Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A new beginning

Hey! It's been awhile and it's already a new year. Can you believe that it's 2010? I can't. Well, I just read my last post about Daniel's new job and I am going to add on to it with this one. Daniel is no longer going to be working for QuicKutz because he got back into BYU! Ever since we got back from Korea we ran into so many obstacles to continue Daniel's education. It started out with some shocking rejections from universities we had applied for (ones we were sure we were going to get accepted to). After waiting and hearing back from all of them we had to change course. Daniel still wanted to do a PhD in Economics so we just had to find a different road to get there. Daniel finally decided on trying to get a Masters in Mathematics. We found that BYU was the best option for us. Since Daniel had gotten a minor in mathematics he was only two classes shy of being fully prepared for the workload in the masters program. That's where we ran into some more problems. Had it been a couple of years ago, it would have been much easier to get back into BYU as a post-baccalaureate student but now BYU is experiencing it's highest numbers of all time for undergraduate students and they did not want to let Daniel in. This was disappointing since Daniel had spoken with a couple of professors in the math department and they were confident that he would be able to get in and take those two remaining classes.

Well, meantime we needed to get a job. We were thinking that maybe we would have to work for awhile and then try and get in to school a little later or something. First, Daniel worked with a gardening company as a field rep. going to the different Home Depots and Lowes from Ft. Union down to Provo checking that all products were in stock and properly displayed. He built different displays and made a few waves with the company with some of his creative ideas. He then got a job offer from QuicKutz to work in international sales. Not only did this job offer a much higher salary but it was working in more of what Daniel had studied in school so far. Plus, he had a chance to work with people using Spanish and possibly Korean. We took the risk and took the job with QuicKutz. Not too long after that the company ran into some major problems and Daniel actually was laid off....for two days. During those two days Daniel worked really hard trying to find a way to get back into BYU. Thanks to some friends he was able to work with a professor closely who sits on the graduate studies committee for the math department and was able to get admissions to seriously consider Daniel's case. Did I tell you he was laid off for two days? We thought he was laid off for good at that point but the company called him back and told him they wanted him back. After all the stuff with the university Daniel told them that he would come back and work but he might be starting back at school. QuicKutz told him it was fine, they just needed him. After the holidays we found out that admissions had reviewed his case and accepted him as a post-baccalaureate student for winter semester! We both were sooooo happy! We were so worried about what we were going to do and how we were going to get to our end goal. So now, Daniel is a BYU student again taking those two classes that he needed to get to grad school. If he does well, he has a better than good chance of getting into the Math graduate school.


We had a wonderful Christmas. We were able to do a few things for other people that really brought the true meaning of Christmas to my heart and I really hope that Maya felt it as well. I got to see the wonder and joy of Christmas through Maya's and Vivi's eyes. And we spent it with family and it was great. During the Christmas holidays Daniel's mom and sister and brother-in-law moved back down to New Mexico. We will definitely miss them but we know that it was the best thing for them. We rang in the new year with my parents and I found out that I am actually only 22...according to the Wii Fit Plus. Ha!

With Daniel back in school and us a step closer to our academic goal, I feel like this year is going to be a great one. I heard on the radio the announcer talking about taking some time out to think about the past year and what you have accomplished and then writing down what you want to do for this new year. I think I am going to take a pen a paper and write down some of the things I want to make happen this year. I feel so much motivation and hope!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Job!

Today Daniel started his new job! Since this past March (after we got back home from Korea) he's been working with Central Garden and Pet as a field rep. working the Home Depots and Lowes from Provo up to Ft. Union in Salt Lake. It's been a good job, it was way flexible so that he could keep studying for the Math GRE and prepare to get back into school and it paid pretty well. Well, just a few weeks ago his uncle who is the CEO of QuicKutz (a paper crafts/scrapbooking company located here in Utah) gave him a heads-up on a new job position that was opening up. QuicKutz is hoping to expand more internationally and they needed another International Sales representative. They're in some Spanish-speaking countries, like Mexico, yet they don't have anyone that can speak Spanish and they hope to get into the Korean market sometime soon and may need someone who can speak Korean. The pay is much better and it is full-time. So after some thought we decided that this would be a great job for Daniel to take. The only thing we are worried about is getting back into school. That is our ultimate goal and we hope that this job doesn't pose too much of an obstacle to that.

Kudos to you, honey!

Things about me you probably didn't know

Ok, this is really weird!!! I posted this a long time ago, but I could never figure out why I couldn't see it on my blog...yet a few people commented on it.... I guess blogger was having problems and it was posted in May according to blogger...so I am posting it again.

