Saturday, June 26, 2010

Some Pictures

So apparently my computer/ internet allots me 1 hour once a month in which I can upload pictures one at a time. Unfortunately I logged on late during that one hour dip so I only got in four. Enjoy these pictures I guess :) Better than nothing right?

Adam's house from the front. Our window is the upper left :)

The view from the front of the house. See what I mean Tennessee is so pretty?

I was thinking of working for a tour bus company for a while, and because of it we got a free tour of Johnson City! This is us inside. I thought it was pretty cool. I'm pretty new to JC though.

This is the outside of the bus. Like I said- I had a great time :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blessed

Are you ever amazed by the things that bless your life? The little ones that you maybe never even saw before but for some reason something hits your dense brain and you see it all now?

Here is my churchy precursor to my blessings: I am getting called as Relief Society teacher. (It happens tomorrow- big deal if I announce it now. I've already taught two lessons.) My next lesson is on the Atonement. I am also currently reading my scriptures in Alma. And for some reason in the past I NEVER caught onto the fact that when they mean the Atonement covers everything, that means you don't just use the Atonement to get rid of sin and wrong doing. You use it when you are feeling sad or lonely and the Lord says, "Sarah, I love you. And I know how you feel. Really. But my dear... frankly... you are being ridiculous. So here. I am going to open your eyes so you can see ALL the blessings in your life and stop being... well... to put it bluntly... a little stupid."

Every night as I am getting ready for bed, or Adam and I are hanging out, he always takes a moment to kneel at the windows of our bedroom with me and we watch as the lightning bugs come out and bring stars to his front lawn and trees. Basically they bring back childhood wonder to the old... and I guess the new if there were new people living here. They bring magic.

For some reason when I post, there are these people that leave all these comments. Sisters and old friends, and newer friends that say to me, "Hey guess what? I love you." All you bloggers know what I mean- it is AMAZING to realize that someone really is listening to you. (No, that does not mean I need you to leave a comment. My sister-in-law lust did on my last post and it really touched me as small as it was and it was a blessing to me today.)

My best friend Becky called me while she was on her anniversary weekend to let me know her husbands anniversary gift to her was to give her a plane ticket to come out to Tennessee and see me. I cried. It was a gift to me as well because I miss her so much. And she might get to come on my birthday. We haven't gotten to celebrate either of our birthday's together since we were 17. So talk about really special.

Sweet Potato fries with pecan dipping sauce are just... out of this world so good they make you want to sing and cry and dance. And the best thing was after they had already changed my life by allowing me to consume them, I came home and found out that sweet potato fries are healthier and less fat. Talk about an AWESOME day.

I call my family three times during this particular week in June- My dads b-day is the 17th, my sister Carolyn's is the 19th, then there is fathers day and 8th grade graduation for my brother- and I call thinking I am going to congratulate them, and bring joy to them and for some reason my siblings NEVER cease to bring more love, and peace, and happiness and laughter and well wishing into my life than I could EVER hope to bring into theirs. I will NEVER deserve them, even if I am the model sister for the rest of our lives.

My husband, because everyone gets to brag about their husbands, after not getting to chat with his best friend this afternoon even when he and his wife came over, comes flopping down on our bed this afternoon and says, "What show should we watch?" He even seemed excited when I suggested BBC Robin Hood from live stream netflicks. He watched almost a whole episode. He also swims with me every day though he doesn't like too. And when we had to clean the church building this morning he took the bathrooms and handed me the window cleaner.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there are just those moments in life when you really feel like no matter how many chips and burgers you have consumed... you need a chocolate wall. It doesn't need to be the one from that one amazing Chinese restaurant that I cant remember the name of now, but you need moist chocolate cake with chocolate ganche middle, and a THICK icing, but when you are trying to not let southern women let you waist get too big...

There are always lightning bugs, kind words, the excitement of something wonderful to come, something that is yummy and fat free, your sister, and a gesture from the most loved in your life that almost, almost, make up for the lack of chocolate icing.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Stupid Pictures and a lot of Rambling

I have realized that my ability to blog directly correlates with my ability to upload pictures :) I have LOADS I want to say and talk about and show everyone, and the pictures to go with it, but this stupid computer for SOME reason wont let me upload. So I am upset.

