Monday, November 1, 2010

Does Anyone go Trick or Treating Anymore?

Now that we are awesome adults and own a house, we were super excited to hand out candy for halloween! We went to the store and bought more candy than we should have, made sure to be home all night and we even checked to make sure that our porch light was on at least five times through out the night. Then we waited and waited and waited and no one came!!!!! Ok no one is not exactly true. We finally got one at like 8 PM and then only three more by 9 PM. Does anyone go trick or treating anymore? I know that some wards do Trunk or Treat, but I don't recall my ward doing that. I remember growing up and going to doors where people had completely run out of candy because there were so many kids out. This clearly wasn't the case this year.
When anyone did come to the door, it was as if ringing the door bell wasn't enough, they had to ring, bang on the door three times and then ring the bell three more times. For real, if we didn't hear it the first time, aren't going to hear it the second and third time! When we answered the door they just held out their bags and gave us a blank stare as if we were to just give them candy without practicing any of the pagan rituals that are required of trick or treating. Don't they know that if you want candy, you have to say the magic words?!?!
I hoped that this year might cure me of the Halloween Scroogism that I practice (which I inherited from my mom), but alas it has not. Now I have nothing but disappointment and too much candy. Halloween has failed me once again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Man's Best Friend

I used to think that dog lovers were kind of crazy. Well, maybe I still do a little, but maybe now I am more understanding of why people love their dogs so much. I just don't understand why dogs must be treated like people. THEY ARE NOT YOUR CHILDREN! Growing up, we always had pets. We mostly had cats, but we dabbled in birds and hamsters too. We only owned a dog once. I can't even remember what kind of dog it was, but I do remember that we all loved it with the exception of my parents. This may have been because the dog was impossible to potty train, chewed on everything and peed on everything. When we moved to Germany the first time and had to give him away, I don't remember my parents being too upset about it. Needless to say we didn't always live in a dog friendly world. We did, however, grow up in a cat friendly world. Don't worry, we weren't like the cat lady. We just always had cats because they are easier. They are so independent and they don't really require any work.

On my mission I hated dogs because people would use their dogs as an excuse to not talk to you. Almost every house had a dog and they all barked when you knocked on the door. For some reason barking dogs cause people to become stressed and get frazzled. I often wondered why they had dogs if they couldn't handle the barking. It was like they were saying to me oh I can't talk to you because my dog as barking I just don't know what to do. Don't use your dog as an excuse! Just man up and say no!

Now we have a new house of our own and a dog. It's a dog that Garret has had for a while, it's just been at his parents' house. I'll admit, in the beginning I never wanted a dog. They jump and shed and lick and they are dirty, but this dog isn't really like that. Her name is Precious, and she really is precious. She's a pomeranian and looks more like a huge fluff ball. She hardly ever barks and is already house broken and kennel trained. There is nothing better than coming home and having someone or really something be happy to see you. She doesn't judge you or act grumpy, she just wags her tail and runs around you in circles because she's just so happy that you are home. It really is a huge self esteem boost. She sits with you when you sit, walks with you when you walk and snuggles when you want to snuggle.

I now understand why people call dogs a Man's Best Friend. It's true! They really are! I mean cats are great, but they are kind of snobby and they only want to be nice when it's on their terms. Precious will never be viewed as one of my children. She will always be a dog and not a human, but at least now I don't hate dogs anymore.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We Have a House!

Two weeks ago we finally signed our mortgage papers and moved into our house!!!!
I found that the whole signing of the papers was very anticlimactic. I'm not really sure what i expected, but it definitely wasn't what happened. All we did was go in, sign a bunch of papers and then leave with a book of all the papers that we signed. When I say book, I mean BOOK. Holy Cow! It's like a really very boring novel. Anyway, what everyone has said is true, there are a lot of signatures and it does take some time, but for some reason I though it would be bigger. Maybe I should have requested fireworks or something. The numbers of it all were a little bit daunting, but I guess that is to be expected. Honestly, I don't feel any different. It's like your birthday when everyone asks you if you feel older. Well, no I don't feel any older, it's just a day like any other day. Being a home owner doesn't make me feel any different. On the other hand, I love my house! I also do recognize that it's pretty awesome that we've only been married for a year and we already own a house. We also celebrated our one year anniversary the day after we moved in. I would say that's a pretty dang good anniversary present to ourselves.

Now some disadvantages to having your own house...

There is no maintenance man. In our last apartment our AC broke at least twice! In the end they ended up just having to get a new AC unit all together. When the AC did break all we had to do was call the maintenance man and he came and fixed it. It was great! Now, if the AC breaks we don't have a maintenance man to call. We are the maintenance man, well lets be honest, Garret is the maintenance man.

