Tuesday, March 29, 2011

good news minute

so I think we should start by breathing a big sigh of relief that I am officially done with my psycho-babble blogging and back to keeping it light.
oh happy day!

I'll start off by saying that my title's a bit misleading.
We have no big news
but some of my very favorite people do!!!
so please indulge me in this good news minute.
I needed an outlet to celebrate.
I am so, so, so excited!
Mrs. Kayla Chandler kicked off the good news express with this little peanut...
baby Chandler
at 8 weeks & 2 days
due September 2011

It absolutely floors my that one of my very best friends is going to have a baby!
either because I am so absolutely unprepared for that stage of life or because it feels like just yesterday that we were Lady Raiders playing our way to the 2007 state title.
I have no question in my mind that she will be the best mom.
Kayla is one of the most genuinely sweet and sincere people I've ever met
and I'm certain Heavenly Father only let me have her as a friend so that I could learn from her example
which is why I'll be paying close attention to what I know will be perfect parenting.
I'm convinced her little one will be one of the cutest and best dispositioned babies who's ever bounced on down to this earth
and am preparing now to have absolutely unrealistic expectations of what to expect when we bring home our first little bundle of joy.
I'm just so excited to meet you baby Chandler!
hurry here...but not too quick!

Congrats Michael and Kayla on your growing family!
We love all 3 of you.
Our next sweet surprise came when Parker's younger sister Kaitlin received a letter from the First Presidency calling her to the 
Chile Viña del Mar mission!
This makes her the seventh of all seven of Parker's siblings to serve a mission
Did I marry into the most amazing family or what?!
and I know she is going to be an incredible missionary.
We are all so proud of her for her willingness to serve the Lord and I am convinced her constant efforts to try and find the best in people, kindness, and ability to understand and relate with others will be the first of many reasons the people there will come to love her just as much as we do.

Hermana DeMille will be speaking español as she shares the Gospel with the Chilean people in one of their most beautiful cities
according to Wikipedia its iridescent-white sandy beaches, sunny climate, and grandiose resorts make it the nation's vacation capital.
I did just learn from Kaitlin, however, that her mission extends down into the Atacama Desert, one of the driest deserts in the world.
I'll be sending loads of Secret Wonderland lotion your way Kaits, promise!

We trekked down to Richfield this last weekend to hear her farewell talk.
The bishopric assigned her the topic of "Following Christ," and I honestly can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciated her insights.
just exactly what I needed to hear.

We'll miss her so much these next 18 months,
but I suppose we can lend her back to the Lord for this little window of time
but only because He's let us keep her the last 22 years.  

Counting down the days 'til April 6th!
We love you Kaits!
From the moment I knew I'd fallen in love with Parker, 
I wanted,
more than anything,
for my best friends to find love too.
and I insisted they find it 
right. that. instant.

The main reason I hoped and prayed they'd soon be living out their love story is because I wanted them to be happy, 
of course.
And then there were the little reasons...
the more selfish reasons...
that centered around my unwillingness to allow anything in our relationship to change
because, up until that point, we'd always been on exactly the same page.

I wanted married friends I could talk to about married things and plan married vacations with,
and I wanted them asap

I'm amazed their eyeballs aren't forever fixated on the back of their brains from their constant dismissals of my musings that, 
before they knew it, 
they'd be loving married life too.

The eye rolls, the laughs, the exasperated sighs
I know you both wish you could take it all back...

Jill blushed when she caught the bouquet
and Nicole nearly fainted when I suggested she be a bit more forward if she wanted to catch the attention of her summer crush.
I can't remember if you ever thanked me for that little hint.
Not to worry!
I'll just put it on my friend tab.
You can name a kid after me or something.

But, somehow,
months before my first anniversary,
both these girls have diamonds fiancées who've replaced me as their bestest friend.
which I think I may actually be okay with.
Cute Aaron decided to make the most of their "candid" moment at their photo shoot and surprised Jilly with a proposal.
(this is what it sounds like in my head any time I think about Jilly getting MARRIED)
oh so exciting!

