30 November 2013

Love Story part two. The good part.

Welcome back. Before the break I had just been breaking up with my old boyfriend. Matthew seemed to be paying attention, because the week Cory left for college was the week Matthew called to ask me out. At first it was a double date to the zoo, but the other couple backed out last minute and all of the sudden it was just him and I. What was uncanny about this date was that I was working a crazy schedule and he happened to ask me out on a Monday when I was off. Who asks somebody out on a Monday?? Turns out he had overheard me explaining my crazy schedule to somebody else and had made a mental note that that was the day I was free! Months later I also learned that he had wanted to ask me out much sooner, but Cory had approached him at the beach trip and told him to back off because he "wanted a shot." 

Anyways, the timing wasn't the only uncanny thing about this date. It was simply the best first date. Ever. We were super relaxed about it (notice: he didn't shave and I wore a ponytail) but maybe that's why it was so perfect. He just seemed so familiar to me from the music he listened to, to the work he did, to how he drove. On the way there I let him have a drink of my coconut water and he rolled down his window and spit it out all over his truck while we were driving. "Coconut water?!" He said, "Might as well call it booty water!" This wasn't the awkward/uncomfortable first date that is so common, it literally felt like we were long lost friends just catching up. When we got there he had me pretend to be his wife in order to get discount tickets. Later we were talking and he asked if I had heard some of the rumors about him (eesh). When I told him that I had he looked surprised and said "um...well why did you agree to go on a date with me??" and we proceeded to have a truly real conversation in which he let me know about his past, the truths vs the lies, and all the changes he had gone through. Towards the end of the day his hands started hovering around my waist until I let him hold my hand as we walked around and looked at the animals. But at the end of the day he dropped me off, gave me a quick hug, and left. To me, it was a strange ending to a perfect day. I was fully anticipating a kiss because from what I had heard...he kissed every girl who gave him an opportunity! So when he didn't I felt like that let me know for sure he didn't like me. 


Whenever I wear that bow or cardigan now he gets excited and says "You wore that on our first date!"


That night I hung out with my friends and they scolded me for even going out with him. I nodded while they talked but I knew that they were wrong. Whatever happened next, even if he never spoke to me again, I now knew that he was a good person. A good, sensitive, brave, refreshing, funny person and nobody could ever make me believe otherwise. 

He didn't text or call me for a month. This gave me further evidence that he didn't like me.

To this day I have no idea what happened during that month, but one day he just woke up and decided that something was missing from his life - and that something was me. I got a call and he asked if we could  get lunch together. The next day he wanted me to keep him company while he ran some random little errands. Again it was like we had known each other in some past life and we were simply picking up where we left of. We didn't bring up our first date, we didn't ask each other why neither of us had called the other one, we simply became best friends overnight. Every day we were either together or texting/on the phone from the moment we woke up until we fell asleep. He gave me my last first kiss on our third date, sitting in his truck eating gelatto. It was dark and quiet and we both knew that it was about time, so my butterflies were going crazy. All of the sudden he just kissed me without warning while I still had gelatto in my mouth! I'm pretty sure I laughed. Good thing our second kiss wasn't too far behind, and it was far less awkward haha.

But even though I had strong feelings for him, I couldn't tell if he was a good choice or not. Come to distract me from work and school and my elaborate life plan that did not involve him. I worried about it for a second, but then I decided that a "what if..." later on would be far more painful than a broken heart now. I was truly happy every moment I was with him, and that was invaluable to me because I wasn't sure I would ever be truly happy in a relationship again after my past experiences. He had been asking me to meet his family for days but my hesitation had stopped me.  The night I agreed, we walked in the front door and saw that everybody was already sitting around the table eating. It was obvious they had no warning that I was coming, but they quickly grabbed another chair and served me up a plate of cold food. I sat directly across from his dad, who also happened to be the stake president, and he asked "aren't you that one girl who raised her hand when I asked the YSA congregation who the next person to get engaged would be?" I laughed and said yes, and the irony of the moment was delightful to me when it should have been painfully embarrassing. I decided to treat his interview like a challenge or a game and I surprised myself with how confident and comfortable I was around all these new people. Honestly, it almost felt as if I already belonged...but  don't know if that's destiny talking or if they are just really good hosts haha. As I looked around the table into each face, I wanted nothing more than to know these people better. The next week, on February seventeenth, I called Matthew on my lunch break (per usual) and he told me that he thought we should give the whole official dating thing a shot. Since February 17, 2012 I have happily been his.


