Friday, December 19, 2008

Round 2...


...was a little more impressive than Round 1. On Wednesday everyone was so worried about the snow but it never came. Then we woke up to this Thursday morning. The freeway I take to work had completely been shut down because of an accident. Brandon was so nice to drive me to the hospital on the side roads. And that excerpt from the metro article was completely accurate. We saw BMWs and other fancy cars abandoned on the road. And the most annoying part was when people hit each other they didn't take their cars to the side of the road they just left them there, got out to stand in the middle of the road, and stared at them. The funniest part of the drive into work was that we saw probably the only two snow plows Bellevue owns just sitting in a parking lot doing nothing.
Today the sun is out and it is beautiful. It will be a white Christmas after all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow!

It 'snowed' this weekend...if you can call it snow. The winter weather has been the topic of conversation all week and people are freaking out. Here is a picture fom our balcony of the 'snow.'. Sorry...I have to laugh. Go to Utah if you want to see real snow and winter weather.
The weather man says that 'Round 2 of this Arctic Blast' is coming in tonight and will stay through Thursday. This is a excerpt from an article on the King County Metro website telling how drivers can get ready for the upcoming storm. "And of course, the county is again reminding motorists to be prepared for winter driving. That means: having plenty of gas in the car; driving with all season tires, chains and warm clothing; and please don’t abandon your vehicle in the middle of travel lanes." I guess the have had problems with this in the past. It amazes me that people here do not know how to drive in the snow and would just give up and leave their car in the middle of the road only to create more of a headache for other drivers. Too funny! I'll let you know how we survive this winter storm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Anniversary

6 months down...forever to go!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Heads or Tails

When we moved to Washington Brandon wanted to get Direct TV for the sole purpose of watching BYU football. I didn't know this but I guess you need to have a south facing apartment to position the satellite dish. We have a north facing apartment. Needless to say Brandon was a little sad that we only got to listen to the games off the internet.

But last Saturday was the big game and we had to take drastic measures to help support our alma mater. Our friend Nate called every sports bar in Seattle to see who could show the game and finally found it... Heads or Tails. There were about 8 or 9 of us Cougar fans in this cold and drafty one room bar. We wish the team would have played better. What was up with Max Hall throwing all those interceptions? Anyways, all the bar goers were very friendly and helped cheer for BYU. One of the regulars even jumped off his stool to come over and say, "I thought Mormons don't drink." We assured him it was only soda and that we weren't drinking. Maybe next year the Cougs will play a little better. Here are some pictures.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!!!

Here's a shout out to my super smart husband who just passed his fourth and final CPA exam! Congratulations Brandon...no more tests ever!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apples, Ducks, Mist, and 007...


...who knew that was what Seattle has to offer? My parents came to visit last weekend and that pretty much highlights what we did while they were here. Brandon had been in Spokane all week on business so I picked all of them up at the airport Friday night. We went to dinner at Claim Jumper and then showed them around Redmond and our new apartment. Saturday morning we headed downtown to walk Pike's Market. There we watched the famous fish throwers and perused all the booths. We bought Honey Crisp Apples which were delicious and then went to lunch at Pike's Market Grill. This is one of my favorite little places to eat at Pike's.



We couldn't have asked for better weather for their visit. Everyone kept saying how it is never this nice in November. With the sunny skies we decided to go on a Duck Tour. I've seen these Duck Boats cruising around the city but have never been on one. The tour starts by driving around to historical sites downtown while giving a little history and ends up as a cruise around Lake Union. Somehow, the bus becomes a boat. I've always wondered how that works. I didn't really figure it out but I know it does...thankfully. It's a weird feeling being in a large bus driving straight into a lake. We then walked around the Seattle Center and looked at the Space Needle. That night we relaxed at home with a home cooked meal and a show Casino Royale to prepare us for the new James Bond movie that came out this weekend.



