Monday, December 28, 2009

White Christmas

Rob and I spent Christmas with his family in Great Falls, MT.  We had a wonderful time with his parents and his sister and her family.  We enjoyed games, chatting, and of course lots of food provided by him mom.  We also had the opportunity to go snowmobiling with a family friend, Ben, and Rob’s cousin, Colton. 

On Saturday morning we suited up in our snow gear and headed to the hills.  It was –5 deg when we got to the top, but the sun was shining and the snow was perfect.  Here are a few pictures from our adventures. 

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Getting ready to go.

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Rob was in heaven from the moment we took off.  More toys to add to his wish list.

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Colton shows his excitement.

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Beautiful views from the top.

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There were tons of trails that led to various open fields were we could play around on the snowmobiles. 

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Rob, Colton and Ben

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Cindi playing in the powder.

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Colton and Ben checking out the trail maps.  I still have no idea how they knew where we were and going and how to get back to the truck, but they were great guides and got us around without any problems.

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Rob and I decided that it’s time to sell the Jet Skis and purchase some snowmobiles. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Bathroom

We finally finished our bathroom.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

THE RED COUCH!

We finally went and picked up our new red couch.  What do you think?

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Mounted TV

Rob and I finally mounted the TV on our Red Wall.  In order to prepare we painted the wall red and we put in crown molding to frame the TV.  The biggest project of all was mounting Rob’s center channel in the fireplace mantel.  We took apart the existing mantel, and Rob craftily used his chainsaw to cut the all of the wood so his center channel would sit perfectly in the middle. This was our end result.

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The project is not done yet.  This is our halfway point.  Eventually there will be no wires hanging down.  They will all go through the attic and the crawl space to a recessed cabinet that holds the receiver, cable box, DVD player, etc.  Stay tuned. 

The Snowmobiles First Ride

So, Rob and I decided that we would take the free snowmobile for a test run on the snow. We loaded it up on the trailer, got dressed in our snow clothes and took off toward the mountains. We towed it with my Toyota Corolla and we got a lot of looks and laughs from bigger trucks on our way up the hill. We especially looked funny as we pulled into the snowmobile parking lot and we were the only 4 cylinder in sight.

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We ran into a little trouble getting it started. When Rob went to pull the pull starter, it came undone and wound all the way back up into the snowmobile. Rob borrowed some socket wrenches and tried to fix it and get it put back together again.

Eventually he got it running and off he went on the snowmobiles first ride one the snow!

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I waited for him to come back. To stay warm, I sat in the car and played games on my phone. About 20 minutes later here came Rob, being towed by another snowmobiler.

The end result…

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To Rob's credit, we got it home and after a little work on the snowmobile, he got it running again. It wasn't blown up after all. We still own a free snowmobile, and we will take it out again for another test run. Hopefully the next one will be a little more fun and a little less work.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Red?

Somehow, Rob and I convinced ourselves to use Red to accent our family room.  Our TV will be mounted here.

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We also recently purchased a red sectional couch which we will be picking up on Saturday. 

Stay tuned…

Rob’s Obsession with Sound…

It is true, Rob has an obsession with sound.  He loves or hates sounds depending on what they are.  When he finds a good sounding song, he will obsess over it for weeks.  When he finds an irritating noise, he will obsess until he figures out how to stop it.  He is the first to hear every rattle in a car and will stop at nothing to make it stop.  He hears noises in and around the house that sometimes I can’t even hear after he points them out.  He also has a great ear and recognizes good music whether it is in the form of rock of Broadway musicals. 

One of Rob’s biggest obsessions are with sound coming from the speakers in his house.  From the first time we looked at our house, he was already planning how to create his ideal entertainment set up.  With each time we returned to the house he came up with more ideas of how to make it sound and look just the way he wanted.  I told him, as long as it looked good in the end, he could do whatever he wanted.  When he told me he was going to put in in-wall speakers, I have to admit I was a little scared with this do-it yourself project, but I tried my best to keep my doubts and fears to myself.   The plan was for the speakers to go in our ceiling, behind the couches.

We moved in and Rob wasted no time in ordering his first set of in-wall speakers.  The day they arrived in the mail he was ready to get up in the attic and get to work.  He got out his saw and started sawing a hole in my popcorn ceiling.  I was scared and skeptical, but still tried to keep my mouth shut.  He worked from the attic while I was in the livingroom scrapping “popcorn” from our ceiling to make the speakers fit just right.

After about 30 min or so, our project was done.  I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the end result.  Below are the pictures of our brand new “in-ceiling” speakers. 

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They look pretty good, don’t you think?

All I can say is, “GOOD JOB ROB!”

