Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Happy Holidays 2009!
It seems like only yesterday we were sending out our holiday letters telling everyone about our wedding. I can’t believe another year has flown by so quickly. We were able to successfully hit our one-year mark of our marriage without too many bumps and bruises along the way. I’m just grateful Dallas loves me so much even though my cooking skills are lacking!
January started my first experience as an accountant’s wife during the infamous busy season. It was hard to watch Dallas work such long hours and never get enough sleep. I don’t know how he does it every year! I’m continually grateful to be married to such a hard worker. We made it a priority to enjoy our weekends, though, to make up for the intense weekly schedule. Some of these activities included seeing Wicked in San Francisco with my older brother and his wife, traveling to Monterey, taking our nephews and niece to Muir Beach, eating out at nice restaurants in the city, watching movies, and being tour guides when our friends came into town.
Unfortunately, April brought some unexpected news of state budget cuts in public education. The district decided that at the end of the school year they would lay off every teacher that had not been in the district for more than four years. Sadly, I was one of over 13,000 teachers in California that were laid off at the beginning of June. It was hard to pack up my classroom and say goodbye to a profession that I love so dearly, but I know “when one door closes; another opens.” I’ve started private tutoring the past few months and have enjoyed the opportunity to focus on individual needs of my students. I have also loved the extra time I get to spend with my nephews and niece in the area!
Our big adventure this year was traveling to Thailand for three weeks in the summer. Dallas loved being able to speak Thai again and show me different spots from his mission. We traveled to Chaing Mai, Phuket, Kho Phi Phi, and Bangkok and were blessed with several thrills along the way. We rode on elephants through the rainforest, floated down a river on bamboo rafts, visited several Buddhist temples, posed with tigers (we even got to rub their bellies!), watched a crazy cobra show, hiked through the village and rice patties of the local tribes, stayed at beautiful resorts, snorkeled with tropical fish, got totally burnt from too much sun, went shopping in street markets, and celebrated my 29th birthday! Needless to say, we had an AMAZING vacation.
We’ve had our fair share of adventures and trials this year, but continue to feel extremely blessed. We love this time of year and the opportunity it brings to reflect on these blessings given to us by our Savior. We hope this letter finds each of you well and enjoying this holiday season.
Love, Dallas and Kirsten Perkins dallasandkirsten.blogspot.com
Friday, December 18, 2009
Ok, so I may be 29 years old, but there is something inside of me that clings to the youthful joy that certain things evoke; namely sparkly glitter jeans, teen literature, and Disneyland! I don't remember the first time I entered this magical park full of plastic; I was under a year old being carried by my mother. I do, however, have fantastic memories as an adult throughout the past decade with multiple friends all craving one thing...the thrill of being a child again!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We walked around the center of Solvang called "Denmarket Square." I loved the deep colors along the walls of the buildings.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I met Janelle my first year teaching at Sunset View Elementary back in 2005. She quickly became not only a supportive coworker; but a dear friend. We joked about being sisters, because we were so alike. To say that moving away from her was hard would be an understatement. So when the opportunity came in November to do a road trip in her honor, I jumped on the idea! The goal was to drive all day on a Friday, spend the weekend celebrating her birthday, and then returning home to my understanding husband that following Tuesday. To some people, the idea of driving over eleven hours in a car by yourself would not be too appealing, but I happen to LOVE the chance to blast all the music I want while singing at the top of my lungs.
I woke up Friday morning to a nasty rainstorm. Still not deterred from my need to surprise Janelle, I loaded up the car with way too many clothes and shoes for a weekend get-away and started my journey east. The heavy rain pelted my windshield, the winds blew their fury, but I drove on, determined to get to Utah.
Three hours into my journey led me to the Sierra Nevadas. If you could hear the tone of my voice when I say those two words—Sierra Nevadas—you would know that I do not care for these mountains! Annoyed by the slow cars surrounding me, I turned my music down, and realized for the first time that the heavy rain that had been accompanying me on my quest had turned to wet whiteness in a matter of minutes. Being accustomed to the sunshine that makes up most of the California weather, I found this new predicament quite exciting, albeit a bit nerve wracking to drive in. The flakes multiplied, turning everything into a stand still.
Flashing lights guided me to the side of the freeway, along with several other cars. At this point a man dressed in slick orange approached my window alerting me that I would need chains to cross the rest of the pass. I’ve lived in California for the past year and a half! Why would I have snow chains?
After paying for new chains and an “installation” fee, I continued on my slow way up the mountain face. Now I’ve driven in bad weather before, but I think living in East Bay has softened my tolerance. The friendly, fluffy flakes that were such a beautiful sight soon became vicious layer upon layer. I found myself sliding closer to the shoulder of the road, while callous SUVs passed by. There was a sad realization that crossed my mind during one of these occasions, where the thought came that I should turn around. The pride in me drove another 10 miles, swerving between lanes, before I “sucked it up” and turned around.
I may or may not have been crying when I called Dallas to let him know my plan had failed. I may or may not have still been crying when I got to the bottom of the mountain and couldn’t figure out how in the world to get the expensive new snow chains off of my tires. So if you can imagine me kneeling by my front tires in sweats and wet Ug boots with salty tears mixing with snowy flakes…
That’s when I heard his voice. Like a manly breath of fresh air, the hero that makes up our every day semi driver, knelt beside me with his rubber gloves and unhooked those cursed chains with a quick snap. I couldn’t help but weep in his fury beard with endless gratitude.
Later that night, as I was curled up on the couch under a blanket, I contemplated my crazy day and noticed that while my weekend did not happen as planned at least I got a good story out of it!