Milestones

In the past 2 months, Steve and I both hit some major milestones–well, Steve’s is more major than mine.

Steve turned 30. Three Zero. Ancient.

We celebrated with beer tasting with a few friends and I learned that I don’t enjoy party planning. Maybe if I had more time, but 3 hour round trip commute for work sure sucks up a lot of my day.

But Steve was satisfied. He shared his big day with “the blob” of our closest friends. Steve coined the name “blob” because we hung out with the almost the exact same group of people for my birthday. We are very grateful for our friendships.

I was really bad at documenting Steve’s party, but it was really a good idea. I would suggest it for someone looking for a fun, semi-easy party. We picked 6 different beers from light to dark and paired them with appetizer-type food. We still have so much beer left!

Steve very excited for his gift of 30 suckers. The jar is labeled, "30 Sucks!"

Steve very excited for his gift of 30 suckers. The jar is labeled, “30 Sucks!”

We also made our first big purchase together as a couple: we bought Steve a brand new car! Call it what you want, but we prefer to call his “lime zest” colored car, “The bug, the Hulk, Beetlejuice, Kermit, Little Lime,” or any variation of those names. It has really taken a lot of stress from our relationship when we only had one car and our commutes are both over 30 miles in opposite directions. Steve has been great at taking the train and still does, but now I don’t have to drive in the opposite direction from my work to get him to the station. Plus, Steve can now take advantage of having Fridays off. Beach days and snowboard retreats have recently been his Friday rituals.

Christmas came and went. The only significant thing I can think of is that our Christmas tree fell over three days before Christmas, breaking several of my cherished Disney ornaments, and causing us to tear down “Christmas” before it even arrived. It did, however, give me a good excuse to buy more ornaments!

Steve's Birthday, before the tree killed itself

Steve’s Birthday, before the tree killed itself

Then, January came and it was my birthday month! We kicked it off with a last-minute trip to my Uncle’s cabin up near Yosemite (and by near, I merely mean, “closer to Yosemite than here.”) My best friend and her boyfriend joined us, and we took a day trip to try to hike some trails. Little did we know they were all going to be covered in ice! It made it for a fun adventure slipping and sliding–and trying not to crack our skulls open!

BFF

Best Friends for 20 years at Mirror Lake

Leah, Aaron, Steve and I at Bridal Veil Falls

Leah, Aaron, Steve and I at Bridal Veil Falls

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Cold and Icy!

On my actual birthday, Steve and I spent the day at Disneyland with my good friend Jenn from work, then met up with our “blob” of friends at Bubba Gumps! Let me also just take a moment and brag that I impressed our server on my Forrest Gump trivia! They made me “shake my booty” to earn my birthday dessert, and I got to celebrate my 25th birthday with some of the finest people I know. It was a fun a memory.

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California Adventure Backlot

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Bubba Gumps!

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Our blob of excellent people

So we hit some major milestones and have embraced this new chapter. A little older but still having lots of fun. Steve and I often fall asleep after laugh attacks because one of us did/said something stupid. We find ourselves agreeing to stay in more now, but still making plans to take each other out on dates. We spoil each other and we like it! I loved watching Steve unwrap his GoPro camera that my family and I got him for his birthday. Steve loves capturing our surroundings and documenting them for our memories. I am learning to appreciate that, although it is still challenging for me when we get in the car and he has to “set” a million little gadgets! But its worth it! Steve helped me pick out a new bathing suit at a store I remember going into in high school and thinking, “How can anyone afford to shop here!?” I appreciated his honesty and the mere fact that he sat in the dressing room with me for an hour while I tried on a ton of different suits!

And why did I get a new suit? For Hawaii! We leave in a few days to the Big Island! We are excited, neither one of us having been there before. My family is also going and we are looking forward to the many adventures we are sure to have.

Needless to say, Steve and I have a lot of things to be grateful for. We look so forward to celebrating many more milestones together.

** I did not post the hyperlinks to any of these ads! WordPress, what are you doing?!

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Fall is Here (kinda)

October is here, which marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year–Fall!

Steve and I love Fall! We love curling up on the couch with a big mug of hot chocolate; we love walking Biscuit in the cool, crisp Fall weather; we enjoy the holidays that come with Fall-Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (Christmas counts as part of the season for us!).

This Fall has started off feeling a lot like the middle of July: 90 degree days with hot, scorching sun overhead. But that didn’t stop us from participating in our favorite things!

For the first time in a long time, I took a day off of work just to go to Disneyland! It was a special day because I was able to spend time with an old co-worker, and simultaneously enjoy the Fall decorations that Disney is always so detailed in executing.

