Giving Thanks

I've been known to say that 2011 will go down in history as the worst year of my life (so far). It all began on January 5th...Baldo learned of his grandmother's passing the same day his company shut down leaving us stranded on a tiny island 6,000 miles away from home. The next few months were a whirlwind of packing, crying, moving, more crying, job applying, more crying, teaching, a LOT more crying...you get the picture.

All this time I've been trying to figure out what I need to learn from this terrible, awful year. I've known that life wouldn't always go the way I planned, and trials were unavoidable, but knowing it and experiencing it are two different things. I'm not proud of the attitude I've had during much of this time, but I'm finally starting to realize that my trials can either make me bitter or better.

I choose to be better.

Baldo and I have a blessed life, despite all of the terrible, awful roadblocks along the way. We're healthy, we both have jobs, we have awesome families and friends, and
we're having a baby.

I am learning to be thankful for this terrible, awful year. At least I know it will eventually end, and the next year will bring a whole new type of experience: Motherhood (and a 10 year high school reunion).

Bring it, 2012.



*Life wasn't so busy we would be bored.
*We didn't work so much we couldn't play so much.
*I posted more on this blog...my friends would ask me why I posted more than Lauren on "Her Blog."
*Lauren wasn't such a great teacher, student, musician and wife...She would be posting a lot more.

We hope you guys are all well. Remember when we use to hike on the weekends... here's a pic from our last hike on Guam...

Yep. We lived there once.


Fifty Nifty United States

Here's a challenge for you.

 Visual/spatial skills have never been my fortè. At 27 I still can't correctly label every state on a U.S. map.  But before you lump me with the likes of Miss South Carolina, please know that I could at least sing you all fifty states.

It turns out I am not alone. Awhile ago Baldo and I put ourselves to the test with some friends. With blank U.S. maps in hand we traveled back to 5th grade geography and cheated hurried our way through the list.  My score?  36.  I am not smarter than a 5th grader.  Only one of us came close to a decent score, and we commenced calling him a teacher's pet the rest of the night.  LOSER!

If you have a few spare minutes to destroy your self-confidence, print off this map, give it a go, and post your results in the comments.  I secretly hope you do horribly so I feel better about myself.


Who Am I?

I am a woman.  I belong to a sisterhood of underestimated power.  We are strong.  We nurture, we mend, we uplift, and we create.  I refuse to define my worth by the size of my bust, or the weight of my body.  All women are beautiful.  I have great ideas, a curious mind, and a big heart.  Sometimes I care a little more than I should, but if I don’t care, who will?  I find joy in marriage and in the prospect of motherhood.  God loves me, my husband loves me, and I love me.  I love being a woman. 


Who Am I?

One hundred words. 
 That's it.

I'm going to discover a new identities, and write. 

That's it.
One hundred words.


The First Step...

The first step in addiction recovery is admitting you have a problem.

I have a problem.

My sister-in-law popped my Sprinkles cherry a few weeks ago and I can't get enough.  How do I know I have a problem?

Exhibit A:
I went three days in a row this week...without even realizing it until the lady taking my order asked, "Are you the the girl with the cute jellies I saw a few days ago?  I recognized your bangs."

Exhibit B:
My husband just caught me job hunting on the Sprinkles' website.  He wasn't too happy.

I have since vowed to avoid Sprinkles until I get back from my San Diego trip in two weeks.  I think I can make it.  But if I can't...

don't be mad, promise?


Hong Kong: The Places

Remember like 5 years ago when Lauren and I traveled to Hong Kong?!?!
Here's a trip down memory lane (And if it sounds like I'm a grumpy old man it's because I'm sitting in the airport in Boston trying to get home after a long week away from my Duke, and the flight is getting pushed back and back and back and back.)

Back to HK: Our first morning we hit the streets, and learned really quickly that Hong Kong is not a early-bird type of city. They stay up late and wake up late. We walked around, and saw the only people awake were those cleaning the streets. As you can see the weather is great, and Lauren was able to put on a jacket for the first time in over a year! In this picture we found a fresh fruit market! Buying fruit that wasn't $10.00 was heaven.

We found the Hong Kong Temple!

So you know we had to make it a photo shoot kind of event!

