*this is very long one.
Written by Ali:
After McKay and I had met, I had a big crush. Luckily, we had an "overnight retreat" for Service not that weekend, but the next, so I knew I would see him soon. He had gotten my number, so that week in-between two things happened: Number one- he called me and left me a message, when I called him back telling him I was busy and could call him later, he told me it was fine, I didn't have to (??). Number two: (okay backstory: the library third floor is where all the people like begging for dates would hang out. So when we first met we both told each other that we never hung out on the "third floor") But, we saw each other on the third floor of the library. I was at a table and he was at a computer and he totally saw me but wouldn't come over and talk to me. So I had to break my own hard-to-get rule and walk over there finally and pretend like I had a question. We talked for a little bit and then I left.
Idaho weather was such a bummer, and because of all the snow, the retreat got cancelled. We ended up having our "retreat" at the school playing embarrassing games (that I literally had nervous hives for the duration of), going home, and then continuing it the next morning.
The day of the Retreat, I got to the building and walked into the gym. One of my good friends Kiley, was part of the service group too, so we stood there talking while McKay and Chris played basketball. What a hottie, I was thinking. I remember trying to play it cool and telling Kiley that I kinda thought McKay was cute. I didn't want to sound too into him, just in case it didn't work out. McKay came over to me and I was like whoa, you are talking to me?! jokingly. And then I remember him giving me a really long hug. Like REALLY long. Then we ate enchiladas and had to do skits. I thought McKay was really weird during his skit. And then I turned to Kiley and said, he is kind of weird. I still really liked him though, and wanted to hang out with him that night. I still couldn't tell if he liked me, or if he was just one of those guys that never settled. I really really wanted him to like me.
At the end of the night, we all ate ice cream together and McKay asked me what I was doing that night. I told him I didn't know. I asked him what he was doing. He said he didn't know. Then he walked away. That couldn't be it, I thought. So as we were leaving, I made Kiley wait at the bottom of the stairs so we could "run in" to McKay and Chris. We waited and da da da daaaaa he asked if we wanted to do something. I went home, waited till he called, and then drove over to his townhouse. Kiley couldn't go, so it was just me.
I got there and they were watching a game. that was the night of the dustpan incident. But it was perfect. We made a fort and while we were in there he said I could ask him whatever I wanted to. I told him that I wanted to hear stories about his mission. Then we made Muddy Buddies (which I made too peanut butter-y) and laughed and had a perfect night. Two girls came over to play games with him, but he totally focused on me. And we changed our names in each other's phones. He changed his name in mine to "M dub a dubby hubby." And that's what it is to this day.
The next day was retreat part two. And it was very mediocre. He picked me up for the retreat, we had the retreat, I went to his apartment, there was a girl there who loved snowboarding and lots of boy things, they watched YouTube videos forever, I felt out of my element and super bored, I thought I might not be his type, I told McKay to take me home cause I had homework. Oh and also, I saw McKay's butt crack that day while we were building another fort. Cute butt crack. But that day-so not ideal. And this is where I am stumped. I think we hung out that night, but I don't remember what we did. I think we watched my Ecuador slideshow and he said "can I put my arm around you?"
After that, I had to start a Blood Drive booth on campus. I sat up a little table with a little red tablecloth and my friends (McKay's sister included) would work that table when we didn't have class. Sometimes McKay helped. I loved those times. We hung out almost every day, except for one day when he said he was "just really tired." And I thought to myself, there is no way he likes me. Sleep is never a reason you wouldn't hang out with someone you like. So the next day I cried on campus! I really did! This is what happened: I was at my Blood Drive booth, and we were again, in a bind. We needed another person, so Maddi (McKay's sister) called McKay to come help. He came and helped and he looked especially cute that day. He was wearing a black and white checkered, collared shirt. I tried my very hardest to ignore him to show him that I didn't care about him. Then we both had to part for class. Later, I walked into the cafeteria and Maddi was there. And she could tell something was wrong. All of the sudden, I got all teary-eyed and said Maddi...IthinkIlikeyourbrother. And this was a big deal for me because I was supposed to be waiting for a missionary. I had never felt like this about a guy at college. Never. And I remember feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. So I did the natural thing, I made Maddi find out if he liked me.
