Monday, December 29, 2008

Reflections on celebrating Christmas without presents

Ryan and I decided to celebrate Christmas this year without presents as a way to save more money for adoption or invitro. It was perfect and fabulous! It was the absolute best December we have ever had. We weren't so busy shopping and trying to figure out what to buy for people. It was so enjoyable. We had time to spend together doing things together. We had extra time to help with the ward Christmas party. We volunteered as interpreters for a community event (see last week's post) I was able to help with a work service project. (see below) One thing that I noticed was that instead of being wrapped up in our own busy lives, we were able to see and help those around us more.

I'm not saying that Christmas without presents is for everyone nor is it something I think we would do every year, but we would definitely do it again. It helped us focus and remember more the reason for Christmas and remember the birth of Jesus Christ and focus on that rather than on Santa Claus and presents and "what I want for Christmas..."

I had so many people ask me if we were ready for Christmas and I enthusiastically answered yes every time. Several made the comment that "they just couldn't wait for it all to be over." What a sad feeling! Instead of enjoying the season, they were just hoping to get through it.

So about my work project. We received a grant to buy Christmas presents for our residents. So a group of about 8 of us went to Target and picked out Christmas presents for our residents. We had about $30 per resident. We could only buy personal items like clothing and blankets. We were buying for 175 residents. I had a list of 12 residents that had their sizes and what they needed. Target doesn't have an "old lady" section. We were trying to pick out clothes. Our residents are wearing some pretty trendy styles now. Because most of our residents need helping dressing we were looking for sweats/lounge pants/pants that stretch and shirts that are easy put put on. We pretty much cleaned out the sweat/lounge wear racks. They had some sweaters on clearance and I think that at least 1/2 the women all have the same sweater in different colors. There is one member of our ward that lives where I work and she was on my list. It was fun to pick out stuff for her. It took us about 3 hours to shop and 45 minutes to check out.

I worked on Christmas Day and it was actually a really fun day at work. Lots of families came in and it was a busy in the building. Everyone was in a good mood and very happy.

When I came home from work, Ryan had made Christmas dinner of yummy potatoes and ham. Then Ryan helped me stuff batting into the Christmas tree skirt I have been working on off and on for 7 years. I'm almost done, just need to sew up one side and then quilt it. We'll see how many more years it will take me to completely finish it. We took our Christmas picture with the tree skirt around the lamp in the front room.



On Saturday we took off to Colorado Springs to check out some places before the highly anticipated Beck Sisters Gala in March. In continuation of the Colorado Saturday weather, it was 42 on Friday, high of 29 on Saturday and back up to 53 on Sunday. It was bitter cold. We went to the Garden of the Gods and went on a short hike, then we hit Manitou Springs and tasted the different mineral springs. Amazing how different the water tastes at the different springs. Then we went down to Royal Gorge Bridge. that was so fun. Ryan loved the tram that took you across the canyon on a cable. He wouldn't let go of the rail. We saw there was free entrance to Seven Falls that night so we stopped at that. We both were so glad we didn't pay to go look at frozen water. It might be worth it in the summer or spring when you are not looking at frozen water.

It was a fun day and we got some good ideas for future trips.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What's next, pneumonia?

I finally started feeling better on Wednesday, although I think that my nausea may have something to do with the cold that I have now. I'm never sick so it really stinks getting food poisoning and a cold in the same week.

On Monday when Ryan got back to work he found out that everyone else from his group started training the previous Monday. They all did nothing for about 6 months but had to start back up on the week that Ryan was gone. So now he's a week behind and is scrambling to catch up so he doesn't get left behind.

In church a couple weeks ago they asked for volunteers to translate at some Christmas event that the school district was putting on. I volunteered Ryan and I to go help. We signed up for the morning shift on Saturday from 7:30 to 11:00. The event was being held at the county fairgrounds (which are here in Longmont). When we got there we found out that they were doing a gift give away for low income families. The way it worked was they had to live within the St. Vrain Valley School District which covers several cities in this area. Also they had to have paperwork for the children, something to indicate that the children existed and that they were 14 or younger. The volunteers were divided into 2 groups, one group was checking the people's paperwork and the other group escorted the families through tables and tables of donated presents where the parents got to pick one present per child.

Ryan and I were in the group that checked paperwork. We learned a new word. Birth Certificate in spanish is acta de nacimiento. 9 out of 10 people that we helped spoke little or no English. So I got to slaughter the spanish language for a few hours. It was crazy to see how many of the parents had IDs from Mexico. Most of the children had Colorado birth certificates that were requested long after the birth of the children. It was actually pretty fun but it was crazy to see how the people would wait in line for 2-3 hours for 1 present for each child. What was even crazier was as we pulled up to the fairgrounds we followed a steady stream of really nice cars into the parking lot. We thought that maybe the cars we were following were the cars of the volunteers. We realized that 24 of 25 cars were way nicer than ours but these people were the ones coming to get free gifts. Based on what we drove, maybe we should have been in line for a gift.

After listening to Jane Austen on our trips Ryan wanted to watch Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Only Ryan falls asleep within the first 5 minutes so I have watched the same parts of these movies over and over. On the days I am alone at work I have been listening to books on tape while I do mindless tasks (filing, sorting, ripping pads of papers apart) it has been so enjoyable. This week I'm alone for 4 days and I'm really looking forward to listening to some good books.

I spent some time working on the serger yesterday. I think I have it ready to use. I took it in to a shop here and showed them my stitching sample. They said it looked good, just needed to adjust some tension, but there was no need to have it serviced. I'm excited to start using it. Maybe this week I'll start a serger project.

I'm not sure how I can be deathly sick last week, vomiting everything up and then 4 days later get the worst cold known to mankind. Wonder what I'll come down this week.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My love affair with OJ has ended

I took Ryan to the airport on Monday afternoon so he could attend Grandma Jacobs funeral. I wish we could have worked it out for me to go as well. But with the wedding a day later....it just wasn't going to work out. After dropping him off at the airport, I still managed to work 12 hours, Tuesday I worked 12 hours and Wednesday I worked a measly 4 hours before I start my drive. The drive to Utah by myself wasn't that bad. I listened to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility on tape the entire way. I ate a lot of grapes and 2 peanut butter sandwiches on the drive. Grapes are the greatest travel food. They are juicy enough to keep me from getting thirsty, but the juiciness isn't enough to have to make pit stops every couple hours.

Since Cresy was still recovering from her hospital stay, I got to take Abby for the day. She was the perfect baby for us on Thursday. Abby and I went into the airport to wait for Ryan. She already is a people watcher. She was so enthralled by everyone coming and going. After we got Ryan, we went to the library and she went straight to Ryan while I perused the books. Ryan and I went to lunch with Hansen and Moore (mission friends) at Cafe Rio. Abby sat in the highchair and ate her noodles and watched all the people. We must have been there for an hour and she never made a peep, she was way too involved with watching all those people. After lunch, we headed up to the church to help set up for Lara's reception.