After this little project, I wasn’t as scared when he took a chainsaw to my fireplace mantel…

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hitting the Slopes

Rob and I have decided to teach ski lessons on Saturdays again this year.  Today was our first day of instructor’s training.  On Friday night, as we were up late stripping the hideous wallpaper in the master bathroom, we were both wondering what we had gotten ourselves into.  By teaching skiing, we had taking away our only free day to do house repairs.

But on Saturday morning we were both excited.  It was the first time on the mountain for both of us this year.  Before our training began, we took a few practice runs.  Conditions were icy, but for being early December in Seattle, it is a miracle we even had enough snow to ski on (last years training was done inside because it was 50 deg outside). 

After the first couple of runs, we were both feeling pretty good and ready for our training to begin.  We had a good day, with a morning session and an afternoon session.  With this only being my 3rd season on skis, I was very happy that I felt no apprehension.  I think I’m actually starting to get the hang of this skiing thing.

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This is me getting ready for our first run. The weather was gorgeous. It is not very often that we get to wear tinted goggles, but today we definitely needed them because the sky was perfectly blue and sunny. 

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Rob coming in at the end our our training.

One of the perks of teaching is Rob and I can do ski exchanges with other ski resorts in the Northwest.  This makes our love of skiing a little more affordable.  We are planning a trip to Schweitzer in February to celebrate my 30 birthday.  You’re welcome to join us! 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday and House Repairs

What do you normally do on your day off?  Sleep in?  Lay around the house?  Watch some movies? All of that would be nice, but that is not how it works when you are married to Rob… :)

We started the morning at 4 am when we woke up to our alarm.  We quickly got dressed and headed to Fry’s an electronic SuperStore.  We had one goal in mind.  A 46 in Plasma Screen TV.  We arrived at the store at 4:30 am.  The Line was HUGE.  It wrapped around outside the entire store.  But I do have to give it to the Fry’s crew.  They had everything very organized.  There was no cutting in line, which kept the customer outburst to a minimum. 

When we got into the store, Rob and I went separate ways looking for the TV line.  I stood in line while Rob tried to inch his way a little closer.  He quickly made friends with a man toward the front of the line and stood in line with him.  It’s a good thing that he did to, because they quickly ran out of the TV we were looking for. 

After we got our ticket for the TV, we had to stand in another line, to actually have a sales person place our order for the TV.  After we stood in that line, we had to stand in another line to check out.  But we did it.  We got the TV we were looking for and an LG BlueRay player as well.  We got amazing deals on both so I guess you can say that it was worth it.

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Our new TV!   Rob is sooooooo excited about it!

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Eventually the TV will go above the fireplace, but we have some work to do before it gets there, like get a mount, paint, and install in wall wires for speakers, etc.  This is Rob’s big project for the next couple of months.  :)

After Fry’s, we headed over to Bed Bath and Beyond.  They were offering 20% off your entire purchase.  We had about $200 worth of gift cards, so we decided to make the most of money.  We got a lot including a new garbage can that I have been wanting for the kitchen.  I love it!  I can throw stuff away with dirty hands and not get everything else dirty.  It’s the best. 

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The garbage can fits perfectly at the end of my island counter.

After we got back from Black Friday deal hunting, we spent the rest of the day on house repairs.  Fixing and cleaning gutters, fixing trim, putting up outdoor lights…the list of small repairs goes on and on and on.  Owning a house is a lot of work!  But so far we love it.  :)

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

Last week, Rob and I went to Las Vegas for a few days. I had been there before, but I have never seen as much of the city as I did with Rob. We went everywhere, visited every casino, watched all the free shows and ate at several buffets (eating this way, one meal a day was more than enough!). Rob even talked me into playing the slot machines a little bit. I had some pretty strict rules. I never played anything that cost more than 25 cents to play and I never played more than $5 at a time. I would also cash out as soon as I doubled my money. It turns out that I'm pretty good at choosing slot machines and abiding by my rules worked out pretty well. I told Rob the key was waiting for the machine to choose you instead of you choosing the machine. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm crazier than ever, but it worked for me! I did need a little coaching from Rob. The machines are crazy. Going up, putting in a quarter and pulling arm no longer exists. There are so many options. Half the time I didn't play because I had NO IDEA how to play.

Me at my first slot machine with my winning voucher. I played $5 on this penny machine and came out with $32! (it was really just dumb luck, because I had no idea what I was even playing for on this machine.)

We got free admission to a car show at the Imperial Palace. They had cars from all years and all types, including concept cars that were never actually produced. Some of the cars were worth $3,000,000. This one, for obvious reasons, was my favorite.
Rob and I also decided to check out Circus Circus. I had never been there, but he had childhood memories of begging mom and dad for money and being let loose to play all the video games and play all of the carnival games for prizes. He even one me a few prizes...

Prize Number 1: A teddy bear. Rob won this by rolling a ball in to holes at the end of a lane and making his horse move forward. He won on the first try!

