Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Seasons of Life - Changes we've seen lately


I have felt a need to record the goings-on for our family. For entertainment purposes, if nothing else. This year has been eventful, and truthfully has just flown by. It's hard to believe that it is May already. Here are a few of the highlights of the past year and where we're at now.

Arizona Statue University

We are coming up on our 2 year anniversary of living in Arizona. Chris's job at ASU is what brought us over from Monterey, CA and he is still enjoying his job as Director of Continuing Legal Education for the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU. I tell him it's a big title, but basically he coordinates parties that include a speaker, for lawyers. It really speaks to his talents - social engagement, coordinating events, hosting events, and schmoozing. He's developing new skills and meeting so many new people.
One aspect of his job that we are both enjoying is the periodic trips to conferences around the country.  This past year he has attended or conducted conferences in Washington DC, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and California. He is anxiously anticipating his first international trip in July. He is joining a team headed to Australia. His first chance to break out his new passport.

Spiritual Life

My first day as a temple
worker at the AZ Gilbert Temple.
We were blessed to move into a wonderful ward, the Gilbert 4th Ward.  We've had many opportunities to serve and be served here.  I am currently serving as one of the CTR 6 co-teachers. There are 6 munchkins in my class and they certainly keep me on my toes while being thoroughly entertaining. My favorite part though is the amazing Spirit that I feel each time I teach them. I haven't taught a lesson in this class that I haven't felt the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel principles being taught. What an awesome experience!
This past February I was asked to serve in the Gilbert AZ Temple. I was thrilled and a bit nervous to accept this opportunity to serve as a temple worker. I now serve Friday mornings at the temple. While it has challenged me in many ways, it has brought so many blessings. I love serving in the Lord's house each week.
Chris on his first day as the 1st
counselor of the EQ.
Chris has had several "growth" opportunities of his own since we've moved into the ward - I say this with a giggle and a smile. First, Chris was called to serve as an 11-year old scout leader. Might I remind you, that Chris equates camping to pretending to be homeless. Regardless, he was a much loved and very dedicated scout leader.
After serving for about a year Chris was called to serve as the Elder's Quorum president of our ward. This calling helped him develop his leadership skills, moving skills, and his love for his fellow men.  It was a joy to see his testimony of the Savior and testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ grow and he selflessly served.
And so it is on to the next adventure and next growth opportunity. With the organizational changes which were recently announced during General Conference, Chris was released as Elder's Quorum president and called to serve as 1st counselor in the newly formed Elder's Quorum. I will try to keep you updated on what new and exciting things come his way while he learns what it means to be a 1st counselor.

Getting Out and About

Hiking Silly
Mountain in March.
Arizona has offered us many opportunities to get out and about. We have found a heretofore unknown interest in hiking, which may be in part due to our dog Daisy. During the non-summer months we try to get out 3-4 times a week. Some of our favorite hikes include Silly Mountain, Usery Mountain Park, and South Mountain. We've been able to explore a few others like Peralta, Horton Springs, Bushnell Tanks, Picacho Peak. Daisy absolutely loves  to go hiking with us and we can usually talk one of my family members into going with us. Fortunately our most dangerous encounters on our little adventures are limited to
Daisy & I hiking at
Bushnell Tanks.
jumping cactus, lizards, a horny-toad, and rabbits.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seminary - Scripture Mastery Battleship!

So, I should start this post with an apology. I noticed that it has been over a year since I last posted on this blog. Opps!

As you can imagine this past year has been crazy busy. Here are a few highlights in a nut shell:
  • Chris graduated from law school.
  • Chris went through the temple for the first time at the LDS Temple in Oakland California.
  • Christ took the CA State Bar exam...AND PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • We got sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS Temple in Mesa Arizona.
  • We had  2 wedding receptions, one in Mesa, AZ and one in Carmel Valley, CA (both were beautiful).
  • I quit my job and moved to Monterey.
  • We got our first apartment in Monterey, five blocks from Cannery Row.
  • We started attending a new ward (as a newly married couple).
  • I got 2 new jobs.
  • And last but definitely not least...we were called to be the early morning seminary teachers!
We are really hoping that 2013 is less "exciting".  Through it all we have been extremely blessed!

The reason I have revisited our crazy blog is that I needed to 1) do a better job with family/personal record keeping and a blog is a great way to do that, while allowing my family to keep tabs on us as we are all on our own out here in CA, and 2) with our calling as seminary teachers we have come up with a bunch of cool things for teaching seminary and are anxious to share them.  We have found that the world of early morning seminary is small and we have garnered so much help from others in navigating our way through this new experience that we want to give back, if we can. Or better yet, pay it forward.

