Saturday, April 4, 2015

don't you dare look back, just keep your eyes on me

When I blogged about us coming to Arizona, it was hard to talk about all the specifics of picking up our life and plopping it down 900 miles away.  The first thing people would ask when I'd say we were moving was "Oh, so David got a new job?" And the answer was "Um...he quit his old job!"  We had the back-up excuse of being online students with student loans available to us for living expenses, but that didn't feel like a real solution, only a temporary one.  I guess I didn't want to delve into crazy details because of how very irresponsible it made me feel.  This was both an impulse move and it wasn't an impulse move.  We've been wanting to be in Arizona for years, but we decided very quickly that we were tired of wanting and ready to start making it happen...and the making it happen meant taking a few leaps.
I ran out to grab the mail and had the whole gang waiting when I walked back up the driveway
So this is the story of our huge leap of faith, told after the fact so I (hopefully) don't seem insane.

For employment, David found some part-time contracting work to do from home, which we thought would be enough to supplement with student loans for the time being.  He'd applied for some jobs in Arizona, but without direct contacts at most of the places, it was hard to make an Idaho resume get past an initial screening stage and we didn't hear back from anyone right off the bat.  So he took the part-time and we called that good enough to quit his job in Rexburg.  That really set the wheels in motion.

The next step was to rent our townhouse out, because we can't pay rent and a mortgage.  This also didn't happen immediately.  So...we moved anyways.  We just left our house empty and prayed like crazy that the right people would come along before BYUI's April semester.  Making that March mortgage payment was painful.

Maybe now you're getting an idea of just how scary our drive to Arizona felt for me.  Our house wasn't rented, David only had 25 hours of work lined up every week, and I was in the thick of midterms.  And Joony was in the backseat occasionally saying in the saddest voice, "I wanna go home, mom."  I just kept thinking "Is this right? Were we crazy? We were crazy. We're irresponsible idiots."

About one week ago, we hit the one month mark of our time here in Mesa.  In this last week, these things happened:
- I finished up my winter semester with straight As.  I saw those final grades go up and I just burst into tears.  Being in school during a move like this, especially a program that asks for writing on such a personal level, it felt like too much.  That victory was an affirmation to me.
- Our house rented.  We found out someone had turned in an application and we just held our breath for the two days before they signed a lease...but it happened.  Our mortgage will be paid!
- David received a full-time offer that he's so excited about--a job he applied for back in January and didn't think he got.  The interview process started before this last week, of course, but that official offer came in and I don't think we've stopped grinning since.

So in a week David starts his new job and I'll start my third semester and we're thinking that's when it will sink in: we're not on vacation--we live here!  We'll be able to get into a more permanent routine (David working from home has been really hard for both him and Joon), which will feel really good.  In the meantime, it's been a non-stop celebration.  It feels like the good news just keeps rolling in.  Sometimes it's scary when so many things go right.  It's hard not to think that it's too good and it's about to get really bad, because isn't the universe pretty balanced like that?  Either way, we're in a happy fog over here.  We feel so grateful that this move all came together for us and we cannot believe we're building a life in Arizona now.  Arizona!  And I have a CAT! Like I've had one for the last six months or so, but still.  A cat in Arizona! This life.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

baby, you light up my world

Here's another edition of the funny things Clarkjoon says lately...which, again, might only be funny to me because I live with him and seeing his thought processes is my very favorite thing. He is almost three! Two has been really hard for me, I don't think I've been shy about saying that on here, but I'm hopeful three will be better.  Three has to be better. Despite the condescending "Just you wait!" threenager crowd, I'm hopeful.  We're communicating better, the tantrums are...manageable, and I feel like I'm enjoying him more. That might just be because I got so tired of feeling so defeated and being so hard on myself, you know? It's draining to be that way.  I've been trying really hard to enjoy Joony and to focus on the fun we've had at the end of each day instead of mulling over the hard parts.  It's working.  Some days it feels a bit like a marriage, doesn't it?  Choosing to love someone, seeing them do frustrating things, living with their habits, but knowing that the bigger picture is so much more important than those little details.  But then he'll ask for "sheepy night-night," which is when we cuddle up and talk about our day before he goes to bed, and it's all easy.
Well, that was a tangent.  Here's some quotable Clark, age two-almost-three:

"Mom, I need a cupcake."
"Um...I don't think so, buddy."
"Mom, I need cheese crackers."
"Sorry, dude! Not right now."
"Mom...I need food!"

"Hi, big Joony!"
"Hi, big Mommy!"

