Meet Katie Perkes + Sadie Banks: Creatives, Photographers, and So Much More

First up, meet Katie Perkes! Katie and I are birthday buddies and cousins by marriage. (Guys, I inherited some of the greatest family when I got married and they’ve become such good friends too!) We love to hire Katie for our family pictures. She also did our bridals! And she often inspires our weekly meal planning when my husband and I both see her delicious meals on Instagram. haha 🙂
You can find Katie on Instagram at @katieperkes and @katieperkesphotography!

When you are in a creative funk, what do you do to reignite your creativity?

Get outside. There is something about fresh air, moving my body, and disconnecting that does wonders for my soul! I’m also often inspired by nature and light.

Why is creating important to you?

It’s a big part of who I am as a person. Being creative fulfills me in a way that nothing else can! I love the feeling of accomplishment from making something that I’m proud of.

Would you label yourself as “creative”? Have you always been a creative individual? How have you developed creativity?

I’ve loved creating things since I was a young girl. I had a big imagination and was constantly daydreaming and making big messes. 🙂 As a teenager, I found myself dabbling in photography and quickly fell in love. When I think of myself as a “creative”, photography is a huge piece of that! Through learning about light and capturing relationships and personalities, it’s helped my creativity flourish especially as I’ve learned to document my own life.

What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?

I enjoy decorating my home and dreaming up room designs and furniture options! I also love to cook and create meals for my family.

Who do you follow on Instagram for creative inspiration?

Do you have any other thoughts on creativity that you’d like to add? Favorite quotes?

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” I was created to create. We are all creators! Let go of expectations, be true to yourself, and make things that bring you joy!
Next, meet Sadie Banks! Sadie and I met through Instagram (which is the case for so many of my favorite people! haha) and have been friends ever since! I love designing for her and I love hiring her for pictures. She is creative in so many ways besides photography and I am always inspired by her.
You can find Sadie on Instagram at @sadie__banks and online at sadie-banks.com.

When you are in a creative funk, what do you do to reignite your creativity?

I do lots of different things because sometimes my creative bucket needs different things. Go outside. Take pictures of something for myself. Crochet. Visit friends/family. Listen to a podcast or audio course.

Why is creating important to you?

It helps me feel fulfilled. It gives me an outlet.

Would you label yourself as “creative”? Have you always been a creative individual?

No, I don’t think I would label myself as a “creative” because everyone is creative and the need to create is within all of us. I’ve always liked crafty things, but more than that, I’ve always enjoyed the entrepreneur and business side of the creative lifestyle.

What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?

I really enjoy crocheting. I don’t do it often, but I always feel really happy when I do it.

Who do you follow on Instagram for creative inspiration?

I actually have a really hard time following really creative people on Instagram because I compare myself to them. So I don’t follow very many– only people I know in person who use different creative mediums than I do. But if I had to choose one, I’d pick Elsie Larsen (slash a beautiful mess).

What is your business/blog/hobby?

I am a photographer. But I also enjoy creating content for my own personal Instagram.

Do you have any other thoughts on creativity that you’d like to add? Favorite quotes?

Arts and crafts don’t equal creative. I think there are so many other ways to be creative other than arts. You can create in whatever vocation or life path you choose. The world needs innovative people who think of new ways to do things. That’s being creative too. Don’t discount your talents because you aren’t good at fine arts or crafts.

Brittany and Joanna

Brittany & Joanna are such wonderful people and I am forever grateful for them in my life. Brittany and I met through blogging and have kept in touch for years. My bridal pictures include hydrangeas from her garden. She has been such a valuable support to me in speaking to my doctor about postpartum depression. 

Joanna and I have been friends since high school! We sang together in Madrigals and social media has kept us close since we no longer live in the same state. We use Instagram messages as a way to cheer each other on in our goals and challenges. She’s one of the best accountability partners I’ve ever had!

Meet Joanna Hackman! You can find her on Instagram at @joannahackman or on her blog at JoannaHackman.com.

When you are in a creative funk, what do you do to reignite your creativity?

If I’m stumbling over some writer’s block, sometimes it helps to reread some of my favorite things I’ve written. It’s like a little wink from my past self that I can do this. Other times, it eases some of that tension and adds the fun back in if I step away to do something entirely different creatively. Like working on a graphic, some kind of photo, or doodle. It may not be something that’s ever shared, but creating just for me is just as important.

