A few days after Thanksgiving, they started arriving. A thing I cherish most dearly and love to adorn my walls with. My shrine. The Christmas cards.
Also a few days after Thanksgiving, I started to wonder if this was something I should do, too. But a huge thanks to my 2020 self who already set a tradition of writing a blog instead of sending cards because we already sent A LOT of cards this year with our pictures (both invitations and thank you cards). You don’t need more of that. You need more nonsense.
Presenting the 2022 Stitt and Meilstrup Christmas Blog that is not entirely composed of lovey-dovey stuff, but there is a fair amount for good measure.
Lots of snowy stuff–sledding, snowshoeing, snow hiking, cross country skiing, ice fishing, all the things. Dating in general is not always fun but it can be fun when you are constantly thinking of new things to do. This was Steve’s first time ice fishing and he enjoyed beating my mom at her best sport.
And…my car reached 200,000 miles. I was driving with Steve and told him I needed him to do me a favor and he had a short time to figure out what the favor was…like 20 Questions style. He finally figured out I wanted him to take a picture of the mileage when it reached 200K but he also figured out that I can be really annoying.
Some babies and some birthdays.
I was introduced to Wordle and our family started a Wordle chat separate from our family chat and then there’s a Quordle and a Dordle chat. So life is fun. My mom keeps track of everyone’s scores in an EXCEL spreadsheet (not giving away the 12/22 wordle because it’s past) and she says she’s winning.
Steve and I attended the temple together for the first time.
More babies and birthdays.
One of the fun things of working from home is that time is a little more flexible. Sometimes I have interns join me while the mum has to run an errand. Ginny has become a very good babysitter.
I got a new baby nephew!!! This guy has turned out to be the sweetest chunk of happiness and joy. I just love him.
Steve learned to downhill ski! I bought him a lesson for Christmas and he picked up on it really quickly. We only made it skiing one more time last season, but he’s geared up for a new year of skiing.
After two years, I started going back into the office one day a week. At least I think it was in March. Maybe it was May.
I also went and looked at rings in March…just to prepare myself…and thoroughly freaked myself out. Good times.
Steve and I attended a friend’s Utah themed birthday party and dressed as EFY counselors (because I was an EFY counselor back in the day and saved all my old stuff and Steve can fit in my shirts…) My friend made a video of it that blew up on the social medias. So we are very famous now.
We also let Steve hold the new baby nephew.
And started signing up for some wedding planning stuff. I signed up for a bridal show that asked for your budget and the STARTING range was $10k-$24,999. Nothing lower. And such a huge range for that first category. Yikes.
Steve and I went to general conference and I got to meet two of his nephews (one was singing in conference; the other got the +1 ticket). They are both on missions now so it was super great to meet them before they left.
For work, I was sent to help with the D.C. Temple Open House.
I took a detour with some vacation time and met up with one of my besties, Mary, in her hometown in Pennsylvania. Ironically, her family had planned to go to HersheyPark. So the first time I saw Steve’s hometown of Hershey and went to the theme park that he worked at as a youth was…not with him.
Worked the invited guests and media portion of the D.C. Temple Open House. Hung out with Steve’s mom who was working the open house as well.
Met up with Steve as he came out to visit me.
Got engaged. I mean, GOT ENGAGED! WHAT THE HECK? ARE YOU SERIOUS? HOW ROMANTIC IS THAT? HE FLEW ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO MEET ME IN D.C. ON HIS OLD TURF WHERE I WAS ON A WORK ASSIGNMENT SO HE COULD PROPOSE TO ME?
AND AT NIGHT ON THE NATIONAL MALL? #SWOON
We had a few extra days of vacation so we had what we call our “engagement-moon” where we got to spend time going back up to Hershey so I could see it through Steve’s eyes. And visit some of Steve’s favorite places in D.C.
Went to the Tulip Festival and Steve did a fake proposal and we totally made a bunch of teenage girls’ days.
Started some serious wedding planning–choose a ring for Steve, reception decor, photographer/videographer, invites, honeymoon. Excel spreadsheet mania, I tell you. We did not particularly enjoy wedding planning, but we did enjoy the outcome of it.
Went to the temple with Grandma and my parents to do sealings.
Shortly after, grandma fell and broke her hip in three places. The doctors said surgery would be tough at her age and she may want to just consider hospice care. This was a very scary time for all of us as we weren’t sure grandma would make it through. And I was particularly sad that she may not make it to my wedding.
But she did great in surgery. She did have a rough time in rehab but spoiler alert: she made it to the wedding, even though she had to be in a wheelchair. And now she’s just using a cane to get around. I am grateful for the stubborn gene that we seem to share.
