Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Lauren-ism

She must be a lover of Brahms. Just like her mama.

How else would she come up with "Yo-hahm-mus" for hummus?

Get it? Johannes--Yo-hahm-mus?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lauren's new word

I thought I had forgotten what she said. Thankfully, Larry reminded me.

Lauren and I were standing in the kitchen. She asked me to cut her some watermelon. I was in the process when she came up with this beauty:

"Mom, didn't we have some of this lasterday?"

I just blinked for a few seconds trying to figure out what she was telling me.

Then I laughed. My girl is very resourceful. If she can't remember the word she is searching for, she'll just make up one that is close.

And she was very close. The combination of last night/week/month and yesterday still has me smiling.

have a gray! (great day)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sorry I've been slacking...

But life has a way of catching up to a person!

Hopefully I can put on my "writer" hat and get our story going again. It is fun, however, once in a while, to actually spend time with my Mr. TD&H instead of just writing about our past.

Here's hopin' that I'll carve out a few minutes (or hours) in the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Our crazy/silly/roller-coastery story, part six

Things were going along quite smoothly. We spent almost every moment we could together, and we were lovin' every minute of it.

A couple weeks into November, we made a decision (helped quite a bit by super-low airfare). We would go to my house for Thanksgiving to meet the family.

I think we were both a little nervous about this big step forward (although Mr. TD&H had already run the gauntlet in meeting my mom). However, he wins the prize for stress-induced illness. He had a mouth full of canker sores. Really bad! When we flew in on Thanksgiving morning (see how smart I am? I didn't have to help with the cleaning, cooking, or anything else!), he was starting to feel the pain. To make a long story short (I know, too late), he couldn't eat a single thing. Not one thing. I think he may have drank some milk. And it was skim milk. If you know Mr. TD&H, he does not do skim milk. Nice Thanksgiving for him!

To add insult to injury, it was one of the coldest Thanksgivings in my hometown. Which isn't a big deal to Mr. TD&H (who is from Canada). But you have to understand something about my family. Growing up, the rule was that if you were cold, you put on more clothes. Turn up the heat? Perish the thought! Even now, all these years later, when my parents are getting on in years (no offense, Mama J!), I think they set their thermostat at 62 degrees or something absolutely crazy.

So there we were, the day after Thanksgiving, and Mr. TD&H says to me, "I am freezing!" I thought: What? Aren't you from "the frozen north"? This is California, for cryin' out loud! He told me that he had never been so cold as he was in my parent's house. Nice. I'd find out later why. (keep your eye out for the Christmas post coming up...)

That evening we went to see my sister. She was graduated from BYU and living in my Grandma's house. My grandma had passed away many years before, and the kids were trying to figure out whether to rent or sell it. So my sister was "renting" with a couple of roommates. I had so many wonderful memories in that house. Mr. TD&H and I drove the 30 minutes to Grandma's house, and we visited with my big sis. She was absolutely wonderful and so excited to me this handsome guy of mine. She drew us in to her warm, conversational embrace, and I could see Mr. TD&H thawing out--on many different levels. He is so much more comfortable one on one with conversations.

We talked until late in the evening, and then my dear sister left us to say our good nights. Not so fast. We weren't done talking. I think we spent the next few hours opening our hearts to each other. Sharing our pasts, talking about the present, and painting beautiful pictures of our dreams for the future. As we sat in my Grandma's old room, so full of loving memories of that amazing woman, with a gentle breeze blowing in through the barely curtained windows, Mr. TD&H said,

"I love you."

There it was. Out there. Un-take-back-able. But I could see that he didn't want to take it back. He meant it. And I wasn't afraid. I loved this man. A man who was fearless in sharing who he was, warts and all. I felt so safe. He loved me. He was aware of some of my warts also. And he still loved me. Gratitude surged through my whole body. I loved him. I wanted to be with him.

"I love you, too."

to be continued...

Friday, May 08, 2009

A love affair with dairy products

To quote Larry holding an 8-cup measuring cup,

"Now this is an ice cream bowl."

Our crazy/silly/roller-coastery story, part five

Then the first weekend in October came.

The first mission reunion.

