shoe intervention

Brett and I have been trying to organize our little studio for a while now (we’ve lived in it almost 2 months already!), and sadly it has taken us longer than we expected to find a home for things. Shoes for example, have never really had a good home. In our last apartment, I kept my shoes under the bed on bin lids so I could slide them out and pick what shoes I wanted to wear. That may sound like a perfect solution, but it got annoying fast and I found myself keeping my favorite pairs of shoes out and tucked under the other side of the bed, easily accessible. This time, I wanted to be able to see what I had so I could wear all my shoes and not just some of them. Brett said to bring out all the shoes and lay them out so we knew what we had to work with. I don’t think either of us expected this:

shoes!

shoes!

I was laughing as I kept pulling out pairs of shoes and Brett kept saying “wait, there’s more??” I said “were you doing this like a shoe intervention? to see how many pairs of shoes I had so I would know not to buy more?” It was funny. Whatever it was, it worked. I did get rid of a few pairs of shoes!

Puerto Rico Day 5 (last day)

Sunday was our last day in Puerto Rico. My parents left super early in the morning, so it was just Seth, Mery, Brett and me. We had a wonderful day! We slept in, packed a little, drove to the apartment Seth & Mery were staying at and got ready for church. We went to Sacrament meeting in Puerto Rico and it was so fun. Brett especially loved it. He said he understood about 60% of the Spanish and he loved seeing a small branch because it reminded him of the branches in Italy. We had a great time!

Church building in Fajardo

Church building in Fajardo

From there, we grabbed some lunch and drove to Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo. It was so beautiful! We did some snorkeling, but didn’t see too much. I saw a crab and some jellyfish. One jellyfish actually stung Seth, but thankfully not too bad. Brett found this awesome shell, but we didn’t keep it because the sea snail was still living in there.

Sea snail

Sea snail

We spent most of the day just relaxing and enjoying the beach.

Brett & Sarah at Seven Seas Beach

Brett & Sarah at Seven Seas Beach

After the beach, we walked along the little shops close to Papa Bui’s house. There were a lot of street vendors out because it was the weekend. The scenery was beautiful.

beautiful scenery

beautiful scenery

We stopped to get some pina coladas and other delicious drinks before we went back to Papa Bui’s apartment and swam in the pool. The drinks were amazing!

Pina coladas and strawberry banana drinks

Pina coladas and strawberry banana drinks

We spent the evening talking and swimming with my uncle and his family. It was a perfect day. After the pool, we packed, stayed up late talking with Seth & Mery, took a 2 hour “nap” and left for the airport. Our wonderful Puerto Rican vacation was over, but it was totally worth it! It was so much fun.

Puerto Rico Day 4

Our fourth day in Puerto Rico was the day of my Grandpa’s 75th birthday party. The party started at 6pm so we had the whole morning to do whatever we wanted. Some of the girls hadn’t gotten their fill of the shopping done yet so Mery, Carmen and I went out. Poor Brett had to take us so we could leave the other car with the majority of the people, so he came shopping whether he wanted to or not. We had a great time and found some good deals! After our shopping, we went to the pool for a little bit before we started getting ready for the party. The men wore white long-sleeved guayabera shirts, which is a fancy Puerto Rican shirt, and the women dressed in 50′s attire. It was so fun to get ready for the party. Carmen made a flower headpiece that had a veil and she looked beautiful.

Pretty Carmen

Pretty Carmen

Brett & me at our table

Brett & I at our table

There was alcohol available for those who drank, but the ones who didn’t drink were crazier on the dance floor than those who did. Namely, my brothers. It was quite hilarious to see them dancing on the floor so crazy. One woman who was a professional dancer asked who those two young men were with all that rhythm! haha. Check this out:

That night was a late one for my family who had to pack up all their things because their flight left so early the next morning. Seth, Mery, Brett and I had one last day in the PR and it was a good one. Stay tuned for our last day.

Puerto Rico Day 3

Our third day in Puerto Rico was Friday, August 13th. We took family pictures in the morning on the beach before we went to Old San Juan and El Morro. This was one of my favorite days in Puerto Rico.

Family Picture

Family Picture

Brett climbed up a Palm tree and brought down a coconut he successfully opened. Brett, Mom and I drank the coconut milk, which was delicious, and shared the coconut meat too.

