Monday, December 26, 2011

I LOVE YOU and other mush

We're BACK! Appologies for being away for so long. As many of you may already know A LOT has happened since we last posted.  We're going to do a little back tracking so we can catch everyone up.  Thank you for indulging us, as this blog is going to be more about recording everything than it is about entertaining.  In fact we stayed with some friends of Chris's last week while we were on our Epic Houston Road Trip 2011, and Tiffany had turned all of her blogs posts into cute coffee-table books.  I can definitely see this making it's way onto our coffee table in the future.  That being the case, I need to be better about capturing it all.

Anyways, on with our story...In this installment The Three Words are finally blurted out, in a not-so-graceful way, by yours-truly. Fortunately, Chris is there to take up the romantic-slack.  And make sure you stay tuned, because we've got SOOOOO MUCH more to tell you about, including the very eventful Epic Houston Road Trip 2011.  Which will include an unforgettable sparkly ending.



Chris


It has been 3 days removed from Megan's visit and her love and inspiration is still just as present as it was when she walked on to the plane. I have become a better man. In just the short time she spent with me, my outlook has changed completely. According to my friends I have been glowing. This is obvious to everyone and me, but what I have noticed most importantly is that my outlook on life has changed.
I am no longer stressed when I used to be. There is a calm about me. I believe that is one of blessing that I have in my life with Megan. I have been relying more on faith and Heavenly Father and trying to control less. I work as hard as I can and I realize that now, that is enough. My burden is shared, I don’t have to carry it alone, and Heavenly Father has shown me that it really isn't a burden. It is my gift. It is my role. It’s who I am. Megan has brought that perspective to me.

Side note...I am pretty sure that I am going to pass the bar exam, not just because I know that I can do it. Now more than ever I am sure that it’s part of Heavenly Father’s plan. He has sent Megan to me to show me that I can do this and she will be here to love me no matter what.

Yes, you read that correctly, love. I said it. YES, YES, I DID..and she does love me, and I love her. It is once again simple. Let’s not muck it up with talking about how we don't know because it is too soon or that we are jumping the gun. Honestly so what if we are. We know what we are doing and if it isn't right then it would not have been right from the get go. We have laid our cards on the table. We know what we are doing and in the end, if you doubt step away. We don't have time for you to try and cast your insecurities onto us. We love, and we will love, and we are going to keep loving.

OK, so lets go back to the story. I have to keep the story going because one, Megan loves the way I’m a story teller, and two, I like to tell stories this way.

Monday, November 14th: I wake up and wonder how i got so lucky!

Monday was supposed to be stressful. I had to juggle some finances, thanks to my fantastic new tires and rims. Normally this would be a source of stress, but it wasn't. I was calm. I went to work at the public defenders and joked with all my friends there. I went to lunch at my favorite place and spent MORE money on food. I was calm. For a couple of reasons. First, my faith in the fact that I trust in Heavenly Father and I know that I am keeping my side of the bargain and so will He. Secondly, I just trusted in the fact that things would work out and third, I was still so infatuated with Megan that everything else just seemed trivial. As long as I have her nothing is too far fetched.

So work came and went, but before the end of the day all my financial concerns had worked themselves out. This calm that I felt the whole day was from Heavenly Father and Megan. I’m serious. She calms me down. Along with Heavenly Father, she gets me to slow down and enjoy life, to enjoy things with her.
That night I had Family Home Evening with the elders and another night with Clint and Amanda. The night ended with a discussion of how wonderful Megan is and how great life is. Megan sent off her first rough draft of the blog. As I read it, I laughed and teared up. I was excited to start writing my portion of our story. I knew that I would have to just be me in the writing and the rest would come.

I went to bed Monday night, but not before talking to my love. These talks have become standard in my life and we did a recap of the weekend and eventually we went to bed, still not saying how we felt, but missing each other so much.

Tuesday, November 15th: The Spirit lives in my keyboard, and in Megan's tear ducts.


So Tuesday morning came. Now Tuesday was a busy day for me. I had to meet with several clients, new and old, to get work done and turned in. Get more work and meet with new clients, but in between that i had some Manny duty.
 Sidebar: Manny (aka “Male Nanny”) - I help take care of Ben and Kari's kids. Not that I am the primary caregiver, but they work nights and during the day I have the flexibility to help out around the house and I love these girls. They are so perfect. They are just love and energy and, though at times can be challenging, they are just perfect.

So I had manny duty to take care of. After Manny I sat down. The night before Megan had sent her version of our weekend for the blog and i was about to start mine. Let it be known now that I started thinking that I would be able to just run through it in 4 or 5 pages and I would be good. I would now like to point out that the Spirit lives in my key board, and would not let me just settle on 4 or 5 pages (long story short... 13 pages later I was done).

This took several loving hours to complete. However, more important than completing the tale was the process of putting it all together. I was able to digest everything that I felt about Megan. I came up with one answer. Love. I love her. That is what I figured out. This woman, as I have explained, means the world to me. I was able to reflect over 13 pages and 7.5 hours of writing my FIRST DRAFT that she is everything I’ve been explaining to you on these pages.

As I wrote I cried. I smiled. I laughed, and I loved. I relived the first moments of trying to think about her not liking the fact that I am a democrat, to the first time we talked on the phone. The taking notes about her family and making her a score card on my family. The process forced me to think about her and us. It was the best experience of my life. Really was. I should have done this years ago. I think that if I reviewed all relationships and ranked them by how I felt about the person and how they made me feel I would be a lot less available for people. OK, that is not true, but I would try.

The Spirit kept me going. Literally. I typed and typed, typed, typed, typed until I could not move. I didn't get weary or bored, I just fell more and more in love. By the way we still haven't said “the words” yet, that came on day 3.

That night I called Megan with my story. She wanted me to read it to her. Now we know that the Spirit lives in my key board, for her the Spirit lives in her tear ducts. As I read my words she cried, and i cried, we cried. It took me almost an hour and half to get through my words, stopping to feel the Spirit, but more importantly stopping to just appreciate what I wrote and how it made her feel. Good crying. We told stories of our lives post-this-past-weekend, what has changed and what we want. We danced around the “Love” word several times and shared some every intimate things and ended with things undone. Again I didn't have the guts to say the 3 simple words though I knew both of us felt it.

Later that night I went it Clint/Amanda’s house ready to talk about Megan and how much I love her. Clint/Amanda and I talked several hours about Megan and me and the blog. They added such great insight and told me how happy they are for me. They look at me and see that I am in a much better place than where I was a year ago. They are so proud of my progress and they can't wait to see how much further it goes. I talked about the blog. They are sooo excited which made me excited for everything. This was a great end to a perfect day. I went to bed playing on the iPad. Sleep came eventually.

Wednesday, November 16th: The announcement, the fallout, the love and the words that change our lives.


Wednesday morning came and it was early. I was picking up Ben for work and driving him to Salinas. Hopefully this time my car wouldn’t break down. Megan had gotten up 4 hours before me (cause she is crazy like that) and opened our blog, did the first post and went live with the blog. She also changed her Facebook status to indicate a relationship with me. So my Facebook had blown up in the early hours of the morning. This would set the tone for the rest of the day.

It all started at the first phone call around 7am. Megan was talking to me and then let it slip... I will quote her here because it's great.

