Sunday, October 16, 2011

What I've Been Up To

It's been another long and hard week.  This is what I've been up to when I haven't been working:

I got on Pintrest.  I love it, but it's so easy to lose an hour there!  I'm SaltLakeAnnie if  you want to follow my boards.

I've been watching the first season of West Wing this week.  I'm not sure how many times I've watched the first season of West Wing, probably 3 or 4.  I love it because I feel smarter when I watch it.  It makes me want know what is going on.  But sadly, I probably could tell you more about the politics and what is going on in the Washington, DC of West Wing better than what is actually going on today.

I am working on making this skirt.  I love it and have been dreaming of making it since before I owned a sewing machine.  The fabric I'm using is similar but slightly different.   I ran into a slight snag though when I discovered I needed an invisible zipper foot.  Did you know you needed more than one zipper foot?

I made this pie for Shawn.  Well, not THAT pie, but that's the recipe for the pie I made, which I got here.  Only, I didn't do the lattice crust, I went for a regular old pie crust.  And I think it was the best apple pie I've ever had.  I'll definitely make it again, and next time I'll try the lattice crust.  (Oh, and to be perfectly honest, I bought the pie crust, I didn't make it, I just used the recipe for the insides.)

I harvested the first of our sunflower seeds.  The sunflowers were huge, easily three feet across!  We cut them down and let them dry for two weeks and yesterday I harvested them.  I'll try to post pictures of the actual flowers later, they were amazing!  I've roasted most of them and left the rest raw to either give to the birds this winter or plant next spring.

Right now I'm making this soup, found on Pintrest (and here).  It's so nice to have a Sunday.  Shawn and Scooter are asleep on the couch and later Shawn will make some bread.  We plan to take a drive up the mountains to see the beautiful fall leaves this afternoon, and I plan on convincing Shawn to let me whoop his butt at Ticket to Ride Europe after dinner.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It's been one of those weeks and it's only Tuesday.  Yesterday was one of those days that when I got home from work I told Shawn that I just wanted to cry.  He looked at me and said "Go ahead and cry" but he face looked more like "Please don't cry, I won't know what to do if you cry!" Today was one of those days that I said to Laura, let's just run away.  She asked where I wanted to go and I said, I don't care, anywhere but here.  I'd be satisfied with Park City or Logan. (They are other cities in the state, I don't think that really classifies as running away.)  Ugh.  I feel so overwhelmed at work, so behind.  And the behindness is overwhelming the overwhelming feeling.  And last week I had a week that was a perfect catch up week.  Until three urgent project got dropped on my desk, and then one of the behind projects came to a head, and I didn't get anything else done.  So, this week I'm even MORE behind, more guilt for being behind and I just want to stop and run away.  I just want to ignore all the behind projects and start completely fresh.

So, I stopped today and yesterday.  I surveyed my office and got that overwhelmed feeling, but I decided to meet it head on.  Instead of plopping non-urgent tasks and random papers in piles around my office I confronted those piles.  I went through all of those papers and I threw most of them in the recycling bin.  I organized the others and I cleaned off my desk.  And I started to feel a sense of ease.  A sense that I can indeed get caught up.  And tonight before I left work I sat down with my "to do" stack and I went through every item, and I created a To Do List.  And for the first time in weeks I feel like all that work is manageable.  I can do it.  And what's more, I'm kind of excited to do it.  I love to do lists, I love crossing off items.  Even though it's already been a long week I'm kind of looking forward to tomorrow and walking into my clean, organized office with my to do list.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Semi-Annual Craft Night

This Saturday night is the Harrell Family Semi-Annual Craft Night.  It happens every April and October and happens to coincide with this other event.  In the spring we made some fun bottlecap magnets and last year we worked on crafts for my wedding.  For some reason or another I'm the one that is assigned to finding the craft project to do, and this year I'm thinking wreaths.  But I like them all and can't decide which one to do.

First up, the Acorn Wreath (tutorial found here).  I love the color of this wreath, I love how perfect it looks.  I love the wide ribbon.  I can't think of anything I don't like! The first problem is where to find acorns.  The second is that it is very time consuming, not a one evening kind of project.

Next, the felt flower wreath. (Found here.) The color is perfect for the autumn.  I love how it looks, I like the idea of the felt flowers.  But again, it might be more than a one evening kind of project.  

