Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Last year, Matt came up from San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with my family in San Francisco. He experienced his first Thanksgiving with my family, a small San Franciscan condo filled to the brim with family members and all types of food (turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, rice, sweet and sour pork, noodles, etc). Then we drove over to Reno and did Thanksgiving all over again.

What a difference a year makes. 

This year, we are sitting at home in our own apartment in San Francisco, watching football, prepping some side dishes (twice baked potatoes and sweet potato casserole) and waiting for my mom to pick us up to head over to my aunt's house near Pier 39. Same thing as last year. Tomorrow we'll be driving to Reno to do the same thing with his family.

We live together (in the SAME city) in San Francisco, all the time. We commute to work (him to Sausalito, and me to Mountain View). We both have full-time jobs at companies we adore. He has (finally) graduated. Last year, he was still in school, and I was still hating my job at Morgan Stanley. This year, he works at the firm that he has been interning at for two summers. I work at LinkedIn and my coworkers are some of my closest friends now. Matt bought a car that he couldn't be more happy with.

I'm grateful for the little things in life, having the day off today; our casual walk to Starbucks and grocery store this morning; how beautiful it is in the city today; seeing my brother in a few hours.

I'm also grateful for the things that are constant in my life: Matt, my family, his family, my friends, my job, our home. I love all you amazing people and thank God for you every day in my life :)

I'm excited to see what the next year brings (including a new niece or nephew!).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Best Birthday Ever

I think everyone must say (or think) this. But I really truly believe that I have the best friends ever. I turned 25 on Friday (yikes), and I honestly didn't know whether to smile or cry. I mean I love birthdays just as much as the next girl, but I heard that it all goes downhill from 25 (okay....I'm sure those people were being dramatic though). I was excited, but at the same time apprehensive. But luckily for this girl, I have some really great friends who made me feel loved all weekend long.

Friday started with the birthday bomb on my desk. I named the dinosaur Walter (and I love my LinkedIn family!).

Then the best guy ever took me on a date night at Panta Rei in North Beach, followed by cannolis for dessert and Rogue beer for a night cap (I'm looking at you Matt Evans).

But the best part was the 24 of my friends that loaded onto a party bus to go wine tasting in Sonoma. We hit up Robledo Winery (wouldn't go back there again), Viansa (where I could live for the rest of my life), and Nicholson Ranch (with its beautiful lake and amazing hospitality). I can't thank these wonderful friends enough for the amazing  and fun (and crazy wild) day we had. 

He is the best



Morgan Stanley fam

LinkedIn family

Best friend

Amazing beautiful wonderful friends

We capped off Saturday night with dinner at Osha Thai and drinks at Local Edition (btw, I am obsessed with this fun!!!!). 

And then on Sunday, I came home to these cupcakes from Miss Meghan all the way across the world (ok well across the country). AND Matt and I watched Despicable Me 2 AND Monster's University (life win).

Plus who could forget the calls/text messages/surprise hugs/messages/emails from everyone else. And if 26, 27, 28, 29, etc are anything like this birthday, I can't wait for the rest of them. Thank you lovely friends and family for loving me so much on this birthday!

Monday, June 17, 2013

5 days until Graduation!

Do you ever want to start a new blog post, and then you decide not to because there's so much you need to blog about that you just get overwhelmed? Well that's kind of how I feel right now.

From our 5 year anniversary, to Matt's birthday in May, to Ping and Jon's wedding, there is literally SO much I want to blog about. But to be honest, I have had zero desire to blog lately. So for now, I am just counting down to Matt's graduation instead, which will be this Saturday. It's crazy to think of all the things we have conquered and endured and just plain survived over the past few years, and it's crazy to think about how everything is happening exactly how we wanted it to.

So like I said, for now, it's 5 days til Matt's graduation! Here's to hoping that I find the energy to blog about all the other cool stuff that has been happening.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top 5

Lately (for whatever reason) I've been thinking of my top five music artists/songs.  This is kind of a spontaneous post, but I got really excited to write it because it's something I find myself talking about with friends often enough.  "If you were stranded on an island and had to fill your ipod with only 5 musical artists, who would make the cut?"

My Top 5 consists of artists that, at any point in time, I can turn their music on and enjoy with unwavering passion.  Most of these artists are pretty popular so I'm sure you have heard their music before, but if that is not the case I strongly recommend you check them out.

