Saturday, November 3, 2012

How I Started Dating Matt, My Fiancé.

The Story According to Me:

Once upon a time, I moved to Boise during the summer to get a change in pace and hopefully get to a better place in my life. While there, I happened to meet Matt. I met him through a couple of mutual friends, Cherilyn and Kara. At one family home evening activity in my new ward, I saw Cherilyn (whom I had made friends with the previous day at church) and decided to stick with her in an attempt to integrate myself into the ward. She quickly introduced me to her friend, Kara, who then interrogated me about my level of knowledge and interest in things such as Phantom of the Opera, a Very Potter Musical, Harry Potter, and other similar things. During this entertaining conversation, she introduced me to Matt (who was standing with some friends across the gym) four times. Each time she yelled to him from across the gym, and each time he appeared more and more irritated. Kara and Cherilyn informed me that Matt was a very good friend of theirs, and that they hung out all the time. After the activity was over, I wanted to keep hanging out with Kara and Cherilyn, so I suggested we watch a movie. We all went to Hastings together and got "The Woman In Black." Then we went to Kara's house and we were just about to start the movie when we heard a knock at the door. And guess who it was? Matt.

He said that he had just left FHE and he decided to drive by Kara's house to see if we happened to be there, and we were. So we invited him to watch the movie with us. I thought it was a little odd that he would just drive by and invite himself over. But oh well, I was glad to be making another friend! For some reason, I just kind of assumed that he had just graduated from high school. (Matt kind of has a baby face! It's so cute!) So we watched the movie, which was TERRIFYING, and talked for a while before we all went home. Mostly it was just Matt and Kara talking and sharing some stories and what-not. I felt kind of like I was eve's dropping on their lives, but I was definitely invited to be there. After the night was over, I was glad that I was finally embarking on my quest to make new friends.

The following Sunday, I was sitting in church in the very back row by a guy I didn't know. I was just sitting there when I looked over at the door and saw Matt! I smiled at him and looked back at the speaker. When I looked up again, he was standing at my pew, asking me if he could sit by me. I said yes and we started singing a hymn. I was really impressed by his singing voice. It was absolutely beautiful.

I was at another friend's house after church and my phone rang. It was an unknown Idaho number. I answered it and it was Matt. He wanted to know if I would sing in the Institute choir that his parents direct. I agreed!

Later that week I went to choir and was absolutely astonished at Matt's voice. He was singing a solo and he sounded like an angel. It took a lot of will-power not to stare at him too much. I talked to Matt a little bit afterwards and some of the other choir members invited him to watch Star Wars at their house. He invited me to come along. I rode in his car and became more and more impressed with him. He was absolutely hilarious! And it was so easy for the two of us to engage in conversation. The entire night, I wanted to be better friends with Matt. He was seriously so cool. Unfortunately during the movie, I didn't get to sit by him. I was rather annoyed, actually. After the movie, he drove me back to where I was parked and I drove home. Things were really starting to look up! I was sure that I had found a friend that I wanted to hang out with!

On Saturday, I went home to Pendleton for my sister's graduation (Cindy). On the way to Pendleton, I got a text from Matt inviting me to go to another friend's house to watch a movie. I told him that I wished I could, but I was in Pendleton. Later that night, he texted me and we texted for about a half hour. During that time we talked about how much we liked star-gazing and how small you feel when you're thinking about the universe.

I came home on Sunday afternoon and I went to church in Jane's family ward. Matt texted me later to ask where I was and I told him I went to Jane's ward because we didn't get back in time for the Single's ward church meetings. We texted back and forth and then my phone started ringing and it was him. I was amused that he was calling me. He told me he was tired of texting and he just wanted to talk in real life. We ended up talking until 12:30 that night. The more I was getting to know him, the cooler I thought he was. I could tell that this guy had depth of character and the ability to laugh and have a great time.

On the phone we had agreed that I would pick him up for FHE and then we would watch a movie afterwards. So we went to a service project and then to a barbeque and then back to his house to watch "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." After the movie we talked until 2:45 in the morning. I felt like I could tell him almost anything and I was glad that he seemed to be telling me a lot about himself, too. I'm pretty sure that on the way home that night I couldn't stop smiling.

