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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

When you give a mouse a cookie...he's going to want a glass of milk to go with it.  WELL, when you move into a house....you're going to want a dog to go with it. Especially when you have been wanting one anyway (every time we pass a dog, I notice), your close neighbors and friends have one, and your other close neighbors and friends recently picked up a puppy.  Everybody's doing it!

At first I was very set on the fact that I would not get a dog until after we had kids. Well, it didn't take long for Dave to talk me into getting one sooner, compromising to wait until Summer 2013 when we are done with school and can go on a long luxurious vacation without having to find someone to take care of it.  After holding back for as long as I did, it actually started to seem like a pretty good idea.  Plus I would have a future jogging buddy for those mornings when Dave just won't get out of bed.

Being the planner that I am, and having a killer day of boredom at the shack, I started looking for breeders online since sometimes you have to reserve a puppy pretty far in advance.  (I think you can guess where this is going.)  We were set on a golden retriever.  My dog growing up was a golden retriever named Riley and I LOVED him.  Dave's uncle has always had golden retrievers, so he really likes the breed too.  AND we had to get a big dog.   That was my other "rule".  A golden wasn't hard to agree on at all.  So...while searching I found a few possibilities for breeders to come back to in the future, but the puppies were a bit more expensive than we were expecting.  So I decided to kill my curiosity and look at the KSL classifieds to check out price ranges.  While on there found the PERFECT litter of puppies!  They were just the color we wanted (dark), very close by (Provo), and the puppies were adorable!  The catch:  They were available for pickup at the end of June 2012, instead of June 2013 :).  I'd really done it now.

We called the number and planned on going to see the puppies to make sure we really wanted one right now.  Well duh!  If you go look at them, you're going to get one.  So let me rephrase that:  We planned on going to see the puppies to pick one out.  There were 11 in the litter, and we fell in love with the "green" puppy right away.  This cute little guy:

 The day we picked him out.  3 weeks old.  
(He won us over by licking my face and falling asleep on Dave's lap.)

We had to wait 6 long weeks (until he was 9 weeks old) and finally picked him up on our way home from Lake Powell at the end of June.  We named him Oakley (after my favorite place on earth!)  

*Fun & irrelevant fact:  He was born a day before our second anniversary.
We picked a good one!  He's such an awesome puppy, is fun to play with, has a mellow personality, and learns fast...Although sometimes I feel like we have a child.  (Especially for the first couple of weeks when we had to take him out multiple times during the night.) He's been a blast, and I'm glad I decided to cave!  We own a puppy!!!




Friday, March 2, 2012

Jazz Game

On Wednesday evening my parents, Jamie, and Emma were supposed to go to the Jazz game.  My dad was already in Salt Lake for work, but my mom and the girls couldn't make it down the canyon with the big snow storm.  Kind of a bummer. 
Dave and I ended up using the tickets and going with my dad.  It was so fun!  I haven't been to a Jazz game for a couple of years.  Dave had class late and so he met us at halftime.  We had the classic basketball game snacks:  Bratwurst, hot dogs, frozen yogurt, soda, and kettle corn.  And...we weren't even in the nose bleeds!  Row 8 baby!  

Shooting a three pointer!


My dad got the tickets from a doctor that he works with who has season tickets.  It was a lot more entertaining to watch since we could actually see what was going on (the facial expressions, the fouls, the coaches getting riled up at the refs, etc.)  The game was awesome and it was pretty neck and neck until the third quarter when the Jazz pulled ahead, and of course ended up beating the Rockets.  


Highlight of the night:  One of the Jazz players dunked it.  Everyone stood up to clap.  I had the bag of kettle corn on my lap so I stayed in my seat.  I looked up and saw pieces of kettle corn falling one by one onto the shoulder of the guy in front of us.  When my dad stood up to clap, he had a handful of kettle corn still, and it wasn't staying in his hands very well.  My dad saw me laughing and realized what had happened.  We were all DYING!  Ok, so then guess what he did?  After it rolled down off of his shoulder he picked one up and ate it!  He never did turn around.  It gave us a good laugh.