We loved to take the ferry across the Harbor, but would not love to ever touch that water...way too many unknowns in there.
This is Kowloon looking at Hong Kong Island.
So Raymond met with Big Mike through work and lives in Hong Kong. Raymond spent one full day showing us the real Hong Kong. We were like old pros after learning all the tricks from Raymond. Here we are at the Peak of HK Island. If you are hooked and watch the Bachelorette...this is where the guys met up with Chris. (Yep...I just related my blog pictures to the Bachelorette).
Now that I think of it...I can relate all these pictures to that show, but I won't. We just watched the Harbor light show. If you like lasers and bad old-school music...this is for you.

Traveling with Lauren is so much fun. If you ever get a chance I would encourage it. We play silly games, talk about crazy crap, and most importantly we take a BUTTLOAD of pictures.

We met a kid taking pictures too, and he hooked us up with this one. We had just hiked up a lookout tower. The steps were straight up. Since we walked everywhere to begin with...it was not the most fun I had.

At said park, There is a memorial of the doctors that lost their lives fighting SARS. HK was hit hard since there are so many people, and so much contact between the people. Oh, and that's what Lauren looks like reading.

Lauren just got some crazy hot dog on a stick and then we took this picture. She was happy. I'm not sure if she thought by doing that to her hair made her fit in with the people better?!?! She was only 3 ft. taller than everyone there, and white!

Lauren would always stop and look at crap, so I would always have to turn around to make sure she wasn't taken and sold into a crazy underground world of American girl prostitution. Never watch the 2008 hit Taken before traveling overseas. So, Lauren caught my look back.

While in Asia if you don't throw up duces in your pictures...get out of the pictures. Even though Duke Nuts is smiling she was not feeling too well after the high speed ferry boat ride to Macau.

Really expensive car, and not so expensive red shorts. Love it.

Macau is like walking the streets in Portugal. It was a nice getaway from HK for the day.

Of course Lauren wanted to take pictures of this sick Library. It was full of old people reading books and the paper. It was in the middle of two streets.

15 minutes of cable car ride gave us some great views of HK.

And it lead to the middle of nowhere.  What would you build in the middle of nowhere?  I would build a huge Buddha.  My Buddha would have his hand up saying "talk to the hand," because "talk to the hand" is one thing I want to bring back.

Lauren loves her fake Ray-bans.

All those people took the cable car to get here.  Just think about the lines.

Pun intended.   Don't let Big Mike read this.

Closest thing to ever kissing Buddha.

I'm a Besich, so that means we can't open our eyes very well.

"Talk to the hand."

I will have orange doors in my house. Just got to talk my dad into painting them.

Buddha's got back.

Saying prayers.  I will not joke about this.

So this picture makes me tear up.  The Kimball boys were so much fun.  At the end of our day with them... we had a newfound respect for Stan and Lynnsey.  We hope to be half as crazy as they are when we have all boys ;-)

I grabbed her butt in the picture right after this one. Lauren didn't upload it. I wonder why?

Boe is a stud. The chicks were all over him. 1) Because he is super cute. 2) Because it is good luck to rub blonde hair.


Lauren hates mascots. That's why I always make her take these pictures.

This dude in the suit was a little sketchy around the kids.

Boe is getting yelled at because he was being loud next to the Panda. The kid is one. I don't think he understands her.

He does understand that crocs shouldn't be that big.

One day this picture will be with a little brown boy with dark hair and sunglasses. For now... Boe is a great practice. (Freaking heavy as a mother...but great practice.)


I Know, I Know

I know what you're thinking.

"Where the BLEEP have you been?"

But believe me...the last two months have been a whirlwind of activity, and long story short: we're back in the AZ.

Yes, Baldo has a job.
No, I don't (yet).
Yes, we will finish our Hong Kong posts. 
Yes, we are happy to be back.
Yes, we miss Guam.
No, we're not pregnant. 
I think that covers everything you want to know.

I miss your faces.


You might know us from...

So Lauren and I are often told we look familiar. On Guam it's because they have seen me on tv. But now we know why so many people in mainland USA think they have seen us. Thanks to the Brimhalls, in Mesa, we tracked down this ad that uses one of our engagement pictures. Take a gander...

