July 31, 2015

part 3: more mushy stuff

I've discovered, since dating Aaron, that I am basically 14 years old. I've used the heart eyes emoji hundreds of times in the past year. I'm totally  twitterpated, and not even sorry. But as mushy as I've become, I'm nothing compared to Aaron. Which pleases me to no end.

Me: Love you, babe. Whassup?
Aaron: I love you too, princess plum pudding love muffin.
Me: Did you just call me plum pudding?

A lot of people have asked me what Aaron is like, and how we are together. We have a lot of differences. I'm the queen of impatience, he's pretty steady and patient. I'm super uptight about rules and being on time, he's more relaxed and always late. I like to plan things way ahead of time and follow a schedule, he totally flies by the seat of his pants. I freak out over things, he's always calm and rational. I like things to stay the same, he's more adventurous. I'm practical, he's also practical but doesn't mind taking risks if he thinks it's worth it. I don't care for chick flicks, he loves them. I know next to zero things about Star Wars other than that I watched them and liked them well enough to have a marathon, Aaron knows literally every single thing there is to know about Star Wars. I'm too impatient for video games because the stupid controller makes me shoot at the floor and the ceiling and basically everything but the bad guys, but Aaron can level up in no time. I'm a total ditz, Aaron isn't. Aaron is a romantic who likes poetry, writing with an actual quill and ink, and sappy love songs. I am also sappy, but I'd rather write on my laptop. And I don't want to watch a romcom unless it has martial arts in it. He loves fast sports cars, and I'm more like, There's a cop, there's a cop, there's a cop.

On the flip side, we're both horrible procrastinators. We both cry over happy endings (I told you he's sappy). We both love nerdy scifi and Kung fu movies. We both love coffee. We're both horribly forgetful. We're both stubborn (this is usually a bad thing). We both love music, and to sing (Aaron plays guitar and likes to write music too. I'm less talented so I just listen.). And, very important, we're both homebodies. We agree on all the important things, and disagree on a few not so important things. He started watching Doctor Who for my sake, even though he wasn't originally crazy about the idea. And I, the girl who hates southern gospel music, have actually listened to a dozen Gaither songs without dying because he loves it.

I was a little bit discouraged when Aaron didn't propose to me after a few days of flirting like a brazen hussy. He wasn't the sharpest about picking up on a hint. What I didn't know until later, was that Aaron's brother and his wife, Alex and Lizzie, were totally chatting Aaron up about me. And Lizzie made sure to go out of her way to make sure Aaron and I were together a lot. And I found out later that Aaron had had his eye on me for quite some time.
Anyway, when I realized he would be leaving for his parent's house the next day, I was super sad. But then Rachel told me that we were also leaving to go to the Hoover's house that weekend so I perked up and started making wedding plans again. I am ever the optimistic.

I spent the next day dying of impatience until we could leave for the Hoover's. And once we got there, I spent the weekend happily following Aaron around some more. Except for one evening when we were alone in the kitchen, and I suddenly forgot how to speak English so I tore out of there like the place was on fire. Aaron asked me about that later and I was like, Te amo?

Remember when I said Rachel finally noticed something was up? I happen to enjoy stacking wood in small amounts. And the Hoovers happened to have some wood that needed cut and stacked. So what better way to force Aaron to spend time with me than to get us all out there cutting and stacking wood, right? So I cheerfully ran outside to start while everyone else dragged their feet behind me. What I didn't realize was that there was enough wood out there to build a flipping palace. And it took for.ev.er. I was dying. My back went out. I had a migraine. I took a four hour nap afterwards. But about halfway through the job, Aaron's mom was like, Hey girls let's run to get some lunch for everyone and the guys can finish this up. Rachel dropped her piece of wood and booked it for the car. I, on the other hand, was like, What I have started, I shall see done to the end. And continued stacking wood. Dude, there was no way I was leaving if Aaron was staying. Whither he went, I would go also. His people would be my people. And his God, my God. Period.
Rachel told me later that she knew something was up at that moment because A) I would never give up the chance to spend more time with Aaron's mom, and B) I'd never give up the chance to quit working.
 It's true I am usually a total quitter when it comes to hard work, given the opportunity. But I am not a quitter when it comes to Aaron.

