Saturday, February 27, 2010

Seen at In-N-Out This Week

Working for In-N-Out is definitely an interesting job. My coworkers are friendly, while the customers unceasingly fail to amuse. Recently, I have been assigned to the position of "Drive Hand-out." This job is fast-paced, sometimes stressful, and always different.

People/things I have seen while working the drive window this week:1) Cecil O. Samuelson, President of Brigham Young University, my alma mater. Cecil was a pleasant man. We bonded. I'm a Cougar and a Cecil too. What's not to love?

2) Aaron from Ken Garff Nissan of Orem. No lie. Aaron as in the finance department of the dealership who tried to royally screw us over. He drove up to the window, and the smile froze on my horror. I continued to smile and stare him down. He was so ashamed (I suppose) that he looked down and couldn't look me in the eye. I handed him his food and was nice about it, but I DID NOT say the usual: "Thank you! Have a good night."

3) An androgynous person- I STILL have no idea whether one customer was a man or a woman. I was so confused that I couldn't stop staring. The amount of time spent staring did not result in ANY answers! Either it was a woman with a somewhat masculine face and nose or a man with beautiful hair and eyes. Perplexing to say the least. I'm really not trying to be rude.

4) A woman dressed for work at McDonald's. Her name tag identified her as Ashley...the details underneath her name identified her as "manager." OUCH, McDonald's.

5) A gentleman wearing an apron, chef's hat, and name tag which identified him as a Hibachi chef at Tepanyaki. I guess the rice there hasn't been hitting the spot.

6) The manager of Costa Vida. How do I know it was him? He was driving the HUGE Costa Vida van and volunteered the information.

7) Two girls who paid for their $4.32 meal in PENNIES. SERIOUSLY! They didn't even have the decency to count them BEFORE getting to the pay window. Needless to say, this little stunt backed up orders and traffic for ten minutes.

8) A man who purchased nine meat patties...and fed them to his dog.

9) People who ask for a cheeseburger with no cheese. People- This is a HAMBURGER!!!!!!

10) A man who yelled at me for saying: "Hi! How are you?" And then told me he was frustrated with how stupid and happy we were, before reaching over and snatching his food out of my hands. I almost cried.

11) My friend Joe and his wife Tina. Thankfully, they came two cars after the rude customer who nearly made me cry, and completely saved me from having a horrible night. Yet another example to me of how God looks out for us. Sometimes it's just really nice to see a friendly face.

So guys, when you happen to crave fast food in the future, remember drive-thru workers can be overly sensitive too. And if you happen to be in Provo and want fast food, please come see me! I would love to see you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Please Guess....

...the gender of my child.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Playlist is Psychic

As some of you may have noticed (and been annoyed by), I have a playlist on my blog which plays several songs I particularly love.

Back in December, Nathan made me rearrange the songs so "West Coast" by Coconut Records didn't always play first. "Haiti" by Arcade Fire assumed the number one position.

Throughout the summer, I was pregnant, sick, and confined to my bed. I listened to the Arcade Fire album and this song in particular every day between hours of playing Snood and watching Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park. Seriously, guys. I did that about everyday. You might think that sucks, but


In short, the song makes me happy. And after the disaster in Haiti, I thought I would leave it up on my blog. I also decided I would post the lyrics, which are eerily haunting:

Haïti, mon pays,
wounded mother I'll never see.
Ma famille set me free.
Throw my ashes into the sea.

Mes cousins jamais nés
hantent les nuits de Duvalier.
Rien n'arrete nos esprits.
Guns can't kill what soldiers can't see.

In the forest we lie hiding,
unmarked graves where flowers grow.
Hear the soldiers angry yelling,
in the river we will go.

Tous les morts-nés forment une armée,
soon we will reclaim the earth.
All the tears and all the bodies
bring about our second birth.

Haïti, never free,
n'aie pas peur de sonner l'alarme.
Tes enfants sont partis,
In those days their blood was still warm

OK. Well, until this moment I never realized the song was THAT depressing or that half of the words were sung in French. How strange. How could I possibly not have noticed that?!

