Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Story About "You" and "Me"

Nearly nine years ago I met an amazing man. I was an 18 (BARELY) year old girl sitting in the back of an institute class in Amarillo, Texas. I know it's normally the guy who sees a girl across a room and remembers everything about that moment but I'm either masculine or just had the better vantage point. In walks Matt, he looks different than any guy I've ever seen. First off, he's freakishly attractive, but it was more than that; he had a personality and mannerism about him that I had never seen before and immediately noticed. He was wearing Dicky shorts, a T-shirt with a band on it, skate shoes, spiky hair, a thick leather banded watch, absolutely nothing Texan about him at all. He was, and still is, his own man; very unique. He was a little late so I just watched him than waited till after class to go up and meet him.

I walked up to him and said "I don't know you." and he said "I'm Matt."

Then someone walked past the door I needed to see so I walked away. Yes, it was a very magical beginning. Luckily for me the next week at institute Matt came in a little earlier and sat by me. I guess I still made a good enough impression, or I'm just really good looking, but we were able to talk. A dance was coming up in Lubbock and the whole area was invited. Everyone was going to meet at my house (that I had only lived in a week or so) then carpool to the dance in Lubbock. I asked Matt to drive me so not only did he get to see where I lived, we got to talk for the 90 minute drive.

First photo ever of the two of us.

This is a picture we took at the dance. You COULD call it a first date, but it wasn't really. As much as Matt and I could try, we can't remember our actual first date. We just know we started dating. But that comes later.

At the dance Matt told me he was planning on staying at his brother's house and that I was going to get a ride home with someone else. I was not going to give up another 90 minute ride with this guy, not after dancing with him and having dinner with him in a barn. So I called my sister in the middle of the night and asked to crash on her couch. So I'm willing to have Matt see me in the same clothes, no shower, and messy hair and makeup just to talk for 90 minutes again. That's okay because when we stopped to get gas, in the rain, he parked the car on the wrong side and had to turn it around. Haha!

That same day I got home barely in time to rush to work. I changed my shirt to my work shirt and ran out the door, hoping for a shower after work. Before my shift ends guess who shows up? Matt! Just to see me! He'd showered... and brought me a CD as a gift. He offered to come over and help me build furniture that I had in boxes that he saw the night before. If we weren't both Mormons I would have thought this a creepy pick up line to get a little action! All he wanted to do was help build the furniture. Good for you, Matt! We built a crazy lopsided bookcase and nailed the back on backwards, but we talked the whole time and got to know each other. Without sneaking a kiss or anything he goes home.

Just a few encounters later like
-Meeting at another guys birthday party and me bringing Matt a gift instead, his turn to get a CD.
-Matt showing up at my house at 8:30 in the morning one day.
-A trip to get snow cones with the rest of the YSA group.
-A movie night at Matt's place where I purposefully made sure I was sitting by him to talk more.

Matt's at my place watching a ton of movies. All the things above happened within 1 week of each other from dance to movie night. We're up until 4 or so in the morning when his dad calls to see where he is. Talk about another good first impression. So we stay up and keep watching movies. I noticed that Matt is leaning against my arm so I did a trick where I sat up as straight as I could and didn't move until he leaned in again. That's the only window I needed so I put my hand on his arm and he held my hand. It was a big deal. I don't even remember the movie we were watching but I remember that.

This was conference weekend so we spent two days together, watching conference during the day. He left me at his parent's house to go to the Priesthood session where I took a well needed nap then he drove me home where we watched yet another movie. (What!?! He'd just gotten home from his mission, there's a lot of movies he hasn't seen.) Matt makes a move and kisses me. I was a punk about it and didn't follow the 90/10 rule and made Matt go the whole way. Now, I had a rule through high school, which wasn't far behind me, that I could date more than one guy but I wouldn't kiss more than one guy. So Matt kissing me changed the game and I said "So, is it okay to call you my boyfriend now?" and he replied with a very romantic "Sure" then kissed me again.

