Category Archives: dallas


Today is July 12th. My restrictions are finally lifted! Z was pretty excited to rip up the last piece of paper in our countdown chain.

Some things (like coughing and sneezing) still hurt more than I would like. Some things – like when I was driving the car today and needed to turn the wheel all the way to turn – present new areas of pain. I guess some of my muscles are a little tight and not used to moving in those directions anymore. All of that will come with time.


On some sad other notes:

Death seems to be the theme this last week.

JJ’s 93 year old grandma passed away on Saturday. It was not a surprise and since she loved the Lord, we were glad to see her pain cease. She will be missed dearly. JJ and Z headed out of town this morning to see family and attend her funeral. We decided it was a bit to far of a car ride for me and fresh off my restrictions, we aren’t sure how exhausted I will be just getting back up to full steam. (My mom is still in town, helping me transition to being “full time”.)

And if you’ve seen the news, you know what happened on Thursday here in Dallas. While we did not know any of the officers personally, Sargent Michael Smith was a member of our church. He served almost every Sunday keeping an eye out at our children’s building. We know God’s plans are greater than our plans – but it is still a difficult time for my church body and our city.


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Filed under dallas, death, health

Good Bye Friend

Said good-bye to a friend of 9.5 years. I knew it was coming, but it’s still an adjustment.

My dear Jetta, seen here freshly washed, at my grandparents house in the middle of North Dakota.

My dear Jetta, seen here freshly washed, at my grandparents house in the middle of North Dakota.

I purchased my Jetta in August of 2004. It was 4 years old and such a huge, grown up moment in my life. In the handful of years of having a license, it was the car I ‘dreamed of’. I saved up my money, had a pretty big down payment (prior to my Dave Ramsey days) and worked hard for the next 2 and a half years to pay it off. I even deferred my move to Chicago for grad school so that I could finish paying and officially become the owner.

I only put 60,000 miles on it, but in that time, it took me from Washington State, to Chicago, to Dallas. It even pulled a uhaul on one of those trips. (Ha!)

It played an important role in one particular event concerning the “boy next door” who eventually became a pretty important person in my life (my husband).

It has several issues ranging from a CD player’s broken fuse that continued to drain the battery until removed; a self dimming rear-view mirror, that broke and leaked gunk all over; cup holders that had nifty, spring/size adjusting arms that were amazing – until the springs and arms broke (it never held cups sturdy, with out potential sloshing again).

There were a few bumps and bruises along the way, from the time I backed crooked out of the driveway and sideswiped my roommate’s car; the time I ran into our garage; the time I locked the keys in and my boss used some wood and a hammer to pry open the door; the time the bumper fell off, hanging within an inch or two off the ground and I didn’t know (I proceeded to drive at highway speeds for 20 miles); the time the belt broke and I lost all power steering in the middle of a busy road.

One time, it over heated and – now on my own in Texas – I had to find someone to look at it – figure out toeing and get it fixed.  The shop I ended up taking it to – wow… not in a good part of town. The tow truck got lost trying to take it there. Going to pick it up, one of my girlfriends from work drove me down and I’m pretty sure when I got out to go pay and pick it up – she was getting nervous that I might have been abducted or killed. 🙂 Rough part of town – but at least it was the middle of the day! And they gave me a great deal and did a terrific job fixing it.

Anyway – it was an adventure filled nine and a half years.  We all move on in life. Even with all of the issues, we were still able to trade it in for a decent 1,500 dollars toward our new “I’m officially an old grownup” minivan.  Got to stay practical right?

Good bye friend. I’m so glad we had almost 10 years together and I have two sets of plates (WA & TX) that I will hold on to – and remember you by.

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Filed under car, chicago, dallas, debt

March by the Numbers

Basically the same news as before (debt snowball on pause due to slow work & baby on the way) – with some improvement for the self-employed one of the family.  Work has been picking up a bit – so that’s really helpful. We anticipate adding to the “crisis fund” at a slightly higher rate.

Our little guy appears to be healthy as far as any one can tell at this point – so we are very thankful for that.

We are a little over halfway from his arrival, so we’ve been deep in the throws of preparing for a baby in the house while staying as cost conscious as possible.

One of the common questions people ask is what theme the nursery will be. Our answer… Ah? Mustard yellow walls with a twin bed & desk?  We aren’t “themeing” anything really. Not painting. Not really buying new, fancy furniture. Our changing table will be the desk that is in there now. We added a bit of additional shelving in the closet for better organization of new baby stuff – but that’s about it.  We went with generic blue, green, and random animals in the things that we registered for – so – that’s our theme? I guess if you can call it that.

