Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fall Printable Bundle + #elisedoodles Random Acts of Gratitude Kit

I've been working on a secret project over the last month and today is the big reveal! (Which you already know if you follow me on Instagram, of course.) I've teamed up with The Dating Divas and 20+ other extremely talented designers to create the ULTIMATE fall bundle with amazing fall must-haves! The deal is KILLER.




The Dating Divas have gathered over 350 pages of printables for you, put them all in a fun bundle, aaaaand slashed the price!

20+ crazy, cute printables—ONE crazy, low price!
You can get over $200 worth of ADORABLE items for only $15!
WHAT?!! No. That's not a typo. NOT KIDDING! Gorgeous wall art, fun family activities, creative gift ideas, and MORE all from your favorite bloggers! 

You’re waiting for the catch, right? Well, there is a teeny, tiny one...
You'll have to ACT FAST- this is for THREE DAYS ONLY!

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:

This is a 3-Day sale, buuut the price goes up a little each day. So, you can snag the whole bundle for ONLY $15 today! BUT the price is going up tomorrow! Here's the breakdown...
  • Buy on the 21st for only $15
  • Buy on the 22nd for only $18
  • Buy on the 23rd for only $20
  • After that - this deal is GONE FOREVER!
You definitely want to act fast to lock-in the best price!
Okay, are you ready to see what's included?!

First, here's the #elisedoodles Random Acts of Gratitude Kit - hand lettered and designed by me!



HERE'S EVERYTHING ELSE:

This baby seriously has EVERYTHING you could ever WANT or NEED for fall! Including...
  • Beautiful Fall Prints to Welcome Your Home to the New Season
  • Family Organization Made Simple
  • Thanksgiving Table Setting Decorations to Use in a Cinch
  • Halloween Party Kits For Every Age
  • AND SO MUCH MORE! {See EVERYTHING below!}
All together – it’s a collection of over 350 PAGES of darling printables… only available for a limited time!
One page of wall art ALONE can be around $15 on Etsy! This is such a steal!! Yeah, BABY!
Get Yours Now for just $15!


WANT TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT EVERYTHING INCLUDED?

1. The Gratitude Collection: Calligraphy Art Prints, Cards + Tags by The TomKat Studio - A collection of printable designs with sentiments of thanks and gratitude. Perfect for the Thanksgiving season and all year long! Each design comes in 3 different colors: chalkboard with white writing, white with black writing, kraft with white writing. 

2. Caramel Apple Date Night by The Dating Divas -Hosting a caramel apple party group date is the perfect way to celebrate fall with friends. Who can say no to some delicious caramel apples!? NO ONE that’s who! Invite all of your friends for a big awesome group date, or just enjoy these heavenly treats and hilarious game one-on-one with your sweetie! The Apples make it somewhat healthy, right?

 3. Back to School Plant Pot Wrappers by Somewhat Simple - They’re like cupcake wrappers, but for plants! These Printable Terra Cotta Plant Wrappers would make the perfect gift for teachers, and are so simple to create!

4. An Intentional Fall: Making Memories That Last E-book by Faith Filled Parenting- Are you tired of the fall season slipping by before you really were able to enjoy it? This e-book, An Intentional Fall: Making Memories That Last, is going to help you have the fall season of your dreams. The plan is to use the ebook to give you ideas on fall activities you can do as a family around town, at home, and of course, some crafty inspiration as well. Each activity has connection ideas and photo opportunities to make this a fall to remember.



5. Kid's Reading Tracker by Andrea's Notebook- The Reading Enrichment Kit is perfect for grade school aged kids of all reading abilities. There are 10 separate projects in this kit that encourage reading. From comprehension activities, to reading incentives and even a bookmark coloring project and an around the world reading passport.

6. Get Organized Budget Power Pack by Thirty Handmade Days - If you struggle with getting (and staying) organized, this is the perfect pack to get you on track. With weekly checklists, an end of the year 2016 and full 2017 calendar, and a strong emphasis on budgeting in over 30 pages with cute designs, you won't have any more excuses. You can do it!

