Sunday, June 19, 2011

Goodbye Salt Lake, Hello Seattle

Tuesday started early with Matthew and I headed to the Budget lot to pick up our moving truck. We had debated for weeks which size truck we should get and whether we should tow the Xterra or drive it along. When I first saw the truck I was a little worried it wouldn't fit all of our stuff, but if push came to shove I was willing to give stuff away. As our stuff started to pile into the truck we began to realize that we had more than enough room in the truck and if we still couldn't find a taker for our love seat we might even be able to fit it in. We were blessed to have an enormous amount of friends and family drop by to help us load the truck and clean.

After saying farewell to our first home together and to some friends for the last time, Matthew and I headed to Access RV to pick up Matthew's last paycheck and to drop off his keys to the joint. Along with the paycheck, one of Matthew's co-workers, Marcie, gave him a bag full of goodies as a driving package. After saying our goodbyes we headed towards the Bowen Homestead for the night.

Above: Matthew and I in front of our first home together. The entrance to our apartment is up some orange steps that you can't see on the left side of the house.

Aboce: left- Matthew near the entrance to our apartment. right- the stairs that lead to nowhere right below our old kitchen window. One of the many things that made our first home so creepy and yet so loved.

Early Wednesday morning, Matthew's parents sent us off towards Seattle. Matthew did most of the driving while I did most of the sleeping which is the usual pattern of things. And for the most part our trip was uneventful, but we were able to find joy in some simplicities.

Above: left- This semi truck made Matthew and I laugh. It has a picture of a cow that is winking and saying, "DrinkAMugAMilkAMeal." right- Matthew was sucking on a DumDum and when he took it out of his mouth he and the sucker were making the same expression.

The plan was to make the trip in two days. We could have pulled it off in one, but the drive is 18 hours going the actual speed limit and since we were in a moving truck pulling a car we were only able to go 50-55mph, especially when we were met with anything resembling a hill. That combined with the fact that it was just the two of us we decided it best to take our time. Our goal for the first day was to make it as far as we could and hope to get into the state of Washington.

We traveled most of the day without stopping except to fill the truck up with gas and to go potty. We kept our bellies appeased by snacking on the snack bag from Marcie and other various munchies, but when we got closer to the dinner hour, we were anxious for something more filling, so we stopped to eat at a little fast food joint. We decided to eat inside so we could get out of the truck and stretch our legs. When we got back to the truck Matthew wanted to double check the chains that wee keeping our car tied down and discovered that one of the chains broke. I wasn't really sure of what to do, but Matthew thought he had the right tools to fix the chain. Unfortunately he didn't but he found a way to re-chain the car so that it wouldn't topple off.

Near the end of the day we knew that we would easily reach our goal and decided to stop and find a hotel in Kennewick, WA which is one of the cities of Tri-City. We didn't want to get too far into the city because we wanted to stay close to the freeway and Matthew's parents gave us great advice on how to pick out a hotel to stay in. They said, to check out the front lobby; if the lobby doesn't look good, there is no way the room looks good. So we decided to first give the La Quinta Inn and Suites a try and they did in fact have a nice lobby so we went to the check in desk to see if they had anything available. The clerk said she had a room with two beds available for a little over a hundred dollars. As Matthew was saying, "Well we don't really need the extra bed... (but if that's all you have we'll take it)," the clerk said, "Well, maybe I can give you a better deal" and then promptly cut the price of the room. She then asked us not to discuss the price of our room with any other guests. As we walked out to the car to get our bags we kind of chuckled because we were willing to pay the first price, but we think the clerk thought we were going to walk away. So now we had more beds than we needed for a lower price and we were a-okay with it!

Thursday morning we ate breakfast and headed off to finish the last leg of our trip. While getting ready I noticed that my legs, specifically my left leg was pretty swollen. About a year ago I had a blood clot in my left leg, so Matthew and I decided that we needed to make a more conscious effort of stopping at least ever two hours so I could get up and walk to help bring the swelling down. While sitting in the truck I also tried to elevate my feet, which seemed to help.