Megan: "Chris, no matter how much i love you, i need to sleep tonight"

Me: *did she just say love?* "OK sweetheart, i ll just catch you before class" * wait she did say love*... *SHE LOVES ME!!!!!!!!

Phone conversation ends.

My next text: "I would like to point out that the best way to start my day is to hear you tell me that you love me. Just warmed my heart and made me smile"

Megan's text " Get used to it :-) "

Me: "I love you to"

Megan

I'm going to interject here, because I think it's important that you hear my take on the "I Love You" conversation. 

As you may remember from my earlier conversations, Chris is a night-person while I am a morning-person.  And since we've been together, my schedule has taken a dramatic nose-dive.  I'm staying up late every night to talk to him and still have to get up early (by 4:30am).  Chris on the other has a much more relaxed morning schedule.  I was getting to the point where I felt like the walking dead and my intake of Diet Coke had dramatically increased - needed it to stay awake by the end of the afternoon.  So that Wednesday morning, I was feeling it bad.

I was driving into work and talking to Chris on the phone.  I knew that I had to get some decent sleep that night, no matter how much I wanted to stay up and talk to him.  And so I said:
Megan: "Chris, no matter how much i love you, i need to sleep tonight" [Oh, crap, did I just say that out loud. I'm going to chalk it up to lack of sleep. I was waiting for him to say it first. Maybe he didn't notice...]
Chris: [did she just say love?] "OK sweetheart, i ll just catch you before class" [Wait she did say love...SHE LOVES ME!!!!!!!!]
Megan: [Oh, well. Not like it's a surprise.]
 I head into my office, and as I'm walking in I get a text from Chris.
Chris: I would like to point out that the best way to start my day is to hear you tell me that you love me. Just warmed my heart and made me smile.
Megan: [Guess he heard me and is OK with it. *big cheezy grin*] Get used to it! :)

Chris: I love you too.
Holy Cow! That's a first. I immediately get choked up.  We've moved our relationship to a new level.  I knew that I loved Chris, but I didn't want to jump to any conclusions about how he felt about me.  Fortunately, he was making it pretty obvious.  Unfortunately, he was doing it via text, while I was at work...not thrilled about that! So I fired off a response.
 Megan: Really not something I wanted to hear via text while I'm at work. It's something I want to hear in person. Agghh!

Chris: You will. And everyday after that and every phone call after that and every text after that until I no longer have ability to communicate.
Dang it, now I'm really choked up and there are tears involved. He's soooo much more romantic than I am. 
Megan: Agghh! Don't make me cry.
Chris: I'll try not to but you cry easy and I feel so deep for you.

Megan: I love you!

Chris: Ben loves us too.  He's reading the texts sitting next to me.


Ben gets in the car and flurry of texts later initiates the I love you more easily and we move forward. Ben says he loves us as well, that’s how we roll. But the words were spoken. I knew the day would be great with that off my chest. Once again the Spirit prompts and I follow through. I just keep obeying and life is getting much better. Surrender and you will be rewarded.

Well I get to Ben’s and Megan is already crying at work feeling like the most special girl in the world, which she is, and I am on Manny duties. I get the girls ready for school and nap time and boom I find myself with free time. Then I hit Facebook.

HOLY COW FACEBOOK. I have some 35 notifications about status' that I have be mentioned in have been commented on. I am looking around Facebook and Megan posted the blog and changed her status. It was time for me to tackle the Facebook. So I approve everything to add to my profile. Little did I know this would take my world by storm.

I change my status and everyone and their brother comes out of the wood work - the texts and messages and phone calls. I realized a few things. I did not tell enough people about Megan, and I guess I offended everyone that I didn't tell because they had to find out via Facebook that I have a new girlfriend. Either way, I am just like get over it.

I spent the next few hours texting Megan, chilling and answering questions. It was great. I was able to read Megan's draft of the blog and it was perfect. She decided that she would release everything in chapters for people.

BTW we will try to keep up every few days on this, but somedays we won't have as much action as these past few days..but when the road trip comes.. oh for sure their will be a lot going on there.

As of a few minutes ago The Blog has gotten over 175 hits today and we have people loving the blog, expressing joys for us and threatening my life. Which seems normal for Mormons right? Gooooood idddeeeeaaaaaaa? NEVER. OK, sorry doing bar prep and I get lost.

We have felt an outpouring of happiness for us. Both her friends and mine are talking about how great it is that we are together. I fielded phone calls throughout the day, but I felt one of the most important conversations I had that day was with Dave.

Dave - we need to introduce this man now - is the John Lennon to my Paul McCarthy. He is overseas serving our country, but there is still not an inch of day light between us. Dave knows me better than most and I trust him more than most. I would never do anything without running it by him. So Megan and my relationship is something I wanted to talk about with him.

Megan and I are starting the same way as Dave and his wife Kara. We met online, then text, then phone, then meeting. Dave was cautious about me getting this excited about a girl. (He has seen me hurt before and doesn't want that to ever happen again.) So I talked to Dave and was very open about everything. He agreed that I was doing this the right way and gave the blessing to continue. Though I did not need it, he is a big part of my life and i wanted his input and support. He has never pulled a punch and has always been up front with me about everything I respect him and look to him for great advice.

Dave and I continued to talk, Megan even jumped in to the conversation with Dave and that made me sooo happy. She is coming into my world and yes I am world-wide, but she is holding her own. I sat and played with my nieces, cleaned the house, did my manny duties, but all the while beamed because she loves me.

The day goes into night and I head off to school, we talk for a minute and finally the words are said “in person”. We ended our call as she leaves for her friends, who are sure to ask her a 1000 questions about me, with our first official "I love you" and it felt great. Her voice saying those words would give me the strength to move mountains.

Her love for me will carry me for the rest of my life and as I use the word love, for me it synonymous with forever. So as this night is coming to an end, Clint and Amanda are wanting to talk rings and what I need to do. I am not opposed to this idea, but in truth we have decided that this talk, the forever talk is something that we need to talk about when we are in person. Why? Because I want to see the look in her eyes when we have this talk. I want to see the love when I say what needs to be said and I want that hug when we decide our future.

For now I am in love with her, she gets me all my quarks and all my faults and still loves me. She understands what is important, she gets my stupidity and my needs, she compliments me in ways i never knew possible. I love her... once again. I am not making this difficult.

Last time I ended the blog post with “She makes me happy”, now it is “Megan makes me happy and i love her”. Still simple and still perfect. She is the one for me. As for the next steps only the Lord knows and time will tell. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

About Ding-Dang Time

Sorry about the hiatus, holidays descended and all I had time to think about were killer roasted garlic mashed potatoes, adorable babies that needed huggin' and kissin', and black Friday sales at craft stores. Chris on the other hand was generally focused on his fantastic mother, Chico friends, and a hussy cat. :)  Anyways, we're back and with the final chapter...of this particular adventure.  There is actually more to be shared, so make sure you keep coming back to visit us.



Chris

Day 3:  Time to man-up and kiss the girl...   

The final morning came. Megan was still in her PJs, and no makeup, when I got my first glimpse of her  that morning. It was awesome. She has shown me every side of her, even things she didn't want to show, like being unkept, but whatever I was digging it.

I knew that this was my last day. Amanda had given me a pep talk the night before, I shouldn't hesitate. If I like her and she makes me happy, I need to act now or forever hold my peace. So I woke up Sunday with resolve to show her how I feel before she left. So I did.

