Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Things I Need To Get Done Today...

Today is a rather busy day with lots of things to get done from my "honey-do" list.

  1. Strip old stain off of hard wood floors
  2. clean kitchen
  3. clean bedroom
  4. water garden
  5. cook dinner
  6. clean out pool
  7. fix pool filter
Bleh... what a mass amount to do. luckily I can get a lot of it done at the same time... I love the ability to multi task.

Well... wish me luck! I will post pictures of my hard wood floors so you can all see the progress. We finally bought a belt sander so this should go much much faster.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!!!

I Stand Among The Silent Ranks... Where Do You Stand?

Woo Hoo!! Not much else is more fun than a mass picnic in the park to celebrate our countries freedom and those who have fought for our right to have it.

As many of you know my husband is in the military... Navy to be precise. I am so proud to be called his wife. I have endured a very long 7 & a half month deployment, many Underways (lasting anywhere from a week to a few months), duty days and just the general political mess that comes with being apart of the military.

In return for my sacrifices as a Navy Wife I get more than just free health care and discounts at the movie theater. I get the satisfaction in knowing that my husband is doing something to guard our countries freedom and make sure we are safe.

While on his last deployment aboard the USS John C. Stennis he helped in being a support to our front line troops by aiding in the replenishment of supplies, being a safe zone for air craft to land and take off from, as well as showing to the world and those who are against us what America is made of. They sent with them a message that this country is not to be walked on and our troops are nothing to be messed with.

(This is a picture of the USS John C. Stennis and the fleet that patrolled the Persian Gulf)

You will see on the news many stories of our troops unwanted and stirring up havoc on foreign land, ask any of them... this is simply not the case. We are fighting for a cause and only together can we win.

I challenge you all to take some time today to thank someone you know who is fighting for this country or someone who sends their loved one off to war. I know that if it weren't for them working together this country would not be as safe or as free as it is now. I know that they would appreciate being appreciated!

I stand among the Silent Ranks... aiding in those who keep this country together. Where do you stand?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memories & Thank Yous...

I happened to stumble upon my old high school year books and was reading a few of the entries from fellow students. Some were rude... go figure, some were random, some were as impersonal as you can get and then there were the ones that made me miss being in high school again.

What a care free time of my life. Although my trials in high school were a little more than term papers and tests I was pretty blessed to have some really good friends and am even more blessed that they are still my friends.

I have been trying to keep in good contact with my friends & family members while I am out here and last night called my grandmothers house. To no avail she was not at home but I did get to talk to my uncle whom I have always loved so much.

His words made me cry when he said. " I am so proud of you... you have surpassed what we could have asked of you... you are strong, smart and beautiful. You have turned into such a wonderful person and better than anyone could have expected."

I was blessed with an amazing family who has gone to great lengths to make sure that I always knew that I was loved. Some took me in when I had no place else to go... others made sure on Christmas morning that I was given not always what I wanted but what I needed and was lacking... and there are those who always were there for me emotionally.

I have come to realize that I was communally raised by my family and sometimes close friends and I want to say thank you.

Thank you to my Grandma... who took such good care of me. You always made me feel special even when no one else did. You believed in me and gave me a roof over my head... you have always made your home my home and I am so grateful to have such outstanding hospitality.

Thank you to my Uncle Trent... you have always been supportive of me in my life and gave me the praise of doing more than I was expected.

Thank you Kori... I love you so much. I could not describe how much your love and friendship means to me and how much of an inspiration you have been in my life. You made me feel special and protected. You cleared the path for me when I wasn't strong enough to do so and was there to wipe my tears when I broke down. You have always been my best friend and I couldn't have asked for a better cousin.

Thank you to my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Mike... You always made sure that I was financially taken care of and that on Christmas morning I always had a present to open... even when "Santa" couldn't afford one. I never went without because of you... I had food... clothes... school supplies... and so on. Your kind gestures made me feel that I was someone and never forgotten.

Thank you Papa... I will always remember our talk after you and mom had gotten divorced... "It is just me and you kid... I will always be here for you no matter what." You gave me the respect I so desperately wanted and the independence that was in need of. You have been so strong and such a great example. I am grateful for having such a wonderful father and best friend in my life. You have been everything from my own personal comedian, my confidant, a human punching and bullying bag to a shoulder to cry on when the boys broke my heart and life seemed to hard to push on any longer.

Thank you Mom. I love you for your strong love and loyalty towards me. You have made me into who I am now and never stopped believing in me. You pushed me to be strong, intelligent, faithful in the church and independent. I owe you a thousand apologies and even more thank yous.