She Deserves Diamonds is right! And this cute couple deserves to be in more ads!


H to the Kong

You have waited long enough. Since someone took 770 pictures of Hong Kong we have decided to bring you three installments. Including, but not limited to food, places and absolute craziness in the most densely populated place IN THE WORLD!

Since I'm fat we'll start with food.

I know I said we would talk about the food, but Lauren was more than happy to see new choices in her beverage selection. While hiking up to the big Buddha, cream soda was her weapon of choice. (She looks hot in that picture, don't you think?)

Anyways (funny story alert) ((don't tell her dad alert))... She was so excited to try new drinks she "accidentally" picked up a can of Jolly Shandy.

We've never heard of it, and it was next to Sprite. So Lauren being the adventurous world traveler picked the Jolly can of "soda." While we waited for our ferry to cross the harbor to Hong Kong Island...Lauren took a mighty swig of the Shandy delight. If I had a picture of her face right after the massive gulp... this blog post would be a million times better. I watched as she quickly started to read the can...something wasn't right. "Sodas are not made in breweries. Sodas and barley don't go together. WHAT DID I JUST DRINK!" Leave it to her horrible husband to laugh. Almost 27 years completed without ever tasting an alcoholic beverage...down the drain and into the trash (even before I could steal a swig). Needless to say the rest of the trip of full of drunk jokes! I made her walk straight lines, and touch her nose!

Here's a quick lesson I've learned the hard way. Guam = the worst place in the world for fresh bread. Me + "the worst place in the world for fresh bread" = a long grumpy year for Lauren.

I love my breads, and Hong Kong was full of bakeries popping out fresh bread at all times of the day.

One night on Hong Kong Island we went to "Times Square" at Causeway Bay. We wanted to find a hole in the wall where we could be the only tourist to eat. The picture above is what caught Lauren's eye. They're called Hot Pots. Looking in the small restaurant we noticed there was no open seats. We take that as a good sign. Then we see a lady pushing a couple sitting at a booth towards the wall. It's called table sharing. Talk about killing the mood for the young couple we sat next two. We laughed, and talked...the couple next to us finished their dinner in quiet. Sorry to those two...where ever you may be.

This is what we got at the little hole in the wall.

And this is our clay Hot Pot. From the street to our table...If you could just taste how good it is through this picture!

Below you will find Lauren's favorite food. Asia, Europe, a small island in the Pacific or Mainland USA...

Lauren loves her Dogs.

Her affinity for dogs started when her family bought a hot dog cart for the kids. Now no matter where we find ourselves Lauren finds her dog.

Hong Kong experts, Tina & Sam, told us to wait in line to eat with locals. Best advice. This is the smile of a guy who just ordered Ox-Tail Curry.

In that bowl of goodness you'll find a lot of tail. Lauren even tried some of it. If you are want to know if we liked it...we ate the leftovers for brunch the next day.

Action Shot. Lauren was walking around feeling the need for something from the streets. Food on a stick can never go wrong, right? I guess they can go wrong if you don't like octopus or fish balls. That's why Lauren went with the safe bet. (Told you she always picks the hot dog)

Dog wrapped up in bacon. Let me clarify. Hot dog wrapped in bacon. I don't know why all these pictures of food are with me in them...Lauren ate way more than I did this trip. (And drank more too!)

I did love that in Hong Kong you can find Fanta everywhere. Don't you want to Fanta?

A non-alcholic Grape Fanta is how I roll. This reminded us of our summer trip to Spain where Fanta was easier to find than bottled water.

Nerd eating bread. It took us a while to find a place to sit down. With so many people a public chair or bench is hard to find.

Could you wake up to that every morning? This is where you guess if I am talking about the love of my life or Lauren. (I just wrote that for affect.) I love my boo bear. I also love...you guessed it:

Pastries swallowed up by fresh fruit.

And to wrap up our food frenzy. To make all those with good taste jealous...

Jamon Serrano! Grocery stores were like my second home. We made these beauties a couple of times for lunch. You may not think cheese, bread and Jamon is anything special, but this put tears in my eyes.

Hong Kong also gave Lauren bad gas. But that is a blog post for another day.