Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Best Wedding I Ever Had

I'm not gonna lie, our wedding was damn good. Like, seriously great.

It all started on 9/11 when I hopped a plane to go meet one of the Maid of Honors in Denver for a bitty road trip up to Dubois for the wedding. If you'll remember, this was the week of extreme flooding in northern Colorado...

Thursday, 6am, pouring rain, we're driving north on Highway 287, when a radio warning comes on that causes us both to pause our, I'm sure very-deep and intellectual, conversation: "WHAMP WHAMP WHAMP WHAMP Warning extreme flooding in Larimer County, seek higher ground to avoid death." We both head tilt in confusion, "did he say death?!" But luckily, the nice radio announcer repeated himself, "I repeat, seek higher ground to avoid death." We looked around at the growing streams on either side of the road and Al, like the great MOH that she is, stepped on it.

Good news, we made it. And let me just tell you, it was worth the mud, the blood and the tears (ok, just mud).

I steal pictures. Thanks for the great booty, my friends.  

Day one on the ranch: lots of running around, primping and such.

This is not on the ranch, but it's a very cute picture all the same.
Day two on the ranch: lots of running around, people start arriving, a real great rehearsal dinner, then a night in the hoping metropolis of, Dubois, WY (Pop. 22).

What you see is here my loving friends taking one of many Patron shots that were distributed throughout the evening. Notice Hannah's face, she's thinking, "Ha I live in Nola. This is like breakfast." 
Day three on the ranch: Woot Woot, Wedding day! Yahoo! We started with a hike to crystals and bat guano.

Jaydee and I broke that whole rule about not seeing each other the day of the wedding, but eh, whatchyagonnado?

I made it back to the girls cabin exactly 22 minutes before I was supposed to have my hair done. I was running like a madman, hell bent on a quick shower (you see, I had been forewarned by the nice lady who was doing my hair that if I sat down in front of her with a wet head there would be consequences). However, when I walked in the door I was quickly ushered away from the shower and into the dining room for an impromptu, wedding day, mimosa, cookie brunch with 6 BMs.
And so it was, with 13 minutes to spare, I finally made it to the shower. My hair was 80% dry by the time the nice hair lady showed up. It was fine. Consequences were minimal. 

In the meantime, Jaydee and his 6 GMs were drinking and preparing the dog. Yes, I said dog. Only one dog was in the wedding party because only one dog can be trusted to not pee when he gets too excited. 

Soon, the preparation was finished and I was left with no choice but to walk across a gigantic field while people stared at me and secretly wished that I'd trip or step in a cow pie, and then stand up there and say important, serious things to my best friend while a bunch of people gawked at us. Not cool. I was real nervous. Luckily, my favorite Dad in the world was there. He gave me look over and then, noticing that I was looking a bit terrified, pulled me into the kitchen and said, "Dani, drink this" as he handed me a healthy shot of Pendleton. It helped a little.  We was ready.

As you saw from earlier pictures, up until about an hour before the ceremony, the weather had been perfect. However, as fate would have it, by the time "I do" came around, it was raining pretty good and the temperature was hovering right around a nippy 45F. Don't feel too bad though - the cold allowed me to play off my uncontrollable shaking to a chill. Win. 

Then, before we knew it, the ceremony was over! I got to put on a coat and finally add to that lonely whiskey shot sitting in my belly. This is the part where it starts getting really good. 

We had some great speeches but little bro, Jake, stole the show with an awesome speech that's punch line was something to the effect of, "so there you have it folks, stubborn love." 
Note: we did not decorate with trash bags. The trash bags you see in the background are actually clear tent walls in a very dark and stormy night.

I bet you can guess what happened next. Yep, boozin and groovin. Lots of it. 

Yes ma'am, that's our priest grooving withe the mayor

Did I mention boozing?

And then, just as it seemed like things may start settling down... it got real

Life Coach, thought of a great solution for people stepping on my train. #hillbillyhaute

I'd be lying if I said it ended when the tie came off. Tie coming off was followed by an eventful trek back to the cabin (I wont name names, but one groomsman had a bit of a fall, we found one lost and stumbling elderly relative by the horse stables, and at least one person slept in their truck because the 200 yards to bed seemed too far). Then, for those who made the journey, an after party at the girls' cabin.

Like all things awesome, the great night eventually came to a close. When Jaydee and I finally made it back to our cabin for two, we found a beautiful, pristine, blueberry pie and two forks waiting for us. You know what that is? That's the mark of a damn good bridesmaid. 

