Monday, January 31, 2011

I unleashed the beast within

This morning I had an appointment with the DTD (aka the down-there-doctor - thank you TAMN for this acronym).  I have been prolonging this visit for numerous reasons, but suffice it to say, I could prolong the check-up no longer and went about finding a new DTD.  Sorry if I am already oversharing, but there is a serious story coming out of this.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but basically, the DTD was asking me all sorts of really personal questions, which was fine and totally expected.  And we got to talking about our professions and our lives and I started talking to her about adoption (because what else am I going to talk about in an office that is plastered with posters displaying the female reproductive system and fetuses).  And the DTD kind of got really quiet listening to me talk about how Paul and I are hoping to adopt a baby and then out of nowhere - seriously, nowhere - I realized that I had somehow started raging about abortion.  Like, really raging - raised voice that was trembling just a little with a passionate fury that I didn't realize I possessed.  I must have been bottling this up deep because I was suddenly very upset and telling her how it makes me so angry and how abortion is murder and on and on and on.  And then I was talking Roe v. Wade and the legal repercussions of pro-choice decisions, etc.  And the thing is, the entire time I was saying all these words, I KNEW that she was totally pro-choice.  I don't know how to explain that knowledge but I could just tell.  And it is not a very illogical guess in the super-liberal area that we live in. 

In the middle of my outburst, I tried to moderate the rage and calm myself down, but it was really, really tough and I'm pretty sure that my attempts at self-soothing resulted in an epic fail.  The DTD was very nice though and she didn't argue back with me - she just finished the examination and quietly left the room.  And I have been thinking all day about what happened.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I wasn't screaming at her or crying or anything, but I turned that examination table into a serious soapbox. 

And I don't mean to be that crazy person screaming about how abortion is a terrible, terrible, irreversible mistake.  But there I was in an office full of women who can do what I can't - get pregnant - and I just lost it.  I seriously lost it and I took it all out on a very nice DTD who didn't realize that she would have to deal with an infertile lunatic at 8 in the morning. 

What has been plaguing me the rest of the day though is the question of whether I should be ashamed of my behavior or proud of myself.  Ashamed for the tirade and the possibly desparaging remarks against the DTD's abortion-performing peers.  Or proud for finally sharing what I really felt - right or wrong - with someone whose perspective on the issue is completely different from my own and who could potentially influence others choosing between abortion and life. 

I still don't know what to think of myself.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Neighborhood Watch

We have a neighbor who lives across the street from us named Hans.  I think I have mentioned before that I pretty much think that the name Hans is awesome because it has all of the letters of 'Nash' rearranged.  Anyway, Hans is a very nice old man - like a grandpa.  And I have realized that having a grandpa live across the street from you is a pretty awesome thing for a variety of reasons:

1) One morning Paul left for work and forgot to shut the garage door.  Hans noticed that both of our cars were gone and he knows that we are both lawyers and wouldn't be home all day, so he came over and put the garage door down for us.  When we got home from work that night (completely oblivious to what had happened), Hans came over and reprimanded us in a nice "you-should-be-more-careful" way.

2) When we got back from Utah after Christmas, Hans came over with a box full of mail and a plate of cookies that had been left by my visiting teachers.  He explained that he and a few other neighbors (other older folks on our street) had considered calling the police when our mail started piling up.  He reprimanded us and kindly asked us to let him know when we are going on vacation in the future so that the neighbors don't have to worry that something bad has happened to us.

3) Hans explained garbage collection, recycling, yardwaste collection and the problem of people driving too fast down our street the very first day that we moved into our house.

4) Grandpas have basically every tool you could ever want, so today when Paul needed a table saw, he just went across the street and asked Hans if we could borrow his.  Hans not only agreed, but he pulled the table saw out of his garage so that Paul and his brother Dave could have space to work.

5) Hans put a number of cardboard boxes on the curb today with a sign that said "Free Stuff".  Dave grabbed the unfinished Lincoln Logs which he plans to take home and paint for our nephew Colton. 

So I baked fresh loaf of bread this morning and took a loaf wrapped in a towel and piping hot across the street to Hans' house just to let him know that we feel lucky to have such a good neighbor watching out for us young-uns.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Insulation Installation

Since the weather turned slightly cooler (here in California it never actually gets cold), Amy and I have noticed our new house does not stay very warm.  Our dinosaur of a furnace does not work very well, and there are only two vents in the entire house (one at each end of the hallway). The heat will turn on, but then the blower won't turn off unless we unplug the furnace.  This means that we pretty much only turn the heat on twice per day: when we get up in the morning until we leave for work, and when we get home from work until we go to bed.  We brought our space heater with us from Utah so we use it during the night to keep our bedroom warm.

