Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thoughts

The first thought I have is that I haven't blogged in a very long time. It's about time that I do that...quite a bit has happened to me. Where to begin?

Leading up to the wedding:
Man, it was a pretty stressful couple weeks. I can't believe that me and Liz survived. There were so many small details to pull together and we were trying to micro-manage every last one. It was a blessing when other folk started to step in, like the Bakers, and convince us to let them help and take some of the load off! That really helped a lot and we couldn't have got the wedding off without all that help. :-) What's more was that we were both trying to pack up all of our stuff before the wedding so that we could move right after the honeymoon. That is stressful in itself! Argh, what a crazy time! I'm so glad its over. :)

Wedding Rehearsal:
The wedding rehearsal went just fabulous. We had plenty of time for the rehearsal itself and everything went smoothly and we all had a good time. Then the dinner was over at the Holiday Inn and was just amazing. Everything was decorated so well and the food was so good. We had a great time there with everyone in the wedding party. We enjoyed putting on a little slide show of our own and then our families suprised us with a slide show that Kristin put together of a bunch of pictures of Liz and I as children. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen and was so special I couldn't believe it. Kristin put so much work into that, as did the rest of our families scheming behind our backs to keep it a secret! It was so very special and just really topped off the night. :) Curt, being an awesome friend, put together a little bonfire down at McCoy on the river for all the guys after the dinner. We went down there and hung out for awhile and it was great. I really enjoyed some of my last moments as a bachelor and it helped calm me before the wedding. We even had an interesting incident involving Mason, his car, and a big ditch very late at night... :P

Wedding Day:
I woke up a little nervous, but not too bad. I was actually pretty excited for the wedding. I put together Liz's big gift...a special dress I bought a while back...I wrapped it up all pretty and put rose pedals inside and stuff and then went over to her house. :) We got to walk around together down to the pond for about 30 minutes and then she had to get ready so I left. I was so encouraged though because the weather was PERFECT. The last three days had been HOT and thunderstormy all day, but today was sunny, breezy, and much cooler. It was incredible. :-) I went home and walked around the Foxridge Pond for awhile just praising God and preparing my heart for the wedding. It was neat. I also got to spend some time at home with the Steves, Chris, and Tim B having a fun time and one big final Oreo Time. It was a blessing too to spend that time with them because it helped me to get my mind off of being nervous and just relax and have fun. :) I got over to the church at noon to change and grab food and had a great time there too. All my groomsmen were so great and they helped keep me chill before the wedding. I also peeked into the sanctuary and was floored by how beautiful it looked with the flowers all set up and everything. It was really special and got me stoked for the wedding. :) Then, the biggest blessing was getting to stand outside the sanctuary and greet people as they came for the ceremony. I had such a great time doing that and it got me so excited for the wedding and so relaxed too. I prayed with Pastor Baker for some time too which was great right before we began. The ceremony went great. Liz looked incredible and I had to look at other people so I wouldn't cry as she came down the aisle! It was pretty emotional. I started getting nervous during PB's sermon. It felt like it took years and I had to focus on not falling over! As soon as I got to turn to Liz, though, it made everything better. :) I really enjoyed reading my vows (which I had been so scared to do). God really gave me confidence and helped me in that special moment. Of course, our fingers were hot and sweaty up there and we had trouble getting our rings on each other, but that helped to make the wedding more fun. :) Everything was perfect at the ceremony. Jon's music was great, the decorations were perfect, the audience was wonderful, etc. I felt blessed beyond what I could ask for and what I expected. :) After the wedding, we had our big formal picture-taking time. That went very smoothly too and we got done with enough time that Liz and I were able to go get some beautiful outside pictures done at the Duck Pond. :) Then we got the reception at the Holiday Inn which was just incredible. It was outside and the weather was just amazing and there were people everywhere. The decorations were amazing, the set-up was just perfect...man! I loved it. The cake looked incredible too. I was so happy with everything there. :) The only bad thing was how fast it went! I hardly got any food or cake and was just constantly talking to people. It was madness! I wish I could've gotten to talk to everyone longer, but that's okay. I'm glad that so many of my friends came. That was really special to me too. :) It was a great reception and it was topped off at the end when we left in the car. We were so afraid that our car was going to get trashed, but everybody was so awesome and decorated my car beautifully! I mean, it was actually pleasing to look at...it was so amazing. :) I had to fight back tears as we walked towards the car and waved goodbye. Everything had gone perfectly and people had shown us so much love that was incredible. It was a very special wedding. :-) :-) :-)

