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We are Moving!

Pete and are moving on to a new adventure! We love Salt Lake, so it will be sad to leave at the end of the summer. Although, we will get one more amazing summer here full of farmers markets and parks.

At the end of the summer, we are moving to DENVER!

Pete is starting University of Colorado Denver’s Master in Urban and Regional Planning program in the fall. We went to the open house last month, and it is an amazing program! We are bummed about leaving SLC, but Denver has a great vibe, and I think we will love the city.

Now it is time for me to find a full time job, and hopefully Pete can find a job that works with his school schedule. We think that Zoli will love the city, as it seems to be a super dog friendly city.

And pictures! Of Denver! According to the internet!

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Sometimes, a book comes into my life that I know will hang around my mind indefinitely. Perhaps it was the story of The Goldfinch which influenced me, but more likely, it was the main character.

To me, an author who can make me love and hate a character, many times within sentences of each other, is a master of writing. Theo was a character who I worried about when not reading The Goldfinch. His plight was so real to me, and his personality was full of endearing attributes and tragic flaws.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, simply because I read the novel with no real research into the plot or reviews, and I think that my lack of prior knowledge of the story made it that much better, but I will say it is a fast paced (and long–800 pages!) novel that involves a painting which is as haunting as the novel in its name. So. If you can handle a gritty book with a bit of strong language, I highly recommend it.

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Failed Attempt to Cook #2

Pete and I decided to cook more. I even printed out a weekly menu and we went to the store to shop for everything we would need this week for cooking. We were ready for real dinners and yummy new recipes.

Today is dinner #2, and we are currently at a 0:2 ratio of successful dinners. Dinner #1 was a spaghetti carbonara. Easy, right? Well, yes, but our pasta rebelled and essentially broke into hundreds of tiny pieces while boiling. So it was carbonara with pasta that was no longer than an inch. Bummer! Tasted fine, but did not look appetizing!

And today, I accidentally turned on the wrong burner, and on that burner, was a glass dish with the remains of our brownies. I saw that I was recooking the dang brownies, so I grabbed two towels and moved the brownies off the burner. Right when I set it down, the glass exploded! Everywhere! A mess! Our rug is now in the trash, and our linoleum is burned (hope that doesn’t kill our deposit!).

We are now eating chips and granola bars. Once everything cools down, we will try to clean up the stove. Maybe our pizza will still be fine–just a few hours later than we planned.

I think we will go out to eat tomorrow. Much safer.

Evidence:

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Why Studio Living is Ideal (For Us, that is)

While I’m not much of a goal person, while in high school and college, there were some things that I thought would be “cool” to do at some point in my life–like living in the Avenues, riding the bus rather than having a car, and living in a studio apartment. So far, Pete and I have been able to fulfill some of these “goals”. But I never thought that we would really live in a studio apartment. The first time that we lived in a studio was in Estonia. It was a 300 sq ft apartment in the center of the city. It came furnished and was very well designed. It was this experience where Pete and I learned that having less is incredibly fulfilling (and enlightening).

When we came back to the States, we moved into a mainly college crowd apartment complex downtown. The floor plan and storage were lacking, so once our contract was over, we moved into a new construction loft apartment on South Temple. The aesthetic and design were fantastic, but it was honestly too much space for us. We found that having all of these separate rooms and spaces were unnecessary. Oh, and the rent was pricey, so it was a great excuse for us to downsize (can you really downsize when you’re 28 with no kids? Pete and I think so!).

And here we are. In a 500 sq ft studio.

Now for a list of why I like studio living:

– when all living spaces are combined (aside from a door separating the bathroom and closet), there are no walls that get in our way. As Pete says, it’s the ultimate open floor plan. We love not wasting space to make room for walls and separate rooms.

– we didn’t think that all of our furniture would fit, but it all has! I did have to get a bit creative with some of it, but in the end, I like the intimate space that is our little apartment.

– less space to clean!

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Doting new puppy parents

Because Pete and I don’t have a baby or kids to brag about, we have to become obsessed with our puppy, Zoli. We have plenty of videos of him doing nothing, along with blurry pictures that I don’t have the heart to delete. True signs of overly involved puppy parents.

We are now entering the stage known as “puppy is comfortable at home but when we leave, the invisible leash is in effect”. I have a feeling that we will miss this stage when it’s gone, but for now, it sure is fun having a tiny puppy follow you along with all the trust he’s got. When he’s not following us around, he’s in one of two modes: ultimate spastic energy or zombie sleepy dog. Both are equally entertaining. Lucky for us, Zoli sleeps through the night. The first few nights were rough, but we’ve got a great night time system now. But he still does freak out when we have to leave him in his kennel when we leave the apartment. He’ll catch on, we hope.

And now, some ridiculous pictures of our new favorite little resident.

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Pete went to Malta! (part one)

Once upon a time…. Pete got to go to a beautiful little island off of the coast of Sicily and North Africa.

He went for a few days to go to a conference for school. Pete loved it and he has some great stories, but those are his to tell, so if he wants (hint, hint to Pete if you read this), you are welcome to jump on the blog and tell them. As you can see from the pictures, it was sunny and beautiful weather. Pete got a bit of a sunburn and (more importantly) a break from the eternal winter known as Tallinn, Estonia.

