Monday, July 27, 2009

The Move

Let's be honest: blogging is not my forte. I know I saw that everytime I blog, so I think I'll just trust that the rest of you have already realized this and quit stating the obvious. Once again, I blame it on lack of pictures. Actually, we have tons of pictures to post, but I feel lame blogging without them and as our camera cords are somewhere in the stack of boxes in the garage...

What has happened since last I posted? Oh so much! First of all, we left Utah June 19th to begin our first move/trek across the country in Justin's non-air-conditioned car towing a little trailer. To prepare ourselves for the anticipated heat, we bought two little fans and a pack of 18 washcloths to keep damp in the cooler on the ice (for our necks/heads if needed), lots of water/gatorade, and we bought do-it-yourself tinting at Wal-mart. Day 1 was pretty good. The weather was nice, it was driving through Utah and Wyoming and we didn't ever have to break out the washcloths. That tinting CHANGED OUR LIVES. We were doing really good driving-wise, so we ended up driving to Omaha in a long, 14-hr day. Spent the night at a hotel there, but when we left in the morning we realized we were definitely in humid, mid-west country now. The rest of the way to Willard, MO (outside Springfield, where Justin's family lives) was hot, humid, and we were so set on reading Harry Potter that we didn't want to roll the windows down as it would hurt our ability to read out loud and also that it might mess up the tint. Anyways, that was a pretty miserable day. Thank goodness for the wonder that is ice in washcloths, cold beverages that replenish fluids and quench thirst, and the glory that two fans can provide. Plus a loving, patient, thoughtful husband who is more concerned for my own comfort than how hot he might be. That's some serious love. Anyways, got to Willard, took showers, and suddenly birds were singing and flowers were blooming again. Had an EXCELLENT visit there. Stayed Saturday afternoon through early (4 am) Thursday morning. Stayed for Father's Day, went to Andy's custard place, Lambert's Cafe (AMAZING), and the Bass Pro Shop headquarters. SO much fun. Unfortunately, all good visits must come to an end, so we woke up super super early Thursday morning after deciding that we would rather die than drive the 12 hours to Peachtree City, GA entirely in daylight hours. And after chastisement from both sets of parents, decided we'd also roll the windows down.

Oh my goodness, parents are so wise! You know how you go through phases in your life where you say "oh, I'm a college graduate (with two degrees, thank you very much), I'm married, we hitched up this trailer (Justin did), I have a grown-up job, I can figure out what's the best way to stay cool as we move across the country while still being able to read Harry Potter aloud..." Well, then you have a miserable day and realize you should listen more to the adults around you who have been saying something else all along. Yay for humbling, learning moments. Plus they make good stories to tell to future generations, right? My grandkids will say "tell us the story of when you and Grandpa moved across the country without airconditioning" and their eyes will go wide and they'll be so impressed that we had the strength and courage to do that. They'll probably call us modern day pioneers. Cool.

So the last day of driving was bearable. Hot, but bearable. SO glad we left so early in the day. We definitely drove through the Ozarks of Arkansas and saw tons of little po-dunk towns. We stopped for gas at this one place where it literally took 20 minutes to pump 3 gallons. The numbers literally crawled. Funny, but not at the moment. It was pretty scenery though!?

Anyways, so we get to GA and take a shower and eat and enjoy playing with my family. We unloaded the trailer into a nice little spot my mom cleaned out for us the in garage and returned the trailer. Went to the pool with Claire, got fried, then left on Sunday morning for our long-awaited, much-belated HONEYMOON at Disney World!!! Yay! The post on that will be coming next. I need to take a break first.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

purple background and flowers?

So... As Erin mentioned we are not the greatest at blogging and I am definitely the worse of the two. So I recently looked out our blog and found a purple background and flowers. I had not minded previously since we had just gotten married and it "matched" the theme or whatever, but purple backgrounds and flowers? Seriously? So I made a slight change to make it more masculine without going over the top. I guess this is just my way of trying to delay the life and style makeover that is inevitable. Good luck all you men with blogging wives. Hope you like pink bunnies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We move in 9 days!

That's right folks, the Justin and Erin Badger clan are moving out in 9 days... crazy how time flies!?!

