Jeff & I

Night on the Town!

>Okay, I have to admit, Jeff and I almost NEVER have the chance to go out without the girls.  Anyway, one of the top people of (that’s the department he’s in at eBay) came out from San Jose to do a training, and since Jeff went to eBay live last year along with Larry (his old supervisor) and Jodi (one of his team members), Jodi decided to throw together a last minute dinner, and we went!  Aside from Susie, Jodi, Larry, Jeff and myself, Jeff’s team lead Brooke was there as well.  I guess as respect for their privacy, we just got pictures of me and Jeff, but the place we went to is called the Bayou and it’s downtown.  They serve cajiun food, and it was DELISH.  They also have the largest beer menu I have ever seen in my life; they server 256 different beers, and have 32 different ones on tap!  Anyway, I had something called Crawfish Etouffee over rice and Jeff had a hamburger.  Here’s some pictures of our night out!

 Yes, we’re drinking alcohol, so we’ll get that out of the way.. spare the lectures please.  We’re responsible drinkers and we drink so infrequently, maybe 3 or 5 times a year at the most, and it’s ALWAYS just one serving of alcohol.  This was actually my first time drinking out in public.  Anyway, this beer I had was… amazing.  One of my issues with beer is that it tastes disgusting.  Being a fruity drink lover, I had the Lindemans Peche: Lambic, which is basically a peach flavored beer, it actually tasted quite a bit like a peach flavored soda, but you could taste that it was alcoholic.  And Jeff, since he has not had good luck with beer, decided to pick his drink based soley off of the name Squatters: Captain Bastard.  I had a sip of it and it can only be described as bitter, and it tasted like they ran it through cofee grinds.  And Jodi had this cherry flavored beer brewed by the same company as the beer I had, and it was just like a cherry flavored soda.. yummies but I like peach more than cherry.
 Here’s the beer menu!  Well, it’s two but I flipped one over and took a picture of both sides, so you could see how extensive it was.
I love this sign, mostly because they drew the ‘greater than or equal to’ onto the sign.
And here’s me and Jeff standing outside of the bar.  We had a GREAT night out!
The food was great, the atmosphere was awesomely loud which I LOVED for some crazy reason, but our waitress.. well she needs to work on her skills.  Everyone’s food came out at once, except for Larry’s.  She looked at him and said “Yours will be out in a few minutes, I dropped your sandwich.” which resulted in his eyes completely bugging out.  He said “I”m so inspecting my food for dirt.” and of course there was teasing involved.  Brooke who was sitting next to Larry looked at his plate and said “Is that a hair?”, which of course freaked him out.  The best part is that we didn’t have to pay for dinner!  I guess Susie got permission to cover our dinner and have it reimbursed by eBay.  Yay!
Living The House

House Pictures!

>Today was our inspection and aside from a few minor issues, it went well!  And I managed to ge a few good pictures of the upstairs of the house.  Unfortunately, one of the guys that live there was home, so I wasn’t able to get pictures of the downstairs.

These are the bedrooms that we’ll be sleeping in, all upstairs.  The green room will be our room, since it’s the largest, the white room will be Zoe’s room, and then the blue room will be Ruthie’s.  The room is REALLY dark as you can see, and I actually had to adjust the levels in photoshop because all you could see was the window and that’s it.  I guess the light coming into the bedroom is why the flash didn’t go off.  They are decent sized bedrooms, since the bed in the white room is a queen size.

Here is the front room and upstairs bathroom.  I took the picture of the front room from the hallway leading back to the bedroom and bathroom.  It’s a decent sized front room, but we currently have no plans on actually using it as a living space, Jeff wants to put down a huge track to race cars… we’ll see about that, however that bay window is GREAT, especially for a Christmas tree.  And the bathroom has been updated and painted the same neutral tan as the front room.  The floors match the tile on the wall… I htink it’s the same tile but I’m not sure.  And while I’m a HUGE fan of our Spongebob Squarepants shower curtain.. I have to say I’m a really big fan of that dark red shower curtain.

Here’s the kitchen from three different angles.  The first picture is from the same spot (but me turned slightly) that I took the picture of the front room from.  You can see the door frame on the left side of the picture, that’s the back door that leads out to the carport and the back side of the house.  I took the next two pictures in the corner you see to the right of the window in the first picture.  Again, it’s got updated cabinets, counter tops and flooring, with the same tile that’s in the bathroom.  Oh and in the second picture, on the right that’s the stairwell that leads to the basement.  The walls of the basement are painted in the exact same color as the living room, upstairs bathroom and front room.. very boring but it really does work.  And the countertops aren’t granite even though they look like it; they are just regular laminate countertops made to look like granite, which I love.

