Thursday, September 25, 2008

Salsa time!

I heart salsa. Last year, I even helped my sister and sister-in-law make some. I was really excited to help again this year! If you wanna know all my thoughts about salsa, you can read about last year's salsa makin'. Rather than repeat myself, I'll just show the pictures. Oh, and most of the pictures are of Madeline. Apparently, she likes to be doing whatever Liz is doing. And that was definitely in the kitchen making salsa.

These first three are with my phone.

Here's some with a real camera.

These ones are kinda artsy... Sometimes I wish I could take good photos, but I think I am more than lacking in skill, knowledge, and general ability. Oh well. Doesn't keep me from trying! I should maybe take a class or something.

Oh, and there were a couple movies.

Fun, huh? I love salsa. It's like the first signs of fall. And I'm definately ready for fall.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yeah, I'm not Dustin...

So today, I received a text from a number I didn't recognize. Here's the conversation:

Phantom texter: Hey amanda told me to text you!
me: That's awesome! Who is amanda? And i'm not sure who you are either...
PT: Amanda like tony's girlfriend and i'm kelsie her friend from dental
me: I don't know who any of those people are. Are you sure you have the right number? Who are you trying to text?
PT: Um she said dustin
me: Yeah, i'm not dustin. Sorry, you've got the wrong number.
PT: Oh sorry!

First, I'd like you to notice the lack of punctuation. I realize it's texting (thus my lack of capitalization), but no punctuation makes your message so much harder to read. Second, after finishing up the conversation, I realized I totally missed out on a good opportunity to mess with the minds of strangers. Those sort of occasions are so rare, it's really a shame!!! I should have pretended to be who this phantom texter thought I was, maybe even set up a date or something... Oh well. At least I've learned my lesson. Next person to text me that's got the wrong number is in for it.

P.S. If you're feeling especially sly, the number is still in my text inbox. If you ask me in person, I'll give it to you. And now you've got some general information to use and totally mess with poor Kelsie...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

May I get your door? ...oh wait...

So today is Sunday. That means after church, I go to Hayley's house, we make lunch, take a nap or play Mario Kart or both, then I leave to go to ward choir.

Today was pretty much that way, but on my way out to my car to go to choir, I went to open the car door for Hayley even though she wasn't there. It totally made me miss her, and I had barely walked out the door. Luckily, choir only lasts an hour.

Friday, September 5, 2008

She said yes!!

I was gonna blog about making salsa (I took pictures and everything), but I have something slightly more important to blog about. Ok, more than slightly...

So here's my side of the story. I haven't even read Hayley's blog, just so I can keep my point of view clear. I have, however, read the comments (more than 40!!!) and all the well-wishing posts in response and I want to thank you all for your comments! Hayley and I love all of you, too, and we are so excited to start our lives together.

Without further ado…

Last Thursday, I finally went ring shopping. (That's right, I'm starting a week ago. Get ready for the long haul. This may be longer than my 20 years ago post. I'm a writer, folks. And a damn good story teller if I do say so myself. I don't like to leave out details that may have something to do with the rest of the story.) I looked around a couple of places, but it came down to the first ring I looked at. It just looked so nice and fit exactly the pointers Hayley had given me. When I came back the next day to actually purchase the thing, I was so excited!! I looked at the ring, the stone, and the woman helping me said some words and handed me a slip with date on it and said something about ID. I apologized and asked her to tell me that again, I was a little struck by what I was doing and needed her to repeat her instructions. Apparently the little slip had next Thursday's date on it. I would need to present this paper and a photo ID to pick up the ring once it had been fitted with the Diamond in it. I was beyond excited.

Since then, I tried to think of different things I could do to surprise Hayley with the ring and a proposal. I thought about hikes, going to the movies, going on a walk, to dinner, but nothing seemed to fit. I didn't want to ask in front of a lot of people and I didn't want to be too obvious by doing something we wouldn't normally do. In spite of her normal preferences, Hayley had asked me to surprise her. She HATES surprises. Especially if she knows one is coming. She kept asking questions like if I had called her dad, if I had gone ring shopping, if I knew when, exactly, I would do it, and I stuck to my guns and tried to be vague as possible. Mostly because I wanted to keep the surprise, but partly because I was still having trouble coming up with something!

I started talking to Jared and Liz about it. Liz came up with the great idea to include Dr Pepper somehow. I thought of putting the ring IN Dr Pepper, but that didn't seem like a good idea. That couldn't really be good for the ring, and what if she swallowed it?? That'd suck... Liz suggested a picnic in their yard (since their home is my home currently) and I thought that would be great. We didn't elaborate much more, but I figured I'd tie the ring to a bottle of the Dr and say something like, "Look, yours has a prize."

Well, I thought we might do this little picnic the next Friday night, but totally forgot that we had plans to go to dinner with one of Hayley's friends. I figured we'd just do it for lunch on Saturday. Then, Tuesday night, Liz asked me if I'd like tickets to Big: The Musical playing at Hale Centre Theatre. She got them for free from a friend of hers and Jared's because Liz was watching their kids. Jared and Liz couldn't go, so they offered me the tickets. I said heck yes, and we were off the next night to the play.