But Sunday night rolled around, and it was time for Rachel and I to leave. Aaron would head back to ND the next morning. We still hadn't set our wedding date, and that was definitely a problem for me. But I gave Aaron and his parents a hug goodbye, looked mournful, and left. Aaron's mom noticed the mournful look and thought I was mad at Aaron. So she got onto him later, and told him that he should probably be less of his usual sarcastic, mercilessly teasing self next time he came home. He felt bad about that and texted me an apology the next morning.

Whereupon, I sent him 1,736,893,256 bazillion texts for the next week.

It took Aaron almost a full week to finally express his undying love to me, and during that time I asked Rachel 1,000 times a day, WHAT IS HE WAITING FOR? 
And she was like, *sigh* Sunny, srsly. Give the guy a chance. It's only been a few days. But I still asked her the same question a million times more.

Rachel sent me some memes during that week, and was like, This is you right now.

At one point, Aaron was watching Doctor Who and texted me a line from the episode that he was watching. You Whovians will probably know what I'm talking about, but I'll explain it for those of you who have never watched the show.
There's this one time that the Doctor takes his companion, Rose, to a spaceship. They just kind of land on said spaceship during a party to which they weren't invited, and when they walk into the party everyone there is giving each other gifts from their various planets. The Doctor and Rose obviously had nothing to give so the Doctor improvises and breathes on this one tree alien woman's face, and he's like, I give you air from my lungs. Its totally hilarious.
But when Aaron randomly texted me that line, I give you air from my lungs, I didn't realize he was trying to share the joke with me because he happened to be watching Doctor Who at that moment. I forgot all about Doctor Who's existence and was like, RACHEL I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS BUT HE WANTS TO MARRY ME. And then Rachel reminded me of Doctor Who's existence.

But I'm happy to say, that by the end of the week Aaron finally let me know how he felt, and I was like:

I had never been so happy.
And then we called our family and friends. Everyone was shocked. Aaron's mom was like, Don't even joke with me about this. I don't believe you. You have to understand, I'm not the dating type and I've almost always been super picky. People have tried, unsuccessfully, to set me up with different guys for years and I wanted nothing to do with it. I was planning to be single for the rest of my life, and was truly content with that. For real. I've never daydreamed about a wedding, or even wanted one for that matter. I didn't have a hope chest. I didn't have wedding/marriage/baby boards on Pinterest. I didn't have a list of qualifications that a guy would need to live up to in order to be with me because I've never given it much thought. If anything, I've seen a lot of bad relationships, and didn't want the same thing for myself.
There were only three things that I ever really thought much about wanting out of a relationship:
1) I love Aaron's parent's marriage, and I've always watched them and thought that what they have is worth waiting for.
2) I would want to be with a friend. I don't understand dating someone that you don't know very well.
3) I would need to love his family.
And God met all of those desires, and a lot more that I didn't even realize I would need or want. Aaron is kind, patient, loves the Lord, slow to anger, reasonable, compassionate, and has a great sense of humor that can make me laugh in the worst of times. He didn't back away in disgust when I had to tell him about some things in my past, and he's patient with me when I have a hard time trusting. God knew what I would need before I did.

Lizzie started planning what our future babies would look within the hour, They are going to have the craziest hair ever!
And Aaron's other sister in law, Heather, was like, Adam (Aaron's brother) owes me money now. I told him this would happen someday.
Alex told Lizzie to stop jumping the gun with all the wedding and baby planning, but Aaron and I didn't mind.
Aaron's grandma regularly called his mom in the month that followed to make sure that we were still dating.
My mom was totally chill and acted like it was the most unsurprising, happy thing she had ever heard. Oh that's wonderful! And you're already so close to the family... do you want enchiladas for dinner?
Karen's girls were shocked into silence for the first time ever in their lives, and Lucy burst into tears.

And it was basically like a party for a few days wherein everyone celebrated the shocking and sudden end to my eternal singleness, and the awesomeness of Aaron and I finally being together at long last.

And no one has been more surprised by all of this than me.

Plum Pudding

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

part 2: our epic love story

Speaking of epic, here's mine and Aaron's first selfie.

