Author Archives: munyans

Summer 2016 – travel & Lena!

So after my last test Thursday, May 26 we went home and packed up our condo and then Friday we moved into our new house :). We were a little worried about our movers being a bit late but they brought 4 guys instead of 2 so it went quite fast. Then Saturday, my friend Erin from the PhD program moved her stuff in (she’s going to live w us during this school year) and we had a fun game night and taco salad with my PhD friends. Then Sunday Erin went home to GA for the summer and we drove 2.5 hours to Indiana to see our 5 wk old puppy Lena!IMG_3328

Lena was born April 23 to Macy and Samson who belong to Faye Skelton.  There were 7 puppies in her litter – 3 girls and 4 boys. We got to visit when they were 5 weeks old but took her home after all our travel when she was 9 weeks old. Her name is Lena after Athena the goddess of wisdom in the Parthenon replica here. (Originally we were thinking of getting 2 puppies a mastiff mix and name him Zeus and Lena but decided to start w one this year.)

(<Lena on the left & her sisters)

Monday I cleaned out our condo, Tuesday Ben flew to DC to work at the OFR, Wednesday (my birthday :D woot 27!) I got a pedicure (first time in 3 yrs? lol) w my friend Kristine, then I flew to DC and had dinner w Ben at our old favorite Indian place (Spice 6) and went to our friend Danmo’s home where she surprised me with a delicious ice-cream cake and watermelon! Her baby is getting so big! Then my dad picked me up to go up to my Grandmom&Grandpop’s in MD while Ben finished working for the week and joined us on the weekend. Maryland was beautiful as ever and it was great to see my Dad, uncles&aunts, and G&G!

Danmo&Jian Chism&MaggieBear Dad G&GSchollian MDGeese MDmistymorningrun

I went home Tuesday and Ben came back from working Thursday and that weekend we hiked Old Stone Fort to celebrate my birthday :).

OldStoneFort3 deer_OldStoneFort







The next week Ben went to DC again Tuesday morning while I flew to AZ to see my family. I had fun going to the dinosaur museum with Afton and her kids, and enjoyed lots of shopping w my Mom, Chelsey, & Afton and lots of swimming, family, and Mexican food :). It was fun to see my Nanita and aunts&cousins (idk where all the uncles were this time lol)! Ben came out Friday in time for a swim party and the next afternoon we started our drive to Utah (Ben had a finance conference in Park City the next week).

DinoMuseum3 DinoMuseum2 DinoMuseum1 Afton&kids



Saturday we stopped at the Grand Canyon (Ben’s first time seeing it and I think I only saw it for a 7th grade field trip lol I guess we under appreciate the things we live by). Sadly 10 feet on the trail & I hurt my toe badly (ya ya don’t wear flip flops on a hiking trail). But Ben bandaged me up and we enjoyed the sunset at the Grand Canyon.

We stayed the night in Page, AZ and in the morning we toured Antelope Canyon — very pretty but a bit crowded. We then continued down to Park City, Utah and stopped briefly at Bryce Canyon which had very pretty views (next time we’ll have to take time to hike it).

AntelopeCanyon BryceCanyon

Monday we were planning on hiking Mt Timpanogos  (9 miles each way) but my foot still hurt and Ben needed to prep for his Tuesday presentation at the WFA conference. But we had a couple hours Thursday and hiked 8 out of 18 miles.

MtTimpanogos MtTimp

Besides the conference and seeing a bit of Park City we got to have a taco night w 3 of my mom’s brothers and their families and we spent the last night with my step-grandpa (my stepdad’s dad) and went out to eat w him and my stepbrother Kyle & his girlfriend. More pics here.

Then early Friday, June 23 we flew from Utah to Indiana where we picked up Lena and drove home :). She is adorable. Now at 12 weeks she is sleeping thru the night and has only had 1-2 accidents in the last week so almost house trained :D. She has sit and come down and is pretty good on the leash. We are just working on no nipping, no jumping for food, and no chewing and getting on furniture lol. But she is lots of fun and is doing well w her Petsmart puppy training class and we had a puppy play date w a Bernese Mountain pup that was fun (three weeks younger but he held his own good ;). She loves her new bed, to sneak in daddy’s chair, and to chew everything including her tail lol.     
IMG_3743 IMG_3780 IMG_3925 IMG_4099 IMG_4078 IMG_4089




Over 4th of July my friend Becky visited which was lots of fun to hang out and show her Nashville! And she helped us host a BBQ on the 4th w some of Ben’s coworkers and our neighbors.IMG_4091





And then my mom visited and taught Lena to love her tail and helped us decorate :).



