Thursday, June 28, 2007

WANTED by the law

Have you had a day when all is smooth sailing and then something comes out of the blue and knocks you down? You are left saying, "Five minutes ago, my life was so good and I didn't even know it!" Well, that experience has recently happened to me (Cheyney) and it has left me owing a ton of money and trying to stay out of jail. YES..... little innocent Cheyney has broken the law.

Los Angeles was, in a way, a harsh city to live in (aside from my drug dealing, gun shooting neighbors). Everywhere you turn, you get another ticket. It doesn't matter if you parked on the wrong side of the street for 5 minutes or forgot to feed your meter for 2 seconds, you will get a ticket. After living in L.A. for a while, one begins to factor tickets into their budget. Well, my last ticket there was for running a stop light. Not a "real" stop light; the ones that flash for you to get on the freeway. It was NOT rush hour and I was the ONLY one getting on. Of course, I got pulled over. Plus, the DMV had not sent me my sticker (all ready paid) for registration.... so $160 later, I thought I had paid my dues.

But no. Two months later a letter found me in Georgia that said they would not accept my check until I gave proof that I was registered. (Two months because my mom's house was my forwarding address and it sat in a pile while we made our way over to Bville). So, I gave proof and sent back the 160 bones. Little did I know that the fee had increased to $556 because it was paid past the due date. So yesterday, my sister called me after checking the mail (it has been on hold at the post office for the last month because my parents are in Russia) and told me there was one from the L.A. court. Of course, she didn't think this was urgent and therefore didn't read it to me for almost a week after receiving it. The letter stated that since I didn't appear in court on my scheduled (unknown) date that my license has been suspended and I have a $300 bail until my fees are paid. If they are not paid by June 16th then my bail money will not be reimbursed!!!!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I have unknowingly been driving on a suspended license for 2 weeks and could just as easily be experiencing jail time just like someone whose name rhymes with Laris Filton. My debt has gone to collections which will effect my credit and now I am not allowed to contest with a written declaration because I missed my window of going to court. $856 flushed down the toilet. Fortunately, I have an understanding husband who is now dropping me off at work and even picking me up at 7:30 in the morning. Ahhh, yesterday life was so blissful and carefree!

Monday, June 25, 2007

New York in 48 Hours

We took a bus up To New York on Friday and came back Sunday. We were only there for about 48 hours but made the most of it.

Some Highlights:
  • Met up for dinner with my friends Emily, Boyd, Monica and Adam (who we stayed with in Queens); Lovely people and good friends.
  • Visited Columbia
  • Wandered around Times Square
  • Ate dessert as much as possible, exercise regiment starts today.
  • Went to Spamalot on Broadway. A lot of fun, especially with Cheyn being such a Monty Python fan.
  • Went to the Temple. The inside is my favorite.
  • Ate at what has to be the best Thai restaurant in the USA: Lemon Grass Grill on 95th and Broadway
  • Caught fireflies in Central Park. The park is just magical.
  • Went to Church in Queens.
  • Toured the MET. Spent a lot of our time with the Impressionists.
As always we keep more pictures here if you want to see them. It was such a wonderful weekend. Cheyn had visited the city before and I went to school there, but this is our first trip together. I loved being in New York with Cheyney. A truly wonderful weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Westerners on the East Coast

This past Friday and Saturday we had a chance to meet up with friends in the area who are out here in the DC area.
We met up and went to the Alexandria Red Cross Riverfront Festival. Here Cheyney is pictured with two fellow travel nurses from our ward out in LA, Laawna and Sarah.
After walking around, we watched the band "Bowling for Soup" perform. They were OK, but they interrupted their song to talk too much. There was a really nice fireworks display after the show (I wish I had a picture but I was too mesmerized).
We took the subway back and this is the Masonic lodge near the stop where we got on. Ben (Sarah's boyfriend) told me this was George Washington's original lodge. I like how this looks at night. Our friend from LA, Renee used to live around here. She told me a story once (one of her favorites) about how she went sledding next to this lodge in the winter and had an accident. I like this Temple because it reminds me of the LDS one in LA.
On Sunday after church we had Chris and Sarah over for dinner. They were engaged in LA at about the same time as we were. They seem really happy. We had haystacks and yummy desert Sarah made.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Trips with Branagan

Branagan has hiked another 100 miles of the Appalacian Trail. He was nice enough to do a part in Virginia so he could spend some time with us. We just moved to Fredericksburg and were ready to sight see. We went to D.C. and got to see all the memorials and the White House. What an amazing place! It is so cool to live in a place with so much history. George Washington's mom's home is down the street, as is a battlefield and G.W.'s childhood home. If anyone wants to visit... we have an extra room!

