Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hundreds gather to protest Global Warming...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Road trip: Day 5

We made it! Seven people squished like sardines into a minivan for 16 hours and we all made it out alive! It was a rather uneventful drive with few stops and dirty bathrooms but I am proud to report that I was able to pay for a tank of gas - after putting up a good fight with my dad.

Even though I enjoy spending time with my parents, siblings and grandma, it is so good to be home with Dave and Gromit. I missed them so much! We had some yummy salad and jalapeno poppers for dinner and watched "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" by the light of our Christmas tree and fire in the fireplace. Bliss!

Now we need to do the final wrapping of gifts in preparation for Christmas and get packed up (again) for the journey of visiting families later this week. My own bed feels so comfortable and I can't wait to snuggle in and pass out. Actually, that sounds like a good plan right now. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Road trip: Day 4

It has been a terribly long day and it is just now coming to an end. Finally!

After a Texas-shaped waffle for breakfast we went to Curtis' church to watch him play this morning. He is such a gifted musician and worship leader! I always enjoy listening to him play.

After a quick stop for shaved ice we set off on the long journey home with seven grown adults and their luggage crammed into a tiny minivan. It has certainly been an interesting ride. People are starting to really get on each others nerves and once again I am thankful that I can sleep in the car in almost any position with almost any background noise happening. If this were not the case then I don't know how I could survive this trip!

We are about an eight hour drive from home and while I am thrilled to be leaving the cramped minivan and sibling bickering, I will miss spending time with my family. These road trips remind me of our family vacations over many years and I have some very fond memories of those trips. This will be another one for the memory books!

It's late and I'm exhausted so goodnight from Texas one last time!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Road trip: Day 3

Today was the big event - Curtis' graduation! He is officially an alumni and has joined the "real" world. I can't believe it! I am so excited to see what he will do with his life and to give him advice and guidance as he begins this new journey. Congratulations, Curtis!

After the ceremony and lunch we drove around his college campus and I took pictures of Curt in his cap and gown in some his favorite campus locations. Here are a few of my favorite shots I took of him today.

After pictures we stopped by the Dr. Pepper museum for Dr. Pepper floats and souvenirs. I bought two six packs of Dr. Pepper made with imperial sugar to share with Dave and some of my work buddies when I get home. I hope they like it!

We finished up the day with a celebration dinner at a local Italian restaurant with some of Curt's friends who are still in town. We were going to order a pitcher of beer with dinner but to our surprise they didn't sell alcohol but you were allowed to bring in your own. Crazy! I've never been to a restaurant like that before. Curt and his buddies went out to get some beer and wine and they brought it back to the restaurant. Dinner was great and so was the company.

In the morning we'll be going to church to watch Curt play in the worship band and then we'll begin the two day journey home with another body and their luggage crammed in our rented minivan. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Road trip: Day 2

Ah, people's true colors show on day two of the road trip. Kelly (sister 1) woke up with a cough and some goop in her eye and Erin (sister 2) won't let Kelly go anywhere near her because she can't get sick before her surgery next week (on her hip). Much drama has stemmed from this basic issue and has not been great to listen to all day. Good thing my favorite thing to do during road trips is sleep!

Despite some wrong turns, a gas station with malfunctioning computers and heavy traffic through a major city due to multiple accidents, it was a good day. We made fairly good time to our final destination, partly due to my dad refusing (ok, suggesting but was also the driver) to stop for lunch. I'm sure glad I brought snacks!

We made it to Curtis' house in one piece, grabbed some dinner and drinks, picked up my aunt from the airport and relaxed back at the hotel. Now it's time for bed so we can get up early to get good seats at the graduation. Funny, I thought this was a sort of vacation but I don't even get to sleep in! Then again, I guess my brother's college graduation is worth waking up early for. You're lucky I like you, Curtis ;-) Goodnight!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Road trip: Day 1

Well, it is road trip time! My brother is graduating from college on Saturday morning so I packed my bags and hopped in a minivan with my mom, dad, grandma and two sisters to road trip to Texas. Dave and Gromit had to stay behind because of work commitments, but I know they are having a fun time at home and will hold down the fort in my absence.

We had a good drive today – minimal pit stops and sibling squabbling and many naps and snacks. Quarters were a little cramped with six people in a minivan but we seem to have adapted well.

I updated my Twitter status all day from our various stops. That was fun because it gave me something to do and I think Dave appreciated the updates on what we were doing. I also love to have an excuse to use my phone!

