Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just Another Day, Another Interview

Well, I haven't posted for a little while because I really haven't felt that there was much noteworthy to blog. We don't have kids who are hitting fun milestones with cute stories to share. We don't really seem to have a whole lot going on that really seem like life-changing experiences. Then I realized that sometimes the everyday things are exactly the ones that I need to share.

Mark had two more interviews on Tuesday, and he didn't have to miss any classes this time. Yay! Of course he feels that they went well, but so did all of the other interviews that also sent him rejection letters. This Tuesday he interviewed for a firm called Holland and Hart, and it is a Denver-based firm with a branch in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. It would be really great to be able to work for that firm because it will bring us closer to family...but as of now...being able to work for ANY firm sounds pretty good.

On Wednesday Mark had a second interview (the only call-back interview he's been invited to so far) that he thought went pretty well too. It's a firm in Hartford, CT called Murtha Cullina. His major concern with that interview was that one of the partners that interviewed him said that they hired someone from BYU who was from Utah who constantly told them that he wanted to stay there in CT, but after 2 years he moved back to Utah. Therefore, he felt hesitant to hire Mark because he fits that same description. Ugh! Yes, we have family in Utah and would like to live closer to them, but we also would have no reservations to living in CT for a very long time. I mean, living in Utah doesn't make me any closer to my family in Illinois than being there in CT...but I guess there isn't really a way to prove that to this firm at this point. We just have to wait a couple more weeks to see what they decide. Their recruiting committee meets only once a week, and they already met this week, so they won't discuss Mark until next week...and then we'll hear after that.

I think that Mark and I decided (I guess there can always be more discussion to really talk about the details) that if he ends up getting this internship in CT, then I would still live in Boston and keep my current job. It's less than a 2 hour drive, so I would be able to drive down every weekend to see him, and it won't be as bad as it was when he was in China. I can still talk to him on the phone, the time zone won't be any different, and I wouldn't need to buy plane tickets in order to see him. Paying the extra rent for him, the gas to drive back and forth, and the extra groceries to feed him should come to less than $4000 for the summer, and he will be earning that within only a couple weeks of it would be totally worth it for me to keep my current job until we're all the way through with this stage. However, this is all wishful thinking. We really won't be able to really "decide" what to do with our summer until we actually have options.

So...for now Mark keeps pluggin' along with his homework, and I keep doing what I do at work. Church callings keep life from getting too boring. We keep praying because we really don't know what else we can do. We go forward with faith knowing that as long as we "do our best, God will provide!" Call me naive if you'd like, but I truly believe that Heavenly Father sent us here to Boston for a reason, and it wasn't just so that He can let us down here and now. He wants us to succeed, so we will...but we don't know exactly how just yet! I guess that's what faith is, though- a hope for things which are unseen which are true. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pictures from the Camping Trip

These are the shots that I wanted to get posted earlier from our weekend camping trip. It was really a lot of fun to just get away and be together.

We had to set up our tent in the dark because we got there just after sun-down.

The night we set up the tent, I told Mark to smile for the camera because I knew that it would flash, but I couldn't really see what he looked like until it flashed! :)

It looked like someone was truly concerned that a turtle might get hit by a car!

We went to K-Mart to buy another camp chair. When we got back to the site, we found that it wasn't the padded chair that we thought we bought. It was a double chair with a cooler bag in the middle. Now when we take it somewhere, we will always both have a place to sit.

Making breakfast, yum!!

Mark's really good at making fires!!

This is where I'd insert the picture of us as a happy couple, but we both looked pretty bad in that know that we were happy, even if I'm too embarrassed to show you the actual shot! :)

If you look closely, you can see the chipmunk friend that was sharing our campsite. He really didn't look as evil as this picture makes him look. (The flash reflected in his eyes!)

This is the caterpillar friend that I found on Mark's leg. All he wanted to do was climb up and up and up...even when I ran out of finger to climb, he still tried to climb higher and higher!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Now Showing in HD!

Lately, if you ask Mark how he's doing, he'll tell you that he's feeling rejected! (Not by me, of course!) He's been receiving rejection letter after rejection letter in the mail from the law firms he's applied to and even interviewed at. He's beginning to worry that he won't even find a job for his second summer internship. So, on Friday night, we decided to go look around at Target and see if there was anything that we could buy that would make him feel better. (We would've gone for a walk, but it was raining!) So, we ended up buying a box of Whoppers for Mark, but that didn't quite seem to do the trick to cheer him up.

We thought about going out to a movie, but then I said that we probably shouldn't spend money on seeing a movie unless it was a matinee showing because it's just expensive unless you can wait to be able to rent them. So we wandered over to Best Buy, and lo and behold, after much deliberation- convincing back and forth on both parties, we left the parking lot with a brand new Samsung 46" LCD HD TV. Yep, we totally broke-down and bought one. Mark has been wanting one for a long time...say, the last 2 years...and I kept telling him that we couldn't buy one. Turns out, I was the one that was trying to convince him to buy it in the end.

