Friday, December 16, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have To Learn To Accept Lemons

First off I just have to say "Thank You" to everyone who has expressed concern and love to Matt and I over the last week. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, but we are starting to feel better.
My mom was able to rearrange her work schedule so she could come out and be with me for the first part of the week, since Matt had finals until Wednesday night and I didn't want to stress him out. It was so nice to have her here so that he could focus on school and not have to worry about me. It was also really nice because she kept me busy and didn't let me get bored. If I get bored then I start thinking and I get sad and start crying. Mom and I decided to make carseat covers so that she could take them to work and sell them, because a lot of the girls there want them to give as gifts. So we went to JoAnns to get fabric, and while we were there I saw someone with the carseat that I had picked out (it was the first time I'd ever seen anyone with it) and I almost started crying. Mom had to remind me that it was ok, and that this will happen for us at sometime, right now just wasn't that time. I've decided that while I can't find any reason to like what has happened I just have to accept it. I can't change it. But I can change the way I react to it. I've just had to look for the positives where I can find them. Things like, now I can take Ibuprofen, I can have blue cheese on my salad, and milk products don't make me sick. Small things that I was perfectly willing to sacrifice, but they are things that I missed. So I'll take joy in those and maybe learn accept what has happened as a part of God's plan for me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life Can Change In An Instant

It is amazing how quickly life can change...Friday morning I was having a great day. I had finished my 20 page capstone paper and it was pretty darn good, I think. My Geography final was over, all I had left for finals week were a few small assignments. None of this has changed at all, yet it doesn't seem as important. The biggest change is that Friday morning I was daydreaming about getting to hear my baby's heart beat later that day. But that moment never came. Instead I found out that my baby had died, and that I would be miscarrying. To say that Matt and I were devastated would be a gross understatement. We both felt so incredibly empty inside, it was like a part of our hearts had been ripped out. We were disappointed, we were sad, we were mad, we were confused, we were a whole lot of every negative emotion known to man. We had been so excited to be parents. It was a dream come true for us. We had felt such a strong feeling from Heavenly Father that we needed to start our family, and then to loose that opportunity felt like we'd had the rug pulled out from under our feet. We had been so excited about eventually getting to meet this little one, who had become very real to us. Even though the baby was still little and I wasn't really showing much, this child was real to us, it was our baby. It was a little bit of me and a little bit of Matt, it was us. In one moment that was gone. We were never going to get to hold this little one, we weren't going to get to gaze at him or her and try to come up with a name. So many dreams were gone. In their place were so many tears. All Friday afternoon was filled with tears.Without a doubt this is the hardest trial Matt and I have ever gone through,together or by ourselves.
But we know that with each other and our Heavenly Father we can make it through this. He has showed us that he cares for us in so many ways already. If I had ever had any doubt about Him knowing who I am and loving me, those doubts are gone. I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father knows me personally and knows what I can and cannot do. He knows what I need and he puts things in place so I can have them. He knew that this was going to happen, He knew that I would need to see my family, especially my mom. So he put a youth temple trip in place for mom and dad's ward this weekend. He made it possible so that I wouldn't have any finals during finals week so that I could handle this without the added stress of a miscarriage. He knew that I would need something to distract me from my own trials, so He inspired our bishop to call me to be the Relief Society President. He knew I would need someone to lean on, but that it would need to be someone other than Matt, at least until his finals are done, so He made it possible for my mom to come and stay with me. HE KNOWS ME! HE LOVES ME!He has inspired me to find scriptures that I need. He has blessed me to have men in my life who hold the priesthood who can give me blessings. He has blessed me with an added measure of the spirit. This is not an easy trial to go through, but the help of Heavenly Father, our families, our friends, and our ward, we will be able to get through this. One day at a time, One moment at a time. I know that someday Matt and I will be blessed with children, now just wasn't the right time. And maybe, I needed this trial to show me that I can't go through life on my own. I need to rely on my Heavenly Father and turn to the scriptures more. I have no doubt that I am going to grow stronger in the gospel because of this. That is something I guess I can be grateful for in this time when being grateful is difficult. As hard as it will be to count my blessings this Christmas season, I know that I have so many things to be grateful for. I am going to strive to focus on those things, and on the ways that I can grow from this trial, instead of wallowing about my sorrows.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Married White Female, From a Small Town in Western Colorado

Cultural Diorama Assignment: Identify 3 Artifacts that represent you.

