I have been "tagged." This, apparently, is a common thing, and now I must expose you to the dismal details of my past. Onward:
10 Years Ago:
I was a junior in high school, getting ready to take the ACT and looking at scholarship applications. I was still in my shy and awkward stage because I was younger than everybody else I went to school with, so I just tried to fly under the radar and not draw any attention to myself. This was also the time that Tif and I wrote one of the best plays of all time, which remains unrivaled e'en to this day. Especially because it got us out of Mr. Langei's class every day... genius. And I was getting ready to take driver's ed. And was about ready to turn 16 and start to date. And, unfortunately, already had my first date lined up... prom. Ick. Worst date ever. Oh, the memories... My sister Kristen was applying to BYU and I was uncertain about how I was going to survive my last year of high school without her. I was, however, stoked for tennis season! I heart tennis.
5 Things on my "To-Do" list today:
1. Finish compiling data displaying results of integration testing on my latest programming project. Yes, it is as boring as it sounds, which is why I'm writing on my blog. I needed a break.
2. See Vantage Point with some girlz. I heart action and drama films, too, but not as much as tennis.
3. Find time to do Pilates.
4. Talk to my love interest on the phone. Only one more Friday of phone dates, yahoo!
5. Read dem scriptures. I heart those more than tennis.
Springtime, outside, sunshine, running (who knew?), tennis (see above), Spanish, kids, sharing the gospel, laughing, dancing, Jason, witty banter, Pilates, travel, the smell of fresh-cut grass, strawberries, swinging, the theater, good tunes, driving fast cars, snowboarding, walking through undisturbed snow, surprise hugs from behind, being with family, hammocks.
What Would I Do If I Were Suddenly a Billionaire?
Definitely set up a school in Latin America to give youth and single parents computer hacking skills. I mean, actual computer skills. I have a whole plan for this, actually. The teachers would be a local resident, first trained then left to act on his/her own, so the school would be self-sustaining. I'd become highly involved in the microenterprise and microfinance world. I'd give a whole huge chunk to the Perpetual Education Fund and see about how my computer school could partner with it and grow to benefit more lives. I'd probably get another degree or two just for the sake of learning. I'd pay off my parents' mortgage and give a chunk to my familias for investing. I'd fund some scholarships hopefully through my high school or through the Marriott School. I'd like to see a joint MEd and MBA degree at BYU and I'd push for that. I'd invest a ton of it so it would grow for my kids' and grandkids' futures. Ha, I have all kinds of ridiculous ideas... now if only I were a rich woman, ba da biddy biddy bum...
5 Jobs I Have Had:
1. IT Consultant at Revenue Solutions, Inc.
2. Spanish teacher at the MTC
3. Art Prep Liaison at Premier
4. Intern with Novell's IS&T Architecture Team
5. Sales Clerk, BYU Bookstore, General Book
I am supposed to pass this on I think... to three people... I will tag... Tif, Kristen, Melissa, and Meres. HA, that's four! I'm busting up the limits all over the place. Ain't nobody gonna tell ME how many people to tag...
Friday, February 29
I have been "tagged." This, apparently, is a common thing, and now I must expose you to the dismal details of my past. Onward:
at 3:08 PM
Tuesday, February 19
Here are photos from our super fun weekend... only two but we's fancy! This was before our super romantical dinner and dancing cruise around the harbor. Favorite moments: (1) when Jason requested Jamiroquai and then only the two of us danced to it while everyone else was jealous of our sweet moves, (2) fighting off a drunken lady from stealing my date, (3) dancing around like crazy people to Mighty Mighty Bosstones, (4) being romantical, and being ok with it!
Other activities: apartment and job searching for Jason, dinner at Giaccomo's (yummm butternut squash ravioli), falling asleep to a movie, making breakfast together, temple shift, grocery shopping, church, making dinner with my roommates, lovely conversation, lots of laughing, breakfast w/ roomies (thanks J) and general good fun.
Thanks Jason for a FANTASTIC weekend. Come over and play again soon.
at 10:13 PM
Monday, February 11
Ready for a novel? Here we go...