Well, by now you've figured out that we're not very good bloggers. I attribute this to a lot of things. Here's my list of excuses:
1- Busy! I know you all agree that life gets busy and blogging falls down the list of things to do.
2- We don't have the internet at our apartment. Therefore, when we're doing nothing but watching the Food Network late at night, we can't blog at the same time. So when we do have the internet is when we're at work and should be doing other things.
3- We don't have the internet. Meaning that it's a pain to get pictures posted. And let's be honest- blogs are best with pictures.
4- We haven't even loaded our pictures onto our laptops. So even if we had internet, we wouldn't have pictures to post.
5- I'm finishing my thesis. Meaning that I'm losing my mind. And my eyesight. Staring at a computer screen for 7 or 8 hours a day isn't exactly healthy in my opinion.
6- Justin's working and applying for jobs. Another 7 or 8 hours on the computer for him. Ditto.
7- I tried using our local public library to post on our blog, but they don't have blog access. As in the library blocks it. So a lazy day at home can't translate into a day to catch up on blogs.
8- Once you get so far behind, you reach the stage where you think "what's the point? Might as well not try to catch up now..."
9- I wish I could come up with other fun, cute reasons why we haven't been blogging. To be honest, we're not very good journal writers either. We definitely do want to improve though.
10- what would any kind of list be without a number 10? And for the excuse that is number 10- we don't really have one.

Here's a reader's digest version of what's been going on in our lives since the last post, and we'll just put a bunch of pictures up later:

We've now been married for almost 2 1/2 months. Man does time fly! We LOVE being married and definitely recommend it to anyone seeking fun and adventure.

Speaking of adventure - remember the fun we had moving into our cute little basement apartment? Well, we have a spider problem. A major spider problem. As in we've caught over 100 in the past month. We have two basic varieties: skinny yellow ones that are on the walls/ceiling for the most part, and thicker black ones that can get to quarter-plus size. Justin killed a black one on Monday that was larger than the circle of touching the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pointer finger. LARGER than that. GROSS. Now we've started seeing a more disturbing variety that are red. It's like they're the devil's personal spider assistants. They're really disgusting. Yesterday morning Justin killed one that was slightly smaller than that one humongous black one. I'm getting really tired of them. We're getting more and more excited to move out.

We've taken to sleeping in the living room. We dragged our mattress out there one day about 5 weeks ago to have a slumber party in front of the beautiful, massive flat screen in our apartment (not ours, the place came furnished), and we've taken up a permanent residence there. It's away from most of the spiders, it comes with a huge tv and a fan. The fan is the kicker, as it's started getting hot and our apartment doesn't have it's own a/c. So to sleep at night, we crank it up really high and just don't think our room could get as cool.

So that's our adventure. We're spider-fighting, slumber-partying animals.

In other news, I defended my thesis in May, passed with revisions, and am on the verge of being done. I'm getting really tired of it and just want to be done so I can move on with my life. Especially since we're moving next week, it'll be a huge push to finish before we go, but I think it's possible. I hope.

We're getting VERY excited to go to Disney World for our official honeymoon, which is more of a 3-month anniversary/first vacation than a honeymoon since it's so far past the wedding. But we're excited anyways. And it worked out perfectly that we'll be going over Justin's birthday (July 2), which is fun b/c this year you get in free on your birthday! So we'll be there for 5 1/2 days, will go to two parks, one water park, and have the rest for lazy days in the sun. We will DEFINITELY post pictures of that. Look for the after the 4th of July.

We've decided that moving is very bittersweet. We're excited to leave our spider-colonized apartment, looking forward to actually getting our own apartment where we'll be for an indefinite amount of time, wanting to break in to our wedding presents (most of them we actually haven't touched yet), thrilled to be going to WDW, anxious about starting new jobs and making new friends... But we're also realizing that we're leaving a lot behind us. Utah has been Justin's home for his whole life. It's been mine for the last 6 years. There are so many people that have been such an important part of our lives, and now we don't get to see them. Yes, we know that the most important ones will keep in touch, and we'll see the ones we make an effort to see, but it's been AWESOME having so many family members so close, and having so many friends that we love. It will just be a little more sad without being able to call friends and play or talk or go out to lunch or shopping or camping or whatever... And yes, we know we'll make new friends that we can do all that stuff with, but this is a shoutout to our friends in utah that we love dearly and will miss very much. Thank you for being such a part of our lives. You've helped define who we are as individuals and as a couple. We've had so many wonderful, amazing experiences with you and we are so grateful to have had you in our lives. We're anxious to continue friendships as we move forward in life, and hope to be Christmas Card friends, cruise buddies, and Disney maniacs with you!

