29 December 2010

Christmas 2010


We were very merry.

We spent a night in Vegas on the way to and from the motherland destination of Bountiful, UT. My first white Christmas with Jeff's family, and I loved it.

I don't know how the holidays whisk by as fast as they do, and now I'm left with that horrid depression that it's over -- FOR ANOTHER YEAR!

We relaxed, read, played with technologies, tickled kiddies, and got fat (fatter if you're talking about the person scrapping together this blog post. There will be no more belly shots, THE END.).

My nephew playing Angry Birds on my phone until the battery power ceased to exist.

My mother always taught me to never drink my calories. Woops!


My niece and her Pillow Pet. "The Perfect $20 Gift!" I think I heard about 20 times over the last month mothers lamenting the existence of the unsightly Pillow Pets.


Speaking of unsightly plush items, on Christmas Eve we had an extended family party at "Boondock's", a Chucky Cheese sort of place. We all bowled 2 games and got some arcade cash because of the large group set up. We tested the claw grabber thingy and Jeff and I stood there with dropped jaws as the claw grabbed THIS blue and neon green bear/dog stuffed animal and deposited it in the receptacle! It was a Christmas Miracle!!



Then it was time to go home to beat the threatening storm. Sigh. On the road agin....

The biggest Christmas surprise was something I wasn't expecting to discuss actually owning until about 10 years down the road:

A dream come true SLR.


I am spoiled rotten. And just as I had completely accepted the idea that our child's life would be documented completely with cell phone cameras!

Once the initial shock wore off I looked at all the dials, knobs, and menus and became very intimidated. I have been reading up ever since, and even though I still feel completely unworthy of such a piece of machinery, this has been so much fun! Christmas morning I started snapping away at different objects in the house testing out the settings. Thus the hap hazards above.

We can't wait for next Christmas. I'm going to get that baby trained young to properly obsess over what is indisputably the most wonderful time of the yeeeeaaaarrrr!!!

20 December 2010

Baby Advice

This one takes it all, probably because it was given to me while I was fasting, working on about two hours of sleep, had been in the lab doing blood work for hours, and I was waiting for this person to stop talking and draw the third of five vials of blood from my collapsing veins:

"With my first baby, I didn't eat Almond M&Ms, and my baby didn't have eczema. With my second baby, I didn't eat Almond M&Ms, and that baby didn't have eczema. With my third baby, I went crazy for the Almond M&Ms, and my third baby has eczema! He plays volleyball now and he scratches on the court and I think, 'Oh, almond M&Ms are bad for baby.'"

Thank you so much. I'll take that into consideration.


17 December 2010

Everyone's doing it!

This doesn't happen often, but I'd say at least every other day (lately), someone will mention how awesome one of these two things is:

1. Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Peppermint Jo Jo's


2. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred


People are talking about these 2 so much I must first eat the Jo Jos and when the baby comes, burn off the Jo Jos and more with the Shred DVD. They go hand in hand. Synergy.

P.S. I've said it before, Jillian Michaels drives me crazy (who the heck does she think she is, and where did she learn the "spiritual voice" whisper???), but I figure I only need to listen once and then mute everafter. Mint + Cookies + Christmas has never driven me crazy. Just driven me to swoon.

15 December 2010

Minus Before and After

I really need to remember to take "Before" pictures.

Picture a scraggly, cruel looking bush that runs on a flower bed separating our house from our neighbors, that is dying in the parts and has 3 random palms growing in strange places, for some reason no one can tell. That is what we used to have. It looks like it was our neighbors' property but a couple of months after moving in we were informed that it is OUR flower bed. Maybe it's true, or maybe he just didn't want to get rid of it himself, we may never know (although I'm sure we could know if we wanted to find out badly enough).

We ripped out that thing a couple of weeks ago. Many scratches, and Jeff gets the credit for the lion's share of the work. We transplanted the random palms into huge pots in the back yard. 1 of them is not doing so well, 1 is thriving, 1 was a lost cause before we could get it to the back yard. Then we were busy and had a dirt mound for a couple of weeks. No one sent us any hate mail so I'm going to assume the neighbors still are cool with us.

The dirt here in Ladera Land is more like clay. Maybe instead of flowers we could invest in a kiln and a potter's wheel and display our urns and paper clip holders (all I learned to make in 9th grade ceramics class) about our front yard, instead of buying flowers and watching them die in the crap dirt. To save ourselves the anguish of more failed flowers we bought:

nice dirt
and
manure.

Manure costs 99 cents per bag, in case you are in the market.

We also brought home gardenia bushes (I've decided these are an unexpected favorite!), geraniums, and english daisies for this flower bed.

If they fail, I will throw my hands up in the air and declare myself a gardening drop out. I will also get our money back from Home Depot, because they wrote their return policy, not me. But since we put manure in the dirt, I'm betting they'll grow. What more did they want? And I keep thinking me working with manure is a once in a blue moon type of thing, and then I remember I'm about to be in charge of diapers.

It needs to fill in, but here is the after shot:


Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

Merry Christmas, to our street!

Love,
The Hayes Family

13 December 2010

It's time for your favorite thing: a pregnancy update.

- For the next 5 days I'll be stationed on Planet 30 Weeks. That means Baby could come in 7 weeks. And I would give to him an early welcome!
- I don't think I'll be posting a belly shot from here on out. Maybe if I'm feeling very daring, it could happen. Just picture my head on a body with a large watermelon protruding from my mid-section, and there you have it. One thing is for sure, I can't remember how I was ever this size -- and I'm even eating a bazillion calorie cupcake! Seeing cute babies gets me to quit fretting about it.


- Have you passed "nesting" and moved on to "psycho" if you vacuum your garage floor with a shop vac? No? Ok, good.
- He kicks like he's getting paid for it. If I have an open book or my purse resting on my belly, he can make the item jump off me. It startled my friend sitting next to me in Sunday School yesterday.
- Comical acts: putting on tights, getting up, sitting down, cooking at the stove (I stand slightly sideways so I don't crisp my tummy), changing sleeping positions.
- Watching anything on tv involving a woman in labor makes me extremely uncomfortable. When they showed Claire in labor (twice!) on LOST I felt half manipulated and half freaked out. My mom has always told us it's a big crock and there's nowhere near that much screaming, if any at all, so I'll just cling to that. I am willing, however, to make a fuss if it means getting me an epidural when I want one from a weird "holding out on me" nurse.

We're so curious and excited to meet him. A Hayes baby for us!

06 December 2010

Feliz Navidad.

Saturday, my lover and I ventured out for the 3rd annual Jeffedith Christmas Shopping Trip. The weird thing: we needed nothing at South Coast Plaza, so we didn't go. I have, all my life, Christmas shopped at this particular mall, and one of our major family traditions was birthed and played out there, so the mecca of materialism found at 3333 Bristol in Costa Mesa just will have to remain one of the season ringer-inners, and I'll find a reason to go there another day.

As it was, we were such strategic planners and some things were more cost-effectively bought on the world wide web, so we just needed to drop in at the Spectrum. Done and done. And still, by the end, with Jeff in his recovery-mode from sick state, and me in my there's-a-baby-in-my-tummy-absorbing-all-my-energy state, we were pooped and bee-lined home to crash on the couch.

