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.