We don't have a lawn guy who comes to mow the lawn and water it. Technically right now that's not a problem for us because we don't have lawn, just weeds. These weeds are killer weeds too. Not the kind that are green and could kind of pass as grass. They are like little mini trees and very indestructible. I'm pretty sure they will consume our house one of these day. I'm praying for for snow to come sooner so that it will cover up our house-eating weeds. I personally think that we should just make the entire backyard into cement and maybe put a pool in. That is so much better than a lawn that you have mow every week. I HATE YARD WORK!

We noticed some strange things about this house. It's brand new so all in all it's a great house, but there are a few things that it is lacking. In the bathrooms there were no toilet paper holders or towel racks. maybe it's just me, but I thought that homes came with those. Luckily we noticed that there were no rods in any of the closets before we signed any of our papers so we actually requested that those be put in. Another strange thing was that in the basement where the washer and dryer go there were faucet for the hot and the cold water, but they weren't actually hooked up to the water. There also weren't any electrical outlet hook ups. Unfortunately we did not notice that before or we would have requested that it be fixed. There was so much detail put into this house as far as the craftsmanship and the materials used, but there were just those random things that were not done.

Over all, we're so happy to be in our house. We honestly thought it would never happen.

Now I just need all of you to come and be our guests! Who's first? Any takers?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Waiting Game

If there is anything that I have learned since starting this whole buying a house process it's that there is so much involved. I mean just to submit an offer we had to sign like 50 pages of forms stating that we wanted to submit an offer before we could actually submit an offer.

This time last week we were supposed to be closing on the house and moving in, but there were some complications. Luckily these complications are not our fault, but none the less we are the ones who are suffering. Because we are getting an FHA Loan, there are a number of requirements and inspections that the house needs to pass before we can get our loan and close on the house. Every time FHA comes back with another thing that needs to be accomplished the builder says he "didn't know" these things needed to be done. So then he does it and then we have to wait until all the paper work goes through. That is what we are doing right now, waiting. It has been almost 3 weeks since the last repair was done and we have heard NOTHING. Not to mention that now because we have exceeded our allotted time for closing we have to pay a fee, which the builder refuses to pay even though it is kind of his fault that we have had to extend our closing. The longer we wait, the more fees we have to pay. I hope that I never have to buy a house again!

On the more positive side, we were at RCWilley last weekend and found this awesome couch that was on sale for half of it's normal cost and we were actually able to pay cash for it! The Even better part about it is that it's RED. I know that's kind of bold, and Garret doesn't really like it, but because he is a wonderful husband he said that I can get whatever I want. I think it would turn out pretty good. So now I have this wonderful couch waiting for me in a warehouse somewhere, if only I had a house to put it in.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Happy Homecoming

My big brother, Chris returned home last night after 6 months in Iraq. I feel so honored to have real life heros like my Dad and my brother in my family. We are all so happy that he is home and safe. It's just too bad we all couldn't be there with Lindsay to greet him on the flight line.

For those of you who know my brother, you will notice how skinny he is! He lost about 20 bounds or maybe even more while he was gone. Mostly because they don't really have much to do during their down time so they go to the gym.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Are What You Eat

This last saturday Garret was working all day which left me to entertain myself. I noticed on our Netflix Instaplay there was this documentary called "Food Inc." I'd heard a little bit about it and my interest was peaked. I could not believe what I learned! Needless to say I am so amazed at how much of what we actually put into our bodies is not food. I don't think that I can buy meat from any commercial companies anymore. I used to be a nay-sayer and poke fun at the "all natural hippies" but now I think I just might turn into one. OK maybe not a complete hippie, but I've definitely had to reevaluate my eating and shopping habits.

Yes, I am aware that documentaries such as this are meant to shock people and almost scare them into action, but I really do think that much of this is true. We, as a nation, are not healthy and I think a majority of this problem is a lack of knowledge. We just don't really know what is actually in these products that we call food.

