Friday, February 27, 2009

Circling the Drain

I am in the middle of tax time. 7 Saturdays left. Then I will back to my good old fun life that I took for granted. I am so far behind on blog-stalking. It's just killing me. I am even further behind on posting! Did you even know we started to remodel our basement? Today Teague is coming over to do our electric work. TODAY! And you didn't even know I started.

What has become of us?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Winger's and Erin

5 or 6 years ago I was a waitress at Winger's. I love sticky fingers. But when I worked there- sticky fingers weren't even out yet! Anyway- I was single and worked there with Tori Bori Allis and met TONS of other people. I have done okay job at keeping up with them. And last week we all got together and went to dinner. Even though years had passed since we had seen each other everyone was their same old goofy selves. It was a blast. This one still hated her husband- that one was pregnant again- we recounted tales of waitressing and all talked about our lives and husbands and anything that came up. I always get nervous to go out with people I haven't seen in a long time because I know I am different now. (People keep telling me I am quieter. I know. I know. You would have hated me if I was any louder, right?)

Anyway- it was such a relief to be with my old friends and feel a part of that group still. Erin is the hot blonde sitting next to me. I am the sexy brunette in the orange sweater. *wink* She is hilarious and has no idea that she is. She's from Canada. And has this accent that only occasionally comes out. It's pretty funny. She says "surry" instead of "sorry." Her hair is incredibly long and so soft. Erin was always nagging me to replace the Sani buckets. (a little waitress jargon for ya there.) A lot of times if we were closing together and had to roll all the silverware (because we let people go without rolling it) we would sing church hymns. Nearer My God To Thee was our favorite. She's a beautiful alto. We were supposed to wear non-slip shoes but Erin always wore these snazzy, deep red, alligator print clogs instead. They were more comfortable to her. And she was always giving me advice about boys. Mostly, never get married, don't date, boys are jerks. I love her. I was apparently feeling a little nostalgia towards Erin today. I still love all my other Winger's girls, don't worry babes.

Ball of The Sweethearts

Friday night me and my squeeze went to the Sweetheart Ball. Our ward puts it on and it was amazing. Hands down- best Sweet Hearts Ball to DATE! The gym was all done up so SO cute. It reminded me of a high school dance. The lights were turned down low... there were balloons hanging from the ceiling... we were served dinner. And let me tell you. Dinner was HOT. For pretty much the first time ever at a ward function we were served warm food. Loved it. My sister, Julie, met me at work and did my hair and makeup and gave me a little black dress to wear. It was so fun. We were chosen to play the Newlywed game. We were the newest married and still lost. I freeze under pressure. I forget everything. Including what my favorite food is. (Hot dogs.) Ken really wanted to win and whined about it for DAYS afterwards. I don't know why- we all got chocolates just for playing! It was a good kick-off to the Valentine's Day holiday. There was music and dancing all night. Ken didn't want to dance there. So we had our own spin around the ballroom at home.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Julie's Blog

I am interrupting the Valentine's Day Series I am doing about me and Ken becuase MY SISTER JULIE STARTED BLOGGING!! And it is a beautiful blog! It's artsy and clever and it has more Bradley stories. Meaning... stories about me and my sisters when we were younger. I want everyone to look on her blog (JA-WOOLS and Chris under blog list.) and read the "Valentine's Kickoff" entry. It is the perfect description of Valentine's Day growing up.

Way to go Jules-A Bug Stinkweeder!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frigerator- Raider

Last night I came home from work and noticed my fridge was growling at me. A deep, dark, dying growl. I so did not want to tell Ken. So I tried to find the problem myself. Opened the fridge no big change. Still cool in there. Open the freezer.... growl is much much louder. And the walls on the freezer are vibrating slightly. Culprit is freezer. I tried pushing on the walls of the freezer thinking maybe they are just a little loose. Helped a little. I really didn't want to tell Ken so I tried to make it quieter. I put a blanket around the fridge. Yes, it helped. But there was a blanket around the fridge. Magnified the problem spot instead of hiding it. I decided I had to tell Ken when he got home. He had the exact response I thought he would have, "What did you do to it?" What a dumb question. Like I actually DID something to the fridge that made it mad and now it is growling at me. Get real. So, Ken decided to take apart. Now THAT'S doing something to it. After an hour or so of looking at the inside belly of our fridge Ken came to the conclusion that he didn't know what was wrong with it. Well, at least we're all in the same boat now. Ken immediately figured we needed a new fridge. I told him it sounded like the fan motor was making all the noise. (I took at the instruction manual and read the troubleshooting. Apparently this happens often.) Ken agreed and figured a new fan would probably be 100 bucks. Wrong. It was $15! That's it. Ken replaced it. We were so excited to turn it back on and revel in all the money we just saved. Plugged it in. It kicked on. "ggggggGGRRRRROOOOOOWWWWLL!" Still angry with us. Ken was defeated. He said he would call a repairman the next day. He did. The man came and announced our fan was chipped and was rubbing against the side of the fridge. That's it. We didn't even have to buy a new part. We did have to pay the man $65 for a 5 minute repair call. Supply and demand. Gets you every time.
Now our fridge is once again living peaceably. Seating quietly in the corner. Doing it's job without complaint. We love you fridge and we appreciate all you do for us.

