Friday, November 26, 2010

Newlywed Graduates!

June 10, 2010
Disclaimer:
This is long overdue....
but made possible with the faster internet now.
In California our internet was too slow to do any pictures on our blog,
so that is why there is a huge space between posts.
Enjoy!

This has been one crazy fun year of marriage.
We have lived in
Provo, UT
and
San Diego, CA
and loved each experience in its own separate way.

Now it is time for our First Anniversary
so we got work off to head over to
DISNEYLAND!
We were both so excited because the last time I went to Disneyland I was 8 and Nik's last time he was 18.
This was MUCH overdue....
and came at a perfect time for living 90 minutes away from the park at the time.
Here are some pictures I can FINALLY load up with the faster internet.


Welcome to Disneyland, ya Lovebirds!

In front of Splash Mountain.
We did this one twice.
Loved it.
Pictures below.

Don't know why this is sideways

I love him!

This was our delicious lunch
And our waiter snuck into the picture
It was so good!
We stuffed our faces and didn't have to eat for the rest of the day.

Before

After.
OMGoodness! It was sooooooOOOOooooO Good!

On the Matterhorn.
First time on this ride because when I went at 8yrs old,
some guy fell off of the ride just prior to our visit,
so it was down for construction.
Eek.
I WAS a little nervous to ride it.

1st ride.
Made him go first because I didn't want to fall out.

My MOST FAVORITE ride EVERRRRRR!
Nik and I waited a little longer than 2 hours to get the front seats.
It was AWESOME!
(don't mind my goofy face)

Our last ride of the day.....
I WAS SCARED OUT OF MY MIND!
But then I wanted to go on it again right away.
It was amazing.

Well, that sums up our trip. It was so fun.
I love this man and the fun times we have together.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Allred/Berry Family Pictures


My awesome friend
took our Family Pictures this weekend
and here is a sneak at what she did.
(p.s. - last time we took Family Pics Hannah was a newborn
...8 years ago!
About time?
I'd say so!)


I love my family.
More to come.
Thanks Andrea!

Here is her info if you are interested...
...and you SHOULD be!
Contact her.
You won't regret it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

In HIS Time

This has been a hard concept for me to comprehend. Patience hasn’t been one of my best qualities. I thought I did great while waiting for Nik. Of course I had my ups and downs but I survived those two years. I did it. We made it. But looking back at that….I wouldn’t really call that Patience. I would just call that “waiting” just like a pregnant lady….let me explain.

When Nik left, I knew when he would be back…just like a pregnant lady has an estimated due date. There is something to look forward to. I thought I would be perfect as a pregnant lady (in the future) because HECK that is only 9 months, not 24. I might be perfect at it…but I wouldn’t call it patience.

To me…patience is waiting for something to happen and not knowing when that might be. Now THIS is very hard for me. I have a HARD time not knowing. Ask my mom (or Nik, as I shared this with him on our first date) about my first Disneyland experience. I was NOT about to wait an unknown number of hours to find out where we were going. Not gonna happen!

Well these last 3 months my patience was tested to the max. Let me explain….Nik and I have been married for 1.5 years and this whole time we have made many choices with Prayer and Faith. We got married 6 short weeks after he returned home from his mission and then the day after our reception we moved to Utah where I had a job but Nik did not. We didn’t know anybody except my aunt who lived 30 minutes south and Nik’s great-aunt who lived 45 minutes north. So…we were pretty much flyin solo in good ol’ Provo. Although that was a difficult 10 months away from what we were comfortable with in Mesa, we felt we needed to experience it and are so grateful we did. Nik was able to get a job 1 week after arriving.

Then we heard of this opportunity in San Diego selling pest control. That was another experience that helped us grow. I was able to work with the same company there with Nik, so we were both employed. It was awesome to live there for a few months. After 2.5 months there, my old boss from Mesa called me to let me know she needed me NOW but Nik still had 5 weeks left in his contract in San Diego. We decided I needed to go home to AZ without him to be able to keep the job I loved and we needed. (so, if I lost you, we married in AZ, moved to UT for 10 months and then to CA for a few months, then back to AZ).

After being apart for 5 weeks while Nik was in CA and me in AZ, he was finally able to join me and we moved in with his parents house. They are so kind, generous, and they love us. I am so thankful for them and their hospitality, also for his dad giving him work while finding a job. We have been living with them since August and we are so blessed. Well, Nik had been applying everywhere for any sort of job. He focused on Bank of America as they have great benefits and pay. One of the positions he applied for actually did a phone interview and then a real in-person interview with him. Even though he interviewed, he kept applying for more positions with BofA. Well, he kept getting emails back denying him a position but they weren’t specific as to which position he was denied. So I thought a few times those were from the interviewed position. But then they would send him a request to do a background check…and then I got my hopes up again. And THEN we would get more denied emails. And I got so sad. That position looked so promising! For some reason, Nik has always been better at keeping his chin up and positive. (I think that is why we were meant for each other….so I could grow.) Well after we were suppose to hear back from that interview after a week…..it was 3 or 4 weeks and THEN we heard back….AND HE GOT THE JOB!!! He got it! And Nik just said “I told you we would be okay.” Yes, yes he did…but I just have a hard time. WHEN? When was he going to get a job? There was no timeline or expiration date. This has been hard but such a blessing to move forward with Faith.

