2014 05 Family Letter – A Summer of Wedding Planning

Summer!!! It didn’t quite feel real until I noticed that it was getting way too hot to wear sweaters and jeans in Salt Lake! May has been filled with to dos and lots of travel. Nana and David were kind enough to let me stay with them after graduation — I am so glad that I had that time with them and am tickled that they never got sick of my cooked carrots or grapefruit. 🙂 I’m house sitting for them while they are on their annual family/graduation tour of the USA. No worries Nana — the flowers are still alive!
May included a lot of wedding planning — venue, dates, guest list, etc etc etc. Deborah, my soon to be sister-in-law, has been so incredibly helpful in all of this!!! I will never be able to thank her enough for being my fantastic little wedding planner, particularly as my Mom was still wrapping her head around the idea (haha! Love you Mom :)) I have a master monster of a spreadsheet going on in Google Docs that I am so proud, it may very well end up on a wall somewhere. So many details and things to remember! I never unpacked my clothes from college and have been living out of the same carry on since graduation, which would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so efficient. Haha! I flew out to Colorado and met my Dad and my Grandfather Mike & Grandma Ginny in Fort Collins for Natalie’s PhD graduation a few weeks ago. We had a lovely time at dinners and events with her cohort, advisor, and friends. I was grateful for the time to re-connect with Natalie and her husband Chase …. such a sharp and sweet couple 🙂 I was also sooooo in love with the landscape and greenery in the city that I insisted that O & I make it back sometime for a little trip sometime. He laughed and agreed. Oliver and I were separated for most of the month (though weekly Skypesessions with the whole Palmer clan makes us all feel a little closer) but I FINALLY flew out to DC last Wednesday so we could spend his birthday together. Hence, I am writing this family letter from what can only be described as a clean (ish) version of a professional 25-31yr old male Mormon frat house. Haha!
My connecting flight left before I could make it to the gate (because of delays on the first flight) so I was lucky enough to spend the night in a questionable airline provided hotel room 20 minutes outside of the airport. I woke up in the wee hours of the next morning to catch my flight, which, incidentally, also left without me after three gate changes. I finally flew into DC on the 3rd flight on standby. (Anyone buying a plane ticket in the future…I would strongly suggest thinking twice about flying with American Airlines.) So, I got into DC midday on the 29th (O’s 27th birthday)….I spent the afternoon busing around the city collecting various items for his birthday surprise, not forgetting the enormous bunch of balloons, with which I quite literally ran back to the house through a downpouring of big juicy rain drops. Luckily his roommate had a blow dryer for my mop of a head, and people on the streets decided to wish me “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” as I ran by instead of laughing at me. We spent the evening at dinner, then headed to REI for adventure shopping. O & I are planning to honeymoon in south east asia for most of August (we are now fondly calling this our “honeycation”), which will require some clever packing tricks and backpacking packs as carry-on luggage. 🙂 We blew out happy birthday shaped candles on his birthday pineapple (in lieu of cake) on Thursday around midnight and tested out our adventure gear on the beach at Assagteague Island (where wild horses run on the beach. No joke) and in Ocean City that Saturday. We’ve made good use of our time together by exploring different neighborhoods in DC and planning for the future.
Oliver has been busy at work, as usual (he came home “early” the other night at 7:30), and has been wrapping up the transition into his role as Senior Director for Taiwan Policy in the Department of Defense, which was a fortunateopportunity and great step up in responsibility from working as Country Director for China. He leaves for Taiwan this Saturday for another trip and will be traveling abroad very frequently over the next year or so before grad school begins. I am so grateful for his hard work and relentless ambition. (Though I chuckle that I’m not allowed to know the details of what he does at work until after the fact, when it lands on the front page of the NYTimes of Wall Street Journal) We feel very blessed for the opportunities we have been given and are looking forward to the ways we may be able to give back in the future.

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