First of all, I’m back!  I have almost completed my first round of chaos.  The research proposal is in, as is the homework, and the test I was supposed to take today was moved to Thursday.  I have already studied for it, so anything beyond what I have done will be less pressured, which is nice. 

Now, in my last post, I mentioned an internship I am applying for.  After the class I am currently sitting in, I am going to print out my updated resume and hand in my application, which means that I am done considering applying for this internship and now I am really doing it.  There’s something scarily final about turning in an application; it means that it is actually in writing somewhere that I have decided to pursue the path the application takes me.

So what is this path, you may ask?  Well, I am currently applying for the Arizona State Legislative Internship Program.  For an entire semester, I would work with state representatives, committees, and maybe even the Supreme Court or the Governor.  I would not be getting coffee or running errands.  I could work as a liaison, or present information to different groups in legislature.  I would be expected to research and write.  And, I would even get paid; not only is my tuition waived for the semester, but I am paid $4,200 for my work.  While this may not be a lot of money for four months, quite a bit of it could just be saved.  Plus, I would still receive federal aid in the form of grants, which could also be squirreled away.

So what’s the catch?  Well…it’s…in Phoenix.  And I can not commute from Tucson every day.  That means that I would have to live for a semester in Phoenix.  Since the internship is full-time, I could not transfer to another store, so I would have to either take a leave of absence or quit my job, and I am not sure if I can take a leave of absence due to the $4,200 I am being paid. 

I would have to move away from my husband, my immediate family and most of my friends (I have extended family and a few friends who are going to school in Phoenix, so I wouldn’t be completely alone).  It would also mean temporarily leaving youth ministry, and leaving my awesome, brave, smart, sweet students for four months.  Four months!  That may not seem like a lot of time, but so much can happen in that period of time.  I would miss everyone terribly, especially Nason.  I would miss our late night drinks and conversations.  I would miss hiking and gardening with him.  It’s a scary thought, to leave everything behind for a semester, but the opportunities and adventures that this internship  would provide are too good to pass up.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.  After all, I still have to make it through two rounds of interviews.  However, I can not help but think that it’s actually happening.

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My glasses broke last Thursday. 

I don’t mean they lost a screw, or the lens popped out, or even the earpieces twisted.  I mean they snapped in half right down the middle.  How, you may ask?  I cleaned them.  I had the glasses in my hand, and was drying the lenses with a towel, and they broke across the nosepiece.  I stood there for a minute and stared at them dumbly, as though expecting them to say, “just kidding!” and magically fixed themselves. 

When that didn’t happen, I started to panic.  

See, I have terrible vision.  By terrible I mean I can not longer make out the big E at the top of the chart anymore-I know what it is, and I know that it is there, but it just looks like a big blob now.  Yes, my vision is that bad.  So when my glasses broke I thought for sure that I would not be able to find my way around…well, anywhere, let alone to an eye doctor.  I called my mom and told her what happened, and then I called my insurance company to find out if I was covered.  That’s how Nason found me-in tears on the phone with some poor fellow from VSP, clutching my glasses.  That night we had to be somewhere, so Nason taped them for me.  they were very ugly and embarrassing, but it was the best either of us could do at the time (which, by the way, I was incredibly grateful for).  My mom lent me her pair of glasses for the next day, so I could get to work and then to the eye doctor. 

That afternoon, after work, I went to the mall and ran around trying to make a same day appointment at one of the optical places.  I finally managed to get an appointment at Eyemasters, and after I got my new prescription (slightly higher than before-yikes I’m blind!) Nason met me there to help pick out some new glasses.  

Now, the thing I love about shopping with Nason is that he is incredibly honest.  I am not being sarcastic at all when I say this.  Nason will tell me if something doesn’t look right, and then that way I don’t walk around all day with, say, my shirt inside out, or mismatched clothes.  It is something I genuinely appreciate about him.  This honesty was something I desperately needed when it came time to pick out new glasses.  I mean, they will be sitting on my face every day for at least a year; they have to look nice.  So this is how it went: 

Me: “What do you think of these?” 

Nason: “…they make you look weird.” 

Me: “Really?  I kind of like them.” 

Nason: “Well…they don’t look bad, just big/weird/flashy.” 

Finally, I found a pair that I loved, and that Nason said weren’t as “bad as some of the others.”  I know they are similar to my old pair, but I loved my old pair, so that’s okay. 

I thought a side-by-side would be nice. It's blurry because I tried to take the picture with my glasses off. My vision actually is that bad.

 So, I can see again.  Thank goodness.

UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that I didn’t have a picture posted!  I took one and then forgot to upload it…thanks for the good catch Stephanie 🙂

On this date last year, I got a pedicure, went shopping, stuffed homemade cookies into little bags (36 dozen cookies, take that Martha Stewart!) and went to my wedding rehearsal and dinner.  That’s right, that would make tomorrow our anniversary!

It’s a little crazy to think that Nason and I have been married for a year.  It still seems fun and fresh.  Every day with him is a new adventure.  It’s been a year of happiness, a few arguments, lots of change and, above all, lots of love.  I am so happy that God brought such a loving, sweet, selfless man into my life.  He’s my best friend and constant partner in crime.  Our life is filled with service, pranks, wrestling, hiking, laughter, and growth.  We get each other, even though we’re pretty different, and yet we’re always learning about each other.  I think it’s more fun like that.