We don't actually know where we'll be living, but for the first little while we'll be living in my parent's basement. So our mailing address will be 180 Jefferson Woods Dr, Peachtree City GA 30269. We still have our same cell phones until further notice.

Moving plans: our target departure day/hour is next Friday, June 19, at 8:00 am. We'll get the uhaul trailer (attached to Justin's car) the day before, have all our stuff boxed up so we can load it on Thursday and clean the apartment Thursday, so all we do on Friday is roll out of bed and go. We're planning on getting almost to Omaha (11 hours-ish) on Friday. Then Saturday we'll go the rest of the way to the Badger's house (Justin's parents/family) in Willard, MO (just outside Springfield - SW corner). We'll spend a few days with them and then probably make the 12-hour drive to Peachtree City on Wednesday. We'll be at my parent's house for a few days then leave for Disney World. We'll check in on Sunday afternoon (june 28th) and check out Friday a noon-ish. We'll be back to PTC just in time to wake up early on Saturday for the 4th of July parade. We'll definitely post pictures of that, if only for pure evidence of the sheer number of golf carts that actually exist in PTC. Some family friends will be driving my car from Utah to GA as their daughter just finished college and is moving back to GA. We definitely lucked out with travel plans!

That's all for now. We might not get to post again until after everything settles down (aka after July 4th). If so, we appologize. Know that we love reading your posts and ours will eventually get to a once-a-week basis. Or almost once-a-week. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yes, we are MARRIED!!!

Happy three weeks and 3 days to us! Yay! So we did get married, and lots has happened since then. Enjoy our update/pictures!

The wedding week was super busy and fun. We flew to GA Tuesday night. Wednesday consisted of getting our marriage license and then various interviews to teach math for me, airport runs for Justin, and then his family also got into town and the boys did tux fittings, the girls went to a hometown bridal shower. Thursday was the day before, and was filled with more airport runs, picking up flowers, setting up the clubhouse for the rehearsal dinner, etc. Again, BUSY! The bridesmaids came over to make bouquets, which was tons o fun. Then we headed over to the family dinner, which was Cafe Pig and SO delicious. It was a nice, relaxing end to a few stressful days, and the first time we'd actually seen each other since getting our marriage license Wed morning. After spending quality time with our family, talking/laughing/crying, we went home to go to bed. At our house I got lots of help with hair/nails from my mom (hair), cousin Shannon (toenails), and cousin Austin (fingernails). Then all the girls at our house did their own nails while I tried going to sleep. Took a while, but finally made it. Justin - I think he was chatting it up with his family at their hotel, not sure what else they did.

We woke up to a thunderstorm on Friday morning, and I faced the disaster that my hair didn't have time to dry in the curlers, and so it didn't take ANY of the curl it was supposed to. Didn't exactly wake up with lots of extra time in the case of such an emergency, so ended up needing and receiving AMAZING help from Katie and Shannon in the make-up department, and then mom finished up the hair. Got to the temple right on time to lots of rain. By the time we got out, it was still pouring, so we decided to just take a few pictures there, and would take lots (hopefully) before the reception, and maybe return to the temple Sunday afternoon.

After the temple, Justin and I went to lunch at Sweet Tomatos, one of our favorite places, and saw our photographer and friend there! Funny :)

Luckily the rain stopped long enough that the patio at the clubhouse was dry enough to use for the reception, and we were able to take lots of pictures! It was very surreal, it was OUR reception! It was a lovely reception, and we actually found time after the line ended to sit down and EAT! Yay! The food was FANTASTIC, the cakes were divine, and everything was just perfect! What a wonderful day! We really feel blessed to have had the perfect, amazing day that was better than either of us could've imagined. Here are some of our favorite pictures - enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I love ads

So for a while I have been wanting to create a blog dedicated to creative marketing or pr campaigns or ads that I have come across and today I did it. The address is,
I just have a couple postings but they are a couple commercials and stuff that I think are pretty creative. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life after Disney World not as magical, but pretty close. We realize we haven't blogged since Christmas Break (sorry!), and that life is happening way too fast for us to be allowed to get so far behind. So here's the last few months in a few paragraphs (pictures to come later when I have more time):

The rest of Christmas Break: yes, there was a whole other week after Disney that we haven't talked about. It was a busy, good week. Tuesday was Adam's birthday, and to celebrate we all went to the temple, me and Scott included :) What a wonderful place to be to celebrate family! On New Year's Eve my dad was the DJ for a super swanky party in the Four Season's Hotel. Did I say swanky?! Justin, Mom, and I got to go help, eat food, and help people dance. Once they got enough alcohol in them, they were quite the party animals and it was SO fun to be there. The food was also FANTASTIC - I recommend the Four Season's Hotel to anybody who would ask. The rest of the week was spent playing with family, looking for internships, doing some wedding prep (centerpieces, florists, etc.).

