Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wedding Bells

I feel like I have so much to update everyone on, but instead I've decided to post about our wedding while it's still somewhat fresh in my mind....

Joe and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 23, 2011 at 9:40 am. Yes, it was early, and that was the result of a compromise! Joe wanted to get married earlier and I wanted much later but neither of us wanted to feel rushed throughout the day and it ended up being perfect. So many of our good friends and family members were able to come to the wedding and it made the ceremony so special. Elder Neil Anderson is a good friend of Joe and his family so we were lucky to have him perform the ceremony - it was amazing. He made it so personal and meaningful. I missed having my brother Jaren there (he's in Afganistan) but he was able to call me during the Luncheon to congratulate us - that meant a lot. Thank you technology!
After greeting everyone outside the temple and taking lots of pictures, we headed over to Little America for our Luncheon. It was beautiful and Joe's mom did such an amazing job planning everything. Joe and I asked a few of our siblings and friends to give little toasts/speeches along with our parents. Everyone did such a wonderful job. It was emotional and meaningful and so amazing. The best part was having so many of the people we love all in the same room. (We showed a video at the luncheon but I can't get it to upload on here. If you want to see it check out my facebook...)
After the luncheon we had our reception in my neighbor's beautiful backyard. I've always wanted an outside garden reception and it was absolutely perfect. My parents and sister were so amazing throughout all of the wedding planning - it wouldn't have been possible without them. Marci helped (OK dominated) a lot of the DIY projects that I wanted at my wedding and I'm so lucky to have such a talented sister.
The weather was so beautiful all day and we were able to spend the day with everyone we love. It all kind of seemed surreal and I was so happy that I would finally be spending forever with Joe. We both tried to take in as much as we could but everything seemed to pass by so quickly. I could go on and on about how perfect the day was but I'll spare you from any more cheesy details. It was simply amazing and I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm so happy to be married to such an amazing man
We have a wedding video too, but of course it won't upload either. (Again, check FB) F.Y.I. - it is amazing. My sister's friend did our engagement story and wedding video and Joe and I were SO happy with the finished products. He was so good to work with and he spent the ENTIRE day with us so he wouldn't miss a thing. His name is Kamron Jenson and if anyone needs a wedding videographer anytime soon I highly recommend him! Our photographer, Brandon Flint, was amazing as well. He is one of Joe's good friends and it was so much fun working with such a talented friend. Major perk: taking a trip to Cali in July to see Joe and take our engagement pictures. So so lucky.
Thanks to everyone who made that day so special!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Last week I was lucky enough to go home to Utah for a surprise visit. The trip was last minute and only a handful of people knew about it beforehand, but I was so excited. The main reason for my visit was for my nephew Kayden's 6th birthday. He had a big Star Wars birthday party planned and lots of (constantly changing) ideas for what he wanted for his birthday, but when his mom asked him what he wanted more than anything, it was for me to be able to come to his party. And who am I to deny him that? Not to brag, but I don't blame him. After all, I'm his favorite aunt :) Lucky for Kayden and myself, Lindsay was generous enough to fly me home for the weekend. Kayden had no idea and it was so much fun to surprise him and the rest of my family. I don't have a picture of us from the party because 1. I'm not the best at taking pictures, and 2. It isn't easy trying to get a 6-year-old to hold still for even a second at his own birthday party...but here are a few pictures so you can see how cute this little man is.
I love this kid so much. He's growing up waaaay too fast, especially now that I don't get to see him very much, but I'm so happy I was able to fulfill his birthday wish (mostly thanks to his mother...thanks Linds!!!) Happy birthday Kayd!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Days Off

Joe's work schedule is kind of crazy these days. For the next five weeks he is teaching Saturdays and Sundays so weekends for us are now Wednesdays and Thursdays. It throws off our week a little bit, but it actually works out fine for now since I don't have a job (and that is the ONLY good thing about not having a job yet, but that's a whole other story). Anyway, this was his first week of teaching, so after working ten days straight, he was ready for some time off and I was ready to finally hang out with him!

Wednesday was wonderful. I started the day off with a job interview. I won't get into that, I'd rather just celebrate when I actually do get a job. After that we headed into the city for lunch at Barney's - a really yummy burger place here. I'm not a huge burger person, but this place is delish and their sweet potato fries are to die for!

After lunch we went to the social security office to...drum roll please....CHANGE MY NAME! I'm now officially Kara Brooks Jeppson!!! To be honest, it doesn't feel too different because I've been telling people my name is Kara Jeppson since day one of our marriage, but it does feel nice to make it official. The whole process was quick and easy...not at all what I was expecting.

