Saturday, January 7, 2012

Two Year Anniversary

It's been two years since I started blogging and it's been a roller coaster ride to say the least.  Here is my two year story...

We moved i.e. drove from San Diego to Pennsylvania in February 2010 during a huge blizzard!  Holy cow was this a tense experience.  My core hurt so badly for hours because I was beyond tense for hours upon hours.
We got hitched!
(between driving from PA to VA)
We moved to Virginia and lived in a hotel for far too long.
Ryan got deployed for the second time.
I spent the summer living and working in Philadelphia and then came back to Virgina to start graduate school in August!  Thanks to my best friend who flew in for my first week in Virgina, my transition was all the sweeter!
The semester went along.  I debated about switching from MA Econ to the MBA track and freaked out about not being able to handle Econometrics which I now love more than any other subject.  As you all know, I did just fine.  My reward for a semester of 4 grad courses, living in a new state by myself and making friends, my little, handsome hubby came HOME!

Merry Christmas 2010 to me!
Except he spent Christmas day on the evil ship while I was home alone... you learn to make the best of situations when the military dictates much of your life.
We flew to visit J-man and Ryan's family during his leave period.

We moved into our very first house!  It's still a rental, but it's a house nonetheless!  Actually, I moved into the house because Ryan was out to sea again.
We went through a rough patch of emotions...well, I went through a rough patch and Ryan felt the brunt of it.  Everyone handles their significant other coming and going differently.  I was great when he came home from deployment, but when he left for a month only a month later, I retreated inside myself.  It wasn't pretty, but it was a learning experience.  I had my routine with school, I put the house together, I had a life that I liked.  It was hard for me to stop that life and restart my life with Ryan.  The coming and going continued through October of 2011.  Luckily, I learned how to handle it much better.  That's the ugly side of the military. 

We lost Ryan's grandfather, one of the sweetest men I have ever met.  I am truly blessed to have known him.  He was a good man and his life will live on forever in all the minds of those who have met him.  We love you Grandpa!
 Like Grandfather, like grandson
This is one of many views of his golf course
I love his smile! It makes you feel welcomed and loved instantly! 

In July, we went to a family reunion in Iowa.  It was a blast and there were a ton of extended family members.  It was my first time meeting most of them...I'd estimate that I didn't know approximately 95% of the family members there. There were a ton of Norwegians throwing around Dontcha know?!   Loved it!
 That's just some of the gang.
Mr. J-man met us there (thanks to his Grandparents) and came home with us!!!  This was the first moment Ryan and J-man embraced!!
And we met our little niece for the second time, but the first time where we could spend some quality time with her!  She's a cutie!
After the reunion, we headed home and Ryan went back out to sea.  The rest of July was consumed with lots of research for me while Jared was at his grandparent's house.  August continued in the school theme, except this time I was studying for comprehensive exams. 

I took a nice little break, traveled to Michigan and celebrated my best friend's wedding!!!  Congratulations Sarah & Carl!

 Matron of Honor (me) & Best Man
 Proud Father of the Bride
 Mr. & Mrs.
It was an absolutely amazing wedding!  We reunited with old friends, introduced Ryan and J-man to some amazing people and enjoyed a fun night out with the ladies!

Back to reality...Comprehensive exams were that week.  I stressed just enough to make sure that I passed them all!  Praise the Lord!  First step to graduation = Complete!
(If I had time to take a picture of the bags under my eyes, I would have and it would be here, but luckily for you, I was far too busy for that.)
With Comps passed, school had officially begun for all three of us!  J-man started 4th grade, I started my final semester of graduate school and Ryan started his first semester of his MBA.  I was a graduate teaching assistant for a 200 level macroeconomics course and loved it, but it added another element of time-commitment to my schedule.  In hindsight, I think it helped me a lot because it forced me to be at school much more than I would have traditionally been.

We went camping this fall!  It was our first family camping trip and it was great!

Virginia Beach/Norfolk is really great about having free festivals all Spring, Summer and Fall!  We took advantage of a ton of them, but only remember the names of a few.  Neptune Festival at the oceanfront was fun!  The sand sculptures were amazing.  Wine Fest was a blast, as always!  Brew Fest was more fun though!  It was a fun group of people on a beautiful cool fall evening!  Again, no pictures. 

Halloween was Ninja-tastic!
Thanksgiving was spent with my family in PA and was also quite fun!  We went to the Thanksgiving Day Parade and had 20 people at my parent's house!
 I love the floats!
Ryan was looking extra cute this weekend! 
After Thanksgiving, it was back to the grind.  Ryan had finals, I had finals, Jared started being tutored for math.  Ryan passed, I passed, and J-man went from a 42% to 100% on his math test!!  It was a successful month for all of us!
I graduated in December!!
Merry Christmas!
My little sister took the photo and the sunlight played with her.  It's the only family picture I have, so I had to use it. 
Happy New Year! 
Much love.


  1. what a year! i really enjoyed this post, a lot. my favorite picture from your whole year is the one where ryan is leaving (it breaks my heart). it's such a beautiful photo in that it captures such genuine emotion and love you have for each other. wishing you another amazing year!

  2. Thank you! Im glad you enjoyed this post. I enjoyed writing it. That picture is one of my favorites for that same reason. While it has such sad memories surrounding it, it captures the emotion and I love photos like that. I summed up two years in this post. Next year I'll just sum up one year :)

  3. I love the picture of you reuniting! You've had a very full and busy 2 years.

    My sister's fiance is currently in Afganistan and she had a hard time adjusting during his 2 week R and R. She's used to being independent and didn't know how to switch gears so quickly. Kudos to you military wives/moms for all you go through during deployment and returns home!

  4. Ania - I completely understand where your sister is coming from. When your love comes home from deployment, you are so excited, but you are also nervous as can be. Everything you have handled/controlled for the past 6+ months is now not in your control. It sounds silly, but it can rock your world (it rocked mine).


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