Should we name new kitty Jax or Fivel?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Don't Mess with Texas: February 17-20

Staying with Liz and Reed in Austin was so much fun! Our trip got off to a rocky start when my bag didn't quite make it (in 23 years of flying, this was the first time it's happened to me, so I didn't get too upset). It did make for a LATE night for all of us!

On Monday we went sightseeing with Liz, Reed and Anita (who was wrapping up her own Austin trip). We saw the Capitol, went on a nice walk in a park, (where else can you do that in the middle of February?) and went to a HUGE Whole Foods. After we dropped Anita off at the airport, we went to a restaurant called Rudy's...they keep things low-key by: housing the place inside their own gas stations; giving you wax paper to eat off of instead of plates; and having a really simple menu. Since Joe and I were first-timers we got to sample some different meats and sides. We were pretty stoked! They give you your meat, sides, slices of white bread and wax paper in a carrier. At the table you can make your own sandwiches with BBQ sauce, etc. I think it was the best beef brisket ever. As you can tell, we *kind of* liked this place :) That night we played a hilarious game of Balderdash with Liz and Reed.

Tuesday was Alamo day! We drove to San Antonio and walked to The Alamo via the Riverwalk. It's neat because the city is built up and around the river, so as you're walking you go under the downtown streets, etc. We had a yummy lunch right on the river and then made it to the Alamo. It's much smaller than I was expecting, but very neat to walk through the actual buildings, etc. That night Liz went to Young Women's, so Reed, Joe and I went to another Alamo...the Alamo theater where they serve you food while you're watching your movie! Unfortunately, we saw the worst movie of all time, Jumper. Based on one of Joe's favorite books growing up, he owed it to himself to see the movie, but it was so terrible that words cannot express how bad it was. Luckily, the food was good, the company was great (we laughed through the unbelievably bad writing), and the atmosphere was fun.

On Wednesday, Joe got to meet up with one of his Austin-based clients, Emerson. We packed up and saw the gorgeous campus of the University of Texas. It was right downtown, but HUGE! At the airport, I met up with high school friend Shaunna (I haven't seen her since 2001.) As a HUGE, unexpected bonus, we both got to meet Dr. Rey, a famous plastic surgeon from TV. After our 6th delayed flight in a week, (SLC-DC, DC-Austin, and Austin-SLC each had a stopover...that's how you get $99 flights!) we finally made it home early Thursday morning.

We are homeowners!

Yes, we found the condo we didn't think existed. After doing extensive research, I had resigned myself to thinking we were going to end up in a tiny condo that needed some updating. After looking at prices, I just assumed we could not afford something close enough to walk to the Metro. I was moping around thinking we might not get a dishwasher or ever have a washer and dryer again. Boy, was I wrong! We found an awesome condo in Falls Church, VA...a few miles from where Joe grew up in McLean. It's a nice, new condo in a safe area. There is a grocery store down the street, and a Metro stop less than a 5 minute walk away. I especially like that Joe is familiar with the area so we don't have to spend time with new streets and stores, etc. The specs:

-built in 1996
-corner unit on the 2nd floor
-1350+ square feet
-2 huge bedrooms
-2 full bathrooms
-crown molding
-private balcony
-tons of closets and storage space
-assigned underground parking space
-gas fireplace
-hardwood floors
-laundry room with washer and dryer
-community pool and clubhouse
-Metro stop practically in our backyard

DC Trip: February 13-17

We had a great time in DC. On Wednesday night we checked into an awesome downtown hotel called the River Inn, which was a short walk away from GW and our Valentine's Dinner.

On Thursday we spent a few hours walking around the George Washington University campus, which is spread out over several city blocks with some campus buildings in old historic homes. We rode the Metro orange line from Foggy Bottom, (the GW stop) to West Falls Church to make sure we could consider such a commute while we were planning to look at condos the next day. That night for Valentine's we ate at Morton's Stakehouse, (we had a coupon!) It was my first time, and we both enjoyed the meal so much! We each got a huge salad, crabcakes, a 5 oz. steak, a yummy side and dessert. I was glad to have the chance to walk off a few of those calories on the way back to the hotel :)

On Friday we met with Linda Wardle to look at some condos. We had put together a pretty diverse group of 8 condos we wanted to see; location, distance to a Metro stop, price, size, etc. were just a few of the things we needed to consider while looking. What we didn't think would happen did, and we found EXACTLY what we wanted at the first place we looked (blog on the condo is coming up next). I was glad we looked at the other 7 places to confirm my love of this perfect piece of real estate.

