To Remember

I remember once in middle school, when everyone is all about themselves and sometimes unintentionally unkind, one of my best friends told me, "I know you're going through a hard time right now, but what I'm going through is a lot worse." The comment, of course, felt like a giant slap in the face. Shortly afterwards I somewhere read a quote that was something along the lines of, "Pain is pain, no matter the form." And I thought, "Ha! It doesn't matter how bad things are for you, that doesn't mean they aren't bad for me too!" When, what I should have thought, was that we all go through hard things, and there is no way to judge whose trials are "harder". They are trials for a reason... because they try all of us. My thirteen year old mind couldn't really comprehend that, but I think I'm starting to get it now.
Because how often are we guilty of ranking trials in order of how much they should be hurting us? How often have you told yourself, "Well, this could be worse, it could be like what happened to my poor neighbor last year. But it's a lot worse than what happened to the girl I heard about at work."
Like it or not, we want pity. We want recognition and support for what we're going through. Maybe we need to be told we're strong in order to behave as such. In any case, I think that's why I was keeping this, mostly, bottled up. I didn't want everyone to know because it wasn't everyone's business, or because I didn't want to look like I was complaining. But then something else happened: the holidays. Where a bunch of well-intentioned people would ask, "So how long until you two have a baby?" Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. And then my still slightly out of control hormones (or maybe this is my new personality?) take over and I'm choking back tears and pasting on a smile. And that's when I realized these things would be much easier if it wasn't such a secret. If they knew, they'd never ask. They might just be a little bit more careful. 
So, here it is.
On November 7th, I found out I was pregnant. We weren't trying, but since I haven't been able to take birth control for 90% of our marriage, we knew it was a possibility. However, this was the first month I really didn't even consider that I was, mostly because I'd been having some medical problems for the last few months, that basically ended on the note of, "If you don't have surgery, you're going to have a hard time getting pregnant. If you do have surgery, it could make it so you can't get pregnant." Encouraging words, aren't they? So we decided to put it in the back of our minds and deal with it when we decided we wanted kids, if and only if we had a hard time. 
And then, bam, that little blue plus sign is staring you in the face.
Actually, I was so sure that I wasn't pregnant, that I threw the test away before waiting for the results. Oops. A few minutes later I had a strong feeling to go back and look at it. 
So, seeing as I had recently been told this might not be a possibility for me, I was pretty excited. And let's be honest, us newlyweds are supposed to act all calm and cool and "I don't want a baby until my husband does" but I have always wanted to be a mom. And it's true that the minute you find out you're pregnant, you become one.
Two weeks later, I woke up and realized I was spotting. I called the doctor and they told me it was normal, Caleb gave me a blessing, but still I couldn't shake this bad feeling that, in truth, I'd had throughout my pregnancy. I told myself not to be pessimistic and that everything would be fine, but now I don't think it was pessimism. I think it was Heavenly Father preparing me for what was going to happen. 
The doctor told me to call back if the bleeding got worse. So I went to work, and shortly afterwards, it got worse. I was a wreck. We hadn't even told anyone yet, and we were waiting until Christmas to tell even our families. (Which is also why the holidays were a little rough this year.) Long story short, we went to the hospital and they confirmed what I already knew: I was having a miscarriage.
I don't mean to be unkind, but I had always assumed that miscarriages, especially so early on (I was about 7 weeks) weren't that big of a deal. They weren't as bad as what a friend or neighbor or so-and-so went through, but worse than most things I'd been through. So I guess I was a little surprised by the emotional turmoil that I was suddenly under. It was a loss, sure. I was sad, but mostly I just felt so useless  and unimportant. Like, one second I was responsible for another life. I was going to be a mom, I was on top of the world. Then, in a matter of hours, it was all gone. Suddenly, I was just Anndee again. Even with my wonderful husband being so sweet and taking such good care of me, I just felt alone. Suddenly, being "Just Anndee" didn't feel all that great anymore. 
It was really rough for the first two weeks or so. Everything  made me cry, and all I could think was how far along I'd be, when I was supposed to be due, even silly things like how my baby wouldn't have a summer birthday like I'd been thinking, or how I wouldn't be pregnant on Thanksgiving. Things that, on the outside, didn't seem to matter, because that's the problem with miscarriages: we can just try again, right? You just get pregnant again, and then you're fine.
But I wasn't fine. I had lost this baby, our baby, some nameless, sexless little thing barely the size of a pea, and somehow I had some attachment to it? And the more time passed, the more the few people who knew about it would forget, and expect me to move on. And don't get me wrong, I am not wallowing in this pool of depression thinking I will never overcome my trials. I just realized that this baby, this tiny baby that I will never get to meet in this life, didn't matter to many people other than myself, and that's because no one ever knew it even existed. And that just didn't seem fair. I want my baby to matter, I want it's brief stint here on earth to be known about, at least by those closest to me. Because it matters to me. Because for a brief second, I was a mom, and that was important, and I had this glimpse into the eternal plan and what's really important and who I am intended to become. 
So I know that everyone has trials, and that some may seem far more difficult than others. But in the moment, it hurts. And I truly believe we all go through the specific trials we go through for a reason. Maybe part of that is to help someone else. So I hope that by sharing what I've been through, it can help someone else. I know it helped me to be able to talk to the wonderful people who opened up to me about their miscarriages, and to realize there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
There still is. I don't know what will happen from here, but I know that I will be exponentially more grateful when I do have a baby. I will be begging for morning sickness, because I know now that means a more viable pregnancy. And I will tread more lightly around people, because everybody goes through things, and I'm not here to rank them above or beneath my own.
And of course, I'm SO grateful for what I have!

