The Surprise

On July 6, T.J.’s bus was scheduled to arrive at midnight in Washington, DC. Little did he know that the day before, my mom, Eva, and I drove nine hours from Cincinnati to DC.

The whole day I was so restless, I couldn’t stop looking at the clock. By 9 pm, I was going stir crazy, so my sister and I caught a movie before heading to the bus stop. After the movie, we kept discussing how we should surprise T.J.

This is what we decided upon a minute before it happened.

Mary Beth parked the car at the end of the block where he was waiting. She got out and greeted him while I sat in the car. As they headed back, I jumped out of the car and stood on the sidewalk waiting for him to notice me.

T.J. eventually looked up and saw me at the end of the block. He was so in shock and so confused that he barely said anything. I had played that moment out in my mind for about two weeks and didn’t think it would go this way, plus we stopped and kissed right next to homeless people so I felt really awkward with them laying on the ground watching me.

But all that aside, it was perfect. How often do you get to travel across the country to surprise your spouse? Maybe once in your life, if you’re lucky! It was wonderful to see him, beard and all.

How to Surprise your Husband

Before I write about my trip to DC where we surprised T.J., I want to share with you all the many ways to surprise him that me and my family (including my niece who is 5 years old) brainstormed.

  • Hide in the closet
  • Hide in the bed
  • Tell T.J. my sister is watching her baby niece and that she will be sleeping in the same room as T.J. and see if he gets the connection
  • Cut a whole in the middle of the dining room table, stick my head there, put a platter on top and then unveil!
  • Hide in the trunk
  • Pretend to be a homeless person at the bus stop and see if T.J. stops for me
  • Walk past T.J. at the bus stop and see if he notices
  • Put towels over my head and pretend I’m a ghost (Claire’s idea)
  • Have everyone dress up in costumes (Claire’s idea)
  • Have everyone dress up in costumes and turn my sister’s home into a haunted house (do you see how Claire built up the idea?)
  • Put cardboard over the door and then a sheet (Claire’s idea, who knows what it meant)
  • Just hang out in the living room and be sitting on the couch when T.J. walks in

One night, we just sat around the dinner table laughing at all the crazy ideas! Which one did we pick? You will have to wait and see…


Birthday Boy

I may be late on writing about my husband’s birthday, but we did celebrate early when I was visiting in NY.

Here he is on his birthday, 25 years old and “doing New York Funky”!

Anddddd since we’re not together, I had to look up what we were doing last year for T.J.’s birthday. Pirate Island Pizza, of course!

I love you, T.J. and hope you have a great year being 25. Promise me that next year we will be able to spend your birthday together though, okay?


New York City: Day 1

On Monday, June 4, my parent in-laws and I headed to the SLC airport! Mark, my father-in-law, had a business trip in NY and so he let his wife Kelly and I tag along. It was such a blessing. Because Mark was going for work, the hotel was completely paid for which made the trip considerably less expensive. I’m not sure how I could have afforded visiting T.J. without it.

Also, having Kelly there to hang out with throughout the day was great. T.J. worked just about everyday until 6 pm, and so we kept each other company by exploring the island. But I’m getting ahead of myself… back to Monday.

Eva was really good on the plane, all things considered. Four hours in a window seat is a long time for a sixth month to sit. But she spent some time with her grandparents for a while, mangled all the brochures in the back of the seat, and charmed all the ladies around us.

You could tell she was tired when we arrived at the airport, but she didn’t want to miss anything. So, there she laid in her car seat, smiling away and taking everything in. She was smiling so much, it started getting a little creepy… ha!

T.J. met us at the train station. I cried when I saw him. It had been a month since I last saw him last and I was just so excited!

Once we arrived at the hotel, Mark and Kelly went out for dinner and T.J. and I got Eva ready for bed. It was so fun just giving her a bath and feeding her together. I forgot how much I missed doing those little things as a family.

When Eva was asleep, we headed to T.J.’s apartment to get his stuff for the week and to grab some dinner. I had my first (and only) slice of NY style pizza. It was pretty greasy, but not bad.

 As you can tell by my eyes in this picture, I was so tired by the end of the night! We tried to see Times Square while we were out too, but it was completely shut down because Obama was in town.

There you have it. Day 1.



2 Years Time

My anniversary was this week. May 22. I cannot believe how fast this second year went. Last night T.J. and I were talking about how much our lives have changes since we first met. Who knew that the boy I met at my friend’s dessert party three and half years ago would be my husband today? So crazy!

I can’t wait to celebrate with T.J. in a couple of weeks. Until then, let’s look at these photos from my wedding day and get a little depressed he’s not here with me.

1 year anniversary

Engagement Story


Mother’s Day

T.J. kicked his gift-giving up a notch. I won’t tell you why, it may or may not be because of this past Valentine’s Day. No way of knowing.