Its been a fun June & July!

Spring 2016

I survived & passed my first year of my econ PhD and Ben did awesome as his first year as a finance professor!  It was a busy semester — the first quarter Ben wasn’t teaching and traveled to DC to work at the Treasury quite a bit.


Then for spring break we went on a cruise w my sister Chelsey and brother-in-law Paul from New Orleans to Mexico.  We spent one night in New Orleans and tried some seafood and crawfish, then spent one day on the cruise ship, 2 days in Mexico and then another day on the ship.



B&T_cruise  Ben_CruiseBunny




The first day in Mexico I accidentally mixed up the days and Ben&I missed our bus to Chichen Itza :( , luckily we were still able to see the Dzibilchaltun Mayan ruins instead. It was a warm day but it was fun taking a swim in the cenote and we got some paletas.



Ben&umbrella_MexicoRuins Tey_MexicoRuins lizardMexicoRuins Ben_MexicoRuins Ben_MexicoCenote Mexico_SpanishChurch









<This last one is a Spanish ruin. the Mayan buildings were built so they could see the sun thru the window of the building I’m next too above on the spring equinox and then the Spanish built this church in the middle of the plaza to block the view :(.



While we were exploring the ruins, Chelsey&Paul did a bus tour of the city.

And the second day in Mexico, all four of us went snorkeling which was fun :).

It was fun, although we probably ate more than was good for us :-/ and Ben said he needs more stay-cations lol.

Then we jumped into the second quarter.  Ben was busy teaching 2 sections of his bond market class but didn’t go to DC so much. He did travel to a few conferences and received an award for best dissertation at UMD so he was still using his suitcase a lot.  In April, Ben’s parents and youngest 2 siblings came to visit (bc another sibling had a field trip to Nashville) and sadly Ben was only here one day they were here (he was at a conference in DC lol). But it was fun to see them and try out Hattie B’s hot chicken (definitely recommend ordering ahead of time online to avoid the line) and going to the shooting range!

And my phd class kept up our dinner club. I hosted in February and did Mexican food :). I searched all over for tamales and finally found someone selling them out of the back of her car lol. And I made refried beans (for the first time somehow!), Spanish rice, grilled chipotle chicken & spicy shredded beef for fajitas, and red enchiladas. And of course Tres Leches cake and flan for dessert. I made tons of food and fit everyone into our condo!

DinnerClub_MexicanFood ErinsDinnerClub








After finals ended, I had two big tests – macro & micro economics prelim exams which I studied lots for and stressed about even more lol. The first was on our 7 year anniversary; after the test Ben had some fun stuff planned for us — set up the dining table we got at the flea market a while back at our new house (most of our renters were moved out but we waited til my last test to move in), make & eat dinner, paint these cute wooden signs (like an M), and go watch the Avengers/Cap. America movie… but we only made it to dinner and were too tired for the rest lol.

BensFancyDiningRoom ;-) SevenYrs!







SEVEN Years!!! And the shirt gave me enough luck to pass the macro prelim that morning!

Then after my micro exam on May 26, we went home and packed and moved into our new house May 27! It was a busy but good semester!

Christmas 2015 PS




As I mentioned before we took family pics for the first time and made Christmas cards! But we were so busy with finals and then traveling to VA/MD and AZ we didn’t send them all out or get many friends’ addresses.  So if you didn’t get one and want one next year (or a now super late one this year) send me your address or leave it in a comment/”reply” here.




Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! And thanks to everyone who sent us cards!


Christmas 2015

Sadly our Christmas break is almost over but we had lots of fun with lots of friends and family!

First we went to VA/MD for the week of Christmas. We spent Christmas day with the Munyans (19 people this year! – 12/15 siblings!) which was lots of fun. We also had fun staying at Ben’s brother’s house and watching Jared&Jills 2 littles get excited about and open presents early in the morning! The Munyans still have the tradition of everyone getting everyone something but we gave a group gift of going to the Escape Game so we didn’t have to shop too much lol.

MunyanChristmasDay2 MunyanChristmasDay ChristmasDinner_19Munyans VandyMan_Ben Christmas3 Christmas2 Christmas Ben&niece Ben&Tey_ChristmasDay2015 ChristmasDress StarWarsFighter Niece&Nephew HeAskedFor$100 MunyanEscapeGame EscapeGame_TeamB EscapeGame_TeamA




We also spent 2 days up at my Grandmom&Grandpop Schollian; my dad recently moved to MD and it was good to see him too (and watched the new Star Wars with him:). We had the traditional Schollian family white elephant party (I think I got the best gift of Aunt Amy’s homemade jam & apple butter;).


