Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love Story Part 14

It took a couple of weeks but slowly I stopped calling Mongoose, Mongoose and he stopped calling me Gidget. It was much easier to introduce him as Kyle and avoid having to explain why I referred to my boyfriend as a rodent.

My birthday was coming up. I would be turning 17. I always hated my birthday because no one was ever around to celebrate it. It falls at the end of August and everyone is always taking their last vacation of the summer before school starts. I try to avoid creating expectations for the night but it was always hard not to hope for the birthday of your dreams. I never knew exactly what that was though.

Thankfully Kyle would be in town. Unfortunately my mother had planned my birthday dinner on my birthday, so Kyle and I would be celebrating the night before.

He told me to get dressed up and that he would be picking me up around 5pm to take me to dinner. I wore my denim skirt and a nice shirt and put on a little more make-up than usual. I waited for him, excited to see what he had gotten me. He showed up looking extremely handsome in a blue and yellow plaid button down shirt and slacks. He had been growing his hair out since I had asked him too and the bleach blonde boy was really starting to look like a surfer. His smile stood out the most though. He was so genuinely happy and it made me happy just to be around him.

He pulled a small wrapped gift and a small yellow sunflower from behind his back. He always brought me a small sunflower when he came because they grew on the side of his road. He handed me both gifts and I squealed with excitement.

“Can I open it now?” I asked.

“If you want.” He smiled reassuringly, definitely giving me the go to open away.
I sat down on the couch and slowly began to unwrap his gift.

It was a picture of the two of us that had been taken on my camera at the last camp dance of the summer. It was the counselor’s “formal” dance, basically an excuse for us female counselors to use our homecoming and prom dresses again. In the picture I am wearing a red strapless gown with camp bracelets and my hair curly like usual. Kyle is wearing a blue dress shirt with a yellow tie. He has his arm around me and we both have huge smiles on our faces.

The picture was matted on some scrapbook paper with stickered words like “magic,” “together,” and “first moment” all around. It was perfect. I turned the frame over not thinking really and saw huge letters spelling out “Gina and Kyle” and a small sticker that said, “I love you.” My heart fluttered and I looked up to see Kyle smiling at me. I smiled at him and thanked him nervously for the perfect gift. I was a master at avoidance.

“Where are we going to dinner?” It was too early in the day and too bright to be talking about love already so I brought up a new subject.

“Olive Garden.” He smiled. Yakima doesn’t have much variety as far as food goes and Kyle wasn’t made of money. I was happy with the selection. I loved their breadsticks and salad.

We went to dinner and had a wonderful time. Kyle even let me order some cheesecake for dessert. We laughed and talked over dinner and I realized that this was the first time I had ever been one-on-one with a boy at a restaurant. I had done group dates for dances and Kyle had been to some meals with my family, but this was the first time I had been on my own. I loved it. There were no awkward pauses or uneasy moments. We twisted noodles onto forks while chatting about college and childhood memories.

Kyle had plans for after dinner but wouldn’t tell me what they were. Instead he drove to a park near my home where you can sit on these terraces and see the huge sky before you. He parked and opened the trunk pulling out his guitar. I smiled and blushed astonished that this was actually MY life.

“Sit.” He prompted me to kneel on the grass and he sat down making the guitar comfortable in his arms.

“I have a song for you,” He spread out a few pieces of yellow lined paper. On it was his small quick script.

He strummed the guitar and started singing an original song he had written, just for me.

It was about freezing time. How we always said that we wish we could invent a time machine and just stay in this summer forever, that we could always feel the excitement of learning about each other and falling in love.

There was that word again. That word made my whole body tremble. It made my palms sweaty and my my heart beat fast. I think it’s your body’s fight or flight response kicking in. Do you face love head on knowing that you might get broken or do you run away avoiding any pain that may come?

He kept singing and smiling that knowing smile. He knew me so well. He knew that he was going to have to ease me into the idea of love just like I ease into a hot tub. Dipping my feet in first, acclimating to the burning temperature until I can slowly submerge my body until what was at first scorching is actually relaxing.

The sun set after the song and we just talked enjoying our time together. Then it was time to take me home. I still wanted to watch a movie and so he stayed claiming that I could have whatever I wanted for my birthday. After the movie he said he needed to go home. Home? I didn’t want him to go home yet. I wanted him to stay until it was actually my birthday. I wanted him to give me a kiss right when the clock struck twelve. He claimed he was tired but he let me drag out minutes of kissing into an hour. He let me drag out seconds of pleading him to stay into even more minutes until we were sitting in his Kia at 11:50pm. He had finally resigned to stay until midnight. But he was leaving as soon as he could after that because it was late and he was very very tired.

