Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in California!

So it's recently come to our attention that we haven't kept up our blog, not that it really matters since no one really reads our blog, but for the 2 or 3 people that read it, here you go!

REWIND! yes it's March, but so much has happened since we last posted that we have to go back in time.

December 2009:
For Christmas and New Year we took off 10 days and went to California to spend the holidays with Mark's family. Tiffany's brother Solomon got to come down with us and spend Christmas with us. It was great! It was Tiffany's first Christmas away from home (!) something we didn't realize until we were there. Mark's family was so cute they got a lighted palm tree as their Christmas tree and decorating it fully with Hawaiian decorations--fish, Hawaiian words (Aloha, Mahalo), and even finished it off with a sand pail full of sand straight from Pipeline! Erin goes to school at BYU-Hawaii and brought it back with her. It was a great surprise! Tiffany and Solomon both rolled their eyes slightly at the fake "Hawaiian" style, but loved and appreciated it.

Cute fish ornaments!

Lighted palm tree

Sand from Pipeline

Christmas Eve we had the Cannon family over and their parents, and Mark's parents got together and hid rolled up $10 bills in one of their Christmas trees. All the kids lined up and had 10 seconds to find one of the $10 bills. I find mine easily, but Mark couldn't. Of all people Mark couldn't find the money!! Surprise surprise to everyone in the room!

The best part of Christmas morning was Mark's dad coming out into the living room dressed up in a full on red outfit from top to bottom. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen and took tons of pictures. Apparently he does this every Christmas morning. Maybe I'll get used to this in the future, but until then I'm going to take pictures every time!

Mark got a bunch of Japanese handkerchiefs in his stocking and his dad decided that it was a bandana and put it on his head. I started laughing so hard because he looked like a Japanese house wife or Aunt Jemima's Japanese sister. Loved it!

For Mark's mom's Christmas present we all chipped in for family pictures. My next blog will show off those pictures. The last thing that we got to do before we left warm, sunny California was go to Mark's cousin Blaire's basketball game. We only got to stay til half time (sad!) because we had a flight to catch, but it was fun!

Erin and I made signs!

Oh California how we love to visit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just A Little Funny

So after Mark and I found out that the estimate to fix our car would be $2,384 I was really bumbed out. 1) because we can't afford that, 2) our car isn't even worth that much. I got back into work and was on the verge of having an emotional break down when I got this email from a coworker. There were a ton of these little pictures, but this one made me laugh so hard I knew that I had to share it with the world (or at least the few people who actually read this blog).

Even now I'm still laughing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I've joined the club...

So... yesterday I got into a car accident. I've now officially joined the club of non-perfect driving records. I've still never gotten a speeding ticket, so knock on wood I guess.

This is the story:

It's 4:15pm, freezing cold and I don't have a coat. Instead I'm dressed as a Pirate because I dressed up for work that day. After stopping off at the pharmacy I started driving home. We were only going 20 mph through a stop light. We went one block into a residential intersection.
This is what the girl driving the car I hit told me: The car in front of her moved into the turning lane but didn't move all the way into the lane. She tried to pass the car on the right hand side, but there was a car that was in the intersection too far. She stopped so she didn't hit that car, and I slammed on my breaks.
For some reason I didn't slow down and I slammed into her bumper. After telling Mark's cousin about it, I realized that my breaks locked and that's why I didn't slow down after hitting my breaks. I didn't even know that could happen.

We pull off to the side of the road in the feezing rain, realize that we both have never been in a car accident, and then call our husbands. While we're on the phone I see her go up to her car and wipe off her bumper. Some of our paint transferred onto their car, but as soon as she wiped off her car we find out that nothing happened to her car. Our car, on the otherhand, was another story. The hood got folded up a bit and the front of the car was smashed up a little. We find out that we both live in the same apartment complex so we decide to leave the site and go to the complex. (yeah, I know)

Mark told me to call the Provo Police, so I did that and we waited for the cop to show up. The cop was an idiot. I'm glad that this wasn't a bad accident or else I would've died before he even showed up. He passed us like 5 times before I could waive him down. He got there and asked if anyone was hurt (no one was thank goodness), looked at are cars and said that no report needed to be filed because we weren't hurt and there was less than $1,000 worth of damages (thank goodness again). He told us that the worst thing to do is to leave the incident site.. so us leaving was the worst idea. He also said that we wouldn't have to go through our insurance companies unless we wanted to, which we opted not to do.

After we exchanged info I drove to the mechanics.

Here are pictures of our car.