Sunday morning we headed up to Snoqualmie Falls. Again it was a beautiful day but the Observation Deck at the Falls was completely covered with a cloud of mist. You couldn't see the Falls unless you went up by Salish Lodge which only lets you see the top of the Falls. Still it was beautiful; I just wish my parents could have seen the whole thing. After church we took my parents to the airport. It was a short weekend but I was so happy they would come and see where we lived. Thanks Mom and Dad for coming. We hope you had a good time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Birthday Boy

Ten things you may not know about this Birthday Boy1. He is turning 26 today. That’s right…he is closer to 30 than 20 and it is a BIG deal!
2. He’s the smartest man in the world. Whenever we play a trivia game he always pulls random facts out of nowhere. Honestly I don’t know how he remembers everything he has ever heard or read. And he has passed all of his CPA tests so far (we are still waiting for the results of the last one but I know he passed)!
3. He loves the Discovery Channel and Man vs Wild. I think him and his dad could sit in front of the TV with a Dr. Pepper and the season of Planet Earth and be perfectly content with life.
4. He has an eye for home d├ęcor. When we moved to Redmond with nothing but a couple of old camp chairs I was surprised at the furniture and decorations he picked out. He’s even talking about finding drapes for our windows…I haven’t even thought of that.
5. Even though he claims to hate dancing he really loves it. And he loves to do it in public. When we are walking around a department store Brandon will spontaneously start to do his dance. I think he thinks it embarrasses me but I absolutely love it. He makes me laugh so hard.
6. He is an accountant at heart. When we were registering for our wedding Brandon made a spreadsheet of everything we needed to register for. We printed out the sheet and checked off the items as we scanned them into our registry. Talk about detail oriented!!
7. He went through a phase where he grew out his hair. And no this wasn’t when he was a teenager; it was last year when I met him. He had just got home from an internship at Ernst and Young in Seattle where he had let his hair grow for 3 or 4 months without cutting it. Sometimes he talks about growing it back…we’ll see.
8. Kids adore him. I think every toddler at church is in love with him. They always stare at him, make faces with him, and laugh whenever he raises his eyebrows or gives them a funny look. There was this one little red head girl in our Provo ward that particularly took a liking to Brandon…we still talk about her today.
9. He is a perfect gentleman. He always opens the door for me every time we get in the car.
10. He loves music. As a kid Brandon played the trumpet in his junior high marching band. Now he just serenades me with his guitar and ukulele.

These are just TEN of the HUNDREDS of reasons I love this Birthday Boy.

I love you Brandon!!! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obsession

Brandon and I have a new obsession. We are addicted to the game Twirl on Facebook. We play this game almost every day together. The game is simple. They give you six letters and you need to create three, four, five, and six letter words out of those letters. To qualify for the next round you must get the six letter word before the two minute timer runs out. It doesn't sound like much but it is so addicting! If you want to give Twirl a whirl you can go to either mine or Brandon's facebook page. If you look at our mini feed you will see that we probably played Twirl today. Just click on the link and have fun. But watch out...it's addicting!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

General Conference

I've been meaning to make this post for over a week now. This was my first General Conference away from Utah and it was a little different than most. In my family, General Conference is like another holiday...almost as big as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Our tradition is to have a huge breakfast of crepes, breakfast casserole, fruit, and juice....ALL YOU CAN EAT (and believe me we all eat a little too much)!! We eat as we watch Music and the Spoken Word and then watch conference all together as a family. This year Brandon and I were in Seattle but of course we tried to keep the traditional alive. I made crepes and we watched Conference with just the two of us. Thankfully we were able to see it from home and did not have to go to a Stake Center. It wasn't the same without everyone there but I absolutely loved Conference. I was able to listen to the talks instead of reading them later (kids can be very distracting on conference day.) My favorite talk was Elder Wirthlin's--his are always my favorite. I love hearing all of the apostles and our prophet speak. They always seem to know exactly what I need to hear or think about. Here is a link to the conference talks if you missed any of it.

