Monday, December 14, 2009

Blast from the Past: Working in Provo

For those of you who don't know, a few weeks ago I started working for We are an online dating company that has 27 different niche dating sites. is actually the top Jewish dating site in the world, mazel tov! It's a great company and a great opportunity for me to professionally grow.

Working in Provo has kindled all kinds of memories from past visits and past living! While driving home from work today I compiled a mental list of the good and bad memories that I’ve re-visited. Some will make you smile; some will make you shake your head in understanding.

The Bad

  1. Happy Valley Dating… Only in Provo will date two become a DTR that is considered a success if you’ve discussed the possibility of your future marriage and children. Although meeting the parents by date 3 is encouraged it’s not mandatory.
  2. The one CRAZY roommate… maybe when you move in with an apartment full of strangers it’s always expected that one will be a little off, but I experienced this more in Provo than anywhere else. From the roommate that would turn the AC on in the winter and the heat on in the summer, to the one that would use the rest of our bath loofas, and the one that was medically declared mentally insane by the end of the semester I’ve had ones that would make a great book one of these days!
  3. The driving… I don’t know if a person’s driving IQ automatically drops 10 points when you enter the city limits, or if it’s a domino effect from being around so many bad drivers, but nobody seems to know how to drive, especially in the snow. This is still true…
  4. Get-Rich-Quick jobs… I swear there was more opportunity to sell Cutco, MaryKay, Avon, do envelope stuffing, etc. than anywhere else I’ve lived! And I had two roommates in particular that fell for each and every gimmick and tried to pay their tuition through these schemes.
  5. “On my mission”… I have since served a mission and know how life altering the experience can be, but it gets old really fast if every example in a church lesson, and in general conversation has at least 3 references to the glory days. I would hope positive, uplifting, and funny things have happened since that time.

The Good

  1. Climbing 5 days a week!!! There were so many people willing to get out on the mountains, and for some crazy reason I always had time to squeeze in a climb.
  2. Great friends are easy to come by! I moved in and out of several wards when I lived in Provo and each one had a few top notch people that I still keep in contact with. Also random friendships could pop up anywhere.
  3. My discovery of snowshoeing! A friend found three pairs of snowshoes in his garage, and a few of us found it our calling to make sure they got the use they needed. I’ve since bought my own, and am so grateful to have discovered this winter sport.
  4. BYU Creamery Ice Cream! Need I say more?
  5. Living in the “ghetto”. When I was told by my first Provo roommates that I really should drive the .01 miles to my work because I got off at midnight and we happened to live in the ghetto I knew I had moved to the right apartment!!!
  6. Hot Tub Hopping! All my apartments had hot tubs, and I indulged in them on a regular basis, but if our hot tub happened to be shut down for maintenance you could always go to the apartment complex next door or down the street because none of them had locks. They were all open for anyone to enjoy!
  7. Food at every activity! There’s something to be said for food that I don’t have to make, especially on a week night.
  8. REI Garage Sale! True, we had to drive to Salt Lake to indulge in this, but it was in Provo that I discovered this fabulous tri-yearly event that changed my outdoor gear purchasing power forever.
  9. Always someone to share your cooking with! Which is great when you love to make eggrolls and only know how to make a family sized batch.
  10. Walk in Baptisms! I loved that any day of the week; I could just walk in and do some good. Because it was so accessible I made this a weekly ritual. The question now is where has all that time gone?
 What are the best/worst memories you have of Provo?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spreadsheets and Shotguns

I’ve been way out of touch lately, and for that I apologize! Life got pretty hectic for a while for several reasons. First, my company did some consolidation and my position was eliminated (ie, I was laid off). So I was running at about 100 miles an hour working to find something new in a month. The great news about that is I found a new job within 5 weeks! Although that’s a little over my goal, it’s a lot better than the average in the nation of 12 weeks.

The first few days went great! I've learned a lot and have been able to be extremely helpful in the end of the month reporting process. This month I’m told we got the reports done a day and a half sooner than they did last month. I think I can make a lot of changes here that will save everyone time. They haven’t had anyone in this position for the past 2 years, so there’s a lot of cleanup work to do. The last guy they hired stayed for 6 days, was offered a job from another company, and accepted that. So the joke around the office is I just have to last 7 days to be a success!