I wanted to go, see the mission buddies, and show everyone that I hadn't been wasting time. Maybe not so much the last one, but I was excited nonetheless. Troy and TD&H accompanied Diana and myself. It was a little awkward at first, but I am glad that we both had "friends" there and that they both had someone to talk to--each other. It was really fun to see old friends, and Diana and I were having fun watching people try to figure out what was going on between us and these guys. We certainly didn't divulge too much information!

The next day Di and I were invited to the guys' apartment to watch General Conference. From the moment I sat down on the couch next Mr. TD&H, I could feel something was different. He was serious about being with me (if you catch my drift). The sparks were flying, and I was having a hard time concentrating on the talks. As he got closer and cuddlier, I had to ask myself some serious questions. Like: was I ready to kiss this guy? Did I think that was okay? I was TOTALLY gun-shy when it came to physical affection, and I almost panicked at the prospect. Still unsure of myself, I avoided looking him in the eye (you know, lips in close proximity) until I could sort things out. Turns out my defenses weren't too strong. As he walked me to the car, I felt my moment of truth had come. And it had. He cornered me--there was nowhere to go. I decided to move forward in faith (how's that for misquoting?), and we kissed. I hadn't done that in a long time. I liked it. A lot.

There it was. The first kiss. A little awkward. And wonderful.

Where were we going with this? We'd soon find out.

Soon after that I was invited to a party at another mission companion's house--Mel K. She became my companion right after Diana went home. I missed Di very much, and Mel was the perfect companion for me at that time. She was absolutely the most loving, supportive, optimistic, sensitive, spiritual person I had ever known. I would go anywhere or do anything to be with her for an evening. I was excited to introduce her to Mr. TD&H. She was thrilled to meet this guy. We went, and it was like another mission reunion. Mel and her mom were so welcoming and kind to both of us. I was so busy greeting people that I didn't pay that much attention to my guy. As we were going home, we were deep in conversation. It was your basic DTR (define the relationship). I was having fun being with him, getting to know him, and getting back into the single social scene. But he proceeded to lay things on the line. He was 26 years old. He had dated a LOT (about 50 girls). He was ready to get married. He wanted to date me to figure out if he wanted to marry me. YIKES!!! He was dead serious. He was so earnest in saying what was in his heart that we drove all the way to Payson before he realized that we had missed the exit for Provo. Of course, I being the ultra-observant person that I was, I had noticed about 5 seconds after he missed the University Parkway off-ramp. I have to admit that he was freaking me out a little bit. But strangely enough, I wasn't turned off by him. I found his honesty and humility so refreshing. He was so completely different than any other guy I had ever been interested in. I was willing to give it a try with this TD&H man. I could tell he was worth it.

to be continued...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Our crazy/silly/roller-coastery story, part four

Maybe it could get a little stranger.

My dear oldest sister was so glad to have me home. So glad, in fact, that she wanted to do a little match-making. You see, she had been married for seven and a half years. She needed some company in the married department, so she thought she'd do her part.

So I got set up on a blind date. With a brother of a brother-in-law or something. We both tried really hard, but this wasn't going anywhere. It was so hard to talk to him. I kept thinking, throughout the evening, that Mr. TD&H was quickly topping my interest list. This guy sure couldn't hold a candle to him.

To review, then, in the three weeks since I'd been at BYU, I'd had several dates with three different guys. Not typical for me. But if I had to make a choice, that choice was clear. Let's say head and shoulders above the rest. And dark. And handsome.

A couple weeks later, I had a feeling of dejavu (sorry, I can't figure out how to put on the appropriate accent marks). Diana and I were invited by Troy and Mr TD&H to a date in the canyon. In the exact same spot as my interesting blind date. I had the opportunity to compare and contrast. Uh, no comparision. The sun began to set, and we just basked in the glory of a late summer evening. Then the fire was lit, and the s'more fest began! We had so much fun, but, uh, I guess I forgot my jacket, so I had to snuggle close to Mr. TD&H and share his coat before the fire. I was seriously getting twitterpated. We talked and talked, laughing and having a great time.

And he forgot to get his coat back at the end of the date. Oops. It smelled really good.

I have to admit--I think I may have fallen asleep that night snuggled in the coat. Just don't tell anyone, OK?

