Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where's Dani

I figure a little update is in order since I haven't written for so long. I'm going to try to keep this short, but for those who know me, it's really not likely so here goes...enjoy.

May 1st we got to Pittsburgh after 4 days of driving with Gavin, Dustin & I, our friend Brandon (also doing sales for the summer) & 2 nice girlfriends who drove their truck out to bring our belongings. The apartment in Pittsburgh was pleasant. The people who ran the complex, not so much! They had a total vendetta against everyone from Pinnacle & it was just one horrific problem after another for the duration of our stay (which lasted through the first week of July).

Pittsburgh is a beautiful city. So green, so much water! A week or so before we left Dustin & I realized how much we were going to miss it there. We really did get very comfortable & enjoyed our time there a lot.

Everything (court-wise) eventually got worked out with Abi & though Dustin had to fly home for court June 2nd he did get to bring her home. My mom came out on my birthday & took Gavin home on the 4th of July! I miss him SO much it's CRAZY! It's definitely been a very hard thing to get through being without him but I'm surviving (it helps that he is REALLY cute when he talks to me on the phone!) For those of you who haven't seen my kids in a while, they are GROWING UP SO FAST!!

Right after Gavin left we got moved to an extended stay hotel, which is every bit as horrible as it might sound to spend 6 weeks in a place like that. We got by but it was miserable! I took Abi home the last week of July (she had to be home Aug 2nd). Finances were hard & it meant that I couldn't be picky about my travel dates. I ended up being in St. George a WHOLE WEEK which included spending mine & Dustins first anniversary away from him. :(

The trip was really hard on both of us & we don't intend to do it again soon, I did at least get to enjoy seeing my darling other baby (the little one) for a whole week. He was with me almost constantly & we had LOTS of fun!!

Things with the roommates in our house have been a little crazy these last couple months! I'm excited to get back home & be able to be more 'in charge' again. Things just were never like this when we were living there. Plus I REALLY miss my house!!

Instead of traveling for all of September (as we'd hoped) we rolled with the punches & Dustin decided to work in September. Since Pittsburgh is not a year round office for Pinnacle we had to move to a new office. They had a bunch to choose from but we ended up coming to Dallas/Ft Worth. I'm glad we did because it shortened our trip when we drive home for good, now we're just 2 days from home instead of 4. :o)

We left Pittsburgh last Wednesday & drove the car & the bike down to Nashville to stay with extended family (who I LOVE TO PIECES!). I was so glad to get to see Jon. We were totally beat from the journey, especially Dustin on the bike! We ended up staying there 2 days, getting to go out & see Nashville, including the 'honkeytonks' & then driving the rest of the way to our new home on Saturday.

We relaxed Sunday & then got sick & have been sick ever since. :( I'm feeling much better & have been able to get some work & other stuff done these last 2 days but Dustin is still totally laid out. :( I'm sad for him.

The last update I suppose is that Dustin & I are both going back to school this semester. It was really tricky & I'm not happy about the way it turned out but at least we're in, don't have to worry about our loan payments & can take advantage of the financial opportunities of being a student still. :o)

So we're homeward bound the middle/end of September. We both can't wait but in the meantime we're both doing our best to still enjoy life in the present & get a good experience of Dallas.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You'll forgive me, I promise

So I haven't posted in my entire time in Pittsburgh I'm pretty sure...which is disgraceful. I'm now just north of Fort Worth TX finishing out the summer. I'll try to compose a more appropriate update on the happenings later. For now I promise you'll forgive me for not posting in SO long, when you feast your eyes on THIS!

If you'll please follow this link to the most hilarious thing I stumbled across on the internet in quite sometime. When you follow the link there is a box in the top right corner which reads 'Boss coming? Dramatic Pause'. Click there & prepare to at least chuckle.

I would also like you to note that this was NOT passed onto me by someone else, which is where almost all of my internet humor originates from. No, this little gem Dustin & I found all on our own while we were watching TV online last night.