Wednesday was intense because my new boss, Angela, found out we needed to turn in our 2010 forecast by the following day. I was a bit freaked because that meant I not only needed to forecast what my department would be doing (without the benefit of seasonal trends since the department really bombed last year). But I also needed to divide that forecast up by the 24 main sites that my department got its subscriptions from. So I worked like mad, Angela got us a second day, and I’m now feeling pretty good about my numbers. After reviewing them Angela said they looked aggressive enough but at the same time reasonable (which means perfect in my eyes)!

I like the environment here, a lot more laid back than the last job I had. Not that I don’t think there will be stress (every job has it), but the atmosphere is a just a nice change. The people are extremely friendly  too. There are only two ladies in the office (with a third out on maternity leave). They're all low maintenance girls that won't be hard to get along with.

The guys are also nice. One popped his head up over the cubical to ask me if I owned a bike. My uncle James would be proud of me for rattling off my "Yes, a Garry Fisher Sugar Three Plus" which lead to an "Oh, mountain or street?" I guess the company has a street biking team. Maybe I have to get a street bike to build team unity or something. That could be fun.

The benefits are fabulous! We get free life insurance (Dave will get one year of my salary if I die), and free Disability insurance that covers 6 weeks of maternity leave, plus all the regular benefits (with pretty great medical). My favorite part is the PTO, I accrue 10 hours PTO a month, so by the end of the first year I’ll have 120 hours or 15 days to use as I see fit!!!

The commute isn't too bad, usually 40 minutes to work and an hour home, but I made it home in 35 minutes Wednesday… I attribute it to the tunnel vision that occurs when you stare at a spread sheet for far too long. I can handle that, even if the sun is down when I leave as well as when I get home (curse the winter).

Apart from that life in general has been pretty hectic with Thanksgiving down at the cabin (near Zion’s National Park), and worrying about my Grandpa Yoder’s intestinal surgery. Fortunately he’s recovering, although the process seems slow. I was able to stop by a few times over the holiday, and each time he seemed better than the prior visit.

Thanksgiving was tons of fun with lots of traditional food and Chinese food, hiking in Zion’s, petrified wood collecting, checking out the ghost town, and shot gun shooting. So I couldn't get my shotgun shooting pic to post, but you can see it on my facebook page. I'm a great shot, and it shows me killing a clay pigeon!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FREE AT LAST: the basement is done

The last two weeks has felt like we had two full time jobs a piece! Weekday mornings we would wake up, get ready, Dave would go to work, I would put in an hour of construction/minimal cleaning, go to work myself, come home and work until about 10 - 12 at night on the house. Sometimes we would stop for dinner (something frozen or canned), sometimes we would forget. Saturdays were even worse because we would wake up at 7 and work for 12+ hours with breaks for food when we were starving. I've never been so grateful for Sundays, and the excuse that we had to rest and enjoy church!

So last night at about 10 we finally finished and this is what it looks like!!! We finally got the door in and swinging properly (after having to paint and sand the edge twice because it didn't fit. I didn't take a picture of the door, figuring you've all seen a door before... but I did take a few pictures of the kitchen for you! We're so stinking proud of it. When you walk in on the far left you are greeted with the cabinets, sink, and counter top (all of which we installed ourselves).

The cabinets are from Ikea and were pretty easy to install. The hard part was leveling them… The entire room is at a slant to the right because the water heater is through the curtain on the far right side of the room. So there’s a drain on the floor of this room to ensure if the water heater blows the water has somewhere to go. What that meant for our project was the cabinets were about 3 inches from the ground on the left side, and had to be almost 6 inches on the far right. It was such a pain to figure out how to level and how to cut the kick guard!

The counter top also was an unexpected challenge. Ikea cabinets are made to be used with a counter top without a lip on it. We bought a counter top at Home Depot with a lip and a back splash attached to it (I was able to barging them down to $100 because there was a chip in one side, and we just cut off that end of the counter). So that meant we had to elevate the counter with 2x4’s before we could install it. It worked out, but took far longer than it should!

Here’s a picture of our fabulous sink that we installed with the help of both our dads (on different days). Doesn’t it look great?