Therefore, for our first seminary offering:

Scripture Master Battleship

Battle Stations: Check out the "Wall of Privacy" running down the center of the battlefield.

We are constantly scouring the internet for Scripture Mastery Games.  Every Friday we have Scripture Mastery Games and the students seem to really enjoy them.  I found mention of the game Battleship for Scripture Mastery, but was unable to find a game board anywhere.  Several sites walk through the game (with some variations), but NO ONE seemed to have a game board we could use.  Then it dawned on me...I am a graphic design artist, I can make my own!

Thus, the Scripture Mastery Battleship Game Board was born.  I am including a picture of it for your reference.  I would love to share the Scripture Mastery Battleship game board with you so feel free to download a pdf of the the file by clicking here.

The seminary students LOVED it!

In short, here's how it worked.  Students each picked an opponent.   I encouraged them to select someone who new the Scripture Mastery scriptures about as well as they did.  Each team of two sat across from each other and ensured that their "wall of privacy" was structurally sound.

Each person was given a Battleship game board with two "game board" components (see .pdf).  In the top game board component they were to place their ships. The legend on the game board explains how to do this.  The game board component on the bottom was where they were to record their "hits" and "misses" as they attempted to attack their opponent.

Once they were all set up, the game began!!
Bro. Marohn is declaring a winner between combatants.
 I, or Bro. Marohn, would call out a scripture reference. (i.e. - "No man can serve two masters...").  The team would scripture chase to find the scripture reference in their scriptures. Once they had it they would hold up their hand.  The first partner to correctly find the scripture reference earned the right to "fire" upon their opponent.  That winner would call out their guess, in the traditional Battleship lingo..."B5!"  The receipient of the firing would then identify if it was a hit or a miss.  The person firing was responsible for updating the appropriate game board.

We continued playing for the whole period and when we stopped the students added up their points and decided who won.
Here I am calling out more SM.

NOTE:  Different from the traditional game of Battleship, points have been allotted for sinking specific ship types, and for each hit/miss.  This allows us to stop the game at any point and tally up the points to identify a winner.

One of the reasons that I think this game was so successful was that it allowed students to satisfy their competitive nature, but doing so against someone who is similarly prepared in scripture mastery.

Lest you think all we do is play games, we've had some great lessons too. I'll try to post information on them at another time. Hope you give Scripture Mastery Battleship a try!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Will You Marry Me? ... cue the butterflies

I decided that if I don’t just skip ahead to the proposal I may never get around to writing this down. We’ve fallen behind, as with most things in life, because we’re both crazy busy right now. So for expedience sake, I’m going to just skip to the good part.  For those of you who don’t know yet, Chris Marohn and I are engaged. Surprise! And I bet you’re wondering how it happened, well I’ll tell you.  It all started on a little trip to the south…

So Chris joined me on an epic road trip across Arizona, through New Mexico, and  straight into the heart of Texas, all to meet my family.  The cliff notes version:
  • Chris drove from California, picked me up in AZ. We drove 17 hours to Texas.
  • Helped with my cousins phenomenal wedding (Polynesian marrying a Polynesian, ‘nuf said).  The entire event was a PARTY!  My family fell in love with Chris, and it was mutual.
  • After the wedding we make a 5 hour drive over to New Orleans where Chris was going to surprise me with a few fun activities.
And this is where our story begins.

So Chris and I were back in his car for a 5 ½ hour drive from Houston to New Orleans late morning on Monday, December 19, 2011. Unfortunately work followed Chris to Texas and so he had several projects which became urgent while we were on vacation.  I drove to New Orleans while Chris typed away on his laptop.
Stopping at Starbucks to use their internet on the way to New Orleans
Chris at Chick-fil-A doing yet another batch of uploads for work.

Because I was the driver we made a few pit stops along the way. A few hours into the trip I returned from inspecting the rest stop to find this little love note on the steering wheel.
My delicious dinner

Despite the pit stops, we did eventually make it to New Orleans.  We were blessed to be able to stay with a wonderful couple Keyth and Tiffany who lived on the northside of Lake Ponchatrain.  They were a warm couple with an adorable daughter.  When we got there Monday night we took Keyth and Tiffany out to dinner.  They recommend a fantastic place called Zeta and we were not disappointed. Now I’m no expert on grits, but Oh My Goodness!! Let’s just say I’d recommend the place to anyone.

When we got back to Keyth and Tiffany’s Chris fired up the laptop and Tiffany and I chatted for a while.  I should probably point out at this point that Chris and I are both pretty sick.  I got a bad cold the week before we left on our epic road trip to Houston and well, let’s just say that it was inevitable that Chris would catch whatever I had!  So I had been shoving orange juice and cold medicine down Chris’s throat while I was guzzling it myself. We were a pair of sick puppies.

