Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Burden Has Been LIFTED!!

I literally just finished my last research paper (total 4 this semester). I feel so much better than I did last week! This morning was tough because I found out I got an F on a TAKE-HOME test for Health class! How much more horrible can that get? Halfway through the semester, Josh and I started to struggle more and more with waking up early and leaving the house on time for my 7:30 am class (we live one hour away). So I started being late, then I would get there halfway through class, then I would miss class entirely. Needless to say, that was probably the reason why I did so bad on that test.

But THEN during History class today, my teacher came up to me and said some things along these lines:

Arianna, your essay was amazing!! It was so well-written and insightful. I really enjoyed reading it! I want you to major in History now!!

I then proceeded to feel better. And then I proceeded to take out my laptop and check the grade she gave me online. 95% baby!!!! I am sooo happy because I worked my butt off on that research paper and I feel like for once, my efforts paid off.

Another thing I was stressing about was my Lifeguard testing. I didn't realize it until I took that class, but I have a fear of deep water. I don't know where it started, but it was an obstacle I had to learn to overcome in order to get certified as a Lifeguard this semester. And I did it!!!! Hopefully I'll get hired with the Mililani Town Association or a military base at one of their pools because I heard they pay way more than BYU-H does.

After Thursday (Friday for Josh) Final exams will be OVER and we'll be checking into the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki to celebrate my mom's birthday. Yes, it was her idea and yes, this is a typical thing for her to do. She likes splurging. I guess that's where I got it from. :)

P.S. I figured out why I get ZERO comments on every blog post. I changed the settings so now anyone can leave comments (please be nice!).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photo Updates!

Yes I know this is the second blog post in one night. But I have been failing at blogging so here's a quick photo update, in no particular order. :)

Dec. 7th (Pearl Harbor Day) was my last day working for the USS Missouri as a Tour Guide. My supervisors got me a beautiful lei and a cake for me and Christy! (She quit because she's leaving for her mission at the end of this month).

We visited one of Josh's best friends, Raymond, who bought an Army truck that was used to transport soldiers and he gave us a ride in it! It felt like we were gonna crush everyone else on the road!

Our first Christmas tree :)

Josh and our friend Kai on Black Friday. It's impossible to get them to act serious and help me shop! I have more fun laughing at them anyway.

More Black Friday (That's our "new" car behind me!)

Right before our annual Turkey Bowl (football game) on Thanksgiving Day...notice this is Josh's signature pose...-_-

Sunset on the beach after a surf session on the west side of our island. So blessed to live in Hawaii.

General conference trip in Utah at the Hogle Zoo with my family. Alena was sad, but she cheered up after. Who can resist Josh's handsome face?

Shave ice in Hale'iwa on the North Shore. And that is almost a real Josh smile. (He prefers silly faces to smiling in pics).

I love my silly husband. :)

6 Month-a-versary!

Today Josh and I hit our six-month mark of being married. I told Josh this morning that at first it felt like time was going by slowly, but then as soon as school started it all of a sudden turbo-boosted us to six months. That's half a year. And Josh has been home from his mission for over a year now. Sometimes when I think about time too much it gets overwhelming, which then makes me really grateful that in the eternities there will be no concept of "time."

I don't think I could ever adequately put into words how grateful I am for my husband. He puts up with so much from me. And I'm not just saying that either. I frequently get overwhelmed or stressed about school or work, along with various other responsibilities that I'll have emotional breakdowns. He's always there to wipe my tears away and help me get myself up again. What's ironic is that I am truthfully the happiest I've ever been, but sometimes even the littlest things will make me irritated at him. That makes no sense!! It frustrates me, but we always talk things over and we realize it's just one of those things with being a newlywed couple that entails learning to live with each other. Being in each others' presence at all hours of the day, every day. Obviously, we can't be happy, patient, charitable people all the time. It's a bit scary to think that Josh sees all of who I am, even the worst of me. But the amazing thing is that through it all, he still loves me. Truly, unconditionally, and effortlessly, he loves me. As a little girl, this was literally ALL I dreamed about. I just wanted to find someone that could love me as passionately as I loved them. And I found it.

I often think of myself as a very compassionate person. Everything has an emotion tied to it. When I work(ed) at the USS Missouri as a tour guide, when I teach my youth in Sunday School, when I text friends to ask how they're doing, when I carry my newborn niece as she cries for seemingly unknown reasons...I put my heart into all of it. I don't know why, but I guess that's just who I am. And I like it.

I didn't always feel that way about myself though, and even now I still struggle. For some reason, I've always struggled to like myself. I'm overly critical (in my mind) about a lot of things I do. But when I got married, I realized that this sort of thinking not only brings myself down, but it brings my husband down as well. It's totally not worth my selfishness to do that to him. So I've been trying to change myself. I learned in psychology class that you can train your own brain to be "happier." The part of your brain that deals with those emotions will physically change shape and you'll have more positive thoughts more often as you make efforts to have them. Not sure if that's accurate, but I remember reading it in my psych. textbook.