But this year, Steve and I went trick-or-treating at Disneyland! I am sorry we didn’t dress up because it sure was the perfect excuse to, but it’s ok–we got candy anyway.

If you’re unfamiliar with what happens after dark at Disneyland for Halloween, it’s pretty scary: you have to pay EVEN MORE to get in to the park (that’s the scariest part of all)…but you get lots of candy! All throughout the park, there are different “treat trails” where cast members hand out handfuls of candy. My favorite part was that they even had healthy options if you (or your parents!) don’t want you to have candy. I got some raisins, craisins, apple slices and carrots! I thought that was pretty darn thoughtful of Disneyland!

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I was very amused by watching humans interact when there is candy involved. I watched grown women shove handfuls of candy in their purses, often demanding certain kinds of candy from the cast member (or more candy!) Adults pushed in front of kids in the treat trails, and some were dressed pretty inappropriately for Disneyland! Sometimes, I had to remind myself of where I was!

But we survived the candy-smugglers. If you are wondering what 50 additional dollars equals in candy at Disneyland–it’s this: Image

I was also fascinated by the people around me during the firework show. People were taping the show through their iPhones–they were literally watching the firework show live, but through their 2 inch screen. Who watches those later?! Why don’t they watch it now? I had a hard time seeing anything with all the arms raised in the air!

Disneyland also changes the theme on Space Mountain to “Ghost Galaxy”–aka super freaky mummy ghost hand guy that reaches his out from space and tries to snatch you! I hate it. It scares me too much. Can you tell from this picture?Image

We had a great time experiencing the Halloween Disney. Honestly, it’s about as “Halloween” as I can get!

The following weekend we went to Oak Glen Apple Orchards, and we took Biscuit along with us! We picked raspberries (but had to carry little princess Biscuit through there because of the stickers! Ouch!)

We picked apples, which is actually our first year being able to do that! The past two years that we have gone, there has been apple shortages or something. So this was fun to be able to do! We learned that an apple doesn’t even arrive at the store till NINETY DAYS after it has been picked! We have enjoyed our fresh picked apples. Contrary to what you might think, Steve was not a great apple picker… 🙂 Good thing he had me and Biscuit to help!Image

Our Fall is off to a great start, and at the end of October, we are going back to Pittsburgh for a Steelers game! It’s gonna be fun to show Steve Fall colors this year, plus the best colors of all–black and gold in Heinz Field!

Please keep us in your prayers as this Fall season approaches, so is a new season in our lives. We are trying to figure out what God has planned for us in regards to our jobs and are looking for ways to better serve Him and find peace in our finances. We are opening our hearts and allowing God to open the doors we might have been holding shut. Lots of decisions and choices to be made, but Steve and I know that we have good friends, steadfast faith, and lots of love to help us get this next season going!

Lots of love,

Mallory

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Lifetime Member

Last week, I became a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. That means I hit my goal and maintained it for 6 weeks.

I have never considered myself overweight in any sense of the word, but lately, I have felt uncomfortable in my own body. Clothes didn’t hang right, bathing suits were unflattering, and I just felt “puffy.” 🙂

Steve was a great encourager and motivator during this process. He supported my decision to join even though it was going to cut into our budget. He sacrificed Italian dressing for low-fat dressing and no croutons. He shopped with me and waited patiently while I calculated the points of every single item I took off the shelf (and then put back on the shelf.) He only rolled his eyes sometimes.

I quickly learned that having the support at home was something a lot of the members in my class didn’t have. They would talk about their husbands buying unhealthy foods and offering them to their wives. Their husbands would complain about Weight Watchers recipes that their wives would make and it discouraged many of the ladies. Steve was a big part of my success. One time, we were at a restaurant where Steve had French fries. I was nibbling on them until I realized I just couldn’t keep eating them, especially since I was already satisfied. Steve then poured barbecue sauce on the remaining fries because he knows I don’t like barbecue. It prevented me from eating any more. He has taken bread baskets off the table and has asked the guy at Starbucks what is the “skinny” option of a Caramel Frappucino. He made me successful.

It’s important that your partner supports you. It is also very nice. 🙂 Weight Watchers is a tangible way to actually see how Steve has supported me, but it is just a small representation. He listens to me when I’ve had a rough day and supports me in my decisions with my job even if he might not agree with them. We can work together on making difficult decisions because of the love and understanding that exists between us, although we will both admit it can be challenging at times. We are to be encouragers and help-mates to one another and we are applying new definitions to those terms daily. I am just thankful I am lucky enough to have such a great counterpart and I know he makes me a better person.

And a healthier person, too.

