Monday, September 20, 2010

Pregnant in a Singles' Ward ~ Goodbye 195th Ward

So Mark threatened to put in the Sacrament program that I was pregnant. Instead I go up and bear my testimony and talk about getting pregnant. The Stake President was there that day. Bad move! Yesterday Mark got released from the Bishopric. Granted we've been there longer than we're supposed to be, and they're doing this to help us more than anything else, but I'm still so sad about this whole thing! We're not in the ward, so it's not like we're still going to see everyone like in a normal situation. We're gone! I cried all day because I love these people so much and we're no longer going to be with them.

Just know 195th ward, you're always welcomed to our home and we're always available to help you with anything you need. Thank you for the past 18 months. We love you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

To the Sea

Mark convinced me to get Jack Johnson tickets. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like Jack Johnson because I LOVE Jack Johnson, but I just didn't want to stand up all night and seats are expensive. He explained that it's at the USANA amphitheatre and they have grass seats. Well great! I'll sit next to the pot smokers and it'll be all good. We went with Taylor and Math and we get our tickets at Will Call. We all have our jackets and blankets bundled up and we look at the tickets--"PIT" Wha... Mark and Taylor are ecstatic at this point. Me? I'm 10 weeks preggers and I'm supposed to be in the Pit? yeah... Where are my grass seats?!

Mark and Taylor take everything back to the car and me and Math hold our places in line. We're there so early to get good grass spots, but now we end up sitting on the cement in front of the stage waiting for hours. We buy t-shirts, and I'm starving so I get a huge plate of Nachos. We make friends with the guard wearing a Steelers lanyard. We hear screaming coming from the side of the stage. What's going on? The screaming goes on for about an hour before Taylor and Mark go and see what's going on. Jack is having a concert on the side just for fun! We take turns going to see him while everyone else is sitting lamely in front of the stage holding their spots. Suckers!

The concert was amazing. There were huge tv screens behind him showing artistic camera shots of him. He sounds AMAZING live, and we all sang along the whole time. A few hooker faces showed up and forced their way in front of us and were disgusting and hookerish the whole time. They were there for probably half an hour before we harassed them enough that they moved on. It was so much better when they left.

Mark sang Angel in my ear when Jack sang it which was beautiful and touching, and Jack even gave us 2 encores. It was so much fun and even though I had to go to the back of the Pit and just sit a few times, it was worth it to be so close to the stage. What an amazing night!! (Minus the hour (literally) it took to get out of the parking lot, but why talk about that?) It was my first concert and Baby's first concert, yes I'm counting it. That's my choice.

Before the concert started. Look how close we are! I tried really hard to pretend like the sun wasn't blinding me. My retinas are still feeling it.

He was literally having a side concert. It was so cool!

We were so close!

The screens were a piece of artistic genius.

We're so lucky to have so many great experiences!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


We went to our first doctor's appointment today and we got to get an ultrasound! I don't think either of us thought that we'd get one this soon, but low and behold here we are!

Apparently our baby is already "cute" says the ultrasound tech. I'm not sure what she sees that I don't, but if "cute" is what it is, then cute is what it is. Currently the little tyke is the size of a gummy bear. I guess "cute" as in gummy bear makes sense.. I mean how cute is a gummy bear right? Anyway. Our experience was interesting.

The actual appointment with the doctor was great! The nurses and staff were super happy and everyone just kept saying "Congratulations!" and stuff. It's all so positive and uplifiting! Then we went to get our ultrasound. We had to wait for someone else to get out which was fine, we just sat and waited. They were in there for a while, so I thought that we'd be in there for a while too! Well no.

The lady got pretty upset with me. I asked the doc if I could film it with my camera and he said Of course. So I go in there and think that I'll be able to film it. She tell me no, that the doc has no idea what he's talking about and it's against the law.. well ok then. I still wanted to record something so I turn my camera from film to sound record. I start recording the heart beat and she catches me and throws me this look. So I stop it. Then it's over, she says it's cute and she walks out leaving me lying there with jelly on my belly. "Do you think she's coming back Mark?" "Nope." So I clean myself up and we leave. Nice bedside manners huh? Oh well, Baby's fine and that's all I can ask for.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Carrie UnderWho?