Kitchen Aid Mixer-
This is the center of my kitchen, I often use it to make my favorite baked goods, such as rolls, cookies, cakes, and brownies. I love my Kitchen Aid! It was my favorite wedding gift. Because the bowl can hold so much, I often make too much for my husband and I to eat, which usually means we either have to have friends over to help us eat whatever I have made, or my visiting teachees get lots of

This is the only small appliance that is allowed to say out on the counter at my apartment. It would be a waste of time to have to get it out and put it away with how often I use it.yummy things.

Cell Phone-
My cell phone is used on a daily basis, and when I don't have it, well, it's a bad day. Mostly I use it to send text messages to friends and family. If you were to take a look at the call log you would see almost daily calls to my husband, Matt, and my mom. If you were to listen to the messages saved, you would find a message from my little brother that he left on my phone from the day before he went into the MTC, almost a year ago. The pictures would show you some random things about me. There are some comparison pictures, that have been sent to my husband and mom to get their opinion on shower curtains, as well as pictures of funny things my family has done over the past 2 years. Even the interior banner would say something about me, it says "matt loves brynn".

Wedding Ring-
This ring says a surprising amount about me. It's on the more modest size, not too flashy, but with just enough sparkle, which is just how I like it! It is also getting worn on the back side from me wearing it all the time, the only time I take it off is when I'm sleeping or doing something sticky.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July and a New Hair Cut

So the 4th of July was an interesting day here in Moscow. (Sorry there are no pictures, the camera battery died) We had the day off of school thanks to Professor Kelly telling the Academy that we would not be having class, since it's an American holiday. Matt decided that he wanted to take me on a lunch date, but we didn't know where we wanted to go. All we knew was that we didn't want another McDonalds hamburger. It was decided that we would hunt down some authentic, american texmex in celebration of our wonderful country. We looked on line to find out where we could find some, and found a restaurant that looked promising. We set of on our search, and found the address with ease. However, the restaurant was no where in sight. We went up to someone working there and asked, the restaurant is no longer there, now it's an Uzbek place. Not quite what we were feeling for the 4th. So we decided that we would just go to the Hard Rock Cafe and eat lunch there. Well we got there, sat down and started to drool, I mean look over the menu. We were starving by this point and then right before the waiter came to take our order I happened to look at the prices. HOLY CRAP! It was super expensive. But by this time we were so hungry and we just wanted good ole fashioned American/Mexican food. So we ordered Nachos and a chicken pineapple quesadilla . Oh man. It was SO GOOD! Once we were done we went and met up with our friends at Dunkin Doughnuts for some chocolaty goodness. mmmmmmm! Oh, and the Dunkin Doughnuts was AIR CONDITIONED! I didn't want to leave, but we decided to go and meet up with some other people from our group and join in the watermelon picnic at the park along the river. We sat there, being somewhat loud, obnoxious Americans celebrating our Nation's freedom and our love of America by singing God Bless America, The Star Spangled Banner, This Land is My Land, and any other patriotic song we could think of. As the sun started to set, when we would have been hunkering down on a blanket to watch fireworks had we been in the states, we left the park and decided that there was only one thing that would fulfill our America craving. A Frosty with French Fries. Let me tell you, it was FANTASTIC! I think the frosties here might be even better than they are at home, or maybe we just think they are.

