Monday, May 18, 2009

Pittsburgh--Take 3

I got into Pittsburgh Thursday night. Friday morning we left to go tour some of Pennsylvania and New York. An hour and a half into the trip we drove through a cute little town. We stopped to have lunch and take some pictures. There were these houses that looked like doll houses, but when we walked past them, I realized that one of them was actually a salon. I loved it! We made it to Harmony, PA by 7:30 that night and found the Susquehanna River where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey were baptized. It was gorgeous! There was also a statue erected where the keys to the aaronic priesthood were restored. After spending a bit of time there, we went up to Rochester. Sean dropped me off at the Best Western and went up to stay with a bunch of his friends that are doing sales for the summer. We made it to the Sacred Grove, in Palmyra, by 9 the next morning. It was so peaceful there. We spent a couple of hours walking on the trails through the grove. I loved being there! The spirit was so strong and solidified my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. After leaving the grove, we went to the Smith Family farmhouse, right outside the grove, and wandered through it. It was such a cute little home. After snapping some pictures, we were off to the Hill Cumorah. Of course it was beautiful as well, but not quite like I pictured it. There was a monument at the top left side of the hill where the plates were extracted. There were so many storm clouds filling the sky. We left to go to our temple session around the corner at the Palmyra temple. We made it into the temple as the rain began to come down hard. After the temple session we went over to E.B. Grandin's publishing house where the Book of Mormon was first published. I left Palmyra knowing more about the church I have been a part of, and with the desire to return again. I am truly grateful for all the struggles our dear prophet went through to restore this gospel. It really did happen and I am so grateful my grandparents welcomed the missionaries into their homes and that my parents raised us in the church. My heart is full and my testimony has been strengthened. I couldn't be more grateful for the experiences I had this last weekend.

Cute Brookville, PA. Dollhouse looking salon

Dad, I thought of you!

Susquehanna River--beautiful!

Aaronic Priesthood keys are restored

Entering the grove

Gorgeous forest

Handsome man's backside

The stream we crossed entering and exiting the grove

Smith family home

The grove is right behind the Smith family home

Steep Hill Cumorah

Where the plates were found

E.B. Grandin's print shop

View of print shop from across the street

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What I haven't been writing about

Meet Sean Quigley

I have not wanted to post about things because I don't like pressure, but it's been long enough and I need to bring this relationship 'out of the closet' (in a heterosexual way).

I feel the past few years have been full of dating fiascos. At times I have felt there was a sign taped on my back saying "please set me up". I have been on countless blind dates. I am not complaining, but I never felt like they were getting me anywhere. There were the occasional set ups that resulted in three dates, only to find out that there wasn't going to be a happily ever after. I feel as if I could write my story in a Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham style...

I do not like blindly dating
I do not like them from from my friends
I do not like them from my family
I do not like them in the end
I do not like them from my hometeacher
I do not like them from my co-worker(s)
I do not like them from my boss
I do not like them from my clients
I do not like them from my classmates
I do not like them from my roommmates
I do not like them here or there
I do not like them anywhere!

I do not like them oh so much
I do not like them out to lunch
I do not like them playing games
I do not like them just the same
I do not like them rafting down the river
I do not like them out to dinner
I do not like them in a car
I do not like them camping under the stars
I do not like them here or there
I do not like them anywhere!

I have gone on several wonderful blind dates, but I just reached my limit last semester when I was going on a couple each week. I am grateful for those that set me up with all their wonderful family members and co-workers. Each date has helped me mold my wants and needs, blind or not.

I went to my math class last semester. There was a cute newlywed couple in the front row that seemed in love with love (vomit). One day the wife, Brittany, was out in the hall waiting for class to start. We started small talking and before I knew it, she knew my complete dating history (I vomitted verbally). Yes, I have been engaged. Yes, I was 25 and single. Yes, I had a desire to get married. Yes, I go on lots of dates. Yes, I wanted to ride off in the sunset on horseback and live happily ever after with my glass slippers and prince.... yadda yadda.

Class was starting, so we left the hall and took our seats. After about ten minutes of hearing about asymptotes there was a note passed back to me. In it Brittany asked me if she could set me up. In my mind I started prattling off my version of Dr. Seuss. She wrote how her brother-in-law was in his second year of dental school out in Pittsburgh and would be home (Saratoga Springs, UT) for Christmas break. She wanted to know if she could set me up before I left for home (Camano Island, WA). She told me that he loved the outdoors and was a great guy. He sounded good enough for a set-up, so I said sure. From passing notes back and forth that day I also found out that he was from Washington (Isaquah(sp)) and wanted to set up his practice up there.

I am going to write the shortened version of the story.

Went out Friday December 19th to dinner and played games. I thought he was cute and one I would like to get to know, but because of the circumstances said good-bye for good at the end of the night. Sunday Brittany called and wanted me to come up for dinner and to hang out with Sean again. I said no because I didn't want to invest in something that seemed impossible. One thing lead to another and they were over at my place playing games, and drinking orange julius'. Again I said good-bye. Five minutes later there was a knock on my door. Sean came back to get my number. The next day we went to lunch. During lunch I felt I needed to ask him to take me to the airport the next day. I asked, even though I fought it for a while, and he said he would like to. I prayed for my flight to be cancelled cause I suddenly was interested. He took me to the airport, gave me a side hug, and we said good-bye for good. Brittany called me to see how my flight was and told me that I needed to let him know how I felt because he was shy and wouldn't do it. I thought it was pointless to let him know because I still didn't think the relationship was possible, but found myself taking a big risk by texting him my thoughts. He responded and we both put ourselves 'out there'. After a little while of feeling vulnerable, the lady got on the loud speaker letting us know our flight was overbooked. Ten minutes later I stood in the middle of the airport not knowing what to do. My luggage was sent to Seattle and I had a $400 voucher in hand and first class tickets for the next day. Blessing. I ended up going to Sean's house that night. We watched a movie, and yes, we held hands, cuddled, and despite my runny nose and lack of a voice, kissed. I fought it in my mind the whole time, still thinking this was impossible. As we lay there cuddling I found words coming out of my mouth that were crazy to think, hear or say. I asked him if he wanted to come to Washington after Christmas. AHHHH. What was I doing?! I picked him up on Monday the 29th and was incredibly nervous. He ended up extending his stay from three days to six. We had a great week, and I was afraid because I had become attached. We talked on the phone each night for a couple of hours and then he came to visit for the holiday weekend in January. I flew out to Pittsburgh with half of my voucher in February. I thought Pittsburgh looked just like it sounded, but I ended up liking it. In March Sean flew out to Utah for the weekend and I flew back to Pittsburgh with him for my spring break the next week. While out there we went to NYC to see Wicked for my birthday. It was a great trip! He was just out in Utah for a week, but had to leave Monday for school again. I am heading out to Pittsburgh next Thursday (with my resumes) for almost a week. He gets a three week break in June/July and will come here. I don't know if I am driving back with him then, or at the end of August. Either way, I am going to be a Pittsburgh resident soon. I am nervous, excited, happy, sad, emotional.....and ready for change.

I don't know the end of the story, but I know that good things come from blind dates.

I do like dating blindly
I do like them oh so much
I do like them out to lunch
I do like them playing games
I do like them just the same
I do like them rafting down the river
I do like them out to dinner
I do like them in a car
I do like them camping under the stars
I do like them here or there
I do like them anywhere

Thank you to all who have set me up, I truly have enjoyed the experiences. I should write a book about 'what to expect while dating with a blindfold'.