Friday, July 30, 2010

Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel, Push Along. Do Your Duty With A Heart Full Of Song

When the missionaries came over for dinner last week they gave us short but sweet lesson on the importance of treating the book Preach My Gospel like scripture by studying it, pondering it etc. Ever since then y wonderful husband has gotten up early, taken the babies out to the living room and read PMG along with his scriptures. He even got out his old mission journal. Yesterday he got back from a priesthood meeting and said we need to be more diligent about family prayer and scripture study.

My husband is the best husband in the whole wide world. I'm so glad I have such an awesome husband who is so great about these kinds of things. I couldn't ask for a better husband or father of m y kids. He makes me strive to be a better person.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Well I Would't Want to Turn My Back on a Fellow Laundry, Um . . . Person. Well If We Can't Stick Together...

Tuesday marked one week since we moved into our new apartment. I can say we are officially moved in as of Tuesday. The pictures are on the walls, the furniture is arranged and we know where everything can be found (except the camera, which Drek packed in one of his bottomless boxes and I don't want to put in the effort to find) and life is more or less settling into a routine.

Today I'm doing the first deep-cleaning of the whole house. It won't take that long, the house is very small. Sadly, it's also missing washer and dryer hook-ups. When we signed the contract, I thought it would be fine and I could live with going to the laundry building to do laundry. Now, a week later, I remembered why we dropped everything to move out of our first teeny-tiny apartment and into a townhouse twenty minutes away, tripling our rent; so I could do laundry at home. Yeah, the triple rent was worth it. Why didn't I remember that BEFORE I signed the contract?

It kills me that we spent the time and money to buy a washer and dryer, that we've spent the time and effort to move that washer and dryer through three states, and that the washer and dryer are taking up valuable space in this teeny-tiny apartment, and yet, I am not using them, and that I can't use them for at least six months. Grr.

Oh, well. Life goes on and I suppose I could stand to learn a lesson on wearing the same thing over and over... and over again. The hard part is the babies. If they could get through a single night without leaking through their diaper, that would make things a lot easier.

At least I don't have to deal coins. This apartment complex gives everyone laundry cards. You load cash onto the card and then insert the card into the machine. It also makes it easier to know how much you've spent on laundry. For instance, I know that it one week I've spent exactly ten dollars and fifty cents in the machines, plus the cost of the soap. Although I suppose I'm not paying for the water of the electricity. Still, ten dollars?! That's a lot! Especially for someone who has never had to pay to do laundry before.

Yesterday we did laundry again. By "we" I mean me and the babies. Ash held the card to make herself useful. She a very helpful child. I ran out of money on the card so I picked through the laundry basket and only washed the most important stuff in one load. While we were waiting for the laundry to finish I took the babies swimming in the pool because it is right next to the laundry building. We had a great time. We played in the pool until Ash got too cold, then we sat in the sun until we warmed up, then we played in the pool again. To get the babies, the wet swim suits, the dirty laundry I couldn't do, and the clean laundry I did do, all back to the apartment, I had to make three trips, taking the babies with me each time. It was...exhausting.

There has to be a better way. I've heard of doing laundry in your own bathtub, anyone know how to do that? I already make my own laundry soap, can I make my own washer? I suppose that's not the hard part; the hard part would be drying the wet clothes. We have no yard, we're not allowed to hang laundry on our patio, and when I tried to dry the clothes in our front room it took two days because of the humidity, and that was after they had spent a cycle in the dryer. If they're dripping wet I can't have them over the carpet. Hmmm, this might take a little creativity.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What Are You Doing Here? You Invited Me. I Never Thought for a Second You'd Be Stupid Enough to Come! Well That Makes You a Tease

SunLand has the best weather, period. It is so great, it makes everything here awesome. Very awesome. The air smells...delicious. All the time. The flowers here make the air small amazing. I love breathing here. Is that weird?

I went running this morning in the amazing air. Hooray! I haven't been running in over a month. Eek. I'm back with zero lung capacity and all fat and no muscles. But today was amazing. I ran barefoot (for the first time since I was small), I ran in the most perfect weather, I ran through a park, I ran down a hill with the most amazing view and I loved every minute of it. I'm starting back at two miles, but by November I'll be up to twenty-six miles.

