Wait...Blind Means You Can't See?

Santa Rosa, CA weather: foggy and 51 degrees (feels like 51 degrees)

Fargo weather: cloudy and 18 degrees (feels like 7 degrees)

Maybe this little stint to CA was a mistake...we'll get used to 50 degree weather just to head out to 10 degree weather. Oops. :-)

So, today was a lovely day in the neighborhood. Daddio had a meeting in Oakland, so Ma, Geoff and I came along and after the meeting we went to Bay Street and Ikea in Emeryville. After that we came home. When we got back to the house, Geoff and I took the dogs outside to "do business." They prefer grass for businessing, so we took them up to the 3rd level of my parents backyard - the level with the hot tub. Rubio and Rom were wandering around the grass sniffing and peeing. At one point, Rubio walked toward the hot tub and Geoff headed him off. I scoffed and said, "Geoff, he can feel when there's a drop, he won't fall in."

Geoff looked at me skeptically, but said, "okay, honey." As he stepped away from the tub's edge, Rubio started off in that direction again and walked right into the hot tub without hesitation. I learned my lesson in blind dog ettiquette. Poor dog. Lest there was any speculation, he really is blind. And, occasionally, very wet.


Spare Some Change?

Provo Weather: currently cloudy and 36 degrees (feels like 27)

Fargo Weather: currently cloudy and -3 degrees (feels like -20)

Countdown to Fargo: 14 days

Well, my clock just switched over to midnight, which means that today is my second-to-last day of work at BYUB. It's still all a little surreal for me. I mean...tomorrow will be my last day there? I'm going to go to Fargo? In a matter of days, my whole life will change into a new life I've never imagined?

As a girl who doesn't embrace change much (a character flaw I am working to change), I feel like all of this should be freaking me out...but I'm feeling surprisingly at ease. I don't know if it's that fact that I'm going to be working for a great company, the fact that everything still feels a little make-believe, or the fact that I get to go with my amazing hub, but I just feel like I don't have anything that I need to fear. Things will be different, and certainly hard at times, but, ultimately, the whole experience of North Dakota can be nothing but a good one if we choose to make it that way.

I have to pack up all the stuff in our current apartment tomorrow night so it can go on the moving truck Tuesday. Yowza. I can't even begin to say how much I DO NOT want to box stuff up again...but I do want it to go with us, so I must.

P.S. NEVER get your cell phones through Best Buy Mobile over the phone. In store, I'm sure is a great experience. The phone ordering, however, was a nightmare. Seriously. Barely made it worth the $150 bucks I saved. Seriously.


Double Trouble

Provo Weather: currently clear and 9 degrees (feels like 9 degrees)

Fargo Weather: currently clear and -9 degrees (feels like -21 degrees)

Countdown to Fargo: 19 days

Well, things are carrying on. I'm working on training my co-workers in the many tedious tasks that make up my job. They are doing a great job learning everything. It puts me in this weird limbo at work, though. My supervisor told everyone to "pretend like I'm not there" and only ask me questions when needed, but I'm not to really do anything. Hopefully I don't forget about anything on which to train the others!

My dogs had a rough day yesterday. Well, for Rubio it started on Sunday or Monday. He got "the runs." Which mostly means Geoff and I got greeted with more then our fair share of "mistakes" around the house. (Yuck). So, anyway, by Tuesday morning...things were getting, well, honestly, bloody. So, I knew he needed to see the vet. Diarrhea + Blood = time for a professional. Anyway, I called the vet early and made an appointment for a little later that morning. I then hopped in the shower.

At this point I had (what I thought) was a stupendous idea. Move all the rugs out of the bathroom and bring the dogs in with me. That way if Rubio had another accident, it would be easy to clean up. However, I didn't anticipate that during my 7 minute shower Romulus would throw up. Four times. (Double Yuck). I called the vet back and told him to make that a double.

Both dogs were diagnosed with stress and tummy aches (note to self: you just paid to find out that your dogs are fine). However, the vet gave each dog a couple shots of drugs to harden their poops and stop anyone from throwing up. I also got prescriptions for the dogs (two pills per dog two times daily. note to reader: dogs don't like to take pills). But neither dog has thrown up or blown up (or out?) since. Hallelujah.

If only they knew the stress (and scary-cold weather) that lies before them.


Time flies when you're...moving to Fargo.

Weather in Provo: currently snowing and 24 degrees (feels like 18).

Weather in Fargo: currently lightly snowing and 10 degrees (feels like -3).

