4 for Thursday

I've been feeling like I slipped out of a blogging groove, and now that I want to get back into the groove, my mind is blank.
  1. I started running again. After over a year of nothing exercise worthy, I started again. I even bought new running shoes. I know.
  2. I got my diploma in the mail. It's official, legitimate, for real: I am a college graduate. The diploma says so. And I'm pretty dang excited about it. Everytime I think about midterms and group projects and 100+ pages worth of reading assignments, a giant wave of relief washes over me. Phew.
  3. Almost all of my TV shows are over for the season: "Chuck," "Parenthood," "The Office," "30 Rock," "Bones," and "24." And yes, I did feel slightly pathetic listing all the shows I follow.
  4. I'm off the clock and am getting ready to head down to catch my bus to the airport. I'm flying home and Josh is meeting me there. In fact, our flights get in at almost the same time, and given that we're both flying the same airline, one of us will meet the other at the gate. It will be like a movie. I hope there's a soundtrack.
Oh, and as of tomorrow, the wedding is 12 weeks away. Just sayin'.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Route 801, #3 and Long-Distance Book Club

I read this one on Josh's recommendation and quite enjoyed discussing it with him during and after reading it. He's currently reading The Road, per my request. Our next book to read together: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I didn't know what to expect from this book, mainly because I'm not a huge sci-fi buff and this book has a cult following of sorts. I ended up really enjoying this book, though. The plot was easy to follow and quite compelling. I think what I found the most intriguing was Ender's character development. He's only six years old when the book starts, but he's a complex and conflicted character. His motives are simple yet they make for a complicated character. The character dynamics in Ender's Game are thought-provoking and sometimes disturbing.

I was a little taken aback by the ending, because I was under the impression that all the other Ender's Game books were sequels rather than companion novels. That aside, however, I liked the ending and thought it was a strong way to end the novel. I'd recommend this to teenagers for sure and to adults who want a quick read that has depth.

View all my reviews >>


wedding plans: the dress

So I realized that I haven't really posted any wedding plans, even though the wedding plans are well underway. Let me start with the most fun detail: the dress.

I have one.

I love it.

Love. it.

When we first started planning for the wedding, Mom and I thought that perhaps Mom would make my dress. I was thinking a knee-length dress—a formal, fancy, twirly sundress almost, something doable for Mom's busy schedule. We decided to go dress shopping anyway, mainly because it would be fun, and that was something wedding-y we could do over graduation weekend with my soon-to-be in-laws. And because we thought Mom would make my dress, I went into the dress shopping experience feeling no pressure.

We came across several no-gos. (All photos courtesy of Michelle.)

This one:

And this one:

("I can fly, I can fly, I can fly!"—Wendy, Peter Pan)

We were all quite taken with this gem:

Perhaps we could give the wedding a Quinceanera theme?

This one was a legitimate contender (I love the ivory—mother-in-law's idea):

Can you see the elaborate beading?

I loved the pleats and beading on the back.

The train was also quite elaborate.

That was one of two dresses I tried on twice. The pretty beaded one was in the running, but I really fell in love with this one (and also tried it on twice):

Here's a close-up of the bodice:

It's detailed but simple with just enough beading without being too Disney-princess-y. The skirt is simple but elegant without a giant train.

I bought it. Right there. I didn't need to look anywhere else, and now Mom doesn't have to make one. 

Sidenote: I don't think I'll have a veil. Instead, Michelle and I want to recreate this (a $90 headpiece at the bridal store):

I was watching TLC's "Yes to the Dress" last night and one of the brides tried on a dress and said, "I can picture myself marrying so-and-so." That's how I felt with this dress. I looked in the mirror and felt completely myself and thought of Josh and how much I want to marry him. I thought, "I can picture myself marrying Josh."

So I am.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Route 801, #2

Prayers for Sale Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book! I think what I liked most was how it is just a story about people. The stories Hennie told were sometimes dramatic, but they fit within her life. I loved the characters and how I came to know and love them. This was a light read but  thoroughly enjoyable. It's been a while since I've read a Sandra Dallas book, and I loved my reintroduction to her!