Also a side note from my previous post about the electric can open. I fixed it...well sort of. It wasn't really broken. The day after I posted I tried to use the toaster and it wasn't working either. The electric can opener and toaster are plugged into the same outlet. I just pushed the reset button and voila they both worked. Silly me!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A good thing to have...just in case

Tuesday night I was making dinner for Brandon. I was even testing out a new recipe for spaghetti. In this recipe there are a lot of canned goods--stewed tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, etc. We got an awesome electric can opener for our wedding in June and have been using it without any problems ever since. I was using the can opener and successfully opened everything I needed except for one important ingredient. Before I could open the 2 cans of tomate sauce our electric can opener broke. I don't know what happened. I thought I was using the can opener correctly but apparently not because when I placed the can under the cutter nothing happened. At first I thought I didn't have it in the right place because you know how picky they are and how the can has to be exactly in the right spot to work. But nothing happened, it wouldn't even make a sound like it was trying to open it. Brandon, my own personal in house fix it guy, even tried to get it operational but couldn't. Here's where the important lesson comes in: Always have a manual can opener as a backup just in case your electric one brakes. I know, I know! We really should have one. What would we do if there was an emergency and had to live off our 'food storage.' But we just haven't gotten around to buying one yet. So Brandon carefully stabbed the cans with a pocket knife and I spent some time trying to shake out all the contents from a tiny puncture site. The spaghetti turned out great and it is so delicious. (Thanks Lindsey) But this little incident just goes to show you that everyone needs a manual can opener hidden somewhere in their kitchen drawers...just in case.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Two Man Tent

We finally went camping! Brandon and I have been talking about going camping ever since we got married but there always seemed to be some excuse: I am working this weekend, or we are going up to Salt Lake that weekend, or we better do that before we move and this is the weekend to do it. But we finally did it and it was a blast. We went to Twin Harbor State Park along the coast. When we arrived at the park we went straight to the beaches. We walked along the beautiful sand beach for miles and became professional beachcombers. I think we collected over 2 dozen whole sanddollars.

The best part of the trip was our tent. As you can imagine we do not have a lot of camping gear but believe me if Brandon has anything to say about it we will be collecting camping stuff over our entire life. We did have one vital piece of equipment: a two man tent. Brandon bought this tent for a boys only campout he went on with all his guy friends the summer before we got married. They called it Man-richment or Man Games 2007. Now you can only imagine the exciting activities they had planned to prove their manhood: fishing, shooting guns, playing King of the Raft in the freezing cold lake, 4-wheeling, throwing large logs, seeing who could lift the heaviest rock above their head...all of which they did with their shirts off to be more manly. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during that campout; I think I would understand boys a lot better. The two of us barely fit inside this tent. But it was a cold misty night by the water and we were grateful for our little home away from home.

Whidbey Island

While we were still living the good life of unemployement, Brandon and I took a day trip up to Whidbey Island. I guess Whidbey Island is the largest island in the continental US (50 miles in length). The early explorers thought it was another peninsula in the Sound which is why it is called Deception Pass. The only way to drive onto the island is over one bridge otherwise you take a ferry. We spent the day hiking around Deception Pass State Park and ate lunch along the beach.

We then drove down to Fort Casey to explore and watched the sunset on the beach. It was gorgeous! I have fallen in love with the sunsets here. Brandon always would tell me how Washington sunsets couldn't be beat. I think he might be right.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Replacement of Little Red


This was a difficult night for me; as evidenced by the frown on my face. The car pictured here was my first car. I purchased "Little Red" after being without wheels for a semester after my mission. I decided that buying a car would help my dating life and just make life a little easier. This hot, little Corolla was quite the chick magnet. Karen couldn't resist the car but shortly after getting married she (we) decided that we should replace Little Red. Karen told me that she wants me driving a safer car to work in Seattle but I really think she just wanted me to drive something a little less flashy.
In moving to Redmond we left Little Red with my cousin Chris in hopes that we would find a good car prior to starting work. Shortly after moving here I received a call from Chris letting me know that Little Red's clutch had gone out. I knew it was going but didn't know how close it was to going out. (Sorry about the dead car Chris.) Karen is very glad now that we decided not to bring Little Red up here. However, we are not sure exactly what to do with the car now. We are trying to sell it at a really good price if anyone is interested in an '89 Corolla.