Fun night out with my dad and Dave.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When Life Gives Dave Lemons....He'll Sell Them

Ok so when I get on a cleaning spree and start going through my things, I inevitably find things I don't need.  Of course my first thought is to DI them!  My mom ALWAYS takes things to the DI, and I thought that's what everyone did. Well, when Dave and I were first married, I discovered this was not his typical method of disposal.  Dave's way:  KSL Classifieds.  I thought he was crazy for even ATTEMPTING to sell some of the things he did.  Backpacks, old flippers, an old bike rack, and a Turbo Flavor Wave?  Really?  All kinds of things.  I had bets against his plan of action and was getting ready to load up the car and take a trip to the famous DI.  Boy did he prove me wrong. Ben always jokes that, "When life gives Dave lemons, he'll sell them."  [Hence the post title.]  True story.  He even had a few "yard sales"(we didn't have a whole lo to sell) during the 5 months that we lived in the Provo triplex.  He's got some mad skill.  Since then I have been all for him trying to get money out of old or unneeded items.

This past weekend, Dave was on a roll.  On Friday afternoon, he listed.... [on ksl]
  • Two dining room tables with chairs
  • Three 2-for-1 ski passes to Snowbird (since the season for snow hasn't been so hot and we haven't been as much as we'd like)
  • An entertainment center hutch that doesn't fit well in our new house
  • Andee's printer
  • Ben's Toyota Tundra (since he and Lindsey moved to Hawaii for school)
When Saturday morning hit he was getting texts, calls, and e-mails like crazy from people wanting to buy everything.  He was gone for part of the day and I'd get multiple calls that someone was coming to look at or buy this or that.  We had people showing up the whole day--just call our house KSL Classifieds Central! Dave was on fire!  

He sold all but the truck, but there were several callers that were interested.  One even took it for a test drive.  The hutch is being bought through paypal because the guy lives out of state, so we're still waiting for that to go through.

**(Side note:  He has learned through his many sales and my constant nagging that he doesn't need to be the delivery service too, and now makes the buyers come to us. OR charges an extra fee.  Big milestone!)

We were able to use the money made to buy a tv for upstairs and a dresser for our bedroom, with some cash left over.  So pumped!  
This is not to say we don't still DI things, because we do. In fact, we just took a load last week.  But at our stage of life, if we can get a bit of cash out of it, we'll go for it.

Weekend Getaway

Two weekends ago, Dave was out of town in North Carolina for an international ACN event, so I went to spend the weekend with my family up in Oakley.  I miss living up there SO much and love to spend time there whenever I can! [I did miss Dave and wish he would have been able to come up with me.]
On Friday afternoon my mom was down running errands in Salt Lake, so I caught a ride up with her.  We hit Costco, Pottery Barn, and Target [on a hunt to find a lid to her flour container because she set it by the stove and it melted :). After visiting 3 different Target store locations hunting it down, we discovered it was a recall item and had no luck. Sad day...And speaking of sad day, my mom and dad won a trip to the Caribbean through a company my dad and his partners distribute for and were supposed to be leaving in a week and a half when they got a call from the company telling them it was "postponed" due to meetings. The butt heads.  Who knows if it will even happen now.] ...Then on the way back we hit the outlets in Park City to make some returns.
Saturday morning we worked out, and in the afternoon Emma had a basketball tournament in Salt Lake.  It was a pretty intense tournament and the poor girls weren't used to having such good competition since they came fresh out of South Summit's junior jazz program where they always kick butt.  It was fun to watch her and her team play and improve, and it brought back so many memories from when I played in junior jazz and other basketball leagues before I got into high school.  Good times.
After the game, we went to Tai Pan (LOVE that store) and to dinner at Five Guys (LOVE that place.)  So delicious.  And, I made a new discovery.  Or more, I was observant.  I had no idea that my family puts vinegar on their Five Guys fries every time they go until that night.  Hello?!  Where have I been?  It's amazing!!! (But probably only if you like vinegar. Which I do!)

