grant and i have been plagued with car trouble since we got married. i'm talking grant's had to walk to a town from the middle of the desert kind of trouble. (our jetta was a nightmare- the reputation is deserved). every car we've owned has had ridiculous problems monthly (and not just the volvo or the jetta- our toyota and a couple nissans have been no less worrisome). grant finally just gave up completely and became a cycle/scooter enthusiast, leaving me with our maxima to drive (which had spent some time in the shop last year, and since it is not very old, we thought surely we were done with fixing it).
the only difficulty we encounter is bad weather when grant needs a car to ride to work in, and i absolutely have to have a car on the same day- a rare situation. but this winter we figured we were saved of that problem when our friend who is in iraq requested that we house his infinity in our garage, and we were welcome to drive it if we ever needed to. so for the rare weather/ busy day it has been a life saver to us the last month or so. our friend bought the car on his two week release from his tour this summer. he had already been in iraq for six months and had to return for six more, and decided to get himself a fast little present for his hard work. he bought it during his deployment so he could use the extra pay they get for being over there to pay the car off, which he just did. we have been rejoicing because our prayers have been answered and he is alive and coming home this weekend. we had just heard the news last week, exciting to no end because his wife and daughter are our super close friends who we've been worried about and love dearly.
then the maxima broke down. in the shop twice for lots of days in the last two weeks. $800 we don't have. merry christmas. the one good thing? at least we could drive the infinity and the maxima would be done before the officer's return to claim his beloved car.
we tried to keep our spirits up, and decided to take a saturday afternoon to christmas shop for cate (with a diminished budget to do so....oh well, i cheerfully shrug! a blessing in disguise, i say! we'll focus on being together, i exclaim!) off to toys r us with a light snowfall and christmas music, we are happy as can be.
and then we got hit. seriously. a dumb girl took an icy corner way way too fast and with the crunch of the infinity, robbed me of my christmas spirit. the back of the car is caved in and grant pulls over and tries to not lose his cool. he tells me to stay in the car while he gets her information. i am praying in my heart that grant will not swear when i look up. i can hardly believe my eyes as another car comes around a different corner too too fast and slams into the front of the infinity. grant only hears the crash while he's writing down insurance info, but knows instinctively that it is only our luck that would cause two accidents in three minutes in a stupid parking lot entrance. there were dozens of cars around, and only we were hit. twice.
worse, the second offender was uninsured. yes, that's right, uninsured. and since he didn't speak english, and was 18, we don't have much hope that he will ever be held responsible for ruining my christmas, at least monetarily. oh don't go feeling bad for him- he could kill someone and not even be able to help with the funeral costs because he thinks that he doesn't need to take the bus to work if he can't afford insurance. and since he drives like a moron, it probably should be something he invests in. guess what dude? we can't afford it either, but it's not really optional, ok?
lest you've forgotten previous facts in the story, the infinity owner has been in god-forsaken iraq for a year, and will be home in three days. so did you figure out the worst part? he will not have his car as his special treat for his service when he returns, he will have a crappy rental car while HIS insurance pays to fix the front of his car because the special person that hit it doesn't have insurance, and the insurance adjuster is being a real &*)(#$%# because the girl that hit us is military too and he is representing both sides and he's sure not caring that this problem get resolved in a timely manner. you just can't pull the iraq card to a military insurance company. join the club, they say. i tried to get my insurance to pay for the front...call the military, they say.
one other point worth mentioning, is had we been driving the maxima that day, we would have thrown a party...for more reasons than just not screwing up our friend's car and life. in the two places we were hit, our precious maxima already has rather bad scratches, which would've finally been fixed. oh the irony!
so remember that $800 for the maxima? add the deductable for crash #2, and the joy that is spending five days on the phone with insurance adjusters, body shops, and your close friends that you have to give such news too, and well, it's been one hell of a week. tis the season, right?
there is one small silver lining to be mentioned in all of this. we got home a couple nights ago to see a package on our doorstep. it was addressed to our house we lived in in provo 2 years and 3 addresses ago, but somehow it found us. the sender's name was unclear, and no note accompainied it. so imagine our delight when we discovered a jedi light saber training device and a real light saber! we rushed to see what it was all about- grant hooked it up to the tv and we flipped over this game that allows you to battle (a la wii) with star wars characters using your light saber and a sensor you put atop your tv. it is freaking awesome. there are instructional activities, missions, practice rounds...it RULES. with its delivery, my christmas spirit was (mostly) returned to me.
update on my hermitism: i am in awe of the nice things you all said, and how many kindred spirits there are out there. and with that, i go back into seclusion. just kidding! my plans for the weekend include lots of emailing and checking out all of your blogs and getting to know you all a little better, as well as making some calls to california, and hanging out with a few girlfriends. "thanks ya'll" (said like britney spears- gross did you see her vma performance?) i am so grateful that so many of you "get" me, and i'm excited to call you my friends, talk to you soon.
