Monday, November 10, 2014

Catching you up

Things that have happened since our Two Month Anniversary (Oct. 19):
Funny pictures from M
Third weird fortune

  • A few cute little bugs drew some funny pictures.
  • We went out for Chinese--again. 
  • Bonfire in Wilson--where random friends snapped surreptitious pictures of us and we snuggled under a blanket
  • He surprised me by showing up at a Doctor Who brunch (and watched 4 episodes despite not being a super-fan, while I fan-girled with one of my former seminary students)
  • He came and stayed for conference--we even watched the Priesthood session and did a puzzle
  • We had brunch with the family in my ward that has pretty much adopted me. Four-year-old H's prayer: "Thank you that we love Jesus...Thank you that Sister Ruch and her boyfriend could come..."
  • An 11-year-old snapped a quick picture from behind--though her Mom got one facing forward which I have yet to see.
  • I went to Kinston for the Weekend.
  • We did a session at the Raleigh Temple
  • Lots of dancing at the Kinston Harvest Ball
  • I karaoked Midnight Train to Georgia, while N and his Mom and Dad were the pips. 
  • Met his ward again. 
  • His teachers (teenage boys from 14-16) voted on our relationship and next steps
  • For his birthday (and mine) I got us UNC Football tickets, and we watched a tight game kissing when we scored, and snuggling the TarHeels to a win. 
  • M snapping pictures
  • A Sunday that didn't quit--Stake Conference, Stake Singles Lunch, NCSSM Choir & Orchestra Concert, and a little Birthday get together.
Not asleep during the Priesthood Session--really. . . 
That gets you to October 19. More to come. . .



Our Conference Puzzle
Ready for the Havest Ball--mostly so he can sing Lady in Red while we dance. . . 
Go Heels!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jazz Interrupted, Meeting B, and Dancing at the Hill

The way I am writing this seems like all I do is date, and that is not true. I had been going to the temple a lot the last few weeks, because that Saturday I was teaching a class on "Getting more out of your temple experience." I was also seeing other friends, getting my car worked on, planning events for work--it wasn't all going on in vacuum.

To my complete annoyance, my check-engine light had gone on that morning on the way to Women's day. I was extra annoyed because a little over a week before, I had shelled out too much money for repairs on my lovely Mint Julep. And it had been making this really loud noise from the front passenger side when you went faster than 50 mph, and now the light was on.

Frustrated and annoyed (because I was supposed to be having fun, happy times later that afternoon), and probably hangry because I hadn't grabbed anything to eat before rushing off to teach/help Vanna B's presentation on Design Within Reach, I made my way to the dealer.

We were supposed to meet at 2 for the Apex Jazz Festival. I had tickets and everything. It was 1:30, and I was still at the dealer after getting there at 12. I text N, apologizing profusely and asking if he's okay just coming to the house.

Of course he is because he's awesome. I, on the other hand, am a panicked freak, as my car breaking down is one of my pressure cooker buttons. The $1000 price tag also makes a girl indentured to four hospitals take a deep breath and want to cry. A lot.

We decide to wait and see what my warranty covers, and I head home, trying not to cry too much before N shows up at my door. A long hug on my doorstep actually reduces my need for tears immensely, and I can breathe a little more.

We decide to skip the Jazz Festival this year, but as we had made plans for him to meet my sis, we headed toward Raleigh. It felt weird that I knew all of his family but his sister (and in-laws)--and I felt a little like I did know his sister because my seminary kids the last year were Science and Mathers and she, too was a SMather--but he knew none of mine.

Plus, Ice cream would make me feel better--and Goodberry's is next to B's place. It's amazing what a shared concrete in a booth snuggling and laughing together will do for a bad day. Almost completely erase it. As I write this, I could feel all the same anxiety I felt building and building and building, and then the minute N arrived, deflating and disappearing on the wind. It's amazing to me that he can do that--it has to be some kind of superpower.

Anyway, a few blocks away, a kiss for luck, and we make our way toward's B's stoop, just as she comes around the corner. He squeezes my hand, as I think he can tell I'm a little nervous.

B's S is an introvert (yeah, yeah, dude, get in line), and less talkative than B, normally. N is very quiet, too, though if he needs to he can pull it out. I don't love being "on" all the time, and B is usually the outgoing charismatic one.

B was completely silenced by the sight of me holding hands with someone. She couldn't stop staring. S and I made conversation. N joined in, but stayed pretty quiet. And I watched my sister stare and stare and stare.

Now I will fully admit that at the height of my dating days, I was in Utah, and she was in IL, so she hasn't really seen this, but still. She could. not. stop. staring.

"Am I making you uncomfortable?" I asked, pulling my hand away for a second.

Her eyes finally actually look at me, confused, "No? What? No."