Brett and the Palm tree

Brett and the Palm tree

From there, we drove to Old San Juan and El Morro. A lot of the rules of driving that are enforced in the states are not enforced very much in Puerto Rico. For example, seat belts are optional, along with some stop signs and red lights (all depends on if someone is coming the other way). We saw so many people run red lights, cut in front of you, drive on the shoulders of the highways and avoid hitting you  by inches. Brett was an amazing driver. He quickly adapted to the Puerto Rican driving rules and felt like a race car driver. He weaved in and out of cars, kept up the pace, ran some stop signs and red lights and drove like a true Puerto Rican. I loved it!

El Morro was our first stop. El Morro is a 500 year old fort that was built when the Spanish ruled Puerto Rico. It went through a lot of battles with a lot of different countries until the USA conquered it. Now, it is an awesome historical exhibit and probably one of the oldest “American” ruins. I loved walking around, learning about the history and taking in the beautiful scenery.

El Morro

El Morro

El Morro from the back

El Morro from the back

From El Morro, we walked to Old San Juan, which is one of my favorite parts of Puerto Rico. I love the colors of the buildings, the blue brick roads, all the little shops you can go into and the street vendors. It is really quite charming and I wish we could have stayed longer than we did. We really enjoyed our time there.

cute houses

cute houses

another cute street. The governor of Puerto Rico lives in the blue house at the very end of the road

another cute street. The governor of Puerto Rico lives in the blue house at the very end of the road

Old San Juan was the end of our third day in Puerto Rico. The fourth day will be up soon!

Puerto Rico Day 2

On our second day in Puerto Rico, we went to El Yunque! Mom, Dad, Seth, Mery, Carmen, Brett and I all loaded up in Papa Bui’s van and drove up to the Rainforest.  We stopped at Walmart on the way and Brett and I had fun buying Puerto Rican cookies, snacks and treats. As we were walking up and down the aisles, I saw this and had to take a picture:

Welchito!

Welchito!

Welchito means little Welch’s. So cute! I loved it! After that, we finished driving to El Yunque. When we got there, the road was closed! I was so bummed! We talked to the guy directing traffic to go back and he said to follow the white Mustang who was going an alternate route. We joined the caravan of cars and followed the white Mustang. We were on these winding, super narrow back roads that were really quite frightening. I had to close my eyes sometimes because I thought we were going to hit the cars going the other way. Finally, after thinking we were lost, we saw a sign for El Yunque! We were there! We found a parking spot and went to the first waterfall. Usually, it trickles down, but because of all the rain it was a lot bigger than I had ever seen before. Brett and I forgot our camera at Papa Bui’s house that day, so we relied on the everyone else’s cameras and Brett’s phone. Here is the first waterfall:

Brett and the first waterfall in El Yunque

Brett and the first waterfall in El Yunque

From there, we drove to another spot in the Rainforest and hiked down to another, bigger waterfall. The hike down wasn’t very far, just under a mile, but it was absolutely gorgeous. Everywhere I looked, it was beautiful.

El Yunque

El Yunque

pretty flower

pretty flower

All along the hike down, we are walking next to a river that turns in to the big waterfall. Of course, as soon as we got there, Mery, Seth, Carmen, Brett and I got in. The water was really cold at first, but then it felt great!

beautiful waterfall

beautiful waterfall

If you look closely, you can see people standing behind the waterfall. It was beautiful and we had a great time in the Rainforest. When we were done, we hiked back up and then drove to a restaurant close to Papa Bui’s house and apartment. David, Donny and Cassi met us there. It was a wonderful second day in Puerto Rico. Day 3 will be up soon. :)

Puerto Rico Vacation! Day 1

Brett and I had a wonderful time last week in beautiful Puerto Rico. We flew out of the San Jose airport and arrived in San Juan late Tuesday night, August 10th. Our incredibly nice friend, Morgan drove us all the way to the San Jose airport early in the morning so we could catch our flight (Thank you, Morgan!) We were so excited to be in Puerto Rico that we couldn’t sleep that night. We got up super early to catch a ferry to Culebra, a neighboring island, to go snorkeling but the ferry was canceled. We drove to Cabo Rojo instead and enjoyed that beautiful beach.

Beach at Cabo Rojo

Beach at Cabo Rojo

From there, we drove to Arecibo where we went to another beautiful, but different beach. This beach has a cove surrounded by rocks. When the waves come crashing into the rocks, it shoots up 30 feet in the air and then settles calmly into the perfect swimming cove. When we went, the water was pretty mellow on that side so the waves didn’t shoot up really high. It was still beautiful though. We saw Dory fish when we snorkeled and I loved that.

