Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Card

Apologies to those we forgot to send a card to!  Here's the gig if you missed it!
Happy Holidays!  We're off to OHIO!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung

I've always loved my family's magical stockings, especially how they are each different and have our names cross-stitched on them.  I love how proudly they are displayed all month and how we all love our own stocking so much.  I've been wanted to make our own family a nice set for quite awhile, but I wanted to do them all at once so all the fabric could coordinate. 
(Here I was a month older than Lincoln at Christmastime)
 Though I don't have all seven made (because we're having 5 kids, did you know?), I have baby #2's started and I atleast have the fat quarters set out for each upcoming stocking, and all the batting, backing, and trims cut and ready.  I didn't realize coordination was so important to me until this project!
I tried to make Dad's look like a dress shirt cuff on top, and no polka dots!

 Thanks Diana for showing me how to make yarn pom poms!  Though I may trim these down a little smaller; they also turned out a little wild, like my wreath.
Lincoln loves to shake his stocking and let the jingle bells ring!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa Baby

We had a fun ward Christmas party on Saturday!  Lincoln was having a grand time roaming around the gym as we kept an eye on him during some caroling.  When Santa walked in, me and Jason were deciding who would stand in line with Lincoln and who would take pictures, when we realized we couldn't find him!  He had crawled right over to Santa and was the first little kid sitting on his lap.  Not afraid of Santa this year!

Look similar to last year's picture?

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Boring Day Among Crazy Days

By being at the mercy of clientele, my work is inherently cyclical in nature, and depends almost completely on what time of the year it is. Most clients will hold quarterly Investment Committee meetings a month or so after a quarter ends. In the month leading up to these meetings, I can work some crazy long hours, though maybe not as much as others who may fall under the umbrella of the "Finance Industry", sometimes upwards of 70+ hours a week. At other times, I can be working the bare minimum of 40 hours a week, leaving work at the earliest allowable time of 6:00. This week has been one of those times. We've already been through the crazy meeting season, and nearly all of my clients are nearly finished winding things up for the holiday break.

Hence I texted Camille and she suggested I do the unthinkable. She suggested I *GASP* write a blog post. I thought "Why not?" So this is me trying to figure out what to write about. I suggested maybe I should write about why I want to get a puppy. I guess it's not really worth addressing the many positive aspects of having a puppy in the household, since Camille has made it clear that she'd rather raise children :(.

So that brings me to write about the topic that runs my life. Finance, economics and financial markets. Most people can stop reading now, as this may be boring to some, but hey, I've got some free time right now.

The Financial Industry seems to be in the Limelight right now. Some of the things that come to mind are Occupy X (replace X with just about any major city), the European financial crisis, numerous corporate scandals, and market volatility.

I've been thinking money lately (come on, that's all I ever do; it's my job). Why do we care so much about money? Some of the obvious reasons come to mind: We need money to purchase the things that we need to survive, to pay for the dwellings in which we live, purchase things to enrich our lives, prepare for retirement, etc. Money is the medium of exchange that everyone uses so that we don't have to try to barter goods and services (i.e. I'll trade my goat for ten gallons of milk...). Why does money work? Historically, the United States and other countries functioned under the Gold Standard, but this came to an end in 1933 when FDR outlawed the private ownership of gold. Our money is now what is called fiat money, or currency that is issued by a government.

Now that our currency has virtually no intrinsic value, other than that the U.S. Government decrees it so, why do we still exchange it for goods and services? You can't do anything with it other than hold it in your wallet. A chicken has value because it provides eggs which can be consumed for nourishment. A home has value because it satisfies the basic need of shelter. Why then do we assign a value to a piece of paper, which inherently does nothing to satisfy our basic needs or desires, other than to hoard it and have more than the guy next door?

Well, I would argue the question, why in the first place did we assign any monetary value to gold or silver or other precious metals (or cows? Johnny Lingo anyone?)? Gold gives you nothing. It doesn't pay you back. You don't earn interest. You can't do anything with it other than wear it as jewelry. The only quality that I can see that is desirable is the pretty yellow color.

Here's how I perceive it. Some goofy guy named Urg back in the stone age found a shiny yellow rock and said, "Hey, this rock is pretty! I bet I can make Furg give me his sweet stone axe for it". The deal was struck, and Urg now has an awesome stone ax to go chop wood. Furg now has a shiny yellow rock, but has no stone axe in which to chop wood for a fire. Furg approaches Turg, a renown professional wood chopping neanderthal, and asks him if he would chop him up one tree in exchange for 1/2 of his shiny yellow rock. Turg agrees and proceeds to chop down said tree for Furg.