Jason Graham and I met... I have no idea when. I'm sure I met him sometime in the mid- to late 90s; at least, I knew who he was then, though our social circles never quite intersected. I am from Ferndale, he is from Bellingham. I went to Ferndale 3rd ward as part of the Bellingham Stake. So we didn't go to the same high schools, but his high school girlfriend is a good friend of mine, and I sortof knew who he was. Sortof.
Jason went to Boston after high school for his first year of college. He attended Berklee School of Music here. (Yep, he's a music nerd.) Then he decided he needed to serve a mission, and was called to Las Vegas. He returned with a desire to go to BYU, which he did, and our paths consistently did not cross. I went on my mission and came home. I worked where I always had when I got home in June 2005, and worked with Jason's younger brother, Sean, who had also just gotten back from his mission, spoke Spanish like I did, and appeared to suffer from the same nasty stomach problems upon returning to American food. So we bonded and he was like a little brother to me.
I went back to BYU and had a great time. We had one Bellingham-area reunion of Washington folks, which I found pictures of the other day and saw that Jason had, in fact, been there, which I didn't realize at the time. I don't think we even exchanged greetings at that little fiesta.
Aside: You will know and recognize that previous to this point, I had dated around my fair share. I'd had several boyfriends and enjoyed the attentions of some pretty respectable dudes. I'd not been able to conquer my fear of commitment, or was it that I always felt something was missing? In any event, my relationships characteristically lasted anywhere from a week to three months, but never longer. I'd always end up splitting before things got too serious--or maybe after. Eternity is a long time, I told myself, and I didn't want to mess it up.
When I got to Boston, it was more of the same, though about 8 months ago I began to feel like it was time to take a break from the dating life and work on my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I felt it was crucial for me to place that part as a priority, and I felt confident that things would fall into place in their time where my eternal relationships were concerned. I was pretty happy single, though, so I didn't worry too much about getting hitched and all that.
It was hard for me as a socialite and habitual social dater to give up that part of my life, but I had some choice experiences during that time which I wouldn't trade for the world, and I learned better and more deeply what it is to receive personal revelation, the blessings of placing God first above all else, and the joy of getting lost in the service of His children. It was a semi-lonely but yet full time of my life and I loved it.
I felt it was time to go off my hiatus around October, and I got a little crush on a boy. He was funny and seemed like a very excellent guy, so we started dating. I told myself that for once I wasn't going to bail out and I was going to see this one through, and I knew I needed to get over this panicky feeling that caused me to flee. I told Heavenly Father that if it wasn't supposed to last, that the guy was going to have to end it, because I was going to see it through.
And end it he did, after about a month. I was elated! I had stuck it out! I didn't bail! Sure, I got broken up with, but I was so proud of myself that I almost didn't feel the loneliness of being single. And let's face it--I was free to flirt again, which I love to do.
That lasted a short while... until I spent time with family. Being with my sister's family for Thanksgiving and then my own family for Christmas made me realize that I was living a fun yet empty life... I was pursuing only my selfish goals and ideas, and I felt there was a barrier to my happiness because I was fighting the Lord's plan for me, which involved an eternal family. I guess I wanted to crusade across the world and head up a microenterprising scheme and be chic, sophisticated, bold, and cosmopolitan... yet I felt those tuggings on my heart that pressed on me the truth of what God wants His daughters to be: kind, compassionate, strong, feminine, warm, humble, and full of Christlike love or charity. I knew I needed to fully submit my will to His instead of just the corners that already coincided. I had a very long chat with my Father over Christmas and I promised Him I would do His will, no matter what that entailed--if it were being single for 60 more years, that was fine. If it were 5 more and I needed to put some more effort into my career, I'd do it. And if--this was the hardest one to say--He wanted me to put my all into a relationship with a man that He'd lead me to right here and right now, I'd give up my plans and old habits and I'd do it. I got a blessing from my dad that confirmed I would be led along the way, that I'd know God's will for me, and gave me some key indicators as to how I'd recognize this plan as it unfolded, and this man as I got to know him.