On the 5th of July, Lauren and I had had it with our hair. Her's is cut short usually, but was getting too long, and mine was long, and getting even longer and hotter and heavier. So what did we do? We went and got our hair cut! We took our fearless husbands with us so we didn't have to speak, and then we went to the salon that is just around the corner from the apartment that Matt and I live in. Lauren went first, and they did a great job with her hair, especially for just having a couple of pictures to go off of. Then it was my turn. I'd been wearing my hair up to keep it off my neck, because it's so hot and humid here. So when they asked how long my hair was, i don't think they believed me when I told them it was past my shoulders. Then they asked how much I wanted cut off and I showed them this picture. I love the style of her hair! They looked at me like I was kinda crazy, but once I pulled my hair down then I think they started to understand! The lady who was cutting my hair just kept holding it up and looking at the curls and saying how beautiful they were. After she was finished cutting my hair, she tried to style it.
But she didn't put any product in it at all before she started to blow dry it. Curly hair-product+blow dryer= Kinda Scary. Way puffy, I think I could have styled it into a fro if I'd tried.
But after a shower, some mouse and hairspray, and THEN the hair dryer, I ended up with this, which I think looks much better! And it looks even better when it's fully dry, in my opinion. Thus far it has been great! I can wear my hair down and show off my curls, and i don't get too hot! Matt likes it too, which is a plus.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Half Way Point

So we have been in Moscow for 6 weeks and 1 day. We leave Moscow in 6 weeks and 1 day. We are half way through our trip. Moscow has started to feel like home. We know the city pretty well, and we are comfortable with our host family. In some ways it feels like we just got here not that long ago, but then we start to think about all the things we have done and seen and it feels like we have been here for a long time.
Things we've seen/Places we've been:
-Red Square
St. Basil's
The Kremlin
Worlds largest bell
Worlds largest cannon
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Changing of the Guard
-Moscow Metro
-Izmalovskya Renik
-Creation of the first ever LDS Stake in Russia
-Space Museum
-Church of Christ our Savior
-Sergiev Posad
-Sparrow Hills
-Pirates of the Caribbean in Russian
-Old Arbat Street
-Victory Park
-WWII Tank and Airplane Museum
-Discussion on Freedom of Speech with Russian Students
-Fallen Statues Park
-Tolstoy's Moscow House
-Grounds at Katherine the Great's Summer Palace
-Fed the Ducks at the Palace
-Watched old people dance in the park by Stephanie's house
-Ashawns (grocery store/Russian walmart)
-West Side Story, in Russian with English Songs
-Armenia v. Russia Soccer Game (Russia won)
-Lots of picnics in the park
-Catching pigeons
-Russian Bookstores
-16 ruble Ice Cream cones from McDonalds
-Sbarro Pizza
-Lots of Yummy Armenian Food!

Oh yeah...and we go to class sometimes too! And occasionally we do homework.

And then there's St. Petersburg:
-Boat Tour
-Church on the Spilled Blood
-St. Isaac's
-Kazan Cathedral
-Iron Horseman
-Hermitage Museum
-Peter and Paul Fortress
-Teremok/Carl's Jr
-Overnight Train
-Hostel with all our group
-St. Petersburg Metro (not as nice as Moscow's!)

After having been to both cities, we have decided that, while St. Petersburg is beautiful, we prefer Moscow. In the 4 days we were in St. Petersburg we saw almost everything we wanted to see. The only thing we didn't see was one of the palaces that is out side the city, and we would have done that if it hadn't been raining on Monday. Oh well, I guess we'll have to come back!

I can somewhat understand what is being said by our host family, and sometimes I can pick up on the meaning of a word before Matt can. I have been able to say a few things on my own, mostly when we are out shopping, asking how much something costs, what it is, etc. and the other day when Matt was telling our host mom that we would be going to St. Petersburg she said, in Russian, " Oh, that is such a beautiful city" AND I UNDERSTOOD HER! and I'm not talking the got the gist of what she was saying kind of understood her, I'm taking understood every word she said! It may not seem like a lot, but for me it was HUGE! 6 weeks ago I could only smile and say "Spasiva" (Thank You) but I often got it mixed up with the word for please/ your welcome (they are the same) "Pozhalista". I'm pretty sure that our host family thought I was crazy!

I need to go to bed. It's almost 1 am here in Moscow and we have school in the morning. We love and miss you all!

P.S. If you want to see pictures, look on Facebook. It's easier to put them all up on there :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picture Post!

