Holiday Season Highlights.

When every area of your life is crashing down around you, the best thing to do is hide from the world until things straighten out.
That’s where I’ve been.

And here’s what I’ve been up to:

(I’m about to hit you with a lot of information. Grab some coffee.)

On Thanksgiving, I spent the day with some great people.

Many more are not pictured, obviously.

I was sat on a lot.

Sometimes I didn’t mind being sat on. But sometimes it made me mad.

 I spent the day making fun of my aunt’s doggo for having a bad attitude:

Days later she was taken to the vet and diagnosed with a severe infection in some major organs.
And I was diagnosed with being a severe and major douchebag.

In other news:

I took some naps.


I snuggled some puppers and some tiny tikes.

I engaged in the following conversation regarding body image:
Friend: ‘Think about how incredible we would look if we put effort into eating well and exercising.’
‘Check out how incredible we look now. And we’re saving time and money by doing neither of those things.’
‘That’s what I’m saying. If we did make an effort, we’d look EVEN BETTER.’
Dani: ‘You’re adorable. Eat some more spicy pimento dip.’
‘I’ve had enough. And you should stop too. You remember how upset your tummy was last time.’
‘Yeah, but I’ve eaten a lot of spicy things lately. I’ll be fine. My body has built up a tolerance.’

One of us was very wrong that night;
And very regretful the next morning.

At one point, I was caught playing peek-a-boo with a Great Horned Owl..


I don’t know why my forehead wrinkles in pictures. Perhaps it’s because my parents watched a lot of Star Trek when I was younger and I found Worf to be an intriguing individual.

And standing at an exhilarating distance from this beautiful representation of American freedom.
He’s been in movies, by the way. I’m practically famous by association.


– We were heard shouting throughout the halls.

(I had many options of significant national milestones for us to shout in this joke,
And I tested many of them.
For example:

**When using Google to spell check the word ‘dysentery,’ make sure you’re not on ‘Images.’ That’s a mistake I’ll only make once!**

But in first grade, I failed a Thanksgiving spelling test because I forgot how to spell ‘Plymouth;’
Despite the hours my daddy spent teaching me to pronounce it ‘ply-mouth’ in preparation for the fateful exam.

‘Your mother drives a Plymouth Voyager for crying out loud! How could you forget ‘Ply-Mouth?!’
– My father shouted in disbelief after I shared the news of my low test score.

On that day, I vowed that I would learn to spell ‘Plymouth’ and make my father proud.

Hence ‘PLYMOUTH ROCK!’ was chosen,
To show my dad that I finally did it.
I learned to spell ‘Plymouth.’
And I’ve now used it so many times that it’s lost all meaning.)

I think we can all agree that this joke got out of hand.
Time to move on.

I’ve invested significantly in this bad boy and am now being referred to as ‘The Silent Killer’ by many:


I don’t want to threaten anyone, but some of you may want to take a moment to evaluate our current relationship standing. I’m looking at you, Guy at Church who Publicly Insulted My Comedic Talents During Announcements That One Time. You know who you are.

Male: ‘Do you want to get into bow hunting? Or just target practice?’
Dani: ‘Just practice for now. I’ve thought about going after some turkey. But I don’t want to clean what I get.’
Male: ‘The secret is to go with people who have been hunting for a long time. And take a dull knife. They’ll get frustrated with you and just take over.’
Dani: ‘I’m very pretty. I’ve been hoping that will cause someone to do it for me.’
Male: ‘Yeah, I didn’t want to be the one to say it. But yeah.’

I’ll be inviting him hunting next October.

I went on to look fantastic at our company Christmas party.
This skirt cost me $1.25,
And I won ‘Most likely to push your car to work.’

Solid evening.

(See blog post Tow Truck Driver Joe for more insight in the hot mess that is my 2001 Pontiac Grand Am.)

This flashlight will come in handy next time I’m stranded on the freeway in the middle of the night.
I can use it to open the hood and pretend I know what I’m looking at while shaking my fist at the heavens;
And I can use it to shine a ‘Save the Princess’ signal into the sky to alert Tow Truck Driver Joe that I need rescued once again.

