Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Heaven Together

Tonight, just a few days after President Hinkley's passing, Skyler was sent a link by someone in our ward relating to the passing of a member of our ward who had also passed away Sunday night. His name is Norman Rothman. He was an older man, as are most of the people in our ward. Our ward is actually quite large and I find it hard to know even half of the ward, but Norman, I knew. He was such a great man. I remember him as the funny man from New York. He definately had a NY accent. I remember one time when Skyler and I sat down in our seats just before Sunday School was to start and he (the sunday school president) came over to us and jokingly said "Now remember, wait until 11:40 (after sunday school) to neck." I laughed but was pretty suprised that those words came from his cute old man face. He was so funny and so warm. I felt drawn to him more than I am to most of the older folks in the ward. Brother Rothman was actually a good friend of President Hinkley. Our ward meets in the JSMB along with the Prophet and Norman and his wife were the only ones allowed to be present to greet the prophet as he entered his sacrement meeting every week. Here is the story we watched on KSL's website.
KSL's story

The story really touched me. Tears have actually been coming down for a bit now. The part that just got me was when Annette, his wife, said that one thing Norman promised her was that he would never die before President Hinckley. He kept his word. He died only a few moments after she told him of his passing. Wow.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

First baby Photoshoot

A couple of weeks ago I had my first little baby photoshoot with a friend of mine in the ward, Libby, and her new baby, Liam. I was so super excited she agreed to it, but I was also kind of nervous because I haven't worked with babies yet. There's always a first to everything right? I was quite happy Liam was asleep when I got there because I wanted to mostly get sleeping shots. However, when we moved him around he woke up and didn't want to sleep again. No sleeping shots for me this time! I still have lots to learn and I still need lots more experience, but I am very happy how these turned out. Can you believe he's only 2 months here?!

Libby & Liam

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow, snow, go away...

I must say that I am tired of snow. Actually, snow is quite lovely, but it's everything that comes with winter I don't much like. It seems we've had a lot of snow this season. This is very good for our water supply but not good for me. I'm already ready for Spring! The last couple of days we've had one of the biggest snowstorms yet this winter season. I hear the valley had up to a foot and a half Sunday night through Monday afternoon. I worked Sunday night. When I left work at 11pm it was only cold. I had no idea it was going to snow heavily through the night. When I left for work again at 6:30am the ground was totally covered. After I cleared my car of the snow I was off. I very much dislike driving in the snow, but by now I am used to it. But this time I seemed to be sliding more than usual. You see, our Montero SUV is probably the only one built without 4 wheel drive or atleast front wheel drive. Such a wimpy SUV. It likes the Vegas weater it origionally came from. Anywho, I was sliding all over and by the time I neard the freeway, I really felt like I shouldn't be driving in it anymore so I called Skyler who was still in bed at home. I told him that I was going to just wait for the plows to get everything and for the roads to be safer. He suggested that he just take me to work in his truck; his 4wd, truck with new winter friendly tires. So I head back home. I almost get there when I get stuck on 2nd avenue. I was blocking traffic, but cars managed to find a way to pass me. Finally I was able to get out and drove back home. We hoped in the truck and were off. Skyler and I both work semi-close to eachother. He works in Midvale and Sandy and I work in Murray so he just went straight to work after he dropped me off. Work was drama as usual, with teenage girls. Skyler picked me up after work and I hung out with him at his work for about 4 hours. Though I thought I would be bored, it wasn't too bad. Afterwards, we decided to go and see the movie 'The Kite Runner'. I had read the book quite awhile a go and was looking forward to seeing it. I kept waiting to see it because one of the girls who attends the treatment center where I work wanted to see it with me, but it turns out it was not approved because of the violence. So Skyler and I went to Brewvies to see it. Only $3 a person, sweet! I don't really know how I feel about it. I liked it, yet it dissapointed me. There were of course lots of things not included in the movie that were in the book, but in order for that to happen the movie would be several hours long. I suppose books are usually better than the movies, but it was a nice ending to a very long (snowy)day. Forcast: snow everyday for the next week. Great.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter Walk

I was having one of those 'feel like I look good today' days on Sunday, so I asked Skyler to take some shots of me down the street at Memory Grove after church. This doesn't happen all that often, where I actually want my picture taken, so I thought I might as well go with it. Here's what came of it. Skyler took the photos. I did the photoshoping.

No worries. No camera was hit with a snowball in the taking of this photo

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Christmas in Washington

We spent Christmas in Washington with Skyler's family this year. They live on Anderson Island. To get to Anderson Island, you need to take a 20 minute ferry ride from Steilacoom. Steilacoom is approximately 43 miles from Seattle, just to give you a little bit of idea of where it is. We flew to Seattle on the 23rd. It was pouring rain. I laughed because it's totally what I expected from Seattle. What would a trip here be without rain? Later on, once we were settled in, I was ready to look around the island but it was still raining. It rained a lot. We just stayed in most of the time bacause it was usually rainy out. However it cleared up on Christmas Eve. In the morning Skyler and I took a walk with their dog Riley.