Countdown to Fargo: 21 days

I can't believe how fast time seems to be passing. Thanksgiving was 11 days ago. We've been moved out of our old apartment now for 11 days! My last day of work in Utah is in 8 days. The moving truck arrives in 8 days. Christmas is in 19 days.

Snow fell in the valley yesterday for the first time. It was, honestly, the most beautiful snow I've ever seen. And I don't mean that is some deep, "now that I'm moving to Fargo I see snow in a different light" kind of way, but literally. It was 19 degrees outside, so the snow was REALLY frozen, and it looked just like glitter falling from the sky. The whole world was sparkling.

I also made it to work driving in the snowy leftovers with no problem. Driving in the snow is really my greatest concern about Fargo (and Utah, I guess) and I just need to relax a bit behind the wheel. The last thing that's good for snow driving is to be on edge...then the slightest error gets magnified by panic.

One final note in this rambling blog post. Geoff and I took the dogs out on a walk last night in the snow. It was Rom's first experience with the snow and he didn't seem to mind it one bit. We buttoned on coats for both dogs (well, one of the coats it a little small for both dogs, so Rubio had a little chest hair peeking out) and took them out with Steffanie and her Mini American Eskimo pup, Apollo. We had a lovely stroll in the sparkly winter evening. Rom and Rube are gonna do just fine in Fargo. Hopefully Geoff and I will, too!


Moving truck, check

Weather in Provo: currently 25 degrees and cloudy.

Weather in Fargo: currently 7 degrees and partly cloudy.

Countdown to Fargo: 22 days

Well, Geoff and I finally decided to bite the bullet and have a moving company trek all our stuff out to Fargo for us. I think it's going to be the best idea (despite the extra mileage on the Mercedes). Especially given the potential weather hazards we may encounter on our drive up and over to North Dakota. I called and booked the truck. It will be dropped off on the 15th, we'll have a few days to load our stuff up, and then they'll take the trailer off to Fargo. Our stuff should arrive roughly the same day as us. Luckily they'll hold our stuff for a couple days while be scout out the city and find an apartment.

Today is Geoff's last day of work. He'll take the next week to study for finals and get ready for school to be over. His last final is on the 16th and my last day of work is the 15th. It's so weird to think that in just a couple weeks (or less!) our lives as we know them currently will be over! It's exciting...but also very surreal. Next up on the checklist is to get our new cell phones (no AT&T in North Dakota for Geoff and BYUB is going to want my cell phone back) and a few final items of "cold wear" including face-masks, heavy duty gloves, and wool socks. Who knew this California girl would need to stock up on clothing for sub-zero weather!

We're as ready for our adventure as we can be!


One + Two = uh...

Mama G always seems to be beating me to the punch (I know, you were expect the word pulp there instead of punch, but those beatings have tapered off for the time being). She blogged the other day about oxymorons and poor grammar. Well, I've got one heckuva typo for you.

Imagine this. Geoff and I are cruising around TJ Max (obviously). Items make their way to TJ Max for various reasons. Overstock from other stores, last season's pants from the department store, and (as you will see), items, that are otherwise perfectly usable, but bear an "idiot" mark on them.

In this case, I was looking through TJ's pile of "random-boxed-stuff-to-give-people-particularly-men-for-Christmas-even-though-it's-useless-and-no-one-especially-men-want-it" when I came across this beauty:

Not too shabby, eh? Charge your phone AND look at pictures. Nice. It doesn't hurt, either, that the display pictures are doggies. Kinda pulls on the heart strings.

However, as I read the specs on the box, I noticed...

It is a triple photo frame charger that holds 2 photos.

Oops. Fred probably got canned for that one.


Moving (and grooving)

Countdown to Fargo: 27 Days

We had a pretty eventful weekend as our preparations for life in Fargo began. On Tuesday night, I began the (surprisingly) tedious task of packing up all our stuff. Wednesday, we loaded up as much as we could into a small trailer and the Parker's suburban and dropped a load off in the parent's garage for storage until the actual move. We hijacked Harrison (Geoff's little brother) the whole time. It was SO great to have an extra set of man-hands around to help with all the heavy lifting.

Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving), we loaded up another full load and took it up to the parent's just in time to arive for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. However, the moving wasn't quite finished. We took Harrison and Rebecca back to the old apartment for one final load and delivered it to our temporary-pre-California-before-we-go-to-Fargo-for-good-apartment in Steffanie's (another of Geoff's siblings) basement. We are again SO grateful that Steffanie and her husband, Chris, are allowing us to stay down there! What a blessing to save us a month's rent.

