Saturday, February 28, 2009

The "happily ever after"

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION PART SEVEN: We part, then reunite, never to be parted again.

LONG VERSION PART SEVEN: Within a week of our first kiss, we happily fell into the habit of seeing each other every day. He’d wake up early and walk me to tennis class. We’d meet somewhere for lunch if we could then I’d do homework next to him while he worked on a computer lab assignment till late. That semester I received the worst grades, by far, of my life. Chris, on the other hand, seemed to have no problem maintaining his 4.0. During finals week, Chris brought me to his house and showed me the amazing view of south Utah valley from his backyard. He told me he loved me and what he loved about me. He’d never said those three words to any other girl before.

Our last date before I left for France

I had a lot of fun that semester, spending so much time with Brittney. I was amazed at times that she was willing to be in the computer lab with me late into the night, or sitting next to me while I slept through my chemistry class. (She would either fall asleep too, or do homework). It gradually became more and more impossible to imagine life without her, and when I was around her, I would just be overwhelmed by the urge to exclaim my love.

A few days later I was on a plane to France to live in Paris for a Study Abroad during spring quarter. He took me to the airport and wrote me about 3 emails a day for the entire 9 week period, even though I was lucky to write once a day. This was a really hard time for me. I still had feelings for my friend on a mission, but being away from Chris helped me see how much I wanted him to be a part of my life forever. I found out I don’t handle being away from him very well. I talked about Chris so much with my roommate, Alex, she once said something like, “Ok Ok, Britt, stop. I get it. Go for Chris, He’s perfect. How am I supposed to find someone for me who seems just as great, I never thought guys like that actually existed.”

Laura, Jeanette, me and Alex in Paris

This for me was a huge turning point in our relationship. Having known that this separation period was coming gave a feeling of safety or non-seriousness to our relationship until this point. I missed her terribly, and for the first few weeks found myself talking to people in phrases like, "Yeah, I really like her, we will see what happens when she gets back." I have had a few times before where a long distance relationship just seems to peter out after some point. A few weeks into our separation, I realized that I didn't want to "see what happens when she gets back", I wanted to date her when she got back. I decided to do everything in my power to stay as close as we could while she was apart so that we could rejoin after france without skipping a beat. In short, I chose Brittney. It was amazing what a difference making that decision made to me and my attitude.

Through emails and phone calls we talked about the future in 3 IC (if clause) categories: 1, If we date when I get back from France then …; 2, If we get married then…; and 3, If we marry and have children then …. Most of our conversations took place in the 2nd and 3rd categories. We got tired of saying all those words, "If we do end up getting married then lets..." so we'd just say, "IC squared, lets travel the world together." Everywhere I went I saw things that reminded me of Chris. I took pictures of them and printed off a collage of them to show Chris when I got home.

Well by the end of the 9 weeks, we were so desperate to see each other that Chris flew up to WA to be able to meet me when I got off the plane. As I was walking toward the edge of security, I was wondering what it'd be like to see him again. What would the first hug and kiss be like? in front of people? awkward? a long time coming? I didn't have to wonder very long. As soon as I was in sight, he ran to me and scooped me up (backpack, purse and all) in a huge hug and without separating more than an inch, kissed me good and long. I tried to pull away a bit, thinking maybe he forgot that my whole family and the rest of the airport was watching, but he held me tight still. We hardly stopped hugging all the way through greeting my family, baggage claim and the car ride home. In fact, some may contend that we didn't stop acting like that for a year or two. Chris' PDA concerns had obviously been overcome.

It was so good to be back with my Brittney. I knew right away that I could never willingly be away from her for that long again. Lucky for me, she agreed to let me hang around with her forever.


One week later we were engaged. Five weeks after that we were married for time and all eternity.

****

Well thats our story, at least all the interesting parts. Thanks for tuning in. Sorry to have it dominate our blog for so long. Mostly, I just wanted to write it down somewhere. We will now return you to the land of cute-kid posts.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Part 6 of 7

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION PART SIX: We have our first kiss and start dating.

