Wednesday, March 4, 2015

you can always be found

We made it!  One very, very long day of driving, one very, very long day without water in the house, and a few very, very long days of unpacking...we live here.  We keep joking that we feel like we just crawled out of a hole.  We walk into a Super Target or a Trader Joe's and our eyes get wide and we start frantically grabbing things off the shelves before we remember...we live here now.  We can come shop any time we want.

So this is a little house tour post--well, just my living room and kitchen.  David and Joony are napping right now, but the house was mostly tidy so I grabbed my camera and went with it.  We signed a lease on this little patio home without ever seeing it, which was risky, but we moved so quickly!  We had reliable sources saying the neighborhood was good and we chatted with the landlords and whatever, we moved in.  The carpets (in the bedrooms--the main areas are tiled) were gross and the place is a little scuffed up but I really love it.  It's the first time we've been in a home-home with no shared walls (the house we bought in Rexburg is a town home) AND we have a little patio backyard.  It's been so, so fun to enjoy this gorgeous weather* and go on walks and have windows open.  We had dinner with my family on Sunday night, a first for us since we've been married!  We live near family!

I always preface any kind of house tour with this disclaimer but...this is so not a "Lookit mai DIYz err'body!" post.  I love pictures of our old apartments and houses and remembering what it was like to live there, so I keep posting pictures of my same stuff in different spaces.  I've never painted a room, never really crafted anything special, never bought spiffy things to show off.  I don't have an eye for design, I just like cozy spaces filled with things that make me happy.  So here is our cozy space filled with things that make us happy:

 Color coding my books! What?! I usually sort by topic, but I left 3/4 of my library in storage and since they're out in the living room I thought this would be fun. And I was right! I love it.
 While my mom was visiting we tackled a washi art project on the main wall in the living room.  I'm so happy with it!  It's fun and colorful and maybe a little southwestern, so perfect for right now.

 Ah, old kitchen cabinets.  And I baked cupcakes last night, so aren't I just the fanciest! ;)
 I freaking LOVE having a window looking out into our backyard, and my father in law got us a hummingbird feeder so now I can watch the birds come and go (and Tina can yell at them from her perch on the windowsill).

Not bad, right? I was actually very pleased with how quickly we got unpacked. It seemed to take months to get settled in our last house.  This will be a great little place for us while we get situated here in Mesa and start to think about house hunting.  Huzzah!

*My goal with this move: not become one of those people who won't. shut. up. about how warm their home is during winter months when everyone is talking about snow. Fingers crossed

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I scream it to the nothingness

1. Joony is totally weirded out. He's clingy, whiny, confused, and I don't blame him one bit.  Every time we ask him about the move to Arizona he says "Ayzona? NO. No Ayzona, Mom." We're working on it.
2. Tina is weirded out.  She creeps around the boxes, chews on the cardboard, and is simultaneously clingy and distant. Stay sharp, Teen! Soon we will need a scorpion hunter!
3. Moving mid-semester sucks.  We're trying to stay on top of school work and packing and cleaning and being decently attentive parents and inevitably something slips through the cracks on any given day.
4. Dave putting his two weeks in three weeks before we leave was the best decision ever.  It's so nice to have time together and to share the packing workload.
5. I'm trying to embrace the chaos of a house in progress: all the stuff that can't get tossed into boxes is on the counters, piles of clothes for the next week on the bedroom floor, our garage slowly filling with boxes and furniture...I've morphed into a kind of neat freak over the last year or two (who am I?!) and my inner Monica Geller is having a heart attack.
6. My routine is all off. I have a very specific nap time routine and I thrive on it. I put Joony down, I tidy the living room, I make lunch, and I sit down to eat it while I do nothing else but watch bad TV.  I crave the quiet time, but when there is so much to be done, it hardly seems practical to spend a chunk of time being a vegetable.  It's silly, but I miss the quiet nap hours to myself.
7. HOW DO WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF? We have donated so much stuff and still...there is a lot of stuff.
8. I'm a sentimental mess, ready to burst into tears at any given moment.  I've started saying good-byes and I'm spending way too much time crying.  It is so, so strange to be so sad and so excited at the time time.
9. How am I leaving Rexburg?! I never thought I would leave this town, really, I didn't.
10. I keep reminding myself, over and over and over again, that home isn't this town or this house, it's David and Joony and even Tina. I'm not leaving home, I'm bringing home with me, it's going to be okay, EVERYBODY JUST STAY CALM ALLRIGHT.
11. Tomorrow Joony and I head to Salt Lake, Saturday morning David meets up with us with the UHaul and we drive the rest of the way.  In less than three days we will be in Arizona.  THREE. ARIZONA.
12. I wish I was a graceful mover, like I wish I had a cute bandanna holding stray curls off my face and oversized but charming work clothes...instead I'm working with a Gene Simmons bun, smeary mascara, no bra, dirty feet from walking in and out of the garage, and sweaty armpits.
11. I really shouldn't be blogging right now, you know?  I should be packing my kitchen. Send good vibes. See you guys in Arizona.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

