Monday, May 28, 2012

bad and also poor grammar

in honor of social media "ruining" our youth's writing skills, "those damn teenagers and their electronics!" this post will be written in mostly fragmented sentences that are cool to use when on facebook, twitter, instagram, and tumblr. and other such forms of media. maybe it will save you time not to have to read full sentences. i'm doin' this for you.

this is dedicated to the older woman in church last year who proclaimed that any person who uses headphones to listen to music, was only using headphones because their choice of music was vulgar and needed hiding via headphones.

also dedicated to the time my grandpa griped about my generation and our need to be plugged in, and then promptly picked up his new ipad and showed me how cool it was.

so these are my fragmented life updates. here goes.
  • that time you watch so many episodes of desperate housewives, that you begin to reference the characters as if they are your best friends. (switching to full sentence mode here- for the record, the reason i am able to plow through so many episodes is because i watch/listen to them while i clean, blow dry my hair, wash my face before bedtime, and during mealtimes when travis is gone. so most mealtimes.)
  • that time you come to bed only to find your husband has found his duck call and is blowing it as loud as possible, asking you, "does this sound real?" and while you think of a nice way to let him down easy, he informs you it is his mating call and you realize you have never been less turned on than this moment in time. 
  • that time a vernon dursley look-a-like confronts you at walmart about the sound your feet make when they scuff on the floor. and you yell back at him and are so filled with rage you wonder if you need a more violent outlet than your kickboxing class. 
  •  speaking of violent outlets, that time you are starving with hunger and your husband comes home and teases you about whether or not he will go to the grocery store with you. and you become filled with that same violent rage, grab his neck, begin screaming curse words (in my defense, he did make me run up and down the stairs looking for socks and teasing me) and forget that the door is open and the neighbors can hear you being verbally abusive. then your husband's maniacal laughter pushes you to the breaking point and you hurl his shoes at his face as hard as possible. and he continues to laugh until you realize how crazy you have become. 
  • that time you realize that you have become obsessed with the topic of female orgasm and that you tell every person you meet everything you know about our culture and sex. like your unsuspecting brother in law. and you remember that many people are very uncomfortable talking about sex and hearing the words, "orgasm" and "clitoris." and you hear yourself talking to your bishop about your uterus and realize you have a problem. 
  • that time you attend the most beautiful wedding reception ever that looked like this: 
 (if you care to see more, go {here})
  • that time you applied for four more jobs and are beginning to think you'll be unemployed forever. and begin alternating between the ideas of getting kocked up and applying for grad school. and then just watch more desperate housewives to drown out the uncertainty of the future. 
  • that time you realize it's almost been two years since you married your husband and you realize you are so much more crazy about him that you were back then.
  seriously, those eyes.

laughing fit.

  • that time you get ID'ed ordering a virgin margarita. and then get hit on by junior high kids. and then find out your 8th grade brothers' friends thought you were his new, hot girlfriend when they saw you walking into his choir concert arm in arm with him. 
  • that time your husband gets his hair cut at your salon for the first time and while you sit there, watching as an attractive blonde woman massages his scalp and his eyes roll back in pleasure, all you can think is, perfect, now he won't beg me for a massage later.
so that pretty much covers it. just spending my days being an unemployed advocate for female orgasm, throwing rage fits in front of neighbors, and being obsessed with travis. and apparently looking like a junior high student. so you know, livin' the high life.


Sunday, May 27, 2012


one of the perks to living in utah, is that it seems to be a mecca of sorts for BYU Hawaii students. this means that my dear old friends often pass through or visit and we are able to see each other again! yesterday was one of those glorious days. we all agree that the bonds we formed while living in hawaii together are unusually strong and we feel a family sort of love for each other.

back in the day, (it has almost been four years since we all met, so "back in the day" is starting to seem appropriate.) we used to enjoy an afternoon at waimea bay and then a pit stop at kava roots for acai bowls. in utah, there is no waimea bay. there is no kava roots. but, an acai place opened up in provo! so we took what we could get.