For some laughs

Whenever I'm mad, sad, or bored out of my mind, my favorite thing to do is look at the Humor section on Pinterest. My last year up at school, my roommate and I would sit on our bed and each be looking at Pinterest and showing each other the funny things we found. I still like to go back and bask in the awesomeness that is my Pinterest boards.
So, I've taken the liberty of compiling some of my favorite funnies for you here. Because it's nice to know there are other people out there with my weird sense of humor.

 Friends never stops being funny.

 Can't say I'm in love with Josh Hutcherson, but that Raccoon just cracks me up.
 Oh I looooved Mad Libs. Because when you're seven, nothing in the world is funnier than "poop." Just ask my nephew.

Why? WHY?

Scary how much he looks like Urkle. You can't unsee that.

 This one was killing me today. I still can't stop laughing. Seriously... just look at it some more.
 The things you don't think about when you're a kid.
 Too soon?

 I freaking KNEW IT.
 I've got to say, probably the only serious flaw in the book.

You're welcome, world.

Who I used to be

I talk a lot about how much I love to write, how often it's helped me and how I feel like it defines me. But in truth, that hasn't been me for a long time now. I want it to be. It's hidden down there somewhere deep inside, where I've been surpressing it against all the other things I've deemed more important over the years, but it's there. I'm slowly finding it.
I have lots of fun hobbies, but writing has always been my favorite. One of the reasons is that it's never been hard for me. Or I should say, it never used to be hard.
I remember when it all started: it was 2nd grade. My teacher, Mrs. Workman, started "Writer's Workshop" for us during class. She would teach us some simple writing thing (how to use quotes, when to capitalize letters, etc. Basic 2nd grade stuff) and afterward, she would just let us write. I loved it. There was something about calling it a "workshop" that I just loved right away. I think I was picturing Santa's workshop or something.
Most of the kids would write new silly things every day. But for the duration of the year, I was almost always working on my book, "Sara's Christmas List." I really liked how I didn't put an "h" on her name. I was just so darn creative. The book was named before it was written, and in the end had almost nothing to do with Sara's Christmas List. It pages and pages of funny conversations she had with her big sister, or a painfully descriptive telling of her treehouse. It was obviously no good, but the point was I loved it. And my teacher, who is to this day one of my favorite teachers I've ever had, was very encouraging about it. She would always tell me what a talented writer I was, and that was what started it all. That little bit of inspiration to give me the self esteem I needed to keep going. It's also one of the reasons I want to be a teacher, but that's another story.
From then on, I was always known as a "writer". I would enter and win every writing contest I could get my hands on. I loved it, but I also knew I was good. I had enough confidence for an army of men, something I'm afraid goes away with age, and it did.
I published A Place Like Heaven when I was 18. I remember the day I finished the last few pages of the book. I immediately called AuthorHouse (I had called them a few weeks before to set things up) to let them know my book was finished and ready to be sent in. Then I did a little happy dance around my room because, come on, lifelong dream coming true here.
And it was amazing. Getting the first copy of my book in the mail was amazing. Selling boxes and boxes of copies at my first book signing was amazing. Having random people add me on Facebook to tell me they loved my book was amazing. And yes, googling my name and seeing pages and pages of my book come up is, you guessed it, amazing.
But ask anyone and they will tell you Anndee hates that book. I thought I was doing this wonderful thing for myself by publishing it. But ever since that book came out, it has been a downward slope for me. Despite all the compliments I got, all I can seem to remember are the criticisms. I remember growing up,  I had a constant book going on in my head at all times. Everything I was doing was a story. I would literally be thinking, "She walked down the street slowly, watching her feet cross one in front of the other, as she wondered if her brothers were home yet. If they were, Cody probably ate the last ice cream sandwich even though he knew it was hers, just because he liked to pick on her. Having brothers was harder than anyone without them could understand." It was silly, but it was what made me a good writer. I was constantly practicing. I've actually noticed this coming back lately because of blogging, which is why I'm here. :)