this is our town

I warned you, didn't I? This is unnecessarily cheesy. I'm incredibly sentimental and nostalgic these days though, so just roll with me here. I've got one more week here and I'm not missing a single opportunity to be sappy.

I've lived in this town for over seven years now (SEVEN!).  Almost a quarter of my life. Mine and David's entire story takes place in Rexburg, and even though it is remote and snowy and slushy and has so many obnoxious BYUI students, it is a very special place.
pic jacked from Ashley's Instagram

We ran our little clothing store here.  I love this part of our story and I always want to talk about it but I worry it seems braggy.  We bought the store when we had been married for just 2 months and we had it for almost 5 years (2008-2012).  The customers were often rude and the hours were long and there was such an unbelievable learning curve, but I'm so proud we stuck it out and eventually sold it instead of going under like so many other businesses in Rexburg do.  We learned a lot about working hard and working together and decision making in that store.  I worked until just 3 days before I had Joonerbugs, so truly our entire pre-human baby life was store baby life.

Clark!  This is the only place our son has known.  We were married for almost 4 years before we had him, and now he's almost 3, and all of that happened here in town.  He was born at Madison Memorial, just a couple blocks away from our apartment on Main Street, the tiny one bedroom we brought him home to.  I don't think he'll have any memories of living here, and that makes me a little sad, because we've had so much fun.

BYU-Idaho.  It's a weird little school with a weird little student body, and I know a lot of people roll their eyes at it, but I really did love my time there.  I started my first semester feeling very, very lost and I graduated wholly in love with writing.  BYUI gave me that beautiful gift and I will always refuse to hate on it because of that.  I'm a little sad I won't be sticking around long enough to try and land a job in the English department.

All the food I love here.  This is so silly.  Are you ready?  The Cocoa Bean, the adorable little cupcake shop that I go to probably too often.  Snakebite, the best freaking burger of your whole freaking life on the river in Idaho Falls.  Cupbop, the Korean BBQ inside the grocery store that is dreamy good.  Soda Vine, where they make my dirty Dr. Peppers and never poke fun at me being in their drive through multiple times every week.  Our beloved, beloved taco bus.

Mostly I'll miss all the little routines.  Driving 90 minutes up the road to West Yellowstone to eat Beartooth Barbecue and go to a Playmill show every summer, where I always knew at least 1 or 2 people in the cast. Taking visiting family to Mesa Falls and stopping along the way to throw bread to the massive trout (also the place where I ran my half marathon!).  Riding my bike all over town in the summertime.  Bundling Joony up as much as I could to go for a 15 minute walk to the ice cream shop down the road. My best friend living across the street from me and having Pie & Broad Shpitty nights every week.  My yearly ice slip where I fall flat on my back (I might not actually miss that one very much).

I can't even tell you how many incredible friends I've made here, and with the exception of a few, every single one has left this little town for new lives and big adventures.  I always hug them tight, and I tear up and try not to break into sobs in front of them, and I tell them they'll visit and I'll visit, and then I always call my mom afterwards while I wail-sob into the phone about how unfair it is.  How very, very tired of good-bye I am.  How exhausting it is to keep trying to form new friendships.

