Thursday, July 28, 2011
We're excited to bring you even bigger, better dates, with more excitement than ever before. But before we get on with the show we're giving YOU, our loyal fans, an opportunity to be a part of the show!
Have you recently started a new business and are looking for a great way to spread the word? Or perhaps you're already well established and looking for a new crowd to come your way? We can help! Advertising with The Mormon Bachelorette is simple and easy. Just send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll tell you everything you need to know to become a sponsor on the 2nd half of our show. It's an opportunity you won't want to miss, so send us an email today!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Many of you have asked us to include more footage to get to know the guys better. We scraped through the outtakes and found what we could to help you get to know them behind-the-scenes. Enjoy Ashley interviewing Pete to get to know his alter-ego...
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 10:50 PM
Friday, July 22, 2011
Blind dates can go either one way or another - in Tadd and Ashley's case they were the "other". Many of you saw their date as a fun evening with two great but very different people. Tadd's awesome sense of humor and Ashley's ladylike manners and poise definitely clashed. Even though it appeared that they had a good time despite their differences, there was something else going on behind the scenes. Enjoy both Ashley and Tadd's thoughts about the most controversial date of this season so far. We are pleased to say that things work out for the best and both are doing great now - getting to know people different from us builds character afterall:).
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Hi TMB Followers - we are taking a break from our regular programming today to bring you a video and post about a very special little girl, Ruby Jane, daughter of one of Erin's friends, Ani Taylor.
Little Ruby joined Matt and Ani Taylor's family on January 5, 2011. 3 months later she was diagnosed with a rare liver disorder called Caroli's Disease/Syndrome. Since that time the Taylor family has been in and out of the hospital with their little girl, and is now waiting for a liver donation to save Ruby's life.
If you haven't guessed it already by watching The Mormon Bachelorette, we are big proponents of eternal marriage and families. We wanted to bring Ruby's situation to light and ask for your support. There are so many ways you can help, including:
- Fast and pray for Ruby's recovery with us on Sunday July 24th.
- A PayPal account has been set up in Ruby's name if you would like to donate to help the family - you can access it here.
- Learn about becoming an organ donor at www.donateamerica.net.
- Forward this post to your friends and family and spread the word about Ruby - there is strength in numbers! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog, whatever!
To stay up to date on Ruby's progress you can follow Ani and Matt's blog - www.aniandmatttaylor.blogspot.com
- Erin, Aubrey and Tristen
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
One of the trickiest parts of this all is not knowing what to wear for each date. The Staffers want to keep the date activity a surprise for me, so I have to rely on them to give me direction on what to wear. Today’s date was an example of just how hard this can be to figure out from their cryptic messages. Once I found out our activity, I wished I had worn a very different outfit.
So what was this mystery activity that I misappropriately dressed for? Ballroom dancing with a very skilled dancer, Jordan Miles! But I’m getting ahead of myself. When Jordan picked me up, I instantly recognized him from our mocktail party. I had noticed him there because he was a good looking guy that I had never seen in Arizona before. Unfortunately I never had a chance to meet him at the party so I was left wondering if he really was one of my future dates or not.
I was happy to have my suspicion confirmed when I found Jordan on my doorstep, looking dapper in a button down and nice jeans. He took me to a nearby park for a picnic with a nice light breakfast of a variety of fruits, all carefully sliced and placed in containers with some blueberries thrown in each one to add some visual appeal. I was certainly impressed with the attention to detail. I was thrilled when Jordan told me that the next stop on our date was at a dance studio for a private lesson in West Coast Swing. I have done a fair amount of dance throughout my life, but I’m not incredibly trained in any one style. Partner dancing is probably the one I’ve done the least amount of dancing in. So I was nervous about how well I would do, but felt good knowing that Jordan would be there to lead me through it.
When we arrived at Paragon Studio, he introduced me to his sister, Jalair, who would be our instructor. She was a beautiful, petite woman with a sparkling smile – qualities very fitting for a great dancer. Jalair and Jordan started off by showing me an example of what we’d be learning. It quickly became apparent that Jordan certainly had the skills that would have allowed him to become a professional dancer as he had once planned to become. I hoped I wouldn’t hold him back too much!
As we worked through the basics of West Coast Swing, Jordan was very patient with me. He was confident in leading me through the moves, which is exactly what you want in a dance partner. As I caught onto each move, we added more and more moves to build our repertoire. Jordan was great at giving me positive feedback when I did something well, and smiled and laughed with me when I did something not so well. Trust me, this is the kind of guy that you want to be in his arms.
Jordan was surprised when his younger sister, Jessa, arrived at the studio, ready for her lesson with Jalair after us. I insisted that she too needed to show me her moves, so Jordan took her out to the dance floor. She was just as fluid, beautiful, and sassy on the dance floor as her sister. It was fun to see Jordan interacting with his sisters. It was obvious that they are all close to each other, which is a great blessing to have strong family ties.
After teaching me a few more moves we tried them all together to a great hip hop song and worked the floor! By this time I was trusting Jordan more and more and was able to get my right arm to relax more and truly let him lead. We had a great time whirling around the dance floor. Jordan was wise to put himself in his best element and bring me along with him. He was a great dancer!
I love that dance can be a great metaphor for relationships. As the woman you have to surrender yourself and your will, and let the man take you through the moves. This isn’t to say that the woman can’t show her own strengths but jazzing up the moves, creating excitement for her and her partner. In the end the two are brought together into a beautiful showcase of compromise.
By now I had worked up a real appetite and was happy when I learned that we were going to Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, for some lunch. We said goodbye to his sisters and hit the road. It was nice to sit down and have some more time to really talk and get to know about each other. By now I had picked up on Jordan’s laid back nature. He’s not loud, doesn’t draw attention to himself, but he’s got a lot to talk about and carried a conversation very well. I feel like Jordan has some layers that you have to work through before you’ll see just how amazing his is – he doesn’t put all his cards on the table at once. But everything he was showing so far showed a man of solid character and faith. I liked everything about him.