The Ceremony was so good. And he didn't talk about the Boy Scouts like at ours.
I was on dress/train duty during pictures. That is my job at weddings. Ryan's job is the unofficial, candid photographer.


The kids

The Girls


Afterwords we went to the luncheon at a Mexican restaurant in Bountiful. I thought the food was pretty good. Little did I know what was in store for me.

The reception turned out fantastic. Madre borrowed a bunch of Christmas trees of different sizes and put them up with white lights. It looked like a winter wonderland. We served cheesecake and there were chocolate kisses on all the tables. The scrapbook pages turned out really well. Ryan took a bunch of pictures at the temple and then we had them printed up so I had actual wedding pictures to put on the scrapbook pages. Lara really wanted people to sign on scrapbook pages. And Madre gave Ryan an assignment to be in charge of background music. He made an excellent CD of music.




Just Lara and Jared stood in the line so my padres just got to talk with people. Madre loved that and as for my Padre, that is the most time I have ever seen him spend in a kitchen. He preferred dishing up cheesecake to talking to strangers.

Us kids were on damage control. We basically tried to keep the groom's nieces and nephews from tipping over all the trees, pulling off centerpieces/table clothes and opening all the presents. They did manage to put their fingers in a bunch of cheesecakes, we lost 10-15 pieces of cheesecake to their little fingers. I'm not quite sure what their parents were doing.

Cresy's in-laws were so kind to let us stay at their house with Kade and Trent as well. So Friday night after the reception I started not feeling well. I ate the food at the wedding breakfast and then didn't have anything else the rest of the night, well except for a glass or two of OJ. So about 11pm I really started not feeling well, but I thought I was just tired. We went to bed and I couldn't fall asleep. I took a bath and about 3am I made a mad dash to the bathroom. I had the runs! After almost passing out in the bathroom, I stumbled back to bed and woke Ryan up and told him I was really sick. I took the bathroom trash back into our room with us just in case.
(Keep in mind that I'm at my brother-in-law's parents house)

I laid in bed for several more hours and about 7am I dashed out of bed to vomit. But Trent was in the bathroom. I grabbed the trash can and proceeded to empty my stomach of any remaining food contents. I haven't barfed in like 8 years. Maybe since Ecuador. I just kept vomiting over and over until I had nothing left in my stomach and then I vomited again. (it was mostly OJ and rice). Trent helped me that morning. Thanks Trent. It's not every day you get to help your older sister clean up vomit. I'm not sure if/when I will ever have the desire to have OJ again. So sad...
And thanks to Cresy's wonderful mother-in-law who gave me pills for nausea, an some supplies to take with us on our drive.

We decided I was in no shape to continue with our plans for Saturday and Sunday. (Sorry Lindsay, we were really looking forward to seeing your family). We started our drive home on Saturday afternoon and I slept most of the the way. About 9pm we got to just past Laramie and the road was closed. We turned around went back to Laramie. We went to a motel and Ryan negotiated for a motel room. They were charging $65 and he got them to go down to $50 plus 2 full breakfast coupons. I managed to swallow some saltines and water, but nothing else. I slept pretty good that night.

The next morning Ryan ate both breakfasts and I just ate the toast. We made it home about 1pm. It was freezing cold here. On Sunday, the temperature never got above 0 degrees all day long! Monday, Denver set a record cold. 19 below 0! It was so cold! On the way home, Ryan listened to my other book on tape - Pride and Prejudice. I think he enjoyed it, he asked to watch the movie last night.

I got up on Monday to go to work, but I almost fell over in the shower. So for the first time in 4 years, I called in sick to work. I realized I had only eaten a piece of toast and a few saltines in 3 days!

So thanks for all your calls. I'm feeling much better. Today I went to work and actually stayed for 9 hours and ate 1/2 of a sandwich. I think I'm on the mend.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snow shoveling lesson #1 - to the sides, not the end

This week seemed to go by so fast, but I didn't get anything done. Good thing I am ahead of my project schedule because I didn't work on a single one this week. I worked 55 hours this week, 11 hours days three days in a row and on Saturday. It was our annual Holiday Open House for the residents and families so I got to serve food to the residents and families. I went straight from there to the ward christmas party.

On Thursday we woke up to several inches of snow on the ground and it was still falling. I shoveled the driveway (two strips so I could back the car out) and left for work. I had to leave work at 3 to meet Ryan at home because our adoption worker was coming to do our home inspection. I went out to the car and the windows were iced over and there was several more inches of snow on the car. But I never put the new ice/snow scraper in the car after we bought it last week. So I was out there brushing the snow off the car with a rag we had and then I started scraping the windshield with a Barnes & Noble gift card. It took quite a while, but I finally made it home.

The home inpection went good. Before placement, we just have to install carbon monoxide dectors and buy a safety gate, oh ya and put child safety latches on the chemical cupboards. California you had to have them all that done just to be approved. Plus California wanted to know how many miles were on your windshelf wipers. Seriously, is that what makes you capable as an adoptive/foster parent?

After the inspection, I had to go back to work. Ryan went out to shovel the driveway. When we went out, our 7 year old neighbor Ty was out shoveling our driveway. (Madre and Trent you met him when he came to our house on Halloween). Ryan started shoveling the snow to the end of the driveway. I had to explain to him that you shovel to the sides so the car doesn't have to go over the pile of snow at the end of driveway. Ryan laughed and admitted he had never shoveled snow before. Ty said he would teach him how while I was gone.

I have to remember to pack Lara's wedding scrapbook pages. I worried and fretted over them enough.



I'm taking Ryan to the airport tomorrow so he can go home for the His Grandma Jacobs' funeral. Then Wednesday afternoon, I'll drive to Utah and pick him up from the airport in Salt Lake on Thursday morning. It will be a busy week. But it is always worth it to be together with la familia.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life as we know it is over

For the past 8 years, I have spent the morning after Thanksgiving at Joann's. Even when I wasn't buying flannel for myself, Madre asks me to get a few yards so I still got to go and have the extreme thrill of getting that amazing deal on flannel. It's over and it will never be the same. It's like when your padres move out the house you grew up in, or sisters get married and bring a new boy into the family. Life will never be the same. Well...it happened to me and Joann's. Flannel is no longer $.99 a yard the morning after Thanksgiving. This year it was $1.49 a yard. It's an empty feeling knowing that it's over, the end of an era. Not quite the bargain it used to be.