LONG VERSION PART SIX: Anyway, Chris had been meaning to take out the little sister of a friend for a long time and had it scheduled for that Friday since before he met me (its only been about 3 weeks since the snowball fight). We were still hanging out almost every day talked about his "other girl interests" as if they were only something to be taken care of and done with. He was giving me all his extra time and attention. The attracting electricity between us kept growing and growing. A few times, when we found ourselves close, Chris would look into my eyes expectantly, but I refused to kiss him first. Like a lot of things between us, it became a joke/game: both of us trying to tempt the other one into making the first move. Friday came and he went off to Salt Lake for his date and I can’t remember what I did during it. I probably hung out with my siblings.

This date had been planned and discussed for quite a while. My roommates and I had a friend from our freshman ward, and she had a younger sister who they thought would be good for me to date. Anyways, I had been looking forward to it, until I met Brittney, but I couldn't just cancel or anything, so off I went. My cousin Steve doubled with our freshman ward friend, and I went with the little sister. I had fun, but nothing compared to being with Brittney.

The next day, Saturday, he came over or called in the afternoon and it was as if his date had finally closed all the gates behind us; things between us picked up where we left them Friday afternoon. We were playing a little one on one with my roommate’s mini basketball hoop on my apartment’s front door. Steve was with us playing Nintendo trying to beat Aladdin. We got tired and I sat on the couch and Chris laid down with his head in my lap reading parts of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to me. Steve left, probably disgusted with our “hidden” game, and it wasn’t many minutes later that Chris stopped reading, reached up and kissed me. I triumphantly shouted, “I didn’t do it!” and then proceeded to give Chris the best kiss he’d ever had.

Thinking back, it probably was helpful for me somehow to get other girls out of the way and have only Brittney in my future. The electricity was quite powerful, and in the end, I couldn't resist. It was a pretty amazing kiss (I almost went into shock because of its greatness, but that is a story to be told in person).

That kiss was all fine and good, but what did it mean? Chris had asked to take me out on a real date to see Concert of Concertos that next Friday so he told me he’d let me know then if he wanted to exclusively date. Luckily it didn’t take that long. The next day he was talking to a friend on the phone while I was nearby and I heard him say, “oh nothing, just hanging out with my girlfriend…..yeah, we sort of just started dating.” His smile and lifted eyebrows when he looked to make sure I was listening told me that he was referring to me and that if I still wanted we could date. Yes, I still wanted.

I think that the more Brittney has gotten to know me, the more she has found out that my decision making process just takes a while sometimes.

We're dating! And on our way to my friend Libby's wedding reception

Things still felt a little uncertain for some reason. We hadn’t really held hands yet and so when we found ourselves walking home from the library in a light rain late one night that week, Chris took advantage of the perfect conditions and we held hands all the way to our apartments until he saw some people from our ward getting out of their car and he promptly let go. I was a little sad, but also a bit appreciative because I had a reason for wanting it to stay low-key for a while.

This was a very fun and memorable walk home from the library. I have never been one for PDA, having not really had a serious girlfriend long enough have much opportunity around peers for that sort of thing. This was fairly new territory for me, luckily Brittney didn't take it the wrong way.

See, a day or two after the snowball fight, I was at a dance with some friends from the ward and a nice girl, Julie, says to me, “I notice you hanging out with VP12 a lot. Are you good friends?” I said, “well, we just really met this week, but they are really cool guys, I’m sure I’ll be good friends with them soon.” Julie confessed to liking Chris and I happily told her I’ll put in a good word for her, since at that point I didn’t know I liked him. So during that almost-dating stage, Julie would see Chris and I talking and come join us, thinking I was trying to hook her up, when really I just wanted him for myself. To my credit, I did tell Chris that she was a cool girl and interested. Although that might have been after we were already dating… I can’t remember.

This story still cracks me up, and I think Brittney definitely didn't say anything until after we were dating. Not that it would have made any difference had it happened any other way.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Episode the 5th

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION PART FIVE: Chris bungles it big time, and Brittney finds it in her heart to still be friends.

