Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brief Update

I apologize for not having pictures, I rarely read blogs that don't include pictures so if you won't read this, it's cool. Apparently I am similar to a six year old in my need to read things with pictures included.

I am averaging one blog post per month so this may just be it for September. I just wanted to write a few things we have done recently since they will inevitably be forgotten by me and my terrible memory.

The main thing that has changed for me is that I started hair school, or cosmetology to be exact. I have wanted to do this for a couple years but we haven't lived in the same place long enough for me to start. It is about a ten-month program if I go full time and since we are here for a year it works out great. I have a picture of me on my first day of school on my phone but since I don't have internet on my phone I don't know how to get it onto the computer. That will have to be a task for another day. School is from 8-4:30 Tuesday through Saturday and it has been quite the change since I spent the last 2 years basically just hanging out while Chris brought home the bacon. I have really enjoyed it so far.

We were able to spend some time with some of Chris's family up in Santa Barbara. The agenda was jammed packed with activities like going to the beach, the zoo, visiting Lanshe friends from Santa Maria, a beach BBQ, games, and Fiesta. It never seems like we have enough time with Chris's side. You Lanshes should just relocate to one place, preferably in the states, so we can get more face time with everyone.

We started attending the Olivenhain Ward, the ward I grew up in. Which is great and weird at the same time. Great in that I know quite a few people already, but weird that I am now interacting with these people as a married adult instead of as an angsty teenager. I wish i could say that people remember me as a happy and friendly child and teenager, unfortunately I was in a pretty grumpy mood for my four years of high school. When I was growing up in this ward I can't ever remember there being young married couples, however, there are now several couples close to our ages and we have already made friends with a few.

Ummmmm, if I think of anything else I will edit this post but that is all I can think of right now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

PSYCH! (Not the TV Show)

So remember how three weeks ago we thought we would be spending the next two years in Berkeley for business school? And remember how two weeks ago we thought we would be spending the next two years in Chicago for business school? Well, plans have changed again my friends. We are now going to spend the next year in San Diego and go to Chicago next fall. That is right. Let me tell you how our plans changed so dramatically in such a short time.

We moved in with my parents in June so Chris could start an internship with a private equity firm down here. He planned on just staying for the summer and hoped the few months of experience would be a good addition to his resume (any experience you can get in PE before business school is very helpful). All the while, we were making plans to move to Berkeley in August but Chris was still hoping to be accepted to Wharton or Booth. Two Mondays ago he was rejected from Wharton but the very next day he got in at Booth.

I spent a couple hours mourning over the things I was looking forward to in Berkeley: friends, warm weather, a nice town, San Francisco, and being closer to family. However, it quickly became clear that Chicago was the better choice for Chris so we accepted their invitation.

While this was happening, the bosses at Chris’s internship asked him if he would consider deferring school for a year to continue working for them as a full-time employee. It seemed easy and harmless to fantasize about staying here for a year because the chances of getting a deferral are very slim. Shockingly, Booth agreed to allow the deferral! Before, when I thought there was no way we would actually stay it seemed so perfect, but once they agreed we actually had to really consider if this was a good decision.

You would think since I am the one from San Diego and I am the one with family here I would be the one that was really pushing to stay. Au contraire. My mind was spinning! Mainly, I just wanted to be sure that Chris would be happy at this company for a year and he would not regret putting school off another year. Chris seemed cool as a cucumber through this process and assured me that both options were good, it is not as if we were choosing between bad and good here. In my opinion, the fact that both decisions are good made it that much harder. After Chris reassured me many times that he thought staying here would be beneficial and he would be just as happy going to school next year, my mind was at ease, mostly.

I know some of you might think this decision is crazy since Chris has worked so hard to get into school for two years now, but we have been very prayerful about it and feel this door was opened to us for a reason.

So I will be spending the next year stocking up on my winter gear and enjoying this wonderful weather and time with my family before we head to Chicago next year. If only we could convince my little sister and her husband to live here for a year too!

At the beginning of the year I told Chris my motto for 2011 was going to be, “good things come to those who wait,” and I feel like that has definitely be true in our lives. I also feel like this sudden and extreme change of plans might be a foreshadowing of the rest of our lives. Yikes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Birthday Time

Holla! I am 25 now. I had a great birthday this year, especially compared to last year when we had been in Shanghai for about 8 days and...I'll just leave it at that. This time I got to celebrate a few days early with my family, and my bff Shelly, in a combined party with my brother (he turned 29). Chris surprised me with a Kindle! I have been reading books using the Kindle app on my ipod for a while, which has been fine, it just means turning the page much more often so the Kindle has been a great improvement.

On my actual birthday Chris treated me to a fine Italian dinner in downtown Encinitas. After dinner we walked a few blocks to the beach to watch the gorgeous sunset.

This summer has been wonderful. I don't think I'll ever get the chance to spend the summer with my family (unemployed and without kids of my own) again. The days have been filled with swimming, games, food, a little golf, and lots of fun, and there are only a few weeks left before we head off to business school. I don't ever want to leave.

Monday, June 6, 2011

We're Moving! Again.