Beach at Arecibo

Beach at Arecibo

After that, we drove to my Grandpa’s house where we ate pizza and then went to an extra apartment and house that he owns in Naguabo to sleep.

The next day (Thursday, Aug 12th) we went to El Yunque, the Rainforest! That post will be up soon.

…and we’re back Part 4

The big move wrapped up June for us and before we knew it, Fourth of July Weekend was right around the corner. It was our first weekend in our new apartment and we had a lot of fun. On Friday night, we rode BART into the city (since it is across the street from us!) and we walked around and had a dessert before we came home. On Saturday, we hiked Mount Diablo and had so much fun hiking up and running down the mountain. Not the entire thing, we are not that ambitious, we just hiked the top 3 miles to the nice view and back. Sunday, we went to our new ward and met some very nice people. It is always hard to make a change, but we decided to jump in with both feet and a positive attitude. Our ward has been very nice and welcoming so far and it was fun to meet people that Fourth of July Sunday. One couple actually invited us to the park to listen to the Walnut Creek Band perform patriotic songs. It was so fun and so nice of them. Monday, Brett’s day off work, we went to the Oakland Zoo! We had a great time seeing the animals and learning about them. My favorite animals there were giraffes, elephants, baby ducks, and baby squirrel monkeys.

Brett & Sarah and our giraffe friend
Brett & Sarah and our giraffe friend

Our new apartment is lovely. We are in a studio, which we have always wanted to try but had been too afraid to actually do it. We always thought it would be adventurous and fun to be creative about where we put our things. It has been fun, but challenging. I was really getting nervous when we started moving in all our boxes, suitcases, books and furniture. I wasn’t sure if we would fit. But we put things away as best as we could and tried to figure things out a bit and we decided we needed a wardrobe from Ikea. So we went to Ikea and bought a wardrobe. It. was. heavy! When we got it home, we started putting it together next to our bed because we thought it would be a nice divider between our “bedroom” and our living room. Well. It was harder to put together than we imagined. At one point, I was standing on the bed trying to hold the ridiculously heavy top piece of the wardrobe stable while Brett put the bottom part together. All of a sudden, WHAM-O! I wasn’t holding the top piece anymore and it came crashing down right next to where Brett’s head was. The top of the wardrobe was completely demolished when the top piece ripped out of it. Then I looked down. Right next to my foot was a HUGE hole in the side of our bed. This could easily have hit my foot or Brett’s head. Both were in the vicinity of this hole.

giant whole in the bed
giant hole in the bed

While I was bawling my eyes out and saying “I’m so sorry, Brett! This is all my fault! I broke the dang wardrobe!” Brett was saying “ok, how can we fix this?” I love him. He wasn’t even mad that I had broken the wardrobe. His first concern was that neither of us were hurt. His second concern was finding a solution to the mess I had just made. And he did. He flipped the wardrobe around and put it together the other way. We put it up and took a look at it. And hated it. It was too big for our apartment and we were worried it would fall on us if we had an earthquake in the middle of the night and kill us. So we took it apart and returned it to Ikea. What a mess. By that point, we were just glad to get rid of it. Here are some more recent pics of our studio:

Bookcases at the entrace of our apartment
Bookcases at the entrance of our apartment
bathroom
bathroom
Living Room
Living Room
bedroom nook
bedroom nook

I don’t have a good picture of the kitchen yet, but I’ll put one up soon.

Brett and I also went to Sacramento twice in July to visit Grandma & Grandpa Rosenlof. The first weekend we were there, we got to see Janet and Jay Bernhisel and their son, David. Janet is Grandpa’s sister, Jay is her husband and David their son. It was my first time meeting them and Brett’s first time seeing them in a long time. It was so fun to hear old stories and listen to Grandpa and Janet sing the Norwegian National Anthem in Norwegian. We also got to see Spamalot and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for the wonderful weekends. We can’t wait to see you again soon!

Brett, Sarah, Dave Bernhisel, Janet, Dave & Judy Rosenlof
Brett, Sarah, Dave Bernhisel, Janet, Dave & Judy Rosenlof

Well there ya have it! I’m totally caught up. The next few posts will hopefully be shorter and without so much information overload. Talk soon!