When you turn your body to the right you can see the fridge, stove and space for the kitchen table.
Dave and my dad installed the electric on these. I found the fabulous deals on the fridge (it’s an Energy Star 18 cu ft. that I got for $420 with free delivery, usually $619 plus $75 for delivery), the stove ($250 including the hood we didn’t use and will sell on Craigs list with free delivery), and leveled the appliances. We really weren't sure if the fridge would fit in the basement, but after the delivery guys took the doors off, it did!

Also, notice the curtain on the side, I found that at Ikea for $10 (including the rail to install it on), hemmed up the bottom, and put it in to cover the entry way to the boiler room. There are storage cabinets in there, so we wanted Blaine and Angela to have access to it, but didn't have room for a full door after putting the fridge in that corner. It needs some decorations to make it look more homey, but it's perfectly ready to be occupied. It cost us more than the $2,000 I had expected, but less than the $8,000 check we got from the government before we started this project! So we did well, I'll just have to wait for the next credit card bill to know exactly what the cost was.

We're sooo exhausted from all the work we did, but are glad to be done! I celebrated this morning by waking up early, deep cleaning the bedroom, threw in a load of laundry, made the batter for some Peach Strawberry ice cream that I'll complete when I get home from work, and blogging my joy out to the masses. Dave decided to celebrate by sleeping in... Maybe I should have done that too. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

To DIE for Apple Strudel Muffins!

Every year my family has a General Conference party. We started doing it in Michigan because the stake center was too far away to go home for the two hour break, so we just brought our lunch to the church and indulged! Everyone was invited, but the Poulsons, Moes, and Welches were always in attendance. Now that the whole family has migrated out to Utah we can get the broadcast from the comfort of our homes, so we've moved the party to the parent's house. The Poulsons joined us Sunday. Everyone brings something, and everyone grazes all day long.

Since my parents have been blessed with an abundance of apples (and both Dad and Mom have brought by a bag of apples for us), I decided it would be best to make something that contained apples. So I started my internet search for the best apple muffin recipe I could find! I found one with 658 five star reviews, and decided it must be the one for our five star Conference party! I made a few changes, and want to share my edited version with you.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2  cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 dashes of nutmeg
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1 1/2 cups grated apples

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan (I use the reusable muffin liners) 

  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. It will be a light tan color like this

  • In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in grated apples followed by apple chunks, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. This ends up an extremely thick batter, but I added the extra grated apples which releases moisture into the muffins as the muffin cooks. It should look like this when done

  •  Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan. This is a way messy process, since the mixture is so thick. I used a spatula but still had to use my fingers to take the batter off the spatula. You could use a spoon if desired. They will look chunky in the pan, but will rise smooth

  • In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan. I started this with my spatula, but it wouldn't mix as well as I would like, so I would either recommend softening the butter prior to adding it, or use your hands to do the final mixing in. You could double this if you like extra topping, but I felt the topping was sufficient

  • Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack. Look at those savory little guys! They were a delicious way to start Sunday morning Conference

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    Revenge of the Rude People!

    Why do people think just because they're having a bad day they can take it out on whoever is closest to them? I did a quick picking up at Ikea after work today. Dave and I bought him a drafting desk last night, and we missed a piece (half of the legs, might be necessary) so I had to go pick up the missing pieces.

    Anyway, I'm in the self-checkout line with my legs and the other 4 items that convinced me I couldn't live without them. This older man was standing in the line beside me waiting for one of the two self checkout lines in front of him to be ready. The farthest one swipes her card, so he intentionally rams his cart into the cart of the woman in front of him, and continues to push her cart right into her which pushes her into her husband. He proceeds to push the woman that's paying with his cart while she is trying to grab her receipt and items so he can check out!

    No "excuse me", no "my wife is in the hospital and really needs this children's art easel before she dies", NOTHING! He just bogarted his way in, and saw nothing wrong with it. It was like a bad made for TV movie where the old man has to get the gift before 6:00 or the mutant slime people will take over the world! Don't ask me how they equate, but I swear they do...