Izmalovsky Park
Above: Lauren and Derek Rose (not a very good pic, sorry!)
Below: Jared
David, Stephanie, and Tatiana
Ice Cream at Red Square
Stained Glass Map of Northern Hemisphere in Ceiling
Russian Orthodox Priests
Everyone looking down from the 3rd floor of GUM
View from 3rd Floor looking down
GUM (Pronounced GOOM) Department Store

Russian History Museum (I think?)
St. Basil's Cathedral

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let the Adventures Begin


We are in Moscow. It still seems weird. We left Denver at 6am, we almost didn't make our flight (we were the second to last couple to get on the plane, YIKES!) but from there it was all smooth sailing, I mean flying. The plane ride from JFK to Kiev was super long, just under 10 hours. I have this great ability to sleep almost anywhere, oh the things I've learned in college, so i had no problem sleeping on the plane, but Matt has not yet gained this wondrous ability, so he didn't get nearly as much sleep as I did.

Sunday was our first full day here and we decided that we really wanted to go to church.
So our host family's son took us to the Metro and helped us get our passes. Then we were off on our own trying to find our way to the building where they have church. The metro part was easy. We're pretty confident in our ability to get around via metro (by we I mean Matt...I'm still working on being able to read signs). But after
getting off at the metro stop closest to the church, we still had to walk for about 45 minutes to find the church. I think that now that we know where we are going it will probably be more like 30 minutes, but that's still a long time on top of the 15-20 minute metro ride. I was so happy to walk into the building and open the door and see a picture of Christ hanging on the wall because 1. it meant we were in the right place, not lost, and 2. because I knew that I would find people who were like me there, they just spoke another language. lucky for us there was a senior missionary couple who are on a humanitarian mission for the church, who were assigned to that same branch! They don't speak Russian, so they have someone in the branch translate for them, and be benefited from that too! I actually got to understand Relief Society!
After church they took us up to Red Square to see the tulips that had been planted for Victory Day (WWII Victory in Europe day).This is when we got our first glimpse of St. Basil's Cathedral,
and also when it finally hit us that we are really in Russia!
We also got to see the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown
solider. What a special place. I've never been to the one at
Arlington, but I imagine that this has a similar feeling to it. It was quite amazing to see that flame and the flowers and know that there is always someone watching guard over this sacred
spot. And I don't hesitate to call it sacred, because it is a memorial to the hundreds of thousands of Russians who lost their lives in WWII. Not many people realize that it was not just soldiers who fought for Russia, but also the civilians.

A funny thing that happened while we were there, Matt heard the guy on the far right speaking Spanish and started talking to him. Turns out he and his family were from Buenos Aires Argentina! Relatively speaking, that's not too far from where Austin is. Who would have thought that we would find someone from his neck of the woods way over here!

We love our host family! They are from Armenia, and everyone has told us what great people the Armenians are. We would have to agree with them! Our family is great. They are even teaching Matt how to say some things in Armenian. Plus Armenian food is fantastic. Matt's in heaven with all the fun new foods. I'm a little more wary of new things, but thus far, only one of the things they have given us was bad. It was kinda like drinkable ranch dressing...not exactly my favorite. The other day Suzanna, the mom, made a crab salad, and I'm going to have to get the recipe because Matt's in love with it.

Classes are going well. I can now read all, well almost all, the letters and write them in cursive. Hopefully by the end of this week I will have them all down. Matt is doing fabulously in his class. His teacher is really nice and all the students love her. She sounds kinda like Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter movies.

Monday, March 28, 2011

45 Days!

Can you believe it?!?! We leave the country in 45 days! We have so much that we need to get done in that amount of time! It has really snuck up on us.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Second Block Resolutions

Ok. So I've been really bad about posting updates. And unfortunately this one is going to be short. Matt and I are officially going to Russia. We bought our plane tickets, we leave May 13 and get back August 9. We are so excited!
This past 8 weeks I have had a class that took up almost ALL of my time. It was 4 hours EVERY SINGLE DAY! but it is over with and I now have all this free time that I didn't have before! Plus I get to work my normal schedule, for which our bank account will be happy :)
I have decided that with this new second block schedule I have I am going to be more productive. I have made a few resolutions:
1. Because I don't have any classes on Friday and I don't have to go to work I WILL GO TO THE TEMPLE EVERY FRIDAY (I want to try to find family names to take as often as possible)
2. I will get our laundry washed and folded in the same day
3. I will not be late for class/I will leave at least 1/2 an hour early
4. I will actually make dinner at least 3 times a week
5. I will go to zumba at least 1 time every week.
6. I will use my sewing machine weekly:)

and that is what I am going to this semester, come hell or high water!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Russia Study Abroad!

