Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moving Moving Moving

Here are some pictures from our recent moving adventures- I know there are some anxious family members out there who want to know how things are going. We are not totally moved in yet, but some rooms are getting settled into. We have some small additions to add here and there, but you will get the gist of things. So here you go!

Jon and Dad were fantastic movers! All of our belongings in a 10 foot truck... (minus a box or two unknowingly left at home, oops!)

This is our little kitchen [dishwasher not shown], I love it already.

This is the start of us organizing the closet. We bought 80 hangers and are still in need of more- luckily there is a lot more space for us to utilize.

One side of our living room.... please note the cute shelves Jon put up. It took a few tries and patches, and was originally very discouraging, but now we are so glad we have them up. We will be adding some color to this beige room, it looks a little bare right now.

Other side of our living room- I love this mantel and fireplace. And the temple picture looks so good up there! Once we get our missing box I will put a wedding picture or two on that mantel. (PS we made those name blocks, we are pretty proud of them)

This is our ikea desk that we bought and put together. We think it is pretty fantastic. It is currently in our bedroom and that seems to be just the spot for it. It is a nice big size (to us) and will be perfect for studying.

Well, thats all that is finished at the moment. More pictures to come later, and hopefully updates of small improvements along the way.

Thanks for taking our tour. Hope you enjoyed it!

Power of Prayer

As we've gone through this recent move one main thought has occurred to me over and over again. Mainly, that it took many small miracles to get us where we are right now. Those small miracles were direct answers to our prayers and have been tender mercies of the Lord.

Today as I pondered what I was going to write about, it felt very clear what I should share- first, as a record for myself, and second as a testament to others. The power of prayer is real. It can change, influence, and improve our lives.

Here is a small prayer journal- some things small, some big, that have occurred in the last few months, weeks and days.

Prayer #1: Please help us appreciate our time at home and make the best of it.

I was so concerned about moving home- I was afraid that we would become bad company too quickly, our families would tire of us or we would tire of them, that there would be conflict or concern where there shouldn't be. I thought that Jon and I would get lost trying to balance two loving families at the same time.

What I discovered was that being home at this point in our lives was a gift from our Heavenly Father. It came into my mind that this opportunity may never come again, especially not at the same time that Jon's brothers were home for the summer. Jon and I grew closer to each other's families, we understood each other better, and we created a strong foundation for our future relationships. My mom mentioned that she always thought I left home too early- being only 17 when I left for college. She thought this time at home made up for that loss.

Prayer = Answered

Prayer #2: Please help us find a job.

This one has been difficult and still is difficult. But Jon has found a job, and while it is part time we are so incredibly grateful for this opportunity. It has been a humbling experience and has taught us to rely more fully in God.

Prayer = Answered

Prayer #3: Please help us find a place to live.

Jon and I went apartment hunting a few weeks ago. It took all day, was incredibly hot, and it became very tiring. All of the apartments we looked at seemed to mush together and it didn't seem there was anything that was terrible, but there also wasn't anything great.

The next day Jon went to an all day employment workshop and I was going to continue apartment hunting on my own. I don't know why, but I was really nervous about this. I felt I seemed vulnerable, people wouldn't take me as seriously on my own or I wouldn't know the right questions to ask. I popped in a CD of hymns as I drove around looking- it calmed my nerves and I felt as though the Savior himself was nearby as I searched for a home for us.

Of course, we found an apartment we are very happy with. It took a lot of paper work, a lot more prayers, and we were crossing our fingers that Jon would get the job so that we could also get our apartment. It worked out perfectly, and in a timely manner.

Prayer = Answered

Prayer #4: Please help us find a way to furnish our apartment without spending all of our savings.

The answer to this prayer comes in many parts.

A. We were able to sell our furniture in Utah due to a small miracle- we planned on reusing that money for our new furniture.

B. I searched craigslist endlessly, and felt guided to not to respond to reasonable ads, and to take a certain interest in some that I may not have due to the influence of the spirit.

C. I saw an ad for some couches that looked decent, upon arrival the man selling them asked what we felt comfortable paying, I offered the price that we had gotten for our furniture in Utah. He offered us $50 less. It was a blessing.

D. We needed a bed but were not finding anything that was working out, and one of our offers fell through. The day of our move we found a bed that we could buy at the very same price that we had sold ours.

We came out even with the furniture we sold and bought.

