Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Wedding Bells

We're getting down to the end of the list of cousin weddings this year (still one to come in December).

This one, however, has a bit of a story to it. My cousin Paul married Mandy on Thursday, September 23rd...this was a long awaited wedding. They met in September of 2009. Mandy had just been baptized a member of the LDS church a week before they met. After a few months of dating, they were engaged and decided they were willing to wait until September of 2010 in order to be married in the temple.

After what seemed like eternity, September 2010 finally came around, and what was expected to be a small simple wedding turned into a fancy (and delicious) celebration! All thanks to her grandparents. After the initial shock and rejection from Mandy's mother and grandparents about her becoming and marrying a Mormon, they were able to get over their ill-feelings and contribute to the wedding plans.

Mandy had a ladies luncheon that afternoon at The Garden that I was able to attend...which was fabulous!

Afterward, they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

Then, they had a beautiful reception at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in the Empire Room, where there were huge chandeliers, a live band, and a steak dinner!

Overall, it was another successful and beautiful wedding! Congrats Paul and Mandy! You guys are perfect for each other!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the Name of Free Yogurt!!

Once upon a time, a new frozen yogurt shop opened in the city of Provo. This frozen yogurt shop was one that competed and dominated against all other frozen yogurt shops (in the renowned opinion of Jason and Emily). They visited the shop often and referred all of their friends. The location was great, the flavors were perfect, the toppings were outstanding, and the price was just right.

The night before the "official" Grand Opening finally arrived...the night that Emily and Jason had long awaited. The night promised great rewards if one endured to the end. The official decree stated:

If you are among the first one hundred customers when it opens at 10:00 AM Saturday morning, you receive a free year supply of frozen yogurt.

Jason knew just what to do. He arrived at 4:30 Friday afternoon and secured the #11 spot in line, which is great...however, that means he was in it for the long haul until Saturday morning.

Emily on the other hand, had a commitment at a Relief Society Retreat located at a cabin up by Sundance. She was amazed by the enormity of the cabin and the luxuriousness of the furniture. After a pleasant meal, an unexpected turn of events happened that blessed her luck. Her ride to and from the retreat began demonstrating signs of extreme food allergens. They had no choice but to leave the retreat immediately. As much as Emily hated to eat and run... :)... she had to do what was best for her traveling companion.

Emily rushed home, gathered as many blankets and pillows that she could, and joined Jason at the beloved EarthFruits Yogurt at 7:00 PM. What could have been a long grueling night for Jason, became a fun date/adventure for the both of them as they camped on the sidewalk outside of the shop.

They had hopes of watching Netflix on the laptop that they had brought, but the Wi-Fi was not cooperating. The nice lads who ran the shop allowed them to go inside and physically plug in to their network, which provided a good hour of LOST entertainment...but there was only so much they could handle with the hard seats and the loud commotion from the customers.

The first round of ticket call finally arrived. You were required to be present the whole evening (or at least when they did the random number calls) if you wanted to be awarded the grand prize. Any ticket/number that was not present for the call had their number put back into a drawing for those attending without tickets (Emily being one of them for her late appearance). Luckily there were some missing numbers, and Emily was later called and given a ticket. Things were looking better than the two had imagined. As long as they stuck it out for the night, they would both received a year supply of free yogurt!

As easy as it sounds, it came with its challenges. First there was the hard, HARD ground...the blankets only pretended to be padding. Then add the over one hundred people surrounding them...playing games and doing all kinds of "zoobie" things. Then add the busy street of cars passing by at all hours of the night. Then add the slight nip of cool breeze that was brought on by the month of September.

Given all of these elements, the night still would not have been so bad if it hadn't been for the tent positioned directly beside Jason and Emily. The tent was full of fifteen year old boys and girls who gave no respect to public decency. Emily and Jason heard more perverted comments and vulgarities than either of them had ever heard from high prepubescent voices. The F word was used as a filler word and they loved having everyone hear their obscenities at four o'clock in the morning.

