Friday, December 26, 2008

all is calm.

Ahh.  The Day After Christmas. 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Time for a Post

Warning: long post.

Well I guess it's about time I posted something, huh?

Let's back up to the first week in November.  We flew to Vegas for the SEMA convention.  Dan has wanted to go to this show for EVER.  

Since we were going to be gone over election day, we had to vote early.  Can you believe this line?  It took us just over 30 minutes to vote.  And it wasn't even election day yet.

For those of you who aren't really "into" car stuff, it's basically a huge (and I mean ENORMOUS) car trade show.  Think:  11 miles of exhibits.  Yeah.  H.U.G.E.  And that doesn't even include the outdoor exhibit area.  Crazy. Pretty much any aftermarket product you can think of is represented there.  It's not open to the public, so it took some maneuvering to get passes.  It was stressful (the first option fell thru at the last minute), but we did manage to acquire them. Here are a few photos from the many hours we spent on our feet.  

By far, my favorite exhibits included Smart Cars.  

The best part about Vegas?  I got carded.  Seriously. :)

So we got back from Vegas just in time for me to go to Houston again.  It's a long story, but we're having a small problem actually getting Dan transferred down there, so we've been splitting our time between Dallas and Houston. 

During the week of Thanksgiving, Dan's parents and sister came and helped us move (thanks, guys!).  Most of our stuff was in a storage POD, which made things a little easier.  We found a really cute home on the west side of Houston.  The dogs appreciate the big backyard, Dan loves having a garage again, and I am just happy to start "settling." Not that we are (settled) yet.  But we're getting closer. :)

While we were here this week, Bella & Bentley got a much needed haircut.  Don't they look cute with their holiday bandanas?  (Disclaimer:  these photos were taken with Dan's iPhone so they aren't very good quality, plus the puppies were not very cooperative!)

Speaking of haircuts, I got one this week, too.  How do you like it?

This past week we both came back to Dallas, but I am leaving again tomorrow while Dan has to stay here.  Lucky me, I get to keep the dogs. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Merry December

I just can't believe that it's DECEMBER already!!! My, how time flies.

Well, it was once again for a design change on the 'ol blog. Lots of things happening in the blog world these days, and just no time to stop for all of them!

I hope you are all doing well! More to come soon. I promise.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Well, things have been crazy around here lately. We have been strengthening our search for a home in Houston, hit some major roadblocks, left for some R&R in Las Vegas (much needed!!), hit the ground running when we got back, and here we are.

Be patient, photos will come. :)

As for now, I came across this little piece of wisdom the other day:

* You cannot help the poor, by destroying the rich.
* You cannot strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.
* You cannot bring about prosperity, by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot lift the wage earner up, by pulling the wage payer down.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man, by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot build character and courage, by taking away people's initiative and independence.
* You cannot help people permanently, by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
-William J. H. Boetcker

Stay tuned, my friends.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An American Creed

With all of the election nonsense, some days I find it hard to remember what being an American is all about.  I heard this read on the radio this afternoon, and I just love it.  This is what America used to be all about.  And it still is what America is all about... somewhere underneath all that craziness.

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

By Dean Alfange


*Originally published in This Week Magazine.
Later printed in The Reader’s Digest, October 1952 and January 1954.

The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He was raised in upstate New York. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of 1922.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Post

Well, as you can see, I have been playing around with my blog clothes.  What do you think?  I'm not 100% loving it yet. But it's a work in progress. :)

Last week (or maybe it was 2 weeks ago now?), I had an unexpected chance to meet my Great Aunt Ima Joyce, and her granddaughter and granddaughter-in-law, Emily and Shelley.  I think that makes us 2nd cousins.  We had a delicious lunch at Panera.  I had a great time, and I hope we can get together more often now that I know they are here in Texas, too!  

Congratulations to the Gifford family, on their new addition!

As long as this post is pretty random already, I have been getting some good chuckles at this blog.  Check it out!

And why not throw a scrapbook page in here while I'm at it?  This is one of my new favorites.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

no longer MIA

It's been a while.

I'm not sure why, but time seems go be spinning faster and faster out of control. Maybe I should look up Stephen Hawking and find out why.