And I feel bad because lets face it, half the fun in reading and blogging is for the pictures, and I feel like I am not delivering to my audience, especially since I have the capability to do so. (I will try tomorrow from Adam's computer if I don't get stuck napping :) But, I do have things to say so I am going to blog anyways :) Sorry for the solid wall of text.

Moving to Tennessee has been the greatest thing, and a large challenge for me. One of the greatest things about being out here is that Adam is in his element. For you to understand what that is like, you have to see him as he is now, or have experienced him talking about Neuro, teaching neuro, reading or learning neuro. He is a different man and I think it was that man in the brain hat (yes, he actually has a hat that looks like a brain) that I fell in love with first.

Being in a house he knows and loves, in neighborhoods, on streets, with people that he grew up with his whole life, a ward that knows his whole history- for some reason that brings out all the best in Adam. He flourishes in the wet heat out here, working on houses with his dad, chatting it up with the non members. And seeing him so incredibly happy, especially after such a hard semester, makes me the happiest person in the world.

I am also very happy. I love the ward. I love how people are married with kids but their lives revolve around the thoughts THEY are having, the books they are reading and not... their children's diapers? Is that horrible to admit? Don't get me wrong. We can have a conversation about your kids poo sometimes. Just... not all the time :)

I love Adams friends. BOY do I love them. I try to imagine what being in high school must have been like when you were friends with all of them and it would have been so much fun... if you were really smart :) They are chill, content with themselves, intelligent yet... still fairly young and a little stupid and adventurous people.

I love the place itself. I have never in my life been somewhere that is so constantly beautiful. So green, so lush, so many colors of flowers, so many trees. Seeing the mist rise off the Smoky Mountains every morning as I drive into work... it does something for my heart I never knew it could. The sun rises and sun sets, the thunder storms. About the only thing I DON'T like about nature out here are the huge bugs. But that I can even live with. I think :) As long as they are not in my bedroom I can cope.

But where Adam is in his element... I am not. I am with people I haven't met, in a house I don't know, in a culture I am not familiar with, and with a family I didn't grow up with. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW I am good adjusting. That has never been a worry. But that doesn't make it easy.

There are all sorts of things that take getting used too. Such as a family that does things very differently than mine. For example, in my family, I am the second oldest. In Adams, I am the very youngest. I can attest to you now that YES parents treat the oldest and the youngest children VERY differently. Adams family is relaxed, quiet, calm, and VERY open about... well everything.

My family? I think even in the very middle of the night there is noise from someones radio, someone snacking in the kitchen, lights on from teenagers who have to finish writing chapters to books :) And unless we are cuddling and saying, "I love you! You are so pretty!" Or we are talking seriously one on one, we don't "share" feelings. One on one we are great. But we don't have- family open time. And we are NEVER negative with one another. (Good and bad thing depending on the situation.)

You see what I mean? These are not bad or hard things I am getting used to- they are just different. It makes it... not really hard but strange. I feel awkward sometimes because I don't know how to act, or react to different people (and not just Adams family. The southerners are a whole different race from Oregonians. You have to treat them differently) and different situations.

I get frustrated with myself a lot. Mostly because I am not used to not excelling at somethin unless it is math. So when I feel awkward around people, make a mistake at home or have to take a LOT of constructive criticism at work, I feel like I need a whole package of Oreos. And this is the south- so those are readily available with whole milk and lard based frosting to go with. (Heavens!)

But- I am getting there. This is a happy post. Adam and I have been taking some time on a suggestion from a friend of mine who has been in a similar situation as me, to make a space for ME. We have rearranged the room we are in with furniture we like, with our bedding, and our goal for next weekend is to break out our box of pictures. Though we cant put holes in the walls, seeing my homemade blankets on the beds, my books and magazines on the shelves, makes me feel closer to home than ever.

Adam was wonderful and he pulled a nice black chair that reclines from his old bedroom and put it right next to the desk his computer is on. Its my new writing chair :) I used to have a crappy blue swivel chair in high school that I lived in every night, and hD all my dreams in, and my BEST work came out of it. So this new chair, right next to a poster of England with all my wonderful girls on it, does a lot for me.

