Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Smile at the End of a Crappy Day

Okay, so the day probably wasn't THAT crappy. Just one of those days. Couldn't get out of bed to save my life, then got stuck in American Legion/Condolezza Rice/Donald Rumsfeld traffic, couldn't get into the building parking lot because of all the LDS business college students who don't understand the "No Student Parking" signs (or maybe they just haven't gotten to the reading semester yet) and had to back out of the driveway, 40 gajillion errands to run today, including getting the massively stupid hair fubar fixed by a professional (I'll never dye my hair myself again), and then I got this:


Laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants, so I thought I'd share it with the group!

Monday, August 14, 2006

One week in!

This is what I call progress! After months of meetings, approvals and permits, we've come leaps and bounds in only a week! This is a picture my brother in law took about an hour ago of the cement truck pumping the concrete to pour our foundation. One short week ago they were just breaking ground. Less than a week ago we were getting footings poured. Then it was a bit of a waiting game to get the foundation forms put up. Apparently the crew that was scheduled to install the forms got busted drinking on another job and got fired. A bit of a set back, yes, but thank goodness they got caught before they came to the old Tabbal house!

It's so exciting to see our home being built bit by bit! I've always known that one day I would build a house in Herriman on the family ground, but to actually see it happening and to have such a wonderful husband by my side makes it so much different. And I haven't missed the symbolism of Travis and I watching our home being built as we continue to build our lives together. Such a lovely metaphor. I just hope that in the end, both the house and our lives are everything we've hoped they would be. So far so good, though, right?

On a more wistful note, Travis and I drove by our old house in Salt Lake Saturday night. It was dark and somewhat hard to see, but all in all everything looked pretty much the same. The Albanians seem to be keeping up on the yard and taking really good care of our first home. It did make me somewhat sad, I'll admit, but seeing the potted plants that Mrs. Albanian put on the front porch and the care being given to the old place made me feel so happy that our house was being loved as much as we loved it. Now I can breathe easier as we watch our new home come to life.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A "hole" lotta shakin' goin' on!

On the way home from work on Friday I drove past the house (well, big empty field, really, but you get the picture) to find a backhoe parked, bucket poised, ready to dig the first scoop and begin our home. Yeah, I'm not going to lie, I took pictures. After 4 gruelling months, seeing ANY progress was exciting. Monday morning, though, the backhoe broke down before the first bucketful, but, luckily (for them), they got another one in and dug our pretty little hole. Tuesday the footings went in and it's only a matter of time before the foundation is poured.

So on Monday, August 7th the construction on our home officially began! We now own a big gaping hole in a field! I never thought I'd ever be so excited about something like that, but there you have it. I've taken anyone willing to be dragged over there and exclaimed proudly "yep...that's my hole!" Sounds dirty, I know, but I promise it's not. Well, there is a lot of dirt but...

Now we're looking (VERY optimistically) at moving into our new home around Christmas time. On one hand I think that having our new house be a Christmas present to us would be AWESOME, but then again, moving at during all the hussle and the bussle of Christmas can't be very fun. Of course, when is moving EVER fun, right? That's provided nothing at all goes wrong, which would suck. But even if it does, it's going wrong while we can SEE something happening. That I can live with.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Babies On My Mind

Here are a few pictures of Trav with my friends' babies.

This one is the son of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Emily (Travis is the one making the baby smile and smile). They waited 9 years to get little Miles, and I think we can all agree it was worth the wait! Their experience with trying to get pregnant makes me feel pretty guilty for getting frustrated with no pregnancy after only 4 months of trying.

This tiny one is the daughter of another of my dear friend's, Rachel. Madeline is getting so chubby it makes you smile just to look at her.

Seeing how wonderful Travis is with babies only reaffirms my love for him. Not only is he the best husband I could have ever hoped for, but I know he's going to be the perfect father for our children. I can't wait to give him babies and watch him care for them, though I know I'll need to cherish the nine-month pregnancy, since, after they're born, I won't be able to get them away from their Daddy long enough to hold them again. :)

My boss' son is in Vietnam right now adopting a beautiful little girl. I know that, in the even that we can't get pregnant (yes, I know I'm jumping the gun after only four months, but I like to have plans for every situation...better to be safe than sorry...that's my policy), there are millions of little ones out there that need good parents. Hell, we could even get a little brown one to match Trav!! They'd be lucky to get a daddy like Trav!

Four Months And Nary a Hole Was Dug

Well, we're getting ready to enter month four of the Great Building Project and I am still the proud owner of an empty field. No hole in the ground. No foundation poured. No busy sound of saws sawing and hammers hammering. What we DO have is a whole lot of run around from the city. I think that between my builder (who is a lovely man, but definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed) and the city engineer (who seems to be a lazy forgetful moron), we're barely getting to the phase of the project where we're having final meetings and picking up building permits. The big plan is to dig on Monday, but we'll see. They did, however, go out and stake off where on the lot the digging guys need to dig, so we were happy to see SOMETHING being done.

