Oh, What a Week

We have had an amazing week. I called my professor on Thursday to ask him about my grade on the final exam. I did badly on the first test--I flunked it, in fact. I aced my second exam. As the tests make up most of the course grade, I figured I was averaging out at a C. This being my final economics class, I was honestly okay with a C. Obviously, though, I was hoping for better. And better was what I got! My teacher told me I got an A! So, overall, I get a B+ for the class. I've been on cloud nine about it all week.

Second, I set up the Mr. for some financial aid and we managed to have all his classes paid for the next semester. And there's even some extra to buy books!

Then, the Mr. got two calls for two interviews...for two youth coach positions! If you know anything about the Mr., you know that he loves sports. Even more so, he loves teaching kids sports. So, he went in for an interview with a private school for a fifth and sixth grade level basketball coach. Afterward as he recounted meeting with me, he felt really good about how it went. You could really see it from the smile on his face, and he also felt comfortable with the two men who interviewed him, who would be his superiors. Yesterday, he received a call that he got the job. He's beyond excited to be part of this season with them. On top of that, his classes next semester are timed perfectly so that he can make it to practice without having to sacrifice his own school work. Right now, he's in the second phase of an interview to be a youth soccer coach. This position would be ongoing and also jives well with his schedule. In this phase, he's shadowing a class of six and seven year olds. They wanted to see how he would do. Even though he hasn't played soccer in quite a while, it was his past in soccer that helped him start kicking in football for his high school and then for UNR. He's a natural at sports, so I'm sure it's all coming back to him now. I hope he's enjoying himself!

Update: He came home with a COACH shirt on! He got the second job!

I know I am right now with my little hellion. I can't believe all this good fortune this week. It all feels like a great Christmas present. God is good.

It's Just Soup Weather, Isn't It?

I ended up finding an amazing recipe for arroz caldo. In all my years, I never thought to add a boiled egg to this. And now that I tried it, I'm thinking, "Why DIDN'T I think about it?! Eggs make everything better!" This is one of my new favorite blogs, too, by the way. So thank you, Jun, for your awesome contribution to the blog world. And done so beautifully, too.

Today, I made corn chowder a la Mimi's Cafe. It's our favorite version, and I thought I'd give the Mr. a break from all my regional Filipino fare. However, I realize now that I should have just checked the Mimi's website before taking the word from others that their version is the right one. The recipe I used just wasn't quite as creamy as I expected, but now I realize the one thing I didn't do was include just one can of creamed corn. That was literally the only difference between what I did and what Mimi's Cafe does. But ya know what? I'm going to just throw some darn creamed corn into what's left of the soup, which is A LOT, and see how that that goes. I'm pretty sure that'll perk it right up.

Along with the chowder, I made cornbread. Yummy. I like the lightness in the recipe that I used--which I'll share another day. I'm just happy eating it with a pat of butter right now and I mean right now. It's so good. Patience makes the heart grow fonder, remember that!

And to top it all off, I think I'm getting a hang of washing the dishes while the food's a cookin'. But that was just today. I may feel much different tomorrow.

P.S. I was gonna post a picture of my cornbread and soup, but it's just no use taking pictures of an empty bowl and plate.

Going Back to My Roots

Since the weather in Las Vegas started to get colder, my little has been a sniffling little fool. While she's basically all better now thanks to her humidifier, juice, and soup, the Mr. and I are feeling the brunt of the bug she had.

What naturally follows then is making soup. I definitely first looked up how to make Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana and Pioneer Woman has a promising-looking recipe. But what I ultimately made was my favorite soup from my childhood, what my dad would make for me when I was sick: chicken corn soup. I just used this recipe, which you should try because it's dead easy, and added chicken and some thin spaghetti that I broke into two to three inch little strips. Why the addition? Because my dad always added chicken and noodles, so that's just the right way to do it. I've made this twice this week and it's been so comforting.