here we were, back in the day:

christian and erika, (and moi) and brett, who came this time but was holding the camera for this picture.

acai, pronouned AHHH- SIGH- YEE, a high calorie berry grown in brazil. blended with apple juice and smothered in granola, honey, and fresh fruit. mmmhmmmm!

four years later, far far away from sunny beaches and our beloved kava roots: 

because it was a cloudy, rainy day, not unlike oahu's winter weather, we all agreed that if you squinted, and only used your peripheral vision to look outside, we could almost trick ourselves into believing we were on our dear island. almost. and although the acai bowls were good, they didn't taste quite the same without the salty sea air. still, we had a great afternoon catching up and remembering those wonderful times

miss you hawaii. xo

Friday, May 18, 2012

a little of this, a little of that

ok. for the first time in almost two years of marriage, travis and i have television. we are sitting in our living room, on a couch big enough for two humans to stretch out, and we are watching the lakers/thunder basketball game. seriously, we have arrived. you know, as adults.

*usually we have to go to our parents' house to watch the game and then drive home super late afterwards. 

yesterday as i was getting ready to go to kickboxing, i was chain-listening to this song:

yeah, it's my new jam. and as i was dancing alone in my bedroom, tying my shoes and brushing my teeth, i realized i was dancing and singing in very broken spanish, mostly gibberish. i realized i was happy without even thinking about how happy i should be.

for the past year without a break, i have had a the heavy burden of college hanging over me. i started to remember the person i had been before school, before deadlines, and before caring about grades. i used to be spontaneous and adventurous. i'm starting to feel like that person again. it is wonderful. you know that feeling, when the world is your oyster? that is how i feel.

i applied for another job today, with the sandy police department as a crime victim advocate. it might just be a Criminal Minds fantasy, but i do think it sounds like a job where i could help others.

tomorrow is my parents' neighborhood annual 40 family garage sale and i'll be sitting at a booth for my photography, tryin' to advertise and build clientele. if you're into garage sales, this one is fantastic! (it's the neighborhood just off 7th west and about 6500 s, by willow pond park.)

i fell off the no sugar wagon after five days. but considering the last time i tried to go off sugar i only lasted four hours, i'm calling this one a win. and if you have ever been to red iguana and had their mango margaritas, you'll understand why i had to break and have one. becausetheyareamazing. and you know, while i was off i just had to have frozen yogurt. but tomorrow is another day, right? 

last night i had a terrible dream. i dreamed that my aunts and cousins came over with baskets and suitcases filled with baby clothes, toys, and supplies. "you need to get moving and have a baby!" they all said to me. my dream self started shouting. "go away! you don't get to tell me when i have to get pregnant!" when i woke up, i was furious at them all.                     ... deep seated fears much?

we picked up my new bicycle today! i want to start riding this to get around more. living in hawaii and biking everywhere really enhanced the experience. riding a bike lets you experience life at a slower, more personal pace and i want to incorporate that into life in daybreak.

we are in love with our new home. our other neighbors have moved in and i have already talked with them more than i ever did at the old house, in the entire year we were there. the neighbors right behind us are Indian, and i'm so excited to be living near a culture different than mine. they seem like sweet people and i hope to learn some cooking tips. the neighbors kitty corner to us are young, maybe even younger than us, and travis has already approached them with the idea of a double date.

the actual house is fantastic. travis and i both agree we hardly even remember living in the murray house. we feel at home here and are enjoying making it ours.

travis's dad, who is an electrician, hung this chandelier in our bedroom today. 
i want our bedroom to have a sexy "retreat" feel to it. 

and as long as i'm sharing house pictures, here's the kitchen and front porch. 

today is just one of those rare days where i feel completely at peace and confident about the future. i'm so thankful to be married to a person who i am crazy, head over heels in love with. almost two years of marriage, and four years since our first date, and i still get butterflies when we kiss. i'm thankful to live in the home of my dreams with the man of my dreams. sappy? a little, but it's the truth. life is hard sometimes, but days like today wouldn't be so wonderful without the hard times. 