The highlight of the day was when we went to dinner at Chili’s and were waiting for a table and some random guy walked up behind me, put his arm around my waist and said, “let’s go sit down” before he realized  that I was not the girl he came in with. Oops! Too funny!

It’s late so I’m off to bed. We have another long day of driving ahead of us so I guess I need my rest so I can have enough energy to nap in the car tomorrow ;-) It’s what I do best on road trips!


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Our Christmas shopping trip yesterday was successful. We got gifts for parents, friends, siblings and family pets. And then we got a little something for ourselves... droids! After multiple trips to the wireless store we finally decided to indulge and walked out of the store with two htc droid phones. Dave and I think these phones are awesome and we haven't even figured out everything they do yet!

I'm even posting this from my phone. Crazy! Hopefully I won't get too obsessed with my new toy...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Christmas time!

Christmas is coming faster that I thought it would this year. It seems like it was July just a few short weeks ago - where has time gone?!? The good news is I think I'm actually ready for Christmas this year:
  • Our tree is up and decorated
  • Our mantle is decorated with lighted garland, stockings (I even bought one for Gromit), my nativity scene and candles
  • Our icicle lights are hung outside our apartment
  • Our home-made wreath is hung on our front door
  • I designed, wrote and printed our Christmas letter
  • I designed, ordered and picked up our Christmas picture
  • I signed, addressed, stuffed, stamped and mailed (most of) our Christmas cards
  • I made my best attempt at giving my blog a Christmas design makeover
  • And we're going shopping for gifts today! Now if only I could decide what to get my sister...
Bring on the holiday goodies - I'm ready for a break!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I don't think this is supposed to happen until January...

From Weather.com about today's forecast for my city:
"Snow this morning will give way to lingering snow showers this afternoon. Very cold. High 6F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches."
Current conditions:
Temperature: 4° F
Feels like: -9° F
UV Index: 0 Low
Wind: From E at 13 mph
Humidity: 76%
Pressure: 29.52 in.
Dew Point: 2° F
Visibility: 0.8 miles

Burrrrrrrrr! I guess I had better leave early for work today. Yuck!

If you live where I live, good luck getting around today and drive safe!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So long, faithful friend

It's sad but true, our beloved mini-fridge (aka the beer fridge) officially bit the dust. After moving it and other living room items around the apartment to make room for Christmas decorations, and more specifically our tree, we were ready to relax with a cold brew. We rushed to the beer fridge only to find warm beer. Dave messed with the temperature settings and jiggled a few wires but it made no difference. The fridge would not turn back on.

I guess we'll have to make room in the big fridge for our beer, but it just won't be the same. Our big fridge is already full of Coke Zero, Sprite, iced tea, orange juice and milk (and food). Maybe if I don't buy milk anymore there will be more room...

Oh well. It was a good run, faithful beer fridge. We'll miss you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It has been brought to my attention, by my English teacher BFF, that I may need to read some more books. To be honest, I haven't picked up a book since I graduated from college. I'm really not much of a reader... anymore. I used to read all of the time in elementary school and middle school. But when I would stay up until very late at night just to finish the mystery I was reading I would be tired and cranky the next day so I was "banned" from reading more than 20 minutes before bedtime. Maybe that killed my interest, maybe it was being forced to read books I didn't want to read and then writing reports on them in school, but either way, reading for leisure has not been a pastime of mine for a very long time.

I've decided that I need to read a book for fun. Who knows, maybe it can be a new hobby of mine! The problem is, where do I start? I know there are tons of great books out there but, how do I choose one?

Maybe I'll dive into the Harry Potter series since I like the movies, or maybe I'll jump into the Twilight series since I haven't seen either of the movies. Does anyone else have any suggestions on what I should read? Any opinions on Harry vs. Twilight? Any advice is much appreciated! I want to pick a book before December, so bring on the comments!

Friday, November 20, 2009

So Egg-citing!

In my job I get to do some very interesting and unique things. Yesterday I was able to meet the man who holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the fastest omelet maker, Howard Helmer. He can make 427 omelets in 30 minutes and a single omelet, from cracking the egg to placing the omelet on the plate, in 41 seconds.

He was making omelets for our staff, volunteers and even clients to help celebrate Thanksgiving. He is so full of energy and just a hoot to be around. His looks, voice, mannerisms and corny egg jokes reminded me of Mel Brooks. After every omelet made he would exclaim, "Oh what a beautiful omelet!" Too funny! He cracked me up and I very much enjoyed meeting him.