After a good chat we took our moves to the dance floor one more time. Toby Keith’s is a great place to go for dancing. Since it was the middle of the day, we had the whole floor to ourselves and Jordan made sure to utilize the space. He really was so great and made me feel confident, even though I certainly was not as good as him. What a gentlemen and an exciting date!
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 10:26 PM
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
I have been having a wonderful time going on dates with amazing guys from places far and wide, sharing incredible experiences, and seeing blessings in people’s lives and little miracles through The Mormon Bachelorette. I received a suggestion that I turn the tables and that I should take out a certain well-known Bachelor from Gilbert. I was intrigued and decided I was game for the date.
I showed up on David Johnson’s doorstep, excited to have fun with a guy who I’d been told had great enthusiasm for life. I was also told that he would likely be calling me his girlfriend by the end of the night…confident guy! What I didn’t know in advance was that David is a skilled drummer – but I was let in on this secret shortly after meeting him. I requested a performance and he was kind to oblige. I had also found out in advance that David’s favorite restaurant was a teppanyaki place called Ah-So, and that he loved bowling (I like to do my research!). I wanted to plan something he would enjoy and I was excited to share the evening with him.
David is 27 and has Down Syndrome. David does have some limitations through his disability such as difficulty hearing sometimes, and I couldn’t always understand exactly what he said at first. But I learned a long time ago that disabilities are not an inherent handicap. We are only handicapped when we allow a disability to limit us. Every one of us has disabilities; it’s just that some are more visible than others. David does not allow his disability to limit or handicap him. He has a job, he plays drums, he’s a great bowler, etc. David is full of life, he trusts people, he loves people, and he knows how to make people laugh. David lights up any room that he walks into. He’s just pure. I think that people with mental disabilities are actually spared some of the worries of the world. They don’t seem to be distracted by the negative, or the evil things that exist in society. At least I know that was the case with David. He just saw everything with optimism. I was so impressed.
My favorite part of the date was probably our dance session in my car. I tell you what, that David Johnson has some serious moves and totally showed me up! We just jammed out and laughed. Dinner at Ah-So was great as well, when we were able to talk and enjoy the show they put on while making our food. Our chef, “Ninja Dave” really played off of David’s energy and we had a fabulous time.
At the end of the night, David presented me with a bowling pin from the lane. What a sweet momento that I can keep to remember our date. David was just awesome. Truly one of the best guys I’ve ever met. I felt extremely privileged to meet him.
The great experiences from the evening weren’t quite done yet. I was able to talk with David’s mom, Gina, for awhile after I brought David home. Gina is a wonderful woman, mother of 7 and founder of Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona. Her foundation helps parents of children with Down Syndrome to face their real emotions and feelings, and then look to the future with optimism. Talking with Gina was truly life changing. I was just so touched by her perspective on life and willingness to help others through what can feel like an insurmountable problem. She felt that way when she had David, she was sad and upset, but she learned what a wonderful blessing David is and she helps share that message with other families.
I have experienced some major ups and downs through this process, but this was a high that I am incredibly grateful for.
**Special thanks to Annie Johnson for doing my hair tonight. I wanted to look my very best for David and so I wore one of my favorite shirts, and got all done up. No holding back on this one. Annie helped me feel very pretty.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 11:23 PM
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
When I opened the door and found Brandon on my doorstep, I couldn’t help but notice the Ford Mustang behind him. Alright, this guy speaks my language! I assumed that he must be local and that the car must be his because that’s not a typical rental car. The truth is that Brandon lives in Texas where he’s finishing up Dental School. As for the rental car, the customer service rep had informed him that he would be receiving a Kia Soul.
Brandon determined this would not be a sufficient car and utilized his negotiation skills to get himself a Mustang at a good price. Ironically, just that morning on my drive to work I had looked at a Kia Soul on the road and thought to myself, “man that is an ugly car.” Please forgive me if you own and love your Kia Soul. I am happy for you to have found a car that suits you. In dating we all have our preferences and people that fit and ones that don’t, so too in cars do we all have different opinions and matches. I wondered if Brandon and I could match on more than just car interests.
I quickly learned that Brandon was from the great state of Colorado (my home state), and that he, like I, did not grow up snowboarding or skiing – which often comes as a shock to people who live outside of Colorado. It just wasn’t the activity of interest for either of our families. And in my personal defense, I did live about 2 hours away from the slopes. This excuse held sway in Utah, but it doesn’t do much to help me in AZ where people drive 3 hours to go snowboard.
Over dinner at Café Rio I discovered that Brandon shares a love for all that is BYU, but he also likes the Texas Longhorns, as do I. Lest you should question my loyalties, BYU is ALWAYS #1, and when I go to the BYU v. Texas football game this fall, I will be cheering for BYU all the way. But though I was raised in Colorado, I was born in Texas, so I gotta have a little bit of pride! I’m glad that Brandon and I saw eye to eye on this.
It was time to get up and get active, so we headed to Golfland for a round of min-golf. Brandon showed his great creativity with a game he’d created to go along with our golf round. At each hole we pulled a slip of paper from a BYU bookstore bag, and on the paper was a specific way of hitting the ball, and each one related to something unique about him. What a great way to get to know more about my date! It turns out that Brandon is an All-American guy. He loves sports, he enjoys a good movie, he’s willing to bust out an accent and play a character, he’s solid in the Church and he loves his family.
Amid our fun we happened upon a frog on the course. I couldn’t resist picking it up. I learned long ago that frogs use urination as a defense mechanism, so I wisely held him on his sides and far away from me. Tell you what though, when this little guy let loose I was blown away by how much he had held inside for just a moment such as this. I was getting the vibe that this couldn’t be my prince charming…perhaps I just needed to focus on Brandon and see if he was possibly my prince charming!
