Friday, July 30, 2010

baby talk, couch surfing, and post 100

First let me say thank you to those who weighed in on the 'when to have kids' debate. I'm glad to hear that others struggle(d) with the same issue. You all spoke exactly to my concerns. How can anyone feel prepared to create a human life and then be responsible for it? And saying my husband was all game for whatever was apparently a bit short sighted. A large part of me has always wanted him to be the one that said 'ok I'm as ready as I will ever be, lets do this'. I have wanted this because I never want him to claim he was an unwilling participant in this journey who wants off the train. You know? I had an experience sort of like that before and it didn't go so well for me. But I'm beginning to think it might be unreasonable to expect a man to ever say something like 'lets do this'. That is, unless they are the type of men who love babies and can't wait to have them (not my husband). I don't understand all these guys, and I know at least 5 off the top of my head, who say they want to be fathers but also say they don't really like kids and aren't so sure that they want them. And telling them that they might feel that way now but soon as you see them you will fall in love, well that's a pretty big leap of faith to ask him to take. 'Hey lets get pregnant and have a baby, and here's hoping you end up liking them'.
Anyway, I'm moving on before I say something I'll regret.
Last night we had our first couchsurfer. For those of you who are not familiar with couchsurfing its a free online community where you make a profile and then either request to sleep on people's couches or they request to sleep on yours. You stay at their house for free and there is no obligation on either part to stay there. If you get a weird feeling then don't sleep there. If you get a weird feeling about the person then don't let them sleep at your house. There is also a way to verify identities so that you know the person is who they say they are. On each profile people will report back about the person. If they are creepy or uncool then people will say something on their profile. The community holds everyone accountable and people will good reviews are pretty stellar.
We couchsurfed in Paris and it was fabulous. Our first couchsurfer last night, Brett Fisher,

was great! (Stole the pic from his couchsurfing profile). We talked most of the evening about random stuff, books, movies, music, Utah, and a lot about our religion. I forget sometimes that being a Mormon is super weird and/or interesting to a great deal of people. He asked us lots of questions about the doctrine of our church and about the culture as well. People have funny ideas about what Mormons are really like. Meeting two regular and down to earth people of our religion was a new experience for him. But he was very respectful and polite. We made him dinner and then had to leave for about an hour for a thing at church. When we got back he had put everything away and done all the dishes. What a sweet guy! He even brought us some fancy coffee. hehe. I didn't have the heart to tell him that we don't drink coffee so I just said thanks and will keep it for future guests.
He is a college student from Florida who is spending the summer living out 'Into the Wild' basically. He actually had just finished that book at our house on our porch while we were gone. Anyway, we had a great time and look forward to our next hosting experience.
Lastly, this is post #100. Cool huh? I am so flattered that people are interested in my little life and your comments seriously make my whole day! So thanks for everything and I love you all. Maybe when I get to post #1000 I'll post a nude picture of me or something. hahaha. Or something.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

probably too personal but i'm tired so whatever

(picture from designmom)
Well I'm just going to put this out there because I'm feeling like I want advice and I'm too tired to be self-conscious enough to talk myself out of writing about this, though I'm sure I'll be mortified in the morning.

I've been on a baby kick for a while. I go through them every so often. This was has lasted a long while - pretty much since I helped deliver my sweet friend's little daughter back in March. The debate is not whether to expand our family but when (and yes we know we do not have any infertility issues but my heart bleeds for those who do and I love you and I wish I knew what to say or how I could help and I'm sorry if this post is insensitive to you and your situation- please be patient and understanding with me as I describe mine for the whole world blogosphere because I am a bit delirious and somehow this seems like a good idea right now). We've been married 5 years and together for about 6 years and I feel we are slowly approaching that point in our relationship where we are progressing towards having a child. So here are the considerations and yes I am totally the type of person who schedules having a kid (well hypothetically but not historically - inside joke).

1. We are moving in approxiamately 2 years even if I have to sell a kidney on the black market.

2. We are probably moving to California.

3. California is expensive, specifically LA where we will likely move (they're going to put me in the movies and all I have to do is act naturally...not really but LA is a different post).

4. So far as I can tell it would be easiest to either a. move to LA with a 1 year old so that he/she is old enough to be placed in day care whilst we both worked to pay for more schooling and life or b. not have a child till about a year after we move to California so I can have an established job and make sure I can continue to work after the birth, etc.

