Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wild, Wild Weekend...

If you haven’t already heard, our first married weekend together was wild with excitement. Around eleven o’clock on Saturday night Mike was “crutching” himself down the hall and screamed back to the kitchen, “Oh my gosh honey come quick!” When I cam around the corner I saw a pool of water pouring out from underneath our toilet, up through the drain in our tub, and spilling into both bedrooms in our house. I am not joking; there was literally a lake inside. Long story short, our landlord came over, we got a plumber on the phone and the three of us stayed up until almost 3:00am pulling “items” out of a pipe in the front yard. (To be completely fair, I didn’t pull anything out of anywhere. I sat behind the glass storm door and shrieked at every thing that came up.) Finally, above the shrieking noise of the plumber’s machine, I heard a voice scream, “I’ve hit something.” Next thing I know there is a giant, and I mean giant snake looking things being pulled out of this small pipe. Ends up it was a tree root that had grown into our water and sewage line… The thing was like ten feet long and four inches in diameter… Huge! So next week, while Mike and I are on our honeymoon, the plumber is coming back (with his team) and digging up our front yard. They have to lay new pipes, replace our toilet, and install a new faucet. Crazy huh!

P.S. If you look closely you will see the root that came out of our pipe...

"In sickness and in health"

Would you believe that five days into our marriage I got a call from my husband as he was leaving the Charlottesville emergency room? Yes, you read that right, the emergency room. I honestly thought it was a joke at first… Unfortunately it was not. During a basketball game with the boys he went up for a shot and came down on another player’s foot. Mike’s foot rolled to the side and he tore every ligament on the right side of his ankle. He has been a great patient, but I am learning quickly the meaning of “in sickness and in health.” Thought you might like to see a picture (even though it doesn’t do the thing justice) of the giant foot.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lessons learned in two and a half days of marriage:

I have made the initial move to Charlottesville to be with my new husband. I got here around 7:00pm last night and my schedule of events once arriving looked like this.

7:15pm – Meet new husband at his old house and follow him to new house.
7:30pm – New husband is ready to “christen” new house.
8:00pm – New husband wants me to come watch him play basketball.
8:15pm – Arrive at gym but can’t get in. I go grocery shop. New husband plays ball.
9:15pm – Pick new husband up from ball and head to sandwich shop. New husband buys dinner.
9:45pm – Go hang out with “the boys,” consult about them on how to handle girls, talk about wedding, and watch 24. I fall asleep.
11:00pm – Head to new home with new husband, who requests a massage and more "christening." I laugh… lie down… and fall right asleep.

So my lessons learned in two and a half days of marriage.

New husbands like their new wives to enter “boy” world. While I actually had a lot of fun last night, I am looking forward to creating a schedule of my own.

New husbands like compliments on the new house they have found.. Our new house, which I have nicknamed “the box,” is in a “diverse” neighborhood but I’ll keep that between you and me. Other than the slightly sketchy surroundings it is absolutely perfect.

New husbands quickly succumb to letting you wake them in the morning, manage their laundry and fix their breakfasts. None of these tasks are things I really mind doing, but I am keeping a mental list that can be used on nights when I want a nice dinner and he wants to order Chinese.

New husbands like to play with their wedding rings. Mike’s ring must have made about 1000 rotations around his finger already. And when they are not playing with their new ring, they are asking silly questions about it like, “Do you think I should take it off when I play basketball? How about golf or baseball?” For some reason, none of these questions crossed my mind when I started wearing rings.

New husbands think the most important service to have in your new home is cable. I think Mike would be fine with no lights, no heat, and ESPN. For all that are interested, we should have cable in a couple days.

I will write more and send pictures tomorrow. I am loving married life and can’t wait for you to come visit me and my “new husband.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

More on my new hobby...

I wanted to take a second to elaborate on my new favorite hobby (dancing at Fred Astaire with my dad and Mike) and thought I would actually share some tips that we have learned along the way.

1. Always focus on moving in one of four directions: North, South, East and West. (There is no such thing as Southeast, Northwest, etc. with ball room dancing – or at least we haven’t gotten to that level yet.)
2. Let the man lead – this is very hard for stubborn people like myself, but it’s the only way to make it work.
3. If you are doing something like a father-daughter dance, don’t feel like you have to dance for the entire song. Most people can only pay attention for 1.5 – 2 minutes. Stop around the two minute mark, or at least mix things up by inviting other people to dance with you.
4. Proper dancing position means the woman’s arms/shoulders should be in second position, and then the man arms meet her… (For those of you who aren’t familiar with second position, put your arms in a “t” and bend your elbows in from there.)
5. If you go to the Fred Astaire studio ask for the wedding package – not sure if it requires proof of an upcoming wedding, but I think it is the best deal.
6. Just a warning, dancing for an hour like this hurts the balls of your feet. Wear comfortable shoes but stay away from rubber soles.
7. If you are a wanna-be dancer in Greensboro, NC (like we were) I highly recommend Caroline Pendland as an instructor.

