Republica Dominicana

Hearing about Cam’s mission has always intrigued me. The Dominican Republic is such a foreign place; he would tell me of the drastic differences between here and there. This summer, Expedia had a screamin deal for the DR so we took the opportunity and went for it. The tickets were so cheap because it was hurricane season, but did we care? NOPE!

We stayed at a nice resort an hour outside the capitol (Santo Domingo) and did that kind of stuff for the first couple of days. The food was great and the humid heat was an adjustment for me. I’m pretty sure the moment I stepped off of the plane I felt drenched. Even after showering I still felt sweaty. Luckily, Hurricane Isaac didn’t roll in until 2 days into the trip, so we get to enjoy the beach and ocean.

Our last full day was reserved for visiting some families that Cam taught. Cam and I hopped into our little rental car and he tried to remember his way around the crazy streets. Everything is jam-packed and the drivers are psycho, so I already had a twinge of anxiety that morning (not to mention a stomach bug from drinking the water…) The first family we visited was amazing. They were so nice to me and joked around because I couldn’t understand a word they said. All I knew was “jugo de limon”… lemonade. She brought me some after I said it like rewarding a kid on acing his spelling test.

After our visit, we started driving to a town that was 30 minutes west. The rain started to pick up, the winds started to howl, and it was becoming impossible to see out the windshield. We decided we best turn around. We were just driving along, cautiously, and out of the corner of my eye I see a huge tree start teetering. In a half a second the tree came pummeling down and smashed the windshield on my side. I let out a scream, it rolled over the top of our car, and we drove in shock. What are the odds of a tree falling on us…WHILE DRIVING? One in a million–well we beat those odds. We should’ve bought a lottery ticket that day.

The scariest part wasn’t being hit by the tree. It was escaping from the car rental worker in the airport and yelling, “We bought the insurance!” as we passed through security. Yes: ripped contracts, dodging of an $800 repair, excess profanity, and sprinting was involved.

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10 dollar ramblings

When I look back on this time of November 2012, I don’t want to forget the copious amount of feelings I’ve experienced during the elections. The feeling of attachment to Romney was expressed and portrayed among my friends, family members, and Mormon acquaintances. I had decided one thing in February; look at the whole picture and don’t automatically trust the politician simply because he has the same faith as me. Yet over and over, he proved to be a great man who did the best he could to pronounce his ideas in the limelight of the media. I found myself favoring him greatly–favoring the platforms that he chose and the way to go about them. I want to own a small business someday and he expressed how important small businesses are to the economy. Because of my recent studies in economics, his view on the economy and how to fix it just makes sense. I started to hang onto every word he said, but in the back of my mind I told myself not to get my hopes up…because of the “what if?”

Tuesday was a sad day for me. It seemed to end so quickly and I kept telling myself it wasn’t over. But it was. I believe in hard work and success, yet the perspectives of half of the American people fall short of that. Say you’re on a plane, and you’re sitting next to a businessman and a wealthy woman. The woman turns to you and says, “I have 100 dollars. Since this man has his MBA, I’m going to allow him to determine his cut first, and the remainder will go to you. If you refuse your remainder then neither of you get the money.” The businessman decides to take 90 dollars and give you the rest. Would you take the $10, or not let either of you get anything?

It was instilled in us when we were children. “Sharing is caring.” Crying on Christmas morning because your brother got a Gameboy color and you didn’t. “That’s not FAIR,” was a common phrase heard and said. It still sometimes is. But as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that you aren’t going to get the same as everyone else. Sometimes it’s fate and other times you just don’t deserve it. Life goes on; you take what you’re given and you make the very best of it. Happiness isn’t having everything. It’s making the most of everything. There’s a superfluous sense of entitlement among us. We shouldn’t just assume that we deserve food stamps and welfare and lower tax cuts than the rich people. We shouldn’t feel the need to be taken care of by the government. We need to take care of ourselves and be less demanding of things that aren’t necessary. Necessary = Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And to me, happiness is coming out $10 richer–even when someone else got the $90.

White V Neck vs Redbox

First off, I failed to bring my sewing machine as well as my electronic keyboard, so my husband told me I need to find a new hobby. He probably won’t be too excited to see how quickly I’ve taken up blogging. Two posts in one day? Hm.
Well I do have some news. My sister in law Ali left a great post a couple of days ago about how she carried around a pair of jeans in Gap, got to the cashier, found out thy weren’t on sale, and didn’t get them. Well, somewhat similarly, went to the Super Target (a good 1.5 miles away from the apartment) and spent at least an hour browsing. During that time, I held onto a white vee neck, debating the whole time whether or not to buy it. I even tried the dang thing on to help me make up my mind. Wanna hear the saddest part?
It was five dollars and I didn’t buy it.
Realizing how silly this was to have wasted so much time, I rushed out of the store and decided I’d rather spend my money on a redbox. As you can see, this was the wrong decision.

