Sunday, May 26, 2013

Miles & Sandy: the Story part II

Summer 2012 (only two months after the end of part I)
By the time summer came around, Miles and I were both single and still keeping in touch, but only as friends. I was dyyyying to see him and I knew he would be staying in Utah over the summer so using my sneaky tricks, I finally convinced Miles to come spend 4th of July with me. (I used my family as bait cause he loves them). He flew into Long Beach on July 3rd and by the end of the night, things were back to normal. It seriously felt like he was my boyfriend again and I LOVED it. We spent the entire week together and I could not get enough of him! He and I were both so glad I convinced him to visit that week. When it was time to say goodbye, I dropped Miles off at the airport and drove home sobbing, again unsure of when I would see him again.
A couple weeks after he left, Miles invited me to come to Utah to spend a week with his family at Bear Lake. It was another perfect week with him. His mom asked him how things were going between us and he answered that it was great but still a little awkward. She was shocked and still teases us about how "un-awkward" our awkward was. We were so comfortable with each other and had so much fun together, but we still didn't have or even want a title on it. We were still talking to/seeing other people and we were both fine with it. We just decided that we wouldn't talk to each other about the dates we went on with other people. So as much as it felt like we were a couple when we would spend time together, we had to remember that we weren't and we couldn't expect too much out of each other. After our time in Bear Lake, I stayed a couple more days in the Provo area to spend more time with him. One of the days I was his date for a wedding and another day he took me shopping and out to dinner. He bought me a few dresses and shirts. Who is he??! Even when we weren't officially together I was spoiled by him.
Bear Lake
A week after our trip to Bear Lake, Miles came back to Long Beach just for a weekend. We spent an entire day at Disneyland with good friends (which could NOT have been more fun), spent lots of time at the beach, and once again enjoyed just being together.
Then, just a couple of days after Miles went back to Utah(the very end of August), my friend Tegyn and I drove up to Utah for a week. It was so good to spend more time with Miles but this one was hard because he was leaving soon to go back to school in Hawaii. When the week was over, and we said our goodbyes, I walked away again crying. This time I honestly thought that was the last time I would see him. I didn't see how we would be able to figure anything out with him all the way in Hawaii.

Fall 2012.
While Miles was back in Hawaii for school, we continued to keep in touch. We would occasionally skype or talk on the phone and we texted each other fairly often. We were both dating other people, but I was getting really frustrated with the entire situation because I felt like I would never be able to fully commit to someone with Miles always in the back of my mind. I prayed alllll the time about what I should do and I never felt like I got a definite answer. I figured I needed to just make a decision myself. After a lot of thought, I decided I needed him out of the picture completely or I would never be able to commit to someone else. That was my final decision. And I needed to tell him soon. Because he had plans to attend a wedding that coming November and he would be staying at my house. I was so sure that I would end things with him (whatever it was that we had), that I joined a Ragnar team for a Ragnar in Las Vegas the same weekend that Miles was supposed to be coming to town. But every time the opportunity came to tell him my decision, I wimped out. I could not get myself to tell him. I kept thinking about how I would have to live without him and I hated that thought. But I was still confident in my decision. It got closer and closer to that weekend in November and I still hadn't told him. I finally realized that I would just have to tell him in person while he was in town. So someone else on my Ragnar team planned on taking my final leg so I could be home by Saturday morning(even though Miles was coming on Friday). But I didn't tell Miles this until a few days before he was coming. So he had to find someone else to pick him up from the airport and find somewhere else to stay friday night. I would have had no clue that he was super annoyed by the situation that I put him in because he was being so nice about it. But he was super annoyed. I got home from Vegas around 5 am on Saturday and then drove over to Thousand Oaks around 10 am to pick up Miles from his friend Nick's house. I walked up to the house, Miles opened the door, and my heart melted. It was so good to see him again. We had a fun day together but every once in a while I would remember that I was supposed to have that talk with him and it killed me! I kept thinking, "I'll do it tomorrow, just enjoy today with him." That evening, we went to a beautiful wedding in Dana Point for his friend Kellie. The ceremony was on a gorgeous hill overlooking the ocean. After the ceremony he and I walked around down by the beach. Sorry about all the kissy pictures below, but I needed to include those. Those pictures were taken down at the beach after Kellie's wedding ceremony. You can clearly see that I was CRAZY about this boy. How was I supposed to tell him that I couldn't have him in my life anymore?!!
The reception was in Kellie's beautiful backyard in Laguna Niguel. It was sooo much fun. Occasionally throughout the night, I would be talking to someone and then look across the room at Miles and get butterflies in my stomach. I was so happy to be there with him. His friends would introduce me to others as "Miles' girl that he's not actually with right now but they're going to end up together they just don't know it yet." But my favorite part of the night was the dancing. We danced forever on the dance floor. At one point, this drunk old Russian man came up to me and taught me some of his dance moves. Then he pointed to Miles, who was talking to someone else, and asked "is that your boyfriend?" I said, "no, not really, it's complicated." The man then stopped dancing, looked at me and said, "you marry him, and invite me to the wedding." I just laughed and humored him, but for some reason I could not stop thinking about what he had just said. Miles and I danced until the wedding was over and then he stocked up on candy from the sweets bar and we left. On the way out, I told Miles what that man told me and we laughed agreed that if we ever got married, we would have to invite him. I knew it was just a joke, but I couldn't get it out of my head. I could not stop thinking about marrying Miles. After the wedding, we went over to my family's vacation rental in Laguna Beach and cuddled on the couch while we watched TV. I could not have been more content than I was cuddled next to him on that couch. All my thoughts of ending things with him were thrown out the window and replaced by thoughts of being with him. Then he started talking to me about our relationship and how happy I make him and how easy it is to be with me. Then he said, "I never stopped loving you." Honestly I think my heart stopped beating for a couple seconds cause I died when he said that. He has no recollection of this, but I responded by saying, "I feel the same way." And somehow, we're still unsure how, we kind of figured out that night that we would end up together. But our status remained the same.
the reception
Miles and the bride, Kellie
The next day I dropped Miles off at the airport and drove away crying, like always. But this time it wasn't because I was unsure if I would see him again. I was crying because I had to say goodbye to the boy that I just realized I was still in love with.

to be continued...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Miles & Sandy: the Story part I

After Miles proposed to me, the reactions we got were either, "WHAT? That was so fast!" or "It's about time!" The people who have known us from the start have a lot of questions about what happened between us and how we decided that we wanted to get married. And some of our newer friends had no clue about our history at all. So I figured it was time to write out the entire story for anyone who is confused about how it all went down. 

A Little Background on the Boy: Miles grew up in Northern California. His parents separated when he was 2 years old and his mom got re-married when Miles was only four. A few years later they had another child (his brother Grant). After Miles graduated high school in 2006, his mom, step-dad, and brother moved to American Fork, Utah, and Miles moved down to Long Beach to attend CSULB. 

December 2006.
I had just moved home from freezing cold Utah and was at church at the single's ward (18-31 year olds) when my friend Shatara introduced me to Miles. Holy smokes I was so attracted to Miles the moment I saw him. We shook hands and I said, "you have a really nice smile." He said "thanks." And then.....silence. "Okay, nice to meet you!" and I walked away. But I remember telling my best friend Kacey that I thought Miles was the hottest guy I'd ever met. And that's the truth. After that day, I would see him at church and we would always smile and say hello.

Fall 2007. 

One of our first dates at Disneyland with my niece Katie
I was giving a talk in church one Sunday, and was wearing a pink ribbon in my hair (that part is important for way later in the story). Miles was in the congregation sitting next to Shatara. I guess Miles thought I was pretty cute up there at the podium, because he turned to Shatara and told her I was cute and asked her to set us up. I don't know if this was the same day or not, but one Sunday I walked into a sunday school class that Miles just happened to be teaching (but of course that was not the reason I chose to go to that class...yes it was) and sat in the very front row. Shatara, who was sitting behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "don't you think he's cute." I told her that I thought he was way cute. She asked me if I wanted to date him and I told her that I hardly knew him but I'd like to get to know him better. She said, "good, because he told me he thinks you're cute and wants me to set you guys up." I obviously was STOKED! I think it was a couple weeks after that when Kacey and I were at the doors of a YSA dance, taking the money and stamping hands. We saw Miles walking towards the doors from the parking lot and my heart started pounding so fast cause I was so excited to see him. Kacey made sure I looked okay and we welcomed Miles into the dance. Throughout the night we talked and danced with our mutual friends. At the end of the dance I took his phone from him and put my number in it. A group of us went to In-N-Out after the dance where Miles and I shared fries and a milkshake. Except really they were his and I was just eating them. After Kacey and I got back to my house that night, I got my first text from Miles ever and it said "Sandy K. Smith. What does the 'K' stand for?" I texted him back, "Kristine," and he replied "cute name for a cute girl." I still get a kick out of that. After I read that text, I literally started jumping up and down on my bed while Kacey and I were screaming cause we were so excited that he said I was cute. The next day was Saturday and we were texting continuously the whole day. We had made plans to hang out the next monday but as the texting continued we decided we would just hang out that night. He came over to my house and we talked and watched Pirates of the Caribbean. We sat on opposite sides of the couch until I kept changing positions to get more comfortable and he finally said, "you can put your head on my shoulder." Awwww. I took him up on that offer and I was more than excited to be cuddling with the cutest guy I had ever met. We started hanging out a lot after that and a couple weeks later I got a text from him that said "So are you my girlfriend or what?" Such a charmer. But I thought he was adorable and I was super in to him so I accepted his offer (or whatever you want to call that) and we became official.

May 2008. 
It was around Easter time that I really started to fall in love with Miles. In May, we took a trip to Utah to visit his family. We had such a fun time and did so much fun stuff, but I will never forget our last night there. We were sitting on the couch and he pulled me in and kissed me and then said "I love you" to me for the first time. At first all I could do was kiss him and say, "you do?" But then I, of course, told him that I love him too. From that time on, everything changed for me. I fell more in love with that boy every day and could not stand to be away from him.
During our visit to Utah
November 2008. 
On November 9, 2008, we celebrated our one year anniversary. We had a picnic on a beach in Corona del Mar right around sunset. As a gift, I got Miles a CTR ring and made him a list of 365 reasons why I love him. He gave me a beautiful diamond promise ring. It was such a perfect evening and I will never forget how crazy in love I was with him at that time.

December 2008.
I spent Christmas of 2008 with Miles' family in Utah. My mom had all my gifts sent to their house, and Miles' mom, Jennifer, had a stocking filled with gifts for me. It was a white Christmas and it was perfect. That week we made my first snowman, went snowboarding, made gingerbread houses, and walked around Temple Square. But the most memorable part of the week was when Miles received his mission call to the Washington Spokane Mission. We were all so excited that he had chosen to serve a mission. And him preparing for his mission and receiving his call made me start thinking that I might want to go. A couple days after Miles received his mission call, we were taking his dog on a walk in the snow and I told him that I also wanted to serve a mission. I will never forget that moment because he was so happy! He had the biggest smile on his face as he said, "really!?" and hugged me so tight. After that, I started to prepare for my mission as well. It was so awesome for us to be able to grow together spiritually as we prepared for our missions.

March 2009.
My family drove up to Utah for Miles' mission farewell. He and I had flown up together and met them there. My family stayed in a hotel and I stayed at Miles' family's house so I could spend more time with him during his last few days before he left. He gave a short and sweet farewell message at church on Sunday that left me in tears obviously. My family was going to be picking me up on Monday morning so we could drive back to California, so Sunday night, Miles and I stayed up late talking about fun memories and discussing what the future would hold for us. The next morning we cuddled on the couch until we heard a car in the driveway then a knock on the door. We opened the door and let my family in the house. They said goodbye to Miles while his family said goodbye to me. Then they left us alone while he and I stood on the porch to say our goodbyes. We had our last kiss and said goodbye as I walked down the front porch steps and got in the car. I sat in the back seat by myself as my mom, dad, Steve, and Ashley started on the drive back home to California. Every once in a while tears would just start streaming down my face and my brother Steve would announce to everyone in the car, "Sandy's crying!" And they would do whatever they could to get me to smile. As soon as we got home and I was alone, I couldn't stop the tears. I knew it was going to be a long two years without him. As much as I knew it was for the best, I also knew I was going to miss that boy so much. He left for his mission March 4 and I received my mission call to the Philippines on March 31.
The day we said goodbye. 

July 2009 to December 2010.
I left for my mission July 2009. Miles and I wrote letters to each other throughout my entire mission. His letters and packages were THE BEST. He was the most supportive boyfriend I could have ever asked for and his letters got me through the toughest days. 8 months before he was supposed to finish his mission, he broke his ankle and had to come home early to get surgery. He was home recovering for about 3 months and then he went back to Washington to finish the last few months of his mission. It was hard to be apart from each other and to only be able to communicate via letters, but I always tried to remember how happy we were before the mission. But, the month before I got home from my mission, I really felt like I needed to end things with Miles. I wrote him a letter telling him that I didn't think we should be together anymore. I remember standing outside of the post office in Bauan, Batangas for what felt like forever, contemplating if I should really send him the letter or not. I finally handed it to the post office lady and walked away holding back tears. I returned home from my mission in December and kept in touch with Miles' mom about returning all of his stuff to her (he had left most of his things at my house before his mission thinking he would come back down here to be with me when he got home). I had two large boxes full of stuff (including the promise ring he gave me) sent to his mom's house and a couple months later I packed my car full of Miles' things and drove up to Utah to return them.

May 2011- September 2011. 
Miles returned home from his mission in May and soon after, moved to Hawaii to go to school at BYU-Hawaii. I messaged him on facebook to welcome him home and to catch up. We messaged back and forth a little but that was mainly because Miles thought that when I returned all his stuff to his mom, I forgot to bring his body board. But I didn't see his body board anywhere in our garage and told him I didn't think we had it here. He asked me to keep an eye out for it cause he was sure he left it in our garage. These facebook conversations about his body board led us to small talk every once in a while. Until one day in September when I got a super long message from Miles telling me that he wanted to know what had changed for me and why we broke up so that he could get closure and move on with his life. I replied to his message asking him if we could talk on the phone about it. The next day I nervously called him and heard his voice for the first time in 2 years. While we were talking, everything felt like it went right back to normal so quickly. It was sooo easy to talk to him. We talked for SIX hours that night. I tried to explain the best I could why I ended things and he was really cool and understanding about everything. We also had so much fun talking about our friends and family, our missions, school, work, and old memories. This conversation led to a handful of other super long phone conversations which led to us talking about the possibility of getting back together. We decided we needed to see each other so I booked a flight to Hawaii for November.

November 2011.

As it got closer to the time I would see him, our phone conversations had slowed down and we talked less and less about getting back together. I was still excited to see him though. I started my trip to Hawaii in Maui with some friends and when they flew home, I flew to Oahu. I landed in Oahu, took a bus to Waikiki, dropped my stuff off at the place I would be staying, and then walked around town while I waited for Miles to be done with class. He texted me when he was on his way (Waikiki is about 45 minutes from his campus) so I went back up to the room and got ready. I sat on the balcony and watched the sun start to set over the ocean when I heard the door open and saw Miles walk in the room. It was surreal. We hugged and talked without any awkwardness. Everything was back to normal except without all the relationship stuff. The trip went way better than expected and when it got close to the end, I wanted it to last so much longer. Miles and I said a surprisingly emotional goodbye when he dropped me off at the airport. I walked away sobbing. I think it was mainly difficult because we hadn't figured anything out concerning our status, and we didn't know when or if we would ever see each other again.

April 2012.
At this time, we were both dating other people and we were totally just friends. He came to southern California with his dad for spring break. Kacey and I were on our way to Disneyland when I think I saw on facebook or something that Miles and his dad were also at Disneyland. I texted him telling him we should meet up. So we met up with them and talked for a little while then went on our separate ways. Again, it was so good to see him but it wasn't enough, so we met up at Starbucks the day he was heading back to Hawaii. We got breakfast and talked and talked and talked. I was totally content just being his friend, but I can't deny that I still had feelings for him and seeing him again just made the feelings stronger. We said goodbye for what felt like the one millionth time and I left Starbucks that morning wondering if I would ever see him again.

To be continued..