Third, another more than one evening project.  Maybe I'm not being very creative, but I do like the dark pink.  Maybe I'll save this one for Valentine's Day.  Maybe it's the color and the gauzy ribbon, but it's a little romantic.  This year I left my red Christmas Wreath on the door until spring, so I definitely need something for Valentine's Day. (Found here.)

This is my favorite of all the wreaths.  It's the Split Pea wreath!  It looks SO EASY to make, and I love the texture.  I want to make them small and hang them in my windows like in the tutorial, but I have no idea which windows.  I love the color, but it doesn't exactly say fall, does it?  My sister suggested spray painting it, and I like that idea too.  Maybe if I spray painted it black it would be a good Halloween wreath?  Add some orange or yellow felt flowers?  Hmmm.  This is a top contender, but maybe too messy for a quick evening project.   (Found here.)

I think this pumpkin colored yarn wreath is the winner.  Winding yarn around a wreath would be easy enough to do while sitting around and talking, and I think it's quick enough for one evening.  I love the felt flowers and the small branches.  I want to make those felt flowers and put them on headbands and bags too.  (Found here.)

Most of the wreaths were found on my new favorite blog, Little Things Bring Smiles.  I want to make all of Katie's projects!  I love blogs that inspire me, and this one is definitely working.  

So, what do you think?  Which one would you do?  Do you have a favorite fall craft?  Or a favorite craft website?  I need some Halloween or indoor fall decor ideas too.  Where do you get inspiration for home decor?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

North Carolina

I love to travel.  I love visiting new cities and learning how they work.  I love shopping in new cities and visiting restaurants.  I love maps and travel technology.  I love apps that help me find a place to eat.  I love using technology to find my favorite store in a new city.  And this is a love that Shawn and I share, we both love to travel.  We love to visit new countries and learn about new cultures.  But something changed in my love of travel when I began to love Shawn.  I know that they say that love can grow, but in some ways loving Shawn made me love travel less.  The problem is that now when I do travel I want to travel WITH Shawn.  I want to share new cities and new experiences with him.

I was in North Carolina for work last week.  Try as I might to convince Shawn to take a week off of work  and come to North Carolina with me, the romance of sitting in a hotel for a week by himself while I worked didn't convince him to join me.  Nor did the awesome hotel with an indoor waterpark.  And the week I spent in North Carolina was one of the longest weeks of my life.  It had nothing to do with the meeting I attended, or the person I traveled with, or the appointments I had.  It had everything to do with being away from Shawn.  I wanted to be able to share everything with him.  I wanted to sit at the table at night with him and tell him about my day.  I wanted to hold his hand while I fell asleep.  I wanted him with me to laugh at the strange pictures on the walls of the hotel.  I wanted to explore with him.  

But while I hate traveling without him, I love that we live when we do and have the technology available to us.  I can take pictures and immediately send them to him.  I can text him or email him about things that make me laugh.  I can call him at night easily.  And the best invention we found this week was face time from Apple.  When I travel for work I can take an iPad with me and I LOVE using facetime to chat with Shawn at home with our MacBook.  I loved being able to show him my hotel room. I loved seeing his face.  And that's what made this week bearable.  

Highlights of the week:

1) Staying at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina.  It felt like a strange place for a meeting since they really cater to families, but the staff was amazing and the meeting went really well.  The water park looked like a lot of fun, and I would definitely stay there again.  And the little kid inside of me really wanted to go buy a magic wand and participate in their Magic Quest.  

2) My travel companion would not agree with me, but I loved our second hotel too, the Blake Hotel in Charlotte, NC.  I thought the lobby was swanky and loved my room and the view of the city.  I didn't like that it didn't have a gym but you had to go across the street to work out (which I didn't do).  The staff was also really amazing and friendly.  Is that a North Carolina thing?

3) The three hour drive each way from Charlotte to Raleigh.  OK, driving for 8 hours in a car with a colleague in one day isn't exactly what I would call fun, but I loved seeing the drive from Charlotte to Raleigh.  We didn't take the main interstate, but our Garmin sent us a less direct way that took the same amount of town.  We drove through the town Pittsboro, and I fell in love with it.  I want to go back and stop in this town!

Next time I'm in North Carolina I'm taking Shawn with me.  And I'm glad the next trip I have planned is a trip with Shawn to DISNEYLAND!