I was ultra productive this week. Tuesday I set up my quilt frames! But we couldn't find quilting tacks anywhere. Ryan looked at W&#$^mart, Home Depot, Staples, etc, but couldn't find any even Joann's didn't sell any that we could find. I ended up using push pins (that hurts trying to push those in the wood). So I suffered through the pain and tied two quilts that night. The next night I tied 2 more quilts. And I finished another one on the weekend. Ryan was so excited to get the quilt frames out of the front room. In order to get them to fit, we moved the loveseat in the entryway so we couldn't use our front door or get out our coats or vacuum. One of the quilts was the scrap quilt that I made a few weeks ago. (the one where I threw out the scraps of fleece, but dug it back out of the trash because I just couldn't bear to throw out fabric). It actually has turned out to be one of the warmest quilts be have.


My 5 blankets in 3 days. 4 baby blankets and 1 for us!



I got up early on Thanksgiving and went to work at 6am. Ryan came in at 1pm and he had nursing home turkey dinner with me. The turkey was pretty good and the stuffing and green beans. They were out of potatoes and gravy, but we weren't complaining, it was free. This was also the start of our alternate holidays. Since Ryan will probably be working holidays for the next 10-20 years, this was just a test run for what it will be like for us.




That night we took a late night drive around town to check out the lines at the stores. Last year in California, the line at W*#$&mart was already around the store at 10pm. Best Buy was also bad as well as Target. Here in Longmont, there was no line at W&*%$mart, Target and Best Buy had a few people in line. So for the first time in years...i didn't go to any after thanksgiving sales on Friday. We did however go grocery shopping at W&*%$#mart Friday night and the store wasn't any busier than any other day. It was actually so nice.

We both spoke in church on Sunday. Our topic was service. Ryan gave a most excellent talk. As I was getting ready leave, Ryan noticed all this white stuff on my black dress. Turns out I put on deodorant and then smeared it on my dress as I was putting it on. Good thing I had back up outfit picked out.

It also snowed for the first time on Friday night. Not enough to stick, but the first snow. We went right to W&%*#mart and bought a snow scraper.

Now for the best part of my week. I was about to come home from work on Friday and Ryan called and told me he had 3 surprises for me. So when i got home, I was anxious to see what my surprises were. #1 - I had a letter from one of my high school friends that I haven't seen or talked to since our wedding reception. #2 - my new long johns underwear arrived so i could be toasty warm without doing laundry every day. #3 he wouldn't tell me. He just had me get in the car so we could go grocery shopping. But i didn't want to get in the car because someone had to shut the garage door. But he made me get in the car and as he pulled the car out, he hit a button and down came our garage door! Our free garage door opener he got off Craig's list, he had installed and got it working! I was so excited! We now had a working garage door opener! Now nobody can steal our prize possession ( our new workbench)!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's a free turkey

My work gave all employees a free 15 pound turkey. So Madre - when you come in March with the girls, I want you to teach me how to cook a turkey.

So my routine is to come home from work and immediately change into my thermals. I even wore them to work one day and I was nice and toasts warm all day. Ryan ordered me 3 more pair yesterday so that I can always be toasty warm in the frigid weather.

I went to an enrichment activity this week. I actually met a few people I could be friends with. While they talked about their kids a little bit, but we also talked about other things which was nice since I just start feeling sorry for myself when the kiddo talk goes on too long. It was a very nice night. We had bread bowls with lots of different kinds of soup ( I took Mitzi's soup) and then had several speakers. They asked for temples to display, so I finished my beaded temple and took that.

I finished Lara's scrapbook for the wedding reception. Well mostly, I just have to add the eyelets and brads, but my tools are somewhere in Utah so that will have to wait until our arrival. Lara - I did 10 pages and I have a couple more that I could throw together really quick if I were to get more pictures (hint, hint).

I also finished a skirt. Ignore the orange shirt and wool socks...

Last year,I convinced (bribed) Ryan to go to look at patterns with me. He went and was a very willing participant (wink, wink) and even suggested a pattern. Then he suggested velvet fabric. I showed him the price of velvet ($27.00 a yard) and we quickly decided on fake velvet that was only $5.00 a yard. I don't know if sewing on real velvet is any different than sewing on fake velvet, but I don't know that I would ever try and make something out of velvet/fake velvet again. It was so hard to work with. It kept sliding all over the place and I ended up using lots and lots of thread as I unpicked seam after seam after seam. Hopefully it will look okay in the end. I just have to hem it and it will be ready to go.


Ryan put together the my shelves I built in CA in the basement on Saturday and we moved boxes into the storage room. We are going to build some sturdier shelves to put our food storage on and he is fixing up the shelves that were already in the storage room. So our basement is almost cleared up of boxes ( we should have taken a picture - ask Madre and Trent how bad it was).

Ryan had some more interesting work developments. The government is making progress. They have eliminated training on the out of date systems. They guys who got trained 6 months ago were trained on stuff that isn't even relevant now with the new system. But they still had to be trained on it because it takes forever to change procedures. But somehow it happened and the net effect is that Ryan will start his training in the next month or two instead of 6-9 months. he's pretty excited about it. He has even stopped playing games at work and has gone back to studying his air space maps in anticipation of doing real work.

For those of you who have been following our garage door opener saga, Ryan found a free garage door opener on Craig's list this week. He brought it home on Friday and he is going to try and install it tomorrow. Logistically, it should be pretty simple. However, we have learned with most house things, nothing is ever as simple and easy as it seems it should be.

Utah in 17 days!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

7 weeks and 169 miles

Ryan had Tuesday off work for Veterans Day. He mowed the lawn and then I taught him how to winterize a lawnmower. He did a little yard work and organized our new workbench.

I was looking in my gas book for the Corolla this week and I was astonished. We last filled up 7 weeks ago and I still had 1/2 tank left. I had gone 169 miles. Gotta love my 2 mile commute (round trip).

Thursday morning we woke up to a very small layer of snow on our front lawn. It was only a little bit. Last year was a record year for snow here in Denver, just storm after storm. This year we tied for the latest first snowfall of the year. I wore my thermal underwear to work on Thursday. I think my body is having trouble adjusting to winter weather. I'm too used to So Cal winter's.

Saturday afternoon Ryan devoted several hours to helping Ralph and Trent. He researched a major and some classes for Ralphy and then planned Trent's first college semester. We wanted to sign Trent up for a vocal performance/theatre major, but we went with Engineering instead. We found a good place for him to live and a great class schedule.

I made a dress this week. It's super cute. It's black with red small stripes (Erin - when you get back, will you look for a red tank top to go beneath it or a short sleeve elastic neck shirt from Down East?)



I also started on Lara's scrapbook for her wedding reception. I realized I left more of my scrapbooking stuff in Utah than I thought. It makes me excited to start on my scrapbooking again.



So I made a list of projects that I have started, but not finished and then some projects that I have all the supplies for. Basically I made my "to-do" list for crafting. The list was overwhelming. I've set a new goal. I need to finish 1 project every six days...for the next 11 months. That probably won't happen, but I can try. I'm much better at things when I have a short term goal in mind. My project this week is Lara's scrapbook. And by Friday I should be on my next project.

