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