Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Thanksgiving Cruise

Hello everyone!

So for Thanksgiving this year Jeff and I decided to use one of our cruises from Princess (as we both were employees for five years each) over Thanksgiving break. It worked out perfectly for me to take time off and Jeff to leave school with the holiday break. By the time we got home we were kind of feeling so so about the cruise but overall we were so grateful to have been able to go and just relax. We both came back refreshed and ready to get back to school and I would say that that is a successful vacation.

We chose to go on a Western Caribbean cruise hitting the ports of Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan Island, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize. We left the Houston, TX port on Sunday, November 22 in the afternoon. The Princess cruise ship was late getting into port due to them picking up some Cuban's trying to reach America. They had been out on a raft for forty days with a milk jug of water for each of them. The food on board was absolutely delicious!!! They had a variety at dinner and the buffet line; we loved that they tried to incorporate foods from the Caribbean-they had cooked shrimp you dipped into a fruit sauce that has some spice to it....mmmmmm divine!!! They had a turkey carving contest with the head chef, beautiful decorations, and the weather for the most part was accommodating.

Our first port was Cozumel; we got off and immediately are assaulted by people offering souvenir's taxi rides to "the best snorkeling sites" in Cozumel. Jeff had previously been there before so we walked out of the port and found our own little beach access site. We snorkeled for a couple of hours, looking for fish and trying to avoid the sea urchins unsuccessfully (I think I still have a prickle in my foot...). We then went to a local restaurant that had free Wi-fi where we ate lunch waiting for a rain storm to pass. And by storm I mean it POURED rain! It really does know how to downpour in the Caribbean. We enjoyed "matchos nachos" which said was a dish to share-when it got there we realized it was to share amongst a group of six people! Haha it had toppings of shrimp, chicken, beef, jalapenos, beans, sour cream, cheese, peppers, etc. It was LOADED with goodies!

When we were in Roatan, Jeff went snorkeling and got a nasty sunburn. Poor kid is still peeling (we've been home for about two weeks). We got off of the ship in Roatan and walked around for a bit. It's such a cute, quaint little town. We took a leisurely ski lift ride over to the beach-it had an over look of the park you walked through and the bay area. It poured rain for the first half hour we were there but hey, we were going snorkeling so it didn't matter. All in all Roatan was by far my favorite port. So colorful and there were not people everywhere trying to sell you things or offer you the "best deal."

Our last port was a bit of a bust....we took a fifteen minute tender ride to the port to find out that unless you have an excursion booked you are not allowed to leave the port due to the danger of the city. It poured again just as our boat got we looked in the shops for a few minutes until it stopped raining and then went back to the boat. We then chilled by the pool, trying to catch some sun in between the clouds.

While at sea, we were able to watch two art auctions-the auctioneer was HIGHLY entertaining and very knowledgeable. It actually made me want to buy some pieces (he's good at his job!) and a comedy act by Steve Morris. Steve had toured with the Beatles and shared fun facts about them and other famous artist he performed with once upon a time.

On the day of our arrival we ended up getting fogged out of the port of entry....and were stuck there all day. They kept us updated almost every hour throughout the morning and afternoon until they were informed by the port authorities that they would be unable to come in until the following day. So we missed our flights home...and so did the other 3,000 people on board. They were finally able to slip in at 1:45 in the morning-we were the only ship to do so of the five ships that were waiting. Unfortunately due to 3,000 people needing new tickets, Southwest did not have any flights to Las Vegas for two days so we hurriedly booked new tickets through American Airlines (I have to say I was pretty impressed with their airlines, they kept us informed of any changes and had a wonderful staff). We are currently working with Southwest to see if we can receive a refund or transfer the tickets to another time and location. They have been very accommodating!

So like I said, it was WONDERFUL to spend a week together, alone however we were both very grateful to get home and start our routine. We are both studying like crazy for exams-Jeff is has finals all of next week at school and I take my national certification exam for medical billing and coding next Saturday. We will then be traveling to Dallas, TX to see a hockey game with Lynda and Logan for Lynda and Jon's wedding anniversary. When we get back we plan to go and look at the beautiful temple square lights in Salt Lake City. I have been four out of the five years I have lived in Utah, I told Jeff that it is a tradition that I plan on continuing until we have moved. They are just beautiful!!!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving; have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years from the Tanners!