    I think it annoyed me so much because my co-worker was so stinking ornery to me today. I came over to ask her about the status of a project and she just went off! I'm not sure why and to my knowledge I didn't do anything to bring this on. She just had a conniption. I think what it came down to is she didn't have time for the conversation, but if that's the case JUST TELL ME! Don't raise your voice and take it out on me in front of the whole office! Ask if we can schedule a time for a meeting tomorrow.

    It's been an intense week in our office, I'll give her that. There have been huge meetings between the CEO, VP of Marketing and Owners, so everyone's a little wired and has worked a few too many hours. But what can you do but your best and live with it?

    So to everyone that's reading this, go out of your way to be nice to someone today. Don't be ornery.

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Basement in Progress: Good News & Bad News

    So we'll start with the good news The downstairs kitchen is looking KILLER AWESOME! It only took us 4 hours to get the grout laid on Saturday (tons of work and tons of scraped up fingers), but the results were well worth it! Check out our perfect tile lines! Even the trim lines up perfectly!


    This center design Dave created on a whim while I was hosting the bridal shower for Angela. Wow, talk about the most amazing thrown together center design I've ever seen. It doesn't exactly match the modern style we were going for in the kitchen (this is far more classic), but I love it and we can tweak other things around to make this work.


    The cabinets & sink will be on the right hand side, so this design will kind of frame the under the sink area. Hopefully it will have a nice effect!


    First of all, isn't this Russian Blue delicious??? I didn't realize how much we love blues and greens until we started painting the house. I know every time we paint I say this, but this is by far my favorite of the blues! I took a picture of this wall in particular because this is the wall that used to have the wood panel on it. It's the one I had to rip the dry wall out of and replace, mud and tape. All in one week. Almost all by myself. Needless to say, I'm pretty proud of this wall.

    Now for the bad news... So last night I was trying to recover from our insane Saturday of work (7am to 11pm we worked with a break during Women's Conference). Dave decided to head downstairs to check out our handy work and see if we needed to do another coat of paint in the downstairs bedroom. He comes upstairs with bad news. the last coat of paint is drippy and there are white spots... we have to sand down the drippy and do it again!!! I was so exhausted that I didn't even want to go look at it and think about how much more work this was going to be.

    Long story short, after much searching this morning, I found the drippy part. It's behind the door in the far left hand corner of the room. It's not at all bad! We can sand it down, or I can rub alcohol on it to smooth this down, or we can just leave it (I'm voting for the latter).


    I threw this shot in not only because of the drip, but notice the color of the trim? It's a peach color!!! We thought it was off white until we painted the primer on the yellow walls. and the peach trim and ceiling popped out. so then we had to paint the ceiling and next we'll be doing the trim... Sigh, the work is never done!

    Here's the white spot. It's completely my fault. I did the last run with the roller and scraped up this edge... The problem with this part is the line is about a foot long! So off to Home Depot today to see if they have sample size little paint jars so I can fix this one spot... MAN why did I do that last run with the roller?!?

    On the table for this week: seal the grout, install the cabinets, paint bedroom trim and order counter tops, fridge, and door to basement! The end is in sight, oh yes it is!

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    Work it harder, Make it better, Do it faster, Makes us Stronger, More than ever, Hour After, Our work is never Over

    Sorry to have to start with lyrics, but "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" pretty much sums up our life lately! We go to work (& school for Dave), come home work on the basement, go to sleep, and start all over again! Dave does homework while I try to keep up with the house work and cooking, we go to church on Sunday, and that's about it. But we've gotten so much done!

    This weekend we did the tile in the kitchen downstairs!!! Well, we have it laid, we still need to grout and seal it and add the trim... but I'm feeling good about what we got done.

    Dave and I started laying the tile out Saturday morning around 8. His brother Blaine joined us around 9:30 - 10:00 and I left them to the hard work so I could tear out that wall in the basement bedroom (let's be honest, I have really enjoyed tearing out walls, and I've gotten pretty good at it lately). We found with tiling two is the perfect number, 3 is too much help. When Blaine left I was able to help out with the last half of the basement. We got a pretty good system down by the time we finished.

    Last night I was able to start the tile trim. I'm going to have to either rent a tile cutter for an hour or see if I can sweet talk a Home Depot worker into cutting 4 pieces to finish off the edges. It kills me to have to pay to rent the cutter again, so we'll see what I can do when I go into Home Depot. I think I should be able to finish the trim up tonight so we can grout and seal the grout this weekend. Maybe ambitious, but it's worth a try! I'm really not sure how long it takes to grout and seal... but We'll read the directions and figure it out. I'll post some pics once we get the trim completely in (or when it's grouted... I'm not sure yet).

    Admit it, the next time you need to tear down drywall, you're totally going to call me for help! Last night I was able to cut out the drywall for the new wall and put into the bedroom. It's not too hard now that Dave's taught me how to do it. The drywall and mudding I figure this could be a side project for me when he's busy this week. That way we can spend our major time together finishing up the kitchen. We have just about 3 weeks left until Blaine and Angela get married and want to move in... so it's really getting down to crunch time!

    Side note, I totally fought off a lady trying to cut in front of me in line this week! And I WON (did you honestly expect me to loose?). I got in line, a few minutes later she comes up and steps right in front of me (she made eye contact, she knew I was there). So I move in front of her. We do this a few times before there was a cashier ready to help "who was next".

    We both sprint to the cashier and I throw my stuff down on the counter as she blurts out "I'm ready... oh, did you need something?" Yes,  I was in line before you. What makes you think I'm just going to let you go first. You don't look terminally ill, elderly, or you don't have a screaming kid... maybe you're hung over and have a killer head ache and really need to get back into bed? If so just tell me and I'll let you go first. But I didn't say that... instead I used the PC "Yes, I was waiting to check out before you. Maybe you didn't see me." So she could use the lame excuse of "Oh. You're right, I must not have seen you standing there." What can I really do but roll my eyes?

    People can either make you mad or make you smile. I decided she would make me smile and roll my eyes.

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Friday Already?!?

    I can't believe it's FRIDAY! What a crazy week it's been. I went on a business trip to Santa Barbara, CA in the beginning of the week. The weather was a little to beautiful and I came back sporting a pretty red sunburn. My co-worker Te and I manned a booth at a convention that was outside, so the left side of my face, my part line, and my left arm are a pretty shade of red.

    Between meetings the next day I decided to go swimming (we were literally across the street from the beach, who wouldn't spend their hour break swimming?). I ran right into the water but found it to be FREEZING, so I decided reading on the beach was a better option. So I pulled out Dracula and settled in for an hour of quality time with my book. The book was great, the temperature was perfect because there was a constant breeze from the ocean, and I was one of the only people on the beach. It was great until later that night when I couldn't figure out why my back was so itchy... turns out I'm so white that I ended up with a red back too.

    The conference was great! We were able to hook up with several potential partners that will do extremely well in our program. We also met a few crazies... I'll leave company names out of it, because it's not the company's fault their employees are insane. First was the man from South Africa. I've never had someone so angry at me because I market for the top credit repair law firm in the nation. Even when I met our competition they weren't as hostile! His beef was he "couldn't get credit because he wasn't born in the USA". Unfortunately he has been seriously misinformed, but he was to angry to discuss it with me.

    Second was the man from Boston that followed me around wanting to talk to me about music, partying and beer. I remember meeting this guy last year and after he found out I was LDS following me around asking me weird questions about polygamy and the temple. So this year I steered clear of that subject and ended up hearing several times about how he's been to Provo once, and there was no "WOOOH" when he was on BYU campus. By WOOOH he meant crazy college kids doing something stupid and cheering each other on in their stupidity... So we talked about BYU, beer and music every time he "happened" to run into me.

    Wednesday my brother Mike got married to Allison Poulson!!! We all grew up together: our families were best friends in Michigan. So we're glad to finally be able to call the Poulson's family (even though we've been calling them family for years). They looked so stinking happy, and her dress was beautiful! They didn't do a reception, just a little luncheon for the family that came out for the wedding. It was nice how mellow everything was, more focus on the covenants than the party. Here are a few pics:

    Right outside of the entry way of the Mt. Timp temple in American Fork.

    We had to teach Mike how to dip Allison... They certainly had fun trying!

    Dang Gina, look at those BLUE eyes! What a beautiful bride

    Mt Timp and the happy couple!

       Bride & Groom

    Here's the Brown side! Love the matchie matchie?