As for the performance on the course, though I started off with a hole in one, the number of strokes on each hole for me were varying greatly. Meanwhile, Brandon was playing nice and consistently. With a few holes left Brandon had a pretty solid lead on me, but then I started to catch my stride and he could feel the pressure. Did I succeed in closing the gap? I guess you’ll have to watch the video and see!
Win or lose, I had fun with Brandon on a very pleasant evening in good ol’ Mesa, AZ.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 8:01 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I carefully selected a shirt in my closet to match a new pair of baby blue earrings that I had just received from Ryan Amelia Design. They were adorable and I really felt like wearing them. You can imagine my delight when I opened the door and found that my date, Graydon, was wearing a very similarly colored polo. Wow, two dates in a row that were connecting with my brainwave across the miles!
Once in the car and on our way to lunch, we truly did jump right on the same brainwave. Graydon is a man that believes in the Gospel, comes from a solid family, graduated from BYU and loves BYU sports, and is in accounting. I actually really love crunching numbers, analyzing them, etc. I realize he’s using much higher level competencies than that, but I could appreciate and admire what he did for work. I was impressed when I learned that Graydon had just become aware of The Mormon Bachelorette a week prior to our date. How remarkable to be willing to take a leap of faith and commit to coming out from Palo Alto to take me out, without really having the time to ponder the prospect and all its implications.
We ate lunch at Sweet Cakes, a locally owned café and sweets shop in downtown Mesa. I love one and only restaurants like Sweet Cakes. They just have a charm to them. They had lots of great salads and sandwiches to choose from – it was actually hard to pick just one! But I settled on a stuffed tomato salad and felt good knowing that I had made my choice and would love my choice (just as President Monson had advised us to do in dating in his talk at April 2011 General Conference). We were both impressed by a table that was waiting for us, with a bottle of chilled Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Juice and a rose in a vase. It was such a nice touch! The most concerted effort I’d seen by one of the restaurants I’d gone to up to this point.
Over lunch, Graydon and I easily moved from one topic to another, getting to know about each other. From what I can tell, Graydon is a go with the flow kind of guy. He’s certainly driven in what he wants in life, but he can also roll with it.
Our next stop was his brother’s house in Mesa, to make some rice krispies to then take to an assisted living home. Once more I was in the kitchen working with my date to create a masterpiece. Graydon and I laughed as we tried to find everything we needed (always hard to be in someone else’s kitchen). Eventually we pulled off some great treats, if I do say so myself! Treats that were definitely worthy to share.
Though it was a warm afternoon, Graydon wanted to ride bikes over to the assisted living home. I was totally on board, but I’m the one that’s used to the heat. I give Graydon mad props for being willing to handle the temperature. It turned out to be a really wonderful ride – it made me wish that I had a bike!
Once at the assisted living home we were able to meet with Marie. She was such a sweetheart and was very appreciative of the rice krispies. She enthusiastically told us about her family, but it was actually really hard to get her to talk about herself. Anytime that we tried to get her talking, she would turn the tables and ask us about ourselves. It was a good example to me of the importance of continually looking to put others before ourselves; to always find other’s lives more interesting than our own. When we asked for advice on how to make a marriage work, she told us that we had to stay true to the Gospel. It really is as simple as that.
The whole time I was with Graydon I felt uplifted and at ease. He is such a caring and thoughtful person, as evidenced by the activity he chose for our date. I truly enjoyed the afternoon and add it to the list of wonderful experiences I’ve had through The Mormon Bachelorette.
**A big thanks to Jane Johnson for the beautiful earrings from Ryan Amelia Designs! Mention "BACHELORETTE" at check-out for a 10% discount**
Monday, July 11, 2011
I knew I was off to a good start with my date Pete when we both chose to wear purple shirts for the night. Purple is the color of royalty and since the royal wedding was this year I think it might be a good omen. I liked this guy’s style. I know that men aren’t always fashion savvy, and trust me, I don’t want a man who’s more concerned with his clothes than I am, but I can appreciate a man who does know how to dress well. What’s great about Pete is that he’s not a metro pretty boy, he’s just a guy that knows how to buy a good shirt. I promise it’s possible for all men to figure this out.
Pete took us out to Phoenix for dinner at Delux Burger. Once more the power of the internet was manifested, as he’d just found the place online with good reviews. I am a girl that can definitely appreciate a good slab of meat so I was stoked on the fancy burger joint. I liked that we had a love for food in common, and that we’re both slightly foodies - this is a quality I have been looking for in a husband.
Over dinner I learned that at one point Pete was a salesman for a cell phone company. I didn’t really see him being a salesman, given his laid back personality. He didn’t seem like the type that would get in your face and convince you to buy something. But as I looked at him, I realized that he did look like the Verizon guy in all the commercials…dark hair, tall, black rimmed glasses. Okay, okay, I could trust what Pete told me to do.
I was excited about the next portion of our evening – we were going to the Phoenix Bat Cave! There is a flood control tunnel behind a school that is home to 5000 bats. As the sun sets, the bats begin to leave the tunnel to go forage for the night. I was impressed by Pete’s 'outside of the box' thinking for this one. I was also impressed by his thought in bringing a flashlight for the walk back from the tunnel. It’s the little things that say a lot. But watching the bats was really interesting. They move so fast that every time you tried to put your eyes on one, you’d lose focus and sight of it. At least I couldn’t pull it off!