My prestigious award and new title gave way to the following conversation:
Dani: ‘I have the worst car in the company.’
FedEx Man:
‘You just need a Sugar Daddy. Hey! You could actually get one!’
‘I appreciate your unwavering support.’
FedEx Man:
‘You’ve got all the credentials. That’s all I’m saying.’

I bet he thinks I’m pretty.

Christmas festivities continued as I had the fabulous good fortune of strolling down Candy Cane lane with my dear cousin.
It was during this lovely night that I also had a run-in with Guy at Church who Publicly Insulted My Comedic Talents During Announcements That One Time.
Lucky for him, my trusty archery equipment was out of arm’s reach;
This time.

Grandma had me decorate a gingerbread cookie army.
She doesn’t mess around with holiday treats.

Here we see *Nsync and the Backstreet boys working on choreography.
Reunion tour coming soon. 


Cookie decorating is hard work.
It’s important to take a break and squeeze in some target practice.

My newfound archery obsession has caused people to refer to me as ‘The Muscle’ for obvious reasons.
Here I am, taking a break from the potato chip bowl at a party to show off for a crowd.


130 pounds of muscle, steel, and sex appeal. That’s what I see.

On to another Christmas party!

The night had a tumultuous start:

‘We have to buy our own drinks? ‘
‘We have to pay for pool? ‘
‘They put toothpicks in the mini corndogs? Now there’ll be evidence on my plate of how many I ate.’
‘What music are they playing? I’m asking for the wifi password.’

Then suddenly, the night took the best possible turn:

‘They brought out a nacho bar!’
‘We get free bottles of wine!’
‘Line dancin’ music?! Let’s go!’

We are simple people to please.

Dani: ‘I love this song. I saw him in concert.’
Britani: ‘Can you say that? You got kicked out after two songs..’
Dani: ‘…I still saw him.’

After 10 months of creative block , I finally designed some new shirts for work.

We had a photoshoot in which Calvin “Renegade” OfficeMate enticed Valeri to go full lemur:

While hilarious, I worry she doesn’t actually understand the natural behaviors of the species.

I made this festive veggie tray for Christmas Eve dinner:


It’s shaped like a Christmas tree. Adorable and nutritious. #WifeMe.

And I wore this zesty little number to work on Christmas day:

‘Merry Christmas from the Rudolph dress!’

I once had a male tell me that my eyes look like limestone.
‘Like, like a green limestone.’
The idiocy of that statement makes it my favorite pick-up line, ever.
‘Wanna smell my bedroom?’ comes in at a close second.
‘Where’s the closest hotel? By the way, my friend thinks you’re really beautiful.’ is a strong third.

Christmas day ended with a non-traditional Holiday dinner:

Praise God.

I stole some snuggles from these cute babies..

And went on some dates with a couple handsome guys.

Sometimes we explored the woods.

You can see a very adventurous 7-year old in the distance – kicking rocks, eating jerky, and just being a man.

**Disclaimer: He ventured behind the target once my quiver was empty. He was in no danger. And maybe I did remove the least impressive arrows from my target before snapping this picture. Don’t worry about it.

Sometimes we laid on a kitchen floor and read about the difference between a fire truck and a fire engine.

We’re an educated people.

This very strange year concluded with the following conversation:

Dani: ‘My New Year’s Resolution is the be better at clocking in and out everyday. New year, new me, you know?’
Accountant: ‘There must be bigger and better things you can use your resolution for.’
Dani: ‘There’s not. I’m perfect in every other way. This ‘time clock’ contraption is my only shortcoming.’

And the sweetest New Year’s Kisses:

Please, Lord Jesus, let 2017 make more sense than 2016 did.

– Dani
😉 🙂 😀

Tow Truck Driver Joe.

‘I haven’t written a blog in awhile. I should do that. What should I write about? Also, I’m going to stop and get some sort of cheese on my way home. I’m in the mood for some sort of cheese.’
– I thought to myself when I was sitting in class.
Young, precious, full of naive hope for the future.