7. The Ultimate Printable Menu and Meal Planner by Today's Creative Life- It's 3pm and you have no idea what's for dinner! Your day just went from delightful to stressed. Take control and tackle your weekly and monthly menus by creating your own Easy Meal and Menu Planner Binder with these easy to print forms. 

8. Fall Fitness Tracker by Wellness and Workouts- With a theme of thanksgiving and gratitude, this printable planner helps you track all things fitness from what you eat, to your exercise, as well as ways to improve your mental and emotional health.  



 9. Babysitter In A Bag by The Dating Divas - Getting out the door for date night can sometimes be a gong show, am I right? We Divas know the “Date Night Shuffle” all too well! Our Babysitter in a Bag Kit will make leaving for some alone time with your one-and-only a breeze. We have thought of everything your babysitter needs to make the night a resounding success! (…which means a stress-free date night for you!)

10. Babysitting Co-Op by The Dating Divas - We’ve found that one of the top reasons couples don’t get a weekly date night is rooted in, “What do we do with the kids?!” A babysitting co-op gives couples a dependable babysitter – without the hassle and without the cost!

11. Fall Activity Pack by Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading - Learning is fun with this beginning reader fall activity pack! Over 40 pages of activities ... make a scarecrow and pilgrims while helping practice cutting and pasting skills. Have fun with fall themed color by letter and color by sight words! Enjoy a few minutes of quiet time while the little people in your life enjoy these activities, OR, have fun helping them complete the activities with them!

12. The Organized Family Starter Kit by While He Was Napping - If you have ever wished you could be more organized and keep all that important information in one place, then you need the Organized Family Starter Kit. This kit has 47 bright and happy printable pages that will lighten your mood and help organize your home. Make the organizers reusable by putting them in page protectors in a binder or laminate them and use dry or wet erase pens.



  13. You've been Boo'd by TidyMom - Have fun with your neighbors – You’ve Been BOOed! This Halloween surprise is fun way to create excitement and smiles around your neighborhood. 

14. Trick Or Treat Halloween Party Pack by Frog Prince Paperie - Trick or treat, candy is sweet, print out something for Halloween that’s really neat! Make your Halloween party a little extraordinary with our Trick or Treat printable party pack. Orange and black stripes, polka dots, candy corn and diamonds mingle to make spooky do-it-yourself d├ęcor for any celebration or just a few extra special touches for treat bags.

15. Blood Bar by Paging Supermom- Create this chilling BLOOD BAR and enjoy a little Vampire Mixology at your Halloween or Twilight party. The bar features official-looking beverage dispensers -- or rather "Blood Vessels" from the Transylvanian Blood Bank -- displayed alongside fabulous recipe cards to help guests mix up one of three signature Vampire Cocktails. 

16. "Boo" Party Printables by Catch My Party - Use these super cute "Boo" Halloween party printable pack to decorate an awesome "not scary" Halloween party for your kids! The collection includes: party invitations, party circles, drink flags, tented cards, party labels, napkin rings, water bottle labels, and favor tags. These are just plain fab-BOO-lous!

17. Festive Treat Bag Toppers by Less Ordinary Designs - These sweet favor bag toppers are the perfect way to dress up Halloween goodies! With two different styles, you have what you need for perfect classroom party favors, gifts for office friends or trick-or-treaters. Just print, trim and attach them to a 4” cellophane bag for an easy way to dress up Halloween treats!  



 18. Thank You Cards by Sweet Little Ones Shop– A set of beautiful thank you notes designed to help you show your gratitude for the ones you love. 

19. Gratitude Journals by Big Ideas Little Cents - Creating a daily habit of recognizing the blessings in your life is simple with these gorgeous printable gratitude journal covers! Easily create gorgeous gratitude journals for your whole family with 4 fun and trendy cover designs. Simply print and adhere your cover choice onto a 5"x 7" notebook. Quickly record 3-5 things you're grateful for every day as you jump start your writing with the included 90 bonus writing prompts.

