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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chrissy and Ryan Tie the Knot...Again!

Chrissy and...nope, that's not Ry - it's Seth silly!

Well, what a BUSY week it's been...and although living in D.C. has brought a lot of changes, it is SO WONDERFUL and we are loving every second of this new adventure!  We are pretty much all settled now and have enjoyed a week chocked full of love, attention, and VISITORS!!!  Amy (one of my best girlfriends) has been with us for about a week and a half and Brooke (one of my other best girlfriends) just arrived today from Denver.  These two are so much fun and I am grateful to spend time with them before I start school and they move into their new place (location is still TBD lol).  We have also had visits from several of my longtime friends here in Virginia to welcome us to the East coast and I am looking forward to many more visits during my next (and last) month of freedom before I am a slave to law school!!!  We even lucked out to get to spend some time in the city with my sister Marita and Seth's sister Chrissy who were both in the area visiting...which brings me to the moral of this blog post haha!!!

This past weekend Chrissy and Ryan were married at Smith Mountain Lake in the countryside of Virginia.  Long story short, Chrissy is pretty much the most amazing wedding planner ever!  Originally she and her husband were to be married in the spring of 2011...but in an effort to start saving for a home and to just get 'er done Chrissy took the bull by the horns and planned, not one, but TWO weddings in about two months...and they were both so wonderful!!!  She and Ryan were originally married in June back in Utah, but Ryan's parents are Long Island transplants now living on the lake so she organized another ceremony and reception back here for his family ...and lucky for us we are back here too so we got to attend the festivities twice!!!

Seth and I made the four hour drive down to Moneta, Virginia (it even sounds country don't it :D ) on Saturday morning and got there in time to help out with the last minute preparations before the ceremony.  Luckily for all in attendance we were blessed with a lakeside breeze (this past week has set new heat records across the state!) and a well stocked bar, so the weather was bearable!  Seth walked Chrissy down the aisle and gave her away and it marked exactly one year til he and I are to be wed ourselves.  Needless to say it was a very special night and I continue to realize how lucky I am to have been adopted into such a wonderful family as the Odoyle's...I mean Longhurst's! :)

The ceremony was so beautiful and totally perfect!
Chrissy took care of all the details...she even rented a carousel!!!
Seth and Chrissy know how to get down!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mister Seth Goes to Washington

Alright, so far so good. My first post got lots of lovin so I hope the rest are just as good for you guys haha! Anyway, so now that I've gotten all the explanations out of the way as to how we got here, I guess it's time for a real post about the goings on in our life!

When I first started looking at law schools last fall, Seth and I sat down and kind of picked out schools according to where we could see ourselves living should law school take us away from Salt Lake. For those who don't know, Seth works in marketing and advertising so we couldn't have moved just anywhere if he was going to be able to continue in this field and have a chance for growth in his own career, so we looked mostly at bigger cities. For me, D.C. was kind of a dream because of my political aspirations and since I grew up close by. Anyway, I got my first acceptance letter from a school in Minneapolis. While we were both happy at that moment to know that I would definitely be able to go to law school, we were even happier when the next letter came in (from American University coincidentally) and we knew we wouldn't have to move to Minneapolis :D Well, after all was said and done, Seth and I sat down, discussed the options, and chose that a move to D.C. where I would attend the American University Washington College of Law would be best.

Now came the hard part - Seth finding a job. In our current state of affairs with such a struggling economy and even rougher job market, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle for Seth to find employment, especially in a good job in his field. Well, Seth doesn't have the nickname "Mega Seth" for no reason! He took the bull by the horns and actively marketed himself to agencies in D.C. and, within about a month, was offered a job at Essential Media Partners in downtown D.C....and he never even had a face to face in person interview!!! Yeah, I was pretty amazed myself but I knew he could do it and it made me feel even more sure that D.C. was meant to be!!!

Seth has now been working for a week and is really enjoying his new job. Although the first few days were a little rough having to commute from my Mom's house, it's a lot easier now that we are all moved in to our place and he can hop on the Metro to get to work! As for me, well, I guess you could say I have been busy too ;D I spent this week unpacking all of our stuff and getting the house in order (I even had time to get a little tan in haha!). Also, two of my best girlfriends are moving to D.C. and will be staying with us for a couple of weeks until they move in to their new place. Anyway, needless to say from all that will be going on over the next few weeks between Seth's job, the random things we already have planned to do, and Brooke and Amy staying with us for a while, I have no doubt that many more interesting posts are soon to come :
                      Our nation's Capitol on the 4th of July.
                  Seth on the Metro off to his first day of work.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Here's to New Beginnings!!!

