Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The best $150 I ever spent

Valentines Day this year was on a Saturday.  I spent the evening with some of my closest lady friends over dinner talking about some fun memories we have of past Valentines Days and then finished off the evening with some traveling pants films.  All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.

This winter's weather was pretty brutal and we had more than one day of sub-zero temperatures.  The day after Valentines Day was no exception to this and despite my plans to spend the evening playing games with friends, the 4 degree weather encouraged us all to stay at home.  I was home alone that weekend and had been on a roll of watching as many Hallmark channel movies as possible (or as long as there was room on the DVR).  Have you ever watched the Hallmark channel?  Do you know how often they show commercials for  The answer is: almost every commercial.

I'd never been on before, but I have been on what feels like every other online dating service.  You name it, I've probably tried it.  (Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, eHarmony, ldssingles, ldsmingle, ldslinkup, okcupid, HowAboutWe, etc.)  I'd recently canceled many of these accounts and so I figured that I should give a try since the commercials were so compelling (read: not compelling and insert major eye roll).

I signed up and put a ridiculous photo up of myself so that I could browse while watching this on tv.  I paid the $150 for a 6 month membership and quickly found that looking up LDS people was an option.  I had no idea.  I started browsing the LDS dudes within 300 miles and let me tell you.  The options are not good (Is that offensive?).  I set the filters up to 1500 miles just to see if there were any LDS guys on the site that looked like they were even somewhat viable options.  I saw a few guys who were cute, sent them a "wink" and went about my business.

Ten minutes later I had a message from a guy named Michael, as follows:

We started texting a few minutes later where we realized a few more fun connections:

1. We grew up 90 minutes away from each other; he in South Carolina and I in North Carolina.
2. His brother took me on my very first date.  (We went ice skating at the mall after meeting at EFY)

The following night we talked on the phone for the first time and it just felt like I had reconnected with someone I'd known my entire life.  A few weeks before this I'd gone out with a guy in his mid-forties who was really into LEGOS (reallllly into LEGOS) so I said to Michael at the end of our first phone conversation: "Even if I never talk to you again, you've given me hope that we're not actually at the bottom of the barrel."

On day 2 of knowing each other, he asked if he could fly up to meet me and I screamed inside and told him that he could buy a ticket after he talked to our mutual friend (and my Bishop) Boyd.  The next time I apply for a job, I'm putting Boyd down as my personal reference because by the next morning I got a flight confirmation email from Michael for March 19th.  5 weeks away.  Writing all of this down makes me realize how crazy this time was, but we talked on the phone every night for hours, texted all day - we both just couldn't get enough.  Every night when we'd get off the phone, we always told each other how much we liked each other and it was during those conversations that we both realized that we were falling in love with someone that we'd never even met face to face.  You guys.  That. Is. Weird.

The next few weeks are kind of a blur of texts and phone calls and even though I'd gone to Utah to see my family, I hadn't said a word to them about him.  I just didn't want to get my mom's hopes up in the event that he turned out to be some psycho on (or before) March 19.  He was giving me no reason to worry, but I've been around the block enough times to know that I shouldn't involve my family at all unless things are serious.

And things were serious.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Review

As you can tell, the blog isn't exactly my forum of choice these days.  I'm much more steady on Instagram and will most likely continue to do so.   But I do, for posterity's sake, feel like I should post a little year-in-review here.

2014 was awesome.  I accomplished some amazing goals, I made some amazing friends, and did some other AMAZING things.  So here you go.  None of these have been posted on Insta or on Facebook (at least on my account) and thus you probably have not seen these photos.  Probably.


Was pretty quiet except for the occasional dance party...until we did a food marathon for Scott Porter's birthday which means that we ate a 26.2 restaurants in the 5 NYC boros in 1 day.  From 7am to 10pm we ate.  Nonstop.  One day I will do a full post on that.

Tara and Morgan teaching us the dance from Dirty Dancing

Food Marathon-ing in Staten Island

Favorite part of the food marathon - when Chad turned into a table so we could eat pirogis.

Scott's best birthday yet.



Went to Punxsutawney to celebrate Groundhog Day.  We missed seeing Phil see his shadow by about 10 minutes.  Saddest day of the year.

Punxsutawney was awesome.  It was out of control with groundhog love and I loved it.

Tara's Birthday weekend in Philly with some of my favorite ladies this side of the Mississippi

I also went to see my ex-boyfriend's younger sister in a burlesque show.  She is not pictured here, but that experience was hilarious.
March was a whirlwind.  I met a dude - what is it with me and foreign gingers?  Oy.  It was fun whilst it lasted.  He's worth a mention for sure.  I also visited the crown at the Statue of Liberty and went to Puerto Rico! Amazing month.

Dave the Aussie

Climbing the stairs to the crown.

I'm inside Lady Liberty's face!

Behold, a Puerto Rican taco truck. <3 td="">

besties & beach

cock fight. naturally.

Recovering from the Aussie, Puerto Rico and Easter!

come back to me, friends!

