My New House

For those of you that haven’t seen my house, here are a few–okay, a lot of pictures. Yes, I know they are crappy pictures, but the rooms are small and my camera doesn’t have a wide lens, so this is what you get.

The first pictures are from the day after closing. Once you start seeing color, those pictures are from after we painted and put new carpet in.

We’re starting to get a few things hung up and organized, so as I finish a room, I’ll post more pictures. But for now, enjoy!

 

Seattle

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Seattle for a long time, but I haven’t gotten around to it. But I had such a great time visiting Candi and I am so excited to go back there next February for her wedding.

It’s so nice to have a friend that you can go seven years without seeing and then still be just as comfortable as ever when you finally get together. I don’t know how it is that Candi and I have stayed so close, but I am glad we have. For some reason we just seem to understand each other even though we are so different. It’s great.

We made a trip to Starbucks every morning and I got their yummy Signature Hot Chocolate a couple times. (I happen to be craving one right now since it’s cold and stormy outside.) Friday we spent the day around Sumner going by the old house and my old school and doing random things like that. Everything was so familiar and yet so different.

Saturday we spent the day in Seattle. (On the way there we got stuck in the wonderful Seattle traffic even though it was a weekend.) We rode the duck through the city and then went out onto Lake Union for a freezing, but gorgeous ride. The city looked amazing. When that ride was over we went to Pike’s Place and walked through the market.

Sunday we went to sacrament meeting with James’ mom and then we just kinda sat around at her house. James went to take something to Candi’s parents and ended up asking her dad for permission to marry Candi. We looked at bridesmaid dresses on the Internet for the rest of the afternoon and went to bed early.

Monday James, Candi, and I drove to the coast. We spent a little while walking through town in the freezing rain but all the shops were closed so we decided to stop for a hamburger at a little place close by. We went to the beach and spent a few minutes enjoying the scene but it was too cold to hang out for long.

Tuesday we took our time getting ready and then spent a few hours in a bookstore looking at wedding books before Candi took me to the airport. I am so glad I had the chance to go see her and I am so happy she has asked me to be her maid of honor. It seems difficult to find true friendship, but I am so glad I have!

 

Birthday

Yup, I’m 23. Weird, right? I always used to think 23 sounded old, but now that I’m here, it seems scarily young. I had a great birthday, though, and it started early.

On Thursday Kami brought balloons, flowers, and coffee cake to me at work. The flowers were gorgeous–they’re still gorgeous almost a week later–and the cake was delicious. I probably ate a little too much of it, but it was for my birthday, so it’s okay! I thought it was really sweet of Kami to do that for me.

Friday was my day off and a few of us went to lunch for Amanda’s birthday. Mmm, Kneader’s. Need I say more? That night Mindy invited some friends over to Jenny’s house and we played games and watched a movie. There were a few of her mission friends, a few of her institute friends, and a few friends from our ward. It was good times.

Saturday morning (happy birthday to me) I got to sleep in. Jenny, Mindy, Stacey, Kami, Mom, and I went to the school and got pedicures (Mom and Kami got manicures). It felt so nice, but poor Mindy didn’t have the best experience.

After the pedicures we went to Red Lobster for lunch. Weird I know, I don’t like seafood and I chose a fish restaurant. But their rolls and pasta are so worth the fishy smell. It was yummy!

After lunch we said good-bye to Stacey and the rest of us went to Jenny’s house. Steve and the kids had made brownies and decorated the house. Abby and Tyler had drawn pictures for me and wrapped them up all pretty. There were 23 candles in the brownies so I needed a little help blowing them out. Thankfully Abby and Tyler were there to help! I don’t think I could have done it on my own.

After we ate the brownies we watched An Ideal Husband (What’s that? No, I’m not looking for a husband! What would make you ask a question like that?).

It was a great birthday, probably the best I’ve had in a long time. Thanks for all the phone calls and love everyone showed me.

 

Anyone want to share?

When I was in college, I always told myself, that I would have so much free time when I graduated. I thought I would read lots of books and do whatever I wanted. Ha ha. Funny joke.

How does that happen? How is it that there is never enough time? When I was in school, my life was controlled by classes, homework, and work. I always had to read the books I was told to read, and I had to write the papers I was told to write. Then I had to go to bed (kind of) early so that I didn’t fall asleep in class (it’s not so good to fall asleep when there are only 20 people in your class…teachers notice). But what about now? I don’t have anyone telling me what to read or when to go to bed, or anything like that. And yet, it took me six months (gasp) to read a book. Granted, I did read another book and listen to seven books during that time, but that is the longest it has ever taken me to read a book before.

But I’ve just decided that life is busy no matter how old you are. There’s no way around it. Right now, work takes up most of my time, and my calling steals me away from pleasure reading. Someday it will be my kids that take up my time. I figure we all just have to do the best we can with what we have.

Maybe my point is that you can’t get mad at me when I don’t write. I have family telling me to post on my blog even though I have nothing interesting to tell. I have friends at work telling me to work on my story so that we can share our work. I have a mile-long list of books I want to read, and I made a goal to read the Ensign every month this year. Life is busy and I have a lot of things I want. Don’t get angry. If you want to hear about my life between my posts, talk to me (and ask specific questions, right Mindy?).

 

Procrastination

I’ve been working on my lesson for tomorrow (it still needs a lot of work), but I decided to take a quick break. Why do they have me teaching about eternal marriage? I’m not married, I’m not even close to getting married. What the heck do I know about marriage? In fact, I’m probably the worst person to teach about a subject like that. It scares me to death. Half the time I don’t even want to get married. I look at those around me who are married and all they ever say is, ”Don’t get married” and “Don’t have kids.” Great encouragement guys!

No, I have a lot of great examples, but the problem is, it’s the bad examples that tend to stick in your mind. They’re the ones you remember when you’re thinking about the future. And then, in the Gospel Principles manual President Kimball says, “marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects…Of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong.” Great, that’s comforting. No pressure, right?

A couple of days before conference, Steph and I were having a discussion about marriage. We kinda talked about how important it is to make that decision, how difficult it can be to keep working to make sure it is successful, and how you can’t be selfish. Then, on Sunday, as I was listening to conference, Elder Nelson started talking about celestial marriage. He said some of the exact things that Steph and I had talked about. I texted her and we agreed that he had been listening to our conversation. It was just kinda crazy. But I’ve been thinking a lot about that talk over the last couple weeks. It’s the only thing that has come to mind every time I’ve read through my lesson. Apostles know how to say things way better than I do, so last night I listened to the talk again as I climbed into bed at Stacey & Jon’s, and tonight, I printed it and I’ve been going through it paragraph by paragraph. I decided to focus on that tomorrow ( I thought about just playing it from my iPod and then ending class after those 15 or 20 min, but decided that that’s probably not the best way to magnify my calling). I’ve pulled ideas from the manual, but I think I’ll mainly dicuss the talk. Well, I’ll attempt to discuss it. I get so tongue-tied when I’m trying to talk in front of people (shut-up), and no one in my class ever volunteers except the other teacher (because he feels bad for me) and the ward mission leader (because he feels bad for me). So we’ll see how it goes. Probably about as good as any other week.

Well, I should probably get back to it so that I can get some sleep. I don’t want to go to church tomorrow looking like death-warmed-over (yes, I have been told I look like that before) and give people more reasons to feel bad for me.

 

Not sure why…

I’m not exacly sure why I let Steve talk me into this. No one wants to read about anything that happens in my life (besides the fact that nothing actually does happen in my life). But here I am…writing…about nothing. I’m posting this post mostly out of fear that if I don’t, a few unfortunate photos or videos will suddenly appear without my consent.

I do like my web address and I’m pretty happy that Steve found it. The name Kaka Paka actually came about 5 years ago this month. When Jenny, Steve, and Abby were living with us during my senior year of high school, we carved pumpkins together. Abby would point to my pumpkin and say “Kaka paka” and it just stuck, like Kaka did in the first place.

There Steve, now I’ve posted. No photos or videos, deal?