I realize this post is very late. Life has changed a lot for us in the past 6 months, since I wrote the last Decker update. We’ve had some amazing things happen and some of the highlights include: we moved into our first home; we celebrated our 3rd anniversary, we adopted a polar bear (actually a half Pyrenees/Australian shepherd mix huge dog), named Sadie; and we found out we’re expecting our first baby, baby girl in July 2018; and we had a good holiday season!
I had some technical (probably user error) difficulties uploading the pictures so they are pretty scattered time wise, but bear with me, I’ll explain all of them.
I am one of those people who was born in the wrong era for music. Being the oldest child in my family I tend to live in the past with my music preferences and listen to the stuff my parents listened to when they were growing up. I’m not ashamed about, just explaining my vague Neil Diamond reference title. 😉
Just like June, July, and August, summer flew by. I love the warm weather. It also happens to be the busiest time in the RV industry, for obvious reasons. I was looking through my pictures on my phone and noticed that most of my pictures this summer are of Airstream trailers. Part of my responsibilities at work is managing the online posting of inventory and so my phone is chalk-full of trailer pictures. I’ve included a snapshot of my google photos for proof. 🙂
At the end of September was the semi-annual LDS General Conference. I LOVE those two weekends each year. One of my favorite messages from this last conference was by President Uchtdorf, he titled it “A Yearning for Home.” He said, “The Lord has established The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help you in this commitment to serve God and fellowmen. Its purpose is to encourage, teach, lift, and inspire. This wonderful Church provides opportunities for you to exercise compassion, reach out to others, and renew and keep sacred covenants. It is designed to bless your life and improve your home, community, and nation. Come, join with us and trust the Lord. Lend your talents to His wonderful work. Reach out, encourage, heal, and support all who desire to feel and heed the yearning for our supernal home. Let us join together in this glorious pilgrimage to heavenly climes. The gospel is a transcendent message of hope, happiness, and joy. It is the pathway that leads us home. As we embrace the gospel in faith and deed, each day and every hour, we will draw a little closer to our God. Our lives will be better, and the Lord will use us in remarkable ways to bless those around us and bring about His eternal purposes.” Such a happy message. The link is in the title and I encourage anyone to read it.
My sister, Nikki, inspired me to catch up on our blog because she has recently done her August month post. Gotta keep up with the Browns 😉
It has been such a busy summer! Josh and I have been working like crazy BUT we also managed to have some fun as well. Josh and I visited Nikki and her family, the Browns in Colorado at the end of August. We wanted to be able to visit them this year as well as catch a Rockies game and visit the Denver LDS temple. It was so fun to check off another MLB game and visit another temple on our life-long goal of attending a game at every MLB stadium and visiting the nearest LDS temple. Sadly, the Rockies lost but it’s always fun to go to a baseball game. Thanks Mitch and Nikki for coming too! We really appreciated their hospitality. We were able to stay and hang out with them and their 2 super cute kids for a weekend. I think their 3 year old daughter, Ashlyn, has a little crush on Josh. 🙂
This summer Josh has been super busy working and taking classes so we didn’t have much time for a summer vacation. I was getting a little stir crazy so Josh planned a little getaway for Labor Day. #ilovemyjoshy We are still working on our goal to visit every MLB stadium and nearby LDS temple so Josh planned for us to visit Seattle and see a Mariner’s game and the Seattle temple. I was SO excited when I found out about it! Josh and I love to go on road trips. I was able to get an extra day off work so we could leave Thursday night after work. We drove half-way to Ontario, Oregon and were going to sleeping in our car overnight, but my dad called in the middle of the drive and gave us a hotel night with his points. Very nice! Thanks dad!
We set off again Friday morning. Eastern Washington is so beautiful with all the green pine and mountains. We loved that part of the drive. We arrived in Seattle around 2 p.m. We stopped by the Seattle LDS Temple to walk around because our hotel was only 10 minutes away and we couldn’t check-in our hotel quite yet. After we checked in, we decided to go to Pike Place Market and explore downtown. It was an adventure trying to find where to park and then finding our car afterwards but we figured it out. The market was really neat and we found some used book stores that had a couple of books we have been looking for in our collection. Score! The fish market was also really impressive. They were selling fresh Alaskan King Crab at $99 a leg, and the legs were longer than Josh. Crazy!