We walked down to the cliff face and sat on the bench. We cuddled and talked about everything...what we each wanted with our lives, where we stood after the weekend, what my fears are, what her fears are, what we think of each other etc.

But I sat their mainly wanting to kiss her. Yes I know. Chris Marohn, not acting on impulse and kissing a girl. This is a different Chris than most of us know. [Dave stop laughing you know it’s true.] But I was reserved. There were a couple of times where I had the opportunity to kiss her, and i didn't. Each time the opportunity passed me by I kicked myself. As our conversation came to an end she asked me, "OK, are we done?" I knew this was my last chance and said, "Not Yet." Then I kissed her.

It was perfect. Now stop I know what you are thinking, that this is the mushy stuff that we don't like to read about, but suck it up, you are reading about it.  The sun was shining over head, the wind off the water made it nice for a sweat shirt and she was cuddled up in my arms and I kissed her. And it was great. It was just everything I always wanted.  It just sealed the perfect weekend in a kiss.

After that the rest of the day was a blur.  We went to church everyone asked about her.  I had to take her to the airport and as she left. I just held on. Knowing that the time we would see each other would be noly 4 weeks away, and these feeling, these memories and my feelings for her would only grow stronger.

The weekend ended and we talked so much more when she got home. My friends wanted to know all the details and I gave everyone the debrief. They are happy for me. But in the end I am just happy.

As I said in the beginning. Megan makes me happy.  That simple and that great. This weekend changed my life and I look forward to every text, every call, every email and every moment that I can spend thinking, holding, talking and missing her. She makes me happy...... the rest only the Lord knows and the time will tell.

Random Photos: we took some photos just before heading off to church. Here's Chris with Amanda and her super cute munchkin.



Megan

Day 3 – And the otters played while we kissed

So the next morning, bright, and fairly early we decide to sit out in the backyard of the Big Yellow House and on the little bench over looking the bay. The weather was unbelievably picture perfect, while I was NOT! Chris dragged me out of the house without makeup, wearing glasses, with nappy hair, and I was still in a sweatshirt and my flannel pj pants; however, I did get to brush my teeth. Agghh!! 

We cuddled up on the bench (remember, we’ve now broken the PDA barrier, yahoo!) and started to talk. For more than two hours we pretty much poured our hearts out to each other – fears, desires, concerns, joys, it was all out there. I don’t want to go into to much more detail, because it really was a private moment between the two of us. It was a moment we had been building up to for more than 2 months.  Never at anytime did Chris show me anything other than love, concern, and respect, no matter what I dumped on him. It was amazing. Add to that the view we were looking at - the beautiful bay, the three otters that were swimming and diving, the birds coasting inshore, the cool breeze that was blowing in from the ocean and the sparkling sunshine. I was just waiting for Julie Andrews to bust in with “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music”. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was that perfect, just being there, with Chris, in his arms, talking about things that mattered.

It was getting close to the time we had to get ready for church, so I knew we needed to wrap up. I remember turning in his arms and saying:
“Ok, are we good then?”
*that mischievous smile* “Not yet”
And then he leaned in and kissed me, and kissed me, and….ahhh
*another mischievous smile*
“Ok, now we’re good.”
A PERFECT ending to a life changing morning and I’m really starting to like that mischievous smile.

After getting ready for church, with a perma-grin on my face, we packed my bags up, put them into Chris’s car and headed off to church, holding hands. On the drive over Chris looks over at me:
“So, you’re going to have to give me the etiquette for this in church?” holding up our intertwined hands.
“Do you mean PDA at church?”
“Yeah, it’s totally new to me, so what are we allowed to do?”
*I give him mischievous smile*
“Well we can’t make out on the back bench, but we’re OK holding hands.” Giggle. Giggle.
Church was another very polite dog-and-pony-show…”Chris, who’s your friend?” “Chris, who is this?” I didn’t mind at all because Chris always looked so happy to “show me off”. And all the people I met in his ward just loved him!! We stayed for sacrament meeting and Sunday School and then I had to head out to the airport to catch my flight back to Phoenix.

Because the Monterey airport is so tiny, there wasn’t any need to get there hours before my flight took off. Chris pulled up to the airport (with the obligatory, “do you like my rims?” as we exited the car – not kidding) and walked me in. It was time to head to the gate. And just so you know I’m getting tears in my eyes right now just thinking about this moment.

I set my purse and camera bag down. And once again Chris opened his arms to me at the airport. I find it interesting that my trip began and ended in Chris’s arms. We hug, kiss and say goodbye. And as the old saying goes, I left my heart in Monterey.

The plane ride home was good, got an empty seat next to me. I called Chris as soon as I landed, already missing his voice, missing him.

I don’t know that there is a way to end this story…a life changing weekend. And perhaps I don’t have to end it because my and Chris’s story sure didn’t end there. But you’ll be able to see for yourself…

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Family, Friends, and a little PDA

Happy Thanksgiving!  As you can imagine, pretty high up on my "things I'm thankful for" is Christopher Marohn.  My life is rich with blessings - the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my family, my friends, health, a job, and most recently Chris. In the spirit of giving....here's another chapter.



Chris

Day 2: 3 hours later.

I wake up. Look at the clock... curse it and get into the shower.  I am up and ready to go and at Pebble Beach by 0550.  That is O’dark thirty where I am from.  I get to the house and Megan is the only thing I needed. I was wide awake and ready to face the day! She was there still she hadn't snuck out in the night and she wasn't hiding somewhere from me. I still had a chance with her. This was going to be a great day. A fabulous day for us. She was STILL HERE!!!!! *did the happy dance in my head* I would like to point out now that I am in my nicer clothes. I have a blazer and sweater on. Not worrying about the smell and ready to spend the day with her.

We joke about lack of sleep and trying to get caffeine in the form of Diet Coke (and yes, to dispel rumors of my friends, Mormons can drink caffeine. That is a myth get over it.)  We go to Safeway. We are cooking breakfast and by we I mean Megan is cooking for Ben and Kari since they both got off work at like 7 am. We get to Safeway, buy what is needed and forget the Diet Coke and bacon.  So we stopped at another Safeway on the way before pulling into Ben/Kari's house. We find Kari cleaning and Ben hasn't got off work. 

Kari and Megan hit it off..which makes my heart smile. ALOT. They talked about everything as I sat on the couch.  I read the NY times on my iPad and listened to them talk, and knew life was good and all was right in my world.

There needs to be some discussion of me being a 16-year old girl here. Yes I know this is random, but it plays a part in the rest of the weekend. My obsession with my rims, my choice of TV shows (that is a long story for another time) the way Ben, Dave, Clint and I act all remind people of a group of 16-year old girls. So from here on out Megan refers (as do a lot of other people) to my issues and peck-a-doodles as me acting like a 16-year old girl. Which I totally embrace.
Well Megan cooked this amazing breakfast, waffles, bacon and eggs, all done at 8 am.  Problem is that Ben showed up at about 10 am for breakfast. His car was still broke down and it was not looking good.  But Ben showed up and we had a wonderful breakfast. We joked and laughed and played and quoted movies and sang songs for the next two hours. Megan just smiled and I just keep being me. I wanted to show her all of me and all my friends and she got that all day.  After Ben and Kari finally crashed out, Megan and I headed to Rancho Cielo for a quick stop, then we headed wherever the road took us.