Now, the Mr. is the one who's feeling more under the weather than me. So this morning, I heated him up the arroz caldo that my parents so sweetly brought over for us two nights ago.


I added a bouillon cube, as my dad (who is the cook in the family) has grown an aversion to too much salt in his age, and it did the trick.  I need to figure out the recipe sometime today for the Mr. The good thing is that I think I just may have everything to make it!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving and Bring on Christmas!

We had a great time this year with the Cunicelli's over and able to spread out at our house for once! They arrived Wednesday night, but we still spent most of that day in anticipation cleaning, dusting, and twiddling our fingers. Can't explain why we were so excited. It's not like it was their first time here at all, but we just couldn't help ourselves!

That night, the boys all slept over at our house. Between our guest bedroom, sleeper sofa, and couch, we for once had enough space for all of them. Sometime just before midnight, they were taken with a sudden need to go bowling. And this being Las Vegas, off they went.


Actual Thanksgiving was different, but so nice. In the past years, we've always had to party hop, but the Mr. put his foot down. This year, we would stay put and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone came over to our house before the big meal and played badminton in the back, video games, and with all of Dianna's toys.

During the course of the weekend, our little one just began to grasp walking as a real transportation option. Before, she would only do so if she were walking back and forth between people who had their arms outstretched to her. Now, she's just truckin' along everywhere! I think it had a lot to do with seeing her cousin Tony, who is three and around her size, walking. Isn't family great for that?!
This last Saturday, we seemed to spend the entire day trying to put up our Christmas lights. Half the time, the Mr. was arguing against it, because "it's too early!" The other half of the day was spent trying to find everything we needed. First, we didn't have the right nails, then it was having enough nails, then "gosh, those nails were a little pricey!" When we finally found ourselves actually in front of the house and were nearly finished, we realized that we hadn't fully thought out how to connect it all to a power source. GREEAAAATT!

But ya know what? My man was such a champ. He pulled off everything in a few minutes with my help and switched the way we had put it up so that the male end of the lights was on the left of the garage. All this just in time for the sun to set! And we literally started in the morning. I think we had everything against us that day.

I was in such a holiday mood that after dinner, I was ready to put up the tree! When I suggested it, the Mr. muted the TV and turned his head to look at me slowly. "Only if you set up the tree", he said. Which I did.

I then asked him to put the lights on, and he put his foot down. It was past midnight and he was calling me crazy. Pshh. Crazy...

The next morning, they did go up and I was a happy lady. It was nicer that way, I came to realize, because our little lady was awake to see the ornaments go up and both our childhood moving Santas placed just so. These are our Santas.



The one on the left was the Mr.'s Nanny's (grandma's) and even his dad remembers it from his childhood. The one on the right is from my side of the family.


And here's our tree. While it's not loaded down like crazy, I love it this way. It's minimal and we like to call it our heirloom tree, because we can honestly say that over 80% of the ornaments are from both our childhoods. That's important to us. There is a story behind most of our decorations, from the Polaroid of the Mr. as a boy with Santa in a handmade popsicle frame to our shell ornament from our wedding.

To ring in even more holiday happiness, I made beef stew that we're still working through, got a cool, new (to us) coffee maker from Poppi and Grammy, and got our beautifully blossoming amiga Alex and her mother belated Birthday/early Christmas gifts.

Oh, its' been a heck of a weekend, and I'm just getting started. Today, I just found some wintery cupcake recipes for gift-giving. I love Christmas.

Nighttime Craving

Last night, an absolutely voracious craving hit me like a blow to my stomach...my empty, pregnant stomach. I wanted ramen, and I wanted it right then and there. I found this recipe and promptly picked up the keys and left without a word. That alone is a miracle, considering that I sincerely hate driving. If only Las Vegas had more of a pedestrian lifestyle, I'd be all set.

Within an hour, I came home with the ingredients of greatness and voilĂ ! Ramen and two very satisfied tummies.


