Our Year in Review

So, here we are at one year, sixteen days, and three and a half hours of marriage. It’s been a great year of changes, adjustments and learning for us. Especially that learning part! What—you don’t like it when I ask you to pick up your shoes four times in one hour? Tell me again the reasoning behind having a pile of “worn, yet clean” clothes by the bed? Oh, and there’s so much more to learn!

Our wedding was a wonderful day of joy, laughter and memories. We don’t know of a single thing that could’ve gone better—and if you can think of something, don’t tell us! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have so many friends and family in one place. The Europeans probably have the right idea when they make weddings a weeklong event. We would’ve loved to spend more time with all of you—but alas, we had a honeymoon to run off to.

Our honeymoon in Victoria, B.C. was so much fun and a great start to our marriage. Victoria is the type of place where there is enough to do, but not so much to do that you feel like you’re wasting time if you’re not doing something every minute. We had plenty of times of just walking around and watching the Tour de France on TV—and definitely enough time to try plenty of restaurants and ice cream shops. We returned from Victoria feeling refreshed and ready to face the world as newlyweds. We opened a few presents, moved around some furniture and headed back to work and school

In August, Sean took a summer school class at Fuller Seminary and continued his work at Fircrest United Methodist Church as a youth director. Jennifer came back as Assistant Missions Director at Chapel Hill Church.
Our lease was up in August, so we took the opportunity to move into a bigger apartment. But we didn’t have too far to go, as we just moved within the same complex and had a day of carrying mattresses across the parking lot. We are still perfecting the color schemes, furniture layout, and storage even to this day. A few trips to Ikea and we feel pretty at home here.

Sean started his last year at Fuller in September where he was able to focus more of his studies on historical theology (his favorite area of study). He was chosen to go to a conference in Michigan on Faith and History and present a paper. This was quite an honor for him and a great experience. In fact, he became such a pro, that he presented another paper at a conference in Seattle in the spring.

Though we attempted to spend one holiday with each set of parents, the cost of going to Maine on a holiday to see Sean’s family exceeded our budget. So, we decided to split the holidays and travel to Maine at the beginning of December. We spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas with Jennifer’s family and spent five days in Maine. We saw the first snow there, ate lobster (of course!) and got to see most of Sean’s family. Jen got to go to her first professional hockey game to see the Portland Pirates and Sean got to practice his snow driving again.

In our first months of marriage, we decided to be adventurous and actually respond to telemarketers that call and say “You’ve won a free trip—and all you have to do is attend one of our seminars about timeshares.” By doing this twice and making a couple of salesmen a bit angry with us because we wouldn’t buy anything, we received trips to Vancouver B.C. and Las Vegas. This was, of course, after paying taxes and fees to upgrade our hotel so we weren’t next door to the airport. Free doesn’t really mean free—don’t let them fool you!

Anyway, we took both of our trips in the Spring and they both proved to be great fun for us. In Vancouver, our goal was to see every animal in that darn city—so we visited the zoo, the aquarium, the park, and the lake and went to an IMAX movie that took us on an African safari.

In Vegas, a first for both of us, we stayed at Circus Circus and supposedly got to see the “family-friendly” side of Las Vegas. Though we did enjoy the miniature golf course and complete amusement park that was inside our hotel, the rest of Las Vegas seemed to be much more of an “adult” paradise. We walked miles and miles every day, amongst the 105 degrees, trying to see some of the sights like the white tigers and the Eiffel Towers. We came back to our hotel every evening, past our bedtime, exhausted and over-stimulated and barely able to move. Las Vegas is like no other place we’ve ever been—and probably not a place we will return to. Once was enough for us.

In June, Sean graduated from seminary and we had a fun celebration with his family and Jen’s. Sean’s parents stayed with us for four nights and we enjoyed having them here. Jen’s parents came for two nights and though the two sets of parents had only met at the wedding, they chatted like old friends. What a blessing to have parents that get along so well.

In celebration of our first anniversary, we decided to go white water rafting in Central Washington. Many have asked us if this is a sign and symbol of our first year of marriage—rocky waters, unexpected turns, etc. Actually, we just thought it would be fun, no sign or symbol intended. And it was fun! We rafted on the White Salmon River and went over a 10-foot waterfall (by choice!). This fabulous rafting trip began our weekend of “you’ve got to be kidding!” Our bed and breakfast turned out to be a 1970s barn/house that no longer served breakfast, so really it was just a “bed.” The burger joint that we went to for dinner was out of burgers, vanilla ice cream, Sprite, just about everything we asked for. After a not-so-restful night on a weird mattress and an uncomfortable wake-up call by the owner barging into our room after forgetting we were still in there, we headed to Hood River, Oregon for breakfast (because, remember, our bed and breakfast did not serve breakfast). The place we ended up at for breakfast was actually a bar, though it didn’t look like that from the outside. They were understaffed and, again, out of things like coffee cups, so we drank our coffee out of water glasses. From there we decided to go on an adventure. We pulled out the map and came up with a route to get home that did not include I-5. We stopped at Multnomah Falls near Portland, then drove for several hours around the east side of Mt. St. Helens. It was great fun and we’ve found that we really like road tripping together. One of our goals for a future road trip is to only stop to eat at places with big signs that say “EAT” or “FOOD.” So, on our anniversary day we ate dinner at a place that said, “EAT,” somewhere in Washington. Our weekend was definitely a hilarious adventure and a great way to spend our first anniversary.

Sean recently got a second part-time job with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. He is a driver and detailer so he drives the cars and picks people up, as well as washes/vacuums the cars when they come back from customers. He likes this new job that is low-stress and keeps him active during the day.

And that brings us pretty much to today. So, what did we think of our first year? We can’t believe it’s already been a year. For all the books we’ve read and people we’ve talked to that say the first year of marriage is one of the hardest, we’ve been thinking, really? If this is one of the hardest years, we can’t wait for the rest! We’ve had a wonderful, fun year that has solidified all the reasons that we got married in the first place. We have so much fun together and the Lord has blessed each of us with a great partner. We hope to see some of you this year, maybe even more than once. Take care everyone!

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