Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Secret Gift

My husband is the type that goes Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve and I never have any idea what he gets me. I think about his presents all year long, get them early and hope he won't guess what I got him. He ALWAYS guesses his gifts before he opens them and it drives me crazy.

This year I thought for sure I had the best idea ever!! He's always wanted a Road I.D. and I've always wanted to get him one for my piece of mind. He runs often and is wanting to train for another marathon and I get especially worried about him on his long 20+ mile runs. It's a great gift for anyone that spends a lot of time on the road.

I did all of my Christmas shopping online this year and I was especially excited when I was able to get free shipping and additional coupon codes, so I purchased his Road I.D.

Last week we were going over our budget, paying bills, etc. I have to watch t.v. while we do this because hubby moves a little slower than I would like and I go crazy if I don't have a distraction. This works for us...he has a little more time to analyze the data and I get to watch some t.v. I was interested in the show and all of a sudden he exclaims, "When did you get a Road I.D.?"

I was heartbroken. I nearly burst into tears and then I proceeded to raise my voice at him and get upset that he ALWAYS figures out his presents and I was excited that he wouldn't know what I got him and I failed. I was bummed. Christmas was ruined. He then says, "That's a great present and I still don't know what it looks like". (That wasn't helpful).

I finally got over it. I was still excited about my gift until a few days later when we got a knock on the door after he came home from work and he was handed this:

Had he not seen the transaction in our bank account I'm sure this would have given it away. Maybe someone should tell Road I.D. it may not be a good idea to advertise all over their packaging during the holidays!!

Oh well, I still think it was a brilliant gift idea!

Monday, November 1, 2010


We had a wonderful Halloween this year!! We decided to find/make costumes last minute and go all out!! Really, I came up with the idea and ran with it!! Hubby was nice enough to oblige me and go along with the idea. I think I can only remember one other Halloween where we dressed up...we are usually party poopers with no creativity.

This year we went to the Trunk-or-Treat at the church. We walked in and were a little embarrassed when we were some of the only adults dressed up!!!! We had fun anyway, but I felt like a 10 year old all over again.

We had an endless supply of chili and soups for dinner, a costume parade, and then cute games inside with the kiddos. To finish the night we all went outside for the Trunk-or-Treat.
We decorated our car trunk and came up with the Halloween Alphabet game for our car (pick a letter of the alphabet and give us a Halloween word that starts with that letter and we'll give you two pieces of candy)! I made cute alphabet Halloween cards with pictures on them. The kids loved the game and hubby gets all the credit because he came up with it!! I saved the cards so we'll have them for years to come and I'm sure it will be a hit in the future too!

Hubby also got the best husband prize for letting me dress him up!!

Happy Halloween!!

Care Bear Stare!!

Our nose hearts
Our hearts on our hips which are a sign of authenticity!! (PS. This is an unflattering picture of me...just a baggy sweatshirt - please no preggo questions/comments)

Goodnight Bear and Love-a-Lot Bear!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Apartment Hunting

We arrived in Kansas around 4pm on Thursday, August 26th, 2010. We checked into our hotel and then went to look at a few apartments.

The couple weeks we had prior to our move we did research online and came up with a list of places that we wanted to look at in person. We had about 10 apartments on our list and hoped we would be able to find something that we could move into within a week. In calling around a few days before we arrived, it didn't look promising. Most places didn't have availability until October.

We were able to look at two different complexes the first night we were in town. Both were on our list and both were fairly disappointing; we were NOT impressed. The appliances seemed like they were from the 70's and the interior cabinets were also older. We knew we had been spoiled in Utah with the beautiful condo that we were living in, but we wanted something that seemed a little newer.

We went to dinner that night and I was feeling discouraged. I was exhausted from the 2-day road trip and feeling overwhelmed at trying to find something we would love. The next morning we went to the Post Office in downtown Olathe. I will have to share with you this story some other time,  but this was a bad start to what we thought would be a long day. We had about an hour or so before our first appointment of the day. 

We ended up stopping by a complex that was NOT on our list. In fact, it was the first apartment complex we had seen online that we loved. When Matthew was out in Kansas for his onsite interview he came to the complex and drove around it, but somehow it never got on our list. We walked in the office and they we soooo nice. They asked us what we were looking for- I personally wanted a 2-bedroom, but Matthew wanted to try to save more money and go with a 1-bedroom. We had been debating about this for a few days. We also needed an apartment with washer/dryer hook-ups.

