Love in the BOI: Sarah & Zac

Imagine only being able to communicate with each other in a beginner’s American sign language class. This is Sarah & Zac’s Love in the BOI story.

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Zac & Sarah Warren

How did you all meet?

We were paired up during a beginner’s American sign language class in college and weren’t allowed to actually speak to each other those first few weeks – just awkwardly try to sign.


Describe your first date.

We met in Vancouver, WA, but one of the first things we did together as a couple was come to Boise to meet Zac’s mom and great-grandmother. It was a bit intimidating for me, but I ended up loving his family and we had such a good time exploring the city. We were married in the Idaho State Capitol and when we started our family we decided that Boise was the place we wanted to live. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made!


What advice do you have for those looking for love in Boise?

Our advice for people looking for love in Boise is that it comes when you least expect it. Pursue your dreams and passions and you are bound to run into that special someone.


What is your favorite place to go (or thing to do) together as a couple?

Our favorite thing to do as a couple is travel. We have a goal of taking our son to all 50 states and 7 continents! We also love camping at Redfish Lake.

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Zac & Sarah Warren (photo by Maggie Grace Photo)

 

Want to follow Zac and Sarah on their adventures? Make sure to give them a “follow” on their Instagram pages: Zac @zacwarren56 and Sarah @raisingsmiles. Photo credit to Maggie Grace at @maggiegracephoto.

sarah & zac

Dating in the BOI: 7 Fun 1st Date Ideas

 

Thanks to the ladies in my Girls Night Boise group, I have a creative list of first-date ideas when dating in Boise. Even if it’s not your first date, here are some date night ideas you can impress your lover with:


  1. Grab a Scooter, get a picnic basket, and zip around Boise.

Scooters are fun, and they add this layer of exhilaration any couple would enjoy. You can either take the picnic to a romantic spot in Boise (Julia Davis Park, Ann Morrison Park, or Camel Back’s Park), or end your scooter adventure at a romantic restaurant.


  1. Be a big kid at Wahooz

This is my personal favorite because the dates with my then-boyfriends started off carefree and casual. Think about how fun it’ll be to tap into your inner kid again. No pressure of highly romantic dates. This is a personal preference, but I’m a big fan of fun and casual dates. Why?

  • Be slightly competitive, fun & flirty while playing mini gold
  • Jump in a go-kart and race each other & see who wins
  • Have fun as you play laser tag
  • Get to know each other over a slice of pizza
  • Take some of those classic photo booth pictures

 

Plus – it’s my way of seeing if a guy is hyper competitive and if whether he can be silly & relaxed. Not take himself too seriously. It’s also an excuse for me to wear a cute top, some boyfriend cut jeans, and throw on my Converses.


  1. Get Your PAC MAN on at SpaceBar Arcade

Talk about bringing it back, in an entertaining and fun way. Who doesn’t old school arcade games?  SpaceBar Arcade is this cool spot located below Dharma Sushi and Thai on Capitol Blvd in Downtown Boise. You know you’re in the right spot when you see the line of old school arcade machines for your perusing.  Head to the bar to grab some drinks. You’ll notice an 80s movie playing one these 3 small TVs in the corner. And it’s a VHS that’s playing (my younger audience may need to google what a VHS is.) If you want to tape into your Nintendo skills, grab a seat on the couch with your date and start playing!

I’ve been to the SpaceBar Arcade to hang out, but never on a date. This is on my list.


  1. Tap into you artist at Ceramica

Calling all Demi Moores and Patrick Swayzes (Ghost movie reference). Well, maybe not so much like that scene, but you can get together and paint your own pottery piece. It allows both of you to tap into your creative side and see how each other creates. You can even give each other your masterpieces once they are ready.


  1. Hiking & Grab Healthy Smoothie Afterwards

 

With plenty of hiking trails, you have many opportunities to have your first date be an active one. You can see beautiful Boise while getting to know each other. After burning off some calories, you can grab some healthy cuisine at places like Fresh Café Boise.


  1. Capital City Market + 8th Street Brunch

Since I’ve experienced the Capital City Market for the first time last weekend, I can definitely see it being an ideal place for a first date. You can take your time exploring all the various vendor tables, buy each other fun gifts, and take your time strolling as you talk & connect. It’s low key enough to where you don’t have that high  pressure to keep chatting. Plus, you can be flirty in a less-than-obvious way. Maybe that’s me talking because I’m not the best with all of that flirty stuff. After taking your time walking around, you can then head over to one of the restaurants on 8th Street: Juniper, Eureka, Wild Root Café, Bittercreek Alehouse, and Red Feather Lounge. You can even venture off 8th Street and head over to Bacon or St. Lawrence Gridiron.


  1. Get Your Laugh on at Liquid Laughs

You can’t beat having a good laugh in at your first date. It’s an ideal way to break the ice between 2 people. Why not head over to Liquid Laughs for your first date? I haven’t been to liquid laughs, but I know it’s a place I’m adding to my date night bucket list. You can grab dinner beforehand at Solid, or Bardenay, or P.F. Chang. You can walk over to Liquid Laughs, sit next to each other, and enjoy being entertained. Afterwards, you can maybe walk around downtown and keep the conversation going.


This is my PART I of my 1ST date ideas. Big special thanks to my girls night boise special ladies for their dating ideas and input: Taylor, Ashley,  and Crystal! Stay tuned for plenty more ideas.

Dating in the BOI: Ghost of the Ex

Being single — whether it’s in Boise or another city — there’s moments where you feel like there’s a ghost of boyfriend (or girlfriends’) past.