After that final load, the four of us (me, Geoff, Harrison and Rebecca) begain the Black Friday shenanigans. We went to Wal-mart, Kohl's, Target, Best Buy, Shop Ko...all the hot spots. We tried to stay smart and make som Fargo-friendly purchases which included a down comforter (on an AMAZING deal), long underwear (sexy, I know), and, get this, a heated mattress pad. It's the most amazing thing, EVER! And will, undoubtedly, come in handy in the frigid temperatures that await us. Note: Picture below = 3:30am in line outside of Kohl's with hot cocoa and iPhones for entertainment.
Friday night, I went back and did the "moving out cleaning" full with carpet cleaning and toilet scrubbing.

Let the preparations continue!


Top Ten

The top ten things you didn't know about Fargo, North Dakota:

10) Fargo is the largest city in the U.S state of North Dakota (in 2008 the population was estimated to be 99,200)

9) The city motto is "Gateway to the West".

8) The city of Fargo was originally named "Centralia," but was later renamed to "Fargo" in honor of Northern Pacific Railway director and Wells Fargo Express Company founder William Fargo.

7) Yankee great Roger Maris, one-half of the immortal M & M Boys, hailed from Fargo.

6) Since the late 1990s, the Fargo-Moorhead Area has consistently had one of the lowest unemployment rates among MSAs in the United States.

5) The average high temperature in January is 19 (F), with an average low of -2 (F).

4) CariDee English - winner of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 7 is from Fargo.

3) None of [the movie] Fargo was shot on location in or near Fargo. The majority of the movie was filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the local areas around Grand Forks, North Dakota.

2) Fargo was ranked as the #1 urban environment by The Earth Day Network in its evaluation of 72 cities across the nation.

1) The newest residents of Fargo, ND as of December 28th will be Geoff and Amanda!

Whoa. You heard right. For more details, click here.


Bah Microondas.

Taking a cue from The Trophy Wife, I came across some instructions yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I was reorganizing the items in our storage closet when I came across an old microwave box.
It looks fairly standard, right?

Now take a closer look.

1) Broken wine glasses are permitted near the microwave. Either that or the box is telling me that the microwave will work for breaking my wine glasses OR it will make them shine.

2) Levitation of cubes is not only permitted, but encouraged in and around the mircrowave.

3) When operating the microwave in the rain, please us an umbrella.

4) Do NOT use the microwave to heat up your boots so they are warm and toasty when you go outside. Either that or do not wear the Grinch's shoes that are too tight when operating the microwave


It's not every day...

So, on my usual jaunt to the gas station to nab myself the most giant cup of Diet Mountain Dew I can buy (which, by the way, is NOT big enough), I had an interesting encounter.

The 7-Eleven worker (we'll call him Joe), was ringing me up and whisting along with the music in the background (Beethoven, I believe. Yes, Beethoven, at the 7-Eleven), Joe then looks at me and says "I'm so glad you came in today."

Why, you may wonder? Well, it was NOT my beautiful face, hair, clothes or smile. It was NOT because I informed him that it was about time to refill the syrup in the machine for the Diet Mountain Dew, and it was NOT that fact that I let him keep the 13 cent change from my dollar bill. It was the fact that I cannot whistle. As he whistled classical tunes to me, I happened to mention that I can't whistle.

Much to his delight, Joe asked me to whistle for him. I'm ashamed to admit that I did...er...tried. He smiled and then said to me, "I'm so glad you came in today! It's not everyday you meet a non-whistler." And I'm thinking in my head, "actually, that IS every day, most non-whistling morons just don't attempt whistling with the 7-Eleven checker." And as I'm walking out the door he calls out, "Can you swim? Because a non-whistler, non-swimmer would be a real treat."

Unfortunately for him, I can swim. Sigh, I'm not even cool enough to be the biggest loser he's met.


YOUR Help is Needed

Geoff and I spent the weekend in Idaho (which I will blog about it much detail soon), but first - we need your help. Saturday, Amanda, Scott, Geoff and I all carved pumpkins. We would like YOU, my loyal blog readers, to vote on the best pumpkin. The winner and the carver will be highlighted in a blog next week. (Vote on the right hand side of the blog).



So, yesterday was a long day.
    • Alarm went off at 6:45am...I snoozed it until 7:15am.

    • Climbed out of bed, got ready for work.

    • Got to work at 8am.