We found a car! After many days of looking at cars and many test drives we found a car that will work at a decent price. I am currently in the process of naming the car. I will unveil the name sometime in the future. Our new car is a 2002 Acura 3.2 TL-S. Karen felt like this would be the perfect car to provide a safe commute and reduce the chick magnet appeal that Little Red previously provided. We have owned the car for almost two weeks now and we are really enjoying it. Thanks for the new car Karen!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our New Life

We made it safely to Washington and are finally starting to get settled! Here is what we have been up to since we left Provo:

August 13th was my last day at work in Provo. I was fine all day but when I walked off the floor I started to cry. I am really going to miss all the people I met and experiences I had. It was the perfect job for me right at that point in my life and the best place to work in all Provo. Thanks to all my CPCU friends who have made the last 2 years so much fun! The next several days were spent packing, cleaning, and moving everything. Tuesday morning we started the 2 day/900 mile drive to Redmond Washington; Brandon in a 16 foot Budge truck and me in my little Mazda 3 following behind. Our first stop was Idaho Falls to meet up with Tyler, Chelsie, and Debby. We had lunch and met little Hadley Jane for the first time. Debby was so nice to drive my car up to Spokane while I rode in the truck with Brandon. That night Brandon got really sick with a sore throat but we were able to get up the next morning and drive both the truck and car over to Redmond to check into our apartment and make sure everything was alright. We are so grateful for the help from Jim and Debby, Rich and Debbie, and Tommy in moving all of our stuff up 3 flights of stairs in the pouring rain. THANK YOU--we couldn't have done it without you!!


The next several weeks were full of one of my least favorite activities--shopping. The only furniture we brought with us was the bedroom set we found a great deal on back in Utah. There was no place to sit down in our apartment except two old camp chairs Brandon and I have had since before we started dating. So over the first week we were able furnish our entire apartment. To be honest I was a little worried about finding furniture that both of us would like and agree on but to my surprise we always feel in love with the same things. I am quite impressed/surprised with Brandon's homemaking skills...he has a good eye for home decor and is even talking about finding draperies for our windows (I honestly didn't even think of that). Oh how I love my husband and the new things I learn about him everyday! Jim and Debby were so helpful that first week. I think Debby washed every dish we owned by hand and helped organize the kitchen. Thank you guys!

Our couch (Brandon's favorite purchase because now he as a place to sit to watch Sports Center. It is microfiber and super comfy.) and our Coffee table/ottomanChina cabinet (my favorite purchase!)Kitchen table and chairs (It is counter high and has a leaf that will expand the table to a square to sit 8 people)

We bought our couch at Macy's on sale. It was actually one we saw in Utah that we liked but we were unsure whether or not it would fit. So to be on the safe side we waited until we were here to make some measurements. Finding a kitchen table was our biggest challenge. Everywhere we looked tables cost over $2000 and we didn't even like them. One morning we were on our way to take the moving truck back when we got off the freeway and saw one of those dancing billboard people on the side of the road advertising a retirement sale at a furniture store around the corner. We decided it wouldn't hurt to go look around before we took the truck back. We walked into the store, saw the table and chairs, china cabinet, and ottoman and within 10 minutes had paid and were headed to their warehouse to pick everything up. Thank goodness we didn't take the truck back! That afternoon we had all our new furniture in our house. It is so nice to have our own stuff and now I can say that I am grateful for those crazy dancing billboard people on the side of the road.

This is the view from our balcony. We live right next door to the Genie Lift Factory and there are a million semi trucks that go by every day...it gets a little noisy. On really clear days we can see Mt Baker.