In our three and a half years of marriage we have moved four times and in the next few months we will add two more moves to the list. We will move to Encinitas for the summer and move again in the fall for business school.


Chris's last day at LEK is this Friday. Holla! He just landed a summer internship at a private equity firm in San Diego so we will be living with my parents for two months. Chris got accepted to Haas (Berkeley) for his MBA and is wait-listed at Booth (Chicago) and Wharton (Philadelphia). We are pretty sure we'll be headed to Berkeley for the next two years and I am really excited.

The summer internship starts on Monday, one week. The move will be a gradual one since we are still paying for this apartment and one week is not enough time for me to pack everything.

After our experience in China I have learned to like LA a lot more and I will really miss the friends we have made here. But starting in the fall, if you ever need a place to stay in the San Francisco area give us a call.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can You Tell?

That I have lost my enthusiasm for blogging? Truthfully, I just don't feel like I have anything worth putting up here. No kids, I am not doing anything crafty, and I think I have taken a total of 5 pictures since we have been back in the states.

We do have some good news though. Chris got accepted to Berkeley for his MBA! After being wait-listed at Chicago and Wharton we were beginning to think that business school was not meant for us. The idea of not being two hundred thousand dollars in debt starting to become very appealing though.

Even though I haven't been taking pictures we have been doing fun things.

Back in February:
  • We went to a murder mystery party. It was my first one and I had a great time. Both Chris and I were guilty in the murder. I actually did takes a couple pictures there!
  • I got called to be the head of the Enrichment committee and Chris is the Ward Speech Festival Specialist. He thought they made up the calling just for him because he likes giving talks so much.

  • I went to a couple baby showers and we also attended a concert of classical music with my parents.
  • Our only friends with a house hosted a great barbecue and game night. Thanks Smiths!
  • I went to some more baby showers
  • We drove up to Berkeley for Chris's interview and spent the weekend there
  • Saw the new Jane Eyre movie
  • Another great barbecue
  • And we spent Easter weekend with my family. It was the first time everyone was together since we've been back from China and it was fantastic.

We've also had friends over to play Just Dance 2, enjoyed dinner with friends, family has come up to spend time with us, and we've done other things I didn't write down in my calendar.

I am so glad we are back in the states!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back in the USA and Vietnam in Pictures

I am really happy to be back! Not that I hated China but we had a layover in Vancouver and when I heard people speaking English in the airport I realized how much I missed home.

We are pretty much unpacked in our new place, though I am not unpacking any of our picture frames or other decorations because I am hoping that this is our year for an MBA and that means we will only be here for 6 months. If Chris gets into school I will be sad to leave here since we have family so close and we have made wonderful friends but I will not miss LEK and I am really looking forward to seeing Chris more often.

This post is actually about our Christmas and New Year's trip to Vietnam with Chris's family. so here it goes.

Here we are in the Ho Chi Minh airport just minutes past midnight on Christmas day.

After a few hours of sleep we piled back into the van to drive to the Cu Chi tunnels (Vietnam War site). Thanks Julie for making it feel at least a little bit like Christmas!

If you don't know about the Cu Chi Tunnels (I had no idea what they were) you should look it up. You will find some pretty wild tunnel pictures and learn the history. We all took turns getting into one of the old entrances to the tunnels...Chris decided he needed to mix things up and go in headfirst.

The kids in another old tunnel entrance.

After the tunnels we drove to Cat Tien National Park where we spent two nights. On one of the days we took a really lovely walk through the forest, complete with leech socks. The surroundings in Cat Tien were beautiful but when you find spiders the size or your hand, lizards, snakes, and scorpions in your room I feel like we invaded Nature's space a little.

Also in Cat Tien we visited a primate rehabilitation center and a bear rehabilitation center.

After Cat Tien we headed to Dalat, this was my favorite place. The city is in the hills and was built up by the French years ago so you get this unique France meets Vietnam environment.

What a hunk! Yes, a hunk.

One of the themes of this trip seemed to be the tour guide telling us how easy our next activity was going to be and then 15k through the mountains later you're thinking I really should have worn something different. We did a bike ride, river rafting, and hiking and all three were significantly more difficult then we were led to believe. BTW, that trip was my first and LAST time river rafting.

On our way from Dalat to Nha Trang we did a downhill bike ride which was amazing! I wish we had time to do a few more of those kind of rides.

Our last city was Nha Trang. Our guide told us they had some of the most beautiful beaches in the world...I think the beaches in southern California are prettier than what we saw, but it was still a good time. We got biked around town, Chris and Josh did Zorbing (one of the funniest things to watch), celebrated New Years by playing board games, and went to Monkey Island. Those monkeys can be terrifying but we befriended this one fellow and he would do some fun tricks for some treats.

PS - I don't know why most of the pictures won't allow you to open and enlarge them, sorry!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Homeward Bound

We leave for the US in less than 24 hours. Picture us singing "The Final Countdown" from the Rocky soundtrack.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Belated Holiday Greetings

We spent the holidays with Chris's family in Vietnam. It was a great trip and I'll post more about it soon.

This is us on Christmas day opening our stockings on our van driving from Ho Chi Minh to the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! We are excited to go home in just a few short weeks.