That is not totally true, during our drive Megan told me about her Masters and things she loved to do with graphic design, and I knew exactly where to take her, San Jaun Bastia Mission. I knew she would love the history and would like to take pictures of the textures there so she could do her graphic design thing with them (once again gentlemen listen and follow through, key to a woman's heart)

Men I can not stress this enough. You need to listen. Everything else is side bar BS, if you don't listen. Even if she tells the story 1000 times you still need to listen. Megan did not do that this weekend, but I am just saying that if I had just smiled and nodded I would have missed out on so many great things about Megan. I am blessed I payed attention, so men DO IT!.

We got to the mission, and Megan started looking around and loving the area. We parked at the Mission and started walking around. Again I wanted to hold her hand but was unsure. I kept remembering Clinton telling me that he didn't even kiss Amanda from one point in their relationship until they got married.  So I was like.... well hand-holding might be a bit much. I have never been this reserved about physical contact before and honestly it made the time when I actually did grab her hand that much better. I felt more resolved when I did it.

Anyways I digress again. But we walked around the Mission looked at all the fun stuff. Megan took pictures we talked religion and flowers and colors, stuff like that.  We went downtown SJB which is the same as uptown SJB and around town SJB. So we walked the town and Megan was in love with me or the town, I couldn't quite figure it out. I don't know which one she likeed/wanted more. but we continued through the town and I am sure she got a bunch of great pictures. 

We walked the town and talked family, which is a scary topic for me. We talked about my father. Most of you don't know, nor will ever know my father. I know who he is, my friends know of him, but he is not a huge factor in my life, except for the fact that he is my father. I explained that part of my life to Megan. How sad I am about it. How I wished it was different and how I used to fear that I would be like him. Megan again, working her magic, made me feel safe and at ease.

Now I don't want everyone to think that I am leaning on Megan. I just feel like I don't have to puff in front of her. I don't have to be the strongest of the strong. I can be open and honest with her. I don't have to carry the weight of the relationship. We are equal partners and that is a feeling I really haven't felt before.

As we left SJB we were making plans for dinner and gathering that night with the rest of my friends here in Monterey.  We made some calls. Yes I know that i made the call, but I like talking in the “we” or “us”, because from that point Megan and I are a unit. We do things together. I no longer act alone, or until I am told otherwise I will refer to us as “we”.  We left and ended up back at fisherman's wharf , only after a bit of misplanning and trying to figure out where we would all meet up, we ended up at the wharf and waiting on phone calls. In the  mean time we had such a wonderful talk about life and the Gospel and what we wanted from life, where we saw each other in 5 years, career goals and just normal BS.

I want you guys to know that I remember the substance of those conversations, but mostly I don't go into it because those are special to me. Our time, our one-on-one time, is just that. If i wanted everyone to know every perfect detail of our weekend, I would write it down, trust me. I am on page 10 here so I could keep going forever, if i wanted to. But these talks are so special to me that I want you to know that we talked and we are happy with what we talked about.


We walked the wharf and took a ton of pictures, I know Megan wanted more, but it is what it is.  We found Megan's charms and randomly ran into one of my law professors.  I told her that watching the salt water taffy being made is something that is so relaxing to me.  I need to point out here that Megan, like my self, says hi to everyone as they walk by. It is those little things, like giving money to the homeless guy with the sign or saying hi to people or making an effort with my friends, that make my soul smile. Those are the things that I love about her. They are little but those parts of her personality just sucked me in.


At the wharf we decided that we would do dinner with Amanda and have game night at her place. We go to Nob Hill and buy food for dinner that night and head back to Amanda's.

Now I could go into the Amanda's 100 question, 2.5 hour interview of Megan, but i really want Amanda to do that, so I’ll leave it at that. Megan answered everything perfectly and really showed how much she cared for me. From that point forward I had no problem holding her hand and showing more affection to her. She put it out there. She held her self out and that act of pure vulnerability showed me that she is right for me.

That night we played games, and even our sometimes crude humor didn’t seem to bother her as she laughed. We had political conversations about teacher unions and she held her own. Even though her opinion is not parallel with mine, she held her own and we were able to agree to disagree. What needs to be said about our politics is that we have the same basic agreement about issues, we just seek to solve those issues by different means. But that is it. The rest of the night was playing games and laughing very hard. I would like to point out that I won both  games, but more importantly I won her heart.

Amanda left and gave us some alone time so we talked for the rest of the night before sleepiness made it to hard to continue.  We had the biggest DTR of our short time together and this is when Megan put the question out. Where are we? I made it perfectly clear that i am only dating her and she is the object of my affection. Though I was incredibility tired I could see the smile on her face and the glitter in her eyes. I knew that I answered the question right.

That night sleep came to me nicely and I welcomed the rest, but dreaded the fact that when I awoke it would be Megan's last day here.




Megan

Day 2:  O’dark-thirty and a little PDA

Sleep depravation seems to be the norm since I hooked up with Chris, and Saturday, Nov. 12th drove that point home. We had committed to going over to Ben and Kari’s house to make them breakfast after they got off their shift. Actually, what happened is several weeks earlier I had made my family breakfast and sent the picture to Chris. He shares it with Ben and next thing I know I get a text, “Ben wants you to make us breakfast.” And that’s how I ended up crawling out of my bed after 4 hours of sleep.

Chris picked me up at 5:45am so that we could go to the store, shop for food, get to Ben & Kari’s house and have the meal cooked by 7:30am, that way Ben and Kari could chow down before crashing after an all-night shift. That was the plan anyways.

So, you’re probably asking, what was on the menu – waffles from scratch, homemade pear syrup, scrambled eggs, and bacon. I have to say that when those waffles were coming off the waffle maker they smelled amazing…but let’s get back to the important part of the breakfast, meeting Ben and Kari.

I’m sure that during the very first conversation that I ever had with Chris, I’m talking back in September, the name Ben came up. In fact, I don’t know that we’ve had a conversation since then that hasn’t included the name Ben at some point. I don’t know if it would be an exaggeration to say that Ben is the other half of Chris. As Chris told me “I looked over in my crib and there was Ben,” or something to that effect. This breakfast was ALL about being vetted by the family.  I was on stage and my performance had better count if I was thinking of sticking around.

I first met Kari, the truly better-half of Ben. She was home first (also does a night shift in dispatch) and we hit it off right from the start. Our conversation flowed easily, and I appreciated her openness and ready smile. She takes Chris’s teasing and dishes it right back. And on top of that she has the MOST awesome oven that I totally covet and some pans I was going to slip into my purse if it wouldn’t be so obvious (Kari, I still want that purple pan!). Kari let me invade her kitchen and I made myself right at home. So breakfast was beautiful and ready to be consumed (with enough for at least 12 people – cuz that’s how I roll) by 8:00am.

But we waited for Ben………and waited……and waited. And wouldn’t you know it, that morning would be the morning that he had car problems at work.

About 10:00am Ben and the tow truck finally get home. And my breakfast has died a horrible death waiting.  Now Chris will tell you that it was great, but his opinion is biased towards me.  I was kind of sad cuz I really, really wanted to make a good impression and instead I was serving floppy waffles, brown eggs (don’t normally cook/keep warm on a gas stove) and soggy bacon. However, I can say that everyone seemed to dig in with no problem.