As much as Jason tried to knock some sense into the fools, they only fed on the attention. The only thing to do became to ignore them completely (which was a hard task for the ever-rising temper of Emily).

The sun finally rose, the clock finally approached ten...they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Event tents were being assembled for the grand day's events. Live music, face painting, animals, dancing...the list went on for the agenda for the day.

Then, the door finally opened.

Jason and Emily took their stacks of free yogurt cards (104 cards to be exact when you add the two together...two for each week of the year). They used one of their cards and filled up a bowl of yogurt...and needless to say, they were out the door as quickly as they had entered without a second glance at the festivities.

They had put in their time at EarthFruits Yogurt. (17.5 hours to be exact).

(Sadly we have no pictures to document the experience)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wrapping Up the Summer, Welcoming the Fall

  Just wanted to mention a few items of note that were brought on in the summer...

Jason moved on from his job in Remodeling to working with Showerzz and Tubzz, specializing in customer shower surrounds.

I was made Team Mentor in Customer Marketing at APX Alarm (and then Supervisor two months later).

We finished reading/listening to Harry Potter 5 and began Harry Potter 7 (very important).

The TV series LOST consumed most of our free time (finally finished in January of 2011).

The beginning of fall brought with it...

A new flat screen TV (finally! as pictured in the previous post's pictures), as well as a new X Box 360 (surprise). Needless to say, Jason has put in a lot of Halo hours.

 (my favorite is when he wears the headset even when it's not plugged in...yeah, it happens)

My good friend Amy left on her mission to Tulsa, OK.

At the farewell

My cousin, Izac, returned from his mission in the Philippines.

Amy and Robby Tuttle had their 3rd child, Oliver (so cute). 

..And so life began in a new apartment in a new ward...we're growing up.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Place to Call Home

Now that we have graduated, we decided it was time to move on.  Henry Lin (our landlord) sent us a notice inquiring if we wanted to sign a new one-year rental agreement. 

We didn’t want to do that… our only option became finding a new apartment. It also gave us a deadline to find an apartment (end of August) and to get out of there. So we began our search…we thought we were done with KSL after finding our Accord, but we were right back at it again about a week later.

It turned out to be quite the process…checking the listing multiple times a day, calling those places that looked half-decent, visiting those places that might be worthwhile, being disgusted by the size and quality of the actual apartments when comparing them to their deceiving pictures, finding apartments that we loved but were above our price range…you know what I’m talking about. 

One day, a basement apartment in Lehi popped up on KSL. It was absolutely beautiful and totally UNDER-priced! We jumped on it, drove up there that night to check it out, and were actually more impressed by what we physically saw. It had an immaculate kitchen with gorgeous white cabinets, not to mention it was huge! There were high ceilings and wood flooring. The back room had a sliding door that opened up to the back yard. The yard was pleasant with flowers, raspberry bushes, and strawberry bushes. It also looked over a huge canal and provided a gorgeous view (especially for sunsets). It was perfect.

To make a long story short, we drove to Highland the next afternoon to meet the owner of the house and to fill out an application. The problems started when my Google Maps did not give me accurate directions to her house.  So, naturally, I called her for directions. To my utter horror, she decided to inform me that she would save us all some time because she had already sold it to someone (and this is after we had already driven from Provo to Thanksgiving Point).  I was shocked. After hanging up the phone, I couldn’t help but sob! I was so disappointed. I had been so anxious the previous night and that day with excitement. (I couldn’t even sleep the night before). And then all my dreams were crushed in a single moment. Jason and I were both pretty bummed that whole week. As we looked at other apartments, we couldn’t help but compare them to the Lehi apartment. 

We continued with patience, and the next week we found two awesome and spacious basement apartments (on the same day, I might add). We thought this story was finally going to have a happy ending...We loved them both, but knew we had to choose just one. We chose the Orem apartment. 

We couldn't have been happier. The house was HUGE and had its own private pool and tennis court (that we had access to). It also came furnished with a living room set, pool table, and washer and dryer! The yard was beautiful and I couldn’t wait to move in. 

