Saturday, October 07, 2017

Muh carr, muh carr!

We bought a second car! We've been a one-car family for TEN YEARS, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to gripe about how inconvenient it's been, and wax poetic about how having a second car is amazing. It's going to be long. Maybe skip down to the picture of our car unless you really want to listen to me complain.

So, downsides to having just the one car:

1. It's really hard to take your car in for maintenance. Logistically you need two cars so you can drop one car off at the garage and still have a way to get home. And once your car is in the shop you have no way of getting around, which is especially true if you live in a rural area like we do. All of this leads to not taking as good of care of your car as you should, which is a kind of catch 22. Now that we have two cars, I can take our first car in for some much needed tuning up.

2. Scheduling problems. When we were first married we lived in Provo, which is very walkable, and if we drove anywhere it was usually together. Then we moved to Eugene, where Sam rode his bike to campus and I had access to the car all the time.

     2.1 Commuting for work.
Then we moved to Gallatin, and transportation was a nightmare. Sam had to have the car every day to drive to work 30 minutes away. Except there were days when I also had to have the car to take Edie to the many checkups required of small babies. Which meant all of us driving up to Sam's work, dropping him off, and me driving back with Edie. Which took an hour round trip and was difficult to coordinate with Edie's feeding schedule. And then we'd do it again to pick Sam up from work. All that time and mileage and gas and sun in my eyes, all for a 30 minute doctor's appointment. Blech.

But most of the time I just stayed home. I spent 18 months unable to go anywhere and it started to get to me.

     2.2 Commuting to church.
So we moved up to Portland, 3 miles from Sam's work, so he could bike to work every day (which he enjoys). The trade-off is that we now live 25 minutes from the church building, and we've both ended up in leadership positions since we've lived here. I spent three years as Primary president; we had ward council twice a month (plus a presidency meeting), there was no one to carpool with because of the Church's archaic policies about men and women breathing in the same air, and that meant Sam and Edie just had to come along for the ride and wait it out in the foyer. Except that didn't work when we switched to the early schedule (no way was I going to wake up a baby at 6:30am), so I would drive down by myself, and my sweet sainted visiting teacher would come pick up Sam and Edie and take them to church. It was a huge imposition, and once we had Marty we knew we couldn't keep it up.

Now Sam is the Elders Quorum president and he has meetings before church FOUR Sundays a month (two ward councils, one PEC, and one presidency meeting). That's right, I have to go to church an hour and a half early every Sunday for no reason. I sit in the foyer and wrangle Edie and Marty and feed them lunch while we wait for church to start. We leave at 11am for 1pm church and get home around 4:40pm. BUT NO MORE! Now I'll wrangle the kids at home, stuff them in the car, and show up to church ON TIME and no earlier. I have a lot of lost time to reclaim.

It's a 2014 C-Max SE Hybrid. 

Reasons our new car is awesome:

1. It's a hybrid. I've been getting 40 MPG!
2. It has all sorts of fancy features I don't know how to use. Our Galant is from 2002 and it has neither bells nor whistles. Now I can change the radio station with a button on my steering wheel! And I can set the lights to go on and off automatically. Fancy!
3. It's a hatchback. I was looking for a station wagon type car, because I was tired of trying to stuff stuff in my trunk. Every time I went to the hardware store I had to get my lumber cut down into smaller pieces. I bought a compound miter saw and spent 20 minutes wedging the box into my trunk, and when I got home I had to cut it out of the box while it was still in the trunk to get it out. Well, no more!
4. It still looks (and smells) shiny and new. That's because I haven't let the kids ride in it yet.
5. It's quiet, partially because it's a hybrid, partially because it's just better insulated from outside noises than our other car. No more car shouting for us!

That's all. I just wanted to type this up because we waited a long time to get a second car and I want to remember what life was like before awesome futuristic hybrids entered the picture.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Oregon Part, Part II (July)

July 1st everyone came over for a little BBQ and cake for Maranda's birthday, as well as to celebrate Canada Day.

I had everyone sign my Canada Day banner, of course. This was its 11th year, so it might be time to make a new one.

There was much baby-hogging of Alexis' new little girl.

 As always, the sand box saw a lot of action.

And until she actually played in one, I had been thinking about building a sand box for Edie.

Ben made Uncle Jon hang a paper bag in the tree as a pinata. I believe it was filled with paper cups.

One night we all went down to the park and played on the swings.

Andy and Ben took turns swinging with Uncle Fletcher, who would swing at crazy angles that I thought would give me a heart attack. When Dad showed up at the park Andy pointed to Fletcher and said something along the lines of "You've got to try this guy!" like Fletcher was a ride.

A sibling picture because I think everyone was going their separate ways starting that day or the next. 

Edie playing Legos with cousins.

And we all went bowling. I thought we had a good time, but either I'm remembering wrong or Jon and Fletcher are pulling an American Gothic.

Phew, that's the end. Now I can post pictures from my upcoming trips with a clear conscience.

The Oregon Part, Part I (June)

Oh mercy, it's been a year and this is just now going up. Let's see what I even remember about this trip.

There was much hanging out in the backyard around the new sand box.

Edie enjoyed seeing her Lee cousins this trip.

