Date Night…from 924 Miles Away

We are obviously extremely serious people.

I love date nights, of all shapes and sizes.  There is something about making plans and having adventures that makes me giddy like no other.  One of the hardest things about being in a long distance relationship (and believe me, there are lots of hard things) is the lack of these fun little bonding moments.  The Boyfriend and I are very good about the every day little things that make relationships work–for example, I know he spends all day admiring and contemplating the obnoxious number of “cute fluffy animals in silly situations” Snapchats I send him. But sometimes, you really do need the little dose of something special to remind you what it is to truly be in love with your best friend. How’s that for romance?

After a rough week, all I wanted was to curl up on the couch with my guy after a lovely dinner out, maybe sip a glass of wine, and watch movies that made us laughed till we choked on our popcorn.  But that’s pretty hard to do when I’m down in the south at school and he’s still his enjoying his summer up north.  So we devised our game plan for a simple but fun date night that you can do cross country!

Step One: Pick your movie
This was the most involved step for us.  It takes some time to figure out what you can get at when one of you is at home with their entire movie collection and video rental places, and one of you basically has Netflix and chick flicks (guess which is which in our situation?) Pick in advance so you have time to get the goods! For our first pick, we did Silver Linings Playbook,one of my favorites. Next time Chris will pick one of his.  It’s fun to work down a list: maybe Favorite Childhood Movies, Movies with George Clooney, Movies About Italy…you get the idea.

Step Two: Pick your time
This one can also be hard if you’re working on different time zones.  The Boyfriend and I are both central, but we’re also both busy.  Be proactive in finding a time that works–and don’t cancel!

Step Three: Theme  it up with dinner/snacks/desserts galore
We didn’t get a chance to do this, but I think it would be super fun to have the same things to munch on as your partner.  For Silver Linings, we both could have had adventures making Homemades or something else featured in the movie (or just vodka). This is almost like a whole other date in itself; gotta add it to the list!

Step Four: Get cuddly
Build your ultimate comfy zone! It was a little sad to not be actually cuddling with my guy, so I made sure my space had all kinds of pillows and blankets to get super comfy.  I also got to send him pictures of me huddled up like an Eskimo in a snow storm, which obviously brings us closer together.
seeing stars through your fort

Step Five: Timing is everything!
Another difficult part of long distance movie watching?  Getting the freaking technology to cooperate.  The Boyfriend and I literally sat on the phone, controllers in hand, and counted down to the second we pressed play.  And it still was a little off.  But getting their reactions is the absolute best part, so I encourage you to go the little extra mile!

Step Six: Watch and Talk
Probably my favorite part. There are many possible ways to communicate how much you’re freaking out about the movie. The Boyfriend and I live texted the whole thing.  You could also talk on the phone, Skype, Google chrome, Snapchat…as many varieties as there are relationships, I’d imagine. Find what works and is fun for you! Anything that makes you feel connected is a positive choice in my book.

Reaction shot! Not really. But too cute to pass up.

Step Eight: Debrief…the ooey gooey stuff
I think this is probably an overlooked part of the long distance date: make sure you call and actually chat about what you just did! Or else it’s a bit of a, “Wellp, that was fun, I to my bed you to yours” kind of experience.  Talk about what was hilarious, how could this be your favorite movie, wasn’t George Clooney cute in the ’80s?  Well, maybe save that last one for your friends.  Sharing the experience is what makes it a date, so share it.  Also a great time for all of the typical relationship I miss you’s and I love you’s that I can never get enough of.

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I have been missing in action for quite some time, but I promise I have a good excuse. Remember that elusive The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) who popped up in my posts occasionally?  Well, he is at just The Boyfriend now, a Navy Boy no longer. I got to welcome him home after four years of active duty, and I’ve been spending my week making up for lost time…four months is a very long time to go without seeing your best friend.

Not to get all sappy, but this guy is the cheese to my macaroni. The marshmallows to my cocoa. And he loves my food metaphors.

With all of the joy of his coming home came the realization that my summer is also coming to an end.  I’ll be headed back to school next Friday! Cue all kinds of crazy emotional feelings.  A lot of me is very happy to think about having my own space, resuming a routine, and getting back into the world of learning what I love. And a little bit of me is screaming, “No, no, don’t make me go!” while clinging to a pile of sun bathing towels and frozen yogurt cups and flip flops.

