Newlywed Notes

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I've been wanting to write a post to sort of check-in with how things are going in our day-to-day lives since there's a lot that goes on with me and Mike that I don't always talk about. So far, this blog has been a ton of fun for me to write but I don't feel like I share quite as much as I could be. I post a bunch of the cool stuff we do and the places we visit but not so much about the other stuff that's going on in our married journey. If I really am going to blog about our life as newlyweds, I feel obligated to include more of the real everyday stuff, not just the parties we attend or trips we take but our thoughts, feelings and the other moments too. I want to include moments that are good, bad, monotonous, funny, challenging, whatever. Because that's what life is all about, right? It's not just about the exciting times. I want to be able to look back and see everything that happened, not just the highlights.

As I write this, I am sitting in my favorite spot in our apartment - the couch. Yes, I know it seems like the most obvious place to call my favorite but what I really love are the two large windows right next to it. Right outside our window is a gorgeous white flowering tree. I've been trying to identify it since we moved in but I still can't figure it out.

Regardless, this is one of the best spots to unwind after a long day at work. With the windows open (it's 75 degrees out!), the birds singing, the breeze blowing, and a glass of wine in hand, I don't know of a better place to relax. I am so happy that Spring is here!

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans"
While our lives aren't completely insane, sometimes it does feel like all we ever do is rush around. We have started to joke that we barely even live in our apartment and its just become a very expensive storage unit for our stuff. Almost every weekend we leave with our bags packed and return home Sunday night to unpack. It's a very different way of living that we didn't quite expect. It's funny to me how after we got back from our honeymoon we were so excited to have our nights and weekends back when, now, all we ever do is run around. Of course, most of the time we are doing things we enjoy but still, there is little time to relax.

A lot of it has to do with our personalities. Mike and I are planners. It's what we do best, but we tend to plan activities and dinners and meetings that fill up every free space we have on our calendar. We seem to have gotten into the habit of scheduling something for every minute of our week. Recently, we have been trying to force ourselves to stop scheduling stuff during all of our free time and take a breather once in a while. We are beginning to realize that taking time for ourselves is not just an important part of life but a mandatory one. I absolutely cannot wait for our vacation in July. We are heading up to Maine to stay in Mike's family's cottage - just the two of us. While we plan to stay in touch with the family a little throughout the week, it will be a great time for us to "unplug" and spend time away from reality for a while.

Home Sweet Home
With all of the normal stresses of work and our constantly busy schedule, it's easy to forget that we are also going through the home-buying process. Things became a lot more real for us this week when we locked in our rate for our loan. I definitely can't complain about 3.625%. My parents told us that when they bought their first house back in 1985, they had a 12% rate! This really is the best time to buy a home and we are so lucky that we are able to take advantage of it. Now that we are solidifying our payment schedule and beginning to plan how we want to design each room, I am getting more excited as the days go on. We are officially 55 days away from settlement!

I can't lie, while waiting four months for settlement may seem like a lifetime to some people, I think of it as a blessing. I can't imagine us trying to pack up and move quickly on top of everything else we have going on. I am definitely anxious to get started on making our house a home but taking it slow in this process has given us time to consider each option carefully and really be thorough in our decision making. We've had months to go through the inspections, the paperwork, the loan approval, and all the other steps whereas most people only have a few weeks. Like I said, home-buying is a huge deal and taking it one step at a time has been so helpful for us newbies. In the end, I feel even better about our decisions knowing that we have had time to make them gradually.

I've got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight...
Yes, I just quoted Billy Madison.

And that's right, Mike and I are both starting to look into going back to school. As if we really needed to add another thing to eat up our free time. Mike earned his Master's degree in Environmental Management last year and is thinking about going back to get a certificate or degree in law. He is currently studying to get his CHMM certificate so he will probably wait until after that point to get into another program. I told him that we need to go back to school together so we can have study dates. Aren't we cool?

I am thinking about going for my Master's at Hopkins. There are a bunch of programs that would allow me to continue working full time while taking classes online or in the evenings. I like the looks of the Master's in Biotechnology with a concentration in Molecular Targets/Drug Discovery. I am still not sure though which path is for me. We shall see...

One Year
I know it seems crazy but I am already thinking about our one year wedding anniversary. It may have to do with the fact that every time I open the freezer, the box containing our wedding cake is staring me in the face. I want to do something super special for it but I can't seem to decide what that is. I like the idea that some couples start traditions on their one year and continue them all throughout their lives but I haven't thought of anything creative that we could do. One thing is for sure, we are definitely doing a one year anniversary photo shoot.

I was in love with our engagement and wedding photos and I think it would be a nice little way to remember the day. That being said, as I mentioned above, I love to plan things in advance. I have already started coming up with ideas for a themed session. I have fallen head over heels for the adorable "picnic" themed shoots I have been seeing - I only have Pinterest to blame! Here is a little inspiration board I put together that gives you an idea of what you might see.

So far I have a couple of old books and glass bottles and I kept the mason jars from our wedding so we will have those too. This summer I will be on the hunt for all kinds of things to fill in the rest of my vision.

Funny moment of the week
The other night when we were heading down to Grammy's for dinner with Mike's family, we were riding down the road with the windows down since it was such a gorgeous evening. The weather was nice and warm and the trees all around us had started to bloom. I took note of this as we passed a gorgeous willow and our conversation went a little like this:

Me: Wow, it's such a gorgeous night!
Mike: Yea, I know, I'm so glad the weather is warming up again.
Me: Look at that gorgeous tree! It looks just like the one that my mom has. We should plant one in our yard when we move into the new house.
Mike: Yea! Those are so cool, aren't they "Weeping Willies?"


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