Wednesday, February 29, 2012

house-selling leap day

  • We sold our house.  It's done and final and we are so happy.
  • My Ellie-girl turned 4 months old
  • Nicholas was happy and helpful and adorable.  That's three happy days out of the last four days.  Maybe we're coming out of the post-moving-post-baby-sister craziness?  Oh how I hope!
  • Kent sent me tulips today for Happy House-selling Day.  I love tulips.
  • I kept the computer off all day and it felt great.  We baked snickerdoodle cookies, I cleaned the whole house, a friend came to visit, and I even got a little bit of crafting done in between a few rotations of diapers and feedings and napping.  I liked it so much that I want to make this a more regular thing-going computer-less while the kids are up.
  • To celebrate closing on our house, we wanted to go to Sub-Zero Ice Cream. We braved the blizzard outside, and kept a 2-year-old awake in the car by telling him about the chocolate ice cream he was going to get. But it was closed so we tried out a Japanese Sweets place.  Tempura ice cream and mochi balls.  Nicholas was happy with his little cup of M&M's and his tiny scoop of chocolate ice cream.
It was a good good day.
Now I'm off to bed.
Hopefully some of today's goodness will carry over to tomorrow morning. DMV trip scheduled first thing in the morning.  I need to get my Utah driver's license... DMV with two little kids? Gonna be great.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


We close on our house in Texas tomorrow! 
It's very exciting, but a little strange,
it feels like it makes this move completely final.

I don't know, I think sometimes I imagine myself just here on an extended vacation.

And yesterday, my friend Allison sent me a photo of the daffodils I planted last year in the front.  They are beautiful this year-so much thicker and with more flowers than last year.

I guess I just am hoping that the new owners will love the house as much as we did.

But, now comes the fun part:
getting started on our house here!

We've looked at lots of, um, lots.  A surprising majority of them happened to be literally right next to a train track. (How are there so many train tracks in Utah?) 
So those were crossed off the list right away.

It took some looking, but after a while we narrowed it down to the general area that we want to live, thinking both about Kent's possible commute times as well as thinking about opportunities we might have in the future for different jobs, etc.

At this point, we have two separate lots that we are looking at, and we like them both for different reasons.
Lot 1:  We like this one because it is in a very nice, well established neighborhood.  As we drove to the lot, people in their yards waved at us.  The lot is north-facing, which is definitely not ideal, but it's a corner lot, so we're hoping we can build the house west-facing instead.  Across the street is a beautiful section of horse pastures and orchards and a nice view of the sunset.  Just a couple of miles away (but far enough that you would never get any traffic or noise from it) is a big shopping area with Target, Costco, Lowe's, Walmart, Khols, and lots of restaurants, which would be so nice.  The schools have very high reviews.

 Lot 2:  I love the view from this one.  I like the open fields, the mountains, the countryside feeling.  But if anyone ever developed the empty lots around it, our view would be completely gone.  This one is closer to Salt Lake, but farther from Kent's work.  It's closer to a train track (about 1.5 miles away) so we would definitely be hearing that.  It also has good schools, but it's quite a bit farther from any shopping.

We are leaning towards the first lot, but we still need to visit the Church ward there because that can make or break the location for us.  I'm hoping we end up liking it because I'm so anxious to get this all started!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


The ever talented and lovely Katie tagged me...

Eleven random things about myself:

1. We are in the process of choosing a lot to purchase to build our home on!  Our house in Texas closes on Wednesday--hooray!  The picture is of the lot that is our favorite at this point. We need to do some research--schools, wards, commute time, etc.

2. My mom used to give me flowers to plant for my birthday every year, and even still I always think about planting flowers in May.

3. I like the anticipation for a big event (vacation, etc) sometimes more than I like the actual event.  I love Christmastime way more than I love Christmas day, for example. 

4. I like eating at home more than eating out.

5. I've been listening to a lot of Pandora lately. I rotate through Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Josh Groban, and Paul Cardall stations, depending on if I need music to calm me and my children or music to motivate me to clean/get to work.

6. I like vanilla wafers more than I had realized.  But only the store brand/cheap kind.  They're more crunchy.  Nicholas and I polished off a box of them this week.

7. I eat pizza and sandwiches with the intent of saving the best-looking bite for last.  It's usually the bite right in the middle, so I eat all around it.

8.  But corn on the cob? I eat that with the intent of eating the best-looking bites first, in a scattered crazy a-little-here-a-little-there fashion. I'm a weirdo.

9. My most prized material possession is a bookcase my grandpa made me when I was maybe 14.  It's beautiful and I hope to keep it forever.

10. I don't like to make business phone calls (insurance, bills, requests, etc.).  I can do it, and I will, but I'm always looking for a way to avoid it.

11. I am at the point post-pregnancy where my hair is thinning drastically (as in, my ponytail holder has to be twisted two whole more times than it used to and I have to arrange my hair to hide the thin spots) but my waist is not.  Sigh.  Last time, my hair did grow back eventually...I'm hoping it will do the same this time.

