Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seattle, again!

Two weeks ago, Dane and the other interns were invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Boeing factory in Everet, WA. It was on a Tuesday. When we looked at flights for Monday, the weekend before, they did not look promising, so we thought, "Why not?" and flew to Seattle to spend the weekend with my sister, Leslie Ann and her family. Getting there was a little bit of a roller coaster ride and I don't think I will ever forget how we felt.

Here's the skinny. All day Sat., flights were oversold. And even though that does not always mean you won't get on, it did not look promising. Sunday, looked great though. We decided that spending all day in the airport on Sat. just to get our hopes up wouldn't be worth it, so we went to bed Friday night, planning to hope on a plane on Sunday. Saturday morning, my alarm went off around 5:30 am. Wonderful. Don't you love it when you forget to turn it off for the weekend? I mutter into my pillow, go back to sleep as Dane checks the flight just in case. "WAKE UP!" he shouted, "There are 70 open seats on the flight in 2 hours. If we leave now we can make it!"
We hadn't packed a thing, so in 20 min, we packed and ran out the door just in time to realize that Dane had actually been looking at the flight for Sunday. Grrrr. There was no chance of going back to sleep now, so we though, since we were ready to go, we might as well see if we could get on.

I am realizing that this is not really the short version that I meant to tell...So basically, after dealing with an unhappy gate agent who acted as though her acknowledging our presence should have been an honor we got on the plane. It was oversold by 2 and she had put us dead last on the standby list. Numbers 9 and 10. I could not believe how lucky we had been to get on! I settled into my seat, made friends with my neighbors and suddenly heard someone calling my name. It was the gate agent. He told me that I had to get off the plane. NOW. What? Our carry-on was all the way in the back and by the time I had made my way back to grab it and was off the plane, all I would have needed was a little poke to burst into tears. "What a morning." I thought.
I was just about off the plane, when I heard, "Never mind, ma'am. You may sit down." I have no idea what happened, but they let me back to my seat. It was awful. But really good to know that we were on our way to see Leslie Ann!

So now that I have that story off my chest, let me tell you about how wonderful the trip was!

We loved spending time with Leslie, David and Molly and Annie. My only regret is that I didn't talk more pictures. We went swimming for FHE, out to the hot tub almost every night, decorated Easter eggs (Martha Stewart style), went shopping and maybe my favorite of all was the walk/hike. Molly took her bucket and she and Annie picked all the dandelions they could find and filled the bucket. It was cute to see their personalities show through in this activity. Annie was vary careful in making sure they got all of them, and no dandelions fell out. Molly on the other hand was completely unaware of the little yellow trail she was leaving behind as she swung the bucket round and around. It was like watching a movie. She would squat down to pick up a flower and unknowingly knock over her bucket. Then, discover the spilled flowers on the ground, pick the bucket up, and knock it over again while putting in the first spilled flowers. She kept spilling them and picking them up. Her face was so happy and I am sure she thought she had scored the jackpot of all spots to find dandelions. I think it was really frustrating for Annie. They were both so cute.

Can you see all the dandelions on the ground?

We had so much fun! Thanks for being such great hosts, Dave and Leslie!
Here we are with Molly and Annie.

Dane went on the tour with the interns on Tuesday and we had all been planning on flying home that night on a read-eye. The loads were not looking good. Surprise, suprise, eh? In fact, the chances of us getting on a flight from Seattle to Houston all day Wednesday didn't look good at all. We hadn't checked in either, which meant, all of the interns an other travelers with our same priority would be ahead of us. So, to make a long story short because the flight was wide open, we flew home out of Portland on Thursday. We had a day longer than we had expected, so on Wednesday, we rented a car (thanks Mom, and Dad) and took a little detour over to Prosser. Again, it was amazing to be able to have family close enough that we could see them, share a warm meal together and have somewhere to sleep. This is a picture we took of Mt. Hood on our way to Portland from Prosser.

SIGH. Talk about a long weekend in Washington. I cannot even express how blessed we have been to be able to travel and visit family. Thank you very much Continental Airlines.