In the car, Hayley asked about the tickets and I said they usually cost like 30 bucks or so. She knew that I was trying to save some money and asked why I spent so much. I explained how I got them for free, and she said we should do something to pay back Jared and Liz. Liz had asked previously if we would watch Madeline one night so they could go see the Batman movie, so Hayley said we should babysit the next night. I was all over that idea, and instantly thought I'd ask Hayley to marry me that night. I called Jared and they were ok with letting us babysit, so we went to the play. I was so excited! But I'm pretty sure Hayley wasn't sure why yet.

That night, I talked to Liz after the play. She asked when I was going to pop the question, and I said maybe at dinner. I'd remember the Dr Peppers at the last minute, bring them out and ask her there. (I tell you, for some reason, I was worthless at figuring out plans here. A little ironic that my job title is Proposal Writer and I was having a hard time figuring out the details of my own and most important proposal...) Liz helped me perfect the plan into putting something together in the back yard, waiting until Madeline was asleep, and bringing Hayley in the back. I figured out I'd tell her Jared had finished the walls on the playhouse he is building for Madeline, and ask her if she wanted to see. I decided I'd get roses, the bottles of Dr Pepper, and even Christmas lights. I was pretty excited.

I went to work that morning and was actually pretty productive. I even had a few meetings that kept me on task and working. It was about 11 that I was getting a little crazy and needed to get out of there. Every person I would see I would interrupt whatever conversation we were having and tell them I was getting engaged THAT DAY. For example, one guy asked me, "So how are those RFPs coming these days?" and I would respond, "Good. I'm getting engaged today!!!! But don't tell anyone!!" I told like 5 people at work, and always ended with "but don't tell anyone!" I guess I was worried that somehow Hayley would find out. Right. Like she constantly talks to salesmen peddling law enforcement software…

That afternoon, I left work for the ring shop ("on the corner of State Street and 72 hundred south, open Monday through Friday until 8, Saturday until 5, closed Sunday.") to pick up the ring, and two coworkers came with me. I don't usually share pictures where I look like a total dufus, but this is me.

Apparently, I was grinning like an idiot (which I often do when thinking about Hayley), and my coworkers thought it was endearing. Anyway...

After getting the ring, I called Hayley's parents. I have just their home number, and as soon as Hayley's mom answered the phone, I completely forgot her name. Mid sentence. I started talking and said, "Hi is this......" then I remembered her first name, but she doesn't go by her first name... but that's all I could think of! So I continued, "...I'm so sorry, I'm completely drawing a blank... Marleen Jones?" I hoped that was right. Luckily it was.

We chatted for a bit, I told Hayley's mom (my mother-in-law to be... isn't that cool??!?!!) I was planning to ask Hayley that very day. She told me that Michael was home at 5 (4 Utah time) and to be sure to call then. I said I would then went off to the store to buy some Dr Pepper and maybe rope to help hang Christmas lights, then roses, etc. On my way to the store, I got a call from Hayley's mom. She said that her husband (Hayley's dad. My father-in-law to be...) was probably going to be working late, which never happens. She gave me his number at work and suggested I call there, or maybe I could try at 5 and he might be home, but because of the late meeting he had, he might not be home then. I asked what she thought I should do, because I could tell she wanted to be on the phone when I called, but Marleen said to just call right then. I pulled over at a church parking lot (one of ten zillion in West Jordan) and gave the man a call.

I wasn't sure exactly how the conversation would go. I mean, I've never asked for a girl's hand in marriage before. Hayley's dad asked me a few questions (made sure I had a temple recommend, good job, place to live [well, that's a sorta yes right now...], and loved his daughter), and we chatted a bit. It was nice. I am looking forward to getting to know her parents and the whole family better.

So I went to the store for a few supplies, then after talking to Liz, she said not to get rope, we'd do something with the picnic table umbrella instead of hanging lights. I really liked that idea. We later went to Costco to get roses (and not get shelves for Jared, much to his dismay... different story...) and a then back to set things up. I put down the blanket, set up some lights, and we smacked some PVC pipe into the ground to hold the umbrella. While Jared and I were doing that, Liz trimmed the roses and put them in the vases.

At one point, Liz came running out of the house and said "Hayley's here!!!" I cussed a little and said to anyone listening, "WHY AM I HOME??!!? I NEED AN EXCUSE!!!" See, it was about 4:45 and I had been texting Hayley, pretending to be at work and wanting to leave at 5. I ran to the door and wondered what the hell I would say and Liz started taking flowers outside to hide them. I opened the door and it was Liz's friend Jamie. WHEW!!! I yelled at Jamie, told her to come in and told her she scare the hell out of me. She was all confused at why we were taking forever to open the door, and asked what was going on. I told her I was going to ask Hayley to marry me and we thought she was Hayley. Jamie stayed and helped tie ribbons on little baggies filled with Dr Pepper jelly bellies. It was really nice of her. Even after I cussed at her.

