Thursday, August 25, 2011

post script

not twenty minutes after that last post, i was making lunch in the kitchen, looked outside, and saw a strange middle aged, hawaiian shirt wearing, fattish, man walking through my backyard.

my first reaction- AHHH!! stomach drops, heart beat races, sympathetic nervous system activates, and i duck out of sight.

great. if someone ever does try to break into my house, i'm going to duck and hide? apparently i'm all about the flight, not the fight.

after i realize that the man is holding one of our for sale flyers and not a lethal weapon, i get really excited and stealthily watch him stare at our house. he walked all around, stood in front of the giant window, and stared inside for a few minutes, while i crouched behind the curtains, holding my breath...for some reason.

(it's my house, dang it! i shouldn't have to hide behind curtains. the sympathetic nervous system makes us do crazy things...)

the middle aged, fattish man did drive a brand new white corvette. maybe he's rich enough to buy our house?

and he should probably pay extra for those years he took off my life, skulking around my backyard like that.

dear corvette driving, stalking man: if you ever come across this post, i'm sorry for calling you fattish. and for that hawaiian shirt you were wearing.

between him and the young couple who parked in front of our house for 15 minutes the other night, i'm feeling all privacy slipping away.

5 things to know about selling a home

our house is for sale.

when we decided to sell our house, we thought, no big deal. our house is beautiful, in the desirable city of murray, in a great neighborhood. we'll sell it in no time.

yet, here we are, three months later, with the damn sign still sitting in the front yard.

i would like to share a few things i have learned about selling a house.

1. expect rejection and don't let it be personal.

after spending countless hours and thousands of dollars (of wedding money, i should add) making your house look gorgeous and feel homey, it can be hard to accept that someone else doesn't like it.

"but we redid the _____!"

"but the new windows and roof!"

no. not everyone likes your house enough to want to live there. yes, you chose nice colors and painted your door red, and spent way too much time on the landscaping. get over it.

2. keep the house clean at all times and don't be upset when you have to rearrange your day for a showing.

you might have your busy day all planned out to a tee. don't be surprised when your realtor sends you a text saying, "showing at 2?" and having to drop everything to mop, spray down, wipe off, and dust your house. don't be upset when the family viewing your house sticks around for an extra hour or two, when you have a test for your online class and really need your quiet office. don't be too bothered when you spend hours cleaning and then the family rejects your house ten minutes after the showing. hey, at least your house is consistently clean now.

3. get over the personal space issues.

strangers are going to come over and touch your stuff. (that was not meant to sound so dirty.) they will examine your closets and toilets. your showers will be scrutinized for cleanliness. your pantry and its contents will be judged. either take or hide the most valuable of items, and get over the idea of a stranger walking through your bedroom.

4. expect bad manners.

when you have a showing, you'll get excited. this is the one! you'll think to yourself. you'll watch from a distance, pretending to walk your dog, as their car pulls up and the family files into your house. you'll drive by as slowly as possible and creepily peer through your windows at them, trying to get a read on their reactions to your home. after they leave, you'll anxiously await hearing from your realtor to hear the verdict. the day will go by, and nothing. another day, and then another, and your realtor apologizes because their realtor hasn't returned his calls. your hopes will slowly die, and you'll forget your former optimism. you may even get strung along by a family who promises to write an offer, then takes three weeks and then offers $40 grand below your asking price. you have to expect these terrible manners and move forward.

5. don't stop loving your own home.

between wanting a new home in a new location, and hearing so many families reject your home, it can be easy to start resenting the home. it won't sell, it's not what you want anyway, it's a money pit, etc. you might start avoiding going home and spending time there because it's not what you, or apparently anyone else wants. even though you'll have to halt the work on the house, stop hanging pictures (because of the holes) and stop decorating, you should still appreciate the home for what it is and what it has taught you. enjoy and love your home, and keep praying and hoping that someday, someone, will see the home's potential and quality.

because it will happen.


go here to view our MLS listing.

slacking and coveting my husband's

it's 9:51 am.

kickbox starts in 9 minutes.

i am sitting in my kitchen, eating junior mints.

i have homework, an online stats class to figure out, a house to clean, a tape to transcribe, and laundry to do. i need to shower and get myself ready for class later.

instead, i have been sitting here, playing on picnik for the past 45 minutes.

at least i'm awake right?