Thank you to my friends... all of my friends. I value our friendships so much and in one way shape or form have grown from having you in my life.

Thank you Emily for showing me that ins and outs of the gospel... being a loyal friend to me and at some points in our friendship holding my hand and guiding me closer and closer to the strait and narrow.

Thank you Melinda. You were always so selfless and helped me so many times in high school and in college. You were kind and loving and filled me with hope and creative inspiration. You are so beautiful inside and out.

Thank you Lani... for taking me in a welcoming me into the singles ward. Your outgoing and loving nature made me feel so welcome and put me at ease at a time in my life where all I needed was someone to be friends with. I am so blessed to have you as my friend.

Thank you Lacey... I had so much fun living with you and being your roommate and I couldn't have asked for a better roommate at that time. You took me in and put me under your wing... held me close and told me that everything was going to be ok. You helped me to believe in myself again and gave me hope and guided me into the direction that I am in now. I love your goofy sense of humor and you brought back the goofy side of me that I had missed so much. I love just thinking about our days in Rexburg together... what a fun time in my life.

Thank you Marianna and Jackie... you make my life brighter just being a part of it. I love how selfless you both are and how much fun you made my life. I am so glad to call you my friends and love that I can still call you friends.

Thank you Amy. You were by far my funniest roommate and made my stomach hurt so many times from the laughter. I loved our bedroom parties we would throw. I loved how comforting you were my freshman year of college. You were my little piece of home and it meant so much to me that you were so strong in who you were... made me strive to become more strong in knowing who I was and what I stood for.

I know that this entry was long... but I wanted to make sure that you all knew how grateful I am for all of you... You continue to bless my life and have made such a strong impression on who I have become. I still look back at my memories with each and every one of you and feel so blessed that the Lord gave me you. As my friend Stella always says... "Nothing ever happens by accident".

Thank you. Your friendship warms my heart even from such a far distance. While some of you fed me and told me everything was going to be ok... others influenced me and held me up when I couldn't stand on my own. I love you for that.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rain Rain... Go Away

The major pitfall of living inside the boundaries of a national park is... the weather. It has rained for the majority of the past five days. Our last oober hot and sunny day was Saturday. Bleh! The weather changes its mind more here than it did in Seattle, I didn't think that that was possible.

I have kept myself rather busy with inside chores. Our newest adventure on the outside though is tearing down our porch and cutting down the trees and bushes that surrounded the house. We have gotten most of this accomplished but with the rain it has been hard getting the motivation to venture outside for to long.

One major benefit for the rain is... I don't have to water my gardens!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What An Amazing Time...

I was just looking back on my month long excursion and it made me smile. I wanted to share with all of you my adventures that Ryan and I where blessed to experience.

April 1st:

Ryan departed from his command in Bremerton, Wa. and we enjoyed a cold opening game at Safeco. Tons of fun for us... yet very cold. So cold that it did in fact snow... I was not prepared for this by the way. Luckily we had some pretty good seats that where well covered.

The next day we headed out with all of our bags packed and our car loaded... kitty and all. We arrived to my dads house in Moses Lake just in time for dinner.

I always love spending time with my dad... so refreshing to be around someone that loves me so unconditionally and actually laughs at my jokes. I am pretty certain that he is the only one, besides my husband that is, who thinks I am funny. Being around the two of them together is torture though... constant 'pick on Danielle' time. BLEH!!! At least I know they love me, right?!

April 4th:
After spending some quality time with my dad I had to do the same with the rest of my family in Washington so we headed on down to the Tri-Cities. What a treat! It is always comforting being back in my old stomping grounds. We stayed with my grandma and grandpa in Pasco and visited with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends... last but not least my mom.

My visits with my mom went rather well and she even brought over her boyfriend of many many years to visit. It is good to see that she is doing well in her life, finally. One of the highlights however was visiting with my aunt Debbie and my cousins. She has been so amazing to me in my life and I am so grateful to have someone in my life that can be so caring and selfless.

April 8th:
After hitting up the good ol TC we headed down to Sacramento to visit with Ryan's oober wealthy aunt. She lives in a gated community and rubs elbows with her good friend... Mitt Romney on a regular basis. Yes... she is in fact friends with the infamous Mitt Romney!

April 9th:
We headed on down to San Diego where preparations for mine and Ryan's temple sealing and reception began almost immediately.