SchollianParty2 Schollians

We had lots of fun with the Munyans & Schollians and even got to see a couple friends! And we got to brag that the weather was warmer than AZ ;-)… not the first t-shirt weather Christmas in VA we’ve had.

Then after just 1 day back home in TN, we flew to AZ to celebrate Christmas with my mom&stepdad on New Year’s Eve. My stepbrother has been working at the Phx Puzzle Room (same idea as the Escape Game we did with Ben’s family for Christmas in DC and Ben’s 30th bday in Nashville) and we got to do a game there (lots of fun but we missed Andrew!), went to the Arrogant Butcher restaurant, and opened presents :).

PuzzleRoom_wKyle PuzzleRoom

We also had a fun get together with the traditional Mexican food and pinata with my mom’s family, the Memmotts, and then after just 2 nights Ben took off to the AFA conference in San Francisco to present his paper and I stayed and hung out in AZ – went hiking, shopping, ate even more Mexican food (I think I ate at least 10 tamales :-/), and went to the aquarium. After Ben’s conference, he got to spend one night at his Grandma’s in Sacramento and then we flew back home to Nashville together!

Pinata2 Pinata Pinata_BrittnyTommy Ben&Tey MatchingSistas Afton&Sean ChelsTeyInsta Coco&Scotty Coco Chelseys3Dogs ChelsTeyHike MomTeyChelsHike Aquarium FishBubble Aquarium_ChelsTeyMom




Fall 2015

MathClassWell even after watching Ben do a PhD I think I underestimated how much work/stress a PhD can be! It’s been a very busy semester and I came out with more Bs than I like to admit (I think my last B+ was 8th grade dance :( )… but I survived lol! And even had some occasional fun with the classmates – a few game nights and we started a dinner club where someone hosts each month!

Kristine'sDinnerClub Kristine'sDinnerClub-SadNickBailed Kristine'sAppetizers Erin'sPreGameBrunch








In November we bought a house :D! But its a 15 minute drive from campus so we decided to finish up our apartment lease (1 mile from campus) and rent out the house until the end of the semester in May. We love being able to walk to school/work but every time we go over to the house we get super excited to move in! I has 2 garages – so Ben can use one for wood working and a nice little fenced in yard so we can get puppies this summer!

For Thanksgiving, Vanderbilt gave the whole week off! We were too poor from buying our house to do our original plan of going to Peru so 3 of Ben’s sisters came to visit for a couple days which was fun! We played lots of games and made a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with them and 2 of my classmates. Everyone’s first apple pie making and our first time doing the Turkey… even if it was pre-cooked lol. We also visited the flea market (so much stuff! Ben found us a dining room table for our new house and a painting lol!), farmers market, forced them to try Indian food (which I think they liked!), saw the Parthenon replica, downton Nashville, & some Christmas lights.

BensSistas_DowntownNashville Ben&Sistas_DowntownNashville

Athena&BensSistas Athena Parthenon_RachelKarenBen Parthenon_Karen&Tey Parthenon_Tey&Ben ChristmasLightsWBensSistas ChristmasTreeWBensSistas ChristmasTreeWKaren




We also did a 5 mile run on Thanksgiving morning! My previous max distance was a 5k and I finished the 5 miler in 50 minutes which I was pretty happy with! (Ben was a couple minutes ahead…he ditched me the last mile ;).


Race_RachelKarenTeySarah  Race_Ben&TeyFinishingTheRace_Tey  FinishingTheRace_KSR

Besides that we took Family Pics (just Ben&me) for the first time since our wedding which was fun! Pics can be seen here. Thanksgiving week was a much needed break and it was hard to get back into things for finals :-/. But now we are enjoying Christmas break and are excited to see our families in VA/MD/AZ this month!

Misty (& Otter)

Sadly, when I visited my family in August was the last time I saw our dog Misty. She died of bloat a couple months later. She was almost 16 years old and was one of the sweetest souls I’ve known. She got a little cranky in old age but she was a sweety!


We got Otter & Misty as 6 week old puppies when I was 10. We had many adventures with them – hiking Sycamore Creek (and teaching them to swim and not drown me lol), hiking Windcaves (and pulling cactus out of Misty’s nose), we had puppies with them (first they had puppies 1 day apart – Misty had 5 and Otter had 11 so 16 total! and then later Otter had a litter of 13!), camping, and lots of walks and love.