And the eleven questions I was to answer:

1. What do you wish you knew one year ago?
  I don't know.  It would have been strange to know a year ago that this year I'm now living in Utah.  Would it have made the year better?  Or harder?  I might have done more things with my friends, more things to enjoy the beautiful Texas winter, but I was pregnant and sick and maybe I would have just felt guilty that I couldn't enjoy it more, and I would have had "the move" hanging over my head all year... When it comes down to it, I'm glad I didn't know.

2. What are you looking forward to in the next three months?
  Making friends here, Springtime coming, and Ellie learning to sit up on her own (it's a very good day when they can sit up and play).

3.  Who did you last say "I love you" to?
  Ellie.  While I was in the shower and she was sitting in her bouncy seat.  Just a few minutes ago. I say "I love you" very, very often throughout the day. I want to be certain my children are familiar with hearing that.  And my husband also.  I kiss them lots, too.

4. What was the best book you read in 2011?
     I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

5. What food won't you eat?
    I prefer not to eat carrots, olives, and mushrooms, but I will eat them if they are given to me (and sometimes even enjoy them).  But offer me a marshmallow peep, twinkie, or any other super sugary food and I will turn it down every time.  Bleh.

6.  What do you most admire about the opposite sex?
     I really admire the way that men (most of them) can shrug it off, forgive, and move on.  I can't even begin to count the times I've been grateful for Kent's ability to love me and move on when I have done something stupid and immature.

7. Do you believe in God?
      I believe that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and who is intimately involved in the details of my life.  I believe that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives, and that through Him we can all be saved and return to live with God.  And I believe that the Holy Ghost is a gift to man to provide witness that this is true, to guide us to doing what is right, and to protect us from making wrong choices.

8. Beach vacation or mountain retreat?

9. Smart phone or regular phone?
   I have a regular, plain old, make-calls-and-send-texts phone.  But being married to a man who is an Android Developer for a living...I think I'm slowly being converted.  I get a phone update in June. We shall see.

10.  Do you like tea, coffee, or hot cocoa? Which one is your favorite?
  Because of my Church's health code, I have never tried tea or coffee.  And I don't feel bad about that at all.
Hot chocolate, though?  I LOVE it.  

11. If you could pick any neighborhood from a movie to live in which one would it be and why?
  Whew. This is hard.  Most movie neighborhoods have something drastic occur...right?  The last movie I watched was the second Sherlock Holmes, and I'm positive I don't want to live in that neighborhood.
I'm afraid it's been so long since I watched a movie that I just can't remember.

Monday, February 20, 2012

my view

The view from my new kitchen window
From my point of view,
I'm relieved to have the move done...again.

I'm feeling sorry for my Nicholas, who seems to be coming a bit unhinged.
Too many changes in too short a time.   In the past four months, we've
given him a sister, had many comings and goings of family members, moved,
then moved again, taken away all his little friends... it's really
little wonder he's gone a bit crazy about it all.
But sometimes, Kent and I are THIS close to losing it ourselves.
Of course, those are the moments right before he sidles up to us and pats our cheeks and says, "I just LOVE you, Mommy."
Yes, we'll keep him.
We just want him to settle in and move past this everything-is-ruining-my-life phase.

This is just a phase, right??

My view as I walk past the kitchen
From my point-of-view,
my daughter is going through a massive growth spurt.
Nursing every hour and a half or so,
and feeling heavier every time I pick her up.
And ooh boy do I love those cheeks of hers!

My view from the front door. (On Saturday)
 From my point of view,
the un-packing is mostly done.
Now comes the organizing.
Is it weird that I kinda look forward to this part?  That I'm thinking it will be fun to sort all my canned food?

From my view,  I'm struggling to convince myself that
"it's just things" when I think about how the moving company
badly scratched and dented the tops of all three of our dressers
and dinged the corner of my piano.
(Because we had them put it all in storage we didn't notice until now...long past the 30-day time limit for us to submit a claim or complaint.)
But it is just things and now I have a reason to paint my bedroom dresser like I've always wanted to.  I'm thinking a nice soft gray maybe?
The townhouse from our parking spot.
 From my view, we're very happy to be in this new place,
and excited for spring and summer when we can use the playgrounds and pool and our cute little backyard.  Utah summer is going to be good!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

january and february

He LOVES to bathe.  Sometimes he takes a bath in the middle of the day and he'll stay in there as long as I let hour or two usually. 

Breakfast every morning--cereal and a show--before Daddy gets up to go to work.

Valentines crafts

Bowling "at our house" to try to keep the cabin fever at bay

Thursday, February 9, 2012

a real date

So remember when I said Kent and I don't get to go on real dates, just the two of us?
Well on Saturday, we bribed my brother by offering to pay him to do his homework if he'd sit here while the kids slept,
and we went on a date.
Kent told me not to smile while he took the picture. I couldn't do it.
 We had planned to go to a Brazilian Steakhouse down by where Kent works,
but apparently so had everyone else in Provo (an hour wait),
so we decided to be adventurous and try Pizzeria 712.