Okay, I had to take a break from this post...as I'm sure you did IF you are still reading this...so let me just make this short-ish story shorter.

I love my Heavenly Father and His plan. He keeps putting things in my path to help me grow with Patience, but I usually just give up. Maybe I don't even give up, I just complain. I might not even complain, I just get really sour about everything. My wonderful husband is a sweet man because he puts up with me when he is so strong in this. And my Heavenly Father is wonderful because He KNOWS I can do hard things...He will never give me a task He knows I cannot handle.

Like I said earlier....I believe that is one of the many reasons Nik and I were meant for each other. I wouldn't say we are complete opposites, because we aren't, but there are many things we are opposite in.
He like the crust of the brownies, I like the inside. PERFECT!
He like the crunchy cookies, I like the soft...sometimes not so perfect.
(only in the sense that I get all my cookies to myself).
He is always warm and I am always cold. THE BEST!
We are both picky eaters but about different things....so food usually never goes to waste.
I could go on...but the most important on, and the reason for this blog is
PATIENCE.
He likes to live each day in itself and I can't help but look forward and wonder...
which then makes it difficult to have patience.
I love him and my Heavenly Father, who has the plan set out for me...and probably gets a good laugh every now and then over my ridiculousness.

Well, enough. This was extremely long. Thank you.

Oh, and Nik starts his new job in 12 days!!!! I'm so excited. WE'RE so excited.
With that comes better hours for everyone involved = more time together.
LOVE!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Berry Happy!

I didn't have access to the internet yesterday, so today will have to do.

Yesterday, May 13th, marked one year from the day Nik asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We have it on video because he was super sneaky (knowing me, you have to be) and still I have yet to see the video. Someday when we get back to Mesa I will, but it has been in storage all this time.

I am so lucky to have him as my husband. He is the best thing that has happened to me. He makes me laugh all the time, helps me learn and grow, and makes me so happy everytime I look at him. At times I feel I do not deserve him because I just could never imagine being any more happy.

Nikolas James Berry, 
You are the man I have waited for 
and 
dreamt about my whole life. 
Thank you for finding me and loving me.
Love,
Dawna Genette Berry

Four weeks from now we will have graduated from the Newlywed Stage in life. How exciting! We are hoping to go to Disneyland since it is right around the corner. [Keepin' my fingers crossed]

Sane Again

Tuesday May 10th...I became sane once more.

I was able to go grocery shopping with a full budget and my buddy.

I had my coupons cut, my recipes laid out for the next two weeks, and some money!

First stop - Smart & Final. Here I got Nik his favorite cereal, HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS. $1.88 is something I couldn't pass up. Not exactly the cheapest I have paid but it definitely was a good deal here in SD.

Next stop - CVS. I was able to stock up on canned veggies and some RAISIN BRAN, Nik's next favorite. The boxes of cereal were smaller but only $1.38 and heck, still under 2bucks, I will take it!

Last stop - Von's. This is where I stocked up on the majority of my food list to last us 2 weeks.  
[heck, this is WEIRD having to wait 2 weeks for a paycheck. for the last 3 years I have received a check every week. HORRIBLE!]
I got Nik his last favorite cereal that happened to be on sale, HONEYNUT CHEERIOS. $1.48 wasn't bad at all!

But let me tell you the best deal of the day!!! 

Betty Crocker cake mixes, frosting tubs, and original brownie mixes were all BUY 2 GET 3 MORE FREE
Wait, what? Pay for 2 and get 5??? Kidding me? I had to ask the gal next to me in the aisle if I was reading that right. And THEN I had 75cent coupons. 6 of them!  
It pays to buy newspapers in bulk. 
So...I bought 2 or 3 rounds of 5 items each the first time but they were out of German Chocolate Cake frosting so I had to come back that night to get the new product. After work at 10 I went back with Nik and got 3 pairs of German Chocolate Cake frosting and cake mix and 2 pairs of the FunFetti kind. 
I was sooo happy. We are going to make cupcakes up the wazoo!
(I even got Nik his favorite cake mix - Carrot cake, but shhhh. I am excited to surprise him with that!) 

Well, thank you for checking this out!
All in all...I purchased $296.09 WORTH of food but only paid $138.55.
I saved $157.54 being a 53.21% savings! I WAS STOKED!
Nik was very happy too! We finally have food in our pantry and fridge after 3 weeks of it being empty.
Such a nice feeling. I have had better savings percentages but after 2 months of not being able to shop like this, it feels GREAT!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Year Later

One year has come and gone...
...and nobody can believe it.
April 29, 2009

You might be asking what happened on this day.
No, we did not get engaged on this day.
No, we did not get married this day.
No, we did not start dating this day...(well sort of).
And no, I am not crazy for celebrating all the little things.

