Saturday, July 25, 2009

They're here!

I got my wedding pictures and I do plan to post tons of them on facebook, but here are a few for now! BIG thanks to Big Lou for taking these beautiful pictures! And thank you again to everyone who came to the wedding, gave us a gift, or helped in any way to make our wedding day so wonderful. It was perfect.

I put the pictures in an collage because it is just so much faster to upload. Click to enlarge!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Guess what I just found out!

I've known Jared for 4 years and somehow the fact that he can juggle has eluded my knowledge until last week. How did I not know this?


video

Friday, July 17, 2009

This is way too cool

I've been watching quite a bit of the Tour de France this year...well, more than I ever have before anyway. I think it's such an interesting event. I am fascinated by the dynamics of the competition. For hours, a group of riders may be working together, taking turns riding in the front or back of the group (like a flock of birds!), and then BAM! one rider takes off and leaves the rest behind. They change so quickly from a symbiotic relationship to a predator-prey relationship. Fascinating stuff. Add in the super-human speed and endurance and way-too-low-for-normal heartrates of these amazing athletes, and you have yourself one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

But that's not the point of this post. The point is the Chalkbot. The Chalkbot is the robotic child of the Livestrong Foundation, created to paint biodegradable chalk messages on the streets of the Tour de France. Anyone can submit messages to the Chalkbot on this website. You can basically write whatever you want. I think the idea is to write messages of hope, both for the riders and for people battling cancer. Supposedly they don't screen the messages, but I'm not sure how they choose which ones get printed. At first I thought I read that they would print all the messages they received up to 100,000. But recently, I read another article that said they would just email you if your message was chosen and send you a link to picture of it. Sorry I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but it's such an incredible idea, I had to share! Go submit your message right now! And let me know if yours gets chosen. I'm really curious to find out exactly how you get notified, see the picture, etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And the story continues...

The police found our car.

Hooray.

NOT.

I actually wish now that they had never found it, or at least they had waited until we officially mailed off the title to the insurance company and gotten our check. We were so close to having this headache resolved. Like, so close we could taste it. So close we had already planned how we were going to spend every dollar we received from the insurance company (all very wise expenditures, like paying off my car). Jared even flew home to North Carolina to pick up the title to his car (so we could sign it over to the insurance) and pick up my car so that we could eventually get home to North Carolina once we leave this wretched state.

But oh, the timing. Monday - the insurance company is ready to pay out. Just need to send them the title. Wednesday - Jared flies home to get said title. Thursday - Jared drives my Jeep back to Ohio, with said title in hand, ready to mail off. Friday - police find car and ruin everything.

Granted, this is exactly what we had been praying for - for the police to find our car. But the past few weeks have been so crazy, all I really want is for this to be over. But now that the car has been found, we have to deal with *picking the car up from the impound lot, **getting it repaired, and ***ordering new license plates from North Carolina (the plates were stolen).

*We drove the 2 hours to the impound lot today to see the car. We had to pay $55 just to retrieve our few personal belongings from the car. Seriously? I have to pay to get my own stuff out? We were not allowed to take the car, though, because it has no license plates. But it needs repairs anyway, so we got a tow truck to take it to the shop. As far as our belongings, they pretty much cleared us out. Seriously. They even took the emergency food (granola bars) Jared had hidden underneath the floorboard of his trunk. I had no hope for finding my phone or camera, but I was hoping to at least find my clothes or shoes or Jared's tools. But no, all gone. Even Jared's bike rack on top of the car was gone. Oh, but what did they leave for us? My Nalgene (filled with alcohol), our library books, and some cassette tapes. We felt pretty vindicated to find a $20 bill that we had hidden in the car. They may have stolen thousands from us, but we got our $20, suckers!

**Damage: We knew there would be a broken window because we saw broken glass where the car was stolen. Other than the window/door, there wasn't too much visible damage. The ignition is damaged - they obviously used a screwdriver or something to fiddle with the ignition to start the car. When we first tried to put the key in, it wouldn't fit. We finally got it in, but it will definitely need to be fixed. The antenna is also messed up, but that's minor. Mostly, the car was just trashed. It was filled with bottles, fast food wrappers, glasses...just trash in general. And the floorboards are soaked with alcohol. We were also disgusted to find that they actually used the ashtray as an ashtray. When Jared noticed that, he said, "don't they know what an ashtray is for? Storing coins!" All in all, not too bad. But I am not sitting in that vehicle until it has been sanitized.

***If any of you plan on having your car stolen, try to have it happen in the state where you live. Because having your car stolen out of state makes everything harder. Like trying to get new license plates. I called the NC DMV today and they said it will take 3-4 weeks for us to get new plates! We're only going to be in Ohio for 4.5 more weeks, so hopefully we get the plates in time to actually drive the car home. Because we are so not coming back.

