Monday, February 28, 2011

So... our first date

was interesting.

As it turned out, I did have something planned for the night the guy who would become my husband asked me out.

It was my friend's birthday party.
a masquerade.
Me and a couple of the girls, including the birthday girl, got together to decorate our masks for the event. I told them, "I have to leave early because I have a date."
"Bring him!" they said.
Me: "Uh... I don't know if it's really his thing, but I'll ask him."
I asked him. He said he'd go. 
Another thing you need to know about me: I love dressing up. Halloween, Renaissance Festival, my friend's masquerade party... yeah. I'm so game. My husband is the exact opposite. His idea of a Halloween costume is... well... nothing at all. I mean, just regular clothes.
He wouldn't be caught dead in a costume. That is, except when he was trying to impress a girl. Me.
He came with me to the masquerade in a white button-up shirt and black dress pants and a Phantom of the Opera mask. This was all on my suggestion. The mask was kind of cheap-o and kept digging into his face.
Poor guy. The things we do for love.

So we go to the masquerade party. I'm all decked out in this:
 Funny story... even though my hair is this long now, in the picture, the hair is fake.

The party. Ah, the party. 100% super awkward. Made worse when my outspoken friend told us to go dance. This is our first date, we barely know each other, we're weird as it is because of our costumes, and my date hasn't slow danced with a girl since before his days teaching the gospel in Germany.

It could have been a disaster had it not been for racket ball.

After the dancing, a little mingling, and  more awkward!, we changed clothes and went to play racket ball.
I'm not athletic. I wasn't looking forward to playing a sport, even though I pretended I was. We girls know how to fake it when we're not enthused about the planned activity... especially when we REALLY like the guy.

We played racket ball. I lost. By a lot. But I had a blast. 
I had so much fun just hitting the ball around and talking to my date and laughing and figuring out how much we had in common. 
We went to Sonic for shakes after racket ball and stayed out till 2 a.m. talking. 

And I knew... not that I was going to marry the guy... but I knew that there was something special about him. I had a great time just being there. It didn't matter what we were doing, whether it was feeling ridiculous at a masquerade party or deciding to quit keeping score at racket ball.
Would he ask me out again?
Part three in the next post.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five years ago...

I was giddy.
Because I was going to go on my first date with this man:

big cheesy grin

My sister told the story of how she and the love of her life met and started dating. I was so enthralled by her story that I just had to copy her and write about my own experience with finding "the one."

It was a dark and stormy night...

Just kidding. It was a lovely night around August/September of 2005 (incidentally, the aforementioned sister was engaged at the time). I went to a fireside at the Red Mountain Institute. For those who don't know, a fireside is a big gathering of members of my church who come to listen to a speaker for motivational or spiritual purposes. After it was over, while enjoying refreshments of brownie sundaes or cookies and milk, I saw this really cute guy across the room. Being the habitual flirt I was, I made quick calculations on how to approach the young man who was so nice to look at.
Aha! He's standing with one of my male friends, Joe. 
A great way to meet a guy: know his wing-man.
So I approach. Say hello to Joe. Ask name of Joe's cute friend and introduce myself. Shake hands. Admire smile of cute friend and mentally test how his last name sounds with my first name. Give my subtle, yet brilliant and well-practiced methods of flirtation.
Well... at the time it felt like my womanly wiles were not going to work on this guy. He was a bit standoffish, not very talkative, and seemed indifferent. Oh well. It's not like that's never happened to me before. I was 23 years old and unmarried. In the Mormon culture, that's like 39.
So on to the next adventure.

A few weeks go by and Joe passes me in the hall at church. "Hey, my friend might call you." He told me who his friend was, but in the passage of time, I had forgotten all about his cute friend, who had apparently gotten my phone number from Joe.
Who? I wondered after hearing the name.
Ah, no matter. The name sounded handsome at any rate. And I was a trusting sort of gal.

The call never came. Life went on.
A new semester. January, 2006. At the same institute building a place where my church teaches classes of a religious nature for college students, as well as hosting activities and dances, I took class every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday night were ballroom team nights. Thursday was a regular, sit-down class. 

And in that class was that cute guy I met at the fireside all those months ago.
Did I remember him? Yes. Did he remember me? You bet.
Did he ask me out? No.

Not until the end of February. It took several weeks of classes, socializing after classes, and trying to impress him by making him think I was athletic by participating in shooting hoops on the basketball court at the institute building.

Then, on that Thursday night, February 23rd, he approached me and said:
"I got a question for ya. What're you doing Saturday night?"
Me: (mentally) Psh. Going out with you, of course! Oh heck yes.
Me: (out loud) "Um... I don't think I have anything set in stone."