And these two pictures were taken outside obviously!  This is the backyard, the carport is to the left.. you can sort of see the back corner where the dish is at.  We’re planning to fence it in, since we have discussed getting a dog, however I want a fence up first before we get a dog for very obvious reasons.  And the last picture is of me on the roof!  There’s some soft spots on the roof, and I went up with the inspector to see where they are at.  There’s not a lot of soft spots, and the roof did pass inspection; however based on the information I gave my dad and based on what I saw up there, the subroofing was done with 1/4 inch plywood when they should have used 1/2 inch plywood.  I was nervous about the pitch of the roof and it having leaking issues with the shingles, however my dad also confirmed that its 3-12 pitch, which is the lowest pitch allowable with shingles without having issues with leaking.  The roof has about 5-10 years left on it, so we’re gonna have to make plans on replacing the roof in the next few years.

I’m really sad I was unable to get more pictures of the rest of the house, but since the guy was home, I didn’t want to be the weirdo with a camera.  Of course, those pictures will eventually come, don’t worry!


A Year Ago…

>I gave birth to our second child, Ruthie Edith Hayford at 8:36 pm.  It’s been an amazing year and filled with fun, sleepless nights and wonder to have watched her grow.  Anyway, we had her party Saturday, mostly for conveinence.  Here are the pictures!

Here is the banner I made using my Cricut machine.  It was supposed to say “Happy Birthday Ruthie” but I left one of the i’s at home, so we had to improvise by carefully cutting a hyphen out of one of the Ts and putting “B-day” instead which was fine.  I was just gonna leave it as “Happy Brthday Ruthie” but it was too noticable.  Jeff is the genius behind the hypen.

Here’s her cupcake shaped birthday cake and extra cupcakes.  I created her birthday invitations (again with the cricut machine) and put a cupcake on them, so I wanted to crossover the theme into her cake.  Just letting you knwo the pan is created by Wilton and while it’s cute and adorable, it’s a pain in the butt to work with.  Don’t use it if you have less than 20 minutes to pop out of the pan and frost it.

And here’s a bunch of pictures of the present opening portion of the party.  The gun was given to us by our friends Cooper and Ngaire.  Cooper explains, “Every kid should have a toy gun.”.. I guess that opinion comes with the occupation of being a police officer.  These aren’t all of the presents she got, but just a few of them.

Here’s the singing portion of the party.  Jeff was not standing at a good angle, but you can still tell she’s kind of thinking “WHAT is going on here?!?”

And here’s some pictures of her enjoying a cupcake!  The Colonial Sanders goatee was just too cute!

Living The House

We Got a House!

>Well, that is to say we’ve put in an offer and it was accepted! We’re just waiting on the home inspection which is Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to go well so I’m not worried about that at all!

Anyway, about the house. It’s in Sandy, on the EAST side of State street! It’s 2,016 square feet, with a completed basement, it has 5 bedrooms (3 upstairs, 2 in the basement), 1 and 3/4 bath and has a one car carport, but has enough space to park 3 more cars in the driveway. BTW, in case you are wondering, a 3/4 bath has a sink, toilet and just a shower instead of a bathtub with a showerhead, the 3/4 bath is the one in the basement. The kitchen, and bathrooms have been updated with new countertops, flooring and cabinetry, and everything has a fresh coat of paint. Also it has hardwood floors in the front room, kitchen and hallway upstairs, and the rest of the house -with the exception of half the laundry room that I suspect was a bedroom at one point- has full carpet which is plushy and soft. We’ve planned on the bedrooms that are upstairs being the sleeping quarters and the largest bedroom downstairs is going to become a guest room and the smaller bedroom downstairs -also the smallest bedroom in the whole house- will become my CRAFT room! That’s right I will have a WHOLE ROOM devoted to my crafting, something I’m very excited about!

Since the laundry room is so large, I think what we’re going to eventually do is put another wall up, and then put a door in there and use that as the food storage room. We’re waiting to see what happens with that home buyer credit thing that I last blogged about because it MAY double to $15,000 before we start stocking up on food storage and putting walls up. And we’re also planning on putting up a fence to completely fence in the back yard.

The best part is that the seller was asking $174,900 and we were able to talk them into accepting $167,000 AND have them pay closing as well, so we’re STOKED! I don’t have any personal pictures of the house, that’ll be done on Wednesday when we go back for the inspection, however here’s a picture of the front of the house.

