Quick Catch-up post (Vacations, Reunions, and Moving)

 - by Eric

So…yeah, it’s been awhile, I know. We haven’t written not for lack of trying, but more for lack of time. I’ve also been really hesitant to write in fear of divulging too much information. I’ll give a recap of the events in this post and then will let Brittny write the novel-lengthed version later.

The fact of the matter is, we’ve been looking for a change. In my work, I had been feeling like my talents and abilities were suffering from atrophy and under-utilization. Since I knew I wanted to progress in my career path, I feared that if I stayed in my current position for too long that I would lose familiarity with the skills necessary for me to continue progressing. At the same time, the contract on our condo was coming to a close, and the landlord said that they wouldn’t except a month-to-month arrangement. We also weren’t any closer to going to China.

So I started looking at various opportunities. Picking up from where we left off in June, we had a chance to go see our good friends the Phillips in San Antonio, TX. It was really good to see them and also get a chance to check out Cody’s workplace, USAA. They have an excellent campus as their main Headquarters are located there in San Antonio. The city was very interesting in that it is a very large place in terms of population, but it doesn’t feel crowded at all. Everything is just fifteen minutes away, whether it be Sea World, the commercial district, or some other friend’s residential area. Brittny and Sam were able to accompany me in my interview, which was really nice for me and them. We spent the whole weekend, and Sam got reacquainted with Chandler. They became fast friends.

Brittny and Sam at Sea World

The very next week I had scheduled an interview in San Diego, CA. Since that wasn’t too far off from Thousand Oaks, we decided to make it another family trip. Sam was sort of a pickle on the car ride down, but he got tuckered out after ripping our portable DVD player to shreds!

Our little techie!

Sam’s finally at a stage where he can stand to be around other people, even if his parents aren’t there. This is a very good development, especially in the eyes of his grandparents. His grandpa Anderson had recently decided to raise chickens, and Sam loved chasing the “bock bocks” around the yard. Again, another fun trip, but very tiring.

Not to mention the fact that we still were not decided on what we wanted to do when the end of our contract came around, so before we left for the annual family reunions, we had to pack up our house and put everything into storage. What a chore! Especially since we didn’t know where we were going to end up at that point! Not to mention my work laptop was going on the fritz:

My screen did this almost daily!

So off we went to Wyoming for an Anderson reunion, camping at a KOA one of Brittny’s relatives owned. It was a fun time to meet more of Brittny’s family and show off our cute little boy! He really enjoyed the swimming pool there:

After that weekend, we pretty much went straight back to California, but this time for a Hansen family reunion. First, just the immediate Hansen’s got together and went off to Disneyland for an entire day. That was a lot of fun, but unfortunately I don’t have my video camera right now, so I can’t upload pictures or videos from it. It will probably be its own post, anyway.

For the rest of the week, we had a Lyon (my mother’s side) family reunion, which was a ton of fun. Sam got to play with most of his cousins, and Brittny got better acquainted with my huge family. Brittny also took initiative and helped out with organizing some of the events–mainly a series of “minute-to-win-it” type of games. She did really well, and it was fun to get more involved.

One of our favorite days that week was going to the beach. About halfway through the day, someone thought it would be a fun idea to bury Sam halfway in the sand, and the funny thing is that he enjoyed it! I think he enjoyed the attention more than anything else, but it was cool to see him have such a fun time.

Coool Dude!

All these vacations took us well into August, and after all was said and done, we had to come home–that being a temporary apartment set up in the basement of my parents’ new condo in South Jordan, UT. Since we still didn’t know where we were going to end up, there wasn’t really much we could do. We are so grateful that my parents let us move in temporarily while we try to find more permanent accommodations. Fortunately, many new opportunities have arisen in recent weeks, and hopefully I will have more good news for you soon. Until then, back to the grind…

Two Transitions Too Soon

 - by Eric

So, as you can tell by my writing this entry, I have survived through the past week. After taking my History 202 final last Monday afternoon, I began my History 201 class later that night. From that point onward, I did little else but study and work on this class. I worked through the night to complete the lessons and quizzes for the first half of the classes. On Tuesday afternoon, I went into the testing center and took a three-hour long essay written midterm. That night, the studying continued as I finished the remaining lessons and quizzes for the class, 14 in all. It took me until Wednesday evening before I started on the class project, a 2,000-word research term paper, complete with bibliographical references. Last, but not least, I had to take another three-hour long essay written final on Thursday before going in to work. It was a crazy three and a half days, but I am finally done and graduation is now around the corner!

