Wednesday, July 9, 2014

a small bump



One month down.


One month to go.


Here's the last month or so in pictures!!

Life as an engaged woman is pretty darn stressful.


Whoever said wedding planning was easy is a big fat liar.


Its safe to say i have about 1/10 of things planned that need be.


at this point

+ half my wedding party may be nude.

+ we might serve lunchables until i can make up my dang mind on food

+ big how may be my band

(( fun fact: howard has a banjo he has offered to bring ))

but really.


every venue or vendor i call to schedule either

a. laughs in my face when i tell them my wedding is just 1 month away

b. rather awkwardly tries to tell me how foolish i am to think that they would
still be available to help me

c. * silence *......... dial tone.



every time i need to make a wedding based decision.
my natural instinct is to.

take a break.

go buy a treat.

eat a donut.

take a nap.

go get just one more burrito








so .. thanks to my food as a reward for NOTHING method.


August 9th is stressing me out. but i wouldn't trade this time for the world


unless the world came up with a donut filled burrito in a snow cone.
or some other sort of masterpiece.




oh ya that whole " shred to wed " thing is on my to do list..
tomorrow.



Aside from my soon to be food network debut
MY BEST FRIEND GOT MARRIED







Within a period of hours of her breaking the exciting news we were
online together booking tickets.





Such a last minute trip sure did have its bumps however...
kinda like when my airport ended up being 3 1/2 hours away rather than the
1hour i had initially planned for travel wise.


Which resulted with her
in the temple receiving her endowments and me and my two other travel buddies
ali and wendy stranded on the pacific coast highway.





but don't you fret. after a little sweet talking.


the sweet temple workers let us 3 girls go up and meet her in the temple to greet her in the celestial room for when she finished.


words can't describe what it was like seeing my best friend there.
that day we had spent years planning. pillow talking about and waiting for.





this bride taught me such an incredible lesson i feel at such a PERFECT time.


quote from my gram that evening
" thankful for my first friend in high school. my best friend since then.
but more importantly for a bride who knew what was most
important and followed her heart. this weekend was a testimony builder for me that
its not the wedding that matters. but the marriage itself. "



After that amazing and much needed weekend california get away
IT WAS RIGHT BACK TO WEDDING PLANNING


jkjkjk

you thought i was done talking about food.
after not seeing this cute boy for a week i surprised him and took him on an

" ALL ABOUT ALEX DATE NIGHT"


Which included his favorite activities. meals. treats etc





One being his favorite Brazilian restaurant "Rodizio".




FOCUS FOCUS



we tried registering.. it went a little something like this.

" no Alex. we do not need to register for fruit loops "

" sweetheart.. no.. no a $100 bean steamer isn't really necessary"

* meanwhile shattering and breaking fragile appliances *

* me trying to convince him an ice cream maker was a MUST *


We are lucky we made it out alive.
or more like lucky we didn't get kicked out.


It really has been quite a whirl wind. 

This weekend especially.


As i was crossing off my TO DO's for the wedding


I knew i had previously had the " lady" checkup before my mission. And i
didn't feel another was needed.


CHEEECCKKK
but not that easy

I had a small quiet voice in my heart that told me i needed to make an appointment


When i told my doctor on Friday about pains and discomfort i had been having
over the years. he was less than amused.

before completely stressing me out he suggested
i come back, but this time to the hospital to get more testing done.


I checked into the tuesday morning and after a 3 hour surgery
i woke up and while awaiting the news and very much so enjoying my anesthetic


i apparently:

+  told my mom i heard an ice cream truck and was mad she wouldn't go get me one

+  told the nurse that the hospitals diet coke tasted like $h@#

+  mistook the blood pressure wrap as Alex and was mad at him for "squeezing my arm"

+  asked my mom to accompany me at the imaginary one direction concert in salt lake that night??
anywho.



While in surgery the doctors found that i have endometriosis.
Through 3 incisions in my abdomen
they were able to remove endometrial polyps found all throughout as
well as abnormal growths.


heaven knows how i went so long without knowing.
I've been just popping them pillllllls all these years for my pain


My heart has been so calmed and touched during these last 48 hours.



