Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Sweaty palms, shaking, yelling at the tv, heartache.

American Idol was intense tonight!

(If only.)

(Go Jazz, I guess.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Can you say millstone?

Read this story through to the end, if you can stomach it. I think it characterizes evil in its purest form. That's an oxymoron, to be sure, but if this isn't as evil as it gets, I don't know what is.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We found it! We found it! We found it!

Oh my goodness, I am so excited.

Yesterday morning, feeling resigned to the fact that we were not ever going to find a house in our price range with all the things that we want -- older home, 5 bedrooms, good neighborhood, a space in which Steve could paint, big backyard, workable kitchen space, high-ish ceilings, aesthetically pleasing architecture, just to name a few of our most critical requirements -- we made an offer on House Number 2 that I described here. It does not meet several of these criteria we wished for, but we loved that it was close to good friends of ours, and we thought we could live there and make it work. Yesterday afternoon my good old buyer's remorse set in, and I started to hope that the bank and the IRS and the seller wouldn't accept our offer. This morning, I thought maybe we should cancel our offer before they accepted it, but Steve thought we ought to find something better first. The chances of that happening were not great. We have been really diligently looking for about a month now with not much success.

This afternoon I walked through a house in south Orem -- yes, Orem, and it was a lovely neighborhood -- and then decided to do one more drive-around in the Tree Streets, just east of BYU, even though we had been all over that neighborhood and had not seen anything promising. I was really not feeling the house we had made an offer on, and was getting quite discouraged.


I saw this most beautiful house with a For Sale By Owner sign that I had not seen before. I called the owner and it was in our price range! Below it, even. The owner told me the house had an old-style sized garage, and my heart sank just a little, because that would mean it was small, and our van wouldn't fit inside. I loved the outside of the house so much, I was willing to park outside for the rest of my life and scrape ice and snow off the windshield. But I didn't think Steve would go for it. Plus, I was very afraid the 60's did not produce any homes with high ceilings, and Steve wouldn't go for that, either. Too bad, because this house is just so pretty.

We came back together later this afternoon and met the owners for a tour inside. The stars are so in alignment! I felt like shouting hallelujah when I walked in the front door, and saw the high ceilings! And the garage? It's enormous! The owner had meant "old-sized garage" as an attractive feature, not a detriment! A room for Stephen to do his artwork? Check.

This house has absolutely everything we were hoping for with this home purchase, with the sole exception of a big backyard. BUT, we are extremely close to a big city park and extremely close to the mountains behind us, so we can live with a smallish backyard. The house also provides: a gorgeous, gorgeous view of the city and BYU and Utah Lake and even down south pretty much all the way to Nephi; beautiful windows; a great deck; some bedrooms upstairs next to the master because I like to be able to hear my babies at night; a terraced garden area in which we can plant vegetables; a black-lighted play place under the stairs; a great basement with windows that also look out to Utah Lake; a fantastic location; a short, short walk to Steve's work; a big kitchen with unbelievable cupboard space and cool frosted glass cabinet doors; cool 60's-era aesthetics; AND we won't be house-poor. Hooray, hooray, hooray. I am so happy.

We, of course, made a call first thing to our realtor to cancel that little contract we had written up on House #2. We told the owners of this one of our intention to make an offer, and I think we're going to get it! Please wish us luck that everything will go smoothly. If it does, big 4th of July party at our house, with a clear shot at the fireworks show. You're all invited.

If we get this under contract, I will email anyone who wants to see it a picture of the outside that Steve took on his phone. I really hope we get this under contract.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'll even let you watch the shows I wanna see

Steve didn't know my Dramarama reference in the last post. I was surprised -- didn't that song get all kinds of radio play? Did you know it? Play this lovely video, see if you recognize the song, and count the misspelled words for a little evening diversion [one before I go to bed!!].

And now I'm trying hard to think of something meaningful and worthy

Isaac: sleeps on the floor, in a major thoroughfare of the bedroom, with his head under the blanket. This morning, on the way to the boys' closet to fetch some pants, I stepped on his nose.

Stephen: is on his way to Boise to be sworn into the Idaho Bar. He and I cannot seem to find a house that we both want to live in, which is kind of a problem, because we want to live in the same house.

Norah: learned the word no-no yesterday as she spilled out the box of generic Lucky Charms on the kitchen floor. I've said it to her a few times since when she's doing something she shouldn't, and her face gets all wrinkled up and she starts to whimper. Saying "that's a no-no" to my daughter hurts her feelings.

Aaron: has a tooth growing in at a good 45 degree angle. It takes up much space on the bottom of his mouth. Braces, braces, braces.