Jeff and Ashlyn Tanner

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Adventures

Hello everyone!

So Jeff and I have been getting settled in here in beautiful St. George, Utah. The weather has been absolutely wonderful-warm temperatures, sunny skies, I couldn't ask for better weather! After spending years in the frozen north, this Alaska girl is happy to be spending time in a warm place for the unforeseeable future!

Jeff has been attending Dixie State, where he is pursuing a pre-dental degree. His favorite class is Interpersonal Communication's...I'm his test dummy for everything haha but it's been a good learning process for both of us as we have started our marriage. It's really made me personally stop and think about things before I say or do them.

I was lucky enough to find a job as a Medical Assistant with Desert Pain Specialists. As usual, I seemed to luck into the job and have been trying to pick everything up every since. There has been so much to learn, but I have been loving every second of it. Because I have found such a wonderful job, at this time Jeff and I have discussed it and decided that I will not be going back to Alaska this next summer to work, it breaks my heart to think of not returning but sometimes you do what you have to do. Jeff will be going back up to work because let's be honest, he can just make a lot more money in Alaska than he could in Utah!

So last weekend we went to a water-park in Las Vegas with Jeff's cousin Emily and her boyfriend Mike. I had never been to one before and it was a BLAST!!! We were able to soak up some awesome sunshine, and the best part was we were able to use a Groupon and got a KILLER DEAL!!!! I love Groupon! Hahaha! There was a huge lazy river with inter-tubes, a wave pool with inter-tubes, and a whole bunch of slides. Some of them you could only go on individually, others you could go on in pairs. We had fun racing with Emily and Michael and then soaking up some sunshine afterwards!

This weekend we went up to Provo, Layton, and Salt Lake for Jeff's mission reunion and then for general conference. I was able to meet Jeff's mission companions and hear their stories, attend conference at the conference center, and then to top it off, we were able to stay with Cherise and her awesome family! I haven't seen Cherise in about a year and a half, and I haven't seen Davis or Abby for two years. It was so wonderful to spend some time with them, and for Jeff to meet them. We were able to catch up on what's happened in our lives since we last saw each other, share some laughs. It was awesome! We'll be heading back up that way in a few weeks again as one of Jeff's mission buddies will be getting married.

It was so cool getting to experiencing attending conference with Jeff, he had never been to the conference center, haha I don't think he realized just how big it really was until we were inside! Afterwards we met up with Kaitlyn (she came from Arizona with some of her friends) and my cousin Zach! Again we were able to catch up with each other and what we have been doing since the wedding a couple of months ago.

It's absolutely CRAZY to think we have been married for a little over two months now. Some days it's surreal because it doesn't seem like it's been that long and other days it's surprising because it feels like it should be a lot longer. Just within the past month we have packed up our lives, driven all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska down to St. George, Utah; I have gotten a job; we've taken a couple of small road trips, and moved into our own little home. It's truly incredible to see how blessed we truly have been. I have loved every second of it and am so grateful to have found the love of my life!

This month is going to be a pretty busy one for us, we have a couple more "road trips" planned so we will keep you posted on here of what is going on in our lives.

Lots of love,

Ashlyn and Jeff

Friday, May 9, 2014

Once upon a time....

Once upon a time there was a boy (we'll call him Jeff) who chose to serve a mission for his church. While serving on his mission, Jeff grew leaps and bounds, learning more not only about himself, but also about his faith and what it really meant to be a follower of Christ. About 5 months before Jeff was supposed to come home, his dad past away in a plane crash. Jeff flew home to be with his family and to attend the funeral. 

Unbeknownst to him, one of his fellow mission companions (his name can be Tyson) had asked a girl (we'll call her Ashlyn) to attend the funeral in his stead as he couldn't be there (he was going to school in Utah) but wanted the family to know that he wished he could be. 

So Ashlyn went to the funeral; she had met Dr. Tanner once before and had been introduced to Jeff once or twice. Tyson had asked that her to give the Tanner family a hug and tell them he was thinking of them and she said she would if it was possible. After the funeral was over, Ashlyn told one of her friends that she would only go and give them hugs if they were accessible (not tons of people waiting to speak/hug them as well). As soon as those words popped out of her mouth, the friend pointed behind her and said "Well there's your chance." 