With the tax credit expiring December 31, 2010, we decided to have new double pane windows installed to see if it would help keep our house warmer (and provide a little extra security since none of our windows had working locks).  We had that done in November, but it seemed to do little to keep the house warm.  Next, I decided we needed more insulation in our attic.  I bought about 12 rolls of insulation and laid them out over the older blown-in insulation, trying not to choke on the fiberglass in the process.  I hoped that adding new weatherstripping to the exterior doors would be the final key, but although it helped a little, our house remained chilly.

Finally I decided our exterior walls must not be insulated, especially since they are cold to the touch in the evenings.  I checked around with our neighbors who said that none of these 50's homes had any wall insulation when they were built, and our house definitely has not been updated since then.  So, Amy and I decided to have insulation blown into each cavity of the exterior walls of our home.

I was a little worried about how much it might cost, since it involves having a two-man crew punch 1 1/2 inch holes every 18 inches in each wall and then pumping loose insulation into the holes to fill the cavities between the studs.  But a friend of mine from church recommended an insulation contractor, who came out and offered to do the job for $860.  While that price seemed totally worth it to Amy and I, we were doubly sold on the idea when the contractor informed us that PG&E (local utility company) would send us a check for $0.50 for every square foot of wall insulated (amounting to $420).  This meant that we could have our entire house insulated for only $440!

So, this past Saturday while I was off on a service project with the scouts, Amy supervised the insulation installation at our house.  Here are some photos she took of the process.

One and a half inch holes punched every eighteen inches:

This is the room we plan to finish first, since it will be the baby's room (once he/she arrives).

Holes in every room!

This is what the blown-in insulation looks like.  It is not fiberglass, but is a natural fiber.  It's also pretty messy.

Holes throughout our living room and kitchen.

They finished off by inserting foam plugs into every hole.

To permanently fix the holes, I am filling each with spray foam, which I'll then slice off to make it even with the wall.  We'll then retexture all the walls (we'd already planned to do this, which made the decision to have insulation blown in through holes in our walls easier to make).

We've already noticed a huge difference and our house finally feels a lot warmer.  We'll follow up with another post once we've got the walls all retextured.  Hopefully within the next two weeks!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Music I love

Lately I am in love with Coldplay.  I saw this video on somebody else's blog and had to share it here. 

What do you think?  Creepy or awesome?  Personally, I think it is awesome.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


There is a new blog post up on our adoption blog:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Years in Orange County

I have to start with a few photos that I found on my camera but had forgotten about.  I had images on my camera from before Thanksgiving - somehow I didn't do a post about that holiday.  Anyway, I learned that hide-and-go-seek is more of a game of let's-all-hide-in-the-same-spot when you play it with three year olds. 

 While we were in Utah for Christmas, we ate at Noodles & Company.  Emma was so cute but did NOT want to try any noodles.  She is kind of a picky eater.
 Playing with Emma in Jennie's living room.
 Emma may not look it, but she was captivated by the photos of her family in Jennie's scrapbooks.

Orange County

We flew back to San Jose after Christmas so that we could both go back to work.  But on Thursday night we hopped onto another plane and flew down to Irvine to spend New Years with my friend Carrie and her husband and son.  We had such a fun time at their house.  Carrie has the cutest three year old son who is full of energy and we had a lot of fun getting to know him and Carrie's husband, Charlie. 

For some reason, I kept forgetting to pull out my camera and take photos, so I don't have pictures from our beautiful morning walk along the beach.  But I do have a photo from the next morning when their dachsund, Cracker, came into the room we were staying in to say good morning to Paul. 
 We went to the most gorgeous mall that is practically right on the beach.  Apparently the tree at Fashion Island Mall is the largest in the U.S., or at least it used to always be the largest.  Carrie and Charlie said that it was smaller this year than it has been in the past, but it still seemed awfully large to me.
 Isaac, Carrie's son, played on the ornamental gift boxes.
 Afterwards, we went and got Sprinkles cupcakes, which I have been wanting to try for a long time.  I'm not saying that they weren't delicious, but I promise that I can make a strawberry cupcake just as good as Sprinkles.  I can't attest to the other cupcakes though, so I will have to go back to try Lemon, Marble, Vanilla, ....  :)
 Isaac getting ready to attack his chocolate cupcake with sprinkles imported from France.  Why it matters that the sprinkles come from France, I'm really not sure.  But to be fair, I am not much of a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting with chocolate sprinkles kind of a person.
 But Paul sure is. 
 I think I will always remember Isaac cheering on whoever was driving by saying "race that black car" or "race that truck" anytime we were on the road.  Or, "go faster, faster, faster!" 
Such a fun kid.
 I also didn't get photos from New Year's Eve, but we had a very special dinner at Las Brisas restaurant in Laguna Beach then went home and watched the ball drop on TV.  But I do have photos from New Year's Day when we had a beach bonfire.  There were a number of groups at the beach lighting their dried out Christmas trees on fire, which was awfully exciting, especially for Isaac who wanted to join their bonfire instead of ours. 