Honeymoon:
We left after the honeymoon and drove our "Just Married" car with pride down to Pilot Mountain, NC. It was fun having people honk and hang out their windows waving at us on the way down. :) Overall, the honeymoon went pretty well. We flew to San Diego, had a stressful, late flight and got one of the last 3 rental cars, which ended up being a van, about a minute before they closed at 10pm! The next day we enjoyed an amazing coffee/sandwich shop and drove across the Mojave Desert out to Kingman, AZ where we shopped at Wal-Mart, swam, and ordered pizza in our hotel room. After that we drove up the back way into the Grand Canyon, stopping to buy some gifts from some indian people on the road. We spent the afternoon setting up camp and napping/being lazy. We walked over to the canyon a little in the evening. It rained a bit but cleared up enough for an amazing sunset. :) In the middle of the night we were frightened by a coyote yelping just outside our tent in the middle of nowhere. I've never been so stiff and quiet ever before...I was pretty scared. It left us alone, but we got no sleep. The next day we hiked down the canyon which was amazing and then got stuck in a downpour on the way back up. That cleared up when we got to the top, so we enjoyed some amazing views and then left. We drove across AZ up towards Las Vegas, stopping at the incredible Hoover Dam along the way. We got to Vegas at night and spent a few hours walking down the main boulevard and taking in all the sites. It was a lot more fun than I expected, especially the kiwi fruit ice cream crepe we shared. :) We got to our hotel about an hour outside Vegas around 1am! The next day we took a long drive up to Bishop, CA, going across Death Valley which was hot and giving our van a hard time on the winding, steep mountainous terrain. We started slipping on a part of the road that was "melting" in the heat and that was exciting. We saw a fighter jet do laps over the valley too, which was cool. We got to Bishop in the evening and had a wonderful evening. Had a great dinner, including the one and only Brownie Monster of extreme delight! Then we had a chill walk around the beautiful town. It's situated in a valley between the Sierra Nevadas and the desert mountains, so it was very neat. We enjoyed a great homemade breakfast from the b&b lady the next morning, drove up towards Yosemite, stopped in a diner for a sandwich, then drove over to Bodie Ghost Town. We toured it thouroughly which was neat, but perhaps took too long and then had to drive AROUND the top of the park because the pass was closed from snow. The drive was amazing and we stopped to the most incredible sunset which we shared with a stranger. Liz shared a little about God with him to which he responded a little but then left in a flurry. :-/ It took us about 4 hours to drive like 70 miles because of the terrain, but we finally made it to our cute cabin late. The next day we woke up really late and lazed around some. Then headed out for groceries in Yosemite Valley which was a huge mistake and made us too late so we missed our dinner reservations at The Awahanee. I luckily made reservations for the next night. We instead came back to the cabin and I grilled up some cheddarwursts and swordfish, so the evening was fun after all. We spent a lot of time over at the cabin owner's house at their son's graduation party. That was pretty fun and nice of them to invite us. :) The next day we took an incredible 8.5 mile hike from Glacier Point all the way down to the Valley floor through trees, waterfalls, etc. It was great and took most of the day. Only mistake was that I left my car at the top of the mountain and the last shuttle bus left 5 hours prior to when we got to the bottom. :-( So, that was stressful, but after some trying we thankfully found a nice employee who we paid off to take us to the top to our van. Of course, this took awhile and in effect we missed dinner again at the Awahnee! I underestimated on gas and by the time we got out of the park all the gas stations were closed. :( It was pretty stressful, but God was good and we rolled into the last open station for like 30 miles just before our van was about to die. We also managed to grab some Mexican food like 2 minutes before they closed. Argh! The next day was a little more chill. We moved out of the cabin and spent some time chilling in the woods before heading back into the Valley in the afternoon. We took our time through the Valley just soaking in the sites. In the evening, we ended up at the Awahnee just to check it out, but we snuck in a quick reservation, changed in the van into nice clothes in 20 minutes and then raced back in for a great dinner. It was truely amazing food and atmosphere. I'm glad Troy told us to do that. :) We were there a long time which lead to us setting up camp in the woods around midnight in bear country. A little scary, but nothing bad to report. Liz cooked great chili on the fire for brunch in the morning, then we drove down to look at the giant sequoia trees which were very neat. After hiking and a long nap in the car, we drove off to our b&b and had dinner at a fun pizza place. That night was spent chillin and enjoying their hot tub under the stars. :) The next day we slowly left and drove over to visit the Bakers down in Acton. Had a great time with their family having dinner, dessert, and a fun walk around their neighborhood. It was hard to leave, and we got to Carpenteria pretty late to set up camp on the beach around midnight again! The beach and town was beautiful and we had an incredible breakfast there. Later, we drove to Camarillo to see Mom's old house on our way through Los Angeles and down to San Pedro to visit Grandpa and Dottie. We spent the afternoon with them and it was really nice to see them. They really appreciated us coming by more than I thought they would and it was sad to have to leave them. We drove down the coast and stopped in Laguna Beach for the evening. What an incredible town. We had so much fun there in the little shops and on the beach. Of course, that made us late getting to our b&b down in San Diego which we checked into way late at night. :-P The parking at the b&b was terrible and we probably spent a good 30 minutes at least searching for a spot on some side street and then walking a great many blocks to where we were. Oh well...at least we were near the ocean. The next day we lazed around all morning and then made our way over to Coronado Island and spent the afternoon there. We rented bikes for an hour to ride all around. Later, we toured the Hotel Del for a bit and then watched the sunset on the beach. We went back over to the other side of the island and had an amazing dinner at Il Fornaio overlooking downtown San Diego at night. :-H The next day we ventured all around, starting with Point Loma and the tidepools area. Then, it was off to go shopping/walking around Seaport Village downtown. After that we headed over and walked around Old Town as the sun went down. We had a very fun dinner at the mexican place Cosmopolitan where they had great food and Mexican guys walking around playing music to tables. :) Late at night we went back downtown to see the Gaslamp District and have ice cream. The following day was Sunday and we went to a big church which we liked a lot. After church, we spent the afternoon with Uncle Jan and Aunt Vivian and Cousin Eric and his new wife Evelyn. We went out on their new boat sailing around all afternoon which was lots of fun. We grilled up dinner back at the dock later on. The next day, we hung around all morning and then spent a lazy afternoon out in La Jolla and Torrey Pines. At night, we went over to Balboa Park and met Jan and Vivian there for an organ and opera concert which was neat. That night we stayed on their boat which was fun. We woke up really early the next morning and headed to the nearby airport. Boring morning aside from the crazy lady attacking an old clueless janitor. :P The plane ride home went fine and the drive to Blacksburg got us home around 10:30. We then spent a number of hours with Liz's family opening up wedding gifts until about 2am!
So, that's the honeymoon.