We kissed. It was 11:55pm.
We talked. It was 11:57pm.
We sat gazing at the stars in the sky. It was 11:58pm
We kissed some more. It was 11:59.

Then he stared at me and I stared at him. I started rambling about how I was going to get a kiss on the first minute of my actual birthday.

12:00am. He kisses me and pulls away resting his forehead against mine.

“I love you.” He quietly states.

“I love you too.” The words slip out of my mouth like I had been saying them my whole life.

Then we kissed again and my whole body was electrified with the excitement of a first love.

He stayed a few more minutes where we discussed how long we had both been wanting to say “I love you” and how I had decided he would have to say it first and how he knew that I wanted him to say it first and how he was waiting for the perfect moment and realized my birthday would be perfect.

And I realized my birthday had turned out exactly how I wanted it.

Click here for Part 15

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Love Story Part 13

“Oh…Hey…Your mom wanted me to look for you. I saw your pile of clothes by the dock and didn’t know where you had gone….” He started rambling like he tends to do. Most people would think he might be in a state of perpetual discomfort but that is just my dad.

“Well it’s getting late so you should probably head up to the house soon…” He finished.

We were already out of the pool and getting ready to hop the fence to get back to the other side.

“Hey….how did you get in there anyway?” My dad was now extremely intrigued with our situation which I think made Mongoose more uncomfortable but I knew that we weren’t in trouble or anything.

My dad wasn’t the bad cop type. He wasn’t the good cop type either. He was more of the non-existent cop. He worked so much when I grew up that we never developed any sort of relationship beyond, “Dad will you buy me that sweater?” “Yes.” He didn’t care one bit that Mongoose and I had snuck into the community pool. He just smirked as we explained that we hopped the fence, giving us a nod of approval for seemingly “living on the edge.” My dad was a 20-year-old frat boy trapped in a 45-year-old lawyer’s body.

After he left we headed back toward our clothes and up to the cabin. Mongoose slept on the floor while I slept on the fold out couch next to my younger sister and brother.

The next day Smalls and Kennedy showed up and Mongoose and I were grateful for the freedom of Smalls’ car. We drove around town getting soft-serve ice cream and enjoying the sunshine. It was a lazy few days where the blinding summer sun blots every picture and memory. The stickiness of skin and the shock of lake water were added to that small trip to Chelan.

Once Chelan was over we started to feel the absence of summer camp in our lives. There were only a few weeks until Mongoose started college and the threat of separation forced Mongoose and I to spend as much time together as possible.
Mostly I remember those summer nights. Mongoose would almost always come to my house in Yakima since he lived farther out of town and there was nothing to do amongst the tumbleweeds. After eating dinner and playing badminton in the backyard or watching a movie Mongoose and I would head to the front yard after the sun had gone down. We would sit on the grass and talk. Oh how we loved to talk.

Eventually grass would get pulled from the ground and shoved down shirts or messed into one another’s hair. We dubbed them the “grass wars” and we would wrestle trying to avoid the itch of green blades that would torment our skin. Of course there was kissing. There was always kissing. There was also star gazing and quiet moments where I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

It was during those nights spent on my front lawn that I realized I loved him. I remember kissing him and thinking in my heart, not my head, but my heart that I loved this boy. I loved this boy who listened to my rambling opinions and who thought that my enthusiasm was charming. I loved this boy who would bare his own soul to me unafraid of any sort of “manliness” that could be lost. I loved this boy who made my my skin prickle and my heart jump just when he looked at me. I could tell he loved me too. It was the way he held my hand and when he would write silly poems or sing songs for me even though he couldn’t really carry a tune.

But how do you tell someone you love them? I hardly even said “I love you,” to my family. They can be scary words but I was sure that I wanted to share them with him. But fear won out and I decided I would wait until he said it first. I just wasn’t brave enough.

Click here for Part 14

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the beginning of fall...

I love fall. I really really love it. I walked to school as a kid and I think that's where my love for fall grew. I loved school so the dropping summer temps and the crispness of the air coincided with my early morning walks where I would wear my fashionable jean hat with a bright fuschia flower. Oh the nineties were cruel to us.

We live by an awesome park here in Spokane and on Monday we took a little family walk to enjoy the scenery.

This is my favorite street in Spokane. If we end up living here for life I told Kyle that I MUST live on this street.

It's the tree-lined American dream.

I broke out my moccasins for the walk. I got these a couple of years ago and apparently these shoes are very "in" currently. Works for me.

