The Wedding Gift Formula

I originally posted this back in 2002, but never migrated that old blog content to our MovableType version of the site, and now the WordPress version. Anyone remember Greymatter? Yeah, we were on that. Now, back to the original post…

Big wedding coming up this weekend with a trip out to San Diego. Cool! We’re psyched to hang out with David and Julie and David and Julie– yes, there’s two sets there. Oh yeah, and we’re excited about the wedding blah blah blah etc etc…

Which brings us to yet another fun topic– the wedding gift. We debated with the Almacy’s about just how much you’re supposed to spend on the bride and groom. Tonya said you should probably spend what it cost the hosts to have you there– so, if it’s $100 a plate then you get a $100 gift. But there’s two of us– ouch– that’s a little steep. But what she wasn’t taking into account was the Gift Oscillating and Changing Etiquette Accounting Practices, or GOCHEAP.

See, there are several factors involved here:
(dt) DISTANCE TRAVELED – rather obvious. Unit: miles.
(tc) TRAVEL COST – you guessed it. Unit: U.S. Dollar
(cr) CAR RENTAL – yeah. Unit: U.S. Dollar
(sd) STAY DURATION – how many hotel nights. Unit: Days
(hc) HOTEL COST – Obvi. Unit: U.S. Dollar
(iacgtbtf) IS ANYONE COOL GOING TO BE THERE FACTOR – well, is there? Factor: 0-1
(dpyiacu) DAYS PER YEAR I ACTUALLY SEE YOU – the number of days per year that we actually see the couple. Unit: Days
(obf) OPEN BAR FACTOR – self explanatory Possible Values: 1 for No, 2 for yes
(ffd) Per David Almacy: THE FRINGE FRIEND DISCOUNT Unit: Variable Percentage:
– surprised you were invited to the wedding? = 25%
– made the secondary guest list: 15%
– knew you were going to be invited all along: 0
(hmtaigtgibtfwtf) HOW MUCH TROUBLE AM I GOING TO GET IN BY TONYA FOR WRITING THIS FORMULA: Unit: Contstant: A Lot, or at least $200 worth.

Finally, here’s the formula:
(((dt)+( (tc)+(cr) )+(sd)*(hc)  * (iacgtbtf) * ((dpyiacu)*-1) ^ (obf)) * (ffd))+(hmtaigtgibtfwtf)
I hope that helps everyone who’s shopping for wedding gifts this summer.

Note: I’ve never used the formula. I’ve never actually plugged numbers into this formula. But I’m sure it works… as long as the answer is $200.

I’m off to

So Where Are the Updates?

It’s been almost a year since we updated the House of Klause. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t… not sure what we’re going to do with it– if anything we’ll keep it around because there’s a few years worth of life on it.
Not to say we’re not blogging, though.
You can find Tonya’s cool posts on life, style, politics, and whatevs at
You can find Rob’s posts about food, nerdy things, and… whatevs at
And of course we’re all over the Facebook:
Aaaaaaaaand, of course, we tweet:
And wherever else bing finds us.
We love this stuff.

To Swim Bike Run or not to Swim Bike Run

So yesterday was my first foray into training for the numerous (mini) triathalons coming down the pike in Northern Virginia…Nearly half of the women on my street are training (some of them are pretty hard core!), so it’s a great motivating factor.. “If they can do it, so can I?!!” goes through my head… I did pretty well on the track and on the bike, although the big Broadlands Blvd and Glebe View hill combo pretty much did me in. Let’s just say i felt the burn!
I did have some serious swollen left thigh issues…A reminder of the joys of first pregnancy (Graham) when the thigh-length clot got lodged in there and darn did hole me up in the hospital for a few days. Now that i’m post two kids and numerous clots (and yes, on blood thinner), i’ve come to terms with the reality that i will never have great circulation in my left leg (the throbbing yesterday was painful reminder), but why should that slow me down. I think we’ll have to take this one step (stroke, pedal) at a time and see if i can power through the pain and mitigate where possible to attack the TRI……
I haven’t gotten into the pool yet and that is not a big worry to me, but the bike really is intimidating. Even though i got up the big hills, i had trouble with my gears and freaked out a bit on the descent down TruroParish (visions of me tumbling forward off the bike at 30 mph danced through my head). It is hard for me to think about pedaling to go faster faster faster, when it’s so lovely just to feel the breeze run through your stinky helmet. So, let’s just say i have some work to do there..
But get ready, all you “i have something to prove” stay at home moms with your fancy lightweight tri bikes. me and my cheapo cruiser hybrid will be coming up behind you…watch you back…Tonya’s gonna figure this out…

Are You Blogging?

Tonya and I promised each other we’d blog this weekend. So there. I blogged.
Speaking of, my sister Robin launched her own cooking/food blog– The Big Red Kitchen ( It’s cool, fun, and informative, AND she’s a blogging machine. Go Robin! My sister is now a geek!

End of Summer Part One

From Disney World to travels to Toronto and finally finishing a big basement project, we had a lot going on this summer. I promise not to make it all about the kids, but we’re due to post some highlights of the weeks between June and September.
One of my personal favorites has been the time to catch up with old friends and allow our kids to play together…this pic from the Martin house in late July is a good place to start…

She said…….”Beyond the billable hour….”

Funny how life unfolds. Here i sit — officially unemployed for 5 weeks — on a hot sunny morning, post 7 and a half years of agency life. Yet as i’m exiting that side of the PR world with Waggener Edstrom , Rob’s just begun it. Change is good and stretching and necessary.
Yet, for me, old habits die hard. Although the last 2 and a half weeks have been so great, in part because i didn’t have to think about where it bill all that time i’m spending, I still find myself continuously blocking days – mornings — afternoons — evenings — into chunks of time. My thoughts follow this sort of pattern: “bill this to home improvement/general contractor, schedule early afternoon to be laundry maid, block this amount of time today for swimming and bike riding….”
Tonya, relax already. I won’t suddenly lose any prized Mennonite work ethic genes by taking time off, by just “being” with Graham and Mia, by sleeping in, even by failure to check off a single item on “the list.” This summer is a gift and a reminder to me about the importance of so many things, from extended time with grandparents, to the importance of lasting friendships, from the necessity to live healthily, and to treasure and capture each moment of toddler discovery.
No end of sabbatical recap would be able to accurately measure this golden time, the lazy summer days, the sounds of the woods in the late afternoon, the splashing and squeezing that takes place at the fountain pool, or the chasing of fireflies late into the night.
Autumn will come, and with it a different job, earlier dusk, more layers and talk of holidays. But for now, i don’t want the summer to end…..

Congratulations to Kasey and Mary

After about 20 years I finally made it back to Texas– and for good reason! Congrats to newlyweds Kasey (my cousin) and Mary. It was great seeing everyone again! We had an amazing time in Lubbock– lots of Tex-Mex, margueritas, and shopping. The wedding was beautiful and the reception, with its Texas Barbecue and karaoke was a ton of fun!