Cassie Shepherd

May 27, 2010

Kickin off 2009

Thinking back, 2009 was a pretty crazy year for not just us, but probably for many people around us. I'd like to step out of mine and Mitch's little life and talk a little bit more about the things that were going on with our nation. I don't understand everything, but there were a couple things going on that hit close enough to home to mention.

In Fall of 2008 our economy suffered greatly after prospering for many years. Many people were faced with unemployment and specifically real estate had taken a turn for the worse causing many people to loose hundreds of thousands of dollars. The stock market was extremely low, also causing many people to loose money. In different ways, I believe it truly affected everyone.

Mitch and I weren't "officially engaged" until March 27. By that time we had already scheduled our wedding date and almost had everything planned though. Mitch and I were battling a lot of life changing ideas during this time. Deciding to be married was a really big step but along with that came the responsibility of what would happen after we got married. Some of me wishes I could simply write about our fairy tale engagement and wedding but realistically we were faced with a lot of things to think about. On top of the wedding we had to balance work, education, careers, religion, family, and finances all during a time of uneasiness with the world around us. Through it all though, we stuck close together and included the Lord in our decisions. That is what helped us get through it.

It was shortly after Mitch returned home from selling in California that the economy fell. Financially, Mitch did well in California and was prepared to handle the rough times around him. However, in 2009 we weren't sure he would do so well. This became a problem when deciding if he would leave for the summer and sell again and trying to plan when to get married. Really, I could probably go on for pages about our struggles to make the "right" decisions. The "right" decisions needed to prove to that we were going to remain stable once we were married.

Mitch had two classes left before he graduated. These are but a few questions we had to answer - Should he stay home and do summer school? Did he really want to go into PA school? Or would dental school or medical school be better? What was I going to do for school? What career path should I choose? Should Mitch take a chance and sell in such a poor economy? Meanwhile, before we get married, should I be focusing on school or working? What kind of wedding would we have? Could we afford? Where were we going to live?

I am sure most people have to answer some of these questions, however, was the fact that the world around us was somewhat failing impacting our decisions about our careers and starting a life together? Incredibly. At the time, I don't think I realized it as much as I do now.

Ultimately, I have to comment on how important religion was to us during this time. There was a lot to decide. Fortunately, we had a very strong bond and were comfortable having spiritual discussions, reading the Book of Mormon, attending church, and praying together. It wasn't always easy and the adversary was definitely there, sometimes heavier than others, but it was through the gospel that we really knew how to make the "right" decisions.

In January, I dropped out of school to work. I struggled finding a job, but started working in downtown Salt Lake in the beginning of February. It was a receptionist job at a counseling center. I really didn't love the job because it was kind of a scary place and it was an hour away from where I lived. Within a few months I picked up another side job doing some tutoring and then landed a job as a customer service representative at a security company in Lindon - very close to where I was living in Orem. I worked there until we got married in June.

Mitch took a full load of coursework Spring semester. At the end of April he picked up a summer class at BYU that would help him graduate. This class would go until June 17. This way his summer sales team would be out for two months before we would come out and that would allow us to see if Mitch could sell again and do as well as he did last year based on how the other guys were selling. Turns out, they were doing great –even better than the year before! So, we were able to decide that we would go out for the rest of the summer once we were married.

Finally, we settled on a place that would be ready for us to live in when we came home from summer sales in October. Mitch spent many hours re-modeling the place to get it ready for us to live in when we get back. However, I'll save that for later entries.

During these months Mitch and I still managed to have fun and keep busy doing new things together. Below, are some pictures from January - March 2009.

Draper Temple Open House
FHE Activity - Notice my name tag (thanks to Mitch)
For my birthday Mitch gave me a pearl necklace and took me to see the Utah Symphony at Abravanal Hall in downtown Salt Lake
Mitch volunteered with the Red Cross club at UVU
He was the mascot - RediDog
Snowmobiling up Spanish Fork Canyon
Me, Mitch, Jill
Snowmobiling at Mitch's cabin
St. George vacation in the Beamer to see the Parade of Homes
Historical Cove Fort

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