Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How We Met: Breaking Ties

I’ve been reading a lot of “How We Met” stories on other’s blogs and I wanted to record mine. I have previously written the following posts on this topic.

The day after my third date with Matt, the day after our first kiss, I had a date with the Estaban. And I knew that I had a decision to make. Because Estaban and I had been going on dates for a month now and it was getting to that point. That point where you need to have a DTR. And before I met Matt, I was debating with myself on whether or not I should start dating him exclusively, whether or not I should kiss him. But, I had held myself back because… he was THAT guy. That guy that I had dated 5 times before; never had a girlfriend, never had a kiss, never had a job, and didn’t even have a license. I felt so tired of being a first girlfriend, I didn’t really want to do it all over again after I had just done it. I had other qualms about Estaban too. His culture and his family were so different from mine that we had a lot of disagreements. Even though I had a lot of fun with him, I just wasn’t sure if I liked him. But, after meeting Matt, and going out with him three times, and kissing him, I knew, I could not date Estaban any longer. 

So, on our date he met me at my apartment and brought me flowers that he had picked for me. Oh yeah, he was not going to make this easy for me. I grabbed a blanket and we went to a nearby park to watch the air balloons launch for the fourth of July. As we sat there in the early morning, in the cold air, in an empty park, I told him that I had met someone else, that I thought that we were just too different to continue dating. He argued with me, as was his way and tried to convince me that we were not that different and that he really liked me. I’m sure that I hurt his feelings. I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I had dated him for a whole month and our dating ended before it had even really begun. I had to have a break up speech even though we were not exclusively dating. I didn’t like hurting his feelings, but I knew it was the right call. Matt has always said that he is grateful to Estaban because he, unfortunately, was kinda my rebound guy; which means that Matt was not my rebound guy after my bad break up. But don’t worry, not three weeks after I broke ties with Estaban, he met the person who would be his future wife. And he was able to have his first girlfriend and his first kiss with the woman that he would spend the rest of his life with. I think he saw it as a wonderful love story to have his wife be the only woman he ever seriously dated and I was glad and reassured that I made the right choice by ceasing our dating when I did.

I’ve never been really good at breaking up with someone. I’ve done it many times, but I always seem to botch it. I try to make the blow as soft as I can and it always turns out… mean. Perhaps this is because I am too honest. I’m honest to the point of being blunt, and this often comes off as mean. And you would think that since I had found Matt, found the man I married, that it would be the last time that I would have to have a “break up” conversation, but sadly, it was not.

You see, after my break up with Gloomy Gus, I had been going out with a number of different guys from my past, in addition to Estaban. I will now make up fake names for them… we shall call them… Thomas and Andrew. Thomas was an ex-boyfriend who I had known since childhood. He had been in my life a long time and we kept drifting back to each other when our lives were devoid of any other attachment. He was comfortable, familiar, and so similar to me and came back on my radar after my break up with Gloomy Gus because we had always remained friends, even when we weren’t dating. Andrew was an ex-boyfriend from Hawaii. We had a whirlwind romance of one week of dating back in Hawaii before the semester ended and he went on a mission. Andrew went home to Japan after the mission and I went home to Utah after college. Andrew and I had an online chatting and emailing relationship and he turned up in Utah about two weeks after Matt and I met. I had to break ties with both of these guys in addition to Estaban. And because they were all my friends before and after we started dating it kinda broke my heart to tell them that I was no longer a possibility. 

In the month of July, I had to “break up” with three guys before I finally made things official with Matt. With Thomas, he knew that I had met Matt and he had been playing the best friend and the comforter for me. We talked, chatted, or emailed most every day and he was a confidant. When I told him about Matt and how I much I liked him, Thomas simply asked, “Becky, should I stop waiting for you?” And it broke my heart because I knew that he really liked me and cared for me and was just waiting for me to be ready to date him all the many years that I had known him, but I simply said, “Yes.” Because I knew, that I really had something with Matt even though we hadn’t even made our dating official. Thomas and I were never friends the same way after that. We remained friends in a more trivial way, and then later, more acquaintances than friends, but that is as it should be because Matt became my confidant, my best friend, and my comforter. But, it was for the best too because Thomas met his future wife a couple months later.

