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Archive for March, 2011

Ridin’ in style

Mike and I? We are officially minivan owners. Since the day I met Mike he’s wanted a minivan. Long before any talk of kids, he wanted a minivan. A minivan people. He is weird. But his car was rapidly declining, so we dipped into our savings, adjusted our student loan payments, and hit the used car lots. We thought we’d get a Toyota Sienna, but we ended up really loving the Chrysler Town & Country. We had our eye on a maroon 2008 T&C, but while we mulled it over, the salesman called and told Mike that a 2010 had hit the lot. It was one that had been sold, but the buyer’s financing fell through, and he could offer it to us for the same price as the 2008. We took it for a test drive that evening, and bam, we were signing papers.

Now, here’s the thing. When we very first sat down to discuss a Minivan Wishlist, the only contribution I made was NOT WHITE! I absolutely did not want a white vehicle. Even though I’m not going to be the primary driver, I was very anti-white. So when Mike told me there was a van we could get for a great price, the first thing I asked was, “What color is it?”

And guess what color it was.

I had to learn to love it. But I do, I really do. Not the color, still kind of hate that, but it’s not as bad as I thought. And I’m really quite impressed by the van itself. I love my little Elantra, but driving the van is so smooth and luxurious. And Mike really loves it.

And that makes me happy.

Plus I snapped this pic of some of my buds enjoying the roomy back seats when I drove everyone to lunch this week. We laugh at how silly it is my husband wanted a minivan, but it sure was nice to all pile into one vehicle.

(Look guys, you’re famous!)

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Baby name bible

In light of recent developments on the baby naming issues, I really want this book. Actually I’ve wanted that book for a long time, but now I REALLY want it. I read babynamewizard.com regularly and would love to add the printed version to my bookshelf. Actually, who am I kidding? I’d being poring over it so often it would never actually be on the bookcase.

(Apparently there’s something covetous about the book with the pink dot on the cover. The one in the link above at Amazon doesn’t have the pink dot. Not sure what the difference is though.)

I feel a little silly buying it when there’s not exactly a baby on the horizon though. I mean yes, hopefully in the nearish future, but right now I’d just be a crazy lady who reads baby name books for fun. Not that I mind being a crazy lady, and not that I really think it’s that crazy to obsess over baby names (because hello, I already do, even without the book), but given that we’ve been working really hard to save money and cut extraneous expenses… well this just seems a bit too extraneous.

Maybe someday. Soon?

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I have to put this in writing so neither of us ever forgets (not that I would!), and so we have “witnesses.”

The other day Mike and I were driving a long distance together, and I suggested we spend some of the time discussing baby names. Mike was less than enthused, but I pressed on. “How about this? What about that? I like this name, what do you think? What do you mean you don’t care? HOW CAN YOU NOT CARE!?”

Turns out that while I’m obsessed with names and naming, he is pretty indifferent. While I have a Google doc dedicated to name ideas (hundreds of them!), Mike rarely gives it a thought. I broke the news that if we’re planning to have or adopt babies someday, we’re likely going to have to name them, so he better get on board.

That’s when he said the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard:

“Why don’t you just be in charge of naming them?”

Haaaaallelujah! Haaaaallelujah! Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujaaaah!

Are you serious, I asked. Like full naming power? And then I made him shake on it because that’s the kind of deal you want to seal.

So there it is. I get to name our kids. Obviously I’ll take his opinions into consideration, but it’s such a freeing feeling to know I don’t have to find a name we both LOVE. I can’t tell you how tiring it is to shoot off name ideas to him that are constantly met with an apathetic “It’s OK.” So instead of hunting for names that thrill Mr. Indifferent, I can find names that thrill me and secure at least an OK from him.

Now to narrow down my list…

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Well, we did it. We booked a trip to Europe! When we got married and obtained a little cash, we decided we’d save it and keep adding to it until we had enough to go to Europe. Our goal was Fall of this year, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew I could never get away from my job at that time of year. We considered a few other options and began to realize that what made the most sense was this spring. As in really effing soon!

