Sunday, November 24, 2013

Work Selfie on "Timesheet/Disco Saturday"

I don't take a lot of "selfies" but I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day at work and thought I would capture the moment. 

First, let me tell you that I am responsible for doing 95 timesheets for the inspection crew every other week. What happens is this: 

Wednesday - I send out an email telling everyone I need their mileage and hours worked by noon on Friday.
Thursday - I announce in the morning meeting that mileage and hours are due the next day by noon.
Friday - I announce in the morning meeting that I need their mileage and hours NOW or within the next few hours.
Friday at noon - I start texting and calling people who haven't turned in their mileage and hours.
Friday afternoon - I work all afternoon on timesheet and complain about those people who struggle to get their mileage and hours in to me on time. When I am done with all 95 of them, I print them off and prepare for "Timesheet/Disco Saturday".
"Timesheet/Disco Saturday" - This is the craziest day of the week for me. I have to run around the morning meeting passing out timesheets for the Inspectors to sign. I then have to collect them, make sure they are all there, get the Chief to sign them all, then check again to make sure they are all there, make any necessary changes, and then scan and send them to corporate and Enbridge. 

In order to keep my mood up while dealing with the crabby-patty Inspectors, I wear my "Disco Pants" (I get compliments and some good laughs about them) and usually end up listening to 70s music on Pandora. 

This is me in the "Printer Room" scanning in the timesheets. 

I obviously don't take many "selfies"...

There we go! That's me at work in my vest (must be worn 24/7) and my "Disco Pants"! Happy "Timesheet/Disco Saturday" everyone!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Ahhh!! I'm overwhelmed! Just so overwhelmed! 

Everyday I'm up at 3:40AM, exercise, have a quick breakfast, head to work, deal with crabby-patty pipeliners, work my booty off, head home at 5:00, make dinner, eat dinner with Josh (best part of my day), clean up, get ready for the next day, and head to be by 8:30PM.

I'm exhausted! Just so tired. I can't sit still very long or else I start to nod off. Like I am right now...

Josh is just as tired and overwhelmed. 

On top of all of this we still have to find time to go grocery shopping, do the finances, clean the Raptor, and plan a wedding. Oh yeah! We have a date! May 24th, 2014! So exciting!

My parents are doing most of the planning which is amazing because WE JUST DON'T HAVE TIME! Eek! 

It's going to be fine :-)

Here are some pictures from this last month:

[A HUGE rainstorm rolled through the Yard and flooded everything. People were up to their knees in water. Luckily I parked in the back and I didn't get that wet]

[Everyday we go through the Inspectors paperwork. Here is the amount we have to go through for our 85 guys.]

[One of the Inspectors got a shipment of peppers in. He gave me some of the sweet ones. Such a nice gesture.]

[I am so sick of my allergies. I take 3 different medications and if I miss one dose I am miserable! I've decided to do some "Honey Therapy" as a last resort. I hope this works.]

[The entrance to our RV Park. I love the fall colors!]

[Since we don't have time to go to the laundry mat, Josh decided to splurge and get us a washer/dryer. It was a lot of money but I am so excited about it!] 

[He was nervous to cut a hole in the side of the Raptor for the vent but it all turned out just fine!]

[Our "Save the Date" announcements arrived!]

[Josh LOVES to clean!]

[These next two pictures pretty much sums up my job] 

Oh! Christmas is coming so soon! We already bought our airline tickets for CA! It's gonna be a not-so-white-Christmas for us this year!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The 17/6 Diet

I gotta tell you guys about a new diet/exercise program I discovered! It's amazing and I promise results. PROMISE! Are you ready to hear about it?!

All you have to do is get up every day at 4:00AM, work out, eat a bowl of cereal (Special K with Almond Milk), take a shower, pack the lunch boxes, and then head out the door to work at 5:30.

While you are at work the diet is really easy. Make sure that you are constantly busy. Like so busy that you don't have time to eat or rest or think. Pretty much just carry some apples around with you in your pockets. Also, make sure that you are always on your feet and running around the office. Don't walk. RUN! And then make sure when you are delivering paperwork between the office trailers to do it at a slight jog. 

Throughout the day always make sure that you stay visible so that people will ask you to do things for them. Especially things that require you to be on your feet or moving between office trailers. Keep your abs tight! 

