Sunday, August 21, 2011


Since we have lived in Washington, Matthew and I haven't had as much opportunity to explore the area as we would like. This is partly because Matthew has had to work most Saturdays since starting work at the bike shop, but Saturday after Matthew finished work we headed down to Portland to do a session in the temple since the Bellevue Temple is closed for cleaning.

The drive down was beautiful, but a little on the warm side since our AC went out in May. Because it is generally cool in Washington we decided to put off fixing it until we are a little more stable. For the most part this has worked out well because we haven't been in the car too much, but with the combination of us being in the car for 3 hours and it being the hottest day since being here, it was slightly uncomfortable.

Once we stepped into the temple nothing else mattered. It was a gorgeous building. There was a garden in the front lobby and parts of it reminded Matthew and I of the Las Vegas Temple. Matthew mentioned that he thought the Las Vegas Temple was built around the same time and after doing a little research we discovered that in fact the Portand Temple was the 42nd temple dedicated in August of 1989 and the Las Vegas Temple was the 43rd temple dedicated just a few months later in December of 1989, which explains some of the similarities.

After the session Matthew and I walked into the celestial room together and were even more impressed than usual about its beauty. What set this room apart from the other celestial rooms I have been in thus far was that it was two levels. When you walk into the room you notice the high vaulted ceilings and as you turn around, above and behind you is the second level. You have the option of going up one of two staircases that meet at a landing that puts you at eye level with a magnificent chandelier and overlooks the bottom level. The feeling I had as I stood on the landing looking all around me was, "This is what a mansion in heaven is like." It was truly awe inspiring.

After a short visit we started back home and were met with a beautiful view of the river and the the lights of downtown Portland. We got home late, but both felt that the trip was worth it. We hope to go back soon to spend more time exploring.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


For a few weeks now I have been thinking about my desire to get back into the running scene. Growing up, running was a part of me. It was something that defined me and I loved it. My last year in high school I suffered from a few injuries, including a fracture in my foot, that reduced my ability to run and ever since I have had trouble getting back into it. I continued to run here and there throughout my undergraduate schooling, but when graduated school came, running screeched to a halt. Instead of taking breaks from studying and relieving some of the stress that PT school imposed, I spent long hours fueling my stress by worrying and attempting to stuff my brain full of more information.

Now that I have done away with all that studying nonsense and adjusted to working on my feet all day, I have decided (and Matthew is joining me) to begin training for a marathon! I have done some research about how beginners should go about it and have come up with a 26 week plan. Matthew and I have searched for marathons scheduled in the Seattle area that line up in our time frame and haven't found one yet, but there are plenty of other goals we can make and achieve along the way, like a 5K or 10K and even a half marathon. I am just really excited to be getting back into running. The schedule I have really helps me to feel that I can do it. It has a nice gradual introduction so that I am not so sore on day one that I will say "forget it". This weekend Matthew and I are going on a date in downtown Bellevue and we're going to buy ourselves some new running excited.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blast from the Past

This past weekend Matthew and I headed back to Utah for his 10 year high school reunion and for the blessing of my sister's first baby, Noah. Needless to say there was a lot happening in the very short amount of time we were there!

I took work off on Friday and we started our travels before sunrise. We decided that since we were leaving so early and arriving back so late that we would just park our car at the airport for the weekend, but when we arrived at the "airport parking" it was $30 a day. I told Matthew that this couldn't really be the long term parking, so we drove to the end and asked a kind worker where, if a place existed, could we park for the weekend. She informed us that overnight parking was along International Blvd. and gave us directions that upon first hearing seemed confusing, but as we followed the road back around and looked for signs and clues to where we should go, we made it. Neither Matthew, nor I have ever been to an airport that doesn't have long term parking (at a reasonable price) connected to the airport, but Seattle is full of new adventures. All the long term parking is done by separate companies, which is nice because the competition can lower the prices for the customer! So with the very limited time we had to choose, we picked the company that seemed to have the best deal and climbed into a shuttle to the airport.

When we arrived in Salt Lake, Liz, Matthew's sister, and her children met us at the baggage claim with wonderful signs. One for each of us! Matthew's said, "The uncle who does not have a mouse in his throat. Or a rat" and mine read "levator labii superioris". It was very thoughtful and I am sure the kids had a great time creating them.

We spent the rest of the morning playing with the our niece and nephews, catching up with family and napping. Later that afternoon Cynda and I went to the store to pick up a few items for the BBQ Matthew and I would be attending that evening for the first part of his reunion while Matthew and Cole battled for control of the world (Risk).

To be honest, I had very mixed feelings about attending this reunion. I have met a few of Matthew's good friends from high school, but I was still a little uncomfortable with the idea of spending a couple of evenings with for the most part, complete strangers. But we got to the BBQ and everyone was really friendly and I could tell that Matthew was enjoying himself. After the BBQ, Matthew and I returned to the Bowen homestead to find Cynda, Cole and Spencer watching Star Wars Episode One and enjoying popcorn and root beer floats, so we joined in.

To be honest, I really came on the trip to spend time with family. Even though we haven't been away for long, I have missed them terribly and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I possibly could. So, Saturday morning while Matthew went to the service project for his reunion I stayed and hung out with Cynda, Steve, Cole and Spencer. We enjoyed Penny and Chocolate Chip Pancakes made by Grandpa Bowen and then Cole and Spencer decided that they wanted to watch Star Wars Episode Two. Near the end of the movie Liz came to pick up Cole and Spencer and Matthew returned from his service project.

After Liz and the boys went home, Matthew, the Parental units and I utilized the free movie tickets I received as a graduation gift and watched "Cowboys and Aliens."

After the movie we headed back to the Bowen Homestead and Matthew and I got ready for his class reunion dinner at the Little America hotel. We arrived a little early so that we could set up the slide show Matthew and I put together. Matthew was the historian for his class and was a yearbook editor, so he had a lot of pictures from high school to work with. I think it turned out nicely.

The reunion was fun; there was good food, a raffle and we were able to spend time with some friends that I had previously met such as Rory and Dorthy, Hilary, Troy and Katie, Jed and Tammy, as well as meet some of Matthew's old classmates. It is so interesting where life can take you. It was fun to hear the stories of where everyone has been and where they hope to be in the future.

After the reunion we were planning to head straight to Cedar City for my nephew Noah's baby blessing, but we were invited to Cory and Danielle Anderson's home for a "Congratulations for Graduating Nursing School Party" for Danielle. It was great to see our good friends again; I only wish we could have stayed longer.

We arrived in Cedar City late so we went straight to bed. Alex's mom actually let us in and because Elisa had fallen asleep before we arrived I was awaken to the sound of a text message from her wondering if we were close to arriving.

Noah is sooooooooo cute!! He looks so much like Elisa it is a little crazy. He is a very calm baby too. I loved holding him. It was also fun to see how big Isabella is getting. She is so pretty and funny. Even though the visit was really short it was good to see my family again.

When we got back to Salt Lake we had a quick bite to eat with Steve and Cynda and then headed to the airport for our flight back home.