Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh hey...

So we finally did it, yep, we've made it out of Provo. We're now official residents of MD.
Ryan starts class tomorrow. To celebrate his first day of school as a Phd student I was going to make an awesome dinner; however, since he doesn't get out of class until 7 my plans were foiled.
But less you think I'm a slacker wife, to make up for it we're having a little party tomorrow night.
I'm really excited.
We're going to be social...and make new friends.
Any good ideas of an awesome dessert to make? Or awesome games to play?
I'm open to any suggestions of how to trick these people into being our friends.
I'm figure good food will probably better our chances. Hopefully I won't burn whatever it is I make.

Anyways. We're loving it here. It's super hot, the power sometimes goes off for unknown amounts of time, and it's way too far away from home, but other than that we really do like it. A lot.

And our little apartment has been working out great so far.
I was worried all of our stuff wouldn't fit into a one bedroom, but Ryan did a good job scoping it out and chose a winner.
Now just to make it cute. Another bonus - we can paint the walls however we want and use nails.
It's fantastic.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Real Day in NZ

It's our last real day in NZ. We're in Queenstown now - it's a great town. I really like it. We were going to go to Milford Sounds today but we got a bummer call this morning canceling the trip due to the weather. Sad, but I guess it saved us a ton of money so maybe now I can justify genuine UGG boots :)

We've had the best time here - but I think we're ready to get back to the States. Love you all and see you soon! (only 24 hours of sitting and then we'll be back in utah)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Heaps of pictures from Auckland till now....I'll have to write captions later or explain them when we get home. Love you all! Have a great day!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


We're just leaving Rotorua. We've had a great time here. We stayed at a pretty nice little hotel that's right on one of the lakes. Pretty views and they have a geothermal hot tub that you can reserve, that was lots of fun too.

We went to the museum here - it's in the old bathhouse. It had interesting information on the area, the volcano eruption in the 1800s, the culture in general, and the history of the bathhouse. The bathhouse treatments were crazy - electroshock therapy, all sorts of different acids, colon flushing, and other crazy stuff. The top of the bathhouse had great views of the city though. Then the Gillards came up from Hamilton and took  us to lunch, which was really nice of them. After lunch it was pouring rain but we still went to Whakarewarewa. That's a village where the people still depend on and use the geothermal that they have in the area. They have several really really hot pools - 100 degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Celsius on the surface. We also saw a cultural performance there and a geyser. It was pretty neat, but my new shoes didn't hold up all that well in the rain :).

We also went to Wai-o-Tapu, a geothermal reserve about 20 minutes out of Rotorua. There we saw another geyser go off and we did a big hike around the area. It was really nice, pretty interesting too all the formations that have occurred because of the geothermal stuff. After that we headed back into Rotorua to go on a gondola ride to the top of a mountain and do some luge rides. The luge rides were awesome. We did 2 rides - the first was a scenic ride down the mountain and the second was an advanced ride where you go flying down the tracks and around tight corners. It was pretty sweet - I even caught some air (I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to though).

It's been a really fun area. Great fish and chips shops, great views, great hikes, and lots of fun.

Now off to Hick's Bay - it should be a really pretty drive around the cape, and then to Gisborne tomorrow.

Love you all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Little Update

We've been having a great time so far. Yesterday we left Hamilton where we'd been staying with a family that Ryan knew on his mission - the Gillards. They were great. While we were in Hamilton we had a good time catching up with one of Ryan's old companions - Elder Brown (I guess he's just Josh Brown now). He's married and they just had a baby boy around the same time as Danielle. We also met up with a guy that Ryan knew up north who has since moved down south. His wife cooked us a great lamb roast with a fantastic salad. It was delish. All these people have been really nice and generous. We also went to the temple one morning and Ryan randomly bumped into a Kiwi guy that had been a missionary at the same time. Funny coincidence.

Yesterday we left Hamilton and went to Waitomo and Taupo. The drive out to Waitomo was beautiful! Tons of greens fields and rolling hills with sheep, cows, and changing leaves. It was really pretty. Waitomo has a bunch of caves there so Sis. Gillard hooked us up with some free tickets to see the most famous ones. We walked through this huge cave with a tour guide and then took a boat ride in the river underneath a ceiling of glowworms. The glowworms were awesome. Unfortunately, they don't allow anyone to take any pictures, so we have absolutely no proof. - Guess you'll just have to trust us that it's a must see attraction (especially when you get free tickets).