At the time that I was writing my book, I was reading a lot of books by Sarah Dessen.
Looking back, my book is almost a carbon copy of hers. I still think she is a good writer, but my style has definitely changed a lot. One of the biggest ways, is that I want to challenge myself now. I would read her books and think, "I could do that." And I did. It was nothing complex. It didn't take much thought or planning. I just wrote. And maybe that's what I needed for my first book.
But now, I want to amaze myself. I want to shock and awe. Ok, maybe not shock. But awe, certainly. I want to write something Harry Potter-worthy, and I think that I've given myself such high standards that they seem impossible to reach.
The whole point of this is that I'm going to try, yet again, to write my next novel. Above any other dreams I have (ok, almost any other dreams. There are a few at the moment that seriously trump this one.) I just want to publish another book. And all it really takes is getting started.

Blond Redemption

I have been like one giant pity party lately. It's getting to the point that I'm annoying myself, and we can't have that! Poor Caleb has been walking on eggshells around me. One second I'm happy and laughing and talking about how thankful I am for all that I have. The next second, somebody posts some complaint about their pregnancy, then Dega runs away even though he's been so good about coming back inside, and soon everything has spiraled completely out of control. And I mean, I'm eating cake because that always solves everything,  Dega is locked in his kennel because I'm mad at the little stinker, and I'm about two "I'm sick of morning sickness" posts away from blocking any girl who is or ever has been pregnant, but I know me, and I know the best way to feel better is to write, and to write about something else completely!
Besides, this is a story everyone needs to hear.
We'll call it, Blond Redemption.
A few months ago I was sitting at work when this older man, probably in his 70's or 80's, came up to my station. The first thing he did was look me up and down, roll his eyes dramatically, and say, "Great, I have the blond helping me!" He then looked down the row and noticed one other blond and two brunettes and somehow came to the conclusion, "I don't have any other choice! Do you guys only hire blonds?" I would also just like to point out that my hair is currently like 83% brunette, so whatever, dude.
Trying to stay professional, I simply laughed, ha ha ha aren't you a riot and asked what I could do for him. He pulled a debit card out of his wallet, tossed it at me, and continued to address the entire bank. "Did you hear about the blond who..." I don't remember the joke, because it wasn't that funny. But the ending of this story is.
Everyone laughed politely at his rude and unnecessary joke, and meanwhile, I couldn't find his account in our system. "Sir, I can't seem to find you. Is your name spelled differently than it is on this card?" He ignored me and lit up as he realized he had what was probably an endless plethora of blond jokes all stored up and ready to go. He was going to be here all day.
After two more blond jokes, he got a call. He turned to me and asked what our address was. I told him, "98 South Main" then quickly corrected, "I mean North Main! Sorry!" Oooooooooh did he get a kick out of that. "Look at this girl! She can't even tell the difference between North and South! How on earth did a blond like you get a job at a bank? Did you hear the one about the blond who..." Finally, getting really irritated, I tried interrupting him.
"Sir, I'm really not finding your account. Do you have another form of ID on you?" He rolled his eyes and, in the most patronizing way he could possibly muster, he pointed to his card and said, "See those numbers, sweetie? Type that in to your computer, there, ok?"
By this point, I was about done with his attitude. I was chanting the mantra respect your elders over and over in my head, but man what I would have done for a good old old-man grey-haired joke right then. But instead I took a deep breath and said, "I can't look up your account with this card, this is from Wells Fargo." The man took his card back and his face went white as a sheet.
"W-what bank is this?" he asked.
"This is Zions..." I said, unable to help the huge grin that was forming on my dumb-blond face.
Just then, his two sons (the ones who had called him earlier) walked in the doors, looking confused.
"Dad? What are you doing here? We've been waiting for you at Wells Fargo for 15 minutes!"
I might be blond (sort of) but HE WAS IN THE WRONG BANK.
Karma never felt so good.

