I was never the “heartiest” kid growing up. I wasn’t sickly by any means, but growing up with a bunch of hearty-Dutch-farming-type people did make me feel a little scrawny. I was always the one getting hoisted through windows to pull a prank, having to squeeze into the middle, back seat of a car, and occasionally being “thrown around” by my friends, just because they could.

There was definitely a part of my life where I did feel scrawny and weak though. If I remember correctly, I think it started around 6th or 7th grade. We were in a car accident around then, that gave both my mom and I fairly bad whiplash. Both of us spent months going to the chiropractor, massage therapist and/or physical therapist every week. Not long after that, I started getting sick all the time. After I spent about 3 months sleeping through most of the day and having severe stomach pain the rest of the time, we found out I have IBS (“Irritable Bowel Syndrome”) and cannot digest dairy products. Also around that time, I sprained my knee, which instead of going to the doctor for, I just limped around on my good knee, until my good knee became my bad knee. When I got to the point that I could barely walk without my knees buckling, I finally decided “I should probably get that checked out.”

So, by my freshman or sophomore year of high school, I felt like an old woman. I didn’t have the doctor, chiropractor or physical therapy appointments anymore, but I was still weak. If someone jumped on my back, I’d be sore for days. I could walk just fine, but I couldn’t run at all without being in extreme pain 10 minutes later.

My junior year of high school I started my first job as a custodian at our church. It was a fairly physical job and I had to move, setup, and take down tables and chairs, as well as haul cleaning equipment around the church. By my senior year, I had gained quite a bit of strength back. My back rarely gave me any problems, my IBS was under control as long as I watched what I ate, and I usually didn’t have issues with my knees (I still couldn’t run, but I had come to accept that).

The next couple of years were more of the same. If I watched my diet and took it easy on my knees, I felt pretty good. If I decided to eat ice cream or run across the street, I’d have to deal with the consequences. It wasn’t ideal, but it was do-able.

When I was in my early 20s, I started taking a weekly yoga class at my gym. The yoga instructor wasn’t all “earth-loving” or weird, and we didn’t have to close our eyes and picture a waterfall or anything like that. We just stretched, did some strengthening exercises, and had a “cardio yoga” time at the end. As I continued going to that class, I started to feel much stronger and I even have the triceps to prove it!

Now that I’m 25, I’m feeling my strongest. I still go to my weekly yoga class and haven’t had to go to a chiropractor since. I can eat small amounts of dairy without having a terrible reaction. And now, I’ve been able to be more active than ever. Last year, I went to Zumba classes for a few months, until the teacher left.   And now… Jason and I just started doing the Couch-to-5k plan! The idea is that non-runners can build up to running a 5k in 8 weeks. We just completed week 2 and so far, so good. I’m still skeptical that my knees will make it through the whole training plan, but the fact that I’m able to run at all without any pain is a major accomplishment for me.

We’ll definitely keep you updated on our progress (it will help keep us accountable!). 🙂

Happy Birthday, Jason!

Monday is Jason’s 28th birthday and in honor of his birthday, I have listed 28 reasons we all love Jason…

  1. He is kind
  2. He can take multiple broken cars/parts and turn it into one awesome working car
  3. He can make a tv a computer screen… and a computer screen a tv
  4. He is hard working
  5. He will do anything for his friends
  6. He cooks dinner
  7. He puts his dirty socks in the hamper
  8. He loves his family
  9. He is dependable and a man of his word
  10. He will give up his preference to make someone else happy
  11. He has an inner comedian that appears around close friends and family
  12. He loves kids and animals
  13. He doesn’t mind going out of his way to help someone
  14. He always has creative solutions to everyday problems
  15. He remembers all of our anniversaries (even when I don’t)
  16. He made us a website
  17. He is tenderhearted
  18. He cooks an awesome Thanksgiving dinner
  19. He does bizarre projects (synchronizing Christmas lights to music, restoring an old jukebox, building an arcade game/machine/thing, etc.)
  20. He is patient (even when I’m hyper and being obnoxious)
  21. He is steady and doesn’t fly off the handle about things
  22. When he sees something that needs to be done, he does it
  23. He is trustworthy
  24. He is always up for a good adventure
  25. He is a great researcher and can teach himself anything (with a little help from Google)
  26. He is calm and confident
  27. He is a man of integrity
  28. He treats others with love and respect

Happy Birthday, Jason! We love you!

