People often refer to older single's as 'leftovers.' Well, I am no leftover, nor do I deserve to settle for someone that is.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Making a List and Checking it Twice

First of all, the last two weeks have found me in 12 different states, roaming through mountains and valleys, fields and farms, among other things. It feels like I have been gone FOREVER! I know that two weeks isn’t very long but when you throw in hours and hours cramped in a small car with only me and my parents, several national forests and monuments, state parks, and other sites, climbing 754 feet into the earth to see some pretty awesome caverns, cliff dwellings and other Native American ruins, Elvis ruins, ghettos, corn fields, forests, Texas, several capitol buildings, gum on my shoe/new shoes, sweet architecture, tents, hotels, the Parthenon, the Hermitage, family, the Nauvoo pageant, temples, rivers, long bumpy dirt roads, cows in the road, etc… it feels like I have been gone an ETERNITY! Now, all I want to do is clean! I have been living out of a suit case that gets unorganized, smelly, and mostly obnoxious. My car has been the diner of many meals/snacks therefore the resting place of a plethora of crumbs, sand, dirt, and garbage. The outside of my car became the target for every bird across the country with diarrhea, and the resting place of several thousands of suicidal bugs (except for the one that chose my bowl of cereal this morning…I didn’t need breakfast anyway). Vacation was fun, but I’m glad to be back in my own bed, shower, and kitchen. I need my routine back…at least for a week!

(along the I-80 somewhere in Iowa)

Driving down long roads for hours at a time while your parents sleep, gives you some time to think. In fact, I’m thinking of taking up truck driving just so I can think some more. Anyway, some of my thoughts of course turned to me and my plans for marriage. It was nice to have a break from really doing anything about getting married by the way, but I still like to plan for it. Along the road, I noticed several things about me that it would probably be nice for a spouse to know before he decides to spend the rest of forever with me. Maybe it’s just the road, but I thought about how I make lists of what I want in a man, and I think about how I can make our relationship successful by knowledge for one, and work for two.

Since I make lists of what I want, I thought it would also be beneficial to make a list of some of the things he might want to know about me before he takes me on. For example, on the road, I hate staying in disgusting hotels. I’m slightly creeped out by hotels in fact. Therefore, I will not settle for some crappy motel where it smells and I don’t know what kind of creatures live and have lived for many years. No, I decided that crappy hotels are not something I will negotiate. Think what you will, but I am willing to give up some things in my trip if I have to, to stay in a nicer hotel. It’s bad enough that I don’t know whose backside has been wiped on the towel that I use for my face, or what has taken place between those sheets where I rest my head so, a cleaner, nicer environment, free of smells and shady d├ęcor and lighting really settles me down a little and calms my soul. Plus, I really appreciate nice amenities while I am on the road and away from my things at home. Call me spoiled if you want, but after much thought and long trips, this is my conclusion and it will not be negotiated.

Sure, you may think this unimportant, but it’s something my parents don’t exactly see eye to eye on. My mom is with me and my dad points out every little in like this one along the road:



I figure, the more you know, the fewer sources of possible argument for the future. Maybe I am wrong but it’s something I can do now to prepare anyway. I also know that there are things about me that I CAN change that might not be very easy to live with. Those, I just have to be aware of and work on. I’m trying to be more aware, and to change where I can.

On a side note: I have now been to 30 states…one for every year of my life! Here are some pics from the trip.
(The Nauvoo Pagaent)

(The Parthenon in Nashville)

(The hole you go down into at Carlsbad Caverns...you have to go 754 feet down)

(One of Elvis's Planes)

(Cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde)

(This...this is Santa Fe)

The end for now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If You Build it He Will Come...

Have you ever read the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books? What about, “The Secret?” Quite some time ago, I was very entertained by the heart-warming stories of hope and miraculous promise found in the pages of the “Chicken Soup” books. I like to read and will read most things I get my hands on. I believe it was within these pages that a girl described the fulfillment of her life’s dreams. For some reason, she made a collage of all the things she had hoped to accomplish within maybe the next five or ten years of her life. I’m not sure that I have the details in any way correct here, so don’t quote me. All I know is that everything came together for her shortly after. She received all that she had desired from her collage of hopes.