 

Omaha, Nebraska

I would like to break it down for you. Ne (neon) bra (brazier) ska (reggae-like music). Forget cornhusking and farmland: this place is a party! (And by party I mean one where you don’t know anybody and standing in the corner is your only resort.) On Monday evening, as my road trip fatigued legs hit the sizzling concrete in the apartment complex, where Cam and I will be staying at for the next two weeks, I instantly felt a humidity that I did not prepare myself for. I could feel each strand of hair on my head run screaming in all directions, leaving a frizzy, curly mop that I thought I’d left in the sixth grade.

As Cam goes out to sell each day, I feel inspired and motivated to do all things “wifey”. On Tuesday, I met him and the other sales guys for lunch, ran a couple of miles (which is nearly impossible in this humid heat), went to the Super Wal-Mart that is a stone’s throw from our apartment, and made dinner for everyone that night. Quite the accomplishment, I think. Wednesday was roughly the same, but I squeezed in some tanning time (which I’m currently paying for with a sunburn), and a nice long nap. Although Cam comes home exhausted at 10 pm and I could easily stay up another 5 hours (which makes me feel bad because he works so hard), I’m not ashamed to say that this is the life! Being a saleswife is more than I could ask for–CONSTANT me time. The only downfall about these apartments is no TV, and no internet…which is why I’m at the local McDonald’s taking advantage of their free wi-fi…and this I may be slightly ashamed of…

I’ve overstayed my welcome…

Mad Bibs

Countless hours have been put toward a little project I’ve been encountering this summer. I’m making my very first fashion line. It’s been a dream of mine for years and this class offered at BYU-I has now made it possible. The show is on July 14 which means I’ve only tackled 2 of the 6 pieces I have planned…hmmm. I’m BEHIND SCHEDULE. And might be freaking out about it…The line is called Mad Bibs and features women’s tops that sport the bibbed neckline. Color scheme is mint, coral, peach, royal blue, ivory, and black. Here is my first illustration (I wasted 12 hours trying to figure out how to use photoshop…I’m getting a little better considering I’ve never done this before!)

I’ve done and redone the french hand rolled hem on this top a slew of times and just can’t seem to get it right. I’ll post pictures when it’s finally done!

 

specimen

Class Schedule

MW: Accounting 202 12:45

TTH: Business 211 7:45, Textiles 10:15, Fashion Line 3:15

I am more than excited to be back in school. One semester off seems too long…especially in the wintertime when your husband is going to class all day. Business Fundamentals is a class that makes me nervous, but also makes me want to succeed. I sit in the very front because that was the only seat available when I walked in late on the first day of class and have since sat there every day.

I WANT TO MOVE

The specimen I sit next to is one that smells like a mildew encrusted shower curtain who LOVES dissecting my laptop screen with his wiry glasses. To say the least, he makes me uncomfortable. The class is set up in tables that seats 4…kindergarteners. We are squished together with hardly any elbow room. The class starts at 7:45, and not even 10 minutes into the class, Specimen whips out a bag of Doritos Munchies and chows down. Good thing I’m not pregnant or I would have spewed all over the table.

So what do I do? Do I get to class early on Thursday and steal someone elses seat? Or do I come a little late and find a seat closest to the back (there are a few extra seats in the class). I know for a fact that the teacher is going to call me out after searching for me in the front and say something like, “Hey…you moved! Did you not like your neighbors?” Uhhh…TBD.

Emulate

On NPR, I was listening to a segment about a new compilation of non-fiction stories that ultimately defines the essence of “Black Cool”. The book is entitled Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness and it expounds on different accounts of that “swag” that black people seem to innately possess. One of authors wrote about his cousin, and how people seemed to surrender to his every move because he possessed this ambiance of unadulterated superiority. I, too, have a cousin that I incessantly emulate as the epitome of perfection. I have seen her this way since I was 5 years old, always wanting to follow her around grandma’s house when her family came to visit. When you’re young, 4 years is a large gap, and even though she was that much older than me, she seemed to include me in everything she did. When she started wearing glasses so she could see clearer, I started wearing my reading glasses just so I could look like her. When she would spend hours in the bathroom getting ready, I would try to do the same. When she started wearing chokers as a fashion statement, I went to the mall and bought one as well. I even took up the violin in 6th grade because that was the instrument that she had practiced. I can imagine how tiring it was to always have a tag along, someone who copies your every action. But at least I knew that I had a role model, someone I could try to be like as the arduous middle school years trucked on.

On April 1st, Megan and Ryan Hobson will have their first child, a beautiful baby girl. I’m quite positive that she will have a cousin that perpetually looks up to her, as I do Megan.