Josh has had a goal on his bucket list to try Steelhead Trout, so we were able to find a really good restaurant that was reasonably priced. I tried some Salmon pasta and it was the best salmon I have ever had. #welovefish We walked off the really good food a bit downtown and headed back to our hotel. On Saturday we visited the Seattle Temple, it was rainy and so we bought an umbrella for the rest of the trip. It was probably the most typical souvenir we could have bought. 🙂
The weather cleared up and we wanted to try some local pizza. It wasn’t super great, but it was good. Josh really enjoyed it. We spent the afternoon at the beach. I looove the beach so we walked around the boardwalk and saw a baby light house and watched the cruise ships come in and out. Pretty awesome. It was kind of funny because most of the tourists we saw in the area were middle aged and elderly people. I guess we’re a little old for our generation. 🙂
Saturday evening we went to the Seattle Mariners baseball game. It was so fun. I was always a fan of Ken Griffey Jr. growing up (fellow lefty), so it was fun seeing the team with who he mostly played and in the same year he was inducted in the hall of fame. The Mariners played the Angels and lost pretty badly. But we saw some great baseball players, like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols! The Angels hit 3 home runs in one inning, in right, center, and then left. And we saw Pat Venditte, a pitcher on the Mariners, that can pitch ambidextrous, crazy. We had to try the stadium food fare. Josh had a really good hot dog, typical baseball food. I had fresh Sushi. They rolled it right in front of you. I figured I wouldn’t have that opportunity again. I’m pretty addicted to sushi. The weather was great and it was the perfect evening for a baseball game.
We went to church on Sunday and then went to another beach to have a picnic. We hiked to a secluded beach and then had a picnic lunch. It was so nice because we were the only ones on the beach. I found a few seashells to add to my collection. We then started our journey home and went to Spokane. We stayed with Josh’s childhood friend Kenny and his wife. They were so nice to host us. We also stopped by the Spokane LDS Temple. That was fun because that particular temple design is similar to both of our mission temples, Palmyra and Montevideo.
On Monday, we headed home early and stopped in Missoula, Montana to get some huckleberry jam and chocolate. We also stopped in Idaho Falls to get some potato thickened chocolate milk. So good!
We had such an incredible adventure. I’m so grateful to my Joshy for planning this trip! #weloveseattle
Softball has started again! Yay! Josh and I have been super excited (and a little nervous) about getting the team together. Sometimes people are flaky. We have a good mix of friends and family on the team. Our team Smushballs, also our sponsor, got off to a good start, which also means we won our first game! My batting needed some work but Josh did great as usual. We both had some good plays. It was a ball! 😉 The team playing after us asked one of the girls to stay and play. I volunteered to play. Josh was great and cheered me on. I love to play softball, but I love to play more with people I know and like. Go Smushballs!
Josh and I kept the party going on Saturday. We invited our siblings over for dinner and to play Star Wars. #nerdfest Josh made lemon basil chicken sandwiches. They were so good! (See recipe posted in “Major League Food.”) Afterwards, Josh, Joseph, and Stefi played Star Wars while Quincy and I played with baby Kendra and made jewelry. Stefi beat the boys. #girlpower Our cousin Naomi also stopped by to visit 🙂 AND we had some FaceTime with my other sister, Nikki, and her son, Davy, in Colorado! It was quite the party. Gotta love weekends!
My awesome cousin Naomi planned an awesome cousins gathering last weekend. Go figure. We decided we would invite all the cousins in the area that wanted to come or could come to an action-packed, fun-filled Saturday. The grand total was 5- my cousins Heidi and Naomi came as well as my sister Stefi and Josh and me. We went to the Salt Lake City Temple to do some service. It was beautiful, I love going to the temple. Afterwards, we debated about where to eat and finally decided on Crown Burger (they were also featured on Man vs. Food). Josh tried the classic Crown burger and I had a baby burger. The fries were amazing. After the food, Naomi and Heidi took a detour and went shopping (goobers), while Josh, Stefi, and I went to the baseball game. They eventually made it and the game went to 11 innings. We told them it was because they were late to the game. Sadly, the Bees lost. The finale was the fireworks. We were able to go onto the baseball field and watch the fireworks. Super cool.
It was a great day and everything went as planned except we were missing a few cousins. #nexttime
Josh and I had our last softball game on Friday. We made it through one round of the tournament and lost the game by one. Josh played great as usual! I had fun and didn’t do so bad. It was okay that we lost. We didn’t have a regular team each week, so each week was different. It was stressful each week making sure we had enough people to play. The team was sponsored by the company I work for and we were baffled how we couldn’t easily get 10 people to play each week. Oh well, farewell to softball season until August. Josh and I still love playing so much we are starting a co-ed team in August. It will be super fun and *hopefully* people will come.