    • Put in my 8 hours (very productive and awesome hours if I do say so myself).

    • Stopped by the Texaco to get soda from Geoff.

    • Went home to retrieve my homework that I forgot to nab when I left in the morning and try to ignore the dogs downstairs and their excitement that I came home...because I really didn't.

    • Drove back to campus, went to class.

    • Learned more calculus.

    • Took a quiz.

    • Schlepped back to my car and began driving home to walk the dogs and begin my two homework assignments.
    At this point, it's 7:00pm and I'm waiting to turn left at a stoplight. My blinker is repeatedly clicking at me and I'm about to turn it off to make the incessant noise stop when I realize that the blinker is blinking in perfect time with the Jason Mraz song coming through my speakers. All the sudden the world, for the rest of the red light, is in perfect harmony.

    Thank goodness for those little moments.


    Busy, Busy

    It's that time of the year here at work, where everything steps into a higher gear and we wrap up the year with pledge drives and letters, inventory and gift sending. It's also the time to prepare for next year. Budgeting and goal setting and reviewing the successes (or not-so-much) of the last year. Cue midterms and cold weather.

    Anyway, despite the hectic goings on in our lives, we are doing great.

    We have joined the worldwide scavenger hunt that is geocaching and are having a blast. Stay tuned for more info on that. Perhaps even a whole new blog for our geocaching adventures.

    Matty G is in town for a few days this week for business. We went up last night and Uncle Ernie took us out to dinner at the Red Rock Brewing Company in Salt Lake City. It was delicious. We then strolled over to the gateway, got some ice cream and did a little window shopping. It was an absolutely perfect night in SLC. The weather coorporated for once. YES.

    Wednesday, Matt and I are going to get some haunted house action going on. And I'm SO excited. Matt is my haunted house buddy and I was not happy about the idea of a Halloween passing without him nearby. Thanks for sending him over, Uncle Ernie.

    The weekend, my BFF AD is going to be in Idaho visiting her mom, so me and Geoff are gonna road trip it up to see her for a few days - and I'm so excited to get a chance to just hang out with my favorite gal and my favorite dude. It's gonna rock.


    Girls' Night Out

    *Dislcaimer: I wish I had photos to go with this post. However, naturally, we did not take any.

    Friday, as usual, Geoff had to work the closing shift at work. So my super-amazing friends, Amanda and Latissa, took me out to dinner and a movie to celebrate the day of my birth. That's right, I got to go out TWICE. :)

    We went to Mimi's (which is always delish). The waiter made a bet that it was only my 20th birthday. So that was good.

    The girls gave me presents. Amanda gave me a fabulous watch that I absolutely adore (I was telling her earlier, though, that it's harder then I thought to train myself to look at my wrist for the time and not to dig for my phone. ha). Tissa gave me a certificate for a free (and much needed) massage. She finishes massage school next week, and I'm very excited to get a massage from her freshly licensed!

    After a dinner full of girly gossip and giggles, we went over to the dollar theatre to see The Proposal. We had all seen it before, but it's so hilarious, it was well worth a second viewing.

    Overall, we had a great time out, just the girls.


    Birthday Surprises

    Yesterday, as you are likely aware, was my twenty-third birthday. I am a girl who really has everything she needs...and practically everything she wants. So, when Geoff asked me what I wanted for my birthday, try as I might, I could not come up with anything. I mean, I always want clothes and shoes and purses...but I didn't picture any of those items bringing him any joy to give me (and I really think the greatest part about getting a gift is the joy that the giver has in giving the present). [And, clearly, based on the TIFFANY bracelet on my wrist, that's what mom's are for.]

    So, Geoff took it upon himself to come up with something. And boy did he!

    I had class yesterday after work. After class, I called Geoff (as instructed) and he told me he needed me to go to Walmart and pick something up for him. So, in the rush hour traffic I traversed down University Parkway and got what he needed.

    Then he told me to meet him at a park...which happened to be in South Provo, exactly opposite of where I was at the moment and much closer to campus. But, I good-naturedly agreed to drive back. Afterall, all of this hullabaloo (yes, I really just used the word hullabaloo) was really about me!

    I drove to the park and went where Geoff told me to, but he was nowhere to be seen. I called him again and he told me that he was at my work meeting Stephanie because she had something he needed. This seemed a little odd, but I would have believed it if he hadn't taken it a step futher to say that she was upstairs and he couldn't get a hold of her to let him in so he needed me to come and let him in to get it from her.