Two weeks after I met Matt, Andrew, told me that he was coming into town for a visit. Andrew was my dramatic, actor romance. He was an actor and he always made things seem climactic and exciting and dramatic. When I dated him, I felt like I was in a movie because of all the drama. Our dating started with a kiss back in 2004. We were standing on the beach at night, watching the moon and the waves and it was windy and cold. So, Andrew stepped up behind me and wrapped his arms around me to keep me warm. I turned in his arms and looked into his eyes and said the first thing that came to my mind, “I feel like I should kiss you because of the beach and the moonlight and your arms around me,” and then he kissed me. The kiss was passionate and deep and the wind continued to blow my long hair around us as the waves beat upon the beach. Oh yeah, it totally felt like a movie. Our dating lasted exactly one week, but we remained in contact via email and chat.

So, when he told me he was going to be in town (in 2006) and wanted to spend one of the few nights that he was in the country with me (he lived in Japan), I agreed to see him. We got food to go and spread a blanket out in a park at night and ate under the stars and talked about the good old days in Hawaii. (Fun fact, it was the exact same park that I brought Estaban to when I broke up with him.) As I spent time with him, I felt all the old feelings of our one week together come back. I was drawn to him and all his theatrics. Then, when there was a pause in conversation, Andrew said to me, “I really want to kiss you.” Old Becky wouldn’t have hesitated. I would have leaned forward and relived our passionate kiss on the beach right then and there. But, new Becky, the one who had been through many relationships in the past two years since I had dated Andrew, and the one who had just met Matt and really liked Matt knew that I could not kiss Andrew. I had made a rule for myself; that I would never be kissing two guys at once. And I was already kissing Matt, so I could never kiss Andrew. Also, I knew that this was the only night that I would probably see Andrew; it wasn’t worth it to have a moment of kissing only to ruin the start of the relationship that I was starting with Matt. I knew, even though I didn’t know, that Matt was going to be something more important to me than one single kiss could ever be.

So, when Andrew told me that he wanted to kiss me, I said, “I can’t.” And, in true Andrew fashion, sticking to his theatrical side, he said to me, “I understand. You can always be my ‘what if’ girl.” As in, “What if we ever got more than a week together when we lived back in Hawaii?” Or, “What if we weren’t separated by an ocean and could actually have a real relationship.” It was terribly romantic. I could almost hear the epic music playing behind him as he uttered those words.
And that was the last that I ever did see of Andrew. I think that I chatted with him a couple of times online after that, but we never rekindled what once was. He went on to graduate at BYU Hawaii in Theater, then went to graduate school somewhere back east and then I lost track of him because we didn’t stay in touch. But, I’m sure that he is out there breaking hearts and pursuing his acting career.

And Andrew really was the last guy that I ever had to break up with. He was the easiest, since it wasn’t so much a break up as a refusal of a proposition. But after that, I never had to break another guy’s heart again, because I had found my man, though I didn’t know it yet. But that is another story.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not Yet Disneyland!

A few days ago, I got a Christmas card from my friend Jasmine. It was a super cute picture of her family at Disneyland with Mickey Mouse. I showed the card to Nicole because I thought she might like it since she loves Mickey Mouse. Little did I know that it would cause me so many problems.

Me: Nicole, this is a picture of our friends with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

Nicole: What is Disneyland?

Me: That is where Mickey lives.

Nicole: Mickey lives at Disneyland?

Me: Yes, Disneyland is where Mickey lives.

Nicole: Can we go there?

Me: Maybe someday, but it is really far away.

Nicole: Okay, can we go tomorrow?

Me: No, it is really really far. It would take a whole day to go there.

Nicole: Okay, so tomorrow?

Me: No.

At which point I put the card on the Christmas tree (because that is where I put all my Christmas cards). Five minutes later, Nicole had the card clutched in her hand and had brought it back to me.

Nicole: Mom, can we go and see Mickey now?

Me: No Cole, we cannot.

Nicoley: Can I have this? *holding up the Christmas card*

Me: Sure.

