Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Great Day at Chic-fil-A

The following conversation took place this morning at the Chic-fil-A drive-thru. The time was 8:15 a.m., just after I'd dropped off Kyle at the Sky Harbor International Airport...

Employee: It's a great day at Chic-fil-A, and my name is Lori, what can I do for you?
Me: Hi Lori. Just for the record, I think it's kind of a lousy day, but that's just my opinion, and my opinion doesn't count for much. How are you?
Lori: I'm fine, thanks. What can I get for you?
Me: Can you get me October 13th please?
Lori: (Not understanding that I just wanted her to fast-forward time for me) That's a number one chicken with cheese, anything else?
Me: No, no, October 13th!
Lori: ...Ma'am? That will be a number one with cheese, is that correct?
Me: (Realizing I was making a fool of myself and poor Lori was no therapist) Actually, Lori, I'll just have a large Diet Dr. Pepper, please.
Lori: A number one chicken with cheese and a large Diet Dr. Pepper--that will be $6.17 at the second window.

So I was very obviously sad at first this morning when I dropped off Kyle at the airport, but I am much more cheerful now--it's almost October!

You see? You see how fast September passes? It's as though five Septembers could fit into the whole of August; the difference between the two months is more than just one extra day--it's an eternity.

Speaking of eternity, I did turn 21 and I did go through the temple. Just like I said I would. Both experiences were fantastic, and the fact that I got to spend so much time with my family and future-family was just icing on the cake. Kyle and his parents flew in on Saturday, and we all had such fun trying to show the in-laws a good time. Eating out was part of every day's itinerary, and I can't think of a thing I would have changed about the week.

Stuart and Linda (yes, I have finally resigned myself to calling them Stuart and Linda [but not to their faces quite yet]) flew back across the border Wednesday; as one of my birthday bonuses, Kyle's boss (his dad) let him skip the rest of the work week to stay in the U.S.A and help with wedding stuff. I finally had to send him back this morning, which was wretched, as always, but I take consolation in the less-than-two-weeks until I get to see him again.

And after October 13th, we will be together...well...forever. I wonder if Kyle knows quite what he's in for? Probably not--Poor Kyle.

Oh p.s.: Thanks, thanks, thanks to the 23 people who posted on my blog, to make for a very happy birthday! 23!! An "Archives of Our Lives" all-time record. Splendid.


Monday, September 24, 2007


Kyle and his parents are in town. It's like all wedding-planning trauma has come to a complete halt while we try to show them how amazing Arizona is (not difficult, with the beautiful weather we've been having since it's not wretched August anymore). I don't know why I'm trying not to act stressed while they're here--they read my blog and hear about Poor Kyle's phone calls, so they know it's Bride-o-Mania (emphasis on the manic portion of the word mania) 80% of the time.

But despite that, they are here, and when one acts like one is not stressed, it really is easier to stay calm about things. Which is why Kyle should stay for the next 24 days, in my opinion.

The reason the clan Fairbanks has journeyed o'er hill, crag, and border patrol is to be with me Tuesday as I go through the temple. I know there are people who read my blog who don't know much about the LDS church, so I will give a brief overview: This is big.

And for a more in-depth overview: When I go through the temple for the first time, I will be making promises (covenants) with my Heavenly Father (the same God of the Christian/Catholic/Lutheran/Baptist, etc. religions) that will make me a better person and help me get to the highest part of Heaven, where He is. After I go through to make my own covenants, I will be able to go back as much as I want, in order to act for people who have passed away so that they can make the same promises. (No, this doesn't take away their freedom to choose--we believe that when people pass away, their spirits are still very much alive. But if adults pass away before they get a chance to hear about the church and decide if they want to be baptized, we don't think that should condemn them to Hell...That's why I can go to the temple in behalf of people who are dead--so they have the option to choose, even though they aren't here on Earth to go through the physical process.) Anyway, there is a lot more to it than that, but this is a blog, and to keep it brief, I will redirect you to this website, should you choose to learn more. (As a side note, there are lots of really lousy websites about the Mormon church. Most of them are full of beans. The only one I trust to give the whole truth, and the most details {for the internet} is this website, run and approved by the people in charge of that sort of thing.)