20. Thanksgiving Place Setting Packs by Pace Made Designs - Want to spice up your party throwing skills? All you need is this printable and you have a plate topper, place mat and name card for each guest in two lovely designs to choose from. Simply print as many as you need onto card-stock and instantly you have yourself a glam party. Also included in this kit are beautiful Thanksgiving themed note cards. These note cards serve many purposes. Put them in a frame, on the top of a thanksgiving plate or write a note on the back and send them around the world. You will never need to buy a thank you note again with these.

21. Spice Jar Labels by Modge Podge Rocks - These festive fall labels are perfect to organize your spice collection! Choose between orange and blue. Print out on full sheet adhesive paper and use a 2" punch to cut out!

22. Random Acts of Kindness Kit by Elise Creates - "If you want to find happiness, find gratitude."- Steve Maraboli. Nothing turns a tough day around quite like counting your blessings. It’s hard to feel sad about your life when you’re focusing on how grateful you are for someone else. This kit was created for you to have more gratitude in your life and share that gratitude with those you love.


23. Thanksgiving Holiday Kit by Little Sweet Ones Shop - This set includes everything you need to make your Thanksgiving holiday gorgeous in a cinch! With this set, you will receive beautiful 5x7 Thanksgiving dinner invitations with a watercolor fall leaves border and matching tent place cards for your guest's names at the dinner table and to label the food in the buffet line. To top it off, this set also includes two gorgeous 8x10 autumn prints to beautifully decorate your home this Thanksgiving and for all of the fall season!

24. Halloween Boo-levard: Kid Friendly DIY Crafts by One Good Thing by Jillee- Tricky treats, clever crafts, picture perfect pumpkins, captivating costumes, and ghostly gatherings! 

25. Gorgeous Fall Prints by Lolly Jane-These fall prints are perfect for welcoming the crisp autumn season into your home by displaying on a mantle or shelf. Simply print and frame! Included in this 3-pack are classic sayings "Gather," "Hello Fall," and "Thankful Grateful and Blessed."  

26. Thanksgiving Felt Pattern & Madlib by How Does She- If you are hosting Thanksgiving and you have little ones to entertain, look no further. We’ve got you covered! Included in the kit are four hands-on Thanksgiving themed activities. Each comes with a printable bag topper that perfectly fits sandwich baggies. Also, grab the kids AND the adults because everyone’s input will create the perfect mad lib! This fun and interactive Thanksgiving mad lib is one that everyone can enjoy!  

See?! EVERYTHING you could ever want or need this fall! Buy now and save BIG! This bundle has a value of well over $200 but you can get it all for just $15 - $20!

Remember the price goes up tomorrow and this is only a 3-day sale!
What are you waiting for?! RUN, don’t walk!
Put a little hustle in your step and get on it, because the price jumps up tomorrow and it’s ONLY AVAILABLE FOR TWO MORE DAYS! Get on it, girly!



HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

malise love story part eight: the murder scene


We continued to spend every day together, Matt came to a wedding reception with me and met some of my best friends as well as my family, and we spent many nights staying up way past my 9:30 bedtime and silently staring into each others eyes or just talking about how much we liked each other. My journal entries around this time are scattered with comments of "everything is so good" along with "sometimes I feel scared - what if this ends?" But ultimately, we just kept talking all day, seeing each other every night, and making more plans for future dates and to-do list items.

Near the middle of April, I spent the day in Salt Lake at a baby shower, bridal shower, my little brother's basketball game, and with my cousin Abby as she went to the Temple for her first time. Which meant I got a lot of questions from a lot of family and friends about this guy I kept posting about on Instagram. As I drove back from Salt Lake that afternoon, I thought about how happy I was and everyone's little hinted questions of "So... will there be a ring?"

I often like to pray in the car when I'm alone. It's my favorite place to just share all my thoughts with Heavenly Father and talk to him more openly than I sometimes do in my daily prayers. My conversation this day started with "So, I'm not going to ask you if it's okay if I marry Matt because I feel like it's way too soon and we only started dating like five minutes ago. So, I'm just going to tell you how much I like him. Unless it's not too soon to ask?" and ended with me feeling pretty certain that marrying Matt was exactly what I wanted and that wanting that was a really good thing.