Why is creating important to you?

It feeds my soul! I believe we were created in the image of our maker – the most creative one of all! If that’s true, I think it’s no surprise that so many (myself included) feel called to create.

Would you label yourself as “creative”? Have you always been a creative individual? How have you developed creativity?

I would. And it still makes me giggle a little bit to say it, admit it. Like I’m declaring something about myself that others might question. But it’s always who I have known myself to be. Whether it’s been acting, singing, doodling, writing, storytelling, pretending I can dance… creating is in my bones. I’m finally at the place in my life where I don’t believe I have to have a specific measure of success to identify as a creative. I’ll wear that badge with pride!

What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?

I really like graphic design. I have no training in it whatsoever, no fancy programs I know how to wield. But I really love using Canva or Spark Post to create quote cards and things to post on social media or my blog. Sometimes people will repost the things I’ve made not knowing that it wasn’t just a graphic I found on Pinterest. It never fails to make me smile.

Who do you follow on Instagram for creative inspiration?

@EliseCreates (duh!) – her creative talents know no bounds. I’m always (and never) surprised by the skills she shares.
@KindredWedEvents – I’m not prepping to get married (10 year anniversary coming up!) – but Sarah always has beautiful photos, graphics, and ideas to share. They always leave me feel dreamy and inspired.
@LGEmerick – Leah is my favorite photographer extraordinaire. The images she creates are stunning.
@WeldedRoots / @TheKatTuohy – fab photog and jewelry maker! Kat is all about a creative life & I love following her.
@JenessaWait inspires me creatively and spiritually with her words and graphics.

Do you have any other thoughts on creativity that you’d like to add? Favorite quotes?

“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.” – Brené Brown

Meet Brittany! You can find her on Instagram at @muchmoreprecious, on her blog, or on YouTube!

When you are in a creative funk, what do you do to reignite your creativity?

I’ve actually learned not to push it. I’m starting to trust that life is a process and I’m not meant to be creative all the time. So I try a little here, and I try a little there, and sometimes I got nothin. And then sometimes the inspiration starts to flow.

Why is creating important to you?

It helps me accept and make sense of the things that have happened to me and gives them beauty and meaning. More recently, I have been using writing to help write me through the things I am going through. These experiences often inspire my

Would you label yourself as “creative”? Have you always been a creative individual? How have you developed creativity?

I wouldn’t think of myself as creative in the general meaning of the word. I did well in school growing up, I could ace spelling tests and get 100% on my math assignment. But when it came to art, I remember feeling so embarrassed that I didn’t have the same spark that I did for academic things. I remember my art project would usually not look like the teacher’s and I would sometimes crumple it up and stuff it to the back of my desk. I have realized that creativity manifests itself in many, many ways. The way I use it is in writing, speaking, and presenting my thoughts in interesting ways. I’ve found that processing my experiences through writing and other ways of sharing them actually ends up influencing my outward creativity. There are places in my house I’ve put together that express the things that I have learned and the things I hold tight to.

What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?

I like to take everything I’m experiencing and reading and learning and turn it into videos that I share on YouTube and more recently on Facebook. It is therapeutic for me to make them and to receive feedback that other people have had similar feelings. I also hope they can help people.

Creative Fashion // Meet Elisabeth!

Elisabeth is one of my dearest friends. We lived in the same stairwell one year in college and found that we had so many things in common. We’ve road tripped to blog conferences together, competed for the mayorship of the local Chick-fil-a (lol remember foursquare?), and even got to be coworkers for a while! 
I’ve always been so impressed by Elisabeth’s confidence and creativity in her fashion sense. She inspires me in many ways. You’re going to enjoy reading her interview and learning from her today!
You can find Elisabeth on Instagram at @fashioncrime.

When you are in a creative funk, what do you do to reignite your creativity?

Exercise. I know it sounds crazy, but over the past couple of years I’ve noticed if I’m not exercising regularly, I always get in a funk. I also like to people-watch. You can get a lot of outfit/fashion inspiration simply from those around you.

Why is creating important to you?

Creating is important to me because I think creativity impacts everyone. Because even if you’re in a field that doesn’t necessarily promote creativity in the way we think of creativity directly, it can be found.

Would you label yourself as “creative”? Have you always been a creative individual? How have you developed creativity?

