Hitching and Reception…

So, by the way….

 

WE GOT MARRIED!

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Yeah no big deal or anything, just wanted to let y’all know that this Northern Girl is now part of the M.R.S. club, married to her Southern Guy. I blame all the planning and moving for my lack of updates, but really there was very little to update other than some wedding plans here and there. So there’s my excuse/apology for not posting the past three months.

Let me tell you, it was an amazing experience! The whole week was a LOT of work, but the end results were completely worth it. The Southern Guy and I headed back to Oregon where we decided to get married, because that’s where my family is and where I grew up, plus my ward family would have been upset if I had it anywhere else too so there’s that.

Anyway, we each took a half day on that Friday because our flight was at 3 PM and we headed out excited and happy. The previous week we had been moving all my belongings into the Southern Guy’s house and then shoved most of it all into the office so it wouldn’t be obviously messy (it still was). On top of all of this we had a friend staying with the Southern Guy in the extra bedroom until he figured out how he was going to make it home to Utah (that’s a whole ‘nother story). So we had all that to deal with the week before us leaving, and all the wedding prep that we could do on our end, i.e. sending decorations, ordering jambalaya, taking care of the dress and the suit, planning hotel and car rentals, etc. It was a crazy three month experience of planning and all the anticipation building up was ridiculous. My suggestion is to plan your reception close to where you live, or make yourself available if it’s a distance away, otherwise you may lose your sanity.

 

So we left for Oregon…

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  And got stuck in San Francisco….

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And didn’t get to Oregon until Saturday morning….

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With only four hours of sleep….

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And lots to get done, we had a wedding happening in 8 days! Yes, 8 DAYS! Crazy right? That’s 8 days to get the reception site ready, make sure food is taken care of, and any last minute arrangements were fixed. I almost lost it a few times, but with the help of the Southern Guy and my family we made it! I’m still working on catching up on my sleep, and we’ve been married for three weeks now!

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So Saturday we get to my parents house at about 9:00 in the morning, and I have a nail appointment with my sisters that has already been pushed back, at 11:00. Tight scheduling from the beginning. From there on out it just kept going, bam, bam, BAM! We went to the barn every day to clean it out and move things around to make room for people who we were expecting to come to the reception, sometimes not leaving until close to midnight. (On the night before the wedding we were all up till 2 AM and later making last fixes to the lights and flowers in the barn, also praying that the rain would stop for the next day.) My family did so much for the Southern Guy and I, it was crazy! My parents both took off time for that week to help with the barn and be available for other things that needed to get done. My mother bent over backwards to get things done, to make it how I had envisioned it, she is amazing!

Through this whole process the Southern Guy and I talked and came to conclusion that even if everything fell apart and no one showed up (which we knew wasn’t going to be the case, but prepare for the worst and hope for the best!) all that mattered was that we had made it to the temple together and were going to be sealed for all time and eternity. In other words, really the reception didn’t matter, the gifts, the pictures, the dress, all those worldly things didn’t matter. All that mattered was that we were in the temple at the right time, together, to be sealed. Of course we wanted to share our happiness with others and celebrate, but we were both more than ecstatic with being able to be sealed to each other, if that’s all we got to go to Oregon for.

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However, my mother had been hard at work planning and reserving for the big after event of the reception. We had been sharing Pinterest ideas since Christmas and she had a very good idea of what I wanted, and she has an awesome eye for comparable things that were close to matching. She is an amazing woman, she did so much for us and made the reception more than I let myself imagine. You know how you look at pictures from different events or the same event and it looks so magical, the highest standard is then set. You wish you could have your event just like that one, but realistically it was too professional, so the standard is readjusted to a more realistic level. My mother did the impossible and pulled off a Pinterest perfect wedding reception! It was amazing! I can’t wait to get all the pictures back to show them!

I currently don’t have all the wedding pictures from my fabulous photographer, but I should soon, so until then here are just a few pictures from before and during the event… also a few images of the barn that I just love!