This is actually supposed to be 101+1 things about me but I couldn't think of that many things! So, I put down as many as I can think of.

The idea for this post I stole from my friend AnnMarie, who in turn stole it from someone else. She had a lot of interesting things that I had no idea about her and I thought it would be fun to think about me for awhile and try to surprise you all. I might cheat and add some stuff about our family too. Here goes:

1. * I've never had a cavity in my life. Not even a hint of one. I chalk it up to good teeth genes.

2. I used to be a book snob. For some reason I thought that I should just read the classics or the best of world literature instead of popular literature. In fact, I held off reading Harry Potter for a couple of years because of it. Now I know better.

3. Because of #2 I now routinely check the NY Times bestseller's list to see what contemporary novels are out and popular.

4. I absolutely love the color red. I also think that I look pretty good in that color.

5. I have this pair of ralph lauren plaid shorts from my senior year of high school. I love those shorts. I keep them in hopes that one day I will fit in them again. I don't know how many times I have packed and unpacked those shorts. I go through this little sad routine of holding them longingly, sighing, and replacing them back in their place. Sad, I know.

6. Daniel and I settle small arguments by consulting wikipedia or the internet in general. Stuff like where tomatoes really come from, if the phrase is "splittin' image" or "spittin' image," or what the religious makeup of the island of Samoa is (all real topics we've disagreed on). And FYI tomatoes originally come from South America, specifically Peru, the phrase is "spittin' image," and Roughly 98% of Samoans are Christians, divided among many different churches, including: Congregationalist 35.5%, Roman Catholic 19.6%, Methodist 15%, Latter-day Saints 12.7%, Samoan Assemblies of God 10.6%, Seventh-day Adventist 3.5%, Worship Centre 1.3%, unspecified 0.8% (2001 census) (taken from wikipedia).

7. When I was little I honestly thought I was half mentally retarded. I think it must have been that I saw in the mirror this round face with almond-shaped eyes and at that time I had no sense of different ethnicities and that I was half Asian.

8. I Have to read something while in the bathroom. A lot of times I forget to take in some literature and I end up reading whatever is in the medicine cabinet. I think I must have read the back of my deodorant stick at least 10 times.

9. I love to dance and perform in front of people but I hate talking in front of people

10. I love to cook and try out new recipes. I also love to cook for other people. There is something gratifying about preparing a meal for others and having them like it.

11. With that said, I didn't know how to cook (or even take care of myself, for that matter) until after I got married. For the first little while, Daniel did a lot of cooking. I just never did any of that kind of stuff growing up, my mom did it all.

12. I hit the snooze button over and over and over again, it's my husband's biggest pet peeve. It's because the night before I have these grand hopes of getting up early but when the morning rolls around, I am just too tired to wake up with the first ring.

13. As weird as it may sound, I like to smell the insides of books. Not the cheap trade paperbacks though, they always just smell like cheap paper. The older the book, the better they smell. *sniff* .....oh yeah....

14. When it comes to stubble and beards there is a fine line between ruggedly handsome and just plain unkempt. If done right, beards are very sexy.

15. I hate when people make overarching stereotypes of others because of a few bad apples. When I grew up in Utah, I was Catholic (which if you didn't know, is a minority in happy valley) and I used to hear a lot of them when people learned I was Catholic.

16. I've always wanted to write a book and add my ideas and thoughts to the endless sea of the printed page.

17. One of the things I love about Christmas is the smell of wrapping paper and tape. My job growing up was to wrap all the presents for friends and family.

18. I LOVE the smell of coffee its a very nostalgic smell for me. I also secretly love Haagan daz coffee ice cream.

19. I hate when people unfairly judge other people. Big pet peeve #1

20. I hate when people say a food is bad without trying it. Big pet peeve #2. Drives me nuts.

21. I gave birth to my second daughter naturally and am now an advocate of natural birth. I think it's great that there are pain meds to help when things get really difficult and to each her own. I just noticed a significant difference in the way I felt between having baby #1 and baby#2.

22.If I could do my undergrad over again I would pick a different major. This is kind of sad to say. I enjoyed doing linguistics but now that I think over my education, I feel like I didn't make the best choices.

23. I think the kitchen is the most important feature to consider when buying or renting a home. In fact I hope that one day we can build our own home and then I will be able to design the kitchen the way I want.

24. I love baby toes.

25. I really like to play word and logic games.

26. I was a vegetarian for 5 years. I can't remember why I started to be a vegetarian. I think it all stemmed from not wanting clogged arteries and also eating a bad pork steak once. But I stayed fast and true to my the vegetarian lifestyle for all those years. And, I have to admit, I was the most healthiest I had ever been in my life.

