Dec 29, 2005

Christmas 2005

As most of you know we were in Ohio for Christmas. This picture is of Tyler, his sister Tessa, and dad Greg, at a local sledding hill. We also visited the Cleveland Zoo, downtown Cleveland, went shopping, played games, and much more! It was a great first Christmas together and we look forward to next year.

We also spent a few days in Big Bear, CA with Claire's mom's side of the family, which was also great fun. We played games, had the family gift exchange, and the weather was so nice we took a nice day hike from the cabin.

Nov 25, 2005


Im not sure there is ever a need to go to Quartzsite again unless you have a trailer and like to go garage sale shopping! It was a fun day visiting with the Matney's and it was nice to see Tylers extended family.

(From left to right: Susie, Grandpa John, Shawn , Greg, Jan , Claire , Tyler ...and the ever famous Cooper down low)

Nov 14, 2005

Out with the old, in with the new

Claire and I finally decided, after a month of trying to sell it, to trade in the Mercedes for a more "youthful, gas friendly, warrantied" model. We ended up getting a wonderful trade in offer, and purchased a brand new 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

Nov 8, 2005

Cooper Graduated Puppy Class!

Cooper may not have been the most focused pup in his class, but he got through it. He got a small award on the side, "Most likely to be caught napping in Grand Central Station"....we're so proud!

Oct 27, 2005

Animal update :)

<---- Cooper (almost 5 months)
-----> Lily (almost 6 months)

Oct 24, 2005

Trip to the Matney's house in OH

This past weekend Tyler and I flew out to Ohio to see the Matneys and their new house. We had a great time seeing downtown Cleveland, shopping in antique shops, being in the cold weather and seeing the season of fall. Tessa was also in town, it was great to have everyone together. We took this picture inside an antique shop and couldnt resist putting this old wedding hat on. The other picture is of Tyler and Tessa next to an old Police car. Thanks again Mom and Dad for a great trip!

Oct 20, 2005

A few more of the house

-----> Our new kitchen table
<----- Our guest bathroom

Oct 6, 2005

Announcment from the "newest" Matneys

I thought it was high time to get everyone uptodate on our latest adventure. Claire and I bought, and have now moved into, our first house. We officially took the keys on Thursday of last week. I wish we were officially done packing, but that is soon to come. We just wanted to make sure that everyone had our new address, and our new phone number. We would love to hear from you all! Love always, Tyler and Claire Matney

Tyler and Claire Matney
1711 East Juanita Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85204

A few home pictures...

<---- The sun my parents gave us as a house warming gift. -----> Our front gate and yard.

Oct 3, 2005


WE ARE HOMEOWNERS!!! hehehehe's play by play of the weekend...:)
Thursday night I got off work and went straight to the house to get the keys. It only took me 30 min which is great for a commute around here. We showed my parents the house and they loved it!

Friday we got all the stuff out of the apartment by car loads except for the tables, etc and put it all into the garage. My mom and I also unpacked and cleaned up the kitchen so all our dishes, etc are put away.

Sat we couldn't get the truck until 4ish so we did all sorts of errands before then. We went to a store and as a house warming present my parents bought us a big sun to put on the outside of the house for decor and it is so cool looking! I will take pictures soon as we don't have Internet until wed i think. We also went and bought a new king bed!! So before that was delivered on sat my mom and i went and bought sheets, pillows, a comforter, etc for it. It is the most comfortable bed ever!! We also bought phones from Costco for the house as we will have that hooked up on wed too i think. Then by 4 we got the truck and loaded that up with our couches, tables, bed, etc and drove that over to the house. We unloaded all that and somewhat arranged as to where everything should go. Our living room only really has one wall for a TV and with the fireplace too we decided to put the TV into the fireplace hole and have the couches facing that way and our big fish tank can go on the wall. Its kinda weird having the TV in the fireplace but kinda fun at the same time. We figure we wont really have any fires here in AZ because of heat and if we do decide to it wont be that hard to move it out. We brought Cooper and Lily over to on Sat and they seem not to mind being there. Lily is super hyper in the house and it will probably take a few days or so for her to calm down and get relax as to where she is. I don't really think Cooper even realized we moved...hehehe. But he loves the yard and its so nice to have him out there. Sat night we looked at all my parents photos from Togo which was fun to see more in depth besides the few pics they send in emails. We haven't painted anything yet and we decided to get decor stuff first and see later what colors might be good.