And according to iTunes, I have listened to the song 238 times.

("Fidelity" by Regina Spektor wins out).

***Addendum: Said playlist has now been removed because it is just too annoying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Deal or No Deal

The car fiasco came to an end last week. I stand by my claim: Ken Garff Nissan of Orem is actually of the Devil.

After going back and forth with the sales representatives, Nathan and I were promised a "deal" by the manager Tyler, who partially owns the store. He promised to do the paperwork himself so we wouldn't have to deal with Aaron, the finance manager who tried to take advantage of us when we signed our contract. He told us the date and time to be there. We came. We were prompt. He was nowhere to be seen.

Sales representatives showed us more cars and pushed us towards a Nissan Murano. They assured us they were working on Tyler's behalf and that the car would be well within our price range. We made sure they were aware of the special "deal" Tyler had promised us, meaning we would get a car at trade-in value. This time we were smarter and researched the car for sale. Blue Book listed its trade-in value at $13,500. That's what we expected to pay.

Well, SIX HOURS LATER....we were still waiting. The representatives estimated the car would be $17,000 (after our deal). We said: "That's only 5oo dollars less than the asking price. ANYONE can talk a car down by 500 dollars." So they would call Tyler at home, and he would make another offer. Each time we said: "No deal."

It felt like he was the banker and we were the poor schmucks left to wait for a better offer.
We couldn't wait all night, though. At ten, they offered $16,500. We refused again and said we would talk with Tyler after the long weekend. We had planned to leave for New Mexico that afternoon after purchasing our new car; I didn't know we'd be there all night. We told the salesperson: "We'll just take the amount you paid for our trade-in and not have a car after paying the balance off." They were shocked. How could we refuse such a good deal!?

We fled the dealership like Lot and his wife fled Sodom and Gomorrah. I know that sounds a little exaggerated, but leaving the dealership sans car was AMAZING. We walked to Applebees while we awaited Brandon, my brother-in-law, to pick us up. We knew we were making the right decision.

Nathan tried contacting Tyler on Tuesday, but we heard nothing. Finally, the man had the nerve to call us back. Nathan asked for the money, he offered a car. We said: "No deal." He found another car and then another, calling us with his various offers.


Finally, after being backed into a corner (knowing we weren't going to be spending any of our money on one of his over-priced cars), Tyler played his ace in the hole. Behold the following conversation:

"Hey Nathan. It's Tyler! I think I got the deal that is going to work for you. I mean, I think this car is it. So yeah....I got your car back."

WHAT!? He just got our car back? Twenty minutes earlier, our car was sold. Something did not makes sense. Visions of a black Sentra parked in the Nissan dealership lot came to mind. I had seen a car that looked like mine only a few days earlier on the lot. And then I thought: "BUT WAIT! This IS a Nissan dealership!?"

I asked the sales rep: "Is that my car? You know I can just go look at the VIN number on the window and see." To this he responded: "Don't be crazy! That's not yours." Lie. Lie. Lie.

As soon as we could, we drove to the dealership. A representative met us with the keys out front. He told us our car was at the back of the dealership....and guess what!? Our car was the one I had seen just days before. They had NEVER sold our car; They just wanted us to spend more money buying a new one. They didn't think we would turn down the chance to "own a brand new car!"

JERKS. I was furious. No! Better Business Bureau, my claim was NOT resolved like the dealership claims it was. I DID NOT leave with a smile on my face. The person who "bought" my car only put 6 miles on the car in a month? LIKELY STORY.

In the end, though, Nathan and I were victorious. We got our car back after it was detailed and completely checked-out (this includes a free oil change and tank of gas) all free of charge. Best part of all, we managed to get a keyfob!

...and the dealership told me it would cost $300 dollars when I inquired about it before. Suckers. God helped us big time here. Prayer works!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She Sleeps!

Better yet, she sleeps in her crib!