And thus a currency is born. The value of a currency comes from the fact that each of us perceive it as something that the next man will accept in exchange for goods and services. Though our paper currency has no intrinsic value, (it's just paper) we have faith that the next man will accept it in exchange. This makes our economic system much more efficient. Furg, Urg, and Turg, now how an equally exchangeable object in which they can use to trade, rather than trying to barter services for goods or vice versa in which the previously undefined values could be quite arbitrarily idiosyncratic among parties. If not, Urg who owns a pet woolly mammoth but nothing else, would have to find something to trade with Furg for his axe. Maybe chop off a tusk or something. That begs the question, well, how much would Urg part of his woolly mammoth in exchange for said axe, and how much would Furg demand as payment to compensate him for the loss of his axe?

Money is such an incredible concept.

Ok, I've used up way too much time on this and I've realized that this isn't exactly what I had in mind when I started, but hey, I had some free time. Kudos to those still reading. Maybe I'll write another, as I have a few other topics I feel would be interesting to rant about. Cheers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Upon the Highest Bough

The Cambridge 1st has been putting on this Christmas Wreathmaking activity for over 50 years!

My good friend Kristen is due only TWO weeks after me!  With her second as well, can you believe it?  I told her to stick out her belly as far as she can.  No comparison.

My wreath really turned into an animal of boughs!  I kind of like its jungleness.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Its the Climb

Ahhh, he climbs now!  Lincoln is still not a walker, but he gets around just fine with his cruising and climbing.  I've had to move my window stickers higher and higher up the window as he has found taller things to push to the window and stand on.  Great.  I just know he'll be jumping off the table one of these days.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Turkey Lurkey

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We loved having a whole week off to spend with friends and family, and I loved having a whole week with my husband!
The flights were cheaper by flying into SLC so we carpooled with Marc & Diana up to Idaho.  We were able to visit my Hancock grandparents in North Ogden on the way up!  (Lincoln is their favorite great-grandchild).
A weekend of wonderful meals and a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner, thanks Mom!
Lincoln loved playing with his cousins (here with Adie) and all the new toys in Grandma's super cool playroom in the basement!  Because he learned how to go up and down stairs on our industrially-carpeted steep and narrow stairs, grandma's were a breeze.  He could slide down them pretty fast!
 And Marc & Diana's dog, Marley, was a big hit with the kids!
 Marc with baby Parker, Brett with Chase, and Jason with Lincoln.  With our newbie, there will be FIVE Millar grandsons all in a row!
 Our very typical evening activity: playing Mexican Train while eating Christmas candy aaaallll night long!  A few of us went out for some Black Friday shopping, and I almost fainted standing in one of the lines for too long.  Don't be alarmed people, I'm just preggo.

Baby Parker's blessing was on Sunday, and I was so honored he wore the houndstooth baby shoes I made him!  From left to right: Sabrina's dad and mom, Sabrina and Brett & kids, Diana and Marc, us, and Mom.  Pardon my unflattering but oh-so-comfortable maternity dress.
On Monday, we got a rental car and visited Provo for the day!  We hit up a few of our favorites, namely Cafe Rio, In n Out, and Kneaders, got our wedding rings cleaned, visited Jason's old roommate and friend Will & family, and drove by our old house. 
That night we had a Hancock FHE with my THREE BYU brothers (and their girlfriends!)  Travis's Kelli and Braden's Julia are both coming to Ohio for Christmas!  Its about time we had a little more female influence in our male-dominated household!
We figured out a way of giving Link a bottle, then quickly flipping him onto his belly to fall asleep on our laps.  It worked for a few hours.  We had some long flights and after several delays on our way back, we got home around 4:30am, which was interestingly almost exactly the time we left the house exactly a week earlier.  In all, a happy holiday!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Big Three

 Happy 3rd wedding anniversary to us last week!  Amazing how 3 years feels like forever and nothing at the same time (both in good ways). 
We meant to get a babysitter and do something wild and crazy, but with Jason's super busy and unpredictable schedule, we ended up getting Santarpio's (East Boston's famous pizza place) and having a candle/tree-lit picnic.