After a while, I gave us both bedtime medicine (sure to knock you out) and left Chris anxiously typing away on his laptop trying to get work done and out of the way so we could enjoy our day in New Orleans tomorrow, uninterrupted. 

I know that Chris eventually crashed because I found him sacked out on the couch the next morning.  But he still had a general air of distracted worry about him.  I was pretty sure that he was getting pressure from the attorney he was working with.  I could tell something wasn’t right and so I told him I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Tiffany and the little princess for a few hours, if he needed to get more work done. He adamantly turned me down. “We’re here for us. This is our day. No interruptions. No work!” Ok then.  We were off to New Orleans.

Mid morning we took the bridge across the lake into New Orleans – super cool.  It took us a bit of time, and Chris ended up driving the wrong way down one way streets, not once, not twice, but three times. However, we eventually found our way to the French Quarter where we parked our car and got out to site see on foot.

I was so excited to share New Orleans with Chris.  It was where I spent one of my most favorite vacations. In 2005 my sister and I along with her two little children visited New Orleans, and our cousin Natalie and her family, during Mardi Gras. It was a totally unforgettable experience that was so much fun and I was looking forward to sharing a few of my favorite things with Chris.

Now would be a good time to also mention the weather. Yes, the weather.  It was stinkin’ HOT.  New Orleans was 80 degrees with 90% humidity – think greenhouse – and it was December.  We were both wishing we had packed our shorts. Chris being the gallant man that he is shlepped my camera backpack the whole day for me, not fun.

So here we are, wandering the colorful streets of New Orleans. All you have to do is check out the pictures and you’ll see that by colorful, I’m referring to the buildings, shops, food, and people.  Everything is vibrant in New Orleans.  And one of my favorite parts of New Orleans, beside the food, is the music.  There really are street performs on almost every corner.  The jazz and blues music floating through the old rod-iron fronted buildings really does just add to the ambiance.  After wandering around Jackson Square we stopped at CafĂ© Du Monde for the famous beignets.

While we were sitting there waiting for our beignets and just enjoying the shade and the breeze, I thought that Chris still looked a little distracted and I assumed he was thinking about all the work he still needed to get done.  But I figured if he became worried enough, he’d say something and we could cut our site seeing short.  He never did say anything, instead he patiently let me take pictures of him and the food – both yummy!

I was having a great time and enjoying every thing about the day, other than the heat which was causing me to melt into an ungraceful mess.  We stepped into shops, picked up a few souvenirs, and generally enjoyed just spending time together.  Several of our stops during the day included beautiful handcrafted-custom jewelry stores, because I just couldn’t resist the chance to oh-and-ah over the sparkly necklaces, earings, and rings.  I have a definite weakness for jewelry of all kinds, but was able to resist purchasing anything new to add to my collection.
Oh the irony!

Lunch that afternoon was found at Central Market the home of the Muffuletta (1906).  The Muffuletta is a lovely sandwich consists of olive salad, capicola, salami , pepperoni, ham, and provolone on a round Muffuletta loaf of bread. It’s truly delicious and distinctly New Orleans.

Now originally Chris had planned to take me to a Cajun cooking class, but at the last minute the class was cancelled.  He also planned to take me to the New Orleans Insectarium because they had a butterfly exhibit and I’m partial to butterflies (the real kind), having recently found an interest in photographing them.   After we spent sometime walking off lunch, we made a quick bathroom stop and then headed over to the Insectarium.

Here are several photos from throughout the day...

The Audobon Insectarium shares a building with US Customs, therefore once you walk in the entrance door you are forced to go through metal detectors (just like at the airport) before you can even get to the desk to buy tickets for the museum.  I walked blithely through the metal detectors, with only Kleenex in my pockets, and headed towards the ticket counter to grab our tickets.  While I was standing at the counter making small talk with the employee behind the desk I was surprised to realize that Chris wasn’t right behind me.  I turned around and see that he hasn’t even made it through the metal detectors yet and appeared to be talking with one of the security guards.  I figured he was asking the guard about the butterfly exhibit, finding out hours it was open or something.  I picked up our tickets and headed to the entrance, and Chris quickly caught up to me. 

Now the insectarium was super interesting.  I kept wishing that I could have shared it with my nephews because they would have LOVED all the bugs – huge giant ones, ones with horns and wings, bright color ones, and millions of tiny little ones.  According to the museum diagram the butterfly exhibit was the last exhibit in the museum so we had to go through everything else to get there, and that was just fine with me.

As I stopped to read the plaques and take pictures through the plexiglass, I did notice that Chris seemed extremely distracted and almost bored. I knew that he had chosen this museum just for me, and he was probably not interested in it at all, but was putting on a good face just to be thoughtful…it’s just the kind of boyfriend he is.  Our trek through the museum included a stop in the bug kitchen where they demonstrate how bugs are used in cuisine, and yes we ate a few bugs – not bad.