I know that this is a short post today, but I’ll just leave you with this: This past year has been absolutely wonderful, even when it’s been difficult.  We are both in love, and we will see many more anniversaries after this one.  The first is special, but it certainly will not be the last!

PS: I will not be able to post again until Monday, since we will be out of town to celebrate.

Since moving to Tucson nearly 8 years ago, I have fallen more and more in love with the city and surrounding area.  From spectacular sunsets to amazing hiking to wonderful friends, this place is now home.  And now, my favorite time of the year is here.

Courtesy of nasonsdailyphoto.wordpress.com

Monsoon is right around the corner.

Before moving to Tucson, I lived in Tacoma, Washington (close to Seattle).  I hated the weather there.  The rain was always drawn out and drizzly.  The sun rarely came out, at least that’s the way I remember it. 

It was nothing like here. 

Here, the air gets heavy, and that wonderful wet smell fills the air.  The wind picks up.  The sky gets cloudy.  it is still warm-this is Tucson in the summer-but not blisteringly hot, like earlier in the week.  Here the storms are short but furious, drenching you in seconds but drying you soon after.

I think that monsoon storms are breathtaking, and I can not wait for the first to hit Tucson.  At this moment we’re being teased-all of the right elements are there.  It is so close I can literally smell it, but no precipitation.  Yet.  It’ll come, and when it does it will be spectacular.  But for now we all have to play the waiting game, and hope that it comes soon.

A few months ago, when we initially started looking at houses, Nason and I made a big and risky decision-we started putting my paycheck into savings and began to live solely off of his.  Now, we did not make that much money to begin with, but we still made enough to get what we needed and then some.  We lived well within our means, and so we were pretty comfortable.  However, when we made our decision, that meant losing a third of our budget every two weeks (Nason makes more an hour and works more hours, so he makes about twice as much as me).  This meant we had to drastically alter our lifestyle.  We stopped going to the movies, and we rarely eat at restaurants, and we started (occasionally) using our credit cards to carry us over until the next paycheck.  Now, we really live paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes it’s tough.

But, even though it’s difficult, it has actually been beneficial in so many ways.  We communicate more about our finances than we did before.  We are less wasteful, and we are smarter shoppers because we have to be.  Despite taking such a cut in our budget, we are still debt free, and I do not see that changing anytime soon.  And our savings account looks fantastic.  Even though we occasionally use money from savings on projects such as our garden or the trip we are taking this weekend, we consistently put more money in than we are taking out, so our savings account has been steadily growing, which was the initial idea.

Honestly?  I think we have more fun now than we did before.  While we do not go out on dates as often as we used to, we like to go hiking, or spend fun nights at home.  We have two Nerf dart pistols, and we will run around the house shooting each other.  Our life is quieter now, and I like it.

This is our good life-while we are pretty poor, we are incredibly happy, and I honestly think that we are better with our finances now than before.  Having to handle our money differently has led us to be more responsible with what we have, and we are better stewards for it.  Even though our lifestyle has changed, our level of happiness is still the same, if not higher.  That is what the good life should be, right?  I think so.

Hello again!  I am so sorry I have not blogged in a week.  Nason and I have been so busy with the move, and then we had to switch our internet provider, so I had no way to get online to post.  I have been itching to write again, I think I am addicted to blogging now. 

We have been so busy turning our house into a home.  We have been scrubbing walls, weeding the backyard, packing, unpacking, and everything in between.  Now I can actually see the sofas (since they are not covered in cardboard) and I can walk from one end of the house to another without tripping over anything.  We have discovered that all this space makes for great Nerf dart wars, and have big plans for the interior and exterior of our new place.

It’s kind of crazy how quickly it all happened.  Last week we were living in an apartment in town, and now we’re back in Vail, settling into a new home.  Honestly, this house feels more like home than the apartment ever did, and I’m so thankful we are living here now. 

There are still a few projects that need to be done, but overall we have the house the way we want it for now.  We want to eventually paint and tile and landscape, but that’s all to come when we have time to do it.

Which actually brings me to my announcement, sort of.  I’ll be in Prescott starting Sunday.  It’s for a week with my Middle School students, at a camp we go to every year.  I will not have internet while I am there, so I will not be able to post at all next week.  I will try to post either tomorrow or Saturday, but I make no promises.

I suppose that’s it for now, hopefully I’ll write soon!

Last night Nason and I got the keys to our house.  We were at a barbeque when we got the phone call from the owner, so we went over shortly afterwards, retrieved the key from its hiding place and went inside.

The house was so different from the last time we were there.  It was empty and quiet and dark, unlike the walk through when it was full of people and life.  Aided just by a flashlight, we did our own walk through, unaccompanied by our real estate agent, or the owner, or our parents.  It was just us and the house.

It’s kind of funny to think that we’ll be living there by the end of next week.  The place needs cleaning, but we can do that easily.  We have a list of projects to be done to the house, projects like tiling and painting and building.  But I’m looking forward to it all, because those are the things that will make it ours. 

That knowledge brings a funny feeling.  It’s like the key made it all real.  Before that key, the whole arrangement was all talk and emails.  But now, we have something tangible.  That key means something more than all the discussions and paperwork.  It means that empty house will be ours, and we’ll fill it with our things and our people, and we’ll have a life there.

Tonight, when he comes home from work, Nason and I are going over to that empty house to begin cleaning.  We’re taking the first steps towards making that house our home.  For now, the house is empty, just waiting for life to come and fill it again.  It’s exciting to know that it’ll be us to fill it.