Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Memories of Sunshine

Now that Summer is over in the Northwest here are some memories from our sunnytime/summertime. I realized how it's kind of lame much I talk about the weather with family and friends, but it's just so opposite from what I've experienced before that it's still interesting to me... I think it also means I'm a boring adult. Whatever.

I know we're cool because we took an archery class through Redmond Parks & Rec. Maybe this just increases our dork factor, since we did make many references to LOTR and perfecting our Legolas form (you know where he shoots an arrow and then loads another one in one gracious motion? Never quite got that down).

This is my artsy shot. Those fluffy looking arrows are called "floo floos". They are for shooting "pizza boxes". All of these terms are extremely official.
Pizza boxes. This was the part where we got to shoot up in the air at a moving target. This one always impressed the people driving by. In fact, we had multiple cars stop and watch our amazing-ness.
I didn't just pose with that bow, I also used it to massacre unassuming balloons. Don't be led astray by my demure smile.
Look at that form! Henry is one hot archer.

We also had another visit from family, this time from Henry's sister and her family. We had lots of fun visiting with these adorable girls:
And of course enjoying the beauty of Seattle. Clare's husband Dan did his residency here, so he knows the in's and out's of the city (but especially the hospital cafeterias).
Hidden underneath the cutie in pink is another baby due to come out very soon!

We also spent a weekend in Vancouver BC. It's great to be able to go to an exotic country like Canada with less than a 3-hour drive! In Canada, we had many strange new experiences including eating poutine (think french fries on steroids, if steroids were cheese curds and gravy), using coins instead of $1 bills, streets with no left-turn lanes, and... that's about it. But we did have a good time.

We went to the Richmond Night Market and enjoyed the culinary delights of Asia, as well as all of the cheap Chinese goods you can fathom. Don't mind the weird picture, something happened with the flash and Henry's hand.
Our marriage once again survived the test of riding a tandem bike. We did this once before in Provo and I almost killed us by trying to take one-armed pictures while we were riding. It wasn't pretty. This time I think we did much better. We successfully road our bike around Stanley Park without crashing or fighting for control.

At the Puyallup (pronounced Pee-oo-awl-up) Fair we found SpiderPig (think the Simpson's movie)...
...and a bunny with a good Dungeons and Dragons name (not that we do dorky things like play D&D...)

Oh yeah. And last but not least, I turned into an underwater explorer AND an octopus.

PS These photos are for my niece, Lucy who saw this photo (4th one down) and promptly began to exclaim with awe "Aunt Tori went to SPACE?!?!?!". Hopefully she'll think I am the coolest aunt now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Over the past few months we had visits from both of our parents! Looks like they didn't forget about us all the way up here in Washington. They did happen to remember our existence when our weather is nice and theirs is nasty... how convenient :)

My parents came over Memorial Day weekend. Their favorite part of the trip was seeing all of the beautiful scenery and seeing how ridiculously priced houses are in our area (Seattle was all like, "housing crisis? whatever!").

We went and visited Forks (the home of Twilight) and my mom was oh so excited! The city of Forks welcomed us - all of the residents were anticipating our arrival and setting up souvenir shops so we would spend our money. Luckily for them, my mom had promised a number of female co-workers some Twilight gear. I also had a very tasty philly cheese steak sandwich. Thank you City of Forks.

Henry was pretty ecstatic about this whole Forks thing, obviously.

The obligatory Twilight paraphernalia was everywhere. I don't think Forks had much going for it before Stephanie Meyer. She should have an elementary school named after her or something.

My best Bella impression. All you have to do is look disinterested and then speak in short, forced, awkward sentences.

We also went and explored some of the scenery around the Olympic peninsula. My dad got some really good action shots of Henry pushing me off of this log right after he took this one.
We were lucky enough to have some beautiful sunny days and my parents came away disappointed that they didn't get rained on (silly Arizonians).
Here I am telling my mom, "Those are buildings, that tall one is actually a space ship."

Henry's parents came in for the 4th of July weekend, and it turns out I didn't take many pictures while they were here! Their favorite part of the trip was taking a bus into Seattle (Senior disounts!) and eating fresh salmon and Dungeness crab.

We went on hikes, explored the city, and had a great time! It's nice to not have to cram everything in because we know they'll be back again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Hello everyone! Here are some things we've been up to lately. We haven't done too many "summer" things yet because the weather has been too cold! But we will hopefully be doing more and not blogging about it... like usual. I mean, we will faithfully report on our lives every week and bore you to death with posts about meetings, work drama, primary children, and our latest TV show on Netflix! How exciting!