And I do love it here. I love that I can go to Wal Mart in PJ's and without make up (yes I did that today) and not feel embarrassed. I love that everyone calls me sweet heart. I love that if I drop my cell phone two people will dive to pick it up for me. I love that every time my car has stalled some young man will come out and seen if I need help. I love that old people wave and smile at me when I walk by them on the street. Chivalry and neighborliness are alive here in the south my friends. At least in this corner of it.

I love how in the evenings, everything slows down. People sit down when they got home from work to cook and eat as a family. Or when Adam and I go out and get barbecue with our friends, we sit and talk until the sun goes down. People will take off the whole day to watch World Cup. And that is normal. They take an hour and a half to eat lunch. They sit outside on their porches to watch the rain storms.

Yes, it has taken some adjusting. And it will take more so I know. But the longer I am here in ol' Johnson City Tennessee, the more I see myself living here for the rest of my life. (Not in my in laws house mind you. :) That is great for now but someday I want a smaller porch all to my own :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Inspiration

Does it ever surprise you that nothing in life ever goes 100% perfect? Its like that law of science that there always has to be as much good as there is bad.

Life has been SO good for Adam and I since moving to Tennessee. We love the ward, we are getting callings (new for a change), we really feel like we have taken a spiritual step up. We are both working great jobs at full time hours meaning that financially we are doing great- paying off debt and having a little fun. We are working around the house and making ourselves useful. We are taking every weekend to have fun together, growing closer to one another. We are making friends with people in church and connecting with Adams old buddies. Adam is applying for med school with very high hopes.

And yet- though everything has been going so well I have been in an emotional funk for the past few weeks. I know it will pass- it is just one of those things you know? I have been having some health problems (girl wise). No nothing serious but enough that it kind of curdles in the back of my mind. I love my job but I am kind of out of my comfort zone and I worry a lot that I am not doing a good enough job, or that I am doing something wrong. Its the first job I haven't automatically excelled at and its hard for me.

Also, my work schedule is really strange and so I haven't found a good time to work out despite my newly acquired gym pass. That combined with the fact that southern women cant cook without Crisco... I have gained a few pounds. Nothing I cant get rid of without a little a work but- it doesn't help the old self esteem to see the numbers on the scale rise.

The south is a VERY different place from the Northwest and politically, and even socially I am also a little out of my element. I love that being Mormon gives me something to offer again, but it is harder to connect with people than it was in the past. I have also been really stressing about being seen in a perfect light since these are all of Adams friends and family and I don't want to be the bum wife you know? We all have friends with bum spouses- you know what I mean.

This is not a woe is me post. Quite the contrary- writing it all out makes me look at myself and think how ridiculous I am being. But- sometimes you KNOW what you are feeling is absurd and yet- you feel it anyways. Despite it all. I just have been feeling very out of place, a little lonely, a little chubby (don't laugh- I know I am not but everyone has fat days. Even super models), and inadequate.

The funny thing is- I hadn't even admitted all of these feelings to myself despite the few cry sessions I have had in the past few days- until tonight when I got an email from my little sister.

It was very unexpected and I almost wondered if she wrote it for a Young Women's goal or something until I remembered that she already got her medallion. Instead, today sometime when she was bored, my sister wrote me an email and told me how amazing she thought I was, how much she loved me, and all these wonderful things about me that she loved and that made her glad we were related. Little things about me that had nothing to do with the things I was worried about, but that made me feel very very validated.

I cried. Again. I think I may be worrying Adam :) It made me think about how nothing in life can ever be perfect. Now that our situation is close to perfect, I do not feel perfect with myself, personally. And yet- during all those times, no matter what part of life that doesn't meet up with all the rest of the great things going on- the Lord still sends us a little push to make it feel like for just five minutes, that maybe the world IS 100%. That we are 100%.

I am so grateful for my sister. That across the country and a three hour time difference, she has enough spirit at 17 to know when her older sister needs a little love. I am grateful to her for tonight, before I fall asleep to start a new day tomorrow- I feel 100%. Well... at least 98%.