Now that it is officially official, 
I am so happy to announce that
Jillian Rose Proulx is engaged to marry Aaron Michael Prado
this August 5, 2011 
in the Reno, Nevada Temple.
hooray for hometown weddings!

I love seeing my Jilly Bean so incredibly happy and I am so excited to have Aaron sealed into our little friend circle forever.
Yes, I am convinced that the girls and I are as close as you come to being family without actually being family.
And yes, I do believe we'll be together forever.
I really do.
I'm so excited to see all her wedding plans come together because,
in case you can't tell from the pictures,
these two might possibly be the classiest looking couple you'll ever see
which naturally makes for a beautiful wedding!
I'm so looking forward to your big day
and the moment you'll both say yes to forever.
Love you two!
And as if one summer wedding isn't enough for the Sparks Girls,
Nicole & Kip will tie the knot 
July 1, 2011
in the Salt Lake City Temple!
(this is the sound in my head any time I think about Nicole becoming MRS. Kip Stomberg)
it makes me so, so happy!

 Kip pulled out all the stops
and a marquis diamond!
when he asked Nicole to be his forever.
A candle-lit walkway to a blanket of daisies overlooking the valley,
followed by his rendition of her all-time favorite love song at an adorable little table-for-two.
I think you really made her "feel your love" with that incredibly sweet serenade Kipper.
SO romantic!

I love that Kip is one of those people who makes you feel like you've always been best friends forever from the first moment you meet him.
I'm so happy Nicole found him and I just love seeing how much he absolutely adores her.
They are the cutest couple and the biggest cuddle-bugs you'll ever meet.
Don't be embarrassed Colie. 
I think it's super sweeet.
And you deserve every bit of this happiness!

I am absolutely ecstatic I get to be a part of your big day
and cannot wait for you two to promise forever!
Love you both!
And hooray for married friends!
Fish, fish I got my wish!
I always do...
Smack dab between these engagements Miss Tiffany received her own letter from the First Presidency announcing her call to serve in the 
Paraguay Asunción North Mission.
Can you believe it?
Hermana deVries's first time outside the country will take her all the way down to South America for 15 months!
I'm excluding the first 3 spent in the MTC where she'll be learning how to speak-o the Spanish.

I'm so impressed with Tiffany and her prayerfulness in coming to the decision to serve a mission.  It'll be hard for our little scholar to spend that time away from school, but I'm convinced that her break from chemistry and physiology and microbiology and every other -ology will be to her benefit
I can almost picture her brain jumping for joy at the thought of its upcoming 18-month break from science.
hooray for new study material!

I know Tiff's infectious laugh and exuberant personality will make her an absolute hit with the Paraguayan people.  But as much as her smile can light up a room, I'm convinced it'll be the power of her testimony that changes the lives of the people there.  She's one of the strongest saints I know.  

I can't wait to see all that Heavenly Father has in store for her.

Counting down the days 'til July 27th Miss Tiff!
We love you!
I wish I could add my getting more than 4 hours sleep to the good news minute, but it really doesn't look like that's happening tonight.

Nonetheless, I am ecstatic for all the months ahead.
the wedding planning,
letter writing,
baby shower hosting,
and all the smiles & happiness each one of these BIG life moments is certain to bring.
which, in my case, includes quite a few happy tears too.
I take after the rain-bird...

Congratulations girls!
here's to staying friends through every stage of life...
love you all!

Monday, March 28, 2011

defining times

"I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life.  
The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want."
-Mark Twain

What do I want?
I'm nearly certain the answer to that question changes every day.

And as someone who's only ever seen their world in black & white,
you can imagine why I'm puzzled by the brilliance of a little rainbow on my horizon.

can't you? 

Let me explain...
my black & white world was the world where I always knew the outcome.
It was the world where every Point A had a Point B,
where 1 & 2 always made 3,
where I had plan for every single thing.

