Saturday, December 3, 2011

Soon to be "Home"

The interviewing process has finally come to an end...and we could not be more excited! 

This whole semester of school has been rough for Kade. On average they suggest that you take 2 core Wharton classes a semester...and he decided to take 5! On top of that, interviewing and networking has been a full time job, along with the 20 hr/week library job he already has. He has had way too many late nights and stressful days...but I have rarely heard him complain. He enjoys being busy...but to a certain extent. He traveled to LA, DC, NY, TX, and NJ to interview with different companies that invited him to their offices. He had over 25 on-campus interviews, and many many networking calls. All of his hard work finally paid off.  He not only received one full time offer...but three! There were many days of disappointments and being let down, but we knew that there was a plan. Hearing the answer "no" after getting your hopes up isn't fun, but it was only preparing us for the future. It also reminded us that He has a plan for us here on earth, and it may be different than what we had in mind. 
Houston, we come!
He officially signed the papers on Monday and faxed his "yes" over to one of the largest, privately owned, commercial Real Estate companies in the world. It has offices in over 18 countries and Houston is the U.S. headquarters for the company. They have regional offices in Atlanta, Chiacago, London, New York, San Fran, and 58 other US cities. Hines develops, renovates, manages, and finances office buildings, industrial parks, medical facilities, mixed-use developments, and master-planned residential communities in major cities around the world.  Wow. Kade is very excited for the experience he is going to get working for this company...and when he travelled to TX to interview, I could tell he was most excited on the phone about this particular opportunity.
He interviewed in TX on a Thursday, and had to reply to another offer the next day. He ended up extending his time so that he could give this other company his answer by the following Monday--he wanted to wait and see what happened with Hines first. Companies don't usually give you an offer until a week or so after you interview with them. Kade had 3 days to decide if he wanted to take his chances and say no to this other company, or take the opportunity for job security. When he got home on Friday, he called the CEO of the Capital Markets Group at Hines that afternoon to say thank you for the opportunity to just interview with them. The CEO started congratulating him and Kade got really confused. 
CEO: "Wait, have you not received your formal offer yet?"
Kade: (freaking out in his mind with excitement) "...uhhh no I haven't heard from anyone yet."
CEO: "Oh, well I will just tell you over the phone then...we would love to bring you in, give you an offer, and have you as part of this team!"
WOW. Not even one day.

When I got the phone call from him to tell me the news, I was nannying and right as I started to scream of excitement the Mom walked in the door from work. I hurried off the phone and apologized as she told me she thought something was wrong when she heard the scream! Woops! I will never forget that! 
The Williams tower has 64 floors, and Hines is located on the 50th. Yikes! Good thing Kade isn't afraid of heights! It is also located right across the street from the 7th largest mall in the U.S. with over 35 million annual visitors, and over 375 stores. Thank you Hines. :)