so things are pretty good around here. i'll fill you in bullet style:

  • i celebrated my 23 birthday! (pictures to come when/if i ever find the USB cord.) travis arranged for a guy he works with to take us rock climbing. we drove down to american fork canyon around 7am and had a really good time. later that night travis took me shopping for new running shoes and then out to cheesecake factory, where i devoured the chocolate coconut cheesecake. (side note: when travis took me shoe shopping, he had a $20 gift card that he graciously let me use. how did he get this gift card? the fire department challenged their employees to lose body fat, and for every half percentage lost, they would give away $10 to sport's authority. how did travis, who is already only 14 percent body fat, manage to lose another percentage you ask? by eating hamburgers, brats, and THIRTY chocolate chip cookies in ONE day! they tested him the weekend after and he had lost body fat. he probably burned calories digesting all those cookies. life isn't fair, amirite?!)

  • our fridge, that has slowly been dying over the past year, finally kicked it. (with my cheesecake leftovers inside, so those had to go to, which was almost worse than having to buy the new fridge.) we went fridge shopping and used all my tuition money on the beautiful stainless steel kitchen idol! it even has a water/ice button! oh being married and getting excited about new appliances... by the by, why does something always have to break right around the time tuition is due? does this happen to everyone else?

  • school started. i'm taking four classes- stats, psych of adolescence, childhood and adolescent development, and techniques of counseling. other than stats, i am in love with this semester! my techniques of counseling class is going to be three hours a week of practicing counseling each other. no tests, just applying real things i will be doing after graduation- the way every class should be, in my opinion.

  • several of my close friends came out to utah for a visit- bonnie and morgan and jane a few months ago- and it was really great to spend time with them and catch up.

basically life is going on as usual. summer is coming to a close and i'm ready for some cooler weather and leaves turning gold.

enjoy some of the products of my picnik time wasting!
(because you just want to keep seeing my wedding pictures...)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

10 down, 2 to go. and yes. i know that's too much college.

gonna brag it up for a sec.

my teachers finally posted summer semester grades.

my 10th semester of college
the hardest semester of college.
my first time doing online classes
and our internet was down for two weeks
right during midterms.

the worst summer i have ever had.
well second worst.
i'm sure it would have been easier
if i hadn't just had my IUD put in,
bought a puppy, and decided to sell our house
all at the same time.

but my 3.8 GPA
made all those missed vacations,
late nights, 12 hour paper writing sessions,
thousand + pages of reading,
countless hours of online lectures,
and daily crying

worth it.

(when i started at the U, i made a goal:
never to get below an A-.
so far so good.)

thanks travis, both of our parents, and any of you who
talked me down and reassured me i could do this.

two more semesters and i'm done with my undergrad. :)

this is how i feel right now.

last summer, atop the crouching lion hike in oahu.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the time my nemisis became my friend

good news. remember the girl from the gym who i just couldn't stand? and how it bothered me so much that we had this mutual disdain? this morning at kickboxing we had a breakthrough.

so to backup a tidtch, i learned why i instantly couldn't stand her. in my psychology of love class, i learned that being in a heightened state of arousal can cause us to misinterpret our feelings. so for example, if you're standing on a very high bridge and it's swinging and dangerous, and a super mc-hottie comes to rescue you, you might mistakenly place your feelings of adrenaline and being swept off your feet onto the hot rescue man, instead of just realizing that you are freaking out from certain danger of the scary bridge. well apparently this can go both ways. like if you're at the gym in a state of arousal (from the cardio workout, you pervs, not because i'm aroused aroused) and there is a girl there who you are a little bothered by, because her abs are so incredibly nice that she really could wash her laundry on them, then that feeling of being bothered could be blown incredibly out of proportion, leading you to post shallow and rude things about her on your blog. or to have a feeling of dread the entire week before kickbox class.

no really, tons of people who are in accidents or disasters together end up together, in true love. it's true. it's science.

so, having this knowledge, i decided to try again. and today, when we were supposed to find a partner to "spar" with, i asked her to be my partner. and when she mentioned her husband, i asked her how long she has been married. which led us to a conversation about the adjustments of married life and then we were laughing and making jokes and pretty soon we were friends. and yeah, i'm still a little jealous of her rockin' bod and i'm pretty ashamed of myself for my previous post, but this right here, this is progress. you know, being the change and all that. plus i have a new friend. :)

and yeah, i am using psychology to justify all my faults. knowledge is power, yo.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

some musings

the past few weeks i have felt overwhelmed, and not just with finals. (and out of the ten semesters so far i have done in college, this summer was by far the worst.) the past few weeks i have felt myself responding with sarcasm, cynicism, and disbelief to everything i come across.