That night, I introduced Matt to the show Alias. The first episode is pretty intense and includes a scene where the main character finds a man murdered in a bathtub. (Sorry for the icky details, but it adds to the humor of this moment.) Through the whole episode, I kept telling myself that even though I was really excited about how much I liked the idea of marrying Matt - I was not allowed to tell him yet. Then, suddenly right at the moment that Sydney Bristow is screaming at the murder scene, I turned to Matt and asked him if I could tell him a secret. It just burst out of my mouth!

He agreed and I instantly panicked. "Tell him you have six toes... Anything else, you can't tell him this!" Since the six toes thing wasn't true and I couldn't control myself I said "I'm pretty sure I want to marry you someday." Followed quickly by "and I'm going to pause this episode for a moment."

We talked about how the same thought had crossed his mind and that things just "felt right", but decided that we didn't need to make a decision about anything quite yet. He later told me that I freaked him out a little bit by saying that so soon/being the one to say it first. But clearly it wasn't enough to scare him off. ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

malise love story part seven: so this is love

(First off, so sorry for that really rude cliff hanger. I mean, kind of not sorry, but sorry that it has taken 3 months for the follow up post...)

"I love you too! But, can we make that kind of a 'special' thing?"

Matt looked kind of confused and said "Sure... what does that mean?" I then explained that I thought maybe we should only say it on special occasions and when we were really feeling it and not just as part of our every day conversation - the whole time saying "because I'm panicking that talking about marriage comes next and I'm not ready for that to happen tomorrow, so I'm hoping this will slow things down!" He seemed a little skeptical, but agreed to go along with my plan.

Within 24 hours, I told Matt that we could say "I love you" all the time and I was (mostly) not worried about how fast we were moving anymore. I wrote in my journal that I felt awkward being so happy. Like I'd never believed it was possible and I almost felt guilty finding something so good. As much as this new, wonderful relationship was bliss, it also took a fair amount of work for me to settle in to the idea of someone actually loving me as much as Matt did (does :) and wanting to spend time with me the way he did.

A few days later, I met his family and fell completely in love with them and with Matt all over again. One of my favorite memories is remembering those first times I saw Matt with his family and how much I loved that side of him.

Later that week, we made a to-do list of all the things we wanted to do together. The list included things like: get dole whip, drive through Logan Canyon, see the new Star Wars, visit Bear Lake, and go to Disneyland, Hawaii, and Alaska. As we made the list, we pretended that things like the (then) far-off Star Wars release date and California trips were casual things that didn't imply that we were planning on things lasting a while and that traveling together and sharing a hotel room would be an appropriate thing in our future. We've since discussed that we both thought about having a future together while making the list. The closest thing to admitting those thoughts was when I said "I guess you can't break up with me for a long time. We've got a lot to do!" and he told me he wasn't planning on ever breaking up with me.

That same week, while driving to work and listening to a Disney playlist on Spotify, the song "So This is Love" came on and I absentmindedly sang along until the line "So this is the miracle that I've been dreaming of." As those lyrics played, tears came to my eyes and I realized that the way Matt treats me, the love he has for me, and the way I felt about him were all part of the miracle I'd been looking for and what I had been praying for, hoping for, and aching for for years. It was such a peaceful moment of resolution and probably the first time I consciously admitted that I really could see myself actually marrying Matt.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Elise Meets World


Alternate post title: IDK, my BFF Riley?

I've been watching a lot of Girl Meets World lately. It's my go-to doodle/lunch break/etc. show. I started out watching it and just missing Boy Meets World, but now I kind of love it. Because deep inside I might still have some very 13 year old girl like tendencies. (Although I have grown out of Beiber Fever.)

I'm not sure I'm the same person as Riley, but it's kind of like she just gets me. She likes cats more than I do and I'd like to think my finger painting skills are much better than hers. But really, this character they've created is a great balance of Corey and Topanga and maybe a lot of us who are just trying to figure out life in this world.

