Should we name new kitty Jax or Fivel?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Don't give up on us yet...

We will have many, MANY stories to tell once we get home (and lots of photos to share). We're on day 9 of our 12-day vacation, so expect an update this weekend. Be excited!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things We've Been Up To...

Decorating For Christmas


We can decorate the table like this because we don't eat at it. Ever.


Our 3-foot beauty from Bed Bath & Beyond.


We're kind of minimalists. And lazy. And cheap.

Homemade Pizza/Guitar Hero/Halo Night

Thanks to Ben and Shauna for reminding us how fun and easy it is to make pizza (especially with the help of Trader Joe's pizza dough!) Take-out will never taste the same :)


Oh, yes. You see: alfredo, pesto, tomato sauce, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, BBQ chicken, bacon bits, pepperoni, green peppers, grilled onion, tomatoes, broccoli, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. YUM!


Thanks to Jocelyn for being my guinea pig and cooking her pizza first!


I'll let you guess who took this photo. Oh, and the pink controller is mine!

Ward Christmas Party

I've never seen a Christmas party run so smoothly! Joe played a medley of songs, and I helped put together a Christmas quiz (edited via email by Anita 'cause she's a smarty-pants). We spent a good amount of the night transporting the marimba to and from the building...but we are thankful to the Bishop for letting us borrow his Explorer (which the marimba JUST barely fit inside!) The food was great, and we enjoyed seeing so many people.


Joe rocking the marimba.


Cute decorations! Here we are with a shepherd and some livestock.

Okay, I ran out of photos...

We are so excited for Joe's new job! We'll be working in the same building, so guess who gets to be my lunch date every day :) We feel very, very blessed for this opportunity to save more money. His 96% tuition reimbursement wont kick in until Fall 2009, but my (measly) 48% discount is still good for next semester. Joe finished finals last week, and felt good about his super long (BORING) essays. He tried really, really hard this semester, and I know will be able to handle work in addition to school next semester.

We're also really excited for our nice, LONG trip to Utah . We leave on Sunday, and I can't wait to see all our family and friends. It's good to be us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Double banana dance! I got the job I wanted!

I'll start working at GW on 1/5. woohoo.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wicked Pissah

Joe and I just got back from our awesome trip to Boston. This was my first trip to Beantown, and Joe's second. Ben and Shauna were excellent hosts, and we had a blast! Some highlights include:

The Blue Man Group


Historical tours


Yummy food






Downtown Boston


And, most importantly...cute nephews!!





We feel so lucky to have been able to visit all of our (visit-able) siblings in the last year...we've been to Northern & Southern California, Texas, Utah and now Massachusetts, (the parentheses are for Joe's brother who is on a mission in Norway). It's neat that Joe and I are both the younger ones in our families; we appreciate the examples set by the "older kids," and love playing with our 11 adorable nieces and nephews.

The rest of the photos are here: Thanksgiving in Boston

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Did I Miss Something?

Last night Joe and I watched one of my favorite movies: The Three Amigos. It's fun because it's a movie we both remember watching while we were young. What we DON'T remember watching when we were young were all the "adult" jokes, if you will :) We were sitting there, singing along to "My Little Buttercup," trying to remember what El Guapo got for his birthday, and attempting the hand clap/hip thrust greeting...and I'm not sure if we were just too young, or our parents taped the TV versions for us to watch, but there were so many grown-up lines that we just didn't catch 20 years ago. Has that happened to anyone else? Have you been surprised by the content of a movie you re-watched years later?

"Everyone has their El Guapo. For some, shyness is their El Guapo. For some, illiteracy is their El Guapo. For the citizens of this town, their El Guapo happens to be the real El Guapo."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Now and Then

So the other day I was at work and realized I had been gainfully (never had any reason to use that word until now) employed for SIX WHOLE MONTHS. Then last night I was going through some photos and thought HOLY COW, so much has changed this year. Then tonight while I had a lot of thinking time on the Metro I came up with the idea of this post. The differences between living in Orem earlier this year, and living in VA now...

THEN: our "bills" was one rent check.

NOW: we have a mortgage, condo fees, internet, electricity, and gas bills.

THEN: we had 2 cars that we drove each day.

NOW: we have 1 car that we average driving 20 miles a week.

THEN: my commute was a walk to the car and a 10 minute drive.

NOW: my commute is a walk to the Metro, a wait for the Metro, a sometimes-packed ride on the Metro, and a walk to work. Usual commute is now 30 minutes.

THEN: we had neighbors downstairs with a band and neighbors upstairs that would have elephant races at 3 a.m.

NOW: we have next-door neighbors that cook foul-smelling food all day long, but have never heard from any of them.

THEN: I worked 25 hours a week in someone's home.

NOW: I work 40 hours a week at a large institution.

THEN: Marcus would sleep over every once and awhile when he was too tired to drive back to Salt Lake.

NOW: we have had 6 overnight guests so far (and everyone is welcome!)

THEN: the latest Joe and I would ever get home on a weeknight is 6pm.

NOW: we sometimes don't see each other until 9:30 pm.

THEN: I could casually shop at Costco, Walmart and Target.

NOW: shopping trips are a major event, usually reserved for the weekends.

THEN: the only furniture we owned was a TV.

NOW: we own beds, a couch, table, desks, chairs, bookcases, etc.

THEN: we had to do lots of research to plan a night out.

NOW: we could do something different and awesome every day forever and ever.

THEN: Joe's closest sibling was 27 miles away.

NOW: Joe's closest sibling is 453 miles away.

THEN: Church was at 1pm.

NOW: Church is still at 1pm...but since we live on the East Coast, we don't miss all the good football games :)

And we all know a post is no fun without pictures!

