Huge Announcement! We are moving to….

Hey y’all!! I’m pretty excited to finally publish this post 🙂 I wanted to get all caught up on everything else before I filled in all these deets. So, many of you might know that DJ has been applying for grad schools. Well, I’m so stinkin’ excited to announce he was accepted into his #1 choice and we are moving to Austin, Texas this summer!!! I am so dern proud of him & happy for him (us)!!

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It’s pretty cool how this all came together, and I truly believe God’s hand has been in this whole process.

So y’all know how much I love the Bay Area. DJ loves it too, but I adore it on anotha level. When DJ started talking about applying for grad schools out-of-state, I became uneasy. The thought of leaving filled me with a twinge of dread. We love our life here, although we had never planned on staying here past a few years. I would have gone wherever he wanted and knew the move was inevitable… but I couldn’t wrap my head around the actual reality of leaving this place we now call home. However, when he said he was interested in a school in Austin, I surprisingly found myself excited and at peace about the idea.

DJ meticulously perfected his application. We prepped for his interview together into the late hours of many evenings. And finally…*the* weekend came! The interview seemed to go well (of course DJ humbly downplayed just how well; if he says it went “pretty good” that means he knocked it out of the park). We flew back from that weekend ecstatic and hopeful as ever! Seeing just how badly he wanted this made me want it for him all the more.

Fast forward a month later. DJ gently woke me up super early in the morning. The only other time he has done that was to tell me our fish died (RIP Spanky Tom), so I panicked. Immediately he told me with all his typical DJ composure that he was accepted. Well, I lost any semblance of composure and jumped up & fist pumped the air about a hundred times. We hugged, I cried… it all became official… We are moving to Austin. We both feel an overwhelming peace about saying goodbye to our Bay Area home, an emotion I never thought would coexist with the idea of leaving. Oh, and logistically, I’ll be able to continue school online and fly to NC for on-campus intensives/ do my clinicals locally for those wonderin’.

We are probably going to move in June/July depending on apartment move-in dates and our schedules. I’m feeling nostalgic writing this as I started this very blog to record our California adventures….. but we are ecstatic to start this next chapter…. next stop: The Lone Star state!

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Crazy Eats & Crazy Conversations!

HAPPY HAPPY WEDNESDAY (probably Thursday now?), everyone! Thank you for all your sweet wishes to recover- I am happy to report that my hearing and ear is almost back to 100%. What a ride! I won’t take the ability to hear for granted any longer.

I’m thankful that I was sick when I was though. I start work on March 20th, so truly, if that was going to happen thank goodness it did sooner than later! I felt so isolated these last couple weeks being sick, so Friday when I slightly started turning the corner, I decided to go out for a nice run!

These trees!!!

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During the day I was able to get my butt moving and get the house clean, get laundry done, all that jazz. On my way home from an errand I spotted a little hole in the wall place broadcasting Malaysian cuisine. Naturally, I flew to YELP, and this unassuming storefront had raving reviews. As it was Friday date night, I texted DJ to see if he would be interested in trying it out. He is always down for literally whatever always, so we eagerly awaited what this Malaysian cuisine entailed.

He has been arriving home later than usual with the new job. It’s totally fine- just an adjustment for planning out dinners and everything. As soon as he walked in the door I had my shoes and coat on ready to go- I was HUNGRY hangry. We jetted to Layang Layang on S. De Anza Blvd.

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It felt authentic as they come. It was also jam packed which is always an excellent sign. The decor screamed Malaysian (at least I think? I don’t know much about Malaysia). It actually reminded me a touch of the ethiopian restaurant we tried out, but the food was not at all similar.

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Malaysian food mirrors thai food incredibly closely (which makes sense). Thai is definitely one of my favorites, so I was salivating while scrolling the menu.

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We started with their Satay Tofu, which was decent, but not the greatest tofu in the world.

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I settled on a red curry tofu and DJ tried their Hakkien Mae with thick yellow noodle in heavily flavored soy sauce with chicken, shrimp, and veggies.

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DJ, surprisingly, loved it more than I did. I’m still convinced Olarn has the BEST red curry around. I still have to take DJ there because he is a big red curry fan too.