All over the World Wide Web I've seen people rejoicing that it's fall.  And I've been in denial.  They've been enjoying fall colors and fall sweaters, decorating their houses for fall.  And in my mind it is still summer.  I love summer, I love the long warm days and my husband being home all day.  But the reality is that Shawn has been teaching for over a month and the mornings are dark when we leave the house, and the hot days aren't so hot anymore.  But I have still clinged on to the thoughts that it is still summer!  I used to rejoice at the Autumnal Equinox, but this year I was in North Carolina and decided to completely ignore it.  But then on Monday Shawn and I went out to pick our pears, the seven pears on our pear tree that has struggled to live.  And on the ground there were leaves!  Only four or five, but leaves nonetheless.  Fall is here my friends.  And while I love fall, this year I am not ready for it.  I don't want summer to end.  Because after fall comes that other season, the season I dread the most, the season of snow.  I like watching snow fall.  I don't mind it being in my yard.  I even tolerate having to shovel it.  But the thing I dread most about snow, driving in it.  I hate, loathe, despise driving in snow.  So, can we just keep summer here a little longer?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!

Dear Blog,

Can I tell you why I'm excited that it's September?  Not because of football like so many other people, but because of fall television! My favorite shows are coming back!  No more repeats, no more going to Tivo and wondering if it recorded anything good, but new television!  Here are the shows I'm most looking forward to:

America's Next Top Model

Ok, so this is my guilty pleasure of a reality show.  I don't really like the fighting or even the judging.  OK, why do I watch this show again?  Oh yeah, I really watch it for the photo shoot costumes.  That Tyra, she's creative.  (Speaking of ANTM, my Tivo is recording it RIGHT NOW!)

Biggest Loser

I love the Biggest Loser because it both makes me feel inspired and guilty all at the same time.  Inspired because hello, the contestants work so hard and really overcome a lot.  Guilty because I'm sitting on the couch eating and not getting up and going to the gym.  I like this because for a reality show it's not as manipulative and conspiring as a lot of competitive shows can be, it really depends on the contestants.  Some seasons the contestants have been manipulative and formed alliances, but sometimes they don't they're all there to lose weight and have a better life.

The Vampire Diaries

OK, another guilty pleasure.  This is one Shawn got me in to.  I've never really been a fan of vampires, and certainly not that other vampire book/movie series, but I'm hooked on Vampire Diaries.  Shawn doesn't watch a lot of TV, so this was a way to watch something together.  I really like the story lines, I find them intriguing.  Plus, Damon played Boone on Lost, but it took me halfway into Season 2 to figure it out.  I'm automatically a fan of anyone who was on Lost.

How I Met Your Mother

I love this show and I owe it all to Laura.  I didn't start watching HIMYM until the end of the third season when I moved in with Laura.  And from that moment on I was hooked.  It's funny, and it's even funnier when you've watch for a bit and start catching on to the repeat jokes.  Like Slap Bet.  Or the Intervention.  Plus, I would totally marry Tedd.  (Um, can I say that now that I'm married?  He's a fictional character, nothing to worry about Shawn!)  And Marshall and Lily?  Cutest couple on TV.  And though Barney is disgusting, part of me wishes he would be my friend.  

The Amazing Race

Now my all-time favorite television show, The Amazing Race!  I have watched this show from the first season and I LOVE IT!  They contestants get to travel the world, they get to do cool challenges like eating strange food or rolling cheese down hills.  This is the only reality show I would ever consider applying for.  And like The Biggest Loser there is rarely any malicious strategy or alliances.  It's the people who are nice to each other that do well in this race, the mean people rarely get to the end.  I love this show, and I want Phil's job.

So, Blog, what about you?  What are your favorite shows?  What reality show would you do? Are you an HIMYM fan too?  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Peach Pie

I ate two pieces of pie for dinner tonight, and I don't regret it.  
Do you want to see photos of my pies?  

Now, I'm not a photographer with a fancy camera, and the first two photos were taken with Shawn's phone, so the quality isn't great, but here are the pies!

The first pie is ready to go in the oven!  
I have such hope and am unaware of my sad mistakes.

The first pie is done!  See that crust?  
Well, it's luckily still yummy, but wasn't as fabulous as I was hoping it would be.

The second pie.  
See how the crust isn't overdone?  See how the filling actually fills the pie?  
See all that creme fraiche?  And the streusel?  