We chose a trip through Trafalgar. Despite some negative reviews I read, they had a tour that seemed perfect for us, and if we booked by the end of February we could get $400 off per person. So on Monday night (February 28th by the way), we found ourselves on the phone booking a trip. A European trip yo!

Here’s the deal. We fly to London and spend two days sightseeing, then  head to Paris for two days. I get to show Mike my favorite things from when I was there last year, then we’re off to Switzerland for a day, followed by Venice, Florence, and finally two days in Rome before we fly home. If you’re keeping track, that’s 11 days. Minus two days of travel, we’ll be in Europe for nine days! We’ll hit England, France, Switzerland and Italy. It’s like a dream come true and we are so thrilled.

And yes, we’re splurging. Big time. We took what was given to us at our wedding and added in as much money as we could each month. We hope to get a tax refund this year that we’ll throw in, as well, and hopefully that’ll be enough. I wouldn’t want you to get the impression that we can just up and visit Europe whenever we want. We’ve been making some sacrifices to make this happen, and I’m confident it’ll be worth it.

Not only is it a splurge, but it’s a very meaningful trip for us. It’s sort of like a second honeymoon — we had a very inexpensive wedding so we could later take an exciting vacation instead of paying off wedding debt. It’s also going to be a celebration of our one-year anniversary since we’ll be traveling relatively near that date. But most importantly, it’s a last hurrah before we get serious about the kid thing. Once the little critters come along, who knows when we’ll be able to splurge this way again. I’ve been to Ireland and Paris, but Mike has never been to Europe at all, and we’ve obviously never been there together. This trip = HUGE!

So, we need to make the most of it. Ever been to London, Venice, Florence or Rome? What are the must-sees and must-dos? What about Paris? I  know where I want to take Mike, but maybe I missed something last time that I shouldn’t miss again. Also, as a culinarian, the food part of this experience is important to my husband (and me too… hello, Italian past? Yes please!). Any must-eats to recommend?

Dudes. We are so damn excited!

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This isn’t necessarily a “relationship” post, but I’m framing it around the idea of raising children, so it works. Plus, I just have to rant.

Today the Supreme Court ruled, 8 to 1, that the Westboro Baptist Church was/is exercising free speech picketing military funerals. If you don’t know, this “church” pickets military funerals and other events in an attempt to denounce America’s acceptance of homosexuality. WBC hates gay people, and has decided that an appropriate way to express their hatred is at the funerals of young men and women who have been killed serving our country. Apparently because they are soldiers, they are part of the vast homo-loving conspiracy in the American government.

F*** them.

It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court ruled the way it did, but I get it. John Roberts explained that even the most hurtful of speech should be protected, because it contributes to the public discourse. I get it. I think WBC is exercising free speech too. What I don’t get is why they believe what they believe. Also, why they feel they have to be such dicks about it.

How does protesting at the funeral of a young American soldier (gay or straight) prove anything about your cause other than the fact that you can be an insensitive asshole about it? These people are grieving the loss of a loved one who was killed in the defense of our country (you know…the country that guarantees you the right to free speech?). Their funerals and the grief of their loved ones have nothing to do with the government’s supposed gay rights agenda. You’re just being an insensitive f***-wad.

Further more, why does the “church,” or anyone for that matter, have a problem with gay people? They are the way they are. The way god made them, one might argue. I’m pretty sure they’re not choosing to be gay. I know if I were gay, I would probably try to choose NOT to be, considering how many people would hate me for it. But it doesn’t work that way. So why the hostility? Because it’s wrong in the Bible? Because it’s different than how you were raised? Because you think it’s yucky? Get over it you narrow-minded jerks. You are the same bastards that hated black people 50 years ago, just because they were black.

As Shan and I entertain the idea of raising children (see…I’m getting to it), I hope that, if nothing else, we can teach them compassion and open-mindedness. If we fail at everything else as parents, I hope that we can raise people who treat everyone equally and view all people, gay or straight, black or white, beautiful or plain, merely as people. And if they ever do hate anyone in their lives, I hope it’s because those people are narrow-minded a**holes who act like jerks at other peoples’ funerals. Those people are officially on the hate list.

Ok, I feel a little better.

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