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wpid-imag1037.jpg wpid-imag1027.jpg  So for now that’s what I have on the wedding week story, more to come soon! I promise I will be better at getting these posts done in a more timely fashion.

The Most Wonderful Time…

For many, Winter starts close to Thanksgiving. It’s really cold, the sun only comes out for a short while, and the leaves have all dropped from their trees leaving them looking like poor little dead twigs. Snow may or may not fall, but you definitely know that it’s winter. It’s time for hot chocolate, thicker coats with sweaters underneath, and lots more time indoors.

For Louisiana, it’s still spring.

Here the sun is bright and always warm, the temperature may drop and it does feel cold, but if I still wear shorts and flip flops outdoors more often than not, it’s not winter. Sure the calendar may say December, but in my mind and my body, it just isn’t. I’m ok with that now, now that I’m heading home to Oregon to celebrate Christmas with my family, but let me tell you, the Southern Guy got an earful about how the weather wasn’t acting correctly to what I’m familiar with and what everyone was promising me.

Finally after several mornings of my coworkers asking if it was cold enough for me yet, (my continuous reply having been a resounding “No,”)  one of the paralegals said, ” Honey, Welcome to Louisiana.” It was then that I fully understood that I needed to relearn the weather because I am in the South, and we all know that the close you get to the equator the warmer it is for longer. So my mindset is more open about my new home, and my expectations are completely gone, because they were set to my Northern standards which just wont work now that I’m down here.

And then we had a “Sneaux” day (pronounced snow, it’s a Cajun joke…yeah not as funny when you have to explain it…sorry), where the rain would freeze on the outer layer and stay liquid on the inside so when it hits the water refreezes and the ice from the outer shell sticks… It SUCKED!

72865_10201964292683775_578756537_nThankfully I have an awesome boss, who didn’t make us stay at work for very long and it was a good thing too, the city started closing down ALL the bridges in the city. Well our city is split right down the middle by a river….so if you worked on one half of the city, but lived on the other side, you were gonna have a heck of a time getting home. So I tried using this time to run some last minute errands (groceries and such) and found out that people were treating this “sneaux” day (see what I did there?) as if it were a hurricane and stocking up on all and any food! The Southern Guy and I were out of luck, but thankfully I sort of prepared a head and had some food stockpiled for us. Our next problem came when the Southern Guy tried to get home, because his boss wasn’t checking on the conditions or something, all the main bridges were closed, so he had to go WAY out of his way to try to find a bridge that would still be open. Thankfully the boondocks bridge was still open and he was able to get home…

So moral of the story is, Southerners have NO CLUE how to handle cold weather. That day there were over 200 weather related accidents and at least 2 deaths in association with the weather, all because people thought they could drive like normal on the icy roads. 2nd moral is don’t go out when the roads are icy in the South, it’s safer for you inside no matter how well you handle the icy roads.

 

The MOVE!! Part 2…

So Monday morning we woke up super early 5:00 AM and were completely on the road by 5:30, which was a great idea on our part considering all that happened that day. Cleo my wonderful little “munchkin” cat has never been big into traveling for long or short trips, and since this was the longest trip she has ever taken and probably will ever take, she was a complete and utter mess. Trying to be a good pet owner and knowing her reaction to being in her carrier for any period of time, I had gotten her a sedative, which didn’t work at all. Cleo had a freak out session all Monday and she wouldn’t use her litter box which led to a mess that was something that I never thought I would deal with.

Other than that the day was pretty good, we had few mishaps dealing with gas and distances, but overall we had fun on the first day driving to Utah. Upon arriving at our hotel, we put Cleo in the bathroom and let her give us the cold shoulder, we weren’t on talking terms my cat and I. The Southern Guy and I then went to visit with my little sister and my best friend who are roommates, and after not seeing both for a little over a month I was so happy! We had such a great time visiting with them and seeing how much my little sister has grown up, being on her own and making her way in life, it was FANTASTIC! Shanny, my best friend is an amazing person who has brightened my life since I’ve met her and has been there for me in some of the toughest of times, I can’t wait to see them again come Christmas. After spending a few hours with them and some others we just had to head back to the hotel to get some sleep, we were exhausted. Between driving for a straight 14 hours and dealing with Cleo, the stinky one, we needed the rest. Sorry ladies, next time we will party more!

