Little Brother

Well we dropped off this not so little anymore guy at the MTC. I am so excited and proud of him for choosing to serve the Lord. He will be awesome. Our week leading up to the event was full of fun.

Blaine flew up to Spokane to spend a week with me before he left. It was a good vacation for him and I think he enjoyed himself. The week was full of boating, canoeing, eating, and outdoor movie adventures. We spent one night sleeping under the stars after watching the first Lord of the Rings outside with a projector and sheet, complete with everyone's mattresses. I slept awesomely so we decided to try it again the next night, with Nathan's parents joining us. Well...that night ended at about 2 in the morning when the sprinklers went off and soaked everyone and their beds. Everyone was a little grumpy the next day. Gotta love those fun adventures.

After the week was over, Blaine, Elizabeth and I drove up to Utah to drop Elizabeth off at the BYU track and field camp for pole vaulting. She was a fantastic assistant driver in the front seat. She would unwrap my Kit Kats for me and everything.

Elizabeth making art with her pretzels

Nathan flew up a couple days later just in time for Chance's baptism. He was so adorable and so ready to be baptized. It has been a while since I felt the spirit as strong as I did when I watched my youngest sibling make the choice to be baptized. I am so glad I have the two little ones in my life. Our family would be sadly incomplete without them. Chance was a good sport the whole time even though he hates being the center of attention. He inherited that trait from his oldest sister ;)

I loved Chance's "little man" pants. So cute.

Blaine's mission farewell was a resounding success. He gave an incredible talk on family and made me, my mom and Erin cry like babies. He had so many people there to support him and it was a great day spent with our awesome family.

Monday night we got to go to the Spanish Fork rodeo. That is my favorite summer activity and I was so excited to take Nathan and Elizabeth to their first rodeo. I think overall they enjoyed it. The weather could have been a little cooler but it was still an entertaining night.

On Wednesday we packed up for the drive back to Washington. Luckily my awesome husband was there this time so I didn't have to drive the whole 11 hours. We also brought Erin back with us to spend a little time away from Utah. And we had to say a whole lot of sad goodbyes to Blaine. But I am so proud of him and wouldn't want him to be anywhere else. Look out Fort Worth, Texas, Elder McMurray is going to change your world!


The Birthday Party

This year my birthday was kind of a bust. I had my first section of the CPA exam two days later so I was madly cramming all the last minute details into my head. Also, Nathan, his mom, and his two sisters were all working at Rock City all day everyday that weekend because it was Hoop Fest. Which for those who don't know is a giant 3 on 3 basketball tournament where people come from all over to play. My father-in-law, Nicholas and I went down one of the days to check it out and watch a family friend play. I love basketball and people watching so I got the best of both worlds all in one day. I forget that I'm not in Utah anymore and you get a much different mix of people outside of the bubble.

Anyways, because we were all so busy for my birthday we postponed the celebration until the night after my exam. I assumed this celebration was simply going to be my choice of dinner. Which turns out wasn't simple at all because I gave my in-laws a list of potential food choices and they made lettuce wraps, chicken/bacon fried rice, and sesame chicken. With chocolate covered strawberries and tres leches for dessert. I love, love, love having married into a family that has amazing cooks. Their fried rice is one of my all time favorite foods ever with their sesame chicken hitting a close second. I was incredibly spoiled.

Having thought my birthday celebration was concluded, I went downstairs to lay down and rest while my hugely overstuffed stomach settled down. But little did I know there was much left to happen that night. Nathan came and got me and had me come outside. I was met with giant confetti poppers and kazoos. They even made me put on a ridiculous birthday hat. It was a 7 year old's dream birthday. Complete with a pinata in the shape of a minion from Despicable Me. Everyone had a blast watching me attempt to hit the moving pinata while blindfolded and dizzy. They were smart enough, however, to make sure everyone was out of my range of motion because of the infamous golfing incident last month. I unfortunately, or more fortunately in my case, don't have any pictures from this event because I disallowed my husband from using the camera. I had gotten dressed up for the day but after dinner I put my pajamas on to veg out not knowing the surprise that was awaiting me. Hence, no pics of the birthday girl. I just wasn't looking my best.

So all in all my birthday this year may have been one of my favorites. Nathan is always trying to top himself. I'm excited to see what is in store for next year!


Life Changes

For most of you who actually take the time to read about our usually uninteresting but still enjoyable to us life, the fact that we moved to Spokane, Washington probably isn't news. But for those who didn't know, surprise! When Deloitte gave me the option to defer my start date until January, Nathan and I decided to move up North for a few months and enjoy all that this area has to offer. I was just tossing ideas around awhile back while noting that we had absolutely nothing tying us down for a little bit. No school for me, no kids, not even an apartment lease that we were signed into. Little did I know that would start something stirring in Nathan's brain. Until he came to me with a proposition. He pointed out that Washington has a higher minimum wage and unlike Utah actually pays servers minimum wage rather than $2 something an hour. So he would be making the same amount in tips, potentially more since Utah eaters tend to be stingy with their gratuities, and substantially more in base wages. He wouldn't quite be making up my missing salary if we decided to go and I left my job, but his offer to let me stay home and focus on studying for this nasty CPA exam rather than studying and working was just too good for me to pass up. So here we are in Spokane. A quick month, a drop off ride to Boise and back, and an incredibly boring 11 hour car ride by myself later.