With being a little more settled we decided to have fun and see the sites. Our friend Nate was in town for a job interview so we were able to go around to the sites with him. One night we went and saw the Freemont Troll. This is a large statue of an ugly 'thing' under the Freemont Bridge. I guess it is pretty famous...but I have never heard of it before. We then went and saw the downtown Seattle skyline from a park. It really is a beautiful city and I love how it is right on the water.
One morning we went to Pike's market downtown. This was the day before the big BYU vs. U of Washington game so the entire market was swarming with cougar fans. It is amazing how we stand out like a sore thumb wherever we go. We even ran into President Samuleson a couple times. Pike's market is so much fun to walk around. It definitely smells like fish everywhere you turn. We saw the famous fish throwers and I was able to have my first taste of the fresh seafood at a market grill. It was the best clam chowder I have ever tasted. After wandering around the market for some time we then went down to Waterfront park and walked watched the boats in the Sound. Brandon even pointed out his office building. See if you can guess which one it is in this picture.

That evening we went to the Puyallup Fair with Brandon's parents. They were over in Olympia for some business meetings and were planning on going to the BYU game with us the next day. I think I have only been to the Utah State Fair once in my life and it was to look at some art work my sister Suzy had on display. On the long slow drive down to Puyallup I asked Brandon what people do at fairs. He said you walk around the vendor booths, eat food, and look at animals. And that is exactly what we did for the entire evening. After that discription I surprisingly had a lot of fun.
This is the only picture I took that the Fair. We look pretty good huh?


Saturday was the BYU football game. The kickoff was at 12 noon so we left our apartment around 10:30 thinking we would have plenty of time to get to there, park, find our seats and maybe even meet up with a few friends from Provo who were at the game. Boy were we wrong...the 520 turned out to be a parking lot and we didn't park the car until kickoff. After our 2 mile trek from our car, we finally got into the stadium half way through the first quarter. It was a close game but the Cougars came out on top with an amazing play to block the extra point in the final seconds to win the game by 1 point. Walking to our car we got some lip from the Husky fans. I just keep thinking, "We definitely aren't in Utah anymore!" There was so much swearing and drinking and comments about our church being made I was a little surprised.
One night we drove up to see the Snoqualmie Falls. (Sorry no pictures...they just wouldn't turn out in the dark!) They are a 300 foot waterfall just a few miles away from our house. There are a couple hikes around the falls that we will have to go back and try out sometime soon. We then headed off on our most random adventure yet. Whenever we drive to and from Spokane to our apartment we drive the back roads through North Bend, Fall City, and Snoqualmie. Along the road there is a giant log under a pavillion. We have been so curious as to what it is and why it is so important that they built a little enclosing around it. It turns out that it is not important at all. It is just a giant log about 10 feet in diameter that everyone carves their names on. Even though it has no signifiance we took our pictures by it and can now tell all our friends and family that we have been to the giant log in Snoqualmie!
The weather has continued to be absolutely beautiful this week so we went to Safeco Stadium and watched a Mariners game. We bought tickets from some guy off the street for really cheap. Our seats were amazing right behind home plate. Honestly baseball is a little boring for me but I absolutely loved the atmosphere inside the stadium. I can't believe how many people were at the game on a Wednesday afternoon....shouldn't they all be at work somewhere? The Mariners beat the Rangers 8-7. After the game we went for a walk to Pioneer Park.
We have also been able to go the Seattle Temple in Bellevue a couple times. They are doing some construction work on the Angel Moroni which is why there is that beautiful scaffolding all around the spire.
Other big news is that I am official a Washingtonian (Brandon says that is what they call themselves). I now have a Washington state drivers license and Washington plates for my car. Crazy! But I think I will still claim being a Utahn...that's some much easier to say than Washingtonian.
Other big new is that we bought a car yesterday. It is an Acura 3.2 TL-S and Brandon loves it. I told him he will have to make a post about it.

