Thursday, January 29, 2009


On January 24, 1985, my favorite person was born.

This guy.

Of course, he didn't look like this when he was born. He probably wasn't wearing the tux, anyway.

For all you math-minded people: 2009 - (as in minus) 1985 = 24!

24 on the 24th. Golden Birthday. This is what I was dealing with.

So we had some friends over the night before the big day for pizza and such. Also, there may or may not have been a craps table involved. May or MAY NOT, people. Don't jump to conclusions, please. We had a grand old time...whatever we may or MAY NOT have done....

The morning of the main event, we slept in. Love sleeping in. I think this has rubbed of a bit on Dallin, too. When we did get up, I made him his favorite breakfast (crepes and bacon. We love bacon.) and we played some Mario Kart on the wii we borrowed from my parents. I also gave him a coupon book, giving him coupons to make me do things I should do anyway. After a pretty lazy afternoon, we met up with my parents and little sister for something that you might not be expecting:


My mom saw tickets for this thing a little while ago, and thought it might be fun to go for Dallin's birthday, so go we did! Along with tons of other people. And these weren't just any people. No. These were Monster Jam people. These were get a tattoo of Grave Digger people. These were give your kid a mullet people. These people had character. They made the whole experience, really.

Other things that helped with the experience:




Good times.

I love my 24 year old hubby. He is the best there is and I'm grateful that I got to celebrate another birthday with him, and that I get to celebrate several more with him. Happiness abounds!

Since I titled this post 24, I feel I should also mention that I love the tv show 24, and feel complete now that it is the 24 season once again. GO GET THOSE TERRORISTS, JACK!!

My other favorite show is Gilmore Girls. Paradox much?

In other news, our blog (on blogspot) is pink. Don't tell Dallin. I think it is Valentines-y, obviously. He would think it

Also, my comments are being trippy! I have approved several comments on a couple posts, and yet the page insists on not showing them! What am I doing wrong, blog?! Tell me! People are going to think I'm a loser without blog comments! But anyway, if you've commented and don't see your comment, it is not because I did not approve of your comment. It is also not because I hate you. I hate pretty much no one.

And I especially hate pretty much no one that reads my blog. Group hug!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Counting the Cost: Spring Semester '09

Tuition (before the help of scholarships and loving parents): $5,063

Books: $350

Student Fees: $100

Student health insurance: $681

Knowing you are starting your last semester of college: priceless.

There are some things money can't buy.

Apparently a college degree is not one of them.

Back to school today...for the last time!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Day in the Life

Hello and welcome to Bank of America! My name is Katie and I'd be happy to help you right away. How are you today?


Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.


Yes, I'm sure the line at the bank didn't help. But hopefully, I can! So what can I do for you today?


There is nothing I'd like more than to help you withdraw money out of your account! Do you have a debit card with you?


Oh. Well I didn't realize debit cards were so dangerous. I'll be sure to shred mine when I get home and advise everyone I know to do the same. But sir, I still need a way to pull up your profile on my system. Do you know your account number, or do you have a checkbook with you?


What is your social security number?


Well would you mind writing it down? I can shred it for you as soon as we are done.


All right. But I do hope you know that once we do pull up your profile, your social security number will be available to me, so I will be able to write it down, take it home, find a way to use it to my advantage and steal your identity, and get fired. Until then, I can search for your profile by name. What is your name, sir?


Ok. As long as there aren't any other John Smiths with Bank of America accounts in Arizona, we should be able to find you without any trouble. (after a minute) Oh, it seems there are several people with your name, Mr. Smith. What is your address?


All right. Give me a moment to search through the list, and we'll find you.

(3 minutes later)

I think I've found you, Mr. Smith. Could you tell me your date of birth, just to make sure?


Ok, I have your profile! It seems you have 2 checking accounts and 2 savings accounts. Which account would you like to pull money out of?


Oh, you don't know? Well, how about I just make a guess then so the next time you come in you can complain about how the teller took the money out of the wrong account. Ok, sir?


Ok. How much cash do you need?


All right, 200 dollars. Do you have a form of identification I can see?


I understand that you've been banking with us for 20 years, Mr. Smith, but I've only worked here for 3 months. So you see, I don't really know anyone. Don't you have a driver's license or something I can see?




Thank you. How would you like your cash?


(chuckle chuckle) Oh yes- green! Haha that's very funny. Yes. Wish I hadn't heard it six times already today.


Oh nothing, Mr. Smith. Nothing at all. So if you don't care how you're getting your cash back, I'll just give you hundreds, ok?


Ok. Here you go- one, two.


Sure, I can break one of those hundreds into 20s for you. 20, 40, 60, 80, 100.


Sure, I can break one of those twenties into 5s for you. 5, 10, 15, 20.


Sure, I can break your other hundred into twenties for you. 20, 40, 60, 80, 100. Could you please tell me why you didn't tell me this in the first place?


All right, I guess you don't have to.


Of course I can let you know your balance! You have $365 in your account. Have you ever thought about getting signed up for online banking? That would let you check your balance from home!


Yes, sir. You go to heck too, sir. Thank you for banking with us, sir! Have a nice day, sir.

end scene

It's really not so bad once you get used to it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I want to get away...

And I did!

As I mentioned in my Christmas post, my never-fails-to-impress husband Dallin gave me a trip to a bed and breakfast in Lakeside as a Christmas present. We were planning on leaving Sunday afternoon after church, but the news of snowy weather made us alter our plans a little bit. We left church early and stopped by my parents' house to borrow their 4wd truck, and then we were on our way!

On the road. No cars, people, or animals were harmed in the taking of this picture.

Sugar. A necessity on a roadtrip, of course.

And so we made it from the Valley rain:

to the mountain snow:

We dropped off our stuff at the amazing bed and breakfast and headed out for some Chinese food.

Dallin was a natural with the chopsticks

but Katie didn't quite...get it.

Yeah, it's ice cream.

We headed back to the B&B for some R&R. Let me show you what we were dealing with here.

Our very own living room complete with fireplace.

Our very own bedroom complete with bed.

Our very own bathroom complete with jacuzzi tub.


After our very own night complete with no pictures...

We had an amazing breakfast (can you say peaches and cream french toast?), and then we ventured out into the winter wonderland to take some pictures...

And we built a snowman... without wearing gloves. Stupid? Perhaps. I only lost one finger to frostbite.

Ah, and I have to include this short video. Written by Dallin Harris, filmed/directed by Katie Harris, starring Dallin Harris, voice-overs by Katie Harris.


Alas, all too soon it was time to head home. We got some great pictures along the way!

We also got some great burritos along the way (the Burger House in Miami...a family favorite), but I didn't take any pictures of those.

Pictures and burritos aside, it was still sad to come home from our oh-so-relaxing getaway. Perhaps I should have titled this post "I want 2 getaways..."

Funny? Yeah, didn't think so.

Also, I love my husband. This is one thoughtful man I have.

Valentine's Day, anyone?

hahaha jk...

but seriously...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Reflections and Pre-flections

Sure "preflections" is a word. Don't trust the dictionary that says it "can't be found," or whatever. Everyone knows those dictionary people are out to get us. Trust me. I'm not out to get you. Just out to write a little blog post. Far more trustworthy than the dictionary people....

All right, I made it up, ok?! Lay off me.

Despite economic crises and Obama getting elected (who said that?) and such, I personally am in love with the year that was 2008. If you have to ask why, you haven't been reading my blog for very long.

May 10, 2008.

This one day made the year a success!

Other things helped, I guess. I've made new friends (hello, ward people!) been to Disneyland a time or two (or lots), read great books, seen great movies, travelled to the Bahamas, Mexico, Vegas, Utah, and Seattle, and welcomed a new cousin into the world. In short, 2008 was a year of love, family, friends, and memories.

So 2008 was great.

And 2009 is gonna be fine.

(You know- fine as in fiiiiiine. Not fine as in, "Yeah, I'm doing fine." Get the difference? I knew you would.)

A quick word about New Years' Resolutions: I'm so not about them. This is the first year I've actually admitted this, but really, I've always believed it.

Here is Katie's recipe for disaster when it comes to New Year's Resolutions:

1) Come up with several awesome resolutions

2) Keep the resolutions for a short while (varies)

3) Totally forget about the resolution (NOT don't do them on purpose, which I'm proud of. I seriously just forget that I had the resolution in the first place)

4) Get really discouraged that I forgot the resolution.

5) Ditch the resolution.

It's a pretty foolproof way to end up hating New Year's Resolutions.