We've been watching all our favorite shows with rather irritating commercial breaks (because they play the same one 6 times during the episode) online now with the office setup. They have one of those baby laptops that hooks right into a really good size flat screen TV. :) I'm not complaining.

Anyway...hope you enjoyed that as much as we did. I also hope that those of you who were wondering weather or not I was still breathing have also recieved some additional relief from this post.

Love ya'll!! (I just visited Nashville & can officially use that word! LOL)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spring Break Report Part 1 - Seattle

If it's any consolation I have been journaling on paper about what's been going on. :o) LOL
Just for Beth, I'm FINALLY reporting on our trip & sharing a few pics. I say to Beth, "Get your ass on Facebook!" :o)

So the week of Spring Break/Dustins Birthday we drove up to Seattle to visit his sister Chelsea & see a new part of the country. It ended up being a REALLY great vacation, aside from the Canada portion (which happened to fall ON Dustins birthday).

We drove the whole way there & back. It was really fun, but I don't think I'd do it again, especially since I've now driven even further almost all the way across the country! :o) It was a fun little road trip though & the time in the car wasn't bad at all. Idaho is NOT pretty in the southern part, it was the worst part of our drive. I wished that it was later in the year because it was still VERY cold & not as green as I'd hoped it would be. I wanted the green, mossy, & lush from Twilight. I know, I'm a dork.

Anyhow. We left on Friday & drove to Spanish Fork & stayed the night with Nick & Tamsin. After my FAVORITE breakfast at Magleby's Fresh we hit the road & drove all the way to Seattle. It was something like 15 hours...I don't remember. Right before you get into Seattle the way that we came you have to go through the final mountain pass (the last of several throughout the journey). It started to snow (I'd been sleeping). Dustin pulled over, got gas, commented on our 'not good' tires & got back on the road, hesitantly, telling me that they were talking about closing the pass in about a half hour. We were exactly that far from the mile marker in question, but we went ahead anyway...another hotel in BFE was out of the question.

I can't even tell you what a freakin SUPERSTAR driver Dustin was!! I was TERRIFIED the whole time! I could barely breathe & it was probably a good thing because if I opened my mouth it would have only added to my poor baby's stress! White knuckled the whole way through the pass, sliding on the way up & literally skidding from one side of the road to the other many times on the way down we FINALLY dropped into Seattle! I can't tell you how deeply my gratitude was for our safe arrival.

Seattle is a gorgeous city, even driving into it at night we just fell in love! We got to our hotel, nearly killing the GPS on the way (it was a screwy 'one-way road' situation). Dustin yelled at it like it was a person, which offered some of the funniest profanities he's ever used!

Our hotel was really pretty much a dump. It was about a 10 minute drive from downtown, so it was cheaper but honestly next time we go we'll stay closer to town probably & just walk everywhere. Most of the days we took our car out very little, if at all (after this city I realized this is a standard in big cities).

The next day in Seattle we just hung out on our own (Sunday). We walked around downtown a lot. I got some good feedback from my legs & body about how out of shape I am & we froze our bums off, seriously SO COLD!! I'd like to remind my readers that I'm from Southern Utah & don't own a real coat! Bless Chelsea's little heart for lending me one! I lived in it, along with 3 other layers for the remainder of our trip & survived. We also bought scarves & gloves, and actually learned to tie a scarf. :o)

Monday we caught up with Chelsea & just hung out. We went to the fish market, a must see in Seattle. Drove through an Arboretum (tree sanctuary). I had never heard of these before this one. It was really pretty cool & I'd like to visit them in other cities - I'm outdoorsy like that I guess.