Instructions:  Drizzle or smother fries with vinegar, dip in ketchup, eat, and enjoy!
Warning:  It's addicting and you'll probably polish off every crumb.  



Sunday night, Andee came up and we had a delicious steak dinner with potatoes, salad, and asparagus.    We couldn't decide what to have for dessert, so we made two :).  Cherry cheese pie and Reeses peanut butter bite cups were the death of me that night.  (Not to mention all of the Valentine's day treats, namely heart shaped sugar cookies, I had been eating all weekend.)  So worth it though!  Oh, then to top it all off, we had popcorn (more food) and watched a movie.  

Dave got back Sunday night, and Monday was President's Day so we had school off.  Emma had two more games for her tournament that night, so I rode down with the fam to meet up with Dave.  During Emma's first game, Dave and I picked up our last two blinds we had to special order from Home Depot and crammed in a few other errands.  We made it just in time to watch Emma's second game.  So fun!  But I do have to say, quite intense.  Some people get SO into it, and I was finding that that made me get more into it.  Afterward, since we were in the area, we went to Ikea for dinner with everyone and then Dave and I ran through the store (in ten minutes mind you...since that's how long we had before they closed) and scoped out furniture.  Literally ran.  




Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Day

I love holidays.  I don't care which one it is, they're always so fun and festive. Growing up, Valentine's Day was all about the homemade valentine boxes, exchanging valentines with classmates and friends, and school parties with games and candy (or dances as I hit middle/high school). At home, I especially looked forward to Valentine's Day.  A Neff tradition consists of heart shaped sugar cookies and everyone making their own heart shaped pizza.  My mom and dad would always surprise us with flowers, valentine balloons, treats, or something of the sort.  Absolutely loved it!

Now, although the Neff tradition carries on, I have a cute husband to celebrate with.  I'm so lucky to be married to him, and so grateful every day for all that he does for me and for the fun relationship that we have.

For Valentine's Day this year, we went to Normandie Cafe (a cute little bakery cafe in Holladay).


It was the perfect atmosphere for us... Not too fancy, but still very nice, and a fun place to be.  By the time we got there, we were both starving and couldn't have been more happy to be there.  We ordered the mushroom chicken dish with potatoes and asparagus (I don't remember the actual name of it) and split a caesar salad and butternut squash soup. It was all sooo delicious!  I highly recommend it.  The butternut squash soup...I've never had better.  I usually have a hard time eating a lot of that kind of soup because it's so sweet, but this one wasn't overly sweet.  SO GOOD!  ...the entree had such a delicious flavor and was amazing!  Of course you can't go without dessert on Valentine's Day, so we devoured a rich, chocolaty, and delicious molten chocolate cake. Mmm Mmm Good.

After we finished dinner, Dave surprised me and drove us up Cottonwood Canyon to some property his uncle owns and enjoyed star gazing and the beautiful view of the city in the bed of the truck. We didn't stay there as long as we were planning on because it was so cold and we didn't have enough blankets!  But it was still so fun--I hadn't star gazed in a long time.

When we got back home, he surprised me with chocolate and roses (who doesn't like that for Valentine's Day?), and we enjoyed a lovely night in our new house watching a movie.  :)  It was so nice not to have anything to do or anywhere we had to be.  Just a relaxing night spending time together and enjoying the evening.  <3

Thursday, February 16, 2012

WE BOUGHT A ZOO!!

We bought a zoo!  What?!  Yes sirry Bob, we're homeowners....and SOOO stinkin' excited about it!

The original plan was to move out of our apartment at the beginning of November, house sit for Dave's parents for the month of November while they were on a cruise in Europe, and then move into our new apartment that we had all lined up for the beginning of December.

...And here we are.  Obviously that didn't happen.  At the end of November, a week before Dave's parents got back (and a week before we were to move into our apartment) we decided that buying a house wouldn't be such a bad idea, since we wouldn't be paying much more for a mortgage than we'd be paying for rent.  So after some thought and inspiration, we made an executive decision and pulled out of the apartment.  Dave's parents were so great to let us stay with them until we found a house, and the hunt was on!!

