Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Denver photos

Here are some more photos of our Denver trip, and of our adorable 6 month old nephew Leo! I took a lot because he's just SO cute (and photogenic!).

Vanessa and I on our night out :)

Josh and I on our night out

Ness and Mom

Sneaking in to take a photo when he's napping


The cute family

Striking Happy Baby pose

Yum, oatmeal!

Smiling at his Aunty

Yanking his Aunt's braid haha!

The three of us posing for a photo in Leo's nursery

Handsome boy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


We've had an awesome time in Denver, just hanging out with our nephew Leo, doing some swimming, and hanging out.

Today on our way to see my parents' summer apartment in downtown, it began hailing and the temperature dropped pretty quickly. It was really weird to see pea sized hail in June!

Uncle Josh

Auntie Nikki

Monday, June 1, 2009

well, hello!

Long time no blog! I can't believe it's June. This past Friday was exactly a year until our wedding day. Now, we have 362 days left until our wedding (unless you're on the East coast, then it's almost 361 days).

It's kind of getting late here, and Josh and I are going over catering menus tonight, so I'm going to keep this entry short. Will update with more interesting stuff in the next couple of days... REALLY!

In the mean time, I'd like to recommend a low-fat but really yummy dessert. We got them at Costco. It's called Island Way Sorbet (in real fruit shells). SO GOOD! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

it's april!

We had a nice visit a couple weeks ago with my Aunt Roselyn and Uncle George. We saw them twice for dinner and it was nice to catch up.

Easter was uneventful but relaxing nonetheless. We had a nice brunch with my parents up in Cave Creek and spent the day there, took a 2.5 mile walk and enjoyed the sunshine. We like escaping up north because it's a bit slower paced, about 5 degrees cooler (at least) than Mesa, and my parents have a backyard for the dogs to romp around in!

I'm going to start scrapbooking (digitally) this summer, probably start next month, and I'm very excited about it. I'll probably dig through all of my old photos, take a day to scan them, and start on a book. I think I'd like to do one for Josh and I, maybe give it to him for our six year anniversary? Don't worry, folks, he doesn't read "our" blog. ;)

We put a deposit down for a lady to "build us a cake". It's yummy and we love our design. I can tell you it's 4 tiers, and two flavors, but that's all I want to share until you're there celebrating with us and seeing and tasting the cake!

We've started looking at: catering menus (yum!) and booking hotel blocks. The former is a lot of fun and hard to decide, the latter is kind of boring and am hoping I can convince my Dad to just decide for us. (Hi, Dad).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

exactly 14 months til the big day!

Exactly one year and two months from now (14 months) we'll be getting ready to get married! It's crazy, and really exciting! :)

It may seem like a long way away to some, but it feels like just around the corner to me. Better step up my planning, working out, and eating healthier (the last two I should be doing regardless).

I'd really like to start looking for Save the Dates and invitations soon, but a part of me wants to find a graphic designer on Craigslist or Etsy to design something unique for us... we'll see!

Can't give all of my planning secrets away, or none of you will want to come to the actual wedding! ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

more photos!

As promised, here are a few more photos from the weekend. Sadly I didn't bring my camera, so I had to steal these from V & V.

From left to right: Me, Grandma Hilda, Leo, Uncle Carl, Vanessa, Aunt Linda

Leo with his Great Aunt Linda and Great Uncle Carl.. he looks SO happy like he's cheering in this pic, I LOVE IT! :)

Oma Hilda and Leo

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

monday night

We went to a Phoenix Suns game on Monday. It was fun to see Shaq and Grant Hill play (I still remember watching them play when I was a lot younger). The Suns beat the Nuggets 118-115. It was a really exciting, fun game to watch. Josh won tickets at a silent auction that benefited a dog and horse rescue in Gilbert, AZ. We had a lot of fun!

Denver Nuggets warming up in front of us

View of the game from our seats (you can't tell from this pic but our seats were actually REALLY good).

The Phoenix Suns improved their playoff chances with another hard-fought victory.

And it doesn’t get any easier from here.

Grant Hill hit a 12-foot jumper in the lane to break a tie with 58.6 seconds remaining, then added a free throw with 6.2 seconds left to help Phoenix extend its season-high winning streak to five games with a 118-115 victory over Denver on Monday night.

the weekend

This past weekend, Josh and I drove to Albuquerque to meet up with Vanessa, Vin, and Leo and visit Grandma Hilda at her new place. We got to hang out with her, Uncle Carl, and Aunt Linda for a good part of the day on Saturday.