When we arrived at the house Pete was staying at, there on the kitchen counter were all the ingredients for home made Oreos, perfectly set out and waiting for us. Once more, the attention to detail really stood out to me. As I’ve said before, I like working side by side on a project together to see if we will be compatible as husband and wife. Pete was patient and trusting that I would do my part correctly, but he was confident in taking the lead on making the cookies. Our only flaw with the cookies was perhaps overcooking them a bit…other than that they tasted great and they looked so pretty. I thought we made a pretty good product together and also made a great team!
I felt really comfortable around Pete which is one of my number one requirements. He’s unassuming which allows you to just open up and enjoy the moment. I feel like I didn’t really get to know Pete and all that he has to offer on our first date though. He said himself that he doesn’t think a first date really allows you to get to know someone. I agree that a first date only gets you so much of a glimpse. But it has to be a glimpse that makes you want to see more. I want to see Pete in a different setting, perhaps one that includes even more adventure to see if we can enjoy that together.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 11:55 PM
Sunday, July 10, 2011
If you are interested in being the next Mormon Bachelor or Bachelorette apply through our website today! Temple marriage is only 22 first dates, 8 second dates and 1 final date away!
E-mail us at email@example.com with any questions!
Here's to finding True Mormon Love!
If you don't want to be the next Mormon Bachelor/ette but are still 1. Mormon 2. Single 3. Ready to get married - get in Tristen's database here.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 11:53 AM
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Door step greetings on a first date can be slightly awkward, but that’s real dating, right? But, I’ll let you in on a secret. When Matt came to my door I told the crew, “okay wait, we need to do that again - I just completely bumbled over myself, and it just didn’t work.” This exchange instantly broke the ice and had Matt and I laughing right from the start. The light mood carried on as we got in the car, and continued throughout the night. Matt is an outgoing, upbeat, confident guy. We quickly found ourselves jumping past the basics and talking about past relationships, and long term goals. It was just completely comfortable and I felt secure in sharing those things with him from the first hello.
Dinner was at a great local restaurant – Famous Dave’s BBQ. Tell you what, these guys put on a real show! They have multiple BBQ sauces to choose from, with intriguing names such as Devil Spit and Hot & Sassy. When I saw the rack of sauces I was a bit overwhelmed, but our server took us on “the sauce tour” (something he apparently coined), by writing on the plate and explaining each sauce and what made it unique. They brought out a bowl of kettle potato chips and Matt and I went to town trying the different sauces.
While Matt and I were talking over dinner, I happened to lean forward and hold onto the edge of the table. I noticed that shortly after, Matt mimicked my move, and put his hand on the edge of the table, leaning forward as well. It wasn’t intentional, he just did it subconsciously. I instantly noticed and felt elated to literally be witness to a physical confirmation of the connection I was feeling. Our conversation was flowing so naturally and he had me laughing all night long. I laughed so hard that I actually snorted…yes, I know, totally embarrassing. But that’s what happens when you really get me going. It was genuine. What was great though was that it wasn’t just laughter over silly things - we were having really meaningful conversation.
As dinner came to a close, Famous Dave’s pulled out the big guns and brought us a bowl of ice cream with a sparkling firework on top! This was very representative of how I was feeling inside about this incredible guy. I have never seen something like that in a restaurant. I actually can’t believe it wasn’t against fire code... But it was a perfectly charming touch and end to a perfect dinner.
We had so much fun at dinner that we lost track of time. The funny thing is, I didn’t care what we did. I was just happy to be spending time with Matt. We ended up going for a walk on the bridge that runs over Tempe Town Lake on Mill Avenue. It’s lit up with white lights and is very picturesque and incredibly romantic. The setting was just a wonderful as I’d hoped it would be and the good conversation just carried on.
On the drive home, Matt asked if I’d ever gone skim boarding before. I’ve always wanted to try it but haven’t had a chance. “Oh well then you’ll have to come skim boarding with me sometime.” The butterflies were going strong inside when he made mention of our future plans together. I felt my cheeks blushing. What a perfect night. I can’t wait for more to come…
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 6:24 PM
Friday, July 8, 2011
The first thing I liked about Kurt – his Minnesota accent. What can I say, I’m a sucker for accents! Second thing that impressed me, he’d come all the way from Minnesota! And in order to do that without spending an arm and a leg, he’d flown to Vegas and then drove from there. This guy truly knew how to go the distance and that is a quality I am looking for in a guy so I was instantly attracted.
Kurt chose a fun outdoors activity I have never done before! Soon we were off to Castles N’ Coasters! Now this is a place that I’ve never gone to. I remember seeing it next to the freeway when I was a little girl, driving with my family to visit my grandparents in Mesa. I was always fascinated by it and wished we could stop to ride the coasters. Finally that dream was coming true, thanks to Kurt.
The really great thing is that not only were we going to ride the big rides, but they just built a high ropes course and zip line in the last few months and we hit it up! Kurt had just done a bunch of zip lining on a recent vacation and wanted to share the fun with me. I’ve done high ropes courses before, and zip lined in Hawaii a few years ago, but I was really excited to do it all with him.
We started off with the high ropes course and Kurt showed me right from the beginning that he was able to hold his own. He quickly challenged me to a race across the rope segment ahead of us. I’m always game for some competition! I think the final score put us pretty dead even. But I loved that Kurt was always encouraging and supportive of my successes, while still putting forth his best effort – he didn’t let up for “the girl” which is the way I like it. After the ropes we took the zip line down and back. I count myself lucky that heights don’t really scare me. I love an adrenaline rush so all of this was right up my alley. I loved soaring through the sky, high above the ground. I could tell Kurt was having fun on our adventure as well.
We took a break to get some food and I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Kurt some more over dinner. We talked about families, friends, church – all the basics but I like that part of it. The stories that develop out of those conversations tell you a lot about a person. Kurt explained that he’s not the most outgoing person. But at church he’d seen how important it is to reach out to people, so he intentionally goes out of his comfort zone to make sure and meet people at church. Coming out for the date was probably out of his comfort zone, but he did it anyway. I was really impressed by his awareness of others and his willingness to take a risk!
