Sunday, January 31, 2010

The dating days

Oscar and I both loved playing racquetball while we were dating. We'd play for awhile, kiss for awhile, and play some more.

Oscar and I made our name's well known in the 7th ward. Neither of us had a car, so most of our activities were at Church. Here's one of us at the Iron Chef 7th ward competition.

We also loved going out to eat whenever we could afford it. Often my family joined us and took care of the payment. Here's a picture of us at Su Casa with my parents.

Here's a picture at Amber

And here are some of Christmas Eve at Market Street Grill with Mike and Shannon.

And one at Olive Garden.

We also went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my family.

Oscar was living with 5 other guys in the basement of someone's house. They had no sort of living room, and, since we didn't have a car, we spent a lot of time hanging out at the house I lived in with Rebecca. This is her playing her Euphonium.

Oscar would take a whole bunch of random pictures of me.

It turned out that I was in opera workshop with Shane Haag, a guy who served in Oscar's mission.

And here are some pictures of me before and after our Shakespeare opera/musical theatre scenes performance. I sang "I Hate Men" from kiss me Kate. How perfect for a girl who was deliriously in love. ;)

Meeting Oscar and falling in love!

On the 2nd week of Fall semester of 2004, I went to church at the 7th ward. Oscar had just moved into the ward and, first priorities first, starting checking out the girls. He noticed me walk in and was trying to figure out a way to talk to me. This happened to be a Fast Sunday, and I went up to the pulpit and bore my testimony. This gave Oscar the perfect excuse to come up and meet me. So he came up to me, introduced himself, and asked me to show him around the ward and take him to Sunday school.

It didn't take long in Sunday school for me to realize that this guy was very interested in me, and I was definitely interested in him. I first noticed his cute face, but mostly, I noticed his muscular arms. I couldn't stop checking him out, and he couldn't stop checking me out. We later learned from my home teacher who was a personal trainer, nutritionist, and all around physical health expert; that, as far as genetics is concerned, Oscar has the ideal male body. It is, of course, subject to how you well you take care of yourself physically, but he told Oscar, "if you get into great shape to the point that you have a 6 pack, you'd make Stacy a very happy woman."

While we were in Sunday school, someone started passing around a sign-up sheet for Book of Mormon study groups. I wrote my name down, and after the meeting, Oscar told me "I took the liberty of memorizing your phone number and I'm going to call you tonight." My friends think that sounds like a stalker, but we were already hitting it off so well, that I turned to him and said "you should."

That night we went to Ward Prayer where the hostesses were serving Root Beer Floats. After the group prayer, I ran into the kitchen to get some root beer floats for him and for me. He didn't see where I'd gone, looked for me, but gave up and started talking to someone else. I found him and gave him his float, and it all got better from there. That night he walked me back to my house, we started talking while we sat outside on my friend Rebecca's futon, a few hours later we were kissing, and Oscar didn't go home until after 3:00am. Yes we hooked up quickly, but we did talk for a good 4 hours straight before he kissed me. A lot of people have to date for several months just to get to know each other as well as we did that night.
Since that day, September 4th is known as Root Beer float day among us. We celebrate it by drinking root beer floats and inviting all who know and love us to do the same.

and our relationship just blossomed from there.

Chicken Oscar funny story

While I was working at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, we had a dish that I absolutely hated - Chicken Oscar. It was Chicken topped with hollandaise sauce, asparagus, and crab. Yuck! Considering I hate hollandaise sauce and crab, it was never fun for me to serve. The smell alone was overwhelmingly awful.
Usually at JSMB the cooks would make about 10% extra meals. It makes it easier to make extra ahead of time just in case extra people arrive, and if they don't, those extra meals would go to the servers. After serving the guests, one of my coworkers said "Yum, Chicken Oscar!" and I replied "Yuck, I hate Oscar." So he said "Aw, poor Oscar, what did he ever do to deserve your hate?" And I laughed and said "Fortunately I don't know anyone personally named Oscar."
The next day I met my future husband - Oscar! It's experiences like this that convince me that God definitely has a sense of humor.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seattle, Street scene, and one crazy day in Padova

After getting back from Italy, I went up to Redmond, WA to stay with my sister. She'd just had a baby 11 weeks earlier and I was delighted to meet my niece Hana. I enjoyed my time in Washington a lot, and that month long visit was so enjoyable that I wanted to move up to the Seattle area as soon as possible.

When I got back into school I got the chance to be in Kurt Weill's "Street Scene," the University of Utah's 2005 opera. I played Charlie, a 10 year old boy.