Sunday my Dad and I woke up early so we put together our BBQ we got from the wedding which is super nice. We also spent some time at Lowe's and got a ladder, propane tank and other misc stuff for the house. We showed my parents the washer/dryer we will be getting as well as the refrigerator so that was fun for them to see the new stuff. Then before we took my parents to the airport my mom and I put paper onto the shelves in the bathrooms to freshen things up. Then we said our goodbyes to my parents for probably another year or two which was sad and then Tyler and I drove the rental truck back to the place and went to clean the apartment. It looked good all nice and clean.

Last night we opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate and watched a movie. It was nice to relax and take in the thought that this was our home and not just another rental place. This morning it only took me 15 min to get to work which was great! Although I left at 7:15 so I'm not sure if traffic will be worse later on. Tomorrow I'm going to try to leave at 7:30 so well see what it is like then.

Today our refrigerator and washer/dryer should be delivered so that will be great to get! I cant wait for that it be in place. I think having those will really make it feel like home. Tonight I want to get the closet and bathrooms better organized and then we also have puppy class so we will have a full night. Tyler also wants to put an alarm on the house so a rep is going to come and give us an estimate on that sometime today too.

We also met some of our neighbors through out the weekend and they all seem nice. Another young couple lives next door so that might be fun to have them over for a BBQ sometime.

It was a busy but exciting weekend and it feels so good to be out of the apartment. It was fun opening the garage door this morning and leaving the house and thinking that it was ours. It will be fun to unpack and make it feel that much more like home. But i think that is about it :) I sure more will come later!

Sep 26, 2005

Back in AZ

Well the trip to Sacramento was as great as it could be. The service was really nice and I believe the Air Force (or Army) were there so we had a flag and taps presentation. It was a beautiful day and we had a reception at my Grandpa's house afterwards. Lots of family and friends were there to celebrate my Grandpas life. Most of the family as well went up to our Cabin for the day today in the Sierra's. He will forever be remembered and loved.

Sep 23, 2005


On September 18, 2005 my Dad's Dad (Harry Hillard) passed away to be in heaven with his wife, Alice, of 61 years. He died at home as was his wish after a week of care by his son Dale (for which we are deeply grateful). Up until that point he was amazingly independent for his 88 years, living by himself for the last 3 years. A memorial graveside service will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2005 in Sacramento. My parents are traveling to Sacramento for a 2 week visit from Togo via Accra, Amsterdam and Minneapolis arriving on Wednesday evening.

From the newspaper "In Sacramento September 20, 2005. Preceded in death by his loving wife Alice Hillard of 61 years. Father of Dale Hillard of Salinas and Wayne Hillard and his wife Cate of Togo, West Africa. Grandfather of Erik Hillard of Los Angeles, Ailis Hillard of Sacramento, Dustin Hillard of Washington and Claire Matney of Arizona. Son of the late Frank and Katherine Hillard of Sacramento. Brother of the late Cecelia Minard and her husband Charles, the late Ann Inman and the late Florence Nelson and her husband Harry. A native of Sacramento, aged 88 years. He retired form the State of California Printing Office as an offset printing pressman after 35 years. A graduate of Sacramento High School in 1935. Since it's inception he has been a volunteer for the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. Friends are respectfully invited to a graveside memorial service at East Lawn Cemetery, 4300 Folsom Blvd., on Sunday, September 25th, 2005, at 2:00p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95817 or the favorite charity of the donor's choice."

Sep 12, 2005

Calling Cate and Wayne

As you might imagine my parents would love to hear your voices and receive a phone call from you! To help you out I have done some research and put instructions below... Enjoy! It is great to hear their voices and hear their stories!

Also feel free to pass this on to anyone you might think would want to call them!

Getting a Phone card instructions:
1. Go to (The card is about $0.069 a minute)
2. click on the shopping cart to add cards and enter payment options.

Once you get an email confirming purchase and another email with PIN numbers you are set to call! They say it may take up to 24 hours. I have had it been 1 hour and sometimes a day or two till I got the pin number email.

