Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our New Place

One of the things I was very excited for with moving was having a chance to start from scratch decorating our apartment and create a new home for us. You know when you pick out an outfit for school pictures, engagements, etc. and then later regret it and wish you had picked something else (clearly this has been an issue for me before), the nice thing about decorating is you can re-do it! Once we finally got everything unpacked I took time to figure out where I wanted everything. We don't have the means to buy expensive decorations, drapes, etc., but I wanted to make a nice, comfortable home with what we have. We used all the pictures, frames, etc. we already owned, and then added in some of the prints from designs I've made, as well as some new pillows I bought using some birthday money.

When we got married our sealer said that after our marriage we'd be given (though he said he'd give it to my mom since we were giddy newlyweds who would probably lose it) our marriage license, as well as a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and a picture of the Provo temple where we were married. He told us to keep all three in our room, to remind of the promises and covenants we made that day in the temple. We put two of the documents over our bed and the third on our dresser.

I made this display of our wedding invitation (s). It's a little crowded given the different events (dinners, sealing, reception, etc.) we had, but we love seeing it and remembering our wedding. 

The temple picture on the right is the one our sealer gave us. The K&T were from our wedding. The handmade frame in the middle on the dresser is something I made for Taylor when we were dating. 

This is the little hallway that connects to our bathroom (the bathroom has two entrances), and our walk-in (yes, it's my dream come true!) closet. Tay bought this cute Audrey Hepburn quote decoration so we put it where I can see it when I get dressed and ready for the day. 

Here's the display that we finally came up with.

We brought my sewing machine and table so we created a small little sewing/crafting area for me that I love: 

 I had some miscellaneous pictures I wanted to display but ran out of wall space and frames, so I spray-painted some clothes pins gold and hung it by some craft string held up by some gold-painted thumb-tacks. I felt like it fit the little craft area, but still tied into some of the gold accents on our collage wall.

The decor on top of our bookshelf: 

I love, love, love that we have a little dining room to eat in. We barely had any room for our table at our old apartment, so it's nice to have this space. I wanted to have our "fancier" stuff put there since it's our dining room, even if it's not really a fancy place. 

This is one of my favorite things that we own. It is a personalized, hand-written calligraphic copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Christmas of 2011 I was a dancer in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert, and I met Steve, the head of security there for the dancers and performers. His wife makes these calligraphy heirlooms, and they gave it to me and Taylor as a gift (I couldn't believe their generosity), and it was one of the most meaningful gifts we received for our wedding. In today's world where the definition of marriage is attempted to be re-defined. This document is very important to me and I want to always have it displayed to remind my family of the importance of marriage. 

Our little apartment isn't perfect, but it's full of pictures and memories that make us feel at home when we're miles from both of our homes. 
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And Then We Moved

On August 1st we took care of a few last errands and hit the road! As I mentioned, we were really busy  up until that point, so I didn't have much time to be sad, though it was hard to say bye (for now) to my family. I said goodbye individually at different times to each family member since they all had jobs, girls camp, etc. going on, which I guess made things a little easier. I was luckily able to say bye to Madie (my friend of 17 years!) last minute as well. She was so cute and put together a little goodie bag and note. We somehow had forgotten to get any snacks for the road so it was the perfect little gift.

 We made a last trip to the cemetery to visit my dad's grave. It was hard knowing that I wouldn't be able to visit it any time I want like I could in Provo. 

It technically took three days of driving to get to our apartment in Houston. We had all of our stuff packed in a Penske moving truck, pulling our car on a trailer behind us. The moving trucks cap at about 67 MPH, although sometimes going downhill we would get up to 75MPH which made us feel like speed demons :). On the first day we drove from Provo to New Mexico where we visited and stayed at my aunt and uncle's house. We were so grateful they let us stay over. Their house is so comfortable and nice it was hard to leave the next morning. After getting some good rest and having a nice visit, the next morning we left and drove (very late) into the night to San Antonio, where my sister's in-laws were so kind and let us stay at their home. I can't tell you how nice it was to have a nice hot shower and comfy bed to sleep in after the second long day of traveling (though Taylor drove the whole way, somehow even just sitting in a moving truck all day wears you out!). The next morning we only had 3 hours more to drive to get to Houston which sounded like a breeze after driving 12+ hours the previous two days. I am so grateful that Taylor drove the entire trip! For a boy who grew up only ever driving an hour and half at the longest living on an island, he was such a champ. We drove with my cello in the moving truck to make sure it didn't get overheated, which made for an interesting third passenger up front :).

Day 1 of traveling:

Day 2 of traveling--the picture speaks for itself: 

These next two pictures are the first things I saw that said "Texas" on them. The gas station is the first place we stopped when I realized we were in the state we'd be living in for the next 3 years! 