The move:
We had one day to finish packing before we left, so that was a little stressful, but we got it all done just in time. The movers came Thursday morning and packed all our stuff up quickly and we headed down to Charlottesville Thursday evening. The movers unpacked on Friday and that went pretty well also. No major problems. :-)

First few weeks here:
They've been pretty busy for the most part. We've been slowly unpacking and organizing stuff and spending some evenings shopping for groceries and miscellaneous housing items...it takes a lot of stuff to get a new family going! It's also been some work trying to figure out all these address changes and Liz's name change. Still need to finish lots of that type of stuff up. We have enjoyed the townhouse very much so far. Its just perfect for our stuff and not more than what we need. We love the neighborhood a lot also. We've really enjoyed a lot of nice walks around the area as the sun goes down. We spent an evening downtown for dinner, music, and ice cream, and last weekend checked out the Mellow Mushroom for great pizza before watching the new Pirates movie. Fireworks were great here for the 4th and we enjoyed having my family here for a cookout. We had Liz's family in for a couple days earlier in the weekend. We've been searching for a new church and have been to three so far. The first one was pretty nice, we really enjoyed the second one a lot, and the third one was not so great but the pastor and his wife were very nice.

My new job:
I'm into my third week at Sperry Marine. It's gone okay so far. I've just been getting aquainted with things and not doing too much yet. I should be getting some real work soon, so we'll see how that goes. I like the people there pretty well. They seem to be real nice and good workers. It seems like a pretty good fit for me. I'm also really digging my 3-4 minute commute into work. :-D

Guess that's all for now. If anybody read all of that...you're crazy! :)

1 comment:

Tony said...

Well I think I only skipped a few words but I've always considered myself crazy -- your wedding really was beautiful and the weather couldn't have been any better. Glad to hear the two of you got to see some great things out in California. Be talking with you soon