We haven't eaten it yet, but I can't wait!  We want to be kind and share our creation, but the real question is, who do we share such a perfect (looking) pie with?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Domesticated Pie Maker

Well Blog, today I made pie.  I made some pumpkin pie around Christmas time for something or other and mentioned that I needed pie weights, so Shawn, being the awesome listener that he is, bought me pie weights for Christmas.  And proceeded to not do anything with them for months, despite Shawn gently hinting ove and over that he wanted me to make pie.  I like to bake, you see.  He cooks too, but I love to bake and when I cook, I want to cook big things.  So, my friend and former roommate, Laura posted a pie she had made on facebook complete with the recipe.  And I remember that pie.  I have very fond memories of eating that pie.  And while my baking/cooking skills are no where near Laura's I decided to be brave and adventurous and make a pie.  A Peach Pie.

Before I could be adventurous and make the peach pie I had to make creme fraiche.  Now, that's adventurous too.  Who lets dairy products intentionally sit on the counter for 24 hours?  Then, I had to make streusel.  That turned out to be harder than the creme fraiche.  (Just because I over mixed it the first time and it turned into more of a dough than a streusel.)  And I had to par bake the crust. (I'm so glad I know that term now, I like throwing it out into conversation, like I'm some official pie maker or something.)  But eventually I got to put it all in the pie shell (including the peaches of course) and put it in the oven and bake it.

And it turns out I made a couple of mistakes.  Mistakes that I was warned about by the recipe maker.  I was warned not to use a deep dish pie plate.  So, I used the pie plate we got for our wedding.  Which it turns out was a deep dish pie plate.  So, the filling didn't quite . . . fill the pie.  And the second warning was that I might want to cover the endges of the crust with foil while it was baking so as to not burn them.  And I ignored that warning too, and since the pie wasn't full enough and the crust was burning, there was a lot of crust to burn.  Oh well, it still tasted great!  And the bonus mistake was that I had too many peaches, so tonight I went out, got me a shallow pie plate and made a second peach pie.  And yes, I covered my crust too.  I got to par bake again and to make streusel again.  It was fun.  Again.  But here's my question, how are two people going to eat TWO PIES?  We'll need help.  Any volunteers?

Oh, and PS, making pie just remind me of the Pie Maker.  Remember that show?  Did you love it too?
Dear Blog,

I know, it's been a while.  How have you been?  Have you missed me?  I've missed you.  I've thought about you a lot too.  The truth is, I'm a little intimidated by you.  I wan to write wonderful posts, but I get scared that I'm not up to wonderful posts.  I was hoping to make this a place full of brilliant thought and reflection about what it means to get married, to join your life with another's.  But I haven't known exactly how to put into words everything that I'm feeling.

Shawn and I, we've been married nine months now.  Can you believe it?  I can't!  I am still giddy just looking at my ring and thinking he's mine now.  And a lot has happened in those nine months.  And I've wanted a place to record all those things that have happened, like the time our house got invaded by may flies, or the time we made pickles and I sliced my fingers open.  I wanted to share those things with you dear blog.  But then I thought, you don't want to hear about those boring parts of life.  You want great thoughts, introspection.  Well, Blog.  I think you DO want to hear those things, and maybe sharing those things will bring about some of the introspection too.  And I want a place to look back on my first year(s) of marriage and remember what it was like to be a newlywed.

So, what do you think Blog?  I promise to visit you more often, and you put up with my self-indulgent posts about making raspberry jam and trips to Wyoming.  OK?  Is it a deal?


Love you, and see you more often.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Do You Know How Much I Love You?

Annie: (while Shawn is getting ready to leave for class) Do you know how much I love you?

Shawn: I love you too honey.  (Pause, looks at me, realizes he didn't answer Annie's question, decides to play along.) I mean, how much do you love me?

Annie:  I love you THIS much (stretches her arms out wide with fingers outstretched as well.)  See how even my fingers are stretched so that my love can stretch beyond my fingers and never end? (moves her arms so they are stretching towards Shawn.) And now I'm shooting my love across the room to you.

Shawn: (shuddering as if he's been zapped by Annie's love ray) I can feel the love!  I love you too!

Among many other reasons I'm glad I married a man willing to play along with my silliness.

Now I have to go mow the lawn, because that's how much I love my man.  I'll mow the lawn for him AND pick up the dog poop.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scooter the Booter

Shawn and I will often joke that if I had been allergic to his dog we would not be married today.  I am allergic to dogs, well, most dogs, but Scooter is a magic dog.  And as a magic dog I have no allergic reactions to him.  As a girl who is allergic to way too many things this is the best news ever.  I love dogs and have the hardest time NOT petting a dog even though I know it will end with me sneezing with red watery eyes wishing I could go to bed.  But, not Scooter.  Like I said, he's a magic dog, the one dog in the world I'm not allergic to.