Bedroom in Utah:


Bedroom in VA before we bought:


Bedroom in VA right after move-in:


Bedroom now (minus a lamp, nightstand and curtains. I'm just too lazy to make the bed to take another photo):


Living room in Utah:


Living room in VA before we bought:


Living room in VA right after move-in:


Living room now:



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

L is for Library Party

I woke up 1 1/2 hours earlier than usual to vote this morning. I've voted before, but only by absentee ballot...this was my first time waiting in line and getting my "I Voted" sticker. Everything went really smoothly; I brought a book, and 4 forms of identification (you never know!) There were 2 impatient little girls behind me waiting in line with their mom. The mom was helping one of the girls read "D is for Democratic Party...R is for Republican Party..." and one girl jumped ahead to say "L is for Library Party!" Almost.

After I rocked the vote, I went to McDonald's. McDonald's breakfast reminds me of fun a kid, if we were getting a sausage mcmuffin (no egg) from McDonald's, that meant we were up earlier than usual and probably doing something awesome like driving to Portland to catch a flight (and we would then get stuck in traffic and always ended up running to the gate...but at least our tummies weren't hungry!) Today I was up earlier than usual and doing something awesome, so I treated myself. After I took this insanely dorky picture, I realized the people on the bag were also holding out a camera to take photos of themselves. Yup.

Halloween Happenings

We had a pretty low-key, but VERY fun, Halloween this year. First, we helped with the ward Trunk-or-Treat/Chili Cook-off. We were the candy refillers and kids' costume judges. I was also recruited to help paint faces, and Joe was in charge of wrangling kids during the awards ceremony.

Tons of fun! The Activities Committee did a great job.

Joe and his classic (7 years in a row) costume.

At my face-painting station. I practiced bats and pumpkins all night, and the first girl to get her face painted asked for her whole face to be painted like a butterfly. The next girl wanted a unicorn. I'm sure their parents were really confused after they left the table.

On Halloween night, we had a fun get-together at our place. Lots of yummy food and conversation, then pumpkin carving. We ended the night with some dice games, and called it good.
All the ingredients you need (minus the whipped cream) for some caramel apple cider. Thanks Cocomotion!

My favorite fall indulgence. Who knew canned pumpkin, spice cake mix and chocolate chips could taste so delicious?

How did everyone end up in the kitchen?

Even Katherine and Peter knew that kitchen=goodies.

I did most of the dirty work (initial carving and de-gutting)...

...while Joe free-handed our Capipumpkin (I just made that up, just now; I'm so proud).

Matt, our cheerleader.

Jack Skellington, Comb-over guy, and the Nation's Capitol.

In the dark!

One big reason I was scared to leave Utah was because we had such a great group of friends that we could gather with on any and every occasion...including the Super Bowl, Casino Night, the Flavor of Love finale, birthdays, Halo parties, the Academy Awards, or just to watch NBC's Thursday night lineup. We had adventures with custom-made Bingo cards, dressing up, spilling deep-fryer oil on the floor (good thing it was at Parkway!), throwing fake money around (or real money at Jacob's,) and borrowing a neighbor's couch so we could cram 15+ into our tiny living room. I used to get very sad thinking about how I will never get to have those times with those people ever again...but we're having new experiences with new people, and those are fun times, too :) I miss everyone in Utah so much, and hope to see you all at Christmastime!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Awesome screen shot

An in game recreation of Iwo Jima from Halo 3.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Politics Schmolitics

I "lean" Libertarian...but I do agree with this:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ramblin post on Renaissance Fair

Growing up as a poor disadvantaged kid in Southeast D.C., one of the few days I had to look forward to each year was the Maryland Renaissance Fair. Every year from August to October, they recreate a Midieval village in Annapolis. They have food, archery, music, jugglers, and live jousting. According to Wikipedia its the 2nd largest Renaissance fair in the country. I loved it as a kid, but I was afraid it wouldn't hold up 15 years later. After all this time, it was still awesome.

They still had the same sword swallower I remembered, and I even remembered his jokes (Of course Johnnie Fox is my stage name. My real name is John Fox. ) We brought Matt and Ashley (in town from NY ) and had a real fun time. There was a band in from Scotland, called Hack and Slash that pounded on drums and played the bagpipes. I threw ninja stars with Matt, and got to meet a wizard! We ran into matt's brother John, who fit right in with the long hair crew. Also we got to see two friends from high school who ended up marrying each other.

The people-watching at these things is off the charts. Its like a star trek convention but for fantasy geeks. There is always a weird "gun shop / citizen militia of montana / aryan nation " vibe at these things. So many white people gathered around listening to scottish music kind of but not really thinking to themselves "things were better back in the motherland." At one point, when we were surrounded by large crowd of drunk white people in kilts and corsets, I looked around, and turned to Matt and said, "Yeah, probably not a lot of Obama voters here."

more pictures as always on the Flickr Page.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Parental Visit

My parents came to visit this weekend; we had so much fun! They flew in Wednesday around midnight, and we left for the airport at six this we only had a few days to squeeze in all our sightseeing. All our photos are here

Day 1: Mom, Dad and I took the Metro into the city and stopped by work to say hi to everyone. Then we did "the loop"; saw the White House, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Memorial.



Day 2: We toned it down a little this day. Joe joined us for a trip to a few Smithsonian museums, and then we introduced the parents to the goodness that is Five Guys.


Day 3: Between Marta (GPS) and Google Map directions, we had an easy drive to the Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, and the Pentagon Memorial. Joe also drove us by his old house and schools.







We also had tons of fun playing card/dice games, watching Jeopardy, and looking up exciting facts on Wikipedia. The weather was amazing all weekend, and the parents were great sports learning how to ride the metro and walking everywhere. We miss them already! Love you guys!