Growing up, one of my favorite pastimes was playing house with Hannah and/or with friends. We'd organize our play kitchens, our baby nurseries, create forts, etc., and play shopping. I liked doing this because my dream was to someday "play house" for real. I am LOVING setting up my own (our own) house now :-). It is so much fun, and a fulfillment of many dreams.
It is quite a bit of work, though. Getting into a routine of shopping (and learning the location of stores!), making menus, creating a budget, etc. takes a lot of initial legwork. And then there is the great task of organizing! Adrian moved into the apartment in early June, and I brought up two loads of my stuff during the summer, then we added wedding presents on top of all that, so there were literally humongous piles to sort through and organize. Of course, being the type-A, hyper-organization freak I sometimes can be, this wasn't all that bad of a task, just very involved :-P.
Oh, and meals are great fun to prepare every day. Due to teaching, tutoring, wedding planning, and the distractions of a certain young man *cough*, I haven't regularly cooked meals in quite some time, so I'm really enjoying getting back into the kitchen. I think Adrian appreciates it too ;-). He admits his diet has vastly improved. We've greatly appreciated all the helpful wedding gifts people gave us, and are enjoying using them. We received a pizza stone, and I am completely sold on the idea of baking pizza on a stone, after just one try; vastly better than metal pan-baked!
Oh, a word of advice to all the young ladies who, like me, fill hope chests in their single years. I suggest focusing on specialty and handmade items that are priceless, not just cookware that can be bought at any department store. We were blessed with a lot of basic cookware like mixing bowls, casserole dishes, etc., even some that we didn't register for (but were nicer than we had!), so I'm glad that most of my hope chest items were handmade or more particular items (like a glass bread plate a la Laura Ingalls Wilder, or teacups, or a handpainted bowl, or handmade quilt). Anyway, just a suggestion. We couldn't believe how generous people were!
I feel bad, because as is often the case with weddings, I won't be able to really thank some of the gifters. Even with the precaution of having a few people to tape cards to gifts, we still have some cardless gifts, and one or two with a very generic first name on them. As a suggestion, please write your last name on a wedding card!
It's different being in a completely different area, and adjusting to a new set of stores and a new church. It helps that Adrian has lived here for a while :-). And I just spent most of today at various government agencies changing legal identification, etc. Long story as to why, but I had to go to the DMV three times! But it's done now :-). I'm officially Susan Garrison Keister. Yay!