Mr. TD&H knew I was in Concert Choir. And it turned out that he knew some other people in it. So you can imagine my surprise when we were in the middle of rehearsal and the back door of the Madsen Recital Hall opened upon the TD&H form of a guy. He sat on a chair in one of the back rows. I must have blushed to the roots of my hair! But I was so flattered that he would come. After rehearsal he caught up with me and said that he just wanted to see me. He reached his hand toward me and in it was a Little Debbie Oatmeal Pie (if you don't know what that is, it's two soft oatmeal cookies with frosting between). He sheepishly said that he wanted to give me something, but that was all he had. My heart leaped. I have to confess that I kept that cookie pie for several years as a memento of the first thing he gave me. I am cringing even saying that because I am embarrassed at how super-sappy I was (and still am). When he found out I kept it, he was shocked! And he thought I was really weird. Which I am.

The next week my choir was part of the BYU Homecoming Spectacular. One of the performances would be graced by the presence of Mr. TD&H. I was extremely excited! So I donned my sparkly dress and the plate-sized rhinestone earrings and thought, "Let the games begin!" After said performance, I was with my friend Carol H. I had told her a little about this cute guy I was interested in. I told her his name, and she knew him! It seemed that we had more friends in common than we thought.

We walked out of the Marriott Center and there he was. Ooh, he looked so good. Like TD&H times a million! My stomach filled with butterflies. I was in serious trouble. I was falling for this guy. He walked closer and my heart started racing. He put his arms around me in a big hug and practically melted. Just at that second, Carol whipped out her camera. The moment had been captured for the ages. I was so very happy.

to be continued...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Our crazy/silly/roller-coastery story, part three

DISCLAIMER: I have a bad memory. So this story is the best I can do--some details may be "creatively remembered." Just wanted to dispel any wild notions of super-memory!

We sat there looking at each other, SO AWKWARD! We laughed, nervously, together. I thought, was this a deal breaker? Did we even have a "deal"? Should I have kept my "three weeks" a secret? Was my weirdness leaking out? I was definitely panicking. Finally, he just laughed and said that he hadn't known. Then he did something I didn't expect. He asked if I was okay being with him. I thought to myself, wow--he is really thoughtful. I told him I was just fine. And I smiled.

From there the conversation took off. I think the recently-returned "surprise" acted as an ice breaker. It started to sprinkle a little bit as we walked off campus. We really enjoyed talking together. He was exactly what I needed. When we were looking at the mission website, I had a little homesick attack. I loved my mission and missed it. I felt ill at ease in "normal life." Mr. TD&H also loved his mission. He had been home for 5 years, but I felt like he mirrored my feelings. We talked and talked about funny mission stories. We even shared our feelings about being strengthened in our faith in Christ by our service. We got to his car, and he offered to take me home. It was raining after all. I accepted his chivalrous offer. The talking continued. For hours. We sat in front of my apartment for the next few hours having the most amazing talk. I think back now and have to chuckle. Because of the rain and the heater going in the car, the windows were steamed up. I am sure it looked a little compromising, but we had no idea. We were just happy to be getting to know each other. Really happy.

We finally tore ourselves away, saying that we would talk again soon. I practically floated into my apartment. Diana looked at me with wondering eyes. "What have you been up to?" she asked. Oh, just talking to Troy's roommate for the last several hours, I replied. She chuckled to herself and said, "Oh. Nice?" "Nice," I answered, with a sheepish grin.

I have to interrupt here and say that my life did not revolve around this guy. Not yet, anyway. I was trying to figure out whether to continue my music major or my English major or start an emphasis in education. I was a little lost. One safe place for me, however, was Concert Choir. Before my mission, I had the opportunity to sing under the direction of Mack Wilberg (who now conducts the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). I was lucky enough to get in again the first semester I was back. I loooooved singing in that choir. So I had plenty to do without sitting at home, next to the phone. Although I looked forward to seeing Mr. TD&H, I did have quite a busy life.

I can't even remember how this next bit started, but somehow this guy named Andre entered the picture. Not sweeping me away, mind you. Just there. He was nice enough, but I wasn't too interested. I liked him more as a friend. He even went shopping with me once. One night, soon after school started, we hung out with another couple (married, I think). I remember the couple, I just don't remember if they were married yet. She and I were in Concert Choir together, and we had a double date. Nothing memorable happened because I can't recall anything about that night. Only that Andre was sorta kinda in the background of my life. And he is a singer. A really good one.

