Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I ALMOST peed my pants.

One of, if not THE highlight of Germany was these two

coming for a fun filled visit.

Honestly, I don't even know where to start. Lindsay liking the food and being SO passionate about it. Denise and I being so amused by Lindsay's actions. Lindsay getting an ice cream of the wrong flavor (we are still not sure if it is Lindsay's German or the Germans English). Teaching all about the metric system. Question: Why do Americans not believe in the metric system? This adds to culture shock moving to another country. Just sayin. 

Anyways... where to start. Oh yeah! I think I will start with the night Linds got left at the train stop. In my very compassionate heart I still laugh so hard about this. 
So there we were, leaving Shawn's school and headed to dinner. Lindsay had been flirting with a certain boy, lets say his name is Mike. Naturally, me being the amazing friend that I am and being so good at the "game", I told Linds to call Mike and invite him to dinner with us. It took some convincing on Denise and mine part but after of a minor case of hyperventilation, she called! He said yes. She said when. He said "how about right now"! HA HA. But really pretty much that is how it happened. 
The phone call ended and we decide that we need to devise a plan to get the two alone. Hello! Due to my husbands awesome ability to problem solve, he came up with a priceless idea. The idea: Just after eating dinner, Lindsay would say she wanted ice cream. Shawn would reply that he didn't feel well. Denise would add that she was really tired and I would say that I am too full. AND Mike would want ice cream, so he and Linds would be on their own. Perfect? Perfect! We laughed and Lindsay told us absolutely not. Still don't know why, seems flawless to me. 
Before we know it we are at dinner, the five of us. All is going great and we couldn't see it getting any better... until... Mike says "I feel like some ice cream!" To which Shawn replies "Oh I don't feel well. Denise chimes in, "Yeah, I am really tired" and I followed it up with "I am too full." Needless to say, we all trying to not bust a gut. Could he have played into our idea any better. NO! 
After dinner we are walking back to the train station. Lindsay and Mike are in front of us three, awkward. They are sharing an umbrella, awkward. We (Denise, Shawn and I) want out. We are trying to think of anything but seem to be out of ideas. It seems our only idea, the ice cream, was a flop. AND then... something happened. I think back and am still unsure of the details. I believe it went something like this. Lindsay and Mike are still walking in front of us. The train pulls up. No one says anything to the flirty leaders. Denise, Shawn and I hop on the train. The doors shut. I push the button to open them back up. They turn and look to see us on the train. I say "aren't we going to get ice cream?" The doors shut and the train takes off, without them on it. Perfect! It could not have gone any better. The four of us, counting the lady on the train, were laughing uncontrollably. 

They were only with us for three days and when they left our lives seemed empty. Shawn even kept commenting how fun it was with them around. We are big fans of Denise and Lindsay in our house. Please come out to New Zealand we are ready for new memories. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ma and Pa

I am one blessed girl. I could start a list of what I am blessed with but it would take my whole life to complete. I really am that blessed. However, at the top of the list of blessing would have to be my ma and pa. They support me, love me, listen to me, think I am funny and think that I am great. They do all this even though they have seen me in my worst. They even let me have New Year's Eve Parties until 4 in the morning blasting the music and having dance parties. Mind you, they were trying to sleep in the next room. Yep, pretty amazing.
While in New Zealand they have visited and they also made trek to Germany to spend time with non other than ME! I love them beyond words and the two weeks were hilarious and crazy all at the same time.

I wore them right out. They say that all they do with me on vacation is walk. There may be some truth to that. I couldn't resist this epic picture. They sit down for two second and instantly fall asleep. Jet lag may have had something to do with it. 

I even got them to try the german cuisine. They both liked it more than Taiwan cuisine. 

Highlights of our vacay:
  • Traveling with a fan
  • None of us really speaking german
  • Guten Morgen. Good morning!
  • "DAD! This is a two lane road!"
  • Going into EVERY store
  • Mom bouncing around in the car looking at castles
  • "How much is this?" "18 dollars, half price"
  • Touchy brakes and unlocked seats
  • Getting lost many times and taking an hour to turn around
  • Not having any plans other than to travel and have fun
  • Just the three of us 
Hello Mom and Dad. Thank you so much for all the memories. I love you and I am ready for another memory filled vacation anytime you are. 

Shawn was in Norway so was unable to attend the fun.


We arrived in New Zealand on the 12th of September. Due to the fact of being overseas most of our stuff was in storage. So... for the last two weeks we have slowly been moving in. This week we made the last trip. It feels good to have all of our New Zealand belongings under one roof, even if they are all still boxed up and will remain so for the next 4 months.

