Friday, August 29, 2008

Planes, trains, and automobiles

Planes. This summer, my sister who lives in Abu Dhabi (Laura) has come to the states to spend time with the family. Ok, that's partly just worked out that she was pregnant and got to come in time to come to Natalie's wedding and then stay to have her baby. Plus, who really wants to spend the summer in the middle of the desert (all you Utahns...I hear your snorts of derision)...the middle of the HOTTEST desert on earth? No joke, temps get up around 130 degrees. Youch! I've never been pregnant, but I can only imagine being heated from the inside AND the outside. No thanks.

Two days ago, Laura and company (totaling no less than three little boys and our mother) headed back to the Middle East. Non-stop from SLC to Paris, and then a connecting flight to Dubai. I did those long flights not too many months ago...and I struggled...alone. I do not envy my sister and mother, trying to keep a 7-week-old, a 2 1/2-year-old, and a 4-year-old quiet and happy. I hope there weren't too many tears or screaming...oh and that the children didn't throw fits either.

I know I'll miss the little boys. They really were quite a hoot every time I went up to my parents' house. One time I was up there, I was crying to Laura, and Jameson (4) said quite frankly, "What's wrong with her?" I wanted to reply, "Oh, if you only knew...I don't think your little brain could handle it!" Laura simply explained that I was having a tough day. Also, Avery's hit the independent two years old...and whenever I told him to stop rough-housing, he would say, "Annie, you stop talking now." Not being his mother, I smart-mouthed back to him, "I'll talk whenever I please, thank you." Yes, maturity at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. It was cute to see his little face light up and his dimples appear whenever I went to see them. We had a scad of games that we played, and Avery's favorite thing to do was say, "AGAIN!" So we'd do it again. I'd get sick of it and say, "Ok, this is the last time." Then he'd choose a different game and we'd run the whole gambit. I didn't spend much time with the littlest baby, Trey. I'm horrible with babies, so I let everyone else coo and adore. Yes, I did hold him, and yes, he's a cute little baby (as far as newborns go). He got so big in the time since he was born. And I've gotten used to my niece (who's four months older)...she can hold her own head up. When I'd hold Trey, it was a whole wobbly experience. Next time I see him, he'll probably be able to crawl, though.



Trains. Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I was lying there noticing how loud the trains are by my place. I've mostly grown up with trains in close proximity, so it's usually not a big deal to sleep right through the noise. Sometimes, though, it just grates on my last nerve, those long, loud whistles. Hey, if you're ever a train conductor, have pity on the souls who are trying to get some shuteye at 11:30 at night. I'm not saying don't blow that whistle--because heaven knows some idiot won't see the train coming or will try to dodge the gates anyway--but a few short bursts will do, none of this obnoxious, prolonged, the-train-is-COMING!!

As long as I'm griping about trains...this has happened a couple times in the last week: I'll be driving to go to my church (which is across the tracks from where I live), and as I'm walking out to my car to leave, I'll see a train coming. Grumbling, I'll try to take my normal route, hoping that the train will pass quickly and my lateness won't be too pronounced. Upon getting to the usual crossing, the train will have stopped. Once it was stopped on the very last car. Seriously. The last car was what was blocking my path. Dilemma time. Here's where we Mormons I wait to see if it'll start up again, clearing the crossing OR do I take a twenty-block detour that includes a bridge that goes over the tracks, but adding a good five minutes to my drive? Tick's decision-making time! Any of you who know me know that I try to be on time as much as possible...sometimes to the fault of driving everyone around me crazy. So I take the tried and true detour. At least it has a guarantee of arrival.

Automobiles. Four years ago, I bought my little Honda Civic. The car I had been borrowing from my parents while I was away at college died. It wasn't pretty...let's just say this car's death involved my father climbing out of the window after coaxing the feeble car up onto a trailer to haul it away. Ah...memories. Anyway...since I was a college student at the time, I had pretty much zero funding for a new vehicle. My dad to the rescue! Actually it worked out quite nicely because my grandma was trying to get rid of a car she had co-signed with my cousin on (after my cousin had defaulted on the loan and my grandma had gotten stuck with the bill and the car). Serendipitous, eh? Maybe. So my dad co-signed with me on the loan and helped me in those first few months as I tried to finish school.

Long story short here (why is she telling us all this?!), I only have one year left on the loan. I've been trying to pay a little more than is due each month on it, so I'm getting to the point where I could just take a chunk out of savings and pay the dang thing off in one fell swoop...and it'd sure be nice not to have to make a payment anymore! BUT, I've got a few ideas of what else I'd like to do with the money. Know what that means? Polling time! Here's a list of things I'd like to invest in:

1) Laser eye surgery. Have you ever seen my eyes? They're red. And it's because of my contacts. Yet, I keep wearing them. For those of you who've known me the longest, you can attest to the fact that the glasses were bad. Plus, everyone I've asked about the procedure (who's had it done) says that it's one of the best decisions they've ever made. I'm really considering it.

2) New couches. The couches I currently have in my house are kind of falling apart. When you have to start creating make-shift legs out of phone books, you know it's probably time to start looking into purchasing new furniture. I've looked around, and being as snobby as I am, I'd like to get something nice if I'm going to get anything...and I'm kind of in love with the idea of brown leather. It's pricey. :(

3) An awesome trip...somewhere...awesome. I've been a lot of places, but I've never been to South America or the Far East. I think those would be really fun destinations. Or a cruise to the Bahamas. Oooooooh!

4) Paying off the dang car. See story above.

So...what do you think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The worst (and yet fairly effective!) diet plan ever

I'm going to brag that I've lost three pounds in the last week. "Wahoo! Way to go, Annie!" you're thinking... I wish there were cause for celebration! As much as I love having my jeans fit a little better and seeing the numbers on the scale get smaller, I think I'd rather go back to being a few pounds heavier and the way my life was a week ago.

For those of you who don't know, Ben and I broke up last Tuesday. It was kind of a surprise to me, but hey, crap happens in life, so who am I to think I'm not going to get caught in the line of fire every once in awhile? I'm trying not to dwell on the whole situation, but it has given me a bit of a problem, in that I struggle to not feel ill whenever I eat. I didn't eat breakfast for three days. Lunch and dinner were meager at best, and even the thought of junk food (i.e., ice cream and peanut butter M&Ms...they were at the ready, even!) sent my stomach spinning. It's gotten a little better, but I'm definitely not up to my usual eating style yet. I mean, I love to eat, so this is killing my soul a little bit.

Usually in situations like these, I eat to soothe the pain. Yes, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a stress eater. I'm not sure what's different this time, but food holds little appeal anymore. Sounds cliche, huh? Probably is. "Food just doesn't taste the same..." Just put me in a chick flick, why don't you?

Don't worry, though...I've made my way through my three-day formula--wallowing as much as I want for three days and then trying to return to normaltude--and life is beginning to settle back in. I don't cry at every song I hear on the radio. People aren't always giving me that piteous look of "is she going to break at any second?" when they see me. I do still struggle because I miss the relationship, but if life has taught me anything, it's that I am strong enough to move past these things. Plus, I've had oodles of people who've come through with help and love. Thanks to everyone who has been my support this past week.

And hey...losing a few pounds can't be all bad, right? Hmmm...I wouldn't recommend this method.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Panda Express...oh Wise One...

My boss and I had Panda Express for lunch today. He just brought me his fortune cookie because he didn't want it. I said, "But hey, it's your fortune." I went ahead and opened it up. The fortune read: "You will do better in real estate than in stocks." Maybe it's a good thing he gave it up to me, seeing as how our entire firm is founded on him doing well in stocks! I showed it to him and he's quite grateful to have dodged that bullet.

So does anyone know of any good real estate I can invest in? ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Salt Lake City. October 7th. Weezer!!!

Cake 'fore' a friend

My friend Melinda's birthday was yesterday. A group of us went in together and bought her golfing lessons since she's kind of been into golfing lately. I was in charge of the cake, so I decided to run with the golf theme...

A good view of the side.

All finished! (In case you're wondering, the 'hole' is made of chocolate plastic and the flag is made of Starbursts and a skewer...the ball and tee are real.)