Max is doing wonderfully. He is sleeping and eating well. Every morning I feed him in bed and then we snuggle. I love how the morning light comes in our room and wakes me up naturally. It makes for great natural lighting too.

I call him Bubba.

This is Max's bouncer which we have recently named "toilet." You see I have already potty trained my baby. This is the only place that he will poop. Sure every now and then he poops outside of this bouncer but recently this is it. It makes me laugh but he loves this bouncer. Thanks Ducky for buying it for us!

Ignore the stack of unhung frames behind him.

Spokane is treating us wonderfully. We live within walking distance to two grocery stores, a major park, a track for me to run on, and so much more. Unfortunately Target is forever away....maybe I should rewrite that as fortunately.

Did you hear about the Missoni craziness at Target? Apparently people were buying like $5000 dollars worth of all the shoes and blankets and are now selling them on Ebay. Seriously? I don't even like it. Maybe some of the homeware would work but seriously a Missoni capelet? Ew.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Running for my life

Every other morning looks like this.

I am surprised by my diligence. I am doind the c25k (couch to 5k) program although its slightly altered by the hubs because he thinks I am a little more active than the average couch potato. It is an awesome way to build endurance into running. I am actually starting to enjoy it. Gasp.

I also do zumba, a circuit, or a jillian michaels video.

It feels good to exercise.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Blessing

Labor Day weekend we were able to bless Baby Max. Much to the dismay of my younger sisters I did not use Kyle's baby blessing suit (white and teal penguin tuxedo... I am not kidding...and yes I will put Max in them eventually and have a photo shoot and a good good laugh). Instead I found the cutest little outfit in another city for him.

The blessing was held in my husband's home ward, which I also consider my home ward since I don't really have one being a convert and all... I visited it on holiday breaks and summer vacation and sat with Kyle's parents while he was on the mission and got to know the people in the ward anyway. They were always so nice to me and I couldn't imagine doing Max's blessing anywhere else since we were in Yakima anways.

Kyle gave the blessing and it was perfect. Simple and spiritual, emphasizing the great blessings Max could receive if he stays true to the gospel. No promises for an attractive wife though... (seriously heard that once at a baby blessing, for twins. Only one twin go the attractive spouse blessing. The other one just got a blessing of marriage)

My whole family, except for one brother was there (He's a doctor and had to work). It was great to see them there and I was grateful for their support and love, especially since my family is a little....disheveled lately. They came together for Max and I love them for it.

Since it was fast and testimony I took the opportunity to bear my testimony in front of them. It was a good day.

Everyone... minus my sister's friend Cloey.

The Baby himself.

This is my all-time favorite picture. It is

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boats, Moving, and Mustaches

Well things have been pretty crazy round here but I figured I ought to get some awesome pictures of Max up to brighten everyone's day.

Max is now 7 weeks old. Wow. It feels like he has been a part of my life since...forever. In reality he probably was up there in heaven watching my life waiting for his time to come down and make such a huge impact.

I made a decision pretty soon after Max was born that I wanted to avoid feeling trapped as a mother. I think this mentality is purely conceived within our mind but it takes some power to push oneself out the door with an infant to try to resume life as usual. Life will never be usual that's for sure, but I think this mentality of trying to get out the door at least for 10 minutes a day is a saving grace. It forces me to get showered and dressed and I get to talk to adults instead of just coo at a baby.

So a couple of weeks ago my family went inner tubing. Max was like 3 weeks old and so it was assumed that I wouldn't go. I was so sad when they came back talking about the fun they had had. Luckily Kyle had to work so he didn't go, if he had I would have probably cried. But the next opportunity that arose to go inner tubing I let my family know that Max and I would be along for the ride for sure.


Max wore a lifejacket the whole time, except for when I nursed him. It was an awesome experience and made me realize how relaxed of a mother I am.

The next week we moved all of our stuff to Spokane. This was Max's first long car ride (only had to stop once to nurse) and it also became his first time at a restaurant. He is such a chill baby, except for when he wants the boob juice. But that's super easy to remedy.


Eating at a super nummy pizzeria in Spokane.


His new favorite stuffed animal "Snorf" made by my cousin.

So I just turned 23. I could feel this birthday would be a dud from a mile away. Maybe it was just my attitude going into the day but it seems like everything went all wonky. Kyle had to work his latest night ever (got home at around 8:30pm) so I couldn't go to my Zumba class or go out to get dessert and see a movie either (my mom was going to watch Max). The day definitely ended on a high note though. We were all watching something on tv when my little sister starting playing with a fake mustache. Then we decided that the mustache must go on baby Max. We were in tears laughing. It made the day of my birthday end on a high note.