LONG VERSION PART FIVE: One night he said he wanted to talk so we found ourselves driving in his car, visiting some of his favorite spots in Provo. I kind of expected him to say something like, "will you be my girlfriend" and he ended up saying things that I took to mean, "Some girls I like right away, some girls I know I'll never date and some girls I like, but would rather not date and you are in the last category." (To be honest, I am probably taking it easy on Chris with that "nice version" recap of the conversation). Needless to say I held the social gee-i'm-glad-we-had-that-talk face on until I cried myself to sleep that night.

This is the portion of the story that I will never live down. I am not sure, looking back, that I entirely knew or know what I was trying to say or do, but somehow Brittney didn't give up on me, for which I will be forever grateful. The only things I can add, which apply from here on out (for today's post) are that I obviously still wanted to be close friends with Brittney, communication and being on the same page were my goals, and most of what I said probably came out differently than what I imagined in my head. This concludes my comments for today's post.

My roommates were upset with him and told me not to call/receive calls from him for a few days at least. That’s how the game is played. Well, I don't play the game and I missed seeing him. So I answered my phone when he called and went to watch his soccer game like he asked. We were friends after all, but I no longer made jokes about dating and was lots more careful to keep space between us when we were close. I would have hung out with him any time he asked, so I tried to be not completely available. I didn't have to lie when I told Chris I already had plans that weekend to go to a club with my old friend, Dan.

Meanwhile, he kept throwing crazy signals. While his words said one thing, his manner of speaking and looks and continued efforts to remain such close friends spoke the opposite. Despite how it looked, it really wasn't that hard or surprising to still be great friends. One Sunday, he told me about how he and his cousins try to walk home from where we had Church (BYU’s Testing Center!) as slow as possible, taking baby steps the whole way. Chris wanted me to try it with him and it took us 45 min to walk what normally takes 8. Even his cousins got fed up with how slow we took it and they beat us home by 15 minutes or so.

We still talked a lot and he found out how I took his words from our conversation in the car. Apparently far from saying, "I don't want to date you" he was trying to say, "I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to dating you." Dating someone to him, meant a lot more then what dating someone meant to me. He had a few other girls he was interested in and wasn’t sure he wanted to leave them in the dust by starting to date me.

Well, I didn’t want to be so forward that I pushed him into dating me, so I took a step back and declined to initiate much. He kept calling to hang out and we went to see his high school Provo High, play their rivals, Timpview, in basketball. Chris follows all sports and still keeps updated on how Provo does. It’s a little silly and a little endearing at the same time. I don’t even remember who won; I just remember feeling two totally opposite emotions: Happiness to be near him, yet pain to not touch or flirt too much with him. I did not want to throw myself at someone who wasn’t sure he wanted to date me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Part 4

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION PART FOUR: We go on a triple date, although not with each other and then find out we are liked by the other.

LONG VERSION PART FOUR:
The next day, Saturday, Steve still needed a date for their triple date and so I canceled a date (at least I thought I did, turned out the guy never got the message and he still came by to pick me up) and went with him. I watched Chris be a perfect gentleman to his date (a girl his cousins set him up with because they were "perfect for each other" = they were both tall) while all the time I wished he was paying all his attentions to me. Chris did show a little extra favor to me by giving me a big hug when cutting onions made my eyes water so bad I was practically sobbing and also when he placed us around the table for dinner (we were at his parents house). We sat next to each other on one side with our dates on either side.

Truth be told, I was the one that suggested to Steve that he invite Brittney. I don't know that I thought the whole thing through completely, but I did know that I would rather be around Brittney than not. I think I was beginning to be very conscious of Brittney and desiring of her attention and affection, and so I was careful to interact with her where appropriate. But at the same time, my roommates had been raving about this "perfect date" for so long that I felt I had to give her a chance as well, to be fair to Steve and Ryan. I am taller than both of them, and they always would go on about how they hated it when tall guys would date short girls, because then who are the shorter guys going to date?