Last weekend I got it in my head that I wanted to get some worms and start a worm bin as a way to compost our organic waste. I was pretty excited (and still am) and I think of it as a kind of science project. Here is the worm bin and the worms that arrived in the mail on Thursday:
(Don't mind my awkwardly held hands... they were dirty from wetting newspaper so of course I had to hold them like that.)
They are now busy eating away at our trash (including compostable Microsoft cups!) and making us some good soil. I just hope they live.... Henry thinks we don't eat enough vegetables to keep them alive :(

We also had a Reese's taste test with some friends of ours, Elena and Aaron. They bought a bunch of different Reese's products and we rated them based on texture, chocolate quality, PB quality, chocolate/PB ratio, and then gave each an overall rating. The results: everything pretty much sucks except the original Reese's and the minis. Reese's should stop branching out and trying to make versions of everything else! Just stick to what you're good at, sillies.
Prodigious amounts of milk were also consumed.
Here is Aaron dutifully entering in our ratings (on a scale of 1 to 10) into a spreadsheet to tabulate the results. Yeah, we're cool like that.

Another fun thing we did was shoot some guns! This was my first time shooting a gun and it was kinda fun, but we won't be purchasing our own any time soon.
Here's Henry shooting some gun.
Sandra and I both thought is was very loud! Even with earplugs. This is also me rocking the double-glasses look. I like to call it "six-eyes".

Here is me shooting some gun. I hit the target and that's what matters.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gator hunting

While in Florida we really wanted to see some gators, so we headed out to the nearby wetlands (sanitation water re-usage zone) to get up close and personal with the Florida native. We saw a total of 16 gators (tallied by a professional gator-hunter, our 10-year-old nephew) and even spooked a huge one which made a scary splash back underwater.

It was love-bug mating season... so this was the state of the minivan after our 20-min. drive. Lovely.

Just a little warning not to go traipsing around shallow waters. This is the real thing baby! No fences for us! And we did not harass the alligators, unless you count staring and yelling, "gator! gator!"

It was a beautiful, bright, sunny Florida day. Here are our 3 Tappen nephews.
And our beautiful Tappen niece. She's the princess of the family, as evidenced by her elevated position.

And last but not least, the footage! They didn't move around too much because of the heat, so this was the only one I caught on tape.

Later in the week, we had the opportunity to EAT some gator in the form of a gatorburger. And not to be trite, but it really does taste like chicken.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Henry Potter's wand

Just back from our trip to Florida. Here's a little peak at what we did:

Ollivander himself chose Henry to receive a wand (for only $29.95!) and Henry hammed it up for the crowd.

More pics to come!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Peep sushi

Peep sushi is all the rage in the hipster Seattle sushi bars (made with free-range, organic peeps obviously). It comes in three delicious flavors: yellow rabbit, pink chick, or purple chick.

Well... that may kind of be a lie. But if it becomes a truth then we get all the bragging rights!

Rice krispie treats=rice (duh)
Fruit-by-the-Foot=nori (seaweed)

Steps to make the goodness:
1. Take a peep (bird or rabbit variety) in your left hand
2. Mold some fresh-made rice krispie treats around it
3. Wrap the whole thing together with some Fruit-by-the-Foot
4. Give it away to someone because you probably shouldn't be eating that much sugar

Unfortunately they don't make Fruit-by-the-Foot in green flavors, and I was too cheap to only use the green portions of the rainbow ones, so the nori is mostly red... maybe from a red-tide or something? Use your imagination.

Monday, March 21, 2011


We're just starting to feel the first hints of Spring up here. Last Saturday was very nice and sunny and spring-like so we went out for a walk! We live really close to Redmond's large Marymoor Park and so we took advantage of it. Apparently so did everyone else because there were so many people outside! And maybe as many dogs as people. People around here love their dogs.This is me with my dog, I mean, my Henry. Yes, we have matching hats. They were free from Microsoft (just like many things we own). And yes, it was cold enough to need hats. But matching hats keep you warmer than non-matching ones, so we were in luck.

Here is the beautiful Lake Sammamish!

So it kind of rained a lot the past few weeks, which overwhelmed the walkway system around the marshes (or something) surrounding Lake Sammamish. We used the well-known technique called "Wimpy Kids Who Don't Want To Get Their Shoes Wet Holding On For Dear Life To The Railing And Going Very Slowly" in order to get across. There happened to be THREE stretches of walkways with similar flooding so we got pretty good at it.