I spy with my little eye.... some bananas. We went grocery shopping on the way home!

Which brings me to my next topic. We are currently living in Raglan and will be until the beginning of January. We invite you ALL to come and play with us. We even have a bed for you, something we will not always be able to offer. I might be a bit desperate for some friend time.... Shannon I'm speaking to you! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Red White and Blue

It seems like a dream. A very good dream. A dream I wished that I could relive. We were able to visit the U.S. of A. in May and June. While it was fast and furious we had lots of fun and even had some special moments that I will always cherish.

Most importantly, while we were in Salt Lake, Shawn was able to go through the temple to receive his own endowments. Then we were able to be sealed together eternally. I loved sitting in the celestial room with my love. I love the thought of being with him forever. I love that we have made this eternal decision together. I love how handsome he looked in the temple. I love that we now can go to the temple together. I love that we get to discuss the temple, in the temple. I love that I no longer have to tell him that I can't tell him the answer to his question. Now I get to say "we'll talk about it next time we go to the temple." I love that we are in this together. Mainly, I just love him. Oh and let us not forget... I love that we have two anniversaries!

We also were able to spend very precious time with Mutti, Shawn's grandma. We were married in her yard and it is because of her that Shawn and I ever met. I feel eternally grateful for her and her relationship to Shawn. Because of this relationship he valued her opinion and decided to see what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was all about. His second week at church I met him and the rest is history. Mutti (mother in german) is just what every grandmother ought to be. Loving, kind, patient, sweet, tender, particular, hard worker, good cook, beautiful gardener, confidant and Christlike. The time that Shawn and I spent with her on this trip are held tenderly in our hearts. We love her.

I was also able to spend time with my Grandma Spanos. She too is just what every grandma ought to be. My mom recently told me that I am just like my grandma, it made my heart happy. I hope that one day I can be what she is. The conversation my grandma and I had, just the two of us, has left me thinking and pondering over the last 4 months and I am sure will continue for years down the road. I love this woman and how she lives her life. In my eyes she is perfect.

We did many other things while in Utah such as seeing a few friends and many family members. We also managed to get hair cuts. Mine included BANGS! Never done before on this head of hair... I actually really liked them but you always have to get them cut, so currently I just pull them back and bobby pin them. HA

We also made a trip out to Denver and Fort Collins to see Shawn's family. It was great being able to get to know them better. Shawn's grandpa, Pop, told him that I seem to not be as quite. Shawn told me and I just laughed, I have never been one to be known for being quite. Shawn and Pop played pool into the late night. I loved being about to listen to their deep and educated discussion about things that I didn't even know existed.

We are so blessed to have family and friends that love us and we love them. They say "home is where the heart is" I guess my heart is still in Utah because that is where I feel at home.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Meet my 5 year old niece, Emma. She is cute, funny, sassy, energetic, adventurous, she sings and she plays the violin. What is not to love about this girl with that adorable face?

Let me tell you ... she and I are in a competition for MY husbands love. Funny? I think not.

Case in point 
1) Every time the song "So Call Me Maybe" come on the radio Shawn says, "Oh I love that Emma sings this song."
2) Today's text message conversation
     S: Hey... I just met you
     S: This is so bad...
     C: You are a dork
     C: But here's my number so call me baby
     S: MAYBE
     S: Well... Emma can sing in correctly
3) Just three nights ago Shawn told me that he wished Emma was here.
4) I Skype with Ali and Emma gets on and says "let me talk to my boyfriend." To which Shawn promptly comes to the computer to talk with Emma. 

While in Utah, Emma and Shawn went on a date. They fed the horses, went on the swings, petting the chickens and even watched the stars while cuddling. Emma was the one that pointed out that it was like a date. 
She also told me that she would make a better wife than I. 

Who is this girl? At least we know that she has good taste. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Derby and Deutschland