That summer I went back to Italy, this time visiting Nova Feltria to participate in an opera program "La Musica Lirica." I also was able to return to Brescia and put on a recital for the ward members.
My best memory of this time, though, was my crazy adventures in Padova. Padova (Padua) was in the Milan mission, but I had never served there. Kathryn, director of La Musica Lirica, had told me to meet her and another participant, Sarah, in Padova at 7:00pm and that she would take us to Nova Feltria from there. I first went to Genova, Torino, and Como to visit my former companions and friends. After taking a train across the country to Padova, I waited for Kathryn, but neither she nor Sarah showed. I needed Kathryn's phone number in Italy, and I hadn't been able to check my email in several days, so I called the Padova missionaries to ask if they could take me somewhere that I could get on the internet. One of them knew me from the mission and actually took me to a church member's home with them since they had an appointment. She was very nice to me, but she couldn't get her internet working and sent me home with her visiting teacher telling me I must return for dinner that night. I went to the other lady's house, got online, found Kathryn's phone number, and also found out that the other girl, Sarah, would actually be arriving in 10 minutes. I had to get back to meet her at the train station, but it would have been impossible to get there that quickly by car since the streets were so narrow. Instead, their son offered me a ride on his motorcycle. I'd never been on one and I was scared out of my wits, but we made it back in time to get Sarah. I met her, we called Kathryn, but we got no answer still. We decided to split a cab together, and I called the nice lady back to tell her I wouldn't be able to come for dinner. She insisted, telling me I could bring Sarah along too, and we ended up having a nice dinner with the missionaries and an Italian family. And just when we went back to the train station to grab a cab, Kathryn finally arrived 3 hours after she'd originally told us she'd be there.

Oscar at CEU

Here are some pictures of my goofy husband, his brothers, and his Uncle Tim (who's actually my age).

Oscar's always been really into hiking, camping, and exploring.

Oscar returned from his mission about 4 months before I did, and started his sophomore year at the College of Eastern Utah. He had a 2 year full tuition scholarship there, and was honored as the Most Outstanding Organic Chemistry Student and Most Outstanding Inorganic Chemistry student of 2005. Due largely to his interest in chemistry, Oscar's always loved cooking. He's especially good with bread and he loves to make pizza.

Oscar ran for Mr. CEU and painted himself blue.

This was Oscar's Swimsuit competition.

This was Oscar's talent competition. He does an excellent Kermit impression.

Although Oscar didn't win, he did receive the award for Mr. Congeniality.

One day the school was going to throw away a whole bunch of racey novels. So some of the students, Oscar included, decided to put them all together to make an enormous set of racey novels dominoes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Romantic Rome

Our last stop on our tour of Italy was Rome.

On our first day we went to see St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican city. However, it was insanely crowded and it wasn't even tourist season. I'd hate to see the crowds in the summer. We stood in line for about an hour and through the museum we had to constantly move ahead with the crowd. It was beautiful, glorious, stupendous and a shame that mom and I were both ill!!! This is a picture looking towards St. Peters

And here's one as if you were at the top of St. Peter's looking down

And here are a whole bunch of amazing views of what it looks like inside the Vatican.

This is the view of Rome from inside the Vatican

And this is the ceiling of the Vatican, including the well known ceiling of the Sistene Chapel painted by Michaelangelo.

This is a small statue inside the Vatican that I really liked. It's a statue of Mary holding the body of the crucified Jesus.

My first companion, Maria-Rosa Silva, actually met up with us on our final day, and she gave us an excellent tour. It was so great to see her again and we kept chatting in Italian for hours. Rome was incredible even if it did pour all day.

She told us the story about Rome's origin. Here's a statue that represents the two brother's being raised by a wolf mother. Here's what wikipedia says about it: Romulus and Remus appear in Roman mythology as the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. Rhea's uncle Amulius was enraged at Rhea's pregnancy, and ordered that Rhea and the twins be thrown into the River Tiber. The servant ordered to kill the twins could not, because they were too beautiful and innocent. The servant placed the two in a basket and laid the basket on the banks of the Tiber and went away. Romulus and Remus were kept safe by the river deity Tiberinus. He protected them and then brought the infant twins up onto the Palatine Hill. There they were nursed by a wolf.

We also got to see the Colosseum, but we didn't go inside to look around. The Colosseum is capable of seating 50,000 spectators and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology (wikipedia).

You can see the Colloseum in the back of this picture. It's just amazing how many incredible structures are crammed into this historical city.

Maria-Rosa also took us to see ancient Roman ruins

I think it's bizarre to be able to see ancient Roman ruins in this picture, and also a modern apartment building just behind them.

Unfortunately it rained pretty much the entire time we were there. The day we left and boarded the plane, it was sunny and beautiful. But Rome's still pretty incredible, even in the rain.

Maria Rosa later took us to the building where Mussolini would make speeches and present medals to people. It's called the Tomb of the unknown soldier.

Our last stop was at the Fontana di Trevi (Fountain). Maria Rosa told me that if you turn backwards and throw a coin into the fountain with the wish that you will return to Rome, you will. So I did. Unfortunately I have not been back yet, but I'd love to go with my husband someday.

And in case you haven't seen enough beautiful pictures of Rome, here are some more