10 Things I am Glad I Did Before I Got Engaged…

#targetpracticeI know… Another post about being engaged. To those who are not engaged or dating someone (especially around Valentine’s Day), I know you want to do a cornucopia of things to me, including but not limited to vomiting on me, punching me, or throwing darts at me.  I have included a picture to print off, including my face in the middle of the target. Sorry, darts are not included. But I know YouTube has a great selection on “How to Make Darts.” I didn’t actually watch any, so if you do, let me know what you think… #targetpractice

So if you are caught up on Life of a Clare Bear, you know I am becoming a bird. I am not suddenly morphing into another animal; I am just changing my last name. I have finally found my “other half” and we are going to be married for time and all eternity. I guess you could say that I am pretty happy. Our period of engagement will be 51 days. It’s fast, but when you know, you know! So I thought I should enjoy these days until I become an old married woman. I wanted to share with you the 10 things I was glad I did before I got engaged. I am not saying these are rules to follow; they are just things that helped me get ready. Everyone is different, we don’t come with directions and so there will be other opinions. All I can say is share them… if you dare 😉

1. Dated Around… I have been on plenty of dates in my single life career. The dates ranged from finding out he was a registered sex offender, throwing up on the boy after a carnival ride and being left 60 miles from home to find my own ride, I have even been on a date with someone who I found out was my cousin later… Now those are my extremes (they are pretty extreme). I have been on wonderful dates too. I have been to see Christmas lights, on scavenger hunts, rock climbing, and broken into a TCBY (he had a key, legal, Idk…) All of these dates taught me something. It taught me what I didn’t want in life. It’s a negative way to look at things, but it made me understand what I really wanted in a future partner. The part I needed most was I needed to be dated out. When I was younger I felt the urge to date everything that moved with no commitment. It took me time, but I realize now it is fun to go on dates with the same person and to have a commitment. Commitment can’t be forced, it can only come through desire.

2. Finished Gilmore Girls (a few times)This show is a guide to life. Okay not really, probably look for a more spiritual resource, but it taught me about boys. I learned that there was always going to be a Dean in your life. Your first love. He would have a special place in your heart, but in the end he would not have your whole heart and that was okay. You don’t have to end up with the first boy you date (you can, but you don’t have to). Then there are boys who are like Jess, the bad boys. They are going to sweep you off your feet and turn you into someone you are not. They will make you question life; you will fall fast and hard… But then you fall out of love in faster. And then there is Logan. Rory dated him for a long time. They were a cute couple and seemed to have it all. SPOILER ALERT, Rory did not accept the engagement ring, and that was her choice. I learned from Logan and Rory that love is a choice, if you make the choice to love the person, you are accepting their best and their worst.

satisfied dr3. Road Trip with your Best Friend… That’s a Girl…The summer before meeting Mr. Bird, I went on an adventure. I surprised my best friend Amanda for her birthday in Skagway, Alaska. I flew there and then we spent a few days making the road trip from Alaska to Boise, Idaho. If you have never been in the same car for 4 days straight, I can tell you that you are going to come out of it loving them or hating them. I came out loving my friend Amanda. One of my biggest fears of getting married was spending a lot of time with the person (because I am an introvert and love being by myself). This long road trip taught me that it was possible. I let down my guard and learned new qualities about myself. It helped me get over that fear.

4. Served in My Church… Now, this can be for any faith, any position, and for any time length. What I am referring to is my mission. I learned what it was like to live away from family and to make sacrifices. I learned how to do hard things and to rely on God. I built a firm foundation of what I believed. I saw families who didn’t live with religious beliefs and they struggled, they lacked something great. I learned and have made it my goal to find someone who wanted the same thing. A family and home built on faith and God. I also learned the value of serving and what it can do for relationships. Serving others can break down barriers and allow you to love someone even when you are mad at them.