So that is pretty much what we have been up to since we left Utah. Brandon doesn't start his job until October 1st and I don't go back until Sept 22nd. I'm sure we will have lots more adventures to report on before we settle down and get back to our normal boring working lives.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fry Sauce

For people in Utah, fry sauce is a normal part of life. If you go to any restaurant you can have fry sauce with your fries rather than just the regular old ketchup. I think fry sauce was one of Karen's favorite things about Utah.

Most of you know that Karen and I moved to the Seattle area about a week and a half ago. More posts will come to tell you all about the move but I want to relate just this one story which happened the second day we were in Washington.

Thursday was a long (partially succesful) day of furniture shopping. Since we rented a furnished apartment in Provo we did not have any furniture for our dining room or living room. We needed to find a couch and a dining room table so we could have a place to sit in our front room and a place to eat. (We did find a couch this day but I will leave it to Karen to write about the furniture). It was about nine at night when we finally decided to get some dinner (it was a long day of furniture shopping). My parents decided to take us out to dinner to celbrate my passing of another section of the CPA exam. There was a Red Robin close by so we went there. Red Robin is one of Karen's favorite places to eat. (There fry sauce is her favorite - it is a little different than everyone else's).

After completing our orders the waitress kindly asked if we would like anything else. Karen's face lit up as she asked for some fry sauce. The waitress got a somewhat confused look and I immediatley knew what I had done. Not only had I brought Karen all the way to Washington 900 miles from her family but also from her beloved fry sauce. The waitress informed us that she was not sure what fry sauce was and my heart sank. I knew that Karen was crying although there was no evidence of this on her cheeks.

One week later...

We are in Spokane with my family for the blessing of Hadley (my little brother's daughter). For a celebratory dinner Tyler's inlaws took us all out to eat at Red Robin. As the waiter was taking our orders he asked each of us if we would like any sauces (included in the list of sauces was fry sauce). We were skeptical at first but hopeful. Karen ordered some fry sauce. Our food was brought out along with the fry sauce. It looked exactly like the fry sauce at Red Robin from Utah (which is Karen's favorite). Karen anxiously dipped a fry and took a bite. It was a little piece of Utah right here in Washington.

I have no longer separated my wife from two of her loves (her family and her fry sauce). She is now just separated from her family but close enough that we can visit everyonce in a while. I am grateful for the sacrifices which Karen has made in moving with me to Seattle. It has not been easy for her but she is adapting very well. We are enjoying the area and Karen will make a post soon about the entire move.

For all the Utahns out there removed from their home state - you can find fry sauce at any Red Robin restaurant. (It is disguised as onion ring sauce.)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The 'Utah Date'

Today Brandon and I were able to go on what I call a 'Utah Date.' We started the day off with a 3.5 mile run. We are wanting to run a marathon next year so we are slowly starting to train. Brandon is doing great considering he had knee surgery in February and only started running a few weeks ago. We then headed up to the SLC temple to see our friends Jana and Scott on their wedding day. They look so happy. After taking pictures on the temple grounds, Brandon and I were planning on doing a session but as we were walking into the dressing rooms we were asked to do proxy sealings. It was a really cool experience because we were able to do the sealings in the same room my Grandma and Grandpa Cannon were sealed in 51 years ago. After the temple we headed down the street to the Lion House for lunch.
We then went and test drove cars. We have been trying to sell Brandon's car before the big move and then get a new one when we get up to Seattle. If any of you have any suggestions on what kind of car to buy or know any great deals we would love some input. To finish off the 'Utah Date' we went to Jana and Scott's reception. It was an garden reception at Thanksgiving Point and turned out beautifully. It was fun to see lots of our Provo friends one more time before leaving. Marcy and Me

Marcy, Jana, and me

I'm so happy we were able to do this 'Utah Date.' I'm sad to think that we are moving away from all of this in less than two weeks. But we are both really excited for the chance to go to Seattle.