Driving home from Ashland at 10:15 p.m, as I was singing (performing) Unwritten by my girl Natasha Beddingfield and eagerly awaiting the jalapeño pimento dip which I could hear calling my name from Albertson’s,
The unthinkable happened.

A red light appeared on my dash.
I’ve learned one thing, in my ten years as a motor vehicle operator, and one thing only;
Red lights on the dash ain’t playin’ no games.

(Yellow lights are a different story.
To yellow lights I simply respond, ‘Oh, stop it. You are fine. And I am a princess.’ 
I have been using this tactic on three dashboard yellow lights for quite some time, now.
It’s been working surprisingly well.

‘Gosh dang-it, son of a crack whore, slut.’
– I said as I pulled to the side of I5 at a very undesirable location.

‘This. Is. Piss.’
– I said when the problem wasn’t solved by turning my car off, and back on again.

AAA, here I come.
AAA Lady: ‘I’ve been telling everyone that it’s a 2 hour wait. But since you’re on the freeway, I’m bumping you to the front of the list.’

My dear cousins agreed to come wait for the tow truck with me, so I didn’t get stolen.
And now I have this updated, low-quality, family picture:

Imagine our delight when Tow-Truck Man arrived in record time!
His name was Joe.
We pop the hood and Tow-Truck Driver Joe and my cousin assess the situation.

As the adrenaline wears off, I become aware of the conversation around me.
I begin hearing words like ‘seal blown‘ and ‘gallons of oil.’
These words sound expensive.
So I stop listening.

Joe: ‘Looks like you made a good choice to stop driving immediately.’
Cousin: ‘Her dad’s a mechanic. He taught her well.’
Dani: ‘It’s true. A red light came on and I instantly went into fight or flight. A yellow light, I’ll push that for a good 80 to 1,000 miles. But a red light? I’ll stop right in my friggin tracks. Sorry, Natasha Beddingfield. Our encore will have to wait.’
Joe: ‘Did the car make any knocking noises before you pulled over?’
Dani: ‘I was singing much too loudly at the time to be able to give you an accurate answer, now. It was my solo, you understand.’
Joe: ‘It’s too bad you couldn’t make it home. But it’s a good thing you didn’t try.’
Dani: ‘That’s why I have AAA. I paid a lot of money for you to come do this for free.’
Joe: ‘Yeah? You got the basic plan? Let’s see what you got. You’re a PREMIUM?! Daaaaaaamn, girl!
Dani: ‘I assure you that I am nothing less than a princess in every situation, Tow-Truck Driver Joe.’
Joe: ‘Well I’ll get this all hooked up. You can wait in the cab. Feel free to mess with the heater, radio, whatever.’

If he had had an iPhone charger, I would have thought I was in an Uber.
(He had a Samsung. I judged him a little.)


Here I am, waiting for my main man Tow Truck Driver Joe to put the wench on ol’ Cherry Blossom.

Immediately after this picture was taken, my phone died.
Even though it said it had 12%.
Because why wouldn’t it.
(That’s what I get for being cocky and judging his Samsung.)

Luckily Tow Truck Driver Joe was not thirsty for blood, and I did not need to call in rescue relief.

Tow Truck Driver Joe and I had a lovely conversation during our time together.
We discussed:

  • Hawaii
  • Brookings
  • Snow
  • Surfing
  • Work
  • School

If I end up in a graduate program, it’s because Tow Truck Driver Joe has inspired me to pursue my education to the fullest.

I was delivered to my home, safe and sound, just shy of midnight-ish.
It was then that I realized I never got any sort of cheese,
And I was in fact starving to death,
Because I live like a hobo.

This is an actual picture of my current refrigerator contents.

I should have asked Joe to stop at Albertson’s.
He seems like the kind of guy that would enjoy pimento dip.
One more thing for us to bond over.
Oh, regret.

I looked in a cupboard and found this.
I AM a princess and I WILL survive.

– Dani
😉 🙂 😀

Miracle Hair.