S was a dream (proving his #dreamboat nickname apt), and kept the conversation going. N was taking in B's Architectural Digest-worthy home, and eating up all the color and patterns (it's one of those things he does every where we go--it reminds me of B, actually).

All-in-all, it was a nice visit, and I think was enjoyed by all parties.

Next we were off to dinner and dancing.

Cuddling together on the same side of the booth has become our thing. And it as it was us and another couple, I'm sure the wait staff were thrilled.

I introduced him to Crab Rangoon, and we got the second of our odd fortunes. Again, I'm the one on the bottom.

And finally off to a Dance in Durham. We when arrived, they were teaching some dance, and I was not about to go for that. I've learned to dance thanks, we're all over 30, you do not have to teach us how to dance.

We snuck into the primary room and danced to songs from my phone for a little bit. Then we made it to the game room for dominoes until he finally played actual music. The dance was supposed to start at 8. We did not hear music until 9:30.

It was kind of awful--the DJ kept wanting to teach line dances (it is especially annoying when the 10 minute song has what you are supposed to do in it--no one should ever teach the cupid shuffle or the cha-cha slide--dumber than a box of rocks).

But it was fun to introduce N to Al and NC.

It was especially funny when my lovely friend NC stepped up and grabbed me for the first slow song. I flashed an apologetic smile, and danced away.

"Wait," NC said, "Is that your boyfriend?"

"Yes," I laughed.

"I can give you back," he replied.

"No. He's gotta speak up faster. Plus, it's good for him to have a little competition," I grinned.

As I had watched him dance with girl after girl at the last dance, I was pretty sure it was okay to let him watch me dance with someone else. Though it was also fun later when the ladies in my stake started complimenting our dancing together.

Despite the questionable DJ, we danced the night away, because we can almost always dance together. And we then made it back to our little lakeside for a slow dance or two. . . and then home again, home again, jiggety jig. Yeah, I was (and am) pretty sure I could get used to dancing with him a lot more.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Telling the kiddos

I was all good after Thursday, and it was time to bring my kiddos into it. I have a family of seven that I'm an Auntie for (well, the oldest just puts up with me, but the rest--5 girls and a boy--we're pretty close). I take them on dates, and they let me crash at their place after church, get them addicted to TV shows, show them old movie musicals, make smoked gouda mac & cheese, have dance parties, and sit with them at church so I'm not all by my lonesome. I adore them, and I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

Any way, I had told them a little bit on the previous Sunday (little T was the gasping eight-year-old), and now I figured I should tell a little more. So I crashed after work. And then I blushed a lot. I told them all the little stories that preceded this post. And they ate it up. 

"Do you love him?!?" Over-eager, incorrigible M gushed, clasping her fingers sweetly under her chin and batting her eyelashes. 

"No," I said, very honestly at the time. "I love you, and H, and P," I continued, as people's heads started popping up all over the room and from around doorways, "and T, and R, and L, and your Mom, but I don't know him well enough yet. It's too early. It's barely been. . . okay, so today it's been a month--exactly."

"Well, I think he loves you!" She declared with the confidence of eleven, "I think he knew right away. You're just going to have to figure it out. You have a boyfriend!"

Side note: Yes, it is our birthday today. So, Happy Birthday to someone who has brought me a lot of happiness, and yes, love, this year--and, hopefully, for this next one, too. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Just because I can.

We had plans for the Apex Jazz Festival and a singles dance in Durham that Saturday, but no plans during the week. By Thursday, I was anxious--really anxious. So after I finished all the things I had on my to-do list errand-wise (and I was in Morrisville), I made a decision.

"If I decided I just wanted a hug and showed up at your front door, would you have time to do something?"

"Yes."

"I'm not kidding."

"I believe you."

So at 8ish, I made it to Kinston. We met yet again, at the Walmart. As he pulled up, and I got a hug, everything just calmed down for me. I could breathe. That anxious feeling all went away. Oddly enough

I knew I could only stay until 10/10:30 at the latest.

We thought about hitting the county fair, but as I have been to the McLean County 4-H fair so very often, we opted for stargazing in the park.

The next day, all the anxiety that had been building in my chest stayed away. My sister laughs at me; but he calms me down, and I really like that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Going Public

The week before our adventure in Carrboro, we had talked about going public on Facebook--but he put the actual timing in my hands. Which was good for control-freak me, but also a little anxiety inducing.

As he left that Saturday night (well, Sunday morning), I asked myself a question, "What are you waiting for?"

My crazy brain replied, "I'm not sure."

So, I changed my status on Facebook.

And Facebook exploded. 139 likes? People I hadn't heard from in years commented or liked my post.

Near the end of Sacrament meeting the next day, I got a text from my 18-year-old (boy) former seminary student, "I hear you got a new man!"