5. Survive a Broken Heart. Everyone must survive a broken heart in their lifetime. It is inevitable. I never thought that I would have to. I always had the idea that I would date one person and that would be it. That wasn’t the case for me. My life was a hot mess after break ups. The relationships just never felt right. What I learned from having my heart broken a few times was that I had the ability to care for someone, that I could open up my shallow mind and let someone in. I needed to learn this so that when it was the right time with the right person, I knew I could let them in and care for them the way they deserved. Knowing what a broken heart feels like makes a heart full of love mean that much more.

grad6. Graduate College… One of the reasons I say this is because dating after graduation is a lot less stressful. You don’t have to pick studying for a test over a weekend away. The other reason I liked it, is because I had already defined who I was through what I studied at college. I didn’t have to change my career goals because I had met a boy. I was able to focus my time on school and was able to be successful. When you are spending so much money for your education, it is nice to have it not interrupted. I know this is not always the case, for me it was perfect. I have a one track mind 🙂

7. Have a Grown Up Job… Graduating college led me to a job. I have loved being able to use my degree that I put so much effort into. I have been able to build up a resume, network, and complete projects. I have learned how to work in an office. All of my experience is preparing me to work from home, something that I have craved ever since the snuggie was invented.

8. Build up a savings Account…I am not saying I am a sugar momma, but I am not worried about how many Ramen Noddle’s to buy for Mr. Bird and me. Having a grown up job means grown up money. I have been building up my savings account since I was 12.  Money is something that puts stress on any marriage, whether newlyweds or those who have hit 20 years. Beginning a marriage itself is stressful and it is expensive, saving as much money as you can before would be the smartest thing you could do…

9. Use Private Boards…   It is no secret that girls at a certain age (pretty much from the time they are born) want to plan their weddings. The greatest invention in mankind (not really) was the Private Board function on Pinterest. You are going to have those days where you just want to dream about your wedding. It is natural, but the whole world doesn’t need to know you are planning your wedding before you have met the boy. Let’s be honest, boy’s Google us before they take us on a date. Do you want the first thing for them to see is the 10ct diamond, the tiny baby clothes for your first born, and ways to get along with your husband? I know that they are super cute and you want it now, but scaring them before the first date almost always results in no second date… Perhaps go private on those 🙂

isingle10. Find Happiness in Singlehood… I have seen so many people resort to marriage because they are simply unhappy in their “single” life. I urge you not to make that the reason. Do it because you are in love. Being single is great, at times it may seem not so much, but you have your whole life to be married. Find out who you are and who you want to be, what you like and dislike, find your passions. Learn to be happy when you are by yourself, so that when you find someone you can make you happy you know it is genuine. Getting married doesn’t solve problems; solve some of your problems before your marriage becomes one.

There are so many other things that I am happy I did before I got engaged, but these are the ones that stick out. Valentine’s Day is coming up; I would recommend taking number 10 into consideration. Learning to be happy without a man/woman will make loving them so much easier. The last thing is timing; nothing will happen unless it is the right time, be patient. Now if you hate me even more, the target is below 😉

(C)LV2014

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The Proposal.

StallionIt was in the middle of January that #clott decided to get married. We picked a date, a venue, a dress, and then a ring. Totally traditional, I know…. (for Mormons). While on our trip to McCall together  we were pleased to hear the news that my brother Max and his girlfriend Kara got engaged! The reason I mentioned Max a few times in my last post was because we literally do everything together. Classes, missions, and now marriage… Should we plan kids too? Now that #kaxwell was engaged we could make ours official. Mr. Bird definitely took full advantage of the anticipation that I was suffering from…

On Monday, Mr. Bird asked me if I wanted to go on a romantic date downtown to get hot chocolate. I tried to look as hot as I could just in case he was going to pop the question. After getting hot chocolate at the most hipster place in Boise, we headed to the next venue. Mr. Bird pulled over and said let’s go check out the Capitol Building. I thought how pretty, this would be the perfect place to get engaged. We went to every floor, read history, and even were able to sneak into the Senate… (BTW Boise, you could totally just walk in there and do what ever you wanted, maybe get some guards?) The whole night I was anticipating that he would get on one knee and ask me to be his wife. He did! Multiple times…Pretending to tie his shoe, or look at something on the ground. To a girl who is anticipating a real diamond on her hand, that was just mean :). The first night I took it like a champ. We found this large stallion statue and I thought this is it, he is going to do it here! He didn’t. We got back in the car, and I was annoyed and he could tell. The night ended and I fell asleep and had a dream that his sister came to me with the ring and she said, Mr. Bird wanted me to give this to you, he chickened out. Out of no where she yelled “JUST KIDDING, it’s not the right time,” and hid it under the piano. Clearly I was obsessing and I need to take up piano again.

