Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Priorities

I love Brad. 


I think we all know that. 

But today, I love him even more than I did yesterday. 
And tomorrow, I will love him even more than I do today. 


We are busy. 
Super duper busy. 
To give you an idea, everyone who knows or has been through law school as a spouse told me to give Brad a big kiss on Sunday and tell him that I would see him in three years when he was done. One of his professors told him that it would be silly to think that he could sleep 6 hours and still get all of the homework done that he would assign, and to just plan on being tired. Yet another law student told Brad that he usually didn't go home from the law library until around midnight every day. To give you another idea, I am finishing my degree online and have to balance 7 online class schedules with my own work schedule, keep the house up, get dinner ready, etc. 

What could be happening is that we just pass each other on our way to and from our classes, work, appointments, study plans, assignments at church, etc. What could be happening is that we become less and less familiar with one another. What could be happening is that we spend the first three years of our marriage wishing it away, ready to graduate and begin the "next phase."

BUT

What is happening is that we are learning to prioritize and schedule. What is happening is that we made a schedule and school ends at 6:30 for dinner together no matter what. What is happening is that we never miss an evening of couple scripture study or an early morning of personal scripture study. What is happening is weekly Temple attendance. What is happening is that we plan and have weekly date night and don't let anything else get in the way. What is happening is that these three years are becoming a great adventure that we will remember with many fond memories. 
Even if every conversation that I have with Brad now begins with "in this one case I read..."
At least he loves law school!

The Lord comes first. And we put each other as a very close second behind only Him. 

How many things can we put in the way of our marriages and families? How many good things demand our attention daily? How much time are we not only with our families, but present in their lives, free from our technology driven world? Are we choosing to do the best things with those we love? 


Brad and I obviously aren't perfect.
I think Brad is, but he just rolls his eyes when I say so... 

But, we do try. We try to remember the things that matter most. We try to appreciate all of the little things. We try to enjoy the journey today. 


"Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources (...) We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families."



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And He's Off!!



Law school starts today!!
Perhaps we'll see Brad in three years...

Wish him luck!



Saturday, August 17, 2013

Make This House a Home

We have been busy busy with moving in! I had no idea how much time it would take to get unpacked and organized. We're getting close to finished though and we are very happy! Mainly, we are glad that all of the boxes are finally unpacked! Who knew that two people could have so much stuff!!
Okay, okay... perhaps Brad had a normal amount of stuff and I had a bit too much junk. What can I say? I don't part with things well. 


We have also been determined to make our apartment into a home. It may have cinder-block walls and some weird paint choices, but we think it's really cute and we wanted to highlight it's greatness! 

I wish I had more (or any) "before" pictures. Mostly, I just have what it looks like now. But you can use your imaginations. We really like the end products. 


One of the first items of business was setting up (or even having) the bed frame! 
We were ready to not be sleeping on the floor anymore. 
So off to Ikea we went!
Brad got to work right away setting up our lovely new bed!
With some help from his cousin, the bed went up quite fast!

We were't loving our plain bedroom walls and wanted to spruce it up a little. So a trip onto Pinterest was definitely called for!! I found some tutorials for paper wheels and tweaked the idea a bit so that it looked more like wall decor and less like party decorations and vuala! 


We really like it! It was pretty easy to make, but took a bit of time. Paper was on sale for half off at hobby lobby, so I was able to do the entire thing for only $8! I think it took something like 40 pieces of paper (some of which I already had), but you could do a smaller version (or larger!) if you wanted. 



As we unpacked boxes, the kitchen cabinets filled up! This part really only took a couple of days because we had organized pretty well when we packed everything up 
and it was easy to find all of the kitchen stuff. 





The family room is still a work in progress. Since we brought a piano up and we only have one interior wall, there was no choice as to where it went. That made for some interesting arrangement in the rest of the room, but we think it is coming together pretty well. 






