As we reach this crazy milestone, I've become more intensely aware of the fact that we are halfway, halfway, through our time in Virginia.
I...I really...I have such mixed feelings. I now truly understand the confusion between belonging to two countries at once (because yes, I consider the east coast to be a different country to the west).
On December 12th, Dusty finished his last final of the semester and we were finally able to go out and spend some time together!
This was a doozy of a finals season. We realized it may be wiser to work a little extra during the semester to avoid two full weeks of all-nighters!
On top of having no sleep, we are in a serious weight-loss competition with Dusty's brother and sister-in-law...it has been neck-in-neck, so dieting + no sleep + stress + law studies = PSYCHOTIC BREAK.
Needless to say, we needed some serious R&R after it was all said and done!
So that Wednesday night, we headed to Isabella's for a you-deserve-bread-and-cheese-and-cream-and-yummy-fats celebration dinner.
We were STUFFED. Mostly because we had been starving for two weeks straight.
Oh and Dusty has a beard now. Courtesy of finals.
On one of the previous nights, we had stolen some time together to decorate the tree in between his study times.
I had put it up a few days before, but didn't want to hang the ornaments alone. It's a big deal to me, which is probably just because of how much my dad has always loved ornaments! Us kids always had our certain ones that we would hang every year.
This year, we had a handful of brand new ornaments from our travels!
We spread out our treasures,
Put on a Christmas episode of Friends, made some hot apple cider, and got to decorating!
Last year was our very first Christmas together. We decorated our little apartment, made some fun little traditions, and even had our own mock Christmas morning to exchange gifts to each other.
In light of being halfway through law school, I have found myself reminiscing on where we were last year around this time, compared to now.
I'd say we got a little carried away with our decorations this year!
Hanging our first ornament!
It was so fun!
After we made a mess of things and opened all the presents, we had a brilliant idea to have breakfast in our pajamas.
Since we didn't want to make breakfast, we headed to IHOP, pajama-clad and smiling!
This year, we kept the magic alive. But a lot has changed around the apartment!
We even had a "Christmas Eve", where we each got to open one gift.
Christmas Morning came along:
After we opened our presents, I decided to give Dusty an anniversary gift early.
I got him a vintage Guess Who game!
Not wanting to try and figure out a way to pack it and give it to him in Arizona on our actual anniversary, I gave it to him on our "Christmas morning".
Guess Who is one of the silliest and best parts of our dating relationship. For some reason, it was our favorite game to play together. And Dusty always won.
I know it's hard to believe, but one time, we opened up the game, picked our cards, and he guessed who I had on the first try. He just yelled out a name and it was right.
Trust me. I was there.
In any case, they don't make the 1987 version anymore, so I found it used on Ebay. Now we have our very own! And we may have started a new Christmas morning Guess Who tournament tradition.
Which led to us being famished, and ready for pajama IHOP :)
We have invested in incredible friendships, creating lifelong relationships and fun memories. We've made our awkward apartment into a comfortable home, that's completely weird and quirky and totally us...we've grown in our relationship, loving and supporting each other in the most difficult of times. And we've gotten fat from food and happiness and silliness (thus enters the weight-loss competition).
But overall, it has been a wonderful year and a half. We are so excited to go celebrate the holidays with our families, and offer up cheers to a brand new year.
Unless the world ends on Friday.
But we'll play it by ear.
Oh yeah, and this is our apartment right now.
That's what happens when Dusty isn't in school anymore.
I don't think I've EVER been as Christmas-spirit-filled as I am this year.