Otter was full of adventure… Perhaps a little too much. We had 2 6 foot fences and she would jump both and take herself on a walk when she didn’t get enough walks or when there was a thunderstorm. So we made sure to walk her everyday and locked her inside during thunderstorms but unfortunately got hit by a car when she was 11 when there was a storm and no one was home to lock her inside :(. Guess we learned the hard way to use electric fences for some pets. Misty was a princess (she liked to sit cross her legs like a princess – see below) and they were the best of buds. Chelsey & I had lots of fun growing up with Otter and Misty. Chelsey now has a chocolate lab Coco (which my parents let her adopt after Otter died to keep Misty company), Coco’s puppy Scottie, and she adopted Addie – a pitbull mix which after much love is almost like a normal dog again! Ben & I are hoping to get a puppy or two this summer :). Here’s to all dogs and all good/loving dog owners! Dogs really can be Man’s/Woman’s Best Friend.

Misty&Otter Otter&Misty

Summer 2015

I can’t believe summer is already over!!!

From where I left off… Right after I drove to Nashville in the end of June, I flew off to AZ where I hung out with my fam for a couple days and then Ben joined for the 4th of July weekend which we spend in a huge cabin in Southern Utah with my mom’s family reunion (she is the oldest of 8, and there was about 20-22 adults and 20-25 kids). It was lots of fun hanging out, going hiking, and kayaking & canoeing on the little lake! (See pics here.)

We flew home and landed about 1am of Ben’s 30th birthday – July 7th! After sleeping in, we went to dinner at a Brazilian steak house and then went to the “Heist” Escape Game, where we had an hour to figure out lots of clues, find a “stolen” painting and escape the room. It was pretty cool! Then that Saturday we went to a TreeTop Obstacle Course; it took me a sec to get over my fear of heights, but I made it through the first 2 and Ben did all 4, then we did the really long zip lines which were fun (see pics here)!

BdayBoy BenBdayEscape

A couple weeks later, we flew to San Diego for Ben’s little sister’s wedding on July 26. We got there 2 days early and went to LegoLand & the beach with his 2 brothers, their wives, and 5 kids. Then after the wedding we hung out at a resort with lots of pools with all the siblings that came (except the bride and groom). 13 of the 15 Munyan kids were at the wedding, plus all the in-laws, & 5 grandkids – thats the biggest “MunUnion” I think they’ve had since we’ve been married! (My pics can be seen here.)

Then in August I had a 2 week “Math Camp,” I was a little nervous to start the PhD (doing an economics PhD at Vanderbilt) but was excited to finally see people and make friends (since moving to Nashville, I’d just been studying math, and hanging out at the pool & with Ben and hadn’t really seen anyone else 8-0)!  While I was doing math camp, Ben went to a finance seminar in St Louis for a couple days and then he went to Vienna, Austria to present his paper! He also got to hang out with his brother, who lives in Europe, while he was there.

While he was in Vienna, I did a quick 3-day trip to AZ to see my sister’s 3 week old puppies :D! She bred her chocolate lab, who unfortunately had to have an emergency c-section and only 3 of the puppies lived. The mom then went into shock due to internal bleeding and was at the vet 3 more days, and due to that and her new heart medicine my sister got to bottle feed the puppies. They sure tired her and my mom out with having to eat every 3 hours but they were very cute! It was also fun to see the fam and help my cousin move and see her new house and kids!

Coco&pup    TeyWPupsMom&pupsTey&Chelsey&pupChelsey&pupTeyWPups&AftonsLittles





Right after we got back from Vienna & AZ, Ben and I did a night of camping :D! I think we only camped 2-3 times during our 6 yrs in MD, so we are doing pretty good, going already in our first 2 months in TN! While camping we did a 7 mile hike that had tons of sink holes. Then the next day, I started classes on August 26th and Ben is busy doing research and getting ready for the bond market class he is teaching in October (business school does 4 quarters instead of 2 semesters, so he is just teaching the 2nd (Oct-Dec) and 4th (March-May) quarters).


Anything else fun? We saw Antman which was great (funny like Guardians of the Galaxy), and I finally saw The Imitation Game which was great (a tear-jerker and based on a true story, kind of like Amazing Grace). We checked out the local library, went hiking at a nearby lake and saw wild turkeys, and are starting to look at houses (or at least neighborhoods)!

Hope everyone else had a good summer!