We had hot dogs and s'mores and laughed and talked until we burned up the wood we had brought and started to get too cold to stay any longer.  It was the perfect way to spend the first night of 2011. 
Warming my fingers by the fire while somebody roasts a hot dog.

 Carrie - don't hate me for posting this photo.  It is the only one I have of both of us from our trip.
 We had such a great time and the Woods were so awesome to us.  I should also mention the amazing chicken pot pie that Carrie made for Sunday dinner from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook.  It was fantastic.  Thanks Charlie and Carrie and Isaac and Cracker for having us down to visit you for New Years.  We had a blast!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

I feel super weird posting photos from Christmas.  It seems so long ago already.  But since it has been ages since we have had some serious photo-overloading on this blog, I figure we are overdue. 

Pre-Christmas activities included a night out with friends to enjoy some excellent tapas at a Spanish restaurant in San Jose.

Then we went to see The Nutcracker.  Turns out the San Jose Ballet is pretty impressive.  This performance is one of my favorite Christmas traditions and I remember seeing The Nutcracker for the first time as a little girl in Omaha, Nebraska with my mom and dad.  This photo is from after the show.

I will confess that Paul and I weren't very good photo takers on our trip to Utah.  We were mostly focused on shopping and simply spending time with family and didn't bother to pull out our cameras.  But here are some images from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve:

We took photos for Paul's family in front of his parent's house in Alpine.

 Elizabeth (our niece who is 6) turns out to be quite the model.  Me, not so much.

 The whole family with all the new additions - a sister-in-law and two nephews. 

Christmas Morning:

Elizabeth (reprimandingly):  Aunt Amy, did you sneak upstairs to see if Santa came?

Amy:  Whatever are you talking about? 

On Christmas morning in Paul's family, everyone except for Paul's parents and grandma is required to stay downstairs and wait for basically an eternity before being allowed to come up, single file, and see what they received. 

We decided to fill each other's stockings this year.

There was a lot of little kid excitement, and really there was only the one kid - our niece Elizabeth - who knew what was going on.  Baby Robert and Baby Colton just kind of cooed at things.

 Dave & Deborah showing Colton one of his Christmas presents. 

 John & Angelica - it was their first Christmas as a married couple.  I remember those days ...

Bob wouldn't stop videotaping.  I mostly like this photo because it shows the red wooden fire truck we gave to baby Robert.

 What a cute little nephew.

Christmas Afternoon:

After opening presents, playing games, and having breakfast at the Nash's, we drove up to Farmington.  We set the table for Christmas dinner, played with Emma, and opened a few presents before it was time to call Jessica in Uruguay. 

I had to include this photo just to show off my niece's adorable ginger hair. 

 Ohmigosh I can't get over how cute and funny she is.  I love her so much.

Emma smiles a lot, but I wouldn't describe her as a smiler.  She is more of a laugher when she is entertained.  Mostly, I would say Emma looks at me with this face depicted below.  I might describe it as, "Lady, you are kind of weird, but I guess I like you enough to humor you."

 But Emma always grins for her grandma, who obviously adores her.

Emma was SO cute opening presents. 

I love that both Jennie and Emma are so excited in this photo.

Me trying to interest Emma in the new phone she got.  I think she was distracted by the dog though.

My family gathered in the office to Skype with Jessica.

Emma showed off her walking skills for Jessica by strolling up and down the length of the desk.

Hermana Casebolt.  Jessica.  I miss her so much.  Mom, Niece, Aunt, Sister, Missionary - all together.

Mother and daughter.  It was surreal talking to Jessica on Skype.  Not just because it felt like she was there in the room with us - more because it transported me right back to the two Christmases I spent in the mission field talking to my family on the phone. 

It was such a wonderful holiday.  We loved seeing all of the family that we have missed so much in the past year being out in California.  We ate lots of great food, saw friends, played games, shopped tons, wrapped and gave gifts, sang songs, and just enjoyed being around each other.  And as much as I hate wishing my life away, I am so looking forward to next Christmas already when Jessica is home and our nephews are old enough to toddle and talk a little.  And maybe we will have a little one of our own - you never know.

May your days be merry and bright.