Most people in this world knew me as Chelsey Brianne White.
communications major.
broadcast journalism bound.
stellar student.
aspiring reporter.
social butterfly.
driven by ambition and dead set on tackling any and every opportunity...
be it study abroad, NY internships, spontaneous weekend getaways, season passes for snowboarding, speeding to SLC to score last minute tickets to Conference, camping out like a true blue Cougar for tickets to the big game, playing the role of mastermind behind hilarious pranks and harmless acts of vandalism, 80's dancing downtown, midnight hiking, movie-going, soccer playing, awe-inspiring parallel parking, power tumbling, party planning, you name it!

I had BIG plans,
all the time,
and felt confident in just how well I had my future all spelled out.
Because be it a career path, college major map, application process, or social circle, 
I knew just what route I needed to navigate to make it all happen.

Welcome to my black & white world
where life seemed so...

But on March 27, 2009, 
I met a boy.
A boy who helped me discover the complexity of color.

He came in the midst of a stormy season,
and found me feeling just a little lost. 
I'd tried to take on too much
and worked myself silly trying to navigate the whole alphabet.
Wise people move from Point A to Point B.
I tried to find my way from Point A to Point Z, 
making certain I hit every letter in between.

He proved to be a much-needed distraction.
so much so that the forecast predicting a semester's worth of 
spring showers now indicated a perpetually 
sunny disposition with the possibility of the 
sweetest summer romance.

And what do you know?
The weather-girl got it right!

And as that summer romance transcended the seasons,
and its brightly beaming sun broke through every cloud of grey,
(you can read all about those little clouds of hesitation here)
I realized I wouldn't be weathering any of life's storms alone ever again.

And that's when I spotted it.
Life's little rainbow.
Ready and waiting for me to incorporate its vivid and vibrant colors into my simple black & white world.

With Parker in my life, I soon realized all I really knew anymore was that I needed to be with him...
that the path that led to a future with him was the only one that guaranteed me lasting happiness.

That was the only clear and concise answer reminiscent of those from my black & white world.
And I know now just as well as I did then 
that it was the only one that mattered.

But even still.
That was the only clear and concise answer I had.
Because in that same moment,
all I'd previously considered essential to achieving success didn't really apply anymore.
Outside of being a wife,
my near future seemed absolutely unclear.

And no matter how incredibly happy I am at this moment,
no matter much I love my husband, my marriage, and the life I feel so lucky to be living with him,
I can't pretend for a second that leaving my black & white world hasn't been an adjustment.
A BIG adjustment.

In my new rainbow world, I can play with any color I please.
 I can paint my future red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and every color in between.
I have options...and if you want my honest opinion, I think I have too many.

On any given day I'm convinced I can be one of the following:
 the admirably ambitious grad student
the insightful and inquisitive LSAT prep pupil
the communications professional with all the promise of a great career
the Wells Fargo golden child racing up the ranks
the fun-loving fitness instructor with a rockin' bod
the spiritual giant who's dedicated her life to service and knows the scriptures inside and out
the peerless wife with flawless fashion, incomparable culinary skill, and the intuition and skill of this generation's best writers, artists, and interior designers.

I think that's all 7.


I can paint my world whatever color I'd like.
But these days, I can't seemed to decide what color me is best for us.

And so I settle.
And in doing so resign myself to living life in a stagnant state so far below my full potential.

People here know me as Mrs. Parker DeMille.
the girl on the arm of the bright-eyed, blonde, dental school hopeful.
the blissfully happy newlywed learning how to play wife.
the all-too-open chatterbox who's about as sharp as a butter knife. 
and that's about it.

This is a problem.

I'm no longer the girl Parker chose to marry.
I'm just the girl existing by his side.
As the go-getter he fell in love with begins living life by the mantra "jist get 'er done."

Now please understand,
I am absolutely proud and honored that Parker picked me to be his bride.
That is not the problem now and it never, ever, will be.
Marriage is wonderful and I am convinced that
because I'm a wife
I can do 
anything and everything 
and so much more 
than I'd ever dreamed of doing in my black & white life
and have exponentially more fun doing it!  

so no.
the wifing's not the problem.
What is a problem though is how little I've done to define myself as a new wife.
That, to me, is just plain sad.
and absolutely unfair to me and to Parker.