And having Scooter in my life has been one of the best parts about being married.  I expected the transition to owning a dog to be hard.  I expected Scooter to show resentment for my presence and thus his reduction in attention from Shawn.  I expected Scooter to willfully disobey me, and so far none of that has been true. Except maybe the willfully disobeying me part.  Scooter greets me each night when I get home by racing to the door, jumping up on me (as soon as I've put my coat away) and then barking as if he's telling me all about his day.  When I work from home one day a week Scooter cannot get enough of my attention, and though I find it mildly annoying I also secretly love it when he climbs on my lap while I'm trying to work on my laptop.  Scooter and I have a routine in the morning of playing catch or hide and seek while I get ready for work.  

Scooter is also the most sneaky dog I've ever met.  He'll quietly saunter off when he knows you aren't paying attention and get in the garbage can or sneak chocolate off the couch or gum out of my purse.  And I'll yell "Scooter!" and then he'll come up to me with his head hanging low and look at me with his big beautiful brown eyes and I find it impossible to get mad at him.  My heart melts and I know I should discipline him, but I can't help but to smile and pet him.  I find myself apologizing to the dog for getting mad at him.  

While I was worried about Scooter and making the transition with him, it's actually been the easiest transition of our marriage.  

What about you?  What did you expect to be hard?  Was anything easier than you anticipated?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lovell, WY

I’ve now traveled to Lovell, WY twice in the last three months. I know where the grocery store is, where three different churches are, where all three motels in town are located, and how to get to the cemetery from the aforementioned churches.  About a month after we were married Shawn’s grandmother passed away and we took our first trip to northern Wyoming for her funeral.  Shawn and I were already planning a trip to Lovell so I could meet her.  She was 103 years old and had not been able to travel to Salt Lake for our wedding.  Grandma Walker was a major influence on Shawn deciding to become a teacher, so he wanted me to meet her.  Unfortunately we didn’t quite make it in time, and our already scheduled trip was for her funeral instead.  

They asked all of the grandchildren (which now included me as well) to sing a simple hymn during the funeral service and as I stood next to Shawn singing that hymn I realized that I had no clue how to be his wife.  I didn’t know how to help him mourn, or if he needed to mourn.  I realized how different a husband was than roommates, and men are from women.  With my roommates I could be there, offer a hug, offer to listen if they want to talk, give them chocolate, hold their hand while they cried, and all would be appreciated.  I was there physically for Shawn.  I pulled him into my arms when he found out about his grandmother passed away, but no tears came.  I asked about her, but didn’t know how to get him to open up, or if he even wanted/needed to open up.  I didn’t know if I should offer chocolate, he’s far less emotionally dependent on chocolate than I am.  I watched him when he saw his father at the viewing, as he practically crumbled with tears into his fathers arms, and part of me wished that I could have been the one to hold him up when he finally broke down, but at the same time I knew that that was not what he needed from me.  I stood by his side, I held his hand, I told him what I loved learning about her at her funeral, but was it enough?  This is part of the disadvantage of only knowing each other for just under a year when we married, we hadn’t been through everything together yet.  But, I decided, that didn’t matter.  Shawn has never expected me to be a perfect wife, just as I don’t expect him to be a perfect husband.  We’ll learn together how we mourn and how to support one another through the good and the bad.  We’re learning how to celebrate together, how to support each other through stressful times at work, how to know when to back off and when to push, and I love that about marriage.  I love learning as much about myself as I learn about Shawn.

As I type this I am in the car somewhere between Lovell and Salt Lake on our way home from the second funeral in Shawn’s family.  This time it was his Aunt Yvonne who passed away.  She had been sick for a long time and her passing was not unexpected.  We debated about wether or not to come up for the funeral, and I was really hoping Shawn would decide not to come.  But, I also know how important family is to Shawn and that’s one of the major reasons I love him and married him.  And when he decided it was important enough to take a day off of work and travel for 16 hours in a car in the space of 48 hours I knew that I wanted to support him in this.  I know that what I wanted was much less important than what he needed.  

