Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Elena asleep at Aunt Kayli's house
As I predicted, it's been crazy, hence long time no blog. I chose the above title to specifically refer to that, but I can't explain it more or you all with think even less of me then when I posted pictures from "Are You Being Served?" that apparently were a little too risque for some. Hee. Hee. Anyway, you should all just listen to NPR more. The type of plane Leo flies
So here's my crazy week last week.
Monday: Pack the car and run all the errands I needed to, to get ready for when Leo would be taking the car to Chicago the next day and I would be home bound. Pick up Leo at the airport. I don't even remember what else, but I know I was busy till midnight or more.
Tuesday: Finish loading stuff in car. Pack Leo some snacks. Everything is ready to go at 9 AM (we're not really early risers), when Leo gets a call from Mesa airlines saying he needs to be in Chicago Wednesday morning at 4 AM. FRANTICALLY, I unload part of the car, pack all mine and Elena's stuff, get Leo's stuff out, call my sister and beg her to let me take Olivia (9) along with me as now I'm driving to Chicago. (Otherwise car rental bills will wipe us out). Leave Phoenix by 11 AM with Olivia, drive 40 mins outside the city, get a call from Leo saying we forgot to unpack his shoes he needs for his uniform, drive back to Phoenix, give Leo his shoes, and start out again. Meanwhile Leo's trying to find a flight to Phoenix, lands one to Denver and then Chicago, but ends up not being able to get on in Denver and so doesn't reach Chicago till 1 AM. Basically the drive is uneventful, we stayed that night in Santa Fe, and I've driven most of that route many times before. Holbrook and Gallup are two of the ugliest cities on earth.
Wednesday: Santa Fe has ridiculous highways, and to get to the I-25 N you actually have to go South on the 80 (I think it was the 80, forgot now), anyway, so we ended up taking the 80 N to Taos and then met up with the I-25 N. It was a lovely mistake. I loved Velarde, it was just a cool town. Really scenic, but still sleepy. I think Taos is my kind of town too. If you took some small Montana city and traded all the Lucky Lil's for spas and all the liquor stores for art galleries, you'd have Taos. I loved Eagle's Nest (another town) too, I think our next reunion should be there. It's kind of like Cache Valley but smaller valley with no big town in it at all. I also passed several Old West places, Cimarron, Pike's Peak, Kit Carson RV Park (ok so that wasn't one of them). Other cool things I saw, another RV park that had decorated the river banks with a flock of plastic pink flamingos. And a herd of cows being painted by a larger herd of artists (that was near Taos). It's also really pretty between Colorado Springs and Denver. And then we made our way uneventfully to Ogallala, Nebraska where we spent the night.


Thursday: Iowa is by far the prettiest state we drove through. All the farmhouses and barns are clean and tidy, the land is rolling and green. I think if I could chose a Midwest state to live in, it would be Iowa. We stopped at The Danish Immigration Museum and saw an old Danish Windmill in Elkhorn, Iowa, where Olivia kept pointing out all the Rasmussen names and exclaiming over how it was spelled the same as our last name. Hee. Hee. We also stopped at the BP there and it was so funny because five old men (at least in their 70's or more) in overalls were sitting around a card table in this brand new gas station, it looked like the old general store must have been torn down and the new BP station built up around them. That night we stayed in Ronald Reagan's hometown in IL, I don't know the name though. Elkhorn: At the Danish museum, mainstreet and the windmill

Friday: Made it to Chicago around 11 AM, met up with Leo at the Thrifty car rental. Went looking for apartments. Looked at pathetic low income housing that we made too little to even qualify for. Stupid, idiotic system. Then we ate at a delicious Chinese buffet and stayed the night at a friend of a friend's, Bernardo's. He didn't speak English, but he seemed nice. He's from Acapulco and actually speaks quite a bit of Polish as all the people he works with are Polish. Interesting.

Saturday: Looked at more apartments. Finally decided on one we saw the night before. Leo flew out. Bernardo went to a party. Olivia and I French manicured our nails.
Sunday: Kayli and Brett came and picked us up to take us to Indiana!!! We fly out Thursday to Phoenix, and then I'm taking a connecting flight to Farmington to pack our moving van. That's right, myself, only me. With an 8 month old baby. Leo has days off but Mesa is famous for changing schedules at the last minute, so he's not even going to try to get back to Farmington, because there's only two flights a day from there so he doesn't want to get stuck there. Hopefully people from our ward will be kind and help, because really I really can't do it all myself. We'll see what happens.
Elena eating icing

Sunday, 10 June 2007


Sorry it's been so long since my last post but it might be like this for the next month or so. Sorry. It's been busy. Life is crazy. This past Monday, Leo received his flight schedule around 5 PM, and we found out we wouldn't be able to go to Chicago when we thought. So we decided to move our trip up...so an hour and a half later we were at the Phoenix airport. It was a long night. The one highlight being that our rental car place didn't have any economy cars left so they upgraded us to an SUV--that was fun. They said we could choose between the SUV and a Ford Mustang, but since we had Elena we decided to go with the SUV. Man, I still can't believe I passed that up though. The rest of the trip went like this: Elena pooed while we were in our interview about housing programs, and it seeped out the back of her diaper, onto all her clothes, the floor, and my shirt. So I was carrying her around naked except a diaper through downtown Chicago. And we can't afford a house. Really no surprise there, but it was a nice dream while it lasted.