Here are some things I've started to consider:

  1. Just because it says "Fat Free" on the label, doesn't mean that it is healthier for you. Often times when the fat is removed from a product there is usually more sodium and/or sugar added to the product which in the end negates the fat free product. Also, just because it says "fat free" also doesn't exactly mean that it's fat free. I'm not sure of the exact facts on this so correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that legally the label can say fat free on it if it is below a certain percentage of fat.
  2. If the ingredients label lists items that you can't pronounce, then you probably should not be putting it in your body. Compare your regular food products to food products that say "All Natural" on the label and you will see a difference in the ingredients. The All Natural labels truly use all natural products.
  3. Don't eat anything that says "Enriched" on the label. If something is enriched, that means things need to be added to it in order for it to be safe for you to eat. You will see this most commonly with bread and other wheat products. If the label says "enriched wheat flour" that means they have bleached the flour to make it white. When the flour is bleached, all the nutrients from the wheat is removed so food companies have to add nutrients back into it. Will someone please explain to me why flour has to be bleached in the first place?
  4. Eat meat that is cage-free and grass fed. These animals are not mass-produced, treated more humanely and less likely to have e coli. If they are not cage-free and grass fed, this usually means that they are corn fed. Corn fed animals are something that you might want to avoid. Corn fed animals gain weight at an exponential rate and it is unhealthy for the animal. Not to mention, it lessens the quality of meat that you as a consumer are paying for. It's ironic that we as a nation are the most obese nation and now our animals are also the most obese animals. Does anyone else sense a pattern here?
  5. If your budget is tight, shopping at your local Natural Foods market will not be easy. I went to one last night to check out the prices and I went into total sticker shock. Almost $30 for two chicken breasts?! Holy Cow! It's hard to go into this life style simply because it's just not cheap, but markets like this have to compete with large food corporations in order to stay in business. The more we buy the lesser the prices will be. Luckily I found out that Wal Mart has a reasonably priced selection of cage free grass fed beef and chicken products. I generally don't shop at Wal Mart, but it's impressive that a large corporation is actually listening to the consumers and giving them what they want. It's also wise to shop local. During the summer we have wonderful opportunities to shop at any local farmer's market. The great thing about a farmer's market is you are getting fresh product and you are supporting your local businesses. Farmers are able to keep up to 90% of their profits from what is sold at a farmer's market. Also, look into food co-ops. Here in Utah there is a great food co-op called Bountiful Baskets. It's very affordable and the products are all natural and fresh. Anyone can participate, just google it online.
I am for sure not claiming to be an expert on all of this, and I'm certain that some of my facts are not exactly all accurate, so if you see something that is wrong please feel free to correct me on it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

House Hunting

Garret and I have been looking at TONS of houses online for a while now. We're just so tired of renting a small shoe-box size apartment for more money than it's worth. A few months ago we looked into a mortgage payments to get an idea of how much we would be paying monthly and turns out that we would be paying pretty close to what we are paying now for rent. The choice was obvious! We finally were able to go look at houses with a realtor on saturday and we found the PERFECT house at the very end of our hunt for the day. It's brand new, built in 2009. Has dark hard wood floors and tiles in the kitchen. The counter-tops are a light garnet and the stove, fridge and microwave are stainless steel. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs and the basement is framed for 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 laundry room and a family room. The biggest down fall is that they yard is pretty much non-existent so we'll have to put a lot work into it, hopefully not a lot of money.

We put an offer in this passed monday and yesterday got a call from our agent saying the builder has accepted our offer! We close september 15 or somewhere around there.
If only I had furniture to put in it...

Monday, August 2, 2010

For School

Some wise guy from the administration at my school has decided that everyone should make an E-Portfolio for themselves so that when they graduate they can go to prospective employers and say, "Hey check out my website and look at some math problems that I did!" And naturally, this prospective employer will say, "Gee golly! I will hire you because you have this nifty website of math problems."
What the administration realized is that it was a really dumb idea after all and they are not going to require it to graduate, but they still wanted every student to participate. Well, if it's not required to graduate, then how will they get anyone to participate?
"Oh, wait, we'll just require it as a part of their grade for any general education class that each student takes and we'll hold the teachers accountable."
Lucky for me, my math teacher does not care if I start my own E-Portfolio website or not so I am posting this on my blog so that I can say I've posted something online.
Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever really asks the students what they think about all these dumb required programs that they think are for our benefit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Sand Dunes, A Broken Arm and A Drunk Driver

A few weekends ago we went to the Little Sahara Sand Dunes in Central Utah (near Delta and Tooele). Garret and I recently saved up enough money to buy a four-wheeler and I might add that we are very proud to say we did it without having to go into debt- WOOT WOOT! Anyway we decided to join Garret's boss and some friends at the dunes for a weekend. It was a blast! I had never been out there before and I was so amazed at how large the area was. You'll see in the pictures that it was sand hills for miles and miles. The fun was endless!

About 4 hours after we got there, TJ, a friend who joined us, took a jump on his dirt bike too high and too fast and broke his arm. We made a make shift brace from a part on his bike and drove him to the nearest emergency room where they gave him plenty of drugs for the pain and reset his arm.