Ashlyn turned around and there was Jeff, so she went over and gave him a hug (after stepping on his foot...lets be honest, it can be a little awkward hugging someone you've only met a handful of times AND that is still considered a missionary!). She apologized for his loss and then passed along Tyson's message. Ashlyn then left and didn't think about the interaction again until she received a text from Tyson asking for her email. When she asked why, he responded with "Elder Tanner asked for it, idk why though." 

The following Monday there was an email from Elder Tanner (he chose to complete his mission) thanking her for attending the funeral and for coming to say hello. He then said "Well we have a lot of mutual friends, and since we've only had a handful of conversations, what do you say we get to know each other a little better?" Unbeknownst to Ashlyn, this kid found out that she was single AND in his opinion the cutest girl. Ashlyn being all naive and innocent thought, "well sure, I could use a good friend!" The only warning she gave him was that she was NOT that good at remembering to write, so he was warned to not get offended if the responses were sporadic. 

The emails flew back and forth every week, if he didn't have time for a long email, then he would send a short one and promise to write back later on during the week. The only time either of them missed an email was about two months before Jeff was supposed to come home; Ashlyn was in a head on collision with a semi-truck (obviously she lived to tell the tale.....) and Jeff was just BUSY BUSY that week. With every email that was sent, they became more and more personal for both of them. They shared daily experiences, thoughts, hopes, dreams, secrets, and more. Both Jeff and Ashlyn found it was easy to confide in the other.

It wasn't until about two weeks before Jeff was supposed to come home from his mission that Ashlyn even remotely thought there was a little something more than friendship brewing (remember she is naive and innocent); Jeff asked her if he could send her a silly form that the missionaries in his mission had. When she received the form later on in the week she was a bit flabbergasted and caught off guard by it....the form contained the following questions:

1. Does your dad own a gun
      if so, how big?
2. Are your siblings bribable?
3. Where would you like to go on our first date?
     a. Park      b. Movies     c. Park      d. Fancy Dinner      e. Park     f. Beach    g. Park

There were plenty more along those lines (like leaving three different lip impressions), however at the end there were the more important questions like:

1. What are you looking for in a future spouse?
2. Why do you want to date/marry a return missionary? 

3. What do you want to be when you "grow up?"

After reading it a few times over the course of the next week, Ashlyn filled out the form. She wrote Jeff and let him know to expect lots of sass for replies to which he said "I wouldn't expect anything less!" 

Three days before Jeff was supposed to come home, he let Ashlyn know what flight and time he would be home at and invited her to come if she would like. Ashlyn went back and forth right up until his flight came in on whether or not she would go to the airport. In the end she decided not to, she had never met his family (except for at the funeral) and she knew this was the first time they would be seeing Jeff since the funeral. Rather than interrupt that special moment she decided to wait. 

The day after Jeff got home, Ashlyn left with some friends to go to Anchorage to attend the temple. It was the first time in almost two years since she had been, (23 months too long); instead of waiting another couple of months to go, she went ahead and left, prolonging seeing Jeff for another two days. Once Jeff was released from being an elder, the two began texting back and forth constantly (before he was released they emailed back and forth...emailing was allowed, texting not so much). When they finally saw each other for the first time, Ashlyn ran into his arms and gave him a HUGE hug! She attended his homecoming talk that same day at church, and then they went out on their first "date" that Monday (ice skating, prime rib sandwiches...they were delicious). Within a week of being home, Jeff had found himself a girlfriend AND had kissed her (he wasn't bad for taking a two year hiatus). 

The next two months were pure bliss for them, life became pretty easy (well as easy as it can become). Jeff had a job pretty soon and he began settling in to a routine. It was a bit weird for him to not have his dad around but the adjustment wasn't too hard. He was grateful to have Ashlyn in his life (according to him, she is what made the adjustment a lot easier). They went on snowmachine adventures, ice park, ice skating (are you noticing a trend...the kid LOVES the winter time!). Pretty soon Jeff and Ashlyn started realizing that they couldn't imagine their lives without each other, so they decided to pray individually if they were ready to take the next step....