So that basically leaves me at having a kid in like a year and a half or something crazy soon or having a kid in like 4 years which puts me right at the 30 threshold. Granted 30 is not a bad time to have a baby but 38 or 40 is pushing it if we want to have 1-3 or 4 kids. Now the idea that I'm not ready to have a kid in like a year and a half should also be weighed with the fact that I've been saying 'maybe next year' or 'maybe in two years' for about 5 years. If you are wondering where my husband stands on this, he is pretty much game for whatever. Scared out of his mind but game for whatever. I also recognize that a kid doesn't need to be 1 year old when we move to California. But it makes it quite a bit easier (and less expensive) to place a 1 year old in day care then an infant, never mind the peace in my heart of not needed to place a little baby in some certified but nonetheless strangers hands. Also, for those who say I should just pray about it - um well the answer I've been getting for years is sorta like 'its a good thing and whenever it happens would be wonderful' type answer. Super helpful.

So could you ladies just tell me when I'm supposed to have a baby? ha. This sounds ridiculous. I sound like a crazy person. Who bases having a kid on when they are going to move? I guess I just want to know this - how did you know when it was the right time to start pursuing the expanding of your family?

Monday, July 26, 2010


I have this bad habit of questioning everything in my life when it comes crunch time at the end of a semester. I guess I have this blog to thank for helping me recognize this pattern. For something like 2 hours yesterday I cried about my life and how I have no idea what I want to do with it and how I'm working so hard but feel like the mouse in the wheel going nowhere. This also happened to correspond with the timing of a huge budget project and final paper I need to do, like yesterday. I have a few things I take solace in during these times - my husband, for one, and my cat and nature and my faith. This makes me sound like a crazy cat woman hippy but whatever. Its my solace so don't be judgin'. And here is a picture of the mountain at the end of my street so you can take solace too.

Friday, July 23, 2010

random thought about horses

The first time I ever rode a horse I was probably about 8 years old. My dad had a little house on a big ranch with some horses. I wish I could remember their names. My father has pictures of my first excursion up in his house. Looking at those pictures I was small enough to walk completely under the horse without even touching a hair on my head to the horses belly. I thought at the time that they were giant horses but turns out I was just really small. Those pictures belong in a series of strange pictures of me. At this stage I only wanted to wear my dad's clothes so I wore his huge cowboy boots that went past my knees and his big shirts that covered most of the rest of me. I also wore all of his hats. I didn't have any belts for his pants (yes I wore his pants too) so my father would fashion a belt for me made out of rope. I would ride the horses around and people would watch me very confused, wondering what in the world that little person was on top of that horse. I had the time of my life though and when I think back on it now I realize how sweet my father was to arrange all of those fabulous life experiences for me and wear his clothes all the while.
What is it about horses that makes the world light up for little girls? The 12 and 13 year old girls in the youth group can't get enough of them. We arranged a ride for them last year and are doing the same this year. Its sweet, really. It brings me back to those first experiences my dad provided for me. What a wonderful thing to share.
I'm off now to the bookstore to buy a picture book of horses for one of the girl's birthdays. Fun!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

and then David Jimenez

Glad everyone likes my awesome drawings in the Paint program. I even got some phone calls about them. Ha. My computer has had mega viruses and has resorted to only allowing me to use certain programs, so while tech worked on my computer I decided I'd put drawings to my rants. I'll do some more if I get time.
Anyway, I haven't posted anything about design in a while so I thought I would post about one of my favorite designers, David Jimenez. He has a classic and manly design appeal that really resonates with me. I like his use of neutral colors and texture and subtle modern eye. Here are just a few of his designs:

(photos courtesy of

I really enjoy interior design. People sometimes ask me why I don't do it for a living. I usually spout off something about just enjoying it and not being good at it or something like that, which is mostly true, but the real reason is because - and hopefully this isn't offensive - but I think I can contribute more to the world by doing other things. I also find myself becoming super materialistic when I focus on interior design too much. So I sort of try to admire it from a distance. At the most basic level I think interior designers are problem solvers and fabulous artists and I'd like to think that I am the same but just choose to do it in a different venue. I mean, did you see my drawings? Shah.

Monday, July 19, 2010

For Love and Hate of Men

So I have this sort of love/hate relationship with men. The feminist in me is frustrated that my boss got back today after being gone for two weeks (while I filled in for him) and went out to work with my male co-worker. Why would I care if they go out? I feel like its these types of bonding experiences that lead to high work appraisal and eventually promotions, continuing a cycle of male-dominated leadership positions and more lunches, etc. It would be inappropriate for my boss to go out to lunch with me just the two of us, even though we are friends, because I am a young female. However, my co-worker who is only a couple of years older than me, doesn't have to address this concern. Does that make sense? Nor will he ever have to answer to any of the sub-conscious (or not) concerns about babies and length of employment, etc.
At the same time, I would much rather work in a mostly male environment than in a mostly female environment and I almost always prefer a male boss over a female boss. I think females have to fight so hard to get to the top (in my industry, not in all of them) that many get this micro-managing witchy edge to them as a result, whereas male bosses can be almost lackadaisical in their approach and thus allow me more freedom.
Its an even stranger dichotomy in my marriage. I value being a strong and independent woman. "I can get that off the top shelf by myself, thank you." But sometimes when I'm in heels and a pencil skirt it can be a pain to climb on the counter, so I grab the longest kitchen utensil I can and try to spear down whatever I need. At times it would be a lot easier to admit that I could use some help. And maybe the strongest women are the ones who can admit that they can't do everything...............nah.
At times though, this fierce independence can be a bit destructive. One time, a few years ago, I decided I didn't need my husband's help to put up a stupid curtain rod. I made the marks and got the drill and bingo bango lets hang up some curtains.