The difference between him and every other boy I had ever dated was that we both knew. Almost immediately. Six days into our short relationship I prayed about him and was falling asleep when I noticed this dull thudding sound. It got louder and louder until my eyes sprang open and I realized it was just my heart POUNDING inside of my chest. I knew it was an answer to my prayer but I couldn't tell if it was saying "run away!" or "go for it!"...until I was sitting at church with him the next Sunday and started feeling the same thing. It only happened whenever I thought about him and I in the future. That was when I realized it was a "yes. this is it." answer. There was still so much I didn't know about this guy and I found myself being intimidated by how strong this answer was coming and how soon! The only thing I could do was keep praying and being assured that this was my guy while letting my feelings grow at their own pace...which happened to be exponentially. 

A couple of weeks later is when we started dancing around the "L word." 
(Even though he technically told me wayyy before then lol)


I already knew that I loved him for a while now (aka since day 6), but it was thrilling to hear him say things like "goodnight lovie" and wonder if he was feeling the same thing. Those three words were officially spoken for the first time after he had walked me to my night class and we were standing outside the door saying goodbye. He had been trying to say it all day and I could see that he was getting frustrated that there hadn't been an opening. Finally outside my classroom he said it, but it was so last minute that I had no choice but to turn away and walk inside. I literally only had .5 seconds to respond (before my teacher locked me out), and I didn't want this moment to be crammed into that time frame. So he had to suffer the hour and a half of silence and it wasn't until we met up later that night that he finally got his "I love you too". When we said it that day we meant it. We knew it was real and we knew it was forever. 



We are sharers. The day he asked my dad for my hand I was fully aware, and the very next day when he spent 10 hours creating the perfect ring for me I was also fully aware. I know it seems like this method is way less fun, but I loved hearing him voice his every thought to me during the entire process. It was his first time as well as mine, and he was nervous so he couldn't help but tell his best friend everything. I thought for sure he'd get down on his knee and throw it on my finger the very next time he saw me but he didn't...it was the day AFTER that, thank you very much! Haha. He asked me to go the beach where we had had one of our dates but I told him no. Then he asked me to go to the gelatto shop where we had our first kiss but I said no again.... I felt like he felt the pressure to put on a show so that made me uncomfortable. He finally got the idea and simply asked me one Monday right before class, same way we did any of the other major milestones in our relationship. 


The rest is history.

23 November 2013

Every little detail of our love story

My very favorite non-human thing is this so called "life book" that I update and buy at the end of each year. The other day I was showing the kids (of the family we live with) our life book and I realized that some of the details of the very beginning have started to get hazy! Already! I've never shared our love story in its entirety on the blog before, so I figured now was a good time before I forget anything else.


We're going straight to the beginning, folks.

In high school, none of my boyfriends were ever LDS. I lived in an extremely small town (there were only 31 other people in my graduating class) and I just never clicked with the one Mormon boy my age, although we were very good friends. I KNEW what I wanted my future to look like...temple marriage, kids, priesthood holder...I just wasn't living my life in a way that matched that. Confusion ensued.



Soon enough, I was head over heels for someone I DEFINITELY didn't want to spend the rest of my life with. He was nothing that I needed but I couldn't help but fall for him. After a two year off and on relationship I decided to end it for good as my senior year drew to a close, and the breakup was messy. I decided to never date another boy who wasn't worthy of a temple marriage after that. 