Top 5 musical artists:

1.  The Fray
2.  John Mayer
3.  Trevor Hall
4.  Mat Kearney
5.  Ben Howard

*Honorable Mention
Brett Dennen
Ed Sheeran

Top 5 songs:

1.  How to Save a Life - The Fray
2.  Other Ways - Trevor Hall
3.  Give Me Love - Ed Sheeran
4.  Slow Dancing in a Burning Room - John Mayer
5.  Over My Head - The Fray

I can't wait to come back in 5-10 years and see if any of these top 5 have changed!  Feel free to post your Top 5's of anything!  We'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome amazing beautiful wonderful and incredible moms out there who love their children unconditionally all day every day. I know sometimes we can be selfish and annoying and big pains in the butt, but you guys still love us. So thanks for sticking it out with us, we love you times a trillion.

Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful mom, and Matt's beautiful mom, Connie! 

PS- Kid President says Happy Mother's Day too!!

Monday, May 6, 2013



That's right, starting July 8th, Matt will be the newest employee at Backen Gillam Kroeger. He just accepted his job offer the other day (and he still has almost 6 weeks of school left). Needless to say, he is a complete rockstar and I am so incredibly proud of him. For those of you who don't know, he started interning for them the summer of 2011 (and then the summer of 2012), and has been working remotely for them from San Diego since then. We really truly love this architecture firm and all the amazing things they are doing, and we are so excited for Matt to get his start here. 

This leads us to our second piece of exciting news. As you can tell from the letter, the firm is based in Sausalito, CA (which is right across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco). That means...Matt will be relocating to the Bay Area!!!!! Which also means....we won't be the token long-distance relationship couple anymore!!!!! We've known for a few weeks already, but even typing that our right now makes me want to cry (in a really really good way). We are very lucky, and I feel like God has blessed us with so much. We've had our ups and downs like every couples, but really this is probably the most "Up" up ever. Stay tuned for more updates from us, but like I said before, we are so excited to share this news with everyone!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Friday!

Good morning, hope everyone has a great day!!!

I'm not sure why, but I am obsessed with these commercials!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Good News Bears!!!

Sometimes things get hard and sometimes I feel a little lost. Because honestly...what am I going to do with the rest of my life? I know I might sound like a whiny 24 year old, but realistically, this is real. I am surrounded by the smartest, brightest, and most intelligent people in the world (thank you Silicon Valley) and it's hard to pinpoint where I'm going to shine the brightest. So let's start over. What is my ultimate goal in life? What do I want to do 5, 10, 50 years from now?

Welllll.... I can't say I know for sure. But I do have some good news in the meantime. I just accepted a job offer at LinkedIn. And I feel like I haven't been this excited about anything for a very long time!!! I feel like I'm finally moving in the right direction. In two weeks exactly, I'll be starting a new job at LinkedIn as a recruiting coordinator. I think part of the reason I'm so excited is because I LOVE LinkedIn (Did you know they are growing at a rate of 2 user sign-ups per second?? I know, it blows my mind toooo...).The next two weeks can't come soon enough!! The whole thing is a little bittersweet though, because I also realized how much I have appreciated the past two years at Morgan Stanley. Since the cat got out of the bag, I can't describe how grateful I am to have worked with such amazing and supportive people, and I am so thankful for each and every one of you.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me recently (Matt, my family, my friends, Jesus). Like I said previously, I've definitely had my fair share of whining and panicking. But here I am now, excited to embark on a new adventure at LinkedIn. Wish me luck!!

But waitttt.... there's more. I also signed up to be a Child Advocate in January. If you don't know what a Child Advocate is...well I think of myself as a Big Brother/Big Sister with legal rights for a specific foster child, to ensure that the needs and best interests of the child are met. I won't be an attorney, or a social worker, or a foster parent...I am just going to be a friend to a foster child. I am in my last two weeks of training, and in two Thursdays, I graduate as a court-appointed Child Advocate. I am, however, postponing taking on a child right away because of the job switch, and because I really want to be able to devote myself to being a positive impact on this little person's life. If you (or anyone you know) is interested in learning more about becoming a Child Advocate, please do not hesitate to reach out to me!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Stay Tuned

I have exciting news :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Clydesdales... Wow

Hands down best Superbowl commercial...ever. Pretty sure I cried (on the inside) and have watched the commercial 20 times on Youtube (I know I am a joke sometimes).

