So, it's been a while and I just thought I'd write to say that we're still here! It is next to impossible to find the time to post new entries and update our blog when I'm busy at work most of the time and Manuel is busy with work & school. Anyways, I promise to be better because I hate coming back to my blog and see that it's been months since I last posted! So, look forward to my next post with updated pictures etc. from my birthday in Vegas, Thanksgiving, and my Christmas decorating! I love this time of year when it gets a little colder, and I can cook all the warm foods I love and decorate the house. I am always sure to remind myself of the true meaning of Christmas but I absolutely love every part of Christmas and the feeling it brings. It's also nice to give a little more thought to the people in your life and take time to remember those that you don't always get to see. I'm so excited to spend our second Christmas together with my husband. He really has worked so hard this semester in school and I'm so proud of him. I'm so glad that we'll have some extra time to spend together over the holidays. Our plans include driving through the Christmas light display in Spanish Fork, building a gingerbread house, cooking lots of warm and delicious food, and watching a ton of Christmas movies--I'm so excited! Until our next post, lots of love to all of our family and friends.
For those who don't already know, BYU's Homecoming Spectacular was our first date we ever had. Every year since that first date, we have returned to see the program and it is a big hit each time. This year, we got a little dressier and although we looked a little funny next to all the students in their sweatshirts and jeans, carrying their backpacks and the awkward couples on what seemed to be their first dates, we had a lot of fun. It was special for us and it is sometimes fun to get dressed up and go somewhere. The show was amazing as always and I was personally excited about Jenny Oaks Baker being one of the feature performers. She makes me want to play my violin! We definitely enjoyed being together reliving our first date since we may not have that opportunity again in a very long time. We're also getting ready and excited for pumpkin carving again this year! We'll keep you updated on all of the Halloween festivities.
The last week has been a lot of fun for us. My parents came into town for the blessings of my niece and nephew and were also here for the 4th of July and my sister's birthday. It was a lot of fun going to the parade and seeing my niece and nephew watch it for the first time. Well, it was really just fun to hang out with everybody in general and play with the babies. The weekend was nice and relaxing (although super hot) and Manuel and I have been taking advantage of the warm weather and the last few weeks have gone on Saturday picnics at different parks in the canyon. Even though we are super busy during the week at work and everything else that needs to get done, it's been really fun to get outside on the weekends and enjoy the nature while we can. We're also coming up pretty soon on our 1-year anniversary. We are planning a trip to Vegas but we found out that the PCAT Manuel has to take for pharmacy school is the day of our anniversary. We still want to maybe just spend a night in Salt Lake to get away even if it's not that far. It will be nice anyways to be back in Salt Lake where we were married and take a break before school starts back again. We hope that we can also get some more camping in before the summer ends since our first camping experience together was a little crazy and too cold for comfort. (What can we say, we got a little anxious about camping once we bought our tent and stuff.) We'll update again soon and post some recent pictures.
I am so excited for this new weather we're having! I never realized how depressing the winters can be here. I love seeing the snow-covered mountains in the winter but this year it seemed to be a never-ending sequence of gloomy days. The sun is finally out and I hope it stays out! I am really looking forward to spring and getting out in nature. I also can't wait for us to start going camping this spring and summer--all we need is a tent! Although I don't think I want to stay in Utah long-term, I'm starting to appreciate all that it has to offer and love experiencing the distinction of the seasons (although the extreme winters and summers are hard). I plan on getting out more and taking more pictures too which I'm also excited about. On another note, I wanted to mention something new that has peaked my interest. The other day, I was reading an article in the school newspaper about sharing the gospel via blogging. I have been thinking about what a great idea that is for more members of the Church to share their thoughts, feelings, and testimonies about the gospel with others. Since there is so much negative material out there about the Church, I thought what a great idea it would be for more members to take advantage of the opportunity to simply share their own beliefs with others. So, Manuel and I will soon be starting a blog where we can do just that. Thank goodness for springtime and the gospel!
I thought I'd give an update on our life since I realized it has certainly been a while since we last posted anything. Life has been busy as always but we've been having some fun too. School started again in January and I'm already looking forward to the end. Who doesn't already know that I'm ready to graduate?! Luckily, I only have one semester after this which I will be taking next winter semester after deferring this fall. Because there are certain classes that I have to take which are only offered during certain semesters, I thought it would be better to take all of what I have left at once rather than taking a few credits one semester and a bunch the next. For the time I won't be in school, I will be working full-time at my new job. I recently started working at a dental office in Orem and am loving it. I work mostly at the front desk, filing charts, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, etc. occasionally working in the back charting perio, but the best thing is that I get to use my Spanish-speaking skills a lot. The job, along with my calling in our Spanish-speaking ward, has helped me to get a lot more experience and I've definitely seen myself improve. I love being able to work with people from all over Latin America. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I can actually say I'm bilingual. It's pretty cool to know that I can communicate well in two different languages and it's a great feeling of satisfaction. Manuel is currently working on his paperwork to become eligible for a work permit and to get his residency. I have a feeling that it's not going to be that easy but it will be nice when he can finally have more opportunities once he's able to work off-campus. As of lately, Manuel has decided that Chiropractics isn't exactly what he wants to do after some careful investigation and shadowing with a chiropractor here in Provo. Now he is leaning more towards pharmacy or optometry. Either way, I know he'll do great at whatever he wants to do and I'm proud of him for having the ambition and determination to continue studying and working towards a successful career. After all, we know that's not me! Manuel and I also recently celebrated 6 months of marriage. Some days it feels like we've known each other for forever and other days, I can't believe how fast these 6 months have gone by. I am truly grateful for Manuel--he is such a wonderful husband and I honestly couldn't imagine a day without him. I'm grateful that we help each other and balance each other with our different strengths and we're able to get through our challenges by making sure we put each other first. One of my new favorite activities has been cooking. I absolutely love it! I don't know what happened to me but when I first moved to college, I hated cooking. I wasn't used to it and I didn't know how to do it so I usually ate out or made whatever was easy. Thanks to my all-day Saturday marathons of Food Network, I've picked up a lot of great tips, and love experimenting with several new recipes. Manuel's dad made a comment, however, that he really enjoyed a meal I made but too bad he wouldn't be eating that again...that's because I almost never make the same thing more than once! Aside from school and work, Manuel and I are really big movie buffs. We mostly rent them because by the time Friday night comes after we're done with school, we're so tired that we end up losing any motivation to actually go out and do something. It's also been hard with all the snow and cold weather. We've been wanting to go bowling for a while so hopefully we will go one of these days. I can't wait until it gets warmer in the spring and we can have picnics and do more things outdoors. We also hope to be getting an additional car someday soon which will likely allow us more opportunities to get out of Provo once in a while. I especially can't wait until we can visit our niece and nephew more often because I miss them like crazy!