Wow! A lot can happen in 3 months. To even *think* about beginning this update makes me tired. In order to get it all in (or at least start that process), making a list seems necessary.
Over the summer:
A. Alex got a new job.
B. Alex moved half-way across the country.
C. I worked 6 days a week.
D. We drove - a lot.
E. We bought a house.
F. And of course...we continue to plan a wedding.
Gosh, looking back, it seems like so much more... I guess all these things simplified seem fine, but when they occurred all at once, the teeter-totter of life sure did get pick up this summer. So without further ado, let's begin.
A. Back in December, Alex applied for a job at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). He happened to receive his first call about the position on December 29, the day we traveled to New Orleans to visit with my old friends from Nicholls. We joked about how we should get married on December 29th if indeed this job was what ultimately led us to finally being "together-forever." [Now you all know why we chose 12/29/12. :)]
He corresponded back and forth with the people at ULM for a month or two, but things sort of fell off from there, and we decided to accept the notion that this was not the opportunity for which we'd hoped. Fast forward a few months to April 2012. The ULM position was re-posted, so Alex contacted them yet again to inquire about the position. They finally took him seriously, and in fact, called Alex back on the very day that he proposed to me. (Is this fate, or what? Haha.)
A few weeks later, Alex traveled to Monroe for an on-campus interview, and was offered the job that very same day. Needless to say, our world was shaken up pretty quickly. All of a sudden the prospect of seeing each other more regularly and not having to plan visits via airfare was instantly a reality. After much reflection, Alex decided to accept the job. He's now the Director of Media Relations at ULM, serving as the primary contact for football and baseball. WAHOO!
B. With the new job came a big move...half-way across the country, to a whole new time zone and a distinctly different culture. After attending the National Child Life Conference in Washington, DC, I flew down to Spartanburg to help Alex make the 12-hour drive west on Memorial Day. We actually drove to Little Rock, where Alex dropped me off and he continued his drive south the following morning. Continuing the whirlwind that it was, Alex left Little Rock at 5:30 a.m. and rolled into Monroe just in time to begin his new job at 9 a.m. that day.
C. Let's all remember that I work for a camp, which means that summer is the busiest time of the year. And when I say busy, I mean not just "swamped with things to do" busy but also "working weird hours six days a week" busy. I didn't have very much time off; if I was lucky, I might leave work by 1 or 2 p.m. on Friday, and then I'd have to be back by 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. Since Monroe is 3.5 hours away, this made for a tough balancing act with work and all things Alex/wedding-related.
D. In my head, I figured Alex would visit me frequently during the summer because it was his "off-season" with sports. However, that plan fell by the wayside pretty fast. Alex really lucked out to be offered free on-campus housing for his first 30 days in Monroe. Butttt, 30 days isn't a very long time, so figuring out a more permanent form of housing was necessary. For this reason, my dreams of having my sweet fiance there to welcome me after a long week at work (and short weekend ahead) faded fast. He did what he could, but I ended up spending 7 hours on the road most weekends, traveling back and forth on Friday and Saturday so that I could be back in Little Rock before dark and at work on time the following morning. We were forced to maximize our time together and haul "butt" with figuring out housing plans.
E. Thankfully, the staff at ULM were understanding and willingly extended Alex's 30-day housing allotment (which would have ended in late June) to August 6th. In the course of the summer, we looked at many houses...a few that we liked, and even more that we didn't. At one point, I had my heart set on a beautiful house, yet I wasn't "allowed" to have it because it was adjacent to a flood zone (among other reasons). Boo. By early July, we finally found a house we were willing to purchase. However, after a few weeks of negotiations, the owners refused to accept our offer. We were disappointed, but we moved on once again.
At that point, we knew August 6th was quickly approaching and we really needed to make a decision or else Alex would be homeless rather soon. Thinking back to a FSBO (for sale by owner) house we'd visited early in June, we decided to revisit it and see if it had grown on us. Surprisingly enough, it had. Details that had seemed to be "deal breakers" before were no longer that big of a deal. Its status as a FBSO house meant that we had decent bargaining power, and probably a fair shot at getting the paperwork rolling pretty quickly. As luck would have it, we were right!
The owners were very willing to cooperate with us, and they even made arrangements to move their family into an apartment within 3 weeks, just so that we could have the house and Alex would not be "out on the streets." We closed on the house on August 3rd, and got the keys on August 4th! The movers arrived just a few days later with all of Alex's belongings from his house in South Carolina. My parents visited the following weekend and helped us begin unpacking. Of course, this will be an ongoing process as I begin moving my belongings later in the fall, and I'm sure there will be wedding gifts adding to it, as well. Regardless, Alex isn't homeless, and we have a place that will be all our own. :)
F. Speaking of wedding...needless to say, events of the summer weren't super conducive to making process with wedding planning. My mom was off for the summer (she works in an elementary school) and really pressured me to make progress while she had time on her hands to help, but that definitely didn't happen. Balancing everything else (see above!) was enough to keep me plenty busy without thinking about making other decisions.
Now that summer is over and Alex is settling in, the wedding is back on our radar. And in case you were wondering, Alex absolutely loves his job. Last weekend, ULM football "stunned" No. 8 Arkansas, winning 34-31 in overtime. That sent work for Alex into a spin, taking calls for interviews with national media such as The New York Times, Sirus XM, and Sports Illustrated.
Meanwhile, I had a bit of a break at work, but fall weekend camps start next weekend, so things are starting to pick up for me again. As of yesterday, our wedding is just 105 days away. That's 15 weeks (and just a little over 3 months) for those of you who were wondering. ;)
So the moral of this story? A lot can happen in 3 months.
I can't wait to see what the next three have in store!
Until next time,