The Month of Being Thankful

Have you ever had one of those times where things are just really hard, and it eats at you all day long? And you finally get to sleep, and the next morning when you wake up, there is just a moment where you can't remember why you have that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach, but you know it's only a matter of seconds before it all hits you again?
These last few days have made me realize that I do not want to be alone. The minute Caleb leaves for work, I'm a giant train wreck without anything to distract me. So I try to avoid the empty house as much as possible. But one thing that helps, (and I'd be willing to bet there's a Primary song about this) is to think of all the things I have to be grateful for. And besides, tis the season, right?
First and foremost: HIM
I don't know where I would be without Caleb. He is absolutely the perfect husband that every little girl dreams she'll find one day. And not only that, but he's my best friend in the world. He can always make me laugh, and he brings out the very best in me. Every day I am grateful that he walked into my life 2 years ago!

It's great to have a support team to stand by you no matter what! I love my family so much, and I've been so blessed to marry into such a great family too! They help us out so much, and it's always nice only living a few minutes away. :)


I think now that I spent a lot of my time growing up searching for true friends. I've definitely learned a lot from them and I am SO grateful for the ones I have! 

Cause who couldn't be happy seeing that face every day? He has got to be the funniest dog alive, and he is so cute, he just always makes my day! 

We waited for what felt like forever to end up where we are, and every time I pull up to my cute little house I am even more grateful for it! I love it down to every last plumbing problem, chipped paint, and spider. (Ok, I lied about the spiders.)

Deciding  nearly 5 years ago to get baptized has forever changed my life! There is not a day that goes by that I am not completely blown away by the miracles and blessings in our lives. Even during the hardest times, it's great to have that safety net to know that everything is ok. 
It has brought people into my life that I will never forget, and changed me in ways I never thought possible! 

And all my hobbies, really. I am not a girl who likes to sit still long, and I love that my hobbies all seem to be new ways to express myself!
Plus, it never stops being cool seeing your book on a shelf. (Or on the best sellers table, where I move a stack of them every time I visit the Hastings in Ogden. It's called marketing.)

Even when 100 things go wrong in one day, I still have so much to be thankful for, and way more to focus on than just the bad things!

Through Good Times and Bad

I like to have a plan.
When Caleb and I happen to have a day off together, I love crawling in to bed the night before and thinking, "Tomorrow, we can do absolutely anything we want!" But for some reason, by the next morning, that feeling has completely changed. Suddenly, I need to have the entire day planned out. I'm kind of like that with life in general. When I decide I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it! No one can stop me! That's when Heavenly Father likes to remind me that I have absolutely no idea what's going on and sometimes I need to sit down and trust him. It's always worth the wait, so I don't know why I fight it.
But right now, I have no clue what the plan is.
I made a decision to go to school, and I was dead set about going. Then, some major things changed, and after a lot of deliberation, we decided now wasn't the best time for me to go back. Then, the very next day, things completely changed again. I know we will end up exactly where we need to be, but is a road map really too much to ask for?
It has been one crazy year, full of one big change after another. We've had to make huge, life-changing decisions almost every day since we've been married. But this month has been by far the hardest.
One thing I'm grateful for is that Heavenly Father blessed me with Caleb. Even at my saddest, he's right there  making me feel better or telling me a joke. He never seems to think about himself, and I think that's what makes him so exceptional at this marriage thing. Another thing I'm grateful for is that, somehow, Heavenly Father is always showing me how strong I am, despite how weak I like to think I can be. 
These last few days have been some of the most emotionally and physically painful of my life. It has been a rollercoaster for both of us, and I have a whole new respect for people who have gone through this before. And yet I know without a doubt this is exactly how things were meant to happen, and I feel so blessed to be trusted that I could handle something like this. It has made me even more grateful for the gospel in my life. There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for my temple marriage, and for my strong testimony that I will be with my family forever. 