This is similar to what is preached in “The Secret.” This book is all about positive thinking to change your circumstances to what you want them to be. Before I go further however, let me tell you that I believe in the powers of positive thinking, but I also think that this book goes too far with some of its ideas. Why do I think this way? Well, I also believe in God and I believe that He has a plan for me and sometimes that plan includes trials and learning experiences that make me who I am…a better and stronger person.

Anyway, enough of the disclaimer. The book has the overall message that what you truly believe you will receive, you will receive. If you think positively, you will achieve positive results. Jon Gabriel thinks along the same lines with his weight loss methods and I truly believe that this is something that has helped me to reach my goals in that area. I’m not going to go on about my weight loss right now however, let’s talk about getting married! The above mentioned books, as well as “The Field of Dreams,” all imply that if I think positively in favor of marriage for myself, that it will happen. If I live my life as if it were going to happen to me, it will.

Again, I know that it will happen when it is the right time for me. Only God knows when that is. At the same time, I want to be as ready as possible when the time comes. This is part of the reason for the many things I have done to improve my dating skills and to put myself out there. As I have lately analyzed my readiness however, I am quite troubled by where I am at in life. It would be extremely difficult for me to get married any time soon. While I have tried to live a responsible life, I think that financially, I am just not there. If I want God to bless me, I need to be there. Before you go thinking that I am way in over my head in debt, don’t. I am doing okay but I don’t have the funds to put on a wedding and start a marriage. So, I decided that for my next goal, I DO need to think like I am getting married and start saving up the money and looking at the kinds of things I want for a wedding, and how I want to start off my married life.

Somewhere over the last ten years I gave up any dreams of a wedding that may have formed in my teenage mind. I noticed along the way that trends and styles changed frequently and that what I used to want, wasn’t what I wanted at all. I decided that it was better not to dream up my wedding until reality said that I would actually have one. I’d given up hope of that I guess though. It’s hard to actually see myself married; to actually imagine that this could possibly happen to ME. The older I get, the harder it is to imagine. But, I need to. I need to prepare for it as if it were going to happen, then when it does, I will be ready. God will have no excuse to bless me with that unless it’s the wrong guy and the wrong time. I am determined to be ready on my part in every possible way. Besides, it’s kinda fun to dream again and to realize that it’s okay to want a wedding and a certain type of dress and to be married in a certain place, etc. I also know that this isn’t what makes a marriage and maybe that’s the difference between who I was and who I am now. I’ve evolved…hopefully in a good way.

PS…I am in Iowa, very near the field of dreams but I haven’t visited the movie sight this trip. I guess just being around all this corn inspired the title of my post! It’s true though, I am building my life in such a way that HE WILL come…when the time is right!!

(This was a few years ago at The Field of Dreams...I was praising the corn gods apparently!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Three Men...One Night

This is a little late coming but I have been (and still am) out of town. Before I left however, I tried to squeeze in as much experience with the opposite sex as possible. Okay, nothing of significance happened but I tried…kind of. Tuesday night I was getting ready for institute when I decided to take a little break and get on the computer…my favorite past time. Anyway, I checked my email and found one from a guy friend who happened to still be online. We chatted for a bit as he sent me some sweet tunes that I listened to and let him know my opinion. While talking to him, another guy called me on the phone. He wanted to go hiking with me soon but since I was headed out of town for a few weeks, I had to turn him down until I return. That’s okay though; he’s a friend and understands.


Finally, I had to head out to institute for my last time (at least for now). It’s a sad day for me to be done but the class was one of the best so it was a good way to go out. On top of that Mr. interesting showed up. I could not find it in me to make any forward progress with him though. I don’t know what it was, I guess despite his good lucks and seeming nice personality, I just wasn’t feeling it in some way. That’s not to say that I am not interested in him or that I wouldn’t go out with him, I just didn’t feel good about trying to slip him my number, ya know? After class he walked by me and said hi to me using my name, but that was that. He is always quick to leave. He probably didn’t know it was my last class. Oh well, I guess if he asks, my friends will give him my number next time.