During all this mess, I took solace in the thought that soon my family and I would be moving into a house and settling in to a nice life, or so it seemed. For those of you who don’t know, I recently applied and was interviewed for an internal promotion to an Technical Services Engineer. I felt I did rather well during the interview process, and that is why we decided we ought to buy a house. This past Tuesday night, however, I discovered another potential job opportunity that might take me to China. So now we have until this Friday to decide which offer we will pursue and consequently decide where we will be living for the next few years, at least. We’ll be sure to post an update as soon as we have this next big mess is figured out.

Brittny’s novel-lengthed post for the week

 - by Brittny

We didn’t really have any one major thing that we wanted to write about this week so I thought I’d just give an overall recap of highlights of this week. I’ll try to contain each highlight to one bullet point so it doesn’t get too confusing:

  • Last Sunday we decided that 8:30am (the time that both our new old wards met for sacrament meeting) was NOT going to happen after moving all of our stuff into our new apartment. So we let ourselves sleep in and since we live in Utah… we figured that any time of day on Sunday we could go in any direction and find a sacrament meeting. So, just before 1pm we went to the building where our wards meet hoping to find another married student ward to attend. Unfortunately, we hadn’t taken into account that our stake meets on half hours and so the meetings in both chapels in our building were about half over. So, we walked across the parking lot to the other building (yes… there are two buildings within that one parking lot with four chapels between the two of them. You can also go and within 4 blocks find at least 4 other church buildings – yay Utah :) ) The first chapel in the other building had already started however the second chapel had people flowing in and we were very happy to find a sacrament meeting that was just starting. As we went in however we realized very quickly that this was NOT a ward for married students… or families… it was a singles ward. Luckily, I don’t look pregnant yet so we were able to inconspicuously sit in on it so we could take the sacrament. A few minutes into the meeting another couple came in and sat next to us… both with wedding rings on. I noticed this and thought it was odd… but of course, Eric and I had both worn rings before we were married (since we were at BYU this seemed like a good way to signify that we were both off the market) I didn’t think too much of it. However after a minute the girl next to me asked if we were in a singles ward, and we found out that both of us were in the same situation – married students who needed to find a church meeting to attend. I joked with them that it would be funny if that Sunday was you-should-all-get-married-and-date-more-Sunday or if it was Chastity lesson Sunday (yeah… the boy in my apartment is definitely allowed to stay past curfew. I don’t think Eric would appreciate being kicked out of our house in the middle of the night :) ) Sure enough… the talks that day were all centered on a talk from this month’s Ensign – Making the Most of our Single Years by Russell Stevenson. We laughed quietly together though the meeting about the irony of the situation but it was good overall. If nothing else it made us appreciate that much more what a blessing our marriage is. I think if any couple is going through tough times they should go to a singles ward on dating Sunday. Not that there’s anything wrong with that stage of life… but once you’ve gone past it, you don’t ever have any desire to go back. I’m very very grateful for Eric and the blessing it is to be married to him.
  • On Monday we went to the doctors and got to hear our baby’s heartbeat again. It was a really quick visit to just make sure everything was going well. It’s always cool to hear the baby’s heartbeat, just a little reminder that there really is a little person in there! We’re getting more and more excited for this baby to come and for us to get to be parents.

    After the doctor’s appointment we finally went and got my blood drawn… which should have happened about 2 months ago but I’ve been too chicken to go. Finally after a lot of praying, a blessing from Eric and basically being forced in we made it. Eric stuck with me the whole time which was VERY helpful. We sat me down in the chair and made sure to explain to the phlebotomist (yeah, I spelled that right the first time and I’m SO proud of myself right now :) ) that I would pass out. I also made sure to warn her not to try to make it seem like not a big deal… because I already know that but having to think about it makes it worse. She was great. She actually brought up Twilight and she and Eric had a conversation about how much I like those books which gave me something good to focus on while she drew my blood and I tried very hard to remain conscious. It worked… sorta. I stayed conscious until they had taken out the needle and bandaged my arm… then I passed out and fell out of the chair. Eric says I looked almost like I was having a seizure and he had to catch my head so I didn’t slam it into the wall. I also apparently wasn’t sitting as still as I thought I was so I ended up with a pretty good bruise. I meant to take pictures of the bruise earlier in the week but didn’t get to it until today. Just remember that this is a picture of the bruise almost a week later… it looks way better than it did earlier in the week.

    It may look better, but it still doesn’t look that great!