Remember how I said my mom was visiting (for the missionary homecoming, etc.)? Well, we were talking and I mentioned Mr. TD&H. She was very interested in seeing this guy, so she invited us to dinner. What???! You don't ask a guy to meet your mom within two weeks of meeting him! But, after all, it was a free dinner. So we went. And it was a little awkward. But Mr. TD&H was a trooper and very nice. I wonder what he was thinking--I've never asked him.
That was Friday night. We made plans to do something (just the two of us) the next evening.

The next day I took my mom over to the HFAC (music building at BYU). She was the choir director in her ward and wanted to run through new music. There, we ran into Andre. He and my mom really hit it off. He offered to help with the music run-through. My mom was thrilled! We worked for quite a while, and I hadn't foreseen this. I hadn't divulged that I was meeting Mr. TD&H because I thought we'd be done by now. I don't know why I didn't just come clean, but I felt awkward, I didn't want to make Andre feel uncomfortable, and I vainly hoped that things would work out all right. It had become late afternoon, and I was getting a little stressed about the fact that I was needing to kindly yet firmly ditch my mom and Andre so that I could meet Mr. TD&H on campus. I don't remember how it happened, but I met Mr. TD&H with mom and Andre in tow. My guy was standoffish, very unlike him, and that puzzled me. (Although now I can't believe I was puzzled. Wouldn't you be with two tag-alongs on a date?) We started walking and I pulled away from the crowd to talk to Mr. TD&H. "I know that guy," he said. "He dated my sister in Canada."

Great. Not only were we on a really strange date, but the two guys actually knew each other. I think Andre felt the tension because he totally started over-compensating. He was charming the socks off my mom and driving me batty. We had to get out of there.

So I finagled a ride (from Andre) to my sister's apartment for my very grateful (to him, not me) mom , and we were finally alone. Tension, anyone?

I reassured Mr. TD&H that there was nothing between me and Andre, and we went on our merry way.

Fast forward three days.

Mr. TD&H met on campus, and he walked me home. When we got there, Andre was sitting in my kitchen with a plate of donuts. He looked at us, and then said, "I hoped we could do something together tonight."

Huh? Did he not see the giant standing next to me? Did he want a trio-date? I told him the obvious, that I already had plans. What was going on here? A couple of weeks earlier I had wondered if I would ever get a date. And now here I was in my own kitchen with two guys seemingly vying for my affections.

Could things get stranger?

to be continued...

Our crazy/silly/roller-coastery story, part two

Whoa. "You are so beautiful"?

Who says that kind of thing?

I mean, I am an English major. I am accustomed to guys who can talk the hind legs off a mule. But did he really say that?

But I saw sincerity in his eyes. He was serious. As a heart attack.

Needless to say, I was taken aback. Was he for real or just a really good actor? Now, before you jump down my throat, I am not saying that I am not beautiful--I was just shocked by the sudden, unexpected quality of the comment. The audacity. The courage.

Mr. TD&H and I started talking a little bit. He was a computer nerd (well, not a nerd, you know, he is td&h), and he wore a pager for work. I told him that when I left on my mission, only drug dealers had pagers. Nice, I know. I'm not known for my tact. I mentioned that I was an internet novice (but I probably didn't know enough to say it that way). Being the gallant gentleman he is, Mr. TD&H offered to show me the ropes. He was studying computer science at BYU, and we made plans to get together the next day at the Talmage Building to un-novice-ize me.

I was excited. I know it wasn't a "date" per se, but I would see him. 4 p.m. That sure was a long time to wait.

Monday, 4 p.m.

He was on time. We greeted each other, and he invited me to the computer lab. I sat down. He took a seat right behind me. He was very close. I was very aware in a giggly sort of way. He asked me what I wanted to search. Being a very recently returned missionary, I of course wanted to look up the Barcelona mission. He helped me figure it all out, and wonder of wonders up popped the mission website, complete with pictures of Barca and everything! We started talking about how amazing missions are. I asked him where he served. San Antonio, Texas, with the aforementioned Troy. How long had he been back? A few years. He returned the question: how long had I been back. Three weeks, I said. Startled, he moved his chair back a few inches. Three weeks, he stammered? With a nervous giggle, I said, "Yep!"

to be continued...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Our crazy/silly/roller-coastery story, part one

Ok, just needing to confess: i am a copy catter-dirty ratter. my friends c and a have done this, and i don't want to be left out. it is such a great idea--finally putting down on paper (screen?) the story of us, the beginning. here goes!