On Tuesday I had to work late. I was running my first book Launch and didn’t even consider that night as a possibility. So I had decided that Wednesday would be the night, because we were going to the Temple on Thursday night and he knew I thought that meeting at the institute was already cliche enough…The Temple is a wonderful place, but I just couldn’t handle it. It couldn’t be the weekend because he was leaving town for a funeral. Wednesday was the night… I knew it!

On Wednesday, I tried my best to look adorable so when he came to pick me up I would be ready. He asked me to go get dinner with him. We went to Madhuban an Indian restaurant, at this point I was already on edge. I was easy to take offense and I did. After holding it in for so long I burst out with how annoyed I was! I said can’t you just propose yet? I know he is the right one because he just sat there and took it… Little did I know that he had something planned. He said something along these lines, “In my defense Clare, girls want a big production.” I have never been a girl with a lot of fluff in my life, I would have accepted his proposal in a fast food line or behind a dumpster. Now that’s love. To let my frustrations out he let me drive his car, which is stick shift, and I do very well until there is a car within a mile and then I stall and can not start again… We eventually made it back to my place. My parents were there and he brought up the idea of doing a #doubledate to the temple. If you thought I had reached annoyed capacity, you were wrong. Mr. Bird could see my innards cringing. Even though I didn’t want it to happen outside the Temple, I thought maybe I will just have to live with it. My parents thought it was a great idea to join us.

kisssOn Thursday, it was a pretty normal day. Scott had texted me and said that he would have to meet me at the temple because something with his calling had come up and it would put him behind. Even more annoyed I got ready to go with my parents. We were trying to make the 7:30pm session and we got in the car at 6:50. It’s about a 20 minute drive. Out of no where my dad says, “I need to drop a key off downtown.” At this point I had a sense that something was up. I kept saying (with passion) this is a FACADE, when my sister kindly steered me to a better word, rouse. I was convinced that I was getting engaged that night, until we passed the Capitol Building. My hopes were gone… It wasn’t until I saw his car in the Train Depot parking lot that I realized, I was right (which sums up marriage right?). I looked out the window and saw a rock path covered in candles, white roses, and pictures of us. I got out of the car and my parents took off. (They totally caught the 7:30 session) There was a note waiting for me that said “Follow the light, follow your heart.” I walked down the path and finally saw Mr. Bird in his gray suite standing on a red blanket next to the partially frozen pond. He had a dozen roses in hand, candles surrounded him. It was perfect. I yelled “YOU TRICKSTER!” I walked down and I fell in love all over again. He gave me the roses and said he wanted to be the only man in my life to give them to me. He then started to talk about the Train Depot and how it used to be a place of coming and going, and how people would find their way. He related it to how we both had to come and go from Boise to meet each other. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him… I said, “well, mhmmm, maybe…YES!” I thought I should make him squirm since he made me squirm. After a few minutes of snogging, our friends started to cheer and came to congratulate us. They had caught the whole thing on camera and video… Yes Mr. Bird used his Go Pro in the bushes to catch this priceless moment in our lives.

Early I said I didn’t need anything extravagant to say yes to the man I loved, but I didn’t hate it, I loved it. It showed me that he cared about me and put time into it. I will always remember the night that he asked, and I said yes.

depot                                                                    #clott4ever   March 22, 2014

 

My Ducks are Finally in a Row.

Coincidence that I got engaged the same day I posted something on single hood? I think not. I knew that my engagement would soon be coming, but I didn’t know if it would be that night or next week. Mr. Bird and I had picked out a day and had already started planning, but I had no idea when the ring would make it’s debut. One of the main reasons I wanted to post one last SINGLE LIFE post was because it was a time in my life that I truly enjoyed and am grateful to have experienced. Mr. Bird and I were talking about how meeting each other was fate. We had grown up in the same town, our houses 15 minutes apart. We went to rival high schools. We even had mutual friends, but we never met. At points I have wondered why this was, and it’s pretty clear… We both needed to figure out who we were before we could find each other. When I was 17 I had a life plan. I was going to go to college and I was going to find my “stallion.” He was going to 6’6, 270 and he was going to have a motorcycle. He was going to be like “Babe, get on my bike…Want to marry me?” We would ride off into the sunset and have 6 kids by the time I was 30 so I could get my body back before the I hit the point of no return. I had it all lined up.