Blast From The Past

My parents have been working on fixing up and emptying out their house in preparation to sell it. They purchased their house the year I was born, so they have about 25 years’ worth of odds and ends that have been collected, stored, and saved over the years. I know when I moved out of their house 5 years ago, I definitely left behind my share of odds and ends.

This week, my parents dropped off a load of “Malorie stuff” that was stored in one of their closets. Some things need to be thrown away, some things sold, but some things are still treasures.  I got my little umbrella that my Grandma Shirley gave me when I was probably around 5 years old. It’s small, pink, frilly, and has butterflies painted on it. More importantly, it has “Malorie” painted on it, which is one of the few items I’ve ever received that has my name (spelled correctly) on it.

They also brought my American Girl doll with all of her accessories. It’s amazing how popular those dolls still are! I sat down and looked through the boxes with all of her little outfits, remembering how my sister and I used to drool over all the stuff in the magazine and immediately start making our birthday or Christmas wish lists.

I started thinking about some of the other items, yet to be extracted from the attic. My Grand Champion model horses, a few stuffed animals, my Cabbage Patch Kid… There must still be thousands of Barbie related items too.

Thinking back to all those fun memories and all my cool toys, made me have a little “Toy Story 3” moment. It’s crazy that at 25 years old, I still have such a sentimental attachment to my 1990s Special Edition Christmas Barbie.

As I let my mind wander down memory lane, it made me realize how happy and good my childhood was. I’m so grateful my parents provided such a safe, loving, and fun environment for me to grow up in. Thanks Mom and Dad! 🙂

Life Changes

A lot of people have asked me, “How does it feel to be married?” To which I honestly reply, “Not a whole lot different.”  Jason and I dated for 2 ½ years before we got engaged and I’m so glad we did.  Since being married we’ve definitely seen more of each other’s weird quirks and habits, but I don’t think anything has been really surprising, since we spent a lot of time getting to know each other before we got married.

A few things that have changed though…

  1. I found out Jason works all the time… Seriously, all the time.
  2. Jason does not do laundry anymore.
  3. I do not cook dinner anymore.
  4. I have a new last name, but forget often… I also still initial things “mn” at work frequently.

I was browsing through some old pictures this evening and found other ways we’ve changed too.  All of these pictures were taken in June/July over the last 4 years…


June 2009

June 2009 – When we were still “just friends”

July 2010

July 2010 – Our 1 year dating anniversary

June 2011

June 2011 – Jason’s shirt finally changed this year 🙂

July 2012

July 2012 – We dressed up for this year’s picture

I’m looking forward to adding many more years’ worth of pictures to this collection!

Our Wedding

Jason and I agree that July 14, 2012 was the best day of our lives! We were married on a beautiful day at a beautiful venue with our wonderful friends and family beside us. We enjoyed some amazing food, delicious cake, and drove away agreeing that everything was more beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and delicious than we could have imagined. I don’t think there is a single thing we would have changed. The best part came at the end though, when we left as husband and wife.

We have so many pictures that we love, it was hard to limit them for this post. I believe a picture says a 1,000 words, so here’s about 20,000 words for you…

Our wedding was held on our friends’ property, The Little Red Barn. My sister’s sister-in-law, Kim, (confusing, huh?) did an amazing job on the decorations. This is what I saw when I arrived the morning of our wedding and it literally stopped me in my tracks.

Wedding Location

I had given Kim some ideas of what I liked, but I was blown away by her creativity and how she pulled everything together. It was perfect!