Once we finally got into Houston we dropped off the trailer and I drove our car following Taylor as we got to our apartment. My heart was so nervous as we drove to where we would call home for the next little while. Our street is very industrial and full of random warehouses, so I was pretty nervous, but then I saw our place (shown below), and felt a little better. For having never seen our apartment before we were really blessed to find a nice place to live that actually looked like it did in the pictures advertised. There is good security, pest control, and cleanliness, which are all very good things to give peace of mind! 

We had gotten in touch with our new ward and asked for some help moving our big stuff in. We had hoped to get all our small stuff in before they came, but we showed up only a few minutes before they did because we were running late, so they ended up helping us move ALL of our stuff in. I was so grateful for the help of complete strangers because at that point we were exhausted. 
Our first night in our apartment was relaxing, yet exhausting because we were so tired from traveling and unpacking. We ordered pizza from a place the apartment management recommended. The pizza took over an hour to get there (it ended up being in a city not super close to us but we had no sense of direction at the time), but it gave us time to get cleaned up and at least get our bed set up so we had somewhere to sleep. The pizza finally came and we had ordered salads with our pizza but we couldn't find any forks! We ended up using fondue skewers, which was interesting but we didn't care. We spent the next few days (and weeks) getting settled in our apartment. We really love our apartment, especially all the extra storage space that we didn't have in our old one! 
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Saying Goodbye

The past month has been crazy. I sort of forgot to put my two week's notice in until almost exactly two weeks before we my last day of working full time was five days before we moved! We definitely underestimated the beast that moving is! We packed up within just a few days (thank you SOOO much to our friends and family who helped!). It all happened so fast that I think I was numbed to most of the sadness that comes with leaving a place you've lived for 23 years! I was a little sad leaving our apartment that we'd lived in since we first got married. We had so many memories there. However, it was time for a new chapter in our lives to open up.

We had fun going on a boating trip with my best friends (since high school!) before we left. These are truly the best friends I've ever had (we were missing a few though! And somehow I didn't get a pic of a few!). They took me under their wings after my dad died when I was in high school. These guys (and now their wives) have been the best of friends for years. Mark, you can thank me for not posting the pic of you and your 'lake waves' hair :). Love you guys!
Tay and I getting beatings on the tube!

My best friend Andrea and her husband Nathan moved away for the summer, but I was lucky to be able to see her when she came in town so I could say bye! She's expecting in October and I'm so excited to meet her little man! 

Before we left my grandparents took us out to the Creamery ice cream one more time! We're lucky they're little travelers cause our chances of seeing them every once in a while is greater than most other family members.

A bunch of my doTERRA buddies got together to say bye to me and another co-worker (shout out to Diana!) at Applebee's for Karaoke night and half-off appetizers (shout out to mozz sticks! yum!).

Tay and I had one last get-together with our friends, the Manns! Mary was my visiting teacher the whole 2.5 years we were in the ward! I think she maybe missed one or two months the whole time. She also served in primary with me so she was one of my close friends in the wards since I was in primary most the time. They are the funnest couple who loveee Sodalicious :) They were so helpful with our move as well.

And then I had my last day at doTERRA. I'll admit, there were the good days and the bad days (shout out to some of the crazy customers...and the nice ones :) I had the best co-workers and supervisors! On my last day they had donuts (coincidentally!) to celebrate all the July birthdays. It was like a party!
My little desk!
By two best buds!
Best row ever!
I wouldn't have made it through some long days without Kara!

The Saturday before we left, we took a break from packing to get one more 7-Peaks day in since we had passes. I've grown up going to this park, and the blue slide behind me here is the one I've never been able to conquer! You basically go straight (horizontally) through a small tube, then drop quickly straight down. I really wanted to face my fear and go down, so we did it! I went head first on this mat. I won't lie, it was horrifying (I literally caught air when I went down the drop), but it was so fun!

On our last Sunday in Provo I said bye to this awesome Primary presidency! The presidency has changed lots since I've been in it (many people came and went), but I loved serving with these women!

That night we had an impromptu goodbye open house. It was really hard to for real say bye to everyone, but I'm hopeful I'll get to visit home soon enough to see everyone again. These are all some of my best friends ever!

                                     Chatham #26 (minus Mary, Macy, and Bri!) girls! Living with these girls was one of my favorite college memories!

The Cooks from our ward and complex!

Rob & Hallie! Rob is one of my best friends (not pictured in the boating pics) from high school

Chellyn & Alison from the neighborhood! 

Andrea was on her way to Girls camp before we moved so she came to say bye while we were in the midst of packing. We're both looking super classy, I know :) 

 We had lots of help packing up and cleaning. Here's the last of our very first apartment together. We love our new one, but this place, like I said, had so many memories!

Mary, of course, insisted on helping (so much!) me clean! She is the best friend ever. 

It was a bittersweet night leaving this place! 
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