The end...for now.

:)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This is Awesome

Read this post. And watch the video.

Love it. Makes me feel better already about dealing with big, nasty companies. Next time I get mistreated, I'm going to hire someone to write a song about it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

UPDATE: T-Mobile sucks. Even more than I thought before.

Yesterday, we decided to make the hour long drive to the T-Mobile store so I could get a phone before Jared left for North Carolina (he is flying to NC today to pick up my Jeep which we left there). Originally, I had bought a prepaid phone at WalMart, but I found out there was a better prepaid phone at the T-Mobile store, so I took the WalMart one back. I knew the T-Mobile salesperson probably wouldn't be happy about me buying one of the cheap prepaid phones and getting a replacement sim card, but I didn't expect to get the load of crap she gave me: "I actually can't sell you a sim card for a prepaid phone...that is fraud...I could lose my job...blah, blah, blah." Lots of other crap ensued, including finding out I had to pay $20 for a new sim card AND the store refusing to sell me a sim card because I didn't have an ID. Finally, after I became very frustrated and may or may not have cried a little in exasperation, we figured out I could add Jared on to my account and then he could show his ID. But goodness gracious, was it a mess of an experience. In the end, I went back to WalMart and ended up with a phone from the 1990s. It's actually quite small, but it's got one of those old, terrible screens that hurts your eyes to look at.

Don't know why I felt the need to share so many boring details, but I get so frustrated with companies that claim to be all about their customers, but try to screw them at every corner. And by screw, I mean suck out every last penny.

On a positive note, I'm really grateful that I have a phone again and that all the other issues from having our car stolen are being resolved. We've pretty much got everything worked out with the banks, my new license is in the mail, and we should be getting the check from the car insurance in the next week or two. If only I could get my hot red high heels back...

Life really can be a mess sometimes. I was out with the missionaries tonight teaching a woman about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we started talking about why Heavenly Father allows bad things to happen. I was reminded that "it must needs me that there is an opposition in all things" because we can "[have] no joy" if we "[know] no misery." Isn't that so true? It's after something bad happens that we realize how good we have it. Not to be cliche, but I really think I am seriously, so blessed. ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What the Cell Phone Providers Won't Tell You...

...and why I hate them.

So, my phone was stolen as all of you are probably now aware, and I have found myself in a predicament. Right now, my service is suspended so the thugs who stole my phone can't use it. T-Mobile will only suspend my service for a maximum of 30 days. If I don't buy a new phone and call T-Mobile and ask them to reactivate my account within 30 days, they will automatically (without contacting me) terminate my account and charge me the astronomical early termination fee. I don't want to sign another 2 year agreement with T-Mobile because I plan on switching to Verizon and getting on Jared's (and his family's) plan as soon as my contract is over in a few months. Waaay cheaper.

So basically, my only option is to buy a phone at full price. But have you ever looked at the full prices of cell phones (i.e. - the price without a 2-yr service plan)? They are ridiculous. We're talking anywhere from $150 - $2000. I called T-Mobile and asked them what the absolute cheapest phone they have is and it was $80 for a piece of crap brick phone. I might not mind spending a $100 or so - or even more - on a phone if I would be able to use it for a long time. But Verizon uses a different network than T-Mobile, so their phones are not compatible. That means I will need to get another new phone in a few months when I switch over. (By the way, if you want to know more about cell phone providers and which ones have compatible networks, this is a great resource.

BUT, I am lucky enough to have a brother that used to work for T-Mobile and has all sorts of insider knowledge that the salespeople will never tell you. Maybe this is old news to some of you, but I had never hear this/thought of it before. My brother told me that I can just go to Wal-Mart or any other store that sells prepaid phones, buy one of those cheap phones (we're talking under $20), and ask T-Mobile to send me a new sim card (or go get one at a T-Mobile store...unfortunately I live in the country and the closest T-Mobile store is over an hour away). Just pop the new sim card in the admittedly-piece-of-crap-but-way-cheaper-than-full-price phone and you're good to go. My brother told me to make sure I get a T-Mobile prepaid phone, but you could try getting a phone from another provider as long as it uses a compatible network. Sometimes, providers "lock" their phones so they cannot be used with other service providers, though. In that case, you would have to get someone who works for your provider to unlock the phone for you. Again, reference this website for more info on that.

Is this news to anyone else?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Anniversary

Today is our one-month anniversary. Hooray! It's been a good month, despite the horrible things that have happened (our car being stolen, along with my identity and thousands of dollars, our hotel being infested with bedbugs and having to move rooms FOUR times). But hey, at least I have a husband to go through these things with. Anyway, I still don't have my wedding pictures, but here are a few more honeymoon pictures. I totally forgot all my makeup at home when we left for our honeymoon, so I wasn't too keen on taking lots of pictures. It was a beautiful place, though!