27. When Daniel and I got the National Geographic magazine there was always a fight to get to it first. We've done everything from racing to it to hiding it from the other person until we could read it.

28. I am a very very jealous person. Something I am not really proud of.

29. I think it's weird when Daniel says my name. He's called me by pet names for so long that when he says my first name, it sounds...weird.

30. I dread when people mispronounce my name, it started from all of my teachers mispronouncing my name the first day of class. It always makes me wince a little.

31. When I had my first daughter I was actually secretly disappointed that she didn't look anything like me. Not that I think I am the best looking, but that a daughter should look something like her mother.

32. So I was secretly overjoyed when my second daughter came out looking more like me.

33. I truly believe that God made me prone to gain weight so that I wouldn't be such a glutton when it comes to food and be more conscious of what I eat

34. I still remember the sweet thing Daniel told me the first morning of being married even though I am sure he has long forgotten. "I dreamt there was an angel laying beside me and I woke up and there you were."

35. I want to have the kind of home where my girls want to bring their friends around to hang out and where their friends want to come.

36. I always play the devil's advocate in a conversation. I think it stems from this deep-seeded belief in defending the underdog.

37. I believe that some dreams really do tell us things.

38. Daniel and I share a passion for traveling and especially trying different foods together.

39. I love road trips I could drive anywhere as long as the air conditioning and heater are working in the car.

39. I love long hot showers. It's a time for me to really unwind and relax.

40. One of the biggest regrets I have is that I didn't learn Korean and Spanish fluently when I was a child. My parents both speak those languages but I never picked it up.

41. With that said, I have been given the tools to be a fluent speaker of those languages....especially sounding close to a native speaker.

42. I am one of the most forgetful people on the planet according to Daniel (and everyone else in my family).

43. I am the worst when it comes to turning in books on time to the library. I don't know why, but I am always at least a day late with my books. I had this HUGE fine at the BYU library once....but I am not going to say how much it was. It's too embarrassing.

44. My all-time favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip.

45. I really love exercising, especially dancing, even though it doesn't really show.

46. I truly believe that it's never too late to learn something new. And I think that learning should be a life-long pursuit.

47. Crisp, fall mornings are one of my favorite things. I love the cool air and the smell of freshly fallen leaves.

48. I am an incredibly stubborn person. I only realized it after I got married to another incredibly stubborn person. It's really amazing how much you learn about yourself when you live with someone else.

49. My favorite sport is tennis.

50. I wish that at this very moment, I was somewhere else traveling with my family.

* I WAS cavity free until a couple of weeks ago. I found out I had the first 3 cavities of my life!

Wow, this list is a lot shorter than I thought it was. oh well. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Disappointing Healthcare

I don't know much about the healthcare debates that have been rocking our country but I definitely want to know more especially after what Daniel got told this not too long ago. Here's the story:

For about 1 1/2 to 2 months Daniel has had this sore on his upper gum that started out as what seemed to be a common canker sore. Because I thought it was a canker sore (or maybe something stuck in his gum pocket) I didn't rush to make the needed dentist appointments for the family. Well, it kept growing and irritating Daniel more and more (I know, I'm such a bad wife) that finally after a month or so, I made the appointment. We found out it was a growth on the gum that definitely needed to be cut off and biopsied (just in case it was something serious). The dentist referred us to an oral surgeon who he knew took medicaid (that is what we are on...actually, we're on PCN, but it's a type of medicaid). Daniel made the appointment with the oral surgeon for a consultation. There, they checked the growth out and made a course of action. But, they weren't sure if medicaid covered that kind of dental work. The lady in the office told Daniel that she would check on it and that they could go ahead and make an appointment and when they found out if the surgery was covered they could either keep the appointment or work something else out, since they were SO busy. She told Daniel that the soonest they could work on him was the middle of October.

Well we waited a few days and the lady finally got back to us. Unfortunately, medicaid doesn't cover that kind of surgery. We would have to pay the costs ($300 for the doctor's office and $200 more dollars for the biopsy) out of pocket. What could we do? Daniel definitely needed that growth cut out...it was only getting bigger and more irritated. So he told her that he would go ahead and get the surgery and just pay out of pocket. *Now, here is the whole point of this post* She then told him that she could move up his appointment to the Friday of that week (it was a Tuesday by that point). Daniel was a bit perplexed, didn't you say that the office was busy and full until the middle of October? He asked her that exact question and you know what she told us? She explained that since he would be paying out of pocket they could get him in right away. They only see medicaid patients once a month because they don't make as much money off of them. Daniel and I couldn't believe she just outright said that.

