Thursday, June 26, 2008

Adventures, excitement, etc.

Here are some pictures we've taken in NYC. We're trying really hard to practice our fake smiles and, gasp!, take pictures in spite of terrible lighting conditions. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Act II: The Waiting

The first time I saw Houston, I remember him looking… interested. He carefully chose his seat next to me and glanced over occasionally. On our first day of painting he “conveniently” set up his easel next to me. For the next week or two, during class, he asked me about myself and told a few awkward jokes. I remember thinking, “this boy is really cute, but looks too young—maybe I should set him up with my little sister”.

On a Wednesday afternoon I went into my bedroom and noticed that I had missed a call. Guilt struck me. There was a church committee meeting I missed two days prior. The phone call must have been from Abby, who headed up the meeting. I called back and waited for an answer. I was surprised to hear a man's voice on the other end. "Who is this," I said, in a far-from-courteous tone. "This is Houston... from painting class.” He explained how he got my number from Mike, a mutual friend and student in the class. There was some small talk and then he asked about my plans for the coming Saturday. He asked me if I would be interested in going rock climbing. I said yes, agreeing to a date that had come quite unexpectedly.

He looked good when he picked me up. We doubled with his roommate Christian and a date. When we got to the rock climbing gym, we went off on our own and did some climbing and a lot of talking. Afterwards we went to Nicolitalia’s and had some pizza. By the end of the night I knew I really liked him.

Then came the waiting.

We saw each other frequently. I was uncharacteristically persistent. The more we hung out, the more anxious I was for him to initiate the first move. I did embarrassing things like leave my hand open right next to his and sit really close, but to my dismay, no response. This went on for two months.  We had been on several dates and I began to worry. Maybe this guy would never make a move. A few times I noticed what I thought to be an attempt to put his arm around me, but none of these attempts were successful. I think his arm sort of touched my head once.

One night when he dropped me off, I was thinking I would be lucky to get a substantial hug. He gave me an awkward half-hug and told me he had had a good time. He wished me a good night and hesitated. He turned to leave, but only made it a couple steps before turning back around. He told me he really enjoyed spending time with me and he liked me a lot. He told me the reasons he liked me. I told him I felt the same way. It was then that he finally kissed me.

They say the best spice is hunger. 

I can remember thinking, “That was a really good kiss.” I can also remember thinking, “What took you so long!” But finally he did and it was wonderful.

Then, ironically, he got a terrible sore throat and we didn’t kiss again for another two weeks…

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New York City

Megan and I have been in NYC for about two weeks now for our illustration internship. Here's what's going down.

We left from the SLC airport at around 11:00 PM. A red eye. We didn't sleep. Then we arrived in New York at around 5:00 AM. We had to haul all of our luggage (a month's worth for both of us) onto the subway and take it to my apartment.

My apartment (called "g. crew") is actually pretty nice. Cool roommates, pretty clean, very cheap. All in all, a good deal. Megan's . . . not so much. We got to her place after a while. It's on the east side; mine is on the west side. It takes forever to get there, as there's no line that goes directly across. We do find a bus, but it takes 40 minutes, at least. The apartment? Cockroaches. Dirty. Hot. Kind of expensive. Megan has a hard time sleeping at night. I'm sure I would, too.

It takes us almost a week and a half to meet up with out internship provider, Brad Holland. He's been busy in Washington D.C. trying to fight off a deplorable copyright amendment bill. He's very courteous and very nice, but very busy. We're doing a lot of scanning, sorting, archiving, and copying. You know, the typical intern stuff. So far though, it's been great to see his work and just be in the atmosphere.

Aside from all that, we've done a lot of shopping, visiting museums, and eating the most delicious pizza we've ever had. We're exhausted at the end of each day, but it's definitely fun. All except the cockroaches.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Act I: Boy Meets Girl

This begins the unfolding of events that led to our eventual betrothal. I write them as best I remember them, although they may not be exactly how they happened.

It was the beginning of spring term and I had signed up for a landscape painting class. And we all know the first thing you do when you find yourself in a new classroom. You look around. And I don't just mean look around, I mean you look around. You look for cute girls. That's just what you do, if you're a single guy. And that's what I did.

But sometimes you're disappointed. And I was, at first. We met in the figure drawing room in the HFAC. I looked around and didn't see anyone that piqued my interest. Bethanne Anderson, the teacher, began the introduction and roll call, in her usual bubbly manner. She checked off the names. Then she told us we were going to look at some landscape paintings in the MOA (BYU's Museum of Art). She said that Megan would be joining us there.

A glimmer of hope.

As we're examining the paintings, I get tired and decide to sit down. This is when she walks in. I see the most gorgeous pair of eyes on any woman I have ever seen. Exaggeration? No. She has this long hair with these cute bangs that make her look really modern and classy. She's wearing an outfit that says she knows good style. I think, "bingo."