This was a different funeral for Shawn, not as hard or emotional as Grandma Walker’s had been.  This funeral was more about family, mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort.  This was about keeping those ties in Lovell strong.  And even though driving in a car for hours on end is not my favorite way to travel I’ve really enjoyed this trip.  I am more sure of myself as Shawn’s wife.  I learned more about Shawn’s family, I saw the farm where his dad grew up.  I laughed with his Aunt Nancy and Uncle Ned, and learned of the incredible love the Walkers of Wyoming have for my husband.  I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Name Changing

I was raised by a feminist.  My Mom probably would not call herself a feminist, but she was in college taking women’s studies classes when I was growing up.  She believes in marriage strongly, but had definite ideas about equality for women.  She is a devout Mormon, so some might say that conflicts with the ideals of feminism, but most importantly she raised me to believe that anything was possible for me.  She raised me to believe I was equal in every way to my brothers and to all men.  She raised all of us as hard workers in the home.  My brothers did as much to clean the home as we girls did, and I never had any idea it would be any other way.  

I think it was because of this that I never had any idea that changing my name when I got married would be anti-feminist in any way.  My sister hyphenated her name when she got married.  I was just a teenager.  I’m not sure if that was the feminist inside of her, or because her husband had a common last name and our maiden name is more unique.  In fact, my brother-in-law even offered to change his last name to ours when they married, but that never happened.  I never gave it much thought, I just always planned to change my name.  So, I never expected it to be hard to change my name!  Not the actual process of changing my name, although that was a challenge too, and one for another post.  

I’ve been a Harrell for 32 years, and I always felt that taking my husband’s last name would be a sign of us creating our own family.  And while it does, part of me feels the loss of my own being when we created that family.  I love Shawn, I love being a family with him, so I’m surprised at feeling this loss!  Each time I changed my name, at my bank, at work, on my Drivers License, I felt excited to be more and more a Walker, but also felt the loss of the Harrell part of me keenly.  In church when they announced Annie Walker would be giving the closing prayer I thought, “Who is Annie Walker, I thought I was giving the prayer!”  When I change my voice message on my work phone I always have think “Annie WALKER, Annie WALKER” and still it comes out as Annie Harrell half of the time.  I didn’t expect it to be hard, I was excited to do it, so it was surprising to me that it has been hard!  

Most of my friends married when they were younger, in their early 20’s so I wonder if there is a difference marrying slightly older.  Is it because I created a career as Annie Harrell?  Is it easier when you don’t have as much to change?  When you don’t have to tell clients in emails that your name has changed?  I have changed everything from my Social Security card to my Delta Sky Miles card.  There’s one hold out.  My passport.  I have stamps for England, China, Mexico and Canada in that passport.  But Shawn and I plan to travel, so I know I’ll have to get a new passport.  I wonder if maybe, when that final piece of the puzzle is done, will I feel complete, like I’ve taken all the steps and am officially a Walker?  Will I get a sense of accomplishment or will I mourn the final loss of Harrell as my last name?  

What about you?  If you are married did you change your name?  Did you feel a sense of loss of identity?  If you are single have you thought about changing your name?  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who Is Annie Walker?

On November 20, 2010 Annie Harrell married Shawn Walker.  I knew who I was as Annie Harrell, I understood myself.  But on November 20, by marrying a wonderful man, suddenly everything felt different.  Going from a “me” to a “we” really is a different experience.  I had to learn to account for Shawn’s opinion, to think of him first.  It’s completely worthwhile and wonderful transition, but it is still a transition.

Shawn and I were traditional with our dating and marriage plans.  We both knew what we wanted and who we were, so once we found each other everything went quickly and smoothly.  We were engaged after seven months of dating and married just three months later.  Because our views on marriage are very traditional we did not live together first.  Learning to live together has definitely been a change for both of us.  We’re independent people, used to doing things a certain way.  Shawn has owned his home and lived alone for a long time so not only did he have to learn to live with a girl, but he had to learn to live with someone else too.  I have had roommates all of my adult life, but I had to learn to live with a boy.  And living with roommates is very different than living with a husband.  My motivation for doing things around the house is different with Shawn than it was with roommates.  Sharing a bedroom is an adjustment.  Sharing a bed is an adjustment!  But, I would not have it any other way.

Living together has not been the only transition I have had after getting married.  Changing my name, letting Shawn drive my car, giving him access to my bank account, these have all been challenges we have had to take on together.  I am no longer Annie Harrell.  I am Annie Walker now, but who is Annie Walker?  That’s what I am here to discover.  I’m becoming Annie Walker.