my psychology textbooks are filled with the problems of the world- marriages that don't last, partners who cheat, parents who abuse their babies, poor black women who trade sex for food and end up with HIV, (i went on a random AIDS kick and read all kinds of the latest stats. fastest growing group of people who are infeccted: african american women.) i learn about how neurotic personalities lead to lonelier, shorter lives, and i am afraid that's going to be me. i worry about my eating habits. i worry about my younger brothers and if they're happy and becoming good men who treat women with respect.

i have been far too concerned with what other people think about me. does travis's family think i'm a good fit for him? does my dad approve of the person i have become? do those people on facebook who i don't ever see think i've let myself go since i got married? do the people i love know i care for them?

then there are the things i see all around me that bother me and make me feel helpless. like yesterday, in line at the sunflower market, the pictures on the magazines. a beautiful, busty, incredibly fit woman with the caption, "you can lose those jiggly legs in 3 weeks!" why should losing my jiggly legs be my first priority? don't i have enough to worry about?

or like on sunday, i was teaching our class about how to make homelife better. one section in the teacher's manual specifically instructed me to tell the boys in the class to learn how to take care of children and to be involved in childcare in their own homes someday. i told the boys this, and they said things like, "don't all girls want to do that baby stuff? shouldn't boys do the outside work and girls do the inside work?" even the girls in the class said they would rather do the "girl" jobs. and i feel so helpless to explain everything.

then i feel overwhelmed when even thinking about raising my own children. there are so many things in our culture that i disagree with. how do i raise a kid to know better when it's all around us.

last night when i was cruising around on the facebook, i stumbled on an event that just bothered me. it's a walk/run to support making utah "less uptight." reading the comments and all the hate for the lds church breaks my heart. it breaks my heart that some lds church members have that kind of hate for homosexuality.

basically, i want to change the world, but i feel completely helpless.

all i can do is change myself, like that famous gandhi quote: "be the change you want to see in the world." i don't have the power to change the minds of those who harbor hatred for something they barely understand. i don't have the power to control the media and what they publish. i can't control what other people think of me.

but i can learn and do everything in my power to understand people who are different from me, so they don't seem so alien. i can show compassion to every human being i meet. i have to stop caring about what other people think, because i'm the only person i have to impress.

"Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think." -Benjamin Disraeli
"Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to." -Alan Keightley
also. i'm going to permanently delete my facebook. right now. :) much love to all of you. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

condoms and gluesticks.

disclaimer: this post talks about condoms. if that makes you uncomfortable, just click the little red X at the top right. but, with that opening line, you're probably going to keep reading.

i'm taking accutane right now. it's my second go 'round and it's working great. maybe sometime i'll get brave and post my before and after pictures. some serious pimple-idge. anyway, if while you're taking accutane, you should happen to get knocked up, your baby will be born without ears. and some other sad birth defects. so while i'm taking accutane, travis and i have to use two forms of birth control. i chose the iud and condoms. (last time i took accutane was before we were married, so i got to claim abstinence as my birth control. how cool is that?)

well, buying condoms is always a pretty good time. first off, you get to stand in the awesome FAMILY PLANNING aisle, right next to the vagisil and monostat. and for some reason, it's always late at night, and the florescent glow adds some real romance to the occasion. last time we went condom buying, as we stood there, studying options (glow in the dark! warming and cooling! ribbed for her pleasure! - i'm sorry, but warming and cooling all up in my business just seems like a bad idea.) anyway, we're standing there staring, and this woman walks up and stands next to us. she looks pretty upset about something. then, she abruptly grabs a pregnancy test, mutters under her breath, and stomps off. we felt pretty bad for her, but appreciated the drama.

well last night was that blessed time again. luckily for us, school supplies were on sale so we picked up some glue sticks for 50 cents. after playing the game of "whose blood pressure is the lowest?" (it was mine, btw, but travis did beat me in lowest pulse. and i know that should be "lower" not "lowest" but "lowest" sounds more like an actual game name.)