"Good night, big Joony."
"Good night, big Mommy."
"I love you, baby."
"I BIG love you, Mommy!"
When David tried to tickle him during Curious George time: "Not funhee, Dad."

While trying to get him to try swimming in a life jacket without holding onto us: "Not cool, Dad! Not. cool."

After hitting me and getting into huge trouble, he ran into the kitchen and returned a second later with a Diet Coke in hand.  After a big sigh, he said "Mom need a fo-dink." (fo-dink = soda drink)

Watching David attach our new shower head and test the seal by spraying water out of the hose attachment, while giggling: "Daddy go peepee."

After I say "Oh, crap" or "Dang it!" or "Freaking A" or anything that hints at frustration/fear/negative emotion: "You okay, mom?" "Yep! I'm fine!" ....."You okay, mom?" "Yes! 100%." ... "You arright, mom?" (repeated for 20-30 minutes)
Sitting in the front seat of the truck (airbags turned off, DUH):
Me: "I like riding in the car with you!"
Him: *super fake laugh* "No, mom. We ride in the TRUCK."

When he sees something cool in the store: "I take it home?"
When he sees an ambulance/garbage truck/policeman/dump truck/mixer: "Follow him, mom."

I love you more than anything in the world, Joonybugs.

Friday, March 27, 2015

when that sun goes down

Part two of our house tour! The REVEAL of the bedrooms, I know you've been dying to see. Stay calm, guys. The time is now!

The master bedroom (insert uncomfortable joke about magic happening):

 Don't mind my stack of clothes ready for eBay...lots of staging happening in these photos, you guys! Lots of staging.

(still so freaking proud of that dresser even though now I want to put legs on it maybe?)

...and here's Joony's room!  His is always one of my favorite places in the house.  It's filled with the things that make him happy and we spend so much time in here building train tracks and cooking in his play kitchen

...and that's our little Arizona house!  There's another bedroom and two bathrooms, but those aren't being included in this tour because the bedroom is Dave's office/storage and the bathrooms are...well, bathrooms, you know? Like you've seen a toilet and an Ikea shower curtain before, right?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

it seems like years since it's been clear

Wait...I have a blog?
I just submitted my final assignment of my second semester, a ridiculously massive, one-third-of-my-grade paper, and now I feel like dancing...or writing a really silly, indulgent blog post.  Here's the latter.
Unrelated picture of my son, because he is almost three and he drives me crazy every single day but he is clever and funny and sweet and we're sitting in the backyard right now in Arizona and I love it.

1. The Last Man on Earth: starring Will Forte from SNL and Kristen Schaal from Flight of the know it's going to be funny, right? It's so good!  There are only a couple episodes so far and you can watch them all on Hulu.
2. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: has Ellie Kemper from The Office.  I watched the entire dang first season in four days.  It's hilarious, so quotable, and has a million people you will be thrilled to see...Martin Short, Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Nick Kroll, omgsh.  Entire season on Netflix.

1. Vanilla Bean Cupcakes These were so good, but I should have worked faster in distributing them to friends and family! I couldn't eat all of them myself (although Joony would have if I'd let him).
2. Three-Ingredient Butter Cookies.    I made the butter cookies with jam filling and sprinkles filling (because I was craving some Funfetti action).  Both were pretty good! Not life changing, but they are so simple to make and you most likely have all the ingredients at home already, so it's a great one to have on hand.

1. Boursin. Joanna mentioned it here this morning and I went and got some (less than $4!) along with a loaf of half-baked bread.  I put the bread in the oven while I uploaded my last assignment just now and BOOM...celebration bread and cheese! It was so good I nearly cried.
2. The macarons from the freezer dessert section--6 vanilla, 6 chocolate, $5. So much cheaper than getting them from a bakery and they're so good!  You just have to defrost 20-30 min. before eating.

1. Washi tape wall art! My mom helped me put this beauty up on our living room wall and I'm so happy with it:

2. Redoing a dresser. I got the RAST from IKEA, which is just a simple raw wood dresser, and then stained the frame and painted the drawers.  I'm also happy with how this turned out!

1. A travel tray for Clarkjoon's lap. This is so simple and smart!  It makes eating and playing in the car 50 times easier.
2. A $17 shower head. SEVENTEEN DOLLARS and just how have I taken a jillion showers under crummy rental showers without making this tiny investment?  Our shower now feels like a magic rain forest hotel shower. I'm not exaggerating here, it's incredible.

1. Zupas. I got the ultimate grilled cheese and lobster bisque soup. Holy effffffffffff.
2. Kneaders. Turkey sandwich and fruit tart, best lunch ever. How stereotypical are these food choices? I JUST MOVED HERE okay. I don't know local spots. I know chains I've wanted to try forever and haven't been able to because Rexburg has a McDonald's and an Applebee's.