We're also not going to talk about the Niners heartbreaking loss. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kid President

I'm in love with this kid. He is adorable and brilliant. I want to adopt him. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch the video! It's everybody's duty to give the world a reason to dance.

Not Cool, Robert Frost.

Thanks for sharing Amber, I needed the inspiration :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas with the Evans

Well it's officially been lightyears since my last blog post (which if you recall may have been about becoming a better (and more consistent) blogger), but win some, you lose some. Maybe it will make this blog post ten times more special??? Anyways, I'd like to dedicate this post to the Evans family. Why??? Because they are AWESOME! This was the first year Matt and I spent actual Christmas day together (if you recall, Matt spent Thanksgiving day with my family, so we did a swap-a-roo for Christmas) and it was so magical and special. So here's a blog post dedicated to my second favorite family!!

Matt and I drove up to Reno the Friday before Christmas. Well that was a rough start. It took us 9.5 hours to get to Reno from Sunnyvale (read as: that took us twice as long, and then some), which was awful (but weirdly Matt and I made it through without wanting to strangle one another). Literally we were stopped in bumper to bumper traffic for at least 2 HOURS. I could have walked faster. But thank God for Taco Bell and Kenny G Christmas music. So Friday night was kind of a bust, and we went straight to bed!

Our co-pilot for the trip!

Putting on chains for the first time!
When we woke up on Saturday, the 12 days of Christmas was in full swing. On the dining room table, there were Christmas gift bags labeled with each of our names. Matt had told me about the 12 days of Christmas traditions year before I had a chance to experience it, so you can imagine how excited I was to find a bag with my name on it. On that specific day, it was sugary breakfast cereals! I'm usually not a huge fan of cereal for breakfast (it's just too sweet) but I was ecstatic for my Cinnamon Toast Crunch!!! Every once in a while, it's fun to overload on sugar before 10am :) (did I mention General Mills now uses whole grain to make the it's practically like eating vegetables!). Matt and I each scarfed down a bowl of cereal (I think he got Reese's Puffs) and then watched some football until it was time to meet up with his friends for sushi. All-you-can-eat-sushi isn't very Christmas-y but it is a very Reno thing to do. We tried a new place called Kitzmo Sushi and if anyone from Reno reads this blog, I highly recommend it. Great food, plus we got to hang out with Matt's brothers and his friend Bas (who is practically a brother). After sushi, we went back to Matt's house and he watched more college football (yay...not) while I got a mani-pedi with his sister Abby, it's always great to catch up with her (especially now that she's a college kid). Afterwards, we went to my favorite store, Charming Charlie, and stocked up on accessories, and hung out at their house until the rest of the fam came over. I'm jumping ahead, but every year Matt's family has a Christmas day tradition of watching a movie at the theaters, and this year, we were going to watch the Hobbit. So in preparation for the Hobbit, we decided we were going to watch all of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So his entire family crowded around the couch and we started the first movie that night over takeout pizzas from Papa Murphy's! You know, I never really loved LOTR before (I had only seen each movie once in theaters before our movie marathon) and I actually really enjoyed it the second time around!


I made a cake, it says Merry Christmas!
When we woke up on Sunday, 12 days struck again. This time we got socks! I loved them, mine were red and green and yellow and pink (I think). We ate breakfast (sugar breakfast cereal FTW) and popped in the second LOTR movie. It was pretty gloomy outside and kind of snowy so we figured, why the heck not? Afterwards, Matt and I did a little shopping until we went to church. Matt's brother Brandon is pretty involved with a church called Living Stones in Reno, and they had a really great service. If I lived in Reno, that would be my church of choice! After church, we piled back into the Evans' SUV and went through the drive-thru at In & Out. Needless to say, they hated us. Just kidding, there was only seven of us, and we were pretty organized with our ordering! Plus we got to say hi to Matt's friend, Levi, who also works at In & Out. Guess what we did when we got back to the house!? You're right, we did watch the last and final LOTR movie!!!! Plus we got to do the Walmart gift dash! Because there are so many people in their family, the Evans have a tradition where they draw names out of a hat, and go to Walmart as a family to buy a gift for the person whose name they drew out. So of course, I picked the one person who doesn't write anything on their list, so I had to scramble around trying to find something fun, creative, clever, and useful (I take gift giving very seriously). Luckily, I found an electronic indoor basketball set, because what 20-something year old guy doesn't want to play basketball against their roommate sitting on the couch? In all seriousness, I love this tradition: running around Walmart at 10PM shopping for gifts is kind of fun, especially when you're ducking behind things so that the other family members don't see what you're holding. Yes sounds a little sketchy, but I promise, it's loads of fun :)