TJ on his first dose of drugs.

In the picture above you will see that his wrist was broken in a way that caused his bones to overlap on each other. OUCH!

A broken arm will never keep TJ from riding. He may not have been able to ride his bike for the rest of the weekend, but he was still able to have some fun.
After a long drive home and a wait in yet another emergency room for TJ to get better medications for the pain, we found out that TJ would have to get surgery on his wrist. After the procedure, he would have, permanently, one plate and 8 screws in his wrist. I'm sure you are wondering if it was really worth it. I guess that is up to the individual. TJ feels that it was totally worth it and that he will be back out there as soon as he can get back on his dirt bike again, however, he is considering investing in a four-wheeler because they are slightly safer. Imagine what would have happened if he didn't have a helmet on!

After the last visit to the ER, TJ's girlfriend, Heather, and I were waiting in the Walgreen's parking lot for Garret and TJ to get his prescription filled when Heather noticed a car driving very recklessly. She hopped a curb while turning right, nearly hitting all the cars she passed and swerved into the Walgreen's parking lot. She then proceeded to bounce off the cement barrier in the parking stall at least 6 times. When she attempted to get out of her car she 1) Could not even stand on her own and 2) Her car started rolling away preventing her from getting out. She then got back into her car and laid her head against the window. We called 911 and made a report. Later that night the an officer called to get a statement from me and told me that she was so intoxicated that the local jail wouldn't take and that she had to be admitted into the hospital. It's amazing that she arrived to the Walgreen's parking lot without hurting anyone.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Powerade than We Need

About a week ago Garret called me and told me that Smith's had 32 oz bottles of Powerade on sale for $.25 each and that he was going to the store to get some. When he said "some" I was thinking maybe 10 or so. 30 minutes later he called and informed me that he bought 8 cases of Powerade. The total cost was $32 and our savings was $112! Now we have Powerade to last us a lifetime (not really, that's an exaggeration) and no place to put them. Our apartment isn't too big and we've already used all the storage space.

Here are 4 cases right inside our front door.

4 cases under our futon couch.

We've had them for almost 2 weeks and we've only completely finished off 6 bottles.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Long time no blog...

It's been about 8 months since my last blog update and I'm feeling a little out of the loop on the blogging scene! I've missed out on what everyone is up to and I haven't been doing very well at keeping all of you updated either. (I guess it's a little narcissistic of me to assume that I have this great following of other bloggers, but lets face it ignorance is bliss and if assuming that makes me feel better about myself than that's what I'm going to do).
So Garret and I got engaged and did a crash course in wedding planning. After hearing about what everyone else wanted me to do and also about all the other wonderful things I could do myself to save more money, I found myself going into information over load and wanting to pull my own hair out. Instead of taking the extra thrifty do-it-yourself-in-a-stake-center approach I chose to find a venue and pay others to do it for me. This, I think, may have been the best decision of my life!!!! To all you soon to be brides out there: when everyone tells you to take the hight road and go cheap on the wedding, DON'T DO IT! Just pay someone else to stress out for you. You'll be happier, your family will be happier and your lucky groom-to-be will actually still want to marry you!
The wedding was great, low key and super chill. I was able to use my two favorite phrases for the day, "I don't care" and "do whatever you want."

Here are so photos of the day:

We were lucky to take a short, but very fun honeymoon to San Diego. The highlights of the trip were eating real authentic Mexican food, which we thoroughly enjoyed, going Kayaking and going to Sea World. Unfortunately, we both had to get back to work so we only spent five days in San Diego. Here are some photos from that (you will notice that there are mostly only pictures of one of us at a time, but not any of us together. This is because we didn't have a third person with us to take the pictures and we lack the motivation to ask anyone to take a picture of us together.):

The best Salsa of our lives!

The whole time we were in San Diego, Garret kept saying he wanted to eat at a restaurant that sat over the ocean. We did and were very satisfied with the view, but were slightly disappointed in the food. Guess we were only paying for the experience.

"Look! It's the ocean!"

Many people were specifically avoiding these seats, we on the other hand were hoping to get soaked.

Garret's first In'N Out experience.

After five days of literal paradise we came home to this:

Shame on us for thinking it would actually take care of itself while we were gone.

We've also gone through our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day and move in this time as well. Garret got a new job in Clearfield, which meant that the only thing we were doing in Morgan was sleeping, literally. We have found a great apartment in Layton, right across from the mall and are happy to enjoy a shorter commute to work and school and more time with each other. Not sure if this country boy will be able to survive the city yet, but I guess we'll find out won't we.