love. xo

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

wisdom teef, tea parties, job interviews, being a desperate housewife

school is out. forever! (i can say this with confidence because grades came out yesterday and i scored a 3.9 GPA. that goal i made when i started at the U, to never get below an A-, has been achieved. you know when you stress out about whether or not you'll be able to actually achieve the high goals you set for yourself? and that fear of self disappointment? i'm very relieved and surprised to have done it. tryin' to work on that whole "it's okay to disappoint yourself sometimes" thing.)

so school is out and i have kind of been ignoring the virtual world, other than my new obsession with instagram. but i promise there have been many things going on in the real world. like...

travis got his wisdom teeth out and i played nursemaid. i still have mine, so maybe i had a tough time empathizing. poor travis really hates mouth pain. i'm very thankful that he is almost totally healed up. i had never seen travis on any kind of pain pill before, and let me just tell you, he is really friendly on percocet. like our next door neighbor who met him for the first time, sat and chatted with him for over half and hour. and if you know travis, you know that much talking at first is not typical. pretty hilarious. i think i'm going to keep those pills around for social events when i really need his A game.

sleepin' like a bebe.

i had a group interview for a psych tech position at the university hospital. you know group interviews; it's so hard to tell if they like you in the four questions they ask. they said they would let us know the first week of june, so in the meantime i'm applying for other jobs and waiting around. the house is really, really clean though and all the laundry is done.

my mom and i threw a tea party themed baby shower for my friend/sister-in-law, liana. we had so much fun planning and decorating for this. 

 hand painted the invites

old closet doors and her maternity pictures on display

loved how the table turned out

amazing second hand finds for the decor

dainty tea party treats

my grandmother's china 

we played games, opened presents, and enjoyed the sunshine.

and of course liana and i got some cute pictures together...

 we are such weirdies. love this lady and can't wait to meet little amelia in a month or so.

also, i am back on the photography wagon. something about graduating from college.... kept me pretty busy. but in the last week i did several shoots that i'm excited about. 

also, stumbled across this helpful article about marriage. {here}
also, travis surprised me with a beach cruiser bicycle as a grad present, which we are picking up tomorrow! 

well, i'm throwing a dinner party tonight with several sister-in-laws, so i better get moving. this whole desperate housewives lifestyle really suits me. (speaking of, did you see the season finale?? so devastated that it's over!) 

happy mid-may! xo

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

35 pounds.

today i'm going to share some pictures that i swore i would never show anyone.
a couple years ago, i put on a little weight. and i was extremely sensitive about it. how does one put on thirty pounds in three months, you ask? one moves to hawaii, feels like it's a permanent vacation, has extreme acne breakouts that limit the amount of time one feels comfortable being around others without makeup on, like say, the gym, and one eats copious amounts of food to try to feel better about oneself and to cope with loneliness. binge eating, that was my thing.

like eating one or two bags of raisinettes every single day.
like eating 3-4 pints of ice cream every week.
like eating 7 cupcakes in one afternoon. 
like cooking a bag of spaghetti noodles and eating the entire package in one sitting.
like when your friends invite you to go to a concert and instead, because you're feeling insecure about your skin issues, you decline their invitation, stay home, and microwave flour tortillas with butter and sugar over and over until you're so full you can barely get off the couch.

that person was me.

when i went home for christmas break, none of my size 6,7, or 8 pants fit. i had to go buy new pants in a size 11 and it was pretty depressing.

this is the picture that inspired me to lose weight. 

a dear friend who came to visit. the entire trip, i wondered if he was disgusted by my weight gain. 

you know i still wore my bikini like a champ though. 
as one girl said to me at the beach, "you might not have a bikini body, but at least you have big boobs." 
... some people, right?
(sadly, i did lose almost an entire cup size. if only we could just transfer the belly fat to the boobs, amirite??)