Then at 2:00PM you will need to look at your watch and realize that it is 2:00 and you have again missed lunch. Bummer! But that's okay! Heat up your leftovers and take two bites before someone comes into your office to ask you for a favor.

Drop lunch, grab a peach, a bag of Pringles, and some string cheese and head to the copy machine to make copies for the next 2 hours.

Next, lose track of time and make sure that someone forces you to leave at 5:00PM.

BUT WAIT! It doesn't stop there! 

Make sure that you run as many errands as possible making it hard to get home before 6:00PM. 

Then make a healthy dinner, enjoy a nice meal with your significant other, clean up the dishes, make lunches for tomorrow, and hit the sack by 9:00.

Repeat 6-7 days a week.

I lost 3.4 lbs in my first week! Let me know how you do!

Monday, September 16, 2013


We arrived safe and sound in Indiana and, after a few adventures, things started getting back to normal. Josh was working and I was getting back into working out, grocery shopping, and cooking dinner. 

Then Shorty asked us to watch his dog Holly for a few weeks until his RV got out of the shop. He is staying in a hotel at the moment and can't have a dog there. 

I was hesitant because I'm not a big animal fan, but I agreed because we owe Shorty so much for letting us borrow his RV last winter AND because Holly is hypoallergenic and super cute!

There are a few things you should know about Holly before we go on. One, she is 13 years old. That's old for a dog. Two, she is deaf, pretty blind, and sleeps all day. And three, she gets excited easily and tends to lose control of her bladder.

For our first night we put Holly, her little bed, and her food in the living room. I figured she would be fine there and went to bed. Little did I know that I would wake up to a nice big puddle of Holly pee on my beautiful new floor. Ugh. Well, I told myself that she was probably just nervous and that it was a one time thing. Wrong!

We were told that she was really good about holding her bladder during the day (while we are at work) just as long as we take her out before we leave for the day. Easy.

Well, we did. But then came home to another Holly puddle. Oh man!

Well the week went on and Holly continued to pee in the house. I didn't know what to do. She usually kept it on the floor but then I would step on the carpet and discover a wet spot. Eww! 

Bad dog!

Saturday was the last straw for me. We came home after a long day in the office to FOUR pee marks. Two on the floor, one on the carpet, and one on the kitchen rug. Are you freakin' kidding me?! 


I was so mad! 

We cleaned up her mess and then Josh and I went out for date night. When we got back there was yet another Holly pee mark! COME ON! What is going on here?! We weren't gone that long!

So we decided to put her in the toy hauler for the night and during the day while we were gone. At least back there there is no carpet for her to pee on. We locked her in before leaving for work and she cried and cried and started scratching the door! AHH!

When we got home from work there were some more Holly pee marks in the toy hauler and Holly was pretty sad. I don't think she liked being locked up back there, but what else were we supposed to do? 

Well, here is our latest and greatest idea:


We boxed her in!

I'm hoping she will be just fine in here. She is in the front room with us which she loves. And she is on the floor so I don't have to worry about her peeing on the carpet which makes me happy.

Here goes nothing!

Good thing she's cute or else I would have fed her to the coyotes a long time ago!  ;-)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Woke up in Michigan, Had Lunch in Wisconsin, and Went to Bed in Indiana

According to Wisconsin law, after purchasing a vehicle you have two days to register it.

Like I said before, Josh's truck broke down while he was training in Michigan for the week. We needed a replacement quickly and luckily Josh found a nice Jeep Liberty in Kalamazoo, MI that he wanted. 

We talked about it and decided it was a good deal. The only problem was that I was 90 minutes away in Indiana in the Raptor with Josh's check book. 

I drove up yesterday morning (September 5th) to Kalamazoo where Josh and I went over and purchased the Jeep. Let me just say this: Used car salesmen are a special breed. Ugh. I'm so sick of salesmen right now...

Anyways, after we purchased the Jeep we had to come up with a plan to get it registered and get plates quickly (it's a $200 fine if a cop catches you without plates). 

We decided that the only way to avoid breaking the law would be for me to drive up to the nearest Wisconsin DMV to register the Jeep. 

The nearest DMV was 3.5 hours away and I would have to go around Lake Michigan and through Chicago to get there. 

The next morning I took the Jeep and headed out on my newest adventure. 

I drove from Kalamazoo, Michigan and through Indiana before I hit the mess of Chicago. I was excited to see the city BUT I was NOT in the mood to deal with traffic! Plus, it's been a while since I've had to deal with such traffic. Remember, I've been living in Kenmare, ND for the last 8 months where there were no traffic lights and only one 4-way stop sign. If you got to the 4-way stop sign and someone else was there THAT was considered traffic!

So I inched my way through Chicago and made it to the Wisconsin border and found the DMV. The process was pretty painless (unlike the DMVs in CA) and I was able to register the Jeep and get plates! Score!

Then I realized my next hurdle: I had no way of putting the plates on the Jeep *smacks head* This goober forgot a screwdriver! I was surprised I made it all the way to Wisconsin without getting pulled over and I wasn't going to risk it again. 

So, I found a Target and picked up a few necessary items: a Starbucks Frappuccino, Cheese Puffs, and a screwdriver. 

Using my new tools I was able to attach both plates! Girl power!

I then left Wisconsin, headed south, and hit Chicago right at rush hour. It was painful. Literally. The drivers there are freakin' crazy and I was constantly hitting my breaks. My ankle is sore from the whole ordeal. 

And now I am back in the comfort of the Raptor in Indiana with my legal Jeep! I hope that thing was worth all this trouble   :-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

To Indiana!

After one of the longest and most stressful weeks (was it only a week?!) of my freakin' life, we are finally heading to Indiana!

We got up early on Thursday (August 29th), and headed to our new home with our new home. It was a pretty smooth ride. I drove my X Terra and lead the way while Josh followed and focused on pulling the Raptor. We took a few detours in order to avoid Chicago and the surrounding cities and in the end it only took us an hour out of our way. 

During the drive I called some friends and family member and told them about the engagement (I told my immediate family the night it happened). I loved hearing everyone scream and cheer when I told them the good news :-)

I'm glad we left Wisconsin so early because we had a HARD time parking the Raptor once we got to the RV park. That thing is a beast and the RV park is next to a lake in a wooded area so there are a lot of big trees around. It was hard to maneuver the Raptor into the tight spot but with the help of Zinc (a fellow inspector) we were able to get it in and all set up!

We had to make sure that everything that wasn't in the cupboards was placed on the floor so they would be safe during the ride there. Apparently Josh hit a bump and the big tupperware that holds the flour flew out of the cupboard and landed on one of my Egyptian papyrus paintings! Luckily, the actual painting wasn't damaged, just the glass and the frame broke. That was our only causality so I will count my blessings!  

We have been here for a week now and things are going pretty well. We got the Raptor all set up (complete with water and power) in the RV park, Josh started his job (he's been training in Michigan all this week), I've been running around town doing errands (I had a two page long "to do list" for when we got here), and we have DIRECTV (with the NFL and NBA packages)! 

[Our first meal in our new home]

Oh bummer... I just got bad news. Josh's crapy old truck broke down. It was old and had almost 300,000 miles on it. It looks like he already found and bought an old Jeep Liberty for cheap. You can't buy nice new vehicles and take them onto the rough pipeline right-of-way (ROW) or else they will get destroyed. Gotta buy something cheap that you can beat up a bit. I hope this one last a while!

I think she's adorable! :-)


Yep! After being together for 2.5 years Josh proposed to me!

The night before we left Wisconsin for Indiana, Josh and I went to dinner with Josh's sister, Jessi, and her girlfriend, Ally, at the Radisson in Duluth. The hotel has a fancy restaurant at the top that spins (slowly) so that you can get a view of the cities and Lake Superior. It takes over an hour for a full rotation so it is pretty sweet! During our delicious dinner I noticed that Josh got a text from Jessi (his phone was on the table). I thought it was strange and decided to ask him about it later. We finished our meals, said goodbye to Ally (she is a manager at the hotel and had to get back to work), and then headed to a local bar to meet up with some friends.

On the way to the bar I asked Josh about the text. He immediately got all squirmy and said he couldn't tell me because it was an "inside" joke. I told him that he was a bad liar and he better tell me the truth! He didn't. He just kept saying that it was an inside joke and to forget about it. Well, I didn't. I gave him the cold shoulder while we were at the bar. I knew he was lying and I wanted to know why.

We left the bar early and went back to our Raptor at Shorty's. I continued to give Josh the cold shoulder while I got things ready for the long trip tomorrow morning. Josh was just wandering around the living room. Goober.

Finally, he said, "Come over here." And I said no because I thought he was trying to trick me or because there was a scary bug or something. He said "fine" and then came over to me. 

Then he got down on one knee, pulled out that gorgeous ring, told me how awesome I am (along with some other personal things), and then asked me to marry him. I started crying and of course said YES!

Turns out the text from his sister was about the ring and when he was going to propose. I don't think she noticed it was on the table when she sent the text :-)  Oops!

I honestly was surprised! I knew it was eventually coming and I figured it would be before Christmas, but I had no idea he already had the ring and that he was going to do it before we left for Indiana!

I loved the proposal just like I love Josh. It was totally appropriate that he did it in our brand new home. I am so excited to marry him and to spend the rest of our lives together!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Journey of the Raptor

After a lot of debating (A LOT), Josh and I decided that we should buy our own fifth-wheel, camper, or RV. It's so much easier to deal with a mobile home when your job takes you on the road so much. We did a lot of research and found a Raptor Toy Hauler that we LOVED! It was huge, had a master bedroom, a bathroom with two entrances, a large kitchen/living room, washer/dryer hookups, a toy hauler which can be used as a second bedroom (queen bunk beds come down from the ceiling), and so much more! The big kicker was that it was on sale and marked down $30,000 from the original price! 

The problem was that it was still expensive and we needed a loan to make up for what we would put down.

We called the RV Center that had the Raptor and talked to them for a while about finances. They told us that we probably couldn't get a loan (Total BS BTW!) unless we have a cosigner. We called trusted people in the family but couldn't find anyone to cosign (something I was VERY upset about at the time but now understand). 

So, Josh and I decided to cut out the middle man and go straight to the bank. 

Josh and I arrived in Wisconsin Sunday (August 25th) afternoon. We headed straight to Shorty's to see how the RV was doing, move all of our things into his giant shed/barn, and then headed to the hotel to get things ready for our meeting with the banker.

We arrived at the bank early the next morning and explained our situation. The loan officer told us that it usually takes 3-5 days to get a loan approval. We didn't have that! We had to BE in Indiana in 3 days! So our loan officer got to work and really dedicated himself to our cause.

Because of my great credit, Josh's fine credit, and Josh's income, we were able to get the loan and got approved within the day! Take that RV Center!

We called the RV Center immediately and told them we would be there in the morning to sign the final paperwork and to take our new baby home!

[The Raptor on the lot]

We arrived the next morning, signed the necessary paper work, handed over the check from the bank, wrote a check for the remaining amount, and then were told to come back in a few hours to pick up the Raptor.

We came back a few hours later and took a tour of the Raptor with the mechanic, got Shorty's truck (he let us borrow it to pull the Raptor down to Indiana while he had Josh's little truck) all hooked up, had the sales representative take our picture, and then we headed out!

[Me in front of the Raptor and Shorty's truck]

[Proud owners (yes, the sun was DIRECTLY in our eyes)]

We pulled the Raptor to Shorty's were we hooked it up for the night and then went to A&W to celebrate!

The next day we spent HOURS unpacking and organizing our things. There is plenty of storage space but finding a good spot for everything was hard. We also took a lot of pictures so you can all see what she looks like:

[The toy hauler folds out and becomes a large patio. Those benches can also fold down and become a queen-sized bed]

[Me for scale] 

[Inside of the toy hauler when it is all folded up. The beds come down and become queen-sized bunk beds.]

[The rest of the toy hauler with a door to the outside (on the right), a door to the kitchen/living room, a TV, a hook up for the Dyson vacuum, AND washer/dryer hookups.]

[Me in the living room showing how high it is]

[Living room]

[Complete with an entertainment center. The door on the right goes to the bathroom and the door on the left goes to the master bedroom]


[And yes, it has a fire place]

[View of the living room/kitchen]

[I LOVE the large fridge too!]


[Door to the Master bedroom] 

[Master bedroom]

[Master bedroom with a door to the bathroom]


We are so excited about our newest purchase! A lot of blood, sweat, and tears (all on my part) went into getting this and so far there has been no regret!