Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Week in Review

Oh gosh, I've been on Cloud 9 for the past several weeks. I feel undeserving of all the good fortunes that have come my way. I ask myself, what did I ever do to have all this good karma? Will it last? Why am I doubting myself? Is it because I am, deep down, a pessimist skeptic...or worse--paranoid? Do other people feel this way?

Well, whatever it is...I thank my lucky stars for all I have been given. While the things I am about to list are material, it's the only physical evidence I can show for the people and messages behind these gifts are what truly touches my heart.

Where shall I start? A couple weeks ago, Johnny got me a Durango and we purchased our wedding bands. My ring still the same "Daly Princess Cut Diamond" but it has been upgraded with stones along the side. Wait 'til you see the set!

Several days later came the best bridal shower I could ever imagine because all the special women who were able to attend were present and they were there for me! Not to mention all the wonderful gifts I received--all were special and very thoughtful.

Then it was my birthday and my sweet boss and friend, Annejelynn, gave me this killer coffee mug. Isn't it cool!?! Later that afternoon, she and another co-worker, Krista, took me to one of my favorites places to eat--Memphis BBQ (who will also be catering our wedding). I had a pulled pork sandwich (sorry, no picture--I usually take photos of my food. If you must see a picture of something, check out this pic of the chicken salad sandwich Johnny and I made the other day). YUMMY!!

When I got home that evening, my sweetie picked up me these cute note card set with kitty patterns and a French Kitty journal. I still like to keep a journal. I know some might think what would I want to write in a journal that I wouldn't tell others? The truth of the matter is, I would talk too much if I didn't write my thoughts in a journal...LOL!! WAY TOO MUCH and I think Johnny's ears could use a break from my daily babbles.

My Relative-In-Laws (is there such a word?), sent me this cute card with a poem on the outside. Inside was this darling origami kimono--isn't it cute?! Well, since it was too small for me ;) (it's actually a pin) I thought it might look better on Jack so he tried it on for size. He doesn't look bad, does he? Well--he's smiling so he must like it. Sort of a Japanese-Chimney-Sweeper-ish look.

But Jack seemed to like this other outfit better as he dawned the terry-cloth robe on the front of the card. I think this is a better look for him--don't you agree??

Saturday evening, John, Maggie, and some friends, Sean and Fawn, came over for dinner. We grilled hamburgers and served Maggie's delicious Asian coleslaw salad on the side while sampling some delicious wines--courtesy of the matron of hone, Teresa. We had so much fun!!

Earlier that day, Maggie and I had gone to the Star Nursery to pick the plants that would be part of the landscape at the yacht club. Since I didn't know what the heck I was doing, let alone pick plants and flowers, Fawn will be taking the reigns and design the plant arrangements!! I think the flowers and plants are just going to look beautiful at the wedding.

Later the same afternoon, I went for my dress alterations. I was unbelievably nervous about the fitting for fear that I had gained weight. What will they do if they can't zip it up?! What will I do?? But I was SO relieved to discover that it still fits!!

No more fears...I will be able to stay in shape with the medicine ball John and Maggie gave to me for my birthday or the same one Annejelynn let me borrow which I sometimes use in the office!!
Speaking of the office...earlier this week, during a faculty meeting where I was cleverly tricked by my boss into attending so I wouldn't have to be briefed on an important subject to be covered, I was surprised when the Dean of Liberal Arts congratulated me on reaching my 1st year anniversary at the academic institution where I worked.

Blushing, I humbly shook his hand, accepted my token of appreciation, gave my speech to the faculty and whipped my behind out of the conference room as fast as I could! (I don't know what it is...I just don't do well with praises.) I hadn't realized it had been a year already! Time flies when you enjoy where you work--and especially the people you work with.

One of the best news I have to share for this week is that Johnny and I trekked down to the Marriage License Bureau yesterday evening and got our marriage license!!