**This post was started about 3 weeks ago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

He Proposed.... Wha?!

I was getting ready to fly to Pittsburgh one week before my birthday to see all of my family for a sort of reunion. I don't want to say "family reunion" because it's different than reunions here. Yes, we are all together. Yes, there are some activities. Yes, it's fun. But- there are no T-Shirts. There is a TON of alcohol. There is good Italian food all day long especially if you're bunking with Grandma. We rent three houses and play Bocce a lot. There is no schedule. There is a party every night. The parties usually have a theme. It's different. I digress. I was going to Pittsburgh.

My mom had told me I couldn't go unless I bought a one piece bathing suit. Back then I was slim enough to wear a two-piece. A tankini. I think those are the cutest thing ever. Anyway I wasn't allowed to go unless I had a one-piece. I know. Lame dash O.
So, Friday night, me and Ken were going out as only little love birds do. I was going to meet him at work. (At the time Ken sold cars at Outfitter's.) So I pulled up and Ken had this mean and tired look on his face. I, being the super sweet (somewhat naive) girlfriend I was coddled him and pampered him. (Not knowing it was leading to a life-long habit of such behavior.) Ken said he had a headache and thought maybe we should go for a walk before we went to dinner. That way he could blow off some steam and stress. So we drove over to Freeman Park by ISU. Ken opened my door (hasn't since) and then reached into the backseat and got this box out. I was so excited! In my head I thought- He got me that bathing suit I wanted out of the J. Crew catalog! YAY! We walked down and sat in the grass and Ken started talking as if there wasn't a present in front of me totally distracting me. I wish I hadn't been so distracted by that gift because Ken was most likely being really romantic.

When I zoned back into the conversation Ken was telling me he got me and early birthday present (my birthday was about 10 days away). He handed me the box. Which I tore through to find yet another box. What da heck? I opened that to find ANOTHER! After 5 boxes- it still hadn't clicked how small and jewelry like the boxes were getting. All I was thinking was How did he fit a bathing suit in this little box? When I opened the final wrappings there was a white leather case. It had a little card on it. I opened the card and it said, "Will You?" I looked at Ken TOTALLY shocked. "Are you serious?," I asked. "Open that box and see."

I did.

He was.
Never saw THAT one coming.

We Dated

Ken was an awesome dater. I know that's not a real word. But you know what it means. He always had a plan. ALWAYS! For our first official date Ken drove clear the "h" up to Rexburg from Idaho Falls to pick me up. He had burned a CD with songs he thought I would like especially for our first date. He called the CD "Buffalo Grunt." That I do not understand. We went to dinner at Yen Ching. Chinese food... mmmm. I heart General Tsao's Chicken for life. Then we walked around the river and talked. Then we went to see "In Good Company." He didn't hold my hand through the WHOLE movie! And I was all, he doesn't like me. I said something wrong. The movie ended... still no hand holding. On the way to the car amidst the throngs of romantic comedy watchers he grabbed my hand and squeezed really hard and smiled this HUGE smile. It was cute. He drove me up to the top of this hill that over looks Idaho Falls and we talked and laughed and sang to songs on the radio. It was a perfect first date.

I still sat next to Zack in Art class and I didn't think it really bothered Ken that I talked to Zack. But one day we were heading to a friends house and Ken said, "Look. Are you dating me or Zack." I said, "Ummm... you. Zack's like 12." "Well you sure talk to HIM a lot." Sometimes jealousy is super hot.

And they kept getting better. Ken would pick me up from school on the nights that he didn't have class and I did. He always had something for me. I little snack, a card, a candy bar, a note, a kiss. Something to let me know he was thinking of me all day.

Ken was always up for anything. Not in the way where you can't get someone to say what they want to do though. More in the he normally had 3 or 4 ideas all of which were fun. We walked a lot. I like to walk. We went to the zoo. We had craft nights. We had movie nights. We went fishing together. We had game night with our families. We went to weddings together. Ken was the perfect boyfriend. Good in any situation. Talkative, funny, charming, and 100% himself.

I was at a college ward in Rexburg and Ken went to a Singles Ward in Idaho Falls. One Sunday he invited me to church with him. I of course said yes. What a mistake! The singles ward was all of 10 people. 7 of which were girls. All of whom had a crush or had had a crush on Ken. Making me very unpopular. In Relief Society one girl even said I wasn't welcome there. Sometimes jealousy is so UN-attractive.

