Friday, July 31, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Whew, okay, y'all do not know how hard it's been keeping this one to myself! I've been sitting on this for, oh, about two months. Finally, I can talk about it... or, am willing to talk about it. See, I've gotten a little superstitious in my old age. I was terrified that talking about it, or hoping too hard, or planning, would somehow jinx it. So, I resisted making plans about how to decorate and didn't talk about it with anyone--except Matt and my family. Matt had faith from the start. He's the optimist amongst us.

So here it is... WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!!

It has been a long, winding road. But, despite all the issues we've had getting here, the destination is awesome. The whole thing can pretty much be summed up like this...

Once upon a time, a couple finds a house they like. They move into the house they like (with a short-term rental agreement) and work on buying it. One day, they learn that the bank won't let the seller sell it, so they have to look for a new house. Their awesome realtor is there to facilitate their change and they quickly find a great new house. They apply for great new house, are approved, but there's a problem because of the old house. Problem solved, the couple get their keys, move into their new house, and live happily ever after.

The house we just closed on was built in 1961. It's a smidge over 1,200 sq. ft., three bedrooms, two bathrooms. I was looking for a place that had character and this one does. It's not cookie cutter and it's adorable. I absolutely LOVE it.

Living room (view from the kitchen)
The inside has a lot of really nice finishes, like hardwood floors and a neat little shelf cut into the wall in the living room. The windows have really pretty molding. The entry way, kitchen, and bathrooms all have pretty porcelain tile.

Living room (view from the front door)
The kitchen is pretty tiny, but that's just fine for us. It has pretty formica counters and white cabinets with brushed nickel handles.

Little hallway (view from living room)

There isn't a hallway, but the house has some really deep cabinets in the little space between the bedroom doors. All the rooms have pretty standard size closets, including the master bedroom. So, no huge closets, but that's pretty standard considering the house was built 54 years ago.

Master bedroom (view from the door)
The master bedroom is the only room without hardwoods, but has a really nice soft carpet instead. It also has TONS of windows. Just this one bedroom has three windows, there's a big window in the living room and one in each bedroom. Both doors have windows in them and there's a small widow in the kitchen. Even the detached garage has windows. And, all the windows have really nice white wood mini-blinds.

Master bedroom (view toward the door)
The master bedroom is also the only room that's sunken down. See the three steps/stairs on the left of the pic, those stairs go into the living room. The door at the bottom of the stairs is the master bathroom. One of the best features of this house is that the laundry is in the master bathroom. To me, that's awesome. Who want's to walk all the way across the house to do laundry when you could just do it in the place where your clothes live?!

A bit of the master bathroom (view from the laundry area)
All in all, we're really happy with our purchase and are looking forward to getting moved in... tomorrow! Things have been so hectic, it's been a lot of hurry-up and wait, hurry-up and wait. Now that the hurrying is done, it's time to move. House closed today, move in tomorrow. I have just a little bit of packing to do still tonight. It's going to be a pretty easy move, compared with our move here. We absolutely cannot wait!

*All of the above pics were taken by our realtor's assistant, Scarlet. She was nice enough to share them with me. She's awesome.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A personal reflection on Pioneer Day

I'm not LDS and I'm not from Utah, so when the locals started talking about Pioneer Day, I was just a little bit lost. They all seemed so enthusiastic. Celebrations and fireworks are said to abound. It is, they say, the celebration of Brigham Young and the first mormon pioneers' pilgrimage into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  It's literally a holiday celebrating a pilgrimage. It's celebrated on July 23rd and 24th.

As an outsider, both to the state and to the LDS religion, I've been seeking to find some significance in Pioneer Day that isn't, perhaps, historical or religious, but is instead personal. Trust me when I say it didn't take much looking to see how this particular holiday might apply to our lives of late. It wasn't that long ago, after all, that we took a pilgrimage to Utah. Our move here was harrowing (dramatic, yes?), and difficult, but we made it and happily settled here.

We're both going to be working on Pioneer Day, which is particularly ironic since our pilgrimage to Utah was for Matt's job. Though he won't be here at night to see the fireworks because of his schedule, I'll be watching them from our back patio--they're doing fireworks in a park right around the corner from us. And, as much as I love fireworks under normal circumstances, I think I might love them just a little more this Pioneer Day. A small reminder that, however difficult our journey has been, it's also been wonderful and rewarding.  It's been a hard road, but at the end we found a home.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Workin' 9 to 5...

