20 months in less than 2000 words (aka: from mexico to mexicans)

Well, we promised you a recap. We probably shouldn’t have done that because…well…goodness knows how long a year and 2/3rds recap can be…and how hard it can be to recall everything.

Oh well – we promised, and you’re gonna get it. And…it may be long – but I’ll try to sum it up as succinctly as possible…which we all know – won’t happen.

Ready? Ok.

We’ll start at the wedding. We got married January 6, 2007, in Tyler. That’s another story in itself – but, needless to say – we ended up married. Woo hoo!

After our first night in Dallas, we spent the rest of our honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico at the Aventura Spa Palace Resort. It pretty much WAS a palace. It was awesome. All the food we could eat, all the drinks we could drink, and a full-blown hot tub in the room. We met some new friends there too. Good stuff.

Unfortunately when we got back to Texas we got hit with the sickness (you know, the kind that comes from drinking sodas with ice in the Mexican airport). I got it first, and Chance got it second. And that’s how we spent the first 48 hours or so in our duplex.

Once we healed and the ice from the ice storm had melted…we started our lives in the ‘real world’. Chance had been hired at Landscapes USA just a few weeks prior to the wedding in a sales/tech monkey position, and I started working for my stepbro Eric at redOrbit.com, writing articles about fish. Fish and cats. We also started going to Southwest Family Fellowship (our church) and met a bunch of cool kids (who we like to call our friends).

I eventually took a job at Maggie ‘n’ Me – a kids’ interior design company in South Austin. I truly loved the ladies I worked for. Things were going well…

And then we met Freddie, the Border Collie. I decided one day to go photograph pups at the animal shelter here, and I happened to stumble upon one who grabbed my heart.

Chance met him and, after a little convincing, loved him too. When we got Freddie he was sick with kennel cough – really bad…but we thought we could ‘heal’ him. The healing process was incredibly long, but he eventually got better, like 2 months later.

Also, it rained the entire month of May.

Mid-summer, Freddie got hurt. I had taken another job assisting a photographer (so, I was working 3 jobs at the time)…and was gone shooting a wedding. Chance was home playing fetch with Freddie and Brewster (our dachshund), when a dead rosebush went through Freddie’s leg and tore the tendons. He had to go to the Emergency Animal Clinic and have surgery. To make a REALLY long story short, after 2 vets, 2 e-collars, 30 trips to the clinic, 200 bandages, and some water therapy…Freddie still needed plenty of time to heal.

He was injured. Injured baaad . {For all its worth, he finally did become famous when this photo was included in Austin Monthly Magazine}

Sometime in the aftermath, I quit Maggie ‘n’ Me. For various reasons, I just couldn’t continue working there – although part of me really wanted to, and still wants to. It just wasn’t feasible.

I also got super sick, and continued to get sick. I was sick at least 6 times in 2007. And I don’t mean minor 2 day cold things. Nope. Sick.

And…Chance quit Landscapes USA – also for a lot of reasons – and was hired at Bill Miller BBQ as a Manager in training.

And…I quit my photographer’s assistant position. After the scare with Freddie…it just wasn’t worth it. [edit: I didn't technically 'quit' - more like 'phased it out']

In October, we began a house search. By then, Freddie’s leg had healed, but his paw pad was splitting – just another fun doggie drama situation. The house search was quite quick. Our realtor, Candace Christiansen, is amazing. After a couple of weeks of research on neighborhoods, and seeing 3 houses, we found our home. Technically, ours was the second house we looked at, on our first and only day truly ‘house shopping’. We moved in at the beginning of November and haven’t looked back. It’s only about 8 minutes from our old duplex, so it made moving fairly easy.

Thanksgiving was interesting, due to Chance’s new work schedule. We didn’t get to go to either of our homes, but we went to Chance’s Aunt Ann’s instead. And it was a TON of fun with lots of good food and family. It was nice.

I decided to get my thyroid tested, with all the sickness/fatigue/etc going on…something had to be up.

Christmas was also the same crazy yet cool phenomenon. Chance had to work on Christmas Eve, so we decided to start a new tradition (which technically won’t be a tradition until we do it again next year, right?). We opened our gifts to each other (and our stockings from Chance’s mom) by our beautiful little tree on Christmas Eve after Chance got off work. Afterwards…we went to Kerby Lane for some breakfast (around midnight). It was yummy and tradition-worthy. The next morning we set out for Tyler. Chance rode back to Austin that night with our friends Charlie and Emily (an adventure, from what I hear), and I stayed on in Tyler for a week.

We celebrated our first married New Year’s Eve in Austin at the home of the aforementioned Charlie and Emily.

In January, Chance had to do the end of his management training in San Antonio, so we took that as an opportunity for an anniversary trip. He had two weeks of training there, so I went in the middle of it for several days and we enjoyed getting to know the city. It was very relaxing, and involved substantial amounts of good food.

At the end of his training, Chance was promoted to 2nd Associate Manager.