After the name change was the best part of the day: Joe and I went to the Oakland Temple! It was my first time there and it. was. amazing. It was so beautiful and I'm so lucky to have a husband that can take me there. Luckily, the Oakland Temple is only about 35-40 minutes from our house so we'll be back very soon.
Next we headed to Berkely to La Mediterranee, one of my favorite restaurants here in Cali. It's authentic Greek food and I love it so much! We finished the day off with some yummy ice cream from Ici, a little shop in Berkeley. They always have new, different flavors to try but the best part is the fresh, handmade cones with chocolate poured into the bottom. So so so good. Such a perfect day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I love everything about Halloween - the costumes, the cooler weather, the spookiness, and the abundance of my favorite food (candy). For Halloween last year I was still in college, and amidst deciding what to dress up as and which party to go to, I was also getting ready to say goodbye to Joe. He moved to California on Halloween day last about scary!
Halloween last year. I was a hunter, he was a deer. Turned out it wasn't as obvious as we thought it was..
Anyway, I knew Halloween this year would be very different than past years. We didn't dress up or go to any parties but I did buy candy in the hopes that some trick-or-treaters would come by! (Unfortunately, we were gone when any trick-or-treaters might have stopped by so I guess I'll be forced to eat all that candy myself...) Instead we went out to dinner to celebrate the anniversary of Joe's big move! It's amazing that a whole year has passed since then but I couldn't be more pleased about where we are in our lives now; and I'm SO SO happy that the long distance part of our relationship is over. My ideal fright night didn't quite turn out as I had planned (we didn't even watch a scary movie because someone doesn't like them), but this Halloween definitely beats last year!

Oh, and it's still 75 degrees here, so I guess I can't associate Halloween with cooler weather anymore... I think I'll be fine.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sister Time

I have now lived in California for exactly three weeks so it was definitely time for a visit from my sister, Marci. She came out last weekend for her UEA and we had a blast! I don't know if she can actually call her visit a vacation...because aren't vacations supposed to be relaxing? With all of the shopping, eating, and touristing we did it was anything but relaxing.

On Thursday we went to Alcatraz which is so awesome and everyone needs to do it if you ever come out here. They have audio tours led by the actual guards and inmates and it is worth every penny. It also helps that I'm really into all things creepy like that. I would love to tell you all about it, but I'd rather you all just come out and do the tour yourself.
The big building behind us is the prison cell and behind the fence is the rec yard. Believe it or not, the gardens on Alcatraz are actually really beautiful.

Friday was a big shopping day. We went to the outlet mall in Petaluma and the malls close by my house; we were very successful (depending on who you ask...Joe doesn't think so). That night while Joe played Halo, Marc and I went to see Footloose. It was hilarious and cheesy but we loved it. Luckily there was only about four other people in the theater so we felt comfortable enough to do all the singing and dancing right along with the movie. Joe missed out big time.

On Saturday we went for a traditional bagel run - my dad would be so proud. Joe went to the U of U game with some of his friends so Marci and I went to the Westfield Mall in San Francisco. That mall is gigantic. For real. We were there for almost 5 hours and we only made it to about six stores.
To be fair, we got sidetracked for a while by this drag show. It was very...entertaining.
After the game we met up with Joe and his friends and went to a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner. Joe refused to let Marci leave without eating at Ghiradelli Square so we stopped there on our way home. It was delicious!

The Nob Hill Chill. So so good.

Last, but definitely not least, we ate our little hearts out. One of the best parts about living somewhere new is all of the new restaurant choices. I had fun taking Marci to all of my new favorites, and trying some new ones. I love eating out and I am well on my way to doubling my weight.
Thai Food including pumpkin curry.
Sol Food - Authentic Puerto Rican Cuisine. Hands down the best restaurant out here.
Sol Food again. Yes, it is that good.
Gaspare's Pizza. Worth all the calories.
Thanks for visiting Marc!!! This post just made me really hungry...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Silver Lining

So most people that blog say they never have time to keep it updated. Believe it or not, I wish that was my case (I'm sure I'll take this back some day, but hear me out). I do a lot better when I'm constantly doing something. I went from being super busy, i.e. planning a wedding, doing an internship, getting married, moving and being not so busy. Not only do I not have a job yet (and you can only spend so much time job searching every day, right?) but Joe keeps leaving me high and dry! For our first two weekends as a married couple in California Joe has had to work in Phoenix. Just when I was getting used to having him around - he leaves. Twice.