Mostly, as I mentioned last month, I’ve been hitting up a few consignment sales. It really helps to be in a large place like DFW where the suburbs support multiple sales.  Check out these numbers…. Money spent at consignment sales: $135

Approximate amount if all items were purchased new: $466

Some of the items that we purchased:

  • Assortment of bottles
  • ‘Snap & Go’ type caddy/stroller
  • Bathtub
  • A few additional needed clothing items for me
  • SwaddleMes
  • Highchair
  • Nursing Pillow
  • A couple small toys/books
  • Towels

And last, but most certainly not least, we have a wonderful community of family and friends who have given us so many helpful and much-needed items.  Just a few of the items are listed here. Some are straight up baby gifts, and some are “hand-me-downs” from those who have gone before us on the adventure of having kids.

  • Crib & Mattress
  • Pack & play
  • Bassinet
  • Bouncy Seat
  • Car mirror
  • Breast Pump
  • Mobile
  • Towels & wash cloths
  • Glider chair & footstool
  • Bumboo seat
  • A tub of Maternity Clothes
  • Books – Educational and Product research/money-saving tips

So yes – as you can see – we are doing our best to be frugal; to not give in to the culture & emotions of … got to have the biggest and best, nicest nursery with name brand, new everything.  We are so thankful that our family and friends are helping us so much.

When I listen to the Dave Ramsey show – there seems to be a lot of  individuals who did not have supportive friends and family. They had people in their lives that thought they were foolish or a bit nuts to be working to be completely debt free. We are thankful to report that is not the case with us.  Everyone has been more than supportive of our long-term financial goals.

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Filed under budget, by the numbers, dallas, family, friends


I don’t like the heat – I’m from the overcast PNW.  We are just shy of 2 weeks from breaking a record.  Today was the 30th consecutive day that temperatures were 100 degrees or more.  The record is 42 days in a row – set in 1980.

I HATE the heat – but the competitive / story teller in me figures “we’ve made it this far… whats another 12 or 13 days?”

Did you hear about tropical storm Don? The cloud cover from Don may have kept us under 100 degrees, IF it would have made it up here.

With the exception of our little pocket of North Texas, all of Texas is in a drought, and a pretty extreme drought at that.  We were all cheering on Tropical Storm Don – hoping for a deluge of rain;  at least somewhere in Texas would benefit.  It hit land, and the hot temperatures evaporated the storm within 2 hours. Basically, little to no rain.  The radar of the storm was amazing. Poof! It just disappeared.


Filed under dallas, texas, weather

More adventures in moving

My final load of stuff arrived from WA state yesterday and hopefully it will all be at my house on Friday.

I was able to grab one box when the vault’s arrived so a few books and a couple of kitchen items are already unpacked.  The box also contained some of my old baby clothes, so those will be organized and boxed back up for now, but they were fun to look through!

My friend Vicky is moving from WA State to DFW in a couple of weeks, so she organized and shipped both of our belongings about a month ago. Tomorrow, the Texas side of the team will unload everything. You can follow Vicky’s adventure at her new blog From Evergreen Hills to Texan Flatland.


Filed under blog, dallas

Between Notes – Second Screening!

So – LOVED “Between Notes” even more the second time around.

And if you missed it at the Angelika – Lucky for you – they added a second screening.

This time around, it’s at the Angelika in Plano — 4:30 on Friday (4/8).

Get your tickets here.

Check out the trailer here.

And watch some video footage from the world premier here.  (I’m the one in purple, with the crazy hair saying something about the film being made for 10K. 🙂   )

Last, but not least, Check them out on facebook:

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Filed under dallas, movie, music

Between Notes

So excited to head down this evening and watch Between Notes!

If you are in DFW – I’m not even sure if there are tickets left, but if there are – I highly recommend checking out this film tonight. As far as I know, this is the only time it’s playing at the Dallas International Film Festival.

You can get tickets (if there are any left) here. (actually, looks like there might only be tickets at the door now available)

You can watch the trailer on Apple Trailers here.

And you can buy the soundtrack here.

The music is Amazing! And the film itself is very well done. Considering their budget was 10K – it is quite an accomplishment.


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Filed under dallas, movie, music

One not so Foolish April Day

Update on Lisa: She was admitted to the hospital middle of this week and is currently in stable, but critical condition in the ICU.  She is fighting pneumonia (with very high fever) and is on a ventilator.