This year we didn't have a family connection for free Stadium of Fire tickets, but we scored some good free ones from work! The star of the night? Carrie Underwood! She was awesome! Although Mark and I don't know her music very well, I was so surprised how awesome she sounded live! It was truly wonderful!

Sadly the highlight of the night was someone caught on fire to the left of us.... On the field they had fireworks set up on different stands around the arena. The one to our left misfired and instead of firing straight up into the air it shanked and went straight into the stands. A girl's hair caught on fire, and a man's pants caught on fire and he had to roll around on the ground to put it out. The weird thing was that the response of the helpers on the field were so slow. Either no one saw it right away or they were all just in awe that something that horrible was happening. They were able to put him out, but someone must have gotten fired for that.. it was awful.

Besides that horrible horrible mess, the fireworks were amazing! We weren't as close to the stage this year as we were last year, but that ended up being a good thing because we weren't covered in ash at the end of it all.

Beautiful and talented!

The fireworks were absolutely gorgeous!

The stadium was literally on fire!

I was surprised at how low the fireworks came. Especially after the guy caught fire, it made me pretty apprehensive.

We're so adorable. We had been tanning all summer. I think you can tell with me.. maybe not Mark. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm not Raggu! I'M PREGGO!!!


So.. I had an inkling that I was before we went to California, but I took a test and it was negative. It was too soon before my missed period for the test to really take effect. This is how I knew.

Mark and I were at work and we ate lunch together. They served pork chops. Generally I'm a pork fan, but that day after I ate it I felt absolutely horrible! I went straight to the bathroom and felt like I was going to puke! Oh Oh! Straight after work I went to the store and bought a 2-pack pregnancy test. With my hand shaking I peed on the stick (Too graphic? Then you can stop reading! It's my story!) "YES"! Well that's not an ambiguous line now is it? What to do now?! Mark wasn't home and I'm home alone in an emotional wreck! I always joked with him that I would just post it on our blog and wait for him to find out :) but now that I'm actually in the situation what to do?

I ended up calling him and telling him on the phone. I couldn't wait for him to get home so I had to call! Conversation went a little something like this "Honey, I just took a pregnancy test and it was positive." "Really?" "Yeah." "Oh, ok." "Um... yeah." "Ok, well I'll see you at home in a little bit.... How do you feel?" "I'm freakin' out right now!" "Really?" "Yeah." "Oh, ok, well I love you." "Love you too." Then I started crying. Why? I have no idea!

So that's how I told him. Not as imaginative as how I thought I'd do it, but there it is. Although I did imagine how wonderful it would be to see his surprised face when he walked in and me just holding this pink little stick... oh well. When he got home he told me to take another. HAH! I love his practicality. Not like we were preventing this from happening or anything, it just happened really really soon after we decided we would stop preventing it.. you know? Anyway.. I took another one just for him and made him watch so he knew I wasn't kidding :) (I may of may not have joked in the past that I would get a pregnant woman to take a test for me and take it home...) Well now he knows!

My first test.

The fist and second.

I'll say it for you-- Congratulations! Hey, thanks!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Fathers' Day in California

We're so lucky Mark's family lives so close! We got to go to California for Fathers' Day and spend a weekend with them. On the way down we picked up Grandpa Bill and we took our merry journey. While we were there we went on a fishing trip. I had only gone deep sea fishing one other time before, but this used to be a Fathers' Day tradition for the Shinoda family.

While we were on the boat there were hundreds of dolphins all over! I'm not exaggerating. They kept coming up to the boat and swimming along side us. We would keep going and find another pod of dolphins after another pod after another. We have some great pictures of the dolphins.

They were literally everywhere you looked around in the ocean.

I don't know if we just smelt really good with all the sardines on board, but the dolphins kept coming up to us! It was like a sightseeing boat ride instead of a fishing trip.

That white corner of the picture is the boat, so they were literally swimming with us!

The sardines.

So.. I got a bit sick all morning on the boat, so I have no pictures of people actually fishing.. yeah I know.. Anyway, at the end of the morning we had so much sardines left! There were birds that kept flying around the boat so I told Mark's little cousin Ally to throw they up at them.

Mark actually threw one perfectly and the fish ate it before it hit the water. The boat crew were pretty upset with us actually... something about us having to pay for all the extra bait.. but it was a once in a lifetime experience! (and we weren't paying anyway :) )

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mark's Birthday!