Two years later I was still single and miserable. Part of me was convinced that I would have to marry somebody I didn't like in order to have the future I so craved, and I spent a lot of time wondering if I would be able to handle that. Remember that Mormon boy I never clicked with in high school?  Well he was on his mission now and I decided that he would just have to be the one, since he seemed to be the only eligible option. I believed I could MAKE myself love him and then, tada - I would get the forever family that I wanted. I threw myself into the idea of him and found myself falling in love with the person I created him to be in my head. We wrote. We joked. I informed my family that he was my choice. That was my story and I was sticking to it.

Then one Sunday I was sitting with my rowdy primary class and a member of the bishopric came in to announce that there was to be a huge meeting, which ALL of the young single adults in the area would be encouraged to attend. It was at that meeting that a new young single adult ward was announced, and I had to choose between staying in my family ward or joining this new ward an hour away from  home. Even though my parents struggled with the idea of me "leaving" I started driving to meetings an hour away every Sunday and Tuesday, and sometimes Monday. I LOVED every moment of making new connections and friends. 



It was here that I first met Matthew. I remember the first time I saw him, in institute one evening sitting next to some girl. I was almost mesmerized by him, although this is kind of embarrassing to admit. I stared shamelessly and found myself picturing him and that other girl married in the future - wondering how some girls seem to have the best luck! I heard the words of my aunt in my head "It's not official until there's a ring on his finger" and decided to try flirting with him even though I didn't know if he was in a relationship with that girl he was talking to or not (I'm sure my aunt would be so proud, haha). I sat behind them and wondered what the heck I was going to say to get his attention. At one point he said something to her and, although I wasn't even listening to the lesson, I leaned forward and shushed him. He looked a little confused at first but he definitely stopped talking to her - mission accomplished! After the lesson he turned around and asked "So are you going to the pool party tonight?" and when I answered that I definitely was, he gave me this smile and told me that he was looking forward to seeing me there. At the pool party, he had no game. He just followed me around and called me "beautiful" way too often. Yawn. I still couldn't deny that he was the most handsome one there, but he was much less interesting now that the chase seemed to be over.

A couple of months later I was on my way to a YSA beach trip with some friends and Matthew was quick to volunteer to ride with us to show us the way there. I rolled my eyes because by this time I knew that he was a notorious flirt and obviously the only reason he chose our car was because it was the only one with all girls! I had heard many terrible rumors about him and even though I wasn't sure which ones were true and which ones were false, I was prepared for the most annoying car ride ever. Much to my surprise, he was charming and funny and we actually would have gotten lost without him. I was also impressed about how he explained the word of wisdom to my two friends (who were not LDS).


My interest in Matthew was renewed at the beach that day...but he never asked me out so I was kind of disappointed. I was also still telling myself that I was going to marry the boy from my hometown who was on his mission - though with noticeably less resolve now. A boy came along, and he didn't seem like my type but he was interested in me and I figured that "my type" in the past had never really worked out. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try. I officially had a Mormon boyfriend for the first time in my life.

^ Halloween. I was a firework, he was a viking?

Oh look, there's Matthew haha! We kind of think this picture is hilarious now.

Unfortunately, the two of us were in completely different places. He fell hard and fast before I was even completely sure I even liked him at all! His dad started calling me his future daughter in law, his mother wanted to browse wedding dresses with me, and one day he tried to convince me to move with him to Idaho, where he would soon be leaving for college. As the clock winded down for him to leave the pressure built - I obviously had to breakup with him but struggled with how to do it, and all the while he was  brainstorming ideas on how to propose to me! He took me up to the top of a mountain one day and I was so scared of the impending conversation that I faked an intense interest in the wildlife around me in order to avoid meeting his eyes.  He told me he loved me and wanted to be with me for the rest of his life, but my mind was racing and all of the sudden I just blurted out the words "I don't!" There's just no sugar coating something like that, and looking back now I still think those two little words that caused him so much pain at the time were the right words for the moment.