We ate a lot of great food while we were in town, none as notable as our experience in San Fran at Nopa, but good nonetheless. Chelsea directed us to lots of restaurants 'off the grid' that were fantastic.
The rest of the time we were there Chelsea & Travis were pretty tied up (we knew they would be & didn't expect to be toured around at all!). We took ourselves around & took me to the doctor on Tuesday (stupid infection I should have had treated BEFORE I left St. George!! I'll never make that mistake again!). Tuesday we went on this 'Underground Tour'. Seattle has some REALLY interesting history that we learned about. It was totally worth the money, we had a great time.
Apparently Seattle had a 'great fire', I forget the year. The whole city burned down & needed to be rebuilt. The politicians of the time dragged their feet so the merchants & businessmen just rebuilt on top of the wreckage that hadn't been cleaned up. As a result what is now 'street level' in Seattle used to be the 2nd story. You can go underground & walk the 'original streets' on this tour & see a lot of really cool stuff. There is also some great stories they tell about over the years what the underground was used for (brothels, anti-prohibition activity, etc).
Dustin & I also got some pretty crazy insight into the homeless problem/situation (call it what you will) while we were in Seattle. There are two types of homeless people we decided. There are the 'actual homeless' (the disabled, displaced, etc) & then there are these other homeless people that we dubbed 'street kids'. They literally are kids (14-18) that just live on the streets for kicks we figure. They didn't seem to be on drugs (not to the 'I'm so spun or strung out that I'm homeless' point anyway), just living the grunge life they'd always dreamed of. LOL It was crazy to see.
We also learned about the policies & political aspect of the homeless in large cities. There is an independent newspaper there that is geared towards the homeless problem & is sold by homeless people (they pay $.35 & sell for $1 - very cool concept to give them some source of income). The newspaper, like the rest of Seattle & Washington was VERY left wing, but interesting still. It talked about what are called 'sweeps' where police go through the city at night & arrest or displace the homeless from their various shelters, often take all of their belongings, etc. Obviously the sweeps were seriously degraded by the newspaper, but I can even see how it would only increase the problem to a degree (it told a story of a victim of a sweep who lost everything that they possessed - blankets, clothing, even ID). *So there's a little homelessness education for you. :)
Wednesday was Dustin's birthday so we headed up to Canada. Based on our Google Maps phone app (our favorite thing about our phones - Dustin has Treo like mine that he got for his birthday before the trip) we decided to go to Vancouver. It was about a 4 hour drive but seemed like the best 'big city' to go to.

The drive up was nice, when we got the border we got the 'standard questions':
-Passports -Do you have drugs, foods, weapons, etc? -Have you been to Canada before?

We were given a piece of paper & told to pull over, random search...or NOT! We get out of the car with our passports & head inside. What followed was one of the most shocking experiences I've been through! We go up to the counter & they ask us about our trip, what's in our car, what we're doing. They couldn't understand why we were traveling on Spring Break & why we wanted to come to Canada (like tourism is unheard of or something). We were baffled at the line of questioning! They treated us from the gate like terrorists & they just had to figure out our scary plot!

They separated us after finding out that we were gun owners & questioned us about where the guns were in our house, why we weren't traveling with them, pulled full background checks, took our phones from us, & basically detained us until they determined 'what to do'.

I stayed pretty calm throughout the whole situation but near the end realized that I was outright being 'detained' & had NO IDEA what my rights were as a foreigner on their soil. When this realization hit me I was TERRIFIED! It was such an eye opener. I had made so many assumptions about traveling into another country (mostly based on Mexico) and they were completely wrong.

Eventually they turned us away based on Dustins background (what they consider felonies that were too recent - NOT felonies in the US). We had to drive back across the border to the US. Dustin can apply for what is call 'criminal rehabilitation' with their embassy if he wants to go in. If he tries to enter again without paying the $200 & undergoing this evaluation then he will be detained for 48 HOURS!!

We got back to the US & the moment we did I felt SO relaxed & at ease. Our border patrol cracked jokes with us & gave us no problems at all. We ate some Mexican food in Blaine & headed back to Seattle. It was kind of sad really. Dustins birthday was wasted on that crappy experience!