Every 4th of July, the city of Provo puts on the “Stadium of Fire.” It is a really cool show with a headline name and lots of a fireworks. This year, Tim McGraw came to perform. My dear cousin/friend Nomi came went with me. Josh hates country music, one of the few points we are exactly opposite. Josh did not want to go at all, but he was really sweet to drive us to and back from the concert. I love, love, love country music and it was so great to see a legend in concert especially with Nomi and for the Fourth, country music is so American. Nomi got us t-shirts that said “Stay humble and kind” that is a line from his most recent single. I got us cowboy hats to wear, so we looked like true fans. Nomi and I sang to almost every song, it was great! It’s kind of funny you go to a concert to sing a long, not just to listen :). Yee-haw!
In our intro to this blog, Josh and I mentioned our goal to visit every Major League Baseball stadium and the nearest LDS temple. We talked about this when we were dating and it has been awesome that we get to this together. We went on our first trip last year to the Washington DC and Baltimore Area. What an amazing trip! This last weekend we went on our second trip to Arizona. It was great because Josh’s favorite team is the Arizona Diamondbacks.
My parents gave us some of their extra airplane and hotel points for my birthday so we could go down relatively cheap. Such a nice birthday present. We flew out bright and early Friday morning. Last year when we went to Baltimore, Josh told me it would probably be my last time having to drive us around. It’s a little scary driving in a new city. But…Josh hasn’t turned 25 yet, so I drove again. We survived 🙂 and the experience went mostly without a hitch. I had a bit of a adrenaline rush when a big moving box fell out of a car in front of us and I had to serve and cut off a driver to avoid the box. A semi-truck hit the box after me, which was probably the best because it didn’t do much damage on a big truck. After getting our car, we decided to visit the Gilbert LDS temple first. It is so beautiful. It looks like the Payson, Utah temple. After that, we tried a pizza place called Sal’s Gilbert Pizza, it was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” It was really tasty and I really liked the garlic knots. Highly recommended. After resting some we walked over to Chase Field to watch batting practice and tried to get a ball. We weren’t successful but we did eat at one of the field’s restaurants that overlooked the field. Super cool. Josh had nostalgia because his family would come watch games when they lived in Mexico. Josh found some really good seats for us, but I was kind of scared because they were at the edge of the highest deck. I had to take some deep breaths sometimes during the game. 🙂 I’m kind of a chicken and scared of heights. The game was a blowout. The Diamondbacks lost big time to the Rockies and didn’t even score. 😦 Fortunately, the game and atmosphere was fun and we were excited to check another ballpark off the list.
On Saturday we slept in, that was really nice after getting up at 4:30 a.m. the previous day. Josh planned out our Saturday and we went to a lot of different places. We stopped by and took pictures of the Phoenix and Mesa LDS temples. We ate a sub shop called Mike’s Jersey Subs. I was really excited when I found out they have a shop in Utah too. It was yummy! We did some fun and random shopping afterwards. We love thrift stores :). In the evening, we had dinner and visited my dear friends Elder and Hermana Crum. They were are missionary couple I met in Uruguay and helped me so much while I was beginning my mission. I tell people that they helped save my mission. I was really glad that they were able to meet Josh. I love them a lot.
We flew out first thing on Sunday. It was a really quick trip, but so much fun. Everybody needs a little weekend break 🙂
I first wanted to mention we had our second softball game of the season Friday night and Josh hit a home run with me on base. It was great game and we won our game!! He’s awesome!
I know my birthday was a week ago, but I had one more request for Josh to celebrate my birthday and he kindly obliged. Josh took me to Manti to visit the LDS Manti Temple. It was so beautiful. It’s interesting because Manti is such a small town, but it has a huge building on the side of the mountain as you drive into town that looks like a medieval castle. That huge building is the temple. My cousin Naomi loves Manti and has some really good friends down there so we invited her to come along. We had fun hanging out with her and meeting her friends. We also stopped by a really good pizza place that had ZERO decorations and no menu posted. It just has white walls, kind of funny. It has been around a few years, but apparently they never saw the need to spruce it up. 🙂 Manti is an hour and a half away so that is pretty much how we spent our Saturday, great day!
Despite all appearances to the contrary, this is in fact a couple’s blog, never mind the fact that to date 100% of our posts have been written by Tiffani. I will admit that I’m rather tardy in making my appearance in written form here, especially considering I’m writing about an adventure we had just a shade over a year ago now.
As some of you may know, the genesis of this blog, including our many baseball-related puns, is Tiffani and my mutual love of baseball and our desire to visit every MLB stadium and take in a game, It’ s something we talked about pretty early on in our dating, and though at the time we had no idea we’d be doing it together, it was at least in the back of my mind that she’d be a great traveling companion. So far we’ve checked two stadiums off the list, with a third coming at the end of this month. Today’s post, however, is about those first two.