And it WAS a hunt... let me tell ya, we saw some BOMBERS!  We looked in Sugarhouse, Murray, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, Draper, and even ventured over to the Suncrest area up past Draper.  We saw foreclosures, short sales, and regular sales, and had the pleasure of seeing a whole array of beauties!  We came across everything from disgusting, germified, Egyptian architecture, strange, small, dump, nice in not so good areas, retro, ugly, too big, extremely outdated, too expensive, a mouse running across the living room, too expensive to fix up, and our FAVORITE:  Russian occupied Finland :)  such a pleasure... (it included bars on the windows, a bomb shelter, an ancient oven, a freezer buried in the backyard, sheet metal fencing with barbed wire on top, and a classy extra bedroom in the attic! etc. etc. etc.  You get the idea.)  By the time everything was all said and done, we had looked at a total of about 60 houses.  Our real estate agent (Dallas Eichers) was  Dave's cousin and we had a good time working with him and his business partner Craig.  One word:  ENTERTAINMENT. They are fantastic and worked hard to make everything happen for us.  

We first saw our house before it was even put on the market.  We looked at a house in the same area and really liked where it was. So, when Dallas was driving through a neighborhood nearby, he saw a house that looked like it was being flipped (a group of investors bought it and were fixing it up to sell) so he looked into it.  He wouldn't let us look at it until he found a ballpark price for it because he said it was really nice and wanted to make sure it was in our price range.

When we saw it the first time it was near the end of being fixed up, and we really liked it.  But we didn't go for it right away.  I don't think we had a big enough idea of how nice it really was at the time because we hadn't looked at very many houses yet.  So the hunt went on, and about a month later (January 9), we were driving over to throw an offer at a house in Suncrest, when we changed our minds last minute and all of a sudden remembered and fell in love with that house.  So, we put an offer on that one (we called it "Tim") instead.  By that time it had been on the market 2-3 days.


Our offer didn't do it for them right then, but after they sat on it for a bit longer, some back and forth counteroffers, lots of patience, researching some potential problems, me driving by it 12x a day and looking at the pictures from the online listing 50x a day, hyperventilating, inspections, radon testing, unexpected curveballs, digging up part of the backyard, and signing our lives away, the deal finally closed and the house was officially turned over to us on February 9, 2012! (Exactly a month after we put our first offer in.)

It's incredible how well everything has fallen into place, and it's amazing how everything is continuing to come together.  The house was in pretty bad shape before it was fixed up so we had to make sure all of the problems were taken care of.  Which we did.  And just to double triple check, the night before closing, my cousin Scott was awesome to come and look at the roof and a few other things that he has experience in and found a cracked truss.  So the sellers paid to get it fixed, whereas if we had discovered it later on, we would have had to worry about the cost.  The only appliances we were going to have to buy were the washer and dryer.  But a day before closing, Dallas told us a client of his that sold her house and was moving out told him we could have hers if we came and moved them out.  So we got them for free!  Our parents have given us a ton of their old furniture including love sacs, tables, shoe shelves, a sofa chair, a desk, rugs, and even a shop vac.  We needed blinds for the whole house and my parents were willing to pitch in and give us early birthday presents to help cover the cost. But wait, there's more.  When Dave went to get the locks changed, it took a while, so they gave them all to him for free!

We didn't waste a second and moved in last weekend (February 10).  My parents, Emma, and Mike and Mandy were awesome to come help us get moved in.  My dad came and helped unload our things and move furniture in, my mom helped measure for and pick out blinds...it turned out to be a bigger and more time consuming task than expected so I'm glad she was there.  Dave, my dad, Mike, and Dallas went to get the washer and dryer from the lady's house and moved them in.  We took a few trips to Home Depot that night.  Mandy gave me motivation later that night to keep on going, and was a huge help in unpacking all of the kitchen boxes.