I’ll try to share more words of wisdom after our next lesson.

Friday, February 2, 2007

House in Charlottesville, VA

...Speaking of moving, I thought you might like to see a picture of where Mike and I will (most likely) be living our first months in VA. It's a little institutional looking, but I'm hoping my inner Martha Stewart will emerge enough to make it quite homey.
P.S. The good news is that it's extremely close to campus and it has a guest bedroom. So please come visit... We promise to play great hosts.

How to move gracefully...

Lynne Bergeron is a dear friend of mine, and someone who has moved around the globe throughout her lifetime. Since I am about to uproot from a very comfortable spot in Greensboro, NC (and relocate to Charlottesville, VA) I went to Lynne for advice. The words of wisdom she had to share were so powerful I thought everyone might benefit from reading them (whether you are moving to a new city like me, or not).

1. Be sure to send out change of address/phone number cards to all of your friends, family, etc. 2. Be sure to change your name and address with insurance companies, driver's license, credit cards, utilities, bank, publications, etc.
3. Be wary of people who are overly welcoming and want to be with you all of the time. If you feel that someone is trying to monopolize your time, they might not have good intentions. I learned that the very hardest way here.
4. Check with people about safety/security concerns as well as reputation of service providers, etc...
5. Sorority alumnae, church, public library, university connections, are all good resources for meeting people.
6. Try to make your apt./home as personal and special as you can. Surround yourself with meaningful things so it feels like you belong there. That you are HOME!
7. Do some exploring of the area so when people visit you can show them around or give them the info so they can get around themselves. It feels more like home when you know about the area in which you are living. You might never live there again, and I believe you will regret it down the line, if you leave there without ever having Really been there!!!!
8. Be very careful about making negative comparisons to other places you have lived/been when talking to people there. It usually sounds whiney and people get tired of it real fast.
9. Though you know you will not likely be there past Mike's graduation, embrace living there. This is the beginning of your life together and that only happens once!! Make the memories good ones!!!!!! You will find that you will talk about this particular time in your lives more than you expect.
10. Accept that it will be different. Different doesn't mean bad. It just means not the same!
11. Remember that change is hard. All change--even good change!
12. Try to get into a routine pretty early on. I have a feeling that you are an organized, take charge person. You will feel more like yourself if you do those things that make you feel like you and make you feel like you are in charge of your life. Sometimes moving makes you feel like you are up in the air.
13. As I said before, do NOT jump in too quickly and be cautious of people that try to make you do that!!
14. Try to look at this as an adventure!! A positive attitude is definitely going to help you through the changes!
15. Try to keep track of what worked for you and what you would do differently. I have a feeling there will be other moves in your life!
16. Know that home truly is where the heart is!!!!!!!!!!!
17. Keep in mind that you are not giving up anything by moving. You are adding to what you already have--friends, life experiences, etc..
18. Don't be afraid of multi-generational activities. Of course, your best friends will likely be close to your age. However, there is much to be said for joining things that have people of all ages. If you listen, you can learn a lot.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

A full plate...

Mike and I are 16 days away from saying "I do" so the wedding buzz is in full force. I have florists, bakers, restaurants, photographers, churches, and about 300 other people who all need information galore... It's a wonder I haven't lost my head yet.

That being said, there are a lot of other exciting things on the horizon as well that are helping to keep me sane.

1. We secured a date for the 6th annual Dustin's GreenHouse Hope Grows Here Golf Tournament. (Mark your calendars; it is October 1st - Dustin's birthday.)
2. The Junior League has also approved a golf tournament - our first - which will be held at Greensboro Country Club on May 11th. It's a co-ed event that will raise money for community projects. It's also a great social outlet for League members and their friends and family. (Did I mention that I'm in charge of planning this event?)
3. The GreenHouse Globetrotters will be heading back to Ecuador in July. We will be sailing around the Galapagos Islands for a week and then partnering with Habitat for Humanity on a build project in rural Ecuador for a week. We have 26 student applications. We will pick apx. 15 of these for interviews and then make final selections by the end of February. After that our 2007 Globetrotter team will be off and running. This year our curriculum includes internships, community service, Spanish classes, scuba and swim classes, and much, much more.
4. Suzanne Caudle is one recipient of a teacher scholarship for 2007. She is a science teacher at Ragsdale, and I actually had her in high school. Kind-of special that we are reconnecting for a scholarship trip.
5. On a wedding note, I am taking dance lessons with my dad and Mike. My dad and I are learning the Rumba and Mike and I are perfecting our shag. All of our lessons are at the Fred Astaire Studio, which meets every stereotype of a professional dance studio I had ever seen on tv. There is an Elivs look alike, a latin lover, a couple of gorgeous girls, and a gay guy or two... The whole thing has been a blast; I might have found a new favorite hobby.