Christmas shopping, home decorating, and present wrapping under our belts, we have only to finish our debate over whether or not we're doing a Christmas card this year (only time will tell!), I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong with the candy I'm attempting without losing my patience and confidence as a Woman of the Kitchen (I've won the Fudge battle but there's something funky going on with my English Toffee and Vanilla Nut Fudge), and we need to know when we're going to be able to escape up to the Highlands of Utah for my first white Christmas.

As the Beatles sang, Christmas time is here again (repeat 20 times).

04 December 2010

Hmmm

Does anyone have a recipe for something tasty that involves about 20 lemons?




Our tree decided to ripen it's fruits this week. More in the back.


-- Post From My iPhone

27 November 2010

Thankgibing 2010

Twas the night before the Christmas season officially began,
and all through the house,
all the Eatons were sleeping,
for Speed Scrabble overdose and tryptophan magic.

We had a really great Thanksgiving. It was pretty mellow, all adults (the Jexies in Utah), and while we missed them, we kept reminding ourselves next Christmas will be the polar opposite so we should soak this in for what it is. Holiday 2011, in my parents' house, on top of the adults, there will be 5 small, small grandchildren (at least) and Cameron will probably decide it's a great idea to get married the day after Christmas or something.

Since we're all grown up my Mum wisely delegated and put her hard workin feet up. Jeff and I were in charge of the yams, Sarah and Hal took the rolls (which turned out amazing and exactly like Mom's!), Cam mashed potatoes, and Dad owned that turkey. My Dad loves to cook and it shows -- the turkey was somehow even better the next day. Mumsy did make the pumpkin pies too (sans crust because while it's perfectly acceptable healthwise to eat See's chocolates till you're blue in the face, pie crust is the truest form of evil). I threw in a "French Cherry Pie" which Jeff informs us has never been seen before in France to his knowledge.

We played out our food comas in front of While You Were Sleeping and Speed Scrabble. Mom was the morality police, looking up each word the winner claimed after each round. It may or may not have exposed a proper noun here and there.

Last night we took the annual trip to Roger's Gardens and to the "toppest tree" at Fashion Island.


Other than that we've spent the time knitting, gardening, blasting official Christmas season music (I've been listening to it for about 2 weeks already but never in Jeff's presence -- he's very protective of the proper timing to these things), and relaxing.

You really can't go wrong.

20 November 2010

I remember watching a contraband episode of Friends long ago in which a pregnant Jennifer Aniston/Rachel Green was relishing in her baby shower. And why wouldn't she be enjoying it? She's about a million days through her pregnancy but her legs are still lanky and her Title 9 arms un-chubbed. This enjoyment started to wither, however, when her gifts began prompting questions of, "Why would I need that?" or "What's this for?" Before the third commercial break she had a completely adorable meltdown of, "I've been so focused on the pregnancy I forgot to figure out what I'd do with the baby!" [Cue audience laughter]

Even as a high school student, I watched it believing I would be very different when it was MY turn to be the skinniest pregnant woman alive. I was the 2nd of 4 children, and a highly solicited babysitter. And, I LOVE BABIES.

Now here I am, pregnant and the clock is ticking. After a couple of rude awakenings I realize I have been something of a pregnant Rachel Green, the flabby armed version. But I know there probably isn't much of a point to try to "figure it all out" before D-Day. When I got to Costa Rica for my mission, I remember thinking all the books I'd read in preparation, all the time I'd spent learning Spanish, all the lectures and lessons from returned missionary teachers in the Missionary Training Center, it was all a load of crap. NO, it was NOT a load of crap, but I may have muttered that under my breath a few times in that first week. It wasn't crap, it was just that they made us feel that we were prepared, and then I got there and learned you can't be. The mountains of time I'd spent training for my mission could be perhaps more accurately called "help". It was "helpful" to study Spanish and memorize scriptures, but it was not close to sufficient training. My scriptures were artistically hilighted in Provo and I was the best speaker in my district. I got to Costa Rica a pale gringa who didn't know Spanish could be spoken so quickly, and didn't even begin to understand who these people were, what they needed, and how I could help them. There were so many more variables than I had anticipated.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am at the proverbial Salt Lake City International Airport all over again, and the adjustment to life after the flight will be just as difficult if not more painful. I have years of babysitting siblings, friends, nieces, and nephews under my belt. I have a bad-A stroller and the most comfortable glider of all the gliders in the kingdom. But I know that soon, I will be a rookie in the job I have always known to be my most important one.

Sometimes I panic when I am reminded that the world has changed a lot since I was a girl wearing a tutu day and night. Last month a child psychologist came to chat with the Relief Society about parenting tactics. I had no idea some of the things I would be up against. He offered more warnings and strategies for dealing with girls than boys and I left relieved that as of now, daughters are not my lot in life. Not so fast, Merz. The next Sunday's Relief Society lesson was about keeping our families safe from the evils of pornography which dealt more with, you guessed it, sons. I may have broken a sweat and in the middle of it my charming friend may have squeaked, "I can't do this! I have a little boy!" There are many times when I wonder how I'll ever keep up with the declining moral strength of the world and keep my home a happy refuge where my family wants to be protected.

At the end of these internal panics I usually just let an audible whimper slip out but come, again, to the conclusion that I will do my best and learn to swim after I've been flung into the Pacific. I have the examples of 2 strong, savvy mothers, Madame Meri and Madame Charissa, who will also continue to be premium grandmothers. Our grandmothers, aunts, sisters both Hayes and Eaton, cousins, friends, I know they are there to learn from and to comfort me and nudge me along. We have been promised by the general leaders of the LDS church that if we stay close to the Lord our families will be protected. I've never looked to a promise with such hope and humility, knowing that Jeff and I indisputably need heavenly help in this jou-- (ha! I almost wrote the "J" word on my blog!) -- I mean, in this new and everlasting phase of life we will enter in just a couple of months.

I take ever so much solace in knowing motherhood comes with a wardrobe a bit cuter than rayon dresses and orthopedic shoes and includes snuggling with my husband.

18 November 2010

10 Gold Stars

will be awarded to Mother Meri.


Today she met me at lunch (and waited 15 minutes of her lunch break while I ran late) and showed me where I was going wrong with my Christmas stocking knitting. And she gave me some yarn.

Thanks, Mom.

16 November 2010

My old boyfriend is getting married.

He just never knew he was my boyfriend.


In high school my BFF and I bought each other the People magazine Prince William special edition book about him for Christmas. We swooned. I think my mom was just happy my version of teen heart-throb wasn't Kurt Kobain. My wisdom to the happy couple is to get those wedding snapshots taken before the bald spot on top of his head flourishes further, and please, no third parties in this royal marriage. You KNOW I'll be up at 3 in the morning to watch the wedding stream live!

In other breaking news, I've become a modge-podger. Isn't that the final step to domesticity?

08 November 2010

Viva Las Vegas

And viven the sisters we have that live there!

Friday we miraculously missed traffic while shooting up the I-15 to the suburban fringe of Sin City. Don't ask me how it happened, it just did.

It was, as usual, much too short. But we enjoyed it. Something perfectly convenient: Jeff and I each spring from families of four children. Until Harry graduates from law school and Cameron graduates from BYU (assuming afterwards they jet),

- We each have 1 sibling in Utah (and Jeff's parents -- extra bonus).
- We each have 1 sister in Palo Alto.
- We each have 1 sister in Las Vegas.

So basically we all hit at least 2 birds with every travel stone. The purpose of this weekend getaway was to see this treasure be baptized.