Some BIG changes ahead!

I'm notorious for thinking I have things figured out, that I know exactly where my life is heading, only to find out that I was completely wrong. You'd think it wouldn't take me so long to figure out that the things I have planned for myself are no where near as wonderful as what the Lord has planned for me.
I'm getting better at realizing that.
And this time, I didn't have things figured out. Actually, since almost two years ago, I've been really confused. But to hear that story, you need to first hear this one.
See, I was never sure about college. Actually, scratch that- I was always sure college was a scam. I remember in High School a teacher telling us that college was just a way to keep younger kids out of the work force longer, which makes sense. I was sure I didn't need college, and I didn't want it.
So, after High School, I didn't go. I stayed home, I worked at a good job, I bought a nice car, things were going great. But then, after a year, I lost my job. I had a horrible time trying to find a new one. And I started thinking more about something that had always been in the back of my mind: being a teacher. As much as I may have been "against" college, I knew I could never be a teacher without a degree.
So one of the biggest changes in my life all started taking shape and changed everything in a matter of hours (as these things often do.) I got an apartment, I got loans (STILL a big regret... never, ever let the financial aid office talk you into Parent Plus loans. They tell you it's the only way but I promise it's NOT) and I started school. And I loved it. I breezed right through because, and I don't mean this in a cocky way, school has always been really easy for me. I regretted having wasted a year by not going right after High School, so I kept taking classes right on through summer.
In retrospect, that might not have been such a good idea. By Spring of my Sophomore year, I was completely burned out. Not only that, but I was broke. I was working my butt off and still drowning in school loans. I worked nearly every day at Maddox, and 3 days a week at an Elementary School. Where I'd once loved working there, I was now started to dread it. I began to question if I really wanted to be a teacher after all, and I felt my passion for it quickly fizzling out. I was also driving to Brigham every day for work and not getting home until late at night. My mom had recently had neck surgery, so I took over a few of her cleaning jobs as well. I had just started dating the man I would soon marry (but had no clue yet), and there was so much going on that I was always tired, and something had to give. So, school was put on the backburner.
By the end of the semester, I knew I needed a break. So I didn't sign up for Fall classes. And although I told myself I would go back in the Spring, I think I knew deep down that I wouldn't.
And then, even more things started to happen. I got engaged, and then married. We bought a house. I got a new job. Our lives started to fall into rhythm and I let myself believe I could plan out the future: when we'd have kids, when we'd buy a new house.... until yesterday.
I was sitting at work when one of my coworkers made a comment about her kid and visiting him in his 1st grade classroom. Suddenly, my passion to be a teacher came back and hit me like a ton of bricks. I remembered how when I was working for America Reads at Summit, one of my favorite teachers there let me teach his class a few times. I loved it. I felt like it was exactly what I was born to do. And who wouldn't want to feel that way every day at work?
But even as my excitement was growing, I tried not to let it get out of control. After all, this was not the plan. We were going to pay off all our debt, and then Caleb was going to go back to school. It made sense. It was the PLAN.
But as soon as I told him what I was thinking, he jumped on board. And that's why having an amazing, supportive husband is so great. He didn't tell me reasons we couldn't do it, he just assured me that we would.
So today I met with an Advisor, and if everything goes as planned (and if Math isn't the death of me....seriously, cross your fingers.) I will be wearing that graduation cap two years and a few months from now! (Well, not really, because they only do graduation in May, not December. But... you get the idea.)