I've imagined over and over what it would be like when it was my turn to get in a car and drive away, imagined where I might be headed, what it might feel like to leave for the last time.  I thought I would feel so much relief and happiness, but you know what?  Right now I just feel sad and prematurely homesick for this place that was always supposed to be temporary but became home somewhere along the way.  It feels unfair that my family is in California, and David's is in Georgia, and we've made this home in Idaho, and now we're going to Arizona, so no matter where I go I'm always missing someone, and usually a couple someones.  I have been desperately lonely and sad and cold, but I have also lived glory days here.  It will always sort of feel like home. I always wanted to be Arizona-bound when I left here and I am so grateful that we are...but I love Rexburg and I am heartbroken to be closing this chapter.

Monday, February 9, 2015

totally free

This morning Joony woke up grumpier than grumpier than grumpy. He was...really grumpy.  I decided a miniature road trip was in order, asked him if he wanted to get dressed so we could go have some fun, and he burst into tears. Oy.  Anyways, we hopped on the highway and headed for Ashton.  We saw a sign for coffee, pie, and free wifi, so we stopped hoping they would have hot chocolate and sugar cookies too and...success! We had ourselves a little date then continued on up the road to Warm River, which is where we go feed the massive fish every time we have family in town.  Tossing bread into the river and watching it get snatched up is a lot of fun, but the real winner is always the drive.  It's scenic and beautiful and so, so peaceful.  I brought the big camera and tried not to tear up too much.  It's very strange to be entering the "lasts" of our time here...David's last Monday at his job, our last drive to Warm River...well, anyways, here are the pictures. I might frame one in our new Mesa house to remind me how beautiful Idaho winters are when I get homesick.

It was unusually warm for a February day, so we even cracked the windows for a while on the drive home and enjoyed the mountain air.  We were listening to a Mumford & Sons CD (my favorite for driving) and Joony got a big smile at one point and said "Mom...a song? Yeah."  I asked if he liked this song and he grinned and said "Oh yeah...reeree good!" Time together outside was just what we needed today.

Friday, February 6, 2015

marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

Almost exactly one year ago, we bought a house here in Rexburg.  I wrote about that decision in this post, which was mostly about how we had always really wanted to end up in Arizona, but had decided to stay in Rexburg because of David's job.   Just a few months after we bought this house, we started serious talk about grad school, which wasn't something we had really considered before.  We dove into this new ambition, which was so right for both of us, and over the last few months it's started shaping some new options for the next stage of our lives.
I keep finding roundabout ways to get to this point and none of them feel right.  The point is this: we're moving to Arizona!  We're just doing it.  In two freaking weeks!  We're scaling back David's workload so he can focus more fully on school, I'm going to start getting some work experience for my resume, and when we graduate...we'll already be in the place we want to find jobs in. The plan is perfect!  We will finally be around family.  We will be near an airport (we have to drive FOUR hours to Salt Lake to fly anywhere from Rexburg).  We found the cutest little house to rent for a while until we're ready to buy again.  This a good, scary, exciting time for us.  Arizona! It's happening.
(Next on deck: a ridiculously sappy post about leaving Rexburg. You have been warned)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Here's a fascinating look at a very normal day in my life:
Angry Tina is ready for breakfast.  Geez, Teen.
Angry Joony says I'm not turning George on fast enough.

My breakfast + going over the day's to-do list
Laundry. Always. Never ending laundry.
Joobers and I play "tucks, chains, panes" (trucks, trains, planes).
Nap time: brownie, dirty Dr. Pepper, Friends on Netflix.
Joony's after-nap snack: peanut butter LaraBar ("cookie bar" heh heh heh).
Home from running errands, clutter explosion on my kitchen table.

