Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pardon Us While We Slip into Something More Comfortable...

Well, Nicole and I are here and sort of officially settled...we've started getting bills in the mail addressed to both of us with our new place of residence on them. Adjusting has been easy in some facets of life and difficult in others, but in general we're becoming quite comfortable here.

Nicole and I are both adjusting to our daily routines. Nicole is teaching now every day. She works as a 4th grade special ed teacher. Previous to Nicole taking the position, the children were supervised by various long-term subs which resulted in chaos and anarchy among the children. It was very similar to the society in that apocalyptic masterpiece the Road Warrior. However, day by day, sanity is returning and things are going more smoothly.

My adjustment was just about as difficult. I am currently taking two graduate courses in my program and have just barely begun my work as a research assistant in the wind tunnel on the NASA-Langely campus. It was a difficult adjustment because until this last week I didn't have a valid credential to get onto the base. Because of that, I spent most of my 20 scheduled hours a week hanging out at home trying to buy things on ebay and waiting. I should have anticipated the delay however, because my badge has been a cooperative effort of Old Dominion, NASA, and the Air Force.

Adjustment to the area has been nice though. The landscape is pretty. We have a lot of really nice trees right out our back door. We have actually had some great storms move through. We were participants in the wrath of tropical storm Hanna. With a name like tropical storm, I was expecting a lot more anger and fury, but it was much more reminiscent of an overcast windy day. Even though I was hoping to get out the 72 hour kit and cook our food on a fire built from the hardwood floorboards pulled up in our apartment, I am grateful it was mild. Our apartment is about 2000 feet from the water and only about 5 ft. above sea level. It is also of note that we don't currently own a boat.

We've been able to find quite a few fun things to do. Labor Day weekend we went and saw the National Symphony play and had a barbeque with some tasty bratwurst. Last week we went to an airshow. There were lots of planes and lots of exciting jet noise. This week we plan on going to the demolition derby at the VA state fair up in Richmond. We expect lots of cars and lots of unmuffled engine noise. That leaves me with a busy week; I've got to focus on growing out my mullet and wolverine style side burns before then.

Some loud planes I wish could fly.

Nicole at the airshow

Gorgeous Sunset in VA

A famous Cragun Brother's BBQ featuring Bratwurst

My Favorite Day

August 2nd. It was an amazing day all in all.  The most amazing day of my life, just like I always hoped it would be.  It started around 3:30 am with my incredibly generous and very talented friend Heather doing my hair.  (I have Heather to thank for making me feel beautiful during this whole thing.  Thanks Hes!) We got to the St. George Temple early so I could meet Matt and our photographer to take pictures before the insane heat of the day came. 

Being sealed in the temple for eternity to the person I love more than anything was the greatest feeling I have ever experienced.  To know that it is all real, that I can really be with Matt and my family forever, was worth everything it took to get there.  

Matt wanted to do it right so he carried me out of the temple after we were sealed.  

We tried to take our family pictures as quickly as possible because it was around 103 degrees at 1:00 in the afternoon.  We're actually really lucky because it was overcast so it could have been around 108 or so. 

All my nieces
 looked so miserably hot and my nephew Isaac was stripped because of the insane heat:)

We went and had a really nice luncheon, provided by Matt's parents, (thank you so much!) and then drove back to Cedar for the reception.  My extended family helped so much with the set up and decorations (thank you thank you!) and my awesome neighbors helped so much with the food (thank you all too!).  

The night went really fast and my feet didn't hurt all night! But what they say is true, I didn't have a second to think about eating dinner.  We had a small bite of our cake, which tasted amazing, but then didn't have time to eat any later. 

We had a short dance where I got to dance with my dad and my brother Chad.  I don't know what it is about Chad, but I don't think I've ever ever hugged him without crying.   

When it was finally time to go we got all of our stuff and walked outside to this:
Matt's brothers and friends copied our key, moved our car, and did lots of fun things to it.

