Sunday, May 17, 2009

In the beginning

Today marks the one year anniversary of our first date (of round 2). Nate and I waxed nostalgic thinking back to that first date and how much has happened in the year since then, and seeing as I haven't written anything about our beginnings here or in my personal journal I thought now would be a good time while the details are fresh in my mind, sorry if it's kind of long.

Nate and I met in January 2007 through a LDS singles website. Though a number of friends had urged me to try the online scene I was strongly opposed until that year I decided to give it a try as part of a New Year's Resolution. My dear friend Stefani helped me put together a profile and Nate was one of the first people I clicked with. We really connected well and had fun talking a lot online before we finally met. We went out a couple of times and, well, our second date was kind of a flop for both of us. Shortly thereafter I left on vacation to Paris, he got busy with year end exams and started dating someone else, and we ended up falling out of touch. I figured it had run it's course and that I'd never hear from him again.

Flash forward 9-10 months later (which seems like a lifetime)and we were unexpectedly thrown back into each others lives again thanks to the power of Instant Messager. I was dating someone at the time and Nate had just gotten out of a relationship so we talked often as friends while I tried to pass the time at work. During our time talking I found myself wishing I had the connection and communication that Nate and I shared with my boyfriend at the time. Not long after that realization, my boyfriend unexpectedly ended our relationship. I was heartbroken and in the aftermath the following day at work I found myself desperately wanting to talk to Nate, and sure enough he was there. From then on our relationship quickly grew closer, though it would take another 3 weeks before we finally saw each other again since he was swamped with finals.

Saturday, May 17th finally arrived and I made the long trek out to Glendale dressed in my new outfit feeling full of nerves and excitement. It had been a long time since I'd felt this way about a first date, and yes we considered it a second first date since it had been over a year since we'd last seen each other. 45 minutes later when I arrived at his apartment, Nate took me on a tour of his school campus and then we headed off to Texas Roadhouse for dinner (Nate's traditional post final treat). After dinner we returned to his apartment for a mini Office marathon, then he suggested we go do some geocaching at a few sites nearby. This was my first time geocaching and I felt a little silly scouring the locations looking for the little treasures as Nate stood back and watched since he already knew where they all were.

The time came for me to go home and for some reason (it must have been construction related) I decided to take the I-17 home from the 101 in Glendale. Much to my surprise, I discovered after entering the ramp for north and southbound split that the southbound ramp was closed thus forcing me to go north. I either missed the sign completely or I had a subconcious desire to go to Flagstaff. To my further dismay I quickly found that the first couple exits off the freeway were closed and I had to go several miles in the wrong direction before I could get turned around. Once I finally got driving in the right direction it was late and I just wanted to get home. As I passed through Phoenix I spotted something strange a short distance ahead of me in the lane I was in. As I got closer I realized what it was, two lone road flares smack dab in the middle of the road, no stranded cars around, no other flares were leading to the shoulder. I quickly looked in my rearview and passenger side mirrors only to find several cars beside me leaving me with the only choice of going over the flares since there was no room for me to change lanes. I figured I was going fast enough that no harm would come to my car, nevertheless I drove the rest of the way home with my window down constantly checking for burning smells (which were there slightly) and watching my heat gauges convinced that my car was going to blow up right there on the freeway. I finally managed to make it home in one piece though this wasn't the only time we experienced car related mishaps while dating, including getting my car locked in a parking garage and Nate's battery exploding on the freeway.

From then on we tried to see each other as much as possible, which much to our suprise never seemed to be more than 2 weeks. It didn't take us long before we both independently of the other realized that if we took the best parts of all of our previous relationships we'd have each other, and the rest is history.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Birthday Hanukkah

A few years ago my roommates and I instituted the practice of Birthday Hanukkah. The practice came out of the observation that birthday festivities seem to stretch out beyond one's actual birthdate. Between different groups of friends and family outtings, the celebration usually lasts about a week. Now I imagine as I get older birthday hanukkah will gradually shrink as my friends and I get more involved in married life and raising families but at least for now the week long celebration continues and I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, May 1st
After work I met up with Nate and my family at the Desert Botanical Gardens to see the Chihuly glass exhibit they've had going on for a while now. I've been wanting to go since it got there but hadn't had a chance and with it leaving at the end of May we figured we'd better get on it. For those that aren't familiar with Chihuly he does huge blown glass installations throughout the world. He takes a lot of care to make and place pieces that really fit in and play off of the natural surroundings. Here are some of my favorite shots.