Alright, with all the mumbo jumbo explanation of why I've been MIA out of the way, it’s about time to get a real post goin!

For those of you who aren't completely familiar with where I come from, this would probably be a good place to start. I moved to Utah in August of 2004 to start school at BYU. Although I kinda got tricked into going there (my Mom tells a different story about that than I do haha), my first year at school was great and I actually decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I left for my mission in July 2005 and moved to Los Angeles to proselyte to the Hispanic people in the area. These two years were also wonderful and a great opportunity for me to grow and learn more about myself and the world around me. I returned to BYU in the fall of 2007 to continue my education.

It wasn't until the spring of 2008, after I lost a close election for BYU Student Body President, that I really started to explore and accept the possibility of who I was - a gay Mormon. 'What!?' you say. A gay Mormon? Isn't that a pretty big contradiction? Well, yes, yes, it is - but I didn't realize how conflicting those two ideas really are until early the following year...but I will get to that in a minute :)

After completing my second full year of school, I decided to move to Sacramento, CA in the summer to sell pest control with some friends from college. I figured that getting out of Utah for a bit would give me a chance to clear my head and refocus on the ideas and values I had always been taught to believe growing up...but it didn't quite turn out that way after all. After I moved, I ended up meeting two other BYU students in the area who were also gay and struggling with the same things I was. Needless to say this really kinda opened my eyes and reinforced my need to come to terms as to who I was and what would make me happy in life.

As the summer of 2008 was drawing to a close, I joined the College Republican National Committee as a Field Representative and was sent to Columbus, OH to head up recruiting and Get Out The Vote efforts for all the universities in the area. While this was a great opportunity for me (since I want to run for President in 2028), it was even greater in that I could actually be ME! I had a great network of friends who supported and loved me for who I was, no questions asked. Anyway, like I said, it was a great time and, even though most of the candidates I campaigned for didn't win (that seems to be a trend in my campaign experience lately haha) I wouldn't ever trade that opportunity for anything in the world.

That November, after the election results were finished coming in for Ohio, my attention turned to California where the voters passed Proposition 8 and banned gay marriage. Now, not only did this disturb me because of its blatant bigotry, however, the Church in which I was raised and for which I served a mission was its biggest backer and financial supporter. It was at this point that my conflict of being gay and being Mormon really began to consume me.

Almost as a reaction to the Church's involvement in Prop. 8, I applied and was selected to model for a 'beefcake' calendar that portrays Mormon Missionaries shirtless (Men on a Mission 2010 calendar). While my view of the calendar was one of simply allowing people to make a statement that not all Mormons are the same, the reaction from the Church and BYU was not nearly as simple. First, someone at school had reported that I was gay (which is not allowed to be 'practiced' as a member of the Church or as a student at BYU) and that I had participated in this calendar which the Church now condemns. Long story short - I was called in the BYU Honor Code office, interrogated, and nearly expelled from school. Luckily for me I was able to wrap up the last of my required classes early and graduate in August of 2009 (finishing in 3 years instead of 4 in order to move on and prevent further run ins with the school).

After graduation, while there was some bitterness towards BYU and the Church for how I had been treated during my last year at school, there was also a lot to be happy for. That March (on St. Patrick’s Day to be precise – luck o’ the Irish I guess) I met Seth (now my fiancé) at a party. During the spring of 2009 we began to date exclusively and moved in together that summer. Over the course of the past year and a half we have grown together (as have our families!) and found a true love that is so hard to find in today’s world!

Now, while many amazing times have been had the past year and a half, my blogging skills have been lacking so I figured that the best way to chronicle all of our new adventures (the move to D.C., Seth’s new job, me starting law school, the wedding, etc…) would be to start this up again from Day 1 in D.C. So, ladies and gentleman, without further adieu, welcome to my life and welcome to my BLOG!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And away we go!

OK, so I'm a bit rusty on this whole BLOG thing...I used to write updates pretty often but life got so hectic that it kinda got brushed under the rug...but, luckily for me (and you :D ), in all our packing and cleaning for the move I found it! Seriously though, I figured that moving from Salt Lake back to D.C. would be a great time to get this hot mama of a BLOG back up and running, so here I go!