Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blog stalking-inspired soul searching

Here is where some of my thoughts (Becky again) have been lately:

-Should we buy a house? I am torn in a thousand directions on this. We wanted to have more money saved before we bought, for one. We planned to wait another year, for two. Rates are ridiculously low (and I currently work for a mortgage company), there is an excellent tax credit, and many cheap houses to be had. Plus, Obama says go for it. (That's a joke. Kinda. He really says go for it but I'm really not listening.) We are completely priced out of the area we are in. This is a bummer and leads to more decisions. We love the area because it has everything so close, and it's so so close to I10, and Patrick's commute when he is downtown is pretty easy. But we absolutely can not afford the houses in the area. So where to buy? Further in is (in most places) more expensive and further from church. Further out starts to really stretch it for a commute. We could buy a house further out for so so so cheap and that is so tempting! But does that make sense for us? And do market conditions mean this is the right time to buy FOR US? I don't know! (Side note: We don't plan to buy right now. Hopefully closer to the end of the year, it depends on what we can do with our current lease.)

-Friendships. This is presenting a very new situation for me. The majority of my friends in all areas of my life are having babies. Patrick and I are totally not there right now, and we are on the same page with that. But come July to December-ish, a lot of our friendships will change a lot. I am THRILLED about this! I love babies, I'm just not craving one of my own right now. I love babies I can give back! I'm really excited to see all these new babies and who they will be and how cute they will be and be a part of their lives. But it definitely means a change for us, and a large change in our current small group. So those are changes coming up that we don't really know what they will look like. Exciting but so new and different. (Another side note: I am feeling very lucky that I get to see other people experience the whole pregnancy/birth/baby/toddler/etc. stages before me so I can get a better idea of what that's like before I am ready to go there.) On the other hand, I have three beautiful bridesmaids without babies on the way who are in Houston and rarely seen, and that makes me a slacker of a friend. I need to get on that.

-What are my long-term plans as far as work? I hesitate to even write this because I really don't know who all reads this and I don't want to give off the impression that I am going to up and quit. But in the long run, what do I want to do as far as working full-time? I'm torn on this too. "Taking care" of my family, present and future, seems like it could mean a lot of different things. On the one hand, I'd love to be home more to not just want to crash at the end of the day, to make dinner, to get errands run. On the other hand if/when I do stop working or work less, it means definite sacrifices. The vacation fund will be quite a bit smaller I am sure, for one. And I currently am a chronic counter downer to vacation. And I feel like I would think I had to have everything perfectly taken care of to feel like I was holding up my end of the deal. Which I know myself well, and I know that I would fail at keeping everything together all the time. Probably within about a day. Maybe less.

Anyway, I think that's about enough life issues for one night! Feel free to voice an opinion or empathize or object.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY! HOORAY for the weekends! (In case you haven't previously noticed, I am also a counter downer to the weekends. So Thursday nights are quite the milestone.)

What's in a name?

I've (Becky) been doing some serious blog stalking this week. I was on someone's blog that I sorta know, followed a link from theirs to another blog, and from that person's blog to a third person's blog. Third person is an excellent writer with a great story, and I've been blog stalking since I found her. She invites people to blog stalk, so that makes me feel a little less weird.

Am I the only blog stalker? I doubt it. There are a number of people whose blogs I check every now and then that I really barely know who probably don't know that I check.

As weird as this may sound, I plan to change my part of the blog posts some now that I've read hers. Her blog is full of vulnerability, and so I have decided that some of my posts will be a little bit more about who I am than previous ones. Some will just be goofy ones, some just random reports about what we're doing. But some will step it up a notch.

You can expect Patrick to continue blogging about his love of bacon. :-) And rightfully so, as that is actually quite an important part of who he is.

I met a girl at church a couple of weeks ago and she goes 'Is your last name Palmour?' and I said 'Yes it is! Wait.. no. It's not. It used to be.' Can I say that changing your name is just weird? Your name is something you get kinda used to. Somewhat attached to.