And then…my first bridal shower! My co-workers threw me a shower. I was VERY hesitant to have any bridal showers at all because I felt like I had everything I needed and that I was already very amply blessed. I am so grateful that others convinced me to because it was nice to get a few new things. But even more than that, it was so nice to be loved. I was enveloped with love this year and I will never be able to express how much it meant to me to have people love and celebrate happiness and joy with me. I think we need times of happiness where we celebrate together because life can be rough.
More wedding planning. Engagement photos.
Steve and I helped out at our stake’s youth conference by walking youth through a little workshop to think of a life mission statement.
My sisters-in-law and sister threw me the most gorgeous family garden bridal shower ever in the history of ever. I loved it so much!
I hauled all the bridal shower gifts into the rehab center so that grandma didn’t feel so bad missing it.
The Meilstrup family had a family reunion in Utah which was wonderful to spend time with everyone and get to know them better. I couldn’t have chosen a better family to join up with.
Steve ran a Spartan uphill both ways at Snowbasin. One of Steve’s nephews got married the very same day, which was a little surreal to have an almost-nephew marry before we did. 🙂
Steve celebrated his 40th! I got him a bike so we could go bike riding. Don’t worry, we had talked about this at length and gone bike shopping together and it was a planned purchase, not a surprise. Because we have a budget and we had a wedding to plan (and pay for).
Birthday and a baptism
My wonderful friends–mostly from my young single adult ward in years past + a few others–threw me a fantastic friend bridal shower. I have had the most wonderful support!
And then the next day my ward threw me a bridal shower. I know I already said it, but I am overwhelmed by the love I have been shown this year.
We got Steve’s ring, so on a date hike I “proposed” to him. He said yes.
Then the Stitt fam did a staycation family reunion and had a blast.
We got married in the Bountiful Temple! The love. I can’t even.
And as a result, I got 29 more nieces and nephews (holy wow).
To add to my already lovely bunch.
We had a lovely reception at Wheeler Farm and a lovely first dance that we took lessons from an official ballroom dance teacher to learn. (Thanks, Megan).
Do you want to see our slideshow of adorable pictures? No? Sorry, here it is.
Should I just write a separate blog about the wedding? Maybe.
Anyway, we went on a honeymoon to Kauai. The most beautiful place. We hiked and snorkeled and rode in a helicopter and kayaked and did a boat tour and hiked some more. And sea turtles!! We feel very grateful for the friends who know we like adventure and recommended Kauai because it was perfect.
When we got home, we had a party to have everyone come help us open presents.
And then we had an open house at our home in Huntsville. It was beautiful and perfect.
We started settling into marriage. It is definitely a transition, especially since we have been doing our own thing for so long. But gradually I gave him more space in the closet and we have bought things that are “ours” instead of his and mine. And we took all the stuff out of cupboards and put it back in “our” way. Lots of big adjustments; lots of little adjustments.
I turned 37. We went kayaking to see the salmon run. Alas, it was too muddy to hike up but the kayak trip was fun.
I drew out on a buck this year and got a beautiful 4-point. We harvest the meat and this will provide an amazing amount of meat for our family for the year. That is, if we ever get it out of my parents’ freezer and into mine–because we need a bigger freezer now. But the space we have doesn’t fit a bigger freezer, so it’s a whole thing now.
Steve and I found out we both read the back of the oatmeal packet incorrectly the first time and thought it a little passive-aggressive.
You read it:
Did you read…That’s 2/3 cup, sir? because we did.
Steve found out what a joy it is to be a homeowner. We had a leak that cost $ only for it not to be fixed so $$ for it not to be fixed again and then $$$ for it to finally be fixed. Good times.
Steve got called to be in the bishopric. Welcome to the new ward.
Went shooting with the fam for Thanksgiving (one of my fave family traditions). Did not go shooting with Steve. He got the flu right before Thanksgiving so our first Thanksgiving–I abandoned him. Look, it was going to stink either way. But one way, I could get food and bring it home to him.
Steve and I flew out to D.C. as he had some work meetings that coincided with the timing of his holiday party at the National Air and Space Museum. It was lovely.
We spent time at the D.C. Temple and at the visitors where his mom is serving. I also got to do a few tours for some work research–visiting The Bible Museum and the Seventh-Day Adventist headquarters. Both great experiences.
And here we are preparing for our first Christmas together. I’ve hauled Steve around to nearly every house in the neighborhood so we can meet everyone and we’ve been reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Letters to Father Christmas” together. We also feel very frivolous because we bought a combo music player (record, CD, radio, Bluetooth, cassette). We realized that after many years of living with other people, we hadn’t really played music in common spaces very often (out of respect). But now, it’s our space…and we’ve been playing Christmas tunes non-stop.
Lots of discussing traditions we want to start–not sure what all we want to do yet–but we are certain that we want to serve and love and show all of you that you matter, that you are loved, and that we care about you.
And if you made it through all this nonsense, we wish you all a very merry and blessed Christmas. May you find peace in Christ.