    Anyway, I took the 2 minute drive to work and lo and behold when I got there, Geoff was nowhere to be seen. So, I went inside and called him. He told me to come upstairs to my office, so I did. And I was met with such a wonderful surprise! Geoff had re-done my office! Obviously the hodge-podge of furniture remains (thanks, BYUB), but he bought me new lamps, mirrors and awesome wall art from Ikea and re-arranged everything on my walls. And, he made me a fantastic collage of loads of pictures from our two years of marriage. It's so wonderful! I spend so much time in this office, and he knows that, and now I have a reason to think of him everytime I'm in it. He even got me iPod speakers so I can listen to my iPhone, too!

    He put so much thought into the whole thing...and it was the PERFECT gift. From my perfect match.

    Thanks, honey!

    The view from my desk:
    The view of the wall to the left of me (when I'm sitting at my desk):

    The view when you walk into my office (he got me the bamboo, too):

    The view to the right of me (when I'm at my desk)
    The collage up close (boy, have I had a lot of hair colors and cuts in the last 2 years!):



    Well, today is the magic day. The day that my mom and I have our magical 3 months of halves/doubles. I'm am exactly half her age today.
    I'm very grateful that 23-years ago today she birthed me. And I'm glad it was her, of all people. She's the best mom ever. And she married the best dad for me. I'm a pretty lucky kid.
    Luckier still because this morning she graced me with a BLUE BOX. I'm wearing a Tiffany bracelet as I type this. Fantastic.
    I'm not sure what else is in store for me today (except for work and school), but it's going to be a great day. I'll blog more about it later!



    So, I was sitting in class yesterday learning how to take the derivative of trig functions (you know, sin, cos, tangent...all that good stuff) when my teacher said the funniest thing. "So," he says, "the test starts on Friday. Do you guys all feel ready?"

    Wait. What? Test? But I already have a degree, teacher, I'm here for MORE education. I don't actually have to take tests...

    Haha. No, but really, I'm kind of excited for the test. Partly because I feel pretty confident with the calc I've learned so far, and partly because I do already have a degree, so worst case scenario, I suck.

    Geoff has tests coming up this week and the next as well. I don't miss the days where I had 4-6 classes at once. Whoa.

    All in all, we Parkers have become a busy bunch. Between work (full-time for me, part-time for Geoff) and school (full-time for Geoff, part-time for me), and two little dog-children, cleaning, eating, exercise, homework, sleep, and premiere week on TV, we don't have much spare time at all.

    Good thing Diet Mountain Dew exists. No wonder the rest of the world drinks coffee.

    Lastly, per the request of Mama G, here is an updated picture of Rom:


    Beauty School Dropout

    About 6 months ago, I made a vow to myself that I would never again dye my hair at home.

    About 6 hours ago, I made a vow to myself that I will never again cut my dog's hair at home.

    It's the first time I'm glad for him that he's blind.


    Rom-bo Update

    Well, our little dog-child is growing up nicely. He's got such long legs that it almost looks silly to us since we are so used to Rubio's short legs.

    He is a pretty "rom"bunctious guy by nature. He likes to challenge you and purposely push the limits of what we'll allow. And the chewing! He's still doing the teething thing, so we're excited for him to get over that.

    Despite his arrogance, he's learning obedience really well. He's about 95% potty trained (and when he has problems it's usually because weren't paying attention!). He can "go outside", sit, stay (granted not for very long...his attention span is teeny), crawl, spin, and "go get 'em" (Rubio, that is).

    We have taken Rom on a few outdoor excursions and once he's full grown, it's clear to us that he will be a lot of fun to do "outdoorsy" activities with. He likes to climb and run and carry random stuff around in his mouth. He's a little iffy about water right now because the water at the reservoir and sliding rock was freezing. We hope he'll learn to enjoy water, though.

    Rubio is his favorite person. Ever. When we were going to sliding rock, Rubio couldn't come (1 - Shih Tzu's aren't really hiking dogs; 2 - he's blind, that's hard with lots of twigs and rocks and water and danger) so we put Rubio in his kennel and were putting our shoes on to go and Rom would just run back and forth from us to Rubio's kennel wondering what was going on and why Rubio wasn't out to play.

    Rubio loves the little guy, too. Rom was out with Geoff the other day and Rubio must have smelled every corner of the house looking for Rom. When he didn't find him he just came and sat in front of me waiting. lol.

    We're so glad he got over the parvo and will have a chance to live out a great, fun-filled life. He's a wonderful little guy and we're glad to have him.


