Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Neighborhood

The rain has returned. But, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

On my walk home from work today, I was noticing how the rain makes the colors so much more saturated. The sky may be grey and dreary, but the leaves are more vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and greens. 

Since Bergen worked this evening and I needed something to occupy myself with, I decided I'd take a little photo walk around the neighborhood and appreciate all the beautiful fall color and rain.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Shenanigans

Ok, so I have already failed at posting once a week. But at least it hasn't been 8 months since my last post.

Life for us has been pretty busy recently. I've started a new job working at a civil construction company here in Renton. I think one of my favorite things about it is the 5 minute commute! The people are really great and it's a good company. Right now I'm working as a temp but I'm praying that some contracts will go through and they'll be able to hire me permanently.

Other news on the job front, Bergen and I are giving our entrepreneurial skills a shot. No pun intended! We are working on drumming up a photography business. So far, we've gotten a few paying clients and are having a blast! Our spare time has been filled with designing business cards, reading whatever we can find about photography and Photoshop, pinning poses we like and having fun getting out with the camera. Check out our photography portfolio and if you or anyone you know in the Seattle area needs pictures done, be sure to let us know! Bergen has done a great job at editing and actually had his very own photo session this week that, might I add was a success! Photography been one of my "Life in the Middle" projects and I'm glad with lots of help and support from Bergen, family and friends it has been put into action.

My dad came to visit in September and we had a great time. We followed him around Seattle getting classic city landscape shots. As always with any Power get-together, we ate great food and got in a couple rounds of different games at Phyllis and Jeff's (my aunt and uncle). He was here for his birthday, so I made him strawberry shortcake and Bergen made white chicken chili for dinner.

There have been a few different things Bergen has talked about since we first started dating and I was able to experience one of them with him this past month: The Puyallup Fair. It didn't disappoint! We got fresh baked scones, saw the show animals, walked the exhibits and had fun with Karen, Stian and Kjellden. Being from Wisconsin, I've been to my fair share of fairs, but I'd never been to one like this! If any of you out-of-staters ever come to the area in September, you should definitely put this on your list.

Well, it is a rare occurrence for me to be up past 10:30 so I best be signing off to get some beauty sleep. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Always in the Middle

I have really left this blog on the back burner and forgotten about it.

Reading my last post about New Year's resolutions makes me think, resolutions don't have to only be made at the beginning of a new year do they? My resolution as of September 9th is to write at least one blog post a week. I will be accountable to all of you on this.

A few weeks ago, I had some time to read a message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled Always in the Middle. It got me thinking; over my short life of twenty-four years, I have spent so much time worrying about the future. And as a result of that, I have also wasted a lot of time beating myself up over things that I did not do in the past.

He says, “By many world calendars, July marks the middle of the year. While the beginnings and endings of things are celebrated and remembered, the middle of things often goes unnoticed…But with the proper outlook, considering ourselves as in the middle of things can help us not only to understand life a little better but also to live it a little more meaningfully.”

I've struggled with feelings of inadequacies, been disappointed when I compare my life to others’ lives, and felt frustrated with thoughts of not knowing what to do with my life. But, what do I do about it? I spend so much time worrying about the future, I forget to live in the present and am not sure how to go about doing it.

When I read this message, I found my answer. Changing my perception to seeing myself in the middle of things provides me with hope. I think it truly can help me to understand my life a little better and also live it a bit more meaningfully. It can teach me to enjoy my blessings, what I have here and now, rather than letting myself be consumed about what the future holds.

By always living in the middle, I can focus on and do things I want to be doing. I have learned from past experiences, when I keep myself busy and push those worries about the future aside for a time, God has a funny way of providing me with opportunities. In just about every instance, those opportunities were better than what I worried about figuring out how to get. It is a lesson that I have learned and relearned, and now have been reminded of through reading President Uchtdorf’s message.

I have set a goal for myself to be more conscious of directing my energies on things that I can be doing in the moment and keep the “Always in the Middle” perspective on track. I will keep you all up to date on my "Always in the Middle" activities. As President Uchtdorf said, “Forever is composed of nows…Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final. For no matter where we are or what our circumstances, an eternity of beginnings and an eternity of endings stretch out before us. We are always in the middle.”

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ring in the New Year

A new year always feels like getting a fresh start at things. Just as many of you, I have my own list of resolutions and goals to make me a better person and get more out of life this upcoming year. But if you're anything like me, you can understand how I can already be struggling with keeping them even though it is only the 6th of January.

One thing I've found to help me with sticking to my resolutions is not only writing them down but also writing down a plan on how to achieve them. Making a plan to achieve a goal may seem like common sense, but the idea dawned on me about a year and a half ago as I was reading "Basic Black" by Cathie Black. If any of you are interested in the media world, or just want a good career advice book, I'd recommend reading this one. It was given to me by my mom and it has been my go-to book whenever I get frustrated with what I am doing career wise.

Maybe this afternoon, I'll sit down and write out my plans to get me on track before the year gets away from me...

Bergen and I are looking forward to this new year. We have some things we'd like to do and ideas of other things that haven't fully come together as what we should do. But we'll be sure to keep you posted.

I hope you all had a good holiday season. Ours was filled with family time, good surprises and a little too much good food. That is what I believe the holidays are for. Here are some pictures from our Christmas celebrations. Wishing you all the best in this new year!

Our First Tree

Christmas Morning

Opening Stockings

Bergen in the Aftermath

Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

Bergen and I both have birthdays that fall in December. That makes it quite a busy month once you add our birthdays to the holiday celebrations.