 Grams saved up all her quarters and let the grandkids divvy them up. In this picture they are fighting over the lone nickel they found.

Putting Edie to bed was tricky. Without a pack 'n' play all I could do was put her in my bed at her normal bedtime, close the door, let her tire herself out, and hope she was still in the bed when she fell asleep. I was worried she'd fall off the bed, and one time she did. I had to share the bed with her and it turns out she grinds her teeth.

Edie pushed Simon around in the stroller when we went to OMSI, even though they are roughly the same size.

Once we found the water room Edie never wanted to leave. It's all we did the whole time we were there.

There was a sign on the wall saying, hey adults, these green aprons are for you, so I put one on and I was mistaken for an employee several times. A lot of parents left their kids there alone, perhaps thinking I was there to watch all the kids. So I ended up helping kids tie their aprons and find missing shoes. I redistributed the toys and balls, and repeatedly stopped one little girl from drinking the water.

WINCO, oh sweet WINCO how I've missed you. Fletcher and I went to the movies to see...I don't even remember (I looked it up, it was Finding Dory) and went on a midnight WINCO run afterward. The package of jumbo straws was for Ben, who needed straws to build something he had thought up.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Idaho Leg

From Utah we drove straight up the family cabin, but not before stopping for "gas," which is to say, we stopped at a 7-11 and I finally got my hands on a Slurpee. There are no Slurpees in all of Tennessee, so this one was a long time coming and it did not disappoint.

But then, yes, we arrived at the cabin. Matt and Esther also came up for the week, so on Monday we naturally had to take the girls to the little park that's at the end of the road.

(This is Faye trying to get Rosie to spit out the dirt she was eating, but I'm pretending it's the other way around and Faye is purposefully feeding Rosie dirt.)

G.I.R.L. spent a fair amount of time being pushed around by her cousins, but I think they both enjoyed it, so, eh.

On Tuesday D.A.R.E. and his dad took their annual fishing trip...

...which left this little girl crying through the screen door.

Tuesday night brother Carp brought his brood up to visit and we had all five grandkids in the same room. I got exactly one picture where they're all in frame.

This of course necessitated another trip to the park, where I got enough pictures of everyone on the swings to make a flip book.

I also got one picture of these two playing nice on the cabin stairs.

On Wednesday night us younger folks headed into West Yellowstone to see Singin' In the Rain at the Playmill, but not before spending a hefty chunk of change at the fudge shop. (I may or may not have set aside a fudge budget for this trip.) The production was great, but I spent a good portion of it out in the lobby feeling woozy because pregnancy is dumb and something about those seats cut off my circulation. Bummer.

Thursday we took the girls and a sack of bread to Big Springs and fed the birds.

Then later that night we made s'mores around the grill.

Friday we high-tailed it out of town and capped off our trip by eating at the deliciously sacred Trail's Inn. Those fries. I dream about them sometimes.

We spent the night in SLC at D.A.R.E.'s aunt's house, and G.I.R.L. got to meet her first dog, Bruiser. Sadly there is no video of their encounter, but trust me, it was priceless. She kept creeping up to him, closer and closer each time, until she finally reached out some wiggly fingers and touched his back like she was playing the piano. Then she'd scream and run away, only to repeat the process approximately 10,000 times. Saturday morning we headed for the airport, where D.A.R.E. caught a plane home and I got on a flight with the in-laws (same row, coincidentally enough) headed to Oregon for the last leg of my trip.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Summer vacation recaps happening here. Three states, three posts I guess. Here's Utah.

In June we went to Utah for a few days for D.A.R.E.'s grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. We played games, had pictures taken, and just had a good time hanging out with extended family. It was good to see everyone.
Everyone everyone

Just D.A.R.E.'s family

Our family

G.I.R.L. pretending as a hat

We took G.I.R.L. swimming for the first time, and I can't say whether or not she enjoyed it. She insisted on being held by one of us the entire time she was in the pool, but fussed when we eventually took her out. Probably the best we could have hoped for. At least it got her used to wearing sandals, which she now enjoys pointing out whenever she sees them (san-mos!).

We stayed at the Homestead Inn in Midway, but were only there from Friday night to Sunday morning, so I hadn't planned on trying to fit in any visits with my side of the family. Except as we're leaving the resort someone says we're all going to meet up at the McDonald's in Heber for breakfast, and I was like, what?! I know nothing about Utah geography other than that Salt Lake is north of Provo, so I had no idea I was five minutes away from where my oldest sister (First Draft) lives. I called her up real quick, hoping she had late church. I got her at the tail end of Sacrament meeting and she was about to teach Sharing Time in Primary, but she came and met us for four and a half minutes in the Heber McDonald's to say hi and see G.I.R.L. in the flesh. 

And that was the Utah leg of the trip. The best part was probably hanging out with D.A.R.E.'s cousins  in our hotel room playing Fibbage and Drawful. Both are extremely fun games to play with a group. The worst part was dealing with G.I.R.L. on a new schedule. At home she climbs into bed at 8pm and has her meals and milk like clockwork, but on this trip she wouldn't eat or drink or sleep, and it was just stressful. Bleargh.