At which point, Nicole carried it around the rest of the night... and carried it around with her the next day. She gathered all her Mickey and Minnie figurines and stuffed animals and showed them the card and told them about Disneyland. She asked me again and again when we could go. She took the card to bed with her and lost it behind her bed three times in the next couple of days. And cried until I retrieved it from behind the bed.

And then, I had had enough. I had to make the card disappear. I did not want to tell her one more time that we were not going to Disneyland. I didn't want to fish the card out from behind her bed one more time. So, while she was sleeping, I slipped the card out from her bed and hid it. She asked for it the next morning, and I mock looked for it and declared that it was lost. Finally, the Disneyland talk has ceased.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Riverwoods Santa

I took the kids to the Riverwoods to take the kids to see Santa. The Riverwoods Santa is really good and lets me take pictures of him with my kids without charging me. The mall Santa's cost so much to get a picture of my kids with Santa.

I also took the opportunity to practice using my new camera with the pretty Christmas lights as a background. I found that I am not very good with my camera yet. It took me a lot of pictures to figure out that I should use the night setting on my camera if I'm taking pictures at night. The flash kept washing out the kids and no flash left me with blurry pictures. So, once I found that night setting, things got a little better. I need more practice.

I let the kids just run around the square and I attempted to catch them looking at the camera for pictures.

I know this picture is a little blurry and that Dan has red eye, but I just love this running picture. A picture of him running just captures his spirit so well.

And this is when I discovered the night setting.

Dano is really good at staying in the stroller when I ask him to.

I couldn't get Nicole to look at the camera when she was sitting with Santa. When Santa asked her what she wanted, she immediately replied, "Pillow Pet!"

Dano did not want to sit on Santa's lap, but he didn't cry, so I call it a win.
The kids liked seeing Santa, but I think that they liked that Santa gave them candy canes even more.

It is fun, as a parent, to see me kids have these experiences. Christmas has become a lot more fun since I had kids. I love seeing them excited about things.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How We Met: Our First Dates

Becky Summer of 2006

I’ve been reading a lot of “How We Met” stories on other’s blogs and I wanted to record mine. Last time, I wrote the Prequel and you can find that here. This time, I’m going to tell you the story of how we dated.

June 30, 2006 was our very first date. Why do I remember the exact date? Because, I’m a freak who places sentimental values on specific days.
Our first date was also the first time we met, since we had only had email and telephone conversations. So, just to make it safe, I didn’t want him to know where I lived until I knew that he wasn’t a crazy person who was going to murder me in my sleep. We agreed to meet at Rock Canyon park and then we would go on the date from there. 

I got to the park first and I had brought a book to read, of course, so I was reading a book, sitting on a giant boulder at Rock Canyon park when I saw Matt for the first time. He pulled up in his ultra clean (and brand new) black, Saturn Ion and I saw this tall, blonde, handsome man with piercing blue eyes and I couldn’t help but smile because I was so happy that his pictures were not an exaggeration, but he really was the good looking guy that I had expected.

Matt tells me that he was impressed by my looks right away, but I was pretty good looking at the time. I had waist length brown hair that I had in waves and I was college thin. Ah, those were the pre-baby days.

We took Matt’s car to Tepanyaki in Provo, which I had never been too before. It was fun because we got the show of the Hibachi chef while we were eating, but it was also a little awkward because we were sharing a table with other people who we didn’t know. But, I was immediately impressed by the fact that he took me to a place that was not super cheap, but also not super expensive. If a guy took me to a super cheap place, I always kinda felt like the guy didn’t like me enough to spend money on me. But, if a guy took me to a super expensive place, I always felt guilty about the cost of the food and would order a less expensive item on the menu (like a salad) so that I wasn’t forcing the guy to spend too much. But, Matt obviously knew what he was doing. He had been around the dating block before. 

As all first dates go, there was plenty to talk about because we had everything to learn about each other. I found it so easy to talk to Matt and dinner wasn’t too awkward. I remember that this was also the night that I tried scallops for the first time because Matt ordered them and he insisted that I try them when he discovered I had never had them before. My belief that I would not like them proved to be true. Justified! But, Matt tells me that this act of trying something new impressed him because it proved that I wasn’t afraid to try new things.

