Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Non-Cruise Excursion

It's taken me forever to blog about this, but I was thinking about it again, and it made me laugh. On the cruise ships they can plan excursions for you to do on shore, but they are all so expensive, so we decided to do one that was not on the
ship. The lady was at this booth for ATV and dune buggies. So we
thought that looked fun. So she sent us to the main shop a block away. It
looked like the start of a horror film.

Very rundown place, beat-down dog in front, mexicans welding buggies back together, broken down cars all
over, and a New Yorker running the place, his hair in a ponytail. Just
seemed sketchy. I said "Rob, I dont have a good feeling about this"
especially when were the only ones there. Then another group of 8
Americans came and felt the same way, and were glad we were there too. But it
ended up being fun! We rode through the streets to some dirt roads. Got
to see a lot of Puerto Vallerta that you dont normally see.

Our ATV was squirting oil out the left side, right at our legs....OUCH! So, once
we got half way through, we told them, and they switched us ATVs. We
stopped at a tiny Tequila factory, which was pretty interesting.

There was a cute little puppy there that followed us around the whole time.

The other group with us was from Wisconsin, and we had to laugh at their
accents. They were pretty cool, until they decided that we were too
clean on our ATV (they were all driving dune buggies) and when we went
through water they tried to drench us, but Rob drove fast and we avoided
the mud. SO it wasn't a horror film ending. The guys that took us spoke
really good english and were hilarious. But they seemed scared of the
New Yorker owner......maybe it'll really be a horror film.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And the wedding was...

Ah, the wedding.... I wanted to wait until I had a little more time to
blog about this EXTREMELY special event. The last 2 days before the
wedding we were all so busy trying to get everything ready for the
wedding, that it hadn't really set in that I was getting married. Even the
morning of the wedding, we were all running around town and around my
in-laws house decorating and getting last minute things done. The wind
kept blowing table linens and tulle around. DANG WIND!! As I was showering
and getting packed, I was hounding Rob to finish editing the song I
was walking down the aisle to. Of course he had to wait until this last
minute to finish it! I was ready to leave to his parents to finish
getting ready, and I needed the song on my ipod. Sharise and Kriss were
waiting patiently for me, and he finally gets it done and I dash out the
door. As my mom did my hair I wrote down the list of songs and when to
play them, so that I could make Sharise's husband, Chris, be my own
personal D.J. (Which he did VERY well, and I appreciate him SOO MUCH).
Sharise and Kriss (my bestest buds since high school) helped me get into my
dress and finish getting ready.
I had seen some amazing photography that my cousin, Jason, had done. So
we roped him into coming to take pictures. I haven't seen this guy in
like 16 years, and he just walks in and starts getting ready to take
pictures. I'm like "HELLO!! Give me a hug, geek!!" I was SOOOO happy that
he drove down from Provo with his sister Shawna to take pictures. (And
Shawna was an amazing help to calm me down when I started getting
nervous!) I got to see these pictures last night. OH MY GOSH!! Can I say
AMAZING?! He has a talent for unique shots. I'd love to post every single
one, but I'll post my FAVORITE one of me that BLEW ME AWAY!
And my favorite of Rob and I.