    Luckily there’s only one more blood draw for this pregnancy and my friend Stephanie has agreed to help me learn some good relaxation techniques so that I can get over this irrational fear, or at least take the edge of it. Let’s face it, there’s no way I’m getting out of needles when I actually have to give birth to this baby so I better work on it now!

  • On Thursday Taylor came back to Utah!! I’m so excited to have my little sister back so I can bug her to come hang out with me again. We all made the trek up to Grandma and Grandpa Anderson’s house on Friday night so we could retrieve all of her stuff. Unfortunately since Eric and Taylor had been busy in Provo and I had a HUGE project that my team’s been working on all week that was due Friday night… and then we hit major construction on the way up to Logan… it was 8pm before we got up there and we hadn’t realized that everyone there was waiting to start dinner until we arrived. Oops! Sorry everyone! It was really fun to go up there and be with family. Eric helped my Grandpa troubleshoot some things on his computer and Grandma helped me make a Strawberry Rhubarb pie for Eric (they’re his favorite and since I never had someone teach me how to make a pie my past attempts have been… interesting… to say the least). This picture is post being cut into but it still looks better than my past pies by a long shot. Thanks so much Grandma & Grandpa for having us! And thanks for teaching me to make pie! It’ll be very handy since I have 7 more bags of frozen rhubarb… and not really any other uses for it.

    Mmmmm! Pie!

  • On Saturday night we had the Criddles and the Phillips over for a little end-of-summer get together. Jon and Cody were in Eric’s Information Systems group last year so they spent a lot of time working together and all three couples have become very close friends. Everyone else was out of state over the summer since Cody and Jon went on internships so we were very happy to have everyone back together. We made ice cream (which decidedly did not turn out as good as my grandma’s pie), ate snacks and just hung out for a few hours catching up on everyone’s summers. The boys played a few games of Wii Mario Kart and it was just a really fun time. We had definitely missed having everyone so close by, and we’re going to miss having the guys in all of the same classes this year, but hopefully we’ll still find lots of opportunities to get together this year.
  • This doesn’t really fit on any one particular day but this week Eric has done an AWESOME job of getting our apartment unpacked and organized. I’ve been working late nights this week so I haven’t been able to do much so I’ve been especially grateful for all that he’s done in getting our little house put together. Tomorrow I want to get our pictures hung and the rest of us pretty well moved in but I’ve been impressed with all he’s gotten done. Thanks honey for all you’ve done! Below are some pictures of the new digs:

    Entertainment Center/Living Room

    Kitchen/Dining Room

    Bedroom with a Memory Foam bed!

I guess that’s about it. Eric starts school again on Tuesday so we’re gearing up for things getting really busy again. Luckily, nothing can be as bad as the ISYS core was last year, but he’s going to have plenty to do between school and work during this next semester. I’m going to miss having him home during the day, he’s been very helpful in getting things done that I can’t since I work in Salt Lake and am gone from the apartment up to 12 hours each day. I’m excited for him to be done in April, and for this baby to come so that I can stay at home and be a wife/mom and we’ll get things done around the apartment again!

No More Nomadic Life for Me

 - by Eric

The outside of our new place!

This post is covering the crazy weekend we just had! Set up shop and unpack everything, because we are not moving again for a long while! I’m not trying to complain here, and I will say that I am glad to be in a place that I absolutely know I will enjoy and love, but man alive–this weekend was super exhausting! Let me give you a run down on what happened.

Friday morning I wake up and start packing everything we have into some boxes that Brittny got a hold of. That takes the majority of the day. In the meantime, I set up the utilities and I headed over to the new apartment to check everything out and get the keys from our landlord. I think it is a very good idea to get an idea of how you want to organize your furniture and things in the new place before you start moving it. It makes for a much smoother transition, in my opinion.

Then Saturday morning I wake up, go grab a U-Haul truck, and bring it back to the apartment to load things up. Some friends show up at 11:00 am and we load everything up and then have it all unloaded by 2:30 pm that day at our new place. We made really good time! When we were moving all by ourselves the last time around, it took us a full week with multiple trips in our cars to get everything transferred! I am definitely an advocate for U-Hauls and boxes to get everything done all in one go! Then I get a call from the Criddles who needed help moving all their stuff from storage into their apartment. I know how much I hate moving things all by myself, so I was happy to help out, but I was soo sore by the end of the day. And don’t even get me started on my Internet woes!

On the plus side, it is wonderful to be in a place that feels like our home. This past summer it was like just being guests in Amber and Cody’s place, and while it was a nice place, we like the feeling of permanence and pushing in our roots a little. Our new apartment is also a really nice place. We’ll post pictures as soon as we are fully unpacked!