This is where I got to really met Ben for the first time, with my eyes open.  He makes me smile. It’s hard to describe the relationship he and Chris have, you pretty much just have to sit back in awe. They’re a stand-up comedy team. They’re like Captain & Tennille, Sonny & Cher,  and Abbott & Costello. They sing, they dance, they tell jokes, they recite movies, and they finish each others sentences. Really it’s that bad. After we set the table with all the food, Kari and I spent the next 2 hours being entertained by the “Chris & Ben Show”. By the time we left, my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much. I’d like to think I made a good impression that morning (and it wasn’t because of the food), because Ben and Kari sure made a good impression upon me.

After leaving Ben & Kari’s we went driving, you know, the old fashion “driving,” where Chris literally just picked some random roads in the Monterrey hillside to meander through. The views were incredible – passing vineyards, old battered barns, strawberry fields, and rolling hills – and it gave us more time just to talk.

Eventually Chris drove up to a little old town called San Juan Batista. The town is centered around an old Spanish mission. Perfectly picturesque, quant, historical, and dare I say slightly romantic, it was perfect! Chris had been listening to all my ramblings during the day about my love of history, archaeology in particular, and picked up on my compulsion to take pictures so San Juan Batista was an ideal place to indulge both. We wandered around the town, me taking pictures and Chris schlepping my camera bag. And I finally got the gumption to ask him to take a picture with me – wasn’t sure if it was too “cutesy coupley” for him. At this point I didn’t care, I was worried that I’d have the most amazing weekend of my life and no pictures of the two of us to show for it.  He of course smiled and indulged me. After walking through the mission, we strolled down the old town streets, stopping to check out a few antique shops, all the while talking, but never holding hands. Yes…it’s true he still hadn’t held my hand by this point. Granted this is only like our second day we’ve ever been together, but at this point I was thinking that I was going to have to be the one to make the first move.


After leaving San Juan Batista we did a bunch more driving around, just sightseeing.  I’d see an interesting road, and Chris would take it. Remember our trip motto – sit back and enjoy the ride – well we certainly did that Saturday afternoon.

Later that afternoon we made a quick stop to say hi to Chris’s friends Shannon & Greg. And then we were off to visit Fisherman’s Warf in Monterey, a great little boardwalk packed with restaurants, shops, and people. It was the quintessential boardwalk. I was able to pick up my souvenirs for this trip – two silver charms for my travel bracelet, a lighthouse and the San Francisco Bridge, to remind me of this unforgettable weekend. More picture taking from the pier and then it was time to grab some groceries and head back to the Yellow House where we were having dinner with some of Chris’s family and friends.

Back at the Yellow House I finally got to meet Amanda (of the Amanda & Clinton duo). I had heard soooo much about Amanda, and she was particularly instrumental in this whole “thing” that Chris and I had going on at this point. In fact, Amanda and Clinton would fall into the “family” category. That meant I was going to be vetted again, and by a pro.

I will admit from the get-go that I liked Amanda, probably because 1) she takes such good care of Chris, 2) she and her husband introduced Chris to the gospel, 3) she takes such good care of her husband (which does have implications for me because I’m related to her husband), 4) even prior to meeting her we had FB messaged a few times and she’s been championing me from a far.  So I was more than happy to submit to her Spanish-inquisition-style questioning.  While Amanda made a taco ring for dinner, the three us crowded into their tiny galley style kitchen and talked. Actually, mostly Amanda asked questions, I answered and chopped veges and Chris just smiled and mashed avacados.

We had a great dinner and a chance to talk.

After dinner, two of their friends Jeff & Sarah came over to play games. Super fun couple! We piled into Clinton & Amanda’s converted garage/game room/spare bedroom/family room and proceeded to spend 2 hours laughing and teasing over a game of Apples to Apples. You really learn a lot about people playing that game – probably more than I wanted.  Eventually Sarah & Jeff had to go home to relieve the babysitter.

This is where I will tell you that IT finally happened.Yes, Chris actually busted out with the PDA – for those of you who are unfamiliar with that acronym it would be Public Displays of Affection.  During the game Chris started to put his arm around me, an occasional hand on the knee, and eventually *drum roll please* the hand hold! Yahoo!!! Once he saw that I wasn’t gonna give him the stink-eye or jerk away, we were ALL GOOD!

Once Sarah & Jeff left, Amanda, Chris and I stayed up another hour to play Ticket to Ride (one of my all time favorite games). I’m sooo relieved that Chris likes to play games. He’ll fit into my family much better that way.

After wrapping up the game, Chris and I were able to grab some time (not much cuz I was fading fast) to do some more talking (like we hadn’t gotten enough of it that day). My thoughts had been swirling around and around the question of what happens once I go home? What did this weekend really mean to our relationship? I guess I was just looking for clarify on what I meant to him?  In past relationships, I was too chicken to say anything, not wanting to put undue pressure on anyone. But, forget that, I was just going to be upfront and honest with Chris so I asked.
“So what happens now? Once I go back to AZ? Do we just go back to talking on the phone, occasionally meeting each other and dating other people?” 
“No!”
“No?”
“Yeah, no dating other people. I’m not interested in seeing anyone else. And I don’t want you dating anyone.”
“OK then. We’re exclusive. Got it.  Then the rest...we’ll just see what happens?”
“Yeah, for now.”
That ladies and gentlemen was our first DTR talk – that would be Define the Relationship. And I thought it went pretty well.  I can tell you that I went to sleep that night with another big smile on my face.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I left my heart in San Francisco

Does San Francisco really need an introduction?  Let's just say that Chris changed my mind about the City by the Bay.




Chris 

We hit San Francisco. Now SF is my home. I love that city. I love everything about it. I have so much fun there but I could never live there again. I have put it on a pedestal and if that image every fell I don't know what I would do. But I still love to visit. I took Megan there because I wanted to show her what I have described to her over many many phone calls.


We went to Twin Peaks and I showed her one of my favorite views of the city. From this sidewalk you can see all of SF and at night it is a beautiful sight to be seen. Megan with her camera caught a lot of the beauty, but pictures could not show how I felt about being in one of my favorite places with a person I felt so much for and respected so deeply.


We kept talking - me living in SF and what I did there, why I love the city and where my favorite places are, what brought me to SF and just all the fun things about that city. I took her to another one of my favorite places, the Legion of Honor. Now I know that this story seems to be running along the same pattern, me showing her places and us talking, but you need to understand how wonderful this is for me. I have no clue what this girl is thinking about me, but she must like me cause she flew out here. I have no clue how to act because I want to treat her with respect and not be the guy I once was. She makes me be a better man. Her smile is what pushes me to have that as a desire. I know that the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for me are true because he has brought me her. So this is an amazing trip to my favorite places in SF, simply because it is her first time and it is me sharing something important with someone important.

Now we spent the rest of the night eating at great places and driving around the city with me acting as an expert tour guide. We went all over and saw so many things and I think she really loved it. It was special for me because she was there with me. No one else. The phone didn't ring. The texts didn't interfere it was just us, in my city. I was calm and at home and...what is that smell again!!!!!

We leave SF to meet up with Clinton in Palo Alto for yogurt.  Clint has met Megan before but since we have been talking he wants to talk to her some more.   I won't forget the look on Clinton’s face when I see him in Palo. He was sporting the “WTF are you wearing” look, and what is that smell?  We sit down to talk and at this point Megan is tuckered out. She is beat! It is about 11pm and waaaayyy past her bed time. I am thriving on this beautiful woman, great friends, yogurt and a long drive home.