As December came to a close, I came to the realization that I no longer had the crutch of the Cougar image.
I couldn't define myself as a college student any longer.
But instead of kicking it into high gear and having the courage to take a risk,
work toward one of the above options,
and then brave the uncertainty of where that path might lead,
I played it safe.

And now I am a 21-year-old with all the regrets of a lonely baby-boomer living off social security.

hooray for buts!
I am lucky enough that I've only lived 3 months of my life this way
and that I have
give or take
another 3900 months to fix it.

As much as I'd love to perfectly be all of the above, I know all too well that I won't be.
And that's good for me.
It was the fear of failing to attain perfection that kept me from even trying for it in the first place.

so no. 
I'm not shooting for perfection in any particular color scheme anymore.

my goal now is to be a rainbow.
to just be my best at a little bit of each.
and ultimately paint the perfect me.

my plan...
"do the best I can and be sure it is my very best."
wise words President Hinckley
 be "always improving."
thank you President Kimball
and "look beyond the daily routine of life to discover who I really am...discern through the Spirit my divinely given capacities...and prayerfully make worthy choices that will lead me to realize my full potential."
well said Elder Scott.

I'm shooting for "best all-around" this time
as Elder Maxwell said,
“The Lord loves each of us too much to merely let us go on being what we now are, for He knows what we have the possibility to become!”

Becoming brings happiness.  
I truly believe that we owe it to ourselves to make an extra effort to discover, in every detail possible, who we really are and who we can become.

And while I may not have the black & white world answer to exactly which color or combination of colors will help me paint the perfect me, I know someone who does, and I think it's time I asked Him.

don't you think?

And just so we're all clear, when the time's right, "being a mom" will be at the top of my list.
Now's just not the time.
For me at least.

And while we're on the subject,
knowing that that's on the horizon
-even if it's a few years off-
is another BIG reason I think I hesitated in making any big post-grad plans.
I couldn't articulate it any better than my broadcast buddy Karly.
I loved her thoughts here.
But mostly, I loved how perfectly she phrased the questions I run through every single time I try and make a decision about my future.

"In my opinion our generation of women  
will be the first to come out of college with the idea of 
first- get a career
second- have a family.
Even at one of the most conservative schools - 
careers are pushed, 
(at least in my field) 
girls who are immediately starting into a career are praised,
and girls who are immediately starting families....
good question.
I don't know one.
And if I am being completely honest my lack of job searching boils down to one question...
Before I start a family do I need to work/have a career for my own happiness?
This question becomes complex...
and I can talk about it for hours.
How long do you work?
And do you have a career or just work?
If you have a career is it even worth it to pay your dues when you are going to quit to have a family?
And if it isn't worth it than why even work in the first place?
It consumes my thoughts day in and day out.
But it all boils down to the same question.
Everyone has an opinion on this matter.
And I am currently trying to find my own."

Thanks Karly for simply stating what I can't ever seem to articulate to anyone outside our broadcast realm.
I hope I'm one of the first to know if and when you find the answer...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


"I think I talk too much,"
I confess to Parker as I plop my pinhead onto my pillow.
"Do you think I talk too much?"

"I think I'm sleepy..."
and just before I start in on my petition that he take this seriously
"...and no.  You don't talk too much."


"...but even if you did, I'd still love you."

"I know but..."

"...but what?"


"That's what I thought. Goodnight my little chatterbox..."

"Not funny..."

And after a but or two or three more and a couple I love you's we're fast asleep.

I can't tell you how many times we've had this conversation.

For someone who loves the social scene so, you'd think I'd thrive in social settings.
And I do.
I LOVE it!

But because I love it so, I always come away hoping the people I've spent time with came away seeing the night in just as positive a light as I did.
And on those nights when I worry they may not be,
I start to feel very vulnerable
and question my free-thinking and free-speaking open-book approach.

Why do I always put myself so far out there so quickly,
especially when I'm so bent on being everyone's friend?