    Well...it means...uh...

    So, on Monday, Steph and I were leaving the gym when I remarked to her that my butt hurt (the stationary bike can have that effect). I then thought for a moment and realized that that wasn't true. I then amended my statement and told her that my hind-quarters (okay, I really said butt again, but I didn't wanna overdo it with the butt talk; but now I've said butt twice more then I would have to just type the sentence in the first place) ached.

    Then we started pondering the big things in life. Like, for example, an ache and a hurt are two very different things. And I'm pretty sure everyone agrees that they are distinct and also agrees as to their meaning. However, how? How did I learn that an ache = an ache. And a hurt = pain.

    Let me define ache for you in my best words: an ache is.......an ache.

    A hurt is painful.

    Got it?

    Me, neither.


    As it turns out...

    So, a few things in my life have recently turned out a little differently then expected:

    1) As it turns out, that Calculus class I spent the entire holiday weekend catching up on was the wrong class. I switched from Calc 112 to Calc 119 and spent the most recent weekend catching up on that work.

    2) As it turns out, Rom probably hasn't had any food for about 3 days - Rubio has been eating it all. And, as it turns out, when Rubio eats enough food for himself AND a growing puppy, he gains weight.

    3) As it turns out, just because I hid the scale underneath the cabinet doesn't mean that the numbers on the scale don't change.

    4) As it turns out, we actually have to PAY for that cell phone that Geoff got. Luckily, he didn't go over his minutes!

    5) As it turns out, I lost my gym pass and a new one costs $5 to replace. Are they kidding me? I already paid a boatload of money for them to let me in the door anyway. Good luck to them getting me to pay $5...

    For the most part, however, life is going along pretty smoothly. Work is busy, school is kinda fun (I like learning), the dogs are healthy and happy, the weather is starting to feel like fall, which reminds me of pumpkins and birthdays, and costumes, and fires in the fireplace. Winter is not invited anytime soon, though. Got that, winter?

    Happy Tuesday.


    Losing or Gaining?

    Well, it is entirely possible that I have lost my mind. However, if I do have a brain left, it's going to get bigger.

    After some thought (but not a ton), Geoff and I agreed earlier this week that I should enroll in classes at BYU.

    Which classes, you may ask? Well, pre-pharmacy classes. I will still be working full-time and therefore will only be taking 4 credits a semster (I would take 7, but I'm only allowed to take 6 as an employee).

    Why, you may ask? Um...well...I don't have a fully-formed answer for that yet except that it just feels like the right thing to do. It helps that they are free since I'm an employee of the University.

    What are you taking now, you may ask? This semester I will be taking calculus (THANK GOODNESS Geoff is in calc right now, so I'll have my own personal tutor....which I will undoubtedly need).

    Nonetheless, I'm very excited to be taking classes again and we'll see what happens in the future!



    During the winter I had some sort of super-human/super wife power that overcame me and I was able to somehow get up each morning at 5:15 for the gym, come home, cook breakfast for Husband, pack lunch for myself and husband, get ready for work, make my own breakfast, start a load of laundry, and make it to work by 8:00am.

    Whatever wave of awesomeness that turned me into such a go-getter has since passed. Poor Geoff has been left to fend for himself come breakfast and lunch (although I do buy everything necessary for these meals when I grocery shop). However, with our hectic schedules and early-morning agendas, food often is not a priority (showering generally wins).

    Hence I invented: The Snack Basket.

    I started last week. I went to Wal-mart and got some of Geoff's favorite snack items (crackers, almond bars, beef jerky, fruit, cheese sticks, Italian bread, etc...). When I got home, I broke everything open and divided it into ziplock baggies and put everything in a basket (well, the refrigerated stuff is in the fridge).

    When Geoff got home from work that night I introduced him to the snack basket. A basket full of single-serving snacks that he could just grab-and-go in the morning so he didn't get too hungry at class or at work.

    Reasons The Snack Basket is my hero:

    1) I don't have to get up at 5am everyday to make sure Geoff eats.

    2) Geoff gets to choose what he wants that day - the variation is up to him!

    3) Nothing goes bad because it's individually wrapped.

    4) Everything lasts longer (a bag of chips dissappears pretty fast, 10 bags of chips last much longer).

    5) We both just earned one more "Snooze" in the morning.

    The secret is out. Make your own today!


    What's Wrong with the Status Quo?