At Meg's baby shower 2 weeks ago

First onesie dress I made

Winter onesie dress I made

If you’re wondering how I made these onesie dresses, it was pretty simple. Here is a link to the blog I stole the idea from 🙂

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Ineffable

I am finally getting around to posting the wedding pictures. The day was ineffable; if there was any mishap that occurred–I was blissfully unaware of it. Sharing the day with family and friends was just how we imagined it, we wanted something small and intimate, personal and comfortable. As we left Idaho Falls after the sealing, soft white snow fell from the sky, marking the first snow of the year. How lucky we felt, for we saw it as a sign of good luck. Our photographer, my beautiful cousin Mikael Monson, did a phenomenal job with capturing the indescribable happiness that encircled November 4, 2011. These photos will always put me in retrospect of the happiest day of my existence.

twenty twelve: recalled to life

I have never cried while reading a book. I cry about a wide variety of things ranging from extreme sadness to ultimate happiness, but never did I shed a tear while reading A Walk to Remember, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or Pride and Prejudice. The dry-eyed spell was broken as I finished the last two pages of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Never have I read such a moving, enthralling, and pressing story about human nature. The book captures every facet of each character, delving into their personalities, and intertwining each individual with the others, more than any other book I’ve read. The character development is phenomenal. The one that you least expect becomes the most selfless and altruistic person I’ve ever read about, and the weak become strong, as the strong become weak. A common quote from the book, aside from “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times”, is the simple phrase

Recalled to Life

A broken man is saved from his misery and previous life, to start again, to start anew–therefore, he is recalled to life. Not that my life was horrible or bad before, by any means, but I feel that I have been recalled to life. I feel that I have started new, started fresh–and what better time than the New Year? Marriage has changed me, has changed my outlook on things, my responsibilities, my worries, and my strengths. I have been pushed to new heights by this man I call my husband, and I will forever be grateful for my number one cheerleader.

Although short, our engagement was one of the most exciting, stressful, and exhausting times of my life. Hundreds of times, I found myself wishing for November 4 to finally arrive so I wouldn’t have to wait any longer. I remember Cameron being so supportive and strong throughout the planning and crying, that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish half of what I did without him. I’ve always known him to have great taste, but it was affirmed during this time because he chose the colors, the ring, his own suit, and a lot of the ideas for decorations. I was in school at the time, with countless sewing projects to do, all amidst making decorations for the wedding. Both my mother and mother-in-law were on speed dial as I stressed and worked through the fall semester. The Lord had his hand in all of this, because by the time November came along, I believed to have just about everything under control.

November 4, 2011 was undoubtedly life-changing. My eyes were opened to the wonder of spiritual things, and the assurance I felt of marrying this man was unforgettable. Never will I regret this decision. Never will I wish anything different, for marrying this man was the best decision I will ever make.

Our photos are coming this weekend, and I’ll be sure to add them next week. I LOVE MY NEW LIFE!

But first–HONEYMOONERS! We drove down to Las Vegas, NV and then from there went to Disneyland (my favorite place on earth). Here are some crazy pictures of our adventure.

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Adios Diva Walker

YOU GUESSED IT! This diva is engaged. Engaged to a wonderful, talented, intelligent, good looking, and incredible man. Cameron, say hello to countless nights of hearing the diva complain about not having any ice cream in the freezer, how I can’t fit into my booty-licious jeans, and that it’s too hot in the apartment. Nonetheless, I love you and I’m excited to spend forever with you. But more importantly…

Today I found out something horrid, something repulsive, something quite embarrassing. The following statement asks for parental supervision.

I, Madison Walker (soon to be Aki), have been running the wrong way all of my life.

It all started with a lovely day at the gym. I couldn’t help but notice what perfect running form Cam has on the treadmill…it’s both disgusting and dazzling. He looks like a gazelle gliding across a flat mountain. I looked in the mirror across the way and noticed something awry about my form. Never being able to pick it out, I veered my sight away from the mirror and kept it glued to his reflection instead. I remember years and years ago when I started running, I found that it was easier to run without putting unneeded weight on the balls of my feet, giving my calves the break they deserved.

Madds, can I tell you something? You run…weird.

Hmm…I’ve always been one to take constructive criticism well, considering that I’ve been in dance and music classes all of my life, but this didn’t sit well with me. Well? Cam? How do you mean that? He told me that he noticed a very loud bang with every step on the treadmill. He examined my feet a little closer and found that I land on my heels first…like a dang speed walker. He also told me that my arms move around as if I were jump roping and asked I’d ever taking track. ME?! TRACK?! hahahahahaha chyyeeah right. The closest to a sport I did in high school was powderpuff football, and that was only a week long. He showed me the exaggerating exercises they had to do in high school and I couldn’t even mimic them. I did nail the butt kicks, but other than that, I still looked like Grandma Whilhelmina in her new walking shoes.

Uhh…try not to run like there’s a stick in your butt.

Yeah…impossible. Running hurts. I might as well have a stick up my butt.

It’s supposed to be natural, easy, effortless.

Effortless?! Please! Running is the worst pain I’ve ever given myself. It is anything but easy.

You’re a dancer! You’re supposed to do everything on the balls of your feet.

THAT’S why I feel so bad about myself. I even wondered why no one ever told me about this. How come my college running buddies never gave me this critique? (manda, kels, liss)

After 30 minutes of running drills in the parking lot, we seemed to make some progress…that is, after I started feeling sorry for myself and ultimately embarrassed for how I’ve been running for the past seven years. I guess now that I’m changing my last name to Aki, I can’t keep running like a speed “Walker”.

Amazing work by my cousin Mikael Monson.