On the drive home we talked about music and I learned that Kurt likes Jason Mraz. Tell you what, anyone that likes Mr. A-Z is good by me – one more reason Kurt’s a winner in my book. I really enjoyed my time with Kurt and am so glad I had a true Midwest guy to come show me how they treat ladies in Minnesota. I could get used to that here in AZ if he would be willing to move...
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 7:06 PM
Thursday, July 7, 2011
It was fun to find a familiar face on my doorstep tonight. Daniel and I had met in February at a Valentine’s party. I knew most everyone at the party so when I saw a good-looking guy across the room that I didn’t recognize he instantly caught my attention. I was in conversation with a group of people on one end of the room, and he was on the other. Our eyes met a few times and I wondered how I could get a chance to talk to him. I decided to provide a window by walking into the kitchen to get a glass of water. Daniel jumped at the chance to start a conversation and walked into the kitchen after me. No numbers were exchanged at the time but I felt sure I would see him again.
Over the next few months that I saw Daniel a few more times in group settings, but he never took me on a date. I wondered occasionally what had kept him from taking me out, but once I was announced as the next Mormon Bachelorette the thought drifted to the back of my mind. I assumed that most of my bachelors would be guys that I didn’t know – if I knew them then I figured they would have already asked me out by now if they were interested. But it seems that Daniel had just strongly begun considering taking me out right when I was announced. So, he decided to put his name in the running and applied for a date!
Daniel had lined up a very nice evening for us. We were headed out to Ahwatukee, a really nice part of the Phoenix Valley, to a home of a Bishopric member. The home is set at the highest elevation in the valley, and has only one other home that shares the street. It was absolutely stunning! We were treated to a beautiful Arizona sunset before we went inside to start dinner.
We were fortunate to have a big, wonderful kitchen to work in, but without the home owners around to show us where utensils and pans were, we had a bit of an adventure locating the items we needed. Eventually we found everything and made a mean spaghetti and fabulous salad. I was impressed with the thought Daniel had put into the meal – simple yet effective additions to a classic dinner. I always enjoy working on projects with the guys I date, so I had fun making the meal together. Daniel was laid back and gave me space to work on my parts of the meal while he worked on his, but was still ever present to help when needed. I liked it. And good thing that we agreed on liking our pasta a little more cooked than al dente:).
Once we had set out the completed meal, we enjoyed a pleasant conversation. Daniel is very intelligent and very well read, so it’s always interesting to learn from him through our discussions. Because I’ve been around Daniel before, I have a bit more insight into his experiences in dating than I’ve had with most of my bachelors. I think that Daniel truly knows what love is, and knows how to love, in a pure way. I have no doubt that he’ll be a great husband and father, who will look after the special people in his life. I kept thinking that maybe I could be that lucky girl someday. What an extremely attractive quality! And props to Daniel for helping with the dishes.
After dinner I was treated to a Drumstick ice cream cone out on the porch. It was such a perfect evening outside! A bit on the warm side, but with some ice cream and a good companion, it was excellent. Daniel had planned for us to play a game after dessert, but it was getting late so we opted to head home. I appreciated him being sensitive to the fact that I was already going off of small amounts of sleep and would benefit from getting home at a decent hour.
Daniel is somewhat opposite of me in several ways, with his calm, easy going nature. He’s very even keeled and I can tell that it would take a lot to rock his boat. At the same time, he’s driven in his schooling and future career in law. I would describe Daniel as having quite confidence, or subtle strength. He’s incredibly sincere and you wouldn’t ever have to question his motives. I felt very lucky to have been able to spend an evening with Daniel (finally!).
Thanks to the Petersen’s for being so kind to share their gorgeous home for our date! I had the privilege of meeting them at the end of the night and they were so wonderful – very personable and incredibly giving. I hope that when I’m in their stage of life I can be just a deeply in love as they are, and always giving back to others like they do.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 5:29 PM
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The Fourth of July is my second favorite holiday, surpassed only by Christmas. I love my country, as evidenced by the decoration on my front door and throughout my house this month. I am so grateful to live in a country that provides us the opportunity to worship God, to choose our religion, to work for our pay, and pursue happiness. For that, I feel compelled to celebrate our Independence Day and give thanks to God.
In Colorado the weather is perfect in July! Temperatures in the mid 80’s and always a nice gentle breeze. I grew up going to a small town Fourth of July parade in Monument, Colorado where we typically hosted a barbeque with our friends in the afternoon. One of the downers of Arizona is how hot it is for the Fourth. I’ve actually run away to cooler locations each Fourth of July that I’ve lived in Arizona. But this year I was staying put, and I really hoped that my date would take me to see the fireworks, which I’d heard rumor were actually quite good.
I was so happy when I opened the door and found Derrick waiting for me, wearing a blue shirt with red lettering. I took this as an omen that we would indeed be celebrating America’s birthday! Derrick quickly let me know that we’d be going to dinner down on Mill Avenue...didn’t tell me what we were doing after, but I felt pretty sure it would be fireworks over Tempe Town Lake which was right at the end of Mill Ave.
I really enjoyed talking to Derrick as we drove to Tempe. What immediately came out was his passion for his job. I really consider it a blessing to have a job that you love, in an industry that you enjoy, and to have great coworkers. And it sounded like Derrick has all of those in place. We spend so much of our day at work and I know the value of being happy at work. I could also tell that Derrick was committed to succeeding at work, to pushing himself to achieve. To me this is a characteristic that indicates how much someone will work at their relationships in life, and I know that relationships do require work. Derrick is in marketing and has some exposure to corporate events, and also likes to plan events and activities in his personal life. Because of this he had a lot of understanding of what I do on a day-to-day basis, the kind of challenges I face, and the traits I need to do my job well. It’s always nice when someone understands a big part of who you are.