    So, I was sitting and musing about what my next blog should be about when I came to the realization that nothing has happened worth blogging about since my last blog.
    Life is just kind of following along the status quo. Work, school (started on Wednesday for Geoff), caring for the dogs, cleaning, cooking, fro-yo, and the Food Network fill most of the hours of the days.

    However, I also find absolutely nothing wrong with that. Routine and consistency (at least for me) are great things. So, power to the status quo!

    And for your viewing pleasure, a few more vacation photos:


    2 Years

    It has been ages since I blogged. My apologies to the 4 people who actually read my blog. ;-)

    A lot has happened in the past little while. Romulus came home from the hospital for good. He'll be hitting the 13-week-old mark on Saturday and is happy as a clam. He is getting so big! He's as tall as Rubio now (although he's about half the length). He's got quite a personality as The Engebretsen's can attest. They watched the dogs while Geoff and I went on a 9 day fairy tale vacation to California.

    And while we were in CA, we did about everything you can imagine! It was amazing, fun-filled, sun-filled, and just wonderful.

    Here's a quick rundown of what we did:

    Friday, August 14 - We took a flight to the Oakland Int'l Airport where my awesome sister-in-law, Lindsay, picked us up. We went back to her and Matt's place and did some shopping while we waited for Matt to get off work. We all went out to dinner and fro-yo. All the while, Mama G was texting us with clues about the surprise activity they had planned for us on Saturday. After about 10 clues we figured out we were going to see Wicked in San Francisco!
    Saturday, August 15 - We met my parents in San Francisco for a day down on the piers followed by Wicked downtown. The show was amazing and I'm so glad I had the chance to see it! What an amazing surprise.

    Sunday, August 16 - After church, we made the 3.5 hour drive up to my grandparents house in Redding, CA. On the way up, my mom needed our advice. Lindsay's mom had chosen the "nickname" that she wanted the grandkids to call her someday. So my mom was torn about whether or not she should be grandma or come up with something cuter/more unique. Geoff and I determined that Mama and Daddy G are far beyond "grand"parents and that they should be the uberma and the uberpa. Regardless of what Matt's kids call the parents, our kids will definitely know them as the uberparents.

    Monday, August 17 - We head out to Lake Shasta to rent a patio boat for a day on the lake and boat camping. More details about this whole event to come in a future post.

    Tuesday, August 18 - Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary! The two years have just flown by and Geoff and I are more in love today then we every thought we could be. We went out to the best Thai food we've ever had and then shopped and hiked up to a gorgeous (and very private) waterfall. We ended the evening taking a late evening stroll across the Sundial Bridge in Redding that is an actual working sundial that crosses over the Sacramento River.
    Wednesday, August 19 - We drove back down from Redding in the morning. In the evening, Geoff and I went out to dinner at Guy Fieri's (if you don't know who he is, go watch some Food Network) restaraunt Johnny Garlic's. It was great. Then dad rented an on demand movie for us all to enjoy.

    Thursday, August 20 - River Rafting down the (very tame portion of) the Russian River. We had so much fun - despite Geoff's broken seat about a mile in and resulting full leg sunburn!

    Friday, August 21 - In the morning, my best friend in the whole wide world, Amanda D, came over with her nephew Matthew. It was so great to catch up with her and finally meet that little charmer. In the afternoon, Geoff, Daddy G and I went to Scandia to play Mini Golf, Bumper Boats (we got SOAKED), batting cages, and the arcade. It was a downright blast.

    Saturday, August 22 - We piled into the Civic yet again for a little road trip down to the beachside town of Santa Cruz. We ate a picnic lunch on the beach and watch Geoff boogie board the freezing waves of the northern CA beach.
    Later, we got passes for the rides on the boardwalk and had a blast riding them together. Note to all: Don't ride the log ride with the two Gamblin men unless you want to get REALLY wet.

    Sunday, August 23 - After church, we packed up all our stuff and after a lovely dinner, we head out to the airport to come back home. We were glad to see our doggies, but sad to see the vacation end.


    And the dog came back the very next, next, next, next day.

    Well, Romulus is home (for good), finally.

    He beat Parvo. Against the odds, it would seem, for a guy of his size and stature. He's SO happy to be home. Even though he has spent the majority of his time as our dog in the vet hospital, I think he has grown even more attached to us. He's so happy to see us and just wants to crawl up on our laps whenever he's got the chance.

    This morning when we went to pick him up from the vet, there was another couple waiting for their dog. When the brought her out, it was a full grown minature schnauzer. It was so fun to see what Rom will grow up to look like. He's going to be such a great addition to our little family.