After the glowworm caves we made our way to Taupo. Taupo has this huge lake in the middle of it with mountains surrounding. It's a pretty place and has a gorgeous river. While we were there we decided to go bungee jumping. It was crazy! Ryan went first...I think he was pretty scared because he kept asking the people tons of questions - such as "does it hurt your neck", "can this thing really hold me up", and my personal favorite "has anyone ever peed their pants". So they strap in your ankles, connect you to the bungee, make you walk out to the edge of the platform and tell you to smile for a picture then you count to three and fall off. It's nuts. Ryan must of stood up there for a good five minutes before jumping - I think that's probably not the best strategy, it just makes you more scared. But he did jump, and he loved it. When it was my turn I was shaking like crazy. Before you jump they ask you if you want to touch the water, get dunked halfway, or go all the way under, when you fall. I opted for the touching the water because I thought that the getting dunked thing just looked scary and like it hurt. The lady told me that there was some variance in what could happen but they'd try to just make it so I'd touch the water. Then that was it - I stepped to the edge and fell (and let out the loudest scream I think I ever have). And instead of touching the water (like I had planned/wanted), I got fully submerged. It was crazy, especially since I wasn't expecting it. My shirt came pretty much off, and if it hadn't been for g's I would've flashed all the Korean tourists at the top taking pictures. 

Overall it was a ton of fun, as soon as I got to the boat Ryan asked if we could go again. He loved it.

Now we're in Rotorua - the tourist trap of the nation. We have a full day planned, so we better get going.

Love you guys! - we'll post picture/videos when we get to a wireless place that we can hook my laptop to.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Zealand

So 4 years and a 12 hour flight later, ryan finally returned to N.Z(ed)....
Here are a few pictures to prove it.

Here was the first day, right off the airplane, when we stopped at One Tree Hill - aka No Tree Hill. It had a great view of the city.

This is in a town called Devonport. We walked the beach streets, went to a market, and went up to an old lookout where they had some canons (and a gigantic tree).

Then we went to Shakespeare and did some hiking up to a lookout and picked up some shells along the beach. When we were leaving we ran into a curious peacock that came right up to the car to check us out.

Then off to Piha - a coastal town kinda up in the hills with amazing views of the ocean and mountains. We walked along the beach, checked out the surfers, and then hiked up Lion rock.

We hung out with one of Ryan's converts - William. We had a great time, he's a super guy who really loves the gospel and loves Ryan for teaching him.William is part Rarotongan (Cook Island) and part Niuen.

Next we ate with the Rangi family. They were the family that Ryan baptised. It was really great to meet them, they were very special to Ryan and it was wonderful to see how the gospel has changed their lives.

Then today we went to the Asekonas for a feed. They are a Nuien family that lives in Ryan's first area. It was great island food and we had a wonderful time with them - lots of singing and they did a mother's day program. They also gave us some presents and were very nice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my favorite mom in the whole wide world....

Just a few things that make my mom amazing...
  • she lets me call her whenever (and how often) i want to 
  • she's probably the best listener and advice giver i've ever met...whether it's info on how to cook potatoes, how to get rid of a headache, how to sew a carseat cover, or how to be a better wife - she's got all the right answers.
  • she's very giving. she gives her time and energy to whoever might need it. whenever she visits anyone there's always a list of to dos - sewing, tiling, remodeling, or baking, she's willing to give. 
  • she's smart. and super funny - especially when she's not trying to be and when we're shopping
  • she's just an all around good person that i'm pretty sure everyone loves
happy birthday mom!
love you all the way to heaven and back (a bazillion times)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh By The Way...

We are officially going to Maryland to be Terrapins...
we couldn't be more excited! just for that finding a job dilemma ...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Brillant Idea

So a lot has been happening but I just saw this idea on DesignMom and it's so smart.

Why didn't I think of this?

What a great way to organize cords! 
We're definitely implementing this for our computer and TV/dvd cords.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Odds and Ends...

Meet a new member of our household....

She's pretty sassy with her giraffe print body. She does an amazing job curling and straightening my hair as well as hair much shorter - my husband is a great sport. Curling his brown locks just made him look like Brett from Flight of the Concords.