Here's us with our adorable, smiley nephew:

More pics to come in the next few days...

Sunday we stopped by Grandma's again to say goodbye before we headed back to Phoenix. The drive took two hours longer than on the way to ABQ, but we stopped for a good lunch at The Ranch Kitchen (which was recommended by Carl & Linda). On the way back we hit a HUGE dust storm on I-40, it was crazy. I read yesterday that the dust storm actually caused a 13-car pile up in Prescott.

Here is a photo of a dust storm (from the outside) for those of you who have never experienced them first hand...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Change We Need

Somehow it slipped my mind to mention something REALLY important!

Barack Obama was at our wedding venue when we went for our walk-through! My mom was lucky enough to get some photos with him. It was crazy ;)

Yes we can!

Hopefully he'll make a guest appearance at our wedding. It doesn't hurt to invite him, right?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

birthday stuff! i'm old...

When Josh got home from work last night, he had a big stack of mail that had been delivered after our trip. He handed me a card from my sister (along with some awesome Avon samples!) and then another envelope. I opened both, and found out my gift from Vanessa, Vinny, and Leo was a Dog DNA test!!

We're finally going to find out what our little mutt Ollie *really* is!

We haven't swabbed him yet but I plan on doing it tonight and sending it out tomorrow :)

To learn more about it, go to www.canineheritage.com.

Josh got me lots of yoga stuff (two blocks, no slip socks, a yoga dvd, yoga music cd, a calming candle, a new mat for the house) AND a gift certificate for three massages! I was SO excited.

Josh's grandma and great aunt sent me beautiful flowers yesterday, too!

We went to a drive-in movie for the first time ever and had a lot of fun. We didn't love the movie we saw (Last House on the Left) but we did like the experience and think we'll definitely go again. It's about 10 minutes from the house so not bad at all.

Monday, March 16, 2009

monday update

We got back yesterday afternoon from a great visit to Alexandria! We stayed with the Reilly's and had a lot of fun doing wedding things, and just hanging out.

Sadly we didn't take any photos, although I meant to when we all went out to dinner Saturday night.

We scheduled two cake tastings, a venue "walk-through", and a meeting with the DJ. Everything went well! We're still deciding about the cake but are definitely one step closer. We loved ALL of the cake we tried, so it makes it kind of hard. The DJ is awesome and we're super excited to have him "host" our reception. He's very laid-back, so no cheesy Bat Mitzvah stuff will be happening (yay!).

We love our venue, and even though there was a small snow flurry while we were outdoors in the gardens, I am truly excited about our choice.

My favorite part was the boxwood gardens where our ceremony will be held :) Definitely need to make sure I don't wear pointed heels, though, as they tend to sink into the grass and I don't want to get stuck walking down the aisle.

Josh and I will be joining Vanessa, Vinny, and Leo on a quick trip to visit my Grandma Hilda this upcoming weekend. Kind of bittersweet.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

happy birthday, maya bear!

For my 16th birthday, one of my gifts was a Golden Retriever female puppy. I'm pretty sure she was born the day before me, which means today is her birthday!

Eleven years later, she is just as cute, maybe cuter! We love her so much!

Happy 11th Birthday, Maya!

Here's her in her younger years (hence the non-white face!)

Here she is with her brother when he was 3 months old (November '05)

And my two favorite photos of her, EVER...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

spring break...

This week is ASU's spring break! Sadly I have to work today, but tomorrow we're headed to the East Coast to visit the Reilly's and do some wedding-ish type things.

We have two cake tastings set up (yum!), mostly just for fun. We're going to do a walk-through of our venue and hopefully get some ideas of what we want it to look like for our day. We're meeting the DJ, and will be having dinner (also with my parents) at our rehearsal dinner restaurant. We'll also be meeting with the coordinator to bounce some ideas around. Umm, I think that's all for the wedding stuff. Besides that we're just going to hang out, and maybe Josh will see his friends and ask them to be groomsmen.

Very random, but here's a Super Mario Bros wedding cake...

Just checked weather.com, and woohoo, looks like the highs are going to be between the high 40s and 50s in Virginia. Sigh. That's really not that bad, considering North Dakota's high is -5 right now but feels like -34. Makes me want to never visit ND.

This month Maya turns 11! I can't believe it. Our dogs are doing great. Now here are some obligatory photos of them ;).

Maya hanging out on the couch

Lazy bum on the couch

Maya sunning in the Adams' backyard

Ollie enjoying the Adams' backyard

Sunday, March 8, 2009

little leo!