Madre, Erin and Lara left for Chile this week. I wished I was with them, but we're saving for something else (adoption/invitro). Their luggage got lost in Lima Peru, so they have been 2 days without their luggage. It was supposed to be there today or tomorrow. It will be fun to hear their adventures especially since this is the first trip to South America for Madre and Erin.

Just a couple of clarifications from last week - We are not ashamed to shop at Walmart, I just have a sister who greatly dislikes that store and so we don't mention the name of the store when we shop there.

Clarification #2 - while last week Ryan did speak real air traffic control lingo, it was just once. He is still in "training". They have moved them from playing games in a room to watching other controllers on the floor. He said that some controllers let them do stuff and others not so much. So on Friday he had a meeting and they are trying to speed up the training and it looks like he might be able start his official training schedule (which means raises) in two months! And that's if everything went perfect and we all know how perfectly things run with the government.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

$1.18

Ryan did 3 amazing things this week. #1 - He surprised me on Tuesday night. I came home from work and after about 10 minutes I noticed that he had hung up the vertical blinds in the kitchen. Gone are the faded nasty red curtains. I love the new blinds! So much easier to open and shut. #2 - He fixed the hot water tap in the laundry room so now we can wash our clothes in something other than cold. #3 - On Friday, at work, after six months of sitting there doing nothing, he actually spoke air traffic control lingo to an actual pilot in an airplane. He said "Continental 462 contact Denver Center 132.17". He was pretty excited.



When we went to vote, they wouldn't accept our out of state ID's as ID's. We had to run home and get our passports. Good thing we lived close.

I did a little project finishing this week. I made a canvas bag to put our sleeping bags in after those sleeping bags have spent 3 years in a stuff sack. Now they can be stored loose.

My sewing/crafting friend from California, Joan Cope, gave me some leftover flannel squares. When Mom was here, we laid them out and created a lovely set-up. I sewed it together this week and then spent some hours clipping the seams. In case you can't tell from the picture, it's a shag quilt. Isn't it cute? Completely free, all made from someone's scraps.


While we were grocery shopping at the store that starts with a W and ends with mart, they had their Halloween stuff 75% off. Ryan got a huge tube of candy corns for $.50. I made a cute Halloween decoration for $1.18. The broom was $.68 and the bow was $.50. What a bargain.



On Tuesday night I went and helped the Beehives in the ward with a sewing project. The Young Women are having a modest fashion show and the beehives were learning to sew and making the clothing. I helped a girl cut out a shirt. I wished we had gotten further. I would have loved to help her sew it.

It was my Grandpa's 80th birthday and my aunt came up with the best present ever for him. She had all his kids and spouses mail him a birthday card. Each grandchild sent him a birthday card and if the grandchild was married, the spouse also sent a separate birthday card. Then each family that had great grandchildren sent a birthday card. The day before his birthday he 21 cards. On his birthday he got 61 cards. It was pretty amazing and so simple for everyone to do but from what we hear, he loved getting over 80 cards for his birthday.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Christmas a little bit late, and a little bit early this year

What a fabulous weekend we had. I was counting down the minutes on Friday until Madre and Trent got here. Oh, it made me miss home so much more!


But some items of business...I have been meaning to write about this for two weeks now. How I could forget, I do not know. You all know by now my feelings on animals indoors. It is just not right. I do not like it at all. So that also translates to my feelings about animals in work. I tolerate the dogs at work, but I do not like it one bit. I hate having dog hair all over my pants because dog hair just attaches to everything in the facility. Ugh! One morning at work, we opened up our office door and literally right in our doorway, somebody's dogged pooped a big old pile right in front of our door. Let me tell you just how bad it stunk! It was awful! And the worst part is that the owner of the dog didn't clean it up. They called housekeeping and they had to do the dirty work. It was disgusting and I disliked the dogs at work even more after that.

This was the first year in our marriage that we bought Halloween candy to give out. I counted that 6 of our 8 Halloween's together we took kids out trick or treating (Kade, Ralph, Josh). We were in the isle at the store pricing out which bag of candy was the best deal. The doorbell probably only rang about 15 times. So we gave Trent our left over candy for the drive home.


Trent and Madre brought us lots of goodies. First, was our homemade Christmas present from last year. Padre made us an awesome work bench for the garage. Then we opened our homemade gift for this year. Padre made us the most awesome quilting frames ever. Madre is extremely jealous of how nice they are. She said Padre spent 7 hours just sanding the frames. Thanks so much Padre! I love them and can't wait to start using them.



They also brought my bunk beds. Ryan and Trent went and picked up a free twin bed on Friday so Trent got his own bed. So the smaller upstairs bedroom is called Trent's room and the downstairs room is called Madre's room until someone else comes to stay with us and then we will rename the rooms. Maybe we can find two free twin mattresses and then we can set up the bunk beds as well.

The boys had fun at the BYU football game against whatever school is in Fort Collins. I took Madre shopping for a wedding outfit. We ate Ecua food all weekend long, just for Trent. He loved the rice, we even sent the leftovers home with him.

We all went downstairs to our games and we each choose a game to play. It was so much fun. I forgot how much fun it was to play Master Detective Clue, Taboo, but Monopoly just took forever. Madre - your game was phase 10. Playing games just isn't as fun with just the two of us.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

hat and wool socks mandatory if visiting us

One morning this week, we woke up and the thermostat said 54 degrees. We broke down and turned on the heat again and set it to 60. I think we are adjusting to cold weather, cold temperature in our house. So I'm warning you Madre and Trent - bring a hat and wool socks.


We are on our way to becoming official Coloradoans. Our cars now have the Colorado license plates. I'm hanging on to my Utah Drivers license so I can check out some books when we got to Utah for Lara's wedding. I just love Salt Lake County Library System.

On Saturday we went to the temple and went to the building next door and purchased some long underwear, literally ankle length thermal underwear. I'm so much warmer now. Afterward we went on one last jaunt to Elitch. It was so busy and there were so many people there. We went on our favorite ride before rushing home to deliver our cupcakes to the ward harvest party.

I'm like a little kid on Christmas morning counting down. I've been counting the days until Madre and Trent come. I have an actual countdown on the shower wall. Ryan's excited for the BYU game and the weather is supposed to be pleasant.

So Ryan ripped the plastic off our love seat. I've just been sitting on it with the plastic it on, but he ripped it if on anticipation of our guests. we have the couches since February 15th or so and I wanted to keep the plastic on them a bit longer, but he couldn't stand it anymore. Now, take into consideration that for 3 months the plastic was on it sitting in his parents family room waiting for us to claim them. So we have only lived with the plastic on for 5 months. Lucky you!

I watched Jane Eyre today. I had never read the book and knew much about it. It was a BBC version that was like 5 hours long. But I loved it and was enthralled and couldn't stop watching it.

