Monday, February 26, 2007

Baltimore Celebration

Saturday we had a wake up call.

Not in a bad way, just a realization.

More of a "Wow it is almost here!" kind of realization.

It started off with Jill and I dashing out to Frederick, MD to sign the paper work for our new apartment.

Since we (read as I) have been unsuccessful at finding any employment in Utah and we thought it would be a nice idea to actually live in the same place once we are married, we started looking for housing options a few weeks ago. The two areas that we were looking at were the mid-way points between our two jobs. So it was either Silver Spring/Rockville area on the Beltway or Frederick in the 'country'.

We figured that the Beltway commute would be about 25-30 miles (each way) which translated to a 1 to 2 hour commute (depending on traffic and weather) for both of us and the rent started at about $1100+/month for a basement apartment or about $1200+/month for a one bedroom in a run down neighborhood (read as potentially scary both inside and out).

The Frederick option will be about 50+ miles each which way or about an hour commute for both us without any major impact of traffic (there is some but not the same as I95/I495/267). We found a one bedroom with den built just over a year ago for just over $1100/month which we are very excited about.

While looking for apartments we kept seeing nice places that would have been great and priced well but they just didn't feel right. When we walked into this one I knew immediately that this one was going to the top of the list. It did not take much discussion as we drove back to complex office to decide that we both felt really good about this place. We just hope that the increased gas usage on our commutes will not sink us!

Once everything was settled at the complex and we put a few things into our new apartment, we raced back to Baltimore to attend the first of our three wedding related celebrations.

The Baltimore crew (lead by Brittany, Mike, Shelly and others) threw a big party for us. It started out as a shower for Jill, then a Jack (aka Corey) and Jill shower, then an engagement party of sorts, then an open house thing then just a big party. I don't know what it really was, we just called it a Celebration! And it was great.

They did an amazing job decorating the Cultural Hall to try to disguise the fact that it was a Cultural Hall. No fluorescent lighting was allowed to be on. All lighting was provided by lamps and white Christmas lights.

Jill and I were able to practice being the center of attention for a few hours. Definitely not our normal comfort zone.

Jill's family (from the Philly area) made the trip down and Matt and Cami came up from Richmond. We had lots of friends from the Baltimore area and there were a few from the DC area also. Jill's bosses were also there and it was nice to meet them and chat about their upcoming Utah ski trip.

Jill's brother-in-law Toby (soon to be mine also) was volunteered to captured the memories using my camera. Thanks Toby.

The food was great with a wide variety of choices: meatballs, popcorn chicken, chicken skewers, mini quiches, taquitos, and chicken salad sandwiches. Plus lots of fresh fruit, cheese and crackers and spinach dip. And of course some great choices to satisfy the sweet tooth also.

It is a bit overwhelming to be the recipients of such kindness and love. Brittany, Shelley and the rest went above and beyond. Thanks to everyone who helped out and all those who came to visit with us.

Here are the rest of the pictures.

Less than 4 weeks left!

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