In Blaine I took this pic of him flipping off Canada while he's on the phone with some of the family.

On the way back home we figured out SOMETHING fun to do to make his birthday not a total bust & ended up going to a club called Seven for a local rap show. It was a really different concert experience than we are used to, we had a total blast!

Walking to the show I took this pic of our visit to the Space Needle. LOL We thought it was totally hilarious! We went to the Space Needle park (about 2 blocks from our hotel) but it was $16 per person to go up & we said, SCREW your high prices & left. :)
The next day we drove to San Fran. We were sad to leave Seattle! We absolutely LOVED the city, the people, the experience & most of all hangin with Chelsea & Travis. I'm thinking they don't read this, but everyone else can know how much we thank them for the awesome trip & that we love them to pieces!! :)

Bloggers, Please HELP Me!!

Someone PLEASE give me some 'Blogger 101 Training'!! I hate putting together posts!! Notice the formatting in my last two posts. I am so exhausted that there is NO way I'm fixing them right now but I might later.

When I was in the construction window it appeared to be perfect, then I post & its all jacked up!
:( I might lose my mind if someone doesn't help me, I'm too OCD for it to look like that.

Tricks, tips, ideas welcome! This applies to text & pics alike. I figure it's the images that screw with my formatting though.

That's all.

Spring Break Report Part 2 - San Fransisco

Thursday we got up & drove to San Fransisco. I love this city & was so excited to see it again, plus Dustin had never been so it added GREATLY to my excitement! Dustin & I are kind of interesting travelers...we don't really make a lot of concrete plans - we just kick ideas around & figure out where the wind blows us. :o) On the drive down we decided to drive all the way west to the 101. I've always wanted to drive it. We knew (bless Google Maps) that it would really lengthen our trip but we headed out anyway.

The drive was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! I love the green so much! I miss the desert a little, but I think only because it's dry. Hehe. When the sun went down (almost all the way through Oregon) we headed back East to get on the 5 to hopefully make our trip a little shorter. We ended up not getting to San Fran until 4 am! We were tired & cranky when we crossed the Bay Bridge & ended up paying $60 for parking for our 2 day stay!! Again, I will NEVER drive to a big city again!! It's all about public transportation, cabs & good old shoeburu's!!

We only had the one day in the city the next day so we made the most of it. We got up after only a couple hours sleep, jumped on the bus after breakfast & headed for Fisherman's Wharf. We had lunch there, walked around a bit, saw a pretty cool collection of boats that is a national monument, or park or something. *We have the all access pass every year because of Zion & have used it so many times this year that we bought a little National Park Passport. :) Again, outdoorsy, historical, & kinda dorky. LOL

After Fisherman's Wharf we went to Golden Gate Park. We took some really cool pics, froze our bums off again (the wind was RIDICULOUS!) & headed on the bus to Haight & Ashbury. I'd always wanted to go there. The hippy in me has been craving it for YEARS. We took pics there of course & jumped on the bus to go eat at Nopa. I think I documented my Nopa experience in another post - so I'll suffice it to say that it was the most incredible meal I've EVER eaten!!! (sorry mommy)

After collecting & sorting through lots of pictures of us I find that he makes this face often & it absolutely cracks me up! I have to also tell that he makes this face when he dances silly - also very funny. :o)
After dinner we asked around about local shows & ended up at a Jazz/Funk show of a group that are apparently legends (people were waiting for decades to see this show...we'd never heard of them.) Hehe. :o) The venue was absolutely amazing, again. If you've never been to a small venue show & enjoy concerts it's something you MUST do!! The experience at a small venue verses 20,000 people just can't even be explained! At both shows Dustin was in the bathroom with the performer prior to their set! :)

We got back to the hotel super late & were pretty exhausted the whole drive home. The drive through Cali was gorgeous though. We were going to take the 5 all the way to the 15 & then up, but ended up cutting through on this little highway that was a BREATHTAKING drive! We were so happy we did it.