Not quite the way i envisioned my last month of wedding planning but
none the less a unique and humbling experience.


a small bump in the road but definitely not a detour


Late last night i found myself upset at the amount of pain i felt,
and was caught up worrying about what the future held


I was rolled up like a sad burrito in my bed and decided to scroll through my
old blog entries from the mission field


Lets just say i got put in line REAL quick.


geez i was a feisty sister. 


God truly does give his toughest battles to his toughest soldiers.He will not sit back and watch us fail. 


So heres to a new wedding diet of saltines and water

(( so gross ))

 a wonderful fiancee whose now officially seen me at my worst

(( soooo.... so gross ))

sorry for puking on you.


and a loving heavenly father who will not leave us comfortless.


(( soo wonderful ))



oh. and a picture of me in the recovery unit where i look like E.T

because everyone needs a good laugh







Immer wenn du in die knie gehst,
stehst du stärker wieder auf.























Sunday, June 8, 2014

our story



meet alex baker.




he is a patriotic young fellow




his friends call him BAKE




recognize someone familiar?




pay attention to that cute tall boy

will gochnour.

you may recognize him at first glance as part of my High School
group of friends. 








the most wonderful group of people who have been through almost everything together.




or perhaps you recognize the cute tall boy as the one who fell in love with my little sister 

high school sweethearts since they were 15 years old.




this match made in heaven married 6 years later for time and eternity.




now back to the point of this blog post.


when i returned from Germany in October 2013 i was as awkward as a jellybean.


i remember one night sitting with will at my kitchen counter when he asked me
how i was feeling being home, and who i would consider going out on a date with.





(( having to seek dating advice from family. winning ))


he told me about this friend of his Alex Baker. 




I went to OLYMPUS High School

Alex went to East High School

we shared the same group of friends.




yet we never actually met.


Will then told me something i will never forget.


from a brother to his new sister. he told me that of all the guys i listed..
he would put one <<stamp of approval>> down and that was guy was


Bake.



I was introduced officially to Bake 5 DAYS AFTER I GOT HOME..




Since that first day on October 21st 2013.
we have spent every. single. day together 



we became inseperable.
























As time went by we got more and more serious 
and soon that infamous question arose in both of our heads.

so. 

we had a companionship inventory and we at the exact same time
said " i know i want to marry you"

not much more was said of it.



we kept a hopeful date for the fall in our hearts
and continued on.



part 2.


bake and i share something pretty dang special.
and that is the love for this little brother of mine 


mitchell.



Alex and mitchell have a bond like no other. 

I always joke.. i'm pretty positive he's dating me to get to my brother and brother in law.

but really.

Mitchell received his mission call to PERU leaving August 12th!!


I remember minutes after he announced his departure date Alex and my eyes met and we
both knew what needed to be done..


We KNEW we were ready to be married. 
We KNEW we would be ready any day now

and we KNEW how much more special it would be to have my brother in the temple with us.

August. August. August 

i swear its all we heard and talked about.
what about August.

We knelt in prayer together and knew without a doubt in our hearts. 
Regardless of mitchell, regardless of time.



We were ready to be married. 





We didn't want to announce or set anything in stone for a few very good reasons.


Reason #1: August was only a few months away.. we didn't want to excite family and friends if 
in the end we decided we would need a longer engagement. 


Reason #2: Alex Baker happens to be the worlds best poker face. I knew he had
talked to my dad, i knew he had been shopping around for rings. But he was absolutely
silent about it. I didn't know when, what kindof ring or how he was going to do it. 
He wanted to do it all old school and absolutely surprise me.



Monday, June 2nd. 
i wasn't feeling very good. 

I took the day off of work and 
spent the afternoon with my cousins laying in the sun to get that Vitamin D i lacked for 18 months.


Alex called me when he got off work and asked me if i wanted go get some dinner.



psshh..


of course.


He asked me " where do you want to eat"

he cleverly knew that by allowing me to choose.. i wouldn't suspect a thing.


He is a VERY good actor. Like scary good actor. 
We ended up downtown in between 2 restaurants he had picked out before hand.
Either one i picked would be according to his plan.


Bake and i share a love for steak.. so we decided to try Christopher's in downtown SLC.



Dinner was a.m.a.z.i.n.g 


I was definitely underdressed. hair filled with chlorine. oblivious as ever.



After dinner he " got a phone call"
from someone who lived at an apartment downtown that we LOVED and always watched for availability.