Like I said in my single hood post…Plans change, It’s a thing.

missionI turned 19 and was still single. I turned 20 and I was still single. 21 came and I had this feeling that I needed to go on a mission. It was a feeling I had never wanted. I fought with it for a long time, and then finally accepted the fact that God needed me elsewhere. I turned my papers in anticipating that I would serve for 18 months where ever he needed me to go (within the U.S for health reasons). Max (my little brother) and I opened our mission calls within one day of each other. He would be serving in Bahia Blanca Argentina, and I was off to Tirana, Albania. I had not signed up for that… My next thought was I don’t even get a husband, I am going to die on my mission. Max and I entered the MTC together on January 19th, 2011. He was excelling at Spanish and Albanian and I did not get along. I was so physically sick that I could foresee Albania was not going to be the place for me. My heart was broken, and I was reassigned to the Rochester, New York Mission. I started out strong, I was able to take hundreds of tours and meet people who changed my life. My health never really got much better. It got to the point where President and I decided it might be time for me to go home. As I pondered and prayed I realized going home early was what I needed to do. I was promised that it would be for the good of my future family. Whatever that meant…

I came home after serving 11 months and got right back into school. I started to take heavy class loads so I could graduate on time, I had felt that it was very important. During my senior year at USU I got a remote internship in Boise, Idaho. After graduating my internship turned into a full time job that would require me to live in Boise. I had sworn up and down that I would not go back to Boise, but I would go to graduate school, or find a job in New York.  Boise was the only thing that felt right though. Every time I went to sign up for the GRE I would get this little voice in my head that would say no… I was upset, but I listened.

mini chairThe summer before my big move to Boise I worked as a Coordinator for EFY. I was able to meet so many wonderful youth who have changed me for the better. I witnessed so much heartache, sadness, and sin in these youth’s lives. I also was witness to youth who had courage, strength and a testimony. I met people I knew I was supposed to meet. I thought this is my last chance to find someone to marry… I left empty handed, and moved to Boise. Throughout the Summer I would tell people that I would meet someone on Sept. 3 in Boise. I didn’t know how, when, or where, but I had a feeling.

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recieptI moved back into my parents house and decided to do something I would usually not do. I felt like I needed to though. I signed up for an institute class…and I went. On August 27th I attended the first class and I said hi to Mr. Bird. He said hi back. I had thought he was cute, but he was a BYU boy…. BYU boy’s usually didn’t have much time for us USU girls 🙂 Throughout the week I started to think about this Mr. Bird. It was on September 3rd that he got my number and that is when it all started. As I relive some of these events all I can think is how lucky I am. I was literally led to my husband. If I wouldn’t have come home early from a mission, I would have still been in school. If I had gone through with the GRE I probably would have gone to grad school. I am sure Mr. Bird and I could have met through another function, but it was fate that we were both led to each other.

I am just so grateful for the path that led me here, the trials and the hardships and even the happy moments that got me back to the place I needed to be. My plan of finding a biker dude, didn’t happen, something better did. I found a man who loves me and is willing to do anything for me. He makes me happy, we can laugh and joke, and we can even be sad together. I have found my other half… I can finally say all of my ducks are in a row 🙂

How did he propose? That story next!

Who Done It?

clott murderI enjoy the month of October because it is a month that allows you to pretend. It allows us to mask our faces behind those Duck Dynasty Beards, the now infamous skanky ghost costume, or the classic “witch” costume. Scott and I (#clott) attended our first MURDER MYSTERY DINNER. It was a night to remember. We were given an invitation with our characters names and back stories. I was to be “Dee,” a girl who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Her dad a drunk, and her brother imprisoned, she was determined to make something of herself…or so she thought! Scott was “Joe,” the agent/director of a famous musician Rock N’ Roley who had gone missing right before our class reunion. We dressed up as we were told, and we entered the house and the games began. The house was decorated as if it was a fifties diner, with the record player on (no, literally they had one playing). With root-beers in hand we both got into character and started to piece together this mystery. The first round was played followed by hors d’oeuvres, and then a course following each round. The night was filled with delicious food, good company, and a murderer.  With each round we had information given to us that began to shape the game. By the third round I had found out that I was an undercover FBI agent who was back for the reunion to take care of someone, other than Rock N’ Roley. My cover was that I was a first year law student in Washington D.C. Scott was a gambler, and a bitter man who envied the rock star and had wished him dead. In the final round we handed our books to the player on our left and the truth was revealed. It was CAL! He was the murderer. He was the geek from high school that had grown into a well known genius. I learned my lesson, never underestimate the nerd 🙂  I had no idea that dinner could be so much fun!