Prize Number 2: A Horse. Rob won this by making 2/2 baskets in the basketball hoops.
Prize Number 3: A Monkey: Rob won this one by rolling a ball with amazing accuracy and accruing the right number of points. Anything over or under wouldn't have one. He won this one on the 2nd try.

Prize Number 4: The coveted Bob the Builder Pillow. This one took a few more tries, but he was bound and determined to win it. He won this one by scoring a certain number of points on Skee Ball.
I am the luckiest wife ever. I knew I was marrying an amazing man, but I had no idea that I was marrying a man with so much skill in winning carnival games. I can't wait until next fall when the state fairs return!






Boating in October... BRRRRR....

Stephanie Bishopp is my friend who lives in New York City. She loves it out there, but misses being so close to a lake with access to a boat. In October, Stephanie turned 30 and with that, her insanity was multiplied. One day, in September, she called me and said tickets were really cheap from NY to SEA and she wanted to come home one weekend in October. We chose Oct 17th as the best date. The plan was to spend all Saturday morning on her family's boat, wake boarding and enjoying the Indian Summer that Seattle was experiencing.
We woke up on Saturday morning, not to a nice, warm indian summer day, but to pouring down rain. And I mean pouring. On the drive to the lake it was difficult at times to see the road ahead of you. It was really coming down. Stephanie was not to be deterred. She had come home to enjoy the lake and the boat and that was what she was going to do. Rob and I did our best to support her in her pursuits.
Here is Stephanie and I bundled up and ready for a freezing and wet ride. We did our best to dress warmly. I was dressed head to toe in my ski gear. I figured it would keep me the warmest and the driest.

Rob decided to get creative in his wakeboarding outfit. He didn't want the rain hurting his eyes, so he decided to wear ski goggles. We were afraid the ski goggles would sink, so he tied an empty pop bottle to the goggles. It worked like a charm.

Rob being brave and trying out the FREEZING water first.

A beautiful rainbow that graced us with it presence as the weather started to clear

Stephanie showing off her moves and getting some BIG air!

Thanks Stephanie for sharing your birthday insanity with us! :)

Utah Bridal Shower

Back in October, I flew to Utah to find a wedding dress. While I was there my sisters threw me a shower. We had a ton of fun and it was a mini Bellevue 3rd Ward reunion. It was fun seeing and catching up with old friends. Here are some pics of the day.

Me and my niece Halle. She was an excellent help when it was time to open the presents. :)

RuthAnn LeBaron, Mary Braun and Finch Braun. These ladies brough cinnamon rolls that were to die for (the secret ingredient was Nutella! Yum!)

Angela Escamilla. We used to be neighbors during Middle School and High School

Sherrie, Sherri, Julie and Courtney.

Bellevue 3rd ward ladies, Terry, Allison, Dawn, Tracy, Billie and Tiffany



Nieces: Danielle, Meg, Lexi and Lauren.
Thanks ladies for a wonderful day!



Thursday, September 24, 2009

This is why I LOVE Craigslist!

I answered an ad for a free snowmobile on Tuesday. I, as usual, roped Cindi into tagging along on another wild goose chase to pick up one more thing I don't need. We got to the house on Mercer Island and the sled didnt actually look too bad. We got it home and in my excitement i wanted to get right to work. Cindi immediately said "Later!!" because she knows once I get started I'm not going to stop till I fix it. After I popped the hood it didn't look promising but I decided to give it a shot. I put the carburator on....ran some fuel line (100% guessing what went where)....ran some oil line (again, guessing all the way) (I was too lazy to look in the book they gave me)...and did about 20 other various things that I might might give it a chance to fire. I flipped on the ignition to see what happened. After about 10 pulls this is what I ended up with.


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I think Cindi might be the only one who really gets how excited I am for snow. If the mountains get anything more than a dusting I will be running around in half dirt half snow. The thing runs PERFECT. I want so bad to get all over it and see how fast it goes but unfortunately as you can see in the video they don't turn to well on pavement. Online searches put the top speed of this sled at about 85 mph and I really CAN'T WAIT for us to get some snow to see if its true.

Summary: for $2 in two-stroke oil, $3 in gas, and about an hour of my time I got a new toy that will entertain me more than anyone can imagine. I've wanted a snowmobile SO BAD and guess what I HAVE A SNOWMOBILE! WOOO HOOO

For those of you keeping track here is the current rundown:

  1. White Subaru
  2. Blue Subaru
  3. Stand up jet ski
  4. Sitdown jet ski
  5. Blue motorcycle
  6. Black Motorcycle
  7. Dirtbike
  8. Cindis Motorcycle (even tho she rides the dirtbike)
  9. Jet ski trailer
  10. Utility trailer
  11. SNOWMOBILE!!!!

The State Dept of Licensing LOVES ME!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

JAMES TAYLOR!

