Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Verbosity is my talent...and I intend to magnify it.

We have entered the season of festivities in my household. The beginning of June brought my 27th birthday. At what point do I qualify as a grown-up? I'm still not entirely sure.

My birthday fell on a Monday this year (lame) so we started celebrating early. On Saturday, Mollie kindly agreed to watch the boys so that Bryce and I could go out. He planned a surprise date for us in Salt Lake City. (I think he was looking for redemption after our last surprise date to Salt Lake City.) We ate dinner at a very small restaurant called Cafe Niche which had 2 guys playing jazz on saxophone and guitar. The menu was limited but we didn't have trouble finding something to order and prices were Applebees-ish. I got the chicken and asparagus and it was tasty. Afterwards we tried to find a festival that we'd had to detour around earlier, but we couldn't remember what street it was on. (We found out later that it was the GLBT festival so I guess our poor sense of direction saved us from another Mormon fish out of water Salt Lake experience.) We walked around the Gateway instead and there were trees in bloom and old jazz standards playing on the outdoor P.A. system and raindrops were just starting to fall. Sigh. It was lovely. Then we ended the evening at Gourmandise to share some desserts. Food may be the way to a man's heart...but I'm pretty sure desserts are the way to mine.

On my actual birthday, I celebrated with lunch at McDonald's with Kyle and Mollie. I had originally planned on something a little more...edible...but decided there was no point in trying to take my boys anywhere that they would be expected to sit still. And I do love me some McDonald's chicken nuggets. After my lunch at McDonald's I think I did something incredibly exciting like clean up my house so I wouldn't be embarrassed when people came over later. By request, Bryce picked up mango chicken salads from Costa Vida on his way home. Another food I greatly enjoy. Then we finished up with my traditional angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Bryce fed my wish-I'd-gone-to-culinary-school fetish and gave me ramekins and individual-sized trifle dishes. One of these days I'll throw a lavish dessert party and put them to use. Mom sent me a life-size Connecticut pendant necklace complete with star to mark the location of my home town. (Just kidding Mom, it wasn't really life size...Connecticut is smaller than that...just kidding again...I really do like it.) I had mentioned liking it before Christmas so kudos on the remembering Mom. The siblings treated me well as well...especially certain brothers who I hear are thinking up something really great that just hasn't arrived yet. cough. cough. Oh, I'm sorry...did I write that out loud?

The day after my birthday was Kyle's birthday. He brought his fiancee and a few friends over for cake and ice cream. I'm telling you...June and July are party-central at my house. I don't have any pictures of my birthday, but it looked a whole lot like the one above. Just substitute Bryce for the two guys on the left, move Kyle over a seat, and insert me behind the cake. Voila!

The day after that Mollie, my boys, and I flew to Connecticut. The boys did surprisingly well. And dear sir who got on last and had to sit in the middle seat directly in front of my children - yes, I can see the "oh please no" looks you exchanged with your seat mates upon realizing you had no other choice but to sit there. If it makes you feel any better I didn't particularly want to sit with them either, but they don't allow small children in checked baggage.

I'm not sure if it was just nap time or the dose of children's dramamine I gave him or both, but Sawyer was out for all of our first flight and a good portion of our second. Will entertained himself for several hours by singing along with his mp3 player. Unfortunately, the poor child had had severely clogged ears for weeks and couldn't hear himself talk (or sing). So he needed constant reminders to tune down his renditions of Video Killed the Radio Star, I Don't Like Your Girlfriend, and, my personal favorite, In the Highways. He sings the last quite enthusiastically in his little only-dogs-can-hear-it high pitched voice: "In the hiiiiiighways, in the haaaayyysss...I'll be somewhere a-lookin for my Lord." (The actual lyric is "workin" rather than "lookin," but lookin is pretty funny in my book.)

The look-exchanging gentleman redeemed himself at the end of our first flight when he looked the boys over and announced "They're good travelers."

We arrived in Connecticut at about 10:30 at night and got the boys in bed around midnight. And the sun never returned.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

House for Sale (No, not mine)

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Laurel!

I always like to give a shout out to a reader. Happy Birthday Laurel! (And happy 7th anniversary to me!)

Extensive updating to follow. Return to Provo in approximately 48 hours.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Do not mock the weather gods

Clearly the weather gods did not appreciate my last post. I've been on vacation for a week and it has rained almost the entire time. The few times it wasn't raining it was cold and gloomy and threatening to rain. And there is no end in sight. I packed 3 suitcases full of capris and skirts for me and shorts for the boys and I've worn the one pair of jeans I brought and my one sweatshirt every day.

Weather gods do not like to be laughed at.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Worst birthday week forecast. ever.

This is so bad it is funny...but not as bad as a few years ago when it snowed. But, overall, as a forecast for an entire week it might take the (birthday) cake. Sometimes I think the universe is laughing at me. For instance, I waited for years for my Saturday birthday to roll around. Because Saturday birthdays are obviously the best birthdays. Finally, it was time for my birthday Saturday...and guess what...it was leap year...so instead of a Saturday birthday I got a Sunday birthday and now we're back to square one with a Monday birthday (follow?).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I just used Priceline to book a hotel in the Boston area for Bryce and I to spend the night for our anniversary (the night before Kyle's wedding). I did some checking around online and was able to get our hotel for a bid of $58. Pretty good right? Well, taxes and fees bring it up to $73, but still okay. And the hotel is an hour's worth of public transportation rides away from anything we wanted to see in Boston. But cheap so worth it right? Then I checked out the hotel website and *SURPRISE* the price to self-park for 1 night is an additional $35. So $58 = $108. We could have stayed at the hotel where Kyle is having his wedding luncheon the next day for $1 less.

Oh, and don't try calling Priceline's customer service. The woman refused to transfer me to a supervisor and said she "wasn't allowed to tell me her supervisor's name or phone number." This went on for half an hour. I'm okay with paying incidental fees and even a reasonable parking fee...but 60% of the cost of the room is not a reasonable parking fee in my book. Priceline, however, absolutely does not care. But it was nice of them to follow up by sending me an e-mail assuring me that customer satisfaction is Priceline's #1 concern. Yup.

Oh and don't bother calling the hotel either - here is my conversation there:
Me: Hi, I just made a reservation at your hotel through priceline. I was happy with the price I paid until I discovered the $35 parking fee.
Her: We don't even own the garage. MIT owns the garage. And that is the rate. And we have to pay it too.
Me: Ok, I understand that...but can you tell me if there is any public parking or other parking garages nearby.
Her: There is nowhere else to park. The only other garage is at Harvard and it is a mile and a half away and it costs more.
Me: There aren't any public garages anywhere nearby? I got the room for $58...
Her: You paid $58! You ain't kidding?!
Me: Um yeah, so are there...
Her: The employees have to pay $139!
Me: Well I guess you should use priceline.
Her: You ain't kidding! I have to go.

And she hung up. Thank you for that helpful information. Seriously, I am not okay with $35 surprise fees on a $58 purchase. Name Your Own Price = Sign Your Own Death Warrant