Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

2011 was a wild ride. William and Kate tied the knot (who cares), earthquakes and tsunamis struck Japan, Michael Scott said goodbye to The Office, Osama Bin Laden was killed, 9/11 was commemorated, Steve Jobs passed, Wall Street was occupied, and the troops came home.

As 2011 comes to a close, here is what happened in our lives.

  • We rang in the new year hot tubbing and partying on Waikiki beach with good food and friends.
  • Tanya started her student teaching, which would be some of the craziest - and most rewarding - five months of her life.
  • We fell in love with the Hunger Games series, and are excited to see the movie on Tanya's Birthday weekend 2012!
  • We celebrated Valentine's Day seaside with a plenty of Mahi Mahi and Diet Coke.
  • Our love for Thai food increased exponentially as we discovered Phuket Thai in Mililani.
  • We became the proud owners of a MacBook Pro.
  • We took full advantage of the new running and bike trail from Laie to Kahuku.
  • The earthquake in Japan left Oahu in a state of emergency. We prepared for the possibility of a tsunami and spent the night in a cemetery behind the Laie temple. Fortunately, the islands were left relatively unscathed. 
  • Our friendship with Jozie and Tommy flourished.
  • We went to Maui for Tanya's Spring Break. We spent a few days alone on our second honeymoon, followed by a few days with Jozie and Tommy. We went whale watching, swam with turtles, hiked, drove the Road to Hana, shopped, and enjoyed the delicacies of a new island.
  • I was scuba certified and overcame my fear of deep water. 
  • I said goodbye to my job as the Marketing and PR Director of Sleep Center Hawaii. I had grown to love my job and co-workers, but was excited to move to the next step.
  • Tanya said goodbye to the students of King Intermediate School, excited (and nervous) to find a full-time (and paid!) teaching job in Utah.
  • We sold Suzi the Suzuki. We know that she is happy living out the rest of her life in paradise.
  • We had a lot of friends and family visit us in Hawaii, including Sharla and Dan (Darla), my sister Danielle and her family, Tanya's Grandma, mom, brother and uncle, my cousin Haley and her friend, and my parents. We loved hiking, beach hopping, touring, and eating with each and every one of them.
  • We had an amazing trip to Thailand. We were able to see temples, ride in a tuk-tuk, hike, swim, ride an elephant, shop like kings, eat like kings, scuba dive, get massages, go to Thai cooking school, ride an overnight train, and more. 
  • We were able to see a little bit of Manila, Philippines and get another stamp on our passports.
  • We said goodbye to Oahu. It was one of the hardest things we had ever done, but knew that it was the right move for us. Now our goal is to visit often and eventually have a vacation home in Kailua.
  • We arrived in Utah homeless, jobless, penniless, and carless. It was time to start all over again.
  • We bought a Seven Peaks "Pass of all Passes" and took full advantage throughout the Summer.
  • We bought Oscar the Optima.
  • Tanya was offered a job as a Health and P.E. Teacher at APA within a week of moving home.
  • We went to our first Real Salt Lake game.
  • We went camping and hiking with our good friends Curtis and Ashley.
  • We lived it up in Lake Powell with the Rasmussens. 
  • We re-discovered our love for campfires and ate smores almost weekly throughout the Summer.
  • We got really, really, really good at Mario Kart with all of the free time on our hands.
  • We learned how to re-finish furniture.
  • I got my dream job doing marketing for Zija International.
  • We bought our 2nd car - Ellie the Element.
  • We saw Death Cab for Cutie live from the comfort of box seats.
  • I was accepted into the University of Utah MBA program - I start in a week and a half.
  • We spent a long weekend in St. George just being together.
  • We trained for and ran the Provo half marathon.
  • Tanya's mom celebrated 5 years of remission from breast cancer.
  • We dealt with the drama and backbiting of Black Friday.
  • We house hunted for several months before deciding to build at Thanksgiving Point. We visited our lot the other day and they were digging the hole! It should be done around May!
  • Tanya was run off the road by an idiot and Ellie the Element was totaled. 
  • We replaced Ellie with Mia the Kia Sorento.
  • We spent the holidays relaxing and partying with friends and family.
2011 was a great year - but 2012 will be even better! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

At It Again

America's sweethearts - at it again.

