 23, 2011
Calgary Open House
McKenzie Lake Boat House
After a ten day adventure I am finally back in the states. Actually I have been back for almost a week now, but my time spent there was too short in fact my flight got delayed so much I had to stay another night. Let's just say I was not complaining. I love spending time with my new family. I got to meet tons of new people and spend time time preparing for a lovely open house Josh's mom put together for us. It was great to meet people Josh had grown up with and finally introduce myself to relatives I had only heard stories about.

The Lunds: Josh, Kasi, Pam, Jonathan, Ryan Holly 

I really do have a great appreciation for families as strong as this one. They support and love each other with everything they have and even when times are stressful like planning a wedding they are always there when someone needs them. I am so thankful to be marrying into a family I know that I can count on to help whenever I need them. Pam put so much effort into this day and I couldn't thank her enough for doing this for us.

Grandma and Grandpa Lund

The morning of our open house Josh's grandma took us to get our temple clothes, a tradition she does with all her grandchildren. Aside from being very overwhelmed with all I needed to get I was greatful for her to be there with us and love to think that each and every time I enter the temple I will be reminded of our wedding day by wearing the dress I am getting married in. Grandma and Grandpa Lund really are the most generous people I have ever met. They even had a dinner Sunday night so I could get to know that side of the family better. The food was amazing and I'm sad to say I didn't win at Crib, but I'm working on it. One day I will beat Grandpa Lund.

Grandpa Cameron

I also had the opportunity to meet Grandpa Cameron for the first time. He really is an inspiration to relationships every where. He met his wife and it was love at first sight, they were engaged 5 days later and then married for 60 years. They really did have true love and I can only hope Josh and I have a marriage like theirs.

Calgary Stampede 2011

On top of all the things that we did during the open house we got to spend a lot of time together and get a real taste of what marriage is like. I loved being there everyday when he got off work and snuggling before bed. I had my first Calgary Stampede experience which consisted of mini donuts which are definitly not good for you but taste so delicious, walking around, Katy Perry look-a-likes,watching the chuck wagon races and a train ride. I wasn't feeling wonderful but I had a great time experiencing the culture if you can call it that.

Banff July 20, 2011

We also took a day trip up to Banff which is about and hour and a half away from where Josh lives. It was absolutely beautiful and we have decided that we are going to make it a tradition to go every year while we visit his family.

I can't believe in a few days Josh will be here. This is the shortest time he and I have spent apart in our entire relationship. Only 10 more days until we are Mr and Mrs Lund.
And the waiting game begins...

McKenzie Lake 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

86400 seconds

Josh and I try our best to talk as much as possible while we are apart and sometimes that means until 2 a.m. on a weekday when he has to wake up for work four hours later. It gets hard sometimes and I'll admit we the distance really takes a tole on the both of us. We knew that being a country apart would be hard, but nothing like this. When you are in love with someone all you want is to be with that person and to not have the option to jump in your car and see them whenever you please. In a short 24 hours I will be in Canada and getting to spend 9 days with the love of my life.

If I have learned anything from being apart it is no matter how hard things get we will never go to bed angry. We may fight or become frustrated, but to fall asleep knowing that person is mad has never been an option for either of us. I highly recommend all couples to take my advice when I say this. You never know what might happen to that person and you never want your last converstation to be a bad one.

I fall in love with him each time we get over a new trial. Our journey has been a hard one, but with each new struggle something good comes from it, and we become stronger. At the end of the night we have the same goal, to help each other and keep pushing through to the next day. He never said that it would be easy, He just said it would be worth it. I know the future will be hard as we start on our new lives as a married couple, but I have no doubt that the things we come across are going to continue to make us stronger. I hope he knows no matter what crosses our path I will always love him.

See you in 86400 seconds.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Answering prayers

So several posts befor this one I was complaining about Canada being on a postal strike. I mean really guys there are some things that you just can't do. There should always be an emergency room doctor at the hospital, Delta Airlines should always have a pilot for your flight, and well mail carrier should always transport their mail. Hello Canada, people really love getting bills! Needless to say I was stressing, but what else is new? I had no idea how Josh was going to get all 140 invitations to 120 Canadians who were not getting mail. Guess what? God answered my prayers and the postal strike is over!

