The world is your oyster!: May 2013        
 
                 
     
       

These are a few of my favorite things:

summertime
pina-colada flavored italian ice
ribbons
sisters
i.n.s.t.a.n.t...o.a.t.m.e.a.l.
dance parties
pearls
flamingos
America
missionaries
s.u.n.g.l.a.s.s.e.s.
playgrounds
dressing up
love :)
     
       

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My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Surprise Visit

So, Stephen flew home to Indiana on Sunday the 19th. I thought I wasn't going to see him again until I fly out there to take engagement pictures, but he actually made a surprise visit to my classroom today while I was at lunch! The sly dog.

"I came well you wear at lunch love Stphen"
Translation: "I came while you were at lunch. Love, Stephen." I'm not sure why he spelled his name wrong....he must have just been in a hurry?

Again, not the correct spelling of his name....he must have been really concentrating on the border for this one.

Translation: "Dear Heather, you are so good to people. Love, Stephen." I just love how he values and admires my personality!


I'm not 100% sure what this one says, in the bottom left corner, but I won something! And Stehven Conner wanted to let me know.
Translation: "You are the best teacher ever you are as nice as a baby kitten ooooh a simile in there Love Stephen"
Translation: "You are as cute as a kitten (a simile) You are a good girlfriend. Love, Steven. I love you"


I guess Chloe also left a note. But don't worry, all the rest are almost certainly from Stephen.
This one was my personal favorite: "Thank you for saying yes for are mereg Love, Stphen"
AKA: "Thank you for saying yes for our marriage. Love, Stephen"
Just so there was no doubt as to who did such a kind and thoughtful surprise, it was Stphven.
I only wish he could have stayed long enough for me to thank him in person. But oh well, I guess that's why we have Google Hangouts :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

How it Started

I'll just address the elephant in the room right upfront: This is a long blog post. I put in some pictures, which I'm hoping will act as snacks in Sacrament Meeting and keep you entertained....mostly. Carry on!



Some might say that it all started with a note. But actually, it didn't. Actually, it all started with knock. And a handsome stranger asking if this was the apartment where our ward was having nice notes.

Some might say that it was the wrong apartment, and at the time, that's what I told him. But actually, it wasn't. Actually, it was the right apartment, and the right girl, and the right boy. I just didn't know it yet.



I didn't make a great first impression. As in, I asked him if he was weird and awkward in the first 3 minutes of knowing him, and he thought I was rude. [For the record, he was a teeny bit awkward, so it was a valid question.]

However, it wasn't such a bad impression that all hope was lost. He came over again, and I redeemed myself. And then, he came over again, and again, and then he kept coming over. And I didn't even mind.

October 9th was my birthday, and since the best friend advertised free food and birthday kisses in a painstakingly crafted mass txt, he was there.

Some might say that Stephen had nothing to do with building this cake. Those people would be right. He just put the candles on because I said we couldn't eat it until I had blown them out, and if we're being honest with ourselves, we might as well just admit that the cake was 90% of the reason why he was there.
I won't tell you what I wished for when I blew those candles out....but the weekend after my birthday, I found myself squashed up next to him on a couch in an apartment south of campus, watching a scary movie with some friends. And he held my hand.

He played it cool, but this is how he felt:

(Me, too.)
A week later, I got a mysterious nice note. It looked like this:

This is the note that some say it started with.

I searched the ward menu, and the only S.S. in our ward was Stephen Shimp. And I knew, grazie to my women's intuition, that Stephen had not written this nice note.

Even so, he did like my cute skirts. And we did go out sometime.