Except I wasn't quite tall enough to get my buck ten weight behind the drill so I had to move to the top rung of the ladder. I pushed as hard as I could on the drill but the damn thing wouldn't go in the wall. So I pushed harder and still not even a dent.

I went and got a hammer and nail and figured I would start the hole that way. I also figured this wall must be made out of impenetrable steel so I hit that nail as hard as I could. Magically it went all the way in up to the head with just one hit. I spent the next 20 minutes gouging the wall out trying to get the stupid nail out so I could drill the screw into its place.

It wasn't coming out. So I decided I would paint over it and nobody would see the stupid nail. I went and found the paint and painted over the gauge marks and nail (I wanted to show off what I could do on my own and didn't want him to say "hey nice curtains but whats up with the nail and gauge marks?")

Its very dry where we live so I figured it would dry quickly anyway, so I got down and got the hammer and nail to resume my curtain rod project. (meanwhile its been about an hour and I needed to hurry before my husband noticed and tried to come help me - because remember I don't need his help). So I hit the next nail in really close to where the other nail was because that is where it needed to be for the rod thing to hang straight. Our 110 old house and its plaster walls decided that two nails side by side was two too many and the plaster fell back into the wall.

I was now looking at a two inch hole in the wall. I stuck my face against the wall to see if the plaster had fallen way down or just a little down (I don't know what I was thinking - maybe I could fish it out and duct tape it back in place or something?) but alas it was no where to be seen, especially with all the paint that was now all over my face.

So I went back down to the basement to get some quick dry plaster. I came back upstairs and plastered up the hole (just like putting frosting on a cake really) and went and got my hair dryer and an extension cord to dry the plaster quickly. It was about this time that my husband appeared at the door and asked what I was doing.

He suggested that he could hold the hair dryer for a second and give my arm a rest. I figured this didn't really count as helping me so I would accept. I went down to the basement to grab the screwdriver so I could re-open the can of paint to cover the new plaster. When I came back up he had the curtain rod hung. I hate you, I thought. I asked him how in the world he got that screw into our stupid fortress walls and he told me that I had the drill on reverse. I was basically just pulling the screw out and not pushing it in.

Awesome. I'm a moron.
My husband has now resorted to saying something along the lines of "Now I know you are Jo Warrior Princess She- Goddess and certainly don't need a man to help you but as your friend and someone who has more experience in this, could I help?" And if he says it convincingly, fully recognizing that I indeed do not need his help but rather am choosing for convenience's sake to accept it, then I say yes.
I think Anne of Green Gables had an abnormally large influence on me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thirty before 30

I've been working on my bucket list. Right now I've got a 30 before 30 list. I sometimes don't know how I feel about lists like this because I think I could do none of the things on this list and still have a fabulous and full life. It could be as much for the romanticism of it as anything. Either way, I'll share it so that I've at least got it out there. Somehow I feel like that makes me a bit more accountable for their accomplishment. I made this list on my 25th birthday so some of these have already been checked off.

1. get my Master's Degree - CHECK - May 2011
2. earn a respectable title and pay (hey a girl can dream?!) - CHECK - Jan 2011
3. run another marathon
4. make a CD of only my own compositions
5. have a baby with my husband (whoa) - Uh DOUBLE CHECK - Nov 2011
6. sell our home in Provo and move somewhere that is not Provo - CHECK - July 2012
7. backpack Europe - CHECK- May 2010
8. replace little green car with bigger non green car, family mobile - CHECK - April 2012
9. learn to sew (become friends with my sewing machine)
10. have all undergrad loans paid off
11. have lasik eye surgery
12. go sky diving - CHECK- August 2010
13. learn how to speak Chinese, at least some basics
14. tour New England in the fall
15. see a show on Broadway, THE Broadway
16. go to a karaoke bar and sing my heart out
17. have a will - the legal document
18. get Doug to ride on a huge roller coaster (with me beside him of course)
19. learn to juggle
20. see the Grand Canyon...again (I don't remember the first time) - CHECK - May 2011
21. successfully grow basil - CHECK - Aug 2011
22. scuba dive
23. ride in a hot air balloon
24. play some slots in Vegas ($20 in quarters and then walk away. awesome!)
25. go to the top of the Statue of Liberty
26. some sort of snow sport with Doug in UT - Jan 2011
27. create a family tree even if its a bonsai (seriously how many people know their grandparents' parents' names? ...yeah me neither)
28. go to a Safari park
29. volunteer at a soup kitchen
30. learn how to swim like with my face down in the water