Just in time, I recieved all 200 invites on the 24th, Josh's mom picked them up in Montana on 1st and what do you know the mail strike ended on the 4th. Coinsidence I think not.

When you are planning a wedding you want everything to be perfect. As much as this is your day and about the two of you, your guests should enjoy it too and a few weeks ago with the strike I wasn't sure that we were going to have any guests because no one would have their invites. So I prayed that everything would work out and sometimes I thought that it just wasn't going to happen, but God doesn't work on my time (if you don't know me I like immediate satisfaction) He works on his time. They say that children teach you patience, well guess what, weddings prepare you for husbands which in turn prepare you for children.

I am so thankful each day that God has the ability to teach me something new each and every day. Behind every stressful moment there is a moment of enlightenment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Love letters...

I knew when I started writing this that Josh wasn't going to write very often if ever, especially if he and I were far away from each other. But being long distance does have its perks, sounds crazy I know, but you learn a lot about a person when all you can do is talk on the phone and Skype. After two months aparth though we have both started to feel the how hard being apart really is. Here are a few little notes he has left over the last few days:

July 1, 2011
Hey babe I just wanted to tell you this morning how much I love you. Thanks for always being there and being so understanding. Some how you see what no one else can and nobody can ever make me feel the way that you do. I new from day 1 that you were special, and you will be the holder of my heart forever. I love you beatiful ♥

June 29, 2011
Hearing this song always makes me think of you. I was listening to it today and I really payed attention to the words for some reason, and i realized that its perfect at describing how feel about you and how truly special you are to me. You know my story better than anyone so it would make the most sense to you, but listen close to the lyrics. You mean the world to me babe and I can't wait until the day when I can call you mine forever. I love you beautiful ♥

Two and a half years ago we started writing letters while he was on his mission. We continued to communicate through writing after he came home. Josh leaves notes on my car all the time, I wrote him postcards while I was in Europe, and we exchanged emails while I was there. Fortunately we saved every one of them and one day we will be able to look back on our written words and remember those moments forever.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The reasons...

As a young couple I constantly get asked why are you getting married so young? It's not a hard question to answer really, but I have noticed that each time I get asked why my answer is always different. I know, this seems inconsistant and most people think that there is just one right answer, but there isn't.

I'm not the easiest person to talk to, at times I'm emotional, I get stressed, and I'm the first person to admit that I have faults and am far from perfect. The thing is, none of that matters to him. The past week has been very difficult for me, planning a wedding is hard and when you don't have time for yourself the world feels as if it is about to destruct. Crying apparently has been on my to do list everyday this week. By now I don't understand how he still wants to marry me. Between my nagging about calling someone or another, random fits of sadness, and other things of that nature I don't know how he stand me. I feel like I should apply for Bridezillas.

Today, I realized that this is why I'm getting married so young. In a world full of guys who just don't get it, he understands. He understands that when I'm sad it is not the time to joke because I won't take well to it. He knows that I hate my hands being wet so he does the dishes. He realizes that my make up runs when I cry and still calls me beautiful. Here it is courtesy of Skype:

Joshua Lund: i love you so much
Joshua Lund: even when you're sad
Joshua Lund: and upset
Joshua Lund: and especially like that
Joshua Lund: seriously
Joshua Lund: some of the times when you think you're "ugly" are when i find you the most beautiful

While I bawled my eyes out about how much I missed being with him telling him how miserable being apart was for me and makeup ran down my cheeks he wrote this. So people can question as much as they so please, but when you know, you know. It's simple really he understands who I am and appreciates it even when who I am is at its worst.