On a happier note, Travis got a new job! WOO HOO!!! He's doing more software development, but it's totally different from Dentrix, so he's excited to be challenged again. He's working as a contractor and we're hoping that the company will do well, become a full fledged company with benefits and everything and he can become a real employee. But until then, we'll just sock away the extra money and keep our eyes out for other jobs, just in case.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Big Love Season Finale

So Travis and I finally watched the Big Love season finale last night. I must admit I've been pleasantly surprised by this show. Originally I thought "Oh, great! More ammo for those idiots of the world who think that Mormons still practice polygamy and have horns!" But it's been really good.

The thing that's surprised me most about it is the protective nature that's risen in me toward the polygamist family in the show. I mean, if everyone's a consenting adult what difference does it make if they want to live a polygamist lifestyle? I don't think I could do it...I'm far too selfish...but if someone else wants to, who am I to tell them that it's not okay? Hell, polygamy is much more prevalent in nature than monogamy, so why shouldn't humans participate if they so choose?

What I find REALLY strange is how in our society it's okay for men to have sex and father children with various women and then walk away from the situation, giving neither emotional or financial support to the women or their children. But if the man decides to provide for the women and children and all the women are adults and okay with it, it's morally WRONG for him to commit to taking care of his multiple families. Seems a little off in my mind.

Of course, then you get the Roman Grant's of the world who marry off 13 year old girls to 87 year old men who then sit on welfare for years and years rather than getting a job and trying to support their families and it just ruins it for the group. But really, who's going to hire an 87 year old perv for a decent wage? And the 13 year old can't get a job, since she's not old enough and already knocked up with Perv's 62nd child. Or there is the man who have multiple families in different cities and it's not until he dies do the various families find out about one another.

And what about the woman in the show who decides that it's up to her to "save" Bill and his wives from sin? What is THAT about?! Mind your own business, you self-righteous bigot!! I just don't understand why people can't live and let live when it comes to other's personal lives. No, I don't want to be a polygamist. I don't want to be a lesbian either, but I'm not going to judge someone who lives either of these lifestyles. Sure, send Perv and Roman Grant to prison. But not for polygamy, but rather for child molestation and what basically amounts to prostitution (on Roman's part).

Alright, I'm climbing down off my soap box now. Sorry to get off on a tangent!!! Trav and I have finally posted our Hawaii pictures online, if anyone's interested. http://www.tabbal.net/blog/wp-gallery2.php?g2_itemId=6750 You can tell how early/late in the trip it is by how stoned I look in the picture. The more stoned the appearance, the later in the trip, as it was very tiring. But, no, no Maui Wowi on our trip. Just lack of sleep that was well worth it. Eventually we're going to post our trip journal, in the event that anyone is bored enough to read it. :) It's long and we were just doing it for ourselves, but thought "What the hell?" There aren't any descriptions on the pictures yet (haven't gotten that far), but I plan to put a little something on each of them eventually.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's official!

Well, after much packing, dusting, lifting, vacuuming and driving (not to mention VERY little sleeping), Travis and I have officially moved out of our house and are living at Grandma's (amidst mountains of boxes with small trails throughout). We closed on our house yesterday and turned over the keys (the garage door openers) to the Albanians.

I'm not going to lie, I've got MAJOR anxiety about them changing anything in the house, or more specifically, in the yard. Logically I know that it's no longer our house and they're free to do with it as they see fit. Emotionally I think "What the hell is wrong with you?! Don't tear out my trees!! And you're thinking of getting rid of my roses?!? But they're starting to look so pretty! Just step away from the bushes! Go back to Albania if you want to start changing things, but here at the Former Tabbal Residence, the YARD WILL STAY THE SAME!!!" Yes, dear friends and family, I'm aware that this is not reasonable. Best part is that I don't even know that they're going to change anything. But they MIGHT. And that thought is more than I can handle. We worked so hard on making the yard pretty and homey, and yes, even more marketable for when we were ready to sell, but come on! Don't go changing stuff! Buy as is, man!!!

Now we're off to Hawaii for 10 days. WOO HOO!!! It's going to be interesting to see if we can find all the stuff we need to take with us, but even if we don't, I've heard from a reliable source (the girl that got back from Hawaii today) that there's a WalMart on Oahu, so anything we forget, we'll buy. Anything we can't buy, we'll steal. KIDDING!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Going, going, gone!!!

After 20 short hours on the market, Travis and I received an official written offer on our house yesterday (a verbal offer came 10 hours after listing)!!!! We were amazed to see that they offered us only $900 under our asking price, which we thought was insanely high. But apparently not!!! Of course we accepted! Now the whole thing is contingent upon an appraisal coming in at or above the offer. Cross your fingers!!!