After all that hard work, the loop we were on was closed at the end! But don't worry, we were very industrious and just hopped over the "do not cross" fences to finish the few hundred feet of the loop rather than go back and use "WKWDWTGTSWHOFDLTTRAGVS". We are rebels!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


So here are some things we've been up to lately:
1. Museum of Flight. On our day off (Employee Appreciation Day aka President's Day) we went to this museum! Henry was giddy and excited like a school boy (see picture below):
He loved seeing this amazing replica of the moon something-or-other and reading about the crazy people who go to space! "SPACE! There's nothing in space! If something goes wrong then you DIE!" -quote from Henry.
I myself enjoyed pretending to be an astronaut, and pushing children out of the way to get this photo:
But actually, my favorite display in the whole museum was this section on fashion and flight attendants. It gave an interesting timeline of stewardesses through the last 70 years or so.
Did you know that the first flight attendant was a nurse who volunteered to go on a flight to make the passengers feel more at ease? Makes sense because flying is kinda crazy... but not quite as crazy as going into space. It was interesting reading about the qualifications for "stewardess school" in the 60s, which were to be gorgeous and skinny and genuinely nice and caring. No wonder they had a hard time keeping them working! That's exactly what a man wants in a wife (of course!), and most of the stewardesses got married to pilots or passengers within 2 years. Some of the ad campaigns of that time (and the entire job description of a stewardess) were so objectifying to women. Thanks goodness that we have more equality and understanding now. This exhibit did bring out the feminist in me... and it was more interesting than old planes (no offense Henry)....

2. SKATE KING (which deserves to be in all caps). Who knew that Bellevue was home to one of the greatest skate places, and tween hang-outs, of ALL TIME? Thanks to our friends, the Chins, we now know.
This is a picture of me looking cool and skating. I am going sooo fast that I am blurry. I am amazing at skating.
Highlights of skate king: entering a "no gum zone" and having to spit out my gum (first time since junior high), winning a free 12 oz. drink for being in the right corner when a giant dice was thrown, becoming BEST FRIENDS with DJ Apollo, requesting "I'm Blue, Da-ba-di-da-ba-die" and having it played (!!), coming up with a business plan to make a skating rink for adults (serve alcohol, charge ridiculous prices, have better skating games). So if you're ever in Bellevue and want to make some cool pre-teen friends.... Skate King is the place to go!

3. Hiking. This hasn't happened for us in a while because, let's face it, I'm a cold weather baby. Meaning I'm a baby when it comes to cold weather, not that I was born in cold weather. But today the sun came out!!!! What?!?! Who is this!??
But the magical spell cast by the sun wasn't strong enough to totally conquer Old Man Winter. There was snow still on the ground :(
We were a little nervous to go on this trail because of my weight problem.
Just look at our pre-hike enthusiasm (and Henry's pre-hike granola bar)! That's how to start a hike!

So here's little glimpse of our life based on the times when I've remembered to bring my camera to things. If you really like us... come visit us and then maybe you'll get a post about you!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

AZ Christmas Part 1: da kidz

Well one thing we loved about our time in AZ was getting to see our nieces and nephews a lot. They are some funny kids. I took three of my nieces out for a girls lunch and we had a blast! Here they are being silly:
We also went on a bike ride with my brother's family. I really suck at mountain biking, and I fell off at the bottom of a big ravine. But a week later all my bruises are almost healed! Hooray! Here is a good picture of Jensen. I usually can't catch his attention long enough to get a picture where he's looking at the camera, but this one just worked perfectly:
I'm not sure what my hand is doing there, but it almost looks like a thumbs up so I'll pretend I meant to do that. We went on a hike in the desert by my parent's house and got this really cute shot of Elijah. He's such a chunky and cuddly baby, and is just at the stage where he is so smily:
We also went to Phoenix to see some museums with family. Here is my niece being funny outside the museum. Lucy used to be such a terror (see video at end of post), but going to preschool has really made her much more personable. She no longer just glares at you when you address her, she gives a terse reply and may even make eye contact!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's to 2011!

Just returned from a trip from AZ that went by so quickly! I feel like we still needed more time to see friends and family. But we had a lot of fun in the time we were there. I am going to actually make separate blog posts about our trip instead of one huge one. And that way I it will look like our lives are more interesting because more posts = more life (obviously).

I guess i'll do a quick 2010 in review just for the heck of it. We started off the year with Henry getting an unexpected, but much appreciated, job offer from Microsoft. That sure did change our plans, not to mention the rest of our lives. Henry graduated from BYU and was later picked as valedictorian (since he actually graduated in August). After spending the first half of the year in Provo, we made the big leap to the Pacific NW! Now we are big kids living in a real apartment, working real jobs, and having a real good time (clever, I know). We really do love it here and we've had a lot of fun getting to know the area a little bit and making lots of new friends. I haven't been very diligent in documenting what we've done here, but we are totally awesome, I promise! We are looking forward to 2011 and what goodness awaits.

So Happy 2011 to all!

Do you say twenty eleven or two thousand eleven? I'm still unsure which is more comfortable.