Life hasn't been that exciting since we got here. Nathan is still searching for a job and getting a little frustrated. Luckily we don't have any major expenses so we have enough money to make it by for a little while. Surprisingly I'm not too worried about it. I had an extremely hard time agreeing to make the move up here. Simply because it was against everything ingrained in me to leave my comfortable job at Novell that I have been at for the last five years without knowing for a fact that we had another job in Washington. We were giving up two sources of income that were guaranteed for one that we might potentially find. But after many nights of prayer and a temple session, it was made very clear to me that this was the right place for us right now.Who knows why, but I do know we made the right choice to move for a few months and I know we will find a job soon.

I have been spending my days studying and sleeping in. I have had a job since the day I graduated high school and I don't remember the last time I had so much freedom in deciding how my day would go. I am absolutely loving it. I think I deserve a good break after my last intense five years. I get to run around with the dogs, hang out with my husband exponentially more than I have been able to in the past, and just pause to enjoy life. Except for those few and random moments where I happen to accidentally clock my husband in the eyebrow with a seven iron. Those moments aren't enjoyed as much. I think that was the first time I have heard my husband use, well, a not so nice word. Haha obviously he is a much better person than me! So let this be a lesson to all, do not stand close behind your wife when she is practicing her ridiculously awesome and strong golf swing. Luckily the cut is healing nicely and didn't require any stitches. It was extremely swollen the first few days but has since gone down and Nathan just looks like he is wearing some really dark eye shadow and liner. I would like to point out my awesome aiming skills though. Nathan was wearing his glasses while we were playing and I swung and hit not more than an inch above the glasses, avoiding a situation that could have been much, much worse. Thank goodness for those guardian angel moments.


The Last Days

Last school presentation.
Last time in the testing center.
Last day of classes.
Last group project.
Last final project.
Last final exam.
Last walk through the Tanner Building as a student.

There have been many lasts lately. But that just means lots of exciting firsts coming up. 1st day at a full time job in January, first August in forever that I haven't had to go back to school. And lots more that I am looking forward to.

This past weekend was full of fun times and celebration. Nathan's whole family (minus the missionary) came up to support me for my graduation. It was such a blast to see them all and spend time with them.
Friday April 26 was my official college graduation. It was the longest ceremony ever. Ever. But it was worth it for my few seconds of fame. I also enjoyed pretending that I was going to Hogwarts...seriously, look at our robes. I totally felt like a wizard.

Wouldn't have made it through the last 2 years without these two. Love them both!

The Tanner Building...our home away from home. 
Afterwards we went to dinner at Mi Rancherito in Payson and then celebrated Nathan's belated birthday with some cake and presents. I also got an adorable graduation carving of Jiminy Cricket from my in-laws. Nathan told them that I have started collecting Disney carvings (yes, I'm just a bit obsessed with all things Disney related).

Saturday we got to celebrate with Jared and Melissa on their special wedding day. We love those two so so much and are so happy for their upcoming adventures. We have loved spending time with them in their dating stage and look forward to having another married couple join the pack.

Saturday night we enjoyed the evening by grilling over our fire pit. My husband sure knows how to grill a mean meal. It was all so good. It helped that he got a bunch of new grilling tools from my parents for his birthday.

And that about sums up the fun but busy weekend. I'm so grateful to all my family for the support they have given me throughout my schooling. I felt like the coolest girl in the world this weekend with all the attention I got. So now I'm looking forward to spending the summer studying for the CPA exam (okay, not looking forward to that part), going on vacations, and spending time with the family.


Family Life

Lately I have been thinking about how incredibly blessed Nathan and I are to have such awesome families. There is so much love and support from everyone that sometimes I don't know how I got so lucky to be born into a great family and marry into an equally great family. So here comes a post of the awesome things we have been doing with our awesome families. (Can you tell I love my family?)

Nathan and my dad building a fire pit so the family can enjoy nightly bonfires with steak, hamburgers, and of course s'mores.
Enjoying the outdoors with our 3 dogs. It's so nice to be able to come home from school or work and hang out in the sun, jumping on the tramp, or just watching the dogs.

Making cakes to answer Blaine's date for Preference. "I'd be 'hoppy' to go with you!" We decided to keep in the Easter theme because she had asked with a basket of eggs and a stuffed duck saying "I'd be a lucky duck if you went with me."
Supporting brothers while they get set apart and ordained as elders. Nathan was able to fly out to Washington for Connor's farewell talk and I stayed home for Blaine's ordination. We both cried at our respective events.
Hanging out with Connor during his last few days before entering the MTC. We were able to go up and do a session in the Salt Lake Temple and then enjoyed a requested "last" dinner of Sushi.
Saying goodbye to Connor as he heads off to be an amazing missionary in the Baltic Mission. He has 9 weeks in the MTC to learn Latvian. As much as I would like to pretend I won't, I'm gonna miss that kid. I couldn't ask for a better brother-in-law.
Enjoying the traditional yearly Easter Egg Hunt at my Grandma Roberts' house. The food is delicious and the company excellent.
Heading down to Saint George for Conference weekend. There was a lot of swimming, eating, resting, and playing on red rocks. This was one of those vacations that made me more tired when I got home than I was when I left.

Watching my little brother open his mission call. He reports to the MTC on July 24th for the Texas, Fort Worth Mission!! We are so excited and so immensely proud of him for his choice to serve the Lord as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Now I am just trying to survive the last little bit of school. It is finally starting to hit me that I will never have to set foot in class again. And I cannot wait. So that's it for now...until graduation!!