"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas decorating

It's Christmas time! After my parents left on Sunday, we really didn't have much going on and decided it was time to decorate. I am so glad we did! We inherited quite a few decorations, which make our home very festive. I love how there is just something magical about Christmas!

Don't you just love our church curtains??

Zach's job

Good news! Zach loves his job! It has been an adjustment with our schedules...Zach now gets up at 4:30 everyday (which I love and I am so glad he is good about it). Because of this, we need to go to bed earlier, but I don't even get home til about 8:30 so basically, we get to say "Hi, I love you, Goodnight." It's worth it though. Zach works out every morning with his unit, and I still go every morning before work. We never eat meals together, but that makes the times we do that much better I suppose. I am very thankful that we are so blessed. This job is perfect for Zach and very good timing. I know he is going to be amazing at it and I am so proud of him for getting it.

The stresses of a house already!

This house hunting thing is not the easiest thing I have ever done. It is so hard to decide what we need versus what we want, what we can afford versus being house-poor, cost versus distance from Zach's job, 2-story versus rambler, build versus buy, big down payment versus little down payment, bank versus mortgage banker, yard versus no yard, be there for 30 years versus 5 years (totally an unknown which obviously makes it harder, but it affects all the other decisions...go figure.)
Once I sit back and take a deep breath though, I think I am handling it okay. :) Thank goodness for our amazing realtor Jason. He basically had a therapy session with me today which helped calm me down and keep things in perspective. I think that has been the hardest part of the whole process....there are so many different angles and perpectives and approaches to take to this humongous decision. Every week my mind is opened to different thoughts, concepts, and ideas that it complicates the decision. I am glad that we don't have to rush into a house for any reason, because this will take me some time.
Right now, we are leaning toward building. This is because for about the same price, we can get the dark cabinets I want in the kitchen, pick the floorplan we like best, have room to grow for our future babies!, and customize colors and such. So far though, each builder we have talked to either doesn't have a floor plan I want, or is juuust over our budget. So, for now, we keep looking.

Thanksgiving time

In all actuality, I am writing this post in January 2012 because I was waiting and waiting to get pictures from my mom's camera and kept putting it off. So...this is from my not so fresh memory.

We decided to go to Denver for Thanksgiving this year so that Brad and Amanda would come out to Utah for Christmas. Aren't we just so nice? My parents are actually way nicer than me because they drove up to our house the night before so we could all ride together. So their trip was lengthened by like 4 hours in the car....and it is eight miserable hours to get to Denver. I developed a new appreciation for how often Brad and Amanda come visit because let's face it...that drive sucks nuggets.

But, my family is way fun and we hit up some MickeyD's for breakfast, and the drive out wasn't too bad since we all had a bunch to catch up on.

It was a blast to hang out with the kids. Jason was in a Blue Batman/Joker stage where he is always aggressive and wants to fight the bad man. He would ran at me and jump to attack and he even started with some punches so we had to teach him when and where to be soft and what not. A sweeter side of Jason came out when he wanted to play nap time with me. We would curl up in his bed and pretend to sleep and then he would suddenly yell to wake me up or run and turn on the lights. Then he would snuggle me and pretend to sleep again. Over and over. It was insanely adorable.

On actual Turkey Day, there was some morning football at the park. The men are just so athletic. I love my husband and brothers and how the stand above everyone else and Scott looks a little like a giant. The meal was fabuloso, with Amanda being a sweet and wonderful host.
Friday was a day at the zoo! Um...I LOVE the zoo. I totally feel the little kid in me come out. First I think the lions are my favorite, then the tigers, then the giraffes, then the seals, and I hate the snakes but am way fascinated. I just can't figure it out, but I love seeing them all on the same day.

My husband got lost at the zoo...somehow I'm not surprised. He kinda wanders off and takes his own time, which happens to be something I love about him, but can frustrate the crap out of me. I was like a mom running around looking for him while the rest of the family went ahead. I knew he was just having a good time doing what he wanted though and it made me laugh to myself instead of get thoroughly annoyed.