Turns out, it is really not that hard and you can find most of it at the average supermarket. I will say though that if you have an asian market around you, work up the nerve to go in and find everything there. One, it's cheaper. Two, it's more than likely fresher. Three, it's much more authentic.

I followed everything from the Steamy Kitchen recipe, except that I divided everything in half for just the Mr.and me, and added some grated ginger--just a 1/2 teaspoon.

On top of the toppings Steamy Kitchen mentions, I also added a little bit of all this:


Oh, and this was so worth it to wake up to after that deliciousness in my belly. Yeah, really worth it.

Working Out

I've gotta say, ever since I met the Mr., I have always had the hardest time working out on a regular basis. As a singleton, I exercised (I swear) nearly every day. My mantra was to "do at least one thing a day that makes me sweat." Funnily enough--is funnily a word?--I got that from a Matthew McConaughey quote from a back issue of People while I was at some doctor's office. That Matthew McConaughey sure is something, isn't he? That aside, that quote I read is a wonderful way to live. I loved how I felt when I got a sweat on in mornings, and I miss that.

I realize that if I don't want to gain a mountainous amount of weight during this pregnancy, I must stick by my guns as I did when I was single and on the prowl. I started today by gardening--more like weeding--first thing this morning with the Mr. Our alarms went of at 6:21, then 6:30, then 6:40. Then we got up and out by 6:42! For us, that's a miracle, because the Mr. is a notorious "snooze" presser. In order for me to actually wake up in the mornings, I need my own alarm or he'll shut the one on his side off before the beeping even enters into my consciousness.

Now, not only did I get in a bit of a sweat, but my front yard is de-weeded and our lantanas have been cut back for the colder weather.

Gotta keep this up!

Weight: 171.6
Work Out: De-Weeded the Front Yard
Food: Three pieces of toast this morning, and now Samurai Sam's!

An Awesome Start to the Day

Here I go:

Weight: 171.6
Food: Nothing yet
Workout: Nothing yet, will today, I swear

What's good about that to me is that over the holiday weekend, the Mr.'s family and ours went to California for his mom's 30th college reunion. She graduated from USC, so there's a lot of pride there, and it was fun to see the stark difference in that campus' student life as compared to UNLV's. USC has so much history and so much more funding and just everything else going for it that...There's no contest, really. Anyway, what I'm saying is that anyone and everyone goes overboard on eating when on vacation, so I'm happy with that weight after a few days of not really paying attention to calorie intake. That's the first bit of awesomeness the to day.

Second is that today was supposed to be the day that I make up my midterm in my economics 261 class. My professor was very accomodating to give me an extension when I told him I would be out of town and not able to study as well as I would like. When I called him a little bit ago to get the address to his office, he said some projects came up at work and "would tomorrow be okay instead?" Uh, YES! Who wouldn't like an extra day?

Third is that my little girl made another milestone today! She can now successfully feed herself with a spoon!

video


It was such a kick watching her do it, too. It's not the best video, because I only had my phone and our actual video camera was in the car; however, I love, love, love seeing her put that spoon in her mouth all on her own like a champ! I don't know why I keep repeating words three times in a row like that today. How odd, odd, odd.

Anybody else just loving your day so far?

And So Here We Are Again

My oh my, so so so much has happened and I've been ridiculously lazy about talking about it. I mean so lazy that my blog is one of my home pages just so that I post, but here I am months later postless. One day, I'll back post everything to do with the house, because tons transpired in our little abode--things that we're proud of and that I really must show off. But today, it's more about expansion.


Of the family.

We're so tickled about this new adventure, even though it's already presenting new challenges to our lives. It's encompassing everything from new budgeting to my diet. I'm pretty stressed about that second one, because I wasn't able to lose my pregnancy weight. I haven't been to the doctor yet, but I'm thinking that I want to only gain 10 pounds here. I've become a bigger girl, which I dislike while I'm pregnant.