It was a surreal feeling as we exited the agency doors and down the steps, experiencing what it must feel like to ultimately walk down that aisle, and then we strolled towards the sound of the crowd and music emanating from the Fremont Experience nearby for some dinner and drinks to celebrate our precious moment!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Trader Joe's and Two-Buck Chuck

The other night, I walked out of Trader Joe's puzzled about the total of my grocery bill...it was unusually high. Perhaps it was because of the several cases of Trader Joe's signature wine I bought, Charles Shaw, or as most people know it, "Two-Buck Chuck". I love(d) that wine, especially because not only is the price under two bucks but it is actually drinkable. $1.99 per bottle...not bad. I can get a lot of bottles for that price--or so I thought.

Well...Two-Buck Chuck is no more and I had suspected that my grocery bill was high because the price per bottle had risen. This article, finally confirmed my suspicion (http://www.slate.com/id/2138178/nav/tap1/?GT1=7932). I like you Charles Shaw but you're not that good and from now on, I think I'll take the suggestion for alternatives to Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck and might actually post my review.

Today, we are 37 days away from our wedding. Johnny and I are getting really excited and everything that could be done is done. I have my dress fitting this weekend and am looking forward to that. I haven't slipped that dress on since October!

This past weekend, I had my shower in Corona Del Mar where I felt like the luckiest girl to be surrounded by all these wonderful women, who despite their busy lives, were there for me. I have been working on the post for the shower and haven't done it justice so the details of that day will be up as soon as I'm finished. I do have photos...though not all of them are there but more photos will be added soon!

I glanced at the phone on my desk today and it hit me--it really is my birthday today! It's not that I didn't know today is my birthday...I was excited and looking forward to it all week but until I saw the actual date, it was hard for me to actually realize the day.

Johnny's so sweet, he sent me an e-mail with the subject, "WHAT???" and then...(we always try to outdo each other with the smilies...LOL!!!)

I am going out to lunch with my co-workers, maybe I can convince them to go shopping at the mall nearby.

I still have class in the afternoon and evening. I can't get out of that even if I'm the birthday girl.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

New Whips

Most people change their clothes twice a day and some may consider that excessive but I've never met someone who's changed their cars as much as one would their clothes.

I'm talking about my honey, Johnny.

Since I've known him, he's had a Volvo S60, Ford Focus, Dodge Ram Hemi Pickup (and Mustang coupe--at the same time), and the late Ford F150. That's more cars than the years we've been together.

It seems he's rubbing off on me now because since I've known him, I've also changed cars...from a Honda Civic I had when we met, to our late Jetta after I moved to Vegas and tonight, a Dodge Durango. The last two were not my doing--he wanted to get them for me.

Did I mention he picked up a Dodge SRT-4? Yes...those are the two cars pictured above. This would make the 6th (7th counting the Durango) vehicle he's owned only in the time I've known him.

I think most people would assume the little white thingie would be mine and the big silver boat would be his, but it's just the opposite. Because Daly + SRT-4 = Destruction Derby, therefore, the Durango's for Daly. (I won't be able to touch the SRT-4...with 230 horsepower, 250 lb-ft. of torque, this baby can go from zero to 60 mi./hr. in 6 seconds.!!)

But we needed a new car...eh--cars, like we needed new holes in the head. I guess it's about time since we're becoming a family now and the vehicles we had before weren't quite meeting our needs. I'll just consider it an early birthday present!

It's going to take me a while to get use to a bigger car. Gonna have to drive slower, more carefully, it's an automatic (gasp), can't cut appointments close because I can't zip around anymore...shoot--and my sweetie and in-laws will no longer be white-knuckled passengers. I'm gonna miss my Jetta but I guess this Durango will be a good thing afterall.

~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~ March 13, 2006 ~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~
Drove to work this morning and I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!! Can't tell you how SMOOTH of a ride it is and it has so much power--especially when I floor it! This thing can do what our Ford F150 did and much more!