Not the worst that could have happened that's for sure.

While all this was going on with me, this is what Mark was doing. Mark had changed shifts with his coworker so he was actually at work when this happened. I had to call our company's receptionist, get transfered to his department and then ask to be transfered to him. Luckily he wasn't on a long call, and luckily his supervisor understood and Mark got to leave work early. We had committed to babysit for Mark's cousin and I was supposed to be there at 5 to be with the baby. Mark had to go up to their house, get the car seat installed, figure out how to drive their car (it's complicated), get all the baby bag/stroller stuff together, and then drive down to be with me. By the time Mark learned how to drive the car I was already at the mechanics.

So I'm ok. All I have is a sore lower back. This was a great learning experience for me. Although I feel like a horrible human being for getting into this situation, I'm just glad that I'm ok and that I've learned a lot from the situation.

The mechanic took a look at the engine and took the car for a drive and said that everything is ok. They aren't even going to charge us for the inspection. :) Now we just need to take our car to a body shop to get the exterior taken care of. I definitely feel very blessed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Stadium of Fire!

Mark and I scored some free tickets to Stadium of Fire this year!! (Thanks Jeremy and Christina!) Our seats were awesome. This was our view.

To start off the night 4 F16 airplanes flew across the stadium and after we sang the national anthem, 2 black hawk helicopters flew by and around the flag.

The entertainment for the night was SHeDAISY and the Jonas Brothers. SHeDAISY was good, but the crowd went completely wild when the Jonas Brothers came out. All you could here for the fist half an hour was teenage girls screaming their hearts out. You should have heard the crowd when one of the brothers said, "We love you." Holy earsplitting screaming!

The best part of the Jonas Brother's act was when they told all the parents to get up and dance while they sang Sweet Caroline, and then told them "Go wild! ...but don't hurt yourselves." It was great. Even more fantastic than that would have to be all the teenage girls singing their hearts out while semi crying because this meant the world to them. It was, in a word, fantastic.

At the end of the night they retired the gigantic flag by putting it in a huge oven thing and lighting it on fire. It was pretty cool. It burnt like a huge candle. This flag was first made a looooong time ago, and then during the Olympics in Utah they used the same flag to hang up in Salt Lake. It was time to retire it I guess.

The best part, and the part that we were looking forward to the most, was the fireworks!! Here's a little clip of just a few of the fireworks that were lit. Mark and I had watched the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire for 2 years sitting on the grass away from the Stadium and now we actually got to see if first hand! The only part that we didn't like about it, was that we had ash and debris falling on us the whole time....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Can You Say "RELIEVED"?!?!

I woke up this morning at 4:30 needing to throw up. I've been having this throw up feeling all week, every morning and every night. Needless to say this got me thinking that I could be pregnant. Well this morning was the breaking point for me. I wanted to leave early this morning just to go to the store and pick up a pregnancy test to see what was up, but I thought Mark would be worried if he found that I wasn't there. SO I waited. I stayed up for an hour just thinking about "what if I were pregnant?" And started to FREAK OUT!! As much as I talk about wanting to have a baby the thought truly scares me. A million things ran through my head and I could picture Mark being just as scared if I found out that I was.

So when Mark left for the gym this morning I went to Smiths and bought a pregnancy test. I initially thought I should tell him about this, but I'm a very private person, even with Mark about some things, and so I wanted to do this alone. Plus, Mark never reads this blog, so at the back of my mind I thought it would be really funny that I would go through all of this and they only way he would know that this happened was if someone else read this blog and called him. I can really picture his face then, and I think it would be quite hilarious. :)

After I meticulously read the instructions I took the test and saw this.

YEA ONE LINE!!! Can you feel my relief?!?! Whew!!

Don't get me wrong, we still want to have children, but it's one thing to have a surprise, and another to start when you feel ready. Obviously I'm not completely there yet!

On a random note, I got this video from my sister. It's my brother making his baby girl Mckayla laugh. I love it. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Markie's Birthday!!

Yesterday was Markie's birthday :) I bought gifts for him weeks before and surprised him in the morning with them. We need to take pictures of him wearing his new clothes. We did a fashion show today, but I forgot to snap pictures! Needless to say, he looked stunning in the clothes I picked out for him.

Mark's dad called me up and wished me a Happy Birthday. He said that since we're married now, I get 50% of all the gifts that Markie gets. Both he and I had bought Markie suits recently, so I'm taking the coat and Big Mark is taking the pants. Good deal.