We went dumpster dumping this week. Not dumpster diving, but dumpster dumping. We have too much trash to put in our trash can so we have been taking our trash to various locations. (not our kitchen trash) but all these other items we have been trying to get rid of. This week Ryan found a good dumpster behind Safeway and another by Albertson's. I've been taking a bag of trash to work with me. But the best one was on Friday night we went to this bank and dumped the padding from the carpet we ripped out of the storage room. Ryan wants me to insert an explanation here. It's the house/yard fix up trash that we have been trying to get rid of for 6 weeks now. First it was the 3 weeks of weeds we pulled that filled up our dumpster. Then it was stuff that Frank ( the previous owner) left in the house that we don't want. Then last week it was the 30 bags of leaves we had to get rid of (okay, it was only 6 bags plus our dumpster full of leaves). We hardly have any trash because we have a recycle bin for paper, plastic and cans so that is helping a bit. But we anticipate only having to do one more dumpster dumping of a roll of carpet. We are currently scouting locations for that dumpster dump. Trent - maybe you can help us when you get here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Because that's what a garage is for

Monday morning I went out to leave for work and the car windows had ice on them. I didn't even know where our ice scrapper was. Argh.... So I told Ryan we absolutely had to move some stuff around in the garage so we could fit our cars in. That is what a garage is for right? So you don't have to scrape ice in the morning. So the next night it wasn't supposed to freeze again so we left the cars out. Again, I had to scrape the windows. So that night we organized the garage. We put a bunch of stuff out on the lawn with free signs and Ryan cleaned up the free dresser we got and we moved that in the house. We put it in our closet and Ryan hung a mirror up over it. We moved in this big entertainment center/dresser into our bedroom and moved out the old dresser. The room looks even bigger now. And the cars fit in the garage and we won't have to scrape windows anymore. Which was what I wanted.


We have been meaning to rake the leaves in our front yard for weeks now. Not a blade of grass could be seen. It was just a thick covering of leaves. We had to buy a rake so on Thursday afternoon, Ryan spent 3 hours raking leaves. The pile was enormous.

All the neighbor kids were hanging around drooling over the pile. Ryan said they were dying to play and jump in the pile. So we filled out our trash bin and it didn't even make a dent in our pile. Our neighbor told us that the city had a free leaf dump place so we bagged up the leaves and we are going to drop them off this week. We have this schedule for our trash can. We have so many things to stuff in our dumpster. Old stuff from the previous owner, moving boxes, yard stuff, etc. So this week filling up the whole dumpster with leaves put us another week behind. I have been taking a bag of trash to work with me every day and putting it in the dumpster there.


I went to a conference in Denver on Friday. It was probably one of the best work related conferences that I have ever been to. Probably because it was all information I needed to know and actually interesting. So during the lunch break, I walked back to the car to eat the lunch I had packed. I was parked by this Lutheran church. The church bells starting ringing and then the music that was playing sounded familiar. It was the hymn 199 He is Risen. So I guess that is not a mormon hymn. It was nice to hear a familiar song.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ice in the toilet

So it is 57 in our house. We put 4 extra blankets on our bed last night and we slept with winter snow hats on. I slept with my scarf on. We didn't want to break down and turn on the heat until it actually snowed, but after spending two days wearing scarfs, hats, gloves and two layers of pants, we broke down tonight. We turned on the heat to a balmy 60 degrees. The gloves are gone, but the hats remain and we found the wool socks. There might actually be ice in the toilet. But the worst part is going to the bathroom. Has anyone thought of inventing a heated toilet seat?

When we were little, we would always ask my Padre when we got to turn on the heat in the basement. (most of us kids slept in the basement). His standard reply was "When there is ice in the toilet". Padre has been saying this for years and we just accepted it. My little brother, Kade, figured a way around it.

Kade is the youngest. He was born the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. So he is now the only child left at home and he wanted some heat in the basement. So early one morning while he was out doing farm chores, he brought back a piece of ice from the water trough for the horses. He dumped it in the toilet and called the padres down. He showed them the ice in the toilet and asked if Padre would turn the heat on in the basement. I heard that Padre was laughing hard at this one.

I also put up my "summer clothes" and dug out all my wool sweaters. It was nice the realize that I do have winter clothes that can keep me warm until the spring thaw.

After getting the office set up in the 3rd bedroom, we decided to take it all down and move the desk and computer stuff to the space that will one day be the dining room.

I found this bag of fabric scraps, mostly weird fleece stuff, that Erin or Mom gave me like 6 years ago. I moved them from Ogden to California to Colorado. I decided I hadn't used them yet and I was sick of packing them around. So I threw them in the trash bag. But my brain wouldn't let me leave them in the trash. They could be good for something right? I can't just throw away something that could be useful. So I measured and calculated and figured out that I could make a small blanket. So I started cutting and ended up with a fabulous quilt. Ryan helped me layout the squares to achieve the random non-pattern look without having two of the same squares bordering each other. I used some flannel I had in a box to fill in some spots and a few days later, we have a new quilt, well, the front of a new quilt. I'm going to back it in the same muslin colored flannel.



I'm still on a unfinished project phase. I finally took the pile of old Levi's and cut them into squares to make a Levi quilt. I still need probably 3-4 more pairs of Levi's to have enough for a quilt. Anybody got old Levi's? I fixed a shirt Lara gave me. It had a side zipper in it a so I ripped that out and just sewed up the shirt. It looks good. I pulled out my flannel and have 19 blankets matched up ready to make. Then I took the scraps and cut out about 35 more burp clothes/rags. I just love making something useful out of scraps. But the most important thing I fixed this week was my steering wheel cover. It's just too cold to touch that wheel in the mornings.

So Ryan has tomorrow off work - Columbus day. He has a list of projects to keep him busy.

We were a bit spoiled this week, Braden took us to dinner twice this week. I think we gained back any weight we had lost the previous week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Unfinished projects

This was a week of unpacking unfinished projects. I finished two bibs for Madre. Then I started on my beaded temple. I just have to do the spires on that and hopefully I won't be tempted to give this one away. I finished knitting a dishcloth that I started a while back. Then I plan on finishing the felt Christmas ornaments Madre, Erin and I started about 4 years ago.

We also rearranged our bedroom and the new arrangement makes the room look a lot bigger. I finally unpacked my sewing room and it is so nice! It's so roomy and fun to have everything right there in that room.

It was nice to watch conference in the comfort of our home. Ryan got a wireless router for his birthday and so we have Internet anywhere in the house. So we watched conference in the kitchen as we cooked. My favorite talk was one Saturday morning by Elder Perry about simplifying life.

Did anyone else see Aunt Laurie in the women's broadcast choir? I saw her twice.