View all my reviews >>


12 on 13 on 14: New Era edition

So, I forgot my camera on the 12th. But I didn't want to let May slip away, so I took 12 pictures on the 13th. And I put them all together in the grid and posted it on the 14th. Also, I wanted to have this 12on12 grid be an introduction to my internship, but I have way too many pictures to post for that, so I think I'll have to do a separate internship post altogether.

01. The express bus at 6:29. Yes, the seats do recline.
02. Reading my scriptures on the bus
03. My elevator pass that makes me feel completely legit.
04. My wedding countdown on the computer
05. My name on my work phone. How cool is that?
06. The beautiful flowers at Temple Square
07. My confirmed passport application--because I need a passport for our honeymoon cruise to Puerto Vallarta!
08. The inspiring placards inside the elevators--so clever. I love it.
09. Sparkle. I look at it several times a day. Like most of the time, though sometimes surreptitiously.
10. Taking off the nylons I have to wear everyday
11. Stretching after running
12. Web cam that lets me Skype with Josh and Emily

My favorite photo of the day, however?

I think it's beautiful in every way.


I have several countdowns running at the moment, and they separate out into two distinct categories: the big countdown to the wedding and then the smaller countdowns to each time I get to see Josh over the summer. I won't install any countdown widgets on my sidebar or plague you with gushy, updated counts each day, but I will give a run-down of the countdowns as they currently stand. Perhaps I'll give periodic updates when the big countdown hits milestones, like today, for instance: 14 weeks exactly.

As of May 14, 2010:

Big countdown: 98 days (yesterday it reached the double digits!)
Memorial Day countdown (Josh to Denver): 13 days
From Memorial Day to the Fourth of July (Josh to Utah): 31 days
From the Fourth to my long Pioneer Day weekend (me to Portland): 17 days
From Pioneer Day to when Josh comes out for the wedding (both of us to here): 24 days

This is totally manageable. I've got this under control.


Portland: Miscellany

While in Portland, not only did we Japan it up and get engaged but we also registered, found an apartment, took engagement photos, and made our engagement facebook official. We were very productive. Clearly.

And now I miss him terribly (I hope you're getting used to these lovey/missing statements, because I don't see them letting up any time this summer). Hopefully I'll get to see him next month.

My Portland verdict? I love it. Really. I can't wait to live there.

In 101 days I'll be Mrs. Josh Wilson. It couldn't come soon enough. Really.


the reigning Charlotte

When my grandma passed away a little over a month ago, my mom gave me a pair of her old shoes (I'm the only one besides Sarah who can fit into them). As she handed them to me she said, "You're the reigning Charlotte now. You should have these."

What a responsibility, to be the reigning Charlotte. Did my own mother know what a mantle she was placing on my shoulders as she named me after her mother? I think she did. I've often reflected throughout my life on what it means to be named after such an incredible and inspired woman, and each time I feel a greater responsibility to live up to her name. While sometimes overwhelming, I think my mother saw in me at birth and continues to see in me now the potential I have to be great, potential that often escapes my understanding.

Grandma was a significant and strong presence throughout my entire childhood, and I've witnessed how she continued to be a mother, even when her children were grown and created families of their own. I will forever be indebted to my grandmother for many reasons, but the greatest of which is that she taught my mom how to be a mother. I want my mother to know that I see in her all of Grandma's finest and most Christlike qualities. Denise Wood is truly, in every way, a daughter of Charlotte Petersen.

As I approach this new chapter of my life and my upcoming marriage, I feel prepared. Through example my mother and grandmother and aunts and cousins have taught me how to be a wife and how to be a mother. They taught me how to love unconditionally and how to live the gospel. They taught me how to allow Christ and his atonement to define me and my life. In making the decision to marry, I've felt the weight and significance of this choice. Marriage is not to be approached lightly, and I recognize its sacredness. I revere marriage and womanhood because of the women in my life. My mother (along with my stalwart father) has taught me everything most important in my life and will continue to do so as I become a wife to Josh and eventually a mother to my own children.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I don't have much to give you this year, but I can be the reigning Charlotte. I fear I'll fall short of the calling, but as a granddaughter to your mother and a daughter to you, I hope and pray that throughout my life I will always live in such a way that brings honor to my name.