So Kyle is here. And his parents.

And something to note is that my birthday is Tuesday, the same day I go through the temple. I'm turning 21. Since I don't drink, I am going to ask for the second-most thrilling birthday present imaginable, after getting drunk: Comments. Lame? For sure. True? Undoubtedly...

A brief glance into the archives of my blog show that the highest volume of comments I ever had was the day I opened up our engagement photos for deliberation. (I didn't need to check the archives, though. I already knew 15 was my max. It was also the best day of my life, to that point.) I can't think of much I would like more than to sign onto my blog on Tuesday and see a comment link with more than 15 comments. If you've been reading my blog for a while and simply never introduced yourself, come out of the woodwork! I just want to know who you are. If you comment every day, like Adell, stick to the status quo! I like comments. Keep in mind, this is a really great way to acknowledge my birth and to do it for less than something you could buy at The Dollar Tree--just leave a comment.

To keep with the thrill of it all, I am not going to check the progress of my birthday petition. I'll just bite my nails from now until the afternoon of the 25th, and then sign on. (I won't even cheat and check my emails, since I get notified every time someone comments.) Hopefully it's a good turnout.

Now I'm signing off--feeling very much like a beggar--to get some sleep before Kyle and I wake up tomorrow to get our marriage license. The next time I blog, I will be 21. (I'm not that excited about being 21, by the way. The bridge between, say, seven and eight, was much more exciting than 20-21. I've pretty much felt 21 since last year.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

{le francais}

Septembre {sept*ahmbreh}: The French word for that pivotal time of year when everything bad becomes good, and everything already good becomes magnified one hundred times through a rose-colored lens.

Sometimes I think people don't believe me when I say I speak French. Well here's proof (albeit at the three year-old level).



In the comment section of my previous post, I was shamefully and wrongfully accused of waxing too poetic lately. So for this post, to counteract the Emily Dickinson in me, I am merely going to show some images of the pomanders I made for my flower girls, and the Bouquet of Mostly Berries I made with my leftover supplies and surplus motivation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Ending of an Era...

I feel so discontented when life changes on me and I'm not prepared.

Today, the Banner Mesa Medical Center (formerly known as the Mesa Lutheran Hospital) closed. I was born there. My sister was born there. Most of my extended family was born there. It was in that hospital that I have participated in countless--countless--waiting-room vigils for loved ones. {Evidently convening in waiting rooms while a family member has a baby or undergoes surgery is not a common occurrence. In the Leavitt Family, it's a given. If someone is at the hospital, we are all there--not necessarily in the hospital room, but definitely in the waiting area. Steve's Krazy Sub is always involved in these wakes, and they are times that the family comes together...for strength, for socialization (if the situation is not life-or-death), or sometimes just to annoy the people at the nurse's station. I was 19 years old by the time I realised that not every family does this.} I've held the hand of many sick family members at "my hospital;" spent numberless nights on ridiculously hard and endlessly squeaky cots.

Here's the "old" sign on the Brown Road Curve. It looks awfully bare. Forlorn, even.

The management had been planning on closing the hospital for a long time, but I don't think any amount of time could prepare me for the sense of loss I feel now, at it's closure. I didn't even get to go to the 9th floor one last time. And it was not a big deal to them! I feel cheated. I feel like the hospital has been abandoned, used for its purposes and now left lonely since it 's grown too old to be considered "cost-efficient." [Vile phrase, that.]

Poor Kyle--if I feel this downtrodden from a 44 year-old building closing its doors, how will I be when I move out of the country I've called home for 20 of my 21 years? Poor, poor Kyle...

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

National Like-It-Link-It Day

A stanza in Snow Patrol's song "Chasing Cars" is nice. {Actually, all of the stanzas are nice, but this one in particular is relevant to my post today.}

"Those three words are said too much. They're not enough."

A lot of people these days are saying that the word "love" is overused. I agree. Yet up until this point, I have done nothing to stop the massacring of the English language. "I love you," I tell people, but at the same time I also say things like, "I love this chair. I love what you've done with the place. I love scrapbooking. I love flossing." Is that to say that I have the same feeling in my heart for, say, the man I am going to be with for eternity, as I have for dental floss? "Chasing Cars" couldn't have been more correct. Those three words aren't enough.

