Thursday, September 20, 2012

2 Years

We celebrated our 2 year anniversary on July 31st...
We can not even believe it has been 2 years! Sometimes I wish time would just slow down. It has been a wonderful two years and this year has brought us lots of "real life" situations that we have been able to grow and learn from. Here are some highlights from our second year:
1. We lived in four different homes and cities: Bethesda, Provo, Yorba Linda, and Irvine
2. We went to four different countries: Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman
3. Stuart traveled to lots of interviews and was offered 3 job offers, which led us back to California. (So proud of him)
4. We graduated college in December
5. We got real callings. Stuart and I teach the 9-11 year olds in primary and I also am the head of Activity Days
6. We transitioned from students to full time working adults. Stuart is adjusting better than I am...sometimes I get sad I am not in school.
7. I won an intramural T-shirt in girls soccer
8. We have become obsessed with bocceball and the show Friday Night Lights.
9. We have learned more about ourselves. What we have learned according to our own words:
Emily says...I have learned 1. I am not as patient and as easy going as I thought I was. I get stressed over things i CAN control when I feel like I shold be able to fix the situation. 2. Being a people pleaser really helps no one in the long run. 3. I cant do it ALL. 4. I am hard on myself.
Stuart says...I have learned that it is easy to make quick judgments and be hypocritical 2. I am not always right. 3. I am learning to be more selfless. 4. I am more of a picky eater and whimp than I thought haha.
10. We have grown to love each other so much more.
Emily says....I love that Stuart is slow to anger, patient, and even tempered. I love that he does more than his fair share of domestic household duties. I love that he is humble and hardworking. I love that he always puts me first. I love that he makes me feel beautiful and confident.I love that he works hard for our family. I love that he doesnt judge me, that i can be myself, and that he always supports me.
Stuart says... I love how beautiful you are and how much fun that i have with you. I love that you think i'm funny and i love how much you care about me and are always trying to help me be the happiest. I also love how much you like kids cause i know that you will be a great mother. i love that you like to hang out with me and i love to hang out with you. you're my best friend and I LOVE YOU!!
Now we definitely have our down days and our disagreements, but Stuart and I both do not like being upset with the other and thus it rarely happens and we make up in about 5 seconds. I can not stay mad at Stuart. I want to remember an experience we had so I am going to share it. There was one time recently when I was getting frustrated and I said something back to Stuart thinking that "being right" would make me feel better. I immediately had the most horrible feeling. We were in the car and it was about directions and we were starving; bad combo. It seems obvious, but I just could not understand the most empty feeling I had and felt terrible. I have learned what not having the spirit feels like. Not a good feeling, but we learned alot from that situation. Having the spirit to guide us in our lives is a wonderful tool that I am so grateful for. And...never be starving and trying to figure out directions at the same time.

Definitely been the best two years...

Stuart was in charge of our Anniversary this year. One thing about both Stuart and I is that things never go according to plan. we both always envision something perfect and romantic...and it just never turns out that way. Stuart picked me up and then we headed to Fashion Island. I assumed we were eating there. However he runs in and grabs food, tells me to close my eyes, and puts it in the trunk. We then drive toward the beach...and theres lots of traffic on PCH. He wont tell me where we are going and then I get frustrated becuase I know our food is getting cold. We then park at Corona Del Mar and there are TONS of people. Stuart goes.."Ummm..this isnt exactly what I had envisioned." haha We end up eating on this grassy area while tons of people are walking by. Stuart sets up our picnic set and I am trying to stay positive becuase I know my food is getting cold. We then eat our favorite Cheesecake Factory meal and I did stay grumpy for a little bit until I got food in me..We then both just start laughing because it is so typical. Poor Stuart really did try, but thats what makes us "US." Never goes as planned, and we can admit that. I wouldnt have it any other way. We ended with eating cheesecake, sharing cards and looking at all the cute homes in corona del mar.

Our pincic set
My mushy card
I surpised Stuart with a gift that I planned but was really for both of us. I planned out and prepaid one date per month for an entire year. Then at the first day of the month we will open up the envelope and pick when we will do the date. It has been so fun so far.
Its been a great two years and I cant wait to see whats in store for us!

To My Brother on a Mission

My brother John left on a mission this past June. This is very overdue, but as I got a letter from him yesterday I wanted to make sure I blogged about this. He is in the Lima, Peru South Mission speaking Spanish and he is doing Fantastic.I LOVE this boy. I think there is a special bond between the last siblings at home.
When Stuart and I were getting serious during our dating time, I used to always tell him.."You know that before you, I really was only complete true self around John." All my weird quirky Emily side was always with John. He's my best buddy. He is so smart, mature, funny, and has a REALLY good heart. He always tries to do the right thing.His farewell talk was amazing. He talked about our Savior's love for his and you could see his true sincere desire to serve the Lord in his voice. The people of Peru are one lucky bunch I tell you.
So these pictures are an Ode to John...

Wee little ones at Easter

Palmyra, New York

Niagara Falls

Germany, at the BMW factory eating our free food

Austria with the Von Trapp family

Lake Como, Italy

Hotel Buddies. This is the night he informed that I sound like a dying rhinoceros in my sleep

Swiss Alps

Love him even when he makes me do weird pictures

Versailles, in Paris I think...

After is jaw surgery

Our interpreations of the painting

DC bonding

I don't have any pictures from his farewell but lots of family were there and it was a wonderful time to celebrate John. I miss him and balled my eyes out when I said goodbye...and cried the whole car ride home. But I really am SO happy for him!