Besides my awesome gift giving skills, his birthday was also celebrated with cupcakes, and dinner at Outback with some of our bestest buddies here in Utah. We were missing Nora, Britney, and Matt though. :( Maybe next year we'll have them there with us, and since everyone is either pregnant or already has kids (besides us) we'll have our party at Chuck-e-Cheese. :) Fun times.

On our way to the restaurant Mark told me that Tim had a surprise gift that he bought from a dirty prank store. I told him if it was furry, smelly, or elephantesk that it was going straight into the trash. So far I haven't found out what it is because Tim didn't bring it to dinner with him. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Miracles DO Happen!!

Mark GRADUATED from Utah Valley University Friday, May 01, 2009!!!

This weekend was a bit of dejavu for us. Almost exactly a year ago I graduated from BYU, and then we were married. This year Mark has just graduated and now it's our anniversary!!

We're very proud of Mark for all the years of hard work that he's put in to getting his degree. It's definitely been a long road for him, but now we can see the finish line and it is BEAUTIFUL!! He has his capstone class to take during Spring/Summer and then he's officially done!

The keynote speaker was President Thomas S Monson, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He talked about 3 key things that the graduating students could do in starting out their future.

1) Glance Bakwards
2) Reach Outward
3) Press Forward

It was a fantastic talk and will probably come out in every church publication soon. Utah Valley University also gave Honorary degrees to President Monson and his wife Frances. It was so sweet because after they both got their robes put on them, President Monson gave Frances a kiss. It was really sweet. :)

Both of his counselors were there as well. Oh, and just in case you were wondering what kind of phone President Eyring has, he has an iPhone. :) He was having his bodyguard take pictures of himself with his wife, President Uchtdorf, and Sister Uchtdorf. That's just my little plug in for the iPhone. :)
Mark's mom, dad, and both grandpas (Jimmy and Bill) were able to come up to Utah to see him walk. It was a busy weekend. Thursday night we went to Red Robin to eat dinner. Friday was the commencement at 10:30 and then convocation the same day at 2:30. In between we went to Burger Supreme for lunch.

Side note: He broke our family tradition of eating at KFC on graduation day :( (he's obviously too good for KFC)
After Convocation we picked up Tucanos catering and had a family get together at his cousin's house. Sooo good!!! If there's one thing the Shinoda family does well, it's food.

Saturday we ate at Callie's cafe, went to Tai Pan to check out the competition, ate J-dawgs, took a tour of the Valley, look at houses at Midway, and ate dinner at Happy Sumo. It was definitely a busy day, but a great day. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Whom the Lord Calls He Qualifies

Markie just got sustained today to be the 2nd Counselor in the BYU 195th singles' ward!! Exciting stuff. We haven't even been married a year yet and now we're back in the singes' ward. We started church at 9, and he just got back home at 4.

What's really funny about this is what happened before today. A few days ago we called our families to tell them the news. This is how the conversations went with Tiffany's mom.

"Hello! Guess what?!? We have great news!"
"You're pregnant!" (never failed to be the first assumption of everyone we called)
"No, Mark got a new calling. He's going to be a Counselor in a singles' ward!"
"That's great! So Tiffany's going to be a Sacrament widow."

That's the funniest thing we've ever heard.

The old Second Counselor who just got relesed today told Tiffany that it's a tradition for the wife of the Second Counselor to have a baby while they're in the ward. Tiffany's very excited about this :) Mark is not. :( Keep your ears open for any exciting news!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cruising it California style

During Mark's Spring Break we decided to go to California and see his family. Mark's kinda like Superman. If Superman is away from the Sun for too long, he loses his power. For Mark, it's the California sun and Utah weather is his kryptonite. So it was obvious that we had to go for Mark's health. :)

We got to play tourist while we were in California for the weekend. We spent a ton of money on shopping for clothes, ate out for every meal every day, and even got to go to Universal Studios with his family.

Here we are on the Simpsons' Ride. Joseph really wanted to go on it, but it was pretty lame as you can see by our faces in this picture. The weird thing is that I completely tore a nail off even though it's a stationary ride...

Mark's sister Erin couldn't come with us, so either there's a safety space between the two guys, or we were keeping a space for Erin to be. I'm not sure which one that is.

Joseph has a knack for always being able to squeeze in your pictures.

This was definitely a space for Erin. At the end of the day we really liked imaginary Erin. She didn't complain about anything, and we could still all fit together on the rides. :) We like the real Erin more though.

We decided that we could replace imaginary Erin with Homer's head instead, at least in pictures.