One day while watching, this conversation happened with Riley's best friend, Maya:




So, naturally I screenshotted it and tweeted it because that right there is a brief summary of much of my life in one small moment on a children's television show.

I'm a fixer. I don't like seeing my friends sad, I don't like knowing that someone in my family is having a hard time, I don't like reading articles about abuse or rape or anything along those lines because it hurts my heart that so many things are hard and sad and that so many people are in pain. And when I do know about those things, I want to fix them. I want to come up with the perfect dose of optimism to "make things okay". I want to present the solution that helps people overcome the trials they're going through or at least feel better about them. And I want to beat up every rude, hurtful, mean, abusive, etc. person in this world and make them stop doing all the bad things.

Perhaps that's a nice sentiment - wanting to fix things... but I can't. I can't fix everything. Thanks to Maya, my husband, and real life for that wakeup call. It was hard to admit. It's still not my favorite truth. But it's real.

I have a tendency to be a chronic worrier. It's like my mind believes that if I keep thinking about a situation I don't like and I brainstorm every possible solution until I've made myself sick that somehow I'm helping. But if I've learned anything in my life recently, it's this: worrying is not helping. I'm not sure what it is, but it's not helping. Yet, it's so hard to let go of. I often feel a terrible shame for not worrying about something or someone. So, then I bounce back and forth between the worry and shame only to find that I've still done nothing but make myself sick.

Recently, I learned about a tough challenge my friend is going through - one that particularly hurt my heart. But as I started to worry and overthink and dwell on the sadness I felt, I realized that a lot of the pain I was feeling was more a feeling of "What if that happens to me someday?" Which initially made me feel selfish. Here was my friend, sharing her challenge and the sorrow I felt was all about what if I have to feel that same pain someday too? As I've thought about it and talked to Matt, I think I've decided that maybe it's not entirely selfish and maybe that's how we find compassion for others when they're going through things we don't understand. We connect that "what if" to feelings we have felt before and somehow get a small glimpse of what it might be like to feel similar pain and sorrow. Which, if we let it, could be the start of compassion and empathy.

I'm not sure if the right answer to "how to stop worrying and let go of your unrealistic need to fix everyone's lives" is compassion or empathy or what. But I do know that compassion and empathy are always rooted in love. And I also know that love is a pretty good healing balm for pain.

Riley learns an important life lesson in each episode of Girl Meets World. I realize that life isn't like a TV show, but the more I "grow up" the more I feel like I'm continuously "meeting the world" and learning that there's much more to the world around me than my little world I've created for myself. For now, for this "episode" of my life, I'm focusing on love. Real, charitable love. Not worry or fixing, but helping and caring.

Friday, May 27, 2016

oh hey

So, it's been a while. I hate that thing people do where they apologize for not blogging for a while, yet I totally feel the need to do it. But, really, I do actually want to talk about why I haven't blogged in a while.

When I first started this blog, it was a place where I shared about my life. Then I tried out the fashion blogger thing for a moment, shared some recipes, did some sponsored posts and got some cool free stuff, and eventually remembered that I loved blogging because it was a place to share things I cared about and also a good place to write when I needed to share what was on my mind. Most of the time - that meant dear boys posts because the "joys" of dating were on my mind a lot in those days.

Sometime within the time I graduated college and when I started my career, I stopped having time to blog. Stopped making time is fair to say also. But really,  my college major offered me a bit more free time than the 8-5 gig I have now. So I wrote less. Then I started dating my now husband and wanted to spend all my free time with him - PLUS I no longer had dating woes to write about. So, I wrote a lot less.

And now I'm in a place where sharing about my life - one of my favorite things about blogging - feels a lot different. I like sharing our love story, but it's our love story to share. I don't mean that it can't just be in my voice, but I want to make sure what I'm sharing is something my husband is okay with me sharing as well. Because many parts of my life are no longer just mine. Which is a really wonderful thing and I like it a lot, but it changes the way I write. At least about some things.