After dinner, Matt took us to Blockbuster (back when those still existed). He let me pick out a movie, then, we went over to Albertson’s (back when those existed too) and let me pick out whatever snacks that I wanted. Then, he drove me back to Rock Canyon park, spread out a blanket, whipped out his fancy, portable dvd player (which was really new and cool at the time) and we watched a movie and ate our snacks in our own personal outdoor theater. Now, normally, I would discourage watching a movie on a first date because you can’t talk during a movie and it is just two hours in chairs, staring at a screen. But, Matt did it smart. We were able to pause the movie when we wanted to say something and we had an awesome snack selection and I was able to stretch out on the blanket. I felt so comfortable with Matt. Even though I had just met him, I felt relaxed, I felt excited and I felt really happy.

And then, it started raining… or maybe it was the sprinklers. My journal says that it started raining, but my memory says the sprinklers… so it was something with water that forced us out of our outdoor theater and into the car. Now, if I were counseling my daughter on the do’s and don’ts of dating, I would advise against sitting in the backseat of a car with a guy she had just met… but, that is exactly what I did. As we sat in the back of the car, I felt that happy, twiterpated feeling that I sometimes get about a guy. He was easy going, he was intelligent, he was funny, and he was… happy, which was so different from the person who I had previously dated. It was refreshing and wonderful to be around someone who was happy and comfortable to be around. My heart lifted while I was with him and it was exciting and new. 

I must admit that on that first date, I snuggled with Matt in the back of his car and we held hands while finishing up our movie. Normally, I don’t hold hands with a guy until I am dating him because hand holding is very intimate and it is sort of a statement. You see a couple walking down the street and they are just a couple of people. You see a couple walking down the street holding hands and you know they are together. But, I must admit I was intensely infatuated with Matt. I liked him right away. There were no thoughts in my mind of, “Well, he is nice, but not very attractive, maybe I will like him more when I got to know him better.” Which is what I had thought multiple times before with other guys that I had dated. There was no question in me, I liked him right away. He made me feel all butterfly-ey and giddy in a teenage girl way (though I totally played it cool on the date). Matt confessed to me (later) that he had never held hands with a girl on the first date before, so that he felt something special about me right away too. The first date was a definite success. When he dropped me off at home that night, I secretly hoped that I would hear from him again.

The next day, Matt called me and asked me out again. He felt that since he liked me so much that there was no reason to wait to ask me out again (honesty is so refreshing in a guy!). But, I had a date with another guy that night, so, he invited me over to dinner at his house the following night (yes, three dates in three days). I mentioned this other guy in my previous post. He was a friend from high school that I had been going out with a lot since my Gloomy Gus break up, we shall call him… Estaban (he was Mexican, but that was not his name). I knew Estaban was hoping to date me exclusively, but I was very up front with him that I was dating a lot of people and wasn’t ready for a boyfriend yet. So, I didn’t feel too guilty about going out with Matt.

For our second date, I let Matt pick me up at my apartment; trust had been earned so I thought he could know where I lived. He took me to his apartment, which he shared with his sister, Anne, and her husband, Carlos. I got to meet Anne and Carlos when we got there and then they cleared out to go to a fireside while we cooked dinner. Yes, Matt invited me to dinner on a Sunday, which some would say is inappropriate, but it was just making and eating dinner together. Matt cooked orange pork loin, rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes, and parmesan green beans. I helped him cook and marveled at his masterful cooking skills as I (at the time) did not know how to cook anything more complicated than soup. Seeing his him cook me dinner and seeing how close he was with his family made me like him even more. I know now that he was trying to impress me and it totally worked, I was impressed and smitten. 

After our second date, I liked him more than ever. I was happy, excited, attracted, and couldn’t stop smiling. I had not felt this way about someone… ever. With my past boyfriends (there were 7 previous boyfriends), I usually wasn’t initially attracted to them, but with many dates, I found myself liking them. I always felt like my boyfriends were a bit of a project. Almost all of them had never dated a girl before, never kissed a girl before, and were pretty much clueless. Also, the previous guys were around my own age (22). 