But this post is not about how to tell your lover that you more-than-love him or her. Rather, it's about using milder words--like, for example--to express those milder sentiments.

Welcome to national Like-It-Link-It* Day.

There's a whole lot of like in the world, and most of it is coming from my heart this week. My dear friend, Melenie, once wrote a post on her blog wherein she linked to mine three times! In one post! I felt the "like" vibe emanating from Mel that day, and ever since then, I have been wanting to write a Like-It-Link-It* post.

Things I Like Enough to Link:

-Favourite TV Drama: Grey's Anatomy.

-Favourite Real-Life Drama: Melenie's Blog (Between Mel and her husband, they have, like, 9 parents. It's quite fascinating.)

-Favourite TV Station: This company has worked wonders with marketing, music selections, and the overall appeal of their station. I only watch shows online, though, afther they've aired, which I can do with limited (30 second) commercials from their sponsors. I like it.

-Favourite Mouth-Watering Blog: Cupcake Frenzy {though it hasn't been updated in quite some time.}

-Most Inspiring-to-be-Crafty Blog: Heather Bailey. My favourite post of hers is the one about straws. Read it here. I wonder if Kyle could learn to take photos like that for my blog?

-Blog that somehow always makes me feel bad about myself because she and her kids are so cool: Kayleen

-Person who probably doesn't read my blog but who I wish would: Loralee

-Favourite store for gadgets: Brookstone! I just bought this clock yesterday (at half-price) and my life has improved since its purchase.

Well that was delightful. I like this new blogiday of mine. I think I will do this once a month. Maybe more, maybe less. I can't really say what day is officially Like-It-Link-It day, because I might not like as many things in any given month. We'll just have to see.

*Like-It-Link-It is a registered phrase of I thought of it all by myself. If you want to have a Like-It-Link-It day, go for it, but you ought to link to my blog in the process--it seems only fair.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

...Where Fashion Has the Right-of-Way...

Remember where I work? I'd almost forgotten--it's the Fashion Mall. For Fashion People. I pulled into the Brown Parking Garage at work today, (the fact that it's called the Brown Garage means nothing. There's also a Green Garage that is actually painted tan. One of the many things that makes no sense about Scottsdale...) and had to slam on Tamra Camry's poor little anti-lock brakes in an attempt to save both her life and my own. Had I not, we would have surely perished at the hands of a harried Porsche driver. (Why, I ask, would anyone be harried if they were driving a Porsche? If I could afford to drive a Porsche, it would only be after I could afford to pay the maid, butler, gardener, and daily hairstylist. I would not have a care in the world. I would pay someone to be harried for me. But that's just me...) Do keep in mind that it was clearly my turn to go--or at least it would have been, in a sane city like Mesa. Evidently I'd forgotten that traffic laws change once a person crosses over the border between Scottsdale and The-Rest-of-the-World.

In Scottsdale, fashion has the right-of-way.

Later in the food court, as I stood in the chaotic line to order a Diet Pepsi at Paradise Bakery, I was rudely cut off by a lady toting a chihuahua in a Louis Vuitton puppy-dog carrier. (I am not telling a joke. I thought people like that only existed on Entertainment Hollywood, but I was quite wrong.) I was cut off at the hands of Fashion. This time, though, I shouldered my way before her in all my frump-girl glory. A shocked expression washed over her liposuctioned 22 year-old face (oh, hadn't you heard? Aging happens sooner in Scottsdale, too!) and she was utterly speechless. I walked away carrying my medium Diet Pepsi triumphantly, like a trophy for all the name-brands to see. I wanted to shout, "And I even got the 10% mall employee discount! It's not much, but it covers the tax!"

