Sunday, June 14, 2015


I was fortunate to combine doing a CME conference in Ohio with surprising my best and longest time friend, Melissa Ethington. Morgan, her husband, and I were in cahoots for a few months planning it out. It's been a few years since seeing this girl and it was time for another slumber party!

We are both turning forty this year and I brought her some bike related gifts. She is training for her second 100 mile ride! She is quite the speed demon on her bike and took me on a few rides while I was there. We met up with her friend Lindsay at 5:30AM and rode through the beautiful trails that are all throughout Toledo.

Melissa is up in front

Twenty miles done!

I think my favorite bike ride was our last night with the whole family.

This was our destination-Handel's ice cream shop. You will be singing the "Hallelujiah" chorus after eating this deliciousness.

I got to see a ton of neat places including the Toledo Zoo with the Empie and Ethington kids (E squared?)

 Marin was my snuggle buddy right off the bat. She is as cute and cuddly as these penguins.

Love the Meerkats!

Maxwell's smile can tame a buffalo.

After a full day at the zoo, we ate very well thanks to Morgan the BBQ master.

Another awesome part of the trip was going to Kirtland to see the historic LDS temple and nearby home of Newel K. Whitney. He became a member of the church and generously shared his wealth to serve others and build up the church at that time. Many sacred experiences happened at these locations.

This room is the "school of the prophets".

I got a personal flute concert by the one and only Manhattan. She creatively combined two hymns together for an upcoming performance at church.

And lastly, I learned about the naked mole rat. If you don't know what it is, Marin and Maxwell can give you all the details. 

I feel very blessed to spend time with this amazing family!

Happy birthday to me!

Sure got spoiled on my birthday this year! We finally decided it was time for us to buy our own raft. We got a 15ft self bailing raft from NRS and all the "fixin's" for a multi-day trip. It was a very exciting day. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lots of Projects

Time has gotten away from me. We've been busy with a lot of house projects as you'll see below:

Re-upholstering our chairs to give them a little more life before we upgrade to something newer. We were given this set by the Parsons when we lived in Yakima.

We also made garden boxes

Brandon also made us a sturdy event of shelves in our storage room.

 We hired a landscaping company to put in our fence and grass.

Brandon has become our expert in pest control. We've had some ground squirrels and mice issues. Warning: the following pictures may not be suitable for young audiences.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brandon's New Ride

This guy is looking forward to a backyard full of tall grass. He even took me on a spin out in the driveway once we got this beauty home.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike"

We got ourselves some new sets of wheels.

We got these two beauties on sale at a local bike shop -Scott's. He even helped us pick them out. I've been wanting a new bike for a while although my Schwinn has been a great. I'm excited to ride with my studly partner in his cute bike shorts. 


Post Hawaii Depressive Disorder

Since returning from our visit to Hawaii we are missing the island life. To console ourselves, we are watching HGTV's "Hawaii Life" and drowning our sorrows in chocolate milk. One day, we will return!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


We just spent a wonderful week in paradise celebrating our 5th anniversary and visiting Brandon's brother, Josh, and his family on the island of Oahu. They greeted us at the airport with some beautiful leis, a Hawaiin tradition.

We did lots of fun activities: snorkeling (we saw sea turtles!!) surfing, and sea kayaking to name a few. We took Isabella and David with us sea kayaking out to small island off the shore of the city of Kailua. Just before we were going to head back a big rain/windstorm came through. Fortunately we decided to wait it out instead of trying to make it back and the rain went away.

We had a few rainy days so we took advantage of doing some other activities that didn't involve the beach. One stop was the Dole plantation. I had visited here with my good friends Melissa and Morgan Ethington 13 yrs ago so it brought back some fun memories.

Brandon had fun chasing the beach babes (Anabelle). She says, "uh .... no!"

And even though we were hanging out in paradise, Brandon didn't want to miss the Super Bowl. Go Seahawks! Instead of watching the game, I enjoyed sitting on the lanai with Bella and coloring. Wish I had gotten a photo of the fantastic picture she was coloring. There are a lot more photos I have of the trip but they are on my camera, not my phone. 

One fun event was watching a surf competition on the North Shore. This time of year there are pretty big waves out there-20 ft on the day of the competition. You can see  a surfer just about to start riding the wave.

We also went to the Polynesian Cultural center in Laie.  Our tour guide was from Tonga and attending BYU-Hawaii. He works about 20 hours weekly and is able to get his schooling paid for. The church has set up a really amazing program that helps students from all over the Polynesian islands to share their culture with tourists and get an education that otherwise may not be available to them. We learned about Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa before it was time to head to a Lua for dinner. We also saw their evening show which showcased all the island cultures.

 It has been a hard adjustment coming back to Washington with cold and snowy weather. We definitely appreciate Josh and Jenn being such great hosts and leaving us with big smiles!

We are scheming of ways we can move to Hawaii ourselves someday. Maybe we will just have to keep visiting!