I hurried myself along because I had set an agenda (in true Malorie style) and I planned to stick to it! The girls and I were busy getting our dresses on, while the guys wrestled with tying ties and pinning boutonnieres.  At last, it was time for Jason and I to see each other! We chose to see each other and take pictures before the ceremony, before the sweat and happy tears ruined my make-up. 🙂

First Look

Happy CoupleWe are so grateful to all of our siblings and friends that stood up with us at our wedding. They were all a huge help with getting things set up and cleaned up too. We love you all!

Bridal Party

My sister’s other sister-in-law, Richelle, offered to make our bouquets and boutonnieres. The whole process was incredibly overwhelming to me, but she went with me and helped me find flowers that would work and created the most beautiful bouquets. I wanted “happy flowers” and I definitely still smile when I see them. 🙂

Kissing Picture

A Much Needed Break

A much needed break

We are also so thankful for our loving and supportive families. Both of our parents have been such great examples to us, having both been married 30+ years.

Jason's Family

Jason’s Family

Malorie's Family

Malorie’s Family

Niece and Nephews

Niece and Nephews

Finally the time came to start the ceremony. We were both nervous, excited, and probably 100 other emotions all at once. We thought all the happy tears had fallen when we first saw each other earlier in the day. Little did we know…

WaitingWalking Down the AisleJason WaitingThe CeremonyThe PrayerThe KissWe're Married!

We made it! Now it was time to sit, enjoy some food, and get to visit with our good friends and family. My aunt, Janel, (or Auntie Nel, as I’ve always known her) offered to make our food. You can tell from the pictures, it was DELICIOUS!


After that, it was time to cut the cake. One of my bridesmaids, Janelle, decided she wanted to take on the daunting task of making our wedding cakes. I kept double-checking with her and telling her she was crazy, but that girl can do anything!

Wedding Cakes

As you can see, it was beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and delicious and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.

-Mr. & Mrs. Hurlbert

P.S. If you want to see more pictures, click here, to go to our photo gallery.


The Post About How I’m Going To Start Posting Again…

You know it’s been too long since you’ve posted when…

1. You’re last post says “Our Most Recent Adventure” and it was from 9 months ago.

2. You can’t remember how to log in to post something.

3. Jason asks if you want to get rid of the website.

Well, I say it’s time we get this thing back up and running!


To be honest, I quit posting blogs because someone made some negative comments about something I had written and it hurt my feelings. I wasn’t sure how many people were actually reading our blog, so it just didn’t seem worth it anymore. However, I had three different people ask me this week, “When are you going to update your blog?” And since I like all three of those people, I decided it was worth writing again. So you three, this is for you…

I’m sorting through wedding pictures right now, so expect a wedding-themed blog soon. 🙂

Our Newest Adventure

On December 4, 2011 Jason and I departed for our most recent adventure, a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas! We took an overnight flight to Miami, Florida (bad call, since neither of us slept!) and boarded our ship at 11:00am on December 5. We traveled on Royal Carribean’s “Majesty of the Seas.”

Majesty of the Seas

Majesty of the Seas

It didn’t take us long to get settled in, take a quick nap, eat the first of many meals, and hit up the pool deck for the bon voyage party.

Enjoying our "Drink of the Moment"

Enjoying our "Drink of the Moment"

We spent most of that first day exploring the ship with its rock climbing wall, basketball court, 5 restaurants, Grand Theater, 2 pools, 2 hot tubs, 9 bars/lounges, shopping, and more! After cruising over-night, we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas the next morning.

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

We bought some souvenirs in the market, then made our way to the public beach near the beautiful Atlantis Resort. The sand was perfect, the water was perfect, the weather was perfect… I was one happy lady! On the way back to the ship, we finally got a picture in front of the welcome sign.

Welcome to the Bahamas!

Welcome to the Bahamas!

