Sisters Keeping Love Alive

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Love at first sight

When I first saw my husband, I knew there was something special about him. I knew I wanted to get to know him, I knew I wanted to see more of him, I knew those little flutters in my tummy were not from something I had eaten earlier. It was love at first sight.

I didn't know then that it was love. But I soon learned that it was.

First meetings are important. Every one. We learn something about who we're meeting and we learn about what we think and feel for them. This is no matter who we are meeting, but particularly in the 'dating prime of life' when we meet a member of the opposite sex.

What makes this funny is that my husband remembers a completely different first meeting than I do. He remembers being accosted by a crazy choir director inviting people to come to choir. He remembers thinking I was forward, confident and maybe just a little kooky. Perhaps not the best first impression, but at least he remembers it. I, on the other hand, have no recollection of this encounter. I was probably just doing the rounds of the room inviting everyone I saw.

My first memory is seeing him from across the room and instantly wanting to know him. I remember saying to my sister Anna, 'I'm going to go meet that guy'. I walked up, sparked up a conversation, and ended the conversation by putting my number in his phone under the title 'Katrina is hot'. Yeah, I was awesome. I wanted him to remember me.

I remember all the feelings, all the flutterings, all the thoughts. This was our beginning. The point the sparked a year of friendship, a year of dating, and a marriage for eternity.

Never ignore those flutterings. They're there remind you to go for what is in the end, yours. True love.

Just for fun

Just thought I'd share this super cute picture of Kristen, Katrina and Natalie. Playing dress ups in our teens. Who wouldn't want to hang out with us?

Friday, 26 April 2013

I bet you all wish you had sisters like mine!

I have been thinking a lot about what to write today and all that I keep coming back to is how much I love my sisters. They are five of the strongest, boldest, most courageous and inspiring women that I know. I have learned so much from each of them and here are just a few of the things that I have learned:

Lenora:  Life is so much better when you find humor in every situation and remember it so you can tell others later and enjoy it again! And if you are on a date and the guy is boring, poke the waiter in the bum with a chop stick!

Katrina: Take care of your family first and somehow you find time in life to finish everything and be there for people when they really need it.

Rachel: You really can be good at everything and by just being confident with who you are, you unconsciously lift the people around you. I am so glad that my brother chose to be around you permanently!

Anna: Be the author of your own life story! Life is what you make it and when you shine, you really shine.
Kristen: She is a living example of blooming where you are planted. Go where life takes you and love it!

There are so many other lessons that they have taught me and I am really glad that they have been in my life. They are all such strengths within their families, as I am sure that you have read but ultimately they love and strive to always be able to show their love to the people around them better! They are people that want their families, and particularly their husband’s lives to rock!

I have recently started a new relationship which I am really excited about. I used to have the tendency to get nervous in relationships but I think seeing them, how they come up with cute date ideas, how they keep going and look for the good even when times are tough and even seeing my little sister get married, made this time seem so much less daunting. They are pretty much the greatest people that I know!

I am sorry they aren't your sisters too but I am glad I get to share them with you through this blog!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

To Frisk or Not to Frisk, That is the Question

Why is it that the ones you don't want to ask you out wont stop asking, and the ones you do, just never seem to? Take this for example...

Every time I travel, no matter where I go, I get bag searched, or explosives tested, or body scanned, or sniffed at by dogs. Apparently to security officials I appear to be the type of person who conceals illicit drugs in unfortunate places. Not only do I get stopped and searched, I am generally examined by the hairiest, sweatiest of the security team, who I feel like leaving with a fresh box of tic-tacs and my blessing.

So, last Friday I arrived in the Sydney airport after travelling home from America. To my surprise, at the security checkpoint there were a number of particularly attractive security officials. Yay! I thought, all of my experience and training in being repeatedly bomb, sniff and drug tested has lead to this moment, where I will be able to handle this ina calm, cool and detached manner, thus appearing almost graceful as the entire contents of my bag is emptied for all to see.