Saturday DJ had to work, and I was squeezing in a long 14 mile run for my marathon training. One of our friends from church is moving to Oakland and borrowed our truck for the day to help with the move. As a thank you, they brought us these out-of-this-world donuts from Donut Savant. Like, holy moses, I can’t even explain— the FLAVOR! AHHH! I want to go here again and try all their flavors. The pecan one may have been my favorite, and DJ said their glazed was competitive with some of his top tiers. The one next to the pecan one is actually a candied ginger with a light vanilla frosting. It sounds like a strange combination- but it was pleasantly palatable.

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We didn’t do much Saturday night. It was rainy out and we were both exhausted. I still didn’t feel like I had my mojo back all the way and we decided to have a chill evening. I’m trying to take advantage of them while I can because I know soon they will be few and far between. I still hate just laying around without doing something productive. I get far too ancy. DJ will plead with me to relax, so as soon as I can concoct something productive to do while sitting and “resting”, I give in. I decided to go through the photos on my laptop and delete any randoms, multiples, etc. I went from 14,000 photos to about 7,000 photos. There is just something about getting rid of stuff that is like a weight lifted. I’ve had that on my “to-do” list for a looong time and it’s such a nice relief that it’s actually done!

When Sunday came we went to church bright and early. I only stayed for the first service because my ear was not hanging in there well. The noise and music sounded chaotic and the drum started to throb.

BUT. It was the commissioning service for the leaders of the church. I had been sick and had my interview, so I missed two sessions and will make them up next round. DJ graduated though, and I am immensely proud of the humble, loving, kind, strong leader he is!

When he plopped on the couch in the afternoon I made him a big lunch and then he declared he had a sweet tooth. The sun was shining (an unusual occurrence), so we decided to take a walk to CREAM! I mentioned this place in one of my VERY first posts from moving here, and we haven’t been back together since.

Long overdue.

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This place is crazy. They make the most mouth-wateringly delicious ice cream sandwiches around with endless flavors, some of which are unique like their green tea ice cream and vegan cookies. HELLO, CALIFORNIA!

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I wasn’t having too much of a sweet tooth, and decided to just nibble on whatever DJ got. Sharing is caring 😉

Lucky for me, he ordered more than enough. He decided to try their Sundae of Champions. This consisted of two fresh baked cookies, three scoops of ice cream, one LARGE crumbled brownie, a do’sant sandwich (donut ice cream sandwich), and whipped creme with sprinkles. This diabetes in a cup sundae was a sight to see! Everything tasted fresh and delicious. The brownie was our personal favorite part.

And of course, I had to take more than enough pictures to document 😉

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On Monday, I had a hike planned with one of my good friends. This is the first day that I felt my ear wasn’t entirely muffled. We planned to meet at 9 am and when I parked the car I saw a bunch of turkeys just roaming around. I feel like lately I have seen so many random wild birds. So here is your wild bird of the post!

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Despite the annoyance of the rain (it was raining this morning too a matter of fact), it was a gorgeous hike with sprawling green foliage and cascading moss everywhere you looked. It felt like a fairytale. We decided to hike for about an hour.

We hiked….

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and we hiked….

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and we hiked some more…

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Annnnnd then I realized we were lost.

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After about two hours of going straight up the mountain in the rain, I knew that we were not on the path I thought we were on…. WHOOPS

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We saw one lady at the top, who may have been scarier than the mountain lion I enountered. She didn’t speak great english, and she kept asking us,”What path you take?” “You take that path”?!” “Avoid the dead bodies!” “Oh, good!”. We exchanged perplexed looks and just told her we had taken wildcat trail.

“Oh good!! No dead bodies!”

She hurried off in the other direction and I looked at Danielle super confused. I go, “Did she say dead bodies?!”. Danielle said, “that’s what I heard- unless she was mispronouncing something like a trail name. Let’s keep an eye out on the news”. Hahaha.

I really do not even know how to comment on that encounter. It was one of the strangest things to ever happen to me.

I apologized profusely to Danielle for getting us lost in the rain and mud and on behalf of the crazy lady. She was SUCH a trooper about it all.

This was taken at the top of the mountain. Unbeknown to us, we still had an hour of hiking left!

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Three hours later, with stomachs growling, shoes thick with mud, and tons of laughs we made it back to the car with the guidance of some helpful ladies we saw hiking.