This day was the day Nik returned home from serving an honorable
and
full time mission in Tokyo Japan.
This day was the day all of us, family and friends, had one huge smile
plastered on our faces.
This day was the day that a son, brother, boyfriend, and friend
returned home after 749 LONG days away.

This day was the day I felt I was living in a dream.
(as I'm sure many others felt too)
This day was the day I had been waiting 3.5 years for.

Let me show you this day...
...the few pictures I have on this laptop.


Okay, well I had a few more pictures to put up
but my computer wouldn't load them.
I will update this post if I can get them up here.


Thank you, Nik, for doing such a great job
over in the lands of Japan.
Thank you for being such a great example.
This day was a special one for so many.
We all love you.

p.s. I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Me? Tan??

Okay....So....last night we went to Target to get me some new flip flops.

I heart Target flip flops.

The top is rounded perfectly with my toes...a slight square toe with a slight curve. PERFECT!

So...like I was saying...we went to get my flip flops for the summer. 2/$5.

Nik was down the aisle checking out the Clearance shoes.

He found his favorite shoes in a new color...for $5.

SCORE!





SO HE BOUGHT 2!
I laughed and rolled my eyes...but heck, if my favorite shoes were only five bucks...I WOULD BUY MULTIPLE TOO!

He was so funny to see him so excited to get new shoes and to get 2 of them. Silly goof!

It was funny.

But let me tell you about my awesome shoes.

The white flip flops.

Today I wore my knee shorts and the white flip flops...and the brand new white shoes make me look TAN!
I love it!
The end.

(Great blog, eh?)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Story of the Day!

Mark this day on your calendar - April 20, 2010.

And no I am not talking about Weed Day...

I am talking about the day I realized admitted I was an addict.

A Coupon Addict.

Let me share the story with you:
Nik and I have been living out of a suitcase for the last 10days.
All our other stuff has been in packing boxes.
I haven't shopped for groceries or looked at any ads for about 3 weeks.
I haven't clipped coupons for 2 weeks.
I haven't even opened my coupon binder for 2 weeks.
YESTERDAY this all fell apart.
Nik and I FINALLY moved in to our apartment here in San Diego
(and yes it is the actual city of San Diego on our mailing and location address. Everyone asks. True story. No we are not rich [hence the story] it just comes with the job)

Anywho...I had to go shopping for a few necessitites - Milk, bread, eggs, meats, etc.
I went to Vons (which is the same exact thing as Safeway and Smith's). I love it!
My coupon binder was still in a box SOMEWHERE in the apartment at the time of my shopping adventure.
I walked into Vons and felt so naked and so alone.
Naked because my coupon binder wasn't sitting in the shopping cart with me
and
Alone because Nik wasn't with me.
Now, I can handle and NEED to handle Nik not being there because he works EXTREMELY long hours...sometimes until 8 at night.
However, I cannot and WILL not handle my binder not being there. My binder keeps me sane. I realized without her I am lost. I felt so uptight and not "together" about the whole shopping experience. 
IT WAS HORRIBLE!
I walked up and down the aisles with no clue of what was on sale, what I had coupons for, what coupons expired that I need to throw away, NOTHING!
AGH!
I felt like I was committing a murder...a murder of our money...to THROW soooo much of it away!
  ok, so that MIGHT sound a little dramatic...but no joke, I felt horrible! NEVER will I shop without my buddy. She saves me lots of money!

SO...I ended up making it out of there ALIVE, thank goodness, and headed home with $47 spent. WTH!?!?! And I only had 4 bags to show for it. 
Yes, Cali and SD are more expensive to live in but that is just unacceptable. That is what I spend in 2 weeks of groceries. YUCK! The prices weren't too bad, it was the fact that I bought them when they were not on sale and without a coupon. Two very big NoNo's.
I tried to relay this story to Nik but he was so so SO tired, I don't think he understood the sadness I was feeling.
Sad Day, 
This CANNOT and WILL NOT happen again.

Thank you.
Thank you.
You are awesome listeners/readers.
I am sure if you read hard enough, you could hear me and the pain in my voice.
I know my Mamma can! 

The End. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Blog

Well....I have started another blog. I thought ONE was hard enough...so I need your help to keep me inline. ;-)

Anywho...it's true. Here is the link.


It's just a simple blog that will showcase new recipes I find.

Heck, who doesn't want to try something new....and can I say....EASY!!!
I know I like that idea! And so does the Nikster. 

So...as I look for new recipes and try them out, I will post them here for you to try. 
I have to successfully complete the recipe in order to post it...which means ANYONE can do it too if I have!
Trust me...I am NO Pro and definitely NOT any better than anyone when it comes to cooking or baking...but I AM trying to expand on the few recipes Nik gets stuck eating every week.

Check me out. Follow the adventure. And enjoy!

I am always [the whole purpose of the blog] looking for new delicious and simple meals....so email me if you have some for me to try! I would love it!

Email Me

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let's Save Money!

Do you get the Sunday Paper?
yes



Do you use coupons?
yes



Do you like to SAVE MONEY??
Yes






Now…if you answered YES to all of the above (like me)….did you know you could save even more money by purchasing MULTIPLE Sunday papers???
YES!!!





Well you can.
Ask your local paper if you can receive more papers and possibly get a discount.



Nik and I are signed up to get FIVE
(yes, 5 from the same company)
Newspapers EVERY Sunday!




It is like Christmas morning every Sunday Morning.
We look outside our front door and see 5 red plastic baggies
with Newspapers in them.


Inside those Newspapers are COUPONS!
Oh….what happiness!!





See….
Before November I had NO idea you could order multiple papers to get multiple coupons for the same product.
I had NO IDEA! You know what that means…MULTIPLE opportunities to save on one item and stock up. Can you say AWESOME?!
I can!





So…
Now when there is a good deal on something that I have a coupon for…
I can now get 5 of that item and start storing more in my Food Storage!





Let me tell you a story:


Nik and I got married in the summer and after a few months of grocery bills…we realized that other than Rent Payments, those receipts for groceries were our biggest monthly expense.

One of two things needed to happen:
1) Starve
or
B) Save Money





We decided that starving wouldn’t be the best of ideas…so we went and bought a 3-ring zipper binder, baseball card pages, and dividers.
We then subscribed to the newspaper and started getting one Sunday paper each week.
That was great and we saved $13 (out of $127) on our first majorly-focused trip to the grocery store.
We were excited!
$13 is like a movie and popcorn
or
half-a-shirt!
(lol)





This went on for a few months and we would save a few bucks here and there…then in November came the BEST Relief Society Activity EVERRRRR
How to Clip Coupons and Budget!
I was SOOO excited to go there and learn how to save us some money!





WHO wants to spend all their money on food??
I’d rather spend money on 
home d├ęcor
or
clothing
or
shoes
or
movies
or
go on a FANCY DATE with Nikolas!
Food??
All you do is buy food, eat it, and buy some more.
DUMB but important, I guess.





Becky, the Coupon Genius in my ward that taught the class, gave us some great tips and to go check out our local newspaper’s Savvy Shopper, Amy. I went home that night and looked her up online. It showed Amy having a seminar at the hotel right next to our apartment that upcoming Tuesday.
I was STOKED!
I signed up and that night the two of us went to learn how to save money!!!






The Savvy Shopper, Amy, was GREAT!
She was funny and kept the class alive.
Everyone in the class was so shocked by her money-saving stories and techniques.
With our eyes wide open and jaws dropped to the floor in disbelief/excitement we all scribbled down notes and vowed to never pay full price for an item again!
Going to that class allowed us to get a discount when we order up to 5 Sunday papers.
We pay $18.75 each month to get 20-25 newspapers
(depending on the number of Sundays in the month).
It is AWESOME!






So…we have had many great weeks with our grocery bills.
I get excited for Wednesdays when the new grocery ads come in the mail
and
Sundays when the retail stores and coupons come in the paper.





This is how my week goes –
Sunday: new coupons come to my doorstep for me to clip and organize in my binder.
Wednesday: new grocery ads come in the mail for me to browse and circle with a permanent marker what deals are good for us to buy.
Saturday: I make my shopping list of what he need for meals the next week and what we can stock up and put away in our Food Storage.
Nik and I then go shopping
(it’s always great as a team that way we don’t over spend or get something we don’t need or so we don’t overlook a great un-advertised deal)
and we try to get the most we can with our $25 Grocery Budget.
It has been a ton of fun…especially because we make such a great team!





Now, the best week we have had so far was this last Saturday.
Let me lay out my savings and maybe you will join me in the
Coupon Clipping Fun.





Toiletries (we bought Shampoo, Conditioner, Toilet Paper, and Hairspray):

Pre-savings Total: $43.76

Spent: $27.52

Saved: $17.08

Percent Saved: 39%

# Items Purchased: 20





Groceries (Too many to list…oh and some name brand stuff for FREE):

Pre-savings Total: $99.65

Spent: $34.59

Saved: $68.22

Percent Saved: 68%

# Items Purchased: 52

*Now,
we DID go over our budget for the week
but the prices were
too good
to not get the items at that time.
ESPECIALLY since they were name brand…
and cheaper than the Store brand.




Let me lay out some of the best deals from that day.

 Honey Bunches of Oats (Family Size).
Originally $4.50
Purchased for $1.18
(We got 12 boxes. Heck yes! Some for Food Storage and some for every day use.)

Bumblebee Tuna Cans.
Originally $0.69
Purchased for $0.33
(We got a few stacks of those. Tuna is a cheap staple food for us right now.)

Pasta
(Don’t remember the name but it WAS name brand and not generic. BONUS!)
Originally $0.99
Purchased for $0.50
(Another easy and cheap staple we both love!)
(THE BEST DEAL!)...
Bumblebee Single Serve Tuna Pouch
FREE!!!







I was/still am SOO HAPPY with our shopping trip!
We saved sooo much money and stocked up our pantries really well.
All that money we saved could go to bigger and better things.

LOATHE spending money on food because it feels like it’s ALWAYS GONE!

This makes me feel better about spending money on food.
Yay!

Anybody can do this and save money just like me!

*Call me CRAZY...
but saving money is
AWESOME!
I'm sure if you tried it...you'd be hooked.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Daylight Savings...

...is KICKING our TRASH!!!

It has been over a week now since we jumped forward an hour...and it IS getting better

BUT STILL!

Arizona is smart.
WHO wants to screw up their internal clock for a bit JUST to be able to get out of bed earlier???
Make any sense?
Didn't think so.

Why don't we just wake up when we want to?
I like that idea.
Who seconds it?

We wake up when it is still dark.
NOT A FAN!
And go to bed when it is still light.
What the HECK?

My perfect day would start at 8am when I wake up
WITHOUT
an alarm clock...
Open my office at 10am...
Close the office between 1pm-3pm for naps
(Hey! Other countries have a rest time each day! Let's do that!
And then I will be okay with the idea of saving daylight.)
And leave at 5pm...
Then go to bed...around....I don't know when....
Sounds like the perfect day for me!
=]

I remember last summer, just after arriving here in Utah,
we ran to Sam's Club for some shopping after work.
We entered just after 8pm.
The sun was still out...
At 9:15pm we left...and when we walked outside, the SUN was STILL UP!
I looked at Nik and then my watch.
We were so confused!



Anywho...Nik and I only have to deal with this for another 3.5 weeks.
Then we go to California which is the same time as Arizona right now...and what we were used to just 2 weeks ago.
Then we will go to the wonderful Desert Land....and stay the same time allllll year long!
We like that idea!

Loves!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy 280th Day!

Let me start out by saying...No I have not personally counted down how many days Nik and I have been married.

One of my friends blog - Kimber & Casey - posted something about Googling your name. She suggested we go and Google our names and let her know what we found. Well Kimber, I hope you are reading this!

When I Googled Dawna Berry I found a wedding website for a Dawna Berry and Michael Tousignant. I searched through and they got married in NH on June 13, 2009. Nik and I got married June 10, 2009! Crazy! She gave up her last name and I received it. I'm happy to be a Berry.

Short story shorter...on their website was a countUP for how many days they have been married...and it said 277 days. Well Nik and I got married 3 days prior...so that makes us being married 280 days!!!

So....I am not a silly little Counter-Upper....I just Countdown! Which brings me to the next thing.....150 days til we are back in ARIZONA for GOOD!!! Now THAT I did countdown. haha. No, I did not use a calendar and count it (like how Nik said would be the smarter thing to do)...I used an online website to count it down for me! lol. Much easier! Heck, I would get lost in the 70's and have to start all over again. haha.

Thank you Mr. Internet!

How many days have you been married??

And Happy St. Patty's day! I can't wait to show you what I have done to celebrate. Nik thinks it has been fun too! Can't wait to show him the yummy cake I made for tonight's dessert. YUMMM!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Texas Roadhouse is Special to Me.

April 28, 2009
8:45 pm
Me, Rach, and Katie Jean sitting in a booth at Texas Roadhouse.
The 2 of them were so giddy as I just sat there.


Just.Sat.


I could barely do anything.

I could barely eat.

Nothing.


They were all smiles and laughs and excitement.
You wanna know why we were this way???


At that EXACT moment, Nik was in an airplane over the ocean heading back home to the U.S.A from Japan.


This was the moment I had waited over 3.5 years for.
I was so excited but didn't know how to act or think.
It was an out-of-body experience....like I was standing off to the side watching myself go through this.
For the next 12 hours....I was so out of it.
I slept just fine...WHEN I finally went to sleep.
Rach and Katie Jean kept me company while I made my Welcome Home banner to hold at the airport...and then they went home around 12:30 in the morning. 
It was so weird to think that Nik was coming home.
I finally went to sleep and slept just fine.
Around 6am I started having difficulty sleeping cuz I knew Nik was going to call me from the airport and I didn't want to miss his call.
He finally called and I sat there in my jammies on the couch for quite some time talking to him.
It all felt like a dream. Felt like another out-of-body experience. 
I didn't know if what I was seeing was even real. It felt like it shouldn't have been.
After our conversation on the phone, I got ready for the day.
I was suppose to be at his parent's house by 4:30 so we could get to the airport before his plane landed at 5:20.
We pulled into the parking garage at 5:23. Amy (his sis) and I RAN through the airport to get to his terminal before he showed up.
With all Nik's friends and family and my family standing around, he finally appeared and it was wonderful.
 Look at that Handsome MAN!

He gave everyone hugs and then he gave me a huge huge, lifting me off the ground and squeezing me so tight!
I was on cloud 9.

Showing off pictures.


I couldn't believe this was real...like, was he REALLY home?? Home to stay?? 


IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!


The rest of the night was great....but that will be for another post.


I didn't mean to give you this huge long story..I really just wanted to relive the Texas Roadhouse experience.
That night was so good...to have my girlfriends with me at my favorite restaurant on a wonderful night.

I hadnt been to that restaurant again until last weekend.
Terri and her friend, Justin, went with us and it was so fun!
It was so cool to have those strong memories that meant so much to me and share them with Nik as we drove to the restaurant. I was able to explain exactly how I felt in that last 24 hours of "single-ness".
Gosh...I love Nikolas James SOOOO much!
I am so lucky to have these wonderful memories and to me ABLE to remember them so clearly.

 Terri and Justin

The Berry's!

Some nice guy took this picture for us.

Yay for Texas Roadhouse! We had so much fun with Terri and Justin and Nik LOVED the food....we went there last night with another couple. That place ROCKS!


Arizona...Here We Come!!!

Nik and I have made the decision that it is time for us to come HOME! We have enjoyed this adventure of being newlyweds in Utah...but our journey up here has come to an end. 

Maybe it is more me than him....but we want to be home with friends and family. We want to be home with the desert. We want to be home to the place we have lived our whole lives. 

But there is one little pit stop on the way...San Diego!

Next month we will be heading to San Diego for a summer job. Nik will be selling Pest Control and I will be working in the office taking care of the appointments and paperwork for that company. I am excited for a change but to still be working in an office. I love the office job. I am excited to be working with Nik. Nik's best friend Josh got him an interview with the company and luckily we were hired on. Now we get to spend the summer with friends! Josh and Kylee did this same thing last year and enjoyed it. We look forward to the great opportunities it can bring. Living in San Diego in the summer is going to be AWESOME!

Then in August we will leave San Diego and head back to ARIZONA! I couldn't be happier. Sometimes you just have to go with what feels right...and this totally does!

There is one thing Nik and I will not agree on.....being sad about leaving our jobs up here. Yes, he has been so blessed to have a Full Time job but it was just one of "those" J.O.B.s. = Just Over Broke. He is happy to get out of there and do something he WANTS to do. As for me...I am going to miss my boss and his awesome family. They really took us in under their wings. I felt immediately like family. They had us over for their family Independence Day party, an Office Christmas Party (which was only Nik and I and their kids all playing RockBand 2. It was so FUN!), and then they had us over for The Superbowl. It was so fun to be around little kids. Their 2 youngest are the same ages as my 2 youngest sisters. They are so cute. Paul also helped Nik and I move into our 2nd apartment, helped us after the deer accident with towing, and picking me up at home for work when Nik was at school with the car. I am going to miss Paul (my boss) and Mary (his wife). They were so nice. It helps when you love your job to have a great boss. Thank you Paul and Mary.

Well....now the word is out. Hopefully you are all as excited as we are! We can't wait to COME HOME!!!! 

Let's have a party when we get there! K? K!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Letters to Eternity

Letters to Eternity - This is what Nik titled my Christmas/Valentine's Day gift...and no I am not posting this SUPER late, he really did just give it to me tonight.
The thing is...Nik is very very thoughtful and a natural romantic.
It takes him time to think up a gift to give and lots of time to make it....so that is why it is late.
I'm just so happy I have it now.
We have been together for 4.5 years now and every time we exchange gifts for the many different holidays, his is ALWAYS BETTER! I told him tonight that we are not allowed to exchange gifts anymore because my gifts are never as cool/thoughtful/original as his are.
So let me now move on to what he gave me...but I have to explain a little.
Nik went on his mission to Tokyo, Japan from April 2007-April 2009.
All that time we wrote back and forth.
Even the 15 months prior to him leaving on his mission we wrote letters back and forth.
I have kept every single letter.
The originals are in 4 3-inch binders in sheet protectors. That is 1 whole foot of letters!
Well, Nik being the awesome husband he is, decided to make a book with those.
He would sneak out to the local Geneology center and scan every single last letter.
He then had them bound in a book.
Actually in 2 books.
1 book from January 2006-March 2007.
1 book from April 2007-April 2009.
Let me show them to you now.


When I opened this gift, I could feel all his love and effort put into this project.
This definitely came from the heart.
I can't even BEGIN to describe how much this means to me!
These are going to stay around for years and years and hopefully through generations.
This is a great story of our lives together before marriage.
We keep writing letters to each other.
I have a little mailbox I made back in YW's and it sits on our bookshelf.
When we write a letter we stick it in there and then the other person sees it and takes it out to read it and reply to it.
I hope that in future years we can do this same thing and make another book.
This made me smile.
Isn't he an awesome gift giver?
But how is he ever going to top this one?? For reals!

Friday, March 5, 2010

WHAT the HECK!!!

As this is mine and Nik's first winter with snow, many have warned us about Spring Fever.

Spring Fever is when the weather starts getting warmer and the snow melts away, you get really excited for the new season. New season of windows being left open, flip flops popping out, and short sleeved shirts.

This last week has been in the high 40's and low 50's.

BEAUTIFUL!

Then out of NOWHERE comes this storm.

Let me describe this GLORIOUS day for you....and hopefully you could catch the eye-rollage I just gave.