They took us to an apartment that was currently available. We walked in and were very impressed with the layout, although it was very small. Our condo in Utah was a 3-bedroom, 2-bath and it was about 1200 sq. feet. The apartment we looked at was 1-bedroom, 1-bath and about 633 sq. feet. They were willing to show us their other model apartments, but this 1-bedroom was the only one they had available.

We thought about leaving, going to check out our other apartments and then coming back in the afternoon to make a decision. Matthew asked how quickly they go and the lady told us that they had signed 3 leases the day before. Matthew looked at me and said, "I feel good about this. I think we should take it."

I felt uneasy to say the least. We still had a whole list of apartments we were going to look at and I didn't want to rush into this decision. What was really appealing is that we could move in that day and be done with hotels. We finally decided to pay the deposit and see if we could get approved. We headed off to Einstein Bagel down the street for some lunch.

They called about 20 minutes later to say that we had been approved and we could come sign our lease. We got the 1-bedroom/1-bath and a detached garage which has been so great! We moved in our boxes that day and stayed in the hotel one more night. We were able to unpack everything and get all organized before Matthew started his job on Monday, August 30th. 

It took about a month to get all of our furniture and everything purchased and set up. I took a video of our place and have lots of photos to show you! :D We love our place!!!! I wasn't sure at first, but its grown on me so much. I love the area that we live in and our ward is incredible!!!

Enjoy the video and please don't take too much notice of my crazy hair!! Also, sorry I turned the camera a few times, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

The Kitchen

 Other side of Kitchen
 Kitchen Decor
 Wall Art above Kitchen Sink
Wall Art on Wall next to Washer and Dryer
Living Room
Wall Art in Living Room
Walk-in Closet inside the Bathroom
 Another Bathroom View
 Better view of the chair in our Living Room that I love!! My nephew Austin loves it too! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Adventure Begins...

WARNING: LONG DETAILED POST AHEAD!!! Read at your own risk! :)

It's been nearly a month since we left our home in Orem, UT. I can't believe we've already been here that long!!! I feel like I'm just getting settled and feeling comfortable in our surroundings and realizing I don't have to get up and go to work in the morning (the best part by far)!!! As most of you know, I'd been counting down the months/weeks/days to when we would finally get our new start/adventure. Now that it's happened I'm wishing I'd enjoyed my time a little more. I miss our home; our friends; and what's comfortable to us, but I am so very grateful for the opportunities we have been given.

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010: My last day of work at Novell. I remember feeling weird as I placed my computer and badge on my boss' desk. I walked out of those doors and left my security badge behind and I felt naked! It was something I had taken to work with me every day for the last 4 years. I headed home and we started cleaning and packing the truck. I was in a daze and still clueless as to what we were doing.

I consider myself a very organized person. We had everything all boxed and ready to go and it took less than an hour to pack our truck- I was SHOCKED!! We had a ton of guys helping us and before I knew it we were standing in a mostly empty condo. The ladies helped clean and we seriously couldn't have done it without everyone's help.

photo op after packing and cleaning-my besties!

Us with our hubbies!

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010: We slept on the living room floor that night and woke up early to start our long day. We had a lot more stuff still in the condo than we hoped, so it took about two hours to finish packing and get on the road. Matthew drove the rental truck with our Passat in tow and I drove our 1998, 180,000 mile, Honda Accord and followed him most of the way.

We drove up through Heber and hopped on I-80 and by 10:30am we made our first stop at Little America in Wyoming. Allphin family tradition is to get a 50 cent ice cream cone at the restaurant when you're passing through. We of course had to document the occasion as it was my first experience at Little America.

 At the boutique- we've only gone a couple hours and I'm already done...

Aside from Matthew running over some wood on the road and nearly hitting my windshield and his contact popping out of his eye on the middle of the freeway it was an uneventful drive. There were spots of construction it seemed every 50 miles or so all along I-80, that became more of an annoyance than anything else.

Day 1 was the longest day! We spent about 11 and 1/2 hours on the road and we stopped in North Platte, NE for the night. We ate Taco Bell for dinner and went to bed early. 

Thursday, August 26th, 2010: We slept in and got on the road around 9:30 am. We had a short 6 and 1/2 hour drive to Kansas, but it was still a LONG day. The drive wasn't as boring as most people told me it would be and I rather enjoyed cranking up my music and singing at the top of my lungs. (Thanks Jennerbirdie for the sweet mixed CDs- You saved my LIFE).

We made it to Olathe, KS just after 4pm and were able to check-in to our hotel and go and look at a couple of apartments before they closed for the day.

This was my view most of the trip:

And this is us on day 1 as we stopped for gas:

We had our walkie talkies with us the whole way to communicate and make sure we weren't falling asleep. Each one came with an ear piece which was handy and helped especially when my music was blasting!