Long story short (tooo late I know). Clinton reminds us to “keep your honor” and “don’t forget who you are” as he leaves and we had back to Monterey.  Megan slept the entire time on and off..and i sang.... so off key, but she smiled nevertheless. I kept singing and I think she pretended to be asleep so I might stop singing, but she was wrong...

We get back to Monterey and hit up the police department to give Ben the left overs from dinner. Yeah that's right, we drove and delivered food from 2 hours away. That is how we roll!!

Megan met Ben and she was on her game as usual. She made a great impression being half asleep and ready to rock at like 2 am her time.  We finished with Ben and went back to Pebble Beach. I dropped her off and thanked her for a great night.  I went home and realized that I had to be back up and at Pebble in 3 hrs. This was only the beginning to a long, but wonderful weekend with her.



Megan

 The drive to San Francisco went by so quickly.  Before I knew it the sun had set, and I could see the City set out in lights before me.  Because Chris had actually lived in San Francisco he easily navigated through the city, taking us to Twin Peaks to a great spot where we could look out over the city.  We parked, climbed out of the car, and stood looking out over the sparkling lights of San Francisco. Amazing and breath taking, and I was sharing it with Chris. He patiently pointed out all of the notable landmarks and I tried valiantly to capture them with my camera.

Next stop was Chris’s favorite Chinese food/Hunan restaurant on the outskirts of Chinatown – Brandy Ho’s.  Smells, sounds, and atmosphere contributed to the very authentic experience – a romantic dinner (in a very crowded dinning room) with a cacophony of foreign noise from the open kitchen, scrumptious and spicy dishes, and Chris sitting across from me, smiling.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

After an unforgettable meal Chris had one more stop for us, the Legion of Honor.  It’s a beautiful building reminiscent of a Pantheon type structure.  Again, the view was amazing.  Chris seemed determined to show me the best of San Francisco.  The only thing missing was a little chocolate…he told me Ghirardelli’s was closed but he promised me another trip.

Unfortunately, my internal clock (with my blasted schedule) was telling me that it was very very late, way past my bedtime.  I think Chris recognized that and decided it was time for us to make the two hour trip back to Pebble Beach.  I’m probably a pretty lousy date, but I think I started nodding off before we got out of San Francisco.  I did wake up long enough to hear him talking on the phone to Clinton and the two of them made plans to meet up for frozen yogurt, after that I was out until Chris pulled off the freeway.

Quick recap of that little excursion – yogurt by the ounce, visit with Clinton, really cold outside, lots of laughs, good-byes with Clinton, climbing back into the car with the heater on and crashing again.  I do remember Chris telling me that he was going to stop at the Monterey Police Station to deliver our copious amounts of leftovers to his best friend.  We eventually did stop.  I barely had my eyes cracked open and I’m sure I left a great first impression.  Nevertheless, I did meet Ben for the first time at the station along with a few of his coworkers.

By the time Chris dropped me off at the Yellow House I could barely see straight I was so tired.  I remember a hug and then I was crawling into bed with a smile on my face after seeing that it was almost 1:00 am.  It had been one of the most fantastic days of my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lighthouse Vistas & An Unexpected Surprise

There's really no need for another introduction, but I do want to say thank you for all of the well wishes, squeals of joy, messages of love and support, and oddles of giggles and smiles that everyone has been sending our way.  We are having SOOO MUCH FUN! And hope you are too!


Chris

Now lets start Friday. I picked up Megan after the stressful morning (As Clint would say the adversary did not want us to meet, but me, my friends I will endure to the end. I was not missing my time to meet her).

I picked her up and got my hug. I took her to the parking lot for to my car and asked her for the first of a million times, "Do you like my rims?" (PS-in case you were wondering about his rims...and I know there are some of you who are. Chris so kindly took this picture today and posted it.)

Megan is a great sport.  She understood right away that I was in rare from being in my jeans and hoodie. I looked at her all unkept and told her this is not me. I am a suit and tie guy. I wear blazers everyday this was just a bad day (and I proved it later with my properly showered attire). 

ButI pick her up looking like scrub and proceed to take her to the Pebble Beach house for her sleeping Pebble Beach House - viewaccommodations. Now we have to understand the Pebble house. This house is on the 18th green of Pebble Beach – 17 mile Drive. I know, I know it is a horrible place but someone has to live there.

We decide to grab food, and from that point on the conversations begin to just roll - the tires story, the day story, the plans for the weekend all of it just rolls out. I am taken back most of this time. It’s all kind of blurred. Going through my head is, 1) wow she is soo pretty, 2) she is taller than I thought, 3) man I look like a scrub and, 4) i hope i don't smell....

But I know we talked and had a good time. People called me to make sure she got in and then we were left to our own devices. We ended up eating our sandwich and the rain started coming in. So my plans were not plausible.  We hop in the car, and I decide to drive to one of my most special places... this is my happy place and I wanted to share it with the person who makes me happy.

We go north on Hwy 1 and kept driving. We talked about everything under the sun from family to school to work to friends to the kitchen sink.  I am still sitting in my car going... What’s that smell? Is it me? I hope not. Wow, she is pretty.  There’ss that smell again...

Pigeon Point LighthouseSeriously though. I was enamored with her. I wanted to soak in as much as I could. I wanted to share all that I am and just be with her. I let the Spirit guide our journey and we went nowhere, but we were where we were supposed to be.  We eventually got to my special place...Pigeon Point Lighthouse just north of Davenport on Hwy 1 (check the pictures from Megan's post and see that the place is beautiful even when it is stormy and windy.) 

I talked about how I love the analogy of the light house. I love how light houses operated and how when I retire how i’d like to own/maintain a light house. We kept talking about futures, never really saying us.... but that was always at the back of my mind. 

This is a good point to interject something I find to be very important about the "us" factor. I have been a convert to the Mormon church for less than 6 months. I lived 29 years on this earth doing things my way. They didn't work, part of the reason I was drawn to the Gospel. But where this is going, which I am sure you are wondering, is that I have interacted with women a certain way my entire life. I know how to deal with those types of women, crazy that is.... but when it came to Megan I didn't know how to act in the physical sense. She sat there across from me and I wanted to hold her hand, but resisted. She looked at me like I was the one for her and I wanted to kiss her, but I resisted thinking this isn't the proper way to act as a strong priesthood holder honoring my covenants with Heavenly Father.  I am so new I didn't know what to do. Well I knew what I wanted to do, but I wanted to respect the faith. Hoping for insight I had read the law of chastity and that give me very little direction of what to do and I was for sure not going to tip my hand to Megan with Amanda's words echoing in my head "WOW HER!! you have to WOW her!" So that first night I was just trying to read her body language and show her some of the best of me that not a lot of people know about.

Now back to the weekend. We got in the car after leaving the lighthouse and I was about to turn to go back to Monterey and Megan asked if we were headed home. I said this was my happy place, but I did have other plans... she said she was enjoying what we where doing, so I turned the car and headed further north.

Another good stopping point. I love San Francisco by the way. I knew that this path on Hwy 1 ended in SF.  Now I don't know if Megan knew that, but that is where we were headed. 