The features I love the most (I have to narrow it down because there are too many to list):
  • 5.7-Liter HEMI® V8 Engine (but it kicks down to 4-cylinder at high speeds to save gas)
  • Steering Wheel-Mounted Audio Controls (to switch to station presets, AM/FM, CD player and volume controls)
  • AM/FM Stereo Radio w/ In-Dash 6-Disc CD/MP3 Player, Alpine speakers and tweeters in the rear doors
  • Power Eight-Way Driver's Seat
  • Rear Air Conditioning with Heater (the rear passengers also has access to the controls)
  • 3rd row passenger seats (for a total of 8 seats). All of the rear seats fold completely flat so I have a bed of a truck but it's covered.
  • Passenger doors open 90 degrees for easy loading and unloading
  • Last but not least, the cargo net, power outlet in the trunk, and the trunk has a handle when closing so I don't have to touch the painted surface--especially if the car is dirty.
  • The Assistant General Manager threw in two flat screens for the headrests because Johnny knows him and the General Manager.
  • Oh--one more, my insurance is $12 cheaper per month!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Africa Aid: Art Twogether

I just want to congratulate and recognize the lovely, Frances Jones, for her contribution to Africa Aid.

Africa Aid is having an art auction this weekend and one of the pieces that will be auctioned is done by the great, Frances Jones.

I would have thought it was a picture had I not known it was a painting. Not only is Frances one of the sweetest person you'll ever meet, she's also artistically talented, has a knockout smile, giving and... well, I think the bio from the Africa Aid website says it better:
"Frances is a self-taught artist who uses her aptitude for math along with her strong creative skills to produce artwork of all kinds including: quilts, oil paintings, and ceramics. She is an advocate for the children in Sudan and Uganda and donates time in her church's soup kitchen, bible study, tutoring a foster child, and seeing where her talents can help the community, or simply put a smile on a friend's face."
I couldn't have agreed more! Congratulations, Frances!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March 6th: A Day in History

What's up with the weather in Vegas? The photo on the left, a view from my office window of the parking lot behind UNLV, then Strip and Mt. Charleston beyond that against the dreary sky, is a pictograph of how my past week went.

Sorry I haven't written in a while folks. Like I said, last week was a whirlwind of days around exams and papers due on top of homework. It's really not that much of a load, I'm just whining.

Hard to believe (I'm...eh...still in college and) we're in March already. With 1 month, 3 weeks, and 1 day until our wedding and my shower next weekend. This year is (must I say it again) whizzing by!! To top it off, I'm just a couple weeks away from turning...(do I dare say it?) twenty-nine years old [gulp]. I didn't want to write that number for fear of realizing its true numeric value and thus relevance to me.

If you think that's a looooong time, how about 35? As in 35 years of marriage!! Yep!--yesterday was John & Maggie's 35th anniversary...six years longer than I have been alive in this world and that is A LOT of years to be married by today's standards without a doubt. One only needs to spend time with them to realize why their marriage is still successful. They're one of the two most loving, caring, giving, smartest, respectful and easy going people I know. Congratulations, John and Maggie!! Johnny and I look forward to when we can attest to that.

Yesterday was also a good day because it marked when I officially received my mortgage agent's license! Yep--I'm officially licensed in NV to be a Loan Officer with Milestone Residential Mortgage. Though I'm licensed in Nevada, Amy (my broker) is set up with 10 lenders in NV, CA, and UT so we can do loans in any of those states. Schweet, huh?!?! Don't worry; I'm not quitting my day job. I love the department where I work and the people I work with even more. They're the reason I'm there. Plus I'm not finished with my classes yet...I still have a couple more semesters to go and with my plate full as it is...I won't be pursuing a full fledge career any day soon. But it doesn't mean that I can't practice until then.

There was an interesting article in AOL today: Fast-food Ice Dirtier Than Water? At least some good came out of this science project. For my grade school science project, I grew good-for-nothing mold. It was actually a glue ball formula that had milk in it...so after several weeks, the glue ball grew mold and I made that my show-and-tell for my science project (clever me...NOT). At least it got a lot of reaction which went more like “…ew…”.