Anyway, everything got set up, the lights were set, ribbons around the vases and the umbrella, lights all around, little candles, Dr Pepper in regular and jelly bean form, and I was ready to go. I told Hayley via text that I was home and changed and she could come over any time. I took down the umbrella so Hayley wouldn't see it when she came over. Madeline was so excited, and we kept telling her she couldn't tell Hayley about her surprise. She was so excited, she kept putting together all sorts of her own surprises for Hayley. It was pretty cute, but made me just a tad nervous.

When Hayley showed up, the first thing Madeline said to her was, "Hayley! I can show you my surprises, but I can't tell you about grownup ones." I was certain my cover was blown, but apparently, she didn't suspect at all. We told Hayley that Madeline was so excited to see her that she kept putting together surprises for her. Madeline mentioned secrets and surprises a couple more times before Jared and Liz left, and I again thought the cat was out of the bag. Jared even talked to Madeline again, and she felt so bad about giving away the secret. I feel bad that she was upset. Especially now that I know Hayley didn't suspect a thing. Maa, you're the best.

Jared and Liz left and set up the umbrella, and we we played with Madeline. When she started talking about secrets or surprises, I would change the subject. "How high can you jump?" "Can you count to 20?" "Are these your cars?" Madeline even told Hayley about Jamie coming over, and I totally played it down, like Liz was surprised by the impromptu visit more than the fact that we thought she might be Hayley.

By bed time, I was getting pretty anxious. Madeline has a normal bedtime routine, and when she was in jammies and ready for bed, we would read her a story then she would go to sleep. She picked a book and Hayley started reading. I wanted to stay and just watch Hayley with Madeline, it was so cute. But I told Hayley I needed to use the bathroom, left the room, went to the bathroom, then went outside with the garbage. I tossed the trash, plugged in the lights, light the candles, then came running back in to find Hayley on the couch. I was a little surprised and asked if Madeline was in bed. She said she was and asked what the matter was. I told her nothing, I was just taking out the trash and didn't think she'd go to bed so fast. I grabbed a garbage bag and replaced the one I took out, and joined her on the couch.

I heard Madeline kick the wall (as she sometimes does to keep herself awake), so I said, "I think that was Madeline. We should probably wait a little while." Hayley looked at me with an odd expression and said, "Wait for what?" My quick response: "To make out... I don't want her to come out here and catch us or something..." Yeah, classy, I know... but it seemed to have worked. :-)

Hayley talked on the phone with her friend, Tib, for a bit, then we talked and I started to get nervous about the candles sitting there on the blanket. The TV was on and John McCain was talking. I said something like, "This is boring... hey, Jared put the walls up on the playhouse. Wanna see?" She totally bought it and we went outside. She noticed that the base wasn't in the spot Jared said he was going to build the house, and I told her they decided to move it to the side, closer to the house. We turned the corner and there we were. here are some pictures.

She was so surprised, I was shocked. She said she hadn't suspected at all, and I told her about all the little things Madeline had said, and I was sure she would have figured it out. We laughed and kissed, I told her how much I loved her. That I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I didn't know that being this in love was possible, and that I was so happy when I was with her. I couldn't imagine being without her. Then I got on my knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes, I gave her the ring (which had been in my pocket ALL NIGHT. I just couldn't risk leaving it anywhere.), and we sat down to enjoy the surroundings.

After a little chatting, we started calling our families. Everyone was so excited and so happy for us. (Thanks, guys.) It was pretty awesome. I am so excited! I love her so much and can't wait to start our life together. I get all smiley when I think about introducing her as my wife. Today at work even, I started a story with "My girlfriend... no wait, my FIANCE... wow, that's so cool!" and I couldn't finish the story. The new story was about how excited I am to marry this girl. Call me a sap if you want, but I can't help it. I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her.

So after we sat for a while chatting and talking and calling family (and I eventually replaced the camp chairs with the luv sac), we took all the goods to Hayley's place. 8 dozen roses are sitting on her table. It's cute. She started to blog last night(50 comments and counting...), I updated my facebook status, and we've gotten lots and lots of well wishes. Our families have even posted blogs congratulating us. It's great to feel the love from all around.

So that's basically it! I asked the girl I love to marry me and we're gonna get married in January. Thanks again to everyone for your kind words! You're all awesome. Love you, Hayley.

Isn't she cute?!?!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It is autumn

By official G-Funk decree, it is autumn.

Today when I woke up, I had to scrape frost off of my windows to get to work. Granted, I got up early today to get to Goodyear to get my tire fixed or replaced and had to also get to work after that, but nonetheless, there was frost.

I'm kind of excited. I love the fall. I don't love that winter is sneakin' up on us, but I love the cool weather, the changing leaves, makin' salsa (which is happening today. After I'm done with this post, I'm taking Maa and Hayley to papa's garden to pick tomatoes!!!) pumpkin pie, and the holidays! So in spite of the frost and the prospect of scraping my windows in the morning, I'm really excited for fall!