Anywho, here are a bunch of pictures that he took! Before he left, I told Pete to take lots of pictures, but I didn’t think he actually would. He took over 200 pictures! Here are the best of the first few days of the trip (more pictures to come some other time):

Most buildings were made of sandstone

Because of how close Malta is to Libya and Tunisia, a lot of the buildings had a North African influence

The bathroom in Pete's hotel was outside his room, but he had a private shower and sink!

Not too shabby of a view, right?

Pictures like this make me really wish I could have gone!

If you actually looked at all of these pictures, congrats! I know that there were a ton!

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First Anniversary Poem (Untitled)

I wasn’t able to bring my guitar to Europe and write music, so I figured I would try my hand at poetry. With any luck I’ll be able forego any personal meltdowns due to my current emotional instability and fragility… but, we’ll see…

My hands fell down and my face was in the mud
Screaming, panting, alone in the dark
Trembling hands scrape crusted blood
Hands that, now eerily silent, freed Kimmy forever

Can’t hold still; fumbling for answers
Waiting to see what the light brings
Warnings summoned by a sense of rugged mastery
Make hiatus for an unsurpassed remorse

Lies, lies; poor excuses for not remembering the truth
Yet no one, not even I, remembers the questions posed that night
How did it escalate so far, so soon?
Innocence abandoned with neither thought nor cause

A night to determine all that follow
Whilst duty demands some unattainable recompense
My once effulgent soul now bleak and hollow
Her enemy, the spider, disdainfully smashed upon the wall

Forever lost to reconciliation
Her joy plays host to my infinite abasement

Happy first anniversary, Kimmy! This, in case you couldn’t tell, is a poem that I wrote about killing spiders for you, despite the moral dilemmas I constantly face as a result. I know you said it’s creepy, but I take that to mean awesome.

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Greece

We, of course, just showed up to Corfu, Greece with no plans. We didn’t realize it was Easter weekend, so hotels were super expensive! I was still recovering from being sick and not eating for a few days, so I had a mini breakdown while trying to find housing. Luckily, Pete’s awesome and went around to find an ATM while I sat on the side of a busy road (ATMs were really hard to find the whole time in Greece). I could barely walk, but we kept walking to find something. A guy named George stopped us and said that he had housing. We talked about a price, but he wanted to charge about $15 more than what we wanted to pay. I was so desperate to find somewhere so I could lay down, so we decided to give it a shot for a few days. We hopped into his car and he drove us through the beautiful area of Corfu to his “Villa Rosa.” On the outside, the place looked great! During the ride, George said that if we stayed the full 7 days that we were planning, he would drop the cost down to what we wanted. He also said he had a connection to scooters for 10 Euro per day (we were about 5 km away from a beach, and buses aren’t very convenient). We decided to stick around for the 7 days, even though we could tell that the apartment wasn’t very nice.

Greece ended up being a great place to relax and hang out! We had been moving so quickly through so many countries, so it was wonderful to have a place for 7 days. Unfortunately, this apartment was the nastiest place we have experienced (super cold, humid, everything got wet and moldy, nothing worked), but overall, we were glad that it was a good price. There’s no way we could have gotten a better price somewhere else.

Anywho, we had so much fun wandering around this island! We made it to the beach several times (it was overcast most of the time, so we didn’t get much sun, but hey, the beach is always great!).

This dog also became our friend each time we went to the beach. He was super friendly and would sit on my feet for several minutes. It was pretty hilarious to see him “greet” all of the people who were on the beach. I think that he is a very happy dog when it’s the high season and there are tons of people to be his friend.

On the beach, we found this random rock made up of lots of little cemented together rocks. Pete didn’t think that I could climb the rock barefoot, so I did. Pete was surprised and I totally climbed higher than him.

There was a lemon tree at our little villa. Pete made the most amazing lemonade! It was so fresh and delicious! Here are the before’s and after’s of all of the lemons Pete squeezed (or squoze, as Pete prefers to say):

One day, we went to Achillion’s Palace, which is an Austrian palace where an Austrian princess used to hang out. I must say, the grounds were more impressive than the inside.

Did you know I’ve never seen a firefly!? Greece was my first time ever seeing one! Pete was nice enough to catch one so I could get up-close-and-personal with my first firefly experience. This was very exciting for me!

Here is our scooter (and I have a glass of the amazing Pete Lemonade):

Here is an action shot of us on the scooter. Don’t worry, I got really good at holding on while taking pictures and videos.

And here are some other pics of our trip in Greece:

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Opatija, Croatia

We’re finishing up our last day here in Opatija, Croatia. We were going to get off at a different train stop, but we randomly decided to get off in Opatija. We didn’t realize that the train station was so far from the actual city, but after about 30 minutes of walking (downhill), we found an open room for 20 Euro (which is half what we paid in Ljubljana!). We got in last night and spent the day in the city. Opatija is a quaint little seaside resort-y town. The town is full of hills with narrow alleys between homes and restaurants. The weather was perfect today! Pete and I both got some sun from walking around.

View from our hotel room.

Pete decided that it would be fun to eat fish at the restaurant today. I wasn’t so daring. I got chivap (meat of sorts) with fries. But Pete still made me take a bite of what he ordered. He didn’t just order normal fish, he ordered squid. What a terrible idea. When I ate my piece, I made sure to have a few fries ready to swallow down the squiddy taste.

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Leaving Tomorrow!

We are leaving tomorrow…. holy cow! We’ve had so much fun spending these last few days with family and friends, so it’s going to be hard to say goodbye tomorrow. Pete and I finished packing our bags, and here’s what we’re going to have for the next 2 months.

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