This is the night he wanted to take me on a date, but it was the ward Halloween party. So we just hung out there and took beautiful pictures like this one about it.
This is the night after the Halloween party, the other night he wanted to take me on a date. A Jew came to town and we had already planned on going to Cornbelly's with my roommates, so we just invited Stephen and his roommates along. They did things like taking pictures of us in the pumpkins and then offering to let us use them on our wedding announcements. I did things like pretending not to notice their comments....
This picture is not from a date either. It's just from Halloween day, when Stephen and I hung out for like the hundredth time. And for the first time, he caught a fish from the Raintree River. And also for the first time....something else happened :)

When we finally did go out sometime, it was to this place:

The Quarry
I had been rock climbing a few times, and even been on a few dates to this place. This date was the best of them all :)


This might be where my mom might say it all started. The day after he asked me on a date, I called my mom. 

"MOM," I said, "You'll never guess what happened to me."

"What!" she said, all excited already. 

"The cutest boy in the ward asked me on a date!" I said. "I think we're going this weekend!"

She cheered. She asked for his name. She facebook stalked him. She congratulated me.


That date was on November 3rd. And not to color myself psycho or anything, but in the interest of full disclosure I should probably share that when my sister asked me less than a month later if I liked him, I told her I kind of wanted to marry him. 

In December, we had all kinds of adventures.

December 1st found us ice-skating at the Gallivan Center....
 This conversation happened when we stepped out onto the ice:

Stephen: WHAT! Heather, you don't know how to ice-skate??
me: No, I do! I promise I do! I just....I forgot, but I'll remember in a second!
Stephen: Oh, no, no, Heather, noooo!
me: Stephen! It's fine, I'll remember! Just wait a minute!
Stephen: What are you doing? Heather, what??
me: I'm just skating! Hold on, just slow down for a second!

It was not my most graceful ice-skating debut, but as soon as I remembered what to do (after about 5 minutes of tremulously clinging to Stephen and insisting that I knew what I was doing), I actually did okay. 

Looking at the temple lights in SLC....



.....meeting some Anti-Mormons posing in awesome costumes for free pictures, forgive us for that brief affiliation.....
.....wandering the streets of SLC, looking for the car.....(Don't worry, it was parked at none of these hotels. We checked.)   









I love Christmastime. I love downtown Salt Lake City. And holding hands on the car ride back to Provo, once we finally found the car at 2 in the morning, I loved Stephen, too.

This one time, we made a bomb-amazing gingerbread house.

 Ingredients, if you're interested in replicating our fine work:

-Starbursts from my kids for Christmas
-Berry Colossal Crunch cereal for the roof
-fudge-striped cookies from a 100 calorie pack
-brownie bites, also from a 100 calorie pack
-Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal
-tootsie rolls from ???
-frosting from when my kids made gingerbread houses at school and the parent volunteers tried to throw away the frosting and well, I rescued it.
-graham crackers from a bonfire we attended in oh, October....

And then he went home to Indiana, and I went home to Maryland, and we skyped almost err day.

Even when I was back in Utah for New Years Eve and he was still in Indiana, and I should probably have been going to a party or something. We skyped then too.
When he managed to get his arse back in Utah, we had more adventures!
He taught me how to snowboard....
and one time, when we were snowboarding, he asked me to be his girlfriend!

I said no.

But then I said yes of course, so it was just a minor setback. Then we went home, made fajitas, called his parents, and - most importantly! - changed our facebook status (super-important, you guys. It is 2013)
I should note that, when we called his parents, his mom said I seemed really sweet :) ...........which she quickly followed up with an invitation to read the new For the Strength of Youth booklet. 
As boyfriend and girlfriend, we once optimistically went to Sundance to try to get into the Matthew Mc-con-a-hottie and Reese Witherespoon movie without previously buying tickets, and instead just eating at a cute Mexican restaurant when we found that there were no more tickets available.
We went to Fire and Ice at the Riverwoods. We missed the fireworks, and the snowboarding, and pretty much everything else, but we were in time for the ice sculptures!
....and in time to walk around and try on some really beautiful hats.
 Winter has never been my favorite season. As in, it has always been my worst-favorite season. But winter with Stephen is a nice season, because it involves fun things like snowboarding and yummy things like Little Caesar's pizza that I had to buy for my roommates and warm things like cuddling.

