Thursday, June 19, 2008

happy dad's day!

since mark's parents were in georgia during father's day, dad chewning was lucky enough to have us all to himself! we headed over to my parent's house early sunday afternoon for some grilling out, croquet and pool time! there was a good time had by all, and we even got to see my grandmother, uncle timmy and my 6 year-old cousin griffin! also, as it turns out, i am now able to draw the conclusion that i'm horrible at croquet.

just a few photos from the day:

papa chewning, chillin' poolside in his cabana gear

although he's no where NEAR being a papa yet, mark decided to kick back and relax too...i suppose it was for practice or something :) - nice farmer's tan too!

and we can't leave out of favorite boy, buddy! he made sure to enjoy the day by sneaking human food whenever possible

moving days and a 30th birthday!

we woke up early on friday, may 30th in anticipation of a momentous day- mark would leave the army and we'd pack up the u-haul and head to maryland! for some reason, u-haul didn't have the same thing in mind...

we called and called and u-haul just didn't have any trucks available for us, even though we'd reserved one well in advance. mark was finally put in contact with a district manager and he pulled some strings and got us a "for-sale" u-haul (aka. a junker) that was 26 feet long, had a diesel engine and was a stick-shift. the thing is, i grew up on a stick-shift and that's what i learned to drive on, but mark, although he does have experience, doesn't have as MUCH. therefore, it was decided that i would drive this monstrosity. the size wasn't so bad, but the gears were so hard to shift and the shifting was so fast due to the engine, it was nerve-wracking. after getting the truck back to the apartment, i started loading it with boxes while mark went and took care of signing out of the army. after a while, mark returned and working together went a heck of a lot faster. however, we didn't pull out of newport news until 9pm- way too late to move into an apartment that night back in maryland. we decided we'd stay at mark's parents house that night and move into our apartment the next day, the 31st, and mark's 30th birthday! this kind of ruined all the surprise plans i had made for his bday, but i knew all of that could be done another time except for one thing...

anyway, since the truck was so cumbersome, we decided to take route 17 to route 301 to maryland instead of I-95 in case there was road work or traffic or the woodrow wilson bridge lift, etc. after filling up with gas around 11:30, we were just a few miles from MD- yay! that's when things took a turn... i was following mark, who was in our car, we were on a 2 lane road, 4 miles from the potomac and it was pitch black. that's when i saw the buck in the left lane (we were in the right) and knew it was going to be baaaad. mark saw him too, swerved right to avoid him, but the buck jumped at mark's car, was hit and starting spinning in the air. i swerved hard left to avoid mark's car and the deer, thought i was going to tip the truck, so i over-corrected and swerved right, avoiding everything. we both pulled over to the side of the road and mark called, said he was OK but the car was messed up, but drivable. we eventually pulled in to a hotel parking lot, took a look at things, called mom and dad schmidt to tell them about it and have them call insurance and then we proceeded to the weigh station in maryland across the bridge. once at the station, we contacted local authorities who were a tremendous help. we found out the deer was still in the road back where we hit it, it had a broken leg and was put down. we felt horrible about it all, but knew there was nothing else that could have been done and we were both SO lucky to be OK. we didn't pull into the schmidt's until 2:30 am and immediately went to bed. the next day we assessed the damage in day light...
not as bad as it could have been, and again, we were so thankful to be safe!

after a tiresome day of packing up, we were so incredibly fortunate to have the help of mom and dad schmidt, dad chewning and sister allie chewning, to help us move into our place in college park! they helped the process move SO MUCH faster than it would have if it were just mark and i! the goal was to have everything in the apartment by 4 pm- and we had everything unpacked by 3:30! the reason i had a goal was because i had planned a little surprise for the bday boy at his favorite restaurant- the marrakesh in dc! yummy moroccan food with a few of his family and friends :)

after dragging mark on the metro and promising him we wouldn't be out late and that it was just going to be the 2 of us, we arrived and were seated with some of our favorite people!

the chewning girls (with gina and part of cousin becky) enjoying some dinner

dad chewning looking kind of exhausted after a long day of heavy lifting

our friends, meghan and alex, enjoying some tea

us and mom and dad schmidt!