It appears that he only wrote me this past week....No one else got a letter. Not even my parents..Guess I am the most loved! (JK mom, I am sure something happened)
His letter to me..
Those pictures are so cool! Peru isnt very green. Theres lots of polvo(dust) and everything kind of has that greyed over color. And in the winter its always cloudy and everything looks a little damp. But! When the sun comes out, the whole city kind of changes. The colors in the houses come out and you start to realize that Lima is quite a pleasant city. The people come out and everything seems a little more lively. But your pictures of new hampshire remind me of how beautiful it is on the east coast. Remember when we partied it up in DC and NY? That was so awesome, thanks for inviting us. Things are great with me. Im learning lots, and losing my english as well. My journal entries are in spanish and inglish. So they wont make sense to anyone that dosnt know spanish and english. Oh well. I hope you and stuart are doing well. Keep living the CA life. Eat good food. Go to the beach. And thanks for being great examples to me. I carry a picture of our family with me and show it to people who ask about our family. I try to describe all of you and I always say that ¨Emily and Stuart are ¨lo maximo¨. They always party and i tell them about how great you guys are. Thanks for being awesome examples to me. You can use email cause youre family, and ill write you guys back individually if you have time. Tell stuart thanks again for sending me that email to support me. It means a lot to have a whole family supporting me at home. Not many missionaries have that and it means a lot to me. DyC 6 24=25. How greater of a testimony do we need that this gospel is restored by the prophet joseph smith, when the Holy Ghost speaks peace to our minds. Treasure thos small impressions. Because theyre sacred and build our faith daily, step by step. 1 Nefi 1=36 (last verse). Look for the tender mercies every day. The Lord has a hand in your life, its our responsibility to look for them. Love you guys! If you love me, write me(Elder John Dunn 14=15). If you love me more, send me peanut butter. Its so expensive here! and Nutella. 40 soles, 15 bucks. Who knows! LOve you so much.
Elder Dunn

Yay for Peru and John!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lake Winnipesaukee

Our good friends Kim and Craig Ballard invited us out to Lake Winnipesaukee for a few days. They asked us a few weeks before if we would want to come out, and we checked the flights, and booked it! Very spontaneous for us, but we are SO glad they invited us out. We had the wonderful chance to stay with Kim's parents in Maryland last summer while Stuart was doing his internship. And then we stayed in their gorgeous new home on the Lake. The Harrisons are so sweet to us.
Lake Winnipesaukee is absolutely beautiful. I honestly have never been a big Lake Powell fan. I have been a couple times, and I was never too excited about it. However when you combine beautiful East Coast, cute homes, boating, and staying in a house with a bed and kitchen...then I am a huge fan. I told Stuart we should live there. Such a simple life it would be. I loved it. Take me back now...

This is our room we stayed in at their house. So cute. Debbie, Kim's mom, has this house designed down to the last detail. My favorite part was the blue seersucker curtains on turquoise walls. Loved it

Beautiful Home

On our way to their house from the airport Craig stopped at this massive fireworks store to get some to shoot off that night. So Craig and Stuart put on an awesome show for us. The fireworks were like those on 4th of July, we just needed some music! It was great.

Just another beautiful morning on the lake..

You could boat into "town". I loved town. Just a quaint little place that had the cutest restaurants and old shops.

Cute band that played, riding into town, and the sandwich place with yummy philly cheesesteaks.

After Sunday Dinner at Kim's grandparents, they boys played a little tennis and Kim and I chatted

The cutest

This was Stuarts first time wakeboarding/wake surfing and he rocked it! He had so much fun and wishes he could do it again

I also wakeboarded and wakesurfed. I consider it my first time, since I had only been wakebaording for one outing a long time ago...but I got up too and it was so fun! I actually liked the surfing the best.

Craig and Kim doin their thing

I love to go on Jet skis. It was sooo pretty riding around this beautiful lake.

This was at the Pratt's house. Stuart and Craig are good friends with J-Pratt whose family also has a home on the lake. Their home is the party house. Here we are jumping off their 50 foot rope swing. No joke. I was so scared, and when I dropped into the water it hurt so bad. I felt like my head had gotten hit by a truck. Guess thats the consequences of being hardcore for your husband.

Just floating up in the clouds after dropping from the rope

They also have this 200 foot waterslide that shoots straight down in the lake. SO fun

In Town getting ice cream

J-Pratt also rocks the air chair. That thing is nuts

Stuart of course had to try it out...he did great!

Our last night Kim and Craig made us a delicious dinner. Oh it was so good...Craig is quite the chef and everything was amazing. Grilled pineapple, steak, chicken, potatoes..amazing.

Other highlights of the trip include:

-Spending time with other members of the Harrison Family...Debbie..Jesse, Chris and their little girl..and their friends Lexie and Jared
-Eating Delicious food ALL the time
-New Hampshire blueberries
-Late night movies and games
-Seeing Craig and Stuart together...they have alot of similar tendencies which is fun to see. I would love to have known them freshman year of college (Stuart and Craig are also second cousins and grew up together.)
-Meeting Mitt Romney at church and having paparazzi outside, secret service in the back, and having it feel completely normal that he was in Sunday School with us. I sure hope he wins.
-Seeing all of the people we met on the East Coast again...they are all such good people. I love the church out there.
-A calm Sunday boat ride seeing all the pretty homes

Needless to say we had the most wonderful time. Thank you Kim and Craig and the Harrisons for opening up your home to us. We had the best time! Love you guys!!