*When we were registering for gifts Andrew said that he wanted to have a room in our apartment that he got to decorate. I never pegged him as an interior decorator, but I thought it sounded like a fun idea. So we agreed that he could decorate the bathroom (yet somehow all cleaning duties still got put on me.. that was so not part of the agreement). At Target he registered for every monkey themed accessory he could find, and at Bed Bath & Beyond he registered for a surf board-hawaiian theme. The shower curtain he really wanted was a grass skirt! I was getting kind of worried at this point. We ended up with all of the monkey decorations and towels, a blue and brown striped shower curtain, and the surf board garbage can. I was secretly hoping that no one would buy this stuff (thanks Candice!!) but Andrew loved it and yes he did use all of them together including some random pictures we got for our wedding. It actually ended up being the most decorated room in our one bedroom apartment. The only other furniture we started out with was our bed and a card table and chairs.
*Our apartment was right next to a movie theater. It actually made for the best weekend date night. We loved the fact that we could walk to the theater with our re-fillable popcorn bucket in hand and enjoy a $5 movie!
*Andrew's dad and step mom gave us their washer and dryer once we moved in to our apartment because they wanted to purchase newer ones. It was so awesome of them to do that! But we started to notice after a few months of using them that the dryer would not completely dry the clothes in one cycle. We had to keep resetting it and it took forever to get through all of the laundry. One night I noticed that the dryer smelled like it was burning. I got kind of nervous that it was just totally burnt out and breaking. Later that night my cousin Jenni and her bf Brett came over to hang out. I asked them if they could smell the burning aroma coming from the dryer. Brett took a look at it and a few minutes later he pulled out the lint trap that was full of inches of lint!! We hadn't cleaned it out once in the five months we had been using it. It was so embarrassing!! It could have easily caught on fire. Andrew had no idea what a lint trap even was and I just completely forgot you had to clean it out regularly lol. We learned our lesson.
*The first summer being married we took a trip to Vermont and Palmyra NY with Andrew's mom and two of his younger brothers. First of all I have to say that Vermont is quite beautiful and very green. I have never seen so many trees! Within the first few hours there we stumbled across a stellar radio station that deserves mentioning. It was called The Radiator and the dj was a hilarious irishman and they played irish and french music. It was highly entertaining and hilarious. It was the only thing we listened to every time we got in the car.
While there we went to the teddy bear factory (a lot like build-a-bear) where they take you on a tour of the factory and show you how the bears are made. We also took the tour of the Ben and Jerry's factory and saw how the ice cream was made and even got a delicious sample at the end. It was a lot of fun!
One night we even drove to New Hampshire and ate at a restaurant called Friendly's, just so that we could say we had been to New Hampshire. A funny coincidence is when we got back to our hotel in Vermont we noticed there was a Friendly's restaurant right across the street. ha!
We went to Sharon VT one day and got to see the Joseph Smith monument and the place he was born. The monument is made of granite and it stands 38 1/2 ft tall, one foot for every year of his life. It was an amazing spiritual experience to be there and to be watching a video of his life in the very spot that he was born.
The next day we headed to Palmyra NY. We got to walk through the replicated log home where Joseph Smith and his family lived while he was growing up. In this home is where angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith.
The Sacred Grove is not too far from the house. It was seriously the most powerful and spiritual feeling walking through the sacred grove and imagining our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph Smith.
We then went to Hill Cumorah where Moroni led Joseph Smith to retrieve the gold plates.
We even went on a tour of the printing press where the first Book of Mormon was printed. Needless to say it was an incredible experience to see all of these historic sites. (I will post more pics when I dig them out)
* Our First Pet!
We were hanging out with our friends Shaun and Jenny one night and they had just gotten a chinchilla. I never knew what a chinchilla was before this day. Andrew and I fell in love with the little hopping fuzz ball! We loved him so much that the next morning we became proud parents of our own chinchilla. We went to the chinchilla farm where our friends had gotten theirs to get our very own. We chose a cute, small two month old girl. She was gray and white and absolutely adorable. We named her Mia. Once we got her home Andrew went to the pet store to buy a cage. He came home with a cage, a little pink bed, a pink bathing container, a pink wheel for her to run on and of course some chinchilla food and her favorite treats - hay and raisins. It melted my heart to see him spoiling our little Mia.
Looking at this picture you see a cute, oh so cuddly, completely sweet and innocent animal right?
NOT TRUE!! She belongs in the wild! Let me just tell you all about our crazy, not cuddly little friend.
-Mia had so much energy you would have thought she was on speed! Chinchillas are nocturnal so she was up all night running on her wheel as fast as her tiny chinchilla legs could carry her.
-She hated being in her cage. As soon as we would walk in the house she was so excited and she would run up to the door of her cage and stare at you hoping to be let out. If we didn't let her out she would stand on her back legs and ram the cage with her head! And she would make the saddest squealing noises. She did this a lot during the night when her legs were tired of running on the wheel.
