Saturday, January 25, 2014


Matthew turned 31 today!

I had a bunch of different ideas of what to get him for his birthday, but I knew that the best way to melt his heart would be to get him the printer he's always wanted. Matthew is all about practical gifts and he has been wanting a new printer for a couple of years now and has even gone several months without one at all. I even have to admit it was getting old having to go to the school to print anything off.

I wanted to present him the gift by hiding it in the baby stroller box and asking him to clean it all up, but it was too heavy for me to carry up 2 flights of stairs in my current condition so I told Matthew that his gift was in the back of the car. He was pretty happy about the gift I think.

Then I got to thinking, "I love this guy so much that a printer isn't enough. I think I should buy him a new sectional couch!" Okay that's not really what happened, but everything we bought on Matthew's birthday he considered a gift, including the baby items we bought. When we moved to Rochester we gave away/got rid of a bunch of our stuff, including most furniture items and we have yet to buy replacements for these items. We have spent that last 5 months using our futon as a couch and it is getting quite uncomfortable. Matthew demanded that we get a couch before Baby comes, so we got one!

We have a tradition of going out to dinner on our birthday and Matthew has really been wanting to try a local classic dish called the "Garbage Plate." I have insisted that we must do this with friends, but the timing hasn't worked out recently. When the topic of where to go for his birthday dinner came up, I was inspired to suggest going to Nick Tahou's which is the restaurant that started the legacy of the garbage plate and Matthew was all in! We invited a couple of couples along to join in the festivities and it was a great time.

What is a garbage plate? That was my first question when I heard about them. RocWiki, "The People's Guide to Rochester" defines the garbage plate as "a true Rochester delicacy. It is a disorganized combination of either cheeseburger, hamburger, Italian sausages, steak, chicken, white or red hots, a grilled cheese sandwich, fried fish, or eggs, served on top of one or two of the following: home fries, fries, beans, and mac salad. A plate is always made to order. Then, the plate is adorned with optional mustard, onions and Rochester's version of hot sauce."

I have to be honest, when I first heard of this I was not impressed. I thought what is so great about piling your burger(or other entree choice) on top of your sides? Can't you do that anywhere? What makes this so special? After trying it though, I have to say I was impressed and wanted more. I would also add that I think what makes the garbage plate special is the sauce they put on top. Matthew and I definitely plan to bring any friends and family that visit us out to get a garbage plate!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Baby Shower in a Box

I was really grateful for all of the gifts and support that I had received from my family and Rochester and Seattle friends. After taking inventory I was feeling mostly prepared for baby to arrive, but unbeknownst to me a couple of packages had arrived from another group of supporters. Although we have not lived in Salt Lake for several years, Matthew and I still have a great number of friends in the area. A couple of my friends created a Facebook event that allowed many of my friends in the Salt Lake area to send their gifts all together. Matthew was invited, but I was left in the dark.

A few days before this surprise arrived I caught a glimpse of some shenanigans on Matthew's Facebook account. Matthew was sitting next to me and his account was open. I happened to glance over and see that he had a message from my friend Cindy that also included a few other friends. I thought it was slightly strange that Matthew and Cindy were exchanging messages, so I asked Matthew what it was about. He said that it was none of my business. At this point I knew something was up, but I didn't imagine a baby shower in a box!

After coming home from the baby shower my Rochester friends threw me, I showed Matthew all the great gifts that we got, then he left the nursery and grabbed the camera. He as a habit of taking really bad candid shots of me and I thought he was up to his old tricks, then I realized he was video taping me.

Detailed instructions on how to throw a proper baby shower

He told me to go up to the attic because there was a surprise waiting for me. There I found the boxes! What elevated this amazing gesture was that on top of the gifts that so many of our friends sent, there were all the supplies we needed to throw a baby shower: decorations, snacks and even games. We are truly blessed with the best friends in the world!

We spread the streamers across the back of the couch

We didn't realize that snacks were included in the package so we gathered our own, then we found the cookies!

We played a nursery rhyme game that was included and surprisingly we tied!