So then Tuesday came along, WAY too early! We woke up, ate breakfast, cleaned Cleo (yes….I bathed a cat in a hotel room sink. I don’t EVER suggest it) then we headed out to continue our trip. Tuesday was SUPER BORING! We were pretty much done with driving, and even though there were amazing sights, and we got to stand in four places at once, we were already making promises to each other that the next time we have a big trip to make it will be by plane. Driving for three and a half days us just too much. Tuesday night we spent our night in Albuquerque New Mexico, don’t visit for a while, they are experiencing some serious construction. As well as serious storms, man can it dump rain in NM, you couldn’t even see the lines on the road because there was SO much rain!

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This is Four Corners National Park. Nothing awesome.

Side note; Four Corners is run by the Navajo people and there really isn’t anything spectacular there. If you’re making a trip just to site see, definitely stop here. Problems with this place is that it is WAY out of the way, there are few really worth it souvenir shops, and to top it off the actual spot that we were standing upon up there is about 1/2 a mile away from where the states technically touch according to Google Earth. Just an FYI for future travelers.

Wednesday we slept in as late as we could, but the Southern Guy and I found out that whilst traveling your sleeping cycles get all kerfunky. We were up by 8 AM (a.k.a. WAY too early) eating breakfast and discussing the weather because the night before had been crazy scary. As we entered into the state of New Mexico we saw two things; a LITERAL SANDSTORM and a GINORMOUS thunder rain storm. The best part about that was that we were heading towards BOTH, there was no way around them, unless we turned around on the two lane highway we were on. So we headed on and entered into a small town called Shiprock, I honestly thought it was Sh**rock, the “P” just didn’t look like a “P” and the way this little town looked you would have thought it was appropriately named. It was like the early 1980’s had hit hard in this town and the 1990’s just passed on by, so it was stuck in the 80’s with all the bad neon that came with that.

While in this tiny town, the thunderstorm hit and it hit hard, I mean it DUMPED rain on us. The roads were flooding so you couldn’t see the paint on the road, and the power was out in half, yes half, the town was out of power. Why only half? I have no clue, but it was kind of funny.

So remember it was dumping rain on us? Yes well as scary as it was for us driving though all of that, imagine how the guy we saw in the back of a pick up truck just sitting there in a hoodie. I have no clue why he wore the hoodie as it didn’t help with the onslaught of rain and wind, but he seemed to be ok. I wish we had a picture of this, because it’s pretty hard to believe, but it is true.

So after discussing this for the better part of breakfast we headed on our way, packing up our belongings and then Cleopatra, who was getting used to this traveling gig, she even slept with me on my bed instead of in the bathroom. We drove out of Albuquerque and headed towards the great state of Texas!

Now Texas is a great state, where everything is bigger, and the people are friendly, but the two biggest things I saw were the big churches pushing their big religion in your face and the big open space of just nothing for hours. Between those two things I don’t think I will ever go back. Texas may have been the worst part of the trip just because it was so empty, boring, and flat. The Southern Guy was driving this whole time, because as I learned, if he wasn’t driving he was too bored. In Texas, he actually got so bored with the driving he allowed me a chance to take the wheel for the first time since Nevada and then took it right back because sitting there just staring at the nothingness was worse than driving through it for him. Even though it was pretty boring, there were some pretty bits.

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Eventually we reached Dallas, where we got to experience even worse construction, one lane busy highway traffic with orange cones everywhere! To find our hotel was crazy difficult and yes, I got us lost, but only for about five minutes, and then we did Denny’s at 11 o’clock, which I don’t suggest. The food which is only good in general is barely O.K. during the later hours.