8 years ago Kade had Ryan for homemade gifts and he made Ryan some pillows for our couch. Ones he could use to put his head on and drool all over. Well about 2 years ago they got pretty worn out so either mom or one of the boys made some new pillow covers for Ryan for Christmas for our pillows. Well, we kept using the worn out pillow covers because they weren't completely worn about. Well about 3 months ago they covers got so thin they started ripping. We finally busted out the new covers and switched them. I hope these will last at least 8 years just like the last ones.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Christmas with Trent

Thursday we left for my Padres. Of course, we hit traffic leaving Denver. It was fun seeing Trent and playing with everyone. We had a family picture done. Our first one in 10 years. Really, it was 1998 last time we had a family portrait done.




The last family photo in 1998.




In our family we have a tradition that started with me. When someone comes home from their mission, we have "Christmas". Basically, we all sit around and see all the things that the missionary brought home and await our small tokens/gifts. Madre even puts up Christmas decorations for the occasion. We love it! It is so much fun.


Here's my Christmas.


Christmas from Lara.



Abby fell in love with Ryan and was content to sit on his lap during church until I stole her for Relief Society. Cresy has been teaching her sign language so when she wants a drink or food or a nap, she just makes the sign. It's really cute. Sunday was really fun. Lots of family came to her Trent speak. We got to see aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Some I haven't seen in 4 or 5 years. We were sad to leave, but we both had a really good weekend. Ryan didn't take any allergy pills the whole weekend which meant he wasn't tired and napping all the time and his allergies didn't really bother him this time.

We got some good clothes swapping in. It was a really full house all weekend. All of kids were there, plus Alisa brought a roommate and Lara brought the boy. Sunday morning all of us girls were in Trent's room trying to do our hair and get ready for church. Trent was a bit overwhelmed with all of us invading his space, but in order for all 13 of us to shower, we had to plug in the blow dryers and straighteners somewhere other than the bathroom and he does have the biggest room plus he has two mirrors in his room. He kept telling us how much he missed us the past two years.

We also moved Ryan's birthday up 2 weeks this year. Mom made his birthday meal (roast and potatoes) and had a fruit pizza for his birthday cake. He only had to blow out 4 candles on his cake. A couple of months ago I secretly sent Trent some money to buy Ryan a chess set from Ecuador. So Trent brought it home and wrapped it up. It is a hand carved chess set out of tagua. He still goes in to look at it every night before bed. When we went back to Ecuador in 2001, Ryan found an amazing chess set. Although at the time we were poor students and he decided that he couldn't justify the expense. (It was like $20) And oh how he was regretted that decision. So glad Trent was able to help me out and even though it wasn't the same set, it was still from Ecuador.







Then I arranged with my sister to order him an edited movie he wanted to see.He was trying to have Erin just buy it for us, but I told him that we weren't sure if they had any available, and then I just had Erin order it for me. Ryan said he had a fantastic early birthday this year.

My sister Lara got engaged. She is getting married on December 12th. I don't even know what her last name will be. Hmmm, maybe I should find out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Endless pit of gravel

We spent some time in the yard a couple of days this week shoveling and raking gravel and scooping it into the wheelbarrow and dumping it up the designated spot. Realistically, this is going to take us decades to finish moving this rock.


Ryan was also very handy and moved some blinds up from the downstairs bedroom to our bedroom upstairs so we can move the curtains. Did we mention that we found out the curtains in our front room are basically sheer at night? I wonder what kind of show we have been providing the past few months. Well problem solved now since we moved the thicker curtains to that room.

Before we left for the ranch, we got some supplies at Home Depot. As you can see,we can fit a ton of stuff in the Geo. We are now the proud owners of a wheelbarrow and a ladder. We also bought boards to create a 2nd row of shelves in the closets.


When we got home Sunday night, a spider had spun some nice webs all over on my side of the closet. Only 3 days and it took over my clothes. So now daily I move around all the hangers to discourage any insects of spinning webs there.

I got to go on a field trip at work. I got to visit another facility and see how the Medical Records dept is set up there. I brought back lots of ideas to move us from the 80's into the 90's. We'll probably always be about 10 years behind in technology, but my goal is to get rid of the typewriter by December.

Monday Braden came and stuffed Ryan in the attic for a couple of hours, but we now have a light in the entry way. And he learned about wiring and electrical. Then Braden took us to dinner and it was sooooo good.

We had a very successful week with Craig's List and Amazon. We sold 2 more quilting books. We have now sold about $120 worth of books that we picked up for free :) (we've sold 5, we have 8 more listed). We also sold a dresser we got for free and the air conditioner that used to be in our dining room and a couple of other items for a total of $70. We put a few more things up for sale this weekend. We'll see what success we have this week.


I almost looking forward to winter. Then we can stop the yard work and I can have fun inside during the winter with all my sewing, crafting, scrapbooking, etc.

Ryan started organizing his room and I started sorting through and unpacking my room. (Ryan's room is the office/computer room and my room is the sewing/craft room). We also unpacked some of our games. I think we might start playing games for FHE. Maybe tonight we will play the marble game "Stay Alive".

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hamstring torture

This week Ryan and I had a serious sit down meeting at the kitchen table. We made a list of each room and what we need/want to do to fix or change that room. We also included the yard. Then we prioritized and made a schedule. We are focusing on the yard until it freezes and snows. And after dark, we work on house things. This plan has currently left us exhausted, but satisfied with the progress.

We picked up a few things this week. We got a free dresser, a free trampoline and about 20 free quilting books. The best part is, we put about 12 of the quilting books up for sale on Amazon and Half.com and in less than 24 hours we sold two books for a profit of $29.00 after all costs and commissions. We still have more up for sale and hopefully we will sell some more. Ryan laughed when I said I wanted to try and sell them. He didn't think anybody would want to buy quilting books. I got the last laugh when those 2 sold so quickly.

We have a air conditioning unit we are offering up for free to anyone who wants it. We have tried selling it, but nobody is taking it.

On Friday night after dark, I finally finished going through the last of our boxes. I found the last of things I was looking for (Work and the Glory Vol. 3, my hymn book, lid to my favorite pan, my temple picture, etc).

It rained on Wednesday and Thursday pretty good. It worked out well for our outdoor plan. By Friday after work, it had dried out enough that we went out and pulled some big weeds so that Ryan could mow the back lawn (what do you call it when no lawn exists, just weeds?) After that, we pulled weeds out of the garden area and the gravel area. We spent 1 hour stooped over pulling weeds. We should have stretched our leg muscles before going out. The next morning Ryan mowed the lawn/weeds. He had to dump the bag 5 times and our lawn is about the size of front area of the ranch yard. Not that big. Then we continued weeding. Our legs couldn't take much more stooping over, so we got out stools and buckets and sat down and weeded the rest of the yard. I got a blister on my hands from the inside of my gloves. We are feeling the pain today. Our leg muscles are so sore Sitting in church was slightly painful as the bench ends right in the middle of my hamstring and caused pain.

Before


After





Work is getting better. I'm getting settled in and making friends. Apparently our department had a bad reputation and everybody was scared of them. I've just been friendly and it has helped a lot. I'm adjusting to eating lunch at 10:30 every day. In training for the ice cream pigout this weekend, I have been going up to the ice cream parlor for an afternoon treat. Got to love free ice cream at work!

We ripped up the carpet in the storage room yesterday. Not as easy as I thought it would. I didn't realize the tackboard things along the edges were so hard to get up. The tackboard was somehow nailed into concrete and not wood so that at least makes me feel better.

Ryan has been so amazing. He has dinner ready for me every day when I get home from work. I have been working lots of overtime to earn some extra money and he has more than picked up the slack at home.

We both got callings in our ward. Ryan is the 2nd counselor in the Sunday School presidency and I am a ward missionary. I also got another calling to play piano in Relief Society.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Saturday we went to the Denver Art Museum. It is free the first Saturday of every month. They were having an impressionist exhibit that ended this week. I love the impressioninst paintings. Well, it was nice and all, but I realized I have been spoiled. I have gone to 2 of the greatest art musems in the world - The Louve and the British Museum, plus the Musee d'Orsay which had tons of impressionist paintings. The Monet paintings in Denver were.... well... neither of us really like them. Our favorite part was a little exhibit on restoration of paintings and what they do to touch up or remove extra layers of paint or grime to make it look better or to restore it to the original painting. We'll probably go back on another free day. Our favorite painting was called "Paradise in Arcaidia". It actually kind of looked like my parents ranch (which happens to be in Arcaida, Ut).

I've been working extra hours at work so Ryan has been so helpful at home. He has been doing the dishes and cleaning up the house before I get home from work. It's been nice to share the household responsibilities again since we are both working. On monday, since ryan had it off, he came into my work and helped me rearrange my desk/office. It works a lot better for me now.

Trent comes home on Tuesday night. Can't wait to talk to him.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Terrorized at work by the canine population

Ryan and I unpacked our Star Wars toys and played with them this afternoon. Okay, you all know me. I spent more time organizing them into good guys and bad guys. But it was still fun.

I got called on Monday about 5pm to go to orientation the next day for work. I thought it would only be a couple of hours. Six hours later it ended! I was not expecting that. Anyways. I started working in my job on Wednesday. So there are lots of benefits at my job. We get a free lunch every day. So far it has been good 2 days and not so hot 2 days. One day it was meatloaf with baked potatoes. As I cut the potato in half, I realized it was not a potato, but a yam. Gross! I really liked the roast turkey with potatoes and gravy and Friday was beef tips with stroganoff. The only problem is that lunch is served for employees at 10:30 am. I usually eat lunch at 2 pm so it is way too early to be eating lunch. Plus it makes the day drag on forever. Another bonus is that the ice cream parlor opens everyday at 2:30 and they serve ice cream to everyone except on Wednesdays and those are popcorn days. I also got business cards, they ordered them before I even started so of course they screwed them up. I also get my picture up on the wall in the lobby with all the other directors. Steve ( my boss) forgot to tell me it was picture day so needless to say it was a very bad hair day.


I have also been terrorized at work, practically paralyzed with fear. Apparently it is perfectly appropriate and encouraged for staff to bring their dogs into work and just let them roam around the facility. The first day I froze and tried to let someone know there was a dog loose in the facility. It was then explained to me that the residents love the dogs. On Friday in a meeting, one of the dogs wandered in and was nipping at everyone's feet. One day I took in my food with me and I was walking down the hall to my office the dogs smelled the food and started following me and yapping at me. I held back my urge to swiftly kick them. There would have been too many witnesses.

We get 17 days off a year. That includes holidays, vacation and sick leave. This is the least amount I have ever had at a job. Davis and Wasatch I had 12 vacation, 11 sick and 12 holidays. QTC I had 12 PTO days and 9 holidays. The same amount of employees have to work here on the holidays as the other days. But it's not so bad for me. I get time and half for any hours worked on holidays so we are thinking that I will probably work most holidays. It will be nice when Ryan starts working holidays as we can both earn extra money. So I am planning on working tomorrow. (When we were little, my Padre told us that Labor day meant you got paid twice the amount you would normally get paid. Of course we all worked like crazy on this day to earn extra money. Somewhere in my middle school years I figured out that double pay day was a product of my Padres imagination and most people did not get up before it was light to get as much work done as possible on this day. )

Steve on Friday told me that he hired me for a 3 year project. The first year I just learn, the 2nd year I make changes and the third year I evaluate and make more changes. I guess my answer to the interview question of what is your career goals or plans must have satisfied him enough. Enough about work.

Ryan has been begging for a couple of weeks for me to make scones for Navajo tacos. I was going to make them on Tuesday, but i ended up being at work too late. So the next day I came home and Ryan had come home for lunch and set out the dough and cut it up so it was ready for me to make. He's already asking to have them again.

We went to the water park for one last time on Saturday. It was actually warm enough and we had a good time. I spent lots of time this week weeding the backyard. I got about 1/2 of the weeds in the back rock section cleared out which is the easy weeds.

We cleaned out the last of the guys stuff. Filled up two trash bags and took it out. We also cleaned the stove drip pans. I wanted to buy new ones, but it was $17 for those so we broke down and decided to just clean these ones. I sprayed them with oven cleaner and that worked pretty well.

Ryan let me join one of his fantasy football leagues. We drafted on Saturday morning and he said I ended up with a better team than him. I drafted based on weird unique names and also if had heard of them. Ryan only vetoed 2 of my choices. Pretty good I thought. Tomorrow we are going to buy a ladder so that we can clean out the birds nest of our chimney and fix the garage door.

Monday, August 25, 2008

unemployement sucks...but I found a job

I absolutely hate being unemployed!!! For one, I just feel like I am not contributing to the finances and while Ryan tells me it doesn't matter, I just feel lousy about it. Each day I total up how much money I would have made if I had been working. I also found that I am much less productive with more time. I got more done around the house in a day when I was working 8-10 hours a day then I do now when I am home all day long. One day I was so bored and unmotivated that I painted my toenails for the first time in 2 years. I want to work on crafts/sewing, but I can't with the house just calling my name waiting to be deep cleaned and fixed up. Every day, Ryan gives me a list of things to do around the house. Sometimes I get them all done, but most times I don't. Ryan is loving it because the whole time we have been married I told him that I would cook dinner every night and be responsible for all house stuff when I wasn't working. I'm not sure I like that. I can't wait to get back working and then we can share all this stuff again.

We bought a lawnmower for $30 off of Craig's list. It came with a 5 gallon gas can and about 3 gallons gas in it. I would have poured the gas in my car first and just given away the gas can, but we are not complaining. 3 gallons of free gas works for us. The lawnmower works great. It's a craftsman and it fairly new so we plan to use it for years. So I surprised Ryan one day and mowed the lawn while he was gone. We had been here 1 month and hadn't mowed the lawn and we weren't going to mow it, but I figured we didn't have an excuse once we bought a lawnmower.