Anyone who knows me knows I live for the Heber Derby and to add the cherry on top ... my little brother was in it. Made me proud. Did you know that I once had the great desire to be in the derby myself. I even found me a boyfriend that would build me car. Laughable? I think so.
Did I mention I love Germany? I do. The language is my only problem, but give me 9 more months and I would totally have it down. I love the bread, cheese, chocolate, people, public transportation, apartment, cost of living, not working, culture, history and everything else.
When we first got to Bremen we lived a week in a hotel and still hadn't found anything. Needless to say I was stressed. In our nightly prayers we prayed that we would find something quickly and fit all of our needs (small, inexpensive, fully furnished and in a good location). The next day at school one of Shawn's colleague invited us to stay with his family until we found a place. We moved in the next day. A family with 4 children. They all speak english but the mother, who speaks german and CHINESE! We stayed with this amazing family for 10 days, all the while speaking 3 languages. It was pretty interesting but oh so great of them. Let me mention that while we were there they were getting married, going on vacation and also having two birthdays. They were so busy and still welcomed us and made us feel at home. We are ever grateful for them. The day we moved in we found a place that we could move into in 10 days. It worked out perfectly. We live in the "happening" part of town and it fits ALL of our needs. We are comfortable. Answered prayer? I say so.
I would upload pictures but internet is painfully slow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What the....

I love this man. Right now he is working really hard, I think. I am sitting by his side using internet at school. If I could show you a picture of his screen we would all be lost. He is one smart, funny, interesting, hilarious, kind, thoughtful, adventurous and hairy faced soul. I am lucky. 

To all of you who thought you might be getting more. Nope! I am going to head home on the tram. Just know this. I LOVE GERMANY! I wish we could stay here and not go back to NZ. It is that wonderful and I don't even speak the language. 

List of things that I will blog about in the very near future:
  • apartment
  • living with a german family
  • church in germany
  • linds and denise visiting
  • public transportation
  • how i spend my days
  • what to ALWAYS have when living in a foreign country
  • why i love germany
  • school trips and school friends
  • funny things and thoughtful things
  • if i get really ambitious i might fill you in on what we did in the usa, we'll see  
Lots to blog about. Stay tuned. I know you can. I mean honestly how long have you been waiting? You can wait a bit longer. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Creating Ruckus

I am a peacemaker. Honestly, I am. Ask my husband. Actually, please refrain he may be unpredictable in his answer.
Here is a little article that was in the paper. Hope you enjoy and it softens your heart to pray for my registration to go through.
Speaking of ruckus. Did you know that nearly every morning Shawn and I create ruckus in our house?

Our toilet is too high and our legs are too short. We bought this blue step and it creates ruckus as you drag it across the floor. Don't worry though it makes the toileting experience so much better.
Educational tip: Completely and totally proper to say "Can I go toilet?" or "He is going toilet." Weird? I think so.
On a happy note... only 16 days.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our Time

Trust us when we say... WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE END OF THIS MONTH! Who are we kidding though? It will be a whole different kind of busy. We are so excited and can't wait to see you all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In the moment

"If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it" Ferris Bueller. 

Shawn was able to baptize Zhang Tian Jiao (Tony). He is a 20 year old from China. I was able to meet him through the missionaries. He is so cute and we take him to church every Sunday. 

We have been in NZ for almost 6 months. Time flies fast. 

January 25th at 4 am I received a phone call. I was needed in the hospital to speak chinese. Shawn and I rushed to the hospital and spend the next 4 hours with a family that had just lost their little one. I hope to never forget the feelings I had and the spirit that was there. We made eternal friends that morning.

I am working and with that... doubled our income. WHOOH to answered prayers. 

I was asked to baptize a woman. I met her on her first Sunday at church and we instantly became friends with her family. We spent Chinese New Years and many other days with them. She was baptized the day before she went back to China, by her husband.  

I haven't cut my hair in over 8 months.

Shawn gave his proposal presentation. He did AMAZING! He is one smart cookie. All of the professors and advisors were impressed. Now the real work starts.

I am working and with that... doubled our income. WHOOH to answered prayers. 

Our landlord asked Shawn if I "molt". Aren't there 500 other words that he could of said? We still laugh about it. Some peoples children, I tell you what. I do lose a lot of hair in the shower... but I would never consider it molting.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

To A Better Place

"She once said to my dad on my sisters birthday when my mom went to the store, that 20 dollars is to much for someone she does not know that much and 10 dollars cant bye a lot.

A lady at church gave my grandma a paper and said here is the news letter and my grandma told my dad after she left “I don’t have a new sweater”. 

We were eating at the table and my dad asked my mom the check the rolls and my grandma said “no I am all right”. 

At church we know a guy that my grandma says she use to dance with him but it was his dad so she goes up to him and says “I once danced with you”.

“Dr. Phil is from Heber”

She says to my baby niece when she is crying “just give her that nipple” but she rely means give her that binki.

She asks my dad or mom every night “So what are we doing tomorrow”.

She asks my dad if he is going to Vernal about every day but if he is we cant tell her or she will want to go to work with my dad but he has tried that once or twice and I don’t think he will do it again any time soon. 