Living in Philly we haven't had the chance to get to the temple as much as we should, and want to. The closest ones are the DC or NY temple, which is more than two hours away. We are very excited to have this beautiful temple to attend to as much as possible.
Yes, we have heard horror stories about the heat and humidity...but we do well at adapting and I truly believe that attitude determines experience.  We will make it our home, we will learn to adapt, we will meet new friends, we will put great efforts into our callings, and we will have a great adventure. It isn't forever, but we are excited for this next step in our lives. They will finalize his start date in the Spring, but are thinking somewhere around mid-July.  We are so excited and feel very very blessed for the opportunity. It said in his offer that office hours are from 8-5, unless there is a big project they are working on. Way better hours than anything he was interviewing we are excited about that. I am so proud of Kade for all of his hard work--he did it!!! WAHOO!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Life has been so good lately, but extremely busy! I am now watching this little girl full time, plus helping another family in the afternoon three times a week. I get paid well and feel very blessed with not one source of income, but two. 
I successfully made Kade his favorite chocolate cake again. He is a chocolate lover...big time. We can't quite get the recipe for the frosting down, but one day it will turn out as good as Ann's.  I also collected pinecones with my friend Rachel and we made some pinecone wreaths! It was a very sticky and painful process for the fingers with the wire but I finished mine and it is now waiting on a cute ribbon...
We got this cute picture of Nick on his mission in Oregon.  What a stud.  Of course he would take a picture with a "bum."  That is so him, and such an example to us of pure love for people.  He always has a positive attitude...I need to be more like that.  I cannot wait to talk to him on Christmas day!
I had an extremely humbling experience happen to me last week.  The family that I nanny for in the afternoons have me walk their dog, and prepare dinner before I go and get their little boy from daycare.  They are very easygoing people, and don't require much for dinner.  They have started requesting that I make my own recipes for them and on this particular night, I was mincing some garlic with a knife for some tortilla soup. I was in a hurry because I went on an extra long walk with the dog and had to stop at the store for some last minute ingredients. (I actually paid a Mom and her daughter to go in and get some diced green peppers for me because the store obviously wouldn't let me take the dog in and it was crucial for my soup!) Well, let's just say that their knives are A LOT nicer than mine, and chop extremely well. Maybe a little too well.  Blood starting pouring from my finger and I had a huge bandage on it for the rest of the time I was preparing the soup. When they got home, I showed them my finger because they are both doctors.  They said that stitches was not an option because of the way I cut it..but to apply major pressure and see how it turned out in the morning.  It bled all night, and even got on our sheets :( I had a hard time showering, and doing the dishes, etc. Kade had received a few "no's" from some interviews, and we were dealing with mice in our apartment. It felt like the worst timing ever and I knew that I was being tested and truly humbled.  I prayed hard that night, and asked for help to deal with our trials.
I woke up the next morning and soaked the guaze off that was stuck to the wound, and was amazed that it was done bleeding. It hasn't been easy adjusting to not using my pointer finger, but I have managed and it is healing well.  It hurts the most when my fingers are cold and I accidentally bump into something.  Kade has helped out a lot more with the dishes which has been nice--the bandaid gets so wet no matter how hard I try.
...And two days later, Kade received his first full time offer with a company that he really enjoyed interviewing with.  With patience and faith, blessings come.  He has worked so hard and I am so proud of him.  He is waiting to give an answer until he goes to another interview in Houston this week, so we will see how it goes.  He had 3 really long nights over the weekend (12, 12:15, 3 am), and I woke up alone yesterday morning.  He had worked all through the night on a group project. He got home at 1 am last night, and has another meeting tonight to finish up before he flies out tomorrow. Dedication. Hard work. Persistence. He is amazing.
Our time together is precious to us right now, but I don't think I would have it any other way.  We are growing, and forming in these young stages of marriage and I feel like it is building us a good foundation. I love him more now than ever, and it just keeps getting better.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Eastern State Penitentiary

Last weekend, Amber and Jeff had their dads in town to see Jeff's football game. The morning before, they went to tour the old Philly prison and invited me along knowing that Kade had a busy day ahead.  When we pulled up, Amber and I could not believe how creepy it looked and how tall the surrounding walls were!! There were big gargoyles in the front that freaked us out--but we later found out that those were only placed there for the Haunted House they do throughout the prison around Halloween.  Woops!
The prison was built in 1829 and was used until 1971. They created it in a way so that the guards could stand in the middle and turn slowly in circles to see down every single hall.  They didn't have to move anywhere. When it was constructed it was the largest and most expensive public structure ever built. 

We then got some lunch and headed to the UPenn football game.  They won and Jeff scored a touch down!! After, Kade was still busy with a group project so they invited me to dinner at a delicious Mexican Restaurant and to see a play called 'Red.'  I am grateful for "the dads" who did so much for me, as well as Amber and Jeff for letting me tag along. It was a very eventful day! 

Friday, November 11, 2011


We had our first snow fall in Philly a couple of weeks ago.  It wasn't as big as the news described it to be, but maybe we are just used to Utah's snow storms.  It came on a Saturday, and of course it was the one day Amber and I had planned to go to Costco for the month.  It takes about 30 minutes to get there and the roads were pretty slick.  It turned out to be a longer trip than we expected, but we made it safe. The suburbs definitely had more snow than the city did.  It barely stuck on our street and by the time Kade came home from LA that afternoon, there wasn't much left. Definitely nothing like a Utah storm!  
Later that night, a few of us girls went to a Halloween party that a couple in the ward had at their house.  We were supposed to bring our husbands, but they were too busy with school stuff. The people that dressed up had such good costumes. 