Last weekend was pretty rough. I was freshly homesick, still unpacking everything, missing the hubs like crazy AND I had to go to our new ward by myself for the first time. Not fun. However, I was able to find the silver lining(s) through all of this...

First, I found a little gem of a book at Marshalls for only $3. It's called Saving Graces and it is exactly that. It's full of a million little pick-me-ups like this:
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present." - Babatunde Olatunji. 
And there's this one:
"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." -Frank A. Clark. 
See, pretty good right? Maybe not, but they did the trick for me.

Second, being here by myself for four or five days has really put the last year of Joe's life into perspective for me. Living by yourself sucks. Even though we live in a cool place with lots to do, it can get pretty lonely, especially before you really make some good friends. Joe did it for ten months and never complained once. Really, he NEVER complained. I wish I could say the same. Dating long distance was the hardest thing I've ever done, and I was still surrounded by friends and/or family the whole time. I can't imagine doing what he did, I would never be brave enough to move out here without him. I'm so happy that he doesn't have to be alone anymore!
 Disclaimer: I promise I didn't mean for this post to be a big complain fest. I just wanted everyone to know how brave and patient and amazing my husband is. Maybe if he'll stick around for a while some of that will start to rub off on me...

Third, I have experienced being truly homesick for the first time in my life. Of course, there have been plenty of times when I've missed my family before but never like this. Even when I was living away for school I could still go home whenever I wanted to. Now I can only go home when I have an extra $500-600 laying around. I know what you're is that a good thing? Well, it's good because it's made me realize how lucky I am to have a wonderful family. I only miss them because I love them so much, and that is really a blessing.
Fourth, now I have tons of time to blog :) You've been warned.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Bday Mother Dearest

Today is my wonderful mother's birthday! She is the best mom ever. For real. You wanna know why? Take a scroll...
 She is my number one example. She is everything I want to be. She and my dad have taught me the true meaning of love, and how to treat your spouse.

 Not only is she the best mom in the world, but she is also g-ma extraordinaire. I am in no hurry to have kids, but I seriously can't wait for my kids to be the luckiest grandchildren in the world.

Oh my gosh she is the funnest (is that a word?). But really, she is so fun. She makes me laugh so hard, especially when she gets going on a fit of laughter. If you're lucky enough to be around for one of those, you are in for a treat...and sore abs.
She is always there for me. She's the most loving, kind, patient, hard working, smart, forgiving, beautiful, amazing woman ever. For real. I hate hate hate not seeing her every day. 
I love her more than anything in the world. Happy Birthday mom!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brand Spankin New

Wow, where do I begin? The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind! After 18 months of dating (the last ten months being long distance) Joe and I were FINALLY married in the Salt Lake Temple. It was the most amazing day and so much more than we could have ever imagined. I'll dedicate an entire post to that when I get the pictures back.
The day after our wedding we jetted off to our week-long honeymoon. Joe had kept the whole thing a surprise to me so I was really excited to find out where we were going. Of course, he waited until we were in line at the airport to tell me that we were going to Miami, Florida! I was so excited for that but he surprised me again the next day by telling me that we were going on a 5-day cruise to Key West and Cozumel. It was such a great surprise and so so fun. We loved every minute.

We flew back to Utah on Saturday. That night, both of our families got together for dinner and to open our wedding gifts. We're so thankful to both have such amazing families - they make life sooo much easier. It was really fun and I'm so glad that everyone has a good time when we all get together.

The next day was moving day...a day I had been both dreading and looking forward to for a long time. I had packed up most of my belongings before the wedding and with the help of our families we were loaded up and ready to go by Sunday afternoon. Saying goodbye to my best friends and everyone in my family was terrible. I have the absolute best friends in the world and I know I'll never find friends quite like them no matter where I end up. And I'll say it again - my family is the best. I already miss them so so much.

It's hard being away from everyone I know but I'm also really enjoying this exciting adventure in our lives. Joe is the best husband ever and he's been so supportive of me in my sensitive state - even when I randomly burst into tears. We've already had so much fun living here together and I look forward to everything in our future. The best part is that we actually get to spend time together instead of just talking on the phone. So for now, our little apartment is packed up with LOTS of boxes but it is livable. Everything in my life feels new right now. Everything but Joe - he makes me feel OK about all the new changes. We are adjusting to life together and loving it.