Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is almost here!  I love the holidays - time with family, traveling, great food, and, of course, time off from work and school.  I'm definitely needing it this time of year. 

With the wedding right in the middle of the semester, it's been a little difficult to catch back up with everything.  As much as I love it, I'm ready for my first semester of teaching to be over.  It has been an amazing experience and I am so thankful for it, but it has been a long, busy semester alongside going to graduate school full-time.  I can't believe that in just a few short weeks, I will only have one semester left of school before graduation.  I can't wait!

With my graduate career coming to an end, it's time for me to start my thesis, the huge project at the end of the program that must be completed to graduate.  Technically, I should have started the project back in August because the English department says an entire academic year is needed to complete it.  With the wedding and the chaos of the apartment remodel and move, I put it off until this semester and will finish by August so that I can still participate in May commencement.  I'm actually excited to get started on my project.  Since I'm concentrating in creative writing, I will be working on a creative project.  I have my committee assembled and my topic underway!

Married life has been amazing thus far.  We've been encouraging each other with school.  Justin will be finished with his coursework in December and has to complete a lab in the spring...and then we will graduate together!  We've been celebrating every little anniversary...first it was our one-week, then two, and then yesterday, a whole month.  I can't believe it's been that long already.  I feel like we waited forever for our wedding, and now that it has passed, time is flying.  I'm just glad I get to spend it with him.  I've said this before, but it is so true - I'm one lucky gal. 

The first Thanksgiving Justin and I shared together.  2009.
 The apartment is basically finished.  When we moved in, we still had some things to do to finish up the remodel.  The big project we finished up was my art studio, a little area off the second bedroom where we put my art desk and my enormous collection of paints and supplies.  We painted the room yellow and white (and even managed to drop an entire can of primer on the floor at one point - huge mess) and stained the floor and put a top coat on it.  Justin even installed cork boards on the walls (the walls are too thick for tacks) so that I could hang up all of my art work.  I love our little apartment.

Did I mention my best friend drove all the way here from Fort Wayne to go to the midnight premier of "Breaking Dawn:  Part II" with me??  I don't care what anyone says, I love those movies!  This one was amazing, by the way, but "Breaking Dawn:  Part I" will always be my favorite in the series.

Until next time, you can find me working on my soon-to-be-due 20-page paper for my film class.  The semester is almost over!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Married Life

I'm back!  It's been awhile since I've written on my blog, but then again, October was an extremely busy month.  I am now a married woman and Justin and I are beyond happy.  I am loving married life and the journey we've begun together.

The month of October was spent preparing for our wedding.  Between school, work, and last-minute wedding plans, I moved into our new apartment a week before the wedding.  Remodeling the apartment, packing, and moving was a huge task to take on, but we did it and Justin and I now have a beautiful, organized home that is so us.  We made the move completely on our own (except for help from our friend, Noah) by renting a U-Haul truck and packing and hauling everything.  We were exhausted by the time we were finished, but we now have a home that is perfectly ours.  I love it. 

Other than the big move, October was filled with  my bachelorette party and Justin's bachelor party, working on wedding decorations, counting final numbers for wedding guests, ordering catering, and finalizing other wedding details.  Our wedding rehearsal was on October 19th and let me just say that it was one of the most chaotic and stressful nights of my life.  I was hoping and praying that the wedding would be nothing like the rehearsal, and I couldn't have been more right.  (Although our rehearsal dinner was hilarious!  With all of our brothers in the same room together, we shouldn't have expected any less!)

Our wedding day, October 20th, was absolutely beautiful.  Everything went off without a hitch.  I was so thankful for our friends that volunteered to help us on our wedding day.  Our friend, Meredith, did all of our photography, our friend, Doug, was our videographer, and our lively friend, Ed, did all of the music and announcing at the reception.  Despite my maid of honor losing my wedding band right before the ceremony, everything was just as I had always dreamed it would be.  My dad walked me down the aisle to my handsome prince, my groom, my amazing husband.  We said "I do" and became husband and wife and went to our reception to celebrate our lifelong commitment with our family and friends.

Pouring the sand during our wedding ceremony.
We danced, we laughed, we kissed, we enjoyed our first moments as a married couple.  I danced with both of my brothers and my dad, shared a first dance with my new husband, and had the most wonderful day of my life thus far with Justin.  God truly blessed our wedding day as I know he will our marriage.

The day after our wedding, Justin's dad drove us to the South Bend Airport so we could leave on the South Shore Train to Chicago for our honeymoon.  We stayed at a hotel at O'Hare Airport in Rosemont and took the Metra each day to downtown Chicago.  Justin and I had an amazing time and were sad to come home after our four-day honeymoon.  We went shopping, went to Millennium Park, ate great food, and relaxed at our hotel. 

Waiting for the train to Chicago to start our honeymoon.
 After four years together, Justin and I are finally married.  (We planned our wedding for 14 months!  Now what do we do!?)  As we made the transition back to work and school, things have been great.  I love sharing my life with him and I've even managed to make a trip to the Social Security office to make my name change official.  (I'm Mrs. Samson!)  As I'm about to embark on my last semester of graduate school and Justin is finishing up his degree and starting the job search, we've got each other through it all.  I'm so lucky to have him by my side.