Marriage is about the vows and commitments you make from the beginning, and so often those things get shoved to the side to make room for more 'important' things to pass by. I have watched too many marriages fail because they lost sight of those small yet significant promises that they made to each other. We both know that the important things in life aren't necessarily the easiest, but in the end it will all be worth it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Little Things

They say that life is about the little things. Those small acts of kindness that mean the world to someone. This post is NOT about those types of little things. When it comes to a weddng the little things are what makes your day. It was easy picking our colors, Josh wanted to wear a gray suit instead of a chocolate brown one, so plum, sage, pewter, and cream it was. We needed a venue that was near to the temple, accommodated ring ceremonies, and was outdoors so we picked Millcreek Inn. After trying on 6 dresses I had found "the one" and rings were a piece of cake. So what is left? Everything!

The last few days have been all about the details. Registry cards, directions for guests, labels and putting it all together. With Canada on a mail strike this has become much more difficult than putting them in the mail and sending them of they now must be sent to Montana to be picked up, then hand delivered to family and friends up there.  Nothing with us is ever easy, but they are now finished.

That is not the extent of the details, finding an officiant, choosing types of flowers, fittings for dresses (that's right they don't come in the perfect size), on tope of so many other things. If you guys know me at all, I'm a perfectionist, I think that is one of the flaws that comes along with being an English Major. When it comes to a project, it is all or nothing, and this is supposed to be the most important day of your life right? The pressure is on.

I get really nervous thinking about the possibility of forgetting things. There is really so much that goes into a wedding that you don't even think about. I don't want to be a bride who gets lost in the idea of a wedding and forgets about the marriage.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beating the Odds

After four days and four nights, he's back in Canada again. Sad, I know, but they were the best four days that I have had in a month. How can that be you ask? I just spent 23 days in Europe, but when you love someone, missing them puts a damper on everything that you do. I missed him like crazy, and to have those four days was just what I needed to put a little pep in my step. It was a crazy weekend full of both business and fun. A day at the pool, a sunset hike, church, some time with my second family, our super cute engagement photos (They will be up here soon) and much driving, but it was all worth it.
Sunday June 12, 2011

We always have the best time together, it doesn't matter what we are doing or where we are as long as we're together we have a good time. Love really is all you need.  When you love someone and you know that you are going to spend the rest of your life (and eternity) with that person that is really what it comes down to. There are going to be times where Josh and I struggle we're young, and new at this, and we know that, but no matter what comes our way we are going to be fine because we have such an immense amount of love in our lives.

I was looking through out engagement proofs and it was amazing to look at the photos, it is the first of many family portraits to come, but these are the pictures that are going to be hanging on the walls of our new home, and the memories that we will have to show our kids some day how we looked at 20 and 22. I'm sure that they will make fun of our hair and clothes, and we will reply "that was the style" just like our parents have when we looked at old photos of them. There is one thing that is undeniable in the pictures where we are looking into each others eyes it that we love each other. After two years of long distance, the idea of forever is an amazing thought. In case anyone was wondering (56 days until we are married) but I'm probably the only one that is counting. It was nice to have him home, to be able to talk to him in person, and hug him.

Saying goodbye was hard and happened all too quickly. I manage to get into the car before breaking down and he got a bloody nose, but we both know that we will se each other in in 31 days (another countdown for everyone to keep track of). The distance is hard, but we both have no doubt that we will make it. We know the odds are against us, we have proved wrong before and will prove them wrong again. I say bring it on.

Here's to the next 31 days of Skype dates, phone calls and emails until I am in Canada to see my soon to be family. It's nice to think that I'm not just getting a husband but another Mom, Dad, sister and brother to bond with. It will be nice to have the chance to spend more time with them. The world is changing for all of us. God's plan is being layed out before me and it is time to take a stroll down and see what it has to offer the both of us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One more sleep and a Canadian postal strike.

The title is weird I know, but in one very long day I will be picking Josh up from the Las Vegas McCarran Airport to spend five days with him. Skype dates are no longer cutting it. You would think that after the internet being availble to people for the last fifteen years that they would work out the kinks with built in microphones, but after two weeks of this I know that it is not the case. After hours on end of web cameras conversations with no sound at times, and resorting to typing in the box at the bottom of the screen the day is finally here.