And later on Skyler's parents, Desiree and Stephen, took us out for a drive to see the island. We stopped at the lakes; Lake Josephine and Lake Florance for a bit.

Surpisingly we all woke up just after 8am on Christmas morning. This is my first year not spending Christmas morning with my family. We've always woken up somewhat early and still do because there are still younger kids in the home. So I thought that surely while we were here, it would be different because Skyler's sister would be the youngest, just days away from 18. But to my suprise everyone just happened to get up early.

We had a lovely Christmas morning. We all exchanged gifts. Then I called my family in Utah. I was envious of the snow they were receiving on Christmas. Later on, Skyler's dad asked if I wanted to learn how to make apple pie. I jumped at the chance. Skyler has always raived about his dad's famous homeade apple pie so I wanted to see how it was done. He had already made the filling so I learned how to make the crust. I just sat at the barstool while he did all the work. I was quite surpised how easy it was. But maybe he just made it look easy;) He made 2 apple pies and 2 pumpkin. We partook later on. I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie so I had the apple. It was delish! I'll have to 2nd Skyler's praise of his dad's great pies! While Stephen was making the pies I noticed it was either raining really hard or snowing outside. I went to the window and sure enough, it was snow! On Christmas! It made my day for sure.

Stephen got a remote control helicoptor for Christmas. He and Skyler played with it a lot. Men are always boys at heart! The helicoptor is a little out of control!

The next morning Skyler and I took the ferry and headed up to Seattle.

After parking, our first stop was the downtown library. It's way cool looking inside and out. Very modern style and architecture.

We stopped somewhere and had a late breakfast and some hot chocolate. Then we walked through the Pike Street Market Place. We weren't there too long because our 2 hour parking was already almost up! To be honest, the 2 hour parking thing became quite a pain. We couldn't stay anywhere longer than that until later on when we realized the underground parking was much better because you can stay longer and it's cheaper! There are always musicians playing outside in and around the market. Here is a video we got of one of them.

Next we drove to The Smith Tower to get a view of the city. However, they were on a lunch break so we took a walk down to Pioneer Square.

We went into the very large antique shop. I haven't seen such a large antique shop in my life! So much stuff! Then it was back to Smith Tower. They charge $7.50 for a view of the city. It was definately a good view.

We chose to go up on the top of the Smith Tower rather than the Space Needle because it was much cheaper and the Smith Tower was much more charming with it's oldness;) The building was finished in 1914 and at the time was the 4th tallest building in the world.
Our last stop was Olympic Sculpture Park. We only stopped here only for a bit because we wanted to beat rush-hour traffic and make the last ferry of the night, for weeknights, which is at 7:30pm!
The following day, it was raining, but Skyler and I wanted to take our own little drive around the Island to get out of the house for a bit. Because it was raining, we didn't get out of the car much, except to get some shots of the lake.

Stephen went with us the next day to explore Tacoma. First we took a drive over the Narrows Bridge, then we went more downtown Tacoma to the Museum of Glass. We chose not to pay to go inside, but just admire the Chihuly Bridge of Glass right next to it. I think I liked it more than Skyler and his dad did. I could totally read their faces and this is what they were thinking "yah, cool, a bridge, with glass stuff all over, ok let's go and get out of the rain!"

Stephen wanted to show us around an area where he had worked where they had some cool looking homes. Here is one of them. Most of them didn't look this old. They had very cute homes in this area.