Prayer = Answered

These things may seem small, or maybe coincidental rather than small miracles, but to us they are very very real.

We have done our best to establish our relationship on good principles and making our home a place that reflected those principles has been very important to me. We are ready for our new start and our new way of life.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I am having such mixed feelings with this upcoming move. Sometimes I am sure it could not come soon enough, other days I wonder why I was so anxious to leave. The truth is I am sad to move further away from our families, I have genuinely enjoyed having such easy access to them. At the same time- I am ready to start something new, to progress and move forward.

When I think about it I am not sure there will ever be another time that we will be so close to our families for so long (and with no little kiddos around). It has been really special to strengthen the bonds we have with our own families as well as with each others- I feel closer to the Van Wickle's than ever and I know Jon feels the same about the Tate's. I also want to note that this was the perfect summer to be at home- with Jake and Rory in-between school as well. Jon's brothers are his best friends, no one can make him laugh like they do (including me) and I totally love seeing them all together.

So, tomorrow we make sure everything is packed up, we had our goodbyes with my family tonight and we have them tomorrow night with the VW's. And then Wednesday we move on out. New start, new home, new life. I am so incredibly glad I am doing this with my best friend. He is the one that motivated me to be better in the first place and I know I can do anything with him by my side.

Pictures and new adventures to come...

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Finally we have some news so we can update the blog!

Our trip to Loma Linda proved to be successful. Jon got a job as a tutor- they have specifically requested that he work with students in AP classes and in SAT prep. His main demographic will be high school students but he may work with younger ones for things like basic math.

We are excited about this job opportunity and we think Jon will do well with this particular company. Jon wont be starting out at 40 hours a week- he has to build up his clientèle, but it is possible for him to get up to 40 hours a week. We are planning on "feeling out" the job to decide if he should get a full time job and do this on the side, or work to build up hours with this company.

Either way- we are excited!

While down in Loma Linda we were also able to go apartment hunting. And a-hunting we went. All day long. It took us a couple of days to get a feel for the area and the prices, but I am glad we took our time. I truly feel like I know the area now and can find my way to campus... which will probably be important. Also, we found a great apartment for a fair price. I am so so so excited to have our own place again and make it home.

Here are the perks of our new place:
-it is 3 miles from campus and there are bike paths all around for transportation
-it is right across the street from the behavioral health building where I will be spending much of my time
-the apartment complex borders a 550 acre park that we will have access too (yay!)
-our apartment has a large patio area where I plan on having an outdoor table and chairs
-our specific apartment is right next to a grassy area and one of the pools
-we have a dishwasher and a washer and dryer (hallelujah!)

Needless to say, we've been looking forward to this.

We have had an excellent time at home this last little while and I am not looking forward to leaving our families. It has been great to be so close to the ones we love, sharing so much of our lives together, etc. But I know new adventures await and I know we are making the right move.

We officially move into our new home on August 25th and Jon will start his job shortly thereafter.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Continuing the Job Hunt

Not much has changed since we have been home from our fantastic Hawaii trip. We are continuing the job search and have found some possible leads. Jon is working incredibly hard to find a job and I am proud of him.

He does have an interview this Monday, which is great news! It is not full time but it is a good opportunity and it seems like it would be very enjoyable. Also, interviewing is always good practice, even if the job doesn't work out.

We are getting anxious to start our new life in Loma Linda, but for the time being we are enjoying Goleta. It is so beautiful at this time of year, especially once the early-morning fog burns off.

This past weekend my mom and dad invited Jon, Amy and her friend Mike, and myself on their annual bike ride. They typically do this trip on their anniversary but decided to do it this weekend, inviting all of us. We drove to Carpinteria and rode our bikes a little over 12 miles to Ventura. The ride was nice and flat and right next to the beach. We had lunch in Ventura, wandered around the shops and even spotted some dolphins swimming near shore. Then we hopped back on our bikes and rode back to the car, totaling 25 miles total. It is probably one of my favorite things that we have done since being home.

This week we have enjoyed cooking for our families, continuing some good books and praying for more job opportunities.

Jon and I will go down to Loma Linda this Saturday or Sunday in order to attend church in the ward we plan to be in. Jon will have his interview on Monday and we will also start looking at possible places to live. We also hope to talk to people about jobs while are down there- there is something different about handing someone your resume as opposed to emailing it to them.

Anyway, wish us luck! We are looking forward to the changes that are coming. I will try to do better with my blogging :)