Monday, June 22, 2009

Our House


This is an excerpt from a talk I gave in my church October 2005, four months after moving into my house.

From June 2004 to June 2005 we lived in Spokane Washington for Jason’s first year of residency. In November Jason and I came to Salt Lake to spend Thanksgiving with family. We knew we were going to move to Salt Lake in June and even though we had seven months left in Spokane I felt we were suppose to look for housing so we would know where we were going to live. The day after we arrived in Salt Lake I drove around looking at potential apartments to live in. After two days of apartment shopping nothing felt right, so I began looking to rent townhouses. Again after two days nothing felt right. Jason then began looking in the paper and on the internet for houses. (I hadn't considered buying a house because I assumed we couldn't afford one.) The next day, which was now the 6th day of my search, we walked into a house on Oakledge Rd. The moment I walked into the house I pictured my family there. I loved it and it felt right. To be responsible we went out the next day and saw five more houses. At the end of the day I told Jason that I wanted to go back to the house on Oakledge. As we walked in the door for the second time a strong feeling came over me again and I knew we were supposed to buy the house.

Why were we looking for houses seven months early? How was it possible that we could afford rent in Spokane and a mortgage? Why did I feel so directed from Heavenly Father?

I strongly believe that it was revelation and inspiration. He brought us here to this house and this ward for a reason, and I am so grateful to Him.

My feelings have never changed; I’ve only become more and more aware of why we are where we are.


· My boys share a room, my girls share a room, and Jason and I share a room.
· Our rooms are all on the same floor.
· It’s “small” enough that you know where everyone is.
· It’s easy to spend time together because everyone is usually nearby.
· My parents and siblings put so much time working on the interior and exterior of the house to get it ready for us to move in. It is very common for me to look at the ceilings, painted walls, new doors, and all the hours that went into it. I still get choked up remembering how much service was given to me.
· I love my neighbors and friends that live nearby.
· My ward is FULL of amazing people whom I sincerely like to be around.
· I have the remarkable blessing of having a brother, three sisters in law, and two brothers in law in clear view from my driveway.
· It is close to the freeway…but not too close.
· It is close to the gym.
· It just feels right.
· Not to mention the beautiful mountains, wonderful schools, and a grocery store that I am sure to see several neighbors at each time I go.

A few weeks ago while in California we visited my uncle at his beautiful home. The back yard had an extraordinary swimming pool, trampoline, fire pit, BBQ pad, and a playground. The inside had a movie theater and a large playroom with foosball and a pool table. My kids had a blast.

On our way there we played “would you rather?” As we drove away I had a “would you rather” question for my kids. “Would you rather live in that house or our house?” Without hesitation my 6, 8, and 10-year-old all said “Our house!” I’m not surprised… It’s Our House.

Through out the past four years we have tried to give our house some tender loving care. That has been extremely hard because I was not blessed with ANY form of talent that has to do with interior design, decorating, color coordinating, shopping, or anything associated with creativity or vision. (Have you noticed my wardrobe???... it consists of a pair of jeans and a solid color t-shirt/ long sleeve t-shirt (depending on the season) from DownEast? There is a reason.

Since buying the house each room has been given a little love. Here are some example of our "tender loving care".

The LIVING ROOM before we bought the house

We had some work to do.



Looking at the house with the realtor

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Never Say Never

I started the summer doing two things I said I would never do: go to Disneyland in the summer (Jason and I took the kids once in the summer and the crowds were unbelievable), and get a dog (they pee on the carpet, smell like dogs, and take too much time).


I won’t go into a detailed story…just the necessary facts.

My Grandma and Grandpa have always lived in Southern California. When I was a child I would spend one week each summer at the beach with my grandparents, cousins, and siblings. Good memories. Early this year I thought it would be fun to do that with my kids since we’ve never done a California beach trip…instead it has always been Disneyland trips. My parents, siblings, and their kids were all able to go. (Everyone except my hubby, Casey, and Martell who had to work ).

We left for California the day after school got out. After a couple fun days at the beach we realized the weather was going to stay cloudy and in the 60’s. That’s not too bad for kids but not exactly what the adults had in mind. I like to sit and soak up the hot sun. A week sitting at the beach with my jacket on was not ideal. My siblings with kids entertained the idea of going to Disneyland for a couple of days. I felt in a laid back mood so even though I anticipated huge crowds I thought “why not?”. Maybe it was because I anticipated the worst or maybe it’s because I remember Disneyland in July and August when it is blistering hot, but I was wrong. I do like Disneyland in June.


I have always said, “I will never get a pet”. Not a guinea pig, hamster, turtle, dog, cat, fish, etc. I really have never liked animals. I would not be a good vet or zookeeper. Heartless, I know. My kids have always asked for a pet, especially Ashtyn. When they were younger and wanted a dog I said they could have a baby instead. So we had Ethan. After Ethan was born when the subject came up I had to remind them that I have four kids and don’t have time for another “baby”. (Ashtyn always figured that if I only had two kids she would have been able to get a pet…too bad those last two kids came along).

I’m not clear on how I changed my mind about dogs. All I know is it started with a thought I had a month ago…maybe in the next year I should get a dog for the kids. I felt it would be good for them to grow up with a dog. Why? I didn’t grow up with a dog. But in my mind it was now or never because Chandler is already ten and in a few short years he won't live here anymore.

Side note: I’m not a shopper of ANY kind. Not clothes, household items, gifts, food…or dogs. I DON’T LIKE TO SHOP! (It causes me stress). But my sister Jen is a great shopper. She basically won’t buy anything because everything is a waste of money. But when Jen does buy something she researches until she knows she’s getting the most for her money. She’s the epitome of frugal.

With that in mind, months ago Jen mentioned that a Portuguese Water Dog was her dream dog because they don’t shed, are awesome with kids, have a calm temperament, learn quickly, are a good size, and they're cute. That was good enough for me.

At the beginning of May I told Jen that I would like to get a dog but I wouldn’t feel right about getting her “dream dog” unless she got one too. After some serious convincing she agreed to get one. We found a breeder in Montana named Debbie who I talked to every day for a week. During this time Debbie and I became great phone friends. Jen and I decided on two boy puppies and were extremely excited. For the next couple of days Debbie kept talking to me about her favorite puppy that was the runt of the litter. Debbie really wanted the runt to be with her brothers.

To make a long story short I went from “I will NEVER have a pet” to “NO WAY will I get two” to “having two puppies is PERFECT”. The day I got back from California we got our two sweet puppies. Maybe I anticipated the worst about dogs or maybe my life is calmer than in the past so I can invest time in pets, but I was wrong. I do like dogs. Indy and Belle have been two fun additions to our family.