With the poise of a Miss Universe contestant, I confidently glided through the body scanner at peace with the forthcoming frisk. I smiled at the waiting security officers. The one nearest me unfolded his arms and slowly approached. Sure, I thought, I'll stop for you. He paused, nodded, waited for me to... pass by... then proceeded to stop the person behind me.

Wouldnt you know it!

If you've had bad luck like this, let us know!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Diary Entry #2

So the other night my husband and I planned a nice romantic evening. We hired a babysitter and ordered Thai food. With blanket in hand we headed for the beach. 

 With the stars twinkling above and the melodic sounds of the waves gently crashing we picked a secluded part of the beach.  Stretched out on the sand we chatted and ate dinner together. It was a really lovely evening. It was so nice to take some time to just be together and enjoy each other’s company. As the evening air cooled down we snuggled in enjoying the romance of the evening. 

At that moment a bright light suddenly broke the ambiance of the evening and about 2 meters away we could now see a lone man hiding in the shadows with his mobile phone pointed our direction… I’m assuming he must have received a text or call? 

Now perhaps this is all a misunderstanding and he also enjoyed spending time in that particular spot, but I fear we may have ended up the stars of some sort of post on Youtube. While generally I do enjoy the spotlight, this is not the type of debut I had in mind. So my advice to all the budding romantics out there…maybe do a quick 360 with a torch of your own!!

Friday, 19 April 2013

My Happily Ever After

I got hitched!

Last saturday I was married to the sweetest, kindest, most loving man, Mr Jacob Hill.
There are alot of things I love about the way Jacob courted me that I would like to share but I thought I would start by telling our story today.  I love it!

It all started back in Brisbane when I decided I wanted to go on exchange with university. I was applying to go to University of California and was really hoping that would work out. When I applied I had to put down 3 preferences and even though I was sure I would get into California I decided to put down University of Calgary (as my sister, Natalie, had recently been on a world tour and stopped there) and Toronto, I think, although I couldn't remember the order I had placed them.

Turns out, my university wasn't taking applications to California that semester, and I got into University of Calgary and everything started to work out for me to go. I was very afraid to go and also afraid of freezing my butt off but soon after, discovered Lake Louise and that inspired me to get there!
I felt very good about going on exchange and when I flew in to Vancouver I felt very strongly that I needed to get to church in Calgary. I booked a cheap flight that night but when I got to the house I was staying at they told me that everyone had already been to Lake Louise as it was the end of summer. I was shattered. I really wanted to get there before the university semester started and it got too snowy!
The next day at church I met Jacob and a few other people and was just happy to be meeting everyone. After the first part of church Jacob came to set next to me and began to commence small talk. In my head I was thinking, "so these are the American guys I imagined" who are forward and flirty. Then after a few seconds I felt very strongly that Jacob was going to ask me to Banff/Lake Louise the next day (to me they were both the same).
So after class I waited, but no invitation. After church finished I waited and no invitation came. I thought that was odd but I didnt think too much of it. But that night, I received my first canadian phone call as Jacob knew where I was staying, and I also received my invitation to Banff for the next day. Jacob started off with some smooth talk and I was shocked that I already knew he would ask me. I didn't tell him that for a while, so as to not freak him out!!
So anyway, the next day we had our first date in Banff and hiking around Lake Louise. Then we spent every night that week together. We have had to do a bit of long distance as I have discusssed, but we have also had alot of cool experiences together that have brought us closer. One example, was Jacob having the opportunity to work in Australia for 6 months.
Anyway I basically knew I liked him from the start and from the way he treated me. There have been bumps in the road but we are learning to trust each other and trust the Lord and His counsel.
I am grateful I met Jacob and for the experienes we have had, I am so grateful I can now call him my husband. We were married in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I'm already learning that marriage is hard, but also rewarding and am grateful to know that I get to say how our relationship is and that together we can create happiness and love everyday! Til next time. K xoxo

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Getting through the dull patches

Every relationship has them. Spots where the grass isn’t growing as lush as it should, waterfalls where the wall has ceased flowing, dull patches where the fire is more comfortable warmth than a burning fire. I’m not suggesting these relationships are bad or in a downward spiral, with fighting, depression or difficulties. I’m just talking about times when things are a little ‘flat’.