Our first Christmas together, in 2014, we got one gift that was unique from the others, the opportunity to fly anywhere within the U.S., from Tiffani’s parents. We talked a while trying to come up with the idea of how to use our trip, and of course immediately we realized we wanted to do a baseball trip. Eventually we settled on going to Washington DC, so that we could visit the sites and museums, and hopefully find time to make it to a game in Baltimore as well. finally the date was set, arrangements were made, and on April 6 we started our trip. Thankfully our travel was uneventful, and the first night we were there we stayed with the Croy family in Maryland, whose daughter was good friends with Tiffani.
The next morning Brother Croy took us up north to Gettysburg PA, where we walked all along the battlefield, learning a lot from our host along the way. it was a surprise just how big the battlefield was, and hearing the many stories of how it played out was beyond interesting. after spending the morning and most of the afternoon in Gettysburg until we were rained out, we returned to Maryland and I took the opportunity to introduce Tiffani to a place that’s been close to my heart since my first week in New York- Wegmans. We spent a considerable time enjoying the cheese selection and getting subs, and finally we started our trip further south into the DC area.
We stayed the rest of our trip in Laurel, MD, not far from either Baltimore or Washington. Tiffani was pretty apprehensive about driving in unfamiliar territory, but as I’m still under 25 the rental car was left in her hands. She did admirably though. The next day we had planned to visit as many of the landmarks as we could, but in the end we only made it through the national gallery and the air and space museum. I take the blame for that, as staring at airplanes will keep me entertained for hours. After a brief stop to get gyros from a truck we started to make our way out to National’s park for our very first Major League game together.
It was anything other than typical baseball weather. We came early for batting practice, but soon found ourselves taking shelter from the sleet and cold in the restaurant within the stadium. When we were finished we immediately found hot chocolate to keep ourselves warm on the inside, and bought a souvenir blanket for Tiffani to use during the game, which ended up being delayed by an hour due to the rain. Thankfully, the game was played and we had a blast watching as the home team beat Atlanta. That night we slept very soundly, finally being out of the rain and after a considerable amount of walking for the day.
The next day we visited the Washington DC temple, going through the visitor’s center and then going in for a session. It being a weekday in a temple built huge to accommodate an influx of weekend travelers, we had it very nearly to ourselves. It was very peaceful to be in such a large building almost completely devoid of any hustle or bustle, something that is, understandably, hard to come by in the Utah temples. That night we made another stop at Wegmans and made ourselves a dinner of Rochester white hots and baguettes with Brie and jam.
Our second to last day we met up with Brother Croy again, who this time took us to Dulles, VA, and one of my favorite places to visit- The Stephen F. Uvdar-Hazy center, more commonly known as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (and yes, another, different one from the one we visited two days before.) once again Tiffani was a great sport as I regaled her with the history of the Concorde, waxed lyrical about the lines of the F-4 Phantom II, droned on about the benefits of a radial piston configuration for airplane engines, took countless pictures, and so on.
That night we went to a sushi bar in Washington, the kind with the conveyor belt and endless plates of sushi revolving in front of our table. I ate well, if somewhat modestly. Tiffani, on the other hand, likely reduced the ocean’s population by a full third that night. I had five or so of the small plates that I’d cleared in front of me, and Tiffani had towers of them. Yellowtail, Bluefin, salmon, shrimp, crab, and mountains of sticky rice finally satiated the appetite of the girl who, on that night, could have given any shark in the ocean a run for it when it came to a craving for seafood.
On our last full day of our trip we were really hoping to see an Orioles game, but there was a problem. Their first series was away, and this day was going to be the home opener, and so our only chance to see them in Baltimore. Tickets for the game we only available in bundles, and resale tickets we prohibitively expensive. Finally the night before the game they opened up single game tickets and we snagged two of them. The game was not near as cold or rainy as the Nationals game was, but we still were happy to find a vendor who sold hot chocolate. The game itself was very fun, we got to watch the Blue Jays, who would end up making it to the ALCS that year, walk roughshod all over the Orioles. Needless to say, the home crowd was upset with the game and the team and life itself.
When it finally came time to come home, we were happy for the chance to rest a bit, but so happy we were able to do and see and experience all that we did over the course of just under a week. We had an absolute blast on our trip to DC and Baltimore, had a great time getting to know each other even better in ways that we couldn’t just at home, and we got even more excited about our goal. I can’t think of any better way to kick off the Decker’s tour of the majors than exactly how we did it. 🙂