Saturday was sweet...this is when I was really needing to run since I had been out since September. Everyone was going to play bball at the church, so I got ready to run to the church since it is only about a mile and a half away. My mom, who has a hard time remembering I am an adult that does things alone all the time, had to come with me. I really appreciated it though because we had good conversation and it just so happened to be the coldest day we were there, so her company allowed me not to focus on my fingers that were turning to icicles. Once we got there, Brad asked if me and Amanda wanted to jump in. This question was totally unnecessary because I most definitely did. So Amanda and I jumped on the court, me in my tie-dye and vibrams, and played a game or two of bball. Nothing like sweating all over and breathing super hard to make you feel good about life, right?

After a quick and great holiday weekend, we headed home on that miserable drive.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Hunting!

And so, the house hunt begins! Or...officially began last Friday, more or less. We met up with a friend of Zach's from drill, who just so happens to be a real estate agent and went over the details of buying a house. I am totally pumped for this because at one point in my life I dreamed of building a house and then at another point I dreamed of being a real estate agent. Combining the two, I get this wonderful experience of trying to find our first home.
I have been looking at listings like crazy for months already, so I have a pret-ty good idea of what we are looking for. Thankfully, it seems that Zach and I have almost identical taste in what we want. This Friday we are going to walk through some houses. I am leaning toward building if we can find something in our price range, but walking through will help a lot with deciding what we want for sure.
I love envisioning a nice, cozy home with a delightful kitchen where I can create all sorts of delectable goodness for my sweet husband and kids. A place where my family can be happy and good memories will be made. I truly believe in going after what I want and making my dreams a reality and I am so glad it is a possibility for us!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More grown up life, here we come!

Do I, or do not have the most attractive husband? I vote yes, I do. This is him all sharpened up for the most awaited and anticipated interview of the freakin' decade. Which he rocked! But we didn't know how good he rocked it til two days later and got a call for the second interview which was two weeks later! Talk about a stressor. Then he had the interview Saturday and they said they would call Monday. Zach didn't sleep Friday through Sunday. I have never seen him that worried about something. Monday came, and went. I started preparing myself for bad news. Then we got a twinkle of good news, but nothing for sure. Tuesday came, and went. Wednesday too. But that twinkle kept our hopes high and finally Thursday Zach got the official offer! I was preparing for our big Halloween bash at work, but my awesome boss let me sneak away for some victory lunch to celebrate! Zach now has a career job. Which doesn't start until November 15th. I am trying to get used to this take-forever mentality of the military. I just keep thinking how great this job will be for Zach. With this, we have decided we will be staying in Utah for the foreseeable future and we can seriously consider getting a house and starting our family. Don't worry, my planning wheels are spinning like crazy!! Do we buy a house now, or save longer? Do I start my Master's degree, then get pregnant, or just skip the degree and start making babies (which I am very excited for)? I'm thinking down to the months of how things will play out. But in reality that doesn't really matter because it doesn't play out like the plan anyway. I just enjoy dreaming about it. Zach doesn't so much so he gets a little sick of my ponderings. I try to keep it in so as to not annoy or wear out the subject, but it is a hard task. This is our life and future here! The most exciting thing though is that it is moving forward in such a positive way, and we are very blessed. I feel like I am ready for this stage of life.

Halloween date night!

We celebrated Halloween in a festive way the Saturday before since I work til 9 on Mondays. Another thanks to Groupon, we went to the Hee Haw farms where there was a lot to choose from. We chose the corn maze and Cornevil night terrors.Good thing my husband is a good navigator. He only made us go in one huge circle. We think the maze was faulty because we were pretty good at it, just couldn't find the right exit... Burlap rug slide..count me in!! Zach only went once but I went like 5 times. Afterward I told him that we need a kid or two so that I have more of an excuse to go over and over.