I started taking thyroid meds. Woo hoo!

March brought with it South By Southwest (SXSW) – the giant annual music/film/interactive festival. And this one was the best yet – for so many reasons. We were able to go with our friends (those cool church kids plus a few special others), and we got to see some of our friends play. We also had the opportunity to attend some of our ‘favorite shows ever’, as well as meet some new key people in our lives. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but one of the high points for sure. So many inside jokes…so many friends…so much music. Perfection – but perhaps only because I am the schedule master and plotted out all of the free shows and food during the weeks prior. Yes, I am good.

During April, Chance was in Seguin for an entire Month. He came home every once in a while, but never stayed long. He was helping them open a new Bill Miller there. April did have its high points though, like the Weiner Dog Races in Buda. ‘Nuff said.

Then, everything fell apart again. Or…Freddie’s Intestines did. They had BEEN falling apart since approximately about the time his paw pad started to heal, but it wasn’t overwhelming til spring. That’s when he started puking and didn’t stop. We took him to our vet (vet #2), and it turned out our vet had left the practice and following an overnight stay at the emergency clinic, lots of xrays and fluids, the other vets couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. Fred’s nausea quit for a bit then started again. We finally went to vet #3, they did exploratory surgery (after x rays and a sonogram), and found that a rubber object had been lodged in his intestine. We’re still not quite sure what it was or how long it had been there, but I suspect it was a chunk of a toy that I had taken away from them in December or so, due to the fact that they were ‘tearing it up’. I neglected to note where the missing portion of the toy was – and it was apparently in Fred’s intestine. Lodged. Causing part of it to die, and another part to puncture. They had to cut out a good deal of his intestine. But at least it was the end of puke stains on the carpet in our new house.

Things started looking up again when Chance was promoted to 1st Associate Manager. To celebrate (well, not really, but let’s pretend), we went on a tubing trip with the Deckers and the Hensons. Floating the Comal was one of the few things on our summer ‘to do’ list that actually got done – and done well. The trip was pretty dang fun.

In the midst of a light-hearted blog, it’s hard to write about something so…hard. I’ll just do it quickly. – Chance’s dad, Barry, was diagnosed with cancer in his lung, brain, and leg. We found out about it at the end of April, and Chance took a trip to visit him in AZ. In July, post floating trip, we traveled to AZ together to see him again, and August 10th he passed away – after a really hard battle and a ton of treatment. Countless blogs could be written about Chance’s dad and how amazing he was and how nice the memorial was and how much we miss him, but just the facts for now.

When we came home from the memorial, Chance was promoted to General Manager – and moved to the store nearest our home. And that brings us to this month…in which so far we’ve sold Chance’s truck (to some soliciting landscapers), and started this blasted diet.

The diet, my friends, ohhhh – that gets a blog to itself.


Anonymous said...

Wow oh wow. What a post! As I think I said before, I love the pictures from your wedding. That pictures is beautifully romantic. Probably how everyone would wish to remember their wedding day. :)

And as for the rest of your more than a year. . . wow. Crazy things did happen. You guys have certainly been busy and had some crazy things happen to you and your loved ones.

Elizabeth said...

Wow! That was quite a review....You all were only married in Jan of 07? I probably knew that....Well, I feel like I know you so much better now. :) Oh and cute house!!! We still need to do dinner or something at each other's place...

Chance and Claire said...

@ Beth - Thanks for the compliments on our wedding photos. Lol. We're almost done editing all 5 billion of them. Hopefully in the next couple months we'll get them posted online and make an album for us and our families. Whew. It's taken way too long. By the time we get it done it'll be 2 years late.

And yeah - it has been a crazy year...to say the least.

I can't believe you read all that. Or most of that. Or any of it, really. (:

@ Liz - Yup. Jan '07. It's no biggie - I hardly remember our anniversary, I certainly don't remember anyone else to. (: Haha.

Glad you got the scoop. And yessss. we do need to do dinner soon. Preferably after our diet is over in 11 days. Lol.

Catherine Clyburn said...

Jeez louise! I've been waiting to see that first picture FOR YEARS!! It's beautiful. And I am now addicted to your blog.

Anonymous said...

Of course I would read all of that!

I can't wait to see some of your other photos from your wedding. . . they truly are fantastic. I love some of the photos from our wedding but sometimes I wish we had hired someone to take some . . . more artistic photos of our wedding. Not to be ungrateful of the free photography we received from Jason's aunt and uncle (and brother). . .

Chance and Claire said...

@ Cat...glad you're addicted - now start your own. (: You need one - you're hilarious. And I'm glad you like the picture too.

@ Beth...I think we're ready to be done with them. Lol. Our photographer edited 100 of them, but we've had to do the rest, and it's taken us a long time - not because of the amount of work, mainly due to the fact that it depresses me to look at them. lol.

Sara said...

Yayyy!! Another blog addiction :)

Tradition? You're Aggies: you only need to do something once for it to count as a tradition - ha ha.

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