Monday, January 17, 2011

Why my checking account and I hate Provo City.

Parking is the worst in Provo.  Last week, I got back to my apartment kind of late and every single spot in my designated lot (for which I have a permit) was open for me to use.  That's never happened before, so I went to the street.  The main street was completely full of dozens of parallel parked cars, so I hesitantly went to a smaller street that required a permit for overnight parking.  I had to park somewhere and there's no telling where the next open (legal) spot would be.  I have a permit, I had no where to go, and I sure wasn't going to park three blocks away to walk to my apartment in the middle of the night by myself.

I broke the rule and now I have to pay for it, literally.  $25 for parking for six hours on a street that still had plenty of room for other cars with permits?  Provo cops, are you kidding me right now?
When Johnny picked me up the next morning, he drove me to my car so I could move it back into my lot.  He had taken the parking ticket off of my windshield and replaced it with a note that said on the outside, "PARKING."  On the inside it said, "To: Sarah E. D. A. - I LOVE U. From: Jonathan B. Allred."  So sweet, right? I know, I have the best fiance ever.

But when I realized there was a legitimate ticket that he was just hiding in his car, the anger came back.  Provo, what did you want me to do?  Maybe if you had a proportionate number of parking spots for the college campus population of 30,000 that your city is lucky enough to include, people wouldn't have to park illegally.  Maybe if you forced apartment complexes to provide parking for each resident, I wouldn't have been forced to break the law.  Or, and I know this is a crazy idea, maybe if you would just accept a very nicely written appeal from someone who was only a victim of your ridiculous parking policies, you'd have one less enemy.  Even if you actually answered a phone call from someone who just saw that their appeal was denied, instead of keeping said person on hold for 30 minutes with the same annoying, "there are three callers ahead of you," message playing over and over again, with the number of callers never getting smaller, I wouldn't be bashing you right now.

I'm afraid none of these facts will ever change.  I will be forced to pay my fine within the next couple of days or else be subjected to a late fee.  Provo will still be able to restrict parking as much as it wants, and will be no worse off for what I'm writing.  I'm essentially powerless in this whole situation.

Thank goodness I graduate in a year and a half.  Then it's peace out, Provo forever.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

We Goin' Platinum!

My Christmas break was pretty great.  I did some of this:

And this:

And lots of picture-taking:

I also had a very nice little New Year's Eve surprise- I got engaged!  Johnny got up at 4 am, was driven to the Salt Lake City airport by our very dear friend, Jason Dale Lane, flew to Chicago, then to Springfield, then caught a ride into Mountain Home courtesy of Joseph and Julieta. I, on the other hand, woke up at like ten and just made pies and played with my nephews all day.  Joseph and Julieta left the house early that afternoon to "clean the office, shop, and go out to eat," so they were gone most of the day.  In reality, though, they were in Springfield ready to pick up my soon-to-be fiance.  They got back to the house around 8 that night and we all went straight into the living room to open Christmas presents with Emily, Chris, and Tanner.  During that, my dad whispered to me that he had a present for Mom hiding in the food storage room of the basement.  He asked me to go grab it for him.  So, off to the basement to retrieve a gift I went.

I got to the door to the food storage room, and taped to it was one of the coupons I gave to Johnny for Christmas.  I immediately knew that my biggest dream had come true, and that my best friend and love of my life was on the other side of that door.  I'm still convinced that I wished him there.  I got so nervous and started shaking, my heart was pounding.  I gained enough composure to open the door and turn on the light.  Johnny was standing right before my eyes, in between the filing cabinets and water heaters, among dozens of number 10 cans and a year-supply of toilet paper, with an occasional mouse trap on the shelves around him.  It was the most romantic thing I'd ever seen.

By some strange combination of excitedly running and nervously walking, I finally got to him and asked, "How did you do this?!" No time for answers, though.  He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I answered with an affirmative "uh-huh" and the next thing I knew, we were engaged to be married.  We hugged and let that realization start to sink in, but not for long because we were both shaking so bad we had to go to the nearest couch in the basement before our legs gave out.  After a few minutes, we gathered the strength to walk up the stairs and join my anxiously awaiting family in the living room to share the good news.  They were all in on it!  I was so happy Johnny proposed in Arkansas so I didn't have to tell the story to my family via skype and without real life hugs for everyone.   It's okay if that's the most romantic proposal story you've ever heard- after all, we did have the food storage room and the element of surprise on our side. 

I'm sure there are details I'm leaving out and that there are a million better ways to describe the best night of my entire life than what I just did, but this will have to do.

Also - one of my absolute favorite parts to this story is that Johnny picked out the ring all by himself!  He knew I liked princess cut, but that's the only clue I gave him.  I never had to go ring shopping at all, an event that would have, without a doubt, stressed me out so much and only highlighted the fact that I am the world's worst at making decisions. Here's my beautiful ring on my claw-like hand (real cute, I know):

Moral of the story: I'm in love.  I had the perfect surprise proposal by the perfect guy for me.  We will be sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS Bountiful, Utah Temple on April 23, 2011 at 11:30, and I can't wait.

Now it's time for some serious wedding planning.  Wish me luck!