I don't remember what was said after that. Probably because I was so excited to go out with him. My grandma had just passed away and I was eager for some happiness to come around. 
And it did. 

Next time: the first date.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An abridgement and summation of recent happenings.

Saturday went well. I made some money. Painted some faces. My hair got frizzy from rain. Sorry I don't have pictures.

Went to the Renaissance Festival yesterday. Way fun.Took lots of pictures. Don't have any yet. I will post them when I do.

Went for my walk today. 
And ran. 
A little. 
It felt awesome. 
I figured out that I get more motivated listening to angry girl music (like Evanescence, Flyleaf, and Paramore) than any other kind of music.

Trying to get myself off sugar. Unsuccessful so far.

And airplane streaks against a sunset sky look just like my stretch marks.

I know. TMI.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Willy Creations

Me and and the Man got jobs.
Weekend jobs, that is.
I'm a face painter (I've been doing it for years. My first time painting faces was at the Brimhall Jr. High Halloween Carnival when I was 13.)
And he is a balloon twister.

...or at least, he will be.
Wednesday night we went over to our friends' house, who own the business Willy Creations. They twist balloons and face paint for local parties. They've become so busy, they decided to hire us!

Here is the Man and his buddy, Scott, who is teaching him the finer points of twisting.

Making flowers.

Me. Even though it doesn't look like it in the previous picture, I'm pretty sure my husband made this one.

The coolest balloon sword ev-ah.
Pretty sure it's called Sting.
Or Narsil.
Or Glamdring.

...and if you know what those are, here is a virtual high five, you very cool nerdy person, you.

My first face painting "gig" with Willy Creations is today. Wish me luck!

Thanks for everything, Scott and Dani!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learning to Fly

I wish I could be as upbeat as some of my blog posts are. When people ask me how I'm doing, I'm tempted to say "Not as good on the inside as I am on the outside." I battle bitterness and envy along with my grief every single day.

It's because of this that I've decided to stop following the "live feed" on Facebook. Jealousy is not an emotion my Father in Heaven wants me to feel and it is so easy for that green-eyed monster to bite me when I see how many people on facebook are pregnant! or have four more weeks! or are so in love with their perfect, their healthy, their beautiful babies.*

Today on my walk, I was listening to Pandora internet radio on my phone. The song Learning to Fly by Michele McLaughlin came on. It's a beautiful piano solo that of course, made me think of Ella. Everything beautiful reminds me of her.

Learning to fly, I thought. I wish I could fly. I fly a lot in my dreams. In a perfect world, flying broomsticks would be real and jetpacks would be sold like newspapers on the corner.
I wondered if Ella was learning to fly.
Then the thought came to me:

She didn't have to learn. She already knew how.

That's why she got to fly home.

 But I know she beckons. I know she wants me to fly one day too .

For now, I'm walking for exercise. I can't run because of the surgery, even though I want to. I have to walk first. I have to walk before I can run and I have to run before I can fly.
I won't fly in this life. But I will someday. With her.
With my husband. With my family. In our perfect world.

We all have to walk before we can run. And we all have to run... and endure... before we can fly.

*I want my sweet sister in law, who just gave birth to a beautiful
little boy, to know how much I love her and how grateful I am 
that her sweet family is growing. I also want my other sweet sister in law,
who is expecting a little boy in a few more months, to know how much
I love her too. I am sad I don't get to raise my little girl in this life. 

But I never, ever want my sisters to feel like they can't be as
happy and as in love with their precious children as they deserve to be.
You are both wonderful and I'm thankful you're my sisters.

Monday, February 14, 2011

15 Things I Love...

about the Man

15. His taste in women.
oh, come on, you know you girls love that about your hubbies too.
14. The way he speaks German.
Who'd've thought a language that sounds like you're trying to hawk a loogie could be so sexy? No offense intended to Germans. Love your country!
13. How smart he is with finances 
 seriously,  the dude could get Obama out of debt.
12. He likes loading the dishwasher and hates unloading it
I like unloading the dishwasher and hate loading it. We're so stinkin perfect for each other.
11. His smile
lights up my universe
10. His love of cars
it's so cute. And we're going to have nice ones one day. :)
9. His sideburns
I know it sounds weird, but... the guy can rock the sideburns. woo!
8. His sense of humor
I'm sorry... but you just can't deny that farts are funny.
which goes along with #3
 7. His love and commitment to me
He's no Romeo, but I like that. His quiet, or sometimes silly devotion is exactly what I need.
6. How hard-working he is  
getting into dental school is no picnic. Neither is working a job you don't like while plowing through undergrad until getting accepted into dental school.
5. How patient he is 
you have to be to deal with the Miss Emotionally High-Maintenance Drama Queen-of-Everything over here. that's me.
4. How well he takes care of me when I'm sick.
remember appendectomy, pregnancy, bed-rest, c-section, stomach flu, cold... ? the list goes on. And on.
3. The way he can make me laugh when I'm sad.
this happens a lot lately.
2. What a fantastic father and uncle he is.
He always says me and Ella are his favorites. And he's so good to our nieces and nephews, I know he'll be a wonderful father for the rest of the kiddos that come along.
1. His honor
he is one of the most upright, honorable men I know.