Our exhaustion made us contemplate a night stay in Vegas, but we stuck it out, made it home...and that's where the adventure ends. :o)

Hope you're happy Beth!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Vacation

So I know that all 4 of you are just DYING to hear about my travels! :o) I have SO much to say, but I've just been enjoying my kids & getting life after vacation put back together. I have about a million posts to do so keep an eye out.

As soon as my camera is uploaded I'll be on my way! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random Updates

So Holly's been nagging me & I also realized that I don't live up to the title of my blog very least not keeping you all updated on the Northern Highlights. :o) Not that my life is without highlights, cause I feel like for the most part the color scheme of my world is various neon's all the time. I just need to be a little more disciplined about posting them.

Random Highlight/Update #1: School

School is going good for Dustin & I both. I'm getting excited for the semester to be done, of course, but for the most part I'm really enjoying my classes.

Random Highlight/Update #2: Dani's Work

I'm not working anymore & at first the change to student & housewife/mom full time was an adjustment. I'm filling the hours nicely now though & feel like I'm getting a lot done. Taxes are finished, the house is clean, school work is pretty well current & I'm spending time with the kids more.

Random Highlight/Update #3: Dustin's Work

Dustin pretty well stopped working after Thanksgiving. He didn't work at all until about 2 weeks ago when a big job they were waiting on (5 story storage units) finally got started. They are now working 8 hour days & the job should last at least a couple of months.

During the time that Dustin was pretty well unemployed his friend approached him about doing summer sales for Pinnacle Security. Janet & I both have this system so we were already familiar with the product & the sale amount/contract. While I was still working it was sort of a distant consideration, but then when I lost my job (layoff, not fired) we decided it was our best option & would also probably be a lot of fun. :o)

Random Highlight/Update #4: Relocation

Due to the summer sales job commitment we'll be leaving for Pittsburgh, PA the last week of April. The sales season is from May 1-August 31. I'm tagging along, which apparently isn't all that uncommon for married couples. Juggling the kids proved to be a little challenging & will also be slightly painful I'm sure (we'll be without them the last 2 1/2 months) but aside from that I'm really looking forward to it!

Random Highlight/Update #5: Travel

Because I'll be halfway across the country for the summer I'm hoping to see a good portion of the Northeast. We have Sunday's off & 4 vacation days during the season. If the sales go really well & it's financially feasible we'll travel for all of September. We'll spend about a week in the states & then fly to Milan & spend the remainder of the month in Europe, but plan to be home in time to start block courses in the fall.

Random Highlight/Update #6: Spring Break

Spring Break is next week, along with St. Patty's day & Dustin's birthday. For all those exciting celebrations & just 'because' we're heading to Seattle for the week! :O) I want to stop by & hopefully spend the day in San Fransisco. I visited way back when I was 18 & loved the city then & still love it now. I also read the linecook blog regularly & have this fantasy about eating at his restaurant. :) It 'might' work out & maybe I'll be the "blog stalker" that travels the farthest to see his restaurant & eat his food. LOL

I also hope to visit the infamous Forks on our journey & maybe a little of Canada since I was blessed with a passport, FINALLY, in October last year. I have no idea where the wind will blow us on this journey, but I'm sure I won't get lost because my WONDERFUL mommy is letting me borrow her GPS. :) Hehe

Random Highlight/Update #7: Kids

The kids are fantastic! They are both getting SO smart & really developing the cutest little personalities. On the highest note of all they are BOTH potty trained!! WOO HOO!! As a 'first timer' I must admit that I had quite a bit of anxiety over the whole situation. I had built it up a lot & as it turns out it was a LOT easier than I thought it would be. They both caught on SO well it was just a breeze & I LOVE not having anymore diapers!! (If anyone has a little one & could use size 4-5 diapers let me know. I was so unprepared for it to go that well that I have 1/2 a huge box left).