Daniel wasn't as surprised as I was.......he could tell you all the reasons why healthcare sucks these days. But, I was shocked. I was shocked that making money seems more important to them then treating and caring for patients.

Well, Daniel got that growth cut out---a procedure that took all of 10 minutes--- this last Friday ( 9/25/09) and now we are waiting on the biopsy information.

Crazy, huh?

How we almost got SCAMMED

The last few weeks Daniel and I have been on the look out for a new car (we found one! pics on later post). About a week ago on KSL.com I thought I found an unbelievable deal on 2008 Volkswagon Passat. The original listing said it was for only $4,500 in Salt Lake City. Of course, I replied to that listing right away! The email the guy sent me explained in great depth why he was selling it so cheap....his mother has breast cancer and he is in need of fast cash to help pay for the surgery, the car is actually in New York and he's in Canada, and he explained that we will use eBay motors as an escrow service where they will hold the payment for the car until we receive it and approve and then only then will he receive payment. At the time I thought it sounded like a good idea since he was claiming to use a reputable company like eBay motors to watch over the account and guarantee the shipping. Plus, he sent a ton of believable photos of the car along with the email. Daniel on the other-hand was a bit more suspicious. I continued corresponding with the guy asking him questions about shipping and things and was pretty set on getting this car. We gave him our shipping address and he supposedly gave that to eBay motors to open an account for us. I received an "official" eBay motors email (in my spam mail) detailing how we were to send the payment. The email looked all official and eBay-like to me and it said we were to use Western Union to send the initial deposit of $1750 to some David guy who was to be our eBay motors agent. This made Daniel even more suspicious and he did some reading on the official eBay motors website. Well, this is where we KNEW that this was a big scam. According to eBay motors there are a lot of scams out there claiming to use eBay motors. EBay motors never uses Western Union or Money Gram in their money dealings and they never act as an escrow service for their sellers, ever.

I was totally bummed, it was a total scam! But the bad thing was that I wanted it to be true so badly and I wanted to trust this guy so much that at the point where we read all of this info on eBay motors I was still giving this guy excuses. I told Daniel maybe he wasn't from the US and was using eBay incorrectly, but that it was still legitimate. Or maybe eBay motors makes some exceptions or something. Daniel finally looked at me and said, "honey, this guy is trying to take our money and hurt our family....do you want to try and trust him and let him do that?"

So Daniel wrote him an email back telling him off and that was that. I had always heard that there were tons of scams all over the online classified ads, but this was the first time I actually encountered one. Well, interestingly enough as I was looking some more on KSL and on craigslist, I found two more scam ads. They were just ads that sounded like a good deal and I emailed them about it. Then I got the same kind of story "oh, the car is in Washington or Illinois and I am trying to get money to pay for my taxes so my house doesn't get taken by the bank and I will ship the car to you if you pay me this...." This time I just emailed them back telling them "no thanks."

Have any of you guys run into scams like this?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A whole load of pictures

A whole bunch of random pictures of Maya and Vivi and of our camping trip up the Uintahs. Enjoy:) (Summer and Fall 2009)

Ok, so I wasn't going to type a lot, and I'm not, but these require some explanation. Maya has gotten into this thing of "posing" for the camera. Here are some shots of her "posing"

Ok, now for some pictures of us up in the Uintahs.

Campfire photos:

Down at Trial Lake. Daniel got a pontoon boat and we took it for a spin:

Back at camp:

Here's some pictures of Vivi "posing"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

5 months

Vivi, you are 5 months already! Where has the time gone? You are growing so much I can hardly keep up! First I have to say that you love your big sister! You two are as different as can be, but you love to watch her run around and you love to giggle with her even if you don't know what she's laughing about. I know that down the road there will be differences in opinions and tears shed, but I hope you will remember how much you love one another always.

You've hit so many milestones this past month. You started eating solid foods (cereals) and you kind of liked that. Though you prefer to nurse with mom. Sometimes it seems as if you like to bite the spoon and feel the mushy food in your mouth more than you actually like to eat it. You have two cute little teeth that you got rather early. You are a champion roller. In fact, when left on the ground that is all you like to do! You roll back and forth all day long.

You found your voice and you love to make your opinions known with a myriad of cute squeals, grunts, and giggles. You also love to put everything you can into your mouth. Sometimes I am not quick enough and you already have a piece of paper in your mouth. You especially love to chew on rubber lizards. He never really had a chance, did he?

You're a really laid back baby but you have a quick temper. You love those around you the most and are wary of strange new faces. You're definitely a momma's girl which means I get to lug all 15 pounds of you around for most of the day.

But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you.