So what are you doing?

Happy New Year 'ma nerds!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


We had such an amazing Christmas! More details surely to come . . . but right now I have a problem. One that Rod says is a First World Problem. I can't decide which cover to choose for my new iPhone 4S! A surprise gift that my husband gave me. I had NO IDEA. He wins, as usual.

Tough decision.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Break

Aside from having a rough start to my Christmas Break (dealing with car insurance companies and a guy who is claiming he had no idea he ran anyone off the road), the last couple of days have been great. We met with the architect that designed our house and had our final meeting! It was really exciting to look over the plans and sign off on our future home.

We bought a new car. Since we JUST went car shopping in August, we already pretty much knew what we liked and what price range we wanted to stay in. Honda Elements (like my Ellie) are really hard to find. Honda doesn't even make them anymore. We looked on KSL and there were only 5 in the whole state for sale and none of them were as nice as ours was. We found Mia the Kia (Sorento) and she is a good replacement for Ellie. She is a 2011 (3 years newer), has a V6 engine, and has a fold-down 3rd row of seats - for about the same price as our old car. We are happy.

Amy, Ender, and Chloe have been here for about a week and it has been fun hanging out with them. Last Sunday we made sugar cookies.

The other night we went to Rod's work Christmas party. It was small - just the marketing/design team. We wore ugly sweaters (tanks G-ma Phillips) and played some games.

Our pile of presents is getting bigger by the day . . .

And finally, last night my mom and I went to The Nutcracker. We used to go every year, but we hadn't been for a while. It was beautiful. The Queen was incredible - audible gasps from me during her solo. It makes me want to dance again so badly. It was fun to spend the night with my Mom.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bad Holiday Tradition

Unfortunately, our newest holiday tradition is getting into car accidents. Around this time last year, we were in this accident, when a car pulled our right in front of us on State Street the week before Christmas.

Yesterday, Tanya and I both left work and headed to our final planning meeting to choose the colors and finishes for our house. I got there early and was waiting for Tanya when I got a phone call from her saying that she had been in an accident and to come and help her.

She was driving on I-215 by Valley Fair Mall when a car came darting through traffic. He cut off another car and then starting swerving into Tanya. She moved to avoid contact with him, but he basically ran her off the road. She tried to get back, but lost control, went off the freeway, into a ditch, hit a cement wall, and was flipped around. The air bags went off and the car is totaled.

The driver that ran her off the road just drove away. Are you kidding me? There have been way too many bad accidents and deaths lately by hit-and-run drivers. How can you possibly do that? What if she had been seriously hurt and needed his help?

Fortunately, the other car that he cut off right before Tanya followed him, honking and trying to get him to stop. They even pulled up to him at a light, and were honking and trying to get his attention, and he just ignored them. They got his license plate, make, model, and a very good description of what he looks like. The police even have his address, and are going to try to find him. I really hope they do, because if not, our insurance will have to pay for all of it!

We are very lucky that Tanya is relatively okay. Her car could have easily rolled, or she could have been much more hurt when she hit the wall. Her neck really hurts, she jammed her wrist, and has burn marks and stuff from her seat belt. She is also shaken up and claims that she never wants to drive away. We know that God was protecting her. The bummer now is that she loved that car, and it will be really hard to find a replacement (they don't even make Elements any more). I guess everything happens for a reason. She's way more important than any car.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 5th

Monday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. I really can't believe it's been 3 years! I had a student ask me the other day what it is like to be married. She wanted to know if it got boring being married to the same person and seeing them everyday. I can understand her logic, but it is so crazy how it seems like the more time I spend with Rodney the more I love him. And when I think that I could not love him more, somehow I do. Sorry for the sap . . . I am just so lucky to have him in my life.

