A little love story: part 2

Friday, September 26, 2014

Read part 1 here

It was eventually decided that the “payment” would be treating me to frozen yogurt sometime, one of my favorite things. I went down to the ranch that weekend and ended up staying another week, but we stayed in contact the entire time. Even though service was really patchy, whenever I found a couple bars there was always a text from that cute boy. I felt like I was starting to get to know him much better, which is weird to say because it was just texting after all.

For that reason, I was a little worried how this would translate to real life. We still had hardly said a word to each other in person. And the first time, it definitely was weird. The night I had originally planned to come home he called and left a voicemail saying he had some questions about American Heritage. I ended up staying another week. When I finally got back, he indirectly asked me three days in a row if I was free that day. But my cousin Tyler had driven up with me and nothing interrupts cousin time.

(Can I just say, it totally cracks me up how insistent Alex was? It wasn’t until I re-read my journal that I even remembered these details! For those of you that know him, that’s not his personality with this sort of thing.)

The night before the 4th of July parade in Provo, everyone camps out on University Avenue with blankets, music, TV’s, and of course food. It’s like a big party all night long. Way more fun than the actual parade. And since my apartment complex was right on University Avenue, we had the prime location. Around 2AM, someone managed to hook up a flat screen and a bunch of us were bundled up in blankets watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Including Alex and I, but not sitting even near each other. He came halfway through the movie and took an available spot in back. I was huddled up front and didn’t want to make an awkward scene getting up to talk to this kid I really only knew through text. Especially when everyone was quietly watching the movie. Eventually Alex left and I felt soo dumb and juvenile for not saying anything to him. As funny as it sounds, I was still nervous about stepping on my roommates’ toes.

The next morning at the parade, pretty much the same thing happened. He showed up, but I don’t think we said anything to each other. By this point I was completely convinced this would stay and end very soon in the texting world. But afterwards he came to our apartment, anddddd we spoke! In person! And decided to get yogurt when he got off work the next day.

It is totally cheesy, but that first date was the best first date I had ever been on. And being at BYU, I definitely had my fair share of first dates. The key to success: it was simple. We went to Farr’s, sat outside with our yogurts and talked. Conversation flowed so effortlessly and afterwards, Alex insisted that he teach me how to drive stick shift. I had tried a couple times before, but honestly it still terrifies me to this day.

We went to a big, empty parking lot outside BYU’s football stadium. FYI, my mom has this hideous story about totaling her high school boyfriend’s car when he was teaching her stick shift, and I couldn’t get that image out of my head. So when he told me to slowly release the clutch, it took me at least 30 seconds I did it so dang slow! Literally millimeter by millimeter. We were both just dying laughing the entire time, and I’m sure I impressed him with my mad skills. Nawwwt. I haven't attempted to drive stick since.

Funny note: when I was writing about this in my journal, the entry started like this, “Just going to write a quick note. I went on a date with a guy named Alex Hill last night.” 

5 pages later... 

“Yikes. So much for a ‘quick note’. This is kinda embarrassing how much I’m writing about this kid. If it doesn’t turn into anything (very likely), this page better be ripped out!”

When he dropped me off at the door he said, “we’ll have to do this again sometime!” I was a giddy mess, but of course didn’t want to show that. My sisters had groomed me well when it comes to the hard-to-get game. My response came out a little hesitant (not fully intended) “...yeahhh...sure!” Apparently when he got back to his apartment, he told his roommates we had a great time but from my response he didn’t think we would go out again. 

Welllll, it didn’t take long.

I suppose you can say that date went pretty well, because I saw Alex everyday after that. Let the record show that this was super strange for me. As I said, my sisters had taught me well. And this everyday thing was so incredibly against the rules. But I couldn’t help it, he was the most genuine guy I’d ever met. When it came to him, I didn’t want to risk games. And he didn’t either, but he was never a game type of guy.

My grandpa always talks about "the law of love's crying shame" -essentially that it is so rare to have two people that like each other the same. Someone wants you, but you just aren't that interested. Or you're really into someone special, who doesn't quite see it the same way. I'd seen my fair share of that from both sides. But this infatuation, for lack of a better word, was equally matched from the get-go. The difference was obvious from the beginning.

Part 3 here


Sunday, September 21, 2014

This past week marks a year since we moved to Brazil. Something I have learned a lot about (and of course still learning) is gratitude. I remember hearing somewhere that it isn’t happy people that are thankful, but thankful people that are happy.

In high school I had the incredible opportunity to spend a month in India where we worked in leprosy colonies. I expected to find a lot of poverty, sickness, and sadness- and I did. But what I didn’t expect at all, is that I would also find the happiest people I have ever met. They were living in flea infested huts, many had been cast out of their families, had little to nothing, and were in chronic pain. It reminded me a lot of Job in the Bible. Yet there they were smiling their radiant toothless smiles, and excitedly showing us their humble homes. It was an experience that I will never forget, and think about often. But it still puzzles (and even frustrates) me to this day.

How is it that I find myself mumbling and grumbling about my silly problems, that pale pathetically in comparison? What is missing here?

I want to be happy like that.

I realize everyone has great and not-so-great days, but I’m not talking about just the day to day. Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave an amazing speech on this topic in the last conference. He explained that gratitude is a disposition, a way of life. And independent of our circumstances. This true gratitude “transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer.”

He goes on to talk about why and how that is even possible.

“Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God… By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will.

In any circumstance, our sense of gratitude is nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know: that our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness; that through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, we can live forever with our loved ones; that in the end, we will have glorious, perfect, and immortal bodies, unburdened by sickness or disability; and that our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy.”

I love those words, because it reminds of a greater perspective. A greater meaning in life. So basically, read the rest. It will knock your socks off.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I have been hearing about Fernando de Noronha (a tiny island off of Recife, Brazil) for forever and insisted we finally try it out. 

Would you be jealous if I told you we found paradise on earth? I hate to brag, but we totally did. 

Everything was so beyond anywhere I have ever been- the weather, practically empty beaches, warm and perfectly clear water, dolphins (because what girl doesn't love dolphins?) I'll just stop now and let the pictures speak for themselves. 


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