so i moved home and started dating travis, who is extremely active. i felt pretty embarrassed about how out of shape i was, so i started running again. i stopped eating sweets, and started scaling down my enormous portion sizes. travis and i started playing racquetball, going running together, and since he doesn't have a sweet tooth like me, it was easy to say no to desserts. probably the best thing for my weight loss though, was joining a gym. i started going to kickboxing, step, weight lifting, yoga, and pilates classes, attending faithfully 6 days a week. that was two years ago in january. 

overall, i have lost 35 pounds, going from a size 11 to a size 4 and it took about a year. after i lost the weight, people would always ask me how i did it. "diet and exercise." i would respond. "seriously?" they would ask in disbelief.

it's funny because the gym is such a huge part of my life and i realized i hardly ever blog about it. those kickboxing classes gave me my self esteem back. working out is such an adrenaline rush, and getting to know the women in those classes and the teachers opens a whole new social scene. if you are trying to lose weight and it's taking forever, and you feel like you're never going to get there, i promise that if you stick with it, you'll be so happy and proud of yourself. we have these amazing bodies. are we treating them with respect and love? 

so why am i choosing to write about this, now that it's been a few years? the past few months, i have been slipping back into bad habits. eating late at night, eating sugar for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and using food to feel comforted. there are a few foods that are "trigger" foods for me, like chex mix, cereal, and baked goods. it's like i eat these and the floodgates open. i do not want to go back to that person who blew off her friends to stay home and eat, so i am going off sugar, hopefully for a whole month. today is the second day, and it's killing me! but it will be worth it. to keep myself accountable, i'm going to write about it here. 

no sugar, day 2: 117 pounds.
(don't mind the instagram photo)

and no, i'm not really looking to lose any more weight. just curious to see if going off sugar amounts to any changes in my bod.

if you ever need encouragement or a referral to a great gym, trainer, or classes, email me:

Saturday, May 5, 2012


i had been dreaming of this day since i was a little girl. i got up early, paid special attention to my hair and makeup, and slipped on the lacy cream dress and string of pearls.
no, i'm not remembering my wedding day. i'm talking about my graduation from college.

i wasn't ever that little girl who had planned her wedding to the last detail, but i have always been looking forward to the day i would get to wear that black cap and gown, and hold that diploma in my hands. as a little girl, i remember playing with my mom's college tassel, being so excited to have my own one day. there wasn't a question of whether or not i would graduate; it was always the plan. yesterday was that day.

it was the perfect day! i had a great hair day, (yes, that matters) the people i love were there to support me, and when i heard them announce, "collette charles!" i won't lie, i got pretty emotional. taking that walk, i silently thanked everyone who had been there for me. when it was all over and i was sitting down, i had tears in my eyes and felt so thankful. only a tiny fraction of people on this earth get have a college education. i'm so thankful for the teachers, the knowledge, the friendships, and the lessons i learned. i'm so thankful for my parents and for travis, for their financial support and trust.

headed out to graduate! 



 travis, my rock, my support. talked me through stats, reassured me 
almost daily that i could succeed, loved me even though i was a 
huge grump every time a paper was due, worked countless hours to pay
my tuition, and loved the whole time. 

 my parents, who "kicked" me out of the house at 18, supported me, loved me, my sweet mom who 
spent hours on the phone with me while i was away, my dad who always reminded me to 
live in the present tense. the great examples i had of the importance of education. 

 my dad, who had to be forced into wearing a suit, instead of his byu shirt to my graduation. 

 cleaned him out. 

 hawaii, you're still with me.

 my other rock, liana. she was the one who told me about the psych major and how great it is. 
she made the cute signs, insisted on me taking senior pictures, and is such a great support! 

 the infamous elevator in the old, rickety psych building. 

 the party at my parents' last night. 

the university of utah was a great place to finish. 
the psych department was wonderful and i loved my major. 
it's funny how you end up in something you never knew you liked. 
psychology just fit perfectly. 

now on to the next adventure: 
job interview on wednesday at the university hospital 
for the psych tech position. 

