Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update on Hays...

Riley and I are still enjoying ourselves in Hays, Kansas. The midwest is truly a welcoming and friendly place. The longer we are here the more comfortable we have become. Dr. Finck took us out to dinner last night at the Rooftop, it was a lower class knock-off of the Roof in downtown Salt Lake City. He has insisted on purchasing our meals ever since we've arrived and we have truly appreciated his generosity. He is the professor that opened his home up to the two of us. We are staying in his spare bedroom.

Yesterday we were so excited to meet a fellow graduate student from Bountiful. At that time I was feeling a little homesick and then we met Christian who told us about himself and his wife. Christian and his wife are members of the church and he raved about the wonderful ward and people they have met while they have lived here. I loved the instant connection we felt with him as he told us about the town, his mission, the ward and the area. I am so grateful to be a member of the church and to find an instant friend in even the most remote areas. Christian and his wife Molly are taking us to lunch with the other graduate students this afternoon. I will definitely press Molly for all of the details about moving away from family, etc.

Well for those of you near Nadie kiss her often for me. Love you all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Romantic or ridiculous????

At certain times in our lives we can find ourselves in a place where we never expected to be - today happens to be that day for Riley and me. At this very moment we find ourselves in Hays, Kansas. For your enjoyment I will sum up the events leading up to our arrival in this darling little town....

Every year around my birthday (January 20th) Riley and I do all that we can to take some time off from school and work to enjoy a birthday vacation. Those few days usually include eating, relaxing, romance, shopping, and just having fun together. Our plans this year were tweeked just slightly. My birthday vacation somehow morphed into a college visit for Riley's graduate school. However, I'm pretty easy going (in some ways) and I had no problem with that I was just happy to get out of town and spend five days of one on one time with Riley. Even with that said I was a wreck early Tuesday morning when we dropped Kennady off at Laurie's house, this picture gives you an idea of what Riley had to deal with that day,
It didn't really help when Kennady happily waved goodbye to us at the don't appreciate us do they? (Thank you Laurie, Diana and mom for taking care of her so well - I love you all!) Anyway, after a few minutes on the road my sadness was pretty much all gone and I was simply excited for our roadtrip.

I had packed snacks, books on tape, music, movies, portable DVD player and my laptop for some fun digital scrapbooking on this 13 hour (one way) drive. I was determined to be entertained the whole trip. After listening to the inaugural address Riley and I thought we'd jump right into a book on tape so I put the cd into the portable DVD player which I had borrowed from my aunt but unfortunately our car is too loud and the DVD speakers were too soft so we couldn't hear a thing. It's alright though because we had our laptop so we listened to the book on tape using our laptop until the battery ran out.

So as the vacation progresses we stop for gas and Riley comes out of the station with a car adapter,

it was my birthday yesterday so he said it was an early birthday present. I was just thrilled because now we would be able to hear our book on tape through the car speakers. I just knew that would help the hours fly by so I was excited to get back on the road again to start our book one more time. Well I plugged the adapter into the DVD player and to my surprise the DVD player no longer worked. We were shocked and totally bummed because now that we had the ability to hear the book the DVD player wouldn't even work. To make matters worse I had promised my aunt that we would replace it if we broke it so of course we had to brake it.

Well it worked out alright because we just talked and enjoyed one another anyway but I was still fuming that we'd have to buy a new DVD player. However, Riley is so cute and wasn't even worried about it. After 8 hours of driving we reached Aurora, Colorado where we had a hotel for the night. We were both looking forward to a yummy birthday dinner at
that didn't let me down because the meal was so delicious and we hardly had to wait for a table. We had decided to go back to the hotel to relax and play some cards and just hang out for the night. Once we got back to the hotel we wanted to send a quick email to the professors in Hays just letting them know were were on our way. To our dismay our laptop wouldn't turn on....we didn't know what to do. We tried a few things but eventually we decided to call HP for a little assistance. We were both sick with the idea that our laptop could be broken. We called HP and after an hour and a half I was so frustrated I was almost tempted to do the following with the computer,

However, I knew that wouldn't help the situation so I followed their instructions. They promised that the problem could be resolved if we could get our hands on a screwdriver,

and open the bottom of the computer. Riley ran to the car but he only had a huge screwdriver which of course didn't help with the micro-sized screw in the bottom of the computer. Of course the little Indian girl didn't understand that we were in a hotel with no access to a mini-screwdriver but she continued to insist that we get one. So of course Riley and I rush to get instructions to the nearest which of course they had exactly what we needed...I love Walmart for that reason we can always count on them. We return back to the hotel which by now it was a little after 8pm. We call HP and they walk us through the instructions and another 55 minutes later they say, "Sorry, you will need to ship that back to us so we can fix it for you". AAAAAaaaahhhhhh, we had just spent my whole birthday night talking to HP when we could've been relaxing and having a good time, we were bummed. By the time we calmed our furious nerves we were both so exhausted from the day of driving that we went right to bed.
We woke up this morning at 4:30am so we could arrive at
to begin two and a half days of shmoozing prospective professors. Which now that you can see the FHSU mascot you will realize it is a tiger but I'd bet there isn't a tiger within a two day drive of this little town...we were confused???? Anyway, the drive wasn't that bad except all we saw for the full 400 miles was the following,
That's why I wasn't too surprised when Riley's foot became a big hunk of lead and he began driving 90 mph in a 70 mph area. I really can't blame him though we were all alone with no access to music or books on tape and now with our portable DVD player and our broken computer I couldn't even scrapbook. We had nothing to do but eat sour patch kids and drive fast at least until,

good old Wyatt from the Kansas Highway Patrol surprised Riley with a $160 welcome to the state. We were of course thrilled. Well anyway we recovered from that set back and arrived at the beautiful campus

Every professor has been so great and willing to spend time talking with the two of us. One professor welcomed us and even gave us a printed, "Itinerary for Riley Peck" we are scheduled with tours, meetings and lunch/dinner dates all day long. He was even kind enough to take us to Chinese this afternoon for lunch,

For those of you who know Riley know that he is a lover of Chinese so we were thrilled especially when Dr. Finck said this was the best Chinese in town. Well let's just say the chicken tasted very similar to
I can be a picky eater at times but I knew it wasn't just me when Riley whispered to me after the meal if I had liked it...I could tell in his eyes he felt the same way. Well it looks like on our itinerary we have plans in seven minutes....
"5:30pm Proceed to Dr. Elmer J. Finck's house".
Love you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday To ME!!!

I LOVE cupcakes and anything sweet so the background is a celebration of my birth (later this month) and baked goods!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone - We are alive and doing well. December was a busy and wonderful month! We had a great time with family celebrating the holidays and eating a TON! We had a great Christmas this year with our traditional sleepover with the Perry family, you'll see below that the family had a special visitor (Santa) on Christmas Eve - wow the Perry grandkids will be "believers" for life after that Todd - way to go! We also spent Christmas day with the Peck family and had a wonderful time enjoying each other's company. Riley made Kennady alphabet and number blocks for Christmas and he found mine and Kennady's cute pj's - I thought Kennady just looked adorable in those plaid things! Well the New Year came and went and unfortunately Riley and I left the New Year's party early to go to bed at doesn't get better than that! Well now life is getting back into the normal groove. I just wanted to let you know we are alive and happy since it's been a month since I blogged!
Our special visitor!