Call me scaredy-cat. I loved serving a mission for my church in Barcelona, Spain. And I loved my mission president. Frankly, real life scared the dickens out of me. I didn't want to go home and face trying to live in the world but not of it. I was right to be scared.

My beloved Presidente Tenney understood what I was going through, but, characteristically, he wanted me to buck up and exercise some faith. Which I absolutely needed to do. In my exit interview, we talked about the next step. Marriage. Nope, no boyfriend. Nope, no prospects. So he comforted me, saying that I would marry a very special guy. And he counseled me not to worry if Mr. Wonderful didn't show up for a while (slight paraphrase). Right. OK. Got it, Presidente. No worries.

Fast forward four weeks (past the awkward family pick-up, self-righteous non-released missionary fiasco). Sorry, family. I know how much you wanted to relive the glory days. Tee, hee.

August, 1996. Provo, UT.

I was living in Katy Apartments with my amazing mission companion, Diana. I was starting BYU in a couple of days. A little shell-shocked? You betcha! But, Di was exactly what the doctor ordered. We talked and laughed about Barcelona, and she helped me not be such a weird-o. At least I thought so at the time.

She told me about this guy, Troy, that she had noticed in her last ward. He was cute, and she was hoping to see a little more of him. She told me he had a roommate. Immediately, I was insecure. Dating? I didn't have much experience in that area, and I was scared to death. And I still had a hard time seeing guys with non-missionary haircuts and not thinking they were heathen. To say the least, I was rusty. And nervous. Not a good combination.

So, to ease my troubled mind, Diana suggested going all together to the CES fireside that weekend. OK--that I could do. If nothing else, I could take good notes, right? We're on.

It turned out that we would meet them there. Our whole apartment and various male counterparts swarmed toward the Marriott Center. I didn't even see who Troy was. It was a huge frying pan moment. So many single people, all looking for love. So intimidating. I was anxious and unable to concentrate on the speaker. I don't remember a single thing about the fireside, only that I went home with another roommate and some random guys.

When we got home to the apartment, the fun began. It was crowded. My roomies were obviously very social. I laugh about it now, but the typical BYU Sunday-night activities ensued. We even had a hymn sing (I am cringing even thinking about it). There was a super-tall guy who mentioned that he would sing bass. I pricked up my ears. Tall, dark, and handsome, AND he sings? Jot his name down and file it in the rolodex!

After the virtuous activities, we got a little silly. Troy and his buddy had just returned from Hawaii, and we did some dancing around the room and a lot of laughing. Mr. T(all) D(ark) & H(andsome) had a nice laugh. I was interested.

After they left, Diana pumped me for info. Did I like Troy's friend? Would I want to go out with him? Yes, and yes, I heard myself say. The butterflies began. Would he be interested in me? I hoped so.

Monday passed. He didn't call. I was bummed, but not surprised. I may not have had much dating experience, but even a novice knows the game. Don't act too interested. You don't want the other person to think you are too eager. I thought, maybe he wouldn't call until Wednesday or Thursday.

Friday passed. No call.

No call on Saturday. Majorly bummed. Maybe the chemistry I noticed was just imaginary. Come on in, insecurities.

During the week our home teachers had come by and came up with an idea for a potluck dinner on Sunday night. An international theme. We'd invite a whole bunch of people and they could each bring something to eat from the various places they'd lived or whatever. However, my mom's cousin's son (extra points if you know what relation he'd be to me) had just returned from a mission, so my mom wanted me to accompany her to the "ranch" for sacrament meeting and the ensuing family dinner. Reluctantly (and because my mom has a killer guilt instinct), I drove out to Roosevelt, thinking that as soon as it was over I'd be able to come back and attend the potluck.

And I was hoping Mr. TD&H would be there.

As those of you who know about family events, it went WAY longer than planned. So I was literally flying over country roads back to Provo , praying that Diana wouldn't be mad at me for leaving her in the lurch for our spanish food offering and hoping that a certain guy would still be there.

I walked in the door of my apartment to see Troy and Larry standing, ready to leave. I breathlessly apologized to Diana and the guys for being so late.

Moments later, Mr. TD&H looked me deep in the eyes and said, "You are so beautiful".


to be continued...