Sometimes, when you're aiming for cutest girlfriend selfie ever, your face might do a weird melty thing. 

I was 22, and Aaron was 16 when we first met. In the words of my eldest sister, Shelly: #cradlerobbin
In my defense, my man child is older now. But Aaron does sometimes refer to me as his cougar.
Me: Aaron, I love you.
Aaron: That's because you're a cougar.

Me: I am NOT eating those nasty mushrooms.
Aaron: Don't be such a cougar. Just try them.

Me: Ahh I have the worst ever headache!
Aaron: That's what you get for being a cougar.

Anyway, picking up where I left off yesterday. People asked me a lot, So how did you feel at first?
I felt awkward for a few hours until I had some time to myself to think and ask God a few questions. And then once I had things settled between me and God, I was all like:

The only issue that I was running into at that point was, how was I supposed convey all of this to Aaron now? How does one tell a guy that he, overnight, became all that she ever wanted?
I finally hit upon the perfect solution. I would flirt shamelessly with Aaron all week, and he would pick up on the hint. And then we would be married in the morning.
Sadly, no one, NO ONE, noticed my efforts the entire time that Aron was home. I asked Aaron later how he could be so dense. He said I should take a class on how to flirt for real. Rachel did notice at one point, but I'll come back to that story later.

In the meantime, I decided to enjoy Aaron's visit. It was nice that Aaron and I already knew each other pretty well. I didn't have to be anyone other than myself around him. He had already seen me without make up and in grody work clothes. He already knew what I looked like when I first woke up. He already knew I was a total grump when I'm tired or hungry. He had already heard my embarrassing horse laugh a million times. This is another thing that I've been so grateful for. Aaron was already my friend.

So I pretty much just followed Aaron around for the ten days that he was here and tried to look cute. He was in Post Falls for the first part of his visit, and then went to his parent's house in MT for the last few days. And because God obviously wanted me to marry Aaron, it just so happened that Rachel and I had already planned a visit out to Aaron's parent's house that same weekend. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

One evening, Aaron was going out to eat and to do some shopping with his brother and sister in law, and I showed up right before they left. So I meandered towards the door with them, and Lizzie was like, Hey you wanna come with? I was like, Oh I guess so, and shot out the door towards the car. But then I noticed that Aaron was taking his own car. WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK. Did he not realize that I wanted to be with him? So then I was like, Oh look. You guys have a ton of stuff in your back seat, guess I'll have to ride with Aaron. And I ran to Aaron's car before anyone could say anything, and had never been so pleased with myself in my life. Aaron was also pleased with me, but I didn't know that til later.

A few days later, we all went to see a movie. I didn't get to sit by Aaron, and I'll never forgive the hoards of Hoovers who sat between us. I tried so hard to sit by him. I even volunteered to go with Aaron to save seats for everyone in the theater. But I didn't really think that one through because he sat in one seat and I had to walk eight seats down to save the rest. So everyone else sat between us. This was me that entire night:

She Who Shall Write More Later Today

Part 1 here
Part 3 here

July 30, 2015

part 1: when aaron came home last summer and i was like whoa

I first met Aaron about ten years ago when his parents went out for dinner with Tim and Karen, leaving the two of us together to watch the girls. It was love at first sight, and the past ten years have just been about us growing together in our super romantic relationship.
I'm kidding.
I mean, that is how we met, but I wasn't interested until nine years later. Aaron says that the night we met, I was awkward and gave him a book to read. I told him it was the most hilarious book ever (hey, it was to ME), but he thought it was really lame and stupid. But he read it anyway, and faked laughed, because he thought I was cute.
Cue heart eyes emoji. Seriously, how cute can he be?

Anyway, fast forward a few years. Aaron was living in FL, and I moved in with his parents for about five months. I didn't know them very well, but I was going through one of the darkest times of my life, and they helped pull me through it. I was a total basket case, but they just loved me anyway and taught me the true meaning of God's love and forgiveness. They taught me how to have a relationship with God that has, in turn, helped me in my relationship with Aaron. In the years since then, Aaron's parents have become my dearest friends, and his family became like my own. I LOVE looking back now, and seeing God's hand orchestrating all of that. Words fail to describe what it means to me to know that God knew exactly what would happen down the road every time I crashed the Hoover's family outings, dinners, and movie nights, and drew closer to them over time.