Sometimes I need a reason to be creative. This time it was Mark's birthday. I decided that I wanted to surprise him at work with a little treat. I was thinking about what I could do and I decided that everyone would love some icecream after lunch, so that's what I decided to do. But icecream is so boring in just a paper bowl right? Right! So I decided to make chocolate bowls to put a scoop of icecream in.

I can't take credit for this piece of supreme genius. I totally stole this off of another person's blog, but moral of the story is that it worked and it was so super cool to make!

Here's what you do. You melt candy melts in the microwave and let it sit and cool for a little bit. Then you melt some chocolate and drizzle it on top of the melted candy melts. Then you dip in a balloon, let it drain off, place it on a sheet tray of wax paper, and stick it in the fridge to harden. It only takes about 10 minutes. Poke a small hole at the top of the balloon and let the air leave. The balloon will pull away from the candy melts and you'll have a wonderful chocolate marbling as a decoration. So Easy right?! Here's what it looks like.

My refrigerator looked so fun!

I used water balloons. So hard to blow up, but the perfect size!

The balloons just pull away from the candy. It's magical.

Close up.

Stylish right?! And soooo easy!

Everyone loved it! The only downside was that I made these the day before and Mark couldn't go in the fridge at all. So basically if he needed anything I had to go in the fridge for him and get it. Oh well, it was a good surprise, so it was all worth it!

Mark's so easy to please some times. I asked him what he wanted to eat for his birthday the week before and all he said was miso soup. So I made him miso soup from scratch. I basically made him miso soup from scratch every day for 2 weeks! Love him.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Small Beginnings

So, we're moving. No I'm not telling you where we're moving to! Stalker!!

Why are we moving? Our place is too small. We've been here for 2 years and want a change. And we don't have air conditioning and it's hot! We made it through last Summer, but we were just married so our love made it easier to handle, but now we're realistic and it's freakin' hot here! I'm sorry for the people who bought our contract... I didn't tell them that there was no air conditioning. I still feel quite bad about that, but we need to get out of here!

Our place is so tiny, I made Mark go around and take pictures of it to show our kids some day. It's a one bedroom/one bath in Union Square. A small little kitchen in it's own little nook with no window, so basically the fire alarm goes off when I cook because the smoke and steam have nowhere to go! There's a swamp cooler in the bedroom, so basically we didn't like being anywhere else but the bedroom in the Summer! We'd even watch tv shows online just so we could have cool air on us.

For my future children--here's where we started our little family. May you be luckier than us in the future. :)

Our tiny little kitchen. Big enough for Mark and I, but not much else.

When we first moved in I tried cooking banana bread. The first time it just burned and I thought I just needed to get used to the oven. Tried it again, same thing. Couldn't be a coincidence! I called the office and the maintenance man came. He turned on the oven and left a thermometer in there and noticed that it never stopped getting hotter, it just kept increasing. We got a brand new stove/oven :) How did the people before us live??

The living room was so tiny. You couldn't really move the furniture or anything. It was probably 10' x 10'. On to bigger and better things.

The sink was outside of the shower. It was nice having that. No foggy mirrors and least!

Shower and toilet. You had just enough room to sit down and close the door. Poor Mark.

Walk in closet. Quite nice actually.

Bedroom/Office. We got a new bed almost as soon as we moved in which was nice.

I don't know what prices will be like in the future, but this cost us $585 a month when we first moved in, then they raised the price to $595, and we heard right before we left that they were going to increase the rent price another $20... glad we left when we did!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Single Awareness Day.. Not for us Suckers!

So there's not much to write about Valentine's Day. Mark and I decided that we wouldn't really celebrate it. Then I realized it was on Sunday, and I could be nice and make treats for everyone in the Bishopbric. So that's what I did. I made chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered braided twists, chocolate topped rice krispies and peppermint bark (Mark's favorite).

While I was in the shower getting ready for church I heard the front door open. That's weird I thought, Mark's already in his meetings. I got out and on the bed was a huge box from Mrs Fields. It was a huge cookie! Mark can be cute when he wants to be. What's funny is that every Valentine's Day Mark gets me something that he actually wants. He loves cookies and I'm not their biggest fan. Last year he gave me a caramel heart and he loves caramel! Next year I'll get a video game, I can just feel it!

Since it was my Valentine's Day present Mark said I had to take the first bite. Why not make it a big one?!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Driver, take me to Matsumotos!