So that's a little tour of our little apartment. We really like it and we have had a lot of fun getting it all together. We still have a couple of things to do, but that is part of the fun! We love that our little house is becoming a home and that we will be able to make so many great memories here!



My next project is the dinning room table and chairs. They are a pretty weird green color and our landlord gave permission to paint them! I started sanding on Thursday, but there seriously must have been 20 layers of green paint! Brad went and got me a sander today, so next week I should be able to tackle that project! Wish me luck!





Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Change

They say change is good. 

I used to say that I thrived on change. I was the one who always looked for a new challenge, a new opportunity. I wanted to do more, try new things, take on the world. 

On my mission, I felt a new breath of life with each change. While it was entirely difficult and even painful leaving behind the people and places that I loved, 
I looked forward to new opportunities in new places. 



Recently, we have undergone many changes. And I didn't realize how difficult it is to have 
SO many changes all at once. 

In the past 6 months, I have:
- Come home from Argentina
- Gotten engaged
- Decided that Brad would attend law school in Utah
- Gotten married
- Changed my major and switched to an online program
- Moved to Utah to a new home, far from dear family members
- Changed jobs

To me, it's a lot. And it has hit me in the last few days, just how much it is. Don't get me wrong, I am more happy than I have ever been. We love being married and we love our new life. But I have had to learn to deal with change in a way that I have never had to before. 

Most importantly, I have to rely on the Lord even more than before. I must know that we are doing exactly what He would have us do. Sometimes, I miss my amazing family. Sometimes, I miss my beloved Arizona. I miss being a piano teacher. But, I find great consolation knowing that we are doing the Lord's will. He wants us in Utah. He wants Brad to attend law school. He wants us to be happy.

Secondly, I have learned to rely on Brad. How important it is to truly cleave to one another as we are counseled. Let's be honest. I am a strong willed woman. Sometimes, I try to do things myself that I probably don't have any business doing. Sometimes I  unknowingly keep my thoughts bottled up inside of me. Being married, I have learned to let Brad in. I am not the best at it, but I am ever so grateful for all that he does for me. For his help in all that I do. For his great support. 

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join in the dance."
- Alan Watts

I am happy for the change. Grateful for the chance to grow. 
Attentive to the hand of the Lord in the journey. 
So glad that Brad is by my side through it all. 
I will jump in and join in the dance!





How do you cope with change?


Friday, August 9, 2013

Our Story

I'm Kailei. 

He's Brad.

And we are two best friends in love. 





We might as well go from the very beginning...
and then we will fast forward to the here and now.
We promise that other posts will not be this long... this is just a long love story!


Brad and I met in Preschool when we were three years old. 
Really. 
We were instantly best friends... mainly because I insisted on such!
One day, I noticed that Brad was playing with another little girl. 
I wasn't okay with that. 
So I walked up to him and said "Brad, I need to talk to you!!"
He obediently followed me away from Allie. 
"You can't play with other girls any more."
Again, Brad agreed. 
Some may say that this is where my bossy nature began. I choose to call it life planning. 
And our life-long friendship began. 


 We moved on to Kindergarten and were blessed to be in the same class. 
I'm on the left. Brad's on the right. 
Apparently, I let Brad have more friends once we reached Kindergarten. 

Throughout elementary school, we remained great friends.

Brad is Swedish, and each year he chose a friend to play St Lucia as he told about the history. 

 We both ran for 6th Grad Historian. 
And Brad beat me. 
I'm not still bitter or anything



And then Junior High came. You know that awkward age where you are trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in? When you want to make sure that you get to sit at the "cool kid's table" during lunch? When you want people to start noticing who you are. 
We sort of grew apart. 

Then one day, we realized that we really missed each other. That it was silly to not be friends. 

And then it was just like old times again. 

In 9th grade, we ran for Student Council. 
This time, I made sure that we ran for different offices.
And we both won.
We thought we were pretty cool.



Once we started in to high school, I think that everyone knew that we really liked each other. A lot. 
But neither of us would admit such things. We were best friends. That was all. 