The ordinance was followed by plenty of food and long talks on the couch, motherhood recommendations and stories, just the sorts of things I love. Jeff twisted my arm all the way to the outlet mall (J. Crew), and we polished our Saturday night off with Kris, Elizabeth, the kids' Halloween stashes, and Susan Sarandon.


Normally spending anything longer than 30 seconds with Susan Sarandon makes me cringe and roll my eyes (hello self-importance and overly sought depth!), but I loved this movie, and liked her in it!

Sunday morning: More chats and stories and kids. Our families are the bees' knees. Why can't we be together more? And why didn't I put on some make-up before taking this picture of me and my E with our bellies?

Ah, tis too late now I suppose.

We somehow, SOMEHOW, missed Sunday I-15 South traffic coming home.

Our weekend expired with us watching Invictus and sorting through all the generosity shown to us by our sisters with their baby donations. (I'll never need to put money down for a onesie. Ever.)

Raise your hand if you love weekends!

31 October 2010

Uh, Happy Halloween.

It will be very interesting to see what happens to our neighborhood in the next few weeks. If people douse their houses in decorations this exuberantly for Halloween, I am excited and slightly terrified to see to what ends they will go for Christmas. And how early they will go there. Not that I'm complaining -- if I make it to the end of the week without busting out Sufjan Stevens' Christmas album, it will be an accomplishment. And to all the haters or people incredibly protective of Thanksgiving, I am so very thankful for Christmas. They go hand in hand, and I'm sticking to that.

Besides putting up a $5 lit pumpkin in the window (neighborhood disappointment), we haven't really done much for this holiday besides buying a 5 lb. bag of candy to shell out to the beggars tonight (now 4.5 lbs because we are fatties). There's always next year! Tomorrow I will be bee-lining to BabyGap to scope out the costumes on clearance.

Now for a weekend summary:

My assistant got married yesterday so I headed up to LA with my co-workers and dear friends Corinna, Maribel, and Ashlee for the ever-so-posh festivities. It was really a beautiful thing.


I really do love the people I work with.

I may or may not have had some stress overload meltdowns this week, and before I left at 2:30 p.m. for the wedding, Jeff was working hard to make sure I decompressed and had some non-stressful times. Then when I came back from the wedding at about 10:30, I was so charmed and softened to find he'd put a dinner for tomorrow in the crock pot, run my errands, and take care of a myriad of other things. Oh, he is such a winner.

And now the trick or treaters come...up and down for the next couple hours!

26 October 2010

Quick update:

- We finished LOST last week. We don't know what to say besides "huh?" for so many reasons. I can't go further in the name of spoiler prevention. All in all, I don't regret the hours (and hours!) we spent watching it. I am satisfied, J. J. Abrams. And I haven't seen most of those actors in much else since, so I'm crossing my fingers they invested well/held onto their money for their sakes.

- My parents are in a "Kids -- get your crap out of the homestead" mode, and rightly so. It's time. Last Saturday Jeff and I helped them clear some of their stuff out, some of my stuff out, and they bequeathed some items in the process. Like the dresser and hutch that were in Sarah's room that nobody wanted. It needs a facelift. OMG -- DIY!!!! I wish this baby would hurry up and come so I could paint those wood chunks. Last night I removed the ugly hardware and tonight I might sand it. And then in February I'll be free to paint it...and then in March...or April...or May...or whenever I get out of baby hibernation mode, I'll finish it up and post AWESOME pictures of it. Stay tuned and on the edge of your seats!

17 October 2010

Obliging requests.

22 weeks.

IN 4 more lbs. I'll pass the 30 lb. mark. My doctor is going to have words with me.

16 October 2010

I actually spend a lot of time thinking about this.

What will I watch while I'm stuck on a couch feeding a baby all. the. time.?????

In the bounty of advice I've started to receive, there is a common command: "Make sure you have things to watch on tv while you're nursing. TV can and will save you."

Here's my list:

- Mad Men
- Felicity
- Gilmore Girls Seasons 3 and 4 (which I've seen many times, but those are my favorites.)
- I'm asking for Pride and Prejudice for Christmas (Jeff: Keira Knightly version, please, Jennifer Ehle has mannerisms that drive me up the wall, blasphemous as that is to say). I don't think it would be right to steal my mom's copy.

And I think that's all I've got so far. Any suggestions?

In other sprightly news, we have been scoring some major deals on all things baby. We have generous family donating their no-longer-needed fabulousities (we feel the love!), and for pretty much everything else we've been scouring craigslist. Really, these are all huge blessings. We've found some great things in great shape. The latest huge blessing is our stroller. We picked it up last night from a craigslist seller who lives 0.7 miles away. I think I've said to Jeff every 20 minutes, "You know, I'm so excited about our stroller." A basically unused Britax stroller for a mini fraction of the retail price. It was the exact retired model we needed for our carseat (which my sister found for me on craigslist for 1/10th of the price) which was sold out on every on line distributer. Does anyone else think this is as interesting as me? Probably not, but I'm loving it. And I'm loving the cup holder on the side which will support and shelter my diet cokes. High 5!

13 October 2010

Pumpkin!

I've bought so much of it pureed in 15 ounce can amounts, because ALL I WANT TO DO is stay at home and bake fattening things in sweats and slippers. I squeeze it in when I can. 2010 has been exhausting and it's not even over. But, exhausting with some pretty wonderful things. I'm hoping 2011 is more mellow or less eventful but given the fact that I'll be hopping on "the roller coaster you don't get off -- ever" (Motherhood according to Meri Eaton), that seems to be a far-fetched idea.

Praise where praise is due: we found our toilet downstairs was running inefficiently, thus contributing too generously to our water bill. Jeff began ripping it apart to fix it. Many, many trips to Home Depot. I started to think that in the end, after many more Home Depot receipts littered the counter, we'd still end up hiring a professional. And there's not any shame in that -- there's a reason I'm not designing cars or performing heart surgery or setting up cable. That is the reason of zero training. But, about one hour after suggesting we outsource, the toilet was back in working order. Zing! He'll never let me forget it, but I get to walk around knowing my husband can pull off stuff like that, so it all works out.

I swear the baby got bigger yesterday. Or I did. Either one. In other pregnancy tidbits,
  • I get at least one charlie horse a night, something I'm contributing to pregnancy because I never had them pre-May 2010.
  • Mexican food is the #1 food aversion.
  • I don't have consistent cravings.
  • I am no longer freezing all the time.
  • People ask me if the baby was an accident (?!?!?!?!?) and I've had a few random creepies come touch my belly like they own it. Ok new direction because I'm getting grumpy thinking about this. I know I'm not the only one to experience this, but come on, people. But if you do know me well, go ahead, poke away at the belly that is mine.
  • I fall to glorious sleep as soon as my head is horizontal. Just my head is required to be horizontal. And I suppose that means my neck too.
  • I can still touch my toes and I feel pretty awesome about that.
  • I haven't been to the gym in a long time and so fervently don't care. Remind me of that when I'm whimpering about my postpartum muffin top.

11 October 2010

Palo Alto

We went for Karren and Bruce's 3 cheers wedding and loved it like it's nobody's business.



Grandma and grandpa McOmber's house that is a sacred spot. The smells of the town were killing my nostalgia button. There is no place quite like your childhood heaven.




We saw sisters, brothers-in-law, friends, and this dapper pair, Uncle Bryant and Aunt Susan.

