Friday, July 15, 2011

Four Posts in One

The most recent update to this blog was almost 2 months ago. Does it feel longer than that to anyone else? I have no idea where this summer is going. It is going by so fast that May seems longer ago than it was. That totally makes sense, right?

In the past two months:
  • I have ventured in to the world of crafts. I found out it was a glittery, sticky, waxy, and exciting place.
  • I participated in the North Texas Susan G. Kommen Walk for the Cure
  • Danny, my friend Alex, and I plotted, schemed, and created decorations and desserts for a birthday party
  • Danny and I ventured south to Austin for a Lego convention

Alex, and I, have made the unfortunate discovery that we want to attempt various crafting endeavors. I say unfortunate because we should not be trusted around sharp objects and glue. I jest. We are careful and I try not to be my semi-clumsy self.

For Mother's Day we thought it would be a brilliant idea to make candles. It was something we both wanted to try, and we both clung to the hope that our mothers love anything hand made by their children out of principle, even though we are grown ups. So we bought simple and basic supplies and made candles! For our first attempt, the candles turned out pretty good! They sort of collapsed in the middle. We will try a couple different techniques to prevent that during our next candle making adventure.

I chose red wax and cinnamon scent for my mom's candle. This is the wax melting.

Me pouring the wax. Those Dixie cups make a wonderful candle. When the wax is cool you tear off the paper and voila! A candle.

The final result. I made a jar candle and a Dixie cup candle. I bought the twig heart and tied some ribbon around the jar to make it look pretty. My mom loved the candles. They did not explode when she burned them, so, I say they were successful.

My mom and I participated in the North Texas Race for the Cure. It was a really neat experience. There were several people there; women, men, and kids! There were cute families all dressed in matching shirts. One woman, a survivor, had on a large, floppy sun hat. They decked it out in a pink boa and sequins and tulle. I told my mom, for the next Race for the Cure we will make something pink, sparkly, and fun for her to wear because she is a survivor. She hates hat so we will think of something else.

Mom and I before the 5K. She works for the JCPenney headquarters and they had a group of people participating. That explains the JCPenney shirts instead of Race for the Cure shirts. You know, in case you were wondering.

Attractive. Fashionable. Charming. Me.
This is after the walk. It was hot and the humidity was over 60%. They gave out little pink towels. I soaked mine with water and put it on my head to stay cool.
My mom reckons (and I think she's right) that there exists a picture of me wearing an upside-down dog bowl on my head with the exact same expression. I have no explanation.

My step-dad, Alan, turned 60! My mom wanted to hold a party for him. After batting around several different ideas, they settled on reserving a party room at The Pub. I love throwing parties and decorating things, so I volunteered to help out. I became in charge of decorations and dessert. I enlisted the help of Danny. He made a fantastic pinata. I also enlisted the help of Alex.

I decided that the theme of the decorations should all be about Alan. He is a man of simple tastes. Our decorations included the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers, George Straight, the US Navy (he served in the Navy), the Beatles, Texas, Golf, Bud Light, and Dr. Pepper.

Alan, Danny, Alex, and I.
Alex and I made t-shirts that say "Set phasers to fun". The goatees we are wearing are made out of Fun Foam (or Funky Foam as it is sometimes called). Alan has had a mustache or goatee for nearly his whole life. In stead of party hats, we made the guests party goatees! It was Alex's idea.

I think this table turned out the best. It is the 'sports' table. As I said previously, we decorated with things that Alan likes. On this table we have items representing the Texas Rangers, the Cowboys and golf.

I really should have added more to this board but I ran out of time. Oops! The cupcakes have Corvette logo toppers. He wanted a red Corvette for his birthday.

The party was a huge success. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we received a lot of compliments about the decorations. People raved about the pinata Danny made. I had a lot of fun planning the decorations and everything.

Two weeks ago Danny and I ventured to Austin, TX for a Lego convention. It was the first in Texas! We went down there for Saturday only. Builders had their creations on display. It was fascinating to see what they created using only Legos!

This is me in front of my favorite creation. It is a cathedral based on St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and Chartres Cathedral in France. The stained glass windows are made from small clear, colored pieces.

Danny in front of his favorite creation. This is an original creation. The builder built it from his imagination. It was very impressive. You can see in the pictures that the courtyards are on different layers. I do not know if this makes sense, but I liked the courtyard because you could imagine moving through it.

We also ate at this incredibly delicious BBQ place in Austin. It is called Franklin's. You MUST eat there. Your life will be better because of it. I do not care how good your life is now, Franklin's can improve it. I recommend the ribs. I do not generally care for ribs, but these ribs are amazing. They are so tender, they slide off the bone. Mmmmmmmm. Good. Oh man, now I want Franklin's.

If you are still reading this, I am impressed. I will try to update more often so when Danny and I do awesome stuff I do not have to write such long posts.

Life is good.

-The Bakkers

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo

That whole going to sleep thing is not working for me tonight. It might have something to do with the fact that I woke up at 11 am. Yikes. It was completely not planned, I assure you.

My current lack of sleepiness might also have something to do with things I have running through my mind at full speed.

In order to relax and pass the time in a way other then staring at a dark wall I decided to watch Cinderella.

This movie, right here.

I adore the classic animated Disney movies. (who doesn't though?) It is so hard for me to pick a favorite. I stress over it. I toss and turn. I just can not. Usually I say my favorite is Beauty and the Beast because, face it people, that movie is amazing. However, it is my favorite by the teeniest-tiniest sliver. Most of the other movies follow after that in 2nd place and 3rd place categories.

We all have movies that make us feel nostalgic and have a calming sense of familiarity about them. We remember watching them on VHS. We remember acting them out maybe? We remember asking our parents to watch it over and over? You know what I'm talking about, right? For me, one of those movies is Cinderella.

My Mom has told me this and I have read it in her journal she kept when I was around 2 years old. Apparently, I loved to pretend to be Cinderella. I would wake up and say, "Come on, get up you say. Time to start another day!" Cute, right? I think it just shows how early I loved watching this movie.

I do not know how many times I have watched this movie over is a lot... I went a while without watching it. When I watched it after that long absence (only a couple years) I was surprised at how familiar it was! Especially the opening when the gold book opens to begin the story. It makes me smile. It makes me feel carefree. It makes me feel like no matter how bad things are, little mice and birds and a fairy godmother will help me...

(Just kidding about that last part.)

Cinderella is such a wonderful classic fairytale. I love the story itself. I could get even deeper and analytical about why and what not..but I think I have rambled on enough.

Here are a couple more Cinderella related pictures for your enjoyment:

Halloween 2006. I dressed as Cinderella. One of my all time favorite Halloween costumes. I am holding a figurine of Gus Gus. I love him. (PS. I got that dress at a thrift store. It was awesome.)

Honeymoon to Disneyland in 2007. She asked if I had found my Prince Charming (about Danny).I told her I had. I might have giggled too.

Actually, I think that last picture was taken in California Adventure...I don't remember for sure.

For the record:
Danny is doing well. He likes his job. He likes Texas. He loves me. He thinks our turtle is anti-social.

I am doing well. I like Danny's job. I like Texas. I love Danny. I think our turtle merely tolerates Danny and me.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Visiting Utah

A couple of weeks ago Danny and I went to Utah specifically to eat at this delicious place called JDawgs. His family met us there. Wasn't that nice of them? We had a pleasant and yummy lunch, then went on our separate ways.

See, here we are at JDawgs. You should eat there. Everyone should eat there. The Polish dog with the sauce is what dreams are made of.

Okay, okay. So maybe we did a few other things besides eat polish dogs for lunch.

Danny graduated. Did you know that? Really he has been officially graduated since December but we went back to BYU for the pomp (and circumstance) of it all.

The Bakker family came up from California. It was terrific to see them again. I am so happy they could be there to cheer for Danny with me.

Here we are surrounding Danny! We are all so proud of him!

Danny's dad had never been to Cabela's. It is definitely a place to go. There are fun things and and animals to look at.

The Bakker 'kids' in front of Cabela's. I adore my sibling-in-laws.

On Thursday, to kill time before the University wide Commencement, we went to the Bean Museum. It is full of stuffed (taxidermied?) animals. They are fun to look at. There is one animal, in particular, that I enjoy. Her name is Shasta. She is a Liger.

Tigers are one of my favorite animals. I guess that interest transferred to Ligers. They are half tiger after all. And they are "bred for their skills in magic". Do you remember the movie Napolean Dynamite? I have no interest in watching it ever again, but I do still love that part. Napolean says that Ligers are his favorite animals because they were bred for their skills in magic.

We had a great time in Utah. Danny and I enjoyed seeing our dear friends again. We also enjoyed seeing my Utah family again. I really loved being able to get to know them better while I was at school. Danny and I spent a good amount of time with them while we lived in Utah. For that, I am grateful.