Next up: Part Two

17 November 2013

Just going through my monthly "craft cycle"

Last year I didn't send out Christmas Cards because I barely had thank you cards from our wedding sent out. This year I have Photoshop and 50 free prints from Costco so there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to pretty up my own little design and call it good, right? One problem...I have no experience in design or Photoshop and I keep getting mad that my final product never looks as good as it did in my head. My husband recently pointed out to me that I have a craft cycle, and it goes like this: I jump from hobby to hobby and every time I start something new, I'm not very good at it, I get discouraged, and I give up and try something else. Vicious I tell you.

So I'm doing my best to break this cycle. Hubby says if I could just be patient I'll become much better with practice. So I've been creating Christmas card after Christmas card, and I think I really am getting better the more I try.

This is the first one I tried making (about a month ago) and I just think its a little too busy. Also, WHY in the world did I make the letters all crooked like that? So awkward.


For the second one I kind of went the opposite way, but is it too simple that it becomes boring? I can't really tell. Either way, I do like it better and I can see my husband's logic. The only thing more frustrating than trial and error is trying a 100 things and sucking at all of them because I'm too impatient to master any of them haha. 


It's time for me to quit quitting.


Much Ado About Somethin


14 November 2013

So why was there a baboon on my driveway?

I have been having way too much fun these past couple of days to blog! 
Blogging is a hobby and I refuse to make a chore out of it, just in case anyone was wondering why I'm so patchy. Sorry I'm not sorry :)

So this weekend was Joey's birthday party and he wanted all the wild animals there to celebrate with him. I wasn't able to stay for the entire party because I had a baptism to go to (which is totally okay because I've met these guys before), but from what I could see, it was pretty awesome. Pretty much she has all the kids sit in a row, with the birthday boy in his front row seat, then she bring outs the wild animals one by one and lets us all look and sometimes pet while she tells us about them. Its a real crowd pleaser.




When it was time for the kangaroo she just let him out of the cage to hop around on his own! 
It was soooo weird to see a kangaroo just chilling in my backyard.



My favorite may have been this baby porcupine, born three days prior to the party.
Its kind of a huge letdown that he has poky quills all over because he's so cute I just wanted to cuddle him!


So when it was time for me to leave I reluctantly grabbed my keys and walked out the door...only to find a baboon sitting on my driveway! Hence the instagram picture. I guess my feelings towards monkeys have softened from a passionate disdain to a simple "they're my least favorite animals." It's a step in the right direction. 


That being said, I will NEVER like these guys.
I'll take any other monkey over this.


08 November 2013

Gratitude.

I have truly enjoyed everybody's daily gratitude updates on instagram and facebook! I, like many of you, have paused each day in November to think of something I am grateful for, whether that something is small (ie: starbucks hot chocolate)
 
 
Or major (ie: the people who own the biggest chunk of my heart)
 

While it gives me warm fuzzies to share all of these things that I love and tell you all about why I am so grateful for them in my life, that's really all I'm doing. All talk, no action. So when Whitney (who blogs over at The Married Me) approached me and asked if she could share the following message, I agreed...because it's something that I ought to keep in mind while I'm tapping "share"
 
Here goes Whitney:

November is here and we all know that it's the month of being thankful. The blogging world has already blown up with post series on what people are thankful for each day and stories that are to remind us that we have it good. However I think most of those posts are pretty shallow (not intentionally). I'm not immune to writing a post that tells my husband how thankful I am for him, but in all reality if he doesn't read that blog post he'd never really know. I also believe the the old adage that actions speak louder than words is true.

In our day to day lives we do nice things for others such as hold the door open or share a snack and gracious "thank you"s are exchanged from all. We recognize them and appreciate them but those are common courtesy type thank yous. Now think of how you feel when someone goes a step farther and hand writes you a thank you card in appreciation for something nice you have done. Warm fuzzies come to mind, right? How about when a thoughtful gift (no matter how small) is attached to said thank you note, showing that the person put even more thought and effort into their thank you. I can almost bet you will feel pretty darn special and have a grin on your face for the rest of the day.