Just four days after securing the apartment and paying our deposit, Jason got a call from the husband who owned the house. Up to this point, we had met with and made the agreement with the wife...not thinking twice about it. I guess, the husband had been out of town and the wife had posted the apartment without his knowledge. The husband had already promised the apartment to a BYU football player and his family. They hadn't cashed the check yet and we hadn't signed any papers so there was nothing we could do. Therefore, spousal miscommunication cost us not just one apartment, but two (the one we gave up to go with this one).

You can imagine my devastation at this point. Feelings of worthlessness and despair. 

It meant another weekend of apartment searching, just when we thought we could celebrate. 

We found a really nice spacious basement in Alpine that I was anxious to snatch (just in my desperation to have something set), but Jason kept his head and he knew that Alpine would not be wise with our work locations. 

The end of August was approaching, and at this point, it looked like we were going to be living with his parents for the next little while. Two days before our move out date, Jason received another phone call. It was the husband over the Orem apartment. To our disbelief, the football player could not come up with the deposit and so we were offered the apartment once again.

I was scared to believe it at first, after all of the ups and downs we had been through, but it was true! The apartment was ours!

This is just evidence that when one door closes, another one opens (sometimes even better than you could have hoped)! Some hardships and struggles can literally be “blessings in disguise”. Now we live just five minutes away from my work and we are loving our apartment and loving more space than we know what to do with!


 Doors that lead out to pool and tennis court

 The room continues back and to the right...that's the space we're not sure what do with.
It is mostly empty for now....
makes a nice workout/exercise/stretching place

The door on the right is the one we enter from

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Call to Serve....on the Jury

Jury Duty...

Yep, I got the lucky draw. And I was not happy.

The date range pretty much encompassed the entire summer, which made it kind of hard to take any spontaneous summer trips. The "call" finally came for the beginning of August, and while it was a nice break from work, it was a complete waste of time. All I can say is be sure to bring a book if you are ever to serve on Jury Duty.

I arrived early in the morning, only to sit and wait in silence for about 30 minutes (for who knows what). There were between 25 and 35 people there, with several empty seats scattered among the rows. The judge finally entered and gave his spill. We then had to watch a movie made in the early 90's about the "great rewards" of fulfilling your civic duty. Afterward, each of us took turns standing and answering questions from a giant cue card that listed about 15 different questions. The questions ranged from things like home town, occupation, hobbies, favorite magazine, favorite book, favorite music...things like that. Mind you, while you answer these questions, you are being evaluated by the defense and if your value and personal integrity could be determined by your love for Harry Potter (which it can...;) jokes).

Then came the most painful part... waiting as everyone took a turn going into another room for an interview. It was no short process. It was particularly painful seeing some people return to their seats, gather their belongings, and bid farewell to those sitting around them. All I could think about was "What golden phrase are they saying that is allowing them to be dismissed?" I needed to learn that phrase.

When it was finally my turn, they took me into a room where my chair was in the center of a circle of chairs, the judge at his desk and the defense and prosecuting teams at my left and right. I must say it was quite intimidating! They asked me a series of questions, some quite personal, as I did my best to answer them honestly. After the uncomfortable interrogation, they asked me to wait outside the room as they assessed my interview. A few minutes passed, then a man in uniform escorted me back to my seat and asked me to stay.


That meant I had to continue waiting while the others took their turn interviewing for possible jury member.

Once everyone had interviewed, there were about 14 of us remaining. If my calculations were correct, I still had a slight possibility of getting out of this whole thing.

We sat and waited some more...

The judge finally entered with the attorneys. He had good and bad news for us. Good news...we were all going home! Bad news...they were not able to get enough eligible jury members to form an adequate team. They would have to begin the entire process again with a new batch of candidates.

So at the end of the day, all I have to show for my experience with Jury Duty is a missed day of work, 4 wasted hours, and an $18 paycheck.

Oh, how I love the efficiency of our legal system!