I couldn't sleep in the house until we had blinds, so Dave installed the blinds the next day while I set up the kitchen, unpacked boxes, and organized closets.  Dave got everything we crammed in the garage cleared out so that we could pull a car into the garage.  He is so excited to have a garage to be in charge of :) ...since "he doesn't have any say in the house." But unfortunately his truck won't fit in so Karen has been enjoying the luxury.

We have absolutely LOVED it!  We've already met a lot of the neighbors, and they're awesome!  They've been so helpful and welcoming.  We are excited to get to know them.  It's still a little weird to us that we actually own a house, and we're still getting used to calling it "our house."  Definitely been a good weird though!

One of my favorite things about the house is that we don't have to do anything at all to it.   The only thing that needs work is the yard--a project that we are excited to take on, and one that can be done here and there.  In the 21 months that we've been married, this is the sixth place that we have lived, so we are excited to be "stuck" and not have to move again for a very very very LOOONG time.  We've had enough of that to last a lifetime :).  Since it's a complete remodel, I'm also very excited that it doesn't have anybody else's germs in it that we have to worry about.  We have our very own place to call home and can do whatever we want with it!

The house and location totally fit us, and it's definitely the perfect house for us right now.  I know we'll be happy there for a long time.  If someone would have told me when we first started looking that that's the house we'd own, I would have sent them to the loony bin. :) I didn't think we would find one that had everything we wanted in it.  I can see us now... sitting on our cozy porch in our cute whicker chairs (that we have yet to get) in the cool summertime evening breeze drinking fresh squeezed lemonade.  Perfection. <3

Needless to say, if you haven't noticed already, we are thrilled to be here!  We are so incredibly blessed and know that we are being watched out for.  There are so many people to thank for making this happen, and we are so grateful for everyone one of them.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mammoth Ice & Mammoth Copters

As many of you know, toward the end of the summer last year Dave and I bought an ice shack.  After a week at Lake Powell, and an inside joke, we decided to call it:
"Mammoth Ice.
We were able to get into a couple of events last year.  The Tour of Utah in front of the capital building was a huge success and spending a week at the Davis County Fair in a friend's shaved ice truck was fantastic for some extra experience.
We are working on getting a permanent location for Mammoth Ice at Dave's dad's carwash in Midvale right now (8159 South State Street) and so far so good.  It looks like we should be up and running in May 2012!  It's a fun looking thing (reminds me of Dr. Seuss) and we're hoping to create a fun atmosphere with delicious shaved ice!  We can't wait to get it going!

Mammoth Ice @ The Tour of Utah 2011

 The Capitol Building


In the mean time, we have expanded our business to "Mammoth Products" and are selling mini remote control helicopters!  (Which we have decided will also be sold at the shack when it opens.)  I don't know if we'll ever grow out of our kid mode :)  But we love it!  Snow cones and toy helicopters...doesn't get any better than that.
We've had a lot of fun flying them.  I'm not so good at it...and needless to say, they've definitely passed their test of durability.  These are the two kinds we're selling:


With the help of Dave's friend, Scott, he just finished making a video for the website: 
video

Come visit us at Mammoth Ice this summer...because we will be there!! :) Here's our website if you want to stay updated on what's happening with Mammoth Ice and the mini rc helicopters: www.mammothiceshack.com

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weekend Bon Fire & Skiing

Last weekend Dave and I mixed it up a little bit.  On Friday night, we went to the West Desert near Knolls, Utah (a place that I didn't even know existed) with some friends for a humungous, crazy, "not just any" bonfire.  There were at least 500 people there.  I knew it would be big, but I had no idea it would be that big!  [They burned 250 pallets + a couple hundred Christmas trees + a table.]



Molten...
For reference on size, that is a wood pallet in the center of the fire on the ground.

Saturday morning, we went skiing at Snowbird.  With the winter being so weird and our lack of snow, it was only Dave's second time up (which is UNHEARD OF.)  He usually hits the slopes as soon as he can and makes frequent visits throughout the season.  It was my first time up this season.  We had a blast!  It was kind of nice for it to be just the two of us.  It was a beautiful and relaxing day for a ski outing.  


My Handsome Husband