If you want to be universally liked, you need to play it right.
or do you?
Can you REALLY ever be EVERYONE'S friend?
is it worth it?
or is a take-me-or-leave-me attitude the key to those REAL friendships that bring lasting happiness?

I really don't know.

 Do you have the answer?

Maybe it's me.
It's likely just me.
Though I hope not,
because in confessing this I'm exposing myself to all the vulnerabilities of sharing in the cyber-realm as well.

I am certain our friends and family love us
and love spending time with us.
I never question that fact.
But I just wonder, every now and again, if I make people uncomfortable with how very quickly I become comfortable being 100% me when I'm with them.

By my first 4th of July trip to Richfield I felt like part of the family.
I chattered away with the siblings like their favorite freshman roommate
and/or the energizer bunny on crack.
I chased all the kiddos around the backyard, tackled the task of double-duty swing pushing, cuddled Parker's sweet nieces for the entirety of the parade, and talked smack to the twins like their veteran babysitter
my tendency toward immaturity on full display.
I took the liberty of getting my own glass of water whenever I so pleased, never thinking once that it might be more appropriate to ask, 
"Mr. & Mrs. DeMille, I hate to be a bother but may I please have a glass of water?"
either a testament to their impeccable hospitality and warm welcomes and/or my very obvious lack of guest etiquette.
And very conspicuously expressed my affection for Parker
again, displaying my very apparent lack of future in-law etiquette.
so so sorry Kristy & Tristan.
If only your son weren't so dang cute!

By my six month mark at work my whole branch knew at least a chapter or two of my very open book.
so much for the perpetually professional, happy-go-lucky, highly ambitious, up-and-coming Communications exec image I'd banked on.
I'm too honest,
too silly,
too sarcastic,
too sassy,
and, on rare occasions, just a little too sweet.

I've shared my strengths and weaknesses,
my knowledge and ignorance,
my opinions and indifference,
and my real hopes and fears
all. too. often.

I'm very much myself
and that very much worries me.

By my 3-month mark in Young Women's my presidency could very clearly see what a rookie they'd drafted for their all-star team.
My fall semester had me running every which way.
It quickly became the Kryptonite to my super-leader image.
I can't think of a time when I've felt more transparently human.

I ran into conflicts with activities & class and missed more presidency meetings than I care to count.
I scrambled to assemble lessons I'd spaced on one too many Sunday mornings.
And exhibited less-than-stellar communication skills with the Mia Maid leaders from each of the other wards
talk about awesome first impressions.
I sliced the celery wrong for our first combined activity.
I don't think there's any coming back from that.

And as far as censorship goes, let's not forget my antics in planning and participating in the many Friday & Saturday nights we've spent with our friends.
I say what I think without thinking.
I ask questions and tackle topics that'd make you blush.
I play the role of sass-master so incredibly well I wonder why no one's slapped me silly.
And before the night's even done, I'm penciling myself in on everyone's calendar and sending out save-the-dates for the next big event.

This list goes on and on.
Whether it's my taking the liberty of munching three pieces of toast at Lara's like a little puerco,
in case it's not entirely clear, puerco is spanish for pig.
oink! oink! 
or my running sprinting with Ashlee's offer to be the big-sister-I-never-had nearly a year before she and Jason even said "I do,"
or my laughable honeymoons-for-dummies chats with my very best of friends,
I think it's safe to say that talking too much is the least of my worries.

But no matter how many nights I come home and wonder how I might have better presented myself, my ideas, my thoughts, or my image,
I'm grateful that in being so open, I might just be someone people can 
talk to, 
confide in, 
laugh with, 
laugh at
open up to, 
and be silly
and ultimately real with.

Anyone who really knows me knows I am so very far from perfect.
And that's exactly how it should be.
No fronts,
no facades, 
no feigned happiness, forced conversation, or false pictures of propriety here.
It's just me.

And if you like me for being me,
I'll bet I'll like you for being you too.

and THOSE are the best kinds of friendships I could ever hope to find and keep.
don't you think?