Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crazy 8's

My friend Suzanne Barker tagged me to play Crazy Eights. So here are the rules:

1. Mention the person who tagged you. (See above)
2. Complete the list of 8's.
3. Tag 8 other bloggers.
4. Tell them they have been tagged.

Eight Things I look Forward to:

1. Going to Disneyland with the whole family next month.
2. Getting started on some new classes for my degree soon.
3. Figuring out where the next big vacation will be: maybe a cruise, maybe something tropical, maybe the Greek Islands.
4. Going to New England with Kirk to visit my sister in law sometime in the next year.
5. Getting the back yard project TOTALLY finished.
6. Being able to eat a few carbs again.
7. Buying a new car in the next year sometime (I think...but my car just keeps on going and going and I keep on putting it off).
8. Honestly it's sort of hard to limit this to eight - I look forward to stuff all the time; the next bubble bath, a visit to a gallery or art museum, a new movie to see, eating out somewhere new, going to my kids swim and dive meets...I'm easily amused.

Eight Things I did yesterday:

1. Dropped Jordan off at the Stake Center to go to girl's camp.
2. Shopped for dinner at AJ's (I should never go there...I always want to buy everything in all the fancy little packages).
3. Got lunch at Quizno's with Holden (they have a black & blue salad that works well on the diet).
4. Took some time to read a book (which I never do during the day usually).
5. Was weirded out by how much time I had on my hands since both Brennan and Jordan were out of town - realized that I will HAVE to work when they are gone for good because I will lose my mind - who knew they took up so much of my daily time?
6. Cleaned the house for a dinner party.
7. Had some friends over for dinner.
8. Did some laundry.

Eight Things I Wish I could do:

1. Be done with school already!
2. Travel whenever I feel like it.
3. Go to Paris.
4. Go back to Scotland again.
5. Eat anything I feel like and not gain weight.
6. Be a professional dancer.
7. Have a positive attitude all the time no matter what.
8. Do I have to limit it to eight? The places I want to visit alone would take all day! Small sample: England (again), Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Africa, Israel, Caribbean, New York, visit all the major art museums in the world, etc., etc., etc.

Eight Shows I watch:

1. Project Runway
2. Dexter
3. United States of Tara
4. The Office
5. 30 Rock
6. Flipping Out
7. Medium
8. The City

Eight Friends I am Tagging:

1. Shando Rando
2. Cindi Tanner
3. Geri Chase
4. Lindsey Williams
5. I have very few "internet/blog friends"
6. so anyone else who
7. cares to play is
8. welcome (Suzanne tagged most of my other friends!)

Vacation Disasters?

Cindy (AKA Cynthia) tagged me to do a post of vacation disasters. I am honestly having a hard time thinking of one - we usually (knock on wood) have really great vacations that go very smoothly. Which is possibly why I like vacations so much.

The only thing that comes to mind is more in the realm of financial stress which occurred while on vacation. The vacation was still really fun and I have fond memories of it - but it was very stressful while it was happening.

We were vacationing up the coast of California - up highway 1. I LOVE that vacation. We started out at Universal Studios in LA and then drove up to Ventura, stayed at the beach, went to Hearst Castle, stayed in Morro Bay, went to Carmel and Big Sur, and then on to San Francisco and stayed in this really awesome hotel in Knob Hill - we did all the usual San Francisco stuff and stayed there for several days and threw in one day up to Tracy California to visit Kirk's sister and then drove back down the coast again, stopping at Monterey and Morro Bay again on our way home. It was lovely.

However. Right before we left I made sure we had enough money in the account to pay for the trip. I knew it would be kind of expensive but I had it planned out pretty well. I had bought the tickets to Universal Studios online through what I thought was the usual Universal Studio ticket system (I'm still unclear about whether it was or not) - my tickets were slightly cheaper that way and had come by Fed Ex before we left. Included in the deal was our hotel room in Studio City. The day before we left I checked my bank account and ALL of my money was gone. It took a while to figure out but when I bought my tickets they stole my credit card number (which was really my debit card) and someone in Coral Gables Florida (where the tickets came from) was using it to withdraw money from my account. I am still not even sure how they did this. They looked like withdrawal transactions you would have to have the pin number to use - but somehow, they were able to do it through some kind of dishonest banking situation there. Eventually it turned out to be a little group of 3 people who were involved in doing this to multiple people. The bank would return my money but not immediately - in the meantime, I was ready to head out like the next day.

Luckily, my friend was able to loan us the money for a couple of days until the bank could put the money back. So disaster averted.

Or so I thought.

In the middle of the trip I went to withdraw some cash and once again, there is almost no money in the account - I freaked out. So I called the bank to try to figure out what was going on. Apparently, when I agreed to make a payment on my state of Arizona tax bill the lady I set up the payment with at the state entered it as paying the full amount instead of the 3 separate payments - I had authorized them to withdraw the money, but not that amount and all at once. So I am in the middle of San Francisco, about to catch a boat to Alcatraz, with next to no money in the bank. We don't really believe in using credit cards so while most people would probably just pull out their credit card and start charging, that's not really an option.

So I call my friend in a panic. She has already loaned me all the money she has to get me on the trip in the first place so I know she doesn't have any more money now. But somehow it all got worked out - another friend happened to be holding on to some money that she didn't need to be paid back for a month and I could borrow it from her. They put the money in my bank account almost immediately and my family never really knew disaster was averted.

It was very stressful there for an hour or so!

But I still fondly remember the vacation even though there was financial stress involved. Luckily it all worked out with the bank returning my money and I was able to pay the other friend back as soon as we got home. In situations like that you feel 1) really thankful for great friends and 2) thankful that Heavenly Father looks out for us! Anyway that's how I felt. There was a lot of stress in our life at that time and we really needed the vacation and even though it seemed like everything conspired against us to keep us from being able to go - somehow it all got worked out!

Okay I tag Shando and anyone else who wants to play along!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Be Shy...

Next week I'll take some time to document some of my new back yard including some of the final color choices I made (all of which I am super happy with!) -

In the meantime I offer some of my online finds for rooms I love filled with color. I love color. Don't shy away from color kiddo's - it will make your life more interesting and possibly even improve your mood!

Are these not the best? Someday I am going to have a hot pink room. I haven't quite figured out what room or when that's going to happen - but someday, I'm doing it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Things to Love about Phoenix

There are a lot of things I love about Phoenix...

This time of year, everyone starts to complain about the heat, but I think the city is still so vibrant and alive, even in the summer when it's too hot to expend too much energy. Bright colors are reflected everywhere by that ever present sun. I love spending time by the swimming pool and enjoy even the heat until about August when I get ready for it to cool down...

Kirk and I went on a photo safari last Sunday evening and got some good shots. Just thought I would share some of the things I love about this town.


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