Eventually we did finally make it into the butterfly exhibit room. Now, the butterfly room has an air seal that you have to pass through to ensure that no butterflies escape.  Inside the enclosure is a tropical environment perfectly suited for butterflies.  Banks of flowers line the room and run through its center with small oasis of sugar water baths that attract the butterflies. In the back center of the room is a Japanese pagoda that is access via a small bridge over a coy fish pond.

Upon entering I immediately began snapping pictures and temporarily lost track of Chris.  After a few minutes I looked up and noticed that he wasn’t around.  I wandered towards the pagoda in the middle of the room and found him sitting at a bench on the other side of the bridge.  Sitting down next to him I remarked on the amazing butterflies, beautiful flowers, and told him how much I appreciated his patience with me that day as I snapped picture after picture.  By this point I figured he was just overly board and ready to get back on the road to Houston, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I figured I could grab a few more pictures and then I’d have my fill and be ready to go.

I told Chris that he could wait on the bench while I took a few more pictures.


With that Chris reached into his pocket while in one smooth move he dropped to one knee next to me and took my left-hand.  I can honestly say, I was in utter and complete shock.  My brain went blank. And I just sat there on the bench and the only thought running through my head was, “He’s…He’s….He’s…” I couldn’t form a complete thought.

And then I looked into his eyes.

“Megan I can’t imagine a day in my life without you.  I love you so much and would like to ask, Will you marry me?”

In his hand he was holding a small ring box made of wood and in the shape of a heart.  The lid swivled to the side and the inside was lined in red fabric. There in the center of the box was the most beautiful sparkly ring I had every seen in my life. I reached in and picked up the ring. Through the tears falling from my eyes I could see the intricate details of the gorgeous ring.  While sniffling I laid the ring back in the box.

I heard Chris’s anxious voice my ears saying, “Is that your answer???” Bringing my head up, I smiled through my tears into the eyes of the man that I loved with all my heart. “No, but I’m not going to put on my own engagement ring,” I choked out. He smiled and then took the ring out of the box and slipped it on to the ring finger of the hand he was holding on to.

Needless to say there was some hugging and kissing, and if I remember correctly, several “I love you’s.”

It was a moment I wasn’t expecting in my wildest dreams. It was utterly perfect, not because of the butterflies, and not because of the sparkly gorgeous diamond ring. It was utterly perfect because the man who asked me to marry him was Christopher Marohn.  The man whom I loved with all my heart.

Fortunately Chris was in a slightly more coherent state of mind than I was…I was still pretty much shocked down to my toes. Chris says to me, while my eyes are still glued to my ring and tears are still rolling down my cheeks, “We need to get someone to take our picture.” There just happened to be a Japanese tourist on the other side of the bridge who happily captured the most momentous occasion of my life.

The rest of the day I just kind of floated.  On our way out of the insectarium, the first person we told our news too was the security guard at the door.  Then we headed back to the car (stopping first to grab a Diet Coke for me, cuz it was still so stinkin’ hot!)  Once in the car I just kept staring at my ring, then back at Chris, and then back at my ring, and all the while I couldn’t stop smiling. While driving away from New Orleans we made phone call after phone call after phone call to share our wonderful news with our family and friends.

We also stopped to have a celebratory dinner at MickyD's in Louisiana...It's how we roll. :)

So on December 20, 2012, Chris asked me to marry him for time and all eternity. And I said yes!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The first marriage proposal...

Thought you might be interested in this first marriage proposal. The one I actually didn't get, till after the second one. :)  Chris, wrote the following in his personal notes on Thanksgiving Day 2011.  Now there's a part two to this, which I'll have to share next.  And all of this was going on his head, while I was in Arizona fretting that Chris was really working on a "five-year plan" like he kept telling me.

Megan:  I want you to know that I wrote this the Monday after we met for the first time Monterey so this has been on my mind for a while...
You make life wonderful and easy.  When I'm with you I can be just me. The real me. The relaxed me that doesn't fear anything or want anything(except to laugh). Who only cares who I'm with and not where I am. From the first hug in the Monterey airport to the first kiss 2 days later, you have put my soul at ease. I have talked about a love like ours many times, to many people over many years. But until I met you those words held little significance to me.
So now in front of friends and family on this day of celebration I can only think of one thing to make it better. 
Megan Schaub, I love you. You make me such a better man. I cannot think of a day for the rest of my life that you are not in. Nor do I want to. I want you to be my wife from now until eternity. Will you marry me?

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.


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"


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?” 
“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.