I love you.


Operation Superhuman Reader: Route 801

I'll be spending about three hours a day on the bus commuting to and from Salt Lake this summer, three hours I can often fill with reading. I plan on getting much of my summer reading completed this way, and I started with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This was a great book with which to begin my summer reading and helped distract me a little from missing Josh and my family. If you're looking for a light and entertaining read, try this one!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a fun and light read. I liked the characters, and once I got used to the letter format of narration I found it refreshing. I learned a lot about the Occupation in the British Isles and found the narrative endearing and simultaneously educational. At first I didn't think that the letter narration would be as effective for me, but I found that I came to know the characters in different ways from how I might have otherwise. I also found it fascinating how characters like Dawsey and Mark could be such a vital part to the story without having written many (if any in Mark's case) letters. The authors were creative and innovative, telling a story in a unique and engaging way.

This was a great way to start my summer reading!

View all my reviews >>


Portland: Japanimation

While in Portland we had a handful of Japan-themed experiences (Josh served his LDS mission in Sapporo, Japan). First we went to Uwajimaya, a Japanese market in Beaverton. This establishment sells authentic Japanese (and other Asian) food products, and even has a little Japanese bookstore in the back. While I can recognize the appeal of this store for Josh, many items did not strike my fancy. Like this:

Dried squid. Yes, squid.
Or this:

Octopus tentacles.

One of the reasons Josh likes this place is that he has a chance to practice his Japanese skills. At one point, though, he approached an employee, asked a question in Japanese, and was promptly (and curtly) informed by the employee that "I do not speak Japanese." Okay, then.

Josh picked out several ingredients to make an authentic Japanese dish to make the next night for dinner (I can't remember the name of the meal, though). However, this dish did include this:

See how thrilled I am?

Josh spent about an hour cooking his meal, and you know what? I didn't mind the tofu. I mean, it's not my most favorite thing ever, but if I ate it with real food, I didn't really notice the texture.

The next night we went out to eat at a nice Japanese restaurant with some of the Wilsons' family friends, and yes, dear readers, I ate sushi. I had only two bites, but I liked them. At first Josh gave me the option of trying a bite of either squid or eel. Next, please. I had bites of both salmon and yellow tail. And I approved.

To top off our Japan-themed adventures, we watched the film Princess Mononoke. Yes, it's an anime film. Josh likes a handful of anime movies, and I watch them with him. Usually we watch them in Japanese and I have to read the subtitles, but this time, we watched in English, and I think that helped me like it more than others we've watched. I'll be honest, anime is not my preferred film genre, but I'll watch with Josh. I mean, the man will video chat with me in the wee hours of the morning. That's worth a lot of anime in my book.

I'm the lucky one

Last night I was painfully missing Josh and my family (yes, it's only been four days since I've been back in Provo—oh dear). Josh and I Skyped (my life-saver) and he got to see me in all my red- and puffy-eyed glory, and I cried a little (read: a lot) more. Then he suggested that we briefly Skype before I go to work at 6:30 in the morning my time. He woke up at 5:00 his time and Skype-called me to say good morning and talk for a couple minutes before I left to catch the bus.

He's wonderful. I love him.


a note on graduation, two weeks late

4 years
8 semesters, 1 term
126 credit hours
89 tests, give or take
77 papers, give or take
4 portfolios
5 concerts
lots of group projects
so many novels
a great number of short stories and poems
hours and hours and hours of homework

a BYU college graduate!

And yes, I'm thrilled!


Portland: Powell's City of Books

I spent all of last week in Portland, Oregon, with Josh and his parents, and it was lovely. I'll give various accounts of my visit and will start with the best one: Powell's Books. First of all, this bookstore (which also sells used books) is one-of-a-kind Portland treat: four floors, nine rooms, endless opportunities for bibliophile dream fulfillment. Whoa.

This photo is merely a drop in the Powell's bucket.