Here is a picture of us pretending to make omelets, which was his idea for the photo.

It was sure an egg-celent day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another winner!

It's a budding rivalry. Since Dave was little he has entered the photo contest for the Colorado Balloon Classic and over the years he has won a total of 12 times! He's a really great photographer and there are balloon photos all over the walls of his parents house as well as our own.

Last year was the first year that I had entered the photo contest and the first year that Dave had entered since he started college. We joked about being each other's competition in the contest and talked about what we would do if one person won and the other didn't... well... I placed 2nd in the professional division last year and he, sadly, didn't place at all.

The competition really began then. Dave swore that he was going to beat me this year and there was no way I could win again. We both took time to carefully select our entries into the contest and honestly (I think) evaluated each others photos in order to pick the best ones. We filled out the entry forms and mailed in our selections. We anxiously waited for the judging day to pass and then didn't let our cell phones out of our sites, waiting for a call to tell us we had won.

I got a call, Dave didn't.

This year I won 3rd place in the professional division. Clearly I was slacking since I didn't place in 2nd again, but I'll try harder next year. The competition is really on now. Dave is determined to beat me and I welcome the competition. Despite us joking about our rivalry, I really appreciate Dave being so supportive of me winning and being willing to drive two hours each way just so I could pick up my plaque, ribbon and bag of goodies at the 45 minute long award ceremony. Here is the winning photo and a picture from the ceremony last night. Enjoy!

This year's winning entry

We drove a total of four hours for that ribbon! Well worth it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Want to get noticed?

It's the day before Halloween and the last working day of the week so my co-worker and I agreed to both come dressed up in costumes for work today. I did the "Guitar Hero" costume again that I used for Tour De Fat and she put great effort into dressing up as her supervisor. The resemblance was uncanny. Check it out!

We also took a great picture of the two of us.

Good times at work! We were laughing all day!

On the way home from work I stopped by the grocery store for a few staple items like mac & cheese and Coke (in my world these are necessities). I had been wearing my costume all day, was comfortable in it and didn't even think twice about being dressed up when I got to the store. I walked in and started getting my items and noticed that everyone was staring at me. People were even turning around to get a look at me. I really couldn't figure out why people were staring but then I remembered that I had my costume on. I guess being the only person in the store dressed up the day BEFORE Halloween gets you noticed. Leave it to me to forget I was wearing a blue wig, dark makeup, lace skirt and bright blue leggings! Oh well, I hope those people enjoyed the show.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snow Pup

We are in the middle of our first heavy snow storm here in Colorado. I knew some sort of storm was coming, but I certainly wasn't ready for so much so fast! Right now there are at least eight inches on the ground and it is still coming down. I'm definitely thankful that all utilities are paid at our new apartment - crank up the heat!

This is our first big snow with Gromit as a part of our family and he seems to really enjoy playing in it. He has had a blast bounding around in it even though it is deeper than he is tall. Silly dog.

The funniest thing about Gromit being in the snow is that by the time he comes inside there are snow balls stuck on his legs and tummy. Let me show you what I mean:

One leg

Front legs

Tummy and back legs

It takes us 20 minutes to get all of the frozen snow off of his fur and even longer for him to dry off. I know I've joked about getting him doggie boots before, but I think I have a pretty good argument for them now!

Gromit is warming up by the fireplace and we're about to enjoy a delicious dinner so I had better get going. Stay warm Coloradans!

Monday, October 26, 2009

One more room!

Our never-ending move is finally coming to an end! Everything in our new apartment is finally unpacked, organized and functional! All except for the office...

There are a good 20ish boxes of junk that we need to go through and decide whether or not we need to find a place for it here or if it should go to storage. The problem is, by the end of moving out of the other place we got lazy with packing and a lot of random things ended up in boxes; and that's what we have left to unpack. Yuck!

We've done so well unpacking and organizing and even decorating for Halloween, but we're running out of steam. I really need some more motivation to keep going through the rest so I can finally say, we're done. Anybody want to help? I didn't think so...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Four days later and this is still entertaining

I still can't believe this story ended up being so interesting to so many people across the country. Way to go, Balloon Boy and Heene family - I'm still entertained! SNL incorporated it into a skit... good stuff.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Balloon Boy Rap

Surely by now you have heard about Balloon Boy and his un-adventure across the Colorado sky on Thursday. If not, find the story here.

The breaking news kept me entertained all of Thursday and as I was updating Twitter for work the strangest links kept popping up about the story. I found out about the family's two Wife Swap episodes here and here, a YouTube music video made by the family (warning: it's a little vulgar) and even a shirt and hat had already been designed on Zazzle. Too funny!

The best of everything I have seen that has come out of this story is the following Facebook posts. A friend of a friend started this and I couldn't help but to steal it and post it here. I removed the names and photos. Think Fresh Prince of Bel-Air...

In case the image is too fuzzy for you:
  • and i'd like to take a minute just sit right there and i'll tell you how i took off in a balloon filled with hot air
  • in eastern colorado born and raised
  • chasin' tornadoes is how i spent most of my days
  • chillin' in a basket laxin' all cool and shootin some helium out by the pool
  • when a couple of winds who were up to no good started pushing me out my neighborhood
  • I took one little flight and my mom got scared
  • She said you're moving with your new mom from Wife Swap in a balloon filled with hot air.
  • I. fell. out of a box and wont turn 7 or 8
  • and i yelled to the balloon, "Going down, smell ya later!"
  • the Google Earth'd me on Wolf Blitzer,I was finally there
  • Safe in my home, known as the Prince of the Air
  • I hid in my garage, the falcon who never went in the air.

Thank you, Balloon Boy, for providing me with so many outlets for a much needed laugh!

Monday, October 12, 2009

What happened to Fall?

Summer was winding down - the days were still warm and sunny but the evenings were beginning to be crisp and cool. The leaves were just beginning to change colors and some had even begun to fall... then the temperature plummeted and in came the snow. For two days it snowed and I don't believe the temperature outside got above 35 degrees.

I spent the homecoming football game of my alma mater in 28 degree weather and even long underwear, snow boots, thick gloves, toasty toes, hot hands and turtle fur couldn't keep me warm for the entire four hours that I was outside.

This morning there was still an inch of snow frozen to the ground and I had to brush at least two inches of snow off of my car. Most of the trees on my way to work are now bare since the snow did a fantastic job of knocking off all but a few of the leaves. It looks like it is January outside.

What happened to Fall?

Monday, September 28, 2009

First morning in our new place

We don't yet have internet at the new place so I'm sorry I didn't post this yesterday...

Saturday was moving day and boy are we tired! We were so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family who were willing to come and help us move all of our junk. We are now faced with the task of sorting it all out and finding a place for it to go. Yuck! Packing and unpacking are certainly the worst parts of moving so I'll now be taking volunteers to help keep me motivated to unpack...

Sunday morning was our first morning waking up in the new apartment and unfortunately Dave had to go to work at 6:30 to align the laser for people using it that day. I slept in, woke up around 8:30 and took Gromit out for a walk. At the end of our walk we saw Dave pull up to the building and get out of the car with a bag of groceries and flowers - for me! He had stopped to get be flowers and breakfast on his way home from work. What a sweet and thoughtful husband I have!

We spent the rest of the day with friends and drove up to the mountains to take pictures of the changing Aspen trees and then headed over to another friend's house for a delicious ham dinner. What a wonderful day! Enjoy some pictures from our drive!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The sweetest dog

We have the sweetest dog in the world! Here is a quick peek at some of the things Gromit does that just melts my heart.

  • When I come home after work he knows to sit politely in his crate until I walk over to let him out. When the crate door opens he jumps out and into my lap, licks my hand then rolls over on his back so I can rub his tummy.

  • He has been "burying" his bone in the house. He'll take his bone and hide it in different places around the house, like behind a trash can or under a bed, and he'll sometimes even take something else he finds on the floor, like socks, to cover up the bone so nobody can find it.

  • The other morning, after a long night of thunderstorms and wind, I woke up and didn't see Gromit in his bed or anywhere near by. I looked a little harder around the room and found him curled up in Dave's closet on a pile of clothes.

  • More often than not, Gromit falls asleep in the evenings leaning against my chest as I sit on the couch.

  • When we first got him he had a problem being motivated to come inside after walks so we started giving him a yogurt drop treat each time he came inside on his own. He now knows the treat is coming if he goes inside so he happily bounds down the stairs to the front door, goes inside and sits politely and waits for his prize.

  • Gromit loves to go camping! He knows that when he sees the sleeping bags pulled out of the closet that he's going on a trip and he gets so excited! He loves sniffing around, going on hikes (he usually leads us up the trail), rolling in the dirt and actually burying his bone.

  • He has just recently started to chase his ball. It's so fun to throw it, watch him pounce on it, play with it then bring it back to me.
  • Any time there is a cat, squirrel or other small animal noise on TV he immediately turns his attention to the TV to see what is going on. He once looked around to the back of the TV to see if whatever was making that noise was hiding back there.

I (and Dave) love that little dog so much that he is like our child. I can't imagine life without him. I am so glad we got him!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Belgium - On A Bike

If you have ever seen the "On A Boat" video, this is New Belgium's response. Awesome.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tour De Fat 2009

Have you ever heard of New Belgium Brewery? If not, you should. Not only do they make incredibly tasty beer but they also are a fantastic company. They are big on sustainability and every year across the country they hold bike parades and festivals called Tour De Fat (Fat Tire is their most famous beer) encouraging people to ride bikes instead of driving cars. People dress up in crazy costumes and ride through town on their bikes and then attend a festival complete with music, dancing and, of course, beer. This past weekend it was in our city and we certainly enjoyed participating for the second year. Here are some pictures and videos from the event. Enjoy the fun!

Thousands of people come out for the event!

People really take dressing up seriously...

Dave and I were Guitar Heroes!

And we're off!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September is Hunger Action Month

One in eight Americans struggles with hunger. In America, the picture of hunger is not people starving in the streets - it is not knowing where your next meal is coming from or not having access to healthy, nutritious food. More and more working families are finding themselves not being able to pay bills and purchase food. When money gets tight in your home, what is the first thing you cut back on? Your rent/mortgage? Your utility bills? Most likely you adjust your grocery purchasing habits and change your habits of going out to eat. For some families, making these small adjustments isn't enough... they just can't make ends meet.

Food banks across the country work to provide food to nonprofit agencies such as pantries, shelters, churches and care programs by gleaning food from manufacturers, farmers, distributors, grocers and community food drives in order to make it available to hungry people in your community. In addition to providing food to agencies, food banks may also provide direct services such as emergency food boxes, USDA commodities and children's feeding programs. All of these efforts are supported locally through financial donations, food donations and donations of time through volunteering. Without community support these food banks could not do what they do to fight hunger in your community.

This September is Hunger Action Month. I challenge you to take action in the fight against hunger. Through the Give a Little, Feed a Lot campaign (through Feeding America) food banks across the country are asking for your help. Fight hunger in a big way by giving up something small. If you gave up lattes for a week, how much could you donate to those in need? What if you gave up eating lunch out? Donate to your local food bank what you typically spend on any of these items for a day … a week … a month … whatever you can. Visit www.hungeractionmonth.org to see how you can get involved. Also on the Web site, check out any special events going on in your area for Hunger Action Month through your local food bank. Show up to an event and talk to the staff to learn more about hunger in your community and how you can help - even if you can't make a financial donation. There are so many ways to get involved!

Hunger can affect any one at any time. Even you! Hunger is also a solvable problem. If nothing else, please take a minute to learn more. The face of hunger may surprise you. Happy Hunger Action Month!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Movin' on up

Dave and I spent the better part of this weekend beginning the long process of going through everything we own. Everything is being categorized as either toss, sell, take to storage or move to the new apartment. That's right, we're moving!

It was time to renew our lease and the company that recently purchased our complex raised the rent by a lot. They plan to do a lot of cosmetic things to the outside of the buildings and they are even planning to build a new clubhouse and pool area. That's all fine and well but it's not in the budget for a grad student and someone working in the nonprofit sector. They are also inflexible in their lease terms and will absolutely not let us sign a lease for anything less than a year, and since we anticipate Dave graduating in May a lease ending a year from now would not be good for us. The best solution for us is to move, so we are.

We found a nice apartment in the northwest side of town and it will be a lot closer to Dave's job. He'll be able to come home for lunch and spend more time with Gromit before heading back. It will add some time to my commute but hopefully it won't be too bad. The new place is considerably smaller but includes all utilities and the price is right. They are even letting us sign a lease through the end of May with the option of going month-to-month after that so we should be all set if Dave does end up graduating!

So begins this process of going through everything we own to decide if it really has a significant place in our lives and if it needs to be moved with us for the rest of our lives... or at least for now. We didn't do a good job of this when we first got married and moved in together so this is going to be a long process - we have a lot of junk! Our new lease begins September 25th which is only 26 days away so we had better get back to work. Wish us luck!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm buying a tank

This summer I have not had good luck with cars and seriously, I'm considering the buying a tank. Both of our cars have been in accidents on I-25 within a month of each other and Gromit and I were in the car both times it happened- Dave was in the car for the first one. Combine these incidents with the April 2008 accident and I am what you could call "car kryptonite" (thanks for the title, Kevin).


We were driving on I-25 on our way to my very good friend Ashley's wedding reception on a Friday evening in July. She had gotten married the weekend before in Vail at a very intimate ceremony and was having a larger reception for friends. In stop-and-go traffic we were rear ended by a Ford Aerostar van which was rear ended by a Ford Explorer. The Explorer was going too fast and slammed on his breaks too fast and slid into the Aerostar which slid into us. Luckily, we didn't hit the person in front of us. It was a pretty hard hit and both Dave and I were thrown back in our seats and poor little Gromit was thrown from his car seat. After a visit to the doctor and the vet everyone was declared healthy. Thank goodness! Here's what happened to our 2006 Hyundai Elantra:

We unfortunately never made it to Ashley's reception. The damage may not look that bad, but apparently it was a lot worse after they took off the bumper to assess the damage. The trunk area was buckled and the frame was damaged. They ended up declaring the car a total loss. Bummer!

The good news is that we purchased a 2006 Honda Element that Dave and I (and Gromit) love and we took it camping this past weekend for the first time. It's a good, safe car and we're excited about the upgrade from the Elantra.


Four weeks later I was driving on I-25 headed back home from visiting my parents. Again in stop-and-go traffic I was rear ended by a Nissan Murano which was rear ended by a Ford Freestyle which was rear ended by a Freightliner truck. The big truck was going too fast and slammed on his breaks too fast and slid into the Freestyle which slid into the Murano which slid into me. Again, I didn't hit the person in front of me. I was thrown back in my seat and Gromit was safe and sound in his car seat thinks to the seat belt I bought for him after the last accident. Make fun of me all you want but I am now a huge advocate for dog seat belts/harnesses. Again, nobody was seriously injured. Here's what happened to my beloved Volkswagen Beetle:

Again, the damage didn't look that bad but once the bumper was off they found a lot more damage. Luckily it can be repaired and I am supposed to pick it up tomorrow after a trip to the detailing shop to get the strawberry boba tea out of my carpet and seats and off the center console and shifter. What a mess!

Here's the kicker:

I was driving my rental car home from work on Friday and just as I exited I-25 I got a flat tire and had to pull over at a gas station. I couldn't fill it with air (there was a hole) so Dave had to come rescue me and put on the spare. We drove back to the rental place and exchanged it for another car. We went camping that night and I was very excited to put my car stress behind me. Then, Saturday morning the battery in the Element died and we had to ask our neighbors for a jump. After blocking the exit road to the campground and holding up the departure of a few fellow campers we got the car going again and later thanked our neighbors for helping us with an offering of New Belgium beer.

I guess I should either avoid motor vehicles or just buy a tank. But if nothing else, don't get in the car with me without jumper cables, a spare tire, your seat belt fastened and the helmet strap tightened - I'm dangerous!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A new lappy?

I'm in the market for a new laptop. My current one is seven years old, has a 32GB Hard Drive, 512MB of memory, no internal wireless card and weighs a ton. I would love something smaller, lighter, faster, with more memory and more hard drive space, colorful and fun. All I would use it for is web browsing, blogging, social networking, photo editing, Office programs and playing Sims2 (don't laugh, it's fun to play).

My research has led me to the Dell Inspiron Mini 10. It has a 10.1" screen, is super light, more memory and hard drive space (which can be upgraded further by my husband and his friends) and is way cute. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Above and beyond?

Yesterday I was commended by the "top boss" for going over to a staff member and their family who were sitting by themselves at the employee appreciation BBQ last week and talking with them and inviting (well, playfully insisting) that they come over to the table where I was sitting at and join us. I was told that as the event planner that I was doing my job well by making sure that everyone felt included in the celebration.

That's all fine and well but what struck me was that I was being pat on the back for something that I would have done no matter what the situation was - not because it could be perceived as a part of my job. I know what it's like to feel left out and to be sitting alone hoping someone would come to include you. I know what it's like to not feel comfortable walking up to people I don't know that well and trying to join their conversation. I know I don't like feeling like that so I always try to make it a point to make sure others around me feel included. Honestly, I was surprised that nobody else stood up and walked over to them and asked them to come sit with them.

I guess what I'm saying is that as human beings we should treat each other as we would want to be treated and doing so shouldn't warrant a public acknowledgment of going above and beyond. I don't do what I do for recognition, I'm just glad I was able to make that employee and their family feel included.

Friday, July 31, 2009

It could happen to you... well, maybe not

There are things that happen in my life that I swear only happen to me. I should post more of them on here because there are some really entertaining stories. Some may call them blond moments and others may call them coincidences but I just call it funny. Two of these things happened to me on Wednesday...

First, we were doing a Pampered Chef show at work as a fundraiser and our wonderful consultant asked me to set up our break room microwave where we were having the show so she could demonstrate how fantastic the Pampered Chef stoneware is (and boy, it really is fantastic!). I went to move the microwave from the break room to the conference room and noticed how dirty it was - how embarrassing! I absolutely needed to clean it because it would be awful for all of these donors to see how disgusting the microwave was so I set it on the table, grabbed a sponge, sat down and went to work. The top of the microwave was the worst and I couldn't quite get the best scrubbing angle to clean it so I decided to flip it over so the top would become the bottom and I could get some more leverage to scrub it clean. All was well until I decided I needed more soap on my sponge and turned to my right, standing up at the same time and somehow caught my shirt collar on the door latch. It pulled the latch to my chest and the edge of the latch cut my breast in a scratch about three inches long and then it started to bleed! Who in the world cuts their breast on a microwave door?!? Me, that's who. I ran to the first aid kit in the warehouse looking for gauze or a big band-aid and thank goodness my buddy Selena saw me before any of the guys did! She quickly helped me to hold down the gauze pad while I put medical tape around it. Good grief!

On a side note, the cooking show was great, even though I had that lovely bandage sticking out of my blouse. If you want to have your own Pampered Chef show, I highly recommend Danae, our energetic, fun-loving volunteer who just happens to be a consultant. Let me know if you want her contact info.

Second, there were some folks who attended the cooking show and were lingering afterward so the other staff members in attendance were going to leave while I stayed to help clean up (this is that joy of being the event planner). When all of the guests finally left I was helping our consultant carry all of the wonderful Pampered Chef products out to her car and as we went to go back inside to get the rest we discovered the doors were locked - how embarrassing! I'm happy to say that my keys to both my car and the building were safe inside the building. At least I had my cell phone as was able call my boss (who we later found out was the one who locked the doors without telling me) and have him drive back out and let us into the building. I'm always so careful to not lock the doors until I know I'm done going in and out and also careful to notice if someone else has locked the doors before me so I was completely shocked that I didn't notice they were locked when we left the building. What a night that was!

If crazy things happen to you too, I would love to know about them so I don't feel so bad. If not, then just enjoy the stories because I'm sure that they will keep coming! Cheers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Educational software fail

Updates are coming... well... eventually. In the mean time, enjoy this from failblog.org!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Congratulations to our good friends Jessy and Steve who got engaged last night! We're so happy for you two and know you're going to make a great married couple! Hooray!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Holy hail!

Here are a couple of photos of the severe weather and a video of the hail storm today. For the last two days our area has been under tornado watches and warnings and we have experienced heavy hail and high winds. I'm kind of a big fan of severe weather - as long as I'm safe inside!

Swirling clouds

Funnel cloud

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gromit goes camping!

It was a banner weekend - we took Gromit camping for the first time! I have waited so long to get a dog and take it camping (three years ago when we bought a tent I made sure it had a pet den in anticipation of one day owning a dog) and I was so excited that this weekend finally came!

Gromit loves being outdoors and he certainly loved being outside for an entire weekend. He explored the campsite as Dave and I set up our tent, canopy and other gear and found great joy in rolling in the dirt. He sure knows how to drive me crazy! I quickly gave up on trying to keep him clean as I continued to watch him roll around after I would brush him off. He spent a good part of our first evening "patroling" the campsite by walking around the canopy over and over looking into the darkness. Who knows what he was looking for or at, but it was kind of nice knowing he was looking out for us.

On Saturday morning we had a visitor to our campsite. Gromit couldn't get enough of just staring at the elk and the elk stared right back at Gromit. He didn't bark at her, he just stared. I wonder if he'll ever bark!

We also went on a three hour hike and Gromit held up pretty well. He did get tired near the end of the hike and he was moving pretty slow... until he saw a chipmunk. He got a second wind after seeing that furry thing scurry in front of him and into some rocks. The rest of the way down the mountain he was on the lookout for more chipmunks. Silly dog!