(kell, any tips or suggestions for this???) 

can't believe last week i was a hot mess and now i am riding cloud nine again. 

believe in yourself, work for your dreams!! 

love xo

looking back

this week, as i boarded the train for my last final, i thought back to the beginning of college six years ago. i remembered moving in to my first apartment, my mom and i sobbing when she drove away, leaving me alone. i remembered sharing a room with a stranger for the first time (sounds skankier than it really was) and how i couldn't remember which roommate was "melissa" and which was "alyssa" for like three weeks. it was so bittersweet to sit on that train and flash through all of my experiences. i did some digging through my old myspace account and found a few pictures. warning, it's about to get nostalgic up in here.

 can't find a picture with all 6 of us, but here are my SUU 
gymnast roommies and nikki, the babe in the middle. 
we lived in eccles c 305. there was an elevator in our building. 
um, i used to fart in it almost every time right before i got out. 

 my boyfriend alex, who drove down many a weekend to see me. 

 linds and i at albertsons, with the boys who lived across the hall from us. 
just sharing a pair of sweats. 
we practically lived at the boys apartment,
 eating frozen pizza and brownies all. the. time.

the first week of school, headed to a luau.
nikki was a college socialite who always 
tried to get me to go out with her.

yep, i dated the one with the tongue sticking out. 
for multiple years. 
(promise i'll tell that story someday. when i'm not so angry.) 
my murray friends who always came down to try to get with my roommates. 
oh we always stayed up so late! 
i remember one night, melissa, one of the gymnasts, came home super drunk
and we convinced her to do back handsprings all the way down the hall. 

headed out to go boating in st. george with our boys across the hall.

yeah, i hardly wore any clothes back then. 

my second year at SUU, with mikelle late one night. always up so late. 
that was the year alex left on his mission and i was so lonely and depressed. 
i would not go back to that year. 

military ball with my friend rory.

one of our many hiking trips to zion nat park. 

the only thing that made that year bearable, my best friend morgan moving down to cedar city. 

headed out to a friend's ballroom dance recital. 

our roommates from korea. it was my first experience living with someone from another country
and i loved it. they always fed us delicious food and taught us new words. 

ok, i have hundreds of pictures from hawaii i could put up. 
moving to hawaii was in my life's top three best decisions. 
the year i spent there changed me and taught me so much. 
to love myself, to forgive myself, to trust others again,
friendship, loyalty, love, romance, oh the list goes on and on. 
hawaii was where my healing process began. 
it would never have happened without the amazing people i met. 
and i'm going to start crying here. 

 at the beach with my besties. oh i miss these girls! 

choir concert. being in the university choir was so wonderful! 

choir party at the beach. 
so at BYUH, you aren't supposed to wear bikinis. 
i obviously didn't follow that rule, but for school functions, 
i had to have a "modest" suit. 
so i bought a swimming suit that looked like lingerie.
such a rebel back then. 
also, i was thirty five pounds heavier then. 

i dated a zillion boys. 
fell in love a few times. 
kissed a lot of dudes.

at the airport after christmas, heading back. 
my mom and i always cried. 

at the beach, like always.
my gpa went from a 4.0 to a 2.8.
in one semester. 

first real beach trip with erika dick.
the day i met alyssa herzinger. 
we had no idea. :) 

the four of us were inseparable.
for the first time in my life, i had a group of girlfriends. 
i told you i didn't used to wear clothes. 
seriously, no decency. :) 

the five of us in our laie house, winter semester. 

the sea sider, where we had disgusting lunches every day. 

north shore surf competitions, day after thanksgiving. 
the day i got swallowed by a wave in front of thousands of people
and the loudspeaker announced, "stay off the beach"
and my phone was destroyed. 

waiting at the bus stop. we took the bus everywhere.
one time, a guy asked erika and i if we were a couple.
that's how close we were, strangers thought we were in love. :) 

 one of the most perfect days. 
the gang of us after hiking that "rock" behind us. 

don't worry, it wasn't all beach. 
here we are at the school newspaper, 
workin' away. 
i think i've reached the limit of post space. U of U to follow in next post.

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