And yes, sometimes we resorted to sign language, small problem, this is the only word that either of us know.

Yes it has been hard, and at times annoying to see someone but not have them there in person. We try as hard as possible to make the bes out of a hard situation but at the same time  with each passing day it gets harder. I'll attend a venue with my maid of honor whom is the biggest help ever, but I can't ask josh about his input. He loves food and there I was sitting without him choosing sliders that I know he would care about way more than I did.

The dress is purchased, the veil is purchased, the rings are purchased. All that is left to do now is finalize everything. It's the little details that make a wedding. The flowers, the favors, the invites etc and to know that I have to decide without him is really hard and I just hope that things come together. 69 days until we are married, that is one day shy of ten weeks, and I feel like there is so many things that are left with loose ends. It is stressful to not have the other half of your wedding there to tell you yes or no on the important things. I know, guys usually don't care right?

These next five days are going to be necessary, jam packed, and will probably fly by too quickly, but all work it in the end. We are used to waiting. We have waited for years for this day to come and as it quickly approaches we know that the wait will be worth it. 200 invitations, a wedding party of 12, 2 rings, and one lovely lace dress later the reality is starting to hit.

We take our engagements on Monday which is one of the pictures that are going on our invitations to find out that the post offices are not sending mail within Canada, go figure. Don't they know that I am trying to have a wedding? I'm not sure how I am going to send invitations to Canada if the mail isn't going anywhere. Just another thing for me to stress about. Josh being here will be a good thing. Five days of no stress, no homework, just much needed relaxation.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Final Count Down

In 9 very long slow days Josh and I will b back together for 4 very quick days but I know both of us really need this right now. On Monday he and I will have been apart for exactly one month and it really is hard. I have tried to find things to do, and trust me there are many of them, but nothing seems as appealing as doing nothing for those four days. Let the single digit count down begin I suppose.

Patience has never been my strong suit, that was his job. The reassuring words that everything will be alright and I love you's seem to be all that is keeping us going each day. He works long days and because I am travling so much this summer I'm not which at times feels lke prison. I'm not one of those people who likes down time, I like being busy, but planning a wedding is not enough. How can that be right? There are so many things to do and only 69 days to go until I do, but all the big things are finished with the exception of my dress. (I suppose that is pretty big).

It feels weird making all of these decisions for one day apart. I know that everyone thinks that guys dont really have an opinion when it comes to a wedding, but that isn't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for someone to reassure me that all of these decisions that we are making are good ones. So much goes into a wedding and at times it feels like we are having to make important decisions that we should be able to discuss on our own.

The four days he is here will be packed with things to do. Engagement photos, finalizing invitations, meetings to get reccommends amongst many other things. I honestly can't wait though, as busy as it may be quailty time is the only thing that has been on my mind lately.

A month away from your best friend is one of the hardest things that could happen after becoming engaged. You would think that after writing letters for a year while he was on his mission that this would be cake, but emails are the most impersonal form of communication. Yes, you get them immediately and all the words are there just as they are written, but the emotion isn't there. Atleast when you are waiting for a letter you can see all of the smears and smudges of hand written words.

Since I have been back in the states we have been able to Skype each night which has been amazing. I feel like I'm in high school again where neither one of us wants to get off the phone because saying goodby sucks. Most nights we talk until I fall asleep or atleast half asleep exchange goodbyes just to do the same thing the next day. Keeping myself busy had been key. Only 9 more days...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Importance of Words

This song couldn't capture our story better.

So I guess this is where real life begins. I love feeling home again where I can go to the kitchen and grab a snack and not have to worry about the cafeteria being open because there is a fridge full of food in the room across the hall.But things aren't quite back to normal yet, Josh and I are still seperated by three states and one border but each night we are able to Skype which is much more enjoyable then reading emails each morning knowing that he won't get them until later that night and by then I have already fallen asleep.

