Goodbye Provo, UtahI think I owe Provo a good-bye post. WARNING: This post is crazy long and over-loaded with pictures.
The following is a timeline summary of things I will always remember about our time here in Provo.
1. This was the first place I lived away from home. I remember feeling so excited and thinking the sky was the limit.
I lived in on-campus housing with six girls packed in a cinder-brick walled apartment and one bathroom. I wouldn't have done it any other way. It was perfect. I had so much fun learning how to live on my own, how to survive college and how to put away my Arizona flip-flops and buy a real coat for snowy weather.
2. As my sophomore year rolled around, TJ left on his mission to Paraguay, and I had the chance to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. I met some of the best friends I have ever had and enjoyed random, crazy adventures with them. I got a job as a part-time floral designer. I also stressed a lot about picking a major and dating.
3. By junior year I really started to appreciate a number of things in my life. I realized just how much my parents did for me. I realized I was so lucky to be at BYU. I realized that Utah has its perks like getting to go to General Conference in person, or listen to apostles and the prophet in person when they came to visit BYU. I realized how blessed I was after spending time in Merida, Mexico on a study abroad. I realized I had made some pretty awesome friends. I realized I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else for this time period in my life.
4. The summer before my senior year TJ returned home from his two-year mission, proposed to me in a carriage in New York and we got married in the middle of fall semester. It was a whirlwind but we made Thanksgiving break the perfect honeymoon in Cancun before heading back to snowy weather and a little basement apartment.
5. Senior year (round two, since it took me 4.5 years to finish college!) we got smarter and TJ took on a sweet summer job with perks like meeting Carrie Underwood backstage before she performed at Stadium of Fire, riding in a hot air balloon all over Provo, a free night at a fancy hotel in Sundance, and more. I on the other hand, got to work 200+ hours for free as an intern at the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau so I could finish requirements for my major. I also left the flower shop and started a new job at a floral wholesale company. That fall semester I took my final classes as a BYU college girl and we celebrated our one-year anniversary. By Christmas 2010 I was officially a college graduate!
6. As April 2011 rolled around, I got to walk at graduation and be the proud bread-winner for our little family as a full-time worker. We took off that summer to NYC for internships and came back to Provo wondering why we had to even come back. (I guess it was enough of a reason since TJ still had to finish his last year of school!)
7. As we adjusted back to Provo-life in the fall we got a bigger and better apartment (compared to our cold little basement) and remembered all over again why we love this college town. I worked and stressed and made plenty of trips to crafty places like Hobby Lobby and Quilted Bear. I also started working on my meager cooking skills for our new tradition of Sunday dinners with Tyson since he was starting his freshman year at BYU. Then April 2012 came and TJ was the happiest man ever to finish school and graduate.
As we packed up our belongings and drove out of Provo, I actually felt a little emotional. I mean this place had been my home for the past 6 years and a lot of fun, crazy, challenging, silly, rewarding moments took place here.
So now as I reflect on all of this, I think again about what I have said to many people who have asked what it was like to move so often while growing up. I was always sad to leave where we were, but somehow each new place ended up being better than the last. So with that said, thanks Provo for all the good times, and here's to our next adventure in New York City!