So here is an update on Russ and Adri. It doesn't have pictures. Also, check out the other blog post I wrote tonight. It's about our trip to Arizona, and it has lots of pictures and lots about Sophia.
I have great friends here in Minneapolis. To be honest, I am not a big fan of Minneapolis in general, but I do love having so many great friends who live so close and who enjoy hanging out as much as I do. Not only can we hang out and talk for hours, we also see each other at church and community activities and occasionally go shopping together.
I've been a stay-at-home mom for 8 months. Maybe that doesn't seem like a long time, but I was sure I would be bored by now. I'm not! That is largely thanks to my aforementioned friends, but there is lots to do at home. People ask me what I do all day. I'll tell you. I wake up with Sophia. For about 1.5 or 2 hours, we play, eat breakfast, and straighten up the house. Then she takes a nap and I read my scriptures, shower, read a book, work on our budget, journal, start laundry, etc. When she wakes up, we eat lunch and usually run some type of errand (groceries, Walmart, library) or go to a friend's apartment. Normally when we get home, it's almost time for her 2nd nap. During that nap, I'll nap, start dinner, or do other things for "me time". The trickiest part of the day is right after Sophia's 2nd nap because she's usually a little cranky and clingy, and I'm usually trying to make dinner. When it was nice outside, we'd go for walks or to the park at this time. Now, we just wait for daddy to get home. Russ is generally home from school in time for dinner. There's rarely a day when there's not *something* going on in the evening - whether it's hanging out, an activity, a meeting for our callings, something for the community activity's committee I'm on, or going to an appointment with the missionaries. When we are home in the evenings, normally we do our own thing until it's time for Sophia to take a bath and go to bed. Then it's dishes, doing things like writing this blog, and watching a movie or TV show together. What a life. :)
Today I played the piano in Sacrament Meeting. I was so nervous, but it ended up going really well. Now I feel kind of pumped to start practicing the piano more often. I also work a lot on my scrapbooking and read lots of books. There are also a few small home craft projects I work on, plus my mom and sister got me a really nice sewing machine for Christmas, so I can add that to my list of talents to develop.
Cooking meals at home takes a long time. I was spoiled by the Cannon Center for over 3 years, so I didn't have to cook unless I wanted to. Now I spend hours each month looking at recipes and making grocery lists and menus. Then you have to shop for the food, and then you have to cook it. By the time you've also done dishes, it's really time-consuming! I'm still not always great at preparing balanced meals or making sure we have food not only for dinner, but also for lunch, but I really enjoy all those hours of menu-planning and cooking. I know I won't always be able to say that, but for now, yes. I (mostly) love being in the kitchen!
This semester (which doesn't start until this week because Minnesota has a wonderful MONTH of Christmas break), Russ only has classes on Monday and Wednesday. I think that's a pretty awesome schedule, and love that he is able to be home so much. He rides the bus to and from school each day, and sometimes I admire him because it must be tough to stand at a bus stop when it's SO cold. When we were in Arizona, a friend commented that Russ seems so much happier than he was at his job in Provo, and he really is. He loves talking about his program, he enjoys what he's learning, and he's having fun!
His big news - which I don't even think I've mentioned on this blog - is about his internship. All of the interviews happened last semester. He got 10 first round interviews (more than or tied for the most of anyone in his class). After those interviews, not one but two companies told him they didn't need a second interview to know that they wanted him. Talk about a confidence boost! He also got calls from a couple other companies who wanted to do second round interviews with him. In the end, he decided to consider his offers from Ford and Chevron really seriously. We went back and forth, created multiple pro-con lists, talked to lots of people, went to the temple, and prayed a lot. In the end, he chose to intern with Chevron. The internship is important because it is likely to lead to a full-time job offer at the end of this summer. In the meantime, we're moving to California this summer for Russ to do HR at Chevron's corporate offices. He's beyond excited. In the past week, a lot of Chevron Minnesota alums must have found out about his offer because he's gotten multiple e-mails EVERY. DAY. congratulating him and offering help should he need it. To make the Chevron offer an even greater memory, it came on Sophia's 1st birthday. :)
When Russ isn't doing schoolwork, he's either playing with Sophia, spending time with me, relaxing with video games, going on appointments with the missionaries, or working on his busy calling of being the assistant Elder's Quorum Secretary. The thought came to me today that I think a secretary is a really good calling for him. He may not be the most organized person in the world, but he's really good at meeting people and making phone calls - something I am NOT good at. All in all, grad. school hasn't been too hard on us as a family, but maybe that's the month-long Christmas break talking. :)
That's us for the people who read the blog, but I don't talk to as regularly as I wish I did.