Sunday, March 28, 2010

Catching Up with the Cousins

So at the beginning of Spring Break I found out that my cousin Ryan had moved out to Salt Lake. With this information and the fact that my sister and Alex and my other cousin Simon are also close by, I decided to invite everyone over for dinner and some fun. So this past Friday night Ryan, Simon, Simon's friend that is a girl Maggie, Elisa, Alex, Matthew and I all got together. Alex and Elisa came over early because they had planned on being in Salt Lake that afternoon. We spent some time talking and encouraging Elisa to finish her online test. Matthew was a kind host and made us ants on a log as a before dinner/get together snack. Then Alex helped me make the spaghetti. He cooked up the beef while I started boiling the water and steaming the veggies. Before long Simon and Maggie showed up and the kitchen was full of willing, helping hands. Simon put the "Texas Toast" in the toaster oven and just as we were about to bless the food Ryan graced us with his presence. With a good meal and great company we spent our evening catching up and reminiscing about our family. It was nice to see that although we haven't always lived close to one another or talked on a regular basis, there is still a love and closeness there. I am very grateful for my family and the fun we are able to have with one another.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So this last weekend we had the opportunity to go on a little road trip with Matthew's parents. We were able to leave late Friday afternoon and decided that because my older brother Gary and his wife Haley just had their first baby the week before, we would stay the night in Vegas so Matthew and I could catch up with my family before we left early Saturday. On our way down to Vegas Matthew and I were full of energy (Matthew maybe had too much!) and while we were listening to the cd I made Matthew for Valentines Day we decided to take some pictures on Photobooth...this will explain how much energy Matthew had and how eventually he had a big
crash!!It was a fun ride.

Now I may be biased, because I am related, but my new niece Isabella Marie is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen! She slept most of the time we were there, but right at the end she decided she needed to get a look at who was holding on to her and making her do silly things. (I was singing a song while moving her bottom lip so it looked like she was singing...I know, I'm weird) I am very happy for Gary and Haley...what a beautiful bundle of joy!

Saturday morning we headed off towards Lompoc, California where Matthew's older brother Trevor is living. On our way down we stopped at a fruit stand on the side of the road and got some yummy oranges, grapefruit, kumquat, and pistachios. Matthew and his dad (Steve) both tried the kumquats and didn't much care for them, so when they offered them to me I politely declined...I have learned that if it is something even Matthew won't eat, then I shouldn't even bother. (Although in this case he did continue eating them...he is definitely not a waster!) After our short field trip at the fruit stand we drove for a couple more hours to Santa Barbara and decided that it would be a good place to stop and have a nice dinner. We exited the freeway near the old downtown and it was the perfect place to find a lot of selections on what looked and smelled like great food and lucky for us, as we were walking, we found the street that the hotel we would be staying in on Monday was on. (And we thought it was funny that the name of the street was Haley, just like my sister in law) For dinner we decided on one of the many Thai restaurants and boy did we pick good...the food was amazing, and the service was fast and friendly. One thing I love about Thai food is that there is always enough for another meal, which was especially perfect in this case because it made it so we did not have to go to the grocery store that night or eat out on Sunday. After dinner we finished our travels to the beautiful city of Lompoc and after getting settled in at the hotel we were informed that the hotel had cookies out for all their guests! Just to let those in charge of the hotel industry know, if you have cookies for you guests, then I will stay at your hotel!

On Sunday, before we headed out to see Trevor we went to a local LDS church for sacrament meeting. It was a good service, the Ward sustained a new member and the speaker spoke about preparing to receive answers, specifically aimed at the fact that General Conference was coming up the next weekend. After church we slipped into something a little more comfortable (In Matthew's words) and headed off to see Trevor. It was a good visit, we mostly talked about what a day in the life of Trevor is right now. He has been enjoying playing bridge and his job that he doesn't really have to work at. Unfortunately just prior to us visiting he decided to shave his beard off and didn't take pictures...I could imagine what it could look like though! Our visit was rather short on Sunday, but good. After getting back to the hotel Matthew tried to work on his upcoming seminary lesson and I think got about a chapter in before falling asleep. At the same time Steve and Cynda went on a walk and I continued typing up a book a gentleman from our Branch is writing. When Matthew's parents returned from their walk they informed us that the church I had pointed out earlier that morning (I saw it as we passed it on our way to the church we attended and wondered if it was LDS) in fact was LDS and had a meeting at the same time as the one we went to that morning. We all got a good laugh from that since we traveled further than necessary. We then enjoyed the rest of our leftovers and went to the hotel's dining area to play some games and enjoy some more cookies!

Monday we woke up fairly early so we could get in a good day visiting Trevor. It was a warm day and because we arrived early enough we were able to sit inside the visiting area instead of outside. We were hoping to be able to play cards, but were unable to locate a deck. We continued to talk about many things such as, Matthew's Student teaching, Trevor's plans for the future including finishing school and where he is hoping to move to, my schooling and our plans for the summer. We also were able to get a picture taken of the five of us. (Once I get a copy I will post it) We were planning on getting some lunch out of the vending machines (they had some refrigerated ones with sandwiches and such) but as we went and looked in them they were nearly empty. We inquired as to when they might be filled again and we were told it would be a little later in the afternoon, so we decided to get a few snacks and wait it out, well they were never filled. All in all we had a wonderful visit.