I spent most of my time in Palo Alto as a rascally youth, but Jeff was a grown grad man student there with his own car. He knew the geography and restaurants, etc. so I was pleased to still introduce him to something I knew: The Village Cheese House. They



make epic sandwiches there. Something about growing up and revisiting old haunts: things get smaller. These sandwiches that my mom and aunt and grandparents would order for us were so huge I would think, "Are they crazy?? I can't even fit my mouth around this thing." I somehow thought I would still feel that way, but now... I could have maybe eaten two.

It was way too great to see everyone and celebrate the marriage of 2 more winners we know will have an awesome life, etc. Now back to the real world.

-- Post From My iPhone

03 October 2010

I am good with this weekend.

Conference was delicious. No matter where I am, I don't think I will ever prefer any General Conference viewing locale to my Uncle Robert and Aunt Kathryn's home in Farmington, UT, but I loved it in our home too. Conference in Farmington was a must for college student cousins, Utah dwellers, or visitors, and exploding with cozy company and perfect food. And really, I don't think I've ever resented anyone in my life so much as my brother Cam who was there this weekend while I was not. But, it was cloudy this morning, which was awesome. Isn't it so great to listen to our leaders whilst snuggled in a blanket? (People living in colder climates than CA: Hate me if you want for getting snuggly in 65 degree weather.) And hey, bonus: Jeff would randomly translate into French, no doubt testing the skill which he falsely declares has become "rusty". 2nd bonus: today in between sessions we had some friends over for some "brunch" which was way so totally awesome.

Yesterday Jeff took me on a day jaunt. He kept me guessing, and it was just one of those good things. It even included my first Yoo-Hoo beverage since August 1998 when we drove Elizabeth up to Provo for her freshman year of loose lips (ha!) and American Heritage at BYU. Activities like this that won't be quite so easily executed when we have a baby, oh I really do appreciate them.

Plus, at the end of our jaunt we went to Jerry's Dogs. Yes, I went to Jerry's Dogs. Apparently I don't look like the girl who goes there much. Jeff had said while we were in line he was going to get the chicken sausage. I wasn't listening when he actually ordered, but said, "I'll have the same thing" when it was my turn. The guy looked shocked and said with incredulity, "YOU want a BRATWURST?" Oh, uh, no.

And my house is clean and the grocer has been shopped and I got to rest.

So hey, that's why I'm good with this weekend.

01 October 2010

Bang!

I just love bangs better. I also love Friday nights at home. We're watching My Generation and eating pizza.

28 September 2010

Total Makeover

Not on me, although Chrissy cut my bangs last week, and I'm so happy to have them back, once I get over the reckoned-with Stomach Flu, I'll post a picture.

No, the makeover of which I speak tonight is the Total Money Makeover. I'm plugging this book because it surprised me with the pearls of wisdom, so valuable they outweighed the excessive hyperbole.


Ok so Jeff and I unwrapped this book at his parents' house after the Bountiful, UT wedding reception. I didn't think we'd read it. Sorry. Jeff is to frugal as apple is to crisp. That plus hard work equals "we've got it under control". I also thought it would tell me to stop eating carbs and we'd have to pay $2,000 each to go to a seminar in Fort Lauderdale for the final chapter.

But we got home and Jeff was all gung-ho about reading it. Out-loud. Together. Because I was an accommodating newlywed, I agreed but thought to myself that by Chapter 2 he'd realize there was no new info, and he'd be sick of the writing finesse of a financial planner (or lack thereof).

He's not a great writer -- like I said, way too much hyperbole and he uses the term "gazelle intense" which just prickled my skin, but you know what -- he's good enough. We read the whole thing and adopted the plan! And Dave Ramsey doesn't care if I eat carbs, and he doesn't want to see my face at any clap-and-cheer event at a Marriott Hotel.

The ca-razy ideas he teaches are pretty much the same as the teachings of the LDS church. Especially along the lines of no debt except for a house (one that you can actually afford), and the plan of eliminating current debt is the same as in the pamphlets next to the Bishop's office. There is a savings plan that was new to us. The part I almost liked best is they had all these testimonials from all sorts of people that maybe, em, pointed out the (cough) bad habits that we all have, and how big your dunce cap is or can become for them.

Anyway, I'm going to stop there. Nobody's paying or asking me to plug this book (although I'm convinced within myself that I deserve to be paid for this!). We just wanted to share a great gift we got. And don't we all want security for our families, and the satisfaction that comes with self-discipline? I remember once while my dad drove me and Elizabeth home from Girl's Camp, he started talking about deep life THINGS and while it seemed I'd passed out in the back seat long before he started, I really hadn't. I was listening with my eyes closed. I remember he told Elizabeth (and me) that we had to go to college because "YOU JUST NEVER KNOW". I remember he said, "There are just NO GUARANTEES, and you need every bit of back up you can get." That has been a-ringin true for all of us in the last couple of years, and so that's why I'm blogging this book.

And if you do go buy it, buying it used on amazon would be Dave Ramsey approved.

25 September 2010

What the pregnancy blog?

But I'm pretty sure every pregnant woman has it on the brain most of the time.

I had no idea that the ultrasound on Tuesday would do so much more for me than just relieve my (explosive) curiosity over the flavor of my beebee. Seeing our very well formed tiny boy in there, wiggling around, little feet, little hands flexed and fisted, it was all like a light flipped on inside my brain and heart. It has all felt very hypothetical up until now. I have loved the idea of having a baby, but it just didn't seem real in so many ways, and while I always imagined I'd be one of those girls that would relish in the experience of pregnancy, that has just not been the case. Throwing all the theoretical out the window to make way for the factual has lifted my spirits about 5 times over. Maybe I should have realized this long, long ago, but that's OUR baby in there, he's thriving, and he was always meant to be ours. All the aches and fatigue and girth and limitations of pregnancy have become much more meaningful.

We've started "negotiating" names and I'm starting to dream up dreams for the baby's room. 3 cheers!

In other news, we're both just busy workworkworking, watching LOST, getting excited for the day Autumn decides to show its face (it's like 98 degrees out there!), doing some Christmas dreaming, etc. My favorite things of the moment are:
  • The California elections. If you don't live in CA, come to my house and I'll show you some commercials on our DVR. They are such horrid low-blows and past all dignity which makes them awesome. The best one of all, in a voice of great disgust: "Jerry Brown received an allowance from his parents until he was 58!"
  • Giving myself manicures and pedicures. I can still reach my toes, and I feel like it's something I can preserve on my own personal aesthetics.
  • The fact that we're going to Palo Alto in 2 weeks for a wedding. I haven't been to Palo Alto in about a million years, and some of my favorite memories and people are there.
  • A&E Jane Austen. If I must be a law widow from time to time, I must take advantage.
Off to the nursery to get some seeds for the backyard.

21 September 2010

Baby gender drum roll please......

Serpico would be so pleased to know that our first child will be

A MASCULINE CHILD!

And here is a profile (iphone picture of an ultra-sound) shot of our little beebee boy:

I have been smiling all day long. I knew it would be a boy. By far my favorite day of pregnancy yet. (And not to be a whiner, but the only other day that could earn a more fervently favorited pregnant day than this will probably have to be the day I become un-pregnant.)

As they might say on Bend it Like Beckham, More latahs!

12 September 2010

Perdido

A month ago (?) I got something in the mail from Netflix, put it on, and when Jeff asked what it was I answered, "If you watch the pilot and hate it, we can stop there." We watched the Pilot, it received mixed reviews on his end, and yet an hour later out of the corner of my eye I saw Jeff turn on the DVD player to watch the next episode of...

