Friday, December 9, 2011

We're Here! Now What?

As crazy as getting here was, that wasn't the end of it. Once we were here, we had a week with the truck to find a place to live. In this time, I began my internship. This left Layne to scout out the places we found online. Some of them were good, some of them were scary, and one of them was great.

After finally signing a contract, and facing a fantastic late charge on the truck, we moved in one Tuesday night after work. Someone was moving out at the same time even though we had reserved the freight elevator, and the leasing office hadn't programmed our fob correctly so we couldn't get to our floor. We had overlooked renting a dolly, and I was stuck in my restricting work clothes. We finally wrapped it up with the help of Jace around midnight, and were so exhausted that we didn't even put the bed together before passing out.

I had work the next morning and it was horrible.

I unpacked within the first week and we began to settle in. Layne was interviewing all over the place and started three or four different new jobs within the first three months. He finally landed the one he wanted and is now working at Accenture. I interned my little heart out and have managed to just hold on to a position at the same company after my internship ended, though my future at the company is still a little uncertain. I guess we're still figuring it out, but we're happy. What else really matters?

Mad Dash Across the Country

Probably around the beginning of summer I began thinking of what we should do at the end. Our lease expired mid-August and as that time quickly approached I debated and dithered. On August 1st, Layne and I made a snap decision to move to Washington, D.C.

I always knew we'd end up here because it's where Layne grew up and wanted to be. Also because - hello. We are just East Coast people. I was excited to try something new after living in almost every western state and never exactly finding home. I knew I wasn't going to settle anywhere in the middle, which meant I was ready to try the East. He was excited to go home again.

We had just under two weeks to pack up our lives and decide what to do before our lease was up. This was spent taking finals, packing, and using every spare moment to apply for internships and jobs. We took a day and threw everything into a trailer and my parent's van. We unpacked it in the in-laws garage and finished our day around 1 am. The next morning, we took off  for a pre-planned family vacation with no idea what we were going to do with our lives upon our return. The tipping point would be for me to land an internship. Once I got offered a position, we would go.

A week or so later, I secured an internship and immediately accepted. It was a Friday, and the next Thursday we loaded a 16 ft moving van, strapped our car to the back, and drove the 36 hours straight through the country.

A drive that long is mainly monotonous, and there are few things to say about it. I did confirm my lifelong that all of middle America pretty much sucks. I'm sorry if any of it is near and dear to your heart, but I found it mainly boring and indistinguishable. Especially Nebraska. It just never ended and every time we filled up for gas there were hundreds of black crickets jumping around! The most exciting thing to happen was when a car burst into flames in front of us just outside of Chicago.

I can't complain about the length of the drive; Layne drove all but 4 hours.  It was around 3 a.m., about three hours from our destination, at a gas station in some small backwards town in the mountains of West Virginia that Layne very nearly hit his near-breaking point. It took a good half hour to coax him back into the truck and the rest of the drive was filled with a quiet relief that we knew we could make it, we were almost there. We were so exhausted by the end that when we pulled up in front of Layne's friend Jace's house, we tripped out of the van and instantly fell asleep on pool chairs in the backyard. Jace's wife Cori came to wake us sometime later, and though she called her whole way across the yard I didn't realize someone was there til she was standing at the foot of my chair. Layne took a fair bit of shaking to raise. I can remember that bone-aching tiredness now and I just want to pass out thinking about it. In fact, zzzzzzzzz....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fast Forward

I'm already getting tired re-hashing the first year, so I'll summarize. If we're Facebook friends, you can find the photos there since my old computer crashed and I don't have the original files anymore. Or maybe I'll download and pop them in... you're probably getting bored without visual aid.

As I said, September was simply lovely. October was Layne's birthday-week. I got him a present every day and planned some activity every night. A boys night out, his favorite meals, and a trip to Vegas -shopping spree included (it was his money, what do I care if he blows it?). November was Thanksgiving day with my family, and the rest of the weekend with his. I learned to never go Black Friday shopping with the Fletchers and to let Sydney do her thing in the kitchen. Involvement in either one could lead to death or serious injury. December was a bit more tricky, as we both had our families in from out of town and wanted to spend time with them. We had a gingerbread house contest at the Bentley's, which spawned a yearlong glowing pride in Layne, Jen and me. And we partied hard on New Years at Layne's with a 5000-piece puzzle and bingo. By the way, we're much cooler than we sound.

January was just cold and dreary. In February, there was Valentine's. We went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and saw Jimmer Fredette there. We also had the best venison with blackberry sauce you could ever imagine. I am drooling just remembering it. February then us to Portland where Layne's best friend Thorn is from. Thorn took us all over the city and is the best tour guide I have experienced. Also, his parents are too cool to hang out with any of us and I am way jealous of how awesome they are. I wold hang out with them every day if they'd let me.

March was consumed by March Madness and it's hard to remember anything else that happened among the blur of basketballs swishing into nets ten feet off the ground. I do recall having a completely crap bracket though... April finally brought a little warmth to Utah and people began to wander around outside again. It also brought us to my final summer enslaved in the Beehive State.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Honeymoon Stage (and other such nonsense) Part II

Now, don't get me wrong. Being married is AWESOME. It's maybe just not quite as good as the falling in love part in that heady, romantic, sweep you off your feet sort of way. It has ups and downs, but it takes a bit more to get it up. That's all.

...But not like that!


Anyway, what I really meant was that immediately upon returning from a most excellent Mini Moon, we (obviously) began living together. And at times, this proved quite a challenge. It's just that I can be a little bit of an uptight and controlling neat freak. And Layne is a little more um... Normal. So it took a little while for him to adopt my ways as his own.

We suddenly realized that we may not be as absolutely compatible in every way as we had thought during our dating days. He was going to insist on a full birthday week, threaten me if I ever ate a clementine, and stay up later than me on an almost nightly basis. I was going to insist on sitting right beside him and adoring him at all times. (I quickly learned that not everyone loves this, though I'm still not sure I understand why...)

I have to admit that over a year later, we're still working out a lot of these kinks. But we've learned a lot. In fact, I think it's time for a quick list of:

5 Things I Learned My First Year of Marriage*
  1. Communication really is key - listening and sharing is the only way to bring sanity to a home.
  2. Some things are better left unsaid - if it could hurt the person you care about and it's not hurting you, then learn to get over it.
  3. Don't get offended - if you trust that you care about each other, you can avoid a lot of fighting.
  4. It's ok to go to bed mad -  and people who tell you otherwise are full of it. Sometimes you need time to distance yourself and cool off.
  5. Family is family - and you're stuck with his and he with yours, so learn to play nice.

*I initially titled it as a Top 5 list, but thought I would look back on it with regrets if I prioritized my lessons learned.
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