It goes to important places with you. My name has a little more history than some. Rebecca Lynn Palmour actually was not given to anyone at birth. My name, Rebecca Lynn Nelson, was given to me, obviously, on May 21, 1985. Then years later, my name followed me and changed a little to Rebecca Lynn Palmour. (Only really lucky Rebecca Lynn Nelson Palmour Gilgour's get two pretty impressive dads!) Then Rebecca Lynn Palmour got accepted into the gifted and talented program in elementary school. It followed me still to the ninth grade were Rebecca Lynn Palmour made the Langham Creek High School cheerleading squad. It stamped itself onto my my first driver's license on my 16th birthday. Rebecca Lynn Palmour's passport let me into Europe for an amazing study abroad while I was in college. It goes to graduation from high school and college, where Rebecca Lynn Palmour walked the stage for two degrees from the greatest university in the world. It goes to my wedding day where Rebecca Lynn Palmour took Patrick Lundy Gilgour to be her wedded husband.

And then one day it changes. (Or if you're me and not very organized, it changes on multiple days as you very slowly change your social security card, license, debit cards, health insurance card, etc. I'm actually still not done with that process.) Anyway, it's weird.

And on a random Sunday morning, Rebecca Lynn Gilgour forgets for a second that's her name, and has to take a second to remember exactly who she is. Isn't that just a crazy phenomenon?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

tv talk

Patrick and I are into SVU. Usually, new ones come on after The Biggest Loser on Tuesday nights. Apparently tonight was some kind of important Biggest Loser because we did not have a new SVU. Bummer.

We are considering getting a tivo. I (Becky) am cheap. I don't like anything that involves extra monthly expenses, even though they are small. We follow several shows, but that's not really the reason for the tivo. The plan is to restrict tv watching to an hour a night, and just watch our specified show (if we have one that day) and spend the rest of the evening being more productive or having more quality time together and/or with others. So we will record the shows we follow and watch them in the designated time and then the tv goes off. I won't lie, sometimes after work I am totally drained and camp out on the couch. So we shall see.

Tivo or no tivo? Your thoughts?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Revisiting/Revising my Resolutions

I (Becky) revisited my post about New Years resolutions. I said that I wanted to be more physically active (check) make better use of lists (check) and take care of small things instead of putting them off (usually check). I've added a new one. I am going to invest more in relationships. At least that is my goal. It seems like in college that was so much easier. I had roommates, so of course I saw them. And I had scheduled events and meetings weekly where I saw the majority of my friends. But it turns out I'm not very good at maintaining friendships that aren't quite as convenient as they used to be. But that is not my intention! So I am remedy-ing it. Not completely sure what it looks like yet, but I'm on it.

On another note, we have yet another pregnant friend! More to come.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Like a Young Adult at the Deli Counter

If you know me (Patrick), you know I love to eat (almost) more than anything. My wife doesn't feel the same way, which sometimes becomes a source of tension between us. Becky eats to live, I live to eat. This, obviously, is most present at the grocery store. She goes in with a list and only wants to get those things. I want to walk to all of the counters and see what's going on.

Where this is most present is in our selection of lunch meats. Becky gets the same Hillshire Farms turkey in a box each week. Yes, I did say, "turkey in a box". I know, turkey does not come in a box. I eventually could no longer take this. I started going to the deli counter to get my own cold cuts.

But Patrick, isn't that more expensive? About a year ago, Becky and I read Smart Couple's Finish Rich. In this book, the author makes the argument that you should save wisely and identify several areas in life that are most important to you and spend your money on those things and filter out expenses that don't matter. I mean, that makes sense, right? Well, I've identified eating as one of my favorite things to do.

So it's okay that I spend marginally more money on these things. I spend more time on food, too. I plan vacations and evenings around eating. Some of my greatest moments are sharing meals with great friends.

Last week I got some great black forest ham and this week I chose pastrami.

Mmmmm, boy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Fake 2009!!

Obviously, Patrick and I being out of college, we do not have a spring break. However, we have decided that we will pretend we do. So we have implemented Spring Fake 2009. We are doing something fun and out of the ordinary every day, staying up a little bit later than we usually do, planning to try out the pool at our townhouse complex, and I am taking some time off tomorrow to hang out with my mom and sister who are doing real spring break. So far, it has been a success.