Steve and Chris at their grandma's egg farm

Steve and I still had fun but by the end of the night I was a little depressed. Chris' date was tall, funny, blond, nice, and an excellent piano player. Steve, not knowing my crush on Chris, kept trying to bait me into commenting on his and Ryan's awesome match-making skills: "weren't Chris and whats-her-name having so much fun together? weren't they perfect for each other? shouldn't Chris totally date her?" Unfortunately, the answers were all "yes." Because the girl lived a few blocks from our apartment, Chris walked her home while Steve walked me home, while Ryan took his date home. My roommates were all excited to hear how the date went. They all were in on my love affair with VP12 and they each had ideas on which guy I should like the most. Carol wanted me to like Ryan, Suzy couldn't decide between Ryan and Steve and Lacey liked Chris. By now, though, they knew I liked Chris. Anyway, I moped in the apartment, saying as little as possible to them and closeted myself in the bathroom to think over the night. Seconds later there was a knock on the door and I heard, "Britt, its Chris"

The most important person for me on the date was already Brittney, and I just needed to touch base with her before the night was over, without the other girl around. At this point I already needed to be around her as much as possible.

VP3 all G-ed up for a silly party: Carol, Suzy, Lacey and me

We talked at the table about how the date went and I tried to act the good friend. I think he still only thought of me as a cool girl friend person at this point. When asked how he thought the date with that girl went, he said, "I can never tell when a girl likes me" and being a straightforward person I lightheartedly said, "Well, I like you Chris." Not understanding the deeper meaning he gave a noncommittal grunt and said, "Oh, its midnight I better go." AH! I could've died, why do I say such things? Good thing he didn't seem to notice. He seemed to want to talk longer so he asked if I'd walk him to his door. I just wanted to be done for the night, but I couldn't say no to more "chris-time" so I did and ended up hinting that I might have meant it when I said," I like you, Chris." I know he got the hint, but he's not the type of person to say something without really meaning it so he just smiled, gave me a hug and walked me back to my door.

This is probably one of the more frequently referred to episodes from our dating story. It was only natural that the topic of conversation be the date that we had just completed, and while I had a good time with my date, the more important concern was Brittney's feelings. I think my response of "I can never tell when a girl likes me" was partly an attempt to get out of having to discuss my feelings towards the other girl. The hard thing to convince people of is how naturally, quickly, and matched to the conversation Brittney's "well, I like you chris" was. It was very easy, and in my opinion natural, to interpret this as a friendly comment showing support. It was very clear very soon that Brittney meant something different (based on her reaction, and once I had a chance to fully parse her statement), but the curfew had come and I had to go home. But I could not leave our interaction at the stage it was at, we needed some sort of conclusion. So, I invited her to walk me home. She then commented on how she always said too much, and by now I knew there must have been something to her comment. I was so flattered and grateful to have such a girl like me that I gave her a big hug and walked her home. The date had definitely been a success, but not in the way my roommates had intended.

The next Sunday, Chris wrote me a bunch of Compliment Can notes again and one said, “I like you too.” We kept seeing each other a lot and I'm not sure how it got to this point, but somehow we were open about the fact that I would gladly date him if he wanted and if he didn't we could just be friends. I honestly really felt that way. I had a good friend on a mission who I was happy to think about, but I thought Chris was really fun to be around and I wouldn't mind dating him either. It was kind of a joke between us. I occasionally made comments like, "why don't you just date me?"

By this point it was obvious to us and I am sure anyone else who cared to notice that we both liked each other. I was so glad to be such good friends with a girl I liked and to have her like me back. What fun.

to be continued...

Time out...

A quick time-out from our love story. While I wait for Chris to add his comments to the next part of our story, I'll write about our fun Valentines Day dinner. We stayed at home and put the kids down and then cooked a nice meal together. We made chicken coconut curry, with fancy basmati rice and naan, topped off with raspberry-vanilla trifle for dessert. We didn't buy each other anything or go out since we just had an IKEA purchase recently. Dinner was SO good. It was perfect and good to know that we can have an enjoyable evening just staying at home, being together.