So, now I am in Iowa…far away from any possibilities for future dates. I am however, hanging out with some cute little men….fun nephews. I’m also hanging out with my cute nieces. They are so much fun! It’s nice to get some kid time in for awhile. They say the funniest things and are just so excited to see me…I love it! I guess when I go to the Nauvoo pageant this week I will keep my eyes open for any hot visitors from Utah. You never know where you are going to find possibilities right? Later this week I will be back on the road for more fun adventures without extended family, to explore the South. I’ll keep you posted!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Contentment

Saturday, I had the best morning and I realized the rest of the day that I was just happy and content with my life. Things were good. I had a great week! It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the experiences in life, right? Sure I’m way behind number wise, but things are going well; I’m meeting new people, trying new things, and am making connections left and right. I love life! That’s what it’s about. Some people get to this age and give up. They give up on everything because happiness without marriage doesn’t seem possible. I know however, that you have to be happy yourself if you are going to be happy in marriage. It’s not the end of the road…the happily ever after, as in fairy tales. It’s just a new beginning; the beginning of a new set of trials. I think I would really like it though!! :)


With that, I met this guy at the mid-single’s lunch last week, who has emailed me several times on facebook and just asked for my number. He has connections with other mid-singles so I figured it might be good to get in with him, for now. He sometimes hosts game nights at his house and things like that. I know you are probably so over me saying this, but I don’t think I am interested in him. Nevertheless, I am totally willing to give him a shot. I have been very nice to him and just gave him my number. We’ll see where things end up there. If nothing else, it’s great practice for me! I could always use a little more practice, right?

I loved country dancing last week, as I mentioned already. I loved that guys wanted to dance with me. There must have been something different about my demeanor that they were suddenly more attracted to me. I was feeling more confident and I think it showed! Friday night I went up to the mountains for a fire with some friends. It was a good mixed-company group that I am very comfortable with. It’s nice to have people like that in your life, for a relaxing, no stress, night of fun. I enjoyed a hike earlier in the day with another good friend. The mountains here are such a great escape for me; they do wonders for my soul!! If I ever move, I will miss these mountains!

I’m excited for institute again tomorrow. It’s my last class because starting Wednesday, I am going on vacation for a few weeks. So, it is time for me to seal the deal with Mr. Interesting and give him my number! I am so nervous but it can be done, right? He’s sure quite the looker…isn’t he Heidi?

As for other boys, I can’t think of any other new ones. As for one cute boy…I have really enjoyed becoming better friends with him. I talked to him Friday night for 2 hours on the phone. The week before it was an hour and a half. We have the best conversations! On Saturday morning we had the opportunity to serve together and I LOVED it! See, we just got moved into this really old church which I think is completely cute, but it hadn’t been cleaned well in years! So, the new ward decided to take to the buckets and scrub every surface. I spent most of the time down stairs with the bishop’s wife. I just love her already!! We had a fabulous bonding and finally my cute friend came down and joined us. We cleaned together, disposing of all sorts of creatures…spiders, cockroaches, flies, spider webs, spider legs, flaking paint that probably had lead in it, etc. It didn’t seem like work though. It put a smile on my face!

After cleaning we had lunch and my gentleman friend and I stuck together. More great conversation. He asked me what his brother should name his daughter when she is born. I told him my name and he just smiled and said, “nope, that name’s already taken.” I told him that yes, it would be difficult to live up to such a name and he just smiled and agreed. Such fun times…for me anyway! Then yesterday, I spoke in church. I love preparing talks because it lifts me up and causes deeper reflection of my own faith. I don’t know that I do the best job, but I sure enjoy preparing for it. I spoke about living life and loving it! One of my favorite topics huh…not that I am always the best at following such counsel; I’ve been horrible to be around lately…so sorry friends…thanks for sticking with me anyway!!!

