Friday, August 20, 2010


Some photos from our first week in Des Moines. :)

Swimming with Sean.
Swimming with dad and Sean.
An awesome Beatles painting we saw.
Our new couch!
A map from our landlord. So nice!
Scottie and I. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


 What is new?
  • Smoking. Not me, but seemingly everyone else. Really. It's semi-comical to see hospital employees take smoking breaks outside.
  • Speed limits. Basically everything is a 30 mph limit. Residential, commercial, etc. Some roads get up to 35 mph. Big news. 
  • Driving in general. You think people don't honk in Utah? Wrong. People truly do not honk here. Also, everyone drives slowly yet a little crazy. Turning in front of others, cutting people off, etc. Weird!
  • Humidity. I have experienced humidity before, and it was much worse. Not actually a bad thing. More details below. :)
  • Races. Don't know how to properly say this. There are many different people here - not like Utah.
  • Religions. Instead of LDS churches on every block, there are Methodist buildings. Also, lots of old churches around. Really neat! I want to spend a day seeing all of them.
  • One-way streets. I have been waiting for this! Definitely something that Provo does not have. LOVE!
  • Timed traffic lights. Also something Provo does not have that I have been waiting for. Hooray!
  • Insects. Nast. They seem to be everywhere...maybe it's worse because we live so close to the river?
  • People. LOVE the people here. Everyone is so nice! I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond the other day and five employees asked me how my day was and if they could help me. The best part? They were being genuine, and it is like that everywhere that I go.
  • Bathroom without drawers. I realized today what was missing. Sad.
  • Bathroom with carpet. Gross on many levels. Weird that the rest of the apartment has hardwood and linoleum floors.
  • People. Already mentioned. Included in this is our landlord Mike. Great guy!
  • Church. We are in a branch and the closest temple is over two hours away. Strange. I feel like we belong more in our branch. Everyone is happy to have more people move in! We will definitely be getting callings soon. Also, they have asked us speak soon. Expected. :)
  • One-way streets. Already mentioned my undying love. They can be a tad tricky at first, but I find them surprisingly simple to decipher!
  • Timed traffic lights. Again, I already mentioned this but I am pretty sure that this assists in the people not speeding thing. So great!
  • Humidity. I know, I know. This isn't something that one should love. But I do! Firstly, it keeps my dry skin much less dry (good for the eczema) and secondly, it's like the sauna I had but never used.
  • Popsicles. That heat spell was horrid. Popsicles are icy blessings coated in sugary, syrupy goodness. Almost comparable to snow cones. Almost.
  • Wood floors. Easy to clean. Good looking. Enough said.
  • New bed. My headaches, neck pain and back pain? All gone since I started sleeping on our new mattress. That's right. Latex is the way to go people.
  • Corvettes. I would love to have a vette of my own one day. You know, in like 30 years. I see at least one vette here every day (except for the rainy days). I love it!
What I am Learning
  • To coexist with bugs. Actually, more with spiders and their little webs. Number one problem with moving into an apartment that has been vacant for a month? The arachnids take over. I am slowly tackling the webs and hope the spiders leave with them. If not I will continue pretending to ignore them.
  • To wash all dishes by hand. Darn. My real problem with this is the dry skin thing. I hate having to put on lotion so often, so thank you again for the humidity! :)
  • To sleep without the covers. No matter how hot it gets I have always needed something to cover me. Even just a sheet! With the heat spell I learned to sleep without any covers. Really. It's actually okay.
  • To utilize the windows instead of the air conditioning. Not too bad, but fresh air and AC are different. Takes some getting used to.
  • To know how to get there before you go. Yes I have gotten a little lost a few times. All for the better, because now I am familiar with the main roads as well as the areas I was lost in.

Week One!

We met with Scott on Wednesday to unload the car and truck while my dad visited a doctor for a bad cough. It only took and hour or so to unload so we went looking for a new bed! We found a store that has locations through the Midwest where they make all their own mattresses so the prices are way lower. We got a great new mattress for about 1/2 price it would be anywhere else. Victory! After that we went swimming at the hotel and had dinner at a nice Chicago style pizza place that was nearby.
On Thursday Scott went to another day of orientation at school while I went couch shopping with my dad and brother Sean. We found a great furniture store called Homemakers. It was GIANT! Like IKEA but better. Truth. We headed straight to the clearance center and found a nice black leather couch with recliners! Absolutely perfect for the two of us, and nice to upgrade from our previous couch. It was nice spending the day with Dad and Sean. We walked around a nearby mall and I got some new running shoes (I started going running this week!) and a new fan for my laptop. That evening we picked Scott up from school and went to dinner. After dinner Dad and Sean left. It was hard to see them go, but we'll see them again soon!