We celebrated mostly on Saturday. After spending the day picking out finishes for our new house, we went to an ah-mahzing dinner at Cucina Toscana. Neither of us had ever been there. It was so nice and really delicious.

We had dessert at home and exchanged gifts. Rod isn't really a greeting card kinda guy so I made him a slideshow with pictures from the last 4 years (dating, wedding, marriage). I also got him the cologne he wanted. He surprised me with a beautiful right hand ring and tickets to Kelly Clarkson . . .  I'm not even ashamed of it.

here is the slide show . . .

Untitled from Tanya Rasmussen on Vimeo.

On Monday (our actual anniversary) I went to work as usual. I have one class of 7th graders that I am really close to and they figured out that my anniversary was that day. A couple of girls made me a PowerPoint presentation - yes PowerPoint - that was full of pictures of couples, cartoons, glittery hearts, and cheesy poems. It was addressed to "Mrs. Rasmussen and Husband". It was the cutest thing I've ever seen.

When I got home from work these were waiting for me

We had a nice dinner at home. I tried to make something that resembled our wedding dinner (mahi mahi, kahuku corn, salad, and sparkling cider).

I'm so glad that I have my boo. He is more than I could ever ask for.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This week was crazy! We've been house hunting for a few months now. We've put offers on several houses, but were always outbid. On Monday, we put an offer on a house in Herriman that we liked okay, but weren't completely sold on the neighborhood. On Tuesday, we put an offer on a house in Suncrest that we liked, but it needed some work and we weren't sure about living so high with the snow. On Wednesday, we found out that we got both of these houses!

Meanwhile, we had started to look into building a house. We always thought that building would be too expensive, but when it came down to it, it actually made a lot of sense. We had a big decision to make, and we needed to make it by Friday! To build or to buy?

We crunched the numbers, made spreadsheets, met a few times with the home builder, walked through the model and lot several times, and finally made the decision. We are going to build a house at Thanksgiving Point! My office is moving into a brand new building at Thanksgiving Point next month, and it's close to Tanya's parents and the freeway.

This is the house that we're building: (actual color may vary - depending on what we choose)

It has everything on our wish list, we get to choose exactly what colors and finishes we want throughout the entire house, and we played hardball to get a great deal on it. Yesterday we went to the design center and started choosing everything. It will take about five months to build, so we're already looking forward to May! As fun as it was looking for houses, it will be nice to have our nights back.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


When I woke up on Thanksgiving I couldn't stop thinking about last year. Rod went surfing, we went to the beach, and then had a great meal with new friends and an ocean view. Some tears were shed for my former life, and then I remembered the best thing about living in Utah - our families. This year we spent our first Thanksgiving with Rod's side of the family. Between Ster and Cheryl being on the East Coast and us being in Hawaii last year, it was our first Thanksgiving together! We had fantastic food (Cheryl is ah-mahzing) and had a great time. We also had a fatty nap (Rod's favorite thing in the world) in preparation for our midnight shopping. 

That night we went out to my parent's house to sleep over. Brock, Court, Rod, and I headed out in hopes of finding a cheap flatscreen TV. We went to Walmart first because the deals started at 10. We got there late and there was already some crazy stuff going down. People pushing and shoving for children's toys. We couldn't see any TVs, and we knew the real deal was at Target, so we decided to abandon our Walmart pursuits and head over there. 

When we got there the line looked like this:

And the store wasn't opening for an hour! 

We were pretty sure that we would not be getting a screaming deal on a TV, but we decided to stick it out anyway. It wasn't too cold and we were having fun talking to the people around us (you really start to bond standing in line together). 

As midnight approached, some not so sneaky people were trying to get into the line. My brothers (half joking/half dead seriously) started telling these line-cutters to go to the end of the line. Apparently that made the 40 something moms behind us upset. They started telling us that we were terrible people and that we should try having some Thanksgiving spirit. I ignored them and told my brothers to stay out of it. These ladies would not stop heckling us! When the first lucky customer came out with her TV, the meanie mom (as we will now refer to her) started telling the guys that they weren't gentlemen because they didn't rush over to help her! That's when I told her to shut up. I lost it. She was a bully!