Our first week was over and I had a super cool boyfriend that really liked me.

Matt and I make each other sick.

This was a caption added my him much later in our photo album.

We're happy together.

We played a joke on Mike with a $10 ring pretending we were engaged when he came home from his mission. And a good way to talk to Matt about proposing! 

Matt wrote on my hand. We would say "I like you" to each other before we would say the other L word. 
It did not take long for us to fall crazy in love with each other. The night I knew Matt loved me, before he said it, was a night we were supposed to meet but my car broke down at work. A long story that wouldn't have happened with cell phones ends with Matt running from my place to where I worked to find me. I get home, see his car and not him so I start walking down the street to work to find him. He sees me and runs up and hugs me like crazy. This is a man with asthma running down a dark street worried to death something happened to me. I knew he loved me. It took him a few more days to say it. He knew I loved him, too. After FORCING me to say it first like a little punk he admitted he knew I loved him because the kisses were different. He's cute.

I told Matt that I would say "yes" to any man that bought me this ring. Lucky for both of us he got it for me. And that took a lot because he had to get it special made. 

Engagement photo: Now that we love each other of course we have to get married!

Bridal shower

Matt showed up in time for gifts. 

My "hat" to add all the bows to as I open gifts. 

Fighting at our dinner the night before the wedding.
I'm sure you're expecting me to say how Matt proposed. We knew we were going to get married, we'd been talking about it for a while. I wanted to get married during the summer because it just makes sense. I REALLY wanted to get married June 9th but he took too long to propose! One day I drove him to institute and I was in a crabby mood. When he asked if I wanted to come up to hang out I asked "are you going to propose to me?" and when he said no I said "what's the point?" I went up to hang out anyway but didn't stay long and left. When I got to my car I looked back at his house and he is literally running after me! Breathing heavy he hugs me and kisses me and helps me into my car, which put him in a nice kneeling position. He opened the ring case and put it in my face, just smiling. I was so happy! I said "Well, say it!" and before he could get out the whole "Will you marry me?" line I said "yes!" and pretty much threw myself out of the car at him.

He liked it so he put a ring on it. 

Eating at our reception. 

Cutting the cake.

Feeding each other the first pieces. 


A garter my mom made that I had on as a joke for him to keep. He looks like a man from the 20s! This is my all time favorite picture of the two of us.

So a story that started with me running away from him without giving him my name, hanging out with him without a shower, and being a little pushy and stalker-like turns into my favorite love story of all time! Matt is still as unique as the day I saw him. He's his own person and I LOVE that! He's my best friend, love of my life, and soul mate. If I had to do it all over again I would, and if I had any say I'd meet him earlier! I would say that we lived happily ever after, but the best part about our story is that it will never end. 

Mr. and Mrs. Groves for Time and All Eternity

Pros of being without Matt

As of today Matt has been gone for seven days. It's been hard and annoying and lonely and a lot of other negative things. Instead of writing a downer post about all the things I miss about Matt, I thought I would try to write pros of him being gone to make it a bit easier. So, here are some pros about Matt being away.

Pro List

1. Doing laundry takes one load and a few minutes to fold.

2. I've made a huge batch of pasta salad twice, which is two more than the last 8 years!

3. I'm watching Doctor Who at night without headphones.

4. I've already had a sleepover with Pancake and I planned another one with a friend. Human, not gerbil.

5. When I clean the house it stays that way. Not saying Matt is messy, I'm saying that no one is home when I'm gone so it stays clean.

6. I don't have to share my candy.

7. I get the whole bed to myself. According to Matt this has always been true.

8. Skyping is kinda fun.

9. Full reign of the TV (Matt would normally play video games).

10. I barely shave, fix my hair, or my makeup. Talk about giving up in a very comfortable way.

Con List

1. No Matt.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Crab Pasta Salad

This is my first time making a favorite of my mom's recipes. Growing up this was not only a favorite but I would be so excited when it happened! Just like a few other favorites, I realized how easy it was when I finally made it myself. I took it to a BBQ birthday party and everyone who tried it said it was great! If only they knew how easy it was... Mwahahahaha! Although I am sharing it now so all of you are going to know how easy it is, too. 