Friday I had an interview with Wells Fargo Financial in downtown Des Moines (only a few miles away from our apartment). After two interviews that morning they offered me the position! I originally thought I was applying for a bank teller position, but I found out that it is Customer Service in a call center. After all of my experience with APX I think this will work out well. I am a Level 1 Representative making the same as I did at APX (as a supervisor) and the hours are much better! We are only open M-F from 8 am to 6 pm. Legit. I start on the 30th of this month which gives me time to unpack and get everything settled in our apartment. I feel very blessed to have a job already (and a good one at that) and that things have worked out so well with moving here.

It was crazy hot the whole week - there has been a big heat spell through the Midwest. The heat index was upwards of 100 degrees every day, usually around 110. Way too hot! There has also been a lot of rain and many rivers throughout the state have flooded. The city of Ames didn't have clean water for a few days because the flooding causes a few water mains to break. We live just above the Des Moines River which actually works very well. The water wouldn't reach our apartment unless it rained steady for weeks and weeks, so I'm glad for that. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Funny Story

Right now I am laying on the wood floor of our living room while blogging. Just like this picture:

Pretty awesome. Also, the new photo uploader has caught my attention. I wonder how it works on batch uploads.

Good News!

My 100th post! Something I wasn't expecting. The good news? I have a new blog! This is something that I am very excited about, so please click the link and visit!

This blog will continue to exist, although I'm not sure how often I will post on which blog. We shall see. The new blog will not be private, so no need to worry about permissions. Yay!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life goes on!

You may be confused by the title of my post, but this is in response to my friend McKell. She posted this on her blog about me and I absolutely love it! The pictures are fun - many of them I remember taking but have never seen.

Thank you McKell!!! I will miss you too, but life goes on. :)

Copy of McKell's post:

Life Goes On... hopefully ;)

We are all growing up and life is moving on if I'm ready or not. I am sad to say this, but I have a lot of loved ones moving on with their lives so this post is decicated to Rachel Eastland Miller. I appologize in advance for the pictures... what were we thinking??

We have been friends ever since I can remember... she was always the little blonde girl who loved to sing and dance, always there for me, and never without a smile.

10 Favorite Memories with Rachel:

1. making the army man movie in her bedroom
2. eating sugar cubes at our countless sleepovers
3. playing nintendo on the slip screen while it was saturday morning conference
4. prank calls/playing with her first cell phone and calling countless boys
5. taking joy rides in the saab
6. hip hop lessons/rec softball together that i was tricked into doin
7. attempting to make music videos of us singing the songs from moulin rouge
8. her countless days of messy rooms- rach, i wouldn't have it any other way ;)
9. tuna fish fish sandwiches!
10. playing pool and watching rachel show off doing her trick shots

Good luck Rach! Miss you tons.

My response:

1. I need to get that video onto a DVD. It is awesome! Longest hour of my life, but totally worth it.
2. I had forgotten about this! Today at the store I had to fight the urge to buy sugar cubes.
3. Oh the slip screen...haha!
4. My phone line, my cell phone and calling boys. We were sneaky!
5. THE SAAB! I miss the saab so, so much! That car was my heart and soul in high school. Even though it's falling apart I still love to drive it when I get the chance.
6. LOVED hip hop (you should have taken the ballet/jazz class too!) and softball. Also, summer softball and egg mcmuffins on Fridays. Mmm.
7. HAHAHA! We split up the parts and were going to crimp our hair! Too bad we never got to filming.
8. Funny that it was so messy yet I always knew where to find room is always clean now. :)
9. This memory trumps all others. Along with Easy Mac and Spaghettios. How do you spell that?
10. If only I still had those pool skills! I'll have to brush up before we see each other again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Drive to Iowa

It all started on a sunny day in California...Sunday morning my dad and I took Scottie to the airport. He had a 6:00 am flight to Denver with a connection to Des Moines. He made it there by 1:00 pm, rented a car, and met with our landlord Mike to get the keys to our place. After getting back to Patsy's house we took a morning nap. :) We left Live Oak (the city Patsy and Amanda live in) in the early afternoon and started the journey home in the motor home! Cherish and Joey came along to Reno and we rode their quads for a few hours. After cool showers in the motor home we took to the road again at about 5:00 pm. During the drive we stopped a few times so dad could sleep and we made it home around 7:00 Monday morning. Crazy!