And thank you to all of you who are still here and who give me support whether on here or in person. It helps me more than you know! I’m not sure how often I will be able to blog from my adventures across the country but I will be sure to give an update on my whereabouts as often as I can!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rockin The Skinny Jeans

First of all, I’ve never really been a fan of skinny jeans. Secondly, I thought that surely if I were a fan, they NEVER belonged on my body. I’ve been searching for some new jeans for the past several months however. This quest was almost as difficult as finding a new swim suit…or a date! Anyway, I have had my eye on a particular pair of jeans for quite some time now. Today, I finally decided would be the day to purchase this pair of jeans. I knew I would be in close proximity to the store so I made a plan to stop there on my way home. The problem: they are skinny jeans!! I know you’re wondering how I like them so much if they are indeed the incriminating type of jean that I just discriminated against above. Well, for starters, they have really cute pockets, and we all know that you start off with the pockets right? I also like the color and wash of the jean. So, I tried them on at the store, just to be sure, and decided to take my chances.


Tonight was country dancing night! My third time around and you know what they say about third times right? It’s was definitely charming. I decided to make an appearance at the class offered before the actual dance began. It was delightful as my friend forced me into dancing with a guy there who actually knew what he was doing. He was big and strong and a pretty good dancer. In fact, he was so good he flipped me right over his shoulder with ease. How fun! He had me jumping and spinning all over the place! And…the best part was that he totally complimented me. He said I was pretty good and followed really well. Yay! With that, I was ready to begin the actual dance with confidence! I danced with my instructor and soon after guys were pulling me out on the floor left and right. I’m pretty sure it was the jeans!

So, dancing was a lot of fun…for awhile….until I asked a married guy to dance. Why can’t they just dance at home?? Just kidding, it was totally awkward though. Also as a side note, skinny jeans may attract men, but they aren’t the wisest idea for dancing. Just remember that. I felt like I was having wardrobe malfunctions all over the place. I had a great time though!!

What else is new this week in men? Well, let’s just continue this week backward. Yesterday I branched out once again to the older single’s crowd. I met several mid-single’s for lunch in fact. At first I was quite worried because I was the first to show up, followed shortly by two definitely older and weirder men. The normalish people finally started to arrive however and I ended up really enjoying myself and making some new acquaintances. Dating potentials? I don’t know. I didn’t really talk much to any guys that I would date but there were a couple there that I didn’t get a chance to converse with so much that I would go out with. I will keep at this mid-single journey and see what comes of it in the future.

Now we are to Tuesday right? Remember my new institute friend? He showed up again this week. There are many entertaining stories I could tell about institute this week but let’s just focus on this guy. Hmm, I don’t know what to call him yet. Maybe Mr. Interesting? Well, I walked by him as he was seated and waiting for class. I strategically placed my hand on his arm and said hello. I called him by name and guess what…he remembered mine as well! I asked him about work and he remembered what I do for a living! Okay, good sign, he remembers me. We had a nice little chat and then I left him wanting more I’m sure by leaving the room after just a couple of minutes. Really, I needed to use the bathroom before class but it worked out nicely. Next week he is going to get my number, I know it. It’s my last week in the class because I am going on vacation for awhile.

So, good things are happening. I don’t have any dates but I have faith that they will come. I keep trying not to give up hope, and to stay out there. I AM out there.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

This Week

Yes, I’m still here. I didn’t run off and elope, leaving this project behind. Nor did I do anything else extreme really; it’s just been a really busy week! While busy, it was still semi-productive in my dating/relationship growth. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s all about the baby steps. Just keep in mind that, one small step for some is a giant leap for me. So, let’s talk about this week in men. It’s really been all about approaching and being approached, and slipping in the little techniques that the dating coach suggests, as well as the tips that I’ve learned from all of the other experts and advice from my guy friends.


