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

Monday, November 16, 2015

malise love story part four

On Saturday morning, I had plans to go to my favorite breakfast/brunch restaurant with my sister and cousins - but I made sure they knew that I had to be back in time for my shooting date with Matt. (Read: at least an hour before my date because obviously I had to perfect my hair and makeup before going up the canyon to shoot.) I remember being really excited for the date and spending an unhealthy amount of time deciding which hoodie I'd look the cutest in. 

Matt picked me up in his red truck (He'd driven his car on our previous date.) which I have to admit I found pretty attractive. I've never been all that interested in trucks, but it made him seem "rugged" or something - a side of him I hadn't experienced through Tinder chats or our first date. We headed to his apartment to meet up with his friends and then we all drove up the canyon to where we were going to shoot. 

As we were shooting, I was feeling fairly uncomfortable and awkward. With my perpetually clogged ear and the earplugs we both had in for shooting, it was a bit difficult to hear each other and that made conversation harder. Add that to the fact that I was a little gun shy (pun totally intended... or does it count as a pun if it's used in correct context?) about the whole shooting thing because I'd only been a few times and wasn't super familiar with how to use a gun. And add that to the fact that I could tell that his friends (though very kind and friendly) were observing me and trying to gauge my interest in Matt which made me uncomfortable. So, I had fun, but with all of that going on I was feeling pretty awkward by the end of the date and was definitely less talkative on the drive home. 

One of his friends had mentioned everyone getting together to play games. I had assumed they meant right after we were done shooting. So, when we came out of the canyon and Matt drove me back to my apartment, I figured that meant he was done spending time with me. I felt pretty disappointed because I had been looking forward to playing the games and had hoped that I'd be able to flirt and get to know Matt a little more when we were doing something more in my comfort zone. 

As he walked me up to my doorstep, Matt said "so, we're going to play games later tonight, do you want to come?" and I felt so silly for being disappointed before. I told him I would love to and waited awkwardly for him to hug me. He didn't move forward at all and I couldn't tell if I should make the move or if he didn't want a hug. Finally, we said goodbye without a hug and I went inside. I sat down on my couch and wondered why he didn't hug me. I felt like I had been awkward on the date and figured he was probably feeling like I wasn't interested. I decided to send him a text and said "I definitely want to come to games tonight. What is your address?" He quickly texted back and asked if he could pick me up for the game night. I was impressed that he wanted to pick me up and thought maybe there was hope after all and I hadn't ruined everything with my awkwardness earlier that day.

I won't go into the details of the game night, I don't even remember which games we played. I do remember being much more comfortable and having a great time. And at the end of the night, Matt drove me home, walked me up to my doorstep again, and this time he hugged me for a little bit longer than your average second (and a half?) date hug. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep with a huge smile on my face that night.

After a little Facebook stalking, I realized that he had the same last name as one of my new friends in my ward. So, the next day at church I asked her if they were related. She said "Yep, he's my cousin!" She asked how I knew him, got excited that we'd been on a few dates, and asked me if I liked him. "Yes, I think so?" I said, but I'm pretty sure the look on my face said a lot more about how much I liked him than I was willing to vocally admit at that point. She commented on another guy I had told her I was interested in a while back and mentioned that she wasn't sure he had been 'good enough' for me. "But my cousin," she said "my cousin, you can date."

Something about her "endorsement" made me even more excited about the potential. When I got home from church, I texted him to tell him that I'd figured out that I knew his cousin. He responded and said "Oh! Jennifer? Yeah, she's great, isn't she?" I responded quickly to agree and hoped he'd continue the conversation since we hadn't talked yet that day. But he never responded again that night. 

Here's what I wrote in my journal before I went to bed:
"I like this guy named Matt. He's just a really, really good guy. We've been talking for a few weeks, went on a date on Wednesday that went really well, went shooting yesterday, and then played games last night. There's just something about him that I really like. He's kind and funny and mature. He always keeps conversation going and is making more plans/promising we;ll talk soon. Today, I really kind of decided that I could see this going somewhere, that I like the idea of dating him. So, now I feel vulnerable and unsure about what he's thinking and we haven't really talked today. So, now I feel like it's back to the same pattern I always seem to go through. I know it's going to be fine... and maybe something will still happen with Matt."
I closed my journal and cried myself to sleep that night. The tears were probably enhanced by hormones (because, admittedly, they often are) but I also was just so sad that I'd started to admit that I could really like him and then he stopped responding - something he had never done before in the month or so that we had been talking.

Pin It button on image hover