We decided to try Bill’s Cafe which has a notorious reputation for being one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in San Jose. Luckily, it wasn’t crowded when we arrived around 12:30 and we were seated right away.

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Their menu has everything you can imagine for breakfast. They have a section for pancakes, waffles, benedicts, scrambles, omelettes, skillets, french toast, etc. etc. EVERYTHING. Danielle ordered this parisienne french toast which was a giant CROISSANT baked fresh dipped in egg batter and grilled sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. She graciously offered me a taste, and WOWZA- we were both impressed with just how much flavor was packed in it. Now we know- make french toast with croissants. (You can see the creation in the second picture below)

I ordered their french garden omelette. It had goat cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms, and basil. I usually order my omelettes with egg whites, but after this accidental hike, I could use all the refueling I could get! It was one of the greatest omelettes I’ve ever had. The sun dried tomatoes in it tasted so fresh and I wanted to ask what kind they used. It was maddeningly delicious!

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This week I did an order of Blue Apron (WOOHOOO!). I love love love love Blue Apron and for my birthday I got a giftcard (Obviously someone knows me well ;)). I could talk about it for days. I may make a separate post to describe in depth all the pros/cons and share all my thoughts!

For the first meal on Monday, I made a Moroccan Chicken for DJ and had my giant salad to use up some leftover veggies in the fridge. I don’t have a ton of experience cooking meat dishes, so Blue Apron is great with helping me learn in that arena.

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I tried the sauce and it was SOOOOO good! I want to recreate this with tofu!

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Monday night- BACHELOR! We made two mega cookies for this one- our usual chocolate chip tollhouse and then a massive hot cocoa tollhouse one (they are addictive, beware).

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Yesterday I made the Spicy Shrimp Coconut Curry from Blue Apron for dinner. I’m mad at it for not turning out too photogenic, but it was delicious!

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Today I have to go to the mall to find “business casual” clothes. UGH. I’m dreading it. I may be the only girl on the planet that truly just does not enjoy shopping all that much- especially when I have to find something.

BUT…. there is a very exciting weekend ahead, and I can hardly control my excitement…

Hope you all are having a beautiful week so far!

xo <3

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Recap of the First Lap

 

So as I mentioned in my last post, this week has been fun! But it also has exhausting. It is worth every second. I think back and am amazed at how much we managed to squeeze in a short period of time. Here is a little recap of adventures of this past week:

  • When we arrived, we spent the first couple days unpacking and finding a home for all our belongings. Then we started the endless trips back and forth to Target, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Bed Bath and Beyond to get the place lookin’ cute. Poor boy. Also we spent about an entire day assembling a TV console that did NOT want to be assembled. But, we did it.

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  • As I mentioned, I love to cook. However in the first week of moving in I didn’t really have the time (or energy!) to figure out a meal plan for the week. So our gracious apartment complex gave us “welcome to the ‘hood” coupons for all kinds of restaurants. We had a million to subway along with subway gift cards, so we had subway for lunch (and sometimes dinner) every.single.day for about the first 6 days. We made friends with the workers in there and went back one night just because to say “hey” to them.
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  • In the evenings for the first few nights we had dinners consisting of couponed’ sushi, thai, and more Subway. There is something just fun and rewarding about working hard all day and then getting takeout to eat among a sea of receipts, broken down cardboard boxes, and empty walls. One night we ate at a hole-in-the-wall vegetarian Indian place. It was the most authentic Indian food I have encountered in the US. I was like a little kid in a candy store telling DJ about all the authentic cuisine. It was also the best naan I have ever had (besides actually being in India). Side note: I went to India May 2015 for Nursing with my school. It was one of the greatest, most challenging, rewarding experiences of my entire life.

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  • My favorite part of the area is the hiking. It is certainly interesting to see warning signs for mountain lions and rattle snakes at the entrance of each park. So far I have managed not to become some lions’ dinner, so I say that’s a win.
  • The most difficult process we have encountered was the DMV. Oh my lanta, getting a license in California is not easy. Be prepared to wait in endless lines. I told DJ it felt like we were right at home, at Cedar Point.
  • On our trip out here I realized a tooth that I had chipped (when I was five), and re-filled in May, was turning slightly yellow. I went to a dentist in the area and he said I needed an emergent root canal. Here we are, a week in, and I’m drooling all over the place. I have the second half of it today (it was a two part procedure).
  • We found a church! I cannot explain what a blessing this is for us. We have heard horror stories about getting plugged into churches on the West Coast. I am blown away by the kindness and genuine nature of the individuals we encountered. We went to our first community group last night and I left feeling elated after finding such a wonderful group of people, that are so passionate about their relationship with Christ, so quickly.