So I guess those are my thoughts for tonight. Kind of random, so I'll just add even more randomness. Next week is final exams, then we're celebrating finishing this semester by staying in the Hale Koa hotel! Okay, it's actually for my mom's birthday. But it works out pretty well. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

General Conference and Mother Goose

My dad has been in the Hawaii Air National Guard for many years now and serves as a chaplain. Part of his duties includes getting a butt load of General Conference tickets every October, and he can choose to use them if he wants, it's not required. The church sponsors a special conference for LDS Chaplains in Salt Lake City during the same weekend of General Conference for our church. We all thought we wouldn't be able to attend conference anymore last year when my dad announced his intentions to retire, but ended up staying in for one more year. Lucky for us, my mom (who is constantly checking airfares when she feels that urge to travel) found really cheap roundtrip tickets to SLC for only $400 a person! Josh and I thought it would be an opportunity of a lifetime so we bought a pair of tickets for ourselves to have a fun little trip with my family (Mom, Dad, Colby, Alyssa, Nainoa, Alena Cutie Cutes) and to visit my old room mates from Liberty Square, attend Josh's mission reunion, AND visit/hang out with/take Robert Beck and his girlfriend Sarah with us to conference. We were only there from Friday morning until Monday evening but we had a blast! Josh was so happy to see his mission buddies, and to skate with one of his best friends. I enjoyed finally getting to go to live conference sessions with Josh. And we had some pretty funny/loud car rides when we all squished in the mini-van. Anyone who is close with the McMillan family knows that Colby likes two things: his movies, and his music that he gets from those movies.

Colby's current video obsession is Barney. I keep telling him that Barney is for "bee-bees" but he insists on recording the songs on his phone and replaying them and singing along at the top of his lungs. For those who don't know Colby, he is my 22 year old down syndrome brother. His obsession song from Barney is, unfortunately, Mother Goose. (Click on the link for a youtube video of the song he sings.) There was this one car ride where we didn't all fit in the van my parents rented so Colby volunteered to ride in the trunk. Josh ("Rob Shneider"), of course, couldn't resist jumping in with his buddy.

He played and sang this song the whole time, and it sounded more like:
Oh I'm mada goose, and I'm hea to say
Dat I like to speak in mimes
I been a-wound fo many many year
And a me-me-me-me-me long time

My dad jokingly yelled, "Somebody shoot that cow!" And Colby went, "I'm not cow I'm mada goose!" To which we all started laughing. That pretty much made my day.

It would take forever to blog about everything we did but the main thing is we had so much fun even though we were over a thousand dollars poorer by the end of it. It was definitely a good investment. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Ride

So I really wasn't expecting this to happen so fast, but Josh and I just bought a second car! We bought my parents 2006 Scion tC. We got an amazing deal on it and we feel like it was a great investment. We mainly bought it because our first car, a classic 97 Buick LeSabre (aka The Grampa Car) just hit 100,000 miles, and it's a freakin gas guzzler. Definitely not a good commuting car. Seeing that we'll be living in Mililani and be commuting to Laie for school, and town for Josh's work, we obviously needed to downsize. The Scion has a manual transmission and it's smaller with only about 45,000 miles on it. We hope it'll last us at least all the way through Josh's schooling. It was so exciting when we got approved by the Credit Union for our first loan. Although it'll be kind of a burden to be adding another monthly payment to our already tight budget, I know we'll get by and it'll be good to start building some credit. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Beginnings of Ari and Josh

We are Arianna and Josh Graham. If you are reading this, you probably already know us in one way or another, so I don't need to give a very detailed introduction of us but it'd be convenient to give at least a brief one.

Arianna Nawaiaulianahenahe (McMillan) Graham
Born March 13 in Honolulu, HI
Hawaiian, Chinese, Caucasian
College student (BYU & BYU-H)
Wife of Josh

Joshua Kamalama Graham
Born November 16 in Hawaii
Japanese, Chinese, Caucasian, Hispanic (yeah right, he wishes!)
College freshman (haha) ... (BYU-H)
Served in the Florida Tampa mission, spanish speaking (Nov. 2008 - Nov. 2010)
Husband of Ari

We met in May of 2008, but didn't start dating until September (yes, I was already up at college at BYU-Provo and he was home in Hawaii). If you want a very detailed story, click here. The password is arijosh.
Josh returned home in November of 2010.
We got engaged at the end of January 2011.
Married and sealed for time and all eternity on Friday, June 10, 2011 in the Laie, HI temple.

If you want to get a glimpse into what waiting for him (or writing him) while he was on his mission was like, click here. That's my other blog and also what I used to vent whenever I was feeling especially emotional. You might think I was obsessed at first and my answer to your suspicion (although I wouldn't have admitted it before) is yes, I was obsessed. I was completely in love with this boy whom I barely knew. But that obsession matured and grew. I am no longer just in love, but I love him truly. True love knows no conditions or sense of time. It endures. I'm so blessed that he in turn fell in love with me too, actually wrote me back for the whole two years, and decided to marry me and make me his eternal companion.

Why did I make this blog? Not entirely because that's what every other (Mormon) couple does when they get married. But because Josh works very late nights a couple times a week, so at least blogging will be a good way to keep a journal of our lives and to occupy my time waiting for him to come home. :)