LOST.

Now, during nearly ALL our free-time, we're pretty much undoubtedly watching LOST.

It is such a part of my life I feel compelled to give it all caps like they do on the screen. We like it because it's the one show we're both equally addicted to.

Warning: a spoiler alert or two may follow if you haven't seen past Season 3.

Although, right now, every character except Sayid is really driving me to the loony bin. John Locke thinks he knows everything but he's so busy desperately seeking validation and purpose that he messes things up and gets taken for rides by...The Others. Dr. Jack has adopted the Jack Bauer method of asking a question in a normal voice and after a 2 second pause, screaming it at the tip top of his lungs, and he also just needs to take charge and woo Kate so she stops loving Sawyer. Kate needs another dimension to her personality to be written in, fast. Claire only flips out on people and it scares me that new moms can be so deranged -- if I am like that, please, someone please give me a tranquilizer. Although I doubt there's any chance I'll be a new mum making diapers out of palm leaves, far far away from Boppies and Baby Einstein, so hey, props to her. Sawyer is actually 2% likable right now because his nick names are hilarious. Tokyo Jane, Doctor Giggles, The Munchkin, I laugh out loud at almost all of them. Charlie is simultaneously condescending to and possessive of Claire. Ana Lucia isn't our problem anymore, but she was on a major power trip that savored strongly of insecurity and did anyone else notice she somehow growled? Jin is making strides but he keeps bipolarizing on us -- one minute he's the seen-the-error-of-my-ways husband and then the next minute he's barking at Sun in Korean for having an opinion. Domineering, understanding, domineering, understanding -- I invite him to pick a type and go with it. I guess old personalities die hard.

Sayid is the only one who never makes me want to throw my apple slices at the tv screen. He's always right and always beats up the right people and knows when someone's trying to spin him. And since Shannon died the producers are no longer trying to spin us, the humble audience, on the most unlikely relationship of all time.

But then, I don't really want any of them to die, so they must be somewhat golden. Or have potential?

I forgot. Sun is on my good team. Hurley is also very likable. Although it's like my sister Sarah once said, he really should have used the show to save himself from heart disease or Type II Diabetes.

This doesn't mean I won't be watching again tomorrow night! Lock's father just popped up tied and gagged on the island! Woop, there it is!

07 September 2010

Labor Dee

There is nothing better in this world than a Monday-off. You enjoy it at both ends. Friday afternoon the anticipation reverbs against every surface. Saturday you enjoy as normal, but Sunday, oh Sunday! I love a Sunday that doesn't include gearing up for another week. I even let my alarm ring Monday morning just so I can have the added treat of remembering all over again that in 10 seconds when I am asleep again, it's just fine with everyone. Then, when reality zaps you on Tuesday, it feels like Monday, but it sho isn't.

This weekend The Hayesies came to visit. We showed them, I like to think, a GREAT time. Except for that part where we contracted them to unpaid manual labor and painted the baby's room. Did you know that taping off edges and removing doors takes 90% of the time? It does. I am a HUGE fan of Behr paint now. We chose a light, cheerful, crisp, gender neutral blue in satin finish and it covered over the mint-bordering-on-neon paint that had previously been slapped all over the walls. We also, with epic effort, removed the remaining block letters from the wall. This was a really cathartic thing for me. You see, our home was bank-owned and that means a little family, that was probably cute, does not get to live there anymore. One of these family members is named Brinley and her name was GLUE GUNNED to the wall in block letters from Pottery Barn. So every time I walked down the hall and passed the room, I felt a twinge of sorrow stirred with a dollop of guilt. Which is silly, because we are definitely paying for the privilege of living here, but still, negative feelings. So, we washed it clean and I hold good, hopefuly thoughts for Brinley. I would insert a picture [here] of the BEAUTIFUL paint job, but my iphone camera is not doing it justice, and that is my #1 resource for image capture these days. Trust me, Jeff and my in-laws were pro painters and I could not be more pleased with the outcome. I'll cough up a picture later.

So with the in-laws we touched base with a myriad of other-land cuisines with raclette, ebelskivers, taco soup/chili that my dear friend Annie W. taught me to make in college, P.F. Changs, and the great cultural leap of diet pepsi. We went to Balboa on Saturday night and rode the Ferris Wheel and ate Balboa Bars. We went for a walk on the trails of Ladera Land and watched The Man Who Knew Too Much. There was much talking, pontificating, and churching, and photo taking. My father-in-law is a talented photog and so I hereby deliver the first photos of our home that are not pixelated to a painful degree, and some others in which I look like a pear.


Spotted on our walk -- yikes!

Gathering around snuggly for a picture.

The kitchen -- where I'm often barefoot.

The place where WE watch Gilmore Girls and LOST.

Jeff looking for the right key to open Home Sweet Home.

06 September 2010

My How Things Do Change

2 years ago yesterday Jeff and I met at my front door, meant to go to Yogurtland half a mile away from my house but I forgot to tell him to turn and we were at Irvine Blvd and Jeffrey Road by the time I realized, so we went to the Irvine Spectrum and ate this
by a fountain and talked for a few hours about traveling, work, the shocking fact that even with 3 sisters he'd never learned to looooove Jane Austen, and other things.

And now he's my baby daddy.

03 September 2010

Whatevs

I just found out Elizabeth's baby will be gendered at least a week before mine will. I think this is the universe discriminating against me (clearly) because she's due a whole 3 days after me, and she already has baby gear for boys and girls, and quite frankly I'm offended. And I'm really just sick of people saying pregnant women are moody and irrational.

I'm not going to have a poll in my sidebar where you can vote on which names you like because

a) I don't think we will wind up with enough names in the pool for you to vote on anyway,
b) the opinions and "Oh but I knew a kid named ______ in jr. high and s/he always smelled like havarti cheese!" just drive me nuts -- not matter WHAT we name the beebee, there will be another association in the world that is a bad one, and
c) if you LIKE the name you'll probably steal it and give it to your baby that's due 3 minutes before mine.

I learned the lesson b) early on. Jeff and I did (do?) have a name in the pool that may or may not be in the Old Testament. I maybe told my mom we were THINKING about it, my mom grimaced, and about an hour later Elizabeth sent me a text begging me not to pin that on my baby. She then (of course) listed 2 bad associations she has with the name. I threw back in my most self-rightous text voice I can muster, "You may recall, ____ is biblical. Remember the Old Testament?" She said, "Yes, but so is Josiiiaaaah." Which made me chuckle because she had just referenced one of the funniest SNL skits EV-ER. Have you seen the Suze Orman show with Kirsten Wiig and Shiah LeBouf?? It will make you laugh very hard.

Anyway, the names we can by some miracle agree on will surely be locked in the vault of Hayes vaults, and I don't think we'd for sure decide on one anyway until we meet this little beebee. Since I know for a fact you were all just itching to know where I stand on this.

