For our first weekend update, let me catch you up on what happened in 2011.

January: Student teaching started for both Brian and me.  I remember that on the first day of student teaching, we met over at Brian’s apartment after school, shared stories of our first day, and took an hour nap.

Oh, and getting wedding invitations ready to mail out. We decided to make our own, I think our invitations turned out so beautifully. But, if I had to do it again, knowing what I know now, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t just have someone else make them for me.

February: More student teaching. Things started out really stressful for me, but I found my groove. Brian, however, realized that he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and withdrew from student teaching — resolving to finish in the fall… hopefully somewhere where he felt he could really grow as a teacher.

March: More student teaching for me. Brian worked a lot at Cabela’s, and made me lunch every morning, came and picked me up from my apartment, and drove me to school. SO SWEET!!!

April: Wedding stress planning and finishing college. Oh, and some super fun wedding showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties.

(Side note: Really, we didn’t have too much wedding stress… we were both fairly laid back about everything.)

May: Brian and I both got to walk across the stage at Graduation. It was such a special day — my grandparents, parents, Brian’s grandma,  his parents, and Jake, Tiffany, and the boys came to University Heights for a lovely picnic outside. Such a relaxing way to celebrate some big successes.

Brian and I made a super cute train cake for Max’s 2nd birthday.

Oh, and throw in some more wedding planning!

June: BIGGEST MONTH EVER!

I married my best friend on June 4, 2011. The day was perfect — except that there wasn’t enough cake to get seconds. I loved being surrounded by friends and family to celebrate all the love Brian and I have for each other.

June 11, we left for Chicago. Now we received comments from some people thinking it was crazy not to go somewhere exotic for our honeymoon, but Brian had always promised to take me to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game… and what better time to do it than our honeymoon? It was such a great week! We ate pizza, visited museums, walked around the city, visited Navy Pier — and of course! — went to Wrigley to see a Cubs game, and then went to Wrigleyville several more times just to enjoy the atmosphere.

Also in June, I moved into Brian’s apartment at University Heights. It was a quaint little studio apartment — or so I thought….

July: or shall I say, the month we found out that Brian’s air conditioner was a sorry excuse for keeping the house cool. Many nights, we’d go to Wal-Mart JUST to cool off.

We had our first guests in our tiny apartment. Sarah and Hope, our sisters, came over to spend the night so they could help us with the Topsy-Turvy safari cake for Owen’s first birthday. We couldn’t have guessed how much we ended up needing their help! Not only is a topsy-turvy cake foundationally unstable — okay, should have guessed that — but the frosting and decorating was very elaborate.

In July, we also decided that the job hunt was coming to a hault for me. So Brian got to pick anywhere he wanted to go to finish student teaching. We decided, after much thought and consideration, that Grand Island had multiple districts and lots of schools for me to sub in, and would provide Brian with options for schools to student teach at. So we got the ball rolling.

August: We move to GI… into the cutest apartment ever! For a very reasonable price, we found a place with two bedrooms, a storage room, laundry room, and a GARAGE! It’s not your typical apartment complex… the best way to describe it would be to call it a six-plex.

Leaving Kearney though, meant leaving our cushy job at Cabelas and going back to the phones in GI. I never thought I would be so sad to leave my work-friends… but I bawled like a little baby.

Just as we got settled in the apartment, Brian started student teaching. I knew after the first day that he was finally where he was meant to be. He worked with three of the most amazing teachers, and one of the most amazing supervisors — all of whom helped to mold Brian into an excellent English/Social studies teacher.

And I started subbing: it was slow starting out… and I’ll leave it at that.

September: More student teaching for Brian. And FINALLY… subbing starts to pick up for me, by the end of September, I had a slew of dates on my calendar for October. It was such a good feeling!

October: The highlight of the month was Halloween — which Brian permitted to be a month-long celebration of Fall. Thanks to a trip to Helgoth’s Pumpkin Patch with our friends, we went crazy and bought enough pumpkins and gourds to not only decorate our porch and end-tables, but even make spaghetti squash for dinner and homemade pumpkin bread. We watched a bunch of scary horror movies (including Halloween, which we didn’t care for; The Others, which was really good; and all four Scream movies within just a couple weeks), and enjoyed the autumnal aromas of some awesome Mulled-Cider candles.

On Halloween night, we had a few trick-or-treaters, and we made a very fall-like meal of soup and home-made bread.

November: We realized how much we had to be thankful for! Brian finished student teaching the end of October, so November we went back to work at Cabelas and both started subbing. We averaged about 4 days a week between the two of us.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Grandma Alyce and the Lincoln Mosers in North Platte, then headed to my parents’ house for another great meal. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by love during our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.

December: Not enough snow. It was really hard to get into the winter-mood when it doesn’t feel like winter. But that didn’t stop me from getting a winter flu-bug right before Christmas! I don’t know how Brian avoided it, but thank goodness he did!

We celebrated Christmas Eve in Lincoln. It was such a special day! We had a nice meal, opened presents, and then headed back to GI. Brian and I spent our first moments of Christmas Day at midnight Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral. It was truly a special service for us to finally be able to celebrate together. (Christmas was the ONLY holiday during our 4 years of dating that we never actually spent together — we would always celebrate during finals week before we went home to our families.)

Christmas morning, we opened gifts, then loaded into the car and headed to my parents’ house. There we opened more gifts, and then got to work creating one of the best Christmas meals I’ve ever had. Thank you Dad for the great prime rib and the awesome pies!

Christmas 2011 was so different for all of our families. And while I know we all struggled with the strangeness of sharing time with each other and the newness of having a new family member around, I think it went so well. We are so blessed to have families who truly understand that what makes Christmas special is to be able to spend time with ALL of your loved ones.

Brian and I decided to ring in the New Year at our apartment. We played a great game of Monopoly, had some outrageously delicious fondue, yummy veggie pizza, and drank entirely too much champagne. But it was all worth it. At the stroke of midnight, we shared our first New Year’s Kiss as a married couple. And then, we heard a commotion from outside… and out of our bedroom window, we could see a neighborhood fireworks display. It was so romantic!

… And a great way to celebrate everything that happened in 2011 and look forward to everything that will happen in 2012.

 

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