I know it’s kind of small, but it’s not my picture, it’s the one from the real estate listing. And I’m not a fan of those weird window baskets so they’re gonna go as soon as I can figure out how they come off. I LOVE the bay window, however since we plan to use the basement as our main gathering and family room, it’s going to remain empty, and we’ll probably just use it as a gathering spot for parties and stuff.
We had initally wanted another house, however that one didn’t work out and I’m glad it didn’t. It was a bigger house, however it was also on a massively busy street -we’re talking 4 lanes- and it didn’t have any appliances other than the dishwasher. This house I know is the RIGHT house for us, and I feel so blessed knowing that on March 12th provided there’s no major issues that come up that it’s gonna be OURS!
Living The House

Shhh, We’re Hunting a Wascally House…

>Well, we’re offically looking to buy our first home!  We’ve got a realtor and we’re signing papers with a mortgage broker on Saturday to get our pre-approval letter so we can start putting down serious offers.  In fact we looked at our first house yesterday however the house was not in an ideal condition for us to buy.  The roof had started leaking and created water damage, and the landlord seemed like the type who wasn’t caring enough about the condition enough to ask the tenants to not smoke in the house.  It was going into forclosure, which is why we went to look.  We were interested in another house but since we couldn’t go see inside yet, we did decide to at least drive by it to see the outside of it.  And good thing we did beacuse there was a busted out window so who knows how long that was broken, and there was a couch upside down on the front lawn and there was someone driving across the front lawn in their pickup truck.  Needless to say, we’re not going to see that house.  We’re going to see a few houses tomorrow; hopefully one of them is in great shape!  They are all within our price range, so hopefully one of them is the one!  One looks promising; it’s alot of house -over 2,000 square feet- and their asking only $150,000.  It’s in a very good neighborhood, so I’m sure there’s probably already bids on it, so hopefully we can get in and put a bid in as well.

One thing though we’ve been tossing around is if we should apply for the $7,500 tax credit that’s for first time home buyers.  Basically it’s more like a interest free loan you can apply for by filling out a form with your taxes and in addition to your regular federal and state return, you will also recieve an additional $7,500.  And you pay it back by the IRS witholding $500 from your federal tax return for 15 years.  There’s of course alot of stipulations involved such as income limitations, you have to have bought your house within a specific time period, and if you sell your house within a certain time and you make a profit, they can legally claim the money back out of your profit… a whole bunch of stuff but for most people, it’s actually worth it.  I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details here because I’m not a financial guru or whatever and I don’t actually blog for a living, but here’s a link directly that gives all the information about it

The biggest hurdle for us is that we NEED our tax return so we can use it as a down payment on our house, so we can’t really wait around for the papers to be signed to get the money because the form does require you to give the address of the home you’re buying or have bought.  We could file our taxes, and then amend it later, but unless our house needs work we don’t plan on doing it.  The house we looked at yesterday would have been an ideal home for it; however between the water damage and the roof and the fact the family that lives in the house are all heavy smokers, it’s too much work and Jeff’s not handy around the house so it would have been a money sink and not an investment.

I’m not saying that everyone who reads this should go for it; however if you feel that in your personal situation that it will reduce stress and improve your house overall, go for it.  But be sure to talk to a financial person or an accountant before you do it because on the surface it may seem like a good idea but when you put it on paper it won’t work out.

Anyway, wish us luck on our house hunting!


New Year Reminisce

>Got this off of Monica’s blog. I wasn’t tagged specifically but I wanted to do it anyway to reminisce. I figured it would be a great way to kick off the year even though we’re 16 days into it as my first entry.

20 Years Ago…
1. I was three and a half.
2. I had just acquired a new sister who I apparently enjoyed tying to the crib. Thank goodness Zoe never did this to Ruthie.
3. I liked sharing ice cream cones with dogs.

10 Years Ago…
1. I was thirteen.
2. I moved in with my mom at the end of my 8th grade year.
3. I was growing out of my tomboy stage.

5 years ago…
1. I had just turned eighteen.
2. I had just moved away from Virginia and here in Utah after meeting Jeff on the internet.
3. I was coping with and being an adult away from home for the first time. Wasn’t easy I tell ya!

3 years ago…
1. I was twenty.
2. Jeff and I had moved out of his parent’s basement and we were in our first apartment.
3. We became parents for the first time thanks to Zoe’s arrival.

1 year ago…
1. I was twenty two.
2. I just gave birth to our second baby.
3. We were in a horrible apartment and wanting out of it.

This year so far…
1. We’re in a new apartment that we love!
2. Zoe has learned how to sass back and causing me enormous frustration.
3. We’ve started the process of buying our first home!