I love you so much, lovie!  Here's to many many more!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rockin Around the Christmas Tree

 Few things make me more happy than Christmas.  (I've been playing Christmas music around the house since early October).  I've been trying so hard to keep my excitement at bay and to bring out only one decoration a day, since Jason is a believer in holiday equal rights and Thanksgiving hasn't really had its full month yet.  However, Jason came home from work on Friday with a changed heart and said that we could put up the tree!!  And NOW its the most wonderful time of the year! 
Oh and I cut my hair last week!  Jason likes it shorter on me, and long hair is such a hassle with a grabby baby that I was never wearing it down anymore.  I told the hairstylist, "Make it short, have fun", and I love it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Hair Affair

My scallywag:
It was just getting too long and crazy! 
Especially when he would rub his food into the long strands in the back.

 Giving Lincoln a bottle to chug was the perfect thing to get him to sit still.

Doesn't he look so grown up?! 
I can't believe how much he looks just like Jason when its spiked!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bombs Away

Lincoln's new favorite pastime is climbing up the stairs, gathering items from all the bedrooms, and throwing them down the stairs. He's an excellent eater and wound up 95% again in height, weight, and head at his last check-up. When he's done eating, he throws everything from his tray onto the floor on his right side. Since I set the trashcan right next to his high chair, we've eliminated a lot of clean-up! He follows me everywhere and hates to be alone. He loves to play the piano, ride in the car, terrorize the bird, and could chug a gallon of whole milk every day if I let him.

Jason has had a busy week at work, coming home after 10pm, 11pm, or midnight every night. I wish I could stay up that late, but Baby #2 is an energy sucker. Good thing he has some busy weeks and some boring weeks so I don't feel like a single mom all the time. Several times a week, Jason gets to take individuals interested in working at C/A out to expensive restaurants for lunches. How do I get one of these dates?!  Since he only rides the subway to and from work, he was able to go almost 3 months without renewing his expired Idaho drivers license.  Jason has developed a new hobby of cultivating bonsais! He has patiently been waiting for several months for a handful of seeds to sprout and is excited to plant them soon. Bonsai trees take years to grow, and then a lifetime of cultivating! 

I've been sewing a lot with all this alone time. I've recently done window seats, curtains, and reupholstered dining room chairs for a wealthy professor who lives in a high rise downtown with massive windows. I hope to get some pictures of it all next Saturday. I've also been sewing up some doll dresses, quilts for a RS activity, and tailoring for clients. I'd really just love to get around to sewing up Christmas gifts and stockings, but they keep getting pushed back. I daydream about next year's Halloween outfits, making matching suits for my boys, and how much fun we're going to have visiting our families for the holidays.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Its All About the Money

 Money, money, money...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(G)ive (M)e (A)nother (T)est

The studying for the GMAT has begun!  Another huge pile of study books has arrived and Jason has dived right in.  The plan is to take it sometime after Christmas, in time to start studying again for the CFA in June.  I'm so proud of you for studying so hard, babe!  This will all be worth it someday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Weekend Guest

 My friend Natalie came to visit me for the weekend!  She lives in Chicago (we shared the moving van across the country when we both moved from Provo) and has two cute kids.
We saw more of the Boston Library, watched the sailing regatta on the Charles, got Mike's pastries, bread bowls, and had a super girls night--complete with candy corn fingernails and the new Disney movie Prom :)
Thanks for a splendid weekend, dear friend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Boy! A Boy!

Did you hear?  Its a boy!  Has anyone ever found out the gender of their baby at 11 weeks, 6 days?  We thought finding out about Lincoln at 13 weeks was a record!  I guess my boys just like to show that their boys really early!

On Thursday, we were in for a routine ultrasound to check for genetic disorders, mainly downs syndrome, and within the first 2 minutes of the ultrasound, I could totally tell :)  How can it not be so obvious when he's kicking his legs apart for the camera?  Still, I waited till the end of the 30 minute ultrasound (he kept wanting to lay upside-down and wouldn't flip over) to ask the doctor if she also agreed on those early boy indications, and its a pretty solid consensus.  Another BOY!

I'm thrilled for Lincoln to have a buddy!  When I called to tell my family, my dad said how he can just imagine those two boys running around the house with squirt guns at eachother.  Its true, I can already see those two rugrats doing everything together--helping eachother reach the cookies, one being the lookout while the other climbs out the window, playing in sports together, dating the same girls, going on overlapping missions, etc.  I'm going to be super soccer mom, that's for sure.  So so excited.  And so happy to see a healthy, happy squirmy little guy doing well.  I love you, little one!