Both the chicken coconut curry and naan recipes came from allrecipes.com. I love that site. The naan was so soft and chewy and the curry was simple and sweet but full of spice.

Pea and Almond Pulao
(the fancy basmati rice - from the Woodward Family cookbook)

3 TB vegetable oil 3 cups water
1 small yellow onion 1 tsp salt
1 TB cumin seed 1/4 cup frozen peas
1 tsp black pepper 1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 1/2 c Basmati Rice

Wash and drain rice 3 times to remove starch and foreign debris. With burner on high,heat oil in heavy duty brasier. Add onion and cook until translucent (not brown), about 2 minutes. Add cumin seed and black pepper and stir until bloomed, 1 minute. Add rice and stir, 3 minutes. Add water and salt--stir well. Let rice boil on medium heat until all liquid is gone. Turn off heat. Cover with lid. Let stand 20 minutes. Fluff rice gently with a fork. Before serving gently toss in toasted almonds and peas.


Heavenly Trifle
(Also from the Woodward Family Cookbook)

2 large packages Jello vanilla pudding (not instant) or home-made custard
1 TB almond extract 1 tsp rum flavoring
3 (10 oz) pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed 1 medium-sized angle food cake
3 TB cornstarch 3 TB water
1 pint whipping cream 1/2 c powdered sugar

At least 6 hours before assembling trifle, prepare vanilla pudding or custard (home-made custard tastes the best). Add almond extract and cool in covered bowl in refrigerator. Heat raspberries just to boiling, and add cornstarch which has been mized with the water. Cool in refrigerator in covered container. Two or three hours before serving, whip cream. Add powdered sugar and rum extract. In crystal bowl or sherbet glasses, break angel food cake into bite size pieces. Cover raspberries with vanilla pudding. Next layer sweetened whipped cream. Makes approximately 20 servings.

Alec always tries to be close to Charlie and do what he is doing, even if its just relaxing in the red chair. Usually, Charlie doesn't mind.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Part 3

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION PART THREE:
We see each other every day, learn more about each other, and (sort-of) hold hands.

LONG VERSION PART THREE:
Sometime later that week, I got up the courage to knock on VP12's door, just to say hi. Chris was the only one home. He was lounging in one of their couches after coming home from some sport-game. He was sweaty and had on his green warm-up pants with his sweat head band holding back his long hair. He ended up playing the first 30 seconds or so of ALL of his favorite songs that I didn't recognize the title of. He had A LOT of favorite songs I didn't recognize but I politely listened to it all and gave appropriate comments like, "oh, yeah that does sound cool." even if I didn't super mean it. I was just surprised to hear him open up and talk so much, I'd say anything to get him to continue.... it didn't take much.

Sometimes I feel sad that I unleashed on Brittney like that, but she did a good job of politely feigning interest. I guess in the big picture, now she knows most of that music almost as well as me!
I don't remember all of what was in that musical barrage, but here were some of the key components: radiohead, weezer, radiohead, dashboard confessional, hum, and did I mention radiohead?

A day or so later, I was over at my brother's house with my sister-in-law, Ashley doing our habitual Thursday Cooking Nights. She was graciously teaching me how to cook since I'd never touched raw meat until then, my sophomore year in college. Chris called my cell phone and asked if I'd like to go to a Hip Hop symposium on campus with him and Steve. They picked me up and we went and listened to a lecture on the history of Hip Hop. I sat in between the boys and waited for the chill to creep up my spine every time Chris' knees touched mine. We then roamed the rooms upstairs where loud music blasted and people danced. It was funny to watch Chris and Steve bust their moves. They liked acting uncoordinated/silly even though they both could dance just normal whenever they chose.

At this point, Brittney had definitely obtained “coolest girl the apartment knows” status, and was our first option for hanging out. I felt that I had a special connection with her (after my music-a-thon) and had such fun being around her.

That Saturday was Valentines Day and my cousin Carli was in town staying with me. I was sad I couldn't show her a really fun "college" scene for it since I didn't have any hot dates lined up. Chris and his roommates surprised us around 10pm by coming over with a deck of cards. We played games the rest of the night until midnight. Good old Honor Code.