Once again.. Alex is a VERY good actor. (no one was on the phone i came to realize later)


I WAS SOOO EXCITED TO GO SEE THE APARTMENT


We sped over to American Towers and got buzzed in..

Another " call " came in.

" the apartment isn't quite cleared out, just show yourself around the apartment grounds for a few".


so we did just that.


we saw the pool
tennis courts
raquet ball courts

the works.

i was LOVING that place and giddy to go see more.


we got in the elevator and i saw ROOF ACCESS..

i set myself up and said " lets go see the view!!"



well. i walked right into a trap. 


We walked up onto the roof and looked over the ledge.


He was pointing out all the cool major touristy places.

" look the temple!"

" is that gateway?"


things were getting weird. i noticed he was absolutely positively so nervous about something. 





not to mention he was pointing out buildings and places twice.. three times

as if he was stalling.


After not kidding 5 minutes of this pointing.


I looked over my shoulder to find my boyfriend down on one knee.




my heart absolutely skipped a beat. 


after he asked me to be his wife all i could say was 




" you lied to me"

over and over and over and over again

mixed with a few..

" my heart hurts i love you so much"







 i don't think ill ever be able to put into words how much this boy means to me



or begin to describe the feeling knowing after all this time. you finally found the perfect person




i cant stop staring at my hand..

not because i'm absolutely in love with this ring and the meaning behind it.

but because of the thought and time put into it.

i came to find out that bake spend about 3 hours everyday for 3 months. 
thinking up. designing. and perfecting this custom made ring.

** explains the wait **

he incorporated styles and design elements from my mom and my sisters rings.
mixed with my style and created something so beautiful. 

something that made me think of each of them each time i saw it





i know for a reason we met when we did.

i know for a fact that god puts people into our lives when we need them most.

i can honestly say he was VERY worth the wait.

alex is the most christlike. funny. caring. selfless. hardworking person i know.


i cant wait to be his wife.



love,

the soon to be 


Bella Baker xx









** a big big thanks to Will G. we will name our first born after you as a big THXX **






Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GERMANY PART 2

week 2.

our second week in germany can be summarized by a few words

that begin with the letter D. like D as in deutschland

delicious
driving
detours
downpours

first stop of the week was 


KÖLN

as many of you know my father also served in germany!
So instead of just doing the scenic East Germany tour we threw in
a city that he served in! 

Köln was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l a blast!

 We had an amazing
hotel right on the river and a great view of the whole city!
To make evvverrryyything better we stayed a block away from
the infamous LINDT chocolate factory. 

which resulted in spending all our money on chocolates..
leaving the store and sending my little sister back to go get more.

no really. she ran back for us to get more.






our hotel was right up this beautiful little alley way!






another amazing stop in köln was this LOVE LOCK BRIDGE
soooo cheesy.

but dang cute we couldnt resist.



so of course we tried be a touristy as we could and bought some of our own locks to add.

<33333






seeing as how im the awkward unmarried sister i added a very nice large
HEART onto my lock. 


bless my heart





BERLIN

the city that began it all.
the B to my Bella.
my mission call assignment

awww i seriously love this city. im not bias. if you haven't visited
well quite frankly you haven't lived. 


that was harsh but like. i say it cuzzz i care.





you know what they say... when in germany

eat japanese food?

Well believe it or not much to my dismay heavy german food such as:

potatoes
schinitzel
kasesptazle
wurst
knodel
kloesse

dont settle well with those who are pregnant


CALM DOWN NOT ME..
my older sister eliza. 


but hey. food is food. 




my sister is just the cutest. and she shares her food with me so i love her






our hotel was right in the center of the city! a part of the berlin wall was just minutes from
our hotel! It really is such a somber experience to walk along side of it.




im a very big fan of doing cheesy touristy things. so i found a large bus
with nerdy yellow headsets and piled everyone on board for a tour






but first.. let me take a selfie




this is a very typical sight we saw every few minutes or so.
never a dull minute with this kid






perhaps my favorite part of the visit was seeing my favorite people in the whole world

this man right here is my mission president.
he is a very large reason i believe all calls are inspired.
präsident kosak. and his wife have changed my life in so many ways a blog entry
will never do justice. 
they are my second parents.
they helped change me into the woman i am today.
i would crawl over broken glass on my hands and knees for these two.











next stop.