    Mike and Allison headed off to France and Germany for their honey moon last night. How cool that they have the opportunity to go out and explore the world together? I asked mike to bring me back a kids lederhosen if he can find one for less than $30. Can you really deny that this would be the cutest halloween costume?

    Dave took a paid day off today so he can finish his homework today, so tomorrow we can focus on the tile in the basement!!! We've finished the mudding, sanding, and painting so we're ready for the tile. I'm pretty excited to get that taken care of

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    Windows of Heaven are OPEN, Blessings are Pouring in!

    I realized last night how blessed I have been over the past year! Here are just a few things I’m thankful for:

    Dave – My best friend! We have so much fun together and he’s such a great support to me. My last semester of school I was working full time and finishing up, and he did all the cleaning, cooking and laundry so I could get good grades and survive the insanity of work. He’s just got this way of knowing what I need and providing for my needs…

    Our House – we’ve loved no longer having to rent from psycho landlords. We even love all the fix-up we’ve done! We're especially grateful we'll be able to rent out the basement and put that money directly toward the principal!

    $8,000 FTHB – we got this check yesterday!!! Not only is it nice to have the $8,000 now, but they also threw in 80 extra bucks for the “interest they owe for not getting this to us in April”. Wow, the IRS isn’t too bright, but we’ll take it

    My Job – I’ve been blessed that the internship I started 3 years ago turned into a salaried position with a company I absolutely love! Between their tuition reimbursement and Federal Grants I didn’t have to pay tuition for my last year of school. It’s been the perfect job, and it has the possibility for me to work from home when we start having kids

    Dave’s Job – Dave has worked for about 2 years at an Architecture firm downtown. The whole industry isn’t exactly thriving right now, so we’ve been concerned that he might get laid off for about a month now. Yesterday they did their second round of layoffs, and all the drafters except two were let go. Dave was one of those two. We feel extremely blessed about that

    Dave’s School Opportunity – Dave decided to go back to school and get a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design. I’m so excited that he will be in a field that is growing and will LOVE what he does! He’s been bored with drafting for a while now, and needs a new challenge. I’m also grateful that we are able to afford to send him back to school, even if us being married means he’s no longer qualified for any Federal Grants L

    Our Families – We’ve both been blessed with fabulous families that have helped and supported us every step of our lives. Recently they’ve been so helpful in fixing up our house. We really appreciate the moving, painting, dirt hauling, tile removal, plumbing and yard help that everyone has provided. Wow, thanks guys! I don’t know how anyone can get into a home without family

    Great Friends – They keep us sane, have fun with us, go camping, play games, help us move, and help us find cheap stoves ($250, whoot!). We’re so glad we’ve had great friends to supplement our lives

    New Ward / Neighbors – We’ve probably moved into the best ward in the world! Our neighbors help us with anything they see us in need of, and are soooo friendly! The neighbors across the street saw me struggeling to use the hand edger, so they came over with their electric edger and had our whole corner lot edged in less than an hour! Did I mention they’re in their 70’s??? The guy next door has told us he will snow blow our sidewalk in the winter if the car isn’t blocking it! The couple down the street let us borrow their hose when our plumbing was stopped up, so we could rinse out the pipes after we snaked it out. They’re just a friendly, helpful bunch of people!

    Travel – We’ve had the opportunity to go on a few trips over the past year (Hawaii, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon, Zion’s National Park…). It’s been so much fun to explore the country and see what is out there

    I’m sure I could think of more to be grateful for, that’s just a start. It makes me feel spoiled rotten to think of all we’ve been blessed with!

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Pictures of Our New House!

    Yesterday I forged through the office to find the cord that connects my camera to the computer. It was quite the feat, because Friday Dave was inspired to unpack his share of the office. He has it all out of the boxes, but not quite put away yet... so it was an obstacle course to get to my desk and rummage through the drawers to find the right one. BUT we succeeded! So here are some before and after pictures of the house!

    This is our new home! It's a 1963 house, but the upstairs was remodeled three years ago, so it feels brand new. There's a LOT of work to be done with the front yard, but we'll get there!

    Look! We've already gotten a lot of weeding done, and I shaped that bush in the far right corner! It was looking pretty harry when we moved in.