I've been home for the past 3 weeks, an unknown blessing of Hurricane Ike. But this past weekend Dan and I drove to Houston to check out the wreckage (not as bad as I had thought), and Monday morning he flew back home, and I stayed for the week.

Whenever I am traveling I tend to watch more news channels than usual. I love watching them talk politics. Even though I've pretty made up my mind about who I am going to vote for, I find it entertaining to watch the politics. But if you haven't made up your mind yet, here's a little help:

Click here.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Making Sure...

...that Dan is well represented in our scrapbooks!

I love these two pages.  Click for a larger view.

Credits: Template by Timounette, papers by LivE, overlay frame by Something Blue Studios.

Credits: Paper by Raspberry Road, Frame by Something Blue Studios, Template by Simply Sarah

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Fun

Well, Hurricane Ike has just about left Texas. While he caused a lot of damage in Houston, I am very thankful that I had the weekend to spend here with Dan! We had a great Saturday together!

I've been taking yet another class over at Jessica Sprague. It's called Type+Writer, and it's all about journaling and typography, and using them to enhance your scrapbooking.  I wasn't really looking forward to this class as much as the others I have taken because I really don't enjoy journaling very much, but it has been a pleasant surprise.  I love it!  Here are some of the layouts I've completed so far (click on images to view larger).

Friday, September 12, 2008

This is why I left Houston

A little blurry, but you get the picture.  I was supposed to spend 2 weeks in Houston, but plans changed as Hurricane Ike grew, and I finally decided to drive back Thursday morning.  And it's a good thing I did!  The normal 4-hour trip took me over 6 hours due to the evacuee traffic.  

All this political stuff...

I have to admit, I watch a lot of political debate and media coverage of the election. Probably slightly more than the average American.  But when Dan showed me this clip, I was floored.  Take a look:

And what about this one on Cindy McCain.  I had no idea....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day trip to Ft. Worth

Dan has been wanting to take me to see the Stockyards in Ft. Worth, and also show me a few of the areas he served in while he was on a church mission.  So yesterday we finally went!  It was a beautiful day, and he 45-minute drive was pretty enjoyable.

First, we drove to Sunny's Grill.  This is a place I have been hearing about forever.  Dan used to eat at this hole-in-the-wall place, and even took his Mission President (& his wife!) there once.  I have to say, when we drove up, I was a little bit nervous, but the food was actually very good.  Dan told me later that he was surprised that the little place was still open.  

Then we drove thru downtown Ft. Worth.  Really, not a lot to see, but it seems like a nice, clean city.  

Finally, we arrived at the Stockyards.  It was an interesting place.  A lot of cowboy stuff!  We walked around for about an hour, just taking it all in.  If you've never been there, it's definitely a fun place to go!  Here are some photos from our little trip!

On our way home, we stopped at my very favorite dessert shop: Sprinkles!  And the cupcakes were soooooooo yummy!!  My favorite is Red Velvet... mmmmm!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New clothes for the 'ol Blog

What do you think?   It's a work in progress...

Friday, September 5, 2008

I am a bad, bad girl

Some days are just not good.  

I was on my way to aerobics class at the church this morning, and got my very first speeding ticket.  I was just coming out of a school zone, and here comes a motorcycle cop... and he snags me in the church parking lot.  Talk about embarrassing!  To top it off, he tells me I was going 23 in a 20 mph school zone.  I'm all about safety in school zones, and I honestly thought I was past the school zone, but I guess not.  I'm not sure how much the fine is going to be yet.  But what a bummer!  No more clean driving record. 

That's about all I have to say today.

But Bella wanted to say hello:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We're BA-ACK!

Well, it was an exciting Labor Day weekend.  We spent Wednesday night and Thursday driving to Utah, Friday and Saturday packing, moving and cleaning, and Sunday and Monday back on the road to Texas.  Whew!  I need a vacation! :)

First of all, I found this really neat blog called "The Dead Horse."  Check it out here.

Despite the moving part, it was a good little trip.  The weather was beautiful!  And we got to see some friends and family to boot.  Thank you so much to Brad & Deb and Jessica & David, and of course, our good friend Chris.  We couldn't have done it without you!