Finally :)

Finally, the long-awaited project. :)
I decided to do this when we our first offer on the house got accepted...which was in February. So it's pretty much been cooking in my head since then, and I threw it all together tonight. So, don't be surprised if I update it a zillion times.

Without further ado... Our home. :)

One Half

Caleb and I have officially been married for 6 months today. Now, I know that probably doesn't sound all that impressive to those of you going on twenty five years, or even five years, or even one! But let's face it, this is the longest I've ever been married, and I'm one for celebrating trivial things like this. :)
It's one of those weird times where it feels like it's been waaaaay longer than six months, but at the same time it feels like we just got married last week. I've learned and changed a lot in the last half a year. I think I knew all along that marriage would bring about changes, but it's only through the beauty of hindsight that you can actually see the impact it has.
It's easy for me to look at the difficult things. For example, one of the hardest things for me has been feeling like I've changed so much I don't really know who I am anymore. It's not that I don't like who I've become, it's just that sometimes I feel like I can barely remember the Anndee who existed only a year ago. One of the biggest ways I've always defined myself has been through my writing. I can't count (ok, ok, I could probably count, but it's a really high number, so I won't) the number of unfinished word documents on my laptop that are all beginnings of stories I never finished. Ever since I published my book, I've hardly been writing at all. See, I have a huge problem with taking criticism when it comes to my writing. I don't handle negative criticism well at all, and there was so much of it (even though it should have been buried in the good comments) when my book came out, that I slowly started to doubt myself. I stopped writing for me, and I started thinking, "Well this person said to do this" and "this person wouldn't want me to write about that" and I slowly lost all my confidence, and now I have a really hard time writing, where it used to be the thing that came most naturally to me. Even writing this now, I feel like it's a jumbled mess of words that I'm refusing to let myself re-read because I just won't post it!
Now, what does all this have to do with being married? Well, for one, my priorities have changed. I'd rather sit and talk to Caleb than sit and write. And for another, I have so many more responsibilities now. Who knew that even without kids, my entire day could be taken up by work, cleaning the house, cooking, taking care of the dog, etc. etc. etc. (And just a side note: Caleb cooks like 99.9% of the time, so I really have no right to even list that one. But I am, because I pour my own cereal every. single. day. :) )
It was like I woke up one morning not too long ago and realized I'd fallen so easily into my new routine, that I never had time to miss the things I'd once loved. Suddenly I'm someones wife, and I can't and don't want to put myself first anymore. So I'm somehow trying to find a way back to the things I liked about the old me, while meshing it into my new and MUCH loved life.
It's weird.
It's very different.
But I'm really grateful for that great big change that happened to us six months ago, because this boy is wonderful!

So with him by my side, we'll figure out the rest. :) 

It's all fun and games until somebody poops on the duvet cover...

Man, I'm bad at this lately.
But since our house is currently 89 degrees (I'm NOT exaggerating...I am literally sitting on an ice pack right now. We also sleep with them.) there is nothing I can do but SIT... which is luckily just perfect for blogging.
Obviously a lot has happened, and although I want to post pictures of our house until the cows come home, I have a little creative surprise coming your way...uh...eventually... so I'll refrain for now. :)
Instead, I'll post my other favorite thing to take pictures of... our new little pride & joy! (I either call him that or butthead, depending on how long it's been since he's pooped on the carpet.)
Bringing this scary monster home the first day!

Caleb has always wanted a husky, but we kept telling ourselves we weren't going to get a dog. But, we kept researching different dogs, just, ya know, for "someday". Then when we found huskies for sale in Logan, we decided to just go look. But the minute we pulled up and all these husky puppies swarmed the car, we knew we were doomed.
I still counted on Caleb to be the voice of reason. So after awhile of watching the puppies, I said, "Well, do you want to go home and think about it?" He looked at me surprised and said, "No, I want that one!"
So, we got that one!
The first night was rough. He kept waking us up, and finally at 2:30 we gave in and put him up on the bed with us, hoping that would help him sleep. Keep in mind, we had JUST taken him outside. He wouldn't calm down, and kept trying to jump off the bed, but was too scared. Here's a helpful hint: if your dog wants desperately to get down, help him. Because the next thing we knew, he was pooping right on the bed.
It's funny now. It was even funny the next morning. But right then it was SO. not. funny.