So I have a few suggestions of little things I’ve done to ensure dull patches last a day, not a lifetime.

1.       Be excited. When you see your man at the end of a day, be excited. Go to him, hug him, kiss him. Gross your kids out with affection. He will love it.

 2.       Dress up. As sexy as you look in track pants with your hair matted up into a bun, it is really fun and surprising occasionally dress up for dinner (or any other day's event). If you’re married, put flowers on the table. I’m not talking massive effort. Just a little vase, flowers, and drink your water out of wine glasses instead of plastic baby cups. If you’re not, dress up for your date to McDonalds and make it fun.
3.       Laugh. Watch a comedy together. Tease each other. Play a board game. Do an exercise video together (I must tell you, this was a crack up. Especially yoga/pilates. Try it!)

4.       Hold hands. I’m such a holding hands advocate. A fun idea is to hold hands together and not let go while you cook dinner. So you’ll have to share the jobs together. He’ll have to hold the carrot while you cut it, you’ll have to hold the pot while he stirs etc. It’s bound to be fun! We actually progressed from holding to hands to putting a hand in each other’s back pocket. Butt grab. Woo!
5.       Say I love you. All the time. In fun ways. Flirty text messages are always fun. Just do it!

Dull patches don’t have to stay dull for long. Maybe you’re busy and not seeing much of each other, maybe you are just bored, maybe children are getting in the way of the two of you. It’s ok. Little simple acts will really make a difference to your day.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

I am ashamed and oh so disappointed with myself *bows head in shame*.  After my husband read my previous post he quietly came and sat beside me on the couch and mentioned to me the passion and love he felt behind it, he gave me a great big hug and kiss and thanked me for my kind words. I felt slightly saddened that he didn't already know these things and know how much I was grateful for him and everything he does for our little family.

I don't know about you but I know I personally get upset when he doesn't mention how clean the house is, or how dinner was amazing or how good I look today or how he appreciates me sacrificing my career to stay at home and raise our little family.  But how can I expect him to notice and comment on those things if I'm not giving him the love, attention and most of all the appreciation he deserves!

As I have previously posted he is one of the most helpful husbands I have ever seen, he is hands on and helps with everything from the moment he walks in the door and our 2 girls lovingly run into the arms of there much loved Daddy.  I swear they love and adore him more then me! hahaha When our youngest daughter cries during the day she always cries for "Daddy"  I think its because I'm the disciplinarian so am a bit for of the 'bad guy' but I know they love me. :D  Anyway back on track please....

So it was that I challenged myself to appreciate him more, to tell him how handsome he looked every morning before he walked out the door, to make sure he got his goodbye kiss and butt squeeze, to tell him how much I appreciated him bathing the girls.  I know on a scale of husbands he is a pretty damn good one! He does a heck of a lot more then most and I am so truly grateful for his willingness to be my companion and partner in EVERYTHING.  Without making you all too jealous, he is amazeballs!  Up until about 6 months ago he did about 90% of the cooking and pretty much all of the kitchen clean up!  He is always there to tuck the girls in and make up a story for them, he is always excited to take them to the park or go for a bike ride with them, as I said he is amazeballs!

So what did I notice in my little experiment, well I noticed a number of things, we as a couple had even better communication with each other, we talked more about our day what we had done, how we felt and everything.  We cuddled more then normal, we lovingly glanced at each other more often and it was amazing, we embraced every moment we had together as a couple and as a family. Maybe it was because I was more hyper aware of everything but it was a fantastic week!!  I think I will just have to permanently attempt to declare my appreciation and gratitude more often.

I guess the whole point of this post was for me to verbalise that I shouldn't expect so much from him in regards to appreciation if I in return am not doing the same.  I think the saying is "treat others as you would like to be treated".

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Go and do! Don’t just sit and stew!

Love is one of those things that you can’t plan when it happens, but you can make sure that you are always sharing it and are open to it. It can be special, unique and your own. It’s something that you need to take moment by moment and be creating in each moment. Here are some of my thoughts on how you get what you want in this area.