On Tuesday, I went to a waterpark with my niece and nephew and one of their friends. It was freezing and I was exhausted and wind-burned by the end. Matt had invited me to go with him to stain his grandparent's fence with him, but I was at the waterpark all day. After I got home, I started mowing the lawn and Matt called me. He wanted me to go downtown with him to "freak alley." I thought that he wanted to meet some friends and he was just inviting me along. He came to pick me up and it turned out it was just the two of us. I was EXHAUSTED. And smelly. And sunburned and wind-burned. I was getting discouraged because I felt like I was being pretty rude and interruptive the entire night. I was so embarrassed that after he dropped me off, I apologized for my behavior. He didn't know what I was talking about, so it was all good.

Although I had been having a great time with Matt over the last few days, I didn't let myself really like him because he kept making it clear that he gets annoyed when girls like him and he just wants to hang out and go on casual dates. I took that as a huge hint that he didn't want me to get my hopes up for anything other than just friendship unless otherwise notified.

Wednesday was another choir rehearsal and afterwards, Matt tried to set me up with his friend, Tyler. I felt a little awkward about it, since I didn't know Tyler at all and Matt kind of put us on the spot! But we agreed to go out on Friday. Then Matt invited Tyler and I over to his house to watch "The Man Who Knew Too Little." I love that movie and I was having a great time! I realized that I was starting to feel some level of interest for Matt, but I defnitely didn't want to make him think I was another girl who liked him without merit. I went home that night and got ready for bed.

As I was lying in bed, my phone rang and it was Matt, once again. He told me that he was calling because we had hung out for three consecutive nights and he didn't want me to think I was getting any undue attention. Basically, to me it sounded like he was telling me that I really shouldn't be getting any ideas about the two of us being together. He contintued to talk to me and he kept talking about how sometimes there are moments in life that have the potential to change our lives if we act on them. I agreed, and thought nothing more of the conversation than a good discussion between friends. However, after a couple of hours, he finally said, "like for example, if I went the entire summer without telling you that I like you, that would be a shame." I was silent on the other end, quickly trying to sort out if he was being hypothetical, or if he really did like me. I didn't want to say anything until I figured it out because I didn't want to embarrass myself. I finally said, "Wait, was that just an example?" He said that it wasn't. I kept saying dumb things like, "Oh, wow. Wow. Good to know. Good to know." I think I was saying that to assess how I felt about the whole situation. I determined that I liked him back, so I tried to tell him I liked him back by saying, "Well, I really enjoy spending time with you. I think you are a really cool person and a good friend." He paused and responded with, "So...if I understand you like hanging out and being my friend, but we're nothing more than friends?" Then I realized my mistake and said, "Ugh, see...this is the part where I'm socially awkward and I forgot to tell you that I like you back."The rest of the conversation was kind of bewildered and slightly awkward. But good, still good.

On Thursday we watched another movie at Matt's house, this time with his friend, David. I sat by Matt, of course, and soon we were holding hands. Too bad our hands were all sweaty...

On Friday, I invited Matt to come with me and my family to Eagle Island to swim in the river and have a picnic. He agreed and we had a blast! After that, we went for a drive and to Dairy Queen and then decided to go star-gazing. That night, he asked if I would be his girlfriend and I told him I would.

 It's pretty extraordinary for me to move so fast in a relationship. Historically, I am friends with a person for a loooooonnnggg time and then finally decide that I like them. But for some reason, I was okay with being in a relationship with Matt so soon. It just felt like everything was going to be okay. It felt right.

The Story According to Matt:

Having come back from my mission to a singles ward that I soon found to be less than overstocked with girls I personally found interesting, and after months of dates, blind and otherwise, I had all but given up on dating in  Boise and was intent upon finding a girl in Rexburg, where I was planning to attend school.  I had several friends that were girls (most of whom I had either dated, or had had brief and intermittent mutual interest in), and made that my main source of social interaction.  This was a good choice, I later learned.
On one particular Monday night, two of my friends--Kara (who I had previously dated on a semi-serious basis) and Ty (who I had met only the night before at a mutual friend, Craig's, house for games)--texted me again and again, inviting me to come to ward FHE, something I had done perhaps only twice in the eight months I'd been home from my mission.  More than halfway through the activity, I finally relented and showed up after the promised ice cream had been served (and depleted).  Another friend of mine, Nathan, had returned from his mission only five days prior, and we stood for essentially the entirety of my time at FHE that night talking and catching up, along with our friend Jason.  Kara approached me soon after I arrived, with Cherilyn and another girl (who I had seen sitting with Cherilyn the day before during sacrament meeting and who I had assumed was Cherilyn's cousin, which association immediately cooled any interest I might have otherwise had), who they introduced me to, but whose name I promptly forgot.  They returned to their place across the gym and I continued my conversation with Jason and Nathan.  A few minutes later, Kara called me over to tell me that the girl--Emma--had seen "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (something Kara and I had watched together some months before while we were dating), and then had me confirm to this new girl Emma that "A Very Potter Musical" was, in fact, hilarious.  I then resumed my conversation with Jason and Nathan.  Fifteen minutes later (whether it was actually fifteen minutes or not is lost to my memory, and fifteen is the baseless estimate I give in each retelling of this part of my first real encounter with Emma), I heard from across the gym, "That's my friend, Matt Knight!"  I turned to see Kara waving and, now slightly annoyed, waved back.