On 10 May 2014 Jeff asked Ashlyn to be his wife for time and all eternity (the proposal story will come at a later date).
 They will be married on 26 July 2014, in the Anchorage, AK temple and then they will live happily ever after (and continue to have more adventures)!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Is It Spring Yet?!

Goodness I have to wonder if this winter is going to end....I've been spoiled since I spent the last few winters in milder weather. I'm excited for my lil sis Kaitlyn, she's getting married the end of April to the love of her life. I've yet to meet the guy BUT so far I approve of what I've heard! Kaitlyn asked me to be one of her I get to go and spend over a week in BEAUTIFUL Arizona!

As we start gearing up for the summer I'm getting more and more excited! Friends will be returning and the summer adventures will begin! This summer I did decide to return to HAP Alaska-Yukon, however I will only be driving part-time during the months of May, August, and September. This will be the first summer I can actually have a breather and enjoy life and have some new Alaskan adventures. I'll be sure to document them with lots of pictures ;)

Soo I have started a new face wash regime (courtesy of work) which is going to make my face really red as the dead skin falls off and new skin comes out (kind of like a snake.... YUCK). I have been putting a little bit on the underside of my chin so that there isn't a "line" well ummmmm it appears that if you spray perfume on it ummm your skin becomes overly dried out and cracked...needless to say I'm hoping the coconut oil will help. But until it heals I will be wearing scarves to cover it up, I'm tired of having to explain to people that NO it is not a hickey, more like a chemical burn!

This upcoming weekend is our branch temple trip so that means ROAD TRIP!!! Sadly our closest temple is 300+ miles away which makes it difficult to go often, but when we do go oh boy are those trips memorable! I haven't been able to go to the temple for almost 2 years (partly because I haven't made time to do so). I'm excited to go down this weekend though, it'll be a fairly quick trip but it'll nice to get down there and do some baptisms.

Other than that, life has been pretty boring! But such is life as you grow up ;) just kidding! I can still have my moments of fun, you just have to know how to draw me out of my comfort zone.

Tootles  :)


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End of Another Year....

It's always fun to review the past year...I have the tendency to focus on the all the bad things that happen in a year when first looking at it however the good slowly begin to pop up. This year has definitely had it's ups and downs as is to be expected--if you had told me last year that I would be back in Alaska willingly I would have laughed hysterically. And even now that I am here I wouldn't say it was my first choice, however I know I am where I'm supposed to be. So let's review what 2013 had to offer me.....

In January I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Seattle for a week of training with HAP Alaska-Yukon. It was incredible to meet new people that shared my passion/love of Alaska and see what Seattle had to offer on a tourist level. I was able to see Jodi and Gil (my mom's cousins) while I was there; I think it had been almost 7 years since I had last seen them so it was really nice! I was able to go see the gum wall, go to Hard Rock Cafe for the first time and see what shopping was like in a big city. I remember absolutely loving the architecture downtown and getting to see the underground tunnels that they had when Seattle was first founded. For those of you that don't know...I do love history so it was neat to be able to take some of that in.

After that I spent a few weeks in Provo, spending time and saying good-bye to many of my friends. I had no idea when I would be back through there again. And then it was onto my next adventure in Arizona. While I was in AZ Daniel and I broke up. It was hard, but definitely for the best. I was able to soak up the sun poolside in between working for HAP Alaska-Yukon. I was able to re-establish some friendships that had been neglected due to distance and I was able to make many more new friends. I'm so grateful for all of my friends that I made while in AZ...I don't know when I will be back down there or if it will ever be a permanent move, however I LOVED every second I was in Arizona and what it had to offer me. I frequented the zoo on several occasions and even made a spontaneous trip to Mexico for the day...that was so much fun!

