Thursday, September 29, 2011


I am so proud to announce that Dave is FINALLY finished with his PhD! He defended his dissertation last Friday and passed with flying colors (we knew he would)! After wrapping up our life in Colorado “Dr. Dave” drove back out here to California and arrived on Monday. Ever since we have been continuing to set up our new house and unpack more boxes. Hopefully we will be done soon so I can show you pictures of our cute (and clean) house.

We have also done a fair amount of celebrating for Dave’s big accomplishment. I’ve made him a few of his favorite meals this week as well as a cake.

PhD Cake

Last night we took a trip out to San Francisco to hang out at Fisherman’s Wharf and had a yummy celebration dinner! It still feels like we are on vacation and not actually living here. It is such a weird feeling. But we are definitely enjoying our time here!

San Francisco

We have some other fun things planned for this week as well as some more unpacking and settling in. We want to fit as much fun in as we can before Dave starts his job on Monday. Wahoo!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My first blog award!

Thanks to Jane from A Few of My Favorite Things for my first blog award! Jane is so sweet and I just love reading about her cute dogs and her husband who is deployed overseas. You should check out her blog!

The rules are:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to up to 15 recently discovered blogs.

Here I go!

1. Baking is not a strength for me. Every thing I make has some sort of flaw… the batter overflows, I under or over bake it, cakes fall apart, icing falls off, etc. You name it, I’ve probably done it.

2. I recently developed a real interest in photography. I am loving learning to take better pictures and use the manual settings on my digital SLR camera. I’ve even considered starting a small photography business, but we’ll see ;-)

3. I love digital scrapbooking! If you haven’t heard of this, it is where you design scrapbook pages in Photoshop or another design program and then print out the pages in to scrapbooks. You don’t have to buy paper packs and elements and pens and scissors, etc. that are used up quickly (digital paper packs and elements are much cheaper (or free) and you can use them indefinitely), I can design and redesign something until it looks right to me without wasting paper or mis-cutting pictures, and digital scrapbooks are less bulky because the pages print flat. What’s not to love?!?

4. I love to color code things - it is my super power. Calendars, lists, the clothes in my closet… everything gets color coded. I think it drives Dave a little crazy.

5. I love camping in the mountains. Nothing beats sitting around a campfire with a beer in one hand and marshmallows on a stick in the other and mountains and pine trees all around you. Nothing.

6. I like going to museums. Any vacation or trip has to include some sort of historical activity or location. And if there are “reenactments” of something or living village type things (like Williamsburg) I’m all over it, and a total nerd.

7. I don’t like french fries. They taste funny and have a weird texture and I just don’t eat them… until recently when I discovered In-N-Out Burger’s Animal Fries - in that glorious mixture, the fries serve as a wonderful delivery device for the cheese, onions and special sauce. Yum! But other than that, I’m not a fry eater.

There you have it, a little more about me! Now I would like to pass this award along to:

Brianna from Brianna’s Blog
Matilda from The Adventures of Matilda
Cheryl from Nap Time in the New Happy Hour
Amanda from New Adventures

Happy Blogging, ladies!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sacred Marriage, Chapter 2

I have linked up with Jenn to do an online study of the book, Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. Every two weeks we will be posting our thoughts and reactions to a new chapter in the book. This week, Chapter 2.

Again, I am amazed by this book. It is providing me a new perspective on life, marriage and Faith and I am really enjoying it! This chapter talked about the similarities between God’s relationship with the church (and us) and our relationship with our spouse. Both relationships are loving, forgiving and require selflessness, commitment and communication. interesting, isn’t it? I thought I’d share some more quotes and thoughts as I read this chapter.

“If we are consumed with highlighting where our spouses are falling short, we will miss the divine mysteries and the lessons it has to teach us.”

James 3:2 tells us that – “we all stumble in many ways” – and I think it important to remember that nobody is perfect. When we focus on negatives of our spouse, that all we begin to see. I was in a situation once where I was with a group of people where they griped and complained about their spouses all of the time. You know how it goes: “Husband never does (fill in the blank)” or “I know he does (fill in the blank) just to make me mad” or “I can’t believe the he (fill in the blank)!”. Eventually, and I can’t explain why, I started to join in on the spouse bashing. Pretty soon I was more angry and frustrated with my marriage than I had ever been before - and for no good reason. It was almost as if I was only focused on the negatives (that really weren’t so bad) and it made everything else seem bad too. When I realized what I was doing and stopped, even started saying a positive thing my husband did every time someone else would say something negative, my marriage got a lot better and I wasn’t frustrated any more. Nobody is perfect, but if all you focus on is the imperfections, it all seems to start crumbling down.

“Will we approach marriage from a God-centered view or a man-centered view? In a man-centered view, we will maintain our marriage as long as our earthly comforts, desires, and expectations are met. In a God-centered view, we preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and points a sinful world to a reconciling Creator.”

