Should we name new kitty Jax or Fivel?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let There Be Beds!

Alright, so it's been a month...and today I finally got the bedding set for both rooms. The lighting is bad and the beds aren't made well, but I just wanted to post some pictures to prove I've been busy :) Furniture shipments are coming this week, and I still need to find a few odds and ends, but it's finally coming together!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Blind Date at the Bowling Alley

It was so much fun to re-live freshman memories at Ashley's this weekend. I got the opportunity to tell my Bowling Alley story, and realized some people may not know here it is.

It was early March, 2002. Ashley and I were walking home from ASL class, and she said hi to this really cute boy. I told her I wanted her to set us up. So she talked to him and planned a double date, (he set her up with his friend). The plan was to go bowling and get ice cream.

Up until this point, Joe and I had not talked too much. I admired him from afar; he was in Ashley's FHE group and was my friend Tessa's home teacher. So sometimes I would try and make joint FHE activities with Ashley's group, or happen to be "hanging out" with Tessa before her home teachers showed up. I couldn't tell if Joe was clueless or uninterested or just as chicken as I was to have a good conversation with him.

Anyway, Joe worked at the bowling alley freshman year, so I made Ashley call to reserve lanes because I was afraid to. We showed up, and he gave us a great deal. After we got our shoes, I took mine back up because they didn't fit right. Joe looked at my shoe size, and let me borrow his very own bowling shoes; I was totally flattered :) Throughout the night, he would come over to our group and bowl me a strike when it was my turn. Then he would just hang out and talk to me. But the very best part of the night was when I went to return Joe's shoes to him. After he took them, he kissed my hand! I think my date was in the bathroom or something (or who knows...I had forgotten about him by now,) but I think that was the beginning of "us."

I went out for ice cream with my original group, but couldn't get this kid out of my head. We had a whirlwind 7 weeks full of phone calls, movies, concerts, bowling trips, meals at the CougarEat, and late night drives through the canyon. I knew then that I wanted to marry Joe. And 4 years later, after a night at the bowling alley, I did! Love you baby!

"New York is like DC on Steroids"

This weekend I jumped on the bus and saw my friend Ashley in NYC. Ashley lived across the hall from me freshman year in the dorms, and she is one of my most favorite people ever. It's crazy to think it was almost 7 years ago that we started our lives at BYU, and it's fun to live "close" to her again. She lives right on Wall Street in Manhattan (these are all things I just learned, so I still think it's cool to say them). The NYSE and the church from National Treasure are on the same block as her building.

I told her I wanted to take it easy for the weekend and didn't want her to feel pressured to do too much tourist-y stuff. So on Saturday (after Ashley made me breakfast,) we took the Staten Island ferry and saw the Statue of Liberty on the way. Then we took the subway to Rockefeller Center. We also walked around 5th Avenue, Central Park, and Times Square.

That night we went out to dinner with her friend Brenda and managed to watch a Romantic Comedy, a scary movie, and a documentary on North Korea. Yes, we were movie connoisseurs on Saturday. On Sunday we took the subway to church. Sacrament meeting was on the 4th floor; very cool! When we got home, some friends came over, and we made chocolate chip/wheat pancakes and blueberry/white pancakes. And when I say "we," I mean Brenda made the batter and Ashley cooked them and I helped eat them. YUM! Then we all sat around and talked for about 3 1/2 hours until it was time for birthday cake and ice cream at another apartment in the building. Ashley and I watched another movie and stayed up talking some more. It was sooooo nice to catch up and have someone to talk to! It's also neat to see where our lives have taken us. No longer are the days of vending machine binges, jumping the fence to run laps around BYU's track at 3am, and sleeping through afternoon classes. Today we slept in, then went to look at Ground Zero (also a very short walk from Ashley's).

After lunch and packing up, Ashley went with me to Chinatown so I could find my bus. And now I'm home; back to reality. It was fun while it lasted.




Other NYC photos here

Oh, and the title of the post came from Joe. This trip marked my first "bus trip," and each happened to take off from a Chinatown. Today I texted Joe "DC's Chinatown aint got nothin on New York's." And his reply became the title for my post.

New neice!

Baby Eva joined cousin Nathan this week in coming to Earth. I think May is shaping up to be another January in terms of birthdays in the Cramer family!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Non-Complaint Blog

I feel like I've been complaining a lot, but there are a ton of things to not complain about:

1) My hair is not dry anymore like it was in Utah. Hairspray is much more effective and hairstyling overall is much better for me here than it was there.

2) My skin is not used to get really dry and then whatever moisturizer I would use would burn it and it was sad.

3) Our condo is amazing. I have never heard my neighbors. In Parkway there were skateboarders and softball players in the halls, a rock band downstairs, and elephant races upstairs.

4) My co-workers are all so nice. I've only been here 2 1/2 weeks (and haven't dealt with anything too crazy,) but everyone is really accommodating and willing to take phone calls when I don't know how to explain something quite yet.

5) I get free HD channels on our TV. Granted, the TV is up on a crate and the HD antennae is covered in tin foil and sitting on a step ladder (ghetto!) but it's awesome. Free, good quality TV!

I really am so happy here. I've been furniture browsing and shopping, got to paint some walls (I promise pictures as soon as there's something worth taking a picture of), and get to paint some more. The only piece that's missing is some familiar faces (or just one; Joe). But this weekend I get to see my old roommate Ashley in New York, and Ben, Shauna and the boys are coming to DC in 2 1/2 weeks.  Good times ahead.

Monday, May 19, 2008

So today I decided to shake things up a bit...