Like I said, she was definitely our favorite person to be around.

On Monday, there was a baby shower for Ashley at my apartment and my whole family was in town for it. Chris and his cousins/roommates stopped by at the end for the extra food. I desperately wanted Chris to talk a lot to my parents so they could meet him, and while he did talk with them a little, he mainly just played with cute Mary. He really enjoys being around kids.

What can I say, I can’t pass up time with a cute little ba
by. It was fun to meet Brittney's family, in a very non-confrontational way.

At the baby shower

We saw each other almost every day that week. Friday I was over at their apartment, as it came to be habit, and watched Long Summer or whatever that surfing movie/documentary is called. Chris had his head in my lap and I was messing with his hair, then tickling his arm and all of a sudden he moved his hands to cover mine. I didn't pull my hand away and he didn't move his. Of course as soon as the movie stopped, Chris sat up and it didn't happen again that night.

The movie is actually called “The Endless Summer,” a magnificent film. My roommates and I got on an “Endless Summer” kick and showed it to anyone who came over for about 3 weeks. A really fine film, if you haven’t seen it. Very relaxing and just inspiring. And perfect for the subtle hand-touch.

what a great movie

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Part 2

**Chris has added comments in blue italics after each paragraph to give his side of the story. The first post has been revised.**

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION PART TWO:
Chris remembers me as we got in a snowball fight and went sledding.

LONG VERSION PART TWO:
A month or so later a friend and I ran back quickly from Ward Prayer to ambush VP11 (Victoria Place apt. 11) boys with snowballs. I threw the snow balls a little too early and instead engaged VP12 (Chris' apartment) in a snowball fight. By the end of the night, I was on Chris' team completely soaked since a guy dropped a bucket of water on me from an apartment above. We made a plan to get him back during the Ward FHE sledding trip the next night. For me, all that talk of "tomorrow's master plan" was a silly way to get them to remember me beyond one day.

This night was the first time I remember Brittney as Brittney. (Embarrassingly, she had sung in Sacrament meeting earlier that day, and I didn’t make the connection). We were never ones to pass up a snowball fight, and it was quite the awesome one. I remember the best strategy to get the people up on balconies was to hit the rail in front of them and have the snowball poof in their face, covering them with cold goodness. My first memories of Brittney are of a cute girl, running around with long, completely frozen hair, and having a blast. Once, when she ended up on her back in a snow drift I reached down to give her a hand up. Looking down into her beautiful face, that was the first time I was tempted to kiss her, a temptation I am happy to give in to every day now. Such a fun evening.

Jen, ? and me (Jen was my snowball fight partner)

Somehow we arranged to be in the same carpool heading up to Rock Canyon's bowl for the sledding trip. It was so stuffed I had to either sit across Chris' lap in the back seat, or on his cousin/roommate Steve's in the front seat. If I remember right, both boys gave good reasons why I should sit with them. I ended up on Steve's in the front seat and I remember being a little sad, not to be by Chris. This is probably where I started to realize I liked Chris most especially. Being the jokester I am, I would sneak up behind Chris and his roommates and try to push them down the hill. Most guys will let a girl "win" in a physical confrontation. Not Chris. My pushes never succeeded in sending him down the hill, at least not by himself. If he allowed himself to fall, he would pull me down after him. To his credit, he would help me walk back up the hill with a hand on the small of my back since the shoes I wore were SO slippery on the snow. What a gentleman.

This was a really fun night, and it was also the beginning of being friends with Brittney, it was nice to know that the snowball fight wouldn’t end up being an isolated incident.

to be continued...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A love story

To celebrate Valentine's Day, I'd like to reminisce about our lovely beginning.

**Sheesh! I just meant to write a little but found myself composing a novella. I'll post it in chunks so you can enjoy it over a few days or weeks. Feel free to skip the long version and just read the short and sweet version at the top of each post. Chris' comments are in blue italics**

SHORT AND SWEET VERSION: I remembered meeting Chris before he remembered me.

