Christmas 2015 PS

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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.

 

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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.

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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;).

 

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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 :).

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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 ;).

 


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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!

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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.

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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)!

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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!

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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!

June 2015 – Moving Time!

And summer was here before we new it! The day after my mom&Craig left (Monday) was my birthday :D… I feel so old being 26 lol. I went to work and my co-workers surprised me with some treats (they know my weaknesses lol) and then after work Ben&I met for dinner. Unfortunately it started POURING rain when we were about a block apart from each other and got holed up across the street from each other. I had an umbrella which the wind almost ruined, so the restaurant host was nice enough to give me a better umbrella from lost & found. So I ran over to Ben (gave him one of the umbrellas) and we ran another block to the dinner reservation he made at a fancy French place. It was pretty good and dessert was humongous! lol Afterwards we went home where Ben’s parents and little sister had been waiting and we opened some gifts – I got some cool books (apparently I’m meant to read Clay Christensen because Ben’s mom and my cousin both gave me a book of his lol), face products from my mom&grandma (I helped pick it out lol) and Ben gave me a waffle maker (yay for a bigger kitchen soon to store it finally!), a cool pen that audio records (for my upcoming classes), and a UMD sweatshirt!

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Then, the bday and graduation fun was done and we really had to think about moving.

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Of course I procrastinated packing a bit with making a couple more batches of jam from our garden strawberries ;)

We decided Ben would take our truck of stuff June 12 and I would work a bit more and come with our car June 24th! We signed everything for selling our house June 12, and the buyers closed June 19. Unfortunately packing is more work that we thought and we had more stuff than we thought (we have been in the same place for 5 yrs :-/ … and have way too many books! lol). After lots of work (& sweat especially from Ben) we had the truck packed by 11 pm Friday, June 12 and off Ben went. It wasn’t the best idea to drive at night but for some reason that was Ben’s plan. Somehow he made it safely to Nashville by 11am the next morning, and just in time use his 10am-12pm elevator reservation at our new place! He unloaded the big stuff (had 2 guys hired to help), and then let the next people use the elevator… and he realized they didn’t have help so helped them unload for 2 hours. Then he went to our storage unit to unload our wood from my Grandpa’s farm (and he almost passed out there… yes sleep and food is necessary even for superman Ben ;) ) and he finally slept! The next morning he got up at 6am to unload all of our boxes before the elevator got crowded, returned the truck and walked home! Next time we will hire more people and plan better, but I can’t believe Ben did all that!

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Meanwhile at home, I spent the night on an air mattress and Saturday morning Ben’s parents and 2 sisters came to help clean up and took our leftover stuff that didn’t fit in the truck like the lawn mower. Then I went to a ladies lunch with some coworkers (happy bday Caitlin! I miss you guys) and then cried a little looking at our empty house, and drove over to a studio apartment by work I was renting for the next 12 days. They next week or so, I finished up stuff at work, hung out with my friend Becky who was back in town, said goodbye to coworkers and my RS book club, went to Ben’s sister, Lauren’s, HS graduation and had a fun dinner w 3 of his sisters and some games at their house with the fam. We loved our time here & will miss all our friends&family and our house&garden&favorite restaurants but after 2 weeks of saying goodbye I was ready to see Ben again and get to Nashville!

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I drove to Nashville Thursday, June 25 (good drive except the ac died so I almost died of heat :( at least I could get Icee’s!). Friday I did wash & hung out with Ben – we were super excited about the Supreme Court ruling for Marriage Equality and the ACA that day and almost made it to Nashville Pride Festival but sadly it was raining :(  - but Ben did make it Saturday!. Then Saturday morning I headed off to AZ! …And that trip will have to be another post :).

Hope you are all having a great summer!

Ben’s Graduation!

After 6 long years and lots of work and more than a couple late nights, Ben Graduated!!! I’m so proud of all his hard work!!!

We had fun celebrating with lots of family in May! My Mom & Craig got into MD late Monday, May 18. Tuesday, I had lunch w them at work and showed them around the Fed and then we went to dinner at my favorite restaurant – Rasika – amazing Indian food! Wednesday my dad flew in and went up to my G&Gs and Ben flew in Wednesday evening and mom&Craig and Ben&I went and got dinner (Indian food again lol at our other favorite, Spice 6). Thursday was graduation! …. And of course it rained… like crazy… all day long. So instead of our backyard BBQ we squished all of us into our basement for a late lunch, went to graduation, and then came back for cake and a light dinner :). It was great to have Ben’s parents and 6 of his siblings, his Uncle&Aunt from Richmond, my G&G from MD, my dad, and mom&Craig!

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He got lots of fun gifts – shirts, mugs, socks, and a clock from his great-grandpa Munyan. The pics below are from a UMD Business School PhD dinner. Danmo is the other PhD student Ben started out with 6 years ago – we will miss you!

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Thursday night my dad spent the night and Friday we went for a hike at Great Falls and then we drove up with Ben to my Grandparents where we had another BBQ at my grandparents on Saturday. Ben’s family was good to drive all the way out there and lots of my Schollian relatives came and my mom&Craig!

Then Sunday-Wednesday, Ben&I went up to a condo with my mom&Craig in Shenandoah Virginia. It was nice and relaxing, hiked, played mini-golf, played lots of board games, and saw lots of deer!

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Then Ben&I went to work Th/F while my mom&Craig stayed at their condo. By this time our tenants (we’ve been renting our main floor out to 3 female students for the last 5 yrs) had all moved out and we were starting to work on cleaning up our house and starting to think about packing lol. My mom&Craig had dinner w us Saturday and spent the night at our now big empty house and went home to AZ Sunday!

Thanks for all the family people who celebrated and thanks for all the family & friends who made it a great 6 years!