Rob and I both were a lot more nervous than we thought we'd be. Then my
mom and sister came to hug me before the ceremony, and both started
crying, so I had to try not to. They told me it was safe to come
downstairs to get ready to go down the aisle. It was still windy....so I said
a prayer. The wind stopped for the entire ceremony! I couldn't believe
it. I tried not to cry as I walked down the aisle. And I could tell Rob
was trying not to cry. The ceremony was wonderful, and went smooth.
And I'm so grateful that my SUPER friend, Jared, was there to videotape
the whole event! (He's leaving soon for an internship for camera
operation with the NFL! So I'm glad he was still here for the wedding). So
many people came to the reception, so that made me happy! Even two of
Rob's high school buddies made it out! YAY! Friends I hadn't seen in a
while, and friends that I wish I could see more often were there. Some of
my old posse from Wells Fargo was there. The candy table was a hit. I
wasn't extremely happy with my cake, it didn't turn out how I wanted,
but people still said they liked it.....so hey, what can I do...it could
have been worse! The wind still blew a little, we had to change our
d├ęcor a little, but other than that, it was amazing. My best friend from
middle school, Robyn, lives in Montana and couldn't make it, so her
wonderful mother came and kept shooting pictures with her phone and
texting them to her. Poor Robyn was just sitting home crying cause she
couldn't make it! She's so cute!
Everyone that helped get this put together was so wonderful. My
adorable sister and neice made the most beautiful flower girls EVER!! My
brother and nephews were amazingly handsome and well-behaved ring-bearers!
My wonderful brother, Josh, and Rob's brother, Danny, were the
groomsmen. My sister April, sister-in-law, Jalee, and Rob's sister, Michelle,
were my gorgeous bridesmaids! They put together such a cute bridal shower
for me and helped out in SO many other ways, I am eternally grateful
for. I was so happy that my dad actually made it down to walk me down
the aisle and sing for me. Both my parents and Rob's parents sacrificed
so much time and energy to put everything all together, and I can never
repay them for making our wedding such an amazing day for us. My mom
and dad both picked the perfect songs to sing for us.
We were playing music at the end of the reception and I was jamming out
with my friends, I didn't want to leave, I didn't want this to end!
But everyone kept saying "Hello! The bride and groom are supposed to be
GONE!!" so I reluctantly changed into my post-wedding-gear,

and we left in my adorably decorated car (Thanks, girls!).

As Rob and I drove to Vegas we reflected on how amazing everything had
turned out. The next day we left on our cruise ship to Mexico. That was
such a fun trip! It was a first cruise for both of us, and we loved
every minute of it. It was an awesome way to start out our life as
husband and wife.

Thanks to EVERYONE involved in helping make it such a wonderful
memory!!! I love you all!


Is there one teacher that you've had that really stands out in your
mind? Your absolute favorite teacher that taught you more than just
English, Math, Science, and History? For me, it's my sixth grade teacher,
Mrs. Vanmoerkerque. We called her Mrs. Lee. She was the teacher that
everyone dreaded until they had her and realized what she was really all
about. She tried to make us all better people and helped us stand up for
others and ourselves. I lived in England and went to school on an air
force base when I was 9-12 years old. Sixth grade was my last year there.
After that, I did not have contact with Mrs. Lee, which was
heartbreaking. She once invited my brother and I over to her house to play games.
It was then that she admitted that she tried to never have a "teachers
pet" but she said that I was by far her favorite. That made me feel
significant. She gave me a pair of earrings that her father had given
her. Amethyst stones. I still have them.
I have tried to find her since
high school, but to no avail. My mom and I would talk about how awesome
it would be to find her and invite her to my wedding, when that time
came. So when I got engaged, and was planning my wedding, I was sad that I
hadn't found her. So one day I, again, googled her last name and saw
Alex...was that her son's name? I wasn't sure! So I called my brother
and he said that was one of her boy's names. He had a myspace page, so I
went and looked. Without a doubt it had to be her son! He looked so
much like her! So I sent him a message, and sure enough it was! He gave me
her address and I sent her an invitation. I was so excited! A few days
later I get a call on my cell phone and a woman says, "Danielle, how
are you, dear? I knew it was you when I saw your eyes in the picture."
She had received my invitation. I had included a letter I wrote to thank
her for the extra time she spent and the boost of confidence she gave
me. She told me that no one had ever said anything that nice before.
She had looked up Rob's parents names from the wedding invitation, and
after a pleasant conversation with Rob's mom, got my cell phone number.
So now I am in contact with her again and it really makes me happy. I
have two cousins and an aunt that are also teachers. I am positive that
they are also these kinds of teachers. The ones that try really hard to
get through to their students and really make a huge, lasting impact in
their lives, without even knowing it.