So North on Hwy1 we go. This is where Megan asks for the conversion story. I love this story, but I will not repeat it here. Eventually I will get to that blog and update that one. We talked about my conversion and took roads I have never taken before and drove our happy way up to SF.  We hit Half Moon Bay and Clinton called... he let the cat out of the bag about going to SF and I could see the excitement in her face. That made my heart go pitter-patter because I wanted to show her everything.  I was excited to see her excited and I just kept smiling.

Now we have been driving for about 2 hours all over Hwy 1 and surrounding areas. Megan kept reminding (and still does) about the importance of drinking water. So in HMB we stopped for water and restroom. While we were stopped I was texting furiously to my friends, telling them that she is super awesome and we are going to SF.  We left the gas station but not before I asked again if she liked my rims.



Megan 

From the airport we headed quickly to his place to pick up keys to the yellow cottage (total guy digs – enough said) and I said hi to his roommate.  The road to the yellow cottage in Pebble Beach was amazing.  I’ve never been to Monterey and I was floored by the beauty.  It’s absolutely gorgeous with the verdant rolling hills, moss covered trees, and butting up against it all the sandy beaches and rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean.  Just beautiful.

View from the backyardI was going to be staying with Amanda and Clinton. They live in a yellow cottage that is part of a series of houses (think mini-cute-yellow-housed-compound) in Pebble Beach (they actually charge you $10 just to drive through the area if you’re not a resident).  Their house sits on a rocky escarpment overlooking a sandy beach right next door to the 18th green of the Pebble Beach golf course.  It is absolutely fantastic!!! The pictures hardly do it justice.

We dropped off my stuff.  This entire time the conversation was so easy.  It was just like all the time we had spent on the phone, only better because I was able to look at him. To see his face and is expression. And best of all to see his smile.  I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time.
By now it was after 1pm (2pm my time) and I was hungry so he took me to a favorite sandwich shop of his called Companos.  The adorable owner Bennett, was a wonderful man who insisted on coming out from behind the counter to give Chris a hug and then of course he had to hug me. This was the first of many indicators that Chris is a very well loved man throughout his community.  We couldn’t go anywhere without Chris meeting someone. And everyone we met just raves about all that Chris has done for them with an occasional anecdote about a party or fun time they had with him.  It always made me smile.

This is also were I’ll interject with reason #108 why I love Chris…he always introduces me to everyone immediately.  He’s very conscious of this.  Usually within about the first 10 seconds of meeting someone, Chris will pause the conversation and say something like, “I’d like to introduce my friend Megan. Megan this is…”  He would do it every time, without fail!  I never felt like a third wheel. I felt like I was important to him, even when he was having a conversation with someone else.

Anyways, back to the story…we took our GINORMOUS sandwiches back to the yellow cottage to eat while Chris talked on the phone to his mother for a bit, taking care of business.  Reason #109…Chris loves his mother. Ladies, how can you not like a man who loves his mother.  They have a very, very strong relationship.  From what he’s told me she is a remarkable woman who has single-handedly raised a strong, caring, intelligent, and loving man.  Enough said!

After lunch Chris says he’s going to take me for a drive to a special place. And truthfully, just being able to talk with him face-to-face, to just be with him, was all I was concerned about, didn’t really matter what we were doing. Besides, pretty sure there wasn’t a bad view to be had along the coastal highway.  We just started meandering through the hills of Pebble Beach, driving along the coast.  The views were breath taking, and we talked, and talked, and talked.  Chris seems to be under the impression that I remember everything we talked about, but (I hate to burst your bubble, hon) I don’t remember the details just that it was wonderful!

Along the road I saw a picturesque old light house along one precipice.  I pointed it out to Chris and watched a smile spread across his mouth as he quickly pulled his car off into the light house parking lot, turns out that this is one of his very favorite spots, Pigeon Point Lighthouse.  By this point there’s a drizzle on-and-off and the ocean is frothing up along the rock faces below the light house.  A chilly breeze, ok nix that - make that a down right cold breeze, is blowing in from the ocean.  I’ve got my camera out and I’m trying to bury it under my coat while I’m burrowing under it.  At some point I find myself tucked behind Chris trying to hide from the wind.  At this point I’m thinking…man it would be easier to stay warm and a whole lot more romantic if he had his arm around me.  Heck, I’d settle for a warm hand hold. But I wasn’t about to make the first move.

Please excuse all the photos...but there were so many great things to photograph. IMGP1226 Pigeon Lighthouse Pigeon Lighthouse Rockyshore IMGP1242 Lighthouse Texture Cabbage plant IMGP1254
We walked around the light house.  And Chris got the first glimpse of my interest in photography.  I warned him before I arrived that I “like to take pictures”.  Pretty sure he underestimated me and my interest.  Most people do.  When you say you like to take pictures they assume you mean you’ll bring your camera and snap a few pictures. Not me.  My camera is almost attached to me, and I’m usually up in someone’s face, leaning over a wall or ledge to get up close and personal with the vegetation, or wandering around the backsides of buildings or down alleys where all the really interesting things are.  He was wonderful. Patiently waiting for me while I snapped away, and even offering up smiles when I turned the camera on him.

I would like to also point out that by this point, my appearance was going down hill rapidly.  It had been drizzling and raining on and off and the wind on around the light house had whipped my hair into a ragged frenzy.  We’re heading back to the car and I catch a glimpse of myself in the car window – AGHHH…it’s Belaxtrix LeStrange, for real!  And there’s no way to repair the damage so I just shrug it off and figure it’s a good sign he hasn’t said anything.

We climb back into Chris’s car (after the obligatory, “so do you think the rims look ok?).  As we’re pulling out of the parking lot, Chris looks to be turning down the road back to the yellow house. I ask if we’re all done, kind of disappointed because I was really enjoying the sightseeing and LOVING the time to just have Chris to myself, face-to-face, to talk with.  He looks across the counsel and smiles his mischievous smile and says, “No problem”, and turns the car north along Highway 1.

I did try to ask him where we were headed next. His response, “It’s a surprise.”  We just kept driving and talking, and talking, and talking.  It was amazing, because we really never ran out of things to talk about.  It was during this drive that Chris shared with me his conversion story, about how he first heard about the Gospel, and the roll that Clinton and Amanda played in his conversion.  I am so glad that I waited to hear him tell me about it in person.  They love that this man has for God and the Savior is tangible.  He takes his covenants and his testimony of the Gospel very seriously, and it was moving to hear how his life has changed.  The good things that he had in his life prior to converting to Mormonism, were strengthened – his love for his mother, his love for his friends/brothers, his desire for his own family, his compassion for others – all of these things were given an eternal perspective.  And then all the “other” stuff, not inline with the Gospel teachings fell away.  I admire the personal strength and integrity of this man.  Pretty sure I was falling head over heals in love with him at this point – and we still hadn’t held hands, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t throwin’ out the signals.

About 45 minutes into our drive, Chris gets a phone call from Clinton, who was checking up on us. Clinton asks where we are headed.  Chris looks over at me and gives me that smile again and says, “I’m taking her to dinner in San Francisco.”

*big ol’ cheesy grin from ear to ear*

I was going to San Francisco to have dinner with Chris…girls, have you ever heard of anything more romantic!  I had never been to San Francisco, but it was definitely on my list of “Places to See”.  Leave it to Chris to decide dinner in San Francisco would be the perfect way to cap this amazing evening.