We cruised over-night again to Coco Cay, Bahamas, a private island used for Royal Carribean cruises. Jason and I took the first tender over to the island, so we had the first pick of beach chairs and could go back to the ship when it got busy in the afternoon.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

We enjoyed the BBQ on the beach for lunch, then headed back to the ship. We did some more exploring on the ship, relaxed by the pool, and even got to watch the Men’s Belly Flop Competition. And no, Jason did not compete.

After an evening filled with more food, entertainment in the Theater, more food, and live music in the lounges, we again cruised over-night to Key West, Florida.

Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

We had to spend the morning going through Customs, since this was a first stop back in the U.S. After that was all taken care of, we walked through a little bit of Key West, then departed on our snorkel trip. The southern end of Florida has the 3rd largest coral reef, which was really cool to explore. Unfortunately the waves were quite rough, so choosing where we snorkeled wasn’t really an option. We mostly just let the waves push us around and watched as the fish beneath were being pushed around by the current too.

After heading back to the ship to clean up, and of course eat again, we had some time to waste before the comedian was scheduled in the Grand Theater. Since we were just pulling away from Key West, we decided to go for an evening stroll around the outer deck of the ship. Even though the sun had set, it was still warm enough to enjoy being outdoors.

Little did I know, we weren’t out for JUST a leisurely stroll. As we came around to the back of the ship and were watching Key West fade into the night, Jason said, “I have a question for you.” Nothing unusual, but by the way he said it, my adrenaline shot up and I had about 6,000 thoughts run through my head at once without time to consciously think any of them. I turned to face him and he got down on his knee, pulled a ring box out of his pocket, and said, “Will you marry me?” I said yes, and I’m not sure what happened for the next few minutes, I just know we were (and are) both incredibly happy.

We're Engaged!

We're Engaged!

That night we made our way back to Miami, Florida. I know we disembarked the next morning, made our way to the airport, and flew home, but we didn’t really care too much about that trip anymore. We were already looking forward to our next big adventure. 🙂

Needless to say, we had a wonderful time. We both enjoyed the cruise and would love to have the opportunity of going on another some day.

For more pictures, (click here) to visit our photo gallery.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!



Tasty Bites: Spanish Rice Bake

I have to admit that once again, this recipe was originally from… I don’t create amazing meals, I just edit to my taste preferences.  This recipe has made its way into our regular meal rotation, so I decided it was about time to share!


  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • ½ onion (medium size), finely chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can canned tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup uncooked long grain rice
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar (forgot this the last time we made it and it turned out ok…)
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • We’ve also been known to add taco seasoning and/or some black pepper, depending on our moods.
  • Grated cheese (for Jason)


Brown ground turkey in large skillet. Drain excess fat and transfer to a large pot over medium-low heat. Stir in onion, tomatoes, water, rice, chili sauce, salt, brown sugar, and Worcestershire.

(preheat oven to 375 degrees)

Let this simmer for about 30 min., stirring occasionally (make sure it’s simmering, so the rice gets cooked and the water cooks off… ask Jason what happens if it’s not hot enough.) 😉  Then transport to a 2-quart casserole dish. Press down firmly and sprinkle cheddar cheese over top.

Bake uncovered for 10-15 min. or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Let cool before you try to eat (just ask Malorie…)

Sometimes we eat this as a casserole, sometimes as a chip dip, and sometimes rolled in a tortilla… and sometimes we add sliced olives… It’s a versatile dish.


Saint Francis (aka San Francisco)

Jason’s been working on becoming a VMware Certified Professional (and you may have noticed from the badge on our website that he now IS a VCP). Part of his training included a weeklong class in San Francisco, and for those of you who know us, also became a great excuse for a weekend adventure!  I joined Jason on the Friday afternoon after his classes were finished and we walked, trolleyed, and bussed around the city through Sunday afternoon before returning home.

After driving to Seattle, flying to Oakland, and taking the BART into San Francisco, I was ready to stretch my legs as soon as I arrived. Chinatown was just a few blocks from Jason’s hotel, and is a great place to wander around. Jason was grateful I was in the mood to walk, otherwise we would have been stopping in every store along the way! I settled for enjoying the window shopping, and taking in the culture of a “town” within the city.