It was one night, later in the month of January, when Stephen said: "I don't want you to think I'm weird, but....do you ever think about, what it would be like if we were to like, get married?" 

I was so surprised that he said that, but to tell the truth, I did think about it. Pretty much err day.

All of a sudden, it was February, 

Jazz game!





 and then Valentines Day. 



Which was a perfect day with a perfect ending. The ending was a whisper that sounded like this:

him: Heather. 
me: Stephen. 










him: .....I love you. 


 






me: I love you, Stephen!

And with that, we started life with a new normal.
 
It was normal to go rock-climbing,

normal to go running,
normal to hike the Y (with one person riding piggy back at times),
normal to fall asleep on the apartment floor after working out.
It was normal to never have leftovers, because I had a Stephen instead. Normal to sit on his lap while he studied and I graded. Normal for him to come in and visit my class, when he had a chance. Normal for me to come and study with him in the library and go to classes with him when I was off-track, or to go to the UVU basketball games so he could get extra credit in his class. It was all just the best kind of normal I had ever lived!

So that's how I think it started. How THIS
happened, is a blog post for another day :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Welcome to Brovo

Technically, the city I live in is called Provo. But sometimes, I think it should be called Brovo, because sometimes, I think it is being overrun by bros. Not always....just sometimes. Caitlin wrote a very enlightening and straightforward report of these fellas last year, which you can read here.

 

And now, I'd just like to add my own signs that you may be living in Brovo....

- Bros have become such an issue that some non-bros decide to throw a tool party where everyone has to dress up like tools in blatant mockery

- Your boy accuses you of checking yourself out in the reflective windows of a restaurant, when really, you were just trying to avoid making eye contact with the Bros who were all standing around by the exit of Maria Bonita's, taking turns making their pectorals dance


- The phone conversation you overhear at the pool goes like this: "Dude! Bro, what's up! Dude, come chill with me. Yeah man, it's sweet. Oh, my roommates are so sick. They're way tight guys. No dude, they're awesome, this summer's gonna be sick. BRO. No, dude, listen. We had a game night last night and they were all, 'We've never done anything like this before!' I was like, what? Are you guys for real? No, man, they were serious! But they're way cool. No, I actually broke up with my girlfriend last month. Dude, no, listen to this - I moved here, and she moved in after me! She like followed me here so she's in my ward and everything. Oh yeah, it's super awkward. I try to be nice and talk to her but she just hates my guts now." etc.

- The bro on the phone hangs up the phone and immediately starts looking for a way to strike up a conversation with the girls kind of close to him, who really just want to lay by the pool and not be bothered

- And the girls respond kind of like


 - Even though striking up a conversation might not be all that bro-ly, and could just be friendly, but in some cases, it probably isn't just friendly, since there was a definite attempt at swagger in his signature "notice me" walk from chair to poolside.

- While walking with your (admittedly really cute) friends one night, a random bro in a car rolls down his window while passing you to shout out "Oh heyyy ladies!"

- The gym is still crowded, but not as crowded as it usually is, because so many of the bros have left for the summer, now that their contract at The Village is up for the year.


- You and your best friend are both sitting around lonesome because both of you have recently been abandoned by your boyfriends. And this abandonment has left you with the (possibly inaccurate but still very persistent) feeling that the only boys left in this town are Bros.

Does that make sense, what I'm saying?? I don't actually think all the boys in Provo are Bros. I just think a lot of them are. And sometimes, when you get together with your best friend and throw pity parties for yourselves on account of your temporary singledom, all the boys start to look like Bros, because they are not who you really care about.

As in, I'm sorry, but Barney Stintson does not live in Provo. And actually he's gay in real life. And even if he weren't, we may love his bro-ness on TV, but I don't know if I would love it as much if he brought it here. So I guess I have to just keep saying No to Bros.