1. Pop Art by Brian Doyle. This made tears come out of my face.  I read a few other pieces by him and every freaking one is so beautiful. He has a new fan.
2. Leviathan. I go nuts when something new by David Sedaris gets, when don't you want more of The Rooster?! And more of Lou Sedaris, ugh this one is sweet.

Monday, March 9, 2015

so no one told you...

OKAY.  Do you watch Friends?  I love it.  I love it so much.  The acting is cheesy, the clothes are so dated, some of the jokes are over the top, but I love it.  We never had TV growing up, but I somehow decided to start collecting the Friends DVDs and watching them out of order as I'd get each season...and then again in the correct order, and then multiple times since then.  I love Friends.  So now, I have collected my favorite episodes by character, and then by couple, and then overall, so that all this time I've spent watching Friends (or having it playing in the background while I do housework/homework) isn't a waste! ...just kidding, it's still a waste.  It's on Netflix as of the beginning of this year, so of course I watched it AGAIN from start to finish.  HERE IS MY WISDOM! (As Joey would say, "I am very wisdomous.")

Best Rachel episode: The One With the Videotape (Top 5!)
OH my gosh, I love this episode so much.  It might be my favorite of the whole series.  Ross and Rachel argue over who came onto whom, and it turns out it's all on videotape and there's the amazing hiking in Italy story. The writing here is just so good, too.

Best Monica episode: The One That Could Have Been
Monica in a fat suit! And she's so funny and sweet, and her and Chandler are still so cute together, and everyone is just hamming it up.

Best Phoebe episode: The One Where Everyone Finds Out (Top 5!)
Okay, so everyone starts finding out Chandler and Monica are dating, and to mess with them, Rachel and Phoebe come up with a plan for Phoebe to start hitting on Chandler. It's ridiculous and Phoebe is so, so, SO funny in it. "I'll use the best tool at my sexuality."
Best Chandler episode: The One With All the Thanksgivings
Another flashback episode, so of course it's awesome because any opportunity to see Monica in a fat suit is golden.  BUT we also get to see Chandler call Monica fat in the 80's, then profess his love to her in the present day.

Best Joey episode: The One With the Jam (Top 5!)
Joey breaks his arm by jumping on the bed (?) and Monica makes a ton of jam, and Joey eats a lot of jam and just has some really adorable one-liners. "Remember when you were a kid...and your mom would drop you off at the movie theater with a jar of jam and a spoon?"
(**close second: The One Where Joey Dates Rachel. Joey is so sweet and charming and obviously there's this whole Ross/Rachel series arc blah blah blah but a little part of me wanted it to work out with him and Rachel! Joey is just the sweetest)

Best Ross episode: The One With Unagi
Ross tries to convince Phoebe and Rachel that they don't have "unagi," total awareness needed to defend themselves at anytime.  Everyone makes fun of Ross because unagi means salmon skin roll.

Best Ross & Rachel episode: The One With the Prom Video (Top 5!)
Rachel with a huge nose! Flashback episodes are my favorite and I adore watching college Ross win over present-day Rachel.

Best Monica & Chandler episode: The One With the Birth Mother
Monica & Chandler go to meet a potential birth mother (Anna Faris!), who thinks they're a doctor and a reverend because of a mix up (which is REALLY funny because the case worker is played by Jim O'Heir, who is Jerry on Parks & Rec, so he messes things up no matter what show he's on).  Monica pretending to be a reverend is hilarious, but there's also an insanely sweet moment at the end.  "I love my wife more than anything in this world. And kills me that I can't give her a baby.  I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I'll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife...she's already there. " TEARS.

Best Phoebe & Mike episode: The One With Princess Consuela
"If you need an easy way to remember it, just think of a bag of crap." Ugh, I love these two. Also, their wedding episode is the cutest.  I wish Phoebe and Mike had more screen time overall.

Best Everyone Episodes: The One Where No One's Ready (Top 5!)
The best bottle episode EVER. Really, maybe the best episode of Friends ever?  Monica's all paranoid, Joey and Chandler are arguing, Phoebe gets the hummus, Ross is impatient, Rachel can't decide what to's all the best things about everyone.

The One With the Embryos
Monica and Rachel go up against Chandler and Joey to see who knows the others best, they do it game show style, and Ross puts it on.  Also, Phoebe gets artificially inseminated with her brother's babies. Pretty much everyone is hilarious in this one.

Now tell me your favorite episodes/moments/characters!  What did I leave out?

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.