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


{The following conversation took place earlier tonight on my way home from seeing "Nancy Drew" at the $2.00 theatre with my grandma.}

Me: Well thanks, Grandma. I had a really good time!
Grandma: Oh, thank you for coming. That was fun. I haven't seen a movie in a theatre since "Sound of Music" [I think she was serious about this, but I am not sure...]
Me: Really?
Grandma: Yes--would you like to go to Dairy Queen?
Me: (Thinking, "I need to lose weight for my wedding pictures. Of course I can't go to Dairy Queen. Then again, when was the last time Grandma and I went through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen? Not since I was in 6th grade at Lincoln Elementary School--it was always a good day when Grandma had to pick us up from school, because she liked to stop at the Dairy Queen. That was before I knew what calories were... I'm getting married in 40 days. How many more chances will I have to do this with Grandma? Pretty soon, I will only be a visitor at her house, instead of a regular occurrence. Of course we should go to Dairy Queen.") Sure, Grandma!
Grandma: (By now we'd already pulled into the drive-thru line.) Make sure to get the Seniors' Discount--it's not much--only 10%--but it pays for the tax!

But of course.

Ahh, the golden olden days...

I'm only ashamed it took me so long to decide on driving through that old familiar drive-thru...I think my priorities have gotten a little skewed lately. Glad we got them straightened.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Poor Kyle

*Preface* Back when I was driving for Jason's Deli, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio in my car (since I am too cheap to buy a transmitter for my iPod). Every time "Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani would play on the radio, I noticed my mood would instantly improve. Such a great melody, such awesome background singers...a catchy tune all in all.

*Face* So a few days ago I was driving, running some wedding errands and trying for all the world to keep my head from exploding. [I think it was about the time I got stood up for my wedding dress fitting.] Kyle was met with the unfortunate fate of calling me at just that moment. The ensuing conversation about something very minor, like Diet Dr. Pepper, nevertheless resulted in me snapping, "Why are you marrying me? Do you even love me?!" Yeah. Bad. I know.

And Kyle is such a diligent guy, too. He doesn't deserve that. Just tonight, he stayed awake scanning almost a hundred photographs of himself to burn onto a CD so we can make a wedding slideshow, but the real reason he did it was because he does, in fact, love me. (Well, that, and because he wanted me to stop nagging him.)

Anyway, even before I hung up the phone during my tirade, I felt guilty for taking out my already-petty frustrations on my innocent fiancee. A while later, "Sweet Escape" came on the radio, and I took the time to listen to the words instead of just the easygoing tune. Keep in mind that not all the lyrics apply to our relationship, [i.e. "Times getting a little crazy, I'm waiting for you to come save me." I would never do that], but a lot of the words deserve some recognition. Here are a few of the lines that match Kyle and me almost exactly {tweaked by me to perfection [and for slightly better grammar]}:

"If I could {elope},
I would, but first of all let me say
I must apologize for acting, stinking, treating you this way
Cause I've been acting like sour milk fell on the floor
It's your fault you didn't shut the refrigerator
Maybe that's the reason I've been acting so cold

If I could {elope}
And re-create a place of our own world
And I could be your favorite {and only} girl
For {time and all eternity}, perfectly together
Tell me boy, now wouldn't that be sweet?

If I could be sweet {highly unlikely, but still...}
I know I've been a real {snappy} girl
I didn't mean for you to get {in the way of my grouchiness}
Forever, we can make it better
Tell me boy, Now wouldn't that be sweet?
Sweet escape..

You {came around}
At my lowest boiling point
Come {to Arizona and} help me out {of this pre-wedding nightmare}
I need to get {myself} out of this joint
Come on, let's bounce {? I don't know what that means but I think I should have changed it...}
Counting on you to turn me around
Instead of clowning around let's look for some common ground...

Etc. etc. etc. (Real lyrics may be found at

*Postface* Anyway, so there's a shout-out to my Dear One. Hope this is not too embarrassing for him, but at the same time, I kind of don't...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Scapegoats and Sundry Monsters

What do you do when bad things happen for no apparent reason?

I'll tell you what I do. I try to place blame. I know it's awful and lousy of me, and there is no good excuse for such irresponsible behaviour. I do it, though, because it makes me feel more at-ease to know that someone, somewhere made a mistake. Someone dropped the ball. Not I, of course, but...someone. I would be an horrible politician because I would probably always try to blame other people for my own errors.