‘I wasn’t even listening when you were making announcements on Sunday. I was just staring at your ‘miracle hair,’ wondering how you did it.’
I ain’t even mad,
Because I wasn’t very funny that Sunday.

I digress.

I’ve been asked how I get my hair like this:


So I’ll tell ya!

I accept no responsibility for anything that goes terribly wrong if you try this method,
Possibilities include but are not limited to:
Burnt hair.
Burnt off hair. (It really does happen. It’s happened to me. Twice. Not with this iron. It’s a bummer. But life goes on.)
Burnt face.
Burnt shins. (I know it sounds silly. But people have been known to burn their legs with curling irons. Sometimes twice. It’s not important. I don’t want to talk about it.)
Burnt neck.
Burnt fingers.

(My website does not support video at this time.
So this will be a photo tutorial.
Best of luck to us all.)

Shampoo, Condition, Leave-In Condition, Blow-dry.
(I LOVE the Extreme line by Redken for my poor, very-damaged hair.)


Then I bust out this bad boy:


Why I love wands:
They work great on naturally curly hair,
To spice up those God-given waves.
Bouncy curls last and last and last,
I don’t use setting spray, just a little light hairspray at the end.

My hair was much shorter when I bought this.
That’s why it’s skinny.
For longer hair, I would recommend a bigger iron. 
It’s faster.
But I paid $80 for this son-of-a-pig,
So I will use it until the Good Lord calls me home.

While the curling wand warms, I slather some of this stuff all up in my flowing mane.
(Helps protect hair cuticle from the direct heat of the iron.
Too much will get you greasy.
Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment.)


The smell.
Oh my lands, the smell.


I also like to add a little volume to my hair, because my roots are flatter than my chest.


Take this chunk of hair, backcomb, and hairspray.

Now take this chunk of hair, backcomb, and hairspray.

Now take this chunk of hair, backcomb, and hairspray.

Now take this chunk of hair, backcomb, and hairspray.

Lay it all back down, quick comb over the top to smooth it down and even it out.


Now we’re ready for the main attraction;
I’m comin’ in hot!

Tip 1: Curl your hair the way you want it to lay.
Don’t make it work harder than it needs to.

See how sad I am?
That’s how sad this curl is going to be when gravity forces it to completely invert itself.


This curl will be so happy. That makes me happy.


Tip 2: The cooling process is what makes curls last.
Remove iron and hold hair in desired shape until cooled.

You dare run your fingers through that curl, yet.

Caress that curl like a tiny, injured kitten until it doesn’t burn your hand anymore.


Tip 3: Curl away from face, on both sides.
That means some awkward arm contorting at first, but it’s worth it.

I’m sad again. Because this curl is going to spend all day flopping in my face.


Look how happy I am! Because these curls will naturally want to stay out of my lip gloss. I like that.


Tip 4: Let hair twist as is wraps.
That’s what gives these curls a different look than using a regular curling iron.

This will create barrel curls. Like Rodeo Princess curls. That’s not what we’re going for.


See how the chunk of hair gets more twisty as it wraps? We like that. We want that.


Tip 5: Messy hair is foxy hair.
After ALL hair is curled and cooled, go back through and ‘pop’ each curl.
Then shake.

Leave your hair all ringlet-y.
You’re not a rodeo queen or an 8 year old attending a daddy-daughter dance.
Nows the time to break up those curls, girlfriend.



Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!




Majestically glance over shoulder.

Tip 6: Lift hair at roots with fingers, hairspray ends!
(Adds volume.)


And you’re done!
Now get out there and flaunt your bouncy locks, you foxy she-devil.
(This hairstyle pairs nicely with bright pink lips and the hot-girl filter.)

img_9084 img_9082

Hope that helps, y’all!

– Dani
😉 🙂 😀

These curls have magical powers;
Remember to use those powers for good.
Also, if this tutorial gets you a puppy,
I’m going to need to pet that puppy.
If this tutorial gets you a baby,

I’m going to need to hold that baby.
If this tutorial gets you nachos,
I’m going to need some of those nachos.