I didn’t label myself as a creative for a long time. I always thought that to be considered creative I had to be able to draw or take pictures or make something physical and as creative as I am – my drawing skills are amateur at best. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve really realized how creative fashion is. I think I’ve always been creative although I don’t think I conscientiously thought that when I was younger. I scrapbooked when I was in high school and participated in speech and drama and I ended up winning a gift card in a ceramics competition. Those all seem very different from each other, but definitely cultivated my creativity. Fashion is my true creative passion though.

What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?

I really like cooking and baking. I’m not good at making up recipes or anything, but sometimes I’ll add or subtract things from recipes to see what I like and don’t like.

Who do you follow on Instagram for creative inspiration?

@beccaclason has been my current favorite creative inspiration. She does a ton of stop motion videos and they’re incredible!

What is your business/blog/hobby?

I’ve been trying to get my business, Shop Your Closet, up and running!

Do you have any other thoughts on creativity that you’d like to add?

I think the most important thing about creativity is finding out what it means for yourself. Don’t let societal parameters pressure you to define creativity in specific way. There is always creativity to be found!

Meet Creative Photographer Kylie Pond

I adore Kylie. She is so inspiring and full of creativity. I love seeing her posts of the simple things that become beautiful, creative things. She’s a photographer with an emphasis on storytelling– which I really love. 
You can find Kylie on Instagram at @kyliepond and online at kyliepond.com.

When you are in a creative funk, what do you do to reignite your creativity?

When I’m in a creative funk, I take a break from the activity that’s giving me trouble, and I try out something else creative or another way to unwind, like reading. I think it’s really important to not place too many expectations on our creativity, an idea that Elizabeth Gilbert has written extensively about. A couple of years ago, after a personally stressful year and a busy photography season, photography lost the joy for me. So, I didn’t push myself. Once my commitments were fulfilled, I put my camera aside for a couple of months and focused on other things. I came back to it when I felt the desire spark again.

Why is creating important to you?

Creating is part of my identity—it’s been part of my life since my childhood. It helps me to feel like myself and brings me joy. I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago about creative hobbies and why I think they’re so important to me. As a mostly stay-at-home mom, a lot of my work is consistently un-done and needs re-doing daily (or hourly). Diapers are always needing changed, food gets eaten and more needs to be purchased and prepared, laundry gets dirty, etc. Creating is more permanent. Once I’ve made a picture or a dress or hand-lettered a quote, it’s there and I can see it. Even when I’m participating in less tangible or consumable creative activities, such as singing in a choir or baking muffins, it bolsters my confidence and feelings of accomplishment. Creativity is a huge part of how I take care of myself and feed my soul.

Would you label yourself as “creative”? Have you always been a creative individual? How have you developed creativity?

Like I mentioned, I’ve been creating since childhood. I credit my parents with fostering that creativity by providing the materials, space, and inspiration to create. My mom was always doing crafts with us, and I don’t remember her ever saying no when I wanted to try something new. My dad is a great woodworker and a DIY type, and I remember many hours spent alongside him in his shop making things or watching him. I think it’s so important to provide this for our children, even though I see with my own that it’s not always easy. As a child, I loved to draw, craft, and make little polymer clay figures. I often used my allowance to purchase clay, sketchbooks, and pencils. I have always had a camera since about age 8, when I started with a little point-and-shoot film camera. I made my little sister pose for my photo shoots around the neighborhood.
Eventually, I was making my college roommates my subjects and within my first year of marriage, I was gifted an old DSLR (a Canon 20D). I took online workshops in photography and devoured as many free web resources as I could. I think overall I’ve developed my creativity by staying curious. If something seems interesting to me, I try it out (like the time I took a jewelry and metalsmithing class in college). I’m rarely very good at first, but if I like it enough, I keep practicing.
What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect? (i.e. I love Photography, but it’s not something I post about or talk about often.)
I have so many creative interests that it’s difficult to choose a favorite! I also seem to have seasons where one interest is more predominant than the others. Currently, sewing clothing is one of my favorite creative activities. I’m known for my photography and it’s where I’ve established a business, so sewing is something that is just for me. I love knowing that I can make something so useful and being able to make something I know will last and fit well.

Who do you follow on Instagram for creative inspiration?

What is your business/blog/hobby?

I’m a photographer! Primarily families with a storytelling emphasis.