Come back tomorrow for our whirl-wind trip through San Francisco 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Airport & "Do You Like My Rims?"

We're back...sorry about the short break. Yesterday was a little busy and truth be told, I'm a little behind on writing this.  Chris sat down and wrote up his memories of our trip in one day (a very long day). I, on the other hand, have been trying to write a little each day, so I'm slowly catching up.  One other caveat, we read our stories to each other before we post them here - figure Chris should hear how I was feeling and thinking from me before he reads it on a blog. :)

So back to our story.  This post is all me!  Chris got his turn last time and so this time you'll hear what I thought of the airport and the pick-up.  Hope you enjoy because we sure did.




Megan

It was decided that November 11-13th would be the perfect weekend and I booked my flight the next day...

I’m going to jump out of the story line right this very minute to share with you another one of the things that I love about Chris. He gives me confidence in myself. Not the “you can do it” kind of confidence, pretty sure I’ve got that in spades. It’s the “you-are-wonderful-just-the-way-you-are-and-you-are-everything-I-need-kind-of-way”.  I didn’t realize how when you start a serious relationship, one in which you recognize that you are going to be opening yourself up emotionally and spiritually to a person, how much personal insecurities can rise to the surface.  I thought I was a pretty confident person, but as soon as I committed to actually seeing Chris for the first time the worries started rising.

I think Chris sensed that and that night as we were talking about my upcoming trip in 2 ½ weeks time he says, “I can tell something’s up with you. What’s going on?”

“I’m just worried that when I get off the plane, you’ll see me and say ‘whoa, she’s so not what I was expecting?’” (And in my head I’m running through all of the insecurities that I have about my physical appearance).

“WHOA! Stop right there.  I’ve seen pictures of you. In fact I saw your picture from the food fair last night…I-Know-Exactly-What-I’m-Getting!”

This is where I tell you that this entire time I’ve been very conscious of posting pictures of myself on Facebook.  By conscious I mean I made sure to post a bunch of CURRENT photos, none of this 10-years-ago-when-I-was-younger-and-thinner.  Nope, I had friends and family take pictures of me today and yesterday and I posted them (even if a few made me cringe) just so that Chris would not have any surprises.  I’m glad that I did.

His simple declaration, “I-Know-Exactly-What-I’m-Getting!” said so emphatically, really settled things for me.  He’s good that way! Making me feel like I’m exactly what he needs and wants.  It’s hard to put into words how much that means to me.  I don’t’ have to try with him, try to be thinner, prettier, funnier, wittier, younger, or any other “er”.  Chris loves me.  Just plain old Megan Schaub. I’m more than enough for him.  He tells me I’m perfect for him just the way I am. And the crazy part is, I believe him.

Day 1: Monterrey, CA – Last First Date

So November 11, 2011, is a day that I’ll never ever forget.  I started by putting a few hours in at work.  Not easy to do cuz all I could think about was my pending trip and meeting Chris.  It was interesting because everyone kept asking me if I was nervous. And truthfully I wasn’t.  At this point Chris and I have been talking for almost 2 solid months.  Talking nightly, for hours, so I really felt like I knew him and this trip was more about finding out if we had physical chemistry to go with the mental and emotional chemistry.  If the entire thing tanked I knew that at least I’d get a really good friend out of this, because we had already grown so close.

I wore the obligatory “new outfit” so I figured “this is as good as it gets” for me and I felt pretty good about myself.  But that confidence came more from Chris than myself.  We had both talked previously about how we were huggers. So I was expecting a smiling Chris waiting for me at the end of airport walk way, with a big giant hug, maybe flowers, maybe a kiss…something.

And what I got was nothing.

He wasn’t there.  If you’ve been to the Monterey airport, you know there’s no way I could miss him.  Their airport is teeny-tiny.  And Chris wasn’t anywhere to be seen.  I was a little surprised and disappointed. BUT I knew that there was a reason.  I already knew that Chris was SOOOO not the type of guy to leave a girl “hangin”.  I figured something had to be up.  I hadn’t walked any further than the luggage carousel and I get a phone call.
“Tell me your plane hasn’t landed.”
“Can’t. I’m here.”
“Dang. I’m so sorry.”
“No worries. I’m fine.”
“I have had the craziest morning and I’ll tell you all about it. I’m less than 5 minutes away. I’ll be right there.”
“No problem. I’ll be right here waiting for my luggage.”

We hung up.  Truthfully, I was neither worried nor upset, just plain excited.  I stood there for a while craning my neck around looking for that face, his face.  Before my luggage even came out of the carousel, I saw Chris walking through the exterior airport doors. 

He’s here. And it’s him. That’s all I was thinking.  But what truthfully came over me was an overwhelming feeling of peace.  You’re probably asking yourself what about all the “love tingles”, butterflies, and giddiness that come with falling in love.  For me at that moment it was an overwhelming feeling of peace and coming home when he took me into his arms the first time.

I don’t think we even said hi. He just walked in straight to me and I walked into his arms. We hugged and he held me like that for a while. We just stood there holding each other. At last.

Eventually I leaned back and smiled up into his beautiful blue eyes and said, “Hi.”  He smiled and started to apologize for being late. No worries. We’re good.

And just that simple, things settled into place. Not a worry anywhere. No concerns. I wasn’t self-conscious. I was with Chris and he would take care of everything.  This man exudes confidence, care and concern.  It’s just part of his make-up.  I don’t ever have to worry about a thing when I’m with him.  I also don’t have to be in charge.  This is HUGE for me.  I’ve been single for so long and have had to do everything for myself.  I’ve been involved in relationships where I still felt like I was “in charge” or “responsible” for most every aspect of the relationship.  I know I can trust myself to do “it”.  It’s giving that trust up to someone else that I struggle with.  But with Chris, there wasn’t even a bit of doubt.

Probably the biggest indicator of this trust I have in him is the fact that I can truly “go along” for the ride.  I trust him with all the details. And this flowed over into the trip – no plans, no worries. Chris will take care of me.  And more importantly this is now part of our relationship.  I don’t feel like I have to be in charge of planning and executing every aspect of our relationship. This isn’t to say I’m no longer the strong independent woman I’ve always been.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m stronger with Chris than without him.  He gives me confidence in myself.  His strength, the confidence I have in him, allows me to give up the need I have to “be in charge” and sit back and enjoy the ride.

I guess that was the theme for the rest of our amazing weekend – sit back and enjoy the ride. 

Back to the trip…We grab my bags and head out to his car.  Just before we get in, and as he’s telling me about his epic morning, apologizing profusely for his “scruffy dress”, he says, “So do you like my tires and rims?” Truthfully, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to say so I just smile and nod and say “sure.” Little did I know that would be the first of like 3000 times he would ask me that question.  And ladies let me tell you, and Chris would be the first to agree with me, inside every man is a 16 year old girl!  I’m not kidding. A 16 year old girl, and instead of asking, “does this top make my eyes pop?” or “Do these jeans make my butt look too big?” and looking at themselves in every mirror they pass.  Men ask things like, “Do you like my tires and rims?” and stop to admire them EVERY SINGLE TIME they get out of the car and then talk to every single guy they meet about their tires and rims. Chris, I love you man, but you have a serious case of 16-year-old-girl-itis when it comes to your car.

So come back tomorrow for more...Next time we should actually be getting into some photos, finally!