What do I mean?

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my recent dating experiences and the takeaway from each one. I feel it’s essential given I’m not having the most positive experiences.

One common denominator is that none of them have elevated to a level of genuine seriousness like I had with my ex.


This is where ghost of boyfriend’s past comes in.


I don’t share much on my blog about my personal life, but I think it’s important for this post.


My most recent relationship was the one where I underwent the most change: love, adoration, pain, hurt, sorrow, laughter.


Backstory:

I met Mr. Handsome (that was my name for him in my cellphone) in late 2012, during my last year of law school. He was my escape. After being highly engaged as a student, I was in need of my own space from my law school duties.

Insert Mr. Handsome.

  • Tall (6’4)
  • Older by 3 years (which I prefer)
  • Dreads
  • Father
  • Worked in education

Over the course of November & December, Mr. Handsome and I had a connection that i hadn’t had since my last boyfriend.


We:

  • Talked on the phone every night during the week (he had his daughter on the weekend due to a temporary custody visit schedule)
  • Met up at a location between our respective places we lived ( i lived in Portland, ME and he lived in Auburn, ME)
  • Usually met either at the LL Bean in Freeport or a McDonald’s in Gray, ME
  • Talked for hours ( I remember he and I being tired the next day because we were out too late)

After about 6 dates or so, he asked me while we were packing up from a night of bowling:

Mr. Handsome: Can we be daters?

Me: Daters?

Mr. Handsome: Yes (shyly).


We’ve been on 6 dates (Mr. Handsome loves numbers and he would remember dates & periods of time).

I thought it was cute, because he was basically asking if we could be exclusive.


That was the beginning. During the course of our relationship, I thought I found my person. He was introverted but ideal for my outgoing personality, introduced me to his interests, we had our own language and ways of talking to each other, and our own routine.


But lots happened in between:

  • Met his little girl (took 6 months to meet her, which I’m proud about)
  • Met his family
  • Moved in together
  • He won primary custody of his daughter
  • Broke up
  • Moved out
  • Got back together
  • Broke up
  • Got engaged
  • Broke up
  • Moved away

Yes, did you catch that? We were engaged.


See, the thing is that our relationship was complex, filled with raw emotions, real love, and lots of back and forth. I thought engagement would be the best next step.

No, unfortunately not.


I’ll just say this: sometimes you can’t fall in love with the potential or hope of what the person will become.  I don’t question whether or not he cared for me, but he couldn’t reciprocate the love I needed in return.


Thus, broken engagement left me distraught and having to leave the life I built in Maine.


Now, I’m here in Boise, living a life where I’m Working in a field I love, traveling , and enjoying exploring


So why am I saying all of this?


I know a few of you who read my blogs (thank you!), whether married or single, go through the motions of relationships. If you’re single like me, there will be moments where you think of the times with those from your past.


Last year before moving to Boise, I wouldn’t entertain those thoughts. I buried them so deep inside, I’d forget about my time with my ex, the life we could of had, and the life I left in Maine.


With these recent dating experiences, I’m  realizing I’m attempting to absolve myself with any thoughts of my previous life. these dates have left me to feel empty.


The issue with this method is that nothing is absolved. It’s a temporary fix. None of them give me that feeling of Yes, I’d like to learn more about him. Maybe it’s a Virgo thing or maybe it’s my personality (or a little bit of both), I don’t quickly fall for someone. Honestly, it takes me quite some time to establish a real connection with another person. I do not share the “real” me until I feel they are worthy.


I’m using this post to celebrate what I’ve got from my past relationship with Mr. Handsome, and thinking of the days we’d meet again. Maybe to talk, maybe for closure. Not sure.


Artifacts from the Ex:

  • Enjoy watching English Premier league and US Soccer
  • Hard to listen to Bob Marley Songs
  • My jeep (his dad helped me select it when car shopping)
  • Blue Memphis sweatshirt
  • My gray calf boots (his mom gave them to me)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Tirtles (his daughter loved watching the cartoon)
  • Drink Blue Moon (his fav)
  • Hard to look at lead singer of Rage Against the Machine (someone said he looks like him when he had dreads)
  • Appreciation for running (his fav way to stay in shape)
  • Learning that I cannot wait for the day to become a mother

When dating someone who has children from a previous relationship, it can be challenging if you break up. The hardest part of the breakup was saying goodbye to his little girl. I lived with her for over a year. My bond with her was deep, rich, and impacted me in ways I can never truly express in words. From her hugs to her personalized handmade letters, she gave me a snippet into what life may be like as a (then) step mom. Saying goodbye was heart wrenching and a moment of my life I would not want to re-live.


Moving forward, I plan to focus on my priorities. And I’ll admit (finally), dating isn’t one of them. I’m no longer interested in spending time on the whole let-me-get-to-know-you show. All I end up doing anyway is thinking about my ex; no one even remotely comes close to my connection with him.

  • Wasting time respond to a text
  • No longer responding to subtle attempts to seek attention
  • Deactivate my dating profiles
  • Cutting someone out the moment they play stupid & ridiculous games

I’m going to Date Myself.

Yes, that’s what I said.

Do things I’ve put in the back burner, such as:

  • Get back into running
  • Get back into reading
  • Get back to aimlessly roaming a city with no expectations
  • Get back to event planning
  • Get back to ME

Ghost of boyfriend’s past is a reality. I acknowledge it, and I’ve grown from it. Cheers to growth!