Plus, if I'm being really honest, I'm not sure I really know what to say anymore. I'm still passionate about life. There are many great things I could talk about and many tough challenges I could talk about too. But blogging has still moved down on my priorities list and opening up online has moved waaaay up on my vulnerability list.

The internet is a really cool thing. I have made so many very dear friends through various forms of social media, I have learned a LOT, gained a lot of great perspectives, and social media is pretty much the meat and potatoes of my career. But I have also seen a lot of bullying online, I've been bombarded with lots of untrue, unkind, and uncomfortable information, and I've often been told I'm wrong. I know it's okay to be wrong sometimes and I also know it's okay (normal! wonderful!) for people to have different opinions. But, I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that my little heart is just very very scared about hearing how "wrong" I might be or why exactly I should think differently than I do.

There's a lot of word vomit for you - one of my favorite forms of blogging. I'm sitting here coaching myself through the thought of publishing this post. "It's your blog, this is what's on your mind right now, you can share it and it doesn't matter if anyone cares or reads it. It's what YOU wanted to share." Yet, the people pleaser in me feels REAL lame for posting such a vomit-y, "unimportant" post. But if there's anything I've learned recently, it's that I've got to stop spending my life trying to please everyone - or anyone. I can't do it. Trying is not only pointless, but it's harmful.

So, here's where I'm at: I love blogging and I know that writing does my heart some serious good. I'm going to keep writing. I'm definitely going to keep writing our love story - because I want it written for forever and it's my favorite story to share. But, I'll also be doing that on my own time. I had a little chat with my people-pleasing self just now and said "Hey, it doesn't matter if you're coming up on one year of marriage and you haven't even gotten to the part of the story where Matt proposed. Write when, how, and whatever you want." But I also don't know what else this blog will be about. Pieces of my life has always been the goal, I just have to figure out which pieces I want to share publicly and which pieces are just for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

malise love story part six

The day after Matt kissed me, I left work early to head down to Salt Lake for a Jason Mraz concert. (Side note: If you get the chance, see Jason live. It was much more of an intimate musical experience than just an opportunity to watch him perform. SO good.)

As my sister and I drove to our parent's house together after the concert, I told her all about Matt and how great he is. When I got home, I told my dad "I might have a boyfriend and he's really great and his middle name is your first name, so that's cool." Then I told my mom "I think I have a boyfriend." and mentioned that we had kissed the night before.

The next day, my aunt was over and our family was all eating lunch together. My mom announced to everyone that I had a boyfriend and that I had kissed him. My dad said "What! You didn't tell me you kissed him!" I blushed and everyone insisted on passing my phone around to look at his Facebook profile picture. When my Aunt Kristee's got a look at my phone she said "I don't think kissing him was unreasonable at all!"

That night, I drove back to Logan to celebrate "Bowling Ball Day" (more about that here) with Matt and some other friends. My sister didn't have time to bowl with us, but came by the bowling alley to see Matt and give me her approval. Later that night, when Matt and I were saying goodbye on my doorstep I said "Soooo, I told my parents that you're my boyfriend. Are you okay with that title?" He pretended to think about it, then assured me that he was definitely okay with that title.

Nearly 24 hours later, we were sitting on a bench outside the Logan temple and Matt said to me "So, I'm your boyfriend, that makes you my girlfriend, right?" I laughed and said "Yes, I think that's how that works!" He asked if I was okay with that title and I playfully mocked him by pretending to think about it before telling him that I was.

We headed back to my apartment and decided to watch the first Narnia movie. Through the whole movie, I kept thinking to myself things like "I think I love him... no, I probably don't. I'm just excited about a new relationship." And five minutes later I'd think "But I think I love him! Okay, no. Elise. You just like kissing his face. You don't love him yet." And ten minutes later I had decided that maybe I did love him, but I definitely was not allowed to say anything to him yet.