Calling Cate and Wayne Instructions:
Dial: 1-800-574-5590 Enter your PIN number (should be emailed to you after you purchase the card - pin # is 12 digits long)
Dial 011-228-903-3224 ~ C&W cell phone number

Sometimes I have noticed it takes a while to connect and it doesn't always sound like a normal phone ring. But stick with it and it should go through. If they don't answer or it doesn't connect you will hear a french lady speaking to you, just hang up and try back later :) If you do talk with them the conversation is a little delayed as well so it takes a second or two for them to respond.

Good luck and if you have questions let me know!

PS ~ Their snail mail address is still the same even though they have gone to their placement. They love getting snail mail too!! Make sure you put AIR MAIL on everything you send them! Otherwise it will take months to get to them!
Wayne and Cate Hillard
Peace Corps
BP 3194
Lome, Togo
West Africa

Aug 29, 2005

Camping in Woods Canyon!

We went camping this past weekend (8/26-8/28) with Ashley and Nick (a couple we met on our honeymoon in PV, Mexico). We took Cooper with us and it was his first camping experience. He hiked around the lake (a 5.5 mile trail) and did great at it! His little legs moved fast :)

We hiked about half way and then fished for a couple hours and I, being Claire, actually caught one! He was a trout about 10 inches long! I was quite proud, but to be honest I wasn't even sure I had one. I was just reeling in to cast again and there was a fish! Just my luck :)

Also thanks to all of you we got to use many of our camping wedding gifts for the first time and they were great! Even Cooper got his own tent!~

Aug 23, 2005

We bought a house!!!

We are officially homeowners! We bought our first home in Mesa, AZ! Escrow ends on September 29!

As the sellers described it "This is a terrific starter home or investment property in a quiet neighborhood. Fresh paint, new kitchen counter and sink, newer wood fencing in back. Tiled entry, kitchen, dining, and bathrooms. Fireplace in living room, skylights in kitchen and master bath. Split master bedroom has bay window seat. Den just needs a door to be a 3rd bedroom - it already has a closet."

Aug 6, 2005

Cooper Matney, 13 pounds, 14 inches

We finally picked up Cooper on Saturday! He is so cute and fat!We couldn't have asked for more. Him and Lily (our cat) seem to be getting along so far, Lily always has an eye on him. Lily has staked her claim on the bathroom, where Cooper has learned setting foot, means certain attack! Its fun to have a puppy around and he is starting to act like one too. He loves food, but what dog doesn't! :)Enjoy the pictures!
more at:

Jul 1, 2005

A new Kitten!

We adopted a Kitten named Lily! She is the most cuddly, cute cat ever! We got her from a PetsMart Adoption center and it is so fun to have a new little kitten!

Jun 14, 2005

Our Honeymoon

We went to Puerto Vallarto on our Honeymoon for a week at the Regina Resort! It was so beautiful and relaxing! It was so nice to get away from all of the wedding stuff.

More pictures at:

This is what we went through around wedding time:

Friday May 22 ~ Claire's last day at Gramicci
Tuesday May 24 ~ Spent 3 hours trying to get our Marriage license
Thursday May 26 ~ Most of family came into town and most of wedding party flew in too.
Friday May 27 ~ Bachlorette/ Bachlor Parties
Sat May 28 ~ Rehearsal and Dinner at Dukes in Malibu
Sunday May 29 ~ The BIG WEDDING DAY
Monday May 30 ~ Brunch at Squires and gift opening
Tues May 31 ~ Pack Claires apartment and get everything in moving truck
Wed June 1 ~ Drive 6 hrs to Phoenix AZ only to unpack the truck in 103 degree heat at 10 PM
Thursday June 2 ~ Say goodbye to Parents as they head off for the Peace Corps in Togo Africa
Friday June 3 ~ Unpack new one bedroom apartment
Sat June 4 ~ Fly to LAX to Mexico
Friday June 10 ~ Fly from Mexico to Seattle for Bridgets and Chucks wedding
Sunday June 12 ~ Fly from Seattle to LAX to Phoenix to finally get settled


May 30, 2005

Our Wedding day ~ May 29, 2005

As most of you know Tyler and I got married on May 29th, 2005. It was the best day of my life and it couldn't have gone any better! The weather was great and it was just beautiful!

More Pictures at: