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For what seems like the millionth time this year (in reality only the THIRD, but whatever!!!), I have finally gotten back into the country after an extended business trip to the middle east.  It was, as usual, a lot of fun.  Tiring.  Exciting.  And I am WRUNG OUT. 

That being said, I would love it if people could let me know if there were any super important posts or stories that I missed.  It is impossible to go back through 5 weeks worth of posts unless I intend to drive myself crazy. 

Thanks!!!!  Glad to be back!!!
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We had a death in the family last week.  It was extremely hard, the least reason being that it happened on my birthday.  I just got back from the funeral.  See below:

We buried my grandfather yesterday.  And in the last few days, we grandchildren learned some things about the man who was a mentor, friend, supporter, and dear family member that we had never known before.

My grandpa was a part of the U.S. Navy Scouts and Rangers in World War II.  These men were the predecessors to todays Navy SEALS.  Their training included being dropped into the ocean 2-3 miles off shore and having to swim in.  He was a member of the team who "went over the hump" i.e. traveled the Burma Road into China.  He was away from home for more than 2 straight years before the end of The War. 

This man who I knew as a jolly and loving grandpa, the bearer of a million phrases and sayings, who cheered at my graduation, danced at the weddings of my mom, aunts, and cousins, and led his family surely and truly, was a hero of his country. 

He was buried at the Black Hills National Cemetery with full military honors as befits a hero.  The flag was presented to my grandmother, his wife of 61 years.  He received a 21 gun salute and, following the playing of taps, my cousins and I were his pall bearers. 

All his daughters and all of his grandchildren found a way to be there no matter what the obstacles, as he was there for us through all of our life challenges and achievements. 

This is my small tribute to the greatest hero I have ever known for all he did for his family and his country.

Gerald Lloyd Sylvis
4/30/1947 - 8/21/2008

Current Mood: sad sad

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My grandpa died this morning.  I got to say goodbye on the phone a couple days ago, but I was going to fly out tomorrow so I could see him.  Now it will be for a funeral instead.  Oh, and today is my birthday.  Happy birthday to me.

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So, I just got back from the most amazing wedding/place ever. I flew to Hawaii for my 11 year long best friend A's wedding. All I can say is that I have never had so much fun at a wedding before. They said their vows on the beach with the waves washing up over our feet. We had wonderful Hawaiian food for the party. We played in the water and laughed and had fun. She was the prettiest bride I have ever seen. I am priviledged to have been a part of it.

The funny thing for me was the moment when A and M (the groom) paddled out to the island off the coast of the beach we were on and A's mom, who I honestly love and think of as a second mom, said to everyone around about me as I am standing knee deep in the water in my dress (yes, my dress got pretty much SOAKED that day!), “And she says she isn't a beach girl!!!” For those of you know (or don't know), water scares me. I was so ambivalent to the fact that I was going to Hawaii for the wedding. Just looking forward to seeing My Little Blonde Girl for the first time in a few years. And Waikiki was nothing special, just anther big city. But then...

then you get outside of the city. And you drive up the coast. Or into the mountains (a relative term for a Colorado girl like me, but still impressive). And you see the view. And you walk on the sand. And you go into that warm water... I am a convert. I want nothing more than to go back to Hawaii and learn how to surf. That's it!!!

So, love to A and best wishes for her marriage. I know it will be wonderful. Pictures below the cut...

Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

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But I thought this was kind of cool...

create your own visited states map

I've visited 45% of the U.S. and Hawaii will be added in a couple months. Believe, me I am really NOT all that traveled. Just seems that way.
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Check it out.  I just bought my FIRST new car ever.  It has 57 miles on it.  I paid half as a down payment.  My recent work trips overseas have been VERY good for my car buying fund.  Check out my baby!!! 

Isn't she pretty???

Alright, F-list.  Here is where I need your help.  What do I name her?  Yes, I like to name my cars.  Help me out!  Suggestions, please?

Current Mood: jubilant jubilant

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I just watched the movie "Becoming Jane."  I love all things Jane Austen and knew that she never married and all that, but goodness gracious the movie made me cry it was so sad!  I almost wish she had been a slightly nutty recluse like Emily Bronte was, as opposed to someone who just never got cut a break!  Seriously, this was almost too much for me to handle.  Like the subject line says... sap *points at self*.  BUT, it was a beautiful movie and I highly recommend it.

On a happier note, I JUST got my trip to Hawaii rebooked.  I found out a little over a week ago that since ATA has gone bankrupt they wont be servicing any flights after the end of April, and that is how I was getting from LAX to Hawaii.  Although all these other airlines were SUPPOSED to help out, they all just sucked.  I mean, the trip for airline and hotel was already going to run about $1500 for tickets from Washington DC to Hawaii and hotel, and they were all basically saying "so sorry.  we will take off our normal booking fee of $25 and schedule you for new flights to and from LAX and Honolulu... that will be $1000."  Yeah, I can afford the $1500 to be maid of honor in my best friends wedding.  I CAN'T afford $2500.  I need to buy a new car in a month or so and I am trying to save for a house!  Oh, let me tell you...

The BEAUTIFUL part of all this was the fact that Bank of America is amazing.  I put the tickets and everything on my debit card because I had the money and didn't want to pay interest.  I was afraid when all this came up that there was going to be no way to dispute a charge (the method recommended to get all legs of the tickets canceled and receive a refund) when it was essentially paid for in cash.  Not the case.  I called up and they instantly credited me for the amount and if they can't get back the money from ATA, then they just cover it themselves.  That was such a huge relief.  So now I have new tickets going through Northwest Airlines and it is at the original price I planned on.  Thank goodness.  I would have sucked it up if $2500 was what it would have cost, but I feel so much better about it now. 

Anyway, that is my quick post.  So, for anyone with plane tickets for any time this year, check and make sure they aren't ATA,  If they are, REBOOK NOW!!!

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Current Mood: relieved relieved

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Wow!  I've never been tagged before!  This is kind of cool.  Thanks invida

People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves. Tag 8 people. Those who are tagged cannot refuse. These 8 people must state who they were tagged by. You cannot tag the person who tagged you. Continue this game by sending this to 8 other people.

Again, I have never done this before and I only have a couple people on here that I interact with on a regular basis.  The following people are people I know or want to know more about.  Tagged:  belismakr, bklyangel, brandee_06, em2mb, evie_0, gwenhwyfarrose, mutinousmuse, and shangri_la.


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Alright, so I am going to TRY to get this to work!  Here are some pictures of my recent month in Jordan, as promised!!!

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For those of you who know, I was out of the country for the month of February.  Spent the month in Jordan, and it was amazing.  But I missed my kitty girl!!!  I know this is totally a short update, but jet lag is a bitch and I'm tired.  I got in at 615am yesterday and worked a full day today.  And the Emma-cat is licking my hand.  :)
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