When we got back to Oahu we knew that we needed to spend time with Erin and her roomies. Not having a car, Hawaii seems pretty lame to them, so we decided to take them around and experience the island.

While we were there Mark really wanted to walk around BYU-H campus. Apparently it was some sort of big brother thing, so Erin took us on a tour. While on our tour Mark and I took a picture of this gem. Skateboards aren't allowed inside the library, so yes, of course you should make a skateboard rack! What? Yes, a skateboard rack. You saw it first here folks.

Hawaiian ingenuity and it's finest.

After classes we took Erin and Co to the different beaches along the North Shore to look at the huge waves. This is Sunset.

The waves are so disastrous to the beaches. Because the waves are so big and so powerful, as the wave recedes it takes the shoreline with it. Imagine that whole area filled with sand, that's how it's supposed to be. Trucks will have to dump more sand into the area to refill it.

This is Sharks Cove. The waves and swells were crazy! You can't really see it, but the tiny 2 bumps toward the right side of that rock are people. That's just a size gauge for that white wash!

The next day we took everyone to Matsumotos. Hawaiian shave ice baby! Mark loves it, and if I ever wanted to move back to Oahu, this would be my leverage.

Apparently this is a Shinoda thing... when a sibling is missing they put a gap inbetween them to make space for the missing person... I guess they missed you Emi!

We also took them to Buffalo Wild Wings that day! On another day we took them to Walmart, and shopping at Waikele and ate at a Korean restaurant.

*Parents of these children: We accept checks written out to us, or cash. Gift cards may be accepted,with approval only.

So back to these waves. This was the sign on the beach at Pipeline. Crazy stuff guys. Below is a short clip at Sharks Cove of the waves hitting the rock. HUGE! At least 20 feet high if not 30. Oh Hawaii, how I miss you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hilo! Grandma*Grandpa*Farm*Volcanoes*BJ Penn

After my brother's reception Mark and I got to take my grandparents back to their home on the Big Island. This time we were in Hilo! It was an interesting trip through the airport! My grandparents were both in wheelchairs all through the airport. I had never had to take anyone through with a wheelchair. We checked their 1 bag and went to wait at the gate. Mark and I originally were going to go on a flight before theirs because their flight was full when we booked ours, and wait for them to get to the Hilo airport. While we were waiting though, the said that our flight had seats open for anyone who wanted to go on an earlier flight. Fantastic right?? Wrong. Grandpa's bag didn't make it onto the earlier flight, so we had to wait at the airport until the other flight came in! What's the point. Anyway. We got our car and went on our merry way. Mark was very nervous driving us all in the rental.
Here's Mark next to a portion of the farm. Grandma and Grandpa are in their 80s and they're still farming, just not as much as they used to.

They live so remotely that they don't have a plumbing system and so they have to live off of rain water. Every time I flushed the toilet I felt like I was using a weeks worth of their supply! This huge wooden tank is what hold their water.

This is their little house. I think my Grandpa built it himself too. So old, but sturdy. Just like them I think.

The road to their house. It's the same in the other direction. How you know to turn I have no idea. Good thing we weren't by ourselves getting there.

They live near Kileaua, the only active volcano in Hawaii. At the National Park they have these steam vents. This is steam coming from the lava underground! When you looked around everything was steaming. It was slightly eerie, but so cool.

This next picture is the caldera. It's still smoking! Crazy to think that it the volcano actually erupted we would've been the first to die.
They also had a lava tube that you could walk through. A lava tube is created when the lava runs though an area and melts the rock down and creates a tube. The lava either stops, or finds another path, leaving a tunnel where it used to run. This is an extinct tube.

Mark in the tube.

We drove down the whole area all the way from the top of the volcano down to the water. Mark thought that he would be able to see actual lava. Me being practical knew that they wouldn't let people into that dangerous of a situation, so Mark was slightly unhappy that he didn't get to see anything.

When we got home Grandma had a huge lunch planned. Now we feel bad that we only stayed 1 night with them. Next time we'll stay longer. Promise Grandma!
One of the last things we did before getting on another plane back to Oahu was look for BJ Penn's training center. Mark was all excited to go and find it, but when we finally got there he didn't want to go in! Probably embarrassed, but it's ok, it was still cool to find it.

Now back to Oahu! So much traveling!