Got back to Utah and I started school again. This semester I am teaching MathEd 306 again (Mathematics for Elementary Ed Majors - we cover algebra, fractions, and probability) and loving it. I'm also working on my thesis full time, which is nice b/c I don't have other classes to worry about, but bad b/c there's nothing to break up the monotony of working on one thing, all day long, week after week... Luckily at this point I'm very near the home stretch and life is much happier :) Justin is doing two internships: one for an experiential marketing agency in Riverton (south of SLC) and enjoying himself there. Our favorite thing he's done so far was Disney On Ice, which we got to attend and loved. His other internship is teaching seminary as a student teacher for 9th graders in Riverton. Not as fun as the high school, he says, but it's getting better with most every day. January 14th, Mom and Scott were here and we all took Scott to the MTC (pics to be uploaded later). Update on him: this morning he was in the airport on his way to Columbia (yes folks, he'll be there by the end of today!) and I got to talk to him via mom holding two phones up to each other. He sounds fantastic and wonderful and it was delightful to talk to him!

At the beginning of February a lot of the Houghtaling cousins/aunts were in town for Kendall's play - Beauty and the Beast (yes of course she was Belle and she ROCKED it). That weekend we had a family bridal shower, which was so fun. There are pics to be uploaded, but I'll save that for when I have more time. TONS of fun, amazing food, the best people, the best a bride could ask for! :)

The semester has just flown by, and now we find ourselves with only 11 DAYS left until we get married!!! We are beside ourselves with excitement and definitely ready for next Friday to just get here already :) One thing we were talking about the other day is how much we've loved being engaged. We'd heard SO many people tell us that being engaged was so stressful and not fun and that they hated it. We've actually really enjoyed it a lot. We think that a lot of those people hated being engaged because A- they were so stressed with planning a wedding in a few short months that their lives were overrun with wedding plans and school and other stuff and their relationship wasn't as fun b/c of it, and B- they were so anxious to get married they forgot to stop and smell the roses and enjoy their life in the moment. We decided not to let wedding plans overrun our lives by not talking about them constantly, and we tried our best to continue going on dates and having fun together amidst all that was happening around us. As a result, we've learned tons of new card games from friends, been able to go to the temple as a couple almost every week, had fun experiences trying out new things together in the kitchen, and luckily we've had 5 months for all the wedding plans and have been fortunate to be able to spread those out so there wasn't really a crunch time that caused lots of stress. I will say, however, now that we're down to 11 days, I find myself just wishing the days would fly by and we could go ahead and be married :) So maybe I'm a hypocrite, but I stand by the fact that being engaged can and should be a wonderful, happy, delightful time in every couple's relationship and that it's their perspective and choices that will determine their experience. So good luck, make the most of it, and be sure to ENJOY it!

The next 11 days will definitely be full enough to keep us busy. My schedule is pretty packed, which means that the days WILL fly by. Today is Monday, I have meetings and lots of thesis work to get done b/c I'm taking all of next week off, and the following week is when my final FINAL draft is due to my advisor. Augh! Wednesday is BYU's teacher fair, which means that hundres of school systems from across the country will be here looking for teachers. Katie and I will both go, and I'll try to get as many contacts, interviews, and offers as possible. Last time I walked away with three job offers on the spot. Hopefully we'll be so lucky this time. Then Thurs/Fri I finish moving out of my apt and into our little basement apt (that's for another post - we'll attach pics and stuff once we're all moved in). Fri/Sat my cousin Kendall is in Utah's State Junior Miss competition, so we'll attend that in support of her amazingness. Saturday morning I'm presenting twice at BYU's CPMS Spring Research Conference, which is fun but stressful. Justin has to work that afternoon. Sunday is our last day at church as single people :) Monday is last minute wedding details, then on Tuesday we fly to GA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're practically there already - how awesome is that?!?!? Yay for being busy so much that it makes time go a little bit faster.