The Puyallup Fair hosts multiple concerts during its two week run. This year I checked to see who was playing, but didn't find anyone of interest. Somehow I missed that James Taylor was playing. Rob and I discovered that James Taylor was playing the very day we were planning on going to the fair. We were sad to see that it was a sold out show. All morning we watched Craigslist for free tickets, but to no avail. So we headed to the fair anyway to enjoy all the other free entertainment it has to offer (see Mutton Bustin post below).
The concert started at 7 pm, so Rob and I made our way over to the stadium to see if we could sneak our way past any of the event staff. We walked back and forth for about 30 minutes before finally admitting defeat. Instead we went and got one of my fair favorites, an elephant ear. It was DELICIOUS! After the snack, we headed back toward the stadium one last time. As we were walking past the main enterance, a couple and their baby were just leaving. They were getting their stroller and were obviously headed out. Rob, being the sly guy that he is, asked if they would let us have their seats. They happily handed them over and Rob and I got in the show! I was so excited! We quickly ran to our seats and enjoyed the rest of the show.

We thought we had missed the majority of the show, but after playing about 7 songs and leaving the stage, James Taylor and his band came back for an encore. They played about 5 more songs. It was awesome. This is a man who's songs are classic and no matter how old he gets his voice remains crystal clear and as perfect as if you were listening to the CD. Two Thumbs up! And a big thanks to Rob for getting me in for free!!!

Do the Puyallup!

We went to the fair on Saturday and of course made time for our favorite event.
Mutton Bustin! For those of you unfamiliar with this, it is one of the best all time fair activities. They take 3-6 year old kids, put a helmet on them, and put them on the back of a sheep. They open the gate and the kid hangs on for dear life as the sheep goes charging down the field. The goal is to hang on for 6 sec. The winner takes away a belt buckle!

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Before the main event got started, Buster the sheep came out to entertain the crowd. He did a pretty good job!

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The Puyallup fair is probably the best state fair I've ever been to. If you ever come our way during September, we'll take you! Then you can try Fischer Scones, Earthquake burgers, and of course visit piglet palace!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hair Bands Never Die

In all of Rob's deal finding, he found us $10 tickets to go see Poison and Def Leppard in concert. I love concerts so of course I agreed to go. I know very few songs from either of these bands (much to Rob's dismay) but we still had a great time.

The concert was at the WhiteRiver Amphitheater. This is way out in the middle of nowhere and traffic is a nightmare on concert days. So Rob convinced me to take the motorcycle. We had GA seats on the grass lawn so Rob figured out a way to strap our lawn chairs to my back for the motorcycle ride. The gas station attendant was amazed at our ingenuity when she saw it.

Rob eating his Kettle Corn before the big show.

Our new friends we met at the show. They were really friendly but I think they were just after the Kettle Corn.


Poison opened the concert. I did know at least a handful of their songs, but I was not impressed with their sound or their showman ship. Rob says they didn't really sound much better in their prime.

Def Leppard put on a great show even though I literally only knew one of their songs. Rob on the other hand sang along to every single one (except for the stupid "new" song they threw in). It was very impressive. They sounded great, watching the one handed drummer was amazing and their whole stage presence was very impressive.
Overall we had a great time. A big thanks to Rob for finding the tickets. A big thanks to Brett Michaels for taking time our from his reality show to grace us with his presence, and thank you to all those at the concert who grew out their mullets and wore their tight leather pants for our amusement.





Sunday, September 13, 2009

Always in the Garage...

Rob is always thinking about, planning, organizing or creating in the garage. He likes for me to be in the garage helping him but I'd rather be doing more girly stuff inside. A couple of weeks ago, he talked me into lending him a hand. It was a lot of work, but the end result turned out pretty great.
On our last trip to Whistler we figured out that it is easiest to tow the bikes with a trailer instead of putting them on the hitch rack. If we tow the trailer, we can park for free in the oversized car lot once we get up there, and towing the trailer distributes the weight a little more evenly so there is not so much on the back end of the car. The trip went smoothly, so Rob decided we needed to spiff up the trailer a little bit....
Rob found some free outdoor paint on Craiglists, so that became the new perfect color for the trailer. We bought two pieces of plywood at Home Depot in the morning and then got to work. Painting the trailer was the easy part. Then we got to thinking about what we could use as wheel chocks for the mountain bikes. I must admit I'm pretty proud that I came up with the idea to use ski tips. I really had no idea how it would work, but as soon as I said it, Rob agreed and got to work...

He took an old pair of skis and cut of the tips. Then figured out a way to bolt them to the trailer so they could be easily removed. It was took a lot of hours and a ton of work (I pretty much reach maximum capacity after two hours in the garage...) but we did it and it turned out great. Here's the finished product.



Not only is he tall, dark and handsome, he's also a creative genius when it comes to working in the garage. If you want to help us make use of our new and improved trailer, start making plans to join us in Whistler for a little biking next year!