We finally got inside the store and thought we could escape her bullying once and for all. 10 seconds later she found us and started chasing us with her cart. She was literally ramming Rod's ankles with her cart! She then says to us: "I bet you guys aren't even married!" We informed her that we were and she replied "well that's too bad your husband doesn't own a razor!" Whaaaaat? We were so annoyed and confused.  She then said "I hope you don't have kids!" We said we didn't and she said "Well I have 5!" Rod said he was sorry for her kids ha ha. She was crazy. Her friend then ran up to us crying and said "You have no idea what she is going through!" That does not give her the right to bully us! Then just when we were on our way home she shouts across the entire store "Don't beat your wife when you get the in car!" We didn't even turn around. I have never been so livid in my life. The whole way home I couldn't even figure out what just happend. We were all shocked. Not to mention we went home empty handed. Moral of the story: Black Friday is evil. I'm so over it and I will NEVER go again. No deal is worth that! 

Besides all of that we had a great long weekend. We saw movies, played games with family, and hung out with friends. As we speak, we are listening to Christmas music (A Very She & Him Christmas is my favorite this year) and Rod is setting up our Christmas tree! 

He's pretty darls. . . Even when he's frustrated. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

House Hunters

The time has come - we are ready to buy a house!

We've been perusing online for about 6 months to see what's out there. We've watched hundreds (literally) of episodes of "House Hunters," taking mental notes about what to look for, what gives a house value, and what our priorities are. In August, we started driving to a different area every weekend to get a feel for where we might like to lay down roots. In September, we started going out with our realtor (Tanya's Uncle) to look at houses.

The Good: it's a great time to buy, interest rates are rock bottom (supposedly even lower than during the great depression), and there are a ton of houses out there for a really good deal.

The Bad: because it's a great time to buy, it's so competitive! It seems like every house we are interested in already has multiple offers on it. Almost everything out there is a short sale, and many of them are not in great condition. Short-sale sellers aren't as motivated as they would be if it were a regular sale, and it can take a REALLY long time to go through.

Our Wish List: a master suite with large bathroom, lots of windows, a nice yard, a feeling of space (not being too cramped around neighbors), views, wood floors (these are hard to come by), 2 stories, room to put a dance studio in the basement, a gas fireplace, a porch, room to grow. We may not get all of these things, but there are some things we won't compromise on.

We have narrowed our search a lot and now know that we really like the Suncrest area of Draper (up on the mountain), Herriman, and Riverton. The first house we put an offer on was in Suncrest. It was a modest home with amazing mountain and valley views, but needed a lot of work. We were immediately outbid. We put an offer on a 2nd home in Suncrest, and it is at the bank right now. We also put an offer on an amazing home in Herriman this week, but we don't think we will get it. It's pretty much our dream home but it had at least 7 offers on it when we put one in!

We could be homeowners in a month, or it may take another 6. Whatever happens is meant to be. In the meantime, it's pretty much a big, crazy game of gambling and waiting!

No pictures yet - it's too soon - but we'll update if anything happens. Wish us luck!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Only Offer

We went to the Mates of State Concert last night. It was our first time seeing them - loved it! Their music is fun and I love that they are a couple. . so cute. Small venue made it even better! Cheers to a great night with friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

5 Years

This month marks the 5 year anniversary of my Mom surviving breast cancer. They say once you reach 5 years you are "cured," so it is a pretty remarkable milestone. I love my mom and I am so glad she was a fighter. We threw her a little party to celebrate. Congrats mommy!

In other news, Rod and I are having a lot of fun shopping for houses. We don't know exactly how soon we will buy. Could be soon, could be in 6 months. All I know is that it makes me really excited! We were planning on waiting a little longer, but the interest rates are just ridiculous right now. Even if we don't have any furniture, we'll have have a cute little house (and hopefully a cute little dog!)

We both love our jobs. It's so nice to make money doing what we love. I recently (slightly against my will) started coaching the girl's basketball team. The girls are sweet, so I've ended up liking it more than I thought I would.

Today's snow made it feel like Christmas. I have to admit I'm a little excited. I want to start Christmas shopping - especially at the new stores that opened so close to us. I refuse to wait in line to give a store money though, so we won't be visiting H&M for a little while.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


This weekend we ran in the Provo Halloween Half Marathon. We have tried to be diligent at training and getting ready for this race, but after a long day of work, the last thing we have wanted to do is run.

This race was such a process - we had to drive down to Orem on Friday night to pick up our packets. On Saturday, we woke up at 4:40 am (ya heard) and drove back down to Orem, where we were herded onto busses. The busses took us up Provo Canyon near Sundance and dropped us off. There was a giant tent set up a field, where thousands of us waited 2 hours for the race to start. 

It was freezing cold and not even the 50 porta-potties were enough for this crowd. All of the sudden everyone needed to use the bathroom before the race, and it was about to start. I barely made it through, found Tanya, got my ipod, threw our bag onto a truck, and the race began. We ran with Tanya's dad and little brother Court. I got separated from everyone right away and was not ready to start. Tanya ran with her dad and Court was ahead and smoked us all!

This race is fun because everyone dresses up for Halloween. It was crazy to see some of the costumes that people ran 13 miles in!
Tanya's mom and brother and my mom and sister were there to cheer us at the finish line
I always said I wanted to do a marathon, but after this . . . I'm not so sure (my face courtesy of Jozie Curtis)

The scenery was amazing and it slowly started to warm up as we ran and the sun did its thing. We ran down the canyon, through fall leaves and mountain views, past Bridal Veil Falls, and ended at Riverwoods.

For my work Halloween party on Friday I was Kanye West

On Saturday night (while hobbling around like elderly people on account of the race) we met up with Gentry at our latest obession . . . Sub Zero Ice Cream. Gent is moving back to Oregon and we are already missing her brains out. Tan and Gentry were roommates in Hawaii almost 5 years ago and have been close ever since. They love all things Roxy, music, the beach, and snowboarding. A Hussies reunion trip is already in the works for Tan's Spring break 2012. We love you G-try! 

Monday, October 24, 2011


This past weekend Tanya had Thursday and Friday off of work for UEA Break. We were in desperate need of a mini vacation, so we headed south to St. George. We enjoyed 4 days of Summer weather, relaxation, and time alone. We love a good road trip, and this one was great (minus the 2 hours of stop-and-go traffic south of Provo. It was taken down to 1 lane for construction and they weren't even working on it. Thanks UDOT!)

Our long weekend consisted of sleeping in every day, lazing around, eating out, shopping, going to a movie, swimming and hot tubbing, and movie nights. 

We also went hiking at Red Cliffs.

There's a part where you have to hold onto a rope and use the foot holes, or else you will fall in the freezing water!

We went to the St. George Temple

And we went to the driving range and hit some balls

Now it's back to the grind . . . .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

You're 50!

This past week my dad turned 50! For his gift I put together a book with 50 reasons why we love him and included pictures from his life. In my search I found some cute ones that I had never seen before.

I love my dad! I am so lucky to have such a kind, patient, funny, and loving father. Congratulations dad! You're 50!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thai Lotus

This weekend we went to a new Thai restaurant . . . an amazing new Thai restaurant. It was a hole in the wall but it was really good. We met up with my friend Tania from college and her husband Alex. They went to Thailand about 9 months before we did - they were actually the ones that helped talk us into going there. It was fun to reminisce about what an amazing country it is. If you love Thai food, I highly recommend Thai Lotus, you won't regret it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hot Cocoa

Tonight was wear your slipper socks and stretch pants to 711 and curl up with hot coco while watching shows with your love kinda night.

and yes, I apologize for the outfit.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Fall is my most favorite season. I love the weather, I love the smells, I love the holidays and the food that are associated with it. I love that fall reminds me of school supplies (I have a secret love for school supplies - maybe this is why I always wanted to be a teacher?) I also love that it reminds me of wearing sweaters, boots, and scarves. This year fall is even more special because I didn't get one last year. I know it was only one year and I was in paradise and I could smell the ocean from my kitchen buuuuut I still missed it. I even tried to decorate our shack for Halloween, but it just felt wrong. This weekend we did lots of fall-ish things.