Now, this isn't to say that I hate goals in general. That would be silly. Goals help me better myself and my life, and are important to my (and anyone's) progression. Just saying "I'm going to do this ALL YEAR!" makes me feel a little overwhelmed. Perhaps that is a personal problem. Whatever the explanation, there are better ways for me, personally, to set goals. I'm kind of a month-to-month kind of person (something that Dallin has really helped me with). And if there was something that took more than one month to accomplish, I'd reset the goal the next month. It might just be an issue of semantics, but it has been more effective and more satisfying for me.

I hope you enjoyed my rationalizing of my laziness/procrastinating-ness. Welcome to the inner most thoughts of my mind.

There are things I want to do with this year. I've got big decisions to make, new things to try, maybe new places to go, etc. And I'll embrace all those things, and whatever challenges crop up along the way, with open arms. (Thankfully, it's been pretty warm lately, so my arms can literally be open instead of wrapped around me trying to keep me warm. Love Arizona).

Anyway, I'm ready. Bring it ON, 2009!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ringing in 2009 - Seattle style

And so continues my quest to catch up on my blog.

Dallin and I got the chance to make our way up to (snowy!) Seattle to spend New Year's with his family. For any detail/specifics oriented people out there, they actually live in Redmond, just outside of Seattle, and they got pummeled with snow the week before Christmas! We went up on the 27th, but that was still enough time for a little rain to sneak in and melt a good deal of the snow. Which is hard to believe, really, because in my eyes, there was still quite a bit of snow. I grew up in Phoenix, people! Any and all snow is NEWS.

So anyway, we got in late on the 27th. Dallin slept on the plane, but I find plane-sleep impossible, so I was pretty tired by the time we got to his parents' house. The next day was Sunday, and they have late church, so we got to sleep in before heading out. It was almost dark by the time chruch was over - only like 4:00! I thought that was crazy. That night, we opened presents. This proved to be highly entertaining, as the first present each of us opened was a screaming stuffed monkey (or, in Dallin's case, TWO screaming stuffed monkeys) from Dallin's mom.

These babies stretch and shoot (like...a rubberband? best simile I could think of to describe this to you), fly, and scream...unless of course you shoot them too hard into the ceiling, in which case the screamer breaks, or stretch them too far, in which case their arms and legs fall off. Not that we encountered these problems... we know...heard.

So the night was filled with the sounds of screaming monkeys, and of our laughter at the screaming monkeys. Ah, good times.

We got other presents too, of course. I got a cute Mickey Mouse t-shirt and an a-maz-ing Disney piano songbook. Man, I've wanted one of those for FOREVER. Dallin got a game and iTunes gift card, and some edited movies- "Braveheart" and "Saving Private Ryan." I got one of those too- "Four Weddings and a Funeral," which we watched after the present opening. I didn't make it all the way through. Dallin's parents also handed down their video camera to us, which is very exciting. We haven't used it yet, but when we do, I'm sure you'll know.

The next day, Dallin and his bro Dayton went snowboarding, which I wasn't really interested in, so I went with the rest of the family to see "The Tales of Despereaux" and go out to lunch. After that, my sisses-in-law and I played some Rummikub before Danielle (one sis-in-law) left to pick up her beau from the airport. D'Nae (other sis-in-law, there will be a quiz later) and I watched CSI, and when everyone got home from all their various places we had dinner and then went bowling!

Danielle and Mike. Cute picture, no?

Dallin's dad dominated at bowling. He bowled a 171! Crazy! I was proud of my 149...

The next day Dallin's cousin Janeece and her son Linus came to play with us. We had fun playing various games and laughing at Linus' antics, particularly relating to High School Musical, which he loves.

The next day was New Year's Eve, and we headed into downtown Seattle to check out the science center there.

Dallin tried to make it look like the dino was kissing me. Did this work? I think not.

Inside the butterfly room, which is awesome not only because you are in a room full of butterflies, but also because they keep it at a nice, warm temperature! I think it was the first time I took my coat off the whole trip!

A demonstration of Dallin's mad rock climbing skills.

That night, we went to a place to race go-karts. The only picture I have of this place is this one:

which is not very indicative of the whole go-kart experience.

The race was fun, even though my car broke down about a lap into it and so I had to get out and get a new car, and even though the computers were broken which meant we didn't get times or results. But you know, other than that, it was fun.

The new year was rung in at home, watching the countdown and fireworks at the Space Needle on TV, with glasses of Martinelli's to toast. Honestly, there is nowhere else I would have rather been. I had family around me, bubbly to drink, and my husband to kiss- who could ask for more?