Matt was unlike anyone I had ever dated before. He was 5.5 years older than me (27), he had had girlfriends before, he had a solid job, and he was blonde. I know it is a small thing, but I had never before dated a blonde; brunettes, red heads, Polynesians, and Mexicans, but never a blonde. I just had never been attracted to a blonde man before. Maybe it was because of these things that he was so exciting to me, but I think it also may have been because I needed to date someone drastically different from what I had dated before to appreciate what I had been missing all those years.

When Matt took me home on our second date, he asked me to go out with him the next night (July 3rd). I don’t remember what it is that we did for our third date, but I do remember that it was the night of our first kiss. When he dropped me off at my apartment, he asked me if he could kiss me and I said he could. I was so excited for this kiss. We had been on our first three dates in four days and I felt so attracted to him. Our hand holding and snuggling had been so nice that I knew that our first kiss would be magical. We were on my doorstep and he leaned in to kiss me and then… it was wet and awkward and our lips didn’t meet quite right and it was not good. I was so surprised because I thought for sure that kissing Matt would be awesome… but it wasn’t (Matt felt the same as well). I laugh about this now because I know what the problem was. The problem was that I was used to kissing someone else and I went to kiss him using the technique that I had used to kiss my past boyfriend, and it just didn’t work out. I had yet to learn to kiss well universally. I’m probably still not good at this, but that is okay because I only needed to learn how to kiss MATT well.

Despite our awkward first kiss, I was still drawn to Matt. I still liked him and I knew that given time, I would figure out how to kiss him properly. And I did, it just took some practice, but I will save that story for another time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tea Party

Dan, Nicole and I had a little tea party the other night. It pretty much consisted of Nicole and I setting up the tea set and Dan knocking it all over... and then Nicole freaking out. But, for a few precious minutes, it was so cute.

Monkey and Mrs. Pototo Head came for tea

It is pink tea and it is good tea!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lunch at Adobe

Last week, Matt had a meeting at work in the middle of the day since most people work during the day light hours (weird right?). So, he picked me up at work and I went with him and the kids so that I could watch after the kids while he was in his meeting.

While we were waiting for Matt, we checked out some of the art that Adobe has going on.

The kids, of course, immediately grabbed the balls rotating on this thing and my attempts to put them back proved to be a catastrophe. I obviously put them back in the wrong places because after a few loops on this contraption, billiard balls started falling down (very loudly) on the concrete floor and rolling every where.
And then I was super embarrassed.

Adobe also has a cafeteria and a full kitchen staff and awesome food. So, we stayed and had lunch there after Matt's meeting.

The new Adobe building is amazing and has a lot of cool stuff for their employees. It makes me a little jealous because my office building is lame. But, I'm glad that Matt has a nice place to work.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Couch Cushions

Dan has this thing where he wants to take all the cushions off of every couch. And, he wants to do it all the time. And, it drives me crazy. And, he loves it when it drives me crazy.

"What? The couch was this way when I found it."

 Once the cushions are off the couch, he jumps on the cushionless couch and then jumps from the couch to the cushions.

And then, when he is bored of playing with the couch, he just leaves and then I am left to clean up the mess because Dan and Nicole are both too little to lift the cushions back on to the couch.

Friday, December 07, 2012

My New Book Blog

I have been posting my "pho" book reviews on this blog for a while now. But, I feel like it isn't quite the right space for it as this blog is more about me and my kiddos and my life. Plus, I never get any comments on my book reviews here, so I thought about starting a new blog just where I can talk about the books that I love.

So, I started looking at other book blogs that are out there to see what they are doing. And, I learned that book bloggers don't actually read that many books. Some book bloggers read and review maybe 30 books a year, the good ones read and review 50 books a year, and the excellent ones do 70 books a year. I usually read about 50 books a year. They are not always first reads for me, I reread a lot of books, but that is still a lot of books.  And if I could read 50 books a year, that is only like a book a week to review. I could totally do that.

Then I got the idea that I would talk to my sister Sarah about it because she reads twice as many books as I do (literally). And we decided it would be fun to collaborate on a book blog where we could both review books and offer differing opinions and such.

And after much discussion, much deliberation, and much trial and error, our book blog was born. 
I've also linked the book blog in my title bar.