That picture needs the caption "FIRE THE MISSILES!" He looks like a little dictator.

Don't worry I got a birthday redo the day after my birthday. Kyle had to day off and I got to spend the day reading a book, going to a movie by myself (it is one of my favorite things to do in all seriousness), and having a birthday dinner with my family full of laughter, three cakes, and root beer sodas.

I love me a good root beer soda.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Love Story Part 12

In the blink of an eye the summer was over. What did that mean for Mongoose and I? Throughout the camp season I learned that he was going to be a freshman at Central Washington University, a small college 40 minutes outside of my hometown. In the beginning, we had assumed that our relationship would fizzle out by the end of the summer. But we were more attached than ever and I was scared for what was ahead. Forty minutes seemed so long and I was just going to be a senior in high school.

Would he even want a girlfriend starting off in college?

The subject was in the back of my mind and we just enjoyed whatever time we still had together.

Right after camp ended, we jetted off to Lake Chelan. My family had rented a cabin there for the week and my mom suggested I invite Mongoose and some other friends.

“There are plenty of beds and we can always set up the tent!” She suggested with that peppy voice.

So Mongoose and I caught a ride with my uncle and Smalls and our camp friend Kennedy joined us two days later.

As we pulled into the driveway, we passed a community pool. Mongoose and I looked at each other knowingly. Over the summer, we had made it a goal to kiss everywhere possible. It became a game to find interesting and fun places to kiss. Even though camp had a pool, the counselors were never without kids in it. We knew we had to kiss in that pool, it would just have to be the right timing to do so.

After dinner we walked out to the dock to talk and watch the sunset. The water rippled beneath our feet and I played with a broken splinter of wood as we discussed everything and anything you can imagine. There was this ease that came from the stillness of the lake, an ease that washed over my usually racing mind. There was no pressure or hidden agenda to our conversation. No expectations for answers, we talked openly and honestly. We discussed our individual goals and ideas for the future. He mentioned wanting to do something medically related, due to his nerdy love of the sciences. I hadn’t noticed this love quite yet as I still considered him to be just a good-looking, incredibly kind jock. He talked about how he wanted to get married in the temple, a sacred place where he could be sealed to his wife and children for time and all eternity. This thought was new to me.

Eternity? I inquired a little more about his ideas of marriage. What he wanted in a wife and in a mother for his kids. His answer was a little on the side of female house slave but after I pointed that out he seemed to delve a little deeper. In actuality he wanted someone to make him laugh. Someone he could talk to and share ideas. I liked this version a lot better. My inner feminist had raised a red flag at his first response but he salvaged himself when he described his relationship with his future wife.

That idea of eternity still got to me, and what did he mean by sealed? He explained that the person that he marries will have to be someone he wants to be with forever; someone who he will be bound to not just till death but beyond that, in heaven. It was a new concept to me. I had never realized that the vows said in civil marriage end that relationship at death. The idea saddened me and I came to the discovery that I wanted an eternal marriage, one that lasted forever.

It was a daunting thought that made spouse selection into an even more difficult choice. Not that I was thinking marriage already. Ok maybe I was a little.

I was a sixteen-year old girl, remember?

The sun set as we started in on our future together. The conversation went on and on and on. I didn’t want it to stop. Soon though our words turned into kisses as the moon grew in the sky. I remember thinking that life could not get any more perfect. I was with the most wonderful guy. He made me laugh, he was handsome, and he listened to what I had to say. Plus he respected me, even with his ideal of marrying a perfect housewife. He couldn’t be perfect right?

With no one watching us and our joints stiff from sitting on the hard wooden dock we looked to the pool. It was closed unfortunately but Mongoose had a mischievous look in his eye.

“Let’s jump the fence.” He declared.

I wasn’t so sure. I was a stickler for following rules and this would definitely be breaking some.

“It closed at ten though; I really don’t think we should.” I suggested we head on back to the house.

“No. I just have to kiss you underwater. Come on, no one is out right now and no one is watching the pool. It’s not like it has a guard.”

I thought about it as he pulled me closer and closer toward the fence. We were wearing our bathing suits already…. So we stripped off the rest of our clothes by the dock and made a plan for how to actually jump the fence.

He easily got over and helped me as well. We slid into the pool and he immediately drug me underwater for that kiss he so badly needed. After a couple of minutes of kissing and playing in the abandoned pool , we heard a noise.


It was my dad.

Click here for Part 13