It was very, very good, even though we didn't recognize a good portion of the pizza toppings listed on the menu.
We ended up with an incredible braised shortrib with polenta and a sausage, tomato, mozzarella pizza.  And Kent was brave and ordered the Rose Lemonade even though a review online said it tasted like bubblebath. 
It didn't.

 After dinner we drove a few doors down (it was VERY cold and windy Saturday night)
to The Chocolate
It's an old old house, turned into a dessert cafe.  The front room you enter into is where you order your dessert,
and the rest of the house is beautiful rooms in vibrant colors full of mismatched tables, chairs, sofas, and benches. 
It was awesome. 
 I ordered a salted caramel brownie.  (The first time I've had salted caramel, actually. And oh boy is it incredible!)  Kent got a "cazookie"--cookie dough slightly baked and topped with ice cream.  And a frosted glass of milk.
His dessert won.  We both ate his cazookie and we brought the brownie home for later.

When we got home, Ellie was snuggled up asleep on the couch and Nicholas was still sound asleep in his bed.  Thanks again, Josh!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ellie 3 months

Ellie is three months old now, and she gets more and more fun every day.
The best part of this past month:  she's learned to laugh.
I adore it.  At first, she'd laugh maybe once or twice a week.
Now, she's laughing at least once a day, sometimes more.
It always catches me by surprise; she laughs when we least expect it.
Like yesterday, I was buckling her into her carseat and telling Nicholas to come over so I could put his shoes on.
Every time I said "Nicholas!" in that mom-voice (you know), Ellie would laugh. 
It's pretty obvious these two are going to have some crazy fun as she gets older...

And she's very ticklish-the back of her neck and just under her chin get a good laugh out of her every time.
 She's still a champion sleeper-we put her down at 11, she sleeps until 5 or 6, and then sleeps again until about 9.  It's been really nice, because I wake up when Nicholas gets up at 7:30 or 8 and I get some time to study my scriptures and talk to Nicholas alone before Ellie is awake.

Plus, the sleeping through the night?  It's heavenly.  And because I had Nicholas (who didn't sleep like that until he was 9 months old) I am grateful every single morning I wake up after getting to sleep for a solid 6 hours or so.  I know exactly how lucky I am.
 She's discovered her hands, and most of the pictures I got this month had her fist in her mouth like this.  She doesn't try to reach out to things yet, but I'm sure she will be soon.

She's also started to be pretty snuggley, which we are loving.  She's very good about falling asleep on her own if I lay her down with a blanket and her binky, but sometimes when she's tired she just wants to be snuggled a bit before she goes down, and I love to hold her close like that and feel her squishy little body relax against mine.
She will smile at herself in the mirror--these shy little half-grins and then she'll turn away quick as if she's bashful about her own reflection.

She is strong.  Yesterday she actually sat up unassisted for a good two minutes--with just a little help balancing.  We can't leave her propped up on the couch anymore because she thrusts herself forward and topples over.

I've painted her toenails twice now.  I love dressing her up for Sundays in her sweet little dresses and her bracelets.

I think it's safe to say we are loving this girl more every single day.  She is perfect.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

lets run away to park city

but just for a few hours.

(Part of my sister-in-law Shannon's "Let's Go On a Date" series. Click here to find some awesome date ideas.  She's the genius behind the Year-of-Dates gift you see on Pinterest.)

On Friday Kent came home from work and he said,
"Do you want to go to Park City?  Right now?"
So I fed Ellie, we jumped in the car, and off we went.

You see, there are two things about my husband.  
1. He loves to get out and do stuff.
2. He loves his technology.
Friday morning he was notified that his online order for the "transformer prime" tablet (kind of obvious it was a group of geeky men that named that one, huh?) was canceled. It was sold out everywhere except for two Best Buys in Utah.  One near St. George and one in Park City.

So off to Park City we went.

Another thing.  At this point with our family, with two littles and not many friends here in our new home yet, we don't get chances to go on dates just me and Kent. So we go on family dates.  
And really, I think it counts.  We get out of the routine of our normal days, spend time with each other, reconnect, and do something fun.  Isn't that what a date is?  

 Plus, it's pretty fun to have our cute kids with us.
Most of the time (most) they behave very well.

Kent ran in to Best Buy while I fed Ellie in the car,
then we took advantage of the free valet--it was bitter cold up there in the mountains-- and dashed into this fun little "Good Thymes Bistro" to have dinner.

Notice Kent demonstrating point #2 about himself. Technology comes along on our dates sometimes.
My chicken pot pie was ah-mazing.  So yummy. 

And for dessert, we ordered the
make-your-own s'mores.
Nicholas didn't want to try a s'more.  He ate the chocolate and the marshmallows but wouldn't combine them. 

Then we headed home.  We saw some really fun ski tracks lit up for night skiing, and an awesome tubing hill we'd love to try someday.  Both kids fell asleep in the car and we got 45 minutes to just talk.
Once home, we put the kids to bed then cuddled up on the couch to watch an episode or two of Chuck.
It was a very good night.