So after a couple weeks back in LA, I finally feel like I”m somewhat settling in.
I really enjoyed my month back in Wisconsin with family and friends, but it was a pretty busy month! Besides getting over jet lag and being incredibly busy with the holidays, I spent about a week in Chicago (relaxed with Julie & Beth a bit, went to a formal ball, and spent a great new years with them both!), visited my friend Amy & her new baby up in Kaukauna, WI, went to an indoor water park in the Dells with my mom, Grandma, and sister, and was busy making preparations for my return to LA. This month seemed to be the MONTH OF BABIES! Two of my friends had babies within November and December, and my cousin Lisa had her baby the first week of January. I also finally got to meet all my cousin’s kids (Jake and Kim both have kids now that I”ve never met!) too. It was lovely to spend time with friends & family and their children, but it still is somewhat strange to me because I am still in denial that I am of child-bearing age! Which I guess is good considering Martti is so much younger than I that it’s going to be quite some time before kids ever enter the picture!
Click here to see some pictures of family from Dec-Jan
Click here to see some pictures of friends over the holidays
Part of my returning-to-LA-preparations was to buy a car… which I ended up doing in Wisconsin! Got a great deal on a new-used car (which just so happens to formerly be my dad’s car!), a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe, and then made plans to drive it across the country on a 3-4 day road trip with my sister Michelle! We left on Friday, January 16…. and only 5 or so hours into the trip and we found ourselves having car problems already, arrrghhh!! Fortunately, we were able to make it to St. Louis to Hyundai dealership and turned out to be just a fuel sensor or something, and after a couple hours delay we were back to it!
Made our way from Wisconsin to Illinois, through Missouri and Oklahoma, the top tip of texas, and through New Mexico and Arizona before crossing over the California border! Click here to see pictures from our troad trip across the US!
Grand Canyon once before, it still doesn’t take away from how AMAZING and wonderous the canyon is. To think the canyon was carved out over thousands of years by just a river! Click here to see pictures of Michelle & I at the Grand Canyon!
Now I’m back in Los Angeles, back to work, and renting a room from a friend temporarily until I find my own place. After seeing how RIDICULOUS the rental prices for a one-bedroom in Playa Del Rey was (a section in LA where I want to live), and after getting advice and encouragement from my Real Estate Agent mother, I decided that maybe this was the best time to buy. Sure, property in LA (or California for that matter) is RIDICULOUSLY PRICED no matter what, but with the economy as bad as it is and the unfortunate incidences of people’s houses going into foreclosure, it turns out there is some chance for me to actually afford to buy a condo. But this is keeping in mind that I’ll probably be getting a roommate to help foot the bill . . . at least until Martti can come out here and chip in money towards the mortgage payments. . .
Which brings me to the topic of Martti!! Things are still going really strong between us, despite over 2 months of long distance, and we’ll celebrate 9 months together in a few days. How is it possible that things only get better day to day between us? Sure, we’ve had many serious discussions about our future, and it’s been a pretty stressful ride for him—with dealing with possibilities and complications of trying to get a student visa in the US—but with every passing day I know this is meant to be, and we both can barely contain our excitement and anticipation of his visit out to LA next week! Yes… he’ll be here NEXT WEEK! Martti arrives on Friday the 20th, and will be here for about a week and a half. During that time, we are going on a group trip up to Mammoth Mountain for a weekend of skiing and sledding fun!—which Martti is THRILLED about! As an avid skiier in “the north pole”, the possibility of going to Mammoth Mountain—one of the most known world ski destinations– is only a dream to him. But now it will be reality! And this is actually his first time to the US in general, so it will be a big trip for him!
Meanwhile, we both are working hard to get him out to the US by summertime. Since his major is International Business, he is actually required to study 6 months to 1 year in a University in another country, and in addition, he needs to do on-the-job training for 6 months wherever in the world he wants… so it’s perfect!! SO . . . in summary, he would be able to come to the US for a year and a half to fulfill requirements for his degree, which makes me Very happy! However, the fact that the stupid US schools here charge SOOOOO MUCH MONEY for International/Non-resident students does NOT make me happy!! It’s ASSININE what they charge! Basically, if I go to a California State school it will cost me $1,500-2,500 per year for tuition. But for Martti, as an international student, it would cost him $12,000-14,000!!! And keep in mind STUDENTS IN FINLAND DONT PAY FOR COLLEGE—THE GOVERNMENT PAYS FOR THEM!! So this has been quite a big blow to the both of us.
Fortunately, theres this organization called the Fulbright Program that offers $10,000 scholarships specifically to FINNISH students who want to study in the US, so he’s going to apply for that. Apparently not that many students apply, because most of them avoid the US schools completely because of their steep tuition charges (yep, that’s right—Martti can pretty much go anywhere else in the world: japan, china, anywhere in europe, for FREE,,, but in the US they will charge him $10,000+ , lovely, eh?), so there IS a good chance he could get a scholarship, but of course there will be competition no matter what,,,, so let’s cross our fingers it all works out!
In my perfect little dreamy-BreAnn-land, I get a nice little 2BR condo and rent out a bedroom for 4 months (to make extra $$), Martti gets accepted to CalState Northridge and wins that 10k scholarship and comes out to LA in summer and moves in, we make our cute little home together and enjoy life as much as possible!
OK, sounds like a fairy tale. And I know at this point in life to not have high expectations becuase you never know . . .
But for now I can just hope, and work hard towards these next big goals in life! Always sail on the highest winds . . . 🙂