As we got closer to the Seattle area, we realized that we were actually ahead of schedule and so we called the manager of the apartment complex we were moving into to ask if we could come a few hours sooner. The manager said she could help us at 2pm, which meant we had plenty of time to get to Bellevue, return the trailer our car was on to the Budget lot and get ourselves to the apartment complex, which is just what we did.

Above: Me in front of our new apartment in Bellevue, WA. The windows to our apartment are directly above the Budget Truck.

Above: Our first "head" board

After signing some papers, writing a check and taking our first official walk through of our new home, Matthew and I started the drudging task of unloading the truck by ourselves. Before making the move, Matthew found out what ward we would be in and contacted the Bishop to see if they could rally some people to help us unload upon our arrival. He said he would spread the word and we would hear from someone soon. Well, although we believed someone would be there to help us we still hadn't heard from anyone so Matthew called the Bishop again. He gave us the phone number of the Elder's Quorum President and we called him, but no answer. Matthew left a message and we continued to unpack. We soon got a call back saying that help would indeed be coming that evening. After a few hours of going up and down 3 flights of stairs, we only had about half the truck unloaded and I wasn't sure how much longer I could go on. My legs were shaking with every step and I told Matthew that I was going to quit if we didn't have help soon. Within a half hour help arrived and they had the rest of our stuff unloaded within 45 minutes. It was a definite blessing. So, we are here safe and sound, although a little sore. I start my new job tomorrow and we hope to have a great adventure here in Seattle.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Farewell Friends

Since deciding to move to Seattle, Matthew and I have spent as much time as we possibly can with our friends and family. One of the last Family Home Evenings (FHE) we had with Friendship Branch was a BBQ and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take some pictures of the members we have grown to love. Up until Monday afternoon, the weather in Salt Lake had been lovely and then the wind started. Luckily the Manor had plenty of room for us to move the party inside, but the change in weather may have discouraged some of the member's to come. After everyone had all the food they could handle, we still had enough leftovers for at least 20 more. In most cases I don't mind taking the leftovers, being that Matthew and I are the poor college students, but with our moving in just over a week we were trying to eat up everything in our house as it was.

Above: left-Winnie and Jack. right- Sis. Gren and Marjorie

Above: left-Sheila and Sharon. right- Paula

Above: Susan

Above: left- Carl and Ted. right- Norman and Matthew

Above: left- Jean and Nancy Lee. right- Emma and Frank

Above: Ted, Dorothy and Charlotte

Above: left- Alice and Kara. right- Beverly and Marjorie

Above: left- Matthew and Glen. right- Norma and Harriet

Above: Kara, Pat, Genevieve H and Genevieve R.

Above:left-Christel. right- Mike and Sue

Above: RS Presidency- Nancy, Annette, Jean and Kara. Matthew and Kara after last Church meeting with the Branch. Branch Presidency- Matthew, Frank and Mike

The Friday before we moved Matthew and I invited all of our friends to a moving party. We started the evening out at Crown Burger, which is a famous local burger joint that Matthew loves. After enjoying our meal we moved the party over to a bowling alley. We had many friends from various periods in our lives show up. It was great to be reunited and share fond memories. The only thing I regret is forgetting my camera, luckily I did have my Ipod so I was able to snatch a few pics although not of everyone. We are very grateful to all of our friends who have supported us over the last few years.

Above: Danny and Kara. Danny scored 195 bowling and managed getting two turkeys in one game, very impressive.

Above: left- Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Main. Middle- Craig, Matthew and Anthony. right- Julia in her glowing in the blue light shirt

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kara's B to the irthday

Ever since deciding to move to Seattle, Matthew and I have realized all the things we have been meaning to do, but haven't because we thought we would always have time to. One of the biggest examples of this is visiting all of the temples in the relative area. I have always wanted to go to as many different temples as I could and we made it to many in Utah, but even after living here for 5 years there are a few I have missed out on. The one that was most important for us to get to before leaving was the Manti Temple because it is where Matthew's parents were sealed. Well, a few weeks ago, Matthew's mom brought up wanting to go to the Manti temple with us before we left, so with those desires realized we decided to make a trip and it just so happened to be this weekend.