We packed all our things into a POD.  What a great idea!  Most of our things fit into one POD, and the POD will be transferred down to Texas sometime next week, where it will sit in storage until we need it.  And then it will be delivered to our new address.  Oh, and a big thanks to Argo, who is footing most of the bill. :)  The remainder of our things  1.) are already here in our apartment, 2.) were packed tightly into the Rodeo for the trip home,  3.) were sold off (or given away) to friends and family, or 4.) were taken to Deseret Industries (thrift store).

On the way back, we stopped by Ft. Collins, CO, where my good friend Becky and her husband Jon live.  I haven't seen Becky in over a year, so it was good to see her!  We had a late lunch and then ice cream before we hit the road again.  Becky sent us home with some yummy sugar cookies, too!  Thanks, Becky!

And just in case you thought that this would be a second post with no pictures, here you go.  Dan and his dad in their bowler hats.  Do they remind you a little of Laurel & Hardy?  Quite funny!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Post With No Pictures

Posts with no pictures are never fun.  But, sometimes they are necessary.  

The past couple weeks have been busy, busy, busy.  Two weeks ago, I was home.  And since I am gone so much, when I am home I have to cram everything that usually can get done at a leisurely pace throughout the week, into a few days.  Like Laundry.  And appointments and shopping and dog stuff.  Yes.  It doesn't seem like one does much during the week until you loose a week.  

Last week, I was in Houston (again).  It was actually a very exciting and productive week, which unfortunately I cannot claim all the time.  :)  Thursday night I had dinner with Phil & Bri, who I went to college with.  It was SO NICE to see them!!  You know how sometimes it can be awkward when you haven't seen someone for ... oh, several years?  Not this case this time!  We had a great time catching up and remembering.  We ate at the Hobbit Cafe.  Let's just say, I will be coming back to this place!  I had a curry chicken salad sandwich - sooo good!   And if you order anything with avocado, watch out!  You will probably get the whole avocado (or maybe two).  

I interviewed a new candidate for our Sales Team on Friday.  She was supposed to arrive at 9 am, but her flight was cancelled and she didn't get in until 3 pm!!  So, needless to say, I did not get to come home Friday night.  *sigh*.  But, on a good note, she is an excellent candidate and I really hope we can hire her.  I went to dinner with her (and some other co-workers) on Friday and she held her own pretty well.  

And then I got up early Saturday morning and drive home.  

SO GLAD to be home.  Each time I make the trip to Houston, it seems to get longer and longer.  I got home at 11:00 Saturday morning.  And then we started the odd jobs and errands that needed to get done: bank, oil change, grocery store, Blockbuster.  And a nap. :)  Saturday evening we attended Stake Conference, and it was indeed what I needed.  Elder Anderson of the Seventy spoke about families and love.  Just what I needed to hear.  :)  Sunday was also Stake Conference, another really great session, and then we were lazy most of the afternoon.  We watched a movie, played with the pups, and then finished our evening with the Olympic closing ceremonies.  I'm sad it's over.  But I know that Dan is not.  He was not a fan of the Olympics these past couple weeks.  

And the fun does not stop there.  (What?  Yes, I know this is a long post without pictures.  Check out the title.).  We've finally decided to take our house off the market, and try to rent it out to recover some of the expense.  Of course, that means we have to retrieve all our things from the house (in Utah).  Oh yes.  A road trip.  To take advantage of the holiday weekend, we're going to leave Wednesday night and make it a quick trip.  (Ok, good point, with 22 hours each way, it will not be a "quick" trip.  Let's call it an as-quick-as-possible trip.)  Two good things:  we'll be able to see Dan's family (although we will put them to work!), and we're going to stop by and see Becky & Jon in Ft. Collins on our way home.  

Wish us luck.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Disney Pages...continued

I'm really starting to get the hang of CS3!  Here are 2 more Disney pages.  Templates by Simply Yin.  If you ever use templates to scrapbook, hers are seriously some of the BEST.  I love them. 

More pages to come!  Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Pages

My husband was kind enough to upgrade me to the full version of Photoshop last week!  There are many differences between Elements and CS3, but I am (slowly) learning, thanks to this forum over at Jessica Sprague.  

So without further adieu, here are my first 2 attempts at scrapbook pages in CS3.  The LO is from Jessica Sprague's Digi: In Deep class.  The second is a template by Simply Sarah.  (And yes, Honey, I am leaving now :) ).