See this, this means that my application for our Russia Study Abroad is DONE! Matt finished his yesterday.

StatusItemDate Last Modified
App FeeJan 27, 2011
Bio DataJan 25, 2011
Emergency ContactJan 25, 2011
EndorsementJan 25, 2011
Letter of IntentJan 25, 2011
ReferencesJan 27, 2011
TranscriptJan 25, 2011
We are so so so excited about going! We decided just the other day that we would rather go with BYU than with any other group. One HUGE change in this plan is that we will be leaving on May 10, 2011. That's 4 months sooner than we were originally going to go. Here are some of the reasons we decided to change:
1. The Russian Department here at BYU got a rather large sum of money, so now the program fees are going to be $1,000-$2,000 cheaper than they were going to be.
2. We will now be going through BYU, which means that we will be staying with other LDS families in Moscow. This will be huge when you consider that vodka is a huge part of the Russian culture, and trying to explain that we don't drink would be really hard if we lived with non-LDS families.
3. We don't have to worry about getting to church/being able to go to church.
4. I get to learn Russian!
5. To go along with #4, there are 2 or 3 married couples that are going on the study abroad, all of them where He is an intermediate Russian student, and she doesn't speak any Russian. Because of this, BYU decided to offer a first year program for the wifes of these students. Yipee!
6. I don't have to take my History 490 class in the summer, I get to take it in the fall. This is wonderful because I will have 16 weeks to write a 20-25 page paper instead of only 8. I like this:)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Know I'm Odd But...

I LOVE filing taxes, weird I know, but true. It's kinda like a puzzle and I get money for getting it done. What more could you want?!? Turbo tax is my favorite. It makes my life so much easier! If any of you haven't done your taxes yet I would highly suggest using the free version that is available here. I also love filling out the FAFSA form, the one for Pell Grants. I deal with these all the time at work and I love getting my own done and knowing exactly what I'm doing. (If you ever have questions about financial aid at BYU, call me, I know ALL about it and would love to help:)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pat and Barb's 50th Wedding Anniversary

Last weekend we went to Matt's grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party. Let me just tell you a little bit about these amazing people. They are probably the nicest people ever, they are always doing things for other people, in fact, they take care of several older ladies who cannot take care of themselves. When they got married, Pat was studying to be a Catholic Priest. He didn't join the church for quite a few years, but if you talked to him now you would never know that he was a convert, he knows so much about the gospel! So does Barb. Barb used to be our substitute seminary teacher and always had so many good insights about what ever we were studying. They both love to golf. I guess that's one thing they have passed down to their kids, I think almost all of them golf on a regular basis, and get WAY competitive when they all play together, Matt tells me stories about thrown/bent/broken clubs when all the brothers play each other. They are the proud parents of 10 children, but only 9 are living, 8 spouses. They have 25 grandkids, 6 grandkid spouses, and 2 great-grandkids, thats 52 if you count everyone, and the family is still growing! It's quite a crowd when everyone gets together! Barb used to always joke with me that someday I would be part of the family back when Matt and I were in high school, and now I am. She still tells me that she always knew I'd end up with "her Mattie".

The party was great! Pat and Barb never had a real wedding reception, even though they were married 3 times! (1-In front of a Justice of the Peace 2-In the catholic church 3-Sealed in the temple) So their kids made this the reception they never had, complete with first dance and feeding each other cake. It was great to see how in love they still are even after 50 years together. It was sweet to hear each of them talk about their marriage and when they were dating. Barb still remembers exactly what she wore on their first date, how cute is that!

Pretty much I hope that someday Matt and I can be as wonderful and loved as his grandparents are. I want to be like them when I grow up!

"First Dance"

^ All the kids, oldest to youngest. Mike (Matt's Dad), Kristine, Greg, Sean, Jennifer, Matt, Becky,Barbie, Mary Ellen, and Megan
^Matt and his cousin Brianna (Becky's youngest)

Shellie and I cleaning up confetti that a little kid dumped all over the carpet...that stuff is awful to clean up, it probably took us 5 minutes to get one little cup picked up!