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?


Blogger Adrianne Miller said...

My vote is for Laser eye surgery. Here is why:
I am gonna need it here pretty soon and I am way too chicken. This way I can see if you live through it, and if you do, in a few years, I'll give it a whirl.

That is my vote.

August 29, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Blogger Laceski said...

I think we should get lasered and THEN go on a trip! I think Tokyo or Hong Kong would be insanely awesome! Most of South America is a little dodgy, so that's my vote. If you need a travel buddy, COUNT ME IN! :)

August 29, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Blogger Erika said...

WOW those are tough choices. I myself would LOVE laser eye surgery too... so that's probably my vote too, but i have to say you should travel while you can cause I always wanted to go to awesome places and it's not really gonna happen in the near future!! Good luck.

BTW I have no idea how your sister DOES IT!!!!!! Traveling with 3 kids!!! She's a strong strong woman.

August 29, 2008 at 10:35 AM

Blogger Lisa said...

Wow, people who want/get laser eye surgery are brave. I've heard enough bad experiences that I'm convinced that I will wear contacts for the rest of my life. My personal vote is the most boring of the choices, pay off the car. I recently paid off my car, and I can't believe how nice it is to not have to worry about it! I never want to buy another car again! Anyway, that's my vote.

August 29, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Blogger kate. said...

Go on vacation...and take me with you!

August 29, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Blogger Bree said...

Pay off the car, and use those old car payments to pay for laser eye surgery!

September 2, 2008 at 10:18 AM


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