Bran and Ryan got to go to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. Also, not very far away.

The Hill Family

We loved spending time with Ryan's sister, Wendy, and her kids. We got to have a tea party, go on a bike ride, and go to an awesome park! This is Alexander. You have to keep an eye on him. He loves electricity and water.

This is Emilie and Elisabeth. They are so smart and great drawers. It is going to be so much fun living closer to them.


After we left St. Mary's, we stopped in Savannah for the morning. We went on a tour bus and saw colonial homes, Spanish moss, and River Street.
Departing Savannah we went a bit out of our way and stopped by the small town of Milledgeville. When I was in a freshman American Literature class at Ricks College the teacher introduced me to Flannery O'Connor. I fell in love with her writing and have read almost every book, short story, or published letter she has written. She is so funny and concise, and her subject matter is fascinating: Salvation through Violence, mostly in the Southern Gothic environment.

We went to her house, which has been a dream of mine for years. After returning from the Iowa Writers College and a writers commune in New York, she moved back to Milledgeville. She produced the majority of her work at this home. The front room was converted into a study and bedroom because she had difficulty going upstairs. It was very moving. Her crutches were placed upright on the side of her bed. Unfortunately, photography wasn't allowed inside the house.

Cheyn was so sweet to me. She let me buy a tee-shirt, and a bumper sticker that say "Nobody with a good car need to be justified." This is a line from Wise Blood, and is hilarious to me, though I think you need to read the book. She passed away in her late thirties from Lupus.

St. Mary's

After the open house we moved in with Cheyney's parents for a month. The were so nice to us and such good hosts. It was fun to be with the family when they were all still together for tennis and apples to apples tournaments. We got to take a few trips to visit friends and family in Georgia.

One of the nice things we got to do was visit Jenny and Ridge and their three cute girls. We went to a southern buffet where they served fried pig fat. awesome. After that we all went for a walk at a cool nature reserve.

Now take a look at this great dad. This happens to be one of the world best babies, Bay. We've considered kidnapping, but it might strain our friendship with Jenny and Ridge.

This is Jenny and the two other girls, Shelby and Coby James, investigating a small sand crab.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Open House/ Fish Fry in B'ville!

Yep! I am getting ready for the ho-down! My friends thought we were serving beer. I thought they knew me. It is ROOT BEER! Duh.

The awesome Blue Grass Band. The man on the left is our old Branch President, Henry Covington. It has always been my dream to have them play when I got married. They didn't know they would have to wait soooooo long.

Laura, Leanna, Leigh, Branny and Grayson. Friends and family came from near and far. Mom and dad really amazed me with how much they did to the yard. It didnt even look like our house!

The Giddens, Webbs, and Webb reunion. We all grew up together playing War, eating lasagna, and keeping each other in trouble. Crazy we are all grown.

It was a perfect night, thanks to all the people that helped. About 130 people came and dined on fried catfish, gator, hush puppies, cole slaw, and peach cobbler. Also, my best friend Jenny gave a gave a tear jerking toast but also warned Ryan about my toilet clogging abilities!

2/3 of Jenny's girls. Shelby and Coby James!

Road Trip

We went to Colorado to visit my grandpa, aunts, and uncles on my dad's side. My grandpa turns 90 this year and is such a cowboy. He beat me and Ryan at Skipbo! We then had a big pot luck dinner with the whole famdamily. I feal so blessed to be related to such talented and giving dog faced Webbs.

We went to Dallas/Fort Worth Texas and unfortunately we don't have any pics with Kari, her amazing new house and her cute boyfriend. But we did get a picture with Matt, Stephanie, and Preston Bean. Ryan served with Matt in Fiji.... awesome family! We also got to go see the grassy knoll.... single gunman?

Then we went to Baton Rouge Louisianna to see the Storeys. Ryan and Matt were in the same MTC group and there wasn't a better elder than Elder Storey. They own a horse ranch.

We then toured some plantations in Louisianna. Our favorite was recommended by the Storeys and was the Creole plantation, The Laura (not shown in the pic). This one reminded me of Forest Gump. We got to go to the French Quarter in New Orleans and then we broke down in Mobile, Alabama! Thank heavens Gopher, our tobacco chewing wrecker driver, saved us and fixed our alternator. That night we stayed in a hotel that had one request: NO DEEP FAT FRYERS IN THE HOTEL ROOM! Word.