Dani: ‘Can we eat soon? I’m starving. I’ve become rather skinny lately. I’ve been told that I could blow away in the wind.’
Dad: ‘I don’t think that’s true. Do you need to see a full-body picture of yourself to bring you back to reality?’
Dani: ‘Sure. We can use this picture that was recently taken:’
Dani: ‘I’m the one with dat booty.’
Dad: ‘I can’t have this conversation.’

Dani: ‘Look at all these pictures I photobombed. That’s my ‘I’m not supposed to be in this picture. But I am.’ face.’
sj-545-X3sj-504-X3sj-547-X3sj-575-X3Dad: ‘Huh. You look like you have a bad spray tan in some of those pictures.’
Dani: ‘Thank you, Father.’

As we left for dinner,
Father was the first to walk out the front door.
Dani was the last to walk out the front door.

‘That’s alright. I’LL close the door.’
– Father sneered as he went back into the house, to close the door I had forgotten.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we exited the Party-Time Cruiser.
Everyone closed their doors effectively.
Except for one.

– I said with a shrug while my father took a deep breath and unlocked the car so I could try again; disappointment slowly filling his eyes.

Dad: ‘Now there are two sets of doors as we enter the restaurant. There are people inside. They can see how you handle this situation. There may even be someone coming out the doors as we go in.’
Dani: ‘I’m not ready. We’re here. I have to. Here I go.’
Dad: ‘..why are you going in on the left side?! That’s the exit.’
Dani: ‘It was already slightly ajar! I panicked and decided to go with the sure thing.’

Once inside, the discussions turned philosophical.

Dani: ‘Did you steal my spoon? I don’t need it, but I’m curious as to why I don’t have one. Where has it gone? What is it doing? Is it okay? Does it need me?’
Dad: ‘I did not steal your spoon. I haven’t stirred anything in hours.’
Dani: ‘Oh my. I haven’t stirred anything in days. Now that’s a humbling thought.’

It was then that we ran into some old family friends, whom I haven’t seen in 10 years.

Lady: ‘Oh, look at Dani! She’s beautiful! And so grown!’
Dani: ‘They tell me that I’m an adult, these days!’
Lady: ‘Well, I’m going to get back to my group!’
Dani: ‘Don’t leave. I’m about to do something ridiculous that will perplex everyone and leave rice strewn about the entire restaurant.’

And I did.

‘Uh oh.’
– I said to Padre as I discovered that my entire body had become covered in sauce from my orange chicken.
‘I don’t understand how this happened.’

‘This is why I didn’t take you people to the fancy restaurant.’
– He replied; slowly realizing that he may have failed as a parent.

After dinner, we stopped by the bank.

‘Are you serious?’
– Father pleaded, as I walked away from the Party-Time Cruiser, leaving the door 6 inches ajar.
‘Okay. That’s just freaky. I really tried to close it this time. I pushed it hard and everything.’
– I defended. 

I could tell that I was losing him.
It was time to remind my father that I’m not completely incompetent;
Thus I ended up on top of this bear.


Then we ventured to the store.
My father is a brave man.

Dad: ‘Do you want fruit?’
Dani: ‘Mhm!’
Dad: ‘…’
Dani: ‘…’
Dad: ‘…’
Dani: ‘Oh. No. No fruit, please.’
Dad: ‘What is wrong with you?’

Upon returning to the house,
My dad attempted to unlock the door and dropped his keys.

‘Doors. You know?’
– I said, feeling empathetic and trying to offer emotional support.
‘Oh, no. You are NOT dragging me into this mess with you.’
– He said as he retrieved his keys and unlocked the door with defiance.

Here’s to having better luck with elementary tasks for the rest of the weekend.

– Dani
😉 🙂 😀

Weddings and Hometowns.

First things, first.


Homecoming weekend with my best friends.
Speeding down the 101 in a minivan.
Laughing and taking selfies in the back seat.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 5.41.50 PM


My best friend’s wedding weekend.
Speeding down the 101 in a BMW,
Laughing and taking selfies in the backseat.


