Saturday, September 15, 2012

Life Starts!

This is a random picture from our civil ceremony. Here we became man and wife.
So wedding season is finally over! Can you believe I still have two more CDs of wedding photos that are not yet on facebook? I should put them up because they are from the civil ceremony and also the celebration here in Spain. On one hand I feel like there are about a zillion of our wedding pictures on facebook, but at the same time I want to be sure that both celebrations are highlighted equally. So-- there is your warning. Facebook will soon provide you with another update from Mary Techera that she has posted MORE pictures.

Did I mention I still need to post pictures of our honeymoon in Utah and to NYC (we were there for a day or so. That counts, right?). Oh-- and apartment pictures! In all honesty, I do it for myself.  I love having pictures to record events! I can look at our wedding pictures all day every day. I'm sure you feel the same way about a similar event in your life. The memories are just so wonderful that you want to relive it again and again. It might also be in part because I miss my family and I love looking through the pictures and seeing the good times we had.

Ok! So how is life now that we are settled here in Spain? Well the wedding here went on without a hitch! My sisters Rachel and Sarah ( and my cousin Elise and her boyfriend!) were able to come. They were so helpful and sweet. And they were such good sports as I dragged them around Barcelona in the August heat trying to make the most of their time here. They arrived just as we found our own apartment and were patient as we struggled with a broken sink (for 4 days) and an under-supplied (no plates and no cooking pans!) apartment. But I think it went well. I hope they come back again in another time of year. Maybe early spring. But September is turning out to be very lovely! Ulises and I will be driving up in the canyon to see some leaves soon.

So Ulises and my apartment is just what we need! Its pretty small but very clean, new, well communicated to public transportation, and has plenty of storage. It is located in a part of the city called L'Hospitalet. Parts of this area are known for ''immigrants'' and ''poor people''-- And that is just what Ulises and I are! Both of us are immigrants and are poor. Ha! But in reality we live in a pretty good part of the town and we feel safe and happy here. We plan on living here for a couple years but who knows where life will take us.
The view out of one of our windows

The apartment itself has a kitchen/living space and then a bedroom and then a bathroom. Our couch in our living room is a hide-a-bed ( consider yourself invited to visit) and the bathroom is large and has a full size tub! Our bedroom has a super cool pop up bed. It lifts up and you can store things under the mattress. Then it pops down just as easily as it pops up! We have lots of closet space and Ulises even installed (with much frustration, cursing and kicking) a ceiling fan in our bedroom. It is perfect because the AC reaches only the living room. And it looks good! Also, when the sink broke our first week in the apartment it got the wood floor wet and damaged. Just last week they replaced the WHOLE floor free of cost! Ulises ( and I... I guess) got to choose the floor color ( it took him hours to decide.) and is so happy with it. We also have a new rug on the floor and our house is a 'no shoe' house so I can stick my face on the rug and not worry about what the bottom of your shoes could have dragged in! Its great!
New hardwood floors and our IKEA rug
Yes, that is a washer and dryer in our kitchen

TV: Walker Texas Ranger. My English options are limited
full size bath!

You can't see it here, but the bed pops up!

The ceiling fan that brings so much happiness

So we celebrated our wedding, found an apartment, and I found work! We have been so blessed. The economy here in Spain is struggling so much. 25% unemployment-- the majority among young workers like Ulises and myself. But because I speak english natively I have been able to find work teaching mostly little children and also adults. I work in an academy and also as a nanny and home English teacher. I have had so many offers that I have had to turn some down. It's hard to balance the hours I have accepted and schedule the travel times between them all. Its also hard to turn new offers down that offer more money but  I think we have a good schedule. It is a wonderful opportunity to allow me to work and save money while Ulises concentrates on his studies. He is the only married man in his University and we are determined to break the pessimistic expectations of many people who believe its impossible to be married and study well at the same time.

To help me arrive to work on time and to allow Ulises to travel to school efficiently and also allow us to go to and from his parents ( and anywhere else our hearts desire...) Ulises and I have purchased a MOTORBIKE! I know it sounds reckless and irresponsible. That's what I thought initially. I always thought of people with motorbikes as people who wanted a 'toy.' But after living here in Barcelona I've learned that a motorbike is not only economical but it is also the most efficient way to travel. It has a more direct route than public transportation, can be parked anywhere, doesn't take a lot of gas, and we don't have to pay a large car payment! So we left Ulises car with his parents and opted for our own little motorbike that fits our needs and our budget. Since we don't have kids yet- its the best thing for us! And it will allow me to travel between my jobs with ease.

We both ride this thing in style! :)

We feel really fortunate for all we have been given.
I miss my family, I miss many comforts of America-- but life is good. We are so blessed and so happy.

Until next time!