The day I turned 16 was the day of the big homecoming game. 
I was so happy that I would be old enough to go.
I really hoped that Brad would ask me.
And he did!! We were each other's first date.
Maybe it sounds weird; maybe a 16 year old doesn't know such things, 
but something about that date just felt right. It just felt good. It wasn't awkward or weird at all. 
It was perfect. 


But then things got weird. 
We started going on dates more and more often and we were together all of the time. 
It was fun, but we were getting worried. We didn't want a steady boyfriend/girlfriend. We were discouraged from having steady boyfriends/girlfriends and didn't want to go against what  was right. 
Could two people who really liked each other just be best friends?

So instead of rationally talking it out and making sure that we were just friends, I kind-of just cut things off completely. I still remember the night that I explained all of that to Brad 
and basically told him that I couldn't see him as much.
 He cried. 
I felt like scum. 

For about a year, we didn't really see much of each other. 
I hated it. 
And then, just like in Jr. High, we realized that we really missed each other, 
and became best friends again.
But it was different this time. More cautious. 

We had many common interests... 
though Brad now claims that lots of them were my interests that he jumped on board with. 


We really liked American Idol, and even went to an Idols Live concert.


We are both very musical and did Choir and Orchestra. Orchestra was not my favorite. I stuck with it through 9th grade, mostly because Brad was there, but then went the choir route. Brad is a fantastic cellist and played all through high school. He joined choir our Senior year. 
We were able to go on a trip to Washington D.C. with our music groups and it was a blast!
 You'll find while reading this blog that Brad has a hard time keeping his eyes open in pictures. 



And we graduated from High School!!


Before we graduated, Brad already had a mission call to serve in Nicaragua. 

He was off to South America, and I was off to college. 

Brad and I wrote every now and again, but nothing serious. And not very often. I knew that he was loving his mission and serving the Lord with all of his heart. I knew that he was a great missionary. 
Meanwhile, I was loving university life. I loved going to institute and learning more about the gospel. I loved meeting new friends and I really loved the education that I was receiving.
 I dated a lot while Brad was gone. 
I dated good guys. But something was always holding me back. 
I wanted to serve a mission, but when I prayed about it, it didn't feel right. I was sad, but listened. 


Brad got home and we started dating exclusively a few months after he returned. 
Something didn't feel right. 
I was devastated. I had always thought that it would work out. 

The day before I broke up with Brad, I felt that it was time. That I could now serve a mission. 
We broke up. 
Brad asked if it was forever. 
I said that I thought so. 

I received my mission call to Argentina and I could not have been happier!



My mission was definitely the most amazing experience I had had up to that point. It was amazing to be able to serve the Lord 100% of the time and not worry about anything else. 
Again, Brad wrote every now and again, but not often. He dated a lot. He went to school. 
But he didn't get married. 

Coming home, I was nervous to see him. I didn't know what would happen, if anything. 
The first time I saw him, it just felt absolutely right. And I knew then that I would marry him. 

We began dating very soon after I got home.
 Our first date after the mission was a "thrifty ball."


I taught Brad how to make Argentine Empanadas.


We had Bop It tournaments. 


Basically, we just had a lot of fun. There were moments where I had little "freak outs." I had only been home a few weeks when we started dating. That didn't seem normal. We were already talking about marriage. That was fast! I knew that it was right, but I just couldn't move forward. 

Then, I went on a trip with my family. 
And I missed Brad terribly. 
I knew I couldn't be without him. 

So he got a ring. 
And I said yes.

And 5 months to the day of me returning home from Argentina, we were sealed for all eternity. 



Thanks to Darby Elizabeth Photography for the amazing pictures!!


Brad has since graduated from Arizona State University and we now live in Utah for him to attend law school. It is a great adventure as we adjust to married life, a new home, etc. 

We don't remember life without each other
and now we won't ever have to. 




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