As we were walking out of the park there were some women selling long stemmed roses. I pushed Mark toward them, but he just kept walking. I was fake mad at him, so as I stood in line to get movie tickets for us, he ran back to get me a rose. Sometimes he's so sweet. Too bad I have to push him to do it sometimes. :-p

Single Awareness Day! Good thing we're not single :)

Valentine's Day is definitely not my favorite holiday. There's too much pressure to get something great for the other person. I think that I feel even more pressure than Mark since I'm the "creative" one of the relationship. This is what Mark got me.

Chocolate truffles in a lip box.

A personalized caramel heart

This is what I made Mark.
A candy filled heart box. If you're ever doing paper mache I have a wonderful alternative to using a ton of Elmer's glue. I make my own glue out of cornstarch and water.

Cornstarch and Water Glue Recipe
Bring 2 cups of water up to a boil.
In the mean time mix 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons of cold water.
When the water is boiling add in the cornstarch mixture and whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and clear.

Let the mixture cool before you handle it.
It will not be smooth as normal paper mache mix, but it when it dries, it's perfect! Plus this is a lot cheaper method. You could probably even use this as a normal glue recipe, just use a squeeze bottle to apply.

For Mark's box I used just some red streamers and this glue recipe and it looked really professional. :)

Hate to burst your Provo Bubble...

Provo is known as a "safe place," but apparently not in our neck of the woods. Here's the story. Mark leaves one Saturday morning at 6:30am because he works at 7. He unlocked the driver's side of the door, sits down ready to start the car and then he notices that it was as cold inside his car as it was outside. Hmmm... And then he noticed that there was no window... And where did all this glass come from all over the seat? And... what?!? His radio was gone.

The night that our car got broken into, 2 other cars also got broken into. Only our car radio was taken. The people who live in the apartment above us got their camera and iPod stolen. We didn't know who the other car belonged to. We thought it was too bad that they didn't brake into our other car and take that radio because that was the radio that didn't work. Obviously if someone wants something they can get it, so maybe the moral of this story is this: Don't lock your car door so that they thief can get what he wants, and you won't have to replace the broken window.

This is our neighbor's car that was broken into. I hope they don't care that we're posting these. hahaha

Christmas on The Island

We got to spend both Christmas and New Years with Tiffany's family in Hawaii. When we got married Mark's parents promised us they would pay for our next trip there so we got to go for free :) Nothing like a free trip to Hawaii.

I don't know who let him have fireworks, but since Mark can't pop back in California this was a great experience for him.

This is a roll that we laid out on the floor. It went for a couple of minutes before it got to the end.

Besides spending time with Tiffany's family, we got to do a lot of touristy things. One thing we got to do was go to Kualoa Ranch and do a bunch of fun things.
We went horseback riding.

And ATVing

And we also got to go on a movie tour where they showed us a bunch of places they filmed movies and tv shows on the ranch... such as LOST (Mark's favorite!)
This is the penguin from 50 First Dates. He kinda fell over.

This is a print from Godzilla. It used to be 10 feet deep, but the cows on the ranch would fall in and die... so they filled them a bit more.

This is supposed to look like 2 gorillas kissing :)

And this is from Season 4 of Lost where Juliet and Jack kiss after they save the Island from blowing up.

This is the fallen tree from Jurassic Park where the kids are protected from the herd of dinosaurs running away from the T-Rex

It was soooo much fun and we got to see so many different things, but our camera decided not to work for part of our time there... plus it was raining almost the whole day. We got to see the tree stump that Yoda stands on in Star Wars too! If you find yourself on Oahu and have an extra $300 I'd say go and do it!

Another thing that we did while we were there was hike Diamond Head.

This is one set of stairs on the hike up. There's Mark's rump hiking up it.

This is the view from the top.

On our way back down.

Tiffany's brother Jared took us surfing while we were there too. It was probably the worst day we could have gone because it was soooo windy! It took us forever to paddle out there and the wind kept pushing us the wrong way. We caught a few waves each, but we were dead tired by the end and were pushed so far off from where we started that we had to walk a long way to get back where we started. Mark ended up cutting his heel on another board's fin and I have a scar from kicking the reef. Besides our battle scars it was still pretty fun.

Loaded up and ready to go!

We saw a Monk seal while we were there just chillin' on the sand. I thought he was dead, but then he started wormin' his way up the beach! Crazy!!

We took a photo shoot before we got in the water.
Then it was time to get to work.

And that was Christmas.