My cousin Zach ended up getting home from his mission about a month before I was supposed to head back up to Alaska. During one of our conversations I happened to mention that I would be driving back up to AK the beginning of May and that if he wanted to he was more than welcome to tag along....I had told mom and dad that I would have other people driving up with me...but most of them ended up bailing on me because they had to get to AK before I could leave. So unbeknownst to me Zach said yes but didn't actually plan on coming up BUT when I made it to his mission farewell before heading up he packed his bag and away we went. The trip was so much fun! Haha we were able to catch up with each other and get to know each other better. Zach ended up staying up here for the summer working with a hunting guide outfit. It's sounding like he'll be back with them again next summer which will be awesome! His family ended up coming to visit this summer; I took a couple of days off and we made a mad dash down to Homer (that's 10 hours away for those of you that don't know Alaska...) and spent a couple days down there. We had some fun fishing adventures!

This summer was a whirlwind of activity--many new faces to meet with HAP and many old faces to catch up with. I was so busy though--in years past I have worked 40ish hour weeks as the reservation agent, however this year I took a different position as a Transportation Supervisor. Almost the whole summer I was working 6 days a week and between 65-80 hours within that week. I may or may not have broken down into tears at some point, however I did love my job. While working this year I ended up getting my Commercial Driver's License...ever since I started working for HAP four years ago I have wanted to get my CDL. It was a lot of hard work and very stressful, but I felt so accomplished.

When I left Arizona in the spring, I had every intention of coming back come fall. However, as the summer progressed I just had this nagging feeling that Arizona was not the place I was meant to be...I felt the urging that Alaska was where I needed to be. I was praying and fasting about the decision but I wanted to be sure that it was the right decision. During that week I ended up getting an offer to work at a local Oral Surgeon's office (see one of my previous posts for the full story). I finished with HAP and started at Dr. Sutley's the following Monday. Within a few weeks I moved from the Receptionist to the back as a Surgical Assistant/Technician. I absolutely LOVE my job and the office that I work for. The Sutley's are so generous and with the clinic family comes first.

Thanksgiving was nice to spend that with my family this year--it was the first time since I was a senior in high school that I got to spend with my family. Then came Christmas! My mom and I were able to be apart of the Fairbanks Symphony Chorus this year...we had our Christmas concert. It was so fun to be able to do something that both my mother and I love. We had so much fun and are looking forward to singing Verdi in the spring.

And to top off the year I decided to send it off with a getting into a car accident. I have been house-sitting for the last couple weeks and was on my way to work last Friday when I slid over into the opposite lane and crashed into a semi-truck head on....I was driving my mother's car (mine wouldn't start the previous evening) and it was totaled. However I have no doubts that there was a reason my car did not start the previous evening, some people call it luck, others karma...personally I know it was divine intervention. I was able to walk away from my accident with a minor burn on my wrist from the airbag, a couple bruises from the seat belt, and a very stiff back. All in all I am so grateful just to be alive!

As the year is winding down, I have had a chance to take a look at what all I have accomplished and what I was hoping to accomplish. I may not be where I thought I would be right now, however I have no doubts that I am where I am supposed to be. I'm so grateful to my family for allowing me to stay with them so that I can pay off some bills and get some money put into savings. I'm excited to see what 2014 has to offer, I'm sure that there will be many fun adventures.

Have a happy and safe New Year's eve and day!

Lots of love from the North Pole!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The End of Another Year....

Well this year seems to have been a difficult one for me to remember to blog....I think I only had three blog posts for 2013...I'm sorry for that but it was a bit of a busy year. Since I was last on a few more things have happened. When I was hired at Dr. Sutley's it was as a Receptionist with the hopes of moving to assistant eventually. When that eventually was going to be was kind of unspoken...well within threeish weeks of working as a receptionist, there were some more job changes and I was asked if I wanted to move to the back as an assistant. I was thrilled beyond belief, this was the field of work I wanted to be in to build a career.  These last few months have been crazy as I have been learning how to assist Dr. Sutley, reading the x-rays better  It's been great getting to know the girls at work better and the Sutley's are truly amazing people. At our clinic it's very family oriented--they are really understanding if something comes up. I am truly blessed, this job literally fell into my lap and then the people are incredible.

I've also recently been called as the Relief Society president...round two. I'm excited to get to know the girls in my branch better and to be a little more involved.

This is a pretty short post, but you know is what it is sometimes! Haha I have to go help mom get the house ready and bake cookies for Santa.