Zach challenged me to a tetherball game. I said "bring it on" because I was always the champ in elementary. After a few minutes into the game I realized my huge advantage of being the tallest 10 year old contributed to my success, and now the playing field was a little more level. It was the most exerting game of tetherball I have ever played. I was breathing hard like I was doing cardio at the gym or something. The game went on so long that I had to give in and let Zach have his success. Which he, or course, enjoyed.

I spotted this massive bunny after we played on the slide for a minute. This giant guy was Zach's favorite part of the whole night. He stroked him over and over and over. I had to pull the mommy trick of "ok, I'm leaving now....bye" like three times before we could continue the fesitivities. I should have planned out the navigation a little better because every time we passed the bunny cage it was like a replay.

Me + tire swing = happy.

The part of the night not documented by the photos was the most Halloween-like. The Cornevil night terrors. Not recommedend for children younger than 11. Should be 23 and under because I was pretty darn terrified. These "terrors" were like a haunted house, but add a swamp and a forest to the house, with live snakes and creepy children and you get a little better idea of what you are in for. I knew I didn't like haunted houses and thats why we didn't go to one. Zach started laughing at me before we even entered because I very nearly got cold feet. Then he proceeded to inform all of the "spooks" to scare me more. If he hadn't let me hide my face in his back the whole way I may have let him sleep on the couch or something. He would laugh and predict what the spooks would do, which made the whole thing more bearable for me. In the end, it was a way fun night and I am just so happy that Z-dub is my best friend and we have the best of times together.

Actual Halloween night was a good time too...at work I discovered it is the day of the year the most pizza is ordered, so I figured we better contribute and instructed Zach to get us a pizza for when I got off at 9. We did pizza and a movie..which wasn't Hocus Pocus much to my chagrin...and had another amazing night together. I love the end of the year when holiday cheer is had like, every other weekend.

Halloween festivities

Lots of fun was had this Halloween season, thanks to Groupon. Before October even started, there were different Halloween-spirited offerings and I couldn't wait to participate! We got tickets to an outdoor play of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." I believe I have mentioned that we went in the past....but here is the proof!

Zach, in his infinite sweetness, picked up a bouquet off the stage as we left and presented them to me. I am holding the remains in the above picture.

We also attended a Halloween River Cruise! I was very very excited until someone at work mentioned it being somewhat scary for kids...like as in two year olds....and I realized I probably had a little skewed perception of what to expect. So, with fair warning I knew it wouldn't be the most exciting thing in the world, but it was pretty cool. Scott brought along Kelsey and we went to Los Hermanos, which I do not recommend..not impressed. Then we spent a long time trying to find out how to cross under I-15 with all the construction. This part was scarier than the haunted river cruise for more than one reason. Reason #1: the detour was basically a circle back and forth through some rundown area in town and then cornered you in a storage unit parking lot. Yeah, just the thing a killer would do. Reason #2: As we drove in that unexitable mess, we pass a zombie! Basically, that is what he was. He was limping, had messed up hair, grungy and torn clothes, and he was walking down this dark alley we were stuck in. Creepy. We had to pass by him three times as we tried to get out of there and I almost called it quits because that scared me enough....

Finally, once Zach finally listened to my all-knowing advice, we got out of the labyrinthian detour and found our destination. Zach finds a twenty dollar bill as he opens my door for me. Yay! He is always looking for a bag of money whenever we go on walks, so he was very excited and kept looking the rest of the night, like someone would drop twenties over the rest of the parking area. The decorations were awesome. I would totally love to have the money to deck out my yard in cool stuff like that one day. Not really likely I would spend it on that stuff, but hey maybe if what we had was millions...Lucky me, my department at work is in charge of the Halloween party, so this was my excuse to dress up. Don't I make an adorable flamingo? Everyone thought I was a ballerina, so whatev. Zach went a little crazy trying on my (really Lindsey's) pink wig. I so wanted to wear it but feathers in my hair looked better. Plus my hair is so long it wouldn't tuck into the wig, so I couldn't. At least it looked good on him...