With this new mindset I flew back to Boston. I settled in and the next day picked up my roommate from the airport, then got a call from our friend Kristy who invited us to dinner with our good friend Jared Mooney and his friend who was visiting from Utah. Leah and I said sure, and I told her I already knew the friend, sortof--it was Jason. Jason and I were facebook friends as of a couple of weeks ago, and he'd asked if I'd be around in Boston when he was there. I blog stalked him and was impressed with his character and spirituality and laughed at his ridiculous sense of humor, but also realized he'd just gotten out of a year-long relationship, so he was probably looking for some good friends.
We went to dinner with a group of about 8 or 10 of us and we had a blast. Jason was hilarious and because we were both with some of our best friends in Boston, we were completely ourselves. And despite being in a group, it seemed like Jason and I were constantly enjoying the same inside joke. We appeared to have the same sense of humor, and played off each other's jokes nicely. But Jared was trying to set up Jason with Kristy, so I laid low and just acted like my normal retarded self. This was probably helpful actually, looking back now...
Later I headed to the store and Jason snagged my number from Jared and texted me to come over to Jared's and watch the Pats game. I found out Kristy was going to be there so I figured I shouldn't, as I tend to be loud where Kristy is quiet, but Kristy texted me to come over and so did Jared, so over I came. It was more of the same with Jason: enjoying some funny jokes, watching him play guitar and be cool, trying to learn to play the drums and being retarded at it, and just generally feelin the flow with some Jasonity. Know what I mean? It was easy and fun. But who knew, he was just in town for a bit and I hardly knew him. But he had invited me to go down to New York City with Jared and Jared's girlfriend, and I thought, why not? I called him later that night to work out the details and we ended up chatting for another half hour. And he appeared to share my affinity for texting... a definite good sign.
Next day was church. I was teaching and he came to my class. He says now that he loved seeing my testimony and that definitely piqued his interest. We sat together in Sacrament at the end and generally laughed our way through the meeting, except at the spiritual parts, where we were appropriately stoic. :) He was just so dang funny! And he had forgotten his church shoes, so he was wearing blue and green Sauconys to church, which I thought was terribly cool.
Jason headed down with Jared and Annie to NY later that afternoon in Jared's car... and I caught a bus later that night when I got permission from my boss to take off early. Turned out my beloved MTC companion was going to be in New York, too, but for much shorter of a time than I thought, so I went down early to spend time with her before she left.
Good thing! I arrived in NY and stayed where Jason did, at some girls' place who he had known from BYU. We stayed in separate rooms but ended up staying up until 3am talking, just about life and the gospel and our families and what we thought about things and laughing and whatever. It was still so easy to talk to him. He wished we'd met 5 years ago, but I told him it never would have worked back then. We now comment on the interesting road that we both took... Jason talks about how we led parallel lives but never met. I realize that the last year especially has been instrumental in preparing me to recognize him when I did. He told me he had a crush on me, and I admitted that I was sortof interested too (gotta keep 'em guessing, right? haha). He held my hand, and it felt like he'd been doing it for years. Again--everything was so natural and easy. Of course we would hold hands. It just made sense.
Next morning I was up early to meet my old companion, Morgan, and we did the breakfast thing at a little café on 37th. We wandered around the city and Jason met up with us later for good times and lots of laughs. We window shopped and went to Chinatown and Soho and Morgan gave me the thumbs up on Jason after about 15 minutes. This was surprising to me, but I trusted it, since she knows me well but is just about as picky as anybody. We were holding hands around the city and just having a great time. Met up with Jared, Annie, and other old friends of Jared's and Jason's later and had lunch and went to Times Square to wait out the next 8 hours for the dropping of the ball.