1. I went to Robert’s and spent money on scrapbooking supplies.
2. I fixed the camera after Zoe dropped it funny, by dropping it funny myself.
3. I completed 2 scrapbooking layouts and nearly finished Ruthie’s birthday card invitations.

1. I finished two more scrapbooking layouts.
2. I did a load of laundry, cooked dinner and got sassed at by Zoe.
3. Ruthie took some steps pushing her (Zoe’s old) hippo toy for the first time on her own. Of course she was grumpy the whole time.

1. We’re going to eat lunch at Souper Salad.
2. Go by Jeff’s parents’ house to figure out what happened to the web-hosting server computer.
3. Get back Twilight from Shayla and give her New Moon to read. Another Twilight addict in the world!

Next Year…
1. We’ll hopefully be settled into a new house.
2. We’ll have our car paid off.
3. Zoe stops sassing back.

I tag Linda and Valerie or whoever else wants to do this.


Our Christmas


Well, I finally got around to taking the time to post our Christmas pictures!  We didn’t get alot of gifts for the girls, something we’ll never do, but we did get enough pictures.

The first picture is Zoe’s reaction to our exclaims of “Get up Zoe, Santa came and left you and Ruthie presents under the Christmas tree!”  She was embarrassed about it for some reason and decided to hide under the covers.  After about 5 minutes of waiting, Jeff decided to get her out of bed, and she brought along her Dora Pillow book to hide under.
Zoe was really shy about the presents until she caught sight of the giant penguin.  After that she was much more open to the idea of presents and opening them.  And there’s Ruthie in the corner smiling at the camera.  The next picture is slightly out of sequence; however she was WAY excited to see a treasure chest with a blanket and a tent inside of it.

Here’s the blanket that was in the treasure Chest.  She adores butterflies and the color purple, so that’s what she got; a purple butterfly blanket.  The other side is a lighter shade of fleece in a solid color.  Zoe’s always playing with the etch-a-sketch in the checkout, so we figured to ask Santa to bring her one.  She enjoys playing with it, but I think her favorite thing is to shake it to make the lines disappear.

The last thing Santa brought Zoe was a Smurfette doll that came with a one episode DVD (Romeo and Smurfette in case any of you were wondering what episode it was)  She enjoyed watching the DVD so much, we went ahead and downloaded the whole first Season for her to watch, and she’s completely enjoying that.  The next picture is a present from her Grandma Teresa (my Mom) which is a laptop with letters and numbers.  The neat thing about it that you can set the age of the child on the laptop so it grows with your child.
 As you can see, Zoe’s the most excited about CLOTHES!  I didn’t get a picture of the other outfit, but it was a purple velour jumpsuit with a purple shirt; this one was a red top with pink pants, and again it was from Grandma Teresa.  Ruthie got this toy from Grandma Teresa; it’s one of those things where you stick the toy in the correctly shaped hole (in case you couldn’t tell ::wink wink::)
 These two presents were brought to Ruthie by Santa!  This was her first Christmas, so I don’t think she quite understands what’s going on, but she really did like the ball! It shakes and moves and sings when the baby plays with it; it’s supposed to encourage the baby to crawl after it.  Ruthie likes to hold toys in her hand as she crawls around, so this ball will get her going to chase it.. or it’s supposed to anyway.  She mostly sits and pokes at it.  Ruthie also really likes the seahorse, when you squeeze it, the belly lights up and it plays music.  She seems to be soothed by it, so that’s a good sign.  Of course, she’s staring at it funny because she’s unsure exactly what it is; she’s since warmed up to it.
 These last two presents are from Grandma Teresa once again; the first picture is of an outfit, and the second one is pajamas with the little girl cat from Aristocats.. I honestly don’t remember her name.  Unfortunately, Zoe’s quite fond of cats and was a bit upset that they were not her pajamas.  But she’s okay with that.
The girls overall enjoyed their Christmas.  They got cute tutus from Uncle Andy and his family, and Zoe likes to play with hers; Ruthie really isn’t that crazy about hers, but I do plan on getting pictures of the girls later on wearing their tutus, they’re going to look adorable!


Merry Christmas!