DiGiorno Pizza Party

I think that I have told many of you about this great website called HouseParty.com. It is a place where companies go to get new products out there, and people like you and me, can get cool free stuff. And who doesn't like free stuff right? I am not writing this blog to make you all think that I am advertising for the website, because really, I get nothing out of this other than to share someth
ing wonderful. So, this is how it works because I was a little confused at first. You go to the site, and get on the emailing list.
They email you about "parties" that are being sponsored. This is where companies get new products out there. For example, there are parties for new Aquafina flavored water, Hasbro board games, Gerber baby food, or DiGiorno pizza and bread-sticks.
For the party, you and your guests get to try out this new whatever and have a great time. It is as simple as that. Basically, they provide the party, and all you have to provide it the people and a place.
SO, when you get the email, if it something you want to do, you apply for the party and wait to hear back.
If you qualify or whatever, they email you and you accept.
Use their site to invite peeps, and they send you a party package in the mail.

This is where the good stuff is. A while back I applied and was accepted for a DiGiorno pizza party. My party pack included a sweet apron, a nice pizza cutter, party beads, some games that went along with march madness and last but not least, TONS of coupons for pizza. I didn't have to buy anything for the party. About 10 people came, ate and we still had 2 pizzas in our freezer for later. We had a lot of fun, and it is defiantly something that I would love to do again. Thanks to everyone that came it was great to see you all.

p.s. Just for the record. Yes, the pizza and bread-sticks were WAY good. Not quite sure if frozen pizza is ever as good as delivery though...sorry DiGiorno.

Spring Break Visitors

Last month, for spring break, I had the best treat ever. My sister, Elizabeth, packed up her car with pillows, blankets, scrap-booking supplies, and her two daughters, Emily(7) and Rebekka(12) and drove up to Houston from Austin to visit! (about a 3 hour drive) They stayed got to my apartment just in time for lunch on Tuesday and drove home that next Thursday. We watched good movies, made yummy treats and got out into the city to explore some fun stuff.

Wednesday was St. Patrick's day, so of course, Tuesday night, we had to brake in our TX-shaped cookie cutter and made a green treat.

Wednesday, Elizabeth and Emily went to the Children's Museum and Rebekka and I went for a run in Hermann Park. We went home, showered, packed lunch and picked up the museum goers with the plan to eat lunch in the park and head to the Houston Zoo. Well, it seemed as though everyone else in the world must have been planning the exact same thing because traffic was horrific. We spent basically the next two hours trying to just get close to the entrance of the zoo. We knew by the time we found a parking spot and actually got into the zoo, we would only have about an hour and a half inside, so we bagged it and went home.

Luckily, the next morning, we were able to get to the zoo a little after it opened and have a great time there.

(my computer is having issues, and I cannot seem to get these pictures to flip on the blog...grrr....)

I love you Elizabeth!!! Thank you so much for coming to visit. We will be making our way down to Austin soon!


I am way behind on some of these posts, so they are going to be a little out dated. I know it really doesn't matter though, because I really want to have them all up here. I will say that the biggest obstacle I have had in getting these posts up, is a lack of good photos. Dane and I lost our digital camera several weeks ago (no, not the SLR one that we are borrowing from Kristy, but this little-fit-in-your-pocket-take-great-pictures-ans-video one) and have resorted to taking pictures merely with our cellular devices. This is usually not so bad if we are using Dane's phone, but mine is a little more ghetto and a little more difficult to get the pictures off of. So, after many, many frustrating sessions of trying to get pictures from my phone, this is all that we will be left with. *Also, the obviously higher quality photos are thanks to Abbie!

Several weeks ago, Dane and I flew to Nashville, TN to visit Abbie, Scott and Ella to celebrate her 2nd birthday. Dane's parents were there for the weekend too, and we are sooooo grateful to them for getting a place for us to stay too.

Once we landed at the airport, Dane and I were the last ones off the plane, and I took a minute to ask the first officer if he had any of those little "wings" that little kids can pin on their shirts. He graciously shared some with us for Ella and her little friend in the ward that LOVES planes. This of course struck up a conversation between Dane and the first officer about flying, Continental, and all that jazz. They instantly bonded. They spent a good twenty minutes sitting in the cockpit sharing experiences before the gate agents had to kick us out so they could board the next flight. Needless to say, we had already had a pretty good start to the whole trip.