-Most evenings after work we would let her out to play. We would never get the chance to pick her up and hold her, she was not capable of cuddling! If you held her too long she would bite! Instead she loved running around the room at lightning speed and loved to hide in very dark places. I am not even joking when I say lightning speed. You have no idea how fast these things can run! It was nearly impossible to catch her. We would literally have to corner her to pick her up.
-Chinchillas have an incredible ability to jump very high. We would block off the kitchen with boxes but eventually she was able to get over them. Or she would somehow manage to jump on top of the stool and then jump on to the countertop and then down onto the kitchen floor. Her favorite spot to hide was behind the refrigerator or underneath the cupboards. She would stay holed up under the cupoboards forever! I can't even tell you how many hours were spent just trying to lure her out with hay and raisins.
-Mia was a clean freak, I'm convinced! Chinchillas take dust baths since their fur is so thick it cannot get wet. They just roll around in a pile of dust in this container. It is hilarious to watch! They are only supposed to bathe a few times a week, but our little Mia would bathe a few times a day if we kept it sitting out and she would go bathe after people had touched her. She was a complete menice but at least she was clean!
Now doesn't a pet like that sound like loads of good times??? She was the cause of much stress and required a lot of attention. Chinchillas can get depressed and start losing fur! After a while I just couldn't handle the fact that she was trapped in a cage all day everyday. We are pretty busy people and she didn't get the attention she needed, so around Christmas we gave her away to a nice family with some kids who would love her. We hope she is happy and that she hasn't eaten the children alive!
*Just before our first christmas together Andrew's gramdma aka Grams passed away. She lived in Post Falls, ID. She was a hoot! She was so sweet and loved her family to pieces. As we made the ten hour drive to the funeral we talked about how Andrew took me up to her house while we were dating and all of the funny things she would say. The boys loved to give her a hard time and she dished it out hard. She had some pretty grusome threats (ovbiously not serious) and they were the funniest things I have ever heard. Here are a few of our favorite Grams sayings (or at least the ones I had the pleasure of hearing in the short time of knowing her).
"I will cut your ears off!"
"I will hang you by your toes and let you starve!"
"This is the sargeant speaking, you have ten seconds to get to this door!" Of course she was yelling this at the boys because they were running late and she had places to go.
"I will come after you with a rifle." She threatened Andrew with this because when we were dating he told her I was pregnant.
We love and miss Grams but we know she is very happy in heaven!
*Our First Christmas
Yes we are those people who do all of our christmas shopping 1-2 days before christmas. Its actually really awful and stressful so I hope we get better at that. Our first Christmas together we bought a small pre lit christams tree and headed to Hobby Lobby (my fav store) to find some ornaments. I had no idea Andrew was going to impulsively grab one box of every color of ornament! Finally I had to tell him our tree wasn't nearly that big. So we decided on a Jazz themed tree. We had basketball ornaments and the jazz colors - purple, blue, and silver. It was awesome!!
We made a promise we weren't going to spend much money on each other. Andrew got me the camera I had been wanting and I got him a pedal board for his guitar. Of course we both secretly went out and bought smaller items for each other. On Christmas Eve Andrew proved why he should have gotten coal for Christmas. We came to an agreement that we could open one present from each other. Andrew opened the two seasons of Flight of The Concords (I know I'm the best wife ever). He gave me a small wrapped present and when I opened it I found my ipod.. the one I have had for years and had been looking for for days!! I had a good laugh about that, but kindly demanded a real present. So he gave me another wrapped gift, this time I opened my deodarant... yes once again the deodarant I was currently using. Still laughing I thought to myself, "oh my gosh he totally just wrapped up all of my stuff that I already have!" And of course Andrew was enjoying every minute of his stealthy schemes. Finally he gave me a box full of Dr. Pepper! He hit the jackpot and totally redeemed himself. The rest of the day was spent with my family at our annual Christmas Eve bash. We spent Christmas morning with Andrew's mom and brothers and got to talk to his brother Tim who was still on a mission at the time. Later that day we had lunch and more gift opening with Andrew's dad and step mom. And that night we had a big dinner party at his aunt's house. Even though we end up celebrating every holiday and birthday about three times with all of the families we have, there is never a dull moment and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
*As 2011 rang in and our apt lease ended, we decided to move in with my grandma to save up money for school and maybe a house. It is here that we spent our one year anniversary! We went out to a nice dinner at Macaroni Grill. I don't care who you are you cannot refuse their brownie dessert! It is kind of hard coming up with a gift for your one year anniversary. So I decided to get Andrew some personalized guitar pics. On one side it has a picture of us and the other side says "Happy 1 Year I Love You". They turned out awesome!! He got me some of my favorite perfume and flowers. Everyone says the first year is the hardest.. if that was hard then we are going to have an incredibly happy life together. I love Andrew so so much and I am so grateful he came into my life! What a great year full of great memories and many many more to come.