Friday and Saturday night we stayed with Joe's friend Peter who is recovering from an awful car wreck. The rest of our time was spent hanging out with Pete, Matt, the Smiths and other friends and making calls back and forth with Linda to buy the condo we wanted. It made for a really crazy couple of days, but I'm so glad we got what we wanted.

On Sunday we went to Stake conference and had to sit in a bishop's office to watch the broadcast; there were so many people there! We met Linda back at the condo to take tons of pictures and sign more papers. Then we were off to Austin, TX to visit Liz and Reed...

Friday, February 22, 2008

To be continued...

As most of you know, the last week was a little insane. Joe and I flew to DC, bought a condo, then went to visit Liz and Reed in Austin. Now we're both feeling under the weather from our jet setting. All our photos are up at our flickr site here, but it's going to take us a little while to write up our reports on here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Britt's 25th

My birthday was tons of fun! It consisted of: a day off work, lunch at Cobblestone, getting my hair done, and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. So...pretty much it was awesome!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Best Week Ever

...okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. Maybe. But it was pretty freaking fun.

Sunday: The Superbowl at Jacob's. Giants pull off one of the biggest upsets ever, and we were pretty excited. Joe even jumped over Scott he was so excited.

Wednesday: Mo Rocca (The Daily Show; Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; I Love the (decade shows) on Vh1) at UVSC. Really funny and totally random. He knows the capital of every country!

Thursday: Crabcake night. Or should I say, what started out as crabcake night, and ended up as crabcake/lil smokies/potato skins/italian sodas night. Yeah, pretty unhealthy and SO delicious.

Saturday: Joel McHale (The Soup) at WiseGuys. Really funny, and we got to meet him!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Breakfast Sandwich at the Country Club

These are our good friends Jacob and Paul. They were on Joe's floor in the Freshman dorms, so they were also in my ward that year. It's fun to know people that long and still keep in touch. Paul('s dad) treated us to a meal at the country club today. Joe managed to make a breakfast sandwich out of his order, (wrapping other breakfast items with his pancakes) which is probably indicative of the fact that we don't dine at country clubs too often. Or ever. Or just when Paul comes into town :)

What do YOU do on Friday nights?

Joe's friend from work hosted a LAN party yesterday. (Sorry, my mom told me I need to clarify: LAN means Local Area Network; so all these computers were hooked up to each other to play the same computer games at the same time). It was a much bigger production than I was imagining in my head, but I should have known better! Joe went straight from work and played until I stopped by around midnight. I knew he was dedicated when he asked if it had snowed lately. I said "Lately? As in the last seven hours?" and he sheepishly said yes. Notice the window right behind his computer screen :)

Saying Goodbye to our Prophet

I've read a lot of great tributes to President
Hinckley over the last few days, and just want to add my appreciation for the example that our beloved Prophet set for me. He was always so joyful and happy. He encouraged us each to try a little harder to be a little better...and really, that's all we can do. I know that he is reunited with his wife Marjorie, which made his passing away more happy than sad. What a privilege it was to be led by this man, a living Prophet, for so long.

I had the opportunity to attend the viewing of President Hinckley with Anita and her kids on Friday. What an event! We waited; standing in lines outside then inside, then finally sitting inside for about 3 1/2 hours total. I felt an instant bond to the more than 10,000 people I saw filed into the Conference Center...we were all there for the same reason, and there was such a reverence amidst the organized chaos. We were lucky enough to hear from President Hinckley's daughters for a few minutes. They said that if President Hinckley was there, he would say: "What's all the fuss about? Go on with your lives. Do your work." I can't think of better advice!