Entering Chinatown

Entering Chinatown

We found the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory where you can see the process of making fortune cookies, as well as purchase some tasty snacks.

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

Where fortunes are born

We stopped back at our hotel to rest for a little while before taking an evening stroll down to the ferry building. The ferry building hosts a farmer’s market on Saturday mornings and Jason and I were happy to order our breakfast from one of the vendors there the next day.

Ferry Building

Ferry Building

We also had amazing views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

One of Jason’s top sites to see while we were in San Francisco was Alcatraz. And not just see it from afar, but to see it up close and tour it. We chose to take the evening/night tour and enjoyed the views of the city and Golden Gate Bridge as the sun was setting.

San Francisco skyline

San Francisco skyline

The 'Rock'

The 'Rock'

Inside Alcatraz

Inside Alcatraz

The next day we rode the trolley to Lombard or “Crooked” Street. I have to be honest, I’m glad I don’t live on that street!

Cable Car

Cable Car

Lombard Street

Lombard Street

Then we walked (for quite a while) until we reached one of the bus routes that would take us to Golden Gate Bridge. We didn’t spend much time around Golden Gate Bridge, but it was fun to walk part of it and watch the surfers below.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

We had many other fun adventures including stopping by Ghirardelli Square for some chocolate, eating some sourdough bread down on Pier 39, watching a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, unintentionally watching a nude bike parade, walking through Golden Gate Park, and soaking in every other “San Francisco” site we could.


During one of our walks (that accidently turned into a 5 mile walk) we got to see the houses that were filmed as the setting for the TV show “Full House.”  Having grown up with the “Tanner” family, I thought it was pretty cool.

Full House

Feel free to check out more pictures from our trip in our photo gallery. And don’t worry, there are no pictures from the nude bike parade… at least not on our website.

Las Vegas

We took a 5-day trip to Las Vegas at the end of February to visit Malorie’s family. It ended up being a family reunion of sorts – Malorie’s parents went down from Washington, her sister’s family from Alaska, and her “brother’s” family from Utah. We all invaded her aunt and uncle’s house, and they were very gracious hosts. It was also the first introduction of Malorie’s niece to her great-grandparents, who moved to Las Vegas a year and a half ago.

Jason took this picture of our extended family, so he didn’t make it into the picture. Check out our photo gallery for more pictures that include Jason.


Malorie's Family

Malorie's Family


We ended up sharing a condo with Jenn, Josh, and Shilah while we were there, which worked out great. Malorie loved all the extra “Shilah-time” she got. Shilah was almost crawling and Auntie Mal did her best to help teach her.






We did spend a couple of evenings sight-seeing around Las Vegas. The first night we went to the old downtown section, Fremont Street. The street is closed to traffic and covered by a canopy of 12.5 million LED lights, 90 ft. above the street. In the evening they have a synchronized, music/lights/movie show on the hour. Here’s a glimpse of what it looked like.


Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience



They also recently installed an 800 ft. zipline that runs down Fremont Street, under the canopy. Never ones to miss out on adventure, we decided it must be experienced. And much to our surprise, Malorie’s parents were up for the adventure too! Obviously we couldn’t get a picture of ourselves on the zipline, but here’s Malorie’s brother-in-law, sister, mom, and dad getting ready to launch from 5-stories up.


Zipline down Fremont Street

Zipline down Fremont Street


On our last night in Vegas, the two of us took off by ourselves to explore the strip. We had already seen most of the casinos on our first trip, but some of the places are definitely worth a second look. The Bellagio fountain show is never a disappointment, and their botanical garden is brilliantly done. We also walked through the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and took a stroll through the Venetian, looking at their gondolas.


Bellagio Fountain Show

Bellagio Fountain Show


Jason wanted to include this picture – a spiral escalator! Seriously, everything in Vegas just has to be bigger and better and much, much cooler…


Spiral Escalator

Spiral Escalator