Anyway for Mother’s Day, two-dozen roses were dropped off at my doorstep on Saturday and he sent me a shirt from H&M.

Thanks, T.J.! I love you! I’m grateful to have you as my husband!

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Instagram Eyes

I really need to start pulling out my camera more often because my iPhone pics aren’t as high quality. But, here are snapshots of my life lately, according to Instagram. Sorry there are so many!

Saying goodbye to T.J.

Eva is trying lots of new foods. Bananas are not her favorite.

Hannah had these beautiful flowers and delicious candy for me after I dropped T.J. off at the airport.

First snow cone of the season!

We saw The Pirates! before T.J. left. One of my favorites! It was so funny!

Just “hanging” out.

Almost every night we walk to the elementary school a couple blocks away and swing.

Why buy toys when spoons work just as well? We went through about five of those because she kept dropping them on the ground!

Saw these cute little boys feeding a horse on my Sunday walk. They were so excited they would just laugh uncontrollably.

I went to T.J.’s grandma’s house last night for a Family Home Evening. More than thirty people showed up… it was so fun! We heard about her and her granddaughter’s Mediterranean Cruise, which sounded amazing!

I’m trying to eat a little healthier… so instead of eating goldfish last night as my snack (as usual), I ate asparagus and mushrooms with balsamic vinegar. Mom, you’d be proud.

T.J. started work today at Johnson & Johnson! What a cutie!

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Emotional Week

This week has been pretty crazy.

It started Tuesday morning when T.J. and went to the temple to do sealings. We were showing our recommends at the desk when the man told me my recommend had expired THAT day. It was May 1. I started crying immediately and telling my sad story of how my husband was leaving that night for four months and how I just needed to go to the temple. They said they’d see if the temple presidency thought it would be okay. I sat there on the bench, crying. About twenty minutes later, someone returned and told me they’d make an exception and let us in because they felt we needed to be there.

I knew the reason we needed to be there. It was because WE needed it. I needed the peace and the strength to help me get through these next couple of months and as a couple, we needed to go together before he left.

Doing sealings was great. It really put things into perspective. So many of the names we did were from hundreds of years ago and so I kept thinking, if they could go hundreds of years… I can go four months.

Tuesday night, we headed to the airport. T.J. was flying standby, his flight was leaving around 11:30 pm. It was too full so he didn’t make it on the flight. He slept at the airport to see if he could make it on the morning flight at 6 am. Unfortunately, that flight was also full so he decided to leave the airport and find another option.

His parents were amazing and got him a flight with their skymiles so he would make it there on time and not have to worry about flying standby any longer. The flight was booked for this morning at 8:30, which meant we got to have two extra days together.

These past couple of days felt like a dream. It was wonderful to have him back at home and getting to be with him just a little bit longer. We went on a long drive Wednesday, watched the sun set at the Y overlook. We got a snowcone, which made it feel a bit like summer. We watched Hugo, which was such a good movie. And we played with our little girl and spent time with T.J.’s parents.

So far I’m doing okay. I took a really long (embarrassing-ly long) nap this morning at T.J.’s parents’ which was good because when I’m tired, I’m overly emotional. And we kept busy today by going on a long walk, sitting up at the temple, and playing outside. Plus, thanks to my friends and family who have checked up on me and invited me to do things with them. I know I could not do this without all of your support.

I don’t know if it’s exactly hit me yet. T.J. is usually busy with school and work anyways, so right now it doesn’t feel like he’s going to be gone for four months. It just feels like he’s at the lab working on graphic design all night.

Anyway, T.J. made it to his apartment safely. He said it’s the size of a matchbox, and smaller than I could even imagine. But he’s a trooper and excited for his internship that starts on Monday.

We’re going to be okay. Let this adventure begin…

Letting it out

It’s almost time for T.J. to leave us. I keep telling myself it’ll go fast.

But I can’t tell you how many times I have melted down and had to say a prayer for strength.

I know I’ll be okay. Life could be a lot worse and a lot harder. But right now, it just sucks.


Official Date

T.J. and I had his parents’ look after Eva Thursday evening so we could go out on a planned date. The only thing is, we couldn’t figure out what to do. We didn’t want to go to a movie because there’s not much out, so we just went to dinner and walked around Target.

We ate at this new Thai place in American Fork. We had the restaurant to ourselves, which made it even better. I had peanut curry, my fav. and T.J. had some really spicy dish that looked so good but was too hot for me to try.

We ended the night watching War Horse with T.J.’s parents. It was pretty good, but so depressing! Eva screamed when she saw the horse. Like one single loud shriek so we had to take her out of the room.

It was a great night but kept making me think about how much I’m going to miss my hubby this summer!