But there's something else. Megan, when she comes into the room, has this distinct aura of "coolness." She is so confident and cool that it throws me off a little. I hear her talk about a favorite artsist, Alphonse Mucha. I awkwardly interject and try to show her I'm into Mucha, too. "I saw his museum in Prague," I boast. As I'm doing this, I feel very much like a middle school kid trying to ask out the high school prom queen. She nods and smiles, very politely.

"This isn't starting off so well for me," I think.

It's been a while . . .

Well, as you can see, it's been a long time since our last post. It's been crazy. We've been so busy, it's been hard to find time to do anything fun.

After our housing falling through for our New York internship, we were frantically searching for new places to stay. Thankfully, two very affordable locations were found, so we're good on that front . . . for now. Because of the change in housing, we had to shift our whole trip one week later, so we'll be in NYC from June 3 to June 30.

And as if planning a wedding weren't work enough, we're also planning for a trip to Brazil in August for a grant-funded art project, where we'll be learning about Bahian art (a region in Brazil) and gathering photographic reference for a series of paintings to be made later as our BFA senior projects! Our whole experience will be documented by our friends, Christian Jensen and Nick Stentzel, as a documentary film for Christian's senior capstone project. It's a lot of work, and I have to give props to Christian for really heading it up and making things happen.

Megan and I just got our engagement shots the other day. Once again, Claire did a fantastic job. The photos are awesome. By the way, Claire is getting married soon, too! Andy Buys, my ex-roommate, is the lucky man, and I have to remind them often that it was my uncanny matchmaking that brought them together. Kind of.

"Up next . . . an unparalleled story of love and romance. Two artists meet in a plein aire painting class. One is a boy, the other, a girl. You know the rest." (Now say that in your head with the voice of Ira Glass; it makes more sense).

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Megan's Ring

OK, so Megan and I went to get her ring resized and appraised at Losee Jewelers the other day. Last Tuesday, actually. I had checked around town and they seemed to be the most reasonably priced and most importantly, they could get it done in a couple of days instead of weeks. Great. They're even close to my duplex.

We gave them the ring on Tuesday and were told that we would have it back by Friday at the very latest. Friday rolled around and they weren't done. Monday, still not done. Tuesday, they were done but it was a whole size and a half too small! We had to take it back that day and finally got it back yesterday, correctly sized, secured, and shining.

The ring looks amazing. It's shining like the dickens and fits perfectly. Now if we could just get a discount for all the hassle we had to go through to get it back . . . .

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

C.M. Photography

A good friend of ours and a great photographer, Claire, will be taking our engagement photos. Last week, she took some amazing bridal photos of Megan for one of her class projects. Check out the link to see her other work.

Megan looks so gorgeous, really. I love these pictures.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Registry Adventure

Megan and I made the rounds yesterday to various stores to register for our wedding gifts. I have to say, personally, that asking for all of this stuff makes me feel greedy and covetous. I told this to a friend, M. Scott, who assured me I needn't feel so, and others who have been through this tell me that it's completely normal. The general advice seems to be that we'll need every ounce of help we can get. I'm not one to disagree with experience.

It was fun . . . for the first ten minutes. Then things started getting overwhelming. So much stuff, so much money, so many choices! I have a tendency to over-analyze options, and it took some effort to not spend all day cross-examining every last utensil. By the end we were grabbing about anything that looked good and scanning it without much thought. We left Macy's right before they were about to close. Afterwards we got a huge plate of spaghetti marinara at the Old Spaghetti Factory (their spaghetti noodles are the only thing worth eating there--they're delicious) and watched Stardust at my place (which is a lot of fun).

Today we finished most of it online. It gave us a bit more time to pour over the details. We're about done; we still have some sheets and stuff to find, but we're going to do that in person instead of online. You can click on the registry links here at the blog to go strait to our lists (for your gifting convenience).

Now I'm feeling terrible for complaining about registering for gifts. When our parents got married, all they had "was a chair, and a bed, and that was it! And one fork! And uphill both ways . . . !"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I told a few of you I would send you a picture of my ring, so I thought it would be easier to just post it on our blog. To give you some background, this ring is an antique from the 1920's. The diamond and the band are original. The detail on the band is hand carved. It is exactly what I wanted, it's beautiful. If you haven't had a chance to see it in person, make sure, next time you see me, to check it out. It's worth a look, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

Houston and I spent Easter weekend in St. George hanging out with the family, relaxing and doing a bit of wedding planning here and there. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wedding blog up!

Hi folks!

I guess this is kind of "the thing" nowadays: have a website or something to show all the friends and family all the juicy news and history. So here we are. We'll post some other stuff up soon, like pictures, stories, and news. Keep checking back for more updates.

Also, if you have any requests, just post a comment and we'll try to accommodate. Thanks!