Now, it is a newborn book blog with not many reviews yet, and not many viewers. But, we will treat it with love, give it posts and hopefully, someday it will be a real book blog.

So, if you want to hear my thoughts on Young Adult books, Fantasy books, Children's books, and Picture books, check out my brand spanking new book blog.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Nicole Quotes

Nicole: Mom, you are making me have a rough day.
Me: Oh yeah? I'm sorry. What can I do to make it better?
Nicole: Be a good mommy.

Me: Nicole, don't pick your nose.
(Nicole covers her face so I can't see her pick her nose)
Me: Nicole, do not pick your nose, you are going to make it bleed.
Nicole: No! Go away and leave me alone!
The attitude is already starting.

Nicole: Mommy, I'm going to make you a sandwich (with crackers and cheese).
Me: Oh, thank you.
Nicole: I have all the right ingredients.
Umm... when did she learn the word 'ingredient'?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Trimming the Fat

So, Blogger told me today that I had reached the limit on the amount of pictures that they will store for me for my blog. Sad.

So, I went to my Picassa albums and deleted what I could part with. Then, I went to my old posts from my single days and I delete a whole lot of posts that were of people that I could do without.

Because I deleted whole posts (because they were just a post with a picture in it), my total number of posts went down drastically. I used to have over 1000 posts, but now I'm down to like 977.

I am taking this as a challenge! It just means that I need to post more significant posts and get my number back up to 1000 and then I can celebrate as if it is happening for the first time ever.

But, I know that despite my trimming of old photos, I will eventually hit my 2GB that I am allowed on my blog and I will probably cave and pay the $2.50 a month to get more GB of storage.

My blog is kinda my journal and my scrapbook all rolled into one and I don't want to give it up and I don't want to stop posting pics and I especially don't want to learn HTML and figure how to make my own blog on my own website. Curse you blogger for luring my in these last... 8 years and making it so easy for me to blog! Now I can never leave you... NEVER!

New Camera!

Because I just kept getting super unfortunate pictures of my children... and myself, I finally decided it was time to upgrade my camera in hopes that my children would look cuter in pictures.

So, we did a little research... and by "we" I mean Matt because loves doing that stuff. Then "we" searched online for camera deals and we finally ended up with this beauty that came in last night.

It is a Canon T3i. What does this mean? I have absolutely no idea because I haven't finished reading the manual yet. But, it does take some beautiful pictures right out of the box.

I know that it probably looks like nothing much to you, but to me, the clarity is awesome and I've actually captured my children when their eyes are open.

I've still got a lot to learn about using the camera, but hopefully, I will figure it out and get good at taking pictures of my adorable children.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

You Know Your a Mommy When...

This weekend, Nicole and I were sick with the stomach flu. The stomach flu is really gross, I don't care for it, but I am glad that Nicole is old enough to get that she should throw up in a bowl rather than all over herself. And this weekend of sick made me think back to when Nicole was much younger and didn't know what to do.

When Nicole was really little and she got the stomach flu, there was no warning, just... "bleh" and then a big mess to clean up. But, then some Mommy instinct awoke in me and when she started to throw up, I would quickly cup my hands and thrust them toward her in an attempt to catch the vomit. This is when you know your a mommy. When you try and catch the vomit so it doesn't hit the carpet.

I don't do this any more with Nicole because she is old enough to use a throw up bowl. And, she eats real food now, so her vomit is way too gross to catch. Baby vomit is completely different from kid vomit.

We are all better now. The only good thing about the stomach flu is that it comes and goes quickly; it is usually only a day of sick. Whereas, colds last can last a whole week. And, it went through all of us, so I know we are done. Dan got it first, then Nicole and Matt at the same time and me a few hours later. I don't know why when one of us gets sick that we all get sick, but it seems to happen.

While Nicole was sick, and I was sick, Nicole turned to me and said, "Little girls need their mommies when they are sick." And I said, "Very true and you never stop wanting your mommy when you are sick." Which is true as I was wishing that I had my Mom to take care of me while I was sick and too weak to hold my own child. I'm just glad that my children find me as comforting when they are sick as I have always found my Mom. Maybe I'm doing something right.