Monday, April 21, 2014

St. Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh

Not to be missed (since we had such great time in 2013), we returned to Pittsburgh this year for the St. Patrick's Day festivities and to celebrate the birth of the most fantastic (or OKAYEST,  as Adam declared the past weekend) brother in the world! This time we joined the bus from Johnstown so we didn't have to worry about driving, parking, or finding a hotel overnight. It was a festive social occasion that included Mike getting a temporary tattoo of giant green lips on the back of his neck. Good times by all!
The bus dropped us off at the casino, where we burned through the "free" casino dollars that came with paying for the bus, and then we were out and about the city enjoying the sites while bar hopping.
Alyshia and Holly

Bart and Tammy

Yep, I picked them... :)

They produced that giant leprechaun

Like mother, like son


I love my Bob

LOVE the hats

Family Pride
The final family picture for a while. This was Adam's farewell to Michael and Johnna until the holidays. And his parents when we left Johnstown the next morning. Ugh, it was hard, and it wasn't even my departure!

So awesome

Johnna and them dealing with us

Between the parade, the beer gardens, and other festivities, this city really knows how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. And it was an absolutely gorgeous day to enjoy it as well. I highly recommend the venture should you want to celebrate in true Irish style!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Pennsylvania Farewell

With such little time before Adam's departure, he was really worried about being able to say goodbye to everyone. The time between us deciding to move and his actually leaving was only a month. It sounds like quite a bit of time until you realize how much stuff there is to do and people to see when everyone lives in other states. To help him out, Darlene and I plotted a surprise farewell for him when we went back for a final weekend in he could see everyone in one place instead of stressing about making it everywhere to see everyone. We are hoping to make it back for the holidays (and of course, deer season!), but it isn't a guarantee yet, so it could be a potentially extended time until Adam sees everyone again. We met up with his parents at their Elks club and then EVERYONE started showing up. I love seeing how much my husband is loved. I mean, I know that he should be loved by all, he is the most awesome person ever, but I am also completely biased. Family and friends descended on Johnstown to give Adam a proper send off. I know that he REALLY appreciated and LOVED it, but so did I, just knowing how much it meant to him (and me!). Thank you EVERYONE for always being there, so supportive and wonderful. You definitely make our lives awesome.

My giant leprechaun (it was St. Patty's Weekend as well)

The gorgeous Connelly cousins: Clerissa and Janell

Marlene (Adam's godmother) and Darlene

Adam and the Studer parents (having all the babies for us, thank you!)

Me with Tasha and Gemma

Adam and the whole Adams/Studer clan

Tasha and Kevin

Morgan and Nick

Party to my left 

Party to my right

Adam is also her favorite...

A family of gingers

See, Adam LOVES kids...and Greyson was LOVING him!

Different in chronologic age...

Same is developmental age... :)


Adam and his Meyer girls

One hell of an awesome family

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Mayer Clan Visits and a Household Purge

With Adam's impending departure, the immediate Mayer clan decided to make a trip down to spend the weekend with us in Maryland. It was absolutely perfect weather wise and we ventured down into Annapolis for the first glint of Spring for 2014. A fantastic afternoon was had bar and shop hopping, just spending time together over nice cold beers (and cider!). Annapolis is one of our absolute  favorite little cities in Maryland and always a default when trying to determine what to do.

The awesome Mayer parents

Momma and her oldest (and the on going battle of who's favorite....)

Enjoying the docks

The whole crew

The Mayer favorite!

They left us around noon on Sunday (with the TV for Michael). By the time 6pm rolled around Adam had sold:

  • Living Room couch
  • TV stand
  • Audio pier
  • Bedroom set
  • 2 dressers
  • Dining room table with 6 chairs
  • 2 bar stools
  • Futon
We were left in the house with a mattress on the floor, a desk, and a desk chair. It was so glorious to be rid of all of the possessions, as I have wanted to get to this point for SO long. It started out in Hawaii when the travel bug took hold, but I want to never possess more than I can carry....not there at all, but much closer after this purge! Oh what a whirlwind this all was....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A New Hampshire Farewell