We had another Seattle trip the next day with just the two of us. Out of curiosity, Skyler wanted to check out Kurt Cobain's old house, which isn't too far from downtown. I couldn't have cared less, but I went along with it. There is a little park next to where he lived with a couple benches, trees, and a walkway. The benches had things written all over it for Kurt. Afterwards, we spent most of the next little while at the Market again. I had a huge craving for clam chowder in a bread bowl and just had to have it. We went to lots of restuarants, but not all of them had the bread bowl. I even found a place that had them and was in the middle of ordering, when he interrupts me to say they are out of bread bowls. I stop ordering and we leave. I had to have my breadbowl! We finally decided on Lowell's for lunch. It's in the middle of the Market and they have a view of the water. The lunch was quite good. Skyler suggested we go see a movie. We booked it (walked really really fast) to the theater. We went to see Juno. We grabbed a malt at a place called Johnny Rockets, a little 50's diner outside of the theater. Mmmmmm yummy! We walked around the Westlake Center then called it a night.
We attended church with his family on Sunday. Because they live on an island, they have a small branch with very few people in it. They hold meetings in a home that has been transformed into a meetinghouse on the inside. I remember counting how many people were in their sacrement meeting and it was something like 9 or 10 people including us! So different from our ward! We have an abnormally large ward. We were made to feel very welcome because with that many people, 2 visitors is a big deal! With a small branch like this, pretty much all must participate. Skyler was asked to pass the sacrament. He was the only one to do so. I was asked to give the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting. I really liked having the small, intimate classes. It seemed to make people feel more comterable sharing and helped people to be more real.
New Year's Eve was pretty chill. We started the day off making belgium waffles with whipping cream on top. We had this many mornings here. Mmmm yum. And we are still making it now that we're home. Soon enough our figures will prove it! I would have liked to spend New Year's in Seattle, but seeing as the last ferry that night was at 7:30pm, that was not plausable. So we just spent another relaxing day at the house. Later on we played cards with his parents. It's a game called 'Hand and Foot'. We played it many times with them while in Hawaii in October. It's a pretty fun game! As it neared midnight, we toyed with the idea of going to the restaurant on the island where Cambree, Skyler's sister works to get some dessert and watch the old people in their drunkeness. But opted to just snuggle on the couch and watch the fireworks at Seattle Center from the space needle on tv. The fireworks show ended up being quite hideous. The news people built up the show so much. It sure made me stoked for the show. Then came midnight and the fireworks and music started as expected, then not too long after, the fireworks stopped but the music kept on playing! The audience, and Skyler and I sat holding our beath, hoping it would return, time goes by with nothing. Poeple began to "boo!" Poor pirotechnicians, they must have been going nuts! Well, eventually they came back on, but the music was totally off and ended far before the the fireworks were done. The fireworks stopped again, then came back. Oh, it was so sad and funny all at the same time.

We had a great time staying with Skyler's family. Thanks for letting us stay with you! We love you! I've uploaded more pics of our trip on flickr if you'de like to take a look.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Meet the Olsen's

In December Skyler was asked to take a family portrait of a couple in our ward, the Olsen's. They wanted to use it for Christmas cards. Bart is the drummer for Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band. An amazing drummer I might add. He gave us some free tickets to one of their Christmas shows in December. He had an awesome solo. Erin is part of Ladies Who Launch and does fashion design. Here are some of the very cute photos that Skyler took of their cute little family at the JSMB, where we attend church. He and I did the editing .

Arn't they adorable!?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas Parties

And now for Christmas parties. The first one actually started on November 30th. This was the first year that we haven't had the Stahle Christmas party at my family's house in Kaysville in atleast 2 or 3 years. It had become such a nice place to do it. It was in a home, not a chapel, so it made it feel more homey and warm. And the spacious living room serves as a nice party room. However, I suppose my mom wanted a break from the entertaining this year. She was already scheduled to have a big cookie exchange in her home and that would be enough stress as it is. So this year, we had it at the lovely old chapel in Bountiful where my grandparents attend church.

After work, I rushed to make a treat which I was asked to bring. I decided to throw together some chocolate chip applesauce bars. I was actually quite impressed with them. They were tasty. Once Skyler got home, we were off. Half way there, I realized I hadn't put the bars in the car! All that work for nothing! So we stopped at the grocery store and bought some cookies to bring. So sad. I wanted to bring something homemade. Once we got there we ate, sang jungle-bells as we rang our own little bells, the kids decorated some cupcakes, and some spent a lot of time playing in the cultural hall. I was able to sit and talk with my grandpa one-on-one for a bit. I really enjoyed that. We don't get to do that very often.
Here are some of my favorites of that night. As you can tell, I was hanging out with the little kids a lot. They're the most fun to photograph. Click on the pics if you want to seem them bigger... and believe me, you do. They were cute little cuties!

We were also invited to a party on December 14th at our friend Cassie's place in Salt Lake. Though we had fun, we felt a tad bit odd as we were the only married people there. Everyone else was single. They all seemed so full of life with their singleness! We felt a little like boring married folk! But no it great, Cassie served up some kind of delicious salad and the yummiest pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I have probably every had. BTW I still want the recipe Cass. After some socializing, we watched Home Alone. Oh yah! I haven't seen that in years!

The next night, we threw our own little christmas gathering. And it was definately little. I had only invited the few childhood friends I had that still lived in Utah, which is a whopping 3 people. In addition, this was also going to be a going away party for Rachel and Brett, who are moving to California soon. So only 4 people were invited, and when one couldn't come, it was an even smaller bunch. However, it turned out alright I suppose.

I had our table full of goodies. I had our chocolate melting pot full of well... melted chocolate. With items for your dipping pleasure. We also had a cheeseball with crackers, and Rachel brought some chocholate chip cookies. We ate, socialized, and pulled out the guitar hero. Here are some pics.