These are just 15 things among many. Even though he and I agreed that Valentine's Day is kind of a lame holiday where chocolate, flower, perfume, and diamond companies try to scrape out a little more profit after the holidays are over, I had to post how much I love this man and I'm so grateful he's in my life.

Here he is at Ethan's Run with his "Remembering Ella" Ladybug shirt.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gandalf knows best

It's funny how you can find encouragement in the oddest places.

Or is it really that funny?
Yeah, it is.
Or maybe just cool. Really cool.

Now you have to understand the type of person I am. Ever since New Year's Day 2002, I have had a fanatical, sometimes manic obsession with Lord of the Rings.... 

to the point that I even tried to learn Elvish.
My elvish name is Melethien and Ella's is
so pretty!!!
I just spent 15 minutes of my life
trying to find both her real name and her nickname
in Elvish.
I also found out that another meaning for Ella is elfin. he he he
They don't have an elvish word for Ladybug. 
They have one for 
but not ladybug. hmm.

So anyway, on to my point. I was watching Lord of the Rings yesterday (sometimes mouthing the lines along with them) and a couple quotes stood out to me and made me smile:
Frodo says, just like I do every day when I miss my baby, 
"I wish none of this had happened." 
Gandalf's response: 

"So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."
Love it.

And then there was Galadriel. The Queen of Elves.
She says to Frodo:

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."

Amen, sister.

I hope with all my heart that my baby, the smallest, sweetest person in the world, has the power to bring a change for good in our futures.

See? We can find encouragement anywhere.
Even in the geekiest places.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Princess and Angel reunite

Today I did a hard thing.

I went and visited my very dear friend who had her baby girl two days after I had Ella. Me and this girl have been friends since high school. When we were both single, hot, happenin', we were literally joined at the hip.

When we found out we were both pregnant with little girls, our babies had been officially "betrothed besties."

I'd been putting off visiting her for numerous reasons.
Little Miss M (I'll call her Princess Jr. until I can come up with a better nickname) is healthy, perfect, beautiful, and the exact age my Ladybug would be if she were still with us.
So you can see why this was hard for me. I was nervous as I drove over, walked to the front door, and knocked.

This visit turned out to be soothing, sweet, tearful, and wonderful. My friend and I were able to embrace, cry, gab as if we've never been apart, and even laugh. I got to hold her sweet little one and reconcile myself to the way things are, even though I still feel like a chunk of me is missing.

Me and my friend, back when we were seniors at Mesa High, had nicknamed one another Princess and Angel. She was Princess, I was Angel, and this was most definitely done in the days just before Princess and Angel paraphernalia had become popular.
How cool is that.
Here's a picture we had taken back in the day:

Our sweatshirts say "Princess" and "Angel" on them. dang my hair was short. We were so goofy. I don't like the irony of being nicknamed Angel and then having to hand my baby back to the angels, but life is life and all that goes with it. And on the other hand, I'm glad Ladybug is with angels if she couldn't be with me. :)

Me and Princess are planning a big ladies' spa weekend for our big 30th birthday celebration in 2012. Yipes. 30. We've got a year and a few months to plan... and cling to the remainder of our 20's like a pair of hot but too-tight shoes.

Looking forward to lots of good times ahead, Princess. Don't forget your CD mix of Britney Spears, Coyote Ugly, and Enrique.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pretty Toes and Hot Heels

On Ella's one month birthday, me and my mom and all my sisters (SIL's included!), and my niece went and got pedicures. We all needed a little bit of pampering on our special girl's day since we miss her so much. Plus, the boys went to an ASU basketball game, so the girls wanted to play too.

Some of us even got ladybugs on our toes!

Here's my toes. French, with itty bitty ladybug in the corner.

And here's all our cute feet together. Love it!

<----That one is me :)

And just for kicks, I have to show you these beee-utiful purple heels I got from...
           you guessed it.
Charming Charlies!

I love the ruffles.

*You wanna hear a funny story? I'm wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt in this picture.*