Monday, June 30, 2008

Macey Leishman

We had a theft. My dad's new 2008 Ford F250 and our Miss Garmin (sob sob) were stolen right out of our driveway last week. My entire life we've never locked our house or our cars...we live in a safe small town...and it just breaks my heart to admit that times are changing and we have to lock things now.

But there was one good thing to come out of it. My parents decided we needed another rottweiler (our last one dissapeared last year...sad!!) so Thursday night we picked up this cute little puppy.

At first we named her Juicy, but one of my brother's had a fit so we changed her name to Macey. Sometime I secretly still call her Juicy.

Bren and I love to play with her when we get home from work. She cracks us up. She's still very uncoordinated (she's only 5 weeks old) so she stumbles around like she's drunk all the time.

On a side note...we did finally retrieve my dad's truck. The thieves had ditched it in an abandoned peach orchard and someone thankfully noticed it.

Groundhog Day

We arrived at my parent's house in California just in time for my mom's annual dance recital (she is a dance studio owner/dance teacher). We were quickly put to work from dawn to dusk. Brendon and I helped make the backdrop for the stage, and Brendon ran the lights for the recital. The first day we got home was dress rehearsal for the younger girls. The second day was dress rehearsal for the older girls. And then two nights of performances and a matinee. Brendon said it felt like Groundhog Day ...the dancing was never ending.

The recital went over smoothly...and Brendon got many compliments on his dazzling light guy skills.

Tatum [my bff from home], Taryn, and Tiffany [my "baby" sister that just graduated high school!]here's Bren working the light boardMom, me and TiffanyTatum and me

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Safe & Sound

We never want to eat fast food again, but we made it to California Wednesday night after the five day drive. The internet is down at my parent's house (oh the joys of small town living...they don't exactly have fios that comes all the way out to the ranch) so we've been pretty out of touch. I'll try to catch up on my blogging.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Merkley's Marooned in Nauvoo

Our cross-country drive brought us to Nauvoo early Sunday evening. Getting here was somewhat of an adventure.

The flooding that has made big headlines for Iowa is causing the mighty Mississippi to flood towns all around Nauvoo. We drove past a couple towns that had been evacuated with National Guardsmen sandbagging the riverbank. Then, the road was flooded for a couple hundred yards. I'm proud to say that we opted not to make the highlight reel for some late night "Stupid Drivers" program. Although some people were stopped there and seemed to be seriously considering braving the water.

Ms. Garmin kindly directed us on a detour that involved several miles of unmarked gravel roads. Gratefully, we made it. Unfortunately, most of the historic sites were closing as we arrived. We walked around Nauvoo, saw the temple, visitor's center, Smith family graves, and drove to Carthage to see the jail.

Thanks to the gracious hospitality of our friends, I'm enjoying this view from the balcony of the finest hotel room in Nauvoo. It's gorgeous.
Nauvoo LDS Temple
If anyone is planning a trip to Nauvoo I highly recommend the town and these accomodations

We might be happily stuck in Nauvoo for a good part of the day. We planned to get on the road early but from what everyone says, every bridge across the Mississippi within 100 miles is closed. Geez. We'll see what happens tomorrow. For now, this is nice and relaxing after two days of driving.

Friday, June 13, 2008

All My Pods Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go

This is what it looks like when the Merkley's squish all their material possessions into one 6x8x9 cube.

And this is the crate that Brendon skillfully built to house his beloved Ducati, so we could pack on top and around it in the crate. Bren has mad building skills. This crate is solid! Big smiles because after a month of packing it's done. And we're on the road tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coast To Coast

Could our drive be any longer? Gotta love those gas prices!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Friday night we gave our last White House tour. I will miss this magical place.

On our last Saturday in DC, Brendon and I rented paddle boats at the tidal basin and reminisced about all our good memories here. I hope meeting me is on the top of his good memories in DC list :)

(note: please pardon the lack of topped a sweltering, humid 100 degrees this weekend).

Sunday we drove to the Jefferson Monument to say our goodbyes to the founding fathers. Then we cruised through Georgetown one last time.

It sure is hard to say goodbye ...even though we are thrilled to be California bound.

You Looking At Me?

Brendon's uncle and cousin were in town this weekend visiting and we went to a fancy Southern restaurant for dinner Thursday night. Brendon ordered the shrimp. We were quite amused by how they gave him the whole darn thing...staring eyeballs and all. Must be a Southern thing:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Happy Bday * Happy Anniversary * Happy Vday * Merry Christmas

Ever since January, every holiday or gift-giving event that has rolled around I have told Brendon, "Let's not exchange gifts, let's just buy plane tickets for our vacation this summer". Six months and numerous gift-less holidays later we finally bought our plane tickets!

3 days in Luxor, Egypt
3 days in Cairo, Egypt
2 days in Petra, Jordan
8 days in Israel
9 days in Greece

Bring on the pyramids, sphinxes, camels, and beaches. Kabobs and Greek salad.
I am sooooo excited!! If you have any travel advice for any of these places feel free to share.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

VIP Treatment

Today I had the day off work and I met Brendon for lunch. His boss/superior at work wanted to treat him to a farewell lunch at The White House Mess and since he knows I've been dying to go there ever since he got his job he got them to invite me along as well.

I got the serious VIP treatment and I was allowed to park on State Place (inside the Secret Service gates). I met Brendon at his office, and we walked over to the West Wing together. After a quick tour of some of the offices I hadn't yet seen in the West Wing we were joined by his coworkers and found our way to The Mess. They made a right toward the Situation Room and I thought maybe we were going in there instead - but aparently there is an exclusive dining room in The Mess (only for Cabinet Members) and we were privileged to dine in that room. There were just four small tables inside - it was a very intimate setting. The only person I recognized inside was the Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten.

It was Tex Mex day at The Mess - which I'm told is the most popular day. I ate a chipotle corn bread salad, and finished it off with a delicious molten chocolate cake aptly named "chocolate freedom".

I'm so sad to think that in 8 days this will all be over!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Be Still My Soul

What a beautiful song by David Archuleta. I could listen to it all day long.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Eastern Market

This Saturday we went to Eastern Market to gorge ourselves on the delicious breakfast one last time. Melanie and I always get the french toast with real maple and pecans (I love that Brendon can't eat any of mine since he's allergic...he he...I'm so sneaky) and Brendon and Nate get the blueberry buckwheat pancakes with piles of blueberries on top. Amazingly yummy!

It should be noted that Eastern Market is the place I first had an inkling that I could maybe like this tall, quiet guy I now call hubby. Us four (when we were still totally just friends...except Mel and Nate kind of were crushing on each other) went to get pancakes. Brendon talked about how he was taking a job at the Department of Agriculture and this little farm girl immediately took interest. What a sucker I am. :)