Of course we had to visit the Grand 'Ole Opry. (Not that I actually knew much about it before going to Nashville, but this is Nashville!) We saw a great performance of about a dozen different country stars ranging from old to the new including, Easton Corbin and Trace Adkins. This was Louis' favorite part of the trip. :)

Most of all, it was fun to spend time with family, and especially see how grown up Ella has gotten! She is so big. Big enough to get bottles to feed her babies, and a broom to help Mama in the kitchen for her birthday. So cute. Thanks for being great hosts Abbie and Scott!

p.s. a few more things we will never forget from Nashville:
-Getting stuck in the airport and staying an extra day! So fun.
-Applebee's really isn't that great, no matter how hungry you are.
-Cupcakes. Need I say more?
-Ella laughing herself to sleep, and even in the middle of her nap.
-Ella saying "Oh, bless you!" to grandma's sneeze from across the wall when agian, she was supposed to be taking a nap.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reflections of Easter

I know that a lot of people like to make a post about how General Conference influenced them and how amazing it was and even make it a missionary tool. I think they are great. But I have a confession: I don't really read those posts. I know. I said it. I think maybe it is because I have my own impressions from conference and just want to ponder those, or maybe it is the fear of reading a big block of reflective text with no pictures. Or maybe a little of both. Well, if you are like me, then you can stop here because I don't think there will be any *pictures in this one.

I am writing this because I think that I need to take more time to record my feelings. A few weeks ago, Dane and I (along with my entire matriarchal extended family) received a treasure from my grandparents. A book. Not just any book, but one that they have spent 10 years+ sweating over, in which they wrote their Legacy. It is filled with pictures and stories of their past up to the present, but mostly filled with their testimonies. Each story they share has a purpose, and that purpose I am sure was to declare to their posterity and the world their testimonies of Jesus Christ, and the restored Gospel. As I have soaked up their love through this book, I have been so impressed by the love they have for the Lord. I have learned so much about not only my grandparents, but my mother as well.

As I have read, very strong impressions have come to me. I want to leave that kind of Legacy for my family as well. I want to live a life devoted to my Savior. Such that my children know that I know He lives and that His is the way.

It could not have seemed more appropriate that this was the overwhelming message that I took from conference this weekend. On our way to the church Sunday morning, I was explaining to George, an investigator that we have been teaching with the missionaries, that the general authorities are not given an assigned topic to speak on. And that they prepare their own talks after much prayer and reflection as to what they feel is the most important message that the members of the church need to hear right now. I was blown away by the next 4 hours of teaching. I had already been impressed by the number of family centered talks from Saturday. But Sunday was incredible. It seemed to me that every talk was centered on the Savior, His Atonement for us, and how parents need to teach and prepare their children to rely on Him when they will be on their own facing, trials, sadness, and opposition. There were not the usual talks on tithing, temple attendance, the word of wisdom, missionary work, or even prayer. While each of those topics were mentioned, I don't think anyone could help but notice the overwhelming focus on the Savior and on strengthening families.

I think that we have hard times ahead of us. Actually, I know we do. The world is definitely changing. How profound that this was the message from the prophets to a church where many of us may be single, without children or even past the time of raising their children. Oh how we must all "...remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Hel. 5:12)

The wonderful news about this is that when we do build our foundations on Christ, WE CANNOT FALL!

Dane and I just sort of smiled at each other when we said, oh I wish we could just remember EVERYTHING that we learned this weekend, so that when we do have children, we will be perfect parents! :) Like that is possible. And that is why we keep listening to conference. Why we keep going to church, reading our scriptures, and praying. Everyday. It is so important.

I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope and peace it brings into my life. I know that He lives and loves me. He really does direct our paths if we will let Him. And for anyone out there wondering if this is for you. Yes. Yes it is.

*Stay tuned for some more post to come about, 1. being stuck in Seattle, 2. Nashville, 3. our pizza party, and 4. visitors from Austin...wow, I really am way behind on blogging...These posts will have pictures. I promise.
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