When we woke up on Monday, there was nothing in our 12 days bags yet. We went to lunch with two of Matt's best friends (Jeremy and Bas) at BJ's and played pool at Bas' house. These guys are a riot, especially when you get them all together! Plus Jeremy lives in Naaasshville, so it's been a while since both Matt and I have seen him. For Christmas eve, Matt's family always goes to his Aunt Merrie's house for Christmas Eve dinner, and this is another tradition I've been dying to be a part of!! His aunt always cooks like a 12-course meal, and all he can ever talk about is the shrimp cocktail and the prime rib. Everyone was there, including Matt's grandparents, his uncle Chip (who is married to Merrie) and even Caitlin's brother Sean and dad Jeff (Caitlin is Brandon's wife). It's always great to see Matt's extended family because his grandparents are the nicest people, and his aunt and uncle are the biggest Lakers fan (well only his uncle, but Merrie by association has to be a Lakers fan too). The dinner was SPECTACULAR. Literally, this woman is a culinary genius. Being a big foodie, this was like a dream come true: everything was so original (creamy celery soup and pistachio-crusted grapes) and delicious (Prime rib, shrimp cocktail, prime rib, shrimp cocktail). Seriously, I would gain 400 pounds if I ate like that all the time. Definitely a feast to remember. Thanks for cooking Merrie. After dinner, we did the gift swap with everyone. There were so many presents everywhere! Thanks for including me in everything and making me feel like part of the family (definitely loved my Starbucks gift card and bath set). When we got back to Matt's house, his parents gave us our last 12 days presents. And guess what I got!??!???! A ONESIE!!!!!!! YES, full on footed pajamas. And yes, I was ecstatic. Literally Abby and I looked at each other and were like, "Can we put these on?" "yes!!!!!" So naturally, I spent the rest of the night in a onesie. And I'd never been happier :) :)

On Christmas morning, we woke up to a Christmas breakfast. His mom made french toast and bacon, and all his brothers came over. Another recipe I'll have to save for later: baked french toast. Seriously, I feel like I ate my way through Christmas. After breakfast, we did presents. Matt's parents really go all out for this. Every single person had a pile of presents, myself included. I can't stop saying thank you, but thank you Connie & Jerry for including me in everything (and also for my new Chi straighter, cooking gear/recipes, gift cards, and everything else). It was so much fun going round and round in circles watching everyone's faces light up over their presents. Plus his family is so close that it really is just magical being part of it. When we finished with presents, we did their annual movie on Christmas and went to see the Hobbit. I loved it, I think it's a great story, and I'm hoping to read the book soon! Plus when you're surrounded by popcorn and family, even the worst movie could be good. Afterwards, we came home and unloaded our stockings, which were filled with little gadgets and trinkets, like Lakers pens, Giants stickers, recipe cards, etc. Probably the most random assortment of stuff ever, but you can tell Matt's mom really thought about what was going into each person's stockings! We also did the Walmart gift exchange, and I gave Brian his indoor basketball set (which I think he really liked). Guess who got me? MATT. No wonder he wouldn't shop with me when we were at Walmart. He got me a cupcake holder (which I had pointed out while I was in the store) and plenty of candy (because I have a sweet tooth like no other). He really is the best isn't he? Afterwards, his mom whipped up a last minute dinner, which included a full ham and twice baked potatoes. Even last minute meals are very homemade at the Evans household. Unfortunately, I had a plane to catch right after dinner, so we said our goodbyes and Matt drove me to the airport. The whole time I was hoping that I would get snowed in, but unfortunately, my plane just got delayed for two hours instead. Overall, this was probably one of my favorite Christmas holidays to date. I love Christmas with my family, but it's much more low-key than Matt's family. His family really just relishes the Christmas traditions and you can just tell they love each other so much. I'm so incredibly grateful to have been with his family this year. Thank you for a wonderful celebration of family and love and baby Jesus. I can't wait for many more Christmases to come with the Evans.

Lily also got presents!

Merry Christmas from Matt & Margaret