Other than that we ended up eating out (Cane Rosso – delicious pizzeria!) and went to the Deep Ellum Art Festival. We happened to be on that side of town so it was a nice evening (85 degrees) to walk around and take it in.

Finally, I’m now listening to the first game of the Mariners Season. *sigh* so glad to have baseball back again.

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Filed under art, dallas, health, mariners

A Sad Day

Today is the start of a new adventure.

I’ve enjoyed working at Pursuant for the almost 3 years. Professionally, it’s had it’s ups and downs. One never knows what they will get when working with clients. 🙂  But I can say I leave knowing I served my clients (external and internal) well.

I was hired to run “Quality Control” (both proofing and analyzing/updating some processes). Within months of starting, I was asked to become the Project Manager, running the eNewsletter team, again, setting up a process to a product that needed structure. During my two years as Project Manager, I pitched in to finish up eNewsletters and in doing so, I discovered I enjoy code!

I was given the opportunity 7 months ago to try my hand at web development. I have learned leaps and bounds in that time on my new team.  HTML, PHP, etc… and who knew all those years ago learning “boolean keywords” in elementary school would come in useful with code?!?

But starting now, it’s on to something new and that is why I write, though words are difficult to find.

I am sad to leave my co-workers, nay, my friends.  We did some outstanding work. I am proud to have been part of such a team, “Helping those who do Good, Do Better.”

In the midst of the work, we were a tight family.

This was the first group of people who I got to know in Dallas and of course I invited the entire company when I threw myself a birthday party. (Remember “November Bowling Party Extravaganza”?)

One person gave me a free sleeper sofa they wanted to get rid of and other kind hearted individuals helped me move the beast of the couch up a flight of stairs to my apartment.

We have morned together when dark times and sad days hit.  We have celebrated together. Babies. Weddings. Movie Screenings. Awards. Birthdays. Supporting one another as we individually stepped out and reached for our Dreams.  It is This that I will miss.  It is Them, that make this a sad day.

On that note, I move forward professionally.  While I’m getting some of the more practical and basic things refined, I thought I’d start out today with a fresh appearance to my blog.

I hope to be making updates to it in the weeks to come, but to start with, welcome to the ‘new’


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Filed under blog, dallas, employment, family, friends

wow. burnout?

It’s been a while. I don’t know if I have had a longer ‘no post’ time in the last 5 years…

Not too much happening here. Or rather, too much happening here.

Lets see. Here’s a list of what’s been going on:

*Search for the Shake ended for 2010. We’ll pick it up again in 2011

*I’ve been playing lots of games, Settlers, Speed Scrabble, Ticket to Ride, Puerto Rico, and just learned a new one today Carcassonne. Oh, and I purchased ‘Bang!’ (a mafia type card game) on ebay.

*Got two new tires for the front wheels of my car.

*Enjoying the final season of LOST.

*My roomie & I planted a garden. Tomatoes, Jalapenos, Snow Peas, Dill, Chives, & Basil. (also strawberries, but no luck with them yet).

*Went to two Dallas Stars Games.  One happened to be an Oilers game, and we were 12 rows up from the glass.

*Started up the grill. Corn, broccoli, chicken, salmon, steak, hot links, brats, potatoes, green beans, kabobs, peppers. Yummy!

*Started a one month trial of Netflix. 2 weeks, four movies watched.

*A friend from Wa State came for a visit. We took a road trip to San Antonio.

*Saw the Alamo. (3/6/1836 – & 10 years later Texas became a state.)

*Said Friend from Wa State, myself, and my roomie went to see the Mariners play on 4/11. They got beat pretty badly, but it was fun to see them play during opening week.

*Also on 4/11 we celebrated “Happy to be Alive” day – the 27th anniversary of my open heart surgery.

*Tried Nutella.

*Accidentally left the sun roof of my car open just a crack all night – while it rained. I was fortunate to not have any water in the car the next morning.

*Learned that people like to talk about PB & J on facebook & twitter

*Learned I’m a “terrible tour guide” which resulted in a driving tour of my neighborhood and surrounding area.

*Stayed up way too late past my bed time on numerous occasions (tonight being a prime example)

*I’m sure there is more but because of the item right above this… I can’t remember. 🙂

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Filed under baseball, car, dallas, friends, grilling, happy to be alive, hockey, lost, mariners, movie, oilers, roomies, settlers of catan, shamrock shake, sleep, travel, twitter