We were happy to be done driving and looking forward to finding a place to live. 

**Coming Up: The apartment hunt begins!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Circle of Life

I woke up the morning of August 20th with my sweet husband by my side. We had been neck deep in packing and moving details for a few days when he turned to me lovingly said, "I need you to be ready tonight at 5pm. We're going out for out last date night in Utah". 

I was rather perplexed and a little annoyed that he would ask me to drop everything and go on a date with him. I had my sister-in-law coming over that evening to help me pack the kitchen and my mother-in-law coming over Saturday morning to help with the rest of the packing, how do we possibly have time for a date night?? Before I could argue he said, "I've already made plans and reservations, so you need to be ready and not ask questions, okay?" 

I agreed and told him it was his responsibility to call my sister-in-law and explain why we would have to cut our packing date short.

I went about the day with little thought of where I was going that night. I had a lot on my mind as it was, so it was easy to think about other things. I came home from work around 3pm and my sister-in-law was already at our condo packing up the kitchen. 

We worked until 4:30 and then she left...I felt like we had just gotten going and so I was annoyed again that I had to stop the momentum and get ready for our date.

I got ready and we left the house later than Matthew had anticipated. We got in the car and had an empty tank, so we had to stop off at the gas station. By this point I felt really bad since it was a quarter to 6 and we had a reservation somewhere at 6pm in Salt Lake City.

We had dinner on the patio at PF Chang's. It was a beautiful evening and by this point I was happy to get away from the moving chaos. 

After dinner, we went for a walk and to my surprise we ended up at:

And we walked in the theater and up to Will Call where we were given our two tickets for The Lion King!!!

I couldn't believe it!!! I had mentioned to Matthew back in February that this was a show I would love to go see. At the time we didn't know where we would be in August.

This movie has always had a special place in my heart. It was one of my dad's favorite Disney movies; he would watch it with us often when we were kids. It was actually one of the last movies I ever saw with my dad. And the story hits close to home for me and my family. 

As we were sitting in the theater waiting for the show to start Matthew made me promise that I would only cry at the sad parts. I agreed, but I didn't know how difficult that would be.

They opened the show with "The Circle of Life" and I got all misty-eyed. The entire show was beautiful and has such amazing symbolism. It also has some amazing songs that aren't in the movie.

If you have an opportunity to go see this show-DO IT!!! It is worth every penny!
It is definitely a date night I will never forget. I'm so grateful for a husband who is mindful of me and knows what I need even when I don't. It was the perfect way to relax and spend time together before the big move!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Road Trip

Today is my last day of a few short hours I will be turning in my badge and walking out of Building B at the Novell campus for the last time as an employee.

I haven't had much time to process anything that has happened over the past few weeks. I'm sure that will happen on the road or a few weeks from now once we've had a chance to get settled. What I do know is that I will miss my Novell family.

I'm feeling good; we're mostly packed and we start loading the truck tonight, but I'm also feeling a little nervous and anxious. This is an exciting adventure, but I'm sure it will take some time before it all sinks in. Sleeping has been a bit lacking lately as its a bit more difficult to shut my mind off at night, hopefully this will get better soon!

We pack up the truck tonight and we head for Kansas tomorrow morning. Matthew will be driving the truck and towing our Passat behind him and I'll be in our Honda. We'll have our walkie talkies to keep each other awake and alert. And hopefully lots of caffeine and snacks to help with the long drive.

We've decided to go through Wyoming and Oklahoma, so we'll be headed toward I-80 in the morning, bound for this new and exciting adventure!!! We'll stop in Oklahoma tomorrow night and then drive the rest of the way on Thursday.

We don't have a place to live yet, so it may be crazy for the next few weeks, I'll post we I get a chance.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We're moving to Kansas!!!
We have been so blessed throughout this entire process!! After much thought and prayer, we have decided to take a job with a little company called:

He'll be working as an Embedded Systems Engineer for the Fitness Department which means he'll be working on cool products like this:

We are so excited for this opportunity!! And feel so incredibly blessed (I can't say it enough)!

My last day of work is next Tuesday, August 24th!! We leave on Wednesday, August 25th and head for Denver. Thursday, August 26th we'll drive the rest of the way to Olathe, KS, home of Garmin International headquarters. We'll frantically be looking for a place to live Friday-Sunday and then Matthew starts his new job on Monday, August 30th.