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm a bad wife

OK, so this has been a busy week, but that is no excuse for not posting anything to commemorate a BIG EVENT in our lives.... Wednesday was DAN'S BIRTHDAY!  We celebrated by going out to dinner at III Forks, Dan's favorite place to eat.  We don't eat there very often (a little $$$), but when we do, it is sooooo goooood. :)  

And what would a birthday be without a few photographs?  hehe..

Here's the little guy at about 2 years old. Isn't he adorable??

And here is he at 19 years old.  What a looker!

And here he is just a couple weeks ago.  

Happy Birthday, Dan!!  I love you!!

Vacation part 2: St. Louis

Hello again!  This week has been a crazy busy one.  But here (finally) is Vacation: Part 2. We went to St. Louis!  Neither Dan or I had ever been there before (well, not counting the airport for a layover once).  Here are some highlights!

First, the Arch (of course!).  How can you go to St. Louis and not see the Arch?  We learned some really cool stuff, though. I had no idea that underneath this massive structure is a National Park!  Very interesting.

Here's Dan at the top of the Arch!  They put you in these little capsules to transport you to the top.  It feels like you're going to space or something. Very tiny and cramped, and no air conditioning.  But once you get the the top - WOW!  The views are just amazing.

The Mississippi River was still showing signs of the recent flooding.  The water had finally started to recede.  These poor little guys look like they are waving for help, don't they?

And of course we had to stop by the St. Louis temple.  Easy to see from the highway, but it did prove tricky finding a way to get there.  In the end, we finally did, and it is beautiful!

Stay tuned for part 3!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vacation... part one

We got back from vacation over a week ago.  We got back Saturday night, picked up the dogs on Sunday, and I left for Houston on Monday.  I was in Houston all week, and just got back late this past Friday night, so we didn't even download the pictures until yesterday!  We decided tht Branson was a once in a lifetime experience. :)  But, our vacation overall was AWESOME!  We were able to relax and have a lot of fun together.  I haven't processed all the photos yet, but here's a preview!

Here we are Day 1 at Silver Dollar City Theme park.  This was taken just before we rode the Water Toboggan and got absolutely SOAKED from head to toe.  (Seriously, there was not an inch of us that was not dripping!)


After a few twisty and turny rides, Dan wasn't feeling so well, so I rode the Giant Swing by myself - 3 times.  It was so much fun!

After a couple of days in Branson, we needed a break and headed out to Nauvoo, IL.  We attended a session at the temple and then took in the Nauvoo Pagent on the riverfront.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A little ShaZAM

So it's Friday... why not play a little before leaving on vacation?

It's Photoshop Phriday over at Jessica Sprague, and today we learned how to add a little ShaZAM to your photos.  It's a really cool technique, so head over there and learn all about it!  

Here's the before (straight out of the camera), taken just a few weeks ago at Enchanted Rock State Park in Austin.

And here we are after a little ShaZAM!  What do you think?  It's a subtle difference, but I love how the colors pop and the photo seems sharper.  I can't wait to try this technique on some photos from vacation next week!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Photography Class

Well, I'm not sure what we've been busy with, but we have been BUSY!  It seems like time is just flying by this summer!  

So I've been taking a class called Oh Shoot! over at Jessica Sprague's website.  It's taught by Candice Stingham.  It's all about learning how to use your DSLR camera.  We have the Nikon D50 (OK, so technically, it's Dan's), and we have only been using it on Manual mode since we got it over 2 years ago!  So now I've ventured into some unchartered territory - and I'm learning a lot.  The class is a little more "basic" than I expected, but I'm sure that as the 6 weeks progress, we'll learn a lot more new & cool techniques!  Here are my assignments for Lesson 1: Shutter Speed and Lesson 2: Aperture.  

We're also preparing for our "big vacation" next week to Branson, MO and Nauvoo, IL.  I'm trying to get excited about it, but Branson doesn't really conjure up excitement, does it?  I am glad for the opportunity to get away, though!  Dan and I both need a vacation!  Plus, it's not far, and we've never been there before, so at least it will be an adventure.  Even if we just lounge by the pool all week, it will be a success!