Dinner was at a great restaurant, La Bocca. They were so kind to have a table reserved for us and took excellent care of us. And the food was wonderful. Derrick tried bruschetta for the first time (one of my favorite foods), and I think he was a fan! Over dinner we found another common experience that was really great to talk about and share – he was a talented wrestler in high school (I knew it – he totally has the build!) and I was the manager of our wrestling team in high school. No no, I was not the “Mat Maid” – if you had called me that my coaches and wrestlers would have thrown you to the ground! I had a great relationship with the coaches and players and felt like I really was part of the team and contributed. I love wrestling. I love that it’s pure sport – man versus man. It takes talent, but it also takes total heart and commitment. I could see the excitement in Derrick’s eyes as he talked about it.
We also discussed how the relationship between a wrestler and coach can be similar to the relationship between an individual and God. As a wrestler, when you’re on the mat you have the whole crowd cheering for you, you’ve got the opponent’s coach yelling at their wrestler, and you have your own coach giving you commands and guidance. You absolutely have to train yourself to recognize your coach’s voice, to hear it through the crowd, you have to know him. We too must all learn to recognize the voice of our Heavenly Father, as he speaks to us through the Spirit, and hear it through all the distracting noise of the world. I could tell that Derrick was someone who has developed this ability to hear the Spirit and follow it.
After a great dinner we made our way down Mill toward Tempe Town Lake. Yep, fireworks were the culminating event for the night! We were fortunate to get into the VIP area which put us right on the edge of the water, next to the bridge where they shoot the fireworks off. It was the closest either of us had ever been to big fireworks. We sat for awhile, and then laid on the hot sidewalk to save our necks from craning up. It was a tradeoff, putting yourself on the hot sidewalk but it was amazing to feel like the fireworks were falling right over you. Derrick and I had fun singing along to the choreographed songs, and guessing which color the next firework would be. I liked his playful nature and have always looked for that quality in a husband. Derrick definitely fit on my list perfectly.
I really enjoyed my night with Derrick. He’s a great, great guy and wins big points for being willing to give up his holiday in Utah in order to spend it with me. I never cease to be impressed with my dates and their willingness to take a risk to come take me out. Love requires risks and I know Derrick will be rewarded for it.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 7:45 PM
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
My date activity tonight required that I wear a bit of a costume, so I had a little more of a heads up on this one than normal as to what I should wear. I was told to dress 1940’s style/World War II style, and that if I chose to wear a skirt that I should wear shorts underneath it. Okay okay, I’m starting to pick up on what this might be. I hoped that this meant I was going dancing...
When I found Chris on my doorstep in a white sailor suit, I got even more excited about what exactly we’d be going to. Let’s be honest ladies, who doesn’t love a man in a uniform? I was fortunate to have some friends assist with my hair, makeup, and even in picking out my outfit for the night, so I felt completely pampered. It brought back memories of being a little girl playing dress up – you felt like a princess heading to a ball. And I was happy to be next to a dapper looking sailor.
I instantly felt at ease with Chris, like I could tell him my fears, my secrets, and he wouldn’t judge me for it. He would just take it in, and then provide some sage advice. That feeling continued over dinner at Royal Taj, an Indian restaurant in Phoenix. Just as all my dates have done, Chris had carefully selected the restaurant, and I appreciated the effort. I haven’t done Indian a lot and so I was grateful to have a guru like Chris to guide me. The food was very good, especially the naan bread. Over dinner Chris asked several questions about how the experience of being The Mormon Bachelorette was going, how it felt. I was really impressed by Chris’ ability to put himself in my shoes and see it from my perspective. He was dead on with the things that had been worries, trials, etc. I told him that I thought this was going to help him immensely as a lawyer, and in serving people, as it allows him to have empathy for people. I was also impressed by Chris’ willingness to come to Arizona, from Utah, to take me on a date, given the fact that he’s preparing to take the Utah Bar exam at the end of the month. This is precious studying time! He was so kind to make the sacrifice and I’m really glad that he did.
As we drove to our next destination I continued to wonder where in the world we were going. It finally clicked as we passed the Biltmore shopping area. We were going to the Arizona Biltmore, one of the oldest resorts in the Phoenix area, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Wrigley family back in the 1920’s. Since it was built, every US President has stayed there. It’s a historical landmark. Chris still had to let me in on the fact that we were going to a Swing Dancing convention of sorts, which had a Lindy Hop event and competition going on that night. As we entered the room, there were many in military uniforms, and every girl was in a cute dress or skirt. There was even a live band, which was really good!
There had been debate over whether I should wear heels or flats. The girls voted for the heels based on the fact that they just “made the outfit” so I wore them, but Chris wisely advised me to bring along the flats for at least part of the night. Though some forms of dance are better with heels, the Lindy Hop is definitely not meant for heels! I loved learning yet another style of dance, or at least refining what I may have once learned. Chris was a great teacher – he knew his stuff, he knew how to explain it to me, he confidently led me, and was patient with me when I messed up. I really had so much fun! Chris was such a hot commodity that when we took a break and I happened to say something to one of our production crew, a girl saw the open window and grabbed Chris and took him to the dance floor. I literarily had given just a foot of space between us and this girl took it! I didn’t mind sharing though – I knew that I had him for the rest of the night.
The plan after the dance was to go to The Gelato Spot. Having recently found my true love for gelato while in Europe last month, I was excited to go. But alas, we stayed at the dance too long and they were closed. I called an audible and suggested we stop at a Quiktrip (QT) gas station for some cool treats. QT’s are infamous in AZ and have all sorts of slurpee type drinks and tons of fountain drinks. I had always seen a milkshake maker machine there but never really knew what it was about. Tonight seemed the perfect night to try it. So we both grabbed a cup of ice cream, inserted it into the machine, and let it mix up the ice cream into a milkshake, made perfectly to our specifications of thickness. What a nifty idea! It was a nice ending to a good date – I’m glad Chris trusted my suggestion for a QT run.