Uncle Josh and Aunt Nikki got to spend a great long weekend with our growing nephew, Leo! He is so adorable. We're definitely in love!

Here is a slideshow with a few photos from the weekend:

We enjoyed going to the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, hanging out at Grandma Pam and Grandpa Danny's house, and touring "Frontier Town" in Cave Creek. We had lots of quality time at the house and are so glad Vanessa, Vinny, and Leo could visit.

As far as wedding planning goes, there isn't a whole lot that is new. Josh told me he didn't love the colors we chose so we chose a new color scheme that will be much more fun. We're going to Virginia this Wednesday for a few days and get to do some cake tastings (yum!) as well as a walk-through of our venue Hollin Hall.

We also chose a wedding officiant to do our ceremony, which is a good check off of our checklist!

The rest of wedding planning is kind of on hold for a little while. Sadly my Grandma Hilda is still sick, so our family has been concentrating on her. She moved from her retirement community to an assisted living facility where she'll be looked after a bit more so that is comforting to know she is being taken care of 24/7. Josh and I may schedule a visit to New Mexico in the next couple of weekends if it works out for us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

If you haven't voted this voting period in the Bissell MVPet Contest, please take a second to vote for Josh and my neph-dog Mauri. He's the cutest 6lb thing you will ever meet! :)

MVP Pet Photo Contest sponsored by BISSELL, maker of pet vacuum cleaners.

Thanks in advance!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a bunch of random things...

Obama will be speaking tomorrow at Dobson High School, which is about two miles from my house. I'm assuming I'll need to give myself plenty of time to get to school. Sadly I have an exam tomorrow so even if I had known about the tickets to see him speak, I wouldn't have been able to go. He is here to talk about the mortgage crisis, as the Phoenix area was one of the hardest cities hit as far as real estate and foreclosures go.

In wedding-related news, I bought two [used] books on Amazon that come highly recommended. They are both by the same author, but one is about activities to do in Kauai and the other is about activities to do in Maui. I think our honeymoon will be between 7 and 9 days long (hopefully the latter!).

Here's a link if you're interested in checking out the books:

(for some reason I can't post it as a link that you can click, it just shows up as a blank)

Josh and I are planning on going to Virginia next month to meet with a wedding officiant, and to do a "walk-through" of our venue to get some good ideas on decorating and such. I kind of want to meet with a baker and do a cake tasting, just because it would be fun, but we may save that until our trip in July.

I unofficially started weight watchers about two weeks ago, and have lost about 4 lbs since then. I plan on "officially" starting weight watchers once school calms down and I can figure out what days are best for me to attend meetings.

Monday, February 16, 2009

the venue

After the hiatus I am back to thinking a bit about wedding planning. We are a little closer to figuring out our honeymoon but haven't reached a final decision yet. As for the planning, I want to keep lots of details as a surprise until the big day, but thought I'd at least share some information and photos about our venue.

We're so excited about where we chose! It will look much different once we put our own style into the decorating, but the photos I have are good to get an idea of it. It's neat to be planning a wedding at a historic site of Fairfax County, especially because our hometown(s) are so rich in history. Below are some descriptions of the venue that I took from some documents the venue coordinator sent! We can't wait (but obviously have to).

Located 4 miles south of Alexandria, Hollin Hall is a gracious Georgian manor house surrounded by mature boxwood gardens. Events can spread out onto the lovely wisteria-arbored terrace in the back of Hollin Hall next to our boxwood maze. Hollin Hall is an historic property that is listed on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites. This also serves as the grounds for Mount Vernon Unitarian Church.

The site of our grounds, the highest point in southern Fairfax County, was once part of a 2,000-acre plantation owned by Revolutionary War patriot George Mason. George Mason's son, Thomson Mason, built the original Hollin Hall home which burned in 1824. In 1916, industrialist Harley Wilson built an elegant new Hollin Hall. Many prominent Americans, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Carl Sandburg, visited the home and its brick-walled gardens.

The Meeting House is a spacious, contemporary site for larger weddings and receptions. With clean, simple lines, warm hardwood floors and a soaring ceiling, this is a wonderful reception location for dining, music and dancing. The Meeting House can accommodate 175 people seated with an ample dance floor. A lovely slate terrace, adjoining the Meeting House and facing the walled boxwood garden, provides an outdoor space for cocktail hour.

A beautiful curved brick wall surrounds our romantic, 3-tiered boxwood garden that is the perfect site for wedding ceremonies. Photographic opportunities abound in the garden and throughout our grounds. The boxwood garden is rented in combination with the chapel in case of inclement weather.