April 11th:
We went on a mad hunt for a modest dress and finally found one, with a miracle from heaven, the day before. For a meager 250.00 it was altered, steamed and placed in my hands did I mention that it was perfect and fit like a charm?!

After our long day of errands Ryan and I went to our hotel room to get a good nights rest so we could prepare for an early morning endowment session and the sealing of our marriage for all time and eternity.

April 12th:
The endowment session we came in time for was in ... Spanish. I don't know if you all know this about me... I don't speak Spanish, I have a hard enough time speaking English. We decided to partake in other ordinances and the experience was amazing. To hear those blessings again was so uplifting that it put me in the frame of mind that I was praying so hard to be in.

Our sealing was perfect and so emotional... I have to admit though... I held out longer than Ryan did with tearing up. He looked so amazing dressed in all white so clean and pure. I loved the look my father gave me that said, "I am so proud of you and who you have become".

Our reception was wonderful! I had a great time and enjoyed having some of my family there and seeing all those people fawn all over my husband and brag about how great he is was an added bonus. The set up time for our reception however was... well... colorful to say the least. Lets just leave it at... a mini nuclear bomb going off... and I was the calm one!

April 14th:
On our last day in California our cat Ferrari was now MIA. We thought she was coyote food but a phone call from Ryan's dad the day after we left proved that we were wrong. So she has been camping out there since then. Stupid cat.

We took a lovely journey through the great Death Valley and Mojave Desert... with no air conditionin
g!!! Even in April it is sweltering hot! Cars were parked on the side of the freeway with steam pouring out from under their hoods as we fly past with all our windows rolled down and limbs hanging out! BLEH! Unbearable I tell you.

Finally arriving in St
. George we got our AC fixed and recharged. You never realize how glorious things like your AC are until you loose them and have to drive through the Mojave Desert... I now appreciate the awe inspiring technology of air conditioning.

St. George was so wonderful. We spent time with Ryan's best friend Rusty and his wife Crystal... always a pleasure. Our first night in St. George we went to dinner with Rusty and Crystal and Ryan got a phone call from his brother Corey telling him that he was in town and had a friend with him. We did the obvious and invited them as well.

Ryan was dropping off something at his grandmothers house when Corey and his friend
Ashley showed up at the restaurant and we chatted while waiting for Ryan to return. As he approaches the table Ashley becomes unglued and blurts out, "Oh My Gosh! Ryan?! I had no idea you where Corey's brother!" Then turns to me and says "I had the biggest crush on your husband when he was in the singles ward in Washington!!!! Did you know that?!?!" I so casually smiled and gave Ryan the... 'Hahaha... sucks to be you' look.

The rest of the evening Ryan, who was sitting across from Ashley and farthest away from me, kept looking at me giving me the 'please save me look' while I just laughed and teased him. It was fun watching him squirm through such an awkward moment. lol.

April 16th:
We spent time with Stephanie and her kids Christopher and Breanna out at the lake and had a great time. St. George is so pretty with all of the colors and the general layout of the land. Ryand and I got so sun burnt though, I mean we were fried! This is what happens when people from the Pudget Sound think that they can be out in the sun for too long. I was only out for an hour and half!!! Yikes I would have hated to see what it would have looked like if I was out there for much longer.

April 19th:
Finally finding time, we attended a session at the St. George temple. What an am
azing temple! Such magnitude and symbolism. I loved seeing the history and workmanship behind all of the architecture. We where able to attend with Ryan's sister Stephanie and her husband Steve.

April 21st:
On the Road again... We headed out to Payson to visit with Ryan's Uncle Steve and Aunt Ruberta. What a wonderful asset to have to ones family. They where so sweet and loved asking me questions about me and my family. I was so honored that they wanted to get to know me and bring me into
their family. It is so nice feeling wanted!

From there we headed to Provo to stay with his grandma who is a huge inspiration to me! At 90 years old she still volunteers her time as a receptionist at the local art museum and goes for walks on a daily basis.

April 22nd:
We attended a sess
ion at the Jordan River temple with Aunt Reberta. I am a little bias because I used to live about five blocks and it always held a special place in my heart. I really truly think that seeing that temple everyday is what kept me pushing forward in the gospel in such a hard time in my life. I am so glad that I didn't give up.

April 23rd:
We finally made our way to Salt Lake and spent some quality time with our good friends. I spent time with my friends Lani and Cameron as well as my best friend Jessie. isn't it great having friends all over the
place... when ever you come back it feels like you never left.