Bear Meets Bird

Clare Vaterlaus and Scott Bird Many of you have been exposed to my obsessive posting of #CLOTT (= Clare + Scott) the new relationship that has consumed my time. I am not shy to say that I am not good at the relationship thing, it has always been something scary. I had been under the impression that a boy would just ask me to be his wife and my dad would give him something in return. As I received my diploma with no ring on that finger, I thought to myself, a spinster I would be (lets be honest, I would just spend all of my time on Pinterest). As I began my summer working for EFY I thought perhaps that would be my last hope to find someone that would save me from a life of hipster cat pictures (because I don’t like real ones). As the summer ended I still found myself totally and completely single. My initial thoughts of moving to Boise were not positive ones. In my mind it was the Island of Misfit Toys, and I was the broken jack-in-the-box from Elf. I accepted this and made the move to Boise to start my life as a Social Media Consultant. I decided to do something I would usually not do with out much influence, I attended an Institute class. The class did not have my usual type the big 6’6, 260lbs boys so once again, I thought there was no hope. It was August 27th when I said hello to Scott Bird. We talked for a few minutes, and then I told him I had to go for some dumb reason (in reality it was to watch the Mindy Project). It was when I got home that I started to think about Scott, and couldn’t wait to see him again. As some of you know, I had predicted that I would meet someone to date on September 3, and I had faith in it. That next Tuesday (YES SEPT.3) that Mr. Bird asked me for my number. Since that first weekend we went splunking we have spent every evening together getting to know one another. We have been to graveyards, hidden cities, four wheeling, glow in the dark golfing, bike riding, and he even watches shows with me. It’s crazy what can happen when you let God guide your life, rather then control it yourself. Good things always come when we follow the promptings from the Lord, which for me was moving back to Boise. I have also found that when you focus just on dating and don’t worry about the future at first it is a lot less stressful to date. Just focus on getting to know each other and have fun, a relationship is meant to be built and not assembled. Mr. Bird is a stallion, and he makes my heart tweet…Get the pun?

The Fault In Our Stars

I’m not the biggest reader, and it is not some hidden fact. I once tried to read Gone With The Wind because I got it for my 16th birthday. When they started to talk about Ashley and Lauren I was like my mom got me a book about two girls falling in love? After that I stuck to Harry Potter… I have started to listen to books on my iPhone instead of reading. My brother Mitch lent me this one to listen to on my way home from Boise. It is a game changing book, when you think of kids with cancer you think SAD, DISMAL, and you just FEEL BAD for the infected. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but that is usually ones reaction. I loved this book because it changed the way I view the subject. It is about young kids who meet in a support group, all suffering from different life long aliments. It showed their good days and their bad days, it exposed their fears and their dreams they would never conquer. The characters often said “The world is not a dream granting machine.” Even with their cancer perks they did not fulfill every last one. Its a story of sadness, love, happiness, family, and TRUE FRIENDSHIP (Monica that does not include you- that’s why a blind teenager egged your car, tell your mom to go back inside). If you get the chance to read the book I encourage you to, your friends will thing you’re making it up when you try and explain it, and your mom will definitely think your making it up. However the lessons learned and the fictional characters you develop a relationship with will leave a mark on your heart…. In the words of Hazel and Gus…Okay

The Aggie Foot Game

popoWe all went to the Potato Bowl starring Utah States foot game team (Harvard Sailing Team). The game was SO BORING, it got to the 4th quarter. I kept saying lets leave. Its a good thing we didn’t because the game finally got interesting in the last 7 minutes. I think they just wanted to wait until we were nice and cold to do something spectacular and win…We were lucky to have such an obnoxious lady behind us that kept us on our toes. She kept contesting calls made by those men in stripped shirts. I bet if they did some laundry the shirts would come out white… My ears cringed at the woman behind us who was yelling obscenity’s such as you “Dumb Head.” I was utterly appalled! I did not appreciate such salty language, especially in front of my very impressionable 16 year old cousin. After hearing this lady, I needed a pallet cleanse. Kegan (the big guy by the big potato) and I went to get hot chocolate. We met up with some of the Elders from our mission, and had a mini reunion. Jordan Wilcox formally 380707_4613804259738_469149619_nknown as Elder, was born and raised on a potato farm in Rexburg, Idaho. You probably have put two and two together, yes he had special perks here at the POTATO BOWL. He was on the sidelines and even got free food…Lucky!!! Overall it was an exciting experience. It was a perfect way to end my last football season as a student. Now we just have to recover from losing the coach…Really was that a surprise??? I think no. Still proud to be an Aggie

