Monday, January 30, 2012

Fun and Food - The best combo

I wanted to document a fun evening we spent with Kate!  We are so lucky to live just a few streets away, so for the (not-so-exciting) BCS Championship game, we decided to make some yummy appetizers.  Kate came through with the always amazing cabbage salsa, and we had aram sandwiches, lil smokies rolled up in bacon (for Ryan of course) and fruit and dip.  We ate and ate and ate...and ate some more.  Fun night :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Drip Drip Drop

What a disaster.  We woke up to a soggy carpet, floating shoes and a giant mess.  We opened the door to see if maybe Provo had been flooded overnight, but found bone dry steps, inspected the ceiling for holes and found nothing....come to find out...our upstairs neighbors had their brother-in-law come fix the loose faucet in their tub (directly above our bathroom/living room).  When he yanked the faucet out of the wall, he cracked the pipe and sealed off the faucet, thereby trapping the water in the wall which ran directly down into our apartment and spread from the bathroom to the living room during the course of the evening.  Long story short:  We traded sunday worship for sunday cleanup and ripped up carpet, tore out sopping wet padding, mopped up the floors, turned on fans, propped up the carpet, climbed over stacked furniture and had a plumber fix the upstairs faucet.  Needless to say, we didn't really have a livable space for a few days so took off for Ogden to spend a couple days with Rod & Vickie.  We look for any excuse to spend time with them, and his time we had a legit excuse!  We played card games, watched movies, ate delicious food, and just had the greatest time.  We are so appreciative of them and their hospitality and can't wait to visit them again, hopefully not because of some disaster!

(We were so stressed and bugged by the situation that I only got one pic of the process :(  It was right after we had mopped up all the water and ripped out the padding.  Just picture all the furniture stacked on the left side of the room, and moments later we had fans, wood beams, big was such a treat)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Holiday Hooplah

Our holiday season was....tiring?  Here is our travel itinerary in summary:  Salt Lake City to Medford, Medford (through SLC) to Dallas.  Dallas (through SLC) to Medford.  Medford to Brookings.  Brookings to Medford.  And back to Salt Lake!  All within nine days mind you.  Even though our Christmas vacation felt like it was on fast forward, there were some sweet spots worth remembering.

First, Christmas Eve and day in Medford.  This year was my first Christmas "away" from home (I was in Medford, but not with the Thompson fam), and I must admit it was a little harder than I thought it would be!  And the only reason for that is just change.  It was just odd returning to Medford, the night of the 23rd, not participating in the traditions I have been used to for 21 years.  But my in-laws are such wonderful people, so welcoming and warm.  We had fun the moment we arrived.  From good movies to fun family basketball games, it finally felt like Christmas.  And it felt like Christmas.... early Christmas.  We were all woken up by Rob around 5:30, and thats a record for me on Christmas morning!  My parents had a very strict NOT wake them up before 8!

And then there was Texas....  Not only did we wake up early Christmas morning, but the morning after we were up and leaving for Dallas Texas by 5am!  Luckily we made it safely to Dallas after hours of restless, sleepless, turbulence.  yikes... The hotel, though, was really nice and they accommodated us well.  The hospitality room always had games, food, movies/TV, and most important of all...ICE CREAM!  Graham Canyon, need I say more?  We went to a fun NBA game, a banquet and we even played a game of Tennis on the roof of the hotel!  The best part, though, was the fact that we were there, at the bowl game, together.  What a pleasure it was to finally be on the road together and not apart for 2-3 days with nothing but texts and phone calls to keep us connected.  We also started a fun new friendship with our friends the Yecks.  We played games together, ate together, chilled, chatted - we look forward to more fun in here in Provo.

After watching Ryan play his last game of Football at the Bell Helicopter Armed Fores Bowl, we were anxious to return to Medford.  We spent the evening/morning with the Thompson clan, ate a traditional Saturday breakfast cooked by Dad, and drove to the coast where we would be spending new years with the Folsoms.  This New Years had a special meaning for us, since it was exactly a year ago we had gone on our first date.  But we had a blast playing on the beach, playing golf around the table. eating good food, and welcoming Emily and Nate to the ranks of the "make me laugh" club.  Although our Christmas break was express, to say the least, it felt great to be around family during the holidays.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Holiday Makeover

After a hectic holiday season Lauren and I were happy to make it back to Provo.  Even though it's a blast to go home and see our families in Oregon, our little family is beginning to feel more and more like home.  We love our little house and where we are at during this time of our lives.