… 188 cookies and two pies later.
Yes, that’s right.  I’ve baked 188 Gingerbread cookies for gifts, and that’s NOT including the 30+ that were not suitable for gifts.  Remind me to not do this again next year.  Of course, the cookies are delicious so, I suppose it’s worth it.  Liz, I may try my hand at candy making after all… it’s probably much easier than baking an insane amount of cookies!
Anyway, here’s some more pictures of the Christmas tree.
  These were taken the other morning, natural lighting really helps show how beautiful the tree is.  I especially love my tree topper.  The picture on eBay did not do it justice, and I was very pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful it is.
 And here’s what it looks like after Santa came to visit!  I got a package yesterday from my Mom; hers are the ones that are wrapped in green paper and also the decorated shirt boxes.  The decorated see through containers are our gifts to the family, and the rest are from Santa!
I can’t wait to get pictures later when Zoe wakes up.  The only downer is that I still have one last pie to make; an apple pie, and I have to do a quick load of laundry as well.  Oh joy!  At 12:30 we’re going to Jeff’s parents’ for lunch.  I’m super happy this Christmas because I did some digital work and got paid for it, so I managed to make enough money to buy something for Jeff.  It’s great because I didn’t have to use the money he earned for the family to buy him a gift.  It’s not much, but I know he’ll like it because I bought it for him.  But I won’t say what it is yet.
Once again MERRY CHRISTMAS!  I hope your day is filled with blessings and joy!

Oh Christmas Tree!

>I took some pictures of our Christmas tree. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get great pictures of it with the camera, so I only was able to manage to get good pictures of it. They don’t do the tree justice though. I plan to get pictures of the girls in front of the tree in dresses when I can get to it though.

The first picture is of the tree with all the lights off. The second picture is with the light on in the living room area of our apartment. We put it up in the dining room area since that’s the only place we have room for it; we don’t have a dining room table, so why not put it there? I don’t have stockings up either, since I need to make them; however Zoe does have a stocking, somewhere. I do have the fabric though!

Extended Family

Tim’s Homecoming pictures

>Here are the pictures from the airport. We were waiting for over an hour, so I felt that I had to take pictures. I didn’t get pictures of everyone that showed up, I forgot to get a picture of Jeff’s brother Andy and his family.

Here’s the flight information on the board, as you can see it between the white brackets. Funnily enough, it never changed from saying “Departed” to “Arriving” or “On Time”. And the next picture from right to left is Uncle Jim, Shayla (Jeff’s sister), Aunt Anne and their grandaughter; I’m unsure what her name is though. They got to the airport before we did, but only by a few minutes.

Here’s John (Jeff’s dad), then Jeff and Melissa (Jeff’s sister) and little Mason (boy) in her belly. Then, there’s Zoe with Grandma Wendy! And in case you were wondering, Uncle Jim is John’s brother. Wendy was walking around with Zoe in the airport, taking her up and down the escalator. Zoe got brave later on and decided she wanted to go for an elevator ride by herself, but that got stopped pretty quick by Uncle Devin (Melissa’s husband).

Here’s TIMMAY! Or Elder Hayford, since he wasn’t released yet. Then the next picture is of him with his two friends Braeden (sp?) and Ben. They also recently got home; Braden served in Argentina, and Ben served in what I’m assuming San Jose, since he mentioned living by eBay’s home quarters. Out of all of their group of friends, Ben was the only one who did not serve a Spanish speaking mission. He’s probably feeling left out about that by now.

There’s a bit of a funny story about Tim and Zoe. Zoe was running around and being crazy with the family when Tim came off the escalator, and then she spotted a vending machine with candy and ran over there. As soon as she left, he asked “Who’s that little girl?” and of course, we responded with “That’s Zoe.” and he goes “Wow, she’s huge!” It didn’t help matters any that the family that was standing around the vending machines were a family of blondes! He was amazed at how big Ruthie was, and commented when he left, Zoe was that small -actually she was a bit over a year old when he left; about a week or two after her first birthday- and was amazed at how big Zoe was. Unfortunately she didn’t recognize him so he tried to talk to her she hid her face or started crying. Melissa prepared Aidan for his homecoming, so he knew who Tim was and gave him a highfive. Braeden and Ben took off, and Andy and his family went home since he had to go back to work, and Uncle Jim, Aunt Anne and their grandaughter went home, and the rest of us went to SouperSalad for lunch/dinner (lunner?) since it was three in the afternoon and Tim hadn’t eaten since 5 am in Tijauana, which was 6 am our time.

He was amazed at all the changes that were done to the house, and the dogs I think recognized him, so that was nice. Later on, Luke and his wife (they got married yesterday) came over and Jessica met Tim for the first time, since her and Luke started dating about a year before Tim got home. I totally called that relationship winding up in marriage, even though Luke thought I was crazy. All in all, it was great. We left Guitar Hero over there for Tim to play and within a few minutes, he was Rocking out better than Jeff! Amazing!