On the last note for this post, I thought the new bed would take some getting used to, but that hasn’t been the case. I absolutely love it! It feels really good!

Mattress Match-up

 - by Eric

So, today we went bed shopping. Yeah, it might be kind of weird for some people to think that we are just now actually buying our very first bed, but so it is. In retrospect, it has been quite nice being able to get used to how Brittny and I sleep now that we are married. We also know what type of mattress suits us best. I can just envision shopping for a bed while engaged or even newly married being so awkward and difficult to make an educated decision. On top of that, not having to move a bed around to all the places we’ve been living in has been real nice.

But since we are settling down into a more permanent temporary housing, we knew it was time. We decided to look first at RC Willey, but that got shot down as soon as we saw the ridiculously high price tags as compared to what we found on the Internet ( has some good deals). We ended up at Mattress Warehouse in Orem, and we are glad we went there. Brittny and I were really impressed at the way they showed us the basics of bed shopping (most of which we knew, but it was still nice) and then they let us be to try out any of the beds that we desired. No pushy salesmen looking for a commission.

Surprisingly, we found the new memory foam mattresses to be Incredible. They come with 20-year warranties as compared to the regular inner spring’s 10-year standard warranty. It felt so good to have our backs lined up in good posture. Another crazy thing is putting keys down on the mattress and then lying down on top of them. You can’t even feel them there! We were especially excited because we were able to buy a generic brand one for a little less than the normal spring mattress we’d been looking at getting otherwise. We’ve been told that it takes a little while to get used to since we get so used to sleeping on regular mattresses that don’t support our weight correctly, it’s like making the switch to standing up straight after walking around hunched over for years and years. We can definitely see how that’s going to be true, however the other side of it is that once you do get used to it…. you never want to go back. After dealing with less than ideal beds while we were in Wymount, we are excited to get this new one.

Cool Memory Foam!! It remembers me!

Oh, and they threw in free delivery/set up, box spring, and a cover too! We’d totally recommend them to anyone looking for a great deal.

Moving woes

 - by Brittny

Yesterday we spent the entire day moving. Our whole storage closet is now cleaned out — yay! We couldn’t really move too much else since we’re still living in our current apartment for another week, but it felt good to get that much done. Of course… at the end of the day we were pretty wiped out, and didn’t even want to make the effort to clean off our couch to watch a movie. So instead we blew up our air mattress, ordered pizza and vegged all night. It was great :)

Ok, so we took the picture the next day… so we’re in Sunday clothes… you still get the idea, right?

We’re moving this week into Cody & Amber Phillips’ (really good friends of ours that we made through Eric’s ISYS group this year) apartment for the summer. We’re really excited about this because it gives us a chance to help out some good friends (they can keep their contract without having to pay double rent while Cody’s on an internship) and puts us in an awesome location for both of our jobs, along with several other fabulous benefits.

First of all the location is ideal for us. Right now it takes me about 10 minutes to get from our apartment in Wymount to the bus stop in Orem. I timed how long it will take me from the place we’ll be living this summer it takes 3 minutes — 3!! It also puts us a mere 8 blocks from Omniture where Eric works. Moving to Orem makes a lot of sense for us right now.

If the location weren’t good enough we’re also upgrading from our beautiful cinderblock walls in Wymount to real live walls. Ok, so that’s not the big excitement, but having a washer and dryer in the apartment is. The biggest excitement (and really the stimulus for us leaving Wymount), is having a dishwasher. If that doesn’t seem amazing to you, you’ve never tried living without one. Currently our dishes get done once a week… maybe. I’m so excited to not have to look at the insurmountable task of washing every dish we own by hand. And yes, I do realize that I will still have to actually do the dishes, but having had experience with dishwashers in the past, I feel I can safely say that I can in fact place dishes in the dishwasher.

Of course, the one downside is that while we are moving… we’re also house hunting. Even though we’re only going to be in Amber & Cody’s apartment for the summer we’re still planning on moving to Orem semi-permanently. So we’re looking for places that fit a rather odd set of requirements. Because we are both such tech nerds (hence our blog title) we need to find somewhere with awesome internet capabilities. Also, somewhere with white walls so that we can use our projector. We know that we never want to go back to not having a dishwasher/washer/dryer so those are also requirements. Oh, and the requirement that is currently the most difficult of all, we don’t want to move in until August :P We know it will work out eventually, and we’re probably just looking way to far ahead, but hopefully by keeping on top of the listings now we can find exactly the place we want when the time comes :)