I had a lot of fun with Chris and I was glad that he had made the sacrifice to come to Arizona for a date. Some say nice guys always finish last but at this stage I can see Chris ending up in first place at the end of all of this.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 4:50 PM
Monday, July 4, 2011
Happy 4th of July everyone!!! We are letting Ashley and the crew enjoy this day off to celebrate the birth of our country. Check back in tomorrow night for Ashley's 4th date on her adventure to find "the one". Be safe out there tonight!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
From the minute I met Tadd, I knew that this was not going to be a dull night and BOY was I right! He’s a ball of energy that knows how to get a laugh out of people. The car ride to dinner was filled with witty comments and creative responses, although I could never tell if I was getting the real Tadd or not. I was excited when he told me that we were going to his favorite sushi place in town. Though Tadd lives in Orem, Utah now, he’s from Gilbert, Arizona so he knew of a great place to go.
I love sushi but had never been to Sushi Kee before. It’s always great to be able to get a new menu of sushi rolls to pick from because each restaurant has something special to offer. With dating being such an integral part of my everyday life through this Mormon Bachelorette process, I continually see parallels in my experiences to dating. Let me explain how I saw it in this situation. There are a lot of sushi restaurants. With that distinction, we automatically put those restaurants into a particular category and can make certain assumptions about what each will be like. But once inside and looking at their specific menu, you realize that each has a very different list of special rolls, and spins on classic choices, things you might have never anticipated. In dating we can easily find out a particular “label” that goes with the person we’re on a date with. We may then put them into a box of sorts and forget to look at their individual menu, their life experiences and preferences, and not realize that they have a lot to offer. And sometimes what they have on their menu isn’t exactly for us, but it’s going to be precisely what someone else is looking for. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth a try, and that you can’t enjoy the experience.
How’s that for philosophizing? I digress...Tadd picked out his favorite sushi rolls and I ventured out to get ones that looked a little out of the usual. I figured we could enjoy trying something new together. The rolls were all very good. My favorite was the Sushi Kee roll – Tadd’s top pick. Good for them for giving their namesake to their flagship roll that lived up to it! And I was impressed by Tadd’s selection of rolls. I could certainly bring him along for my next sushi outing!
After dinner I was still kept in the dark as to what our activity for the night would be. I heard mention of Mill Avenue, but nothing beyond that. Mill Avenue is the hot bed of entertainment for ASU students. It runs along the edge of campus and is filled with restaurants, clubs, bars and interesting stores. This is the kind of street that musicians and street performers flock to on a weekend night. The next clue I got was when they said that we’d be meeting the film crew in front of The Hippy Gypsy. The name was vaguely familiar, but I still really had no idea what this would lead to.
As we walked up to the store, I noticed a PA system setup and “soap box”. The pieces were starting to come together and I realized that I would most likely be getting up on that soap box, but for what, I had no idea and I was not looking forward to it. Tadd finally let me in on the fact that we would be preaching the importance of dental hygiene to the people of the street and passing out tooth brushes – flash mob style. Now I am a fan of watching flash mobs on youtube, and though I have performed many many times in my life through song, dance and drama, I had never expected to be part of a flash mob myself and instantly felt self conscious and fearful. I am comfortable in a crowd, but not in front of the general public when I’m not prepared for it. It was clear that this was Tadd’s element though and he jumped right up, grabbed the bull horn and proceeded to preach his message to the people of Mill Avenue. I tried my very hardest to confidently tell stories to supplement Tadd’s speech when he turned to me looking for a personal experience to share. I’m not sure I pulled it off, but I certainly did try.
At the climax of his passionate speech, Tadd got the group that had gathered around to join in an impromptu chant. He certainly knew how to rally a crowd around him! I could tell that Tadd was soaking up every minute although I still felt really awkward at this point. I definitely give props to someone who is confident enough to do what he did, holding nothing back, and just putting it all on the line. I’m sure that quality will help him to accomplish a lot in his life - probably not with me though. I’m grateful for people like Tadd who create entertaining YouTube videos for me to watch with my friends, as I’m sure you are too! Who doesn’t love a funny YouTube video?
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Tonight I was greeted at my door by an extremely handsome guy with a beautiful yellow and orange rose. I definitely appreciate any flower, but I liked that this one was a unique color. The date was off to a great start as we easily fell into conversation. I was immediately impressed by his calm confidence. Despite the fact that I am 4 years his senior, Jace seemed to be right on my level. He’s very driven, has long term goals, and due to the fact that he has a lot going on in his everyday life he only sleeps 5-6 hours a night. Sounds a lot like me…
I was left in suspense as to what we were doing for our date as we pulled up to Pioneer Park, right across from the Mesa temple. To clue me in, Jace gave me a word picture puzzle to solve, which I deciphered to be “Olympics”. Apparently we were starting off with some friendly competition – bring it on! First were physical challenges like shooting a basketball or throwing a football through a hoop. It wasn’t just that simple though. Jace added inhibitors like having to do it blind-folded and left-handed, or throwing it underhanded while on your knees. The way to determine how I’d be throwing the ball, I had to pick one of four Mamba’s and one of four Mike n Ike’s, which were both color coordinated to the limitations. I have to say, I didn’t fair too well, but I was impressed that Jace could pull off a basket even while blindfolded! Apparently that shot on the application video wasn’t so lucky – this guy was legit and I was loving every minute with him!
