and I thought to myself....
Has it really been 4 months?
Nate and I moved to London 4 months ago today.
My how time has flown by!
It has been a fun, crazy, stressful, adventurous, exciting, and memorable 4 months!
And we have loved it.
I started thinking about the day that we will leave this beautiful
part of the world and I started feeling homesick for it.
I made a goal to myself to soak up every minute that I can,
participate and do everything that there is to do,
and live every moment to the fullest,
because I know that soon, it will all feel like just a dream.
Why London? Here is the story of how it all happened:
On the weekend of April 9th, 2011, I was in Denver, CO for a teaching job interview in the state of Hawaii. Nate and I really want to move back to Hawaii sometime during our lives, and so I tried my hardest to get a teaching job there and to make that dream possible for us. Brent and Brenna Fowler were nice enough to let me stay at their home and spend the whole weekend with them. I had a blast and got to meet their new little son, Lincoln!
Meanwhile, Nate was at home in Provo. He felt a sore throat coming on so he decided to go to Macy's grocery store to get some OJ. While he was there, he ran into an old professor that he had from BYU Provo, Dr. Karey. Dr. Karey remembered Nate, and Nate remembered him and they began to chat. He wanted to know what Nate was up to and how things were going. During the conversation, he said to Nate, "Have you ever thought about applying to graduate school in the UK?" Nate said he hadn't and that the dates for applying were probably all past by then, plus he hadn't even taken the GRE exam. Dr. Karey explained that for the UK schools, that you don't need a GRE test score, but they just look at your grade point average, your personal statement, and 2 letters of recommendation.
I get a call from Nate late Saturday night. He told me about his encounter with Dr. Karey and that he thought he would apply and just see what happened. He knew his grade point average was high enough, and he had some professors in mind from BYU Hawaii that would be more than happy to write him a raving letter. And for the personal statement, well, lets just say that Nate definitely has a gift for writing, so this wasn't anything he was too concerned about. I thought to myself, London? That is crazy. It would be way fun, but it just seems a little too good to be true. It didn't seem like something that actually would happen, not that I was doubting Nate's capabilities by any means, but it just seemed like a dream or something.
So around the beginning/middle of May, Nate applied to 2 schools, The University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and The London School of Economics in London. We didn't hear back from them until mid June, but he ended up getting excepted to both schools! We were thrilled!
After much thought and prayer, considering the pros and cons, seeking advice from professors and others, Nate decided that LSE was the way to go. Dr. Karey replied to Nate's long email questioning what school to choose and he wrote back a three liner that read something like, "There are 2 different kinds of people in the world. Those that went to LSE and those that didn't. Definitely LSE." That confirmed our decision that LSE was the better choice for us. We were ecstatic. London! Here is come!
The next few months were busy, busy, busy. We drove to CDA for my family reunion at the condos, moved out of our Wymount apartment at the end of July, bought a locked enclosed trailer to store all of our stuff (except for the 2 big suitcases, 2 small suitcases, and 2 backpacks worth of stuff that we were taking with us to London....I felt like a missionary again!), finished Nate's boat project, finished up my tutoring job and Zumba jobs, moved into the Hembree's motorhome that was parked on the side of their house for 2 months, went on a motorhome trip with my parents for 2 weeks to AZ and CA, came back to the Hembrees, worked at Plato's in Layton, and then after packing, shopping, and organizing to get ready, we left early in the morning on the 13 of September to London! It was a wild ride!
I remember when we first got here, we were so overwhelmed. We jumped from hotel to hotel, dragging our luggage all around the city, and then lived with Bishop Stephenson and his family for a week. There were days that we were very discouraged and totally dejected. It was a struggle to get anything done in this new country. It was crazy how hard getting a bank account, signing up for cell phone plans, and finding housing was. And we didn't have Internet access for the first week or so, so we were constantly lost and couldn't look things up to help ourselves. Finding housing was a nightmare, and after looking at tons of places, having the place that we liked fall through because it wasn't going to be ready until 2 weeks after we had planned, we were blessed to be selected from the LSE housing waiting list and given a place last minute. What a huge blessing for us. It couldn't have come at a better time. After we finally moved into our place and got settled, things started feeling more comfortable and like normal life. I remember that first week or so when Nate started classes and was gone most of the day and I was home alone. I remember lying in bed, feeling sick to my stomach knowing that I was going to have to go out there alone, in a huge city that I wasn't familiar with, figure out where I was going, get lost, get lost again, figure out my way home...get lost another time, etc... I was completely stripped from any comfort zone that I ever once had!
But now life is great. We are so blessed. It is amazing how things have worked out so well for us. We were truly guided here to London. I finally got my American police check sent back to me (after waiting 3 months) and am working full time now as a supply teacher. Nate loves school and is having lots of great experiences. I am teaching Zumba twice a week at LA Fitness and loving it! Nate is taking French language classes....Bonjour! We have made so many great friends and met so many people from all over the world. We live in downtown London, as central as you could possibly get, and it is so much fun! We have trips planned to Ireland, Scotland, Paris, Southern France, Spain, and Wales in the next coming months which we are stoked about! It is so fun living so close to so many different countries and to travel to them so cheaply! Plus, we have our supportive ward family here that loves and supports us as well as amazing family at home that pray for us daily. And of course we have each other! We have definitely grown closer together throughout this whole experience. We are on the adventure of our lives and we love it.
I hope the next 6 months will slow down a little because we don't want this chapter of our lives to end......