Elliot: can convince his younger brother(s) every time to put all their money toward whatever it is he wants to buy. Of this moment, they're all going to buy Elliot a tamagotchi

Emily: wonders about global food crises, $4 gasoline, getting into a house by June, getting a babysitter for tomorrow, and whether it was a good or bad idea to bid $60 on each of four tickets for Stadium of Fire starring Miley Cyrus and the Blue Man Group. Also, I did nothing to celebrate/honor/commemorate Earth Day except sing all day long: "It's April 21st. Everybody knows today is Earth Day. Merry Christmas. Happy Birthday to whoever's being born... ."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I love Phoenix, bad customer service notwithstanding

We're back in Arizona and it feels like HOME!

We went to our house for what may be the last time ever -- such a good home, why didn't somebody buy it sooner? -- and noticed the power wasn't working. The breakers were on, so I called the power company.

Me: Our power is off in our vacant house.

Arizona Public Service lady: No it's not. My computer says you have power.

Me: Yes, it is.

Her: Did you trip the breakers?

Me: Yeah, I did that.

Her: You need to trip the breakers on the inside of the house.

Me: There aren't any breakers on the inside of the house.

Her: I guarantee you there are.

Me: I guarantee you there aren't.

Her: We'll send somebody out, but you'll probably have to hire an electrician to fix the problem, whatever the problem is. You'll have to be at the house when our technician comes and it could be anytime today or tomorrow.

Me: Not gonna work. Like I said, there are no breakers inside, so why would I need to be there? Also, I am half an hour away, have four little kids, and don't even have a key to get in.

Her: Then how do you know there's no power?

Me: Because I was there, and now the door's locked.

Her: How long ago were you there?

Me: Half an hour ago. Trust me, there is no power.

Her: My computer says there is power.

Me: There is no power.

Her: Are you moving in?

Me: Moving out.

Her: Then why do you need power anyway?

Me: It has to be on for the walkthrough and I can't very well hand over a house that has no electricity.

Her: Well, you'll have to be there so the technician can tell you what's wrong.

Me: Can't you call me and tell me what's wrong?

Her: I won't be there. The technician will be there. He'll probably leave a tag on the meter.

Me: Can't the technician call me to tell me what's wrong?

Her: How will he know to do that?

Me: Can't you put it in the notes to have the technician call me to tell me what's wrong?

Her: He might not have a phone.

Me (increasingly frustrated): Can I call you back after he writes his notes on the account to find out what your computer says he says is wrong with the power at my house?

Her: It might not be posted until later today.

Me: Fine. That's fine.

Her: Thank you for calling APS.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

And here we have Idaho

Congratulations to Steve who is now certifiably licensed to practice law in the great state of Idaho. See it for yourself here. Apparently, my brother Ryan also took and passed the Idaho Bar, which explains his recent bout of overworkedness.

Hooray for Steve. Two states down, 48 to go!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Starts with a V, ends with an intage

Tonight we went to look at a house, and came away the proud owners of this circa 70's luggage set. I'm especially fond of the carry case on top, which will forever after be my toiletry bag/carry-on bag.

How did it all go down? The owner of the house is a recent widow and has moved into a nursing home. Her children picked out a few of her belongings and left the rest to gather dust throughout the house. Someone will have to be hired to remove and clean out this house before the buyers move in. However, there was some cool stuff! I walked into the room where these suitcases were stacked up, and said, "Oh these are so great!" The realtor/neighbor/home teacher/trustee of the estate said, "Take them. They're yours." "Really, can I pay her for them?" I asked, trying to be respectable, but knowing he would refuse. "Not at all. Take them, and don't be embarrassed." Well, I wasn't embarrassed, and neither were the kids. They grabbed those suitcases right up and marched through the house with them, so proud of our new possessions.

As for the house, well, it's a definite possibility, although we will be poor if we buy it. It sits on a steep precipice overlooking Provo. And although I don't think the house is in danger of sliding off the cliff, a tall, impenetrable gate would be the first order of business. We'll see.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Question Game

How many sugar cookies is too many sugar cookies to eat for breakfast?

Which of the members of my family want to join us in a camping trip to Arches/Zion/North Rim/Moab this late July or early August?

Why do I prefer lists and random notes to writing a cohesive blog post?

How do I overcome my dread of writing, as in, a personal narrative?

Did Alyssa have her baby?

How do I encourage my children and other beloved family members to understand their great worth?

What will I learn from General Conference this weekend?

How long will it take for the members of our church to embrace President Monson wholeheartedly?

Who will be the new apostle?

Isn't it great that there are apostles?

Am I a snob if I don't really want to live in Orem?

What is it about Orem, anyway?

What class should I take first with my free tuition benefit?

Is plucking eyebrows something I shouldn't still be doing?

Don't you think if you make a comment it should be in the form of a question?

Has anyone ever been to a house auction on the steps of a courthouse?

Would you live in a barn?

Would you live in barn in Orem?

Should I?