We ate at a really good Italian restaurant, but I almost started laughing when I walked in. The host was so stereotypically Italian, I mean the slicked back black hair, shirt open down three buttons, with a gold chain. It was just funny. Maybe that's just me though.

Today I ran into my Aunt Judy at a store, she lives in California. I looked at her, thought, "Aunt Judy" and then looked away thinking I couldn't possibly be right. But then when I went out to my car, she was parked beside me and my cousin Autumn saw me and said hi. Aunt Judy and I both laughed, because she thought I looked familiar too, but both of us didn't say anything.

On another note, last Saturday, Leo was gone so I went with my sister Amy to her ward's "tacky" party. Just for a little background info, her ward is rich, (she kind of lives on the outskirts) and their parties are to die for. Seriously. I went to one that was Italian dinner themed. The food was delicious, better than most restaurants I eat at. They had it outdoors in the this lady's backyard who's a multimillionaire. Are you starting to get a picture yet? Soft Italian music playing, candles on every table, a chandelier with candles lighted hanging from their climbing rose archway. It's hard to describe, but just think "Martha Stewart." Anyway, so this party was supposed to be tacky. The invitations were wrinkled and dirty. They announced in Relief Society for everyone to bring their food assignment in their ugliest bowl--which the lady said almost killed her to say (same lady whose house the Italian dinner was at). They served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and corn dogs, and the napkins were from every holiday you could think of. The decorations outrageously tacky. And you were supposed to dress tacky. So Amy and I went shopping at the Goodwill and this is what we came up with. Several people made the comment of us looking like hookers, we really weren't going for that, I mean it being a church party and all. But it was fun!

Amy and Kami
Amy had to get up and dance, next to her is her nextdoor neighbor Cami, and Teisha on the end, I don't know the other lady.

Teisha and Sheryl, Amy's friends.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Our Story

Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
- Emily Bronte
My friend Hanah, (see the Gavin's Blog) tagged me to write the story of how Leo and I met. I in turn tag anyone else reading this to write the same. I definitely agree with Hanah, I love hearing how people met. In fact, last weekend I was helping tie some quilts for donation at the church, and it was me and three ladies in their seventies or so. And they all told how they met their husbands. One lady met her husband while hitchhiking from Lethbridge to Medicine Hat in February. That marriage ended in divorce by the way.

So this is how Leo and I met.... I had just finished my second year of school at USU (Go Aggies!)
Utah State University Campus
and had paid for my summer's rent at Old Farm Apartments
Old Farm Apartments
when my older sister Amy called and said I should stay with her for the summer.
My sister Amy
So a day and a half later I had sold my summer housing contract and was headed down to Arizona, where Amy got me a job at The Place at Gilbert, an assisted living center.
The Place At Gilbert
Leo's mother, Martha, was the housekeeper, and we hung out all the time with Silvia, who was another CNA. Silvia was from Mexico but she spoke English well, so she could translate between Martha and me, since Martha at the time, didn't speak much English at all. Anyway, we three hung out because we were the only people who worked there who didn't smoke, so we took our breaks together.
My mother-in-law Martha with Orlando, my father-in-law
Martha kept inviting me over to her house for a barbeque but I was shy and a little cautious and didn't really want to accept, because frankly I could hardly communicate with her and didn't really know her that well. I did, however, figure out pretty quickly that she was trying to set me up with her son, because she lacked the ability to be subtle with her limited English, although she did try. Well, when the summer was almost over and she continued asking me over, (she's very persistent) I figured what the heck, and accepted as long as my sister Amy could come with her kids. So she stopped by when I was working, with her son, to "translate" the directions. And that is the first time I met Leo. I later found out she had tricked him into coming.
The apartments Leo's family lived in where they had the BBQ
Then when I went to the barbeque, Leo was completely shy, especially since he knew his mom was trying to set him up with me, but he was nice and so I asked him out on a date a couple of days later, just for fun, thinking it would go nowhere as I was going back to Utah in two weeks and he was Catholic, etc. We had a good time, (He was HOT! Nicely snug black t-shirt, what more need I say? ). We saw each other every night till I left and six days after our first date we took my nieces, Megan and Olivia, to a movie with us and while we were buckling them into their carseats in Leo's parents' minivan I felt that this was how it was going to be with our own kids one day and I knew I was going to marry him then.
My nieces Olivia and Megan (much older)
I later found out he had felt exactly the same right about then too. He came up during Thanksgiving and proposed and we were married one year after that.

My hot husband and cute little girl