I'm really hoping to stick to this goal, which is why during this next nine months, I am going to be honest, honest, honest.

So here I go:

(deep breath)

Beginning weight: 171 lbs.
Workout today: Absolutely nothing (definitely need to improve on that)
Diet: Goulash overload from Poppi (what my husband's dad likes to refer to himself as instead of Grandpa, because it makes him feel much too old)

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL GIRL!

Talk about our pride and joy. That is all.

Our New Home

Well, we've been at this for well over a year: house hunting, falling in love, offer making, disappointment, then repeating it.

This last home we've had our eyes on closed last week and now we're waiting for keys. We've been waiting for this moment for so long that I've been imagining my dream home and decorating it in my mind.




Here's my mind's living room! I am beyond excited. Brian called the Mr. and told him we're very likely getting the keys tomorrow. We have technically heard that a lot: "We'll hear something tomorrow!" or "They're gonna let us know this week" or "The bank's gonna sign off on everything in two months". So I have to admit, it's a tough thing to hear when we've been let down some much with this housing market. But even after all that, I have my hopes up.

Tomorrow, we're getting those darn keys! I know it.

My Big Brother, The Cook


Did I mention he cooks?


We always love when my brother, Dave, comes over to cook us a meal! It's always fun because it usually turns into a cooking class, too. And I somehow always get a little gift in the form of a new knife or pans. This time it was tons of leftovers--and I mean tons. The photo above is actually of the leftovers. I just heated it all up and topped it off with a fried egg for the Mr. and me for a very, very rich, very heavy breakfast the next day. All thanks again, to my big bro for the idea.

He made steak Diana--haha, Diana--get it? Our little one is Dianna! Anyway, he made steak Diana with roasted potatoes. I'd put the recipe on here, but...maybe another time! Just feast your eyes on that picture with some slight jealousy and eager hunger until I let you in on the secret!

After dinner, he and the Mr. stayed up until three in the morning playing video games together. They'll never grow up, but I say that with a smile because I really don't mind. They always enjoy themselves that way and I'm thankful for the meal and family time. Especially thankful because Dave works long hours cooking on the Strip at a few different restaurants. It's always nice to see him on his only day off for the week, and truly touching that he chooses to spend that night with us.

Thanks again, big bro, for the steak lesson!

My Failed Book Club with the Boys

Meet the boys.



The boys hate reading.

I love reading.

One of the boys sucks at spelling. One of the boys sucks at reading comprehension.

My solution was to pay them to read a book a week. I'd give them an oral quiz on the book and they get ten bucks. Does that sound like it would completely and utterly fail the first week out? Well it did. I tried to get them to read The Giver, which is an incredible book. I'm honestly sad they didn't give it a chance, because the Mr. and I read it together and loved it.

Maybe we should have begun reading it together to get past the slow beginnning bits? Maybe I should have picked a less heavy book? Should I use another kind of prize?

All I know is I'm going to try one more time with Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull. Mull is the same author of the Fablehaven series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The book should be right up their alley. I mean, the Mr. even read it without me and that's a big step!

I hope my little one just likes reading enough on its own without monetary gain. That's why we're starting her early!

So Far This Summer

Summer is nearly over and it's been the most fun we've had. So far, we've been in a pool a pretty good amount of the time, and Dianna has been loving it.


The Mr. has also discovered the joy of grilling, which he has demonstrated for nearly all our family members--the most recent of which were his cousins and their family, who came to visit this past weekend. He stood at the grill with large pounds of meat with a beer (literally the only time he prefers a beer over a wine cooler) like every other American man so proudly. I've loved seeing him actually enjoy cooking. And I guess it also helps that I don't have to cook for that meal. I think I speak for both of us, though, when I say that I think we're both good on the burgers for now!

We celebrated Father's Day for the first time, too. I love giving gifts, because I really try to consider what the receiver would realistically like for themselves. It's especially fun to think of gifts for the Mr., because he always seems to be surprised no matter how much he shakes the gifts to guess what's inside. Since we moved to our current house, which is right across the street from mountains, the Mr. has started dirtbiking. Every month, he has either gotten a new bike or new gear. There are only a few things he really needs now, and I took the liberty of getting him something his poor feet needed terribly.



And, something that's not much of a surprise, the little one is growing like crazy! She's passing all these milestones and the Mr. and I are endlessly humored by her blossoming personality. She can feed herself now, for crying out loud and cruisin' like a champ. With the seventh coming, she's closing in on becoming a whopping ten months old.





I feel like everyone says this, but now that I'm a parent, I see the reason why. The first year goes by so fast! I think it's because so much happens in one year, changes that people are used to occurring over a much longer course of time. Now we're on the hunt for some real baby shoes. Enter Stride Rite. Whoo dog, talk about biting the bullet! More on that later. For now, Dianna's about to wake up from her nap.

Pre-Visalia/Bakersfield Trip

It is pitiful how little I've done today concerning work. Such is life when you can work from home! And on top of that, it is just hard to apply yourself after over a week of being in vacation and doing absolutely nothing but enjoy yourself. Am I right or am I right?

What I have actually done:
- Fed Dianna
- Looked for houses
- Looked for new cars
- Fed Nike
- Put away the stuff in our suitcases from Santa Barbara/Bakersfield
- Thought about how I'll have to repack it for the wedding in Visalia
- Fed Dianna
- Put Dianna in her walker, where she promptly fell asleep
- Talked to the Mr. during his break in class
- Looked for more houses
- Looked for more cars
- Overthought the possibilities for one very promising house (sight unseen)
- Fed Dianna again
- Put her to sleep

And now here I am. It's a long list of nothing and I'm hoping I can get some more done this afternoon, maybe. But I've really got to hope, because we're going to be leaving for California soon and I don't like to have the things I haven't done hanging over my head during a vacation. Who would want that at all?!

So here's my new productivity list for the next two days:
- All the running around needed at work
- Homework
- Laundry
- Clean house
- Pack for three days
- And something else I'm forgetting...

The Best Surprise Ever

Our little family drove into Las Vegas around eight o'clock last night. Right away, we called my parents, because even though I'm a big old grown-up, my momma still likes to know these things. After being on the phone with my mom for less than five minutes, it was apparent that she wanted to see us--it was Easter, afterall.
So, we made a mini-detour and visited them from the car. I couldn't really get out of the car. In the final hour of our approach into town, Dianna began to go absolutely stir crazy. From shotgun, I grabbed bags and her walker and stuffed them into my seat. I then wedged myself into the middle of the back seat between the baby carrier, more bags, and Nike laying on the floor beneath me. Like I said, we visited from the car. Chris got out to, of course, grab the food my parents had packed for us. We made one more stop to Chris' parents' house then headed home.

I'm not going to lie or even downplay it: I was so excited at the prospect of just being back home. So the Mr. took the baby out, a few things we'd pack, then I could wriggle out. I rushed to the door and the first thing I noticed was a box for a memory foam mattress topper.
Our eyes bulged. And I mean bulged. Suddenly, unpacking the car was not quite so important and we rushed inside. We didn't even get upstairs for minutes, though. From the moment we opened the door, we saw more of my parents' work. They had cleaned our home from the bottom up. Our floors were spotless, our trashcans emptied, our tables positively shining. Uh...speechless? Yes, we were, huge smiles and all.





Up the stairs, which were also clean, we found that all our laundry had been done (bless them!). All our clothes were heaped on the carpet by the laundry room, and it was all gone. Then we discovered that our bedroom had gotten an entire makeover. Not only was there a new mattress topper, but also a whole bedding set, curtains, and storage bins in the closet. And our littlest one got her room reorganized, too.









We felt like we had been visited by the house fairy, that HGTV had snuck into our home, and that we had such amazing parents who would do something so kind, helpful, thoughtful and so so so generous. I kept racking my brain for what I had done to nurture this, but it just comes down to my parents being who they are. For a while, we just stared at our new home in awe, thinking of the time and money it took to do all they did. It took a minute or two to absorb everything and fumble for our phones to call my parents to basically yell "THANK YOU!" in their ears and "Oh my gosh, it looks so great. It is so nice!" and "Oh, the memory foam! Thank you!"

An hour or two later as we lay in our new bed, we looked around still giddy, still unable to control our huge ear to ear grins. Nevermind the trip to California! It felt worth it to go just to get this surprise at the end. Before we passed out, the Mr. said, "I'm glad we made that mini-detour to see your parents!"

My parents are amazing, and I am so thankful for them.

Sad News About Our House

Earlier this week while we were out shopping on State Street in Santa Barbara, we got very very sad news.

About a year ago, the Mr. and I started house searching while I was still pregnant with Dianna. We found the perfect place about a month of looking non-stop: a two-story, three bedroom, two and a half bath home with handscraped hardwood floors in 70% of the house and cathedral ceilings.

My big brother helped us by getting approved for a loan and we made an offer quickly. And it got accepted! Problem was that it was a short sale, meaning that the owner of the house was paying a mortgage that was way more than the place was worth and appealing to the bank for help. We were shooting for about a three month wait to close, because we were told that had been the average time.

By August of last year, we couldn't take the wait anymore and talked to the owner about just moving in while we waited for the deal to close and paying him the amount of money our mortage would be. Who would turn down extra money like that per month? So we've been living in our home for about eight months and have come to truly love it.

Earlier this week, we got the news that the short sale was simply not going to go through. Our landlord/owner of the house was decent enough to call and let us know what was going on. Needless to say, but we were heartbroken and by then just wanted to go back to our cottage. Now, we're basically in limbo until we get back home and can figure out more of what we may do. Luckily, the Mr.'s parents recently have gone through legal battles over the many homes they own and will be able to hopefully guide us through this house purgatory.

There is something supremely wrong with all the nation's banks right now and our little family is only getting a very, very small taste of it. We're really just sad that the house we've made a home won't last us much longer.

Broke Back Mountain

We went to a working ranch/farm/resort today called Circle Bar B Stables in Goleta. Just a few minutes off the highway and ocean, we drove through a winding dirt road, passing creeks, gorgeous trees, and countless avocado trees.


When we finally arrived to the main house, we were greeted with a funny little sign that said "Howdy Pardner" with lasso-like letters. It was right about then that I realized that I was about to be transported. And I was. The men who told us what was what wore cowboy hats, dusty boots with spurs, and chaps. Skinner, our guide, (ya like that name, huh?) was a slightly portly man who you knew enjoyed every pleasure the pseudo modern life of a cowboy had to offer. My hint was the extensive Las Vegas strip club innuendo he offered up when we told him where we were from. I think he'd admit that he's had a pretty fun life thus far. But anyway, Skinner sized us up in front of him and picked out a horse for each of us.



I got Hershey. Mmm, mmmm chocolate! That's what had gone through my head at the time, at least.


But oh. I think I may need to ride another few horses in my life to get a hang of "Go" and "Whoa" and "Turn" and "Turn". Oh, and kickin' with my heels. I'm telling you that darn Hershey didn't feel a darn thing when I kicked.

We left the main stables promptly. I was pretty nervous and was relieved that my horse seemed to know to go when the others went and they all seemed to stay in a straight line. The first moment that I knew she and I would have a funny little relationship was when everyone else forged the first stream, Hershey stopped and took a drink. Then as she crossed, she stopped a second and pooped right there. Then when Grammy's horse started to eat at a pause for Skinner to talk about a tree, Hershey ate right along with it! I honestly started to get the hang of it by the last twenty minutes.


And all the while, I also got to enjoy some one of a kind views. Completely different from Las Vegas--there was just green stuff everywhere. And then on top of that, there were ocean views just beyond the mountains where you could even see ships in the distance.



And Skinner had some good timing. Just when I was thinking, "Is this ride almost over?" he turned to us and thanked us for a good ride. Right on, right?

Obviously no same-gendered relations up in here, but my back does kinda hurt now! Not a bad experience at all. Thank you, Skinner.

Flower Children



I seem to get a different flower for my hair everyday we're here. The Mr. gave me quite a bouquet yesterday, too. Walking to the main street here to check out shopping and such, he reached up and plucked a gargantuan bunch of flowers from a high trellis.


Dianna's a little flower child, too.

Santa Barbara Day 1 & 2 Recap

Alright, alright! The family went with the other Schulte's (my in-laws) to Santa Barbara for five days. Grammy found an amazing house to rent for the family with ocean views and it is absolutely beautiful. It's our first time really being here, too. What kind of excited us, and this is hilariously geeky, was that one of our favorite TV shows, Psych, takes place here. Before we go, we definitely want to see the pier where the office is supposed to be located. Yeah. Geeky.

So far, it's been so lovely and relaxed. I'm finally taking some time to write about our adventures...first day was the beach (it was Dianna's first time!), second day the Mr. and I went to an antique store (there are a lot here) and it was filled with so many more treasures than you would find in Las Vegas.




The third photo is from the Earth Day Festival. Today we've got horseback riding lined up! I've never gone and neither has John. I'll let you know how that goes.

Boy Toys

Early Monday morning at the beginning of April, we set out to Pahrump in my parents' minivan. Already having dropped off Dianna and Nike with Chris' parents, we had an entire van in the back available for the Yamaha dirt bike waiting for him an hour and a half away.

Recently, Chris' first dirtbike--a little Chinese pitbike--had its last hurrah. It was completely avoidable. Apparently Chris was doing a little jump (a no-no in any situation) and when air-bound, was so stoked that he turned to look behind himself where his little brother and friend Darius were watching. When he turned back to the front, he was already landing cock-eyed. And you can guess how that looked.

That little bike was basically totalled. There is a lot more back story there where he took it to a mechanic who screwed up his entire engine, rather than take it to his regular mechanic who knew the bike better...but in short, it was totalled.

Since then, he's been scouring Craigslist for a new bike (at an amazing price, mind you), and he found one! Realistically, he was supposed to really wait until we had some more money for it set aside. But I guess it's hard to pass up a good deal, right?

When we got to Pahrump, we called the guy who was selling the bike. Randy. He gave us the following directions,

"Get back on that main road. When you pass the Wal-Mart, check your odometer and go ten miles. You'll feel like you're leavin' town, and you are. I live up in the hills. After ten miles, you should get to some cattle guards. To the right is a road called Roadrunner, only there's no sign because some drunk knocked it over. Now you'll get to an unpaved road. Take the first left. Check your odometer again and go less than a mile. You'll pass a junk yard. You can't miss it, he even has a train caboose out there. Don't stop there he's a huge prick. Right after that junk yard, take the first right. That's where it gets really bumpy and you'll being going uphill. Just take it slow. I'm basically the only house you'll see. And the dirtbike is sitting right at the gate. Call me if you have any questions!"
As he said this, as you would imagine city folk like us were chuckling. Being from Las Vegas himself, Randy was chuckling about some of the directions, too! We got there easily enough--not including the last part. In a minivan, the last uphill road felt like we were trying to traverse a mountain. We were praying that the van didn't get a flat or just stop because of the rocks scraping at the underside of our van!

I could feel Chris' excitement mounting as we drove up to Randy and the bike. I think it took all he had to not yip like a girl  and kick his heels mid-air. In front of him was a svelt machine with more horsepower than his pitbike and the crf 50 combined. Randy took her around for a warm-up and handed her over to Chris. He went up and down the trail we had driven up twice in seconds.


Just look at that face. We obviously brought her home.


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