After leaving Trevor, we traveled to a small town about 30 minutes away called Solvang. It is a little Danish town and we were excited for Matthew to give us the 411 on the best food to eat. It was a cute little town. We walked around and did some window shopping, of course Matthew and I found a magnet to add to the fridge back home. I am pretty sure we went to every bakery in town looking for the perfect pastry, unfortunately none of them had the one Matthew was looking for, but we settled on one and all enjoyed our selections. I of course thought mine was the best and almost made Matthew go back to get me another, but resisted the temptation since we were on our way to a Danish restaurant called "A Bit of Denmark" for an authentic dinner. Matthew forced me to try pickled herring and liver pate, surprisingly it was eatable. I wouldn't say that I will ever have cravings for it, but if we were served it I would be able to eat it without much difficulty. Cynda and I both had frikadeller, which are Danish meatballs. I like to describe it to others as a small meatloaf type food usually made of pork. At home we make them with pork and beef to make it cheaper. Matthew had flaeskesteg, which is pork roast with the skin of the pig still on one side of the meat (and Matthew adds that it's YUMMY!). Steve had roast beef which also has a very funny, weird name that I won't bother to look up. Needless to say the food was wonderful and we all ate way too much.

After dinner we were off to Santa Barbara for a good nights rest before the long journey home. The hotel we stayed in was adorable. Before falling asleep we watched a cake off show that was pretty intense. Each of the contestants were trying to build a cake representing the Nutcracker. We were all sorely disappointed when the ugliest cake won. We then discovered at the cake's "unveiling" they made it look a lot better and were less disappointed.

Tuesday we began the long journey home. Matthew worked on his lesson in the car while I mostly slept, and his mom kept his dad company while he drove. I tried to stay awake, but alas failed. We stopped in Vegas for a quick bite to eat at In n' Out. My mom drove to eat with us and we had a short, but enjoyable time, then it was back to the streets. All in all it was a wonderful trip. I have to say that Matthew's parents are definitely planners. They definitely made sure Matthew and I were comfortable and well fed!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"The Best Two Years"

So yesterday Matthew and I celebrated our 2nd Anniversary. This semester I don't have school on Mondays and I had a half-day observation near Access RV, which is one of the places Matthew works. This year it was my turn to plan the Anniversary and I was very excited, but last week I got a pretty bad cold and all of my energy was drained, so the exciting plans I had were changed into lunch in the afternoon and a relaxing dinner and Red Box Movie on our love seat.

We went to lunch at one of our favorite sushi restaurants Ejo. We expected that because we were going for lunch that it would be cheaper, but on Mondays they actually have a dinner special, so I think Matthew and I spent more money on sushi than we ever much for keeping it cheap! Later that night when Matthew got home we order some Papa John's Pizza. And because I love my husband so much, I ordered a half pepperoni and sausage for me and half ham, black olive, mushrooms and pineapple for him. He loves those toppings, but most of the time goes with what I want. We would like to thank Matthew's sister Liz and her husband Zac for providing our romantic pizza was free to us because of them. Well, I guess it wasn't completely free, we did baby sit for them, but thanks nonetheless.

While munching on the delicious pizza Matthew and I watched "Everybody's Fine" with Robert Dinero and Drew Barrymore. Matthew loved it and I thought it was okay. The important part was that we were able to spend time with one another. Although plans had to change because of my recovery it was a lovely anniversary.

Before I finish I do want to comment a little on the experience Matthew and I had watching our niece and nephews; Cole, Spencer, James and Madeleine. Liz and Zac asked us to watch them so that they could go to the temple and Matthew and I jumped at the chance to spend some more time with them. We showed up on Saturday night just in time for dinner. Liz has come up with a fun way to have leftovers...I think they call it Restaurant Night. Liz makes these cute little menus that the kids can places their orders on and so each of them get to have a choice of what they want for dinner.

Liz and Zac left when most everyone was done eating, so it was a chance for Matthew and I to get everyone cleaned up. Matthew took the boys outside to play some basketball and I stayed inside with Maddy. Liz had warned us that Maddy is in the stage of taking her diaper off so I tried to have a close eye on her, but she is fast. Next thing I knew I found Maddy hiding behind the rocking chair with her diaper was so funny to see her try and walk and keep the diaper on at the same time. After a short while, Matthew brought the boys in and we got them ready for bed. We then had story/quiet time. I read some books to Maddy and James while Cole, Spencer and Matthew played a matching game that Cole was creating for a book report. After Cole and Spencer played the first game, James wanted to play, so he played against Spencer while I helped Cole come up with a really hard math problem to put on a set of cards to represent a really smart character in the book he read for his book report. While he was lying on the floor drawing a picture on some of his cards Maddy kept walking around him and then jumping on his back. When she did this Cole would make a groaning noise that made Maddy laugh so she continued to do it.

After story time, it was time to get the kids in bed. Before bed they also read scriptures and say family prayer together. We read about ten verses with the boys and let me tell you they are really smart and ask questions I don't think I would have thought to ask at their age let alone now. After giving hugs good night, Matthew and I went upstairs and Matthew promptly feel asleep...he was worn out! I soon drifted as well, but when Liz and Zac came home we laughed about all the funny things their kids did and enjoyed talking for a little bit. It was so much fun. Matthew and I look forward to having a few of our own someday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Isabella Marie Kofford

Today, my older brother's first child, my parents' first grandchild and my first niece was born!