There you have it folks -ze wedding of my century! 

If you'd like to see all of the glorious shots from the evening, you can find them at, password dubois. Or, if you're interested in seeing the dancing (and a better Dani & Jaydee's wedding blog post) check this out

Friday, October 4, 2013

We Got Married! And then Robbed.

Great news! We got married! Wahoo, yippee, yeehaw, etc. We also got robbed. That makes for a funnier story, so let's go ahead and talk about that one first (don't worry, I would not pass up a chance to post wedding pics, so I'll come back to that whole wedding thing. I promise).

It was bright, sunny September 16th afternoon when Jaydee and I pulled into our driveway after an awesome, very long weekend of wedding and a 13 hour car ride from Jackson Hole. As you can imagine we were quite sleepy and relieved by the time Jaydee put 'er in park and pressed the garage door opener.

We started to make our way in the house when Jaydee starts to point out the errs of my lock-up procedure (you see he left for Wyoming two weeks before me so it was up to me to close up and secure the den before I left). "Dani, you left the lights on?..." He takes a few steps in towards the house, "Ugh the door to the house is opened too.... God, Dani why did you pull out all the sleeping bags and throw them on the stairs?!" At which point I started to perk up. I really could not remember throwing the sleeping bags on the stairs ... that doesn't really seem like something I would normally do. I quickened my pace to come take a look at the damage I had apparently done. Then I got real confused....

All of my jeans were sitting in a neat pile at the top of the stairs. Why did I take my jeans out of the closet? And why the heck did I put them at the top of the stairs?! As I peaked in the office and noticed that all three of our computers were missing I started to reconsider that this was indeed my fault. "Um Jaydee, did we get robbed?" Jaydee followed me into the office and had a look around himself. "Uh yeah. I think we did."

I'm not the brightest cookie in the box so I still wasn't 100% sure of what we just figured out. "Wait. Is this a joke? Did you do this?" asked Dani.
"Dani. I was gone two weeks before you. I did not do this."answered Jaydee.
"Did Toby?"said Dani.
"No. Toby did not." answered Jaydee.
"Is this for real?" said Dani.
"Yes. This is for real"answered Jaydee.
"They took my work mouse." said Dani sadly.
"Dani, they took your work computer. And it looks like your work blackberry. Oh, but they did leave your sticky notes!" replied Jaydee.

And so the sad discovery process continued. After making a lap around the house and inventorying what had been taken, we called the po po and then plopped down on the couch to wait for Mr. Officer Sir to arrive.

Mr. Officer Sir arrived a short two and a half hours later. "Hmm well, it looks like you've been robbed. Yeah, well I see here that someone opened this window, came into your house, and took your things." He continued to look around. "Yeah someone definitely robbed you. I'd call your insurance company. Hey, by the way, congratulations!"

After the very helpful officer left we called the insurance company. The silver lining here is that I got to listen to Jaydee say "My wife..." about 10,432 times. The insurance company was actually pretty great. I sat on the couch and pouted while  Jaydee talked to them and explained the situation, "Well my wife and I were out of town last weekend and while we were gone we got robbed. My name, Jaydee Dyess. Yes ma'am, yes ma'am, yes ma'am. Oh my wife's name... oh her name is still Dani Gunnoe... you see we were getting married last weekend. That's why we were out of tow... ah thanks. Yes, very exciting. Yeah it is unfortunate. Thank you, yep we're very happy...ish. Thanks."

In the end it all worked out just fine thanks to my very responsible husband and the very nice (and excitable) ladies at State Farm. Just about everything that was nabbed was just stuff. Ain't no thang! In fact, I gotta say... It wasn't the worst thing in the world to have to go buy a brand spankin new big, giant computer that's way too much work to steal.

This picture has nothing to do with getting robbed

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sonia Approves

Well, the cat's out of the bag. Fiance and I are getting married. The invitations have been sent, it is now oh-fish-al.

The invitation. Geez. After approximately 62 hours, 150 envelopes and 200 sticky-booger-thingies we are finished with those dang invites. They are currently in some poor mail man's mail bag (they're quite heavy, you see) making their way around the country to the neatly (if I don't say so meeself) hand written addresses posted on the aaaalllllmoooostt too small envelopes.

The invitation process was a lot like the STD process.

Step 1: Research:

Notice I said "simple" a few times? HA!

Step 2: Adobe - create versions 1-324,242

The most difficult part of the invitation process was figuring out how to say who was inviting who. I didn't even consider the fact that it was my dear 'ol pa who was doing the inviting since the wedding is on him. Luckily a friend pointed out the err of my ways while looking at an early draft and we got that little problem fixed right up.

Step 3: Settle on final versions and promise myself to stop thinking of new ideas

Step 4: Send em off to print. **Don't ask any question lest you come up with a new idea just before you drop off the files

Step 5: pick up box of beautifully shrink wrapped invitation pieces. Gaze at your handy work with nostalgia for the long nights spent with Mac and Wacom.

Step 6: Search for envelopes that are big enough. Try online. Try two stores. Get a speeding ticket. Try a third store. Then a fourth store. Drive home with envelopes in tow and spirit in slight distress.

Step 7:  I really don't want to talk about this one.

Ok fine.

I'll talk about it.

Calligraphy. Write 50 addresses. Throw away fifty envelopes. Write 24 addresses. Throw away 24 envelopes. Write 15 addresses. Throw away 15 envelopes.

Repeat step 6.


Step 8: Watch approximately 4 Discovery Channel's North America episodes while assembling invitations. Beg fiance for assistance. Watch as fiance sticks return address label to 12 envelopes and then quickly becomes exhausted. Complete assembly on one's own.

Step 9: Get rid of the bastards. Drop em in the mail box and walk away. Just walk away.

As you can probably see, then invitation process got a little.... shall we say, trying? But alas, it was all worth it because Grandma Sonia approves:

Please note English is not Grandma Sonia's first language. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Back to the Grind.

You didn’t think we’d stay a way from yard work for long, now did you? Of course not. Not with fiancĂ© running the show. A couple of weekends ago (I’ve really got to up my blog-keeping game) we had a big yard project to tackle – Operation: STUMP REMOVAL.

Yep, that’s right. Stump Removal. The angelic homeowners who occupied 16202 before the pack and I moved in cut down 6 massive cedar trees. “Why?” you ask.. “WHY?!” to which I’d reply, “Heck if I know.” 

 Alas, we had six giant stumps lining our back fence, preventing the planting of new, healthy, neighbor-view-blocking trees and taunting Jaydee. They had to be removed and luckily for us there’s a machine that’s made to do just that.

The machine. It was a beast.

Ok, I know this doesn't look very scary... but on the business end, this bad boy was equipped with teeth that promised to destroy anything it came in contact with. It was real mean. I always trust the pooches for character judgment and I'll tell ya what, Bruce wasn't a fan from the get-go.

Getting the Stump Grinder (shall we call her "S.G."?) in the backyard was the hardest part. After multiple attempts at backyard entry from various points around 16202, Jaydee finally decided that the best bet was to take S.G. up the skinny little walkway to the right of the garage. 

Unfortunately for Brewski, Jaydee found out that S.G.'s outer tires were removable and without the extra four inches on either side, S.G. did, in fact, fit up the walkway.

Poor Bruce. 

Jaydee and Toby [slowly] managed to get S.G. up the slope, into the back yard, positioned over stump #1 and ready to to start chewing. 

When we were finally ready to start grinding, we were all just about dead from anticipation. Jaydee fired S.G. up and slowly lowered the mean teeth over the stump #1. 

Because of the excitement, Toby, Bruce, Trent and I were all standing quite close to S.G. We quickly learned that was a mistake. We were forced to retreat back towards the house to remove the cedar chips from our teeth and watch from afar.

Like most projects with new, exciting, industrial equipment, stump grinding was real fun for about 10 minutes. Then it got boring. So we tried to mix it up.

I stump grinded.

Then Toby took a stab at it.

After that, Trent gave it a go.

Juuuuust kidding. Trent's a dog - he can't stump grind. It's the lack of thumbs.

As is the case with most yard projects, I failed to understand the commitment I was making when I signed up to help fiance with this project. I didn't realize that for every stump we ground, we'd wind up with about 824,324,932 lbs of stump dust that had to be shoveled into a wheel barrow, wheeled somewhere, and then shoveled out.

Finally after about 5 hours of S.G. hard at work and lots and lots of shoveling we were stumpless x 6.

S.G. was done. It was time for the 'ol girl to make her slow descent across the yard, down the skinny path, across the driveway, up the ramp and back into the trailer. Her exit was slow and anticlimatic (much like her entrance)...

Where did we put all that stump dust, you may wonder?

At Bruce's house.