Ah, but now for a slight change of topic:

I can't wait for Jeff to be Dad. When we hadn't been dating very long, I went to Vegas to meet my new niece and popped in at the Reynolds' to pay Erica a visit one night. We had a nice visit and I could tell the whole time she was bursting to ask for some juice. In our relationship, Jeff is the Ninja, and I'm the Pirate, and I knew she probably wouldn't have much romantic gossip from his end. As our visit drew to a close, she could refrain no more and bursted out a couple of questions, to which I bursted out a few answers. Or as many answers as I could burst when we'd only been dating a few months. She then, as any loving sister would do, threw a sales pitch for the brother I already was totally digging, and mentioned how GREAT he is with kids. I didn't doubt it -- he was a nice guy, why wouldn't he love kids? Every guy I'd dated is (or will be) a wonderful father. But I didn't know just how cool this part of his personality would be! A couple of months after that, Jeff came along to Vegas for my niece's baby blessing. I was touched, pleasantly surprised, and dazzled by the way he ever so sweetly connected with Elizabeth's and Erica's kids. It actually gets this moody and irrational pregnant girl all misty just thinking about it. He got down on his knees to play Connect 4, he watched their tricks, he played their games, he made sure each child had a turn with ___, he gave them many, many hugs and kisses, he listened to them, and THEY LOVED HIM. I know that describing this doesn't even touch how cool it is to watch them together. There is basically no hope that our kids will love me as much as him, but it's so enchanting I don't think I care. He's going to deserve that Father's Day mug.

Can I get 3 cheers for a 3 day weekend?

29 August 2010

Double Gross

I got the stomach flu twice this week. Not morning sickness, although that was lots of fun, no, this was a special treat on Tuesday and again today. I don't have a high pain threshold, and so the symptoms make me very dramatic.

I have struck a deal with myself that helps me tone down the weeping and wailing and gnashing: Ben & Jerry's. When the symptoms start to wane, I give the princess (myself) some of the good/hard stuff. As much as the peanut butter ice cream is surely the stuff of the gods, I think I'd still forego the extra dose of all such illness entails.

Other than that, since it's almost fall, of course this means I am fighting the urge to start thinking all things holiday. I had a sudden hankering for yam casserole the other day. And then I just wanted to sit and bake sugar cookies in the shape of angels and fir trees. !!! Make it stop!

Also, I hear there exists such a thing as Pregnant Brain. Those who know me well know I can be a bit scattered, or a lot scattered, but I'm reaching new levels and I hope it's not just because I'm stressed.

Example 1: My assistant sneezed the other day while I was close to her desk and I said, "Thank you!"
Example 2: Same day, as she was leaving for the day she asked if I wouldn't mind coming in to talk to her about something. I told her I'd come over in a few minutes. As I fell asleep that night I realized I'd just completely forgotten to do it.

Goodnight!

28 August 2010

"And I'd like a Pink Parasol."


I was walking across that infamous bridge to meet my mom for lunch at South Coast Plaza a couple of days ago, and saw some women walking the other way with umbrellas open. It was about 90 million degrees and they were shielding themselves from the sun.

Who does that, anyway???

Then I remembered. Oh wait, I did. In my last area of my mission (I was there almost 5 months), the sun was so strong (it was also the most far South in Costa Rica I ever did get), all the women walked around during the day with their umbrellas up and out. I was paranoid about wrinkles, knowing I had to go home with skin supple enough to ensnare a man, and so I said to myself, I might as well.

Memories.

22 August 2010

To Pop or Not to Pop?


Sometimes I feel like I've popped, sometimes I feel like I'm just very thick. I await the basketball so it is clear to man and beast that I'm not just eating apple fritters by the truckload.

*I'm 14 weeks.
*I crave things that involve toasty bread and melted cheese.
*Chocolate, of all things, does not taste that good to me.
*I was on a Cheetos kick but that's over now.
*I am in good company -- it seems every day I find out someone I love is also making a person.
*I can't fit into most of my pants anymore, but the maternity pants slide off a bit. I can't wait for Labor Day when tights are more passable.
*I successfully hooked Jeff on LOST, but the bad news is some of those episodes made me cry when I wasn't pregnant, so it's going to be a bumpy ride.
*The nursery will most likely be put together after D-day. The room is currently colored mint/neon green, which I can't stand, and I can't paint, and even if I could time is sparse, so I think that'll be a maternity leave thing.
*Is it weird that the first baby item we purchased, a crib mobile of little lambs, became ours through a gift card we received for our wedding? Nervous giggle.
*I've been the pregnant girl I never thought I'd be: eating whatever I wanted and not making time to exercise. I trashed that this week and I feel ever so much better. It might be the best thing that happened this week.
*Even though it still doesn't feel completely real, it's fun to get to tell myself that early next year I will have a small, small person to love.

15 August 2010

Our Last 3 Months

Now that cats are out of bags, I have piles of things to blog.

1. It was a Friday in June. I'd been feeling a different kind of nausea all day, and then in the afternoon, something mildly unpleasant happened and I started to cry. As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, an unlikely possibility dawned on me. Shortly thereafter I left work and went straight to the Target on Bristol, bought tests, decided the suspense + rush hour traffic would kill me, so there, in the stinkiest Target public restroom known to mankind, amidst screaming children (some of whom were being walloped by their mothers mid-diaper change), I learned of the supposed pregnancy. Definitely supposed because it took us 3 more tests to believe it! Oh, those were some mind-blowing days. Mind-blowing but humbling and sweet. Like Neil Patrick Harris and his life-partner, we are "super excited/nervous/thrilled. Hoping the press can respect our privacy."

2. I shan't mince words: mornings and nights in this first trimester were coated with a heavy layer of awful. If you're ever in the mood for something fun to do, here's an idea: How about being on a conference call and frantically trying to find the mute button because you're about to start gagging? I'd get home and just want to lie very still. Very, very still. Munching was something of a soother which has resulted in a 12 pound pack-on. Yessss!!! A pregnant girl (who didn't know about me and mine) once said her pregnancy has been a breeze and pretty much said nausea is "in girls' heads". I didn't say a word, not a single word, but completely expect her child to be a holy terror.

3. Enough with the sarcasm and despairing. The sun is shining once again! I am starting to notice the clouds of stomach aggravation lifting, and the other night I was up hanging things on walls and scrubbing floors until 12:30 a.m.!!! I can hear the hallelujah chorus!

4. We think it's a boy. No big reason really, but when I saw that little blob with the flashing heartbeat in early August I thought I was looking at a boy. We'll find out soon enough what flavah-flav the little babe is.

5. I just hope he or she has beautiful white-blonde hair like his or her Daddy. That's all I want. And 10 fingers and 10 toes, and well functioning innards, etc. But I'm really hoping for that blonde hair. I'm pretty sure either way the baby will have blue eyes and pale skin, but the hair is a toss up.

6. I didn't want to tell even my immediate family until I'd gone to the doctor. My parents guessed before I could get that far. They said they just looked at me and knew!

7. Yes, I eat meat and I'm off Diet Coke (but for the ickle drip drop here and there!).

8. Pretty awesome: Elizabeth is pregnant with her 4th, due 3 days after me!

That's it for now. I'm going to go stuff my face with some ice cream. Nice!


13 August 2010

I have something to tell you:

Metaphors
by Sylvia Plath

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

Baby coming in February!!!!


08 August 2010

Michelle's Wedding and Pretend Games


On Friday Michelle and Mark (M&M!) got married. I was on the verge of tears the entire ceremony, it was so sweet and we are so excited for them. Awaiting whatever comes next in life is so very enjoyable when you find the person you want to be with when whatever comes. She was exquisitely beautiful, and he was debonair.