As you can clearly see, Powell's houses enough magic on its own; trust Josh to increase that magic exponentially.

We had drifted to a corner surrounded by windows that looked out on downtown Portland. I was casually flipping through a book and turned around to see Josh on one knee. He proposed right here:

We were in a quieter area of the store (the Purple Room), so there wasn't anybody around, and I liked it that way. Then I could kiss him all I wanted without anyone watching. Funny side note: Josh seriously contemplated popping the question in the gay and lesbian aisle and probably would have were it not for a patron in that section. He settled for the political section, and while not too romantic, to me it's a romantic section now.

It was a good thing I had a list of books I wanted to check out, because otherwise the book browsing would have been thoroughly unsuccessful for being unable to look away from the sparkle on my finger.

Afterward we went out to this really nice restaurant for lunch and had the most delicious chipotle rotisserie chicken sandwiches.

For my first trip (first of very, very many) to Powell's City of Books I came out with six books, one wedding magazine, and an official, unhypothetical fiance.

Josh Wilson proposed to me, Charlotte Wood, in a bookstore. It was absolutely perfect. Perfect.


first day

I just returned from my first day as the NE intern. I'm a little overwhelmed but enjoyed the luxury bus. I will post about this with many more details later, but for now I'll leave you with this:

I have no food in my apartment and thought this treat, found in the Nauvoo Cafe in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, was more than an adequate solution.


timeline of love

Here's the Reader's Digest version of our relationship. I figured a long and too detailed narrative could get old and then you wouldn't want to read, and I want you to read about this. So I made a list instead.

February 17: I meet Josh at a party. He asks for my number.

March 7: He finally calls.
March 15: Our first date—SubZero ice cream and I Am Legend.
March 28: Our first kiss.

April 23: We break up.

Loooooooong hiatus punctuated with random, sometimes fun, sometimes awkward run-ins. He usually left me feeling quite flustered.

October 2: Josh calls. Three times. Within an hour and a half. I answer the third time. We agree to start spending time together.
Throughout October: Josh aggressively pursues me (his own words). We make meals and watch "The Office" and text funny YouTube videos to each other.
October 28: We hold hands for the first time in a year and a half.

Throughout November: I succumb to Josh's wooing. We officially start dating again, with intent to see if this leads to marriage (dating the second time around doesn't have room for casual dating). We kiss again. We start falling in love again.
November 29: I meet the family. (I'd met his siblings and siblings-in-law in October, though.)

Throughout December: More falling in love.
December 14: He loves me. I love him back.
December 28: Josh comes to Colorado and meets the rest of my family (he was lucky enough to meet Emily back in October).

Throughout January: More falling in love.
Throughout February: More falling in love.
Sometime in early March:
:: Charlotte—"Let's get engaged."
:: Josh—"Okay! When?"
:: Charlotte— "Soon."
:: Josh— "Okay."
:: Charlotte— "Define soon."
:: Josh— "I don't know. Sometime before the summer."
Good grief.
Sometime in late March:
:: Charlotte— "Let's get engaged."
:: Josh— "Okay! When?"
:: Charlotte— "Soon."
:: Josh— "Okay."
:: Charlotte—"Really, though. When's soon?"
:: Josh— "Okay. Here's what I'm thinking. Let's pick a weekend in the next week or two and drive to Colorado so I can talk to your parents."
:: Charlotte: "!!!!!!!!!!!!"
March 27:
:: Josh— "What do you want to do tonight?"
:: Charlotte— "Well . . . never mind."
:: Josh— "What? What do you want to do?"
:: Charlotte— ". . . Diamonds!"
:: Josh— "Oh! You want to go ring shopping!"
March 31: Ring shopping.

April 2–5: Colorado trip (turned from romantic weekend to funeral weekend)
April 4: Josh has a great conversation with my dad.
April 10: More ring shopping. Ring picked.
April 25: Drive to Portland
April 27:
:: Josh— "Will you be my wife?"
:: Charlotte— "Yes!!!"
Any given time:
:: Charlotte— "!!!!!!!"

***August 20: We get married for forever here in Denver***
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...