They are total dorks and couldn't take a normal family picture
 together if their lives depended on it.

Meanwhile, Aaron's mom and I had a lot of conversations together about Aaron's life, and exactly the type of girl he should marry. Which is pretty ironic now.

Fast forward again to last August. Aaron was coming home for a visit from ND where he works, and I was in the kitchen with his mom and sisters in law, discussing Aaron's girlfriend situation. (Seriously if Aaron ever needed to know what to do with his life, we were totally there to give him all the direction he ever needed. All he had to do was ask. Which he never did.) We decided that we should probably just set him up with someone for his own safety's sake.
About 30 minutes later, Aaron drove up and got out of his car.

Whereupon, I promptly decided that if Aaron ever went out with any girl but myself, I would punch him in the face. Fortunately, Aaron didn't want any other girl.
Cue heart eyes emoji again.

Aaron and everyone else asked me what changed that day. I don't know really. I believe it was just God's timing. I had total peace about it by the next morning.

She Who Shall Continue This Story Tomorrow

Part 2 here
Part 3 here 

February 20, 2015

my pulled pork gave the dog diarrhea

I'm not much of a cook. I associate cooking with stress, sweat, and crying. Because that's usually what cooking inspires in me.
However. I have determined to make myself cook twice a week. Very much like my mom forced me to do when I was a teenager. You're cooking whether you like it or not, Sunny Jane. Trust me, you'll be glad one day. 
She was right, I am glad now. Although I'm not a great cook, I can get by. I'll never starve. But thank God for microwaves because I would definitely be hungry without mine.

Anyway, I'm just a little over one week into my new self enforced cooking skills. Pulled pork was first up on the menu. I chose this for two reasons. One, I like pulled pork. And two, how easy can you get? Throw two ingredients into the crock pot for 8 hours and you've just made yourself dinner.

Yes. This would be easy.

I asked Mom to pick up a small to medium sized boneless, pork roast while she was out grocery shopping.
So she brought back a pork roast the size of my torso with a bone in it the size of my femur.

I wondered how long we would be eating pulled pork. The rest of our lives apparently. Maybe we could feed the homeless too.

I also wondered how to fit it in the crock pot. And would the bone make a difference? Karen said boneless. What if the bone ruined it? Why was there so much fat all over the roast? Is it possible to suffer dehydration from sweating so much?

After much consideration, I cut the roast in half. This was brilliant on so many levels. It enabled me to fit the roast into the crock pot. It turned one roast into two. And by cutting it in half, I eliminated the whole bone issue since the bone was only in one side of the roast. Like I said, brilliant. I also cut off all the fat from the outside because I ain't eating no pig chub.

And then I made pulled pork. And when it came time to pull the pork apart, I saw LOADS of fat still clinging to the inside of the roast. Any kind of animal fat makes me very unhappy. I can't eat it. But that's okay. I would carefully remove it. And since a lot of meat came off with the fat, I fed it to the dog.

Then the dog went delicately into the bathroom and had diarrhea all over the place.

I'm happy to report, though, that when I made baked Parmesan chicken a few days later, it was both delicious and uneventful. Except for the part where I put an oven mitt on the stove burner and it caught fire. But at least there wasn't any diarrhea involved. I consider that a success.

I don't have a picture of my pulled pork, the Parmesan chicken, or even the dog. But here's a picture of some sugar. Sugar is often used in cooking.

And here is a cake that I made for the girls on Valentine's Day.

My current Hulu Plus obsession is Master Chef. I've watched two and a half seasons this week, and I get tears in my eyes any time Gordon Ramsey says something nice to the participants. I'm so inspired by the show, that I'm going out to the Hoover's next week for a few days to learn how to make egg rolls (who knew you could make those at home and not just buy them from the freezer section at the grocery store?). We're also going to make French macarons. Macarons are a delicious rainbow in a box. I bought some for Mrs. Hoover one time when I was in Greece. Then I ate them all in one day. Sorry, Mrs. Hoover. I was ashamed of myself afterward.

I hope no one gets diarrhea next week.

She Who Inspires Diarrhea In Dogs