Soon, Kara approached me again, not to introduce me once again to this girl (whose name I still didn't know), but to ask if I was going to Applebee's for karaoke.  I said that no, I wasn't, and they left, walking back across the gym and through the door.  Thinking they were gone, I was surprised when they walked through the door I was standing next to with Nathan and Jason, and annoyed again when Kara said, "This is my friend Matt Knight!"  I waved again and gave an obligatory hello, and they left.  Soon thereafter, Nathan decided it was time for him to go home, and I opted to follow suit.  However, not wanting to go home and unable to reach Kara and Cherilyn, I stopped by Kara's house just in case they hadn't gone to Applebee's.  They hadn't.  We watched "Woman in Black" and then talked until almost 1 am.  I added Emma on Facebook, but didn't make any effort to contact her during the following week.

Sunday came, and I was late to church.  None of the people I normally sat with were there, I found out, and as I walked into the chapel after the Sacrament was passed, I saw that the chapel was completely full, with people standing in the back of the room listening.  There was one seat in all I could see, in the very back row on the far side of the room, and it happened to be next to Emma.  Thinking that I sort of knew her, having met and talked a bit the week before, I sat next to her.  During the congregational hymn halfway through the meeting, she complimented me on my voice and thereby unwittingly stroked my ego.  I got her number from Cherilyn that evening and called her to invite her to join the Nampa Institute Choir.  She obliged.

The next Wednesday she came to choir for the first time.  At the end of the rehearsal, I found her sitting by herself in the foyer and invited her to go with me down to the Institute side of the building for sundaes.  We ended up going to Diana's house for a movie, and I was disappointed when Jessica sat next to me, stealing Emma's intended seat.  I drove Emma to and from the movie, and we had some time on each ride to talk and get to know each other.  To my delight, I discovered her to be a smart, funny girl who enjoyed my own sense of humor and had excellent taste in music.  I began to find myself being interested in her.

I didn't talk to her again until that weekend.  Since she went with her sister to visit her family in Pendleton, she wasn't at Saturday morning rehearsal, and though she had told me that she would miss rehearsal the day before, I feigned forgetfulness and texted her to invite her to watch a movie with a few friends and myself.  The movie didn't happen, but it gave me an excuse to keep texting her.  Later that night I called her, and we talked until late into the night, as well as the following (Sunday) night.  Monday, we went to an FHE activity together and then returned to my house to watch "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", and then talked together until almost 3 a.m.  By this point, I knew I liked her, but I was afraid of getting hurt, so I intended to just be friends with her.  The next night we went downtown, and the night after that (Wednesday) we watched "The Man Who Knew Too Little" with my friend Tyler (whom I had actually set Emma up on a date with earlier that evening).  Emma and I once again spoke on the phone for hours into the night.  I had intended to send her a text message indicating that I wanted to respect the line between appropriate attention and unwanted attention that is sometimes otherwise difficult to identify in friendships between men and women, but as it began to become lengthy, I instead called her.  Two hours later, and after a long conversation about hating hints (which was actually one giant hint on my part, hoping she would let me know if she felt about me the way I felt for her), I finally expressed to her my feelings.  Her response was stunned silence and then something nearly akin to putting me in the friend zone.  I was crushed.  Then she clarified, saying that she did, in fact, like me, but that she didn't have the guts to say so.  I was ecstatic.