After we got done wandering around the gardens we went to Macayo's for a birthday dinner with my family. Since my birthday is on Cinco de Mayo it's only fitting that I celebrate with Mexican food.

Sunday, May 3rd
This was our Sunday to cook dinner for Nate's family, which can be an event in and of its self. On any given Sunday we can have between 15-20 people (including kids) at dinner. It can be a fun challenge since I like to cook but it is definitely a change cooking for that many people. This Sunday was also special because we celebrated my brother-in-law Danny's birthday (May 4th) and mine. My mother-in-law made each of us a cake (mine was chocolate of course) and we opened presents. My favorite had to be the card from my mother-in-law with a $50 bill inside but not because of the money. Upon seeing it my niece Audrey pointed and started laughing hysterically..."Haha, you got a DOLLAR! Haha." I didn't have the heart to tell her it was more than $1 so yep Audrey I got a dollar.
This particular Sunday was also fun because my parents came over to join us for dinner. It's fun to have the two families enjoy spending time together and get along. I had to laugh because twice my nephew Ryan mistook my dad for Pappa Matthews. The first time Ryan came running in from playing outside and dog-piled my dad who was sitting on the floor. It left dad a little surprised, and Ryan a little embarrassed but we all got a good laugh. About an hour later after we had finished having cake, Ryan came running in again and gave my dad a big huge around the legs only to realize moments later that it wasn't Grandpa. What a cutie!

Tuesday, May 5th
This one deserves a post of its own since my hubby's so cute.

Wednesday, May 6th
On Wednesday my friend Chrissy and I went to Cafe Rio (Yay! more Mexican). Chrissy's birthday was in the first part of April and I had been trying to take her out for weeks, so it was a joint birthday celebration.

Friday, May 8th
On Friday evening Nate and I went miniture golfing. This was our third time going since we first started dating and our score had been at one win each, so this game would put one of us ahead of the other. I started out with a few excellent holes, including a hole in one, that put me way ahead of Nate but things can change in the blink of an eye and after a few bad holes I fell behind and was never able to regain my ground. He beat me by 8 strokes.

Saturday, May 9th
On Saturday I had the chance to have a girl date with my good friend McKenna while my mom played grandma and watched her daughter Anna. It was nice to have some girl time, see a good chick flick, and chat over dinner.

It was a busy week but a great time to celebrate with friends and family.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

This year was my and Nate's first time really celebrating our birthdays together. Nate was being very sneaky and would not give me any details about what he had in store for my birthday despite several poor attempts on my part to extract some bit of information from him.
The day started out with finding a card that he slipped into my purse before he left for work. I always love getting little notes from him and wish I could return the favor more but he doesn't have a purse (thankfully) and usually leaves before I do. Then I had a lovely bouquet of purple flowers delivered to my office. I mean what girl doesn't like getting flowers at the office?
When I arrived home this is what was awaiting me on our back patio.

Nate had picked up take out from my favorite Italian restaurant, Mardenely's (aka Rigatony's old Mesa location)and served me a candelight dinner of crusty bread, antipasto salad, and baked ziti. Yummy!

After dinner it was present time. After rifiling throught the tissue paper I pulled out of the gift bag our Garmin GPS unit, and a yellow brick with longitudinal coordinates attached. I had to go geocaching for my present.

So we hopped in the car and I led the way. Upon reaching the specified location I searched around and found...another yellow brick with coordinates attached. After a few more searches that led me to his dad's print shop and the old Matta's restaurant (the site of our very first date) each time finding another yellow brick, I was led back home to our back patio where Nate had hid a green (supposed to be emerald) envelope. Inside were two tickets to Wicked at Gammage in July.

Now I'm not a big Broadway musical fanatic but I did like the book and The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie when I was growing up. I think I practically wore the VHS tape out, I owned red sparkly shoes, and I had a small battery operated dog I named Toto that I carried around in a basket.

I thought I did pretty good with his birthday but I think he just raised the bar.