Visiting Utah was wonderful. The best part was, we were only VISITING. It was refreshing to visit Utah instead of visiting Texas and returning to Utah.

So, now we are back in Texas and back to our happy little lives.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Out With the Old. In With the New.

I was having a difficult time falling asleep. In my quest for feeling sleepy I was playing around on my computer and I thought to myself, "Hey, I haven't updated the good ol' blog in a while. I should do that." I really did think the phrase "good ol'"

So, here I am. Hello blog.

Since my last post Danny and I have moved into a new apartment and bought a new car. How very adult of us.

I think I will focus on the apartment in another post. Now, I would like to discuss automobiles.

Danny and I had a car full of personality. His name was Mill "Lenny" M. Falcon. We called him Lenny for short. This car lived a long and happy life in the Bakker family. Danny's grandpa bought the car back in 1992. A week ago last Monday, Lenny died while Danny was driving to work. To summarize, the repair was just too expensive to do on a 20 year old car. So we donated Lenny to a charity and bought ourselves a shiny new car.

Here is Lenny being taken away by the charity.

This is our new car. A 2011 Hyundai Sonata named Kenobi

I am in love with that color.

Danny and I had been planning on getting a new car soon anyway. Lenny was to be our second car. Now we still only have one car but, as my family has expressed, they do not worry about us being dependent on this car. By 'us' I mean, Danny having to drive so far to get to work.

Danny and I had a few stressful and emotional days. Stressful because buying a new car is stressful. Period. It was emotional for a few reasons:

1: Danny had this car in his family for a very long time. It is the type of sadness that accompanies something comfortable and familiar not being around anymore. (part of that is true for me too. I knew the car for almost 4 years and it was our first car together)

2: I am crazy and get attached to inanimate objects. Of course calling him Lenny and joking about him having a personality did not help things. I had to remind myself that 'it' was just a car and did not actually have feelings. Hey, I'm just being honest here.

3: There was stress. Stress is an emotion. So I guess stressful and emotional is a bit redundant.

This experience did have some high points. I was able to observe some blessings in our life.

1: Lenny lasted a long time. We did a major repair on the transmission that bought us 2 1/2 more years. He lasted just long enough for us to be in a situation where we could afford a new car. That is what we hoped and prayed for while we were in school.

2: Danny's family giving him the car to begin with.

3: Danny's fantastic coworkers who were so willing to give him rides. Especially the coworker that lives near us and took Danny to and and home from work.

4: My wonderful parental units who drove us to car lots and took me grocery shopping and helped me do research. And Danny's dad who has much car buying knowledge. He gave Danny some good pointers and info.

5: Being able to buy a car on the last day of the month and the last day of a quarter. Because of the timing we were able to get all the financial stuff how we wanted. (Danny was an amazing negotiator!!)

6: The auto-shop that offered to allow Lenny to stay in their lot until arrangements could be made and the Dallas Can Academy that picks up cars in any condition.

And that is that. Everything happened fairly quickly and within a week the old car was gone and the new car has happily taken its place.

In case anyone is curious, we originally intended to get a gently used car but with some discounts and the Sonata not being an expensive car to begin with, we decided to get a new car with only 15 miles on it as opposed to an older one that already has some wear and tear.

We will always remember Lenny. We have some fun stories about him that we figure will be our version of "walking uphill in the snow both ways". Come to think of it, we DID walk uphill in the snow both ways to get to school!

I promise to post apartment pictures soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A thought about Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was yesterday. I love Valentine's Day because it gives me an extra excuse to spoil Danny. Not that I really need an excuse.

I was thinking though (uh oh). I am so blessed (or spoiled) to be married to Danny. Valentine's Day for us is a bit superfluous. I think that is how it should be though. Or at least, how it should be for us. Danny is so good to tell me, everyday, that he loves me. He also shows me that he loves me by how he acts and what he does to take of me and to take care of our lives.

So, while Valentine's Day is a nice holiday, do not forget about the other 364 days of the year. Love is okay everyday!!

Christmas 2009
(We really need some nice recent pictures of both of us, together.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hippo Bird-day

What has two thumbs, loves Star Wars, and was born on this day??


Usually to celebrate his birthday we have a really rockin' party with friends and delicious food and Star Wars decorations. This year we are not. I did make him lemon cupcakes that I will go put some strawberry frosting on in a few minutes. That is a good thing. Don't worry. He likes lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

February 2nd is one of my absolute favorite days of the year. Besides being Groundhog's Day, it is also the day that a pretty fantastic and amazing guy was born. I love this guy. His name is Danny. He is my husband of 3 and a half years. I could go on and on and be all mushy about how awesome he is and how much I love him. But if you know him, you probably already know that for yourself. Besides, he gets embarrassed when I brag about him. Ha! Suffice it to say that I love him.

Here are some other pictures for your enjoyment:

I have used this one on the blog before. Oh well. I love it. Look how cute!

Wedding picture. What a good-lookin' fella.

He is cool enough to dress up as Jedi Voldemort

Here he is observing the snow last month.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Arizona Knows How to Party...

Arizona knows how to party..
In the citaaay of Me-sa.
In the citaaay of good ol' Globe.
In the citaaay of Tempe.
We keep it rockin. We keep it rockin.

Now let me welcome everybody to the wild, wild west...

That's how the song goes right? What? It's not?? The song is about California? Oh. Well, it was sort of working for Arizona too.

I am not even sure how I know that song. I think I heard it on the radio a long time ago and it stuck with me because at some point in the chorus it says "shake it Cali." And my name is Cali. Of course I know it was using Cali as an abbreviation for California, but still, my name was in a song. The song, by the way, is California Love and it features Dr. Dre. I don't think I particularly recommend it. I probably should not have even admitted to being aware of its existence. Just kidding. Mostly.

What I am trying to convey to you is that I went to Arizona a couple of weekends ago. I can not seem to stay away from that place. Why is that? Oh ya, it is because an enormous chunk of my family lives there. Good ol' family.

I went alone. I was gone for four days. I missed Danny. I will say one thing though (only one thing? you wish) I am completely okay flying by myself. You see, I completely stress out about getting to the airport on time and getting through security and finding our gate. And that stresses Danny out. As a result by the time we are settled at the gate Danny is sullen and quiet. But of course, as soon as we are at the gate I am excited to be traveling and want to play a game or comment on people watching. Danny does not want to have anything to do with that because my unnecessary stress bothered him and he needs a moment of quiet. It is a vicious vicious cycle. We are making improvements. I do not stress out so much. In fact, I would not call it stress. I would call it 'intense focus'.

My reason for traveling to Arizona is because my cousin had a get together with family and friends before she goes on her mission to New York. And I included a couple of extra days to hang out with my grandparents. I have some pretty fantastic grandparents.

I arrived Friday evening and spent Saturday with my paternal grandma. It was delightful. We spent a lot of time visiting. And I do mean a lot of time. I enjoy talking to her.

Funny story: She locked me in her backyard. Not on purpose of course. It is quite a long story but I will summarize. Sunday morning my uncle was picking me up. My grandma had to leave earlier than me. The arrangement was for me to lock the back door behind me and exit out the backyard gate into the alley. Well, out of habit she locked the gate behind her. I discovered the gate was locked after I had shut and locked the back door behind me. Oops. So, I climbed over the gate using folding chairs, a recycling bin, and the tail gate of my uncle's truck. What did YOU do on your Sunday morning? I bet it was not that.

Here, I have a picture that my uncle took.

It was fantastic. I thought the whole thing was hilarious. I managed to come away without messing up my dress or getting a run in my nylons. I was (and still am) so impressed with myself.

The rest of that Sunday was great. My cousin gave a lovely talk and I spent the day visiting with family on my mom's side. I have really awesome cousins. We are a dignified and classy bunch as evidenced by this photo:

The lady on the far right is Hermana Sanders. She will be serving in New York New York speaking the Spanish. These are all the grand kids on my mom's side besides my brother. (also excluding 2 spouses)

Sunday evening and Monday I spent time with my maternal grandparents. We played cards and ate Mexican Food. My grandma showed me some new scrapbooks she made about my great-grandparents. It was exciting to see and hear about their lives. I got to know those great-grandparents fairly well and I adore them. He passed away in 2004 and she passed away last summer.

Then early, and I do mean early, Tuesday morning we went to the airport and I flew back to Dallas and to my husband who missed me. And my turtle who was blissfully unaware of my absence.

The next day we went on a BBQ tour of Texas. Let me tell you, there are some delicious delicious ribs to be eaten in Luling, Lockhart, and Austin, Texas. Wow.

In other news: Dany as been at his new job for a week. He has been training. He loves it and I love to see him so happy and enjoying his work. Win win.