The next evening, Thursday, while we watched "Time Bandits" with my friend David, Emma and I held hands for the first time.  Friday, the night after that, we offically began dating and shared our first kiss as we stargazed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prelude to Summer

This particular period in my life is strange. For me, it's as though nowhere is really "home." Of course, I know I can always go home to Pendleton and it will be "home" as in the place I grew up and "home" as in the place where my parents live and the place I love. The odd thing is that it doesn't feel like the place I belong anymore. But it's not like I feel like I belong anywhere else. School isn't home and Meridian isn't home even though I feel comfortable here. I suppose this is what it's supposed to feel like for a little while, after all, this is a transition period in my life. This is the space between growing up and starting my own family.

New Adventures in Meridian
People here are friendly. I'm pleased to say that I've made quite a few friends already! It seems as though there are lots of things to do here. So many places to go and people to meet. Meeting people is kind of a unique experience. There is so much to learn about them. How are you supposed to know if who they seem to be is who they actually are? I guess that's one thing only time can really tell. I have also been reminded at how terrible I am with learning names. Oh well I guess. I'm trying to get a feel for what it's going to be like this summer. At this point it's hard to know, but I have a feeling it's going to be really fun. 

On the Other Hand: Finding a Job in Meridian
Eternal job application filling-out. Oh man it's so tedious. Who knew finding a job here would be so difficult. I certainly didn't anticipate the economy to stink so much here. There are so many businesses! I filled out a bunch of apps and am still going to fill out a bunch more. I really hope I can find a job soon. Otherwise I might not go back to school in the fall.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Winter weighs heavy on me after a while with it's yellow grass, barren trees, and dead flowers. Its overcast sky represses the sunlight that used to make my skin a golden brown. I often wonder if winter will last forever. 

But each year, without fail, signs of life begin to appear. At first it's slow--a small patch of green grass and a tiny bud--but then it's as though everything explodes with life simultaneously. Harsh, wooden branches yield up soft, delicate blossoms in an array of sweet-scented pastels. 

The bite of winter's frost starts to soften into the embrace of a warm spring breeze with sunshine gently kissing my cheeks, turning them a rosy pink. Where the prickly remains of last year's grass once was, a tender blanket of new grass grows.

The anxiety of winter fades into the promise of summer and second chances spring up with the daffodils.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Good things are coming our way"

Right now I can see very clearly many of my weaknesses. I think I will count this as a blessing. I know where my insecurities are and I can work on them and try to make them strengths. 

I just remembered a verse in the Book of Mormon that ties into this. It is in Ether 12:27 and it reads "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I don't know about you, but this makes me feel quite a bit better about the whole matter. I love thinking about the fact that "[his] grace is sufficient for all men." I learned this year in my Book of Mormon class that the atonement does not only cover all sins made by everyone, it also covers our pains and sufferings. One thing that I have come to know is that Jesus Christ is always there for us with his arms outstretched. He will never leave us, if we don't know him anymore, it is because we have left him. 

It is comforting to know that we are never alone. Even when we are faced with what seem like the darkest and loneliest of times, we always have a friend in Jesus. 

Not too long ago, I had a moment where I felt like I might never be happy again. The thought came to me that I should pray. I prayed earnestly to feel okay again and for help to come out of this dark feeling. It seemed like as soon as I expressed how I felt in my prayer, that a wash of relief came over me--like everything really would be okay. I have had lots of similar experiences to this with prayer. I know that when I pray, my Heavenly Father is truly listening. He may not always give me the answer or the experiences that I want, but it is always what I need to become a better person. 

I hope that you, as my reader, will come to know (if you don't already) that prayer works. 

Another thing I have found in difficult times is that God works through the people around us. I have felt exceptionally alone lately, but looking back I can see clearly that the whole time I had people by my side willing to help. Sometimes it would just be a smile on the way to the Cannon Center, or a phone call from my mom. 

If you feel alone, read this talk given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf during the October 2011 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:

This talk is beautiful. It is well-written and inspired.

So just know that when things seem stuck, there is always One who will help you. All you need to do is ask. 

There is a really great Coldplay song with these lyrics, "I know one thing, good things are coming our way" There are so many "good things." For one thing, we are alive! There are so many things to be happy about. It's just a matter of realizing how many good things you really have. When I sit down and think about it, I am surprised at how blessed I truly am. 

I think I will be a lot happier if I remember that I'm not alone and that I really am blessed.