…and we’re back Part 3

So now we’re in March 2010. Well, as I said, Brett was accepted as a finalist for the Nokia Push N900 competition so he had to make his idea (the Bike Dashboard) on the N900 and present it to judges in Las Vegas. He chose me as his partner (me! ha!) so I took care of the public relations part while Brett did all the hard work. Well it paid off! Brett and I won first place. I feel weird saying Brett and I because I feel like I didn’t really do any of the hard work involved in creating and developing an awesome program for a cell phone. So Brett won first place! And I was SO proud of him!

The Champion!

The Champion!

The competition took up our whole month of March. In April, we were too exhausted to do anything too extravagant so aside from a trip to Sacramento to show Grandma & Grandpa Brett’s Bike Dashboard, we stayed home. I started a new term at DeAnza and West Valley and kept working on some institute classes I was taking. At one point, I had 10 classes at the same time. I’m not sure how I really got through all of that. I was either in class or did homework from 8:30 am-6:30 pm when Brett would come home. On Thursdays, I didn’t get home until 9pm because of a late institute class I had. Brett didn’t get too many good dinners that month! haha. It was a busy, but highly productive month. But, we did find time to dye some Easter eggs.

Easter eggs

Easter eggs

May was a fun month for us. We got to go to Disney World with Brett’s whole family, grandparents included. It was the first time that Brett’s entire family was together since Brett returned from his mission in 2005 (we think). We had such a great time seeing all the family! Lincoln and Ellie were beyond cute. Lincoln said so many funny things like “das siiiiiiilly” or “I don’t see any cropadiles anywhere!” or “NO THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!” Brett and I quote that hilarious little boy on a daily basis. And of course, Ellie with her adorable smile can make anyone happy. We went to all the Disney parks, rode all the best rides, talked, laughed, ate lots of good food, took a lot of pictures, swam a lot and just had a wonderful time with family.

the whole gang!

the whole gang!

Brett and I also went to MakerFaire again this year and saw the weird/interesting/cool things people make. We went with some friends and it was really fun.

Tiny trolley

Tiny trolley

Also in May, I got a chance to meet up with a friend of mine from Preschool for dinner in San Francisco. She and I went to BYU together but since I got married and moved to California, we haven’t seen each other too frequently. This was the first time in 2 years that I saw Grace and we had a great time at dinner.

Sarah & Grace Finlinson

Sarah & Grace Finlinson

June. In June, we made the decision to move to Walnut Creek, CA in pursuit of a recent job offer Brett had received with Verizon Wireless. We had to make the decision quickly. Brett was called on May 17th for an interview, interviewed on May 19th and offered the job on the spot. He gave his 3 weeks notice to PwC on May 21st. It was fast. But we had to make a fast decision because our apartment lease was running up at the end of June. Luckily, everything fit into our schedule perfectly. Brett started working at Verizon Wireless on June 14th, our lease ended June 29th, and the classes I needed to go to campus for ended June 24th. It could not have worked out more perfectly. Because we had a month to make the move, we realized we had some unfinished business sitting in our garage, namely the boat. Brett and I worked hard to finish it and take it on its maiden voyage before we moved. A friend of ours in our ward let us take it to their house and try it in their pool and it was really fun. It worked! We didn’t sink.

Maiden voyage!

Maiden voyage!

On Brett’s last day of work at PwC, I made him some cupcakes to celebrate!

Celebration cupcakes

Celebration cupcakes

Somehow, while I was doing dishes, a cupcake ended up on my face. I blame Brett.

haha

haha

We also had to say good-bye to our CTR 7 Primary class. We had a great time being Primary teachers. It also meant we got to spend all 3 hours at church together and we loved that!

CTR 7 Class (not pictured, 7 year old Sarah)

CTR 7 Class (not pictured, 7 year old Sarah)

How they really were in class...just kidding! They were so much fun!

How they really were in class...just kidding! They were so much fun!

A sweet couple in our ward hosted an open house for us and another man who was moving out of the ward. I was so amazed that they would be so kind to do that. And people actually came! To say good-bye to us! And they brought food! We really had a wonderful ward in the Blossom Valley Ward. It was so hard so say good-bye. It didn’t really hit us that we were moving away from all that we knew as home for a year and a half until after we had all our things in the car that Sunday night and we did our last walk through in our totally empty apartment. Both of us were crying sentimental tears as we thought about the wonderful time we had in San Jose, the beautiful people we met and the memories we created. San Jose and the Blossom Valley ward will always have a special place in our hearts.

Next stop: July. We’re almost caught up!