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


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


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...


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


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?