It was freezing at first! But then the clouds came in and the wind stopped, and they played music that pulled the dance out of you. Jason kept thinking of fun things for us to do, like the limbo or games or a congo line or what have you. Never boring, that Jason. And I didn't mind having someone to snuggle with to keep me warm. :) haha! It was fun in the Square because we met people from all over, heard famous people sing live, and Morgan and I had a trip down memory lane when a girl we met from Tennessee asked us to tell her more about Mormonism. Hermana Pugmire and Hermana McArthur reunited! It was fun to share our testimonies with her of a living prophet and our belief in Christ as Savior and Redeemer and center of all we believe and do. I tell ya, the gospel can be shared anywhere... we directed her to mormon.org and hopefully she has taken a look at that and ordered her own copy of the Book of Mormon.
And the moment we were all waiting for finally came... a few frozen noses and toeses later. The ball dropped, there was singing, there was cheering, there was confetti, and there was THE MOST AMAZING first kiss of all time. Jason definitely kissed me, and it was definitely like a movie. This is super cheesy and gross, but I swear time slowed down and the background noise was softened and there was nobody there but just the two of us. It was magical. Not even joking.
I had a ridiculous grin on my face for the rest of the night and we eventually got back to where we were staying again. I had a fever so Jason made me drink lots of water and sleep on the couch while he took the cold, cold air mattress in the other room which had been my bed the previous night. Thoughtful, that one. Next day we went to Ground Zero and back to Times Square to see a remarkably clean version of where we'd rung in the new year and just bummed around the city until I had to go back to Boston. I caught the bus and off I went.
He stayed in New York... until he changed his flight and caught a bus back up to Boston so he could spend more time with me. Ha! He totally had a huge crush on me! So he came up and we spent more time together, which was fantastic and so fun and, again, so natural and easy and good. We had great conversations and laughed a ton and it was comfortable with my roommates and just good and getting better. We decided we'd try long distance... and then he left on Saturday night that first week of January.
So that's what we've been doing ever since. Me and Jason, long distancing it up. And when I think about it, it's the most random thing ever, but it just... clicked. Everything that was ever missing with the guys I had dated before appears to be had by this guy. I don't know. I have no idea where it'll lead or what, but for now, it's fantastic and I have officially and for the first time fallen in love. I know, I know... blaagghhhh, soooo cheesy! But that's how it is.
I went to Salt Lake last week to visit and it was so great. We went snowboarding (he's awesome at this), we went to the temple, we made food together (he's terrible at this), we hung out with my family and his family and just enjoyed each other. And he comes in two weeks for valentines day weekend... yep, he's pretty sappy. He sends me flowers and handwritten letters and even slideshows he makes with funny songs in the background to make me laugh. We can talk for hours, and he's always thinking of me before himself. Amazing. I think he's quite a catch. And he seems to like me too.
Honestly, the thing that keeps me from running (and I have felt the need from time to time...old habits still die hard) is that we seem to connect so deeply on every level. I respect him, I can laugh with him, and I can tell that he sees in me the best parts of myself, and I just want to be everything that he seems to see. I have felt that I can share the innermost feelings of my heart with him, and that is something to hold on to.
Well there you have it. The novel you were waiting for, or probably not, but that's what came out. I'm sortof sorry it's so long, except I love talking about it so much because it's just so fun and different from the norm! Jason is moving out to Boston on March 10 and I'm super stoked about it. We've also just bought tickets to go back to Washington to do the whole meet the family gig next month, so that is comin up too. I had one moment of panic after we bought the tickets, but again--it's just too good to screw up. Too, too good.
So there you have it! More photos and info at Jason's blog or at my Picasa site.
Now you should probably go use the restroom, since you've been sitting here reading this for approximately
at 4:49 PM
Monday, February 4
I found this online repository of sorts of President Gordon B. Hinckley's talks... Looks like it's worth a peruse or two or three. My bishop encouraged us yesterday to take the next month to reflect on his words... I'll take him up on it, and love the additional help of the internet. Thanks to Lauren for providing the original link!
I had a beautiful conversation with my coworkers today about what distinguishes our doctrine from other "mainstream Christianity" and loved the reaffirmation that God still speaks to His children through a living prophet. What a blessing and a building of testimony.
at 1:41 PM