Along with wanting to do all the things we haven't, another priority that Matthew and I have while still in the area has been to spend as much time with our family and friends as we possibly can. Well, this weekend we had also planned a double date with our friends the Andersons, my birthday dinner with the Bowen Clan and a Sunday Dinner with a group of our friends. With all of our desires and such little time before leaving our weekend was crazy, but fun!

Friday night we went to dinner with Cory and Danielle Anderson. For graduation I received a couple of gift cards to the Olive Garden and I wanted to use them to go out with friends. So with the Andersons we went. We decided to go to the Olive Garden in West Valley because the ones closer to our house are busier, we were thinking about going to a movie and the times worked out better at a theater in West Valley and Cory needed to grab a prop for a commercial he was helping to shoot the next day.

Dinner was good. Our waiter was a very interesting fellow who had a bunch of pins on the collar of his shirt. Cory asked him what all the pins were for and our waiter said, "These pins are for all the awards our restaurant has received and some awards I have received as a server here." He then informed us that customers rate Olive Gardens all over America and that this specific restaurant had been voted the best in America.

After dinner we picked up the prop that Cory needed and decided just to head back to the Anderson's home to watch "Mega Mind" because Danielle had some homework to finish. It was a very comfortable night with good friends.

After the movie we headed to the Bowen Homestead to sleep. When we got there I realized that I forgot my pajamas so Cynda let me borrow a pair.

We woke up fairly early Saturday morning to head to Manti. It was a lovely drive, with good company. The Manti Temple is so unique. I think that the age of the building and the fact that farmers built it really add character to it that I haven't felt in other temples. The artwork and structure inside were amazing. After the session, we were given a brief tour of the spiral staircases, ate lunch in the cafeteria and then headed outside to take some pictures. We drove around the little town looking for a magnet, but were unable to find one so we gave up and headed back home.

When we got back to West Valley we had dinner and a family birthday celebration with the Taylors and Pete and Steph. We had BBQ chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, Smores ice cream and Steph's peanut butter bars....yummy! Steph and I talked a bunch about plans for moving and work and school over the next few months while the nephews, niece, grandpa, Liz, Zac, Pete and Matthew played freeze tag in the backyard. The rest of the night entailed silly pictures by the nephews, grandpa reading books, Cole blowing out my birthday candles and birthday gifts from the Taylors that had a rainy theme.

On Sunday I taught Relief Society for the last time and the spirit was very strong. The lesson was about testimonies and the comments the sisters make always make the lesson 10x better. After church we had Sunday dinner with the Humphreys, Passeys, Hickenloopers, Lees and Ghales. This is a tradition in our friendships that started when Emily, Tiffany, Matthew H., Trina, Ashley and I all lived in the dorms together in 2005. For dinner we made homemade pizza with a crust recipe that Emily made that was delicious. We enjoyed the nice weather, good conversation, silly kids and the new edition to the Passey Family- Thomas. We took a picture of the original group of friends and then one of the expansions we've added over the years. It was a great evening, I love these friends so much and I will miss them greatly when we move. It was definitely a great birthday!

Upper left: Just the girls- Trina, Rhiannon, Emily, me, Ashley & Tiffany Upper right: Matthew H. joined the picture since he was from the original friendship and Benny joined because he wanted to be close to his mommy(Tiffany) Center: Our growth!- Emily and Greg are married and have two kids Wesley (on Greg's shoulders) and Trevor (in Emily's arms), Matthew H. and Rhiannon are married, Trina and Parker are married and have a daughter Brooklyn (in Trina's arms), me and Matthew are married, Ashley and Rusty are married and Tiffany and Jason are married and have two sons Benjamin (next to Tiffany) and Thomas (in Tiffany's arms)

Upper left: Brooklyn Upper right: Benny Center: Emily and Trevor

Right: Thomas Left: Wesley (or as I call him, Weschester)