Cute Right?
Other things that happened this week...
So I guess it turns out that washing your phone in the washing machine doesn't produce the expected results of a cleaner and better looking a result we will have another new member in our household tomorrow.

I'm very excited to meet her.
Yesterday I chopped Ryan's hair off. He looks very handsome. He has now not had a professional haircut for almost a year...he still claims it's a good thing.

We finally booked our flights from SLC to LA for our connecting flight to NZ....and we booked our rental, which turned out to be very reasonable. It's crazy how close it's getting.

Other great news - we can officially stay in a hotel room in NZ from all the points we've accumulated over the past 2 years.

Only 2 1/2 more weeks of class and then finals and then graduation. It's nuts. 

Also - anyone have any suggestions or advice on whether we should move to DC or Boston?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day

This day always reminds me of two things...

My Granddad because today is his birthday and corned beef and cabbage. One of my favorite memories happens to involve both of them together. When we still lived in St. George, my family and the cousins went over to Granddad's for this special birthday dinner. It's a happy memory. He always made me feel loved and adored. He was a wonderful grandpa.

"His clear blue eyes and friendly smile will serve as our remembrance of him always."

Happy Birthday Granddad!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Not a whole lot has happened lately...but here are a few key highlights.

1. Ryan and I met our newest nephew - Evan - Danielle and Jayson's first baby. It was really neat to see such a new baby - he was only a couple hours when we met. He's also very cute. I think he probably liked me more than his uncle Ryan given that he went to the bathroom while Ryan was holding him. It'll be fun to be around him for a few months before we leave for grad school.

2. Happy Birthday Dad! Last week it was my dad's 60th birthday and all of us kids surprised him by meeting in SLC. He was really excited and really surprised when everyone started showing up. The birthday surprise also marked a new high for me and Corey. I think we're now great friends - it only took running around outside with him, looking for fish, and quacking at the ducks for hours to make me officially his favorite aunt (although he didn't ever tell me these specific words, I'm sure he was thinking them). 

3. Ryan has been accepted to several grad schools! Yippee, we at least have somewhere to go next year. We're still waiting to hear back from a lot but it's looking good. I'm glad that he's so smart and such a hard worker. So far it looks like we'll either end up in Boston or DC area. They both sound like great places to spend 4-5 years. Now just for me to find a job....

4. Ryan and I bought our cap and gown get-ups the other day - so I guess it's official, we will be graduating in 6 weeks. Pretty crazy.

Also....NZ in about 7 weeks. Huzah!

So in my marketing class we've been watching lots of commercials and looking at different print ads and such here are just a couple of my favorites so far. They're really funny so you should watch...

Ikea Lamp Commercial
Fireman Rescue

Friday, January 29, 2010


Last night I got into a fight.....

With the door.....

I lost.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Everyday I get a new little surprise from here which makes my day. This photographer is amazing and gets me so excited to go explore New Zealand.

Lately I've been researching different travel books - I seriously can't wait. Anyone have any suggestions of favorite books that have guided you through your adventures? When I was in India I got a book from "Eyewitness Travel Guides" and loved all the pictures...I would love suggestions.

However, if you're suggestion-less and have a few minutes to kill, go click on this link and check out how beautiful New Zealand is. Here's a little teaser to motivate you....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why Sundays are so Fun...

I like primary. It's super fun. We got to move up with our kiddos this year so we have all 5 (or 6 some days) boys to hang out with for two hours every Sunday. They are each so different and full of surprises. One has probably become my favorite. Every Sunday he makes a point of telling me that I'm "boy trapped" - meaning that I'm completely surrounded by boys with no way out. 

Today the boys were a little bit wild. The favorite saying was "kids are all in zero gravity" and then they kept repeating "zero gravity" and randomly giggling throughout the lesson. It got them all really excited because of course that meant that they could lift their feet off the ground and then be floating - pretty exciting stuff right? It's also fun when we see all 5 get to church - each will see you and then smile or wave or tug on his mom's dress to point us out. It makes me feel a bit famous. 

So morale is if you're stuck in sunday school, you should probably be a little jealous and try to ditch out and come to our class because it'll brighten your day (and plus we get to play tons of fun games).