update on my lunch routine obsession: i've said before that i eat the same thing for lunch every day, and it rotates only upon the shifting of the moons...a change has come. a delicious change. i recommend it whole heartedly. i use a greek pita as the crust (key), and any tomato sauce (homemade, jarred spagetti sauce, etc.), fresh mozzarella, chopped garlic (very, very important), and veggies (zuccini is a fave- tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, yum) sprinkle a little e.v.o.o. on top and cook at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. coarse salt and pepper (you lika da peppa?) oh my.
update on my brother in law tyler, 26 year old stroke victim: i'm going to let the pictures do the talking. he is doing fantastic, and has started to pose again. he still has some "glitches" but his determination and work ethic are making miracles happen. look at his progress here!
update on my photography experiment: i have love love loved doing all the photo shoots this summer, they kept me busy, progressing, and feeling creative. this month i feel ready to get some lenses i've been wanting, and i'm bound and determined to learn photo shop (tara pakosta- can i fly to your house for a weekend intensive?). in the mean time, i have some family shoots lined up in idaho falls the last weekend of this month, if anyone else in the area is interested, email me, and i can fit you in too.
update on our infertility: grant has taken antibiotics for his skin for like, a long time, which we recently found out is toxic to sperm (why is this not the first thing they ask???). his meds were switched yesterday, and sperm count should be normal in about 90 days. i am taking advantage of the 90 days of no "waiting to see" stress by getting massages, exercising, taking prenatels, generally relaxing, and eating nutritiously so that i will be primed for conception!
update on why living in utah is cool: we are getting a steve and barry's. the list of stores that i have ordered to be built here is nearing completion. some are taking a little too long (trader joes i'm talking to you! h&m i'm getting sick of your defiance....)
update on the power of the force: it is still not to be underestimated.
since turning four last month, cate has become obsessed with the number four, and any connection to the number four. if anyone happens to say "four" or if she sees it written somewhere she absolutely freaks out. tonight she asked me how old i was when i married daddy. 24, i told her. this excited her to no end. a 4???? 24 and i'm 4???? this was wonderful news. in her mind she was one step closer to marrying her prince (something she talks about often). every paper i find laying around the house has 4's written all over it, (and a couple c's for good measure.) she will only eat four bites of any given meal, she wants exactly four crackers or grapes or ______. when we're deep in thought driving or quietly working around the house she'll think outloud "max is almost done being four, ian is going to be four soon, and i've been four for a little bit". the whole world to her is related to four. i really don't know where she could've gotten this absolutely obsessive personality from! it's just foreign to me to think that someone could be so totally focused on one thing that it consumes them and they see the world through its relation to what they're currently fixated on.
then again....i think i might have been being a tad sarcastic just then. i think cate is just my young padawan learner when it comes to obsessions. for example? currently i can think of nothing but jedi knights and the force. day and night. you know the music that plays when luke steps outside his house on tatooine and sees the two moons, the pretty, forboding kind of music? it is the background to every dream i've dreamt for like 3 weeks. cate happened upon me watching episode (insert roman numeral of choice) for the umpteenth time yesterday and said, (coached by her dad, to be sure) "mom, you better go to a gumbention" (convention). they are ready to ship me off in costume to nerd-dom.
maybe they just want me to stop saying "the force is strong in my family" or waving my hand at them while uttering what i want them to say, testing my abilities to use jedi mind tricks. i suppose i'll find a new obsession soon, probably about the time cate is five. but for now...convention baby!
my lil sister and i refer to the star wars movies as "barely fiction"..meaning we really really like jedi knights and we think they are real. a couple years ago we laid on my couch in our pajamas and watched phantom menace, attack of the clones, then went to the theatre to watch revenge of the sith- after which i cried for about 3 hours and was depressed for days, unable to get out of my pajamas. in search of peace, we set out to watch the original three (still in pajamas).
although we were full of hope watching luke and leia, the greif over our beloved anakin was still causing us much pain. at the conclusion of return of the jedi, as we were trying to feel happy and resolved and celebrate with the ewoks, we just didn't feel complete. until, that is, we saw this:
ani was darth vador no more, and was reconciled with his old friends and masters, and best of all we got to see hadyn one last time... tears of happiness rolled down our cheeks as we jumped up and down on the couch. the only way i could have been happier is if anakin was there with padme because the jedi had discovered that marriage is, in fact, holy and not to be avoided. but alas, that has happened in my mind anyway, whatever they chose to show.
whatever the case may be, two things are absolutely certain: 1. when i have a little boy his name will be ben (after ol' ben kanobi- grant absolutely refuses to let me name a boy anakin, or my much begged for jed isaac (jed i) mccaleb, and nicole has claimed luke, so ben it is) and 2. his hair will look exactly like this (braid and all):
think i'm kidding? he'll be lucky if i don't dress him in desert colored robes. i really really love the jedi. can i make a suggestion? next sunday make your husbands very happy and announce a family star wars marathon. another suggestion? knit during the fight scenes and don't miss a second of anakin and padme's words to each other- that's how you can turn it into a chick flick. win win. and i don't think i can restrain myself from saying...
may the force be with you.