I feel as if for those few hours that I get to talk to him and see his face each night that I am able to feel just a little closer to him. We get to see each other smile for the first time in almost a month, laugh together and I get to see the funny faces that he makes as he eats gummy snacks his mom brough back from a baby shower. For now though that is as good as it gets.

It's strange how much music can tell a story. I've never been bad with words, I'm and English major, but when it comes to expressing my feelings music has always been something that explains it better than I ever could. I don't usually express my emotions to others. The melody sets the mood, the lyrics tell a story and many times it's your own story. The sleepless nights, praying that we are together, wishing for something that you just can't have at that time. Distance really is one of the hardest things to ever come in between a relationship. When all you want are those few moments together, but that person is no longer a phone call away and can't just hope in the car.

This is the where the importance of words comes into play. When you aren't there to hold the person you love all that you can do is tell them that everything will be fine and that you love them. Our entire relationship is written down. Both of us have letters upon letters of starting at the beginning. I can't begin to explain how thankful we have both been to have these memories written down to look back on. Our feelings for each other haven't changed since day one our like started to grow from something small to something much bigger than both of us could have imagined. A little token to remind us of where we started.

Three words, I love you. These words written on a tiny sheet of green cardstock two years ago started a winding road leading us to now.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bon Voyage...

My trip to Europe has come to an end. 23 days was more than enough. I got to see the things that I wanted to see and still have a little time to make new friends. I had a blast and so many of my dreams came true on this trip. Europe is like no other country, it is full of life, new and old. Everything has a story behind it, everything has a history. To sum it all up it was the great ending to my first chapter in life.

For me I guess that Europe was my transition period, from my single life to the beginning of my married life. In a way it was my 'one last hoorah' before I start a new chapter with Josh. I learned a great deal on this trip. At times it was stressful but all in all I couldnt have asked for it to come at a better time in my life.

I got to see the Eiffel Tower one of the things I have always dreamed of doing. I ate crepes in front of Notre Dame, paninis on the Champs de Mars, toured Versailles. I had fish and chips and The Red Lion, toured Oxford, got lost and almost ended up in the London Zoo, and was stalked on multiple occasions by strange looking European men. These times were all unforgetable.

As hard as it was to tear myself away from the normalacy of real life it was nice to get out of the tiny town to see that there is a whole world out there to discover. I learned that to choose not to experience things outside your comfort zone would be a waste of life. There is so much to see outside of the tiny bubble that we call home.

Bonjour my new life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodbye London...

I could not have asked for a better summer. As I am blessed with a fabulous opportunity to take one last chance to experience the 'single life' in Europe. Tomorrow I will embark on what I would like to call my ''I Can Die Tomorrow List'' I know, I know it sounds strange, but I promise I will explain. Everyone has there to do lists, honey do lists, bucket lists etc. This isn't really much of the first two it is more of a bucket list than anything.

Paris has always been my dream vacation and at 12:45 tomorrow I will be leaving  London to start a new but short adventure in Paris. I don't know French which could pose a problem. I don't exactly understand the means of transportation, and I'm not sure where we are heading anyway. What I do know is that this is the beginning of the ride of my life. I only have six more days in Europe and I must say that it has been bittersweet to think that I am leaving after being here for a total of 23 days.

I have learned a lot about myself being here, and I have learned more about those around me. It is strange to think of yourself as a tiny dot amongst a million dots on a huge map. The time change has shown me that not everything functions during the Mountain Standard time of 8-10. While I am asleep people are waking up to go to work. I have watched them whiz by me as I groggily made my way to a train station at 5 am in order to make my way to Scotland. Everything moves so fast here.

Train ride to Edinburgh 5:15 am

Cedar City is nothing in comparison to this big city that I have been plopped into for the last 17 days. There is no longer and sense of comfortability, everything is new and exciting. Getting lost is the best way to find something interesting and as long as you can get your way back to the tube you aren't lost, you are just temporarily confused. We have been confused a lot.


Big Ben

Roman Baths

 Lacock, the most beautiful place I have ever been to.

