Monday, June 27, 2011

Things are really starting to heat up

I just deleted everything I wrote. Because I started out trying to paint a rosy picture of this last week. But in reality it was kind of a rough week for me. Not that anything "bad" happened. Just turns out that my mood tends to be a direct reflection of my surroundings and well, the house is still in shambles as we struggle to get unpacked and settled in and I guess I just wasn't coping well. Because I was pretty crabby all week.

Add to that the fact that the car's AC decided to give out about mid week and well-I was REALLY crabby all week.

But, by week's end, after 2 unsuccessful trips to Ikea, we FINALLY found the hardware to our bed so we aren't sleeping on the floor anymore. Plus we got the table set up in the kitchen so we are not sitting in camp chair eating out of our laps anymore. Am hoping it will make this upcoming week go a little smoother for me.

Monday, June 20th, 2011
Day 22

Have you ever heard that BNL song, Unfinished? Because that feels like my life right now. I am drowning in Unfinished.

The painting is unfinished.


The unpacking is Unfinished.


Even the laundry is Unfinished.


This is only a test
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Day 23


Today Adam and I headed out fairly early to the Chandler Unified School District offices. Since I home schooled Adam last year they insisted on testing him before they would enroll him in 2nd grade. I'll be honest that it torqued my shorts a little that they were insisting on testing him. Especially since he technically was enrolled in a state funded online charter school. A school that had to comply with state curriculum standards. And I had his end of year report card to show that finished all the required curriculum. But because he completed this curriculum at home instead of in a standard school room they still insisted he be tested.

But we made the best of it. (All 3 hours of it! Yes, it was a LOOOONG test) and we had a lunch date, just the two of us, afterwards.

My favorite kind of lunch date.

Best kind of lunch date!

Wednesday June, 22, 2011
Day 24

It shouldn't come as a surprise that June in AZ is HOT HOT HOT. So a picture of the sunshades up in my car may seem a bit too obvious.


But I took this picture because I had to put them up when I went to the grocery store at 6:00 in the morning. Yes, it was ALREADY hot by 6:00. Which is why I was up doing the grocery shopping that early. Because by afternoon it gets REALLY hot.

Self Portrait
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Day 25

Decided that if I really wanted to document our first year in AZ I needed to show what I looked like pretty much every day for the first month now.


This is me. Hair pulled back, clothes covered in paint, no makeup on. Yup. That pretty much sums it up.

Snip, snip
Friday, June 24, 2011
Day 26

Everybody's hair has been getting a bit too long. Especially for this AZ heat.

Mine was half way down my back and I was contemplating a drastic cut.


And Adam's was getting so long he looked like teenager. (He thought he was just using my phone as a mirror. He didn't know I was recording.)

So we ALL went and got hair cuts. (Which cost a small fortune.)

In the end I chickened out and cut out and only had about 8 inches cut off.

New haircut

The kids all went much shorter.


Agents on a Mission
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Day 27

Took the kids to see Cars 2. (Free tickets from our amazing Realtor and lender)


Was really the highlight of the entire week!

Sunday, June 26, 2011
Day 28

At 7:00 tonight I realized I hadn't taken my picture for the day yet. And had NO clue what to take a picture of. The day was pretty uneventful. Went to church and then spent the afternoon just hanging out.

So, here is what I scrambled and came up with-a picture of what we had for dinner.


And, as you can tell from the fact that the bowl is nearly empty, it was a success!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our new normal

Has it really only been 3 weeks since we started our Once Upon a Time? In some ways it feels like it's been an eternity! In some ways we are still adjusting and figuring out what we are doing, and in others we have already started to settle into our new normal.
So this is what our new normal looks like
Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 15
Mike, working in the front room in his shorts and a tee shirt

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

The kids playing together because, well, each other is all they've got.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
Finding meaning in all this madness

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 16
Today I started to question all the insanity. But a Mondo Beyondo interview helped me change my outlook. And I finished painting the Master Bedroom!

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
Before and After
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 17
With painting in the master bedroom done it was time to tackle the kitchen.

Here is how it looked when I began.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

And how it looked by the end of the day.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"


That's Entertainment
Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 18
Happiness arrived in the mail today. The first time in our new home.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
Where is a designer when you need one?
Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 19
Today we went to the builder's design center to choose tile, and carpet, and cabinets and counter tops and faucets, etc, etc, etc. I had every intention of taking my daily photo in the design center, since this was a big, important day in our home building process, but I was so caught up in the decision making and the kid entertaining that I completely forgot!
So I did what any sane wife would do-I made my husband drive back to the design center so I could, at the very least, take a picture of the sign.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
I did, at one point, take a quick pick to send my sister-in-law to ask her opinion, so this