This whole process has moved fast. We just formally excepted the offer late Friday afternoon and started packing up almost immediately! With a little more than two weeks to do everything I have been a bit overwhelmed, but I'm feeling so excited to start this new chapter!!

Thank you again for all of your love and support!! I know I say that often, but I really feel the good vibes you're sending our way! Thank you a million times over!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

There is happiness.

I read a quote several weeks ago that I loved: 

Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel.

 Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘An High Priest of Good Things to Come’,” Ensign, Nov 1999.

 I have thought a lot about that quote over the past month. I've had it on my desktop at work for weeks and whenever I would get discouraged about the job hunt, or working, or not knowing when and where, and if we were going to go anywhere, I would read that quote and I found comfort, if only for a moment.

I finally decided to take Elder Holland's council a couple weeks ago and "Trust God and believe in good things to come". I was sitting at work worrying, like I always do. I'm really great at it! :D I was worrying about when we would get a job and when I could quit my job and when we could move, etc. I sat at my desk overwhelmed with hopelessness and I decided I wasn't going to worry any more; I couldn't it was exhausting and it was effecting my job, my marriage, my relationships, and so many other things. I decided that I would put my trust in the Lord and have faith in the future and I did.

Personally, I think the Lord has humor and I think he laughs a lot because it wasn't six hours later that Matthew received his first call about a company that was interested in interviewing him- and I chuckled to myself and then I felt bad I hadn't trusted him sooner.

We have been blessed immensely since that night and although the future is still uncertain I continue to put my trust in the Lord and know that he will guide and direct us where we need to be and there IS happiness in that.

Monday, July 26, 2010


This sweet video tugs at my heart strings...

Love you dad!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

I saw Matthew for the first time on Sunday, January 5th, 2003. My oldest brother, Louis and my mom had just driven me back to Utah. It was a difficult time for my family, as my father had just past away a few weeks earlier. My mom and my brother went to church with my that afternoon at the BYU Law Building. I was sitting there saying hi to my sweet friends and feeling their wonderful love and support when in walked this strong, handsome farm boy. I was immediately attracted to him.

Weeks went by and my image slowly changed. I dyed my hair a darker color and started going through a "punk" phase. My family was worried about me, but I felt like I was just trying to find myself and cope with everything that had happened over the last several months.
Matthew and I wold walk past each other on our way to classes and every time I saw him, my heart skipped a beat. I finally verbalized my crush for him to the girls in my ward and by March he called me on the phone and asked me out on a date. I was elated!!! I hung up the phone and screamed, I felt like the luckiest girl in the ward. 

We moved fast in our relationship, by our second date I told him I was really attracted to him and I wanted to see where things could go, but that I came with some serious baggage. We were open with each other from the start and it was so refreshing. On that same date we had our first kiss.

The next year brought a lot of struggles for both of us. We were young and trying to find ourselves and figure what we needed, but being together was never a question. On April 10, 2004, we went up to Sundance and he proposed to me in the very same spot where we had our first kiss.

I moved home to AZ a few days later to plan the wedding. On Saturday, July 10, 2004 I married the man of my dreams and I've never been happier. Matthew is my world and I've grown to love him more and more every single day. 

Here's a look at us throughout the years! 

Us on our wedding day- 108 degree weather is not ideal.

Our Honeymoon in Mexico, where I began the never-ending bad luck with all motorized vehicles that are not cars. I wrecked our 4-wheeler about 15 minutes after we rented it and I was determined to take it back right away. This has only continued throughout our marriage, the most memorable can be seen here.

Our very first picture with our very first digital camera. This is history in the making folks!

Our 1-Year Anniversary-We went up to Salt Lake City and stayed at Little America where Matthew proceeded to get sick with food poisoning-definitely a memorable anniversary!

December 2005

I will NEVER forgive myself for this...I used to cut Matthew's hair and I thought I was pretty good at it. Until this specific incident when I had taken the guard off of the clippers to get around his ears and then I found a spot that I had missed on the side of his head and I went at it without the guard on...before I knew it, it was too late!!! Needless to say, I refused to buzz his head, so we had to take a trip downstairs to Nate and Jill's-she was braver than I was and afterward he looked like our niece Grace. I've never cut his hair since...

Sept 25th, 2006 - The night before Matthew's first marathon in Logan, UT

Sept. 23, 2006 - Just after crossing the finish line after his 1st Marathon!

Disneyland June 2007-Matthew's 1st trip!!

4th of July, 2007- I love his curly hair!