Awkward, hysterical laughter escaped from me in the middle of the last speaker's talk.

Another text came from a different friend, "U got a boyfriend." I could hear her singsongy tone.

As I read it, an eight-year-old next to me gasped. And I realized that my secret may have to come out to the lovely family that has adopted me as an Auntie. 11-year-old M was going to be ecstatic. And H was going to believe that he truly had a link to Santa.

It was funny to watch how people reacted online and in real life.

I had dinner at my visiting teacher's house that night, and as I was leaving she was like, "So anything new I should know about?"

And my visiting teaching companion was like, "Have you seen Facebook today?"

"What? You can't leave after saying that!"

We did a quick little update, with a promise from me for more info later.

All-in-all, N and I agreed, our favorite comment was the Countess DeWinters' "What in the world are you thinking, getting yourself into relationships with boys at 4am???" Both of us giggled for a while after reading that one.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Passing a test...

So, I really had a hard time that week. I had decided not to freak out too much, but that wasn't super easy for me.

One of my music friends was having a CD release party in Carrboro that Saturday, and I decided to see how it went bringing N. There were supposed to be fire-breathers, belly dancers, and a bunch of bands--so a fun time, right?

When we got to the Station (a little after 8), the teacups had yet to go on, and were only setting up.

"So, we should go to dinner?" I asked.

"Oh yeah, go to dinner," John said.

I then dragged him to the Spotted Dog, telling him stories about my time living in Carrboro--eating at the bar after the temple (they still served food after 10), and the spinnin' dip which they have discontinued (a crime). I also pointed out it has the best calamari in the triangle. The best. He'd never had calamari.

"You guys are so cute," the hostess remarked after apologizing for our wait.

"What?" I asked, startled.

"It's just fun to see people in love. You're just so into each other; you don't care as long as you're together."

We both just smiled at each other. And I'm pretty sure I blushed a little. . . or a lot.

After making him try some calamari, we headed back over to the bar. The guys still had time to go, but we ended up talking to John's wife, Beth, and a bunch of the other members of the band--or friends of the band.

N did a good job mingling with these odd ducks in a place that some Mormon boys would maybe struggle with. It actually was really nice to introduce him to this area of my life that I've rarely shared with many others. It was important that he appreciate it, too.

He did great. The only time I was a little worried came about 1/2 an hour before the band went on. They were setting up, and the hippy drum circle in the parking lot next to the stage was going to town. . . And then the poll dancers started. In the Weaver Street Market parking lot, there were scantily clad, teeny-tiny ladies, doing gymnastic feats. . . in front of the family-friendly crowd.

"Do they know there are four six-year-olds sitting five feet away?" He asked.

"I'm not sure. I kind of want to know where their parent's are."

We both spent a lot of time not-looking, and I was blushing profusely. "Please don't tell your Mom I took you to see poll-dancing," I begged. And he grinned like a toddler caught in the cookie jar and just started laughing.

"You're a bad influence, huh?"

I pretty much wanted to melt through the floor. But as the music started, I knew that we were going to be okay. We danced in our seats, cheered for the band, and made little comments about the show and the crazy people around us.

He even made it to the encore band. . . where shortly after he fell asleep on my shoulder while I talked to Beth. He still had to drive the two hours home, so I woke him up and steered him out.

As we said goodbye he said, "You freaked out this week, huh?"

"Yeah," I sheepishly answered, but then became extremely serious, "If you're not feeling this, I need you to just tell me--rip the bandaid off."

"I will," he said, taking some stuff to his car. He then came back to kiss me, "I'm still here."

Friday, October 10, 2014

Freaking out

So my really big freak out came the Monday after a weekend in Kinston. Everything went well. His ward loved me, and I had fun, but for some reason I couldn't put my finger on, I was done.

I talked myself out of the whole relationship by noon on Monday with my Cousin A. And then later that night with B. But some reason I decided I needed to talk with K about it.

"You're being super nitpicky, T," She said.

I was affronted--no I wasn't!

"I love my husband, deeply, truly love him, and after a weekend alone with him, I'm ready for us both to go to work. It's the reality of relationships. You can't write him off that quickly."

Yeah, she had a point. I met with my therapist shortly after.

"I think it says a lot when you start to over-think. I think that is a pretty big clue."

Part of me wanted to ask, "What's the clue?" But I realized that was also slightly self-delusional.

So, turns out when I get a little too into it and emotionally invested, I run. I strap on my running shoes and get ready to scram.

We weren't doing a date night that week (which also lead to part of my freak out--"what do you mean you don't want to see me more than once this week?!?"), but we had set up to meet on Saturday for a friend's CD release party. I decided to see what happened. And to give it a little bit more time.

Looking back on it now--I'm really glad I did.

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