I need to share a little secret with the world! I like dating! I find it so fun and so rewarding when you get to learn lessons from different experiences and just be there to learn about another person! I am only 25, and with my limited years of life experience I have come to learn a few very important lessons. I thought I would start by sharing one of the most important motto’s that I have adopted in my life: “Go and Do, Don’t just Sit and Stew.”

I have come to learn that most people have the love life that they deserve. I hope that doesn’t come across the wrong way but if you want something you need to be willing to do what it takes to make it happen and if you don’t know what it will take to make it happen, you have to take the actions to experiment and learn how to make it happen.

We as humans like to come up with plenty of excuses as to why we can’t have what we want. In relating this to the dating world, I can give you an example, perhaps you see a guy and think “oh he is cute, I should go talk to him”, but then the next things that crosses your mind is ‘oh no I couldn’t do that because...’ and then you come up with a million what ifs that scare you off. You may not even notice this as you being scared, because all your reasons are so well ingrained into yourself and your view of how we should act in society. Well imagine what your dating life would be like without the what ifs or the what would they thinks or the I’m not good enoughs? Pish Posh!
You know what, guys used to freak me out! Talking to them, being on a date with them (especially with the cute ones that I was actually attracted too) yep it was really nerve wracking for a while there. Until I realized that they are probably just as scared of me as I am of them. I got rid of my what ifs (I still have them, I just don’t listen to them, the less you listen to them, the less you start to have) because they were all made up any way and I decided that if I liked someone or wanted to do something, then I was going to do what it took to make it happen! Go and Do! Don’t just sit and stew! And you know what happens, you stop caring so much about the little things like “oh but my hairs not right today” “I think I look fat in this” “I might get embarrassed” (If you get embarrassed, it probably means you’ll have a cool story to tell your friends later!) and you find that you can actually be there for another person and see yourself and them for who they really are.

What I found is that when I am out there doing the things that come into my mind, things just work! Sometimes you get into relationships and sometimes you don’t but you are being led to what you really want! Eventually you will find it and I bet it is when you least expect it, because that is when you have enough so that you really deserve it!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Everything in Life Relates to Gilmore Girls

I have firmly believed for many years that everything in life relates to Gilmore Girls. If you have ever seen this show, if you have spent hours watching episode after episode with your sister, if you have turned on Gilmore Girls when the house is too quiet to hear the chatter of the friendly voices, if that show makes you feel at home no matter where in the world you are; then you know exactly what I mean.

This show is widely known for the way Lorelai and Rory are able to talk non-stop about anything. If you can picture these two women in a room with four others just like them, then you can get a pretty good picture of what it’s like when my sisters and I get together.  To an outsider this may seem chaotic and disorderly, perhaps resembling the hens in a hen house all clucking at once, it might seem like 6 or 7 conversations going on at once, but to us, we know exactly what everyone is talking about and we follow with perfect cohesion.

The many dramas and ups and downs that these two women go through relate well to those in my life, and my sisters’ lives.  Sometimes there are moments when we are sharing a particular experience and one of us can share a similar example from Gilmore Girls. This is especially true when talking about dating.

These are a few lessons I have learned about dating through Gilmore Girls:

-          End the conversation by saying something that dazzles him, flip your hair, then turn and walk away,

-          If you’re too available, he’s never asking you out,

-          It’s definitely ok to eat food in front of him, just don’t eat like a slob,

-          Boys like smart girls,

-          It’s good to talk about you, that’s why he asked you out

-          Avoid telling your parents who you’re dating, unless your mum is cool then tell her everything,

-          Be your best but don’t pretend that you’re perfect,

-          Never date your daughter’s teacher,

-          And, the ideal outfit is one that you have carefully selected to look like you just threw it on.