After purchasing our first car-Christmas 2008

My first race "Running with Angels"-May 2009

My 25th birthday in Park City-September 7, 2009

Matthew's Graduation-April 30, 2010

Special Olympics-June 2010

4th of July 2010

Happy Anniversary babe, I love you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Provo City Half Marathon - May 1, 2010

My training for the half marathon was difficult. It seemed every race I had leading up to the big day had its own challenges; the biggest of all was the IT Band Syndrome I had in both of my knees. 

The last few weeks of training were a huge struggle. Matthew and I would head out on Saturday morning with our water belt, gum, music, GU Chomps and our trusty Garmin GPS watches; and we would head up Provo Canyon. I felt great for the first few miles, even making it all the way to Vivian Park on one training run, only to be discouraged and disappointed on the way back. My pain would get too severe, so I'd have to stop at one of the parks and Matthew would run ahead to get the car and pick me up. I was devastated; I felt like I wouldn't be able to accomplish this one goal I had set for myself.

Matthew talked to me about possibly running the half marathon relay, he would take the first leg and then I could take the second and cross the finish line. He also talked about the possibility of skipping the race altogether and not doing it. Taking time off, resting my knees, recuperating, and then trying it all again in a few months. I wouldn't listen; I got upset anytime he brought it up. I was determined to do it, but in the back of my mind I had doubts.

I wanted May 1, 2010 to be the day that I accomplished this goal. My parents would be there, my little sisters, Matthew's family and that was more important to me than any pain I felt.

The farthest I had gone in training was 10 miles, which hurt. I didn't think I could make it another 3.1 miles after that race. Two weeks before the half marathon I was planning to run 12 miles, it was on the schedule, but I only made it 8.5 miles. I was determined to run 10 miles the next Saturday, but I only made it 5.

I broke down, I didn't know what to do. Should I give up? Should I rest? Should I risk getting injured just to reach my personal goal? I decided to go for it. I knew if I was going to do it; I needed to give it everything I had. So, I went to our family doctor the Monday before the race. He gave me a cortisone shot in each knee, which was really painful, and told me to rest until Saturday. He also suggested I buy some straps to put above my knees while running to take some of the pressure off, so I did.

The week went by fast and before I knew it, we were celebrating Matthew and all of his accomplishments and then we headed to pick up our packets. We went to bed early and I prayed for good weather and a strong body. I woke up early, ate some breakfast, and we headed to the starting line. It was a beautiful morning.

Provo Tabernacle (Start and Finish Line)

But, it was a little chilly,

And, I was really nervous,

So, I turned on my tunes,

and I stretched a LOT. Before I knew it, we were saying goodbye,

and we were OFF!!!! We stayed toward the back of the pack and I got in my groove. And about 5 minutes into our race, it started sprinkling...and then it started drizzling....and then it even snowed, but it didn't stop me, I kept going.

The weather stayed at a constant drizzle and we were both grateful we decided to run with our gloves on, they literally saved us! I stopped at every aid station. I stretched a little, drank some water, ate my GU Chomps and tightened my IT Band straps as I needed to. My pace was a little slower than I would have liked, but I felt good and that's all that mattered to me. My music was keeping me motivated and before I knew it, we had passed the half way point, which was such a relief. Each mile marker we passed I felt good, and when I passed mile marker 7 as "Another One Bites The Dust" came on, I started laughing and then my eyes filled up with tears, I was actually running my first half marathon!!!!

At mile 10, Matthew looked over at me and he said, "This is virgin mileage, babe! Every step from here on out is farther than you've ever gone before".-And I still felt good. :D

Around mile 12, Miley Cyrus started singing "The Climb" to me. MOST.AMAZING.SONG.EVER!!! I started crying and laughing all at the same time. I think it was in that moment that I finally realized that I was going to make it. I was going to finish the half marathon.

The last mile was definitely the hardest. I felt like I was running in slow motion and my body felt like it was shutting down, but I kept going. And when we rounded the corner for the home stretch, my step-dad was standing there in the rain and pretty soon I started seeing all of our other family and friends that came to support me, and it was emotional. 

We were almost there, and every step was a little more difficult than the last.

And then Matthew started celebrating before we even got to the finish line...

And then I grabbed his hand, and we finished together, just like we always do!

We were soaked and we were tired and it only took 3 minutes before we started to freeze, so we didn't stay long, but it was so worth it.

I'm so happy that I had friends and family there to greet me at the finish line. It was emotional giving them hugs and sharing this experience with them, definitely something I will not ever forget. 

And I couldn't have done it without my best friend. He is the one that keeps pushing me and helping me reach all of my goals! And maybe someday, we'll even run our first full marathon, and finish together! :D

This has been the soundtrack of my life/training over the past several months: 

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb