Author: Lala
•Sunday, May 30, 2010
First date:

Carl called me on Thursday after we met and invited me to come over his place for some food on Saturday. I went to Baltimore with my best friend's family to visit some relatives that day and had to tell Carl that I will not be able to make it. We agreed to meet on Sunday, March 1, 2009, instead. We had some food, talked for a while and decided to go to the LDS (Mormon) Temple Visitor's Center in DC to watch a Mormon orchestra concert. He met my best friend Christine that rainy night. I did have fun talking and spending time with him. Before parting our ways, he said that we should do that again sometime and I agreed that we should. We had our second date 3 days later followed by many more.

Cherry Blossom Festival:

It was in April of 2009 when we went to see my first ever Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. It was beautiful!! It was a little windy and hundreds of petals were flying in the air. There were a lot of people and it was such a wonderful view! We both had so much fun playing some simple and silly games. It was not long when we decided to head back to his apartment to watch the General Conference a little later that afternoon. We were sitting by each other and I noticed that he was staring at my hands for the longest time and felt that he might be thinking of holding my hand. He eventually did..finally :), but it was a little uncomfortable because my arm was twisted a little bit that I had to reposition my arm and comfortably hold his hand for who knows how long..:)

I'm sorry I will be late:

"I'm sorry I will be late". I wore that phrase out  when we were going out on dates. I didn't like being late as much as waiting for somebody who is late on appointments. For some unavoidable reasons though, it seemed that something important always came up when I would go out on a date with Carl. I don't remember how many times I had him waiting sometimes for over an hour on our dates but I remembered well how impressive his patience and understanding were in waiting. It seemed that no matter how late I was, he still greeted me with a smile on his face and always made sure that we had fun on our dates.

While on a plane going to Illinois to visit his family on Memorial weekend of 2009, I spilled a glass of cold water all over our pants and I was impressed that that did not upset him at all. The only thing we were worried about is how to convince his Dad who was picking us up from the airport that he did not pee on his pants. Our pants were dried out before we landed, which was a good thing.

"Things that I liked and didn't like about Carl" List:

After several dates, I felt that I wasn't sure if I still wanted to continue the relationship with Carl. My best friend told me that it might be too early to make a decision and that I should give it a little more time. I decided that it would be nice to cook for him to thank him for all the planning, effort, and time he gave me, then I could tell him that that was the end of our story. My best friend thought that I was crazy but she was kind enough to help me pick up the ingredients for the recipe she taught me to prepare.

Making the decision was hard. I did a lot of thinking and praying. He was a wonderful man and I had fun on our dates but I thought that we had so many differences and there are a lot of things that I didn't like about him. It will not work, I thought. The day before I cooked for him, the engineer in me kicked in and I felt impressed to make a list of things that I liked and didn't like about Carl, and analyze the data before making any decision. I was surprised to see when I finally finished the list that the things that I liked about him are way more than those that I didn't. I shared the list to my best friend and she suggested that I remove some of the items in the "I didn't like" list because they seemed unreasonable. One of those was that "He does not mark his scriptures".

I had fun cooking chili and chicken alfredo with him. Talking to him later that night about the things that worry me and his own worries made me feel a lot better and gave me peace and confidence to continue with the relationship. I was convinced that he was worth knowing more and that I was just being so critical about him. I am so glad I did listen to my best friend's advice—Carl is a good catch and I feel lucky and blessed having him in my life.
Author: Lala
•Sunday, May 30, 2010
Our Meeting (In Carl's words):

When Carl and Lala met, he had been in the DC area for five years. She'd been there ten days!

Originally from the Philippines, Lala had been in Houston doing civil engineering work. With the economic slowdown drying up some of her work, she decided to take a leave of absence. While she considered going back home to the Philippines, she eventually decided to come up to Maryland to stay with her best friend for a while.

There was a combined activity between the Colonial 2nd Ward (where Carl attended church) and the D.C. 2nd Ward (which was Lala's new ward). It was a rotational dinner, where everyone moved to a different table between courses. When Carl went to his second table, he sat next to his friend, but mentally kicked himself for not having the courage to sit next to the lovely woman that he saw on the other side of the table. Eventually, they all rotated to random tables again, and they were both assigned to the same table for the second time. He saw Lala heading toward his new table, and motioned for her to sit by him. Forty-five minutes of talking later, he had a phone number, and the rest is history!

Poetry and Love: We wrote a poem for each other and jokingly agreed that we will ask our family and friends to vote who they think has a better poem.

From Lala:

I sat next to you at the dinner, we said hello
We laughed and talked till it was time to go
You asked for my number, sure, I smiled
I’m glad you took courage, I’m glad you tried

Dinner at your place was our very first date
Followed by many more, I was usually late
Parks, movies, cooking, walking, talking, reading
I liked hugging and cuddling but not the quizzing

Cherry blossom festival was amazing and fun
I enjoyed our laughter and playing under sun
Hesitantly reached for my hand, you were shy
I’m glad you took courage, you did at least try

I doubted and feared, did not know what to do
Should I give love a try, will I be happy with you?
Thought about it, prayed hard, I wanted to know
I’m glad you stayed by me and did not let me go

One by one my doubts began to go away
Your love made me wish you would stay
Here beside me to hold tight and to care
We have many stories and memories to share

With you I feel special, I’m one happy woman
Feel blessed for the love of a wonderful man
Slow to criticize, encourages, in love you believe
Happiness and joy, to you I want to freely give

From Carl:

Once upon a time there was a man who was quite sad.
Lonely and bored, he thought, “Maybe I should just be bad.”

Life needs romance, purpose, and kids.
Without these, he thought, “Who gives?”

With determination and grimness, he kept on his toil,
Planting relationship seeds in the singles ward soil.

Then with a smile on his face, he tried a new place,
And found Someone by God’s good grace.

The woman he met set his heart all a flutter
(or maybe his mind was simply in the gutter).

But gutter or flutter, one thing is true
This woman loves Jesus and also you know who.

So they talked and they talked, and sometimes disagreed,
But they hope to find in each other a major filled need.
Author: Lala
•Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thanks to my dearest husband for helping me set up this blog page. I have been meaning to start a blog months ago and I am glad and excited that I am finally writing my first entry ever!! I miss my family in the Philippines so much and I hope that this blog will somehow help us feel a little bit closer and connected to each other. My newly found home and family in Illinois and our growing family and (my) belly (literally) are another good reasons to start a blog. Family updates are always good.