April 25th:
Now this day was my favorite, right behind my temple sealing. We attended a session in the Salt Lake temple
and had the most amazing experience ever. We were given a personal tour of the temple by the temple president himself where he showed Ryan and I the room where my ancestor James E Talmage wrote one of the most pinnacle books in LDS history, Jesus The Christ. I was able to touch the desk that he wrote on, stand in the room that he stayed in and stare into the portrait of him that hangs on the wall.

Most importantly... my prayers of seeing that very room where answered by my F
ather in Heaven. How amazing is it that out of all the things to do He took time for me to help strengthen my testimony of the gospel and enlighten my knowledge of my heritage. I will always remember that moment of my life.

April 26th:
Denver Here we come! A days drive through some amazing landscapes and we were in Golden Colorado. I finally met Ryan's aunt Coleen and her husband. We spent a few days there just hanging out and soaking up much needed R & R. Coleen is a photographer and was the one who touched up all of our pictures from the Sealing... so talented!

April 30th:
We headed on out t
o Nauvoo and stayed the night in Iowa. The drive was long and I was more than ready to meet the bed I was going to be sleeping in for the night. We pulled up to our hotel, payed for our room, poured ourselves into the room and passed out. I think it is safe to say that they used plywood for their mattresses, got to love hotels!

April 31st:
City Of J
oseph, City Beautiful... City of Joesph, Nauvoo!
I love
visiting Nauvoo. It is so beautiful and rich in not only church history but American history as well. We spent the day visiting the historical area of Nauvoo. Visited with the blacksmiths and got our prairie diamonds, went to the brickyard and was given a City of Nauvoo brick, walked through Lucy Mack Smiths home and admired Brigham Young's house.

I really enjoyed our day in Nauvoo but was rather sad to find out that they no longer have the City of Joseph pageant... they have a new pageant and it wasn't going to be preformed for another week. Although I was bummed out about the pageant we did end it with something better. A session in the temple. The temple was amazing and so peaceful. Ryan and I where asked to be the witness couple and it was such a blessing for us.

May 1st:
Off to Pennsylvania! Ryan and I headed out to good old Amish country and boy I
felt like we were out in the sticks! We stayed with my very well to do aunt Kathy and uncle Tim on their massive piece of property (or would this be considered an estate?!) for a few days.

We rode horses, went 4 wheeling, flew kites, went to the Zippo museum and had a really good time in a place called Rock City. No it might not be what you are thinking... not rock music but actual rocks... from the ground. They are these huge rock formations and the owners of the property have turned it into a park and have named a few of the formations some rather funny names. We had a lot of fun spending time with my aunt and uncle and they loved Ryan so much that they wanted to keep him there!

May 5th:
New York here we come! We finally made it to our destination. We closed on our house the next day and spent the night sleeping on the floor but now as proud home owners.

It was a great adventure for Ryan and I and we loved every second of it...
being in the car for that long was well worth all of the memories and the mass amount of quality time I was able to spend with my wonderful husband. What a crazy trip it was... we did everything from temple hopping to crashing 4-wheelers.

I hope I didn't bore any of you... sorry it was so long. Thanks for listening!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Our Temple Sealing & Other Fun Travel Pictures!!!

Back in Touch With Reality!

So today we finally got our Internet, phone and cable connected. I know... you are all happy for my return to civilization.

I have moved to a new town... I would like to clarify where I actually live... it is a full blown bustling Village. A step above a Hamlet actually. Ryan and I bought a nice cape cod style house in Corinth New York. Our "Village" has four, not a joke, Sheriffs two of which live on my street. We have a Rite Aid and a Family Dollar, three bars and the Hudson River. I do not get cell phone reception, text messages only and that is when there is not a storm in the works.

Ryan passes the "Welcome to the Adirondack Park" sign on a daily basis. I am told that I live in the Mountains... I only see hills, silly New Yorkers. The ideal day to hold a Garage Sale is none other than the holy sabbath... no garage sales for me for awhile.

As for my ward... blissful! I have a wonderful ward and only live about 20 minutes from our church building. I know we actually have a church building... I thought we might being holding sacrament in the bishops house or a rented out office building. Our choir is approximately half of our rather meek sized ward. Sunday school is held in the chapel and there is always prime princess parking, front and center.

I have had a mild case of home sickness and the common cure for this well... access to the glorious world wide web. Boy did I miss you guys!

Well I will attach a lovely slide show of a few of our happenings and posting by popular demand are a few pictures of Mine and Ryan's temple sealing and reception pictures.

Hope I hear from all of you... I could really use a comment or two!

---The friend in the middle of no where,