“The first purpose in marriage - beyond happiness, sexual expression, the bearing of children, companionship, mutual care and provision, or anything else - is to please God. The challenge, of course, is that it is utterly selfless living; rather than asking, “What will make me happy?” we are told that we must ask, “What will make God happy?’

This really pointed out to me how selfish we all can be. If you are in a marriage as long as you are happy, then it really isn’t a partnership, is it? When God becomes the focus of your marriage and you and your spouse seek to serve him, then the marriage is about that and not about either of you. Interesting to view it that way and strive towards that.

Ok, that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading along, and if you are looking for a book to give you a new perspective on marriage and life, this is a great one. I can’t wait for Chapter three!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First few days in California


We’re in California! We’re settling into our new house, but only got Internet service this afternoon- so, sorry for the sporadic updates. We’ve been pretty busy over the last few days! We got a refrigerator with an ice maker! I’ve never had an ice maker before so I’m totally excited.


We bought and set up a new entertainment stand and bed frame.


After four years of marriage I finally filled, labeled and organized my spice rack (given to us as a wedding present).


And Gromit has been enjoying his new backyard.


We also got a new washing machine and dryer courtesy of my parents (thank you!). The washer arrived yesterday but the dryer was damaged, so they are delivering a replacement tomorrow afternoon. We got most of the big stuff out of the way (fridge, washer, dryer, cable, internet, kitchen unpacked, entertainment stand set up, bed frame put together) and now I can continue to unpack boxes and organize when Dave goes back to Colorado tomorrow to defend his dissertation on Friday! Finally!

So far, we are loving our new place! Now back to that stack of unpacked boxes…

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting to California - Day 1

Today we started our journey driving out to California - to officially move there. It is bittersweet, yet surreal. I can’t believe this is actually happening. But here we are, in a motel in small town Nevada, only 9 hours from our final destination. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t a vacation, but a move and we are headed to our new home. It is a lot to take in.

The drive today was good. Dave and I enjoyed listening to a murder mystery audio book which made the time fly. Gromit seemed to do well in the car for so long, but he sure is sleepy now!

Despite the mixed emotions I am really excited to arrive at our new home tomorrow - together, as our little family of three. Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Longest week ever

Um… what day is it? Where am I? That is how I have felt all week long. After loading all of our belongings on a moving truck on September 2, we had a plan to stay with family and friends through last week until Friday (the 8th) when I was going to drive out to California to begin living in our house, waiting for the moving truck to arrive with all of our belongings so I could begin getting our new life organized. Dave was going to hang out with my family this week until his defense when he would then join me in California.

Over Labor Day weekend we visited and stayed with Dave’s parents. While there we continued our Labor Day weekend tradition by going to the Colorado Balloon Classic to take pictures to enter into the photo contest. I haven’t had the opportunity to go through all of my photos yet, but there are a few good ones :-) I promise to post the better pictures once I have time to go through them. We were also able to visit with friends Trisha and Chris, and their daughter Makenzie. It was so nice to be able to visit with them!


On Monday we headed to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Can you believe she turned 29, again?!? Neither can I… We spent the night there and then headed back to our now-former home town so I could finish up my last week of work and Dave could continue to work on his dissertation at his lab.

But here is where our plans changed.

On Tuesday we got a phone call from the moving company around noon telling us that our stuff would be arriving in California at 8:00 a.m. THE NEXT DAY. That is hardly the 24-72 hours notice we were told we would get before the delivery. The kicker was that if we were not physically present to accept the delivery, we would be charged $2,500 for storage. So, Tuesday afternoon I booked an evening flight to the Bay Area and a reserved rental car and headed to the airport all by myself while Dave stayed in town to continue to work on his dissertation. Then, my original flight was delayed for three hours which would put me arriving at the airport later than the rental car counter was open so I had to switch flights at the last minute and then change my rental car reservation since I was flying into a different airport. I finally arrived and uneventfully supervised the unloading of the moving truck on Wednesday morning. I spent the afternoon trying to do a little unpacking before I had to head to the airport at 2:00 a.m. to catch my 6:00 a.m. flight back to Colorado. It was a whirlwind 48 hours. Luckily, I was able to take a few pictures of our new house while I was there! Please excuse the boxes - they should be gone; someday.


Then I returned to work on Thursday to train my replacement. It was hardly believable to be training the person who was going to be taking over the job that I love so much. I did my best to explain everything I do and how I do it but I wasn’t able to get through everything by the end of the day, so I agreed to come in on Monday to finish up. By Thursday night I was exhausted and was definitely ready to crash at our friends Brianna & Rob’s house.

On Friday we headed back to my parents’ house to stay for the weekend. We were hoping that Dave’s advisor would have scheduled a date for his defense, but on Friday we still had no date and no real plan of what we were doing or where we were going for the upcoming week. Seriously, this process is so frustrating and we were just taking everything moment by moment (or crisis by crisis so it seemed) since we had totally lost control of everything. I walked into my parents’ house Friday morning and was greeted by my mother who informed me of two smaller family crises that I then had to (emotionally) deal with. Everything is okay, but seriously, those issues were just the flame on the candle on top of the cherry on top of the sprinkles on top of the icing on the cake. I was spent, drained and unable to function anymore. I just shut down and settled in to just hanging out all weekend.