DRESDEN

like... i never served here either. but i heard it was pretty

so.




first thing we did when we arrived was walk through a typical little german
street fair! these beauties are set up all over germany. little tiny fairs filled with candy.
meat. souveniers. and germans. 

what more could you want?



















 last stop on our tour was 

LEIPZIG

one of my most favorite city of all. 
this city was where i spent half of my mission!
i was basically trained here.. and then later trained here.

this city has my heart. 

we arrived to the greatest little surprise welcoming party and got ice cream!
of course.




this is called spaghetti ice.
its what deserves the blame for my weight gain while away.
its vanilla ice cream. shaped as noodles. and then decorated to look
like spaghetti. 

hi. the church is true.




 i took my family to visit the places where i lived.
where we taught. 
where my favorite p-day eating spots were





i seriously talk about food way too often. 
i should just become a food blogger

food for thought..


SEE!?




remember francesco?? my happy thought

well i love him and seeing him made me cry.
he still going strong in the church and trying out a new
hip thing called facial hair.
he promised me he would shave for next time i come visit.




hi meet paul







studs.





we ended the trip in the home of a favorite little family of mine.
this family became my own while in germany. they had the sisters
nearly every week for dinner and were such good a missionary
minded family. they provided a wonderful christmas and perfect birthday for me.





missions are amazing. 

the german people have a spot in my heart that will never be filled by anyone else.
here i set out to change other peoples lives but ultimately it was mine that was changed.

i miss my mission so much it hurts.

growing up i never saw myself as a missionary.
i lived below the bar that the lord set for me and i never saw my true potential.
turning around my life and deciding to serve is the best decision i've made thus far.

my mission was hard. 
i saw the lowest lows and the highest highs.
i was pushed to my limits. 
believe i lost perma feeling in my fingers from frost bite.
saw gods hand in his work.
faced some major turning points in deciding my future.
learned from amazing elders and sisters.
saw absolute miracles.
ate some of the scariest of food.
laughed till i cried.
walked until my blisters had blisters.
and came nearer to my heavenly father than ever before.

i have such a testimony of this work.
i know the lord lives.

i know with all my heart joseph smith did in fact see god
the eternal father. and his son jesus christ.

i know that the atonement of jesus christ is made for each. and every. one of us.
the gospel does in fact change lives.
i know that if we will allow gods hand into our live he will perform wonders through us.


not just for 18 mo. or for two years.

nope.

for we know better. 
mission service does not end when the name tag is removed. 

our serviceis not simply a checkmark on our journey and when finished we close that chapter.

the true measurement of the success of your mission or the life you live is not who you were
for that time away. but the person who you are today. its measured
in your daily prayer. your worthiness. study. your dedication to your temple
covenants. the daily testimony that you share.


if you havent served.

go. 
you may spend a lifetime waiting for an answer. sometimes
you need not be commanded in all things.

if you for some reason have not.

name tag or not. your still called to the work. rise up 

for those who have.

its never too late to recommit yourself. 






my life post mission hasnt been easy.
not a day goes by i don't think about my time in east germany.
i feel awkward. 
panic still when i wake up past 6:30
will 9/10 times answer the phone hi this is siii...
but i am not alone
everyday i continue to try to come closer to the lord
some days are better than others.

but.


the lord truly does reward those who set out to serve him.
i feel closer to him today than i did yesterday. a week ago. year ago. 


big thxx. to the readers who for some reason logged on weekly to read my blog.
the readers whose letters, emails and kind words continue to motivate me
to blog daily and find joy therein. 

to each and every friend stranger and family member who supported me to this point.
i felt the prayers and couldn't of done it without you. 

to the people of germany. ich hab dich lieb. 
danke für alles u. gott sei mit euch bis auf wiedersehen. 
vergessen sie nicht die kirche ist wahr. gott ist immer dabei. vertrauen ihm. 


im far from perfect
and im learning to enjoy that part of life.
i know for a fact that god answers prayers.
i know that he's blessed my life because of my service.



and i owe alot
of that to this guy right here. 

its true. 

you are who you surround yourself with.




i mustve done sommmetthinng right during my time away.








liebe immer


Bella in Berlin














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