Dallin and I spent the night (and much of the morning) playing a computer game with Dayton, which I will not tell you the name of in order to avoid further embarrassment. We were up until 5:30. That's all I'm gonna say.

New Year's Day was spent pretty lazily until we had to leave for the airport late in the afternoon. It was sad to see the end of such a great, relaxing vacation...especially knowing that I'd have to go to work the next day. I love our Harris family and am so grateful for the time we get to spend with them!

Anyway, this post has been long enough, I think...stay tuned for thoughts about 2008 and 2009, as well as a post about our trip to the bed and breakfast!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holly Jolly Christmas

Yes, it is January.

Yes, I am finally writing about our Christmas.

You've heard the phrase "Better late than never?" This phrase and I go way back. We're tight. I am going to embroider it on a pillow someday.

If I ever learn to embroider. Better late than never.

So - Christmas! Our first Christmas together was indeed very special.

Christmas Eve found Katie working at American Eagle and Dallin doing a little work from home. I didn't get home until about 4:45 or so, and we finished some present wrapping and egg nog drinking before heading over to my parents' house for the traditional Christmas Eve bash.

Said bash consists of eating, (dr. pepper) drinking, mingling...all fairly typical bash-ing.

Our typical bash-ing.

And then it's showtime. A fantastic talent show is followed by (trumpets!) the Christmas Eve play.

The Christmas Eve play was started by my mother (gosh! my mom and her traditions!) many moons ago. It originally involved her and her four brothers (one of which was always assigned any extra female roles) and usually tells a story involving Santa Claus and some kind of catastrophe that is threatening to ruin Christmas. Over the years, several evolutions have taken place:

1) The play now stars the next generation of Allen kids
2) While the "Christmas is in danger" idea is still the main idea, the plot revolves around some kind of event that took place that year (we've done the Olympics, ASU football (the 96-97 season-yeah baby), and Harry Potter, just to name a few)
3) I play Santa Claus

This last one might shock you. I mean, I hope it shocks you.



Not exactly twinners, you know?

Anyway, don't ask me how it happened. But I'm Santa Claus. I have been for the past 5 or 6 years now. It's an odd job, but somebody's gotta do it.

This year, the play focused on the bad economy. Basically, the bank was going to foreclose on Santa's house and workshop, making it impossible for him to get out and deliver his toys on Christmas Eve. Riot ensues. But with a little Christmas magic, hearts are changed and all is well again!

The cast

Let me just say that the stuffing of Santa didn't go as well this year as in previous years. Santa had quite a few questionable lumps in odd places...not to mention his pants simply did not want to stay on.

But they did. I made sure of it.

After the play, we all get to open our present from Grandma and Papa. It's always pajamas. Call me clingy, but I clung to my childhood and requested that Dallin and I also get pjs. So we did. And I'm glad because we slept in style!

I got to open one more present that night, right before bed. Dallin gave me a card informing me that we would be going to stay the night at a bed and breakfast in Pinetop in a few weeks! (of course, that "few weeks" passed and our trip was this past weekend. Don't hate! I'll get there!) It was a very thoughtful present and I slept on Christmas Eve with visions of cozy cabins dancing in my head.

Christmas morning, we took a traditional "waiting to see the presents picture"

before being let loose on the presents. Dallin and I got some great stuff, including a remote control airplane (his) and a fabulous spice rack (mine). We also got some new games, clothes, and movies, which are, of course, always welcome. Dallin got me some perfume and an AE gift card, along with B&B trip, and I got him a tent and camping stove, and a new dress shirt.

I abhor this picture. But it was the best I could do to show you our excellent Christmas load.

After the present opening came breakfast (breakfast flopovers (quesadillas) and crepes) and, of course, an afternoon nap!

We went to see "Bedtime Stories" that afternoon, which was actually pretty darn good, and then headed over to my grandparents' house for food, games, and more family time.

Bragging moment: my family loves this game called Tripole, and we play it all the time. I never win. But I WON this time. In fact, dominated might be a more appropriate term. Check it:

For all you non chip-game players out there, a lot of chips is a good thing. Oh, I was am so proud.

So, we stayed late and partied the night away! I won't ruin the good feeling I'm sure you have inside now by telling you about the terrible day I had at work the next day. Blech.

Oh, I love Christmas!

Can't wait till next year!