I had Bergen's birthday off so while he was at work, I was able to make his birthday preparations. His two birthday requests were a night in and that I make him my version of Noodles and Company's Wisconsin Mac and Cheese. I made him mac and cheese (as the side dish) and also made pork chops suffed with spinach, gouda cheese, and bacon. I found the recipe in Costco's cookbook they give away on Black Friday and it's definitely a new favorite.

Bergen, well both of us actually, loves going to the market so the next morning we got up and drove into downtown Seattle to visit Pike Place. We had a great time looking at all it had to offer and getting into the Christmas spirit with all its decorations.

Sunday we went over to Bergen's parents for dinner. Karen had made pork tenderloin (one of Bergen's favorites) and then he opened presents and sliced up one of Costco's famous chocolate cakes.

My birthday was this past weekend and boy did I feel spoiled! Friday night I got a message from my mom that Pier One was holding a present for me to go pick up the following morning. My parents had gotten me the cutest measuring cups and spoons. They're so cute I can't bear to put them away in a drawer. Later that afternoon Bergen and I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. We hadn't been to a movie in a while so that was a nice treat. Afterwards we got a Chicago style pizza for dinner.

All Saturday Bergen kept asking me when I wanted to open his present to me. I told him I could wait till my birthday but I caved and opened it Saturday night. His gifts were sweet. He got me a colorful scarf, a charm necklace and a bottle of bubble bath that smells like warm vanilla.

Sunday we went over to his parents house for dinner. Karen had made beef stroganoff for me. I've had that for my birthday for as long as I can remember! The presents Bergen's family gave me made me feel so spoiled and I love everyone of them! I feel very blessed to have married into such a great family.

One of my favorite things about my birthday was spending time with family-- whether it was in person or on the phone. It's a rare occurrence that I get to hear everyone's voice all in the same day.

WIth both of us turning another year older, I've got a feeling that this upcoming year has a lot of good things in store.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I have always loved the month of December. In my opinion, it is the best month out of the year. Once you take a step back from all of stress and chaos of holiday preparations you can find that this time of year has a very different feeling about it. Maybe it is just what people call the "Christmas Spirit". Maybe it's all of the excitement in the air. Maybe it's people going out of their way to be kind to others. Maybe it is all the bright and cheery decor. But whatever it is, I like to stop and recognize it when I feel it. Today, I had one of those Christmas moments.

Today Bergen and I went down to Pike Place Market to do a little Christmas shopping. We thought it would be a fun to start the tradition of getting each other a gift from the market each year. Pike Place is one of our top favorite places to visit in Seattle. There are so many unique things to look at and you always learn something new when talking with the artists and vendors.

Before meeting Bergen, I had only ever visited Seattle during the summertime so I had never seen the market all decked out for Christmas. As we pulled up we could see Christmas trees for sale, lights strung, pigs on the roof dressed as reindeer, and even the Pike Place signage looked as if it was part of the Christmas decor. Outside farmers and vendors were selling fresh wreaths and people were bustling in and out of shops to and from the market with all of their gifts in tow.

We split up and once we found what we wanted met back up. Bergen met me with a colorful bouquet of flowers which have now found a home in a vase in our kitchen. I bought a bouquet of flowers with sprigs of evergreen tree and red berries which I thought looked very Christmasy to surprise my grandma with.

It is amazing to me how even the chilly, gray days we have had here can be warmed and brightened with a bit of Christmas cheer. I hope you all are enjoying this Christmas season. Wishing you a merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Also, happy 6 month anniversary to Caitlyn and I.  I have to say sorry for all those that may still be waiting on our thank you cards to be sent out. We have them all made, addressed and waiting to be sent but they are sitting in a box stored away until Caitlyn and I get settled in. I feel bad that we don't have those out yet. So don't worry they are on their way.

Caitlyn and I had a great Halloween and 6 month anniversary. It is a tradition in the Knutzen family to have dinner at my grandparents, take pictures, go trick or treating and come back to have dessert. This year we were lucky to have two parties to go to. Caitlyn's Aunt and Uncle go all out in passing out candy to kids and having family over for mexican food. Yes, we did eat twice and paid dearly for it later.

A couple of days before Halloween we participated in my parents ward's trunk or treat. We decked out our trunk with spooky decorations and some classic halloween music. It was fun because my parents, sister and her husband lined up their cars next to us. It has been so much fun to participate in the holidays with family again. We are eating it up (sometimes literally with all the food we get fed). At the trunk or treat, Caitlyn dressed up as static cling, as you can see in the picture, and I wore a sign that read "nudist on strike". Next year we are planning on being more prepared and coming as some cliche couples costume. We have talked about mario and princess peaches. We will see.

I have recently discovered Printerest. I am addicted. I love arts and craft ideas so I have had a blast going through all the decorating ideas. I am researching the best ways to refinish or paint old thrift store furniture. I love that stuff. I am getting a lot of ideas. Caitlyn and I have been getting ready to move into our new apartment and we have had to think about how to decorate. It is fun to be able to do it all over again. We bought some nice couches yesterday and we still need a table, chairs and a most importantly a bed. I am sure the perfect ones will come up soon, it always seems to happen like it.

Caitlyn had her first day of work today. I am excited for her as she starts this new job. It is always exciting to learn new things, meet new people and just experience a new routine. I think she is going to like it there. I will have to have her write up a post about her new job and what she is doing. Anyway, thanks to whoever reads our blog. I know we are not perfect at it but it is fun. If you do read make a comment and say hi.