We spent Monday doing laundry, cleaning the motor home, running errands, and packing the car (we packed up my dad's pickup the Saturday before so it was ready to go). Once we had completed everything we found our way to the highway! It was about 8:00 pm when we left Provo and we only drove about four hours until we stopped for the night. We stayed at Little America (somewhere in Wyoming) and it was great! Thay had a room with one king and one queen - the queen in a separate bedroom. Sean and my dad took the king while I snagged the queen and private bedroom. It was nice!

morning we slept in and had breakfast before leaving in the morning, then we drove. And drove. And drove. All. Day. Long. It's actually isn't too bad if you enjoy the "scenery" that is Nebraska...I had a fun time with the boys though.

We arrived in Des Moines around 3:30 am on Wednesday to find that the hotel didn't have our reservation. Boooo. Scott booked it for us through Travelocity and we even showed them the prepaid confirmation. We went on a hunt and by 4:00 am we were comfortably checked into the Ramada for 1/2 price. Yay!

A few photos? Indeed!

Our car and dad's truck all ready to go!
My room at Little America.
The Nebraska sign. Very plain, just like the state.
I have a photo of the Iowa sign from driving to Nauvoo last fall so I figured I would use the same one.
Me in the truck.
In Nebraska there were crickets everywhere! This was at a gas station.

Aunt Patsy's Party!

On July 31 my aunt Patsy turned 70! We had a BIG surprise party for her that turned out perfectly! Props to my uncle and cousins for pulling it off so well! In attendance were all eight of Patsy and Malcolm children, most of their grandchildren, a few of their nieces and nephews (us!) and two of her siblings. Here are the photos!

The whole group anxiously awaiting the birthday girl's arrival.


She had no idea. :)

My cousin Amanda! She did a great job organizing things.

Siblings! Patsy, Steve & Linda (Val didn't make it).

The Eastland kids

Happy Birthday!

The Weston Family!
From left to right: Dan, Amy, Russ, Mike, Todd, Amanda, Brian and Val. Front: Patsy & Malcolm

The grandkids!

Eight children with spouses!
From left to right: Don & Val, Dan & Kristina, Russ, Trent & Amy, Todd & Billie, Tyler & Amanda, Brian & Debbie, Mike & Annette. Front: Malcolm & Patsy

Todd & Billie's family.

Don & Val's family

Mike & Annette's family!

Brian & Debbie's family

Russ! :)

Dan & Kristina's family

Tyler & Amanda's family

Trent & Amy's family

The Eastland Family! From left to right: Joey & Cherish, Katya, Dad (Steve), Rachel & Scott, and Sean.

The siblings again! :)

San Francisco

Wednesday we left Boise around five pm for our drive home. Instead of going straight to the house we stopped in Salt Lake to visit Scott's cousin Jeff. We walked a block or so to get food at Iceberg and it was the perfect night to sit outside and talk. We were there for over an hour before heading home. I really like Jeff and it was nice to see him again before we leave. He and Scott are the oldest cousins and they are only a few months apart so they are pretty close. Their relationship reminds me of mine with my cousin Skyler. We got back to the house around 1 am and I decided to go for the all-nighter as we still needed to pack and we were leaving for the airport just after 5 am. Scott slept for a few hours but I felt pretty good most of the night. Once I was sitting on the plane I started to feel very tired but I was good for the rest of the day in the city with the family! I was really excited to see Cherish. :) Here are some fun photos from The City!


The family at Pier 39


Sean and I :)

Our scared faces! We were in a submarine.

Riding a trolley car!

Scott Street!

THE best breakfast ever! I am hungry just thinking about it again. Mmm!

Cherish and I on the roof of her building with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Cherish's fiance (yes they are official!) Joey is a flight mechanic in the US Coast Guard. He invited us to come see the helicopters. So awesome!

Cherish and I in the helicopter

So cool!