Lets talk about something happy--because I have news and because I'm trying to put my happier foot forward. There're so many positive things happening lately, with our move and trying to buy a house (fingers crossed because there're lots of things that have to happen just the right way), but I think I'll start with my new job.

I don't know if I said so, but two weeks or so ago I tested for a job with a local company. They gave me and the others in my test group a tour of the offices, talked about the company, and then we tested for some basic skills required to succeed at the job. I was hopeful, but cautiously optimistic after testing. The next day they called me back for an interview. Half a week after that I was offered a spot.

So, I started on Monday and so far I'm really liking it. It's an office job in an industry where I have no experience. Fortunately, that was okay with them and it gives me experience doing something other than teaching and writing--not that I'm not going to keep writing, I just won't be compelled to do it for a living. The company is fun and upbeat, and everyone seems really happy with their jobs. It's exactly the sort of place I've always wanted to work... and now I do. So funny how things happen sometimes.

I find out later this week, probably on Friday, what team I'll be going to inside the department for which I was hired. All at once, I'm both looking forward to it and nervous to find out where I'm going to be working. I hope my new team likes me okay and that I'm a good fit there. I'm certainly going to give it my all.

In the meantime, I'm exhausted. It's been a little while since I worked a full-time job outside the house. It's a different beast working from home or working a flexible schedule as an adjunct, than working full-time. I actually love it because it means I'm out there, doing something. I'm sure, given a few weeks, once I get onto my team and get going, I'll adjust and be less tired. I hope so, anyway. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Locked Out

Last night, we had one of THOSE moments. You know the ones, they make you laugh and cry all at the same time. Yeah, THOSE moments.

I took the dogs outside after dinner so they could do their thing. It was such a beautiful night, I called inside for Matt to come out with us. Ani and Chewbi don't like to go out by themselves. In fact, Chewbi freaks out, so I always go out with them. I was standing on the patio, watching the sky, when Matt stepped outside and closed the door. 

That's when it happened.  

He turned the knob, which wouldn't budge. He rattled the handle, still nothing. We were locked out. Both of us. The blinds were open in several windows, so we could see inside, we just couldn't GET inside. Immediately, he turned on me, accusing. "Did you lock the door?!" he said.  Um, no. 

Here's the thing: if I had locked it when I went out, he couldn't have gotten outside. He was the last one to come out the door. HE locked us out. But, of course, he wouldn't admit that. He kept accusing me of locking us out, which was not only ludicrous, it was IMPOSSIBLE!

Then he got this terrible look on his face, like he might throw a full-on, man-sized tantrum and tried to force the door open by rattling the handle while pushing. I stood on the patio and watched him try to hulk his way inside. It might have been funny if it wasn't so sad. He gave up, walking around the house trying all of the doors. All locked because, you know, he's obsessive about locking everything up. 

So, we're standing on he back patio, looking at the doors. Neither of us are wearing shoes, we're both without phones, and we have no keys. We don't know anyone in the neighborhood, or even in town for that matter, and we can't call a lock smith. We can't even drive anywhere. We're stranded, in our own back yard.

That's when I try some of the windows. Matt's in the back, turing to jimmy the door open with a piece of plastic he found. Fortunately for both of us, the front window wasn't locked. It also isn't so high up that we couldn't climb inside. So we go around the house, Matt opens the window and pushes the blinds aside, then climbs into the window.

Meanwhile our next door neighbors and their friends watch us like we're nuts. When Matt opens the door, he comes out to let me in and waves at the neighbors who wave back. At this point, we're pretty sure they're calling the cops. Our dogs are freaking at the side gate, so we go outside to let them in. When we come back inside, Matt unconsciously turns the lock on the door before pushing it shut and then walks away, while I watch dumbfounded. 

He definitely locked us out. I pointed it out to him and all he could do was laugh. I think he owes me an apology, especially since this is the SECOND time he's done this in a week. You see, a few days earlier he had locked himself out of the bedroom at 5:00 a.m., then banged on the door for me to let him in. He accused me of locking him out then, too, which was ridiculous because I was ASLEEP!!

Needless to say, we've begun taking our keys without us outside and being extra cautious about the door being locked. He still owes me an apology!