My pupils are still red, and I’m still terrible with eyeliner.
Some things never change.

Funny things, next.

I’ve done things in my life that have terrified me.
Tried me.
Challenged me.
Pushed me from my comfort zone and made me realize all that I was created to be.
But nothing compares to cutting the hair of both the officiant and the best man on thE DAY OF THE WEDDING.

Luckily I am perfect in all I do,
So everyone looked great.


Just look at those flawlessly trimmed curls.

Mushy things, third.

It’s always nerve-racking attending a wedding solo,
Especially when the bride is the ONLY one you know.
She’s stressed.
She’s busy.
She’s got things to do.
She can’t just hang out and entertain me all weekend!

Imagine my delight when everyone who attended the wedding was so friendly and welcoming;
They befriended the awkward stranger who drank a whole bottle of wine in record time and thus became white-girl wasted in the hot tub on a Thursday night.
God bless ’em.

The wedding began.

I told myself I wouldn’t cry.
And I didn’t.
Until the first bridesmaid started down the aisle.
‘You’ve made it longer than I thought you would. You done good, sista.’
– I said to myself.


It’s not every day that you get to watch your best friend get married under a hometown sunset ❤

The reception was full of pizza and pictures and dancing;
My three favorite things.
Which is probably why we’re best friends.

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s her birthday.
And I need to tell her that she’s pretty and funny.
Because she is.
(And having a wedding and a birthday in the same week is just insane. Give her presents.)


– Dani
😉 🙂 😀

Weekends are for Adventure.

Dani: ‘I’m coming to visit!’
Cousin: ‘Want to fish for surf perch?’
Dani: ‘Of course I do. I’ve got the perfect hat.’


I ❤ work swag.

That first night I was blessed with a real treat:
Cartoon snuggles with this little princess!


I don’t even care that this is a horrible picture. She finally likes me again.

Dani: ‘How early do we have to leave in the morning?’
Cousin: ‘Like, 7?’
Dani: ‘Oy.’
Cousin: ‘I’ll buy donuts. And we have a Keurig. So coffee can be ready in one minute.’

Smart man.


To the coast!

Ben caught the first fish!


I was happy for him. I was.

I hooked one!
But then I lost him.
Story of my life.

(I assume he just got intimidated when he realized how pretty and successful I am.)


‘I’m not bitter at all.’ – I said bitterly, with a bitter expression.

Selfies to make me feel better!


Don’t mind the spot of coffee on my nose. It was there all day. No one told me.

It’s shocking that I didn’t have a more successful day,
Just look at that sound casting technique:


Pure grace.

Dani: ‘There was so much weight on the line, it was really hard to cast.’
Cousin: ‘It was two ounces..’
Dani: ‘…that can’t be right.’
Cousin: ‘I know that you’re a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man. But if you want, I can cast for you. We don’t have to tell anyone.’

Whether I took him up on his offer stays between he and I.

Here I am not complaining about being cold and wet and having crampies:


I’m such a good fishing buddy.

After a much needed nap to sleep away a heart-wrenching day of fishing,
It was time for some giggles and selfies.


Dani: ‘What’s for dinner?’
Cousin: ‘Burgers?’
Dani: ‘It’s been a looong time since I’ve had a chili burger. Let’s make it a double. I just finished my homework and I’d like to celebrate.’
Waitress: ‘I’ve worked here since October. I’ve never seen anyone order a double chili burger.’
Cook: ‘I can barely even finish a single.’
Dani: ‘I’m declaring this is the end of swimsuit season for me. I need to do this. I need to prove that the cook is a weak, weak man.’


‘She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.’


‘You were made to do hard things, beautiful girl. So believe in yourself.’

Mission accomplished.


‘Every once in a while, blow your own dang mind.’

After dinner, there was nothing to do but lay on the  couch and take selfies while my tummy did battle with a whole cow and a can of chili.


I wasn’t completely lazy for the rest of the night,
At one point I moved to the floor.


Weekends are fun.
Adventure is fun.
Family is fun.

– Dani
😉 🙂 😀