It was great to have the time to spend together with the Hayesies and I'll have you know, my sisters-in-law and their husbands have conjured up children so funny, so endearing, so clever, I found myself missing them instantly. Each night of the trip the grown-ups all stayed up way past bedtime talking. How lucky is it to be around people who are interesting, have good and entertaining stories, and are talented listeners? This part of visits with Jeff's and my own family are absolutely invaluable bites of soul food.

I realized this trip that the sweet smells of the Hayes homestead remind me of when Jeff had just put a ring on it and we flew the morning after our engagement for a week of Thanksgiving festivities in Utah and Idaho. Familiar smells do powerful things for my nostalgic button. It was so lovely to visit in memory that exciting time.

And other than that, we ate too much food, hiked in Zion, marveled at the Red Rock (Jeff every 5 seconds: "Beautiful!" "Naturally occurring beauty!"), saw friends, visited E et al in Vegas, Jeff introduced me to $0.36 AstroPops, and I pretended we'd never switch out of vacation mode. I completely erased from my brain all responsibilities that will come rearing their ugly faces bright and early tomorrow morn. It was great. I ate up the minutes and hours and days.

Summer Trip 2010: A Success!

01 August 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird

Is there a better book? I'm sure there are many, many, many who love that book as much as I do, but I don't know that it would be possible to love it more than I do. We read it in Mrs. Bretts 9th grade english class, and it carved itself a spot in my soul. The energy of the class, the way Mrs. Bretts taught it complimented it, but all alone it is just what I wanted it to be in its heartbreaking perfection.

I love the dirty old south. I love the sibling relationship. I love the ending and its lessons, hard and sweet as it all is. I love seeing a complicated time through the eyes of an honest, brave little girl. I love the motherly influences that are incorporated at different times to the motherless children. Most of all, I love Atticus, what he did, and what is.

Atticus reminds me in almost every way of my grandpa. He and Gregory Peck look ever so much alike, so after seeing the movie it went from difficult to impossible to think of his character without thinking of grandpa. Please note they are at quite different ages in these pictures -- use your imagination. I couldn't find a picture of grandpa when he was a young buck.



Grandpa, like Atticus, was more concerned with his family than anything. Hard work was the only thing that would do. Dignity at all cost, because without dignity how could life go on? The responsibilities of a family were probably overwhelming to them, (and Atticus was alone) so he/they did the best they could, relying on the values they knew to guide them. Despite the taxing responsibilities, they were strong, soft, and warm. They had an honest answer to any question. Have you ever had a leader, religious or secular, who was so trustworthy and warm that you had no other thought but to follow them? It's easy when you know they're smart, they genuinely are working toward your best interest, and their actions show time and time again that they love you. I've had several of those, within and without my family tree, and grandpa is one of the first to come to mind.

Anyway, this movie was on tv today and I sat there and cried like the babies in our ward. In this world that seems to be so angry, so mistrusting, so misleading, so conflicted, so quick to jump at the throats of a person, a political group, a religious group, anybody, I wish we had more Grandpas and Atticus Finches. People that will do what's right because it's right, it will keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and don't consider the alternative. People who stand up for good but are calm and rational and don't need to be the loudest or the center of attention. People who don't assume everyone is out to get them, but just go about their way and fulfill their responsibilities. And when everyone else is acting like an idiot, at least they know they can do better and the rest can figure it out or lie in the sloppy bed they made.

That's all. Here's to the real leaders that make things better, and here's to Grandpa and Atticus Finch.

30 July 2010

Deep thoughts go a-swirlin on a Friday evening.

I am in a scintillating zen right now because on Tuesday we take off straight from work, heading east to see family, hike in Zion, and most of all, witness an engaged pair morph into a married one. Tuesday is not yet, but close enough to conjure a zen.

Jeff is in the other room watching Rick Steve tour Italy. I am hearing lots of, "Oh! I loved that place!!" and "Ah, will we ever go back?!" and then French words. I'm sure they would be Italian words, but French is the other language he speaks.

Is there anything better than a stripe? Not the stripe that leaves a welt. The kind on clothing. I saw a dress at a store a while ago, waited, waited, two days ago it became mine for $15.00. It's also stretchy which enables me to show it off while wearing it. Behold:


I got a calling in my ward. I'm the chorister. This is fine with me because it's good exercise for my apparently stationery arms (after the first hymn my first week that arm was exhausted!), and it's fun to see the congregation all at once. I do however think the job is a bit superfluous because really, the voices follow the organ, and rightly so.

I'm also actually going to do something with our wedding photos tonight while we watch a movie.

I lied. This was not a deep post at all. We're going on a walk now. BYE!

27 July 2010

Miu Miu

I swear I had a pint sized copy of this dress when I was 3. Now when I'm missing the days of limitless apple juice sippy cups and Bert and Ernie, this can be mine for something like 15 Benjamins. Get yours today!




-- Post From My iPhone

Location:Pereira Dr,Irvine,United States

23 July 2010

Half an Annum

6 months ago today we hopped aboard the matrimonial wagon. I wouldn't get off for the wooorld.

Maybe I'm a romantic, maybe it's because I was single until 27 (which makes me neither the youngest or the oldest, but anyway), or maybe it's because I (over)hear plenty of whining about spouses, but the thrill of marriage for me has not waned a decibel; I would say it's cranking up in volume. Sure it's not perfect, but who wants perfect? If I said it was you'd all know I was a lying and/or oblivious TAMN anyway.

But from where I sit, suddenly I'm in this ongoing gig where I come home, and the person I most want to see is there too. We always have new jokes, we make plans, we buy each other's favorite edibles at the grocery store, we calm each others' frustrations and sooth each other's concerns. We carpool to work and I pat his bum as he gets out of the car (I usually drive because my car is a piece of crap and we don't care about piling on the miles). I get to be a part of his wonderful family -- I really love them. We bounce ideas off each other, we know our tones of voice, we groan in the morning about the fact that it's morning and sometimes, especially on Fridays, take a few extra minutes on the snooze bar to snuggle. It seems to me this far, far, far outweighs any sacrifice or growing pains. I KNOW I'M A NEWLYWED, but I'd like to expect that we can keep this attitude for the next millions of years.

I think one of my favorite memories thus far happened on a Thursday. Jeff had a lawyer convention thingie at night and I had a lot of work so we decided we'd still carpool and I'd get some catch-up done until the convention's end. Around 6 I decided if I were going to stay awake I'd better get me some victuals. As I mentioned before, I work just across the bridge from South Coast Plaza. I set off on foot just as the sun was setting behind the epicenter of consumerism. I was pulling my sweater tightly around and reliving some Jeffman moment, looking at the ground. I looked up and -- HEY! -- that looks like Jeff! That is Jeff, I think? A mirage? No, I'd forgotten that his lawyer convention thingie was at the Westin Hotel on my side of the bridge, and he was really a-walkin toward me in the flesh, making funny faces. I let out an honest, "Ha! What??" and jogged over, which was good, because the girl a few steps ahead of me had thought the funny faces were directed at her. Above the Bristol traffic, we snuck a hug and a kiss before he went off to his duties and I to mine. A lovely second wind.

January 23. What a day.

22 July 2010

IF?!

For the past year my mom and I will meet up for lunch a few times a week at South Coast Plaza. I work across the bridge from the mall so it's very awesome for me.