not only was the food absolutely delicious, filling and really fun to eat- but the entertainment was incredible!!!!

the belly dancer in the middle of dinner was so great, had tons of acts and even balanced this real sword on her head for an entire song!

the tea-man was also quite entertaining, as he poured tea into little tiny cups from several feet in the air


memorial day weekend

phew! a lot has happened since our last we'll start from the beginning...

mark's last day with his unit in newport news, va was friday, may 30th, which also happened to be the day that we were scheduled to move back up to maryland. since we knew a lot of preparations were going to be made during the week leading up to may 30th, i decided that my last day at work would be friday, may 24th so that i could tie up any loose ends, etc. prior to moving. may 24th also happened to kick off memorial day weekend which was JAM packed full of stuff for us to do...up in maryland :) we were traveling up to sign our new apartment lease on the morning of may 25th and then that same day our friends, laura and justin, were getting married. sunday was a bit more relaxing, but since it was right after my mom's knee surgery, we were trying to help as much as she would let us around the house and with my sisters. monday we were planning to spend some time with mom and dad schmidt...but things turned a little "horrible" - but more on that later.

all in all, it was a fantastic weekend! laura and justin's wedding was absolutely beautiful and SUCH a fun time! it was held at the historic oakland mansion tucked back in columbia, maryland.
justin and laura mingling during the reception

mark and i with the lovely bride :)

the wedding was just perfect, the weather was amazing, as it was all outdoors, the dress was gorgeous, the flowers were stunning- all of it was just fantastic- i was so proud of laura for working so hard and putting it all together so flawlessly! congrats to the happy couple!

now, onto the drama of the weekend...on monday we decided we would leave my parents house, head to our new apartment (lease signed and check written on saturday), go to ikea and then head to mark's parents house before leaving town to go back to newport news. WELL! upon entering our new apartment (with 2 carloads of stuff already unloaded and locked into the bedrooms), there was a funny smell that mark noticed. so, i quickly turned to the living room outlet that i had left a new air freshener in to get the "new paint" smell out before we moved was GONE! i was pretty annoyed since it was one of those super nice ones from bath and body works, but thought maybe someone put it in a kitchen cabinet or something (workmen were still doing touch-ups, etc.). as i entered the kitchen i saw things on the floor that i was only familiar with because i had watched a few recent episodes of "verminators" on tv. so i wanted to confirm with mark, and i asked, "are those roaches?!" and he replied, "yup." we were both pretty sick to our stomachs. these things were at all stages of life and death and everywhere in between. i opened a drawer and one scurried. that's when i started to cry. i couldn't live like this! mark had already called the landlord who said he knew about them and had gotten some RAID. mark told him it was good enough and wouldn't take care of the real problem and that we wanted someone professional. the guy agreed and said OK. so then, as i opened what would be our master bedroom, i saw a few huge ones on the walls and freaked even more. i told mark that he needed to call the guy back and that i wanted proof of a professional or we'd reconsider the lease (some other "sketchy" things had happened earlier that we weren't too happy with but thought we might be able to live with- this was just too much). now, needless to say, we were trying to think positively and be patient. so, mark left the message and we headed to his parents house after a lot of photo taking and documentation of the issue. once we got to mom and dad schmidt's, the landlord called us back, said we were asking too much and said we could have our money back. i WHOOPED for joy! mark and i were so glad to be rid of that place, you have no idea! however, this left us with a bit of a dilemma...we'd have to stay in town another day (tuesday) to get our check back and to try and find another place to live before we moved up in 3 days... yikes!

to spare you the details, we got our money, voided the lease and even got a check to reimburse me for the stolen air freshener...and then after a few hours of looking in college park, we found an AMAZING apartment in a gated community, with a huge gym, a nice pool, a free internet cafe, a free parking garage and a lovely view. and the kitchen, my favorite part of the apartment, is HUGE and has an island- i love it! we're almost done decorating, so i'll post photos soon. needless to say, everything does happen for a reason and we are much much happier now than we would have been at the roach motel! visitors are always welcome!!!!