Random Highlight/Update #8: Becoming an Author

So this might be a little premature, but announcing it might also increase my motivation to push towards my goals. :) My family are quite the little entrepreneurs & I'm quite the little closet writer so we've been collaborating for some time to produce a book about the 12 days of Christmas. There will be no birds, silly gifts, or counting in this novel, but if things turn out well we'll have an excellent book to be enjoyed by many (mostly women) and just maybe something that will increase awareness & make an impact on peoples lives. **My family, we're all about helping people. LOL

I'd like to get to 10, & I'm sure I could, but I have horrendous heartburn & it's all I can think of to spell check this post & be done. I'll do what I can to not let the Highlights stack up again. I probably won't post again before I leave so wish me happy travels & I'll post highlights from the trip & pics when I get back.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Failed a little

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, as promised...not that anyone follows THAT closely. {Sorry if you do Janet}. :)

To answer the question, in my own way, I am definitely a blog whore! :o) I decided it's fun though and I'm TOTALLY okay with it! I came to the realization after I found myself trolling through blogs of note one day & reading through my loveable google reader app. I realized that I follow about 25 blogs through reader, religiously, and pick up 2-3 new blogs per week. LOL Therefore, anyone who gets around blogs THAT much I figure MUST be a blog whore...are you? :o)

Not much has been going on these last couple of days. I think I already said that being out of town was GREAT! :) Work is going REALLY well! I had every right to be so excited about it. I'm definitely performing very well, keeping a good attitude & getting TONS done. It always feels fantastic to be productive, even if it makes you sore a little (in the brain or body)! LOL

Gavin is still sick & both the kids were pretty ornery today. Dustin started class tonight & that marks the official beginning of us not seeing each other until 8pm all week long. :( Endure to the end they say (the end of April that is). Hehe.

I'm excited to start school myself but don't actually have class until Thursday & only on Thursday...we'll see how that works out. I haven't gotten a start on my online classes yet, but probably will tomorrow since I'll be bored to tears being all alone. :(

I'm done ranting, I think.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy & Sad

So I'm happy & sad at the same time! It happens to me a lot, I'm a complex person. :o) LOL

I'm happy because I successfully got some MUCH needed R & R away with the hubby this weekend. The cabin was GREAT, the scenery BEAUTIFUL & the whole experience just positively enjoyable. I feel very rejuvenated & very much looking forward to the week ahead.

I'm happy also because it's back to work this week, and I'm loving the chance to continue to sink my teeth in & make real progress. I like the direction that the company is going and feel like I have a huge opportunity to have amazing climbs and reach incredible summits in the coming months & year.

In addition to getting back to work I'm happy because we picked up the much missed munchkins tonight. Gavin is sick, which is a bummer, but he's such a chill kid & handles it so well that it doesn't really put me out...I just feel bad for him. :(

And the happiness just keeps on going...On top of the kids, work, and R & R it's back to school! One would think that with all there is on my plate I might be dreading getting back to school so soon, but I am actually really stoked & looking forward to it. My schedule this semester is Business Statistics, a 1 credit Powerpoint class, two management classes & baseline upper division marketing. I am REALLY excited to finally be in the ACTUAL business program and done with my pre-req's. Everyone I talk to says school will rock from here on out & I totally believe them. (Even if it is a lie I'm fully invested in it & excited!) LOL

Anywho...there is an update for now. That's pretty much all that's going on. There is much more that I'm happy about but those are the things that are "top-of-mind" at the moment. Tomorrow I'll answer the blog whore question that I threw out there & got not one reply to... :( Hence the sad. Oh well though, my value fortunately is not dependent on the comments I receive. LMAO

I'll also try to post the pics from the trip. I didn't take one pic of the scenery (I know, lame), but got some cute one's of my husband. :) I also need to post some pics of him & the pink cast. It's becoming quite famous & oddly is signed only by women (if you know Dustin you're saying to yourself "Go figure") :o)