Before Eliza was born, Nathan and I discussed what our plan was for baby regarding sleep. We agreed we wanted to co-sleep until Eliza was at least six months old. However, things didn't exactly turn out the way we planned...with anything! Because of her colic, Eliza needed to bounce constantly in her Amby bed to sleep. As soon as one of us stopped rocking/bouncing her/patting her back, she woke up screaming. Although her colic has ended (thankfully!), Eliza has grown accustomed to bouncing all night.

Our continuing sleep deprivation led Nathan and I to copious amounts of research and differing opinions regarding healthy sleep habits for baby. Nathan opted to adopt some of Dr. Ferber's methods. Like I said previously, I was opposed to letting Eliza "cry it out," but realized I couldn't stay up all night rocking her to sleep. Furthermore, I didn't want this "habit" of hers to become too deeply entrenched in her psyche. Eliza cried for an hour the first night and only twenty minutes last night. Tonight, she cried for less than five minutes.

Of course, Eliza still needs to be fed and checked on throughout the night, but her learning how to fall asleep on her own is amazing. I hated the idea of letting her cry, but Nathan and I checked on her every ten minutes while she was awake so she would know she wasn't completely alone. We did what was best for us. I'm sure with our next baby, it will be a different story!

I must admit, though: sleeping without Eliza is like sleeping without the blanket I had throughout childhood (and adolescence...eek!). It's sad...but she seems much more well-rested! Look at this happy face!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Team Parenting

While I was working tonight, Nathan Feberized Eliza. I don't know if I approve.

She cried for over an hour, and now she sleeps in her crib....for the first time ever. However, when Nathan works tomorrow night, I know right where Eliza will be- in bed with me.

Perhaps I shouldn't sabotage his efforts.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eliza is a Conossieur of "Vintage" Chairs

She still enjoys lounging. Our bargain couches have really been a good buy...especially when Eliza decides to spit up while acting all mature and sitting up by herself.

Don't worry, though. If you ever come to visit, I can assure you these couches and chairs are CLEAN. I shampoo like it's nobody's business.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Weekend

For Valentine's Day, we went to Albuquerque to see Nathan's brother Josh and family. Cheryl and Rex, Nathan's parents, were also visiting. The weekend was lovely, and Valentine's Day dinner was splendid (see pictures below for proof). My sister-in-law is amazing.

The trip was well worth the 9 hour drive. Eliza was a champ and slept the entire way!

Over this holiday, a few truths were reaffirmed for me.

1) There is really nothing better than staying at home, resting in bed, and lounging around all day in your pajamas. Now that's relaxation.

2) Family is a wonderful blessing.3) I love ice-skating. Go ahead and judge me.4) I'm the most competitive person ever and shouldn't be allowed to play sports/games with people I love. I am such a sore loser.

5) E.T. still scares me. He was Nathan's little avatar while we played Wii. It freaked me out.6) I enjoy not working.

7) A GPS is worth every penny.

8) I love Nathan. I'm glad we're a team.

Oh, the Wii

After playing this all weekend:I can't hold Eliza. Seriously.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Please Meet....

Eliza's nemesis:This pesky little toucan has caused Eliza much grief the past week. The two are steadily developing a decidedly love/hate relationship. The toucan, which flies over Eliza in her Jumperoo on his tethered string, is fascinating to Eliza. She stares. She coos. She smiles. She grabs.

And she misses! She grabs again, grasps him for a moment, and then he slips out of her reach. He dangles in front of her, taunting her and frustrating her to no end.

Sorry, Baby- you're going to just have to wait for that hand-eye coordination to kick in. Until then, your dad and I will try to keep him away from you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Who Needs a Car Anyway?

I don't trust them at all. I still plan on doing everything within my power to warn everyone I know of their dishonesty. That being said, the manager is perhaps a decent human being. When we went to meet him, he knew where we stood, having read my complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau. He had it printed out and on his desk when we arrived.Yep! Nathan and I also brought Eliza with us so he could see everyone this "mistake" of theirs was affecting. We tried to be as professional as possible, but Eliza had other things in mind. She giggled and smiled at the manager the entire time. Traitor!

Bad news, though. The contract states that if the deal falls through like it did, the dealership can either give the car back OR pay us the trade-in price of the contract. This means we either take a check, give up the car, and pay what we still owed on the loan OR we get a cheaper car. The manager told us the dealership willing to sell us something without making anything on the deal.

I am going to hold him to his word to make us a deal where he won't "receive any profit whatsoever." We'll see what happens. All I can say is that I am not signing ANYTHING without reading all the fine print and researching the worth and quality of the vehicle we have our sights on. It's still gloves off for me at this point. I'm all out of trust when it comes to car salesmen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Overheard at Work

A couple of nights a week, I still pick up a shift or two at In-N-Out. Tonight, while cleaning tables in the dining area, I heard a girl excitedly remark: "You know, mustaches... ...are really the best form of birth control."


Obviously, she has never heard of this man.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Comedy of Errors

Over a month ago, right before Christmas, Nathan and I purchased a car at Ken Garff Nissan in Orem. Looking to find a bigger, safer vehicle for our growing family, we traded in our Nissan Sentra for a Nissan Pathfinder. We explained our budget and what we could/could not afford. Because I had seriously been taken advantage of when I bought my Nissan, Nathan and I figured we could get an older, yet safer and larger, car for the same price. The representatives were persistent and agreed that was possible. After one consultation, which resulted in us leaving without a car, we recevied multiple phone calls a day to come "make a deal" with the dealership. Finally, we were persuaded and felt like we could somewhat trust the representative.

After days of going back and forth, the dealership offered us a used Pathfinder, saying it would not cost much more than our Sentra after warranty rebates and garnering a lower interest rate. We were hesitant, but reassured we had been approved for the loan with an incredibly low interest rate. We signed. On the way home with our new purchase, we felt sick, knowing we had made an error in judgment. We went immediately back to the dealership, who said it was "too late." He basically told Nathan we were "adults now" and that we had to live with that decision. We were surprised, but understood. However, after further research, I discovered there is a federal law that provides a three day right of rescission on loans regarding cars. That was the first huge lie.

Sadly, our misfortunes had only just begun. After nearly a month of owning our new car, I received notices in the mail from the bank I had previously financed my old car through. I opened the envelope, expecting to see that our loan had been paid off in full, a condition that was clearly stated on our contract. I was SHOCKED when it said we were behind on our car payments and had been assessed a late fee for failure to pay. Worried, I called the car dealership wondering why they had not paid off our lien. No return call. Additionally, we still had not received (and still have not received) our license plate or registration for our new Pathfinder, forced to drive around with expired tags and worry about getting a ticket.

Nathan finally spoke with the man in charge of financing our car at Ken Garff, an arrogant, rude man named Aaron, who said we had not been approved for the full loan amount on the car we now have (probably because we JUST bought a house), but that he was going to try going through another bank or could "get us into a cheaper car." How could they sell a car to us without knowing we had been financed? Nathan said: "No. We don't want to mess with you anymore. We want our car back. We bought it to get a better deal for what we were paying, not to get MORE into debt." To this, Aaron said: "I'll have my manager call." The manager called only to tell us he could reduce the price of the Pathfinder and didn't want to hear about us wanting our old Sentra back. Nathan was persistent though. Finally, Nathan said: "We want our car back! No other questions." The manager said: "Well, I've sold it." Nathan asked how he could sell a car they technically do not own. The manager had no response.

Two hours later, I had this same conversation with another manager at the Ken Garff corporate office. He tried to speak down to me, but I made it clear to him I was no fool. I wrote contracts for my old job, I work in financing now, I am NOT an idiot. I explained how I made a payment last night on a car tht is no longer in my possession. I supposedly "own" another car that I have no registration or license plate for. What is going on? We are college students (well, one of us is) and new parents who cannot afford TWO car payments and to be royally taken advantage of by dishonest men.

Further research shows this has happened to other people THIS MONTH at Ken Garff. I read reviews of their business on google and it's horrible! Here is one similar to me: They even have a D- with the Better Business Bureau.

Tell all your friends to avoid Ken Garff. They aren't going to win, though. I have already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, called Get Gephardt with Channel 2 news, and looked into hiring an attorney. If anyone has advice, let us know!