~ finding amusement in the simple things in life ~

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Christmas Newsletter

Just kidding.  We don't really do those.   I am an unfaithful journal/blog-writer, but here are some reflections on the highs, lows, and stuff in between from the last 12 months or so:

- I spent six weeks in Argentina (links to group blog, Argentina GSE Rotary exchange) and Peru, and hiked the ancient Incan trail to Machu Picchu

- Matt was named Associate of the Quarter for the Albertson's stores in the entire Northwest region.  (His 'regulars' were sad to see him go!)

- I took 18 credits' worth of English classes and loved every second of it.  Really miss school.

- Matt successfully tricked convinced his wife into thinking 7-8 more years of school/training was an acceptable idea.

- I ingested blood sausage, chunks of raw bacon, some form of intestine, cuy (roasted guinea pig), and a garbage plate.

- Matt was accepted into the University of Rochester's prestigious School of Medicine.

- I also consumed copious amounts of world class beef, mate, coca tea, dulce de leche, and noquis.

- We found an affordable apartment in a great location at the very last minute.

- Leslie and I road-tripped through 10 states, stopping at Mt. Rushmore, Chicago, Kirtland, and Niagara Falls to get me settled in Rochester.  (Matt made the journey with his dad and all of our stuff.)

- Erica and I saved some cash hitch-hiking from Denver to CO Springs.

- I road-tripped with my mom, 2 sisters, and Kelly across Colorado and Wyoming, stopping in Little America for a brief ride on a brontosaurus.

-I road-tripped through Montana and Alberta to Calgary and Banff (b-e-a- utiful!- courtesy of the lovely Pratt family) with my Dad----we listed to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and I didn't even do my fair share of driving.

- Matt completed his 1st semester of med school with flying colors!

- While attending Matt's white coat ceremony, I was asked (by a female adult, alert and oriented x3) if I had a son or daughter attending school here.

- One sunny afternoon, our doorbell rang.  We were not expecting anyone, don't have a peephole, and I was  a bit apprehensive opening the door.  When I did, I was greeted by a man in a three piece suit shouting in a friendly manner.  He repeated himself three times before I understood, "Yeah, I need a pedicure!"  We live above a hair salon and he'd picked the wrong entrance.

-We celebrated the marriages of Liz's brother, Colin, and Matt's brother, Jordan (not to each other).  We also got to visit the Olsons and our newest family member, Greta Mae Olson, in Fort Drum!

-We mourned the sudden loss of my favorite Uncle Jeff, an inspiring man, father, Bishop, and physician.

- We paid over $4/gallon for gasoline.

- We enjoyed the beauty of Palmyra, Watkin's Glen, the Finger Lakes, and Letchworth.  We picked our own apples and became very familiar with the Erie Canal trail.

- I took an alpaca for a walk, rode an Argentine pony, held a lamb in Peruvian costume, bottle-fed a baby black bear, hypnotized the world's best bunny, and got mooned by a polar bear.

- Matt, though somewhat begrudgingly, also took an alpaca for a walk.

-We took Washington DC by storm over Christmas break and enjoyed having a great Idahoan host! (Thanks, Brinton!)

- Matt injured his back and hobbled around like an old man for a few weeks.

-I was needlessly unemployed for months whilst my nursing license was 'processed' for NY.

- We dressed up like our heroes (okay, one of us did) for Halloween.

- We have been blessed to make many new friends with some truly amazing people. Also,  I LOVE our church ward.

- Matt's bike was stolen by someone who deserves to have a pigeon poop in their eye (and I hope one does).

- The manliest man of them all, Matt finally proved what we've always known by winning a facial-hair-growing contest held by his med school class as a fundraiser for cancer research.

- I hiked, snowshoed, downhill & cross-country skied my was across Anchorage, Alaska and was entertained by the inventive Malouf family.

- (21 states and 4 countries for me!  Feeling blessed I got to travel so much, as I was concerned about the restrictions our plans might have.)

-We watched the entire LOTR series and The Hobbit over Christmas break.  Star Wars is next.

- We spent Christmas alone together, with midnight mass, snow-angels, and several great care packages.  We were also privileged to join the Howell family (we love and look up to them so much) in acting out the Nativity.  I've never seen such a convincing Herod!

- Matt mastered the iPad and has become converted to the church of Apple.

- We had dinner with someone who had dinner with Ted Bundy.

- We make acrylic paintings together sometimes.

- I got a new job at a surgery center.  The operations are simple, but there's no nights, weekends, or call!

-We miss our friends, family, and the mountains.


  1. I just got off the phone with you but should have read this before we chatted because I have so many questions about these adventures of yours. Stolen bike, Ted Bundy, alpaca walking, etc.
    Love you!

  2. Ok, so did you just write this post to make everyone insanely jealous of your extremely adventurous lives? Seriously, because if you did, it worked. I can't believe you did all this. What fun! I choked and laughed out loud when you said the woman asked if you had a son or daughter in school. Wow. That was too funny!

  3. I already knew I missed you, but now it's like I miss you times 100. I'm pretty sure kole feels the same way (for Matt, his BFF). I hope a reunion is in the stars for us this year!