    I guess we are done adding dogs, though, if we're gonna spend that kind of money on medical care, might as well be a baby. :::wink:::


    The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    The Good: Rom is doing better. The Urgent Care vet (UCV) said he was able to get him to eat last night and the dog didn't throw it up or diarrhea it back out. Yay! Haha. He's still spending the day at the regular vet, but the hope is that he'll be able to come home tonight - if he remains able to eat and to keep food down (or, rather, in) for the rest of the day.

    Here he is (pictured below) with his IV and enormous bag of fluids. I like the bandages they use to wrap his catheter, though. This morning he had one with purple polka dots and smiley faces.
    The Bad: In the playoffs, with double-elimination the name of the game, "more summer fun" (the BYUB co-ed softball team) was eliminated from the competition last night. They put out a great effort, but just couldn't pull it through at the very end. I enjoyed watching Geoff and everyone play. I was on the DL (or, Disabled List for the baseball illiterate) and unable to play, but I think that's actually a plus for the team. haha. I DON'T got game.

    The Ugly: The Canine Parvovirus is apparently quite a little monster. It first appeared in 1978 and spread worldwide in ONE YEAR. Yowza. I was dismayed and pretty grossed out to learn that it can live for months (up to 7) without a host.

    The only effective killer: Bleach.

    Needless to say, I spent the better part of yesterday night washing everything Rom ever touched in bleach. This included our bedding, throw pillows, leashes, toys, clothes, his kennel, floor rugs.

    I'm sure I didn't get rid of it completely, but hopefully enough to protect Rubio and Rom from future attacks of this gross, strong-willed parasite (is a parasite the same as a virus? Probably not...if not, then I mean it in a "oh, what a parasite" kind of way and not a literal way...got that?).

    Anyway, life is going pretty smoothly. The pledge drive starts tonight and I'm behind in my goals for the year, so here's hoping to much generosity from the hearts of PBS viewers everywhere!


    Big Sigh

    Well, the barking has ceased, at least for the moment.

    For those of you who know Rubio, you know he doesn't make any noise. Well, Romulus has spent the last 17 hours in the hospital, so his little grumblings and barkings have not been heard.

    Much to our shock and dismay, Romulus was diagnosed with an extremely vicious and contagious virus yesterday: The Parvo Virus. This virus is relatively common in puppies, but is brutal and has meant Rom has been on IV fluids and medications since his diagnosis.

    He's a trooper, but he's not having any fun.

    Unfortunately, because it's a virus, there's no real treatment. They just try to keep the dog hydrated and infection free while he waits out the virus. This means he could be coming home as soon as tonight, but also means he could need up to 5 days of hospitalization. BIG SIGH.
    Rubio, I've been told, should be okay because he's older. Nonetheless, he'll be getting a booster shot for the Parvo vaccine this afternoon and I'll be bleaching anything Rom has touched in an effort to rid the house of the virus (which, if you google Parvo, you'll find is pretty much impossible).

    Keep your fingers crossed for little Rom that he will get better, and little Rube that he won't get sick.
    I know I am.


    Here a Bark, There a Bark...

    Quite unexpectedly this weekend Geoff and I gained a new member of the Parker brood.

    Sneaking his way into our lives is Romulus Parker (named after the legendary founder of Rome, mind you, not the Star Trek characters - a fact Geoff so cleverly witheld from telling me about during the name selection). He's a salt and pepper colored Miniature Schnauzer. He loves to chase, chew, run, play, tumble, tossle, and snuggle. He's a sweetheart to be sure, and quite a little spitfire.

    Rubio and Rom have been getting along great. The first day they couldn't keep their paws off each other, but things have calmed down and beside the occasional play fighting, they mostly mind their own business.
    Rom and I had his first training sessions yesterday and I introduced him to "sit", "spin", and "up" (which really means stand in your hind legs). He's doing very well and we'll do the same again today. I'm the one who really needs training, though. I'm so used to a blind dog that I have to remember how to work with a sighted dog. It's an adjustment, but luckily and easy one.

    His crate training is going exceptionally well, too. Mostly this is because he's a puppy. When we got Rubio, he was 6 months old and not crate trained, so getting him used to sleeping in his kennel was VERY hard, so it's nice to have Rom just go in and go to bed. We take him out at least once during the night, but he'll probably be able to start sleeping through the night in another week or so. Rubio still sleeps on the bed with us.

    Welcome Romulus (also affectionately referred to as Romster -as in Monster - and Rombo - as in Rambo).