When the movie finished, Matt hugged me and said "Okay, don't freak out..." (Which, naturally, caused me to internally freak out a little bit.) "but, I want you to know that I love you." My brain went a million miles a minute as I thought about how I wasn't allowed to say anything yet, but I hadn't planned on him being in love with me and so maybe I could tell him since he had told me? Though it felt like forever, I'm sure it was only a few seconds before I responded and said, "I love you too! But..."

more love story here

Thursday, January 7, 2016

malise love story part five: ice cream and first kisses

Oh hey there, sorry about that giant cliffhanger I left you on in part four. Spoiler alert: it all works out and we got married. Which I think you already knew.  So, I hope that cliffhanger didn't cause you too much trauma. ;)

The morning after I cried myself to sleep wondering if he was still interested, I woke up to a text from Matt that said "Good morning Elise! I hope you have a great day!" and I thought to myself "Okay, things are fine. What was I even worried about?" We texted alllllll day the next couple of days and discussed important matters like our favorite flavors of ice cream and which horse movies we'd seen. I told him that my favorite flavor of ice cream was Tillamook Mudslide and he informed me that Tillamook ice cream was on sale at the grocery store he worked at. Eventually we made plans to watch Seabiscuit and eat ice cream together that Tuesday night.

I'm not certain how we got to talking about horse movies because, in all reality, horse movies are a much less important topic than ice cream. And, though I didn't hate Seabiscuit, I really didn't actually care if I ever saw it again. So on Tuesday night when we got to his apartment and he asked if I had my heart set on Seabiscuit or if I'd rather watch something else, I was quite thrilled to agree on watching Ender's Game instead.

And also, it solidified the belief I had that this date was a lot less about Seabiscuit and ice cream and a lot more about seeing each other again. With the lights off. In prime cuddling position. He put the movie in and sat next to me, but, you know, not right next to me. I had played the "take the entire movie to hold hands" game before and I didn't have any desire to play it again that night. So I scooted close enough that we were touching and rested my head on his shoulder as the movie started. He responded by holding out his hand and saying "So, do you want to?"

Needless to say, we held hands and cuddled through the rest of the movie. And it was great. When the movie finished, I asked something like "So, did you really invite me over here to watch Seabiscuit or were you in it for the cuddling?" He admitted that he had hoped we'd cuddle and hold hands and asked me if I had been interested just in the movie. To which I said "Oh no, I was definitely hoping for some cuddling too."

Later that night, I updated my journal to say that he'd texted me back since my last heart-wrenching entry and that we'd cuddled that night. I mentioned that I had kind of wanted to kiss him but that I also was feeling confused because usually it seemed to take a lot more work than this to get a guy's attention and so WAS SOMETHING WRONG AND WHY IS THIS SO EASY?

I ended the journal entry with "IDK, I probably think too much." Which is a common truth in my life.

We'd made plans to see each other again on Thursday night. I'd agreed to help out with a local special needs dance and I invited him to come with me. He admitted that he hadn't been to a dance since high school, but was a really good sport about it and we had a fun time that night. (He was even very patient while I danced with one of the darling special needs guys who called me his girlfriend and asked if I wanted to marry him multiple times that evening.)

After the dance, we went back to my apartment and watched a couple episodes of Psych or The Office (I don't remember which?). When the show was over, we sat on my couch and talked for a while. Suddenly, he got really nervous and said "I'm sorry..." I looked at him with, I'm sure, a confused look. He continued, "You don't have to... no pressure..." and I said "What?" and finally, he said, "Do you want to... kiss?" I smiled, said yes, and waited for him to lean in closer. He didn't at first and made a comment about being rusty, I reassured him that I was a little out of practice too, got impatient and went 90 and let him go 10. (Watch this if you're confused.)

After we kissed, we hugged and said all kinds of cute things about how much we liked each other, etc. etc. and he told me he thought he was going to delete Tinder. I informed him that I had deleted mine the previous night and he said "I haven't been on since I met you." (Which, of course, I knew. Because I looked at his profile to see if he'd been on again before I deleted mine.)

That night's journal entry ended with "So, that's the story of when I kissed the cutest, nicest, most wonderful human."

more love story here
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