At the end of my run I was in my apartment complex's parking lot when two guys rushed across in front of me to their car. I stopped and went back.
"Are you missionaries?" I asked. They look surprised, but answered that they were. We chatted for a few seconds and I told them they should come over for dinner sometime since they live in the same complex. One of them perked up and said "Well, actually, we don't have a dinner planned for tonight, can we come at five?" So the missionaries are coming over for dinner! Here I am, first week living in the mission field and I will have already found and fed the missionaries! How great is that?!

We went to a grocery store last night. They sold avocados five for a dollar. I almost melted of sheer joy right then and there. The sad part was this morning when we went to the farmer's market and discovered that everything is more expensive than at the store. I'm very upset, but have some more ideas.

Drek found a frisbee golf course not far from our house. He's there right now. He's very happy.

Oh! and we won a raffle at our apartment's crime prevention social. We won fifty dollars of our next rent payment! Things are going very well. I'm excited to be here. We haven't been swimming yet, or to the beach, but we will. We have lots of time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Know The Road is Long, But Where You Are Is Home

Aaaaaaaaand we're here! Here in SunLand!

By the time Drek came home on Thursday I had packed most of the house up into out banana boxes. Halfway through packing I realized I needed easy access to all the already packed boxes, so I arranged them in easy-to-get-to rows. And then. . . well, I'm a nerd. Need I say more?
I built a fort. It rocked.

We loaded the truck on Friday (I loaded most of the boxes myself, mei-mei and her roommate and her friend came over to help load the rest of the boxes and the furniture. Toshi came to help with the last bit. It really didn't take very long), we drove to hometown on Saturday, drove to a casino with a rollercoaster on Sunday (it was a really, really, fun roller coaster) and we drove in to Sunland Monday morning. We spent the day frantically looking for an apartment, then found an apartment and spent the rest of the day frantically trying to get cash to buy a money order so we could pay our deposit. Blec.

We got a hotel for the night while the apartment finalizes our paperwork. We can move in about an hour. Hooray!! So, I think everything went fairly well. The babies survived, Acouchi survived (barely. She is so very angry) and the truck is not on fire. All that means success, right?

The apartment is nice, the area is really nice, and there is a park right next to the apartment. There are also a lot of stores close by so I hope I can get away with walking everywhere! We signed a lease for six months, so we have six months to buy a house!

The important thing is we're all together and alive, and still smiling.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Have You Gotten Anything New? Not Since Yesterday.

So, here in Burgville, we have one public Library. It is a small, pathetic little place that hardly deserves the title of Library, but it's all I've got. Boy am I looking forward to a system of Libraries when I get to SunLand.

But, if not for this Library, I would have missed out on my new favorite thing: Books on CD. I'd never tried them before. Why listen to a CD when you can read the actual book? But now that I've tried it, I love it, so thank you, Burgville, for introducing me to something new I intend to enjoy a lot more in the future.

Here's the story; I really wanted to read this book called Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall. It was on my to-read list, along with twenty other books. I looked through my Library's catalog to see which books from my list I could check out. Sadly, a pathetic four books from my list were owned by the Library. I know; sad. The Library didn't have the book of Born to Run, but it did have a book on CD version, so I decided to give it a chance.

And I'm hooked. I listen to it whenever I drive. It's like having Drek read to me every time I drive! I love it! I can also read a book during the same time period and not get confused at all. It doesn't take away from my reading time; it adds to it!

The book itself turned out to be amazing. I was actually breathless during different parts. In one section of the book it talks about barefoot running and how it's so much better for you than running with running shoes on. After listening to the book I have made my decision;

Barefoot marathon, here I come!

Friday, July 09, 2010

We're using a U-haul. Drek's Brother-in-law will drive it so Drek and I can be in the same car. We're leaving a few days earlier so we can take the drive in three shifts. I will pack the U-haul myself. I will not ask for help. I simply cannot do it this time. Besides, we have a whole day to pack the too-small-to-be-very-heavy banana boxes onto the truck so I can take my time. It will be great.