We also bought a shop-vac off Craig's list for $30. It is smaller than the one I grew up with but it still works. I didn't want to use my indoor vacuum in the garage for all the dog hair. Good thing too since the shop-vac got clogged up twice with dog hair and it took me a while to unclog it. I ended up using some hot dog roaster sticks that we inherited with the house. But the garage looks fantastic now. Now we need to build some shelves for the garage so we can stick the garage stuff out there.

Our backyard is horrible and very depressing. It was all dead with some weeds, but then last weekend it rained and I mean RAINED, POURED for 4 days straight. The backyard weeds have all sprouted up and grown to be the size of shrubs. Plus it stinks out there like dog poop because the entire back yard is covered in dog poop.



One the first day of the pouring rainstorm we found out the wall unit air conditioner leaked water into the house. So that had to come out quick! We were planning on taking it out, but it got bumped to the top of the list. As soon as their was a break in the rain we took it out. So anyone want an air conditioner? Ryan took the Plexiglas that was used for the fake window and covered up the doggie dog in the garage. Now we have a skylight in the garage, I'm not sure what you would call it, skylight or bottomlight since it is on the bottom of the garage wall.

Well i got a job. I am the Health Information Management Director at Life Care Center of Longmont. It is a nursing home. I start as soon as my background check clears maybe tomorrow! It is only 1.25 miles from the house. Ryan's work is only 1 mile from the house. We bought Ryan a bike and we are both going to ride our bikes to work everyday. We are also going to ride our bikes everywhere. We are not going to use our cars in the month of September except to go to Denver for the temple and doctors appointments. We are going to ride our bikes to church too. Doesn't that sound fun! We are looking for a cart to attach on to the back of a bike so we can haul our groceries and other things like library books.

We finally cleaned the nasty oven. I was putting that job off forever. I have never seen anything that filthy. I had Ryan help since I have never actually used oven cleaner to clean an oven. At least there was no dog hair.

On Saturday I spent sometime in the yard weeding. I was so sore yesterday! It's been quite a while since I have weeded and those hamstring muscles must be pure flab! I just about filled up the entire trash can with weeds. (we have one of the large city trash cans) It's not that I pulled a lot of weeds, the weeds I did pull were the size of bushes and trees.

So when we got home from California Ryan fixed the Geo for $8.99 plus tax. The car just keeps on running. It is amazing. Ryan has been so good with doing repairs with the house. Hanging all the closet doors, fixing screen doors, leaks, etc.

Our next purchase is going to be a ladder. There are quite a few roof/chimney/rain gutter issues that we need to take care of before winter.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bicicleta and a new bicycle

I know it has been a while, I've been busy and I'm a procrastinator. I have been trying to write this for like 20 minutes but I keep having a recurrence of my "South American bowel problems" and have to run to the next room. You know what I'm talking about.

So I have officially joined the ranks of the unemployed. Yep, Thursday was my last day of "work". I'm not sure I would ever want to work from home again. I just need human interaction during the day.

Thursday night we were on the way to the temple and just as we were getting to Denver and traffic was slowing, we saw a minivan side swipe the car in the front of us. The car just zoomed off and was weaving in and out of traffic. It was crazy! Then on the way home from the temple we hear a loud thunk under the car and the temperature gauge shot up. The battery light also went on. We pulled over and Ryan inspected the poor Geo. Apparently we lost the fan belt. This would be were we were wishing we had some type of insurance for roadside assistance. We don't even know anyone or have their phone numbers with us. We called our friend Blake who was also with us in Oklahoma and who is in our new ward and he came down and towed us home. It was so nice of him! As we were being towed home (about 20 miles) the battery was dying so the power brakes were going. Anyways, at least it is something that we can fix pretty easily. So the good news is that the Geo is going to be revived. I know Erin is waiting to buy it since she buys all my cars when i am done with them.

The house is finally somewhat settled. We still have boxes to unpack and go through, but we are not smothered in every region suffocating from cardboard screaming to be unpacked. The kitchen is mostly unpacked, the bedrooms are unpacked. The sewing room has boxes stacked in it and the basement is filled with stuff we don't know what to do with. But we both feel so much better about it.

It's been a record setting month in Denver. We have set all kinds of new records. The least amount of rain recorded in 1 month, highest temperature (104), 20 consecutive days of above 90 degree weather ( average July temperature is 88). It's actually cooler in California than it has been in Colorado.

We made this new meal for dinner today. It was awesome. When our new neighbors had us over for dinner they made it and we both loved it. It has potatoes, chicken breast, asparagus (we used green beans) and lemon. It was so good. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Infertility and adoption (and a shot in the bum)

I have never in my life seen Ryan as petrified as he was this morning at 8:55am. He had a 4 inch needle in his hand ready to give me a shot in the behind. I was trying to hide my extreme fear (although he saw right through my act) and he was trying to not convulse too hard. He did it just fine and it didn't feel any different then when a nurse injects me, but it was pretty scary for just a few seconds. I knew I had to trust him, after all, he was holding the needle.



Warning - Serious topic with some brutal honesty and emotion - I just went back and re-read the paragraph below. Most times I write these emails for a specific audience. The audience being family and keeping you all up to date on what is going on in our lives. However, this started like that for your all and yet it ended up being more for me and very therapeutic for me than anything else. I was going to delete it all, and save you all from having to read it, but after some thought I decided to leave it.


We went to our adoption classes today. This is our 3rd time attending the training. At least in Colorado you only have to go once per adoption, California you have to go every year. Anyways, these trainings are always emotionally draining. It always gives us a lot to talk about, a lot of information to process, and perhaps the biggest thing, it brings a lot of feelings/emotions to the surface. The best way I can describe it is that infertility is the loss of something you never had. The analogy was given today about decorating a Christmas Tree and getting ready to put all your presents underneath and then it is all taken away before you have a chance to enjoy it. And that is what we grieve, the intangible loss. There is no grave to visit, no pictures to look at and remember, no memories to recall. How can you lose what you never had?


On a side note, they did talk about looking for the positive in our situations. Ryan and I have had more than 8 years of married life to be just a couple. 8 years of just us. No kids and minimal responsibilities. Time to get to know each other before the added stress of kids and additional responsibilities. If we want to stay up all night and sleep the next day, we can do it. We want to take off on a last minute weekend trip, we can.


We are "dinks" ( double income, no kids) and have had some amazing opportunities to do lots of fun things and visit lots of places and we have had some unbelievable trips. I would gladly have given up those things to have had kids (and lots of them) but this must have been what Ryan and I needed. Our current situation is nothing close to what I wrote about my senior year of high school ("Where will you be in 10 years?" essay), but there must be a reason for all of this.

So at the end of this eruption of feelings all I can say is that there must be a reason and I might never know the purpose, but my part is making the best out of what I've been given.