Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 in a nutshell

The year 2011 was pretty stellar. Here is a quick run-down.

Last winter semester, (spring for you non-BYUers) Paul and I were living in a teeny tiny hobbit hole and getting accustomed to life as newlyweds. I learned to bake bread, a feat that I'm pretty proud of. Paul studied hard and I did too (cough cough) and we completed yet another semester of college together.

In May, we decided to have Paul to take a summer job in Omaha, Nebraska with Pinnacle Security. Even though the job was stinky, we enjoyed Omaha. We made good friends with the cutest little family ever, the Whetmans. I was also invited to accompany our ward's sister missionaries to teach a sweet pharmaceutical student named Kelly who was baptized later this year. In plans that come from a higher power than me, I feel that short little month in Omaha blessed us in more ways than we'll ever fully understand.

Also in May, the wildfires of West Texas nearly burned everything my grandparents owned. The fire scorched every bit of their land and consumed their woodshop/garage/guest house. Fortunately, the main house and my grandfather's cat were spared thanks to many anonymous but nonetheless heroic firemen.

In June, we made a little bit of a rash decision and decided to move to Alaska for the remainder of the summer. If only I had been reading the clues my body was giving me instead of blaming it on the humidity, we probably wouldn't have gone to Alaska. Paul was in the middle of Canada when he got a little bit of a frantic phone call from me: we were pregnant.

While overjoyed that we were expecting, the nausea soon hit me. Three weeks went by that I could barely move from bed. To be three thousand miles from family and this sick was especially difficult and emotionally taxing on me. Paul worked almost twelve hours a day and I thought I was going to die. I look back now and realize that it was mostly hormones, but at the time I was pretty downcast. It even became difficult to write and maintain my blog.

In July, we were blessed yet again from Paul serving a two year mission for our church. One of the families he met while serving invited us to stay at their home and offered Paul a better job. The Forbushs are the kind of people that will do anything for anyone, despite their own needs. Their loving example and missionary service that they do for others is overwhelmingly compassionate. I learned a lot about forgiveness and loving others from this little huge (5 kids) family. I hope that I can someday repay their kindness towards us to someone else in need.

We also got to know the Blackley family this summer in Eagle River, Alaska. We spent many evenings playing games (Leanne is scary when in competition mode; I think she bites occasionally) and teasing their children. I'm buddies with their youngest daughter, Reagan, who still writes me the sweetest letters on a regular basis.

Paul also spent several nights a week in Soldotna, AK on the Kenai river. He usually came home with his full limit of salmon. His trips usually consisted of being surrounded by bears, spending all night standing knee deep in glacial water, and gutting fish. I accompanied him a few times, but most of the time the fishy smell kept my queasy morning sickness tummy at home.

In August, we returned back to Provo, Utah to attend Brigham Young University. This was a difficult semester for the both of us. Paul took an excruciatingly difficult chemistry course. He had many sleepless nights and long days spent studying for this course that is considered to be more difficult than the chemistry course offered at Princeton University. In the end, he had to drop it because he was suffering in his other classes (he was taking twelve credit hours on top of this chemistry course). I guess it sort of paid off, though - he still has a 4.0 GPA and is majoring in manufacturing engineering.

In September, we celebrated one year of marriage - another feat that I am pretty proud of. The first year of marriage is the most difficult, and we survived it. I feel like our marriage is a huge thing to celebrate because we're still together and bonkers over each other (even if Paul still leaves the toilet seat up). Here's to a bajillion more years of being married to my polliwog.

This December, we visited my family in Texas for a cowboy Christmas. My mother bombarded us with baby gifts, and dare I say it - I think she might be more excited than we are that there's going to be a little munchkin here soon.

For 2012, our plans are to welcome our first awesome kiddo into the world, survive college, and to keep lovin' on each other. So bring it on, 2012. This last year is going to be pretty difficult to top.

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