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Blind Date Manipulation

One of my favorite things to do is manipulate people into doing weird things… I usually egg it on because I know they wont really follow through. I was proven wrong. This Sunday there were some visitors in our kitchen, and honestly they looked so cute together, but SHOCKER, they had just met. I couldn’t just let a match made in Heaven get away like that so I decided to play cupid early this year and tried to set them up. It was not your conventional set up. I told them I would supply a one hour date if they both agreed to show up Wednesday night. I told them it would be the most creative date they had ever been on. I was definitely awestruck when they both said yes. The boy then turned to the girl and asked her out, just like a gentleman should…After that, all I could think was what did I get myself into!? In the midst of crunch time of the semester I now had to plan a date, that I wouldn’t even be going on. Joke was on me and my love for manipulating situations. So today I went out and bought two boxes of ice cream, did I mention I don’t even eat ice cream (#lacosteproblems). I figure I can let them make ice cream snowmen with carrot noses and all. I know they will have to get there hands dirty, but don’t fear I for saw this problem and addressed them to wear short sleeves. All I can say now is if they end up doing the whole fall in love thing, I better receive credit or something, at least name their first born after me. (Clare can work as both a boy name and a girl name) Well I better go get ready for my big date tonight!

That I am supplying for someone else, don’t worry I will see if I can creepily take some pictures and get some good quotes…

Guys That Glow

I have being going on a cornucopia of first dates lately. Something I stress to these young men is creativity. This date blew my mind… He picked me up, and all he had in hand was a mysterious duffel bag. I was instantly excited. He opened my door for me, and the adventure began. He started to drive towards Brigham City, and then found the most random parking lot and pulled it. He handed me a glow stick and we began a hike in the dark into a forest…I may or may not have thought he was going to kill me and leave my body…To my relief, he had set up a picnic in the dark for us! He even provided me with my favorite thing meatball subs. It was a weird concept, but I appreciated not having to use my “manners,” I mean what was the point, he couldn’t see me. Once we had finished eating, he pulled out two white poster boards and a knife. At this point I thought where in the world could this go…It was magical, we cut open glow sticks and made “glow stick” art in this random forest. We had spread the dye everywhere, soon everything was glowing. We both ended up with glowing mustaches, and I accidentally got it in his eyes. Only someone of my caliber could make a boy tear up on a first date. After we had cleaned things up (as best we could), we got back in the car. He took me to the second destination where we had caramel apples and hot chocolate. I was so impressed with his creativity, it was another fun first date!

A Home Run

I have grudgingly signed up for an institute class this Fall. Many may think, “Oh Clare she is an RM (returned missionary), she must love things like Institute!” FALSE!!! I do not, it has always been something hard for me to succumb to. However I decided I would women up and take a class with my roommate. Did I mention that it was Celestial Marriage? During one of the classes Brother Irwin put a boy on the spot and asked him if he had been on any dates lately. He responded with no…So Brother Irwin announced to the class that he would be putting this boy’s number on the board at the end of class so us “girls” could get his number. The traditionalist in me came out, and I shouted, “Shouldn’t he ask for our numbers?!” I guess sometimes speaking up gets you places…After class he came up to me and asked for my number. We went out the next night.

The date included:

Making a spaghetti dinner together, and let me say cooking is not my strong point, but I sure did great on that garlic bread, said no one ever….

After dinner he slowly said, so the next part might get messy…Are you willing to try? Of course I was in, (YOLO) and so he brought me one of his shirts. He took me to a parking lot, which did not convince me that I was going to make it home alive that night. However what he had planned, was defiantly the most creative activity I have participated in yet.  We shook up cans of soda pop and placed them on a t-ball stand and tried to hit them into the dumpsters. The cans exploded in our faces, and in the end were tied. It was such a creative idea, and I guess you do get blessings (and/or dates) from going to Institute.