Megan and her husband organized games to play and had a whole table full of treats. At one point we used two rolls of toilet paper and had a competition who could wrap their spouse first. Amber was my husband for the night, and she apparently would be way better at wrapping a mummy than I would.  

I am excited for days in the future when Kade and I will have more space and furniture to be able to host a fun party like this. We only have 4 chairs and a small two person couch in our small living room--that wouldn't work too well but it is perfect for what we need right now.  It was fun to get together with people in the ward outside of church to hang out and chat. One day the student life will be over so Kade can join me and not feel stressed about school.  I feel blessed to have other girls here who are in the same boat, and we can all enjoy the student life together!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween Costumes

We didn't dress up for Halloween this year...but there were some good ones in the family to remember!
Lulu as the cookie monster. Hannah as an 80's chick.  Brody as Justin Beiber.  D and Hols as David and Victoria Beckham.
P and Rhy lookin a little freaky!

Ster and Calaigh making their little bun with a real ultrasound pic.  Mom and Ron-self explanatory!
Abby as a gypsie. Rub as big bird.
And last the best of all the game. Ann sent this picture to us on Halloween and I about peed my pants laughing. I love him!!

Philly Boat Tour

Back in the Spring I worked full time as a nurse assistant at a rehab center here in Philly.  Because I now have a nanny job, I am not able to pick up many shifts for them but they know I am back and call me randomly as needed.  Well, I got lucky a few weeks ago and was asked to help escort about 20 residents on the Spirit of Philly Boat Tour. I could not pass the offer up and immediately said yes! We got a buffet style lunch, drinks, dessert, and live entertainment all while they described to us what we were passing by. I have a deep love for the elderly, and thoroughly enjoyed myself! 

The residents started dancing to the was SO cute. 
Oh, it was so much fun.  Some of them got all dressed up for this is a big deal to them! They don't get out of the rehab center much so they get very excited for activities. I would have loved to go and be part of this even if I didn't get paid.  I love being there to help them, and have grown a great love for elderly people.  I could talk to them for hours, even if I know they won't remember me or any part of our conversation.  There is a lot to learn from just listening to them talk...some are very wise and are usually more "with it" than you would think!  The oldest resident we have in the facility right now just turned 112. Another one just turned 109.  When I asked her the secret to a long life, she told me "to always think positive and don't waste time not being happy." Simple as that.

Monday, October 31, 2011

75th Anniversary

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Church's Welfare Program.  What an incredible organization.  In celebration, our ward took a Saturday afternoon and cleaned up part of a local cemetery that the city has abandoned.  We weren't sure how much we would get done, but finished the section you can see from the street.  When we got there, you could barely see the headstones and many of them were knocked over.

All of us had bright yellow shirts on representing who we were--members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We had people honking as they drove by giving us thumbs up...and one man stopped to express how much he admired what we were doing.  When asked what he could do to help us, someone mentioned that we needed more water.  When he returned, not only did he bring tons of  water bottles, but he brought boxes of juice, cinnamon rolls, boxes of donut holes, and much more! It was cool to see first hand how truly inspiring giving service is.
The missionaries and the men of the ward picked up a lot of knocked over headstones.  There were also little mice running around everywhere and I picked one up with my glove to show Oliver. Kade is pretty embarrassed of this picture of me below but he couldn't help but laugh. He said the bishop showed it in a slideshow in Sunday School at church yesterday, great!

Rachel and I tried to get a normal picture of Michelle, but every time the picture was about to take she would turn her head thinking she was so funny.  Finally I gave up and told them to make a funny face for Michelle's sake.  Guess what she did in the funny face picture....yep.  Smiled nice and big. If she wants to smell my armpits after working in a graveyard pulling weeds, raking, and moving wood piles... she can be my guest :)

We had a great day and made a lot of progress.  It was fun to watch the transition of something that looked so horrible and run down, turn to something presentable. I am grateful that I was able to be apart of it, and am excited for the days when Kade doesn't have to live in the library and can come too!