I have had some amazing adventures in the past week that make it a little easier to let go. Chris and I went up to Door County, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. I already can’t wait to go back. We spent the weekend…

Running and hiking in beautiful Peninsula State Park. Crazy hard hikes, but completely worth it.

Eating at amazing restaurants…like Wilson’s, home of ice cream cones as big as your head.

Going to a fishboil! That flaming column of death is actually a kettle full of whitefish, potatoes, and onions.  They add two cups of kerosene to the fire at the last minute so all the icky oils boil right off the top…and you get a crazy fireball. Who doesn’t love  a fire ball? My favorite part of the night was, of course, the cherry pie.

This is making a return appearance at some point when I try to decode the magic of that sugar crust.

Just enjoying our time together: reading, trying to finish Firefly, running long runs, making The Boyfriend go into fifteen different versions of the same gift shop, watching Despicable Me 2…

We just love being together. I think that’s all you need for a beautiful relationship. Hope summer is treating you just as well.

 

The Most Difficult Task in the World; or, how to shop for boys

gs-first-birthday-not-too-happy
This is a post of complete ignorance masquerading as knowledge.  I have been shopping for boys my entire life; at least, since I’ve had the resources to do so.  With a twin brother, father, stepfather, guy friends, and a boyfriend, you would think that I would have discovered the magic answer to appropriate gifts for men.

Here’s the short answer: there are no appropriate gifts for men.

Women are (comparitively) easy.  I’m not being sexist at all. I’m just saying that hook most girls up with bubble bath, a cool scarf, a Barnes and Noble gift card, or an interesting notebook to write in, and they’re set. Boom. Done. Girls also have this habit of saying what they want.  Example: my mom says that she doesn’t want anything for Mother’s Day every year.  And yet most times we go out shopping, she says, “Oh, I love this perfume/sweater/salad dressing holder!  But…I’ll get it some other time…” There you go.  Boys, in  my experience, don’t do that.  My boyfriend: “That looks like a cool video game.” Me: “oo! oo! Do you want it?????” “Nah. Hey, look, Mickey shaped waffles!” So, so much for that.

The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) got me thinking about this post.  I’ve been shopping around for his coming birthday for what feels like years but has really been a couple months.  No sooner do I see something cool then I discount it for price, or because he “won’t really like it.” (There are levels of liking, you know.  They range between “shoved to back of the closet” to “put on an altar and worship from afar while hugging the best girlfriend in the world.” Haven’t quite gotten to the second one yet, but I have high hopes).

I finally settled on a whole shmorgasbord of presents, because, complicating everything, The Boyfriend is still living on base for a few more months, so I will have to ship some stuff.  Sigh.

Through our year and a half of gift giving experiences, I have come up with a few tips that I will share with you now.

1) Think Simply

I still think one of The Boyfriend’s favorite gifts he recieved from me was our first Valentine’s day.  He sent me beautiful flowers and chocolates, but I didn’t really have any idea what to get him.  After much debate, I finally sent a care package for which I baked about five different kinds of sweets, along with his favorite snacks and some silly dollar store Valentine goodies.  He LOVED it.  I thought it would be small change compared to his gorgeous present for me, but sometimes the best presents are the ones that remind us of home.  As I write this, I’m getting ready to bake him a whole mess of stuff for his birthday box…pray for me.

2) Think Food!

This probably goes without saying if you read my tip 1, but food is an awesome choice for gifts! Figure out his favorite recipe, and prepare a lavish dinner, or just some cookies.  It really doesn’t matter. Guys will eat it up…literally. Haha. Sorry. I’ll stop.

3)Think Personal

Whatever gift you give, make sure it’s personal. I’ve often been tempted to just throw in the towel, buy the guy a gift card to Walmart and call it a night. But taking a little more effort can go such a long way.  For Christmas this past year, I got the Boyfriend a Nook HD.  This was a big ticket item, and could have seemed just flashy.  But I bought it because I know how much he loves reading comic books, and the Nook makes them look incredible! I’m also a huge fan of writing little explanations.  For example, the cool notebook that is coming with this package (sh! it’s a secret!) is for sketching or D and D campaigns.  Little things like this let them know that you’re listening to what they like.  It’ll bring you closer.

4) Don’t worry about it.