The next morning was our last on the road, Cleo was completely quiet and docile, the Southern Guy was super antsy, and I was just done with being on the road. I will never, ever, ever make this trip again. I can not tell you how happy I was to see the Louisiana state sign.

Yes, it’s blurry, but I had to put something there. This picture still brings a smile to my face because I feel excited all over again just like that day when we FINALLY came up to the state line of my new home. Yes, I am working on becoming a Southerner, in about 8 months I will finally be considered a resident of Louisiana. Once we reached this sign it was about 4 hours until we were at home, and Cleopatra got to finally really stretch her legs.

That is my story of how I made my transition from the North to the South in less than a week, and man was it a crazy week. Changes happen so fast and no matter how much you prepare there is no way to be 100% ready for the curves life throws you. I have been constantly learning that lesson, and now I sit here with my new kitten, Gator, sleeping on my lap in my sparsely furnished apartment after finishing a week at my fill time office job. Only two months living here and those are just a few of the things that have happened so far. There’s a little preview into my next post, you’re welcome.

The trip story is DONE!

The MOVE! The Beginning…

So in reality I have been down in the South for the past month now, amazing it’s been a month already and in that month a LOT has happened. So let me begin with when the Southern Guy got up there to pick me up.

My last day of work was the 2nd of August, a Friday, the Southern Guy was flying up one way to come drive with me over 34 hours to get to my new home on Saturday, and on Monday at 5:00 in the morning we were leaving once and for all. (Yes that was a little dramatic, once and for all, but you know it is kinda that serious.) So at work I was graciously given a wonderful party to say goodbye and some lovely treats to remember my coworkers by, then I gathered the few personal items that were left at my desk and headed out. It was all very final and serious leaving my work, I actually turned around and did shed a tear or two, there are many things I miss about my old job, but again I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was and how happy I am now down here to begin my life on my own.

On that Saturday, it was my absolute last day to finish packing and clean my little “shed-room” (yes I did live in the shed while living at home), I had very little to pack as a good chunk of personal things like books and memorabilia were going to have to stay, my little Ford Focus could only hold so much, so I tried cleaning as much as I could. Now remember how I said I was living in the shed? Ok, so it literally was  a shed that had been renovated for me to move back into once I decided Idaho was not the place for me, but it was renovated to fit all our family’s food storage, so it was a small space and crowded with shelves, both permanent and temporary, to house the storage. So moving that to clean around it in a day was difficult and still a subject of discussion for my mother and I.

That evening the Southern Guy flew in on time and we got to spend time together after not seeing each other for 7 months! SEVEN MONTHS! Just thinking about it makes me a little teary eyed, seven months of being separated and only being able to talk a little here and there. I am so blessed that I was able to make this move and we don’t have  to worry about that again.

Sunday was another difficult, but happy day. It was hard because going to church, to the Medford First Ward, the ward I had grown up in since I was 11 years old and seeing all the wonderful people I had grown up with, the little children who I had babysat for and their older siblings who I had also watched and played with, the families who had been companions to my family, the adults who had taught me and watched me grown, all of them were my family members. Saying goodbye to that many people who are that close to you is very, very, very difficult. Even with my Southern Guy there by my side, holding my hand, I was a little sullen at church.

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After church we had a sort of get together where some people my mother had invited came over to our house and we had a BBQ, or as much of one as we could have since the smoke was still really bad. It was nice and I loved being able to see so many people and get to say a more personal goodbye. After everyone left, just my family, the Southern Guy, and I were left, things were tense. It was hard for everyone because we all know that traveling between my new home and the North will take either a lot of time or a lot of money, actually it takes both. So we knew that we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while, like how the Southern Guy and I had to wait at least 6 months to see each other, now my family and I would have to wait. We all had great discussions with each other about plans and travel preparations and that night I said my last goodbyes to my parents and my little sister who is the last one home. Then I went to sleep on the couch knowing it was the last night my childhood home was my actual home.

TO BE CONTINUED…