On Friday I made banana bread and we watched our shows. . .  Another thing I love about fall is that all of our shows return! Happy Endings is the funniest show on TV. There I said it.

On Saturday night I hung out with my mommy. We did fall pedicures and made a craft together. It was fun to hang out while the boys were at their meeting.

This witch block represents my one and only Halloween decoration. When I was little, I loved helping my mom decorate for Halloween - in fact, it was tradition to do it during Saturday General Conference. Now that we are here to stay in Utah I can start my collection. Rod thinks it's silly and typical, but I think it's fun.

Conference was wonderful as usual. I love listening to the words of wisdom that somehow always turn out to be exactly what I needed to hear. 

Welcome Autumn.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mrs. R

Things have been so routine lately. Part of us feels like we've sold out, as we devote all of our time to work. I guess this is part of growing up. One upside is that we wake up around the same time, get ready together in the morning, eat breakfast together, leave for work around the same time, and get home at the same time.

A few days ago I caught Tanya being cute on the way out the door.

I'm pretty sure she's the fun/cool/hot teacher at American Preparatory Academy. Tomorrow she has parent teacher conferences - so grown up!

We're always home by 4:30 with plenty more together time (usually talking ourselves into training for our half marathon or getting back into "our shows.")

Life is routine - and that's okay.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Life is about to get a lot crazier - I just found out today that I am accepted into the Professional MBA Program at the University of Utah! And I'm starting in January!

Ever since I graduated from BYU, I have known that I wanted to go back and get a Master's Degree. This became even more important as I entered the real world and saw how competitive the job market is, even with a Bachelor's Degree. To do the things that I want to in my career, I need more education.

I took the GMAT last Summer right after I graduated, and I got a pretty good overall score. However, the math section was a little low. I thought I might have to re-take it just for that reason. I have been studying for the last two months and signed up to re-take it on September 21st. Meanwhile I applied for this program anyway, with my original score. 

Now that I'm in, I have zero motivation to take it, and they DO NOT give refunds. Last Summer my friend Curtis took the GMAT around the same time as me. He had a bad accident involving his finger being sliced open by a fish bowl, and he couldn't even write. They gave him so much trouble for just trying to reschedule his test. Basically I just threw $250 down the drain, and I'm probably going to take the stupid thing anyway (all 4 hours) since I already paid for it. 

Despite the GMAT drama, I'm thrilled. This program is perfect because it allows you to continue working full-time, while attending classes two nights a week. I will be crazy busy, but I think it's doable. I love my job and couldn't imagine walking away from it to go back to school. I was also adamant about going to a different school than BYU, to get a whole different experience.

Class of 2014 up in HURRR!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

East Canyon

We just returned from yet another East Canyon adventure. A place where time has been standing still since 1992. The outdoor scenery is beautiful and the company was wonderful. Rod's family is so nice to let us have the condo whenever there are weeks that have not been used and I personally have been up to this mountain retreat 3 times. Each time is different and always highly enjoyable. The junk food was at full volume and I think I speak for all of us when I say - the diet starts tomorrow. We ran into a snag when the pool/hot tub area was closed for lightning sightings. We waited patiently, but after a while the storm had stopped and the people who run the joint were no where to be found. FINALLY we were able to call the manager and she found the missing staff. Rod almost got caned by a stout and short tempered employee, but I think overall he would say the time in the hot tub and pool was well worth it. Thanks East Canyon! I'm sure we'll be back . . . as long as we are still welcome.

The only thing that would have made the weekend better would be my pink snuggie. Yes, this is currently my favorite picture. Thanks Ash.