Over Christmas break, Lauren's sister Anna and her family moved to Minot, North Dakota.  They were kind enough to have a few things moved to our house with Kelly and Kirtsen at the wheel of a moving truck!  Do parents get much better/kinder?  I don't think so.  We were welcomed back by our new (old but beautiful) piano and entertainment center along with a big, cozy rocking chair we can't wait to use.  At the beginning of a new year when we often reflect on all the blessings we've been given and seek to improve ourselves and the lives of those around us, we feel great gratitude for Anna and Alex's kindness they've shown to us.  Hopefully we can bless the life of some young couple down the road with simple gifts like the ones we've received.

Anyway, that is just a segue to what the title of this blog alludes to.  Lauren and I decided we were going to spruce up the ol' entertainment center.  We were thinking of getting rid of it, to be honest because we have an entertainment center of our own, but then Lauren had the great idea of repainting it.  So that's what we did.  Lauren ran up to Home Depot, did a little homework about painting, priming, and the process of it all and we went at it.  It would've been pretty funny to be a fly on the wall and watch the whole thing.  There we were in the living room, hunched over carrying the thing out the door and up our narrow basement stairs.  Then waddling through the parking lot on a cool January afternoon in Provo to our desire painting ground.  We set some old Smith's advertisements/coupons under it and went to work. When we first started it was a blast.  Lauren had the big rollie brush and I had the touch up brush for the cracks and small places she couldn't get.  From the start it was obvious that both of us didn't have much painting experience. especially me.  I can remember Lauren saying, "Are you going to paint like that when we put the final coat on?"  That is code for, "Hey, get your act together or I'm going to have to make this look good myself!"  So I buckled down and tried to keep up with her pace/professional touch.

 After we got the primer on and it had set for about 45 minutes, we applied the first coat of dark brown paint at around 5pm.  For those of you who live in Provo or have lived in Provo during the winter, you know that it's starting to get dark around this time!  We could barely see in the light of the sunset whether or not things looked good or bad.  We applied the first coat in about 10-15 minutes, and started on the second with our fingers crossed.  We both have a hard time being patient and didn't want to wait till the next morning to apply the last coat, so as we shivered and painted with cold pudding for paint and stiff arms, we finished at last.  We waited until right before we went to bed to cover it with old sheets from the DI and went to bed with the hopes of a beautifully painted entertainment center in the morning...

...and not too bad!

This little project has inspired the both of us to be Mr. and Mrs. Fix-it.  To be creative and innovative enough to see things that could be fixed up and redone rather than trashed.  And it makes things mean more, after having put in time and effort into them.  All in all, we did a fun project, made a happy memory and now have a new (kind of) entertainment center!

A Korean Feast!

OOOOO mama we had a feast!  This is how it all started.  I offered to make Lauren a smokin' Korean dinner during the middle of the fall semester and she took me up on it.  I think she doubted my abilities in the kitchen, but as you should be able to see from the pictures below, those doubts were put to rest!  We had such a fun time together preparing this meal and it was a fun blast from the past of my days serving in Seoul, South Korea. 

We had a dish called 삼겹살 Sahm-Gyup-Sahl with 뗙볶이 Duck-Boke-gi.  The sahm gyup sahl is really just thick slices of bacon with a more porkish taste that you wrap up in romaine lettuce, rice, kimchi, peppers, cucumber, bean paste, sea weed or any combination of those things.  I was a little worried that Lauren might not like it, but boy oh boy it was a hit!  We ate until our little bellies stretched into big bellies and capped it all off with a bonafide Asian Pear.  And I'm not talking about those wimpy pears you find in the orchards in Medford, Oregon, I'm talking about an Asian Pear the size of a grapefruit! It was awesome.  In true Korean fashion we feasted.