In my defense, I would like to think I am a good person. I try so very hard not to be Bridezilla. But my wedding suppliers have repeatedly let me down this week, and it is taking its toll on my nice-lady facade. The first time my seamstress (who is making my wedding dress from scratch, without a pattern or anything) stood me up for a fitting, I was very sweet and understanding. "She's probably been really busy," I thought innocently. The second time, I was a bit more nervous, but never said anything bitter or caustic. If it happens tomorrow and I go down to the wedding dress shop with no wedding dress to greet me, I am quite sure I will morph into a to-be-wed monster of unimaginable proportions. And I can't even begin to guess what will happen to me if there is a dress but it's ugly.

I don't think I would be so testy lately, if not for the fact that the printers goofed up on my 800 (yes, eight hundred) announcements in between my two no-show appointments with(out) my seamstress. Again, because I am a lover, not an hater, I have been very cooperative about the entire issue. But I am not happy. Not in the least. And I have a wedding budget to work with here. If justice is not mine--and in a timely manner--then this nice wholesome lady...

Could very easily become something more monstrous, like this crazed person:

43 more days. Heaven help us all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's an Appliance!

The Strate Family
is thrilled to announce
the arrival of their newest family member...

The dishwasher arrived Tuesday September 4 at 1:00 p.m.
Height: About 4'
Weight: The Installation man estimated about 150 lbs.
Girth: ...6...Girth Units...

The Dishwasher is adapting to its new home nicely,
spending most of the day quietly lapping water.
Please send regards and congratulations to
the family via this blog.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

If Found, Please Return to:

Well it's happened. I have spent my whole life trying to avoid this, but it's come and gone and it's far too late to do anything about it. I've turned into a crazy person.

How did I let it come to this? How did I get to the point where my head feels like it's going to explode [and this on a daily basis, not just once a month like some women]. I actually have been daydreaming about what it would be like to have my head explode. I don't think it would be gruesome, like one might suppose. If my head exploded, I'm pretty sure the entire room would fill with tangible chaos, in the form of miniature cuckoo-clock birds. They'd all still be attached to my brain stem by varying lengths of springs, so that they could bounce around and try to free themselves of the House of Horrors that is my head, but would invariably fly right back to the root of their confines. In their quest for freedom (and a newer, sounder mind to occupy), there's no doubt that these frenzied creatures would ricochet off of every solid surface, like some sort of eternal flying wind-up cars. And of course there would be wacky coloured spirals and sound effects, rivaled in bizarreness only by Roger Rabbit's "boings!" and "bongs!" in ToonTown, USA.

All this because I am trying to plan a wedding. If I hadn't already lost my mind, it would have told me long ago to do the smart thing, and elope.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

{Sing Praises} And not a moment too soon. The month we have all been waiting for. The month to begin all the goodness that will come throughout the year. September is here, in all its nearly-autumn glory.

According to Wikipedia, September is the best month of the year. Here's why:

1. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month.
2. September is such a peaceful, hopeful month that it brought about the end of WWII.
3. All around the world, countries honour their geriatrics in September. Japan has "Respect for the Aged Day," and the less-pretentious North American countries acknowledge "National Grandparents' Day."
4. September marks the United States' Hispanic Heritage Month. [I totally support this, for the record.]
5. The Netherlander Government presents its national budget to Her Majesty the Netherlands's Queen this month.

All very good things indeed.

And in case you were wondering, Kyle and I did decide on a photo:

With a few slight modifications (i.e. cropping out the arm of the sofa and darkening the background a bit), this was our favourite, along with eight other pollsters (who, I have a feeling, were probably all Kyle. He is notorious for rigging the votes).

"Mark my words," Adell said portentously when she heard the news, "you will regret this choice for the rest of your life."

Maybe. But probably not. [Although, I did tell Adell she would regret dying her hair blond for her engagement photos and wedding day, and sure enough, three years later, she feels a great deal of hair-do remorse. I might do the same.]

But I meant it when I wrote, "probably not." Let it be known that I am aware my hair is funky on my back in photo 3. We already tried to PhotoShop it, to no success. Oh, well. And I am aware (tremendously) that this photo is tres informal and taken on a couch, but you know what? I love that couch. And Kyle looks happy in photo 3, and me--well, I'm just trying to get through the next 50 days without metamorphosing into Bridezilla. Give me some credit.