When I first moved to Burgville, I thought it would be clench-your-teeth-and-bear-it kind of thing. Burgville represented everything I hate: the cold, the gleeful killing of wolves, no recycling, and a horrible, passionate, love affair with those stupid nursing covers.

And yet, I love it here. I've loved from the beginning. I love the small town feel. I love that there just aren't enough traffic lights to delay you from your destination for more than a few minutes. I love that I can walk to the grocery store, the library, and the park. I love how friendly everyone is, how many runners live here, and that there are always lots of families at the park on a warm day. I love the fresh spring water that comes out of our tap. I love running along the beautiful rivers and seeing all the gorgeous colors. I love all the activities that this city sponsors, most of them in the park across the street. I love that I can get free books for Ash, fresh farm fruits and vegetables from the co-op and raw milk from that was milked from a cow a few hours earlier. I love saving all my burnables in boxes so I can take them out and burn them in a massive bonfire. I love my ward. I love my neighbors. I love the girls-night-out group, the LLL group, and the One Wonderful Wednesday group. I love learning Spanish from my wonderful Spanish teacher. I love going to the productions at the local university. I love that Drek loves his job and that Ash has so many kids to play with.

It's true that Governor is still an evil, horrible person who loves killing wolves and hates recycling, and that it's mostly always cold here, and that people are ridiculously obsessed with those stupid nursing covers, but mostly I can ignore all that still and focus on the great things about this place. I'm so glad we moved here. I'm so grateful for all the people here. I will be sorry to leave this place behind.

I better not see a single one of those stupid nursing covers in SunLand.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Drek's company just sent him an email saying the movers are no longer an option. That's right. we no longer have people or a truck to move us. The solution they proposed? U-haul. They're suggesting I drive two children sixteen hours in a car by myself, and Drek drive a U-Haul with Acouchi for, oh yeah, SIXTEEN HOURS!!!!! Um, it's less than two weeks and you're telling us NOW?? Hey, Drek's company, maybe you should pass these tidbits of info along, since apparently you've known for TWO MONTHS.

But that's not the problem. The problem is now I have to ask for help. I HATE that. I HATE trying to get people to help load the truck. hate Hate HATE!!! Why do I hate it? Because it never works!!! Two moves later, the Elder's Quorum/Home Teachers/Visiting Teachers of two different wards are USELESS. That's why the movers were such a great idea!! Why? Why won't the Elders quorum just show up when their supposed to, why?

So angry. Thinking of making Drek quit. I think we should open up an oragnic fruit orchard. That would be amazing.

You've Got to Find a Direction! You've... Oh, Er... By the By, Which Direction is This Castle of Yours? I Think North, the Other Way

And thus our brief but wonderful time living in Burgville is drawing to a close. We are moving in less than two weeks. Where are we moving? Yeah, we don't really know yet. Yikes.

In June we flew to SunLand to get the lay of land, look for apartments, meet with Realtors and maybe buy a house. We had a very busy, very great time, and even took Ash to see the ocean. While there, we visited a few apartments we will not be staying at and saw a lot of houses before we decided not to buy. Yeah, so the trip wasn't as productive as we had hoped, but now we can say we've actually been to the town we are going to live in for the next five plus years.

As soon as I got home, I searched the Internet for apartments to rent. The plan is to rent with a short lease so we can take our time buying a home. I've found a few places that look good, I've called them and talked to them, but now I have to make a decision and send the people money, which I am worried about doing because I have never seen these apartments so how do I know they are livable and how do I know it isn't a scam? Sigh.

When we moved to Burgville I had two weeks to pack. It was a frantic mess. This time I figured I would need two weeks, we saved all the boxes, a lot of stuff is still packed, and I have two babies instead of one (long story).

So I started packing on Monday. I packed a little more on Tuesday, and today I am looking around wondering what else to pack. I'm...done. I still have the kitchen and the bedroom, but those have to wait until a few days before. Everything else is packed. Wow. That was easy.

The best part is we have professional movers coming out, taking all the boxes and furniture out of each bedroom, loading it on the truck, driving the truck to our new place and unloading for us. It's the best way to move. I don't even have to move all the boxes to one room. We don't need to worry about renting a truck, asking people to help move boxes, or anything. The only thing we need to worry about is giving the movers an address to unload. Maybe I should get on that...