Monday night, I had dinner with Michelle and Patrick went to the park. Then we went to Ikea and looked at desks. Then came home and watched Jon and Kate, of course. Then last night we had the Flicks over to play Wii and have some ice cream. (And we wore green all day of course, in honor of Saint Patrick's Day, and Patrick's Irish heritage.) Tonight we don't have church like we normally do since the kids are out of school, so another night open for something random and fun. The week hasn't been too crazy at work for me, so it's actually really worked out well to pretend we have spring break. :-)

Hope everyone who has a real spring break is savoring it. And happy (late) Saint Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Campers extraordinaire!

There is something those of you who know Patrick (and his extreme love of camping) well should know. He doesn't camp with me quite the same as during one of his hardcore Grand Canyon-type trips. I know that's surprising, but true. :-) He thinks of EVERYTHING. And it's a slightly more cushy trip. (In case you're not aware, camping is not so much my thing.) We left work early on Friday and headed for Stephen F Austin. It's actually relatively close to our house and a really nice park.

When we got there, Patrick unloaded everything, set up the tent (and hammock!), and started on dinner while I made up the bed.

I found it very amusing that the bed I made was just about identical to his bed in college. That's correct, in college he slept in a sleeping bag under that exact blanket. :-) Also, the yummy dinner on his new stove (thanks, Sid, Vicki, Philip, Kimberly, and Chloe!) includes baked beans in yet another birthday gift... the new camping pots.

And of course, what's a camping trip without s'mores? Stephen F Austin was under an extreme burn ban, so we made them over the stove!

We explored some before we went to bed. I got Patrick some kind of astronomy map of the stars thing that glows in the dark, so we spent a lot of time holding it up to the sky trying to find constellations!

This attempt at camping was far more successful than our last attempt. Last time, there was a very rowdy group of teenagers near us that never went to sleep. This time, the people around us were families and it was very nice.

In the morning, Patrick made us breakfast! Pancakes (he makes the mix before we leave to go camping and keeps it on ice), bacon, eggs, and coffee. (See?! I told you he thinks of everything.)

After breakfast, we did some exploring/hiking. There is a river that runs through the park, so we went down there to check it out.

After hiking, we came back and ate lunch, and then sat in the hammock and relaxed/talked until we had to give up our campsite.

All in all, it was an enjoyable trip. Relaxing, lots of yummy food, and Patrick was REALLY excited that I went and made it the whole time. :-)

Birthday week was a success.

Annnnd we're back!

We have taken a sabbatical for quite some time now. I apologize. We are back.

Patrick's birthday week was such a whirlwind. I have been waiting for him to do a post about it, but he has been working a whole lot so I am picking up the slack.

As you know, we went to Missouri to visit his extended family and of course... there was pie.

Then on Monday night we did dinner with the Gilgours. (I have to apologize to them because I forgot my camera that night. I have some pictures from the week, but none from the Gilgour dinner. Sorry!) We had a wonderful steak dinner and, of course, pie. Blueberry apple peach, to be exact. Quite the feat. Everything was yummy and it was a very nice evening.

Tuesday was his actual birthday,

and despite my suggestions of a nice dinner out, he opted for Raising Cane's. Aside from the large group of squealing 14 year old girls that drowned out some of our conversation, and the fact that I am a die hard Lane's fan, it was nice. :-) We came home and watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and took a trip to Spec's to find the perfect adult beverage for him to top off the night. He would like it to be noted that he chose a Shiner commemorator.

Wednesday night we took a long walk at Terry Hershey Park. The weather was GREAT. We then tried out a restaurant near us, George's Pastaria. It is quite good actually.

Thursday night was dinner with the Palmours.

I decided Patrick should have some kind of cake for his birthday, so my mom made a gooey butter cake. This is my attempt at making the 23 candles into an apple shape, for obvious reasons.)

Of course the week had to be followed with camping, which I am going to make a post of its own. Camping was Friday night, dinner with Chris, Jon, and Bonnie was Saturday night, and then Sunday afternoon we went to Harris County Smokehouse with my dad and sister at his request. We just missed the breakfast menu which I think he was pretty disappointed about, but their barbeque is also quite delicious.

Quite the week!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy 8th monthiversary!

This has been a big week! Missouri, Patrick's birthday festivities, and now our 8th monthiversary!

Am I a lucky girl or what?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What happens in King City, stays in King City

This weekend we went to Missouri to see my family. My grandparents (dad's parents) live in a small town in northwest Missouri (both my mom's and dad's parents live here). They have a beautiful home that I love going to and never seems to change (follow the link for more).