Freeman's on the Lowest East Side is crazy awesome.  Go to there right now.

Waiting for the Easter Egg Hunt to begin!

In May I ran a half marathon and missed my PR by 2 minutes.  It is unclear what else I did in May as this is the only photo I have from the entire month.

In June I went to Spain, France, and Monaco with my parents.  What a dreamy vacation.

This place was about 2 hours east of Madrid - Monasterio de Piedra.  My parents loved it so much that they went back a handful of times with other couples from Madrid.  It was amazing. This is my top tourist recommendation now in all of Spain.

from my nightmares

Nice is one of the dreamiest places I've been.  

Monte Carlo
San Sebastian

Bilbao Guggenheim

Santiago de Compostela - it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to go there and while I don't need to go back, I'll always remember all the pilgrims walking into town - was really moving.

More races

Ran more races, played outside a lot.  Just lived it up in the summer weather.

4th of July kisses on the subway. The look on Daniel's face is priceless.

5k with Morgan

In Charleston with my favorite princess-in-training, Ari

Matt got married at the beginning of August and was followed quickly by a work trip to Nantucket for a week.

After Matt's wedding with my lovelies


Google maps told me that this was a viable road...and I was in an Escalade.

'Sconset is where I live in my imaginary life.

Hosted a baby shower for my coworker at the office patio

A few more of my close friends left the city for the west and I was real sad, but tried to live it up with them while I still had the chance.
Hosted a baby shower for my dear friend Liz before she moved away

For Lisa's birthday we went Contra dancing which is the sweatiest form of exercise known to man.

I ran a ragnar up in the Adirondacks and I looked pretty amazing on the beach of Lake George before my second leg...

My grandmother passed away in late September and so I went to Utah for a few days to be with family and I got to see all these crazy Utahns who used to be on the east coast with me.
Pretty much all I did in October was run and eat.  I did take a little vacation though with some friends to see the fall foliage.

Ladies night dinner

I started training for a marathon in July - and here I am at the end of my 20 mile training run.  Was a super long morning.

On our way to New Hampsha.  I'm not ashamed to say that I ate some dingdongs in the car soon after this photo was taken.

Em and I posing for pics out on the lake

Stacie hates apple picking and I feel like this gif of us demonstrates that perfectly.

Soaking in those fall colors

We sent this to Micah.  Nice picking there, Tara

Emily took one for the team and cut up about 50 onions for dinner

For Lynda's birthday we went to the Blaze.

Last second trip to the New York Botanical Garden with Stacie, Morgan, and Lisa

Taken on one of my last runs before the marathon!

Group costumes are just always the way to go.  Daniel looked amazing, right?

Holy amazing month.  I started it by running my 2nd marathon in my own town.  Best decision ever.  I loved every second of it - even the second that I couldn't breath and had to get an asthma treatment in the medical tent at mile 25.  I high-five over 1,000 people that day and just yelled and danced the entire way.  Loved it.  I also went to France, Belgium, and The Netherlands at the end of the month.  Rocked November.

This is at about mile 16 of the New York marathon on the Queensboro bridge.  What an amazing day.
I don't want to run another marathon, but I'd re-live that day again and again.

And of course my friends made posters. <3 td="">

My friends = the best

All of these people ran with me during my training - and obviously many are not pictured, but I am just so so grateful for everyone who ran with me during that horrible training.  You guys are just awesome.

My parents at Mont St. Michel.  I'd love to go back in the summertime, maybe.  The cathedral tour was completely underwhelming, but I was glad we went.  Cool little town.

Marie Antoinette had a little hamlet built on the edge of Versailles so she could play there with friends. Say what? #richgirlproblems

Le Galleries Lafayette window displays were completely horrible this year, so if you didn't see them, you didn't miss anything.  But the Burberry windows next door were really great.

This may look like just an ordinary kitchen/lab, but this is at the Marie Curie museum in Paris.
LeOra's hero was Marie Curie so we went and checked it out.  

We came across this recreation of Marie Antoinette being held in her jail cell before she was beheaded and it completely creeped me out.  You're welcome.

I went to The Netherlands and met up with Morgan for a few days and we ended up taking an unplanned tour of the country instead of spending the day in Delft.  We finally made it to Delft, but with enough time to get lunch and go home. Ha!  
One party after another.
Love love love.

4C Christmas tree, 2014

Cecily is my little buddy- I just love her. She was an angel at the ward Christmas party.

ZM assistants at the holiday party

I got to Utah for the holidays and promptly took my parents to get tacos recommended by Brigham. We weren't disappointed.


The Riddles.  Love that little baby Monroe


A smattering of little girls.  Sophie and Serenity are a day apart!

My sister wife had her baby in December and so I went to go snuggle him since we were all in Utah.
So glad I got to see Liz. (and Brad/Liam)

I learned the hard way that Dave Haynie doesn't know where a unicorn's horn goes.

My New Years date.  Phewf.  Ending with a bang.