January 11, 2009

State of the Union...

Every Sunday afternoon, Justin has to write a paper for his master's classes. He has to do his school seven days a week in order for him to finish by next March. I'm proud of him for working so hard and being diligent with his education. We can only hope that this will pay off for us in the future with better job opportunities, and a career that he will enjoy in the location we want. Meanwhile, I have another few hours to kill (since I don't have any more homework of my own!) so I'll do a little blogging, and then I'm planning on making a batch of Gingersnaps, my new favorite.

I thought I'd just do a little catch up on what we've been doing lately.

We had a great Christmas at home for the first time. It was quiet and a little lonely, but our friends Chris and Hanna, who also didn't have a place to go, came over and we had a lot of fun. We ended up with a white Christmas this year, which is always beautiful and nostalgic. It seems like Christmases were always white when I was little, but I can actually only remember two specifically. I can remember one because my Mom was so sad that she wouldn't get to see her family because the roads were so bad. Dad didn't want to risk it with icy road conditions that devlop with the wet snow back east, but after he saw how sad she was, we all put on our snow boots, packed up the car, and made the trek. We ended up being just fine, and I think Mom was relieved.

The second happened when my cousin Kelly was going to come over and spend a few nights with us after the Christmas celebration at Grandma and Papa's. The roads were so bad on the way home that we stopped for a little while and Aunt Shelley and Uncle Carl's house. Kelly was pretty panicked that we weren't going to get home, and that she was going to be stuck with us at someone else's house. We got home just fine again, but we tend to relive that story often when we see her.

Since Christmas, we've continued to get dumped on with snow, as you probably saw two posts ago. As beautiful as it is when it's coming down, and as much as Justin enjoy's snowboarding, we're both ready for Spring to bring us some warmer weather and sunnier days.

Justin's job has been going well. He works around 53 hours a week, and takes the over time in "comp hours" which is basically vacation time. He's stacked up enough already for us to be able to go home for nine days, beginning this Friday. Being the friendly and personable fellow that he is has helped him make many connections and meet a lot of really neat people. He's also having fun getting to sit in on, or hear about the many jury trials that go on at the Provo 4th distric court. There's big quite a few high profile cases, and it's really neat for him to get to see the families, attorneys, and watch how the procedures work.

My job has taken a huge turn for the better. We've been working with Costco for around 4 months now, by having our products in "road shows". Road shows are 10 day events that travel around to different stores. Costco uses them to mix their inventory a bit, and have new and exciting things each time their customers come to shop. It has been a huge deal for us, and what we feel like is our big break. Just last week, we were notified that our products were going to be available for scheduling in over 430 stores on the entire east coast, as well as the south east, oregon, montana, and a few other areas. This doesn't mean that we'll be available in all the stores, but we have a pretty good chance of getting a few hundred more shows scheduled. They have appointed me "costco coordinator," which means I'll be in charge of orchestrating how all of this works. It's a big responsibility, but I'm super excited, and ready to take it on.

This past week we had Heidi's boyfriend Zach staying with us. He's leaving on Wednesday to do a study abroud for the semester in France (where he served his LDS mission). He came back to spend some time with her before he leaves for the next four months. We were sad to see him go, as we really enjoy spending time with them. Justin and Zach are like two peas in a pod, and Heidi and Zach make such a great couple. We wish him the best, and hope Heidi isn't too lonely while he's gone. Hopefully the semester will go by quickly for her.

My brother Tommy is still preparing to leave for his mission to Monterrey Mexico on February 11th. He's ready to leave, although I'm not sure my mom is ready to let him. He will make a great missionary. We're going to go home to spend a bit of time with him and the rest of the fam at the end of the week, and we really couldn't be more excited.

It will be great to see Justin's side of the family as well. We haven't gotten to see our two nephews since last Christmas. I'm sure they're now twice as big as they were then. We're also excited to see Jeremy and Camron's new townhouse. They've worked so hard to be able to own their first home, and we are so excited for them! Homes back east are so expensive, and with the economy as it is, it's really such a blessing that they could move in right now. They deserve it.

Justin's Grandma Phyllis sent us a wonderful Christmas gift this year. She took the home movies that she had saved from when the kids were little and had them converted to DVD. She gave a copy to each of Justin's siblings. We have spent many hours watching and re-watching these home videos. It has given me such wonderful insight into the McDaniel family. We have laughed and cried, and laughed until we cried. Considering that Justin remembers so little of his childhood, it really is a blessing to have these videos, and to see how the kids acted, interacted, and how Rick and Becky responded to it. Usually they jsut let the kids hash it out between themselves, and didn't interfere. It's an interesting parenting strategy, and probably the only one that would have worked with them, as high-energy and "full of life" as they were.

So many of our friends have recently moved away. It started last August with Brian and Chrissie moving to San Diego to go to law school. On the saturday after Christmas, Mike and Kim moved back to San Antonio, TX, where Kim is from. I think they're happy there, and Kim has always wanted to go back. We miss them, but hope they enjoy it. Chris and Hanna have moved to Las Cruces, NM, with the Hurst family. They are saving money for when Chris enters law school in the fall. As sad as we are to see them go, it probably the right thing to do, as jobs here are so hard to find. With Tommy gone this semester, and Zach in France, we're really slimming down on our friends here. I'm a home body, and never mind staying home and crocheting or reading a book, but I think Justin will get stir crazy before too long without many people to "do things with."

Other than that, we've pretty much just been trucking along. Sorry that this is so long, but once in a while, we need to update you on the state of the union. Our union is a wonderful thing, and we count ourselves lucky every day to have one another and to be so blessed.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Nice to know everything that is going on in your lives. I wish we had more opportunities to see each other. Maybe I'll have to drive down to Springville and we'll do lunch.