Since then, he does good, and we just think he's awesome! We're actually afraid we got a dog too much like us... see, we wanted a dog who would just sit by us and watch tv and just be calm.
Well, we got our wish. For a puppy, he can be ridiculously lazy. Case & point...
Taking him on his first walk.
Every thing you read about dog training stresses one main thing: your dog needs lots of exercise. So we decided to take him for a walk. He was NOT having it. This is his, "what on earth did you attach to me??" face.

 And of course, in the end...
He won. 
Side note: he does ok on walks now. But he stills stares back at the house the entire time like, "Can't we just go back there??? I just want to watch TV with you guys!"

And now, back to the 89 degree weather in our house...
we feel really bad, because Caleb & I are miserable, so we can only imagine how Dega feels. So today, we decided it would be fun to take him swimming and see how he did in the water!
This basically sums up what he thought of that.

We forced him in a couple times, and he was a natural swimmer!

But after awhile he got REALLY fed up with that nonsense
Doesn't he look like a hyena? HA!

So instead, he got really adventurous (not to mention dirty) playing in the weeds.
I am happy to say that for the first time, I feel completely content with my life, like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. We've been so blessed and taken care of, and I couldn't be happier!

We're baaaack....

After nearly 5 long, internet-less months, we are finally back! We literally got internet about thirty minutes ago. And here I am. See how much I missed you?
Obviously a lot has happened! So let's start from where we left off...
After we got married, we moved to the Brigham City Airport, where Caleb's grandpa owned an airplane hangar with a nice little apartment up top. We were still desperately looking for a house, so he told us we could stay there for two months until we found something. (Because, technically, no one is supposed to live there. But what can I say, my middle name is Danger.) It ended up being four and a half months, so boy were we glad when he didn't kick us out!
Our "basement."

The hangar was really nice. We had a jetted tub, a garage (where I got to park under the wing of a plane. How many people can say that?) and even the windowsills had granite in them. It was all brand spankin new and really nice. But I can't even describe how eager we were to finally get into our own house.
We put in our offer on February 27th, and we didn't close until May 9th. That is a LONG TIME. But we're finally here! We were so excited that it took less than 24 hours to be (pretty much) completely unpacked.
Last night, with the help of my drop-everything-to-help-us wonderful in-laws, we planted a vegetable garden! I never thought I cared about gardening, but I'm so excited! The rest of the yard is still, um, under construction, so I'll post pictures later. :)
New roof...whoo!
(And we got rid of those horrible blinds right away. Those were an insult to blinds everywhere.)

One final thing... It's wedding season, so a lot of my good friends are getting married, and everyone keeps asking me for advice, for what I wish I'd known before I got married. We've all heard all the same answers before, so here's my own little two cents, for those of you who were wondering...
#1:  Everyone says the first year is the hardest. We are almost halfway through the first year and.... I don't know that that's true. Maybe we're weird. But we never fight or even argue, and I could spend every minute of every day with him and never get tired of him. But I think the main reason for that is Caleb's personality...he's slow to anger, very patient, and always puts me first. He's taught me a lot. So even if you marry someone who is the opposite of that (which I don't recommend) I guess my advice is to be like Caleb, and your marriage will be a heck of a lot easier!
#2: Do things together. It's been such a bonding experience for us to buy our home. It's a mutual thing that we were both so excited about and love. We did all the unpacking and decorating and organizing together, and at night we just sit here and talk about how great we think our house is. And when it comes to this kind of stuff, do all of it together. I've learned so much about houses that I never knew, and I want to be able to do it all myself too. (But, I'm thinking I'll do a post on that later, so hang in there.)
#3: Ok, this one is a cliche we all hear, but it's serious... don't let the small things bug you. You do things that bug him too, trust me. Ask yourself if it's really something that matters. I'm not very good at this one, but once again, Caleb excels enough for the both of us. Basically, you all should have married Caleb, but it's too late, so neener-neener.

That's all I've got for now! There will definitely be more pictures to come!