 Well, as previously mentioned: WE ARE MOVING TO ABU DHABI. Life became a whirlwind after that decision was made because we had about a month to take care of our life here and for Adam to say good bye to family and friends here. When looking into the details, we determined that it was not in the best interest of our kitty, Maia, to have her join us on this move difficult as that decision was. Having to put her through additional microchipping (as if the 2 for Hawaii wasn't enough), another round of vaccines (of which she did not tolerate well the first time around and that was 7 years ago), and just the general stress it would cause her, was just too much guilt on my conscience. That and I have my parents who absolutely adore her, so we opted to have her stay behind. So a long drive we took to get our cat and important possessions to NH for storage.
Of note, my dad has picked up a woodworking hobby over the last few winters, to help pass the time between snow storms and when it is a stupidly cold temperature outside and he can't go ice fishing, (my dad eat/drinks/breathes/LIVES) fishing. He started out making unique lamps but then branched into sculpture work...which caught some eyes. Well, he was asked to be in an art show this Spring (how amazingly awesome is that !?!?!?!), and we were able to go see his pieces on display at the AVA Gallery. It was really neat to see all of his creativity and hard work on display, to be appreciated by everyone. This is one of my most favorite pieces:

He came across this piece of old wood that had obviously killed a chainsaw because the chain was all caught up in it. The tree defeated the attempt at distraction and then continue to grow! He transformed it into the most incredible lamp!

We did the obligatory drive all over the place and stop at random wineries and breweries, having a fantastic afternoon!

Talking mom through the sampler at Long Trail Brewery

The pillars of my life

For dinner we ventured to the Flying Goose Pub, where they have their own microbrew system going on paired with incredible food. My cousin Sam joined us for a fantastic evening for great company, good drinks, tasty foods, and lots of laughter. The best of times.

Me and my cousin Sam

A farewell to NH sampler

It was a quick but really REALLY nice weekend. It was relaxing (other than the 16 hours of driving there and back), and a good way to start the marathon of preparing for Adam's departure and our move.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Life Updated

Wow...there is SO much that has happened in the last 6 weeks that life has pretty much been a blur. After returning from our amazing CA trip, Adam was once again offered the position in Abu Dhabi (the one we originally left Hawaii for but didn't end up taking because I could find an advanced practice nursing position there- since they didn't exist)....well, all of the stars aligned because:
1.) We really couldn't refuse such a great opportunity
2.) The UAE just started recognizing Clinical Nurse Specialists (what I do for NIH) in February
3.) We were looking for some sort of change in our life

So he accepted the position. In the last 6 weeks we have:
1.) Sold all of our furniture (every last piece of it)
2.) Sold my Jeep
3.) Donated all of our household goods to Goodwill
4.) Made a trip to NH to hand over our kitty Maia to my parents for safekeeping while we are abroad, drop off sentimental items (i.e. wedding album, family heirlooms, pictures), and for Adam to say farewell to my side of family/friends
5.) Journeyed to Johnstown and Pittsburgh to say farewell to Adam's side of family/friends
6.) Shipped 300lbs of "essential" belongings Abu Dhabi (the things we CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT for a few years). It is interesting what you determine is pertinent, ours was:
     a.) Travel gear: Packs, tents, sleeping bags, clothes, hiking poles
     b.) Diving gear: So grateful to be living back on the beach and this being a regular activity again!
     c.) Workout equipment: Yoga mats and kettle bells
7.) Send Adam on his merry way to the United Arab Emirates (he has already been there for 2 weeks)
8.) I moved out of our apartment and in with some AMAZING friends (shout out to the fantastic Pennock clan for adopting and enduring me for the next few months!!!)

Everyone keeps asking about Adam's Audi (Lola), we are going to be putting her in storage up at my parents once it is time for me to leave, so no...he didn't give up his baby.

Yes, it has been an incredible whirlwind.

So the big questions: What am I still here and Adam is already over there? Because I am a dedicated person. I was committed to so many projects at NIH that I felt bad leaving them hanging. That and my research protocol that I have worked SO hard to get up and going over the past year would die if I didn't complete it, and I am too passionate about it to let that happen. It really needs to come to fruition because the data will literally save lives. So my husband is both amazing and incredibly this is what we are doing. Hello long-distance. My goal is to be joining him in June, fingers-crossed.

One INCREDIBLE thing that has come from this whole thing is that MY PARENTS GOT THE INTERNET (Hi Hoisington parents!!!) ! Yes, it only took moving overseas AGAIN for this to happen, for the benefits of Skype. Well, I am not even abroad yet and we are Skyping 2-3 times a week and loving it. I am also grateful for Skype because I can still see Adam's handsome face and hear his voice on a daily basis without paying long-distance fees.  It really does make it SO much better, as hard as this distance is. I feel closer to him now living 14 hours flying distance apart, than the year apart we did when he was finishing up Juniata and I was at nursing school in Philly (only 3 hours driving apart). If you want our Skype names, just send us a message!

I have pictures from all of these wonderful trips and activities that I will eventually get around to posting, but I just wanted to give everyone an update as to where we are at. Also, we will have plenty of space for visitors in our new flat in Abu Dhabi, so start planning your trips now!