We have a routine. We immediately get a See's chocolate or two, wander over to Williams Sonoma, take a sample of whatever horseradish panini they are debuting that day, and browse (never buy), wander over to J. Crew and browse (never buy), and if we still have time we waaander over to whatever other store looks appetizing to browse (never buy). And we talk of the mysteries of the kingdom and about whatever cute thing we just heard Elizabeth's kids did, she tells me about some idea of a way to decorate the house, etc. I love it; someday I shall surely weep over the wonderful qualities of such a tradition.

The other day we waandered by a magazine rack. Glancing at US Weekly, I asked, "What do you think of Bristol Palin and her baby daddy Levi getting back together?"

My mother surprised me with a casual, "Oh, I think it's good they're making honest people out of each other."

"What?? He's horrible!"
"Well, it'll probably be the best for the child and who knows, maybe they're really in love!"
"Mom, what if you were famous, and--"
"--IF I were famous??"
"some idiot ex-boyfriend of mine went on national television about 40 times and told all sorts of horrible lies about our family? Wouldn't you be hurt if I later went back and got married to him? How much more mature could he be a year later??"
"Wai-wai-wait a minute. IF I were famous??"

As I said. I love this tradition. She's a good one.

13 July 2010

28 and other things

Hey, I turned 28! Jeff keeps saying "You're 29 now, enjoy it!" and similar things but I'm 99.9% positive he does know I'm 28 and it's him being full of jokes. In any case, he made me breakfast and supplied the BEST birthday cheesecake I've ever eaten in my entire life, and maybe he followed a birthday "suggestion" to the utmost exactness, so that tells me he loves me, he loves me even when I'm getting older, he loves me in J. Crew, and he apparently wants me to be chubbier.

Bridegroom and I are perhaps cooking up an impromptu vacay before or after the nuptials of my dear sister-in-law and soon-to-be dear brother-in-law.

Really, you should see the things sparking up into bloom in our yard. Jeff went out and bought a mini-farm, ripped out the ugliest shrubs and overgrown bushes that were already there, plugged the new fruits and veggies in with his hard laboring manliness, and even though planting in Julio is not the best timing, things are happening and it's just so cool.

That's all I have to say for now. Didn't say this post was going to rock your world!

09 July 2010

A Rampire

That's a new special word I made up for Vampire Rant.

Ok. So since you've all been dying to hear it, I'll pony up.

Recognizing that many people view the Vampire phenomenon as fun, escapist reading, a clever idea, etc., my rant stems and froths into a brew of loathing, disappointment, and annoyance for the sake of THE CHILDREN [cue ringing stiff, artheritic fingers in the air].

I'm going to try to be concise.

The writing is monotonous, flat, cheesy. But come on, how many Harper Lees and JK Rowlings and Lief Engers are there in the world, anyway? She wrote something, edited it a million times over, and got it published! She has KIDS and she wrote a book. That's a whole lot more than I've done. I'll give her that for sure. BUT, the following will always bother me:

Although she knew that a large slice of the Fan Club pie chart consisted of tweeners, those young, impressionable, awkward things who are growing up in an increasingly sickened, misguided world, she paints the picture of an awkward girl, aka someone they appreciate and relate to, obsessed from head to toe with one thing and one thing alone. She has no other thoughts, no other ambitions, no other interests besides those that lead to "Be the vampire's woman." When he leaves, it's totally great to shut off and shut down. It'll be worth your time, because he'll come back. And when he's back, you drop it all and run to those chilled, "marble" arms and six-pack. How about a life of conversations that always end in a declaration of "You are my reason for living." [Cue stares and foreheads touching.] "I'll give you anything you want, it's yours when you say the word." [Cue make out.] Instead of using the devotion of her multitudinous, young fans to paint a picture of a thriving, interesting, interestED girl with a thought of her own swirling around in there, who can ALSO have happy romantic rushes and zips, she painted a picture of a flat lining girl who won't touch anything non-Edward with a 10 foot pole, for no apparent reason other than the fact that she's a heroine/ninny combo.

And just a couple of other things that didn't hit home until seeing it on a screen:

Book 2: When your teenage daughter goes missing for hours, and there's a huge search going on for her in the middle of the night, and a big, buff man carries her limp body out of the forest with his shirt off, wouldn't your first reaction, as a father, be to beat him to a pulp instead of thanking and hugging him?? I think so. Jeff pointed that one out.

Book 3: When your obsessive feelings for the ice man are being confused by another guy who never wears a shirt, THE MOMENT you see the other guy in ANIMAL FORM, ALL ROMANTIC POSSIBILITIES END THERE. Wrong. ALL SORTS OF WRONG. You don't snuggle him and scratch his ears while he's a wolf-man and implore him to be careful in battle, and then kiss him later. No. It's just wrong.

The End.

04 July 2010

OMG I literally laid eyes on Edward AND Jacob on Friday night. Sq-uh-WEEEEEEEEELLLLLL!

We went with a group of new pals and it was actually really fun. For someone who hates the books***, and felt really uncomfortable when Bella would launch those convulsive screaming fits in the 2nd movie, the 3rd was an improvement, and it's just fun to be there because there's no lack of enthusiasm, and the boys just don't really know what to do with themselves. Jeff, however, decided to start clapping when the werewolf laid a smacker on Bella and was really proud of the reaction he got.

I have an announcement to make. We have cable now. (!!!) Our internet is paid through the HOA fees, but we still have to call Cox and have it set up. Before Jeff even called to do such a thing, we had reaffirmed that we were not going to sign up for cable, DVR, etc., because we're not home a ton, we have Netflix, and it'll be nice to save the money. I heard bits and pieces of the phone conversation from the next room, was just goin about my business, and then I heard, "how much?? Really??" but with a tone to his voice that said "Suckered in". I went into the room and gave him a wide eyed look and he looked alarmed. A few minutes after that, I heard the phone flop down on the couch and he said something to the effect of "I FAILED!" which translated into "WE HAVE THE WORKS!" Apparently there's a screaming package deal for 3 months and then of COURSE after that it hikes way up, so we're telling ourselves we'll cancel it after 90 days. I pray for the fortitude to carry through. Do you know how much FUN it is, though, to turn on our lovely HD tv, so generously bestowed by my in-laws, and have a wealth of entertainments at my fingertips? Oh, it's amazing. I'm sure you DO know, don't you. And now we have Dateline back.

Moment for a No One Will Probably Care as Much as I Do:

I went to a BEEBEE SHOWER a couple of weeks ago for one of my oldest friends Katie Weaver. I mean Katie Waldron -- do you find it hard to call girls you grew up with by their married names? Anyway it was great and I've been craving the mini cinnamon rolls which were served ever since. I looked at pictures of it on her blog last night and guess what. I HAVE LONG HAIR! There was a picture of a girl from behind, she was wearing a striped shirt, her hair was air drying against her back, it was long, WAIT, THAT'S ME!!! I didn't realize it had become so long. Scraggled to the max, but long. I was so tickled with this outside-looking-in realization, and part of that realization is that maybe I should take some scissors to it to unload some of the chewed up qualities to the ends.

And with that, I shall close my blog post with a couple of other "incidentals" as my mother might say:

- My husband is so funny. He absolutely has always been bothered the girls out in the world who will chop a cookie (or high caloric food item) in half...or 3/4....or 15/16, and leave the rest on the plate. Woops, he married one of them. We had pizza the other night and before I could even get to my usual tricks he was having himself a great time:




He always cracks me up. I have my most fun with Jeff, and I don't take it for granted for a minute, this fact that we get to be in our own little bundle for the rest of it all.

*** I'll do this Twilight rant later, I am out of time.