From White Christmas

Their house covered in Snow, Christmas 2007

View Larger Map
Just how small? See for yourself.

We left after lunch on Thursday, landed in Kansas City, were promptly picked up by my wonderful grandparents, taken out to dinner at Cheddar's, and then shuttled to their house, our retreat for the weekend. We hung out for the rest of the evening and caught up on some news.

Friday morning we ate breakfast and went to visit my Great Grandma in St. Joe. We chatted for a few minutes, went to run some errands, and I somehow managed to con them into taking me out for pie. After pie, we went to see my Aunt Cathy and her cute grandson. That evening we went to my Aunt Kim's house (my mom's sister) for homemade pizza and to see all of them. It was great! I got to see all of my cousin's and their kids and hung out for a couple hours.

It snowed a lot late Friday night/ early Saturday morning, so we spent most of the day in the house. My grandpa (mom's dad) had the flu, so I went out to visit him for a few minutes on his farm in the country. Fun story: since we were only going up for a weekend, Becky and I packed really light. I had one pair of brown "casual shoes" that aren't tennis shoes, but aren't dress shoes, kind of a hybrid of both. So I went out to the farm in a T-shirt and my wool coat, basically was dressed like I was going to the mall. I get out to the farm and my grandpa wants to go close a gate about a mile away. Well, he was too sick to leave the house and I had a pretty good idea of where the gate was (I usually spend a day helping him on the farm when I have more time), so I went off to close the gate on my own. Here I am, walking in 6" of snow, dressed for the mall, heading out to the field to check cows and close gates! Needless to say, I looked like a complete idiot!

I got home Saturday evening and my Grandmother had made fried chicken and a coconut cream pie for dinner and dessert! It was fantastic! I did a little to earn my keep (put in a new showerhead and shoveled some snow), but nothing to deserve a pie that good.

Look at that pie! Mmmmmm

Sunday morning we woke up about 8, I had pie for breakfast (duh...), took a shower, packed, and we headed to Blue Springs to meet my uncles and aunts and cousins(dad's brother's and their wives and children) for lunch at a Chinese buffet. After lunch we went back to my Uncle Richard's house to watch the Missouri and Kansas basketball game. It was not a good day for Missouri. We left their house for the airport, were delayed getting home about an hour, and had an uneventful flight home.

It was a great weekend! I think Becky read about two years worth of my Grandmother's Martha Stewart magazines, so I kind of have my hopes up for a new recipe...

We had a great trip!

And it's not even my birthday yet!

As Becky mentioned a few days ago, I did get a new toy. We have been in the market for a new TV for quite some time, essentially since we've been married.

Saturday we went to Ikea and got a nice entertainment center. They made a little mistake, I tossed them a line a la Dave Ramsey, and we went back first thing Sunday morning before church and picked up our entertainment center and $20. Thanks Dave! Our friend Abby is an incredible artist, so we are bartering our old entertainment center for some artwork with her and her husband, JT. (The best part of the whole deal is that I never having to move that honker again!)

Adios very large piece of furniture!

A little backstory: When we married in July, my brother was still at home and had not moved out yet. Our plan was to borrow his TV until he left for school. (You can see where this is going...) That didn't happen. We mooched on his TV for way too long.

We had been given some Christmas money and had been saving a bit, so last Sunday we headed off to Costco to make me a happy man. Well, we get to Costco and they didn't have the TV I wanted. I was trying to be bratty, I had my eye on a specific Vizio. They had one floor model left and they weren't going to mark it down, so I passed.

Here we go!

Monday night I drove Michael's TV to him with Chris and met Jon, Daniel, Trent, and Michael at Chicken Oil in Bryan for some greasy cheeseburgers (Oh, how I miss College Station and that place!).

Tuesday I headed straight to Costco after work, this time to decide between the Vizio and another Panasonic. I got there, took a look at them, and discovered this: the Sony next sitting next to them, while a little more expensive, is a much better picture. The Sony was too good a deal to pass up, so I bit. I got a tremendous deal on a discontinued floor-model (approx. 45% off). It looks great, don't you think?

Welcome home!

My dad came over and helped me unload her and stuck around to watch me get her going.

I'm a proud papa...

Nothing like breaking in a new TV with Jinger Duggar!