LONG VERSION PART ONE:
I remember the first time I saw Chris. He was getting his mail as I walked up to our apartments (Victoria Place) mailboxes to get mine. He wore some jeans, a long-sleeved polo shirt and his hair was longish with some spots of yellow/orange on the ends, leftover from a summer "highlighting" experiment). I had my 4 month old niece, Mary, with me and as soon as Chris saw her he said something like, "oh, what a cute baby." I said something like, "yeah, I know...wish I could claim her as mine, but I can't, she's my niece" and he kindly laughed a bit. It was probably his laugh that earned that random moment a spot in my memory.

I remember this incident, although I only associated it with Brittney long after we had become friends and she shared with me the first time she remembered me. Mary was a cute kid, though, so I am sure the quote is accurate. Also, Brittney has always made me smile and laugh, so that part is surely true as well.

Me with Mary outside my apartment at Victoria Place

The next time I remember seeing him was a month or so later. I was with my niece (again) and my sister where her car got stuck in the treacherous Provo ditches. I asked him and his roommates if they'd help lift her car out and they happily obliged. To say thank you, the next day I made them a batch of Sandra's infamous homemade oreos. They loved the cookies so much they all wrote me TONS of little notes in church the next day. Chris had one that said, "do you know how awesome you are? I do." Naturally those notes made me excited and I thought, wow, I just made a bunch of cute guy friends. Enter Christmas Break.

This paragraph requires a bit of an explanation. First, helping cars out of ditches was something we got to do a lot with how deep the ditches are in that part of Provo. I always enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to get a massive vehicle out, especially when we were few in number. I definitely remember the oreos Brittney made (in deed, how could I forget such scrumptiosity?) During this time our ward had a “Complement Can” and small pieces of paper upon which a person could write something nice about someone else, and then it would be delivered to them. Somehow, probably because we got a little bored at times in Elders Quorum, we (my roommates and I) would write lots and lots of notes for someone each week. We always thought it would be fun for someone to get just an absurd number of notes. If I remember right, we had 4 roommates, and we would often each write 20+, giving someone around 70% of the total notes the ward produced. We often selected cool girls from our FHE group or just random friends from the ward. Anyways, to get back to the point, after the amazing cookies, there was a natural choice for complement recipient of the week.

Over Christmas I often thought of Chris and his roommates (I hadn't as yet realized I liked Chris the best). The first Sunday back I got excited as I saw them in the hallway and then felt totally trampled as they didn't even recognize me. So I threw all those notes away.

Not that it excuses anything, but hopefully our frequent note writing explains our behavior somewhat. I am still sad that she threw them all away, I would be humored to see what all the different notes were.

to be continued...

A pre-brittney Chris

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Do it, Self"

Thanks for your comments on the last post, they make me happy.

Alec is a great helper, in fact sometimes too good. He wants to help make dinner and set the table but he wants to do it all by himself. We made lasagna together yesterday and he helped "do it self": grate the cheese, stir the sauce, layer the cheese/sauce/noodles, sprinkle the cheese. He got the plates out of the cupboard, placed them around the table, got the forks out of the drawer, placed those by the plates, climbed up into his chair, put on his bib, and called on himself to say the prayer. He didn't want help with that either and he proceeded to give his first complete prayer completely unaided. Here is how it went:

Heh-yin Fah-er (heavenly father), bess food, deeto (thank you) food, jesus, deeto mommy, deeto daddy, deeto ayec, deeto cha-ee (charlie), bess food, Fah-er deeto food uhhhhh AMEN!"

Although it was a little frustrating having to wait for him to do all that dinner helping by himself, it was so rewarding to hear him give that prayer. He completely changed the feeling around the table to sweet happiness. We love him so much. Enjoy these cute pictures.

We "painted" with pudding at playschool on one of the days I taught. Alec seemed to like eating it more than painting with it. :)

Alec figured out how to climb up into Charlie's crib and proceeded to "read" to Charlie while I was getting dressed. 3 minutes, thats all it took. Good thing Alec is pretty gentle with Charlie.