Through our courtship we talked about marriage off and on and our future off and on. But we were so happy where we were. Going the pace we were going. I was totally shocked by what happened next.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We Met

Ken and I met in Art 101 at Idaho State University in January of 2005.
My boss at the time, John O., told me to sit next to boys in class so I would work harder and get better grades to impress such boy. Well, I got there 10 minutes early and the only boy was named Zac Bitsoi. He was about to turn 19 but looked about 11. But, he was the only boy and I always follow orders. So him and I started talking. Really it was more me talking and asking question after question after question trying to get more than a word at a time out of him.
As it got closer to 7 more and more kids came in. One time I looked back and saw this guy walking down to the row in front of me. (He was cute.) I kept talking to Zack, really grateful he was there all of the sudden. Zack and I were both turning in our mission papers the following Sunday so that conversation was going back in forth when cute-mystery-man turned around (to reveal that he was actually gorgeous and not just cute) and started telling us that he got back from his mission a little over a year ago and what a great decision to serve. At first, although I was really really happy to look at his greek-god-like face I was a little taken back by his openness. I was thinking, "As hot as you are- we were having a conversation here. One that you were not a part of." I smiled kind of rudely and continued my conversation with Zack. A few minutes later Mr. Hotty Totty turned around and introduced himself as Ken Poulsen. Persistent. Our class was only 20 minutes or so. The teacher reviewed the syllabus and we all went home. I tried not to think of Ken Poulsen but couldn't help myself. I was overly excited to go to class the following Thursday night.
When Thursday came around I dressed up. I figured I was ready to grab this bull by the horns! I was going to lasso in this Ken Poulsen. Little did I know he had the same plan.
Me and Zack were sitting there talking and Ken walked in and came and sat in the chair right next to me and asked if I would mind if he sat close to me. Nope. Him and I talked for awhile. I told him I worked at the Circle of Love and he told me he was a mechanic. Bingo! Mechanic! "Um... so you work on cars?"


"Mine is making a really funny noise. I don't know a lot about cars but something doesn't seem right. It's a stick shift and I am new to driving stick too. Would you mind looking at it?"
Cue Patty batting her sparkly eyes and showing off dimple on chin. Ken melts.

"Sure. I'll take a look after class."

It remains a mystery to this day whether or not something really was wrong with my car. I can vouch for there being a strange noise. Ken says it's because I was so bad at driving stick.

Back to story.
After class Ken walks me to my car and starts it up no problem at all. He looked at me and smiled as if to say, "You little stinker." I laughed and said, "You have to drive it to hear it." So, Ken scooted into the passenger seat and I (sheepishly) took the drivers seat and followed Ken's driving instructions.
Turn left here.
Put it back to third for a second.
Go right.
Keep going straight through the light.
Now left.
When I looked around we were at Sol Rio. I looked at Ken who said, "Hungry?"


That was date number one.

Open Apology to the Young Women

Megan wrote a blog about being the newest teacher in YW. She talked about being nervous and worried she wasn't well enough prepared and worried nobody liked her lesson. She asked for suggestions on how to get more participation. (Even though her participation level was WAY up.) I posted the following comment:

Welcome to Young Women’s. First read that as a really warm welcome. (Because, really, welcome.) Then, read it sorta sarcastically…because you had relatively good attention on Sunday. I LOVE that you called on the girls without them raising their hands. They have become a little lazy during lesson time and want the leaders to answer all the questions or for you to have games and treats or both. Do not feel compelled to do either one. We had a mini-lesson on reverence about a month (maybe more) ago. I think we need to re-do that and add class participation to it. The girls need an attitude adjustment. I was like you as a YW. Into the lesson, spiritual, opened my scriptures. Not these girls. It’s nothing to them. I want to change that. Help me change that. Your lesson was great! Really well-prepared and your object lesson went perfectly. You’re doing awesome.

A few days later Aubrey (one of our YW) posted this comment:

I wasnt there on sunday to see it but i am sure they feel the same as me… sometimes it may look like we are not paying attention but really we are. if we dont answer the questions maybe we just dont know what to say. i have never been good at answering the questions so i learn more from hearing the answers of others… i feel the spirit every week. and patty cant say it is nothing to us! she doesnt know that! i love looking up scriptures.

So. Obviously I was seriously in the wrong. I was reading the situation all wrong. Sometimes I feel like I was just in young women so I know "everything." I don't. I don't know what these girls are feeling or what they are going through unless I ask them. I didn't ask. I made the assumption that I knew and I was off. Way off. Aubrey is right. I don't know what the girls are feeling and it is wrong to think that I do.

I love the young women. I never want released. They make me laugh so hard. They are ridiculously smart and incredibly funny. Just last Tuesday we were having pie and Aubrey had Noelle draw pictures on her face with the chocolate pie. And then she went around and talked to people with this huge chocolate sun on her forehead! They are so honest and pure. In my small moment of frustration I looked over that. I am sorry.

I am the one who needs an attitude adjustment. I need to really show you girls how much I love you. Constantly. I pray for you every night. I need to think of you more often and do what I can to make your life better.

I know that you're probably going to be mad at me for awhile. They are your emotions and you are entitled to them. But know that I love you.

Sister Poulsen