The next challenge involved intellectual games – more word picture puzzles and maps of continents that we had to identify the correct country name for each outline. We worked together to solve the problems, but the questions were split in half and each set’s score would randomly be assigned to him or I. I loved this little twist. It was still a competition, but it was in our best interest to work as a team to get as many correct as possible. I carried my weight with solving the word puzzles, but it turns out that I do not know my European or Asian geography well at all…good thing I had Jace to pick up the slack!
I was excited when I learned that we were headed to Jump Street after the Olympic competition. I’d never gone but had always heard good things. I am not a gymnast by any means, but I was willing to give it a shot of course. Neither of us grew up with trampolines so we were both a bit inexperienced, but Jace impressed me with his back flip. I tried the front flip – the keyword is “try”. I could do it into the foam pit, and I could do it on the tramp but couldn’t land on anything but my butt. No matter though - we bounced, laughed, and enjoyed getting to know each other.
Our final stop was at a Mesa standard, Nielsen’s Frozen Custard. When we arrived I wasn’t too surprised to see that the place had a lot of customers. But as we got closer and entered the building I realized the entire place was packed! We ended up getting a round of applause as we walked in. I was totally taken back by all of the attention. But Nielsen’s had posted a sign informing people of the filming that night, so it seems that some had waited around just to see who we were and what this whole thing was all about. I was happy to have Jace by my side. He was cool through it all, and was very nice to everyone we interacted with. His interest in people was very apparent. People are my greatest joy in life so it was fun to talk with someone else who shares the same passion. It was clear that he looked at each as children of God, as I always work to keep in mind.
Jace was nothing but a gentlemen in getting me home, awarding me as the winner of the Olympic competition (though I know who really won), thanking me for a nice night, and giving me a kiss! Don’t get too excited though, it was a HERSHEY’S kiss :) I appreciated the respect even though I secretly wanted a real one. It was a perfect end to an incredible date.
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 5:40 PM
Friday, July 1, 2011
When I opened my door and found a man with a guitar, I knew I was in for a treat. This wasn’t just any man, this was Aaron Bennett, who I had briefly met just about a month earlier in Huntington Beach at an Open Mic Night. I knew this guy had talent so I was excited to hear what he had prepared for me. He launched into a song that seemed familiar but I couldn’t name the tune. More intriguing though, were the lyrics which he had paired with the song. He’d even written lyrics for me and gave a stellar performance! This instantly got me pumped for what I could tell was going to be a great night.
I quickly learned that Aaron had overcome some big hurdles in order to make it to Arizona for our date. As he left Huntington, his air conditioning went out. Imagine a 6 hour drive through the hot desert, in the heat of summer, with no A/C! I actually understand what he went through as I had been in a similar situation when I drove to Phoenix for the Vans Warped Tour in the summer of 2000 in a black car that we didn’t realize lacked A/C. Cruising down the freeway with the windows down, having the sensation of standing in front of a huge blow dryer is not a feeling that I am likely to forget! The moving air seems to be better than stagnant hot air with the windows up, but either way it’s unavoidably hot and pretty miserable.
Aaron was quickly racking up the points for dedication to the cause. He won even more points when he told me that we’d be eating at one of my favorite local restaurants, Liberty Market. It has a very cool, urban vibe, paired with small town charm and some really great eats like the Italia Salad. I love one and only’s, that are owned by people who are passionate about their business. One of the owners, Kiersten, waited on us, wanting to make sure that we were well taken care of. The three of us ended up in conversation for a bit and she told us about the history of the restaurant. She explained that a few new restaurants had been announced recently for the same area and that there was concern about losing some business. Due to her worries, she and her husband had been praying for things to happen that could help their restaurant. She said that it was only shortly after that Aaron contacted them about bringing the show to their place. He’d been an answer to their prayer and I was grateful that he was led to them. What an incredible feeling to in some small way be part of an answer to prayer. I truly do love Liberty Market and will even more empathically recommend it now. With red velvet cake made from her mother’s recipe, you know these people put love in all they do - they are good people who deserve customer loyalty!
Dinner conversation with Aaron was easy, fun, and meaningful. There was tangible chemistry in the air for sure. We took our time enjoying the pleasant setting, but it was time to kick this date up a notch and Aaron had just the activity for it – Michael Jackson Tribute Night at Skateland! How sad is that I’ve been here for 4 years and have never gone to Skateland? I was stoked to finally fix that! Once on the floor I was instantly impressed by Aaron’s obvious comfort in his skates. I supposed if I’d rollerbladed to school every day during 7th and 8th grade that I would have been pretty good as well.
Fortunately, I wasn’t totally inept and though I couldn’t do the fancy stuff Aaron can, I could keep up. He was really great with me, patient and encouraging to push myself to try a cross over, or to lift one foot up onto just its heel. I can’t say that I was super successful at either, but I did try a little, and I was grateful for Aaron’s enthusiasm to give it an attempt.
Aaron and I whirled around the floor, singing and dancing along to some great Michael Jackson songs, as well as some other popular hits. My favorite song of the night? “The Way You Make Me Feel”. How can you not love that song? Aaron and I definitely rocked out on that one. I loved Aaron’s energy – it was contagious.
In the middle of the rink there were some hard core skaters who were throwing down some amazing tricks. We made sure to watch some of their performance, as well as a moon walking contest that included two adorable young boys – they were dressed the part from head to toe in vests and fedoras. So cute!
Things were winding down and so we started the drive home and after a short conversation on my doorstep, we parted ways. I felt myself smiling after I said goodbye. The whole night was such a blast. Aaron had made me feel very special. You can’t help but feel on top of the world after a date like that.
*A big thanks to my girl at Kaela Wheeler Designs for my wonderful turquoise hair clips. You can check out more hair clips as well as headbands and baby bibs on her website here, or her facebook page here. Always a great way to spice up an outfit!
Posted by The Mormon Bachelorette at 5:13 PM