Bloody noses...all the freaking time.
Blurry picture of baby Teen, who only sometimes lets me hold her like this.
Our favorite dinner! Roasted brussel sprouts, bacon, and chicken. Leftovers are amazing the next morning scrambled with an egg or two. We do this dinner at least once a week.
...and dishes done so I wake up to a clean kitchen. Only happens sometimes.
(I uploaded these and thought, "Why? Why am I posting these? #blogging)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

awake, my soul

I believe so strongly in girlfriends.  I truly think it's vital to my health (I'm not even being hyperbolic here) to have women in my life to connect with.  Every Thursday afternoon I have a Skype date with my high school best friend.  On Wednesday nights I go to Pie & Broad City Shpitty night, where my BFF Shpitty and I watch Broad City and eat pie (was that explanation necessary?).  One time I started crying on my way to lunch because I was so grateful to be on my way to see friends.  I've had times in my life that felt so desperately lonely, I just don't feel able to take these connections for granted any more.

In 2009 I tried out and got into my college's improv team.  I was shocked, intimidated, and so, so excited. Carrie was on the team with me and I was in awe that she wasn't just funny, you know, for a girl--she held her ground and proved time and time again to be just as clever as the guys on our team.  I'd seen her in Comic Frenzy shows before and was totally star struck and intimidated when I met her (that seems silly to admit now because Carrie is so down to earth and friendly that she probably wouldn't have blinked if I'd just hugged her that first day and been like "Be my new best friend?").  Carrie introduced me to Liz, a genius poet/actress, and Darcy, who is hilarious and always looks magazine-ready.  The four of us used to hang out at Panache every Friday at 2:00, which prompted the nickname F@2 for our group (is this high school? I don't care, I love it).

Right after I started doing improv, I met Brooke.  She worked in the office next to the store, so she would stop by and we'd talk about clothes and school and our husbands.  Brooke is one of those people that makes you feel at ease right away.  She's outgoing and genuinely interested in the things you're saying.  We got together with our husbands one evening and everyone hit it off, which is the unicorn of friendship in the married world.  The weekend of my first improv show, I casually mentioned to Brooke that I would be performing, and her and Nick actually showed up.  I was so touched and blown away by that.  We became instantly inseparable, they lived next door to us, and we would have dinner together almost every night.  When they moved away to Utah I cried for days.  Now, Brooke is turning her house into a magazine spread, it is so beautiful, and is on her way to becoming the world's greatest speech pathologist.
Brooke was the first of those friends to leave me in Rexburg, but everyone slowly trickled off, too.   Carrie went to Utah, then Denver, then Utah again, and Darcy went to Georgia, and Liz is in Salt Lake becoming a famous actress, but we've all kept in touch.  We have this group text that's almost constantly got some kind of dialogue going, and it's the perfect place to be like "Omg what if I kill my son today? I'm going to lose my mind," and then everyone rushes to text back and be like "You're an amazing mom! You'll be okay! Hang in there!" and it's so, so nice.
If you're still reading at this point, well, my hat is off to you ("and my HAND is off to YOU!" name that show).  I just wanted to illustrate how incredible it was when Darcy alerted us that she was going to be in Utah for the weekend, and Carrie decided to drive a couple hours, and Liz offered her apartment for brunch, and then I talked to Brooke and we arranged a could I not sprint down to to Utah for 24 hours?  I left on Saturday afternoon and came back Sunday evening--8 hours of driving in less than 24 hours.  It wasn't ideal, but I'm telling you, this is how much I believe in the power of women friendships.  I got In N Out twice, went on a Trader Joe's shopping spree, spent over 4 hours lounging around Liz's apartment talking, drove around talking Brooke's ear off, it was just the greatest.

I think it is so important to get out of the house after a long day of talking to a toddler to have a conversation with someone on an equal level, someone you can bounce ideas off of and exchange hair compliments with.  I love talking books and religion and feminism, and then I also love being like "Should I get a boob job?  Are my eyebrows too thick?  Did you see that weird blog post by that one blogger?" It's programmed in us to need to connect with other people, and I really think that there's a certain kind of sadness that forms when that need isn't being met.  I'm so used to feeling left behind living in such a transient town, and this weekend was a wonderful reminder that these women who have spread out across the country aren't gone from my life, they just don't live next door anymore.  We still care deeply about one another and that support system still exists, just in a different way than it once did.  It's also so good for my writing to pick a brain that isn't my own and to hear about how someone else sees the world.  It's just all so beautiful that I came home and organized a Galentine's Day party to celebrate the women in my life. I LOVE GIRLFRIENDS.