The second night Gromit seemed to be more at ease at the campsite and spent a lot of time napping in the dirt and recovering from his hike. He also found a new comfy place to sit while we were eating dinner - our camp chairs! I guess we'll need to bring one for him from now on ;-)

Before we went home we went on a scenic drive and Dave snapped this great picture of Gromit looking out of the window. What a cutie! We can't wait to take him camping again this weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ready or not, here we go!

I'm enjoying my last few moments of peace before our crazy and hectic summer begins. For the next nine weekends (yes, 9 weekends) we have something going on which will prohibit us from using that time to do laundry, plan, prepare and relax for upcoming weeks. We have a lot of exciting things that we are really looking forward to including weddings, family reunions, camping trips, conferences and concerts and my organization and planning skills will be tested as I will be forced to to a lot of "home" things during the work week! Yikes! Ready or not, here we go!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Updates, updates, updates

Sorry, I'm a slacker. I should have updated this a while ago. Here are some random thoughts and updates on what's been going on in our neck of the woods...

  • He LOVES to go outside. It is very difficult to get him back inside after going out for a walk or to potty.
  • He LOVES to chase squirrels. As soon as he sees one his ears perk up, his tail points straight up and he runs right towards it. When it inevitably runs up a tree he will sit under the tree and stare at it hoping it will come down. I think he would sit there all day watching if we let him.
  • We've been going to the dog park lately. On one such occasion there was an older woman there with her Pomeranian. Gromit loves to go and meet new people and be pet so he ran right up to her like he has with everyone else he has ever met. After having his head rubbed he walked right up beside her and lifted his leg on her shoe. I couldn't believe it! We apologized over and over and she just laughed it off and went home. I felt so awful! When we go to the dog park now we watch him very closely and warn people to watch their legs. I'm seriously paranoid that he'll do it again. What would possess this dog to pee on someone's leg? Why her and not others? We're still working on answering those questions, but until then, if you meet Gromit watch out for your leg!
  • He sits down in front of his bowl to eat.
  • He still has yet to bark. Crazy!
  • Thanks to Ashley, Gromit now has a cute little car seat for riding in the car with us! He's so short that it is hard for him to see out the windows so this seat allows him to be up high on the seat and to keep him more contained in case we have to stop quickly or make a sharp turn. He seems to enjoy it and we love watching him in it. Thanks Ashley!
  • I think we have fallen more in love with this dog than we ever thought we could. He is our little baby and we would do anything for him. We're so happy he is a part of our family now!
  • And now, some more pictures!

My Work

  • I was promoted! I was previously the event/volunteer coordinator and it was (finally) decided that my job responsibilities were far too great for any one person to handle so they split my position in half. After weeks of reviewing resumes and interviewing we found the perfect person to become the new volunteer coordinator! This is the first time in this organization that the volunteer coordinator position has stood alone from any other position and I think it was the best thing to do. I am now the event/marketing manager (a position that was created just for me) and I am loving it!
  • There is a volunteer that has been coming in for a couple of years now. She is developmentally disabled (older adult) and always comes with her helper, who also helps her to run her errands, go the library and with anything else she needs a couple of days a week. This volunteer heard that I got a dog recently and last Friday brought me a bag of dog biscuits for Gromit. I can't even describe to you how touched I am by her gesture. It's not just about dog biscuits... she obviously went out of her way to have her helper take her to the store just to get dog biscuits for me. When she only gets to have her helper around a couple days a week, she made it a priority to remember me and go get the treats. She was so proud presenting them to me and I was so overjoyed at her thoughtfulness and kindness. A thank you note and a picture of Gromit doesn't seem good enough to thank her. I'm so touched and words just can't describe how much that meant to me.

Dave's Work
  • The National Science Foundation is doing their five year site visit at Dave's lab - that means he has been working, working and working some more. Until the site visit is over I anticipate for him to be working, even on Memorial Day.
  • Many people at the lab have gotten dogs recently - I guess we followed suit!

Family and Friends
  • Kelly finished her first year of college! She had a rocky end of the year dealing with some inappropriate actions from her roommate, but I think that since I had gone through some similar things I was able to help her through it, thus making our relationship stronger. Hooray!
  • Curtis was accepted into Seminary school and received a full ride scholarship! Who knew that my little brother would become a pastor? I never saw it coming...
  • We got to spend Mother's Day with both my family and Dave's family. It was really great to get to see everyone on the same day!
  • We are so excited to go camping this summer! We have some great trips planned with various friends and family and we know we're going to make some great memories!
That's all for now. I'll do my best to keep up with our summer activities and post a lot of pictures from our upcoming adventures. Have a great holiday weekend!