That afternoon, McKay called me. I was in my car, going down the hill toward the Smith building. He asked if I wanted to do something and I pouted and said if you're not too tired... he laughed and told me that night would be the best night ever. I rolled my eyes in my car. But it was! It was the first night we held hands. We went into their "boom boom room" and watched his mission slideshow, and we held hands and started falling in real love.
These are my favorite moments after that:
1. He talked to my mom on the phone for the first time while we were on our first "real date." He told her that he hoped she liked his voice! haha
2. He held my hand on campus for the first time, walking through the cafateria
3. He drove my car one day because we only had mine on campus and he had walked I think. He drove to pick me up from class. I remember feeling like we were a real couple and was so excited.
4. We watched a movie in my apartment's theater room and we cuddled. We still hadn't kissed yet because I wouldn't let him, but McKay was sneaky and kissed my forehead for a really long time on the sidewalk below my apartment door. It was one of those magical kisses.
5. One time (when we still hadn't kissed), he was leaving my apartment for work or class, and he kissed me right on the side of my lips so our lips kind of touched! It was the best. I replayed that in my mind a thousand times.
6. I got mad at him for the very first time because I felt like I could never eat to my full satisfaction in front of him. On this day, we had gone to Wendy's. He got two burgers for himself, so I had to get less so I got one burger. That was not enough (especially during my college days), so when we got to where we were going, I made an excuse and I left. I drove to Dairy Queen and called my mom and said WHAT IS THE HUGEST, BEST DESSERT I CAN ORDER AT DAIRY QUEEN???!?!?!!!!!! And then I sat in the parking lot of Dairy Queen and ate a huge sundae, and complained to my mom about how McKay always ate less than me and never ordered dessert.
7. Our first Valentine's Day together. I decorated his bed and got him a Nixon watch and he had this huge basket waiting for me in my room when I woke up. It had a headband, the best smelling candle in the work, chapstick, Mela gel (this stuff I really wanted from his work), tickets to see Valentine's Day, and my favorite candies- Fast Breaks and Reeces. That night we went on a date to our would-be-favorite spot... The Thai Place. I ordered Rama Thai and he ordered Pineapple Fried Rice. The same stuff we ordered when he met my family, when we were stressed with finals, when we were newlyweds, and when I was pregnant. We love that place. *Oh, and P.S. when I got his watch, I asked Chris if he would like it and he said I was "like the best girlfriend ever." That was the first time I was called "girlfriend!" It was the best. And kind of weird!
8. We were bored one night so we went to his old apartments and pushed each other in the rolling laundry baskets. That was the night of our first kiss! It had been six weeks.
9. We had our first kiss in the backseat of my car and I was really bad at it because I hadn't kissed anyone for like a year. I was so embarrassed! And I asked him if he ate Taco Time...how awkward!
10. When we were dating, Taco Time had these really awesome, crispy taco bites that you would dip in ranch, so McKay brought me bags of those all the time.
11. One time we were with McKay's sister and her friend. McKay and I were trying to swing dance and he dropped me on my head. I pretended like it didn't hurt so he wouldn't feel bad, but it hurt.
12. McKay worked in the afternoon, so I would always get all ready again before he came over. I wore sweats so I could be comfy, but I always tried to look super cute in my sweats. I had these pink VS bottoms with "Pink" on the bum that I ended up wearing like every night. His roommates were like amazed when I wasn't wearing them They said they didn't recognize me! haha boys...
13. One night, he pulled into a parking lot, pulled out a banner, blew on a horn and screamed "Happy Half-Birthday!!"
14. He helped me a lot with the Blood Drive. One night, I had hours of stuff to do, so we got giant-sized Mountain Dews and just did it together forever. I don't know why, but it was really really fun. When the Blood Drive was actually going, we would switch-off being there. I would always get total butterflies when I saw him walking through the door and always felt so lucky that he was "mine."
15. Every day after school we would go to his apartment and cuddle on their LoveSac and fall asleep.
16. McKay's apartment manager had two kids that McKay would help with and babysit all the time. He would change diapers, talk to them, watch cartoons and drive them around. I remember watching him and thinking that whoever he married would be really really lucky.
17. One time I wanted to make him No Bake Cookies. I had made them before, but this time, when I made them, they turned out all greasy and wouldn't set. I was so frustrated and wanted to prove that I could make them (and be a good wife), so I made them three times in a row, each time they turned out bad. I finally realized that I needed to use "one and a half sticks of butter," not "one and a half cups of butter." McKay stood in my kitchen the whole time smiling, telling me that he already knew I could make perfect No Bakes.
18. When we were first getting to know each other, I had left my scriptures at his house. He brought them back to me and as when I opened them, I found a note:
Ali- Hey! Just wanted to write you a little note and thank you for the person that you are! I love your integrity, your desire to serve others and help them through their hard times! You are an amazing friend, and have helped Madison & I out so much! not to mention the countless hours spent on a vacation to Parma! Your love for others has really impressed me, and I am so glad that I have been able to spend so much time with you lately. Thanks for choosing me! You make me extremely happy Ali Pexton! with love, McKay
Written by McKay:
After I first met Ali, I knew that I needed to try and win her over but I didn't know how. I remember talking with my roommates about how I should go about it, but I didn't want to be a creeper. So I waited a day or so, and then I called her thinking that it was good timing. She didn't answer so I left a voicemail. I didn't know what to say so I just started saying the first thing that came to my mind… Something like, "Hey Ali, just wanted to call and say hi." Something embarrassing like that. I felt dumb so I tried to forget about it.
One of the next days I was studying in the library and I saw Ali walk in. I already left her a weird voicemail, and it could only get worse from there, so I acted like I didn't see her. I think to this day she thinks I was playing hard to get but I just was nervous. I tried to focus on my homework but I just started looking up sports articles or something. Then I saw Ali walking toward me out of the corner of my eye and she came up and talked to me. It was always super easy talking to her, and we were both excited for the retreat coming up that weekend.
The retreat came and Chris and I got there a little early. We started playing basketball with a couple of kids that weren't very good. We were just playing relaxed, but then Ali walked into the gym. I have to admit that I started to pick it up a notch and got a little competitive when I saw her. The retreat started and we got our food and sat down at a table. I wanted to keep some mystery in the flirting, so we didn't sit by her at first. She could already read me like a book so I had to do some little games. We then went over to talk to her and she called me out! She said that I never talk to her in public, and I realized that she was starting to figure me out. So I hugged her and apologized and realized that I needed to step up my game and get out of my comfort zone.
I think I got a little too comfortable as the night went on, because Chris and I were doing some pretty interesting skits for the activities. All I will say is I was making a pretty big fool of myself. I thought it was funny so it didn't matter to me. Ali told me that she had never felt more awkward in her life than when she was watching our skit. The night started to end, and I wanted to hang out with her more. So I waited until the last minute, didn't have a plan, and just said that I would call her that night. After an hour or so I called her and she came over to watch basketball with us. (Little did I know she hates sports, but she faked it really well!)
Our First Hangout
The Utah Jazz had their green jerseys on, and this threw Ali off. Obviously she wanted to impress the guys there and she started cheering, "Woo! GO Celtics!" We all looked at her and started laughing; it was the Jazz vs Cavs. It was the coolest thing because to me she wasn't ditzy, she was super confident through the whole night. That was one thing that immediately jumped out and love slapped me in the face. We kept talking throughout the night and it was so easy getting to know her. We made "muddy buddies", Ali loved this part of it, and that was a fun experience going to the grocery store with her. I kept getting that little kid feeling around her, like I was super lucky to be with her at that moment and didn't know what to say or do but feel excited, kinda of feeling. If that describes it at all. We were walking around the store together and it just felt right being with her. I hadn't ever had that feeling with anyone else.
Another note to this night was I learned that Ali is an amazing story teller. Who knew that a snow scraper and a dustpan were the same thing! Best story I have ever heard in my life. But again, it didn't make Ali sound ditzy at all. It would have made anyone else look so silly, but this was so different. I talked with my friends later that night when she had left, and we all were just amazed at how confident and put together she was. We would always talk about finding a girl that has a "light" about her, and this was the one! We all agreed that she was pretty amazing. Little did I know that Ali liked my friend Chris too, and soon another friend: Buck Nasty.
One last story about this first night was something she asked me, and to be completely honest it was the deal sealer… We made a fort out of blankets in the living room and started talking. We started asking each other questions to get to know one another a little better, and the first question she asked was "Tell me about your mission." And that was the one question no girl had asked me to explain. Interesting that I served two years in an area of the world away from home and no one had really asked me to describe it to them. She sat there and listened to story after story, for probably an hour, and she loved every second of it or at least put up with it. This was really the moment that I knew I had a keeper and that I needed to fight for her!
The next day was the last part of the service retreat, and I think we were all pretty washed up and tired. It was fun, but just too early in the morning. I remember being excited that we were put in the same service group, that would mean that we would work together and have meeting for the rest of the semester. That was definitely a bonus!
A night that stands out huge is when I went to Ali's apartment for the first time. I got there and we talked for a little bit, and I really wanted her to tell me about her experience in Ecuador helping children at the orphanage. I thought that was the coolest thing that she would sacrifice her time and help children that were without families. She got her computer and we headed to her apartment complex's lounge. We found an empty piano room in there and sat up against the wall really close to eachother. It was fun sitting next to her and talking through the slideshow and pictures, and about a few seconds into it she started to get emotional. This was the moment! I couldn't resist trying to comfort her, so I made the move and put my arm around her. I was only expecting to be able to do that for a little while, but she let me do it through the whole slideshow! It was the best moment, since when we were in the fort talking about my mission, and I wanted it to keep going so we talked for a long time about her experiences. It was even more exciting to me because the areas that I served in my mission were really similar to the culture and lifestyle of Ecuador. There is a curfew rule in Rexburg so we had to be out by midnight, or else I honestly think we would have wanted to be there the whole night. This girl was the real deal and I had never met a girl like her before!
My Theory About Girls
It seems like there are big milestones in a relationship when it comes to girls. My friend Jason and I would always talk about this; how a girl feels like holding hands is a HUGE step in a relationship, and then obviously the first kiss and then it continues from there. I had never felt like that when it came to holding hands, but for some reason I was really really nervous to get to that point with Ali. I guess it was because everything was so perfect up to that point. The night came that we watched my mission video at my apartment and I showed her a bunch of pictures and people that I had grown to love. We were sitting on the love sac in our apartment living room, and it was just super comfortable. It felt like I had a girlfriend already and it was just an exciting feeling. About halfway through the video a couple girls walked in that wanted to see my friend. He was upstairs doing homework and he said he didn't want to hang out with them, so they just sat around waiting for him. They went into the closet where we had a nintendo and a tv setup, the "boom boom room", and it was really weird because they were directly in front of us. But we ignored them and they eventually left. The more we got into the video the closer we got, and I reached over and held her hand. It was the best night!
I knew valentines day needed to be super romantic and that was one of many parts of my life that I was bad at. So I decided to make a basket full of things that she loved. Reeces Fast Break bars, really good Chapstick, a headband that I think she wore once, some lovey dovey stuff, and movie tickets to "valentines day". I even bought a basket and tried to make it all pretty. My mission friend Mark came and was visiting me and his girlfriend that night, and I asked him if he had ever wrapped a basket before. We both looked at it and spent a good hour trying to figure out how it worked. Haha. We did the best that we could and it ended up pretty good I think! Chris and I took it over to Ali's room the next day and had her roommate put it on her bed. I guess she liked it because she ran up to me, jumped on me, and started smooching me. Just kidding it wasn't that easy. She couldn't even look at me straight in the eyes at this point yet. Haha.
The next couple weeks were filled with hardcore flirting and getting really really close. We would download our favorite music for each other and we had a night where Ali was set on convincing me to love country. "It's the music of love, how would you not like it?" I tried super hard, and found a couple songs that I liked and tried to surprise her.
It got to the point where we were dating and it was just hard to resist the next step, kissing. It had been a month and after being patient for a while, I was getting tired. My roommates and I kept trying to think of ways that I could do it, but it just wasn't working. I remember one night we were sitting in my apartment, alone, with the lights low, and it was perfect. Then all of a sudden I heard music coming from the top of the stairs next to us, "Go on and kiss the girl." Hahaha. It was definitely a very good attempt, but it made the mood worse and I was unsuccessful again. There was so much anticipation built up for us to kiss that it made it really awkward. We both wanted to, but the expectations we both had made it super hard for some reason! Finally one day we were driving in the car, and we just pulled over and did it. Haha it was a funny experience.
Everything Else That Was Special
- Dropping Ali off at her apartment was my favorite thing in the world because we would just sit in the car and talk forever. We had so many deep conversations that helped us grow together so fast.
- When Ali was nervous to tell me about her missionary, which I already knew about, and other things in her life
- The day that a guy Ali knew begged me to not even try to date her because he had tried and was rejected
- The night of our first fight, and staying up for hours talking on the phone even though we forgave each other in the first 10 minutes.
- When we told each other every secret about our lives just because we cared so much about what the other person thought of us.