oh ps, there are some condoms called "magnums" that are for the extra large and i feel really strange about that because of magnum guns. so if you're extra large, it's a gun... and that's pretty frightening and freaky to think about. geeze, what does that do for the self esteem of the guys not buying magnum? why does a man's self esteem need to be centered on size? why is extra manliness associated with guns and therefore, violence? oh and the packaging is pretty intimidating, too. (no pun intended...)

anyway, we picked out our non-magnum condoms and headed up to the front to checkout. i handed our cashier the booty and our good-find-gluesticks. when you buy condoms, the cashier always does this double take and then tries to act like he didn't just picture you... buying condoms. so our cashier, a young strapping lad, does the double take and i'm not going to let that go unnoticed. so i said, "should make a pretty good combination right?" he started stammering and laughing, saying, "um... i guess the glue would help against the pregnancy thing right? or something?"
thanks man, that's a new one.

travis and i walked out laughing, with him telling me that once again, i have gone too far.

Monday, August 1, 2011

(yesterday) happy brithday harry potter! oh and happy one year anniversary!

finding out that we were married on harry potter's birthday (thank you alyssa) only made me love our wedding day more.

so yesterday was the big one year mark for travis and me. and what a wild ride this year has been!

i have heard a lot of single people (and i used to say it, too) say that people rush into marriage. that people should get to know each other better and make sure they know what they're getting in to. well, a year into it, i can honestly say that i don't think a person will ever know exactly what they're getting in to. travis and i had known each other since we were 15 and dated on and off for two years before getting married. i thought we knew each other, but there are things about a person you just don't discover until you are sharing a home, paying bills, deciding who will do what chores and the cooking, and deciding when and if you want to start a family.

the first year of marriage? definitely hard for me. adjusting to living with only one roommate who is gone two to three days of the week was difficult. adjusting to living in a fixer upper construction zone of a house was not a good time. when you're dating and not paying a mortgage, going out on dates is a lot more fun. figuring out how to make ends meet when college tuition and buying a new roof both suck all the money out of the account was a little bit scary. turns out i have a huge fear of having a baby and when travis's side of the family harasses me about kids i get defensive. learning how to balance each other's families was one of the hardest things about the past year for me.

the good news? we did it. we adjusted to living with each other's various habits. we remodeled our house into a place that feels really nice. we learned how to budget and save and cook instead of going out to cafe rio for lunch. we have started figuring out how to balance our extended families while enjoying our own little family. i mean seriously, we had 10 DAMN DOGS living, pooping, and crying in our basement all winter! none of this year was easy! (i told travis i may never forgive him for making me birth his dog roxy all night while he was at the fire department.)

but here we are, still married and loving each other so much more than a year ago when all this started. honestly, it makes me a little worried for what next year may bring, but i kind of think it will only get easier from here. the cliche is that nothing worth having is easy. this hasn't been easy in any way and i'm so happy to have the first year over with.

so what have i learned this year about us? i learned that it's hard to pick a fight with travis because he just laughs the angrier i get. (which in turn, makes me i learned that we make a really good team when we're doing projects around the house and yard. we're really good at teaching our sunday school class and we are both really good with adolescent punks. :) we're good at training our dog, charlie and when we sit down and create a budget, we stick to it. we're good at taking care of each other when we're sick. travis always knows how to make me feel better about myself. i think i help travis have more confidence in himself, like, he has dance moves none of you would dream he could do! i really have learned that commitment isn't just a word, it's keeping a sarcastic comment to yourself, laughing when you want to yell, supporting his dreams even though it means you have to sleep alone 1/3 of the time, appreciating everything he does for you, and yes, birthing a huge, angry, scary white lab for him. and, it's 100% worth it.

so yes, in our culture, 50% of marriages fail, most of them within the first three years. marriage is a huge change and adjustment that isn't easy, but completely worth it. travis is my best friend, my lover, my partner in crime, and my eternal companion. i'm so thankful for him and for everything he does for me. as it said in his card yesterday, "one year down, 77 more to go!" (our goal is to live to be 100.) oh and i should probably share something else about his card. he made it himself. on the front, he cut out an enormous, ripped, shredded black man's body and glued in on. then inside the card, it says, "maybe if i looked like this without my shirt, our first year would have gone a little more smoothly." ha! love that man. :)

happy one year babe!

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