One box of pasta shells, cooked and cooled. I didn't cook them way in advance, I just ran cold water over them while I cut other things up. So don't think you have to plan really far in advance for this. Put the pasta in a large bowl and start adding all the fun stuff. Crab, cheese, and green onions. That's it! Add mayonnaise, you can see the consistency  in the photo above. Then sprinkle season salt to taste. 

Word of advice: I made this the day before and by the time I took it to the BBQ the mayo had been absorbed quite a bit. Still tasted good, just didn't stick together as well so it was hard to scoop up. If you make it a day before check on it and add more mayo if you need to. 

1 box pasta shells
2 pounds of imitation crab
1 pound of cubed cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of green onions
Season Salt 

Trust me, this is going to be amazing! Try lining the bowls with large pieces of lettuce from a head of lettuce for a really pretty presentation. That's what my mom used to do. Enjoy! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Baby Onesies with Fabric Markers

I have a friend who's an English teacher and is married to a rocket scientist, literally. They decided to wait and see the sex of the baby so I thought of what I could do as a gift. I decided to decorate a onesie to "represent" each parent. Here's what I came up with. I'm not an artist by any means of the word, but I had fun with it and at least you can get ideas from it if you want.

I bought a 5 pack of white onesies from target that were really affordable; all 5 of them were the price of 1 at a craft store. I went for the 3 month size and not newborn. If you look at the weight for a newborn size it ends at about 8 pounds and here's what I've learned: if a baby is born under 8 pounds they don't stay that small for long, and having a new mom struggle to get a tight onesie on a squirmy baby is a tricky thing, so go for the 1 size bigger to be nice and let the gift last a little longer. 

I got a pack of fabric markers at Hobby Lobby and cut my own little cardboard cutout to make it sturdier. It was a little small so I used masking tape to hold them on a little tighter. The markers were super easy to use, but as you can see on the rocket picture the lines stay when you're coloring in. I think outlines or just writing would be best. 

After 24 hours I washed the onesies and folded them all up for my gift! I have a few ideas for my other blank onesies for gifts for friends. Keep your eyes out for some other baby gifts on here! 

Leave of Absence?

I'm sure some of you are wondering where I've been, right? Or you just haven't noticed. Or maybe you're happy that I stopped for a while. HaHa!

I normally try to rotate "evenly" between food, crafts, and random reviews and posts. But here's what's been happening: every craft I've made lately has been a Christmas gift! So I CAN'T post because it will ruin the gifts! :)

So I promise I'm still crafting, you'll just have to wait at least 6 months to see the posts! I guess I'm just saying sorry that all you'll see this summer are mostly food postings, it's all I can share!

I have plans for a craft I want to make myself that I can post on here, you'll just have to wait a bit longer.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Very Easy BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken is a favorite at our house. We eat chicken more than anything else and this way is the easiest way to cook it! 

I like to cut the chicken up into pieces and have a bit of BBQ in the baking dish. The pieces is mainly because over half the time Matt and I have dinner apart and because of this dinner normally goes straight into tupperware. So food is normally cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Before cooking, add more BBQ and stir it all up so all the chicken is covered. Covering it all will keep it from drying out and burning. Cooking times will vary due to how much chicken, how big/small the pieces are, and how spread out it is. I set the oven to 350 degrees then start checking on it after 30 minutes. The good news about this is you can ignore it for up to an hour and it will still turn out tasting great! So don't worry about a timer, I normally just throw it in then go about whatever I was doing. 

Here's the finished product! I left it in for about 45 minutes because I was watching TV. See? It's nearly impossible to mess up! 

Some variations is to add more seasoning before cooking with the BBQ. I sometimes put garlic on it or other spice mixes. 

Enjoy your easy dinner!