...and get on the wrong metro. I was so excited to see a metro at the bottom of the escalator that I just got on it and didn't bother to notice it was the blue line, not the orange like I needed. I couldn't hear the driver over the speakers (which happens 99% of the time,) so I didn't notice until I saw the sunshine WAY too early in my commute that I was headed south instead of west. I was very smooth, and was able to find my way back to a transfer station then take my designated orange line (now super, duper full of people) back home. Then I took a nap; the whole thing exhausted me.

This is my usual route.
This was my alternative route today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Transportation lessons I've learned in DC/VA

-The Metro doors WILL close on you. They will open so you can keep squeezing in, but they will first try to smush you.
-Sometimes roads are known by 2 different names. Sometimes they have one name until they run into another street with a different name. Sometimes there will be 2 streets with the same name. Apparently everyone out here is okay with this.
-There are 3 escalators from the Metro to the street. In the morning, 2 of them are moving toward the street and 1 is moving away from the street. In the evening, the opposite is true. It took me 2 weeks to put this one together.

New nephew!

Joe's sister Carrie had her baby boy last night/this morning. Liz is due in 5 more days and will add a girl to the Cramer grandkids, bringing the total to 10!

Monday, May 12, 2008

SUPER HUGE UPDATE #4: We made it!

Somehow our flight got in early (when does that EVER happen??) and we got into Falls Church around 8:30am. We went to breakfast down the street then supervised our Relocubes getting delivered. We managed to take a pretty restless nap in our car before our Realtor came over to do a final walk-through at the condo. Closing was a breeze; all the papers were explained to us and signed in less than an hour. And then we owned a condo!

We spent a few hours at the mall so Joe could use the wireless internet and I could try and get a new cell phone. While we were gone, we got 2 or 3 phone calls about our Relocubes in the parking lot of our complex. Apparently an addendum had been added to our condo documents stating that storage containers were not allowed in our complex (even though when we came to look at the condo, there was a moving truck the size of a semi taking up 10 spaces...whatever). We felt like we had moved into Del Boca Vista (Seinfeld, anyone?) and I wasn't thrilled at the idea of getting fined our first 10 hours in our new place. So we buckled down and, with the help of Joe's friend Matt Orr, moved EVERYTHING in less than 2 hours. Booyah, Del Boca Vista.

With the hideous Relocubes trucked away, Joe and I managed to catch up on much-needed sleep, unpack, make sure our gas and electricity didn't get turned off, get a new cell phone, and sign up for the internet. On Saturday, Lew was in town and able to be our first overnight guest! Sadly, we only had a floor for him to sleep on...but I should have known that would work (Joe can fall asleep on just about any surface).

Joe left Sunday, May 4th. I started my job on the 5th. I'm still not quite on a schedule, and the unpacking/painting/buying furniture/cleaning overwhelms me a bit at times. I also miss Joe like crazy, but he's traveling for work anyway so it's not like he could be here with me ALL the time :) I'm getting excited for things like picking colors to paint rooms and getting the mattresses delivered. There's a grocery store that's less than a 5 minute walk away, and a car rental place nearby, too. I mean, that's all you really need in life: money, food and transportation.



I had the amazing opportunity to watch 2 little boys for the last year. I learned as much from them as I hope I was able to teach them. They made me smile every day, and I miss them so much already!

SUPER HUGE UPDATE #2: Leaving Orem

After packing up, the last week in Utah kind of flew by. We were able to enjoy a few things:

A Ben Folds concert with our bestest friends Emily, Jared and Marcus.

I stole this photo from Emily; it's Ben rockin out.

Our last Provo party that promised (and delivered) something we had never seen happened to be someone jumping his dirt bike over a house. He made it (barely).

An anniversary dinner at the Melting Pot; cool chocolate...

...and yummy things to dip in it!

This was just the end of our dinner. We had a cheese appetizer then like a million things for our entree. It kept us full for our overnight flight into Dulles for sure!


Moving was quite the challenge for Joe and me. I don't know if you've noticed, but we're both amazing procrastinators. As much as we try to get things done the right way, we always end up scurrying at the end. The move was no exception, and since I lost my cell phone 2 days before we left, we ended up spending even more time not moving than usual. Somehow we got it done and managed to not kill each other and/or collapse from exhaustion.

"Joe's Room" was converted into a packing room.

Joe on one of his 100+ trips down to the Relocubes with boxes on a dolly.

The fan didn't quite make it. The cord got caught in the elevator doors and snapped off!
Cousin Erica who came and watched our stuff while we moved. You would never guess she had her own moving and finals to deal with :)

The only friends we made at Parkway, the Peterson's. We'll miss them so much, but appreciate them forwarding our mail since we've been gone.

Almost all packed up...

...and not a moment too soon!!

Dan and Nicole also came one night to help, and we received many other offers. We really would not have made it without our friends! ABF was great to work with, and we our Relocubes were picked up and dropped off when they were supposed to be!

Updates are Lacking

So I haven't had the internet yet at our condo. It's sad, but not as sad as when I had no internet, TV or cell phone for a few's amazing I came out of that alive. The internet guy (i.e. a representative from Cox) is supposed to come by tonight and help me with the modem that doesn't want to connect to the internet, so hopefully I will start blogging again soon.

The new job is awesome. I'm slowly learning all the programs and to-do's, but everyone I work with is super nice. When I'm not at work, I'm painting our condo. It's looking pretty awesome, so I will post pictures soon. I also finally ordered some mattresses so I can stop sleeping on the blow-up bed. The other furniture will come in as I either a) get access to a car to pick it up, or b) can go look at items in person and have them delivered (also requiring car access).

Joe is working hard in Orlando this week. I miss him, but we've been able to talk every night so yay!