One of the most important lessons we have been learning is that like in Gilmore Girls, nothing in life goes as you planned it, and no relationship is perfect. Mistakes are part of life and its ok to make them. If you have sisters, friends or your mum around you then you have the best support network and team of cheer leaders you could possibly find.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Diary of a Glamorous House Wife

I like to think I am an educated person. I have a degree in music and education and can play six or seven musical instruments and sing to a level of skill where (most) people listening no longer cringe.  I am fairly well travelled and have visited the US, Europe, Asia and NZ, I like movies, fine dining and fashion. So with all these skills the logical choice for my full time career is… you guessed it, wife and mother! 

While some people may feel this is not an overly glamorous career, I invite you to pull up a chair, stay a while and read along as this glamour queen takes to the stage!

Having been married for nearly 10 years now prepare yourself for what’s in store! I love my husband more and more every day, so after 10ish years… that’s a lot! He is my sole mate, he completes me, it’s like we are two halves of a cookie that have been joined back together, I adore him. What I’ve learned is to appreciate the little quirky things that happen in marriage and to make the most of the time we have together, because with 3 kids that’s not a lot!

One of the things we do is each night when the kids have gone to be we have ‘our time’ where we spend any where from half an hour to two hours chatting, watching a movie or playing a game together on the couch. Being the glamorous gal I am, last weekend just for fun, I dressed in formal wear. We lit candles and we danced in the living room and made ice cream Sundays. It was a fun night!  

Another night Andrew fell asleep on the couch holding a drink bottle full of water. When he drifted off he must of let the bottle tip over and I walked in to find him legs spread on the couch with a huge growing wet patch on his crotch… (glamorously) I laughed until I cried, he’s just so dang cute.  

These are the fun things about being married! Having fun together and loving each other. Things aren’t always perfect but we are perfect for each other!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

♪♫♪ Let's start at the very beginning, that's a very good place to start ♪♫♪

My name is Rachel HuckfeIdt and I am married, its been 2,932 days since I was last....well single, for those of you struggling to work it out that's 8 years and 10 days.  Its amazing how fast time really does fly, for instance, I can remember the day and moment my eldest daughter, Cassidy, was born and now she is telling me "She's growing big" and "needs me to put her eyes on" (that's her wanting me to put make up on her! Yeah not happening Sweetheart!)

Anyway jumping ahead of myself here, lets go rrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiight back to the start, where it all began...long, long ago in a far off place.....oh wait wrong story!

Photo taken 2,932 days ago!

Its cliché but it really does feel like yesterday, that I boarded a plane to travel across the Tasman to embark on a new journey and create a new home for me in Australia. I was born and raised in a small Mormon community in New Zealand, almost like our own little slice of Utah! I had spent 2 years studying at BYU Hawaii and once I returned home I decided I needed wide open spaces, room to make big mistakes (though I never made any *cough, cough*)
The 2nd week I was in Australia I was attending the YSA ward (church) in Brisbane and while waiting outside Bishops office, to introduce myself and have an introductory interview, I was introduced to a very handsome and tall ward clerk (they help the Bishop do administration).  He nervously joked that he was Bachelor of the year, I politely giggled and that was the end of that awkward encounter.

Over the weeks I became close friends with 2 amazing young women, Katrina and Anna, they helped introduce me around and became dear friends.  While at a fireside one night I sat 3 seats down from this ‘ward clerk’ again and we exchanged glances and winks.  While congregating in the halls after there was a girl giving an ear full to a number of guys about chivalry and how guys are useless because they no longer ask girls out on dates blah blah blah, we all laughed and rolled out eyes.  

This handsome ‘ward clerk’ not being the kind of guy that doesn't take heed of ear fulls like the one just served, came over and while literally wiping the sweat off his brow asked me on a date.  I thought he was cute and his nervousness just made him cuter.

We went on our first date about a week later, we went to a sushi bar and while I scoffed down about 4 plates of sushi the ‘ward clerk’ didn't eat a thing. I talked his ear off and really enjoyed myself, while he sat quietly looking a little pale, sick with nervousness.  It wasn't until about our 2nd or 3rd date that we all finally clicked that the ‘ward clerk’ was Andrew brother to Katrina and Anna.