Rochester Baby Shower

Many who know me already know that I was not happy about moving to Rochester. One of its redeeming factors though is the nice people. One reason I was anxious to move away from a city I had grown to love was because I was pregnant and I already had a wonderful support system. I knew that if we stayed in Seattle I would have tons of support and my family not too far away. Moving to Rochester meant a decreased likelihood of family being able to readily come and help, as well as a need to build a new support system. With the months ticking away towards the arrival of our little one, I was worried that I wouldn't feel comfortable reaching out to the people around me for help. I was worried I would feel alone. But soon after we moved to Rochester, Matthew and I had invitations to dinner and game nights from several couples/families at church. One such couple were Curtis and Gentri. Matthew and I had a great time playing games and eating the yummy snacks that Gentri prepared for us. Curtis and Gentri were easy to hang out with and we got along great. At the end of the night Gentri asked if anyone had offered to throw me a baby shower yet. I said no and then she offered to. I was grateful and excited. Unfortunately, since then we haven't had tons of time to spend together, but Gentri still put together a beautiful shower. Many of the ladies from the ward showed up and I felt very blessed. Before this shower, I was a bit anxious for all the things I still needed to get for Baby Bowen, but I got many of those items from these generous women.

A new take on the diaper cake...the diaper owl
(Baby bib, blanket, washcloth and hair bows included as well)

Vanessa, Carolyn and Kassy

Wende and Jessica

Kassy, Me, Hayley and Elise

Elise, Jana, Tracy, Sabrina, Suzy and Joanne

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Little PT Humor

My old co-worker Caitlin sent me this picture today:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Car Seat

We finally got a car seat for tater tot! I feel like we are kind of cutting it close, but not as bad as me not having my hospital bag packed yet! To be honest, I haven't really enjoyed buying all of these baby products. It is a bit overwhelming and I think in many cases most of the stuff is unnecessary and overpriced. There were way too many stroller and car seat options in my opinion. How do you know which is the best to get? What makes one car seat better than the other really? I mean, if it is being sold we know that it has passed certain safety standards, so does it really matter? Why spend an extra $100? In the end we got a car seat that fit the stroller we leaned most towards (we wanted something with bigger wheels so it can easily go on trials if need be). Lucky us, it also came in gray and teal which just happen to be the colors we have chosen for the nursery!

Today Matthew and I looked over the instructions about how to properly secure the car seat about 3 times just to be sure we did it right! Just a few more weeks!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Does Siri Say?

Today Kassy texted me this picture:

What Does the Fox Say is a silly song that has become popular recently and some of the lines shown in the picture are from the song. I wanted to know if Siri (the name of the knowledge navigator/personal assistant app that you can ask questions to on the iPhone) really would give replies like the one on the picture so I tried it for myself and she does! Pretty random and pretty funny!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


We finally picked out the new car. I am still not sure how I feel about it. It was between another Forester and the Murano that we ultimately settled on. Matthew and I both struggled picking out  a new car because we loved our Forester so much. Nothing seemed to match up, but we needed to make a choice because I was getting sick of paying for and driving the stupid Dodge Charger that the rental company thought would be a great car to drive in the middle of winter in upstate New York (I got stuck in the snow several times. There was even a time I was digging snow out from underneath the car on my hands and knees and belly). Overall I am grateful that the insurance company covered the cost of our old car and that we didn't have to spend to much more on a rental car than we would have made on a car payment.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014!

For New Years Eve this year we went to a few different gatherings (I meant to get more pictures, but I forgot about taking them until the end of the night). We started out the evening going to Mark Kelly's house. There were a few other couples and of course the missionaries. There was good food including spinach dip, cheese and crackers, a yummy punch that had sherbet, juice and soda, and of course we brought what seems like the never-ending pan of homemade Twix bars (We made this dessert for our Christmas Day dinner and took them to Mark's baptism and half the pan was still left. I discovered later that they might have gone over better if I'd have used milk chocolate rather that semi-sweet).

Next we headed over to the home of a man that Matthew has become friends with. We were the only young couple that showed up, but Matthew and I enjoyed partying with some older peeps. It brought back good memories from the Friendship Branch. The food/desserts were amazing. The host is an Italian man and he made pizza, cannoli, cream puffs and an assortment of cookies. Matthew and I had a very hard time saying no to all the food and we still had one more party to go to! When we left I could tell that their party was just getting started!

We ended the night meeting back up with Francisco and Kassi at Francisco's mother's house. I was excited to try more Puerto Rican cuisine (we had Christmas Eve dinner with them) and spend time with a family that in many ways reminds me of my own (loud and a little bit crazy)! It was a fun night. Here's hoping for a great new year!

An example of Francisco's fun, crazy family