So that's my list. I have only checked 1 thing off so far. At this rate this will be a 30 before 60 list.
In the mean time we've had company at our house for about a week and will have guests until at least the 26th. I also have 3 more weeks of class with 70% of my grade still up in the air - a huge group project and final paper. I have another youth camping excursion, my 5 Year Wedding Anniversary, fall semester beginning, a possible attic reno project, etc. so my life is sufficiently crazy without me trying to juggle and speak Chinese on top of it (but how cool would that be if I could do that too?)
And because this is my blog and I can do whatever the crap I want on it, here is a picture of a tree I'm daydreaming that I'm swinging from whilst listening to oldies songs like this song and drinking lemonade and enjoying summer...

Ha. Here is the video with the song. HAHA check out the awesome dancing moves from the back up singers. Nice. Why don't we have videos like this anymore? Anyway, what a great summer song. Too bad walking under boardwalks is totally scary now (everyone knows thats where all the crazy murderous people hide out)...

Sorry. Way to go Debbie Downer there on at the end. How about another summery pretty picture?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Al Fresco

I love outdoor dining in the summertime. LOVE IT! Combining fabulous food and people with beautiful scenery - whats not to love? OK so sometimes there are bugs and sometimes it gets dark and you can't see your food, and if you live on small property downtown then maybe you eat outdoors in your driveway... um, but I still love it. We have an incredibly long driveway so we put up a screen and built a cool outdoor structure in the back so we could spend time outside sans back patio. Last year we held a number of outdoor gatherings in the space and it was just lovely. Something about adding white Christmas lights just makes things magical. See below (also my cute husband and dear friend Suzie) :

This particular dinner was a leadership appreciation dinner I held for all the women (and a guest) who serve with me to run the youth program at our church. I made homemade strawberry jam for everyone and placed them on the table as the favor. The tables and chairs we borrowed un-announced from our church :). My husband's folks come into town tonight. I'm looking forward to all the fun events we have planned while they are here - including tomorrow night when I'm cooking up some salmon on the grill and we dine al fresco. Remodelista posted a video with some outdoor dining ideas. Those women are so clever and always have such beautiful settings.

So add some twinkle lights and have a magical evening this weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

weekend report

Well the yard sale turned out great. We made around $350 and more importantly, got rid of a whole lot of crap. I love seeing all the different types of people who come to yard sales. My favorite person by far was the sweet old man with the cane and awesome suspenders who bought 3/4 full can of WD-40 for 25 cents. He told me I had displayed everything 'quite nice'. I sorta wanted to reach over and kiss his wrinkly forehead but I restrained myself. (I have some weird sickness where I think old men are seriously almost as cute as 3-month-old babies). I noticed he walked to the yard sale so he's got to live fairly close. I hope I run into him again and we become best friends and he can be my wise old sage and give me advice about life and tell me stories of lesser times. Until then I will name him Fred and keep an eye out for him in the neighborhood. The parade turned out over 300,000 people so needless to say, our block was a bit nuts. It was made only more fantastic by my dear husband who had the grand idea to not just light sparklers like a normal person but see who could throw the lighted sparklers the farthest. He successfully threw it all the way across the street (our street is very wide- can fit 5 cars side by side) and landed it in the dry grass and started a minor fire. I, of course, with my awesome pitching arm, threw it directly into oncoming traffic not realizing a car had turned onto our street. Luckily neither of us proved fruitful in our destructive efforts. Anyone else have a fabulous 4th?

Friday, July 2, 2010

excused absence

I'm welcoming myself back to my own blog. I have been out of town for the last week or two. This week I was in Phoenix where it was 113 degrees. Wowza! Check out the fabulous resort I was paid to stay at, though. The resort and the company of one of my favorite people on the planet, more than made up for the temperature. The Scottsdale Fairmont Princess. Check it.

This weekend ought to be excellent. We get a three day weekend. We have the biggest parade west of the Mississippi and it goes right by our house! We are having a yard sale to clean out our house of junk. I bought corn on the cob and chicken and fresh peaches and I'm going to cook us up some fabulous eats. Have a wonderful Independence Day! Be sure to thank the many men and women in the military who make it possible for us to have such a wonderful weekend. I'm so proud to come from a military family who faithfully serve their country and countrymen. God Bless America!