     This is the side of our front yard. I love how shaded it is, just perfect for laying out a blanket and reading a book. You can see the Elementary School right across the street from us. It will be nice to have it close by! The Middle School is a few streets over too, so when we have kids they will be able to walk to both.

    Also I took a picture of the covered porch / gazebo that's on the side of our driveway. it's right behind that white brick wall in the first picture. It has electricity and will be perfect for family gatherings / bbq's as soon as we get a picnic table and a bbq...

    This is the little kids play house and water fall in the back yard! They're so cute... but Dave wants to get rid of the play house and build a real tree fort. I'm trying to convince him to wait until we have kids old enough to not fall out of the fort.

    Our front door steps up to the main floor. I love the stained glass on the door, and want to change the front screen eventually so you can actually see it from outside. Right now the bars really block it from view.

    This is the nasty yellow of before! In real life the color was far more intense, I swear! It didn't even match the green and tan carpet.

    Here's the after! We painted it a green that matched the carpet, and it looks absolutely great now. I love this color more than any other color in the house.

    This is our kitchen. The counter tops are marble, and the cabinets and tile are new. It's bigger than this picture makes it seem, and there's a huge pantry around the left corner.

    So the Green chairs were our first furniture purchase for the house! I found them at DI for $8 a piece and they match our other two chairs. Eventually I will probably sand them all down and re-finish them, but they work for now.


    Now I'll take you down the hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms. Left side bathroom, master. Right side two bedrooms and a closet. I love the wood floors! They were added in the renovation. I don't love how much the prior owner loved yellow! Yellow living room, yellow hallway, two yellow bedrooms, and one orange-ish yellow bedroom.

    We didn't change anything about the bath, just added our stuff. I'm looking for a large silver frame at DI or Ross to put on the right hand side in here. I think that will finish off the room nicely. We'll see what I can find under $10.

    This is the master bedroom. Love the orange-ish yellow of before?

    We painted it a light blue to match our bedding and love it so much better!

    This is currently the library, but will one day be the baby room. I found the crib leaning against the wall at a garage sale down the street for $30! It was the grandparents of one grand child that had the crib in their house for sleepovers. It matches the wood bookshelves and rocking chair we've acquired over the years so the price was SOOO right!

    This is the office that Dave is working on unpacking! It's a mess, but I don't have a before picture of this room (because I was ok with the white walls), so this is what you get!

    Now we head downstairs to what we're turning into the basement apartment for Dave's Brother and Sister-inlaw. The base of the stairs used to open up to both the living room and the kitchen, but we've closed off the kitchen entrance, knocked out a wall that used to hold a pantry, and will put a door on the left hand side of the base so we can close off the apartment and give each of us privacy.

    This is from the entry way from the stairs. I love the fire place, but hate the wood panel. It was so much work taking it off of the bedroom wall, that it will be a little while before we remove it from this wall too.

    The downstairs family room is the entire length of the house! in the same amount of space upstairs we have our living room, two bedrooms and a closet! So the eventual plan will be to make a big bedroom at the far end and a storage closet for our camping stuff. We can't add two bedrooms, because Utah code requires a closet and a window for each bedroom, and there's only one window in this area.Through the door on the left you'll find the downstairs bathroom and another yellow bedroom!

    The bathroom is a full, but it's really small, so hard to take pictures of. The corner sink makes me smile, as does the blue tile (NOT yellow).

    Here's the downstairs yellow bedroom. It's a more calm yellow, except this is the room that had the wood panel on the one wall. Blaine and Angela have requested a blue color for this one, so after we tear out the drywall that was under the wood paneling (Dad said that would be less work than trying to sand it), we will paint it blue.

    This is what our future downstairs kitchen started out as. We were hoping we could just drop down the pipes and add a sink and stove... unfortunately the wall behind the cabinets wasn't thick enough to hold the pipes, so we tore out the cabinets and the wall. We figured while we were at it we should do the tile too... So this is what it now looks like:

    That bucket is right below the sewer pipe we installed. It's capped off, but JUST in case, we want something there to catch it. The mudding has taken far longer than I expected, but we figure with one more coat we'll be done and ready to sand. I'll have to post more pictures as soon as it's done!