Andrew and I dated for 6 weeks before again he nervously asked me to marry him (He lost literally about 20kgs while we dated!!!!)  He is the most loving, kind, gentle and sweet natured person I know.  He genuinely LOVES and respects me and his daughters so very much, he makes us all feel like Queens, he is always there to lend a helping hand, to bathe, feed and clothe the girls so that I can do things I want to do or finish off a task I am doing.  Andrew sacrifices so much of his own time, his time from hobbies or study or work to make us his number one priority.  I am so very proud to call him my husband and to share the rest of my life with him, for time and all eternity.

Love you Babe xxx

My handsome ‘Ward Clerk’ and “Bachelor of the Year”

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Taking Every Little Moment

One thing that has brought so much love and sweetness to my life is this little character.
This little boy has taught my husband and I how to take advantage of the 'little moments'. As parents, you don't get too much time to just be yourselves without a child. So we decided long ago to try to be ourselves and in love, even with him tagging along.

For example, we might not get to plan and go date on our own every week. But we love taking morning and afternoon walks, holding hands - sometimes it's just the two of us holding hands with child in the pram, but other times all three of us might be all holding hands in a line. Cue 'Awwww' here. We find that the holding hands while chatting and enjoying light exercise in nature is really beautiful and special.

Another child included 'little moment' is the catching of each other's eye with a special look. I loveeee when we do this. There is NOTHING I like more than catching Josh looking at me lovingly while I look at him. Sometimes it can be because of something cute our son has done. Sometimes it can be in a moment of silence and we just share in love. And sometimes it just happens.

We also write each other a lot of love notes. Love notes really brighten your day and remind you why you love each other so much. I love finding a special note in my wallet or on the door of the fridge. Josh often finds one in his sock drawer or on his pillow if he comes home at night. One of my favourites was when Noah and I covered Josh's pillow in love heart stickers and notes but he didn't see them because he'd come home late and left the light off so as to not wake me. So when he woke up in the morning, there were love heart stickers all over his face. Nothing says love more than a face full of hearts, right?

Long distance sucks!

Can I get an amen? I love Jacob and I am so excited to marry him in less than 2 weeks! But international and long distance relationships really bite. We decided that I should stay and work in Australia instead of going back to America with him at the start of the year so we could get a bit more ca$h for our Europe trip in July. We can see that was the best decision for us but we have now been away from each other for 95 days! And yes I am counting. 4 days until I see him! This is the longest we have been apart and has been quite the challenge for a couple planning to be married soon so we had to implement quite a few things to keep our love alive and not feel too lonely leading up to our wedding!!

Here are a couple ideas for you if, you too, have been hit with a long distance bomb and are going crazy:

Communication! We used ALL forms of communication that we knew of – texting, skyping, calling, Facebook messages, Google chat, emails, and making Google docs for our upcoming plans together!  Actually, to begin with we couldn’t text and we felt so distant from each other, I hated not being able to have instant communication with him wherever I was. So this really helped us stay sane!
Spontaneity! Jacob would randomly surprise me with calls to my mobile, which was sweet and made me feel close to him even though we were millions of miles apart!

Love reminders! We would constantly remind each other how much we loved each other and talk about all the things we loved to do together, adventures we can’t wait to get up to together and tell each other everything we love about each other.  We remained close this way and got to feel especially loved this way because nothing was physical.
We used who we knew! We also had friends and family members make each other feel special on valentine’s day and other special occasions that we couldn’t be there for.
Basically we just tried to talk as much as we could and stayed up to date with each other. Sometimes I had to ask Jacob to smother me with loving words so I could feel loved by him again. But even though there are SO MANY reasons why long distance really, really, really, really sucks, I’ve realised that it can really bring a couple closer. All you’ve got is you’re words. It really gave Jacob and I a chance to fall in love every we talked and missed each other with nothing physical, only our loving communication. Even though it sucked. Everyday. I know we will look back on this time and really appreciate how our love grew as we missed each other every day and how we kept our love alive.  Keep on the look out for a few wedding pics! I can't wait!!
K xoxo (I love gossip girl)

P.S. We always talk about running up to each other and the airport and Jacob grabbing me and spinning me round. It hasn't happened yet, but I think there is a need for it this time!