Shall we start with Sunday? Sunday was a fairly significant day for me. It’s not that I found any future potentials or anything, just made progress. So, Sunday was the first day of my new ward at church. By new, I mean that they combined my tiny little single’s branch with another stake, thus making it a ward. For some silly reason, I was extremely apprehensive about this little change. I thought for sure that everyone would see that I was much older and would surely shun me and run me out of the building. That and of course my friends from the old branch would not be friends with me anymore either because of course, there would be much more interesting people in the new ward to hang out with.

Well, for starters, the ward turned out okay. I’m a big fan of the new bishop who is from my current stake. Also, while there were many 18 year olds present, I don’t think any of them new my big, dark secret…please don’t tell them okay? Lastly, my friends were still my friends. In fact, I was happy to see that several of our branch members still stuck together, while trying to also meet some new people. It was a relief! Also, a group of us planned some upcoming outdoor adventures together which made me feel a little more confident in their willingness to still hang out with me and each other.
(Here's where we went today)

The truly amazing part of the day however, was that I was finally approached by a guy. Now, this may not count altogether because I met him once before and I’m pretty positive he’s not out to date me. He’s a pretty social guy and quite friendly. Still, I felt pretty good about the fact that he sought me out and took the time to talk to me for a few minutes. He was very complimentary of me and my life’s pursuits. Plus, he’s older, taller, and bigger than me which made me feel fabulous standing next to him! Haha. Anyway, it was a lovely little baby step because I sometimes am sooo sick of doing the approaching. It’s nice when a guy can step up and be a man and make me feel somewhat valued in the process.

On that note, Tuesday night was institute. Did I mention last week that we had a new hottie in the class? He was tall, dark and handsome, that’s for sure. Due to circumstances that couldn’t be changed last week, it was almost impossible to speak to him without it being ridiculously awkward. Things worked out in my favor this week however, and when my friend and I arrived, he was sitting alone. I boldly walked up to the seat next to him, inquired as to whether or not it was taken, and took my place right next to him. We chatted it up before class, getting all of the basic “get-to-know you” information out of the way. I have to say, he wasn’t the best conversationalist right off, but during class he certainly contributed some interesting and valuable comments. Impressive.

While I wasn’t sure how I felt about this meeting by the end of class, I knew that I still needed practice. So, I took half of the dating coach’s advice and as we stood, I touched his arm (seriously huge for me, you have no idea!!) and told him it was nice to meet him. I also asked if I would see him next week and then we parted. I’m not sure if we have much in common but I would definitely go out with the guy and see what lies underneath his somewhat reserved outer layers. I’m intrigued…we’ll see what happens.

The rest of the week was a blur really. I had concerts, saw Eclipse, still haven’t finished the Bachelorette (but I’m about to), went to Lagoon, hiked, worked out, and didn’t get enough sleep! What a week! Today however, I made another giant leap for mankind; or for myself anyway. Yes today, despite the fact that I went hiking with some guy friends this morning, I decided to go workout at the gym after a little nap.

As I was en route to the locker room, just after I finished my upper body circuit, I passed this big old muscle man. He was youngish and good looking…except for his humongous muscles. He gave me a big old smile and said hi. While I am normally very on guard at the gym, I returned the big smile and I think it even came out in my eyes. Wow, a guy at the gym smiled at me! I always feel so self conscious there. I try not to look at people too much but lately it has been my goal to appear more approachable there. In fact, my guy friend who works out there has challenged me to ask a guy to spot me while doing some bench presses. I don’t normally do those but I said I would. I think this totally counts as a step in the right direction though.

Then not longer after, while I was completing my cardio portion of the workout, this guy who works there came up to give some new people a tour. He smiled at me too. He looked right at me and while he might be paid to do so, he gave me what seemed like a really genuine smile that lasted longer than the normal smile and glance hello in my direction. I was feeling pretty good about myself after that and now I’m ready to conquer once again. I may have another set up coming up soon so stay tuned for that. And don’t mind the fact that the year is half over now while I am not even a fourth of the way to my goal. Ugh…I hate this weird limbo I’ve been feeling lately. I just need to date though. I don’t care so much right now about who they are, I need practice so bring ‘em on!