Tonight we are supposed to get lots of rain that will turn to lots of ice. Something like that. Ice is not nice. On that profound thought, I think I will end this rather lengthy post. So, remember that my friends. Ice is not nice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The white stuff is stalking me...

I know it snows in north Texas. It really was no surprise to me. What was surprising is how often Danny and I became confused as to our whereabouts. We had left snow a couple weeks ago. We looked out the window and for a split second assumed we were back in Provo, UT. It was so unsettling to be so nonchalant about the snow while several people around us were stoked and freaking out about it.

And now, a tragic story of friendship lost and renewed:

Snow and I have had a rocky relationship. Many years ago I thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I would see him once or twice a year. We would spend several hours of those precious days together. We went sledding. We made snowballs. We slid across the trampoline while it was covered in snow. We were the best of friends. Imagine my excitement when I went to college in a land where Snow visited several times each year, even staying for days and weeks at a time. People told me I would grow weary of him. That idea seemed ludicrous. The first couple of years were magical. I saw Snow frequently. I did not always have the time for sledding or snowballs and I no longer had a trampoline but we had fun. I realized as Snow hung around that walking to class became more difficult. The sidewalks could be slick with ice. But my love for Snow endured. My third winter is when things started to go downhill quickly. I had a car. And Snow loved to cover my car. He loved to cover the roads and the driveway. Danny spent hours trying to get Snow to move over so we could leave our house. Early in the morning or late at night. Snow did not keep very consistent hours. Slowly but surely my love for Snow faded. Last month we were not even speaking. I could barely stand to look at him. The thought of driving around with him made me cringe.

I moved back to a land Snow visits annually, but usually only staying a few days at a time. I had about two weeks with out Snow. I did not miss him. Or perhaps I did not realize how much I missed him. Suddenly, last Sunday, Snow dropped in for a visit. I was confused at first. Unsure of how to greet him. Part of me remembered our old relationship of love and happiness. People around me seemed to welcome him. They seemed excited about the changes to the landscape Snow brought with him. I felt a spark. This spark quickly grew into a flame of love and appreciation once again. Snow and I are once again friends. I realize now that Snow has an excessive personality. I love him, but can not handle him hanging around all the time. However, when Snow visits only a few times a year and does not stay for too long, well, that suits me just fine.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Almost an Entire Year!

Wow! It has been nearly an entire year since I last updated this thing. You know, it is tempting to wait until March and make it a nice even year. Blogs can be annual, right?


Okay, maybe not.

I sure picked a fine year to not update. In this last year I graduated from college, Danny finished college (graduation to come in April), Danny interviewed for jobs and he got one, we went camping, we went to Arizona, and then I went a second time for a funeral, spent time with family and friends, and we Texas!

Let us take a look back into the past..

This is my graduation announcement. My aunt was fabulous enough to take pictures of me and set this photo up postcard style.

Danny and I after my graduation ceremony.

The traditional parents on either side of the graduate picture.

Several more of my family members were able to attend. Such as...

The Behrmann/Burbank group

The Nicoll/Moore/Wilson group

During the summer we went camping with some family on my mom's side. We went to Duck Creek near Cedar City, UT. It was absolutely beautiful.

I had not been camping in a long time. It felt so good to be away from everything. I am still a fan of camping.

This last semester Danny interviewed for jobs. We are blessed that he was offered a job with his top choice company! He starts January 24. It is for this reason that we moved to Dallas, TX. We are very excited about this.

Moving is not fun. I believe the key word I felt (especially during December) was STRESS! But everything worked out and we are currently staying with my dad while we look for an apartment.

Leaving Provo was harder than I thought it would be. Not because we loved Provo. We do miss our friends though. It was hard to say goodbye to them. It was also hard to say goodbye to our little home.

Here are some moving pictures:

The 'Bulk Cruiser' hauling all our worldly possessions and pulling our dear car.

Erasmus was not a happy camper. I do not blame him though. Amazingly he survived. We had him set up in this pet tote in between our chairs.

Heading out on our journey.

Welcome to Texas!!

Danny and I with all our stuff in storage.

The move took us three days. We left in a snowstorm that had already dropped over 6 inches of snow. What an adventure! Bless his heart, my Dad drove out to help us with the move. He could drive faster than we could so he drove a head a little ways to give weather reports. It was great.

Lately, in 2011, Danny and I have been taking it easy.

Here is a picture of us from Christmas. We are rockin' some Christmas sweaters.

I am going to try to keep up with this blog better during 2011. You should be excited about that.