This one can get hard for me to remember.  I love giving presents so much that I want them to be perfect.  But this past week, amidst the stress of working full time and trying to figure out what size box to ship this stuff in, I realized that the Boyfriend would be happy if I just cooked him dinner and hung out with him for the night.  That’s the important thing about holidays: knowing that your person cares about you, and is thinking about you.  Everything after that is just fluff.

p.s. The Boyfriend’s present? Yea, it rocks. Scoreboard.

Smiling

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Look at that handsome couple.

The only bad part of breaks is, of course, when they end.  I have been wishing there was a rewind button on life for the past few days, because my spring break was absolutely perfect.  I had adventures, relaxed a tiny bit, played, laughed, ate amazing food and didn’t care about the calories in it, and just generally lived the life I want to live all the time. And the best part of all? I did it all with my best friend in the entire world, who also happens to be the love of my life.  Sorry for the sappiness, but I think The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) deserves a moment here.

I haven’t written for a little while, and that was making me upset.  But honestly, sometimes you have to pause in the chronicling of life to just get out there and live it.  I had that realization while we were watching World of Color, this fantastic water light show at Disneyland (yes, we went to Disneyland. I was in heaven, obviously). 

I was loving every minute.  The show was breathtaking. But this woman in front of me was holding up her camera and recording the entire show.  She never put it down.  So while she could have been watching this insanely huge, awe-inspiring performance, she was more intense on focusing through a little screen, adjusting the brightness and levels.  I mean, I guess on the one hand she’ll be able to look at it on the small screen for years to come.  But on the other, isn’t there something to be said for just experiencing something and keeping it locked in your memory?

I’ve been writing everything from the week down in my journal, and I find it like snapshots in my head: where we did, the jokes The Boyfriend made, the way he made me laugh and go on rides that terrified me (Ferris Wheels.  They’re not for the faint of heart).  I keep the feeling of it stored up in my heart.  I don’t need a picture or a video to tell me how much fun I had. 

There’s my little rambling post of the day.  Tune in this week for more about my trip, as I get back to my regular insanely busy BFA self.

All the News That’s Fit to Print

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Twin brother and I last year…ah, those salad days, where have they gone?

Haven’t posted in a week…sorry I fell off the face of the earth! This is that insane time known as midterms week here in BFA land, and though I thought I didn’t have too much to do, I was woefully mistaken.  I’ve been running around every day like a crazy person, trying to cram about 27 hours of things to do into 24.

We began rehearsals for Emotional Creature on Monday night, and I can already tell that’s going to be one heck of a journey.  I’ll post about that a little later. These rehearsals are wonderful, but they are also each four hours of constant work, because the play is so ensemble intensive.  So I do class, work, and catch up on homework all day, rehearse from 630 till 1030, go home and do more homework or chores, and collapse into bed, a weary mess, at 1ish.  And then get up and do it all over again. Yikes. 

But it is all worth it. Because after tomorrow, I will be flying, nay, dare I say it, soaring out to California to spend a blissful week with The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy). I promise I will not get to sappy lovey dovey romantic on y’all, but being apart from him is like missing a little piece of me. Not enough to be hurt, just enough to be annoying. He’s my best friend, and I cannot wait to be our ridiculous dorky hilarious sweet selves together again.

Okay. Lovey dovey stuff done.

I also got to spend a bit of time the last few days with my twin brother, who’s currently attending a military academy.  Bubby came out to visit my dad, and I was able to fit in a little time with him, despite my insane schedule.  We have so much fun together, even while everyone else is thinking that we are insane (we might be. Just a little).  Last night he came to my dorm after rehearsal and we ate a bunch of pizza, watched Pitch Perfect, and annoyed each other to no end.

That’s how twins work, you know.

I miss him very much–it’s odd being seperated from someone who you’ve spent 20 years doing literally everything with–but I’m so proud of his service to our country.  (Can we just talk about the fact that I somehow ended up with the two most important guys in my life in the military? Who would have thought that would happen? Not me, that’s for darn sure.  Support our troops, guys, even if you don’t support the wars/government/establishment.  Remember they’re someone’s brother/boyfriend/father/girlfriend/sister/mother, etc.)

Finally, I wanted to let you know the exciting news that I got today: I was called back for the part of Cosette, in response to that video audition I sent in! That part has been a dream role ever since I discovered how much I love singing high, and I could not be more excited to be singing for it.  The thought of being in the show that got me into musical theatre is just so beautiful and affirming…here’s hoping it goes well! No matter what happens, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to sing for it, and do what I love.  That’s what you have to live for in this business.