I can also bet that if you are the person doing good deeds that you start to get fatigued when no appreciation is shown. It's just common knowledge that the more appreciation you are shown for what you do, the more likely you are to continue the cycle of good deeds. Appreciation and thankfulness multiply within the world and lets face it this world needs more good deeds and positivity!

The past month or so I've challenged myself to show more appreciation. I just graduated from college in May and started a career in nursing. I had a fantastic preceptor my last semester and as I was acclimating to my new job I heard her voice inside my head so many times, guiding me yet. I knew that I needed to let her know what an impact she had made on me so I reconnected with her over texting for her address and sent her a small gift and a letter of my appreciation. From her thank you in return I could really tell that act of appreciation had the desired effect. She wanted to make a difference in this world and I proved to her that she made a difference in mine!

I don't have my actual letter but this was her thank you in return.
I don't have my actual letter but this was her thank you in return.

I took another opportunity to be thankful on Boss' Day, by purchasing a small bouquet of flowers for a supervisor from work. All of the supervisors at my job work extremely hard and wear a variety of hats. In return they don't get near enough appreciation, instead they get pulled a million different directions, soothe the disgruntled patients and family and get called to fix all the problems. Their job is not to get brought into the best of situations, they fix the messes. After some tough shifts I thought it was only fitting that I show her I appreciated all the work that she did.

IMG_20131016_202208

I think what surprised me most about this journey was that I ended up being on the receiving end. Just last week I received a thank you note from a (different) supervisor in the mail, thanking me for staying over at work one morning to help the understaffed day shift get started on the right foot. It was not a thank you note that I was expecting, but boy was it a pleasant surprise! It's nice to know that people appreciate the extra effort. The thankful spirit I sent out into the world already made its way back around to me!

2013-11-01 11.57.26

My challenge to you is to take this month to put some action to your words. Has there been someone who has made your job easier lately? Is there someone who has impacted the way you live your life? Do they know that? I challenge you to purchase some thank you notes and start writing. You can even send a heartfelt email. But lets get off the social media shout outs and nonchalant verbal spouts of appreciation and put some real action behind our words and spread some positivity in this world.
 
Do you have someone in mind?
 

04 November 2013

Joey turns 5

Over the past few months, we've gotten settled into our new place and it's starting to feel a little more like home than a basement, haha. We get along so well with the family we live with, and pretty much adore their four children. In the beginning it could have gone either way and I wasn't sure if this arrangement would make me never want to have kids ever, or make me want to have kids NOW...let me tell you, it is definitely the latter (I'm pretty sure that goes without saying if you follow me on instagram - shameless!). It's a pretty sweet deal though, to have access to four children under 5 any time of the day, I just know I'll miss the chaos when its time for us to leave.

So their youngest boy turns five tomorow and I had the most brilliant plan to turn his upcoming birthday into an excuse for me to take a thousand pictures of him - and as luck would have it, he likes me just as much as I like him so it was pretty easy to talk him into it!

 








You can expect more pictures when Lillian turns 3 ;) 

02 November 2013

Halloween Shenanies in 5 Pictures

Happy November Blogland!

Here goes my mandatory Halloween recap post, for those of you not ready to say goodbye to October yet. Matthew and I were a cowboy and an angel for Halloween (which definitely DO GO TOGETHER, btw) because there's a country love song called Cowboys and Angels haha. 

The costume picture:


The pumpkin pictures:
(Lillys Hello Kitty was my favorite)



The ward Halloween party picture:


And the office picture:


I love this dang holiday! Seeing people embrace their silly side and dress up for a day is priceless. Of course, it's also the opening day of eating season, so that's kind of a plus too. All diets will now be on suspension until further notice...aka January first ;)

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