Sunday night we headed back to our now-former home town and checked into a hotel that my aunt gifted us with by booking and paying for our stay. (Thank you, Aunt Pat!) After everything the past week threw at us, this is just what we needed to relax and unwind while I finished work and Dave finished the third revision of his dissertation. We enjoyed staying with friends and family, but we were ready for a more private retreat after being “homeless” for over a week now and to give us a better space to deal with all of our stress - you know, like trying to figure out when we would officially be moving to California since Dave still had no defense date.

Yesterday I finished training my replacement at work and had a nice lunch with co-workers. I will miss those folks so much! They even left me a special surprise in my car to help me feel at home in California. Its a long story, just know that it was really funny!


Some good news is that yesterday Dave was able to set a defense date for his PhD dissertation! Of course, this is pending that all of his committee members get back to him to confirm that they are available. Fingers crossed!

So it looks like Dave will be defending on September 23rd, giving him a week and a half to prepare his presentation. After some discussion and family brainstorming last night it looks like Dave and I will be driving out to California together on Thursday, then he will fly back next week before his defense and stay with my parents, then he will drive our other car out to California after his defense and start work on October 3rd. As long as we don’t have any other crazy surprises this will be our plan. Hooray for finally having a plan!

This whole process has been so draining & frustrating and I can.not.wait for it to be over soon. Here’s to praying that things will play out as they are supposed to!

Sacred Marriage, Chapter 1

I have linked up with Jenn to do an online study of the book, Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. Every two weeks we will be posting our thoughts and reactions to a new chapter in the book. This week, Chapter 1

Wow, I don’t know what exactly I expected from this book but what I read wasn’t what I thought I expected. It was better! I was really excited about what I read and was reading passages out loud to Dave. My Kindle is full of highlighted passages and I’m excited to share just a few of the things that stood out to me.

“To spiritually benefit from marriage, we have to be honest. We have to look at our disappointments, own up to our ugly attitudes, and confront our selfishness. We also have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles.”

Um, wow. Reality check.

“We can run from the challenges of marriage… or we can admit that every marriage presents these challenges and asks us to address them head-on. If we find that the same kinds of challenges face every marriage, we might assume that God designed a purpose in this challenge that transcends something as illusory as happiness.”

There is a higher purpose than only happiness in our marriage and we are all challenged to get there. I like the idea that we all face challenges in marriage and that we are not alone or isolated in our challenges. How awesome is it that we are sort of all in this together, even in our individual marriages?!?

“But what both of us crave more than anything else is to be intimately close to the God who made us. If that relationship is right, we won’t make such severe demands on our marriage, asking each other, expecting each other, to compensate for spiritual emptiness.”

Again, wow. The words just spoke to me. God is #1 and if that isn’t how it is in our own lives, nothing else will fill that void for us.

I’m looking forward to continue reading this book, to seeking and being a support for others facing the challenges that God gives to them to make them and their relationships, with him and their spouse, stronger.

Thanks for sharing in my journey!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Moving out

Well, we have completely moved out of the apartment which we have called home for the last two years. Not only that, we have packed up our life for the big move, not another place in town, but, out of the state. It has certainly been a long and emotional week for us.

The packers came on Thursday and put everything we own into boxes. They started in the back rooms and just threw anything they came across into a box and moved throughout the place filling box after box after box. Soon there were boxes stacked to the ceiling in every room, even filling the hallway. They seemed to do it so quickly! It was weird to think that our entire lives were packed into those boxes, ready to move across the country.



On Friday the movers came to load everything onto a big truck. Again, it was amazing to watch how quickly they were able to move everything out. These guys would strap a few boxes at a time to their backs and just carry it out to the truck like it was no big deal. More power to them. I was so glad not to have been a part of that process, other than being an observer. Oh, and to all of our wonderful friends who have helped us move in the past, you’re welcome for not asking you to help this time. Just thank Dave’s new company for footing the bill for the packing and moving. This is definitely the way to move!




Before we knew it the apartment was empty and we were left to clean (thanks, Mom!), sort through a few things and pack our cars with the things we needed to take to California ourselves. We spent Friday night in the apartment, in our sleeping bags before packing up and heading out on Saturday morning.



The most stressful part of the week was being told by our moving coordinator that we will have only 24-72 hours notice before our stuff arrives at our new place in California - and that it may or may not beat us there due to their very large delivery window. Long story short, this next week will be very interesting for us in terms of determining how, who and when we move out there. We are currently staying with family and friends while I finish my last week of work and until we can figure out when Dave will be officially finished with his PhD defense and until when we find out when we need to arrive in California to supervise the unloading our stuff from the moving truck. Stay tuned for what I’m sure will turn out to be another crazy week.