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Wishing you good days and lots of sunshine,

xo <3

Mack

Let’s take it from the top

Beginning a blog is hard. I am not truly sure where to begin! So… let’s take it way back. DJ and I began dating the summer of my freshman year of high school and summer of his sophomore year. We became exclusive January 2010. Maybe one day I will blog about our journey. I believe with my whole heart that God led us to each other. Anyways, we finally got hitched last August (2015). We are coming up on one year and I reflect remembering the absolute best memories of my life. I am bursting with a thankful heart for this man and this first year. When DJ graduated from college I still had one year left to receive my nursing degree. He graciously stayed in a little town in Indiana with me while I received my BSN. He decided during that time that he would like to pursue law school. I do not remember specifically coming to the actual decision that “Yes- we are moving to California”. I think it was more of a general consensus that we both were down with taking on a new challenge, a new place, and a new life. This is full on cheese, but I sincerely feel I can face anything if I have him by my side. So here we are. Yes- it is new, crazy, foreign, and it is FUN. In a week of being here I have learned a ton. For example:

  •  In California (or at least the Bay area), you are green whether you wanna be or not. Good thing I am a recycling junkie. At stores they will charge you for bags, so you best bring your own. The first time we were at a cash register, and I realized everyone had bags but us, I said, “Oh no Hun, we forgot our bags again” to DJ. I think the cashier bought that, yes, we just simply forgot our bags, although we did not own a single one- and I think I’m a comedian. Also ALL bags are paper. But I’m cool wittt it.We did do a Bucca di Beppo order out and about fell on the floor when we received a plastic bag. No worries though: WE FINALLY HAVE BAGS! 
  • U-turns galore. Do not turn right on red before checking if someone is making a U-ey. Yep- we learned that from experience. By experience I mean headlights in your eyeballs type close calls. But we are alive and well and never actually got in a crash… yet.
  • Don’t drive from the hours of 8:00 am to 10:00 am. Or from 3:00 to 6:30 pm on the highways. You will regret it.
  • Want to start a company? Come to the promise land of start-ups. I am constantly thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”- There is a great deal of diversity, and I love it. I am always fascinated by other cultures and have a desire to explore the unique aspects of each. People in the area are generally so friendly and courteous- even if you can’t understand what the other is saying. At least I think they are being friendly..
  •  In our area in Cupertino everyone is genius. Nope, I am not exaggerating. Everyone even sounds smart. You know what I mean? Like using the hardest SAT vocab words in everyday lingo. <— Note the fragment- I do not fit in. You just get this vibe that everyone is, I don’t know, about to do a Rubik’s cube with their eyes closed or on the brink of curing cancer. I walked by an apartment and I think a three-year-old was multiplying triple digits out loud. And here I am,  just trying to figure out how to assemble our TV console.*EYE ROLL*. Time to bring out my word of the day calendar.
    – Potatoes aren’t a thing here apparently?! For example- one night went to a vietnamese restaurant in Mountain View (which was AMAZING), and the waitress said the reason the peppercorn beef was her favorite dish was because of potatoes. We laughed so hard- that is such a midwest staple that the thought of it “making” the dish blew our minds.
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image**SIDE NOTE: If you have never had Vietnamese food, you need to. We went to a place called Xanh that we found on zomato. We ordered calamari, that peppercorn beef (WITH POTATOES!) for da hubs, and shrimp rolls for myself. Also a side of garlic noodles which I am convinced were shipped down from heaven. Good Lord, was it tasty. I should have taken pictures, but I was too darn hungry to think of that.

This is a few of the things I have experienced in my week and a half of living in Cupertino, CA. I love it. I have told DJ I have never been happier, more excited, or more elated about a stage of life and I mean it. Well, I better get back to that TV Console for now.

Wishing you lots of love, joy, and coffee.
<3 xo
Mack