Honeymoon plans: we'll spend the weekend in Atlanta and then come back to Utah Monday evening (missing more than one week for both of us would be suicide). Then at our 3 month anniversary we're going to DISNEY WORLD (can you honestly say you were surprised?) and are SO excited about it! Obviously we've never been just the two of us on a romantic, magical vacation, so if any of you have input on what to do when you're doing disney the romantic, magical way versus the crazy, magical Houghtaling way... please let us know :)

This may be our last post as single people, if so, chiao!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Break

We've been meaning to blog about our Christmas break for some time now... Warning: only so much can be said in a blog about two weeks of fun, and then we cross into the book-writing territory. So here are the highlights:

It all started the end of finals week when Justin went home to GA without the rest of us (reason: bought flights at different times, it was over $100 less for him to go one day early). He got to GA and partied with the Houghtalings until the rest of us got there. Katie, Scott, and I flew out on Saturday morning, the day of Dad's 50th birthday. Our trip was dramatic and stressful, starting with a cab that didn't show to take us to the airport at 4:15am. We made all our flights, thank goodness, and arrived in perfect time to meet some of our favorite family friends at Carrabbas for a surprise birthday dinner for Dad.

Sunday morning we set out for Disney, 8 people in one Explorer. Lots of fun :) Got to Disney, checked into Old Key West, unpacked, and set out to ride the bus and the monorail around the Seven Seas Lagoon at Magic Kingdom and around Epcot, to preview the Disney magic. It was, of course, SO magical - mostly because we got to ride in the front of the monorail with the driver, who let Justin ring the horn!!! Very cool! That night our family reunion t-shirts were unveiled, the glory of which can not humanly be described. I had to include this picture of Scott sleeping because of the angle his head is at - unhuman and rediculously hilarious.

Monday: Epcot. We worked it hard and did most everything we wanted to do. Favorites: where do we start? Test Track, Soarin', the countries (given), The Land, Turtle Talk... The one thing we didn't like was the cold. Good thing mom had the foresight to make one of our shirts be long sleeved!
Tuesday: Magic Kingdom. For those of you west-coasters, Magic Kingdom and Disneyland are practically the same thing. It started warming up in the day (70's), and was SO nice. Highlights: Dad got to sing with his dream-retirement-job-quartet-singers, Laugh Floor (like Turtle Talk with Crush, but times 100 in size and funniness b/c it's with Monster's Inc. monsters), the mountains with brave Grammy, and especially the fireworks when Justin gave me an early Christmas present of the other Cinderella's slipper I've been missing since my parents gave me the first one when I turned 16. Yes, I cried. Yes, Justin's amazing and the best EVER.Wednesday: Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) This park is dedicated to the big screen and so so much fun. Highlights: Tower of Terror, Rock N' Roller Coaster, Lights Motors Action Stunt Show, eating a Mickey Bar, the Pixar Parade, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playset, the boys and Grammy being in the stunt show, and of course Fantasmic. It was in the 80's and so we were hot, baby!

Wednesday night was Christmas Eve, which means, of course, PAJAMAS!! Since we were at Disney, mom just had to go with the theme :)

Christmas Day was relaxing. We slept in, had Christmas breakfast, took family pictures, went shopping, had dinner, went swimming (because it was, of course, 80 degrees again)... Good Christmas! So my dad had a goal this year to lose 50 pounds by his birthday - "50 by 50." He TOTALLY reached it, and so decided to show off his new figure by stepping behind the light pole so everybody could have something to compare to. Way to go dad!

On Friday we went to the Animal Kingdom. Perfect park for the last day, when you've been running around like crazy people all week. Highlights: Lion King Show, Grammy riding the craziest ride ever (Expedition Everest), Claire taking a million pictures everywhere, Justin getting SOAKED on the water ride, and the safari.
We stopped at a hotel halfway back to GA and finally returned home on Saturday. WHAT an AMAZING trip!! A HUMONGOUS thanks goes out to my parents, without whom this trip would NOT be possible, who are the teachers and believers of Disney magic, and the most generous people I know. Yay for you!
And here are a few (ahem, a lot) more of my favorite pictures/memories!!!

Wedding Countdown

So, as can be expected we are both getting pretty excited for our wedding. I am hoping that knowing exactly how much time is left until the big day will help me see the time passing and feel like it is coming faster. So if you are wanting to know exactly how much time is left check out the widget on the right hand side. Get excited ya'll!!!