Merry Christmas!!!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm A Big Kid Now

So as a lot of you know, I completed my Dental Assisting Certificate this past year when I was in Utah, however I was offered a position with Holland America and Princess that I could pass up right after graduating. The Dental Assisting has kind of been on the back burner since then, however I am so excited to say that I GOT A JOB! The big shocker isn't that I got the job (although to some of you it might be haha) but rather where I got the job....I took a position as an Oral Surgery Receptionist/Assistant at Dr. Sutley's office in Fairbanks, AK. 

This wasn't a decision that was made lightly; I know most of you are probably a little bit shocked because of how adamant I was that I was moving back to Arizona. I have been talking with my parents since coming home, slightly bemoaning the fact that if I went back down to the states I would be doing an unpaid internship (I really should complain about that, I know...but). So I talked with my mom and said that I was interested in applying at a local Orthodontist office (the same one I went to when I had braces) because they had expressed an interest in hiring me the previous summer. However I wasn't sure if I really wanted to live in -40 or colder...aka I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to living in Alaska for a permanent job. So I began to pray and fast, I even expressed my concerns to my Branch President and asked him for a blessing to help. After praying and fasting, I had come to the decision that Alaska was/is where I am supposed to be right now. I went in and submitted my application at Dr. Wentz's office and I waited...and I waited...and I waited. They had told me that it would probably be a few weeks before they got back to me as Dr. Wentz was out of town, but that they were excited with the prospect of hiring me. 

Three weeks later, I still hadn't heard anything from the Orthodontic office. I was beginning to doubt that I had made the right decision in staying in Alaska. I wasn't quite sure what to do, but I figured if it was meant to work out, the Lord would provide a way. And boy did He!

I had a wisdom teeth consultation scheduled last week; I called in the day before asking for the time of my appointment and chatted with the lady for a few minutes, getting details of what I would need for the appointment, etc. The next morning, however we had some crap hit the fan and I was needed to drive a group to Denali...normally this wouldn't be an issue except I had my appointment at the exact same time I was supposed to be leaving Fairbanks! I called in before the office opened, asking if there was any chance they happened to have an opening earlier in the morning. They called me back as soon as the office opened, I explained the situation, and the lady was so nice and told me to come in at 10 AM because she thought there would be an opening for me. So I scrambled over to the appointment, walked in and checked in at the desk. The ladies there were oohing and ahhing over my Minnie Mouse bow (I wear it with a sock bun almost every day) and saying that I looked adorable, especially considering I had been up since 3 AM. They gave me the necessary paperwork and I went and sat down to fill it out. 

When I was done filling out the paperwork, I went back up to the window to give it to the lady (I'm so bad with names...I have completely spaced on hers). She looked over everything and then asked me if the job I had listed was a seasonal position, I replied that it was indeed, however that I was waiting to hear back from Dr. Wentz to see if he was going to offer me a position. She kind of perked up when I said this, so I told her that I had just completed my Dental Assisting Certificate, and then joking threw in there "Hey are you hiring? Haha just kidding." To which she replied with, "Well actually we are...and you would be perfect for the job!" I looked at her in shock and she told me to have a seat while she went and spoke with their hiring manager. I ended up interviewing for the position and then went in to see the doctor for my consultation. I walked out of the office with my Wisdom Teeth extraction scheduled and a job application with the request that I return it filled out and with my resume the following day. 

So I turned in my application, complete with cover letter, resume, letter of recommendation, and a copy of my certificate in a folder. When I dropped it off the next morning, all of the ladies were so excited to see me and said they hoped I would get the job. This morning I received a phone call from the hiring manager, asking a few more questions and then said that after checking my references and getting glowing reports (Thank you so much everyone for that) she wanted to offer me the position. I immediately accepted it and we discussed the hiring date, process, etc. 

I am thrilled beyond belief to finally be starting my career. I am sad to be saying good-bye to HAP Alaska-Yukon (I may go back part time next summer, but as you all know, anything can happen in a short space of time), however I know that I am doing what I need to be doing. I am so grateful for the support from my family and friends as I was going through school, and I am grateful for their continued support through this decision making process. I also want to say thanks to everyone at HAP Alaska-Yukon for all of your help and keeping me motivated, I have learned so many skills because of this company. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! 

Lots of love,