I feel so lucky.  I've never seen such an impressive car after a wedding!  They filled our car with confetti in random places, like our sun roof, so it all fell out when we opened it an hour later, and our air vents, so it all blew out when we turned on the air.  Malibu Ken and Barbie were on our dashboard and Marvin Gaye was playing for everyone to hear as we drove off.  

It was a crazy long day, and it all happened so fast, but I'll never forget it.  I have so many people to thank for everything that went so smoothly that day and turned out perfectly.  My siblings all helped out so much and I was so so happy they were all there.  My parents and Matt's parents did so so much and I can't thank you all enough!!  

So, I'm married! And it's already 2 months into it, the best 2 months of my life.  It's funny how I could never picture the other side.  Marriage seemed like this surreal bridge you had to cross to get to a very different and very in the future life.  But I'm here.  It's fun on this side.  I liked crossing the bridge and the other side really isn't that different from the previous side.  Well, I take that back.  It's very different, I love it so so much.  But it's just as real.  

To see the pictures that my brother Chad took (he is an amazing photographer) click here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Virginia Trekkers

We're married! We're here! We're pregnant!.. Just kidding!!!! HA! That would be too many new things in a very very short time! I haven't posted in a very long time so I thought I should catch up. As soon as I get the pictures from our wedding back I'll post about that fun and extremely exciting day.

Thank you thank you thank you to all of our family and friends who were so so good to us and helped us out so much and made that very exciting day possible.

Second:I miss you all and hope you kind of miss me too:)

So, we took a long long trek out to Virginia, starting at Lehi, Utah,

via Nebraska, 

and a South Dakota rest stop where we slept for a few hours (well technically I slept the whole time), and then got up and drove for a little while when... 

Flat tires at 4am, in the middle of nowhere, are only fun when you have a husband that is in a good mood, who smiles and says "that stinks", and who has the gift to be able to change a tire quickly, even when you have to unload everything you own into the sage brush.

We went through Rochester, Minnesota to Matt's house for our open house.  They introduced me to a fun little thing they like to call Fat Night.  Now I'm sure you can all come 
up with a vision of what this shindig might look like, but to help you out it looks kind of like this:

They have a tradition where they fry up anything you can think of.  We had fried won tons, shrimp, cheese sticks, donuts, and zucchini, but we also had fried cheesecake, grapes, strawberries, and pickles.

I've never eaten so much fried food, but it was worth it.

We made a stop at Monica and James' house in Illinois before we headed to D.C. to stay with Matt's brother Eric for a night.  We woke up early the next morning, drove to Hampton, Virginia, and finally arrived at our new apartment!!

So we're here.  We love it.  It's small but perfect and after being a transient for 4 months, I love finally having a place to stay for good.

It was just recently remodeled so the outside is awesome old colonial style brick and the entire inside is brand new except for the cool original hardwood floors.  And! We have a washer and dryer!!  It's the best appliance ever invented, especially a small stackable one that fits in one of your two mini-sized closets.  Who needs extra closet space anyways?

Well, we do.  But we finally got a dresser so our clothes are out of suitcases and off the floor! 

This is Matt going to his first day of school.  I packed him a lunch, cause I'm a wife, with a house:)  Behind him is our awesome baker's rack and pot rack that we love so much that gives us more space.  

So we invited guests over for dinner last week but our living room was still crazy, so it forced us to very quickly assemble our bookshelf and put together the entire room in about 2 hours, and we had to cook a meal.  It was a race and we won... some friends.

Before Living Room 

After Living Room

So, we are officially residents of Virginia and we have a house and we love it.  Thank you again to all of our amazing family and friends who made ALL of this possible!! We couldn't have done it without all of your support and generosity.  Thank you especially to my parents and Matt's, Brian and Leanne.  You sacrificed so much for us and worked so hard to give us such a perfect wedding, and supported our getting out here.  We know this is where we're supposed to be because of all the incredible blessings that have come to us during this whole process. Everything just fell into place and we feel so happy.  We miss all of you!  Come visit us in Virginia.  We've got... an extra long couch and two straight-backed chairs, or a nice comfortable rug for you to sleep on:)  

Here's the full video of our entire apartment, almost all put together minus a dresser.  It's kind of long but enjoy!