Steve and I on vacation in Gold Beach, OR

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Corkery Family Alaska Cruise

I better do this now or else I never will.

I just took a whole week off from work for the first time since I started a year ago. And it felt good. 🙂

We traded Sunny California for cold, dreary, almost always daylight Alaska. We had been talking about doing a trip like this for years, and then had been talking about the fact that we were doing this trip for over a year. 21 of us signed up, 19 of us actually went–my dad’s sister ‘s family, my dad’s brother’s family, my family and my older sisters in-laws.  It was to be the ultimate family vacation. Alaska or bust.

We flew to Seattle where we boarded our floating hotel and home away from home–The Celebrity Infinity–along with 2,200 other passengers. It was a full house!

All aboard!

After a safety drill for the “unlikely event that we needed to abandon ship,” and then it was vacation time!

Some of us as we left Seattle

 

This trip was a special one for my family as we were finally able to check off the final boxes on a list 20 years in the making–we have now visited all 50 states! When we were little, my parents took a few weeks out of the summer to load us all up in the Dodge Family Wagon and take us across the country. We did several trips and we were waiting on these last two states that we never visited–Washington and Alaska. When we docked in Ketchikan, Alaska, our list was done.

Alaska. Is. Cold. It is hard to believe that this was summer weather! It felt much like our winter’s here in California, but add some cold winds and some rain. At least we were prepared for the cold. 🙂

We got to go through a place called Tracy Arm Fjord. We couldn’t believe how close the walls of rock were to our ship! It was particularly cold here, as ice was floating all around the ship, some with seals on it!

Tracy Arm Fjord

 

Upon Entering Tracy Arm

 

Our next stop was Juneau. Here, we signed up for “Bike and Brew and Glacier View.” We started off a little stressed as we waited to be ferried to shore from our ship and were told that we wouldn’t make our meeting time. Luckily, Keath waited for us!

Ready for our Bike Tour

Going through the forest

The Mendenhall Glacier

On the other side of the Glacier

And ended our bike ride with some local beer from the brewerys in Alaska.

Supporting local business

In Skagway, we took the famous White Pass Summit and Yukon Route Railway that was built during the Alaska gold rush. We rode on the train for 27 miles, leaving Skagway and entering Fraser, British Columbia. It was a beautiful ride and hard to believe that people actually hiked through here to get to gold. It was so cold!

In Skagway

So why did we travel 27.7 miles on train in the 40 degree weather? To go kayaking, of course!

That’s right! We went kayaking on water that was 3 degrees and had just thawed out three days prior to us being there. When we stepped off the train and icy wind hit us in the face, we all were thinking what a huge mistake we made.

My cousins cruising through the icy water

Dad and Brittany

Once we started paddling, we warmed up and ended up having a good time, while making a really great memory.Our last stop was in Victoria, BC where we toured the famous Butchart Gardens. Steve is going to post pictures from there on his post, but here are a few:

The Sunken Garden

Here are some other photos from the cruise:

At Dinner

Formal Night

John and Steve

Sitting in the lounge with my Uncle Lee

Our View at dinner time

Corkery Girls

My sisters

One of our favorite places to take in the view without getting cold

 

When we arrived back in Seattle, we did what we do best–dragged our luggage through the city to our hotel. Sure, it wasn’t raining like that time in Albuquerque, and it wasn’t rush hour like that time in Times Square, but it was UPHILL!

Leaving the cruise ship to our hotel

And then..uphill!

a Corkery Family Tradition

 

After checking into our hotel, we thought that the uphill trek luggage didn’t burn enough calories, so we walked some more. To the Space Needle first.

We walked to the Space Needle, Starbucks in hand!

At the top

 

Then to the Public Market and the Gum Wall

Yeah, I contributed

then to lunch on the pier

Lunch at the Alaskan Sourdough Bakery

 

Then we walked past our hotel to go find the Whaling Wall that Wyland painted in Seattle. Wyland is a famous artist of underwater scenery, and he has painted 100 walls with huge images. You have probably seen one…Laguna Beach has a few, there’s one in Long Beach too and one on Pier 39 in San Francisco. We looked up where his painting was is in Seattle and when we reached the location, we didn’t see it. Turns out, the hotel it was painted on said the paint was chipping off and Wyland didn’t come fix it, so they painted over it. Just our luck.

Where the Whaling Wall used to be

 

We then went to a Mariner game (my dad and sisters are trying to visit every ballpark in America… I fell behind when I got a job and couldn’t go anywhere in the middle of the week! :- ) )

We sat in the Hit it Here Cafe where we got to eat and watch the game. My mom, dad, Steve and I all split this giant 22 inch hot dog! Our California parks should learn a lesson!