I have gotten to see some of the most incredible things here. Stonehenge, Bath, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the list goes on. I have loved each day here for different reasons, the new people that I have met have made all the difference in my journey. My London chapter is closing and I'm opening the doors to Paris.

There is a lot of symbolism when it comes to the door. I clost the door on things of the past to open them to things of the future. This trip is a door I will be finishing the chapters of my single life to open the door to my married life with my best friend. I was sad to leave him, but I don't regret this experience whatsoever. I have learned so much through my traveling here and gained a sense of independence. I have conquired a new country and I am about to move onto another for 4 days.

Next stop, Paris...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

For Egle...

Yesterday a relative of mine from Lithuania told me she wanted the story of how Josh and I met on our blog which I have noticed is really a blog about our life and I highly doubt that he will ever write on this without a push to do so, but I'm fir with that. It is a long story to be honest, one that may get some eyebrow raises, and slight confusion but here it goes.

When I moved to college I has been attending the LDS church for about a year, a few months after being here I had decided that it was time that I were to be baptized. The accumulation of investigating the church, making great friends, and figuring out who I was all lead me to feel as that was the right place for me. So on November 15, 2008 I was baptized into the faith. At that same time Josh was on his mission in the Utah Provo South area and eventually ended up in the Southern Utah University Stake whish was where I was going to school.

As many of you know after someone is baptized they are encouraged to take new member lessions to help with their knowlege of the gospel. Who knew that these lession were going to end up being the beginning of the rest of my life. Sue to the holiday I wasn't able to start my lessions until after the Christmas break was over because I had gone home to see my mom. I was disappointed to find out that one of the missionaries, Elder Tolentino, was transfered out of the area and was being replaced. I realized through my three sets of missionary lessions that sometimes finding the two missionaries that understand you makes the world of difference.

Several days after getting back from vacation, I had left my house to go for a fun something that I only do when heavily prompted by a higher power only to come pack to a pair of name tags waiting outside my door. One I had known, the other unfamiliar. This is the first time I met Josh. I always thought he was cute but I know better than to think that anything would have ever came about with him being on a mission. Per usual the missionaries frequented my house making sure that I was alright, or if I needed anything. It wasn't strange for them to be there on days where they weren't teaching me. Utah is a state full of LDS people and sometimes it was hard to find people who are interested in the church since many of them are already a part of it. The missionaries and I became friends and they were also a big support after being baptized.

After six months of Josh being in Cedar he was transfered to Spanish Fork about three hours north of where I lived. Like a lot of missionaries Josh carried a journal with him that he had people write in before he left his area. Being an 18 year old girl I took advantage of this opportunity. I knew that I wasn't supposed to so I wrote an appropriate letter to him in his journal and slipped one that was more truthful in seperately. I knew that we flirted on occasion, after all he is still a guy regardless of if he was a missionary but it was harmless. My feelings over time made me realize that I would regret not telling him, and honestly I never expected anything in return. I had held back many things because I knew that he was doing the Lord's work.

The day before he left I was given a note and told to read it after he was gone, of course that didn't happen. The feelings were mutual. He had asked to leave the area because he was worried that more feelings would develop the longer that he was in Cedar, only to find out that he would have been there one more transfer. I gained a lot of respect for him that day, it would have been easy to stay, but he knew that it was better to leave and finish what he started. Since he was honest his mission president gave him permission to write me. For the next year Josh and I wrote letters back and forth to stay in communication with each other. At times My letters got few and far between, but neither one of us lost feelings for the other.

This leads us to today...

Kasi and Josh, 2009

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Give Me Your Forever

As wedding plans start and the day gets closer, nerves mount. I think about all the support that we have as we embark on this new life. I really feel like I am a million miles away and I know we couldn't do it without the support of all of our family and friends. There have been times where both of us thought that we would never make it to where we are now, but we did. Two and a half years of trying and failing, waiting and wishing all leading to this moment. With guidence everything has worked out in ways we both never could have imagined.