So, Friday night we got it all set up, with the help of our neighbor Heather Stoutenburg...and we were able to throw a really awesome BYU Football party for the game against UCLA. It would've been better if all the couples that said they would come were able to make it...or even if UCLA had actually played in the game and made it worth watching. Granted, we were happy that BYU won...even totally creamed their opponent, but we were expecting it to be a good game- not a blow-out! 59-0

While at Best Buy, we saw they had a new product called a DVD Upconverter. It takes the DVDs that you already own, and converts them to "near HD quality." I was a little skeptical, but it was less than $80, so we bought one to go with our new TV. We didn't want all of our old DVDs to go to waste with the new HD TV. Honestly, we're really excited about our purchase. So, after the game we watched a movie with those few who didn't feel the need to leave yet. I tell you, it really does make a difference.

I should also mention another very significant bit of history that Mark and I were able to participate in. Frankly, it may not affect us by the time it's completed, but it's still very exciting for the Church in this area. Saturday morning we attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Stake Center in Cambridge, MA. Within that last 25 years, the Church has grown from one ward to about 3 stakes. It's been a huge growth, especially among different ethnicities in the area. So it was quite a treat to be there, sing in the choir, and shovel the dirt (instead of jack-hammer the concrete of the parking lot where we were) to celebrate this event. By the drawings, we can see that this building will be pretty big- 2 levels of underground parking, and an extra smaller chapel upstairs for the Spanish Wards.

The shovels to break the ground
The "ground" we broke with the shovels
Mark and I breaking the ground
I wanted to really shovel it
A couple of ladies from our ward sitting front and center!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Kick-Off to Fall Semester

Now I'm sure you're all expecting me to make a nice long post about our camping trip that I mentioned in the last entry, but there really isn't a whole lot to say about the trip. The campsite we got was nice and big (especially in comparison to some of the surrounding sites) with one edge against the forest. We had a fire pit, so we were able to roast marshmallows both nights. The weather was great; the trees were beautiful; the showers had hot water; the campground staff were very pleasant; and it was an overall nice and relaxing weekend. There was the fact that Mark was still concerned about his upcoming interviews and semester ahead, but it was great to just have a few days to do...well...whatever we wanted- go for a walk, take a nap, read a book, eat a snack, etc. We enjoyed ourselves, and it was great to finally get to do something really fun before school started.

This past week was pretty busy for Mark. He had 2 interviews at school on Wednesday, flew to San Francisco, had 2 interviews there on Thursday, flew to Los Angeles, had 2 interviews there on Friday, and then flew home on Friday night. He seemed to have rotten luck when he was tried taking the courtesy shuttles to/from the airport and hotels. 3 times in a row he got to the waiting area as the shuttle was pulling away. However, he had great luck on his longer flights because both of the long flights were supposed to have a connection in Chicago, but he got on stand-by for a direct flight both times.

While Mark was gone, I worked on a new quilt. Hmmm, imagine that! I was making a baby quilt for a friend who just had a baby boy. I only have the edging left to sew on, and then I can take it over to see her little baby bundle. I wanted to have it done this past weekend, but I just didn't get that far. Oh well! This past Saturday we had a dinner party with a new couple that moved in across the hall, Greg and Heather Stoutenburg. They're a very nice Christian couple and we're happy to have some new friends to do some fun things with. We also invited another couple, friends from our ward that live across the street, Joe and Cassie Carder. (I almost felt bad because I didn't realize that there was a BYU game at the same time, let alone that we were able to get it on our cable, but we were able to see the bulk of the game while dinner was still in the oven. What was funny was that Mark called the blocked kick just before they ran that play as he explained that the only way the Cougars could win is if they blocked the field goal. Needless to say, we were excited that they were able to pull it off!) We had chicken pot-pie and played Clue, Catch-phrase, and Taboo. I think it was really a fun night. Then on Sunday, Mark invited a new couple in our ward over for dinner, John and Delys Tyler. John is a 1L at BU Law, so Mark felt it would be a good chance to allow John to ask any questions about what it's like in law school, how Mark liked the classes, and just how we deal with the life of being in law school. It was a delightful time with them too, and I hope that we can get to be better friends with them too.

So, overall it was a fairly busy week, but it's been fun. We're gearing up for this next semester, praying really hard for help in finding a job for Mark, and just trying to stay afloat with callings and other duties. I'm trying to get back into the groove of cooking on a regular basis again. Mark's planning parties for the few BYU football games that we get on TV. Yep, the Fall Semester has started, and it's going to be a tough but exciting time. This week, we have a couple more interviews to look forward to, a dentist appointment for each of us, and my work party on Friday. Mark won't be able to join in on the fun though because he has classes. Actually, the party is really that the guys from the office are going golfing, then we have a BBQ lunch at the Managing Director's basically I get the day off except I have to go to lunch at John's house. I guess it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make! :D

I wanted to get this post up for you to read it, but I will add pictures later, so I will post those within the next couple days!