Do you have any other thoughts on creativity that you’d like to add? Favorite quotes?

“Most individuals never have enough time, and they’ve never had enough resources, and they’ve never had enough support or patronage or reward…and yet still they persist in creating. They persist because they are called to be makers, by any means necessary.” Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Learn How You Find Inspiration // Meet Lauren and Maria – Handlettering Artists (and more!)

If I were going to create the hand lettering version of a fantasy football team, Maria and Lauren would be my quarterbacks. Seriously, I love following these two on Instagram and seeing what they create. Although they’re both hand letterers, they have such unique and amazing styles. They also both have great thoughts on creativity and finding inspiration. 

You can find Maria on Instagram at @mariaharmandesign and you can see her portfolio here.

You can find Lauren on Instagram at @blushriverdesign and you can purchase her Procreate brushes (and more) on her Etsy shop!

First up, Maria: I’m an aspiring Hand Letterer and graphic designer. It’s taken me years of creating to finally come to terms with the fact that I’m creative haha. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been doodling words and letters in the margins of papers, or even tracing them with my finger on table tops (which my friends have lovingly assured me is not quite normal haha). I did receive a BFA in Graphic Design from USU five years ago and that has given me almost like an official stamp of approval that I really am a creative person.

I honestly almost feel compelled to create at times. It’s such a personal vehicle for self expression that I think I kind of feed off. Plus, there are so many different type faces and styles of illustration that I feel like I’ll never run out of things to try.

Where do you find inspiration/how do you get out of a creative funk?

I like to look at the work of people I admire. Instagram and Pinterest have become such a source of inspiration to me, from color palettes to type styles, I constantly find myself saving other artist’s work to reference later that makes me excited to start creating again. Oh, also vintage labels and ads are so so dreamy and always get my little retro loving heart beating faster and ready to create.

I’ve been completely smitten by @bydylanm as a source of creative inspiration lately.

What is your favorite quote about creativity?

“Perfection will only hold you back.” – Stephen Kunz

What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?
I adore makeup! It’s been a side hobby of mine for at least ten years and I love creating new eye looks that are bold, colorful, and still (mostly) appropriate for every day life.
Meet Lauren: I make and sell Procreate brushes and color palettes, SVGs, fonts and digital prints. I have always been aware that I am a creative individual, I believe we all are. I have further refined and developed my creativity by simply doing it often and not being afraid of “doing it wrong”. I try to make a conscious effort to squash any power fear is trying to get.
I deeply believe that we came from a Heavenly Father who is the ultimate creator. I believe a huge part of my purpose gets fulfilled when I create. My mental health is stable when I create, because it lets me express myself. It helps me to work out my emotions in a healthy way. It releases tension and stress and makes me feel like I am being productive.
Where do you find inspiration/how do you get out of a creative funk?
When I am in a creative funk for designing something new or unique – I simply just play and have fun. I let go of any expectations or negative feelings and I just do anything I feel passionate about at the time. I don’t allow any external influences to come in, and I only do intrinsic led activities. Comparison is a major flame dampener for me, so I just let what is inside of me come out. Then I make sure to put it out into the world, and decide before hand that I am happy with it. This helps me to kill any of the power fear might have in my creative block.
I follow a lot of people on Instagram, but I don’t look to any one person for inspiration. It’s a really big deal to me to be intrinsically motivated. So I try not to get ideas from any one person.
What is your favorite creative activity that someone might not expect?
I actually love cooking. I went to school for Professional Cooking in college. I also love crocheting/knitting/sewing were my passions before I started digital design and modern calligraphy. I still love them immeasurably, but with 3 kids that are 3 and under it’s just not feasible at the moment. I used to design quilts, and knit/crochet patterns. I designed my wedding quilt that I had quests sign instead of a book, which I still look at often, it happens to be on my bed right now. I designed an amigurumi bunny, designed a C2C Christ block for my crochet Christmas blanket. When my children are a little older, I’ll definitely be doing it again.

Creating Helps You Find the Best Version of Yourself // Meet Katie Lee

First, and most importantly, press play on Katie’s brand new single for the perfect soundtrack to this post/your Saturday.

Katie Lee is a singer/songwriter and photographer. One thing I love about following Katie on social media is the passion she portrays in all that she does. Her excitement and joy for her photography and her music shines through in everything she shares. Her confidence in her performances inspires me. Without further ado, here are some thoughts on creativity from her!