We don't know where we are heading, but we know that we are doing so together. I was told the day before yesterday by a man on our tour bus that the odds are against me but it's possible. He and his wife were in England celebrating their thirty fifth wedding anniversary. They got married when they were twenty. I know that sometimes marriage seems as if it is expendable because getting divorced is so easy which is why I love the idea of being sealed in the temple.

Josh and I have been through many trials together but the ups and downs have made us grow together as one, and as long as we are growing together through God. I was going some reading and found how the marriage triangle is something that strengthens a relationship as long as you keep God the top priority. It sounds simple really, but sometimes things get lost in the hustle of everyday life. To josh and I it has been a realization that sometimes the things that you want aren't necessarily the things that you need to be happy. Value the small things that are important in life and never take for granted those who love and support you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Absense Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.

I'm not sure who said this but it was someone who is probably dead by now and extremely smart. Being in Europe has been an amazing experience for me. To have the opportunity to see London, Bath, Stonehenge, Edinburgh and everywhere between has been more than I can ever have asked for. It came at a difficult time for both Josh and I. To get engaged two days prior to me leaving for this trip and him leaving to go to Canada was hard, but we have made it through 15 days and there are only 8 more to go.

I admit I have cried and laughed, but through emails and instant messaging the downhill slope seems like nothing. Thank goodness for the bridge that technology has made in our lives. We started out two and half years ago writing letters who knew that would lead to emails about our wedding. Josh said something the other day that made me realize just how powerful God is in our lives.

When he and I first met it was under complicated circumstances, but he couldn't have said it better. ''If we were to had made one different choice in life then we wouldn't have ended up together.'' I strongly believe in this statement. My opportunities to go to school and his choice to go on a mission was one that we both contemplated about and because we took a chance and listened to our promptings we ended up together.

Right now the distance is something that we have grown familiar with. 23 days is nothing when I look back on it. Since he can't work while he is in school summer is the only time he can make up time that he loses during the school year making me realize that marriage is about sacrifices. We know it will be hard and the odds are against us, but we have proved people wrong over and over. Why stop now?

Each day spent apart has made me value the time that we have spent together in the past as well as feel the excitement about being together again. I have gotten to share with him the great times that I have had here seeing all of the historical sights and taking in this once in a lifetime experience. Each time I eat something delicious I think how much he would love this considering he is constantly eating.

I leave for Paris on the 24th of May to fullfill my all time dream of seeing the Eiffle Tower only to head back home on the 29th to marry the man of my dreams. The spirit works in amazing ways.

Me and Maddy in front of Buckingham Palace!

From London with Love...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Proposal

I know that this is the story that everyone wants to know. I get asked day after day and to be quite honest after the millionth time telling it you start to feel silly.

Josh knows that I absolutely hate surprises that I know about. Christmas and my birthday come very difficult each year because I am a girl of little patience and the anticipation kills me. We had talked a lot about rings and weddings and marriage, I guess after two and a half years of writing letters, phone calls, and visits things like that just come up. When January arrived and I finally had Josh close enough to see him as I pleased so naturally the talk got more serious. I knew that we were going to get married and that he was the one that I wanted to spend eternity with, I just wasn't sure when all of this was going to happen. Josh had his wheels turning already.

On one of our last nights in Cedar City before we had to separate for the summer after a long day or packing and moving we decided that the lack of food in the house just wasn't going to sustain us until the next morning so we headed out to dinner. After dinner Josh asked if I would drive him to his house, so I complied. He hadn't mentioned that he needed to go there so I assumed that he had forgotten something. Next to his house is a vacant street, completely dark and very quiet. He asked me to park along the street and put a slow song on. We had danced before in the street so I didn't really think much of it. I'm not sure what he said, but as we continued to dance he began talking about the future.

His heart started pounding, so I asked if everything was alright, he dropped to his knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him.

I said yes...
May 3, 2011 became th beginning of the rest of our lives together. I'm not sure what the future holds but together we can learn. There will be ups and downs and inbetweens. This is Writing on paper with no lines.