As much as I'm bummed to leave our little house behind, I'm SO excited to start building our new home. It'll be so nice to never have to worry about moving again that it almost makes the hassle of this one and the next one worth it. Thank goodness that we don't have very much nice furniture or other heavy stuff to worry about moving. Of course, that also means that once our house is done, those boxes will come in handy as something for our guests to sit on since we won't have any furniture. With the new mortgage and driving the Montero in to Salt Lake everyday, furniture may not be very easy to come by at the old Tabbal house. Guess I really didn't think through that whole 2 family rooms and a formal living room, huh? Well, all in good time!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

And they're off!!!!

After months, nay even years (okay, just the two), of looking, hoping, postponing and planning, Travis and I are FINALLY starting to build our house!! Last night we signed the paperwork with our builder that allows him to begin the 6 month (at least we hope) process of building our first and last home together!! Here is the house we have settled on:


If you click on "view additional photos" button, you will see an actual house that was built from these plans.

I must say, however, I am going to be greatly saddened to leave our current home behind. When I first met Trav, the house was SUCH the bachelor pad. Only a few meager pieces of real furniture were in there: the kitchen set, the recliner, the bed, and the pool table. While it still has a long way to go, our little house has now become a home, fully landscaped and everything. It was hard to get Trav to budge on changing things, but once I had him convinced, we worked very hard to get it in the shape it's in (though I never did get so far as to talk him into the red pool room and the art work never was decided upon). While it is a starter home and I know it's ready for another burgeoning family to take it the next leg of the journey, it's become very dear to my heart. So much so that when our builder suggested that the new owners could tear out the sod, my flower bed and yes, friends, even dear Harry, our little Globe Willow and put in a big ugly RV pad, I about swallowed my tongue. I may have to consider bringing he and the other trees along to our new house. The man's lucky he didn't imply that the new guy should tear out my rose bushes, or it would have come to blows.

None the less, I am VERY excited to start our new house. We've really fallen in love with the floorplan and have spent several weekends wandering around a house being built that's the same as ours will be, minus the huge bathroom we're adding to the master suite. Though I still reserve the right to drive past our little house, see my trees and bushes growing up big and tall, and shed a tear.

Friday, April 07, 2006

How do people do it?!?!?

Travis and I are babysitting my nieces for two days and two nights until my sister and brother in law return from their cruise to sunny Mexico. My question to you is this: what is it in a child that makes them wake up with a smile on their faces, excited to face the day? If I could bottle this phenomenon, I would be a millionaire. I can barely roll out of bed and get my thing together for work, but Ella (the two year old), after going to bed an hour late and getting up twice in the middle of the night (the first time to stare me into wakefulness to present me with her empty juice cuppie and the second time to go bats screaming "Puppy!! Puppy!!" because the dog came in to sleep with me), was up and at 'em at 5:30, wanting to jump on the bed. How would it be?

Last night Amaia (the four year old) wanted to "eat at a restaurant" and was baffled because Travis and I weren't into her Chuck-a-Rama suggestion. She told me "They have Coke...you LIKE Coke!!" Hard to argue with that rationale. But in the end we talked her into IHOP, where Ella ate pancakes faster than Travis could cut them up and stuff them in her mouth.

And then there was this morning. After talking Amaia out of calling KinderCare to find out if it was pajama day (it wasn't) and convincing her that, despite her arguments, I have been putting shoes on for several years now and hers were, in fact, on the right feet, I dropped them off only to have Ella crying and reaching for me to pick her up and take her with me. In the end I had to just leave her there bawling her little eyes out (but her hair looking cute as a bug's ear in her piggy tails).

So today, I am a tired, grumpy brute. Is this kid thing really all it's cracked up to be??

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How true it is...

A wealthy man learns that he will soon die. Wanting to prove the old adage wrong, he decides to take his money with him. He calls together his best friend, his priest, and his lawyer. He gives them each one million dollars with the sincere promise that, after his death, they will place the money in his casket prior to burial. The three promise and take the money home.

The fateful day arrives. After the funeral, the three men place three duffel bags in the casket and watch it be sealed.

After a few months, the best friend goes to the priest laden with guilt. He tells the priest that he has a sin to confess.

"Father," he begins, ashamedly, "rather than seeing our dear friend's wealth go to waste, I only placed $500,000 in his casket and used the rest to help my family."

The priest, looking relieved replies, "I am glad to know your secret. I, too, have a confession. I placed $400,000 in the casket and donated the remainder to our orphanage."

The two, feeling that they could not conceal their "crime" from the attorney, decide to confess to him and let the cards fall where they may.

After hearing them plead their case, the attorney looks at them with great disdain.

"How could you do that? He was your best friend and a member of your flock! You two should be ashamed of yourselves! To steal from someone who trusted you so implicitly! I myself was tempted to betray our friend, yet, on the day of his funeral, I placed a check for the FULL MILLION DOLLARS in his casket!!!"