When ever someone says Florida she says “I once lived in Florida”.

We have a big window in front of our house and she counts the cars that go by and she says “there have been at least 75 cars I wonder what is going on down the road”.

We got her a drink a McDonalds and she complains that there is too much ice so she says “I think that is cheap of them” and then she shows my sister and says “that is dumb”.

She told me “shut you mouth”.

She asks me every morning “so who is taking you to school”.

We went on a trip to west yellow stone and on the way she kept saying “look at that cute little tree we could dig it up couldn’t we and put it in our back yard”.

She also says “look at those rocks they would look nice in your yard”.

When we pass a tanker she says “look at that bus it must be coming from Vernal”.

She says that when we drive two blocks away from her house and she says “did you see that car in front of my house” we tell her you cant see your house from this road and she says “well their was to a car”.

She says that when my niece comes up and she has held her all day and you finally get her she says “can I hold her” we tell we haven’t held her yet and she says well you just don’t want me to maybe I should just go home”.

She always says “I don’t want to impose on you”.

When we asks hey how old is my niece she says “Oh….2 to 3 weeks” “when she is 7 months”.

My grandma thinks that ups really means “up’s store”.

My grandma says “Heber is a safe place because there is only three ways out of town” but there is really a lot.

When my grandma sees or hears byu she says “you know what that means bring them young and unite them” we tell her what it really means and she says it again.

I was on the highway getting up to speed witch is 60 and I am going about 30 and she tells me “that is fast enough”.

My grandma tells every one that her kids don’t want her to live home alone but she really does not want to.

Tennie was with Wells in the truck and she saw a license plate from Wyoming with a cowboy logo and she said that car must be from Kamas because it has a cowboy on the license plate.

Grandma was talking to Judy on the phone and said to Judy that she went to see her the other day. Grandma said that she drove in her driveway but there were no cars there. Judy asked her when did she come and she said I don’t know about 3 or 4 days ago. Hummm Mom or Dad can’t remember ever taking Grandma to see Judy. Maybe she took one of the cars without us knowing.

She always says I don’t want to impose but once she said I don’t want to in-poop on you I mean impose.

I was sneaking up on her not in a quiet manner and she says you better be careful I might pull that big thing that hangs in front of you.

She told me to go jump in a lake when I would not let her put her hands in the ice."   Case Barker

For the past nine years my parents have taken care of my grandma. She passed away last night with my family by her side. Growing up we visited her at least once a week. Grandma always had soda in her fridge, she made the best pies, when I was sick she would pick me up from school, she took us to plays, she let us have cousin parties, My family and I love you Grandma. I know you know we love you because we took care of you in your worst moments. We know you are happy and with Grandpa. Make sure you keep telling heaven all your sassy stories. Until we meet again. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


We get free eggs... which is a good thing saying they are $6.99 a dozen. We also have goats and a sheep as neighbors. Shawn is in heaven and always trying to feed them our food. I am starting to worry that he loves them more than me.

East Cape

The week before Christmas Shawn had a week off of school and so we decided to head off on a road trip. We went on a tiki tour of the East Cape. It was relaxing and nice to spend time together with no school involved. We left on Monday and returned on Friday before the rush of New Zealand travelers hit the road. 
It was beautiful. 

I don't get ready anymore. It is usually too hot and humid to worry about it. Judge me!

Most of the drive was on the coast.

Our tent site

We camped the first two nights and stayed in Hotels the last two nights.  Each night of camping we were right on the beach and heard the waves all night long. The East Cape is the most eastern part of the country and said to see the sun first. The sun rose at 5:30, Shawn got up to see it and asked if I wanted to come. I just said no and turned over. I guess that there is something cool about seeing the sun first?

I can't remember the name of this town but it was lovely. I love this home. Red brick.

Long Wharf

On the road. Look, we have our safety belts on!

Isn't he handsome?

This country grows trees super de duper fast. Because of this there is lots of logging. I mean TONS!

Smiling because we are on our way to eat yummy food and then treat ourselves to some ice cream

More logging

This statue is HILARIOUS! It is supposed to be the first English man to discover New Zealand, however, it has been noted that the clothing was not to date with what he would have been wearing. On the plaque it asks "Who is this man? No one really knows." 

We stopped at a lake and fed the swans.

This swan bit Shawn's hand!

I was scared and got back in the car.
 The tour was full of national radio, ice cream and gelato, beach walks, yummy food, orchards, site seeing, driving, marveling at the world around us, interesting people and olive oil. Does it get better than that? I think not.