Everyone has creativity within them. It’s so healing for the soul so just try new things until something sticks and brings you joy. Creating is important to me because it’s an essential part of my life. I feel like the best version of myself when I’m creating a song. I love that it can be like therapy. I can spew out so many feelings and repackage them into something beautiful.

When I’m in a creative funk, I usually go to the mountains or listen to or watch people that are really good at the same things I am. It inspires me to see what people can accomplish. I love photography and have been really working on that lately but I also love art and I’m trying to carve out space to do more of that.

I was always a creative child. I loved art and music and luckily I had parents that wanted to foster that. They put me in voice lessons, piano lessons, choirs, art classes, etc. When I got older it became something I wanted to do of my own accord and actually wanted to put time into building.

Katie’s Favorite Instagram Inspirations:

Photography: @aubreebellephotography
Photographyy: @loriromneyphotography
Music: @kimberlyknightonmusic

 

Creative Halloween Costumes for People Who Don’t Love Dressing Up

I love Halloween. I’m not interested in scary movies or anything haunted, but I love the creative side of Halloween — dressing up, make believe, tutus, sparkles, tiaras, you name it. Since I was a little girl, I’ve started planning my Halloween costume in March or April.

My husband, however, is not a dress up for Halloween kind of a guy. It’s just not his personality, and that’s okay! It has actually created a fun challenge for us every year we’ve “dressed up”. We find a costume theme that allows him to wear something he’s comfortable with and doesn’t really feel like a costume. T-shirts and scrubs based costumes are our BFFs.

Here are some fun ideas for simple, almost-not-a-costume Halloween Costume ideas for anyone who needs a last minute idea or a more mellow way to join in on the costume fun.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you use the links in this post. There is no additional cost for you to use these links. 

Shawn Spencer + a Pineapple

We both love Psych and really enjoyed rewatching the series together the first year we were married, so this costume pair was a natural fit. We ordered a Psych t-shirt for him, and pineapple leggings and a bright yellow dress for me. I made the headband with glitter cardstock from Hobby Lobby.

Doctor + Operation Game

I’m not really sure what inspired this costume, but it was definitely a fun one! We found some inexpensive scrubs for him and a hospital gown for me. I cut out the operation game shapes in red felt and sewed them on. (You could totally do iron on as well!) I also sewed a little square of velcro on top of each red shape. Then, I cut out a white game piece for each shape and sewed the other part of each velcro square onto those so my “game” was interactive. We live in Northern Utah where it often snows on Halloween, so I opted for fleece lined leggings under my hospital gown.

A Muggle + a Hufflepuff

It’s no secret that we’re big Harry Potter fans. It was, however, still a secret that I was pregnant the Halloween we chose these costumes. I wasn’t feeling great and we decided to go for extra simple costumes this year. We used my Cricut Explore Air 2 to create the “Muggle” letters for his shirt and I wore my Hufflepuff sweater from Harry Potter World. Funny sidenote: When I posted this picture on Instagram, we cropped out the wand because it was accidentally pointed at my stomach and we didn’t want this to be mistaken for a pregnancy announcement. 😉

I can’t wait to show you our family costume for this year! It’s going to be fun to include a toddler in our costume themes for a while until she has an opinion of her own.

If you take anything from this post, I hope you feel inspired that, with a little creativity, you can come up with costumes that don’t break the bank and don’t have to go all out.

Of course, if going all out is your style, I’m here for that too! And if you need inspiration for that, you should check out my friend Camille’s family/couple costume ideas. Here’s last year’s costume reveal and links to other great ideas.

Bowling Ball Day: The Ten Year Anniversary

Today is a pretty special day for me. If you’ve never heard of Bowling Ball Day, welcome. 🙂 It’s likely that that means we’re new friends. Here’s the short version: 10 years ago today, a bowling ball fell off the top of a flag pole on my head. And I’ve celebrated this day ever since.

It was March of 2007, my second semester of college. I was visiting some friends in Tremonton for spring break. My friend, Christina had suggested that we go to a privately owned park called “Marble Park”. She insisted the barbed wire collection was a must-see. So, we went. The park is a sculpture park featuring a lot of cool things:  swings made from old tractor seats, chairs made from barrels and wheels, and the infamous barbed wire collection. We decided to gather the group together for some pictures. We all climbed up onto three platforms. My friends Ashli, Mac, and I stood on the middle platform which had a flag pole coming out of it and was about 5 feet tall.

Ashli and I on the platform with the flagpole.

While taking the pictures, we noticed that the flagpole was kind of wobbly. It had been cemented into the platform, but looked as though it had come loose over the years. Mac started pushing on it, and just as I said (teasing, of course) “wouldn’t it be funny if I fell off?” a bowling ball fell from it’s perch on the top of the flag pole and onto my head.

If you look at the top of the flagpole in the background, you can see the bowling ball in its prongs.

I was knocked unconscious and fell off the platform. (This is a good thing because otherwise, it’s likely that I would have tried to catch myself and could have broken my arms.) Once on the ground, I regained consciousness, had a seizure, and threw up. (Lime green throw up, because I’d had Jones Green Apple Soda. TMI? Sorry.) My friends called 911 and explained that I had been hit on the head. “By what?” the operator asked. After looking around to find the culprit, Ashli eventually said “Um, a bowling ball.”

I was taken in an ambulance to the Bear River Hospital where they were worried about my spinal fluid leaking into my brain, so I was then lifeflighted to the University of Utah Neuro Care Clinic. One of the few moments of all of this that I actually remember happened in the helicopter. I remember watching the propellers start to spin, and one of the paramedics closed the door on my arm – so my arm was trapped between the door and my stretcher. I looked up at him and said “um, my arm…” and they quickly opened the door again and placed my arm on top of me.

The physicians at the Neuro Care Clinic determined that I had a severe concussion and my skull was fractured from front to back. You know how babies’ skulls are in two parts when they’re born and that’s why they have a soft-spot? I essentially just broke that open again. After four days in the hospital and eight staples in my head, I got to go home. I was on Loritab for a week, and then I went back to school. A few weeks later, I went to have my staples removed and the doctor told me I was doing surprisingly great and the concussion was gone. To this day, the only lasting damage is the quarter-sized scar on top of my head.

So, that’s the story of Bowling Ball Day. I love celebrating this day because it makes me feel special. Knowing how many people came to visit me in the hospital, prayed for me, took pictures with posters and sippy cups (long story) for me really just warms my heart. And knowing that, by some miracle, I didn’t die – that’s something that makes me feel things I’ve never been able to truly explain. Some of it is simply gratitude for the blessing of being alive and for feeling like I have a purpose for still being here. And also, in many sacred ways, this experience brought me closer to God. I believe in angels. The ones here on earth and the unseen angels that I believe were there 10 years ago.

Oh, and also, it’s pretty funny. I mean, who does this even happen to?

Malise Love Story Part 6: Okay, Don’t Freak Out

The day after Matt kissed me, I left work early to head down to Salt Lake for a Jason Mraz concert. (Side note: If you get the chance, see Jason live. It was much more of an intimate musical experience than just an opportunity to watch him perform. SO good.)

As my sister and I drove to our parent’s house together after the concert, I told her all about Matt and how great he is. When I got home, I told my dad “I might have a boyfriend and he’s really great and his middle name is your first name, so that’s cool.” Then I told my mom “I think I have a boyfriend.” and mentioned that we had kissed the night before.

The next day, my aunt was over and our family was all eating lunch together. My mom announced to everyone that I had a boyfriend and that I had kissed him. My dad said “What! You didn’t tell me you kissed him!” I blushed and everyone insisted on passing my phone around to look at his Facebook profile picture. When my Aunt Kristee’s got a look at my phone she said “I don’t think kissing him was unreasonable at all!”

That night, I drove back to Logan to celebrate “Bowling Ball Day” (more about that here) with Matt and some other friends. My sister didn’t have time to bowl with us, but came by the bowling alley to see Matt and give me her approval. Later that night, when Matt and I were saying goodbye on my doorstep I said “Soooo, I told my parents that you’re my boyfriend. Are you okay with that title?” He pretended to think about it, then assured me that he was definitely okay with that title.

Nearly 24 hours later, we were sitting on a bench outside the Logan temple and Matt said to me “So, I’m your boyfriend, that makes you my girlfriend, right?” I laughed and said “Yes, I think that’s how that works!” He asked if I was okay with that title and I playfully mocked him by pretending to think about it before telling him that I was.

We headed back to my apartment and decided to watch the first Narnia movie. Through the whole movie, I kept thinking to myself things like “I think I love him… no, I probably don’t. I’m just excited about a new relationship.” And five minutes later I’d think “But I think I love him! Okay, no. Elise. You just like kissing his face. You don’t love him yet.” And ten minutes later I had decided that maybe I did love him, but I definitely was not allowed to say anything to him yet.

When the movie finished, Matt hugged me and said “Okay, don’t freak out…” (Which, naturally, caused me to internally freak out a little bit.) “but, I want you to know that I love you.” My brain went a million miles a minute as I thought about how I wasn’t allowed to say anything yet, but I hadn’t planned on him being in love with me and so maybe I could tell him since he had told me? Though it felt like forever, I’m sure it was only a few seconds before I responded and said, “I love you too! But…”

more love story here

Malise Love Story Part 5: Ice Cream & First Kisses

The morning after I cried myself to sleep wondering if he was still interested, I woke up to a text from Matt that said “Good morning Elise! I hope you have a great day!” and I thought to myself “Okay, things are fine. What was I even worried about?” We texted alllllll day the next couple of days and discussed important matters like our favorite flavors of ice cream and which horse movies we’d seen. I told him that my favorite flavor of ice cream was Tillamook Mudslide and he informed me that Tillamook ice cream was on sale at the grocery store he worked at. Eventually we made plans to watch Seabiscuit and eat ice cream together that Tuesday night.

I’m not certain how we got to talking about horse movies because, in all reality, horse movies are a much less important topic than ice cream. And, though I didn’t hate Seabiscuit, I really didn’t actually care if I ever saw it again. So on Tuesday night when we got to his apartment and he asked if I had my heart set on Seabiscuit or if I’d rather watch something else, I was quite thrilled to agree on watching Ender’s Game instead.

And also, it solidified the belief I had that this date was a lot less about Seabiscuit and ice cream and a lot more about seeing each other again. With the lights off. In prime cuddling position. He put the movie in and sat next to me, but, you know, not right next to me. I had played the “take the entire movie to hold hands” game before and I didn’t have any desire to play it again that night. So I scooted close enough that we were touching and rested my head on his shoulder as the movie started. He responded by holding out his hand and saying “So, do you want to?”

Needless to say, we held hands and cuddled through the rest of the movie. And it was great. When the movie finished, I asked something like “So, did you really invite me over here to watch Seabiscuit or were you in it for the cuddling?” He admitted that he had hoped we’d cuddle and hold hands and asked me if I had been interested just in the movie. To which I said “Oh no, I was definitely hoping for some cuddling too.”

Later that night, I updated my journal to say that he’d texted me back since my last heart-wrenching entry and that we’d cuddled that night. I mentioned that I had kind of wanted to kiss him but that I also was feeling confused because usually it seemed to take a lot more work than this to get a guy’s attention and so WAS SOMETHING WRONG AND WHY IS THIS SO EASY?

I ended the journal entry with “IDK, I probably think too much.” Which is a common truth in my life.

We’d made plans to see each other again on Thursday night. I’d agreed to help out with a local special needs dance and I invited him to come with me. He admitted that he hadn’t been to a dance since high school, but was a really good sport about it and we had a fun time that night. (He was even very patient while I danced with one of the darling special needs guys who called me his girlfriend and asked if I wanted to marry him multiple times that evening.)

After the dance, we went back to my apartment and watched a couple episodes of Psych or The Office (I don’t remember which?). When the show was over, we sat on my couch and talked for a while. Suddenly, he got really nervous and said “I’m sorry…” I looked at him with, I’m sure, a confused look. He continued, “You don’t have to… no pressure…” and I said “What?” and finally, he said, “Do you want to… kiss?” I smiled, said yes, and waited for him to lean in closer. He didn’t at first and made a comment about being rusty, I reassured him that I was a little out of practice too, got impatient and went 90 and let him go 10. (Watch this if you’re confused.)

After we kissed, we hugged and said all kinds of cute things about how much we liked each other, etc. etc. and he told me he thought he was going to delete Tinder. I informed him that I had deleted mine the previous night and he said “I haven’t been on since I met you.” (Which, of course, I knew. Because I looked at his profile to see if he’d been on again before I deleted mine.)

That night’s journal entry ended with “So, that’s the story of when I kissed the cutest, nicest, most wonderful human.”

more love story here