Thursday March 4, 2010.
Wake up at 6am.
Turn on the news at 6:30am.
Weather is at 32degrees.
I thought to myself "Oh what a wonderful day this will be!"
The weather man lays out the temps for the day...
Morning: 32. Noon: 50. Afternoon: 46.
Grant - KSL's weather man, says that in the afternoon there will be rain with a chance that it turns to snow.
Now, just so you know, Grant has not been the most accurate when it has come to these storms.
I didn't believe him...or maybe just didn't WANT to believe him.
Nik and I went to work with short sleeves (mainly because we were going to be inside all day) and I brought a light "Arizona" jacket to ride home in.
We leave for work at 9am and it is a beautiful morning.
The sun is out, people are jogging, and I am happy!
Nik comes over to my office for lunch at 1pm and there is a little cloud cover.
He leaves from lunch at 2pm to go back to work and there is a slight drizzle.
Now the fun begins...3pm hits and the rain comes down harder.
In my office, I have a glass wall and door ahead of me, so I can see everything going on outside.
The rain begins acting strange.
The rain comes down casually, then hard, then casually, then SNOW, then hard rain, then BIG SNOW, then a drizzle, then a spray, then SNOW, then hard rain...over and over again.
All of this goes on and each new change lasts only a few seconds to a minute of two and then it is on to the next change....snow, rain, barely anything, rain, snow, etc.
Well, 4pm rolls around and Nik needs me to run to BYU's Surplus Sale right down the street.
They sell their used electronics and he wanted a new flat screen monitor.
I told my boss about it and he wanted to check it out too since he has never been before.
At this point it is snowing but not sticking...Hallelujah!
This was good.
So I took a picture of what my office parking lot looked like before my boss, Paul, and I went to the sale.
Paul and I stood outside for at least 20 minutes at this sale waiting in line to get in.
We got in, I found Nik a used, but in very good condition, flat screen monitor for $50.
Paul wasn't impressed with anything he saw...but for poor college students, these sales are awesome!
Paul and I went back to the office.
5pm rolls around and this is what the parking lot looks like.
CRAZY!
When we were standing in line, I was catching HUGE snowflakes. The size of quarters!
It was awesome but so freezing because I was in my "Arizona" jacket...i.e. a thin hoodie.
When Paul and I were driving back, you couldn't see a quarter mile ahead of you because of how hard and fast it was coming down.
I was so scared because I knew that in an hour I would have to drive down and pick Nik up from work.
Luckily the snow slowed down to where I could drive when I got off work at 6.
Here is a picture of the top of my car when I was leaving.
That is at least an inch. Maybe 1.25 inches.
I should have put something up in the picture to give reference. sorry.
Anywho....here is a pretty tree right in front of where I parked.
Remember, 3 hours earlier this was a brown tree and completely green grass.
Pretty, huh?
See, I can handle the snow if I can be inside my house.
It is very pretty to look at when wrapped in a blanket, watching a movie inside, and having a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for dinner.
I was able to pick Nik up safely and return home with both of us in one piece.
I was lucky the snow had slowed down and so it wasn't difficult at all to drive.
It was just very weird that EVERYTHING was white when only hours before it was green and brown.
He is a panoramic shot of the front of the building Nik and I live in. Cambridge Court.
 
And here is the shot of what we see outside our window every day. Glenwood Apartments.
It is very pretty....and cold.

Now this morning I woke up to the cars slushing outside on the streets.
Snow has covered even more of the roads and sidewalks and trees.
I wish I could stay home with Nik and we could cuddle up with The Office, lol, and some hot chocolate.
We can't wait for Spring and to be done with this white STUFF.

Here is a picture Nik sent me (sorry it is from a phone) this morning as he was headed to class. This is our parking lot...and it didn't look like this last night. Thank goodness we were able to find a spot in the parking garage.


Now, don't think this is a "downer" post. We are very happy to have to opportunity to live up here and go to school and have all these learning experiences. Neither of us have lived outside of AZ, except for the 2 years Nik was on an LDS Mission in Japan. We have learned so much about ourselves and what we want in our future.
Thank you Utah for being so pretty, but please cut it out with the snow.

The End.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The In-Laws

I married into a wonderful family.
 I am so happy that my Mother-In-Law is not the "typical" MIL in most jokes.
 She is so nice and sweet and I can tell she genuinely cares about me.

As a late Christmas present/Vday gift, my Mother and Father-In-Law
 sent Nik and I a gift card to Carrabba's.
 We love that place!
Randee (my Mother-In-Law)
 always talks about how much she loves this specific dish...
and I believe it is the Pollo Rosa Maria. I think that is it.
 I decided to take her word on it and ordered it....
AND IT WAS AMAZING!
 I thought I wouldn't like it when I saw there was no red sauce in the dish...
but it was so delicious.
 It is a chicken breast stuffed with cheese and then a mushroom sauce over it.
Whether that is the dish she loves or not, it was so good!
You all should try it the next time you are there.

Then...Nik's Grandma - Nanu - is so sweet and makes me smile and laugh all the time.
 I am so blessed to have another awesome grandma in my family.
Every...and I mean EVERY holiday
she sends out a holiday card with some little goodie inside.
For Vday she sent a cute card with a gift card to the theatres so Nik and I could have a night out.
And she always personalizes the cards.

L.O.V.E

THEN....we get another card last week and so I thought
 She must have forgotten she already sent us a card
 becuase it was in a red envelope.
 I open it up...and it is a card for the Chinese New Year with her wishing us a
Happy Chinese New Year.
SO CUTE!
And I guess it is good luck to give people a dollar...
so she sent both Nik and I one.
How stinkin adorable is that?!?!
 I love getting random cards.
 They let Nik and I know that people are thinking about us and they love us.

There are many more examples
 but these are a few that really brightened our days recently.

Thank you, my wonderful family I married into!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nikolas!

To continue on my mushy post from last night, I found this little survey to do on my handsome man.
So without further ado:

1. Where did you meet?
Officially – EFY 2005 (Thanks Josh and Kylee for being the connecting piece), but I had my eye on him back at Red Mountain that semester prior where we were both going to school.

2. How long did you date before you got married?
Almost 4 Years!!! (There were 2 years of waiting for him while he was on his mission in that 4 years)

3. How long have you been married?
Just about 9 months.

4. What does he do that surprises you?
He wakes up early on Saturday mornings to take the laundry down to the laundry room. =]

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
His eyes are such a handsome hazel color…and his hair, when gelled, is the kicker!

6. What is your favorite quality of his?
He always opens up the door for me…in any situation. So lucky to have him treat me like such a lady!

7. Does he have a nickname for you?
Babe.
Or when I feel like being super cheesy/funny I will call him my Stud Muffin (cuz I think that is silly but cute still) and he will reply "Yes, my Studette Pastry". Not even sure if Studette is a word, but it makes me laugh when he says it.

8. What is his favorite color?
Red and Black.

9. What is his favorite food?
Anything Japanese…or Pizza.

10. What is his favorite sport?
He likes to play football but isn’t big into watching it (thank heavens!)

11. When and where was your first kiss?
On the bench at Falcon Hill Park the night of September 24, 2005. Right after an awesome D-Back’s game and a trip to Cold Stone. =]

12. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
As cliche as this may sound...we love spending time together. Whether it is a simple walk along the Provo River, having dinner AT the dinner table with no distractions, or catching up on our favorite TV Series.

13. Do you have any children?
Nope.....someday though...

14. Does he have a hidden talent?
He is a great cook. He can look in the pantry and put things together (that I wouldn't think of) to make a meal and it always tastes good!
He also has an amazing talent at calming me down when we take different chances in life together.

15. How old is he?
23

16. Who said I love you first?
Me

17. What's his favorite music?
Pretty much Alternative. He will listen to Country but it isn’t something he would pick on his own.

18. What do you admire most about him?
He has a great way of taking chances and making it work out in his favor. I am a big planner and he likes to just take things as they go. That is something I need to be better at.

19. Do you think he will read this?
Only if I tell him I posted it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Three BIG Words.

Those of you that know me real well can confirm the fact that I remember silly little dates of
when silly or simple things happen in mine and Nik's relationship.

Don't ask me how...I just pay close attention to detail.


Well...4 years ago, today, Nik said 3 very special words to me...
"I love you, (and then he added the best part) Dawna."

I remember it every time February 28th comes around. 


That was one very special night to me because I knew he had waited so long to say it in the perfect moment...
not to just say it to say it and have it be premature.


He always told me he felt very special about me but he didn't want to say those 3 BIG words until the perfect moment and when he could say it with all his heart.

At that point we had been dating for 5 months and 4 days. 

It meant a lot to me that he waited for a special time
(and not even on Valentines day) to say it.





Nikolas James Berry...I want you to know that
I love you more today than I did on February 28, 2006. 

Thank you for loving me!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fondue, We Love You!

Nik is great at surprising me and I am trying my hardest to not get impatient with the surprise (if you know my "Disneyland" experience, you know what I am talking about). 

One Saturday Night in early January (yes, I AM just barely getting around to posting this) Nik wanted to take to on a Surprise Date. It was so fun! I had no idea where we were going except for the fact we were going north to Salt Lake.

We found a parking space and started walking around downtown. I still had no idea where we were going. I loved this whole idea of him surprising me! He takes everything to the max!

All of a sudden he opens the door to the restaurant...The Melting Pot.
I could not believe it! I was so excited!!!

Here was our appetizer. A yummy Spinach/Artichoke Cheese Dip with breads and veggies and apples.
I didn't think apples with the cheese would be good, but it turned out to be my favorite.

 
Our quaint little booth. So cozy and romantic.


Our main course - Lobster Tail, Brats, Ravioli, Chicken, Sirloin, Beef, Red Potatoes, and more veggies.
It was amazing!
And so much fun to cook with our little sticks.



Enjoying some Lobster Tail.


A nice man in the booth next to us took our picture for us. So sweet of him to offer.
I love this man I am sitting next to!



Onto DESSERT!
This was amazing!
My favorites were the strawberries and bananas.
Nik's favorites were the marshmallows and cheesecake.



Delicious!


If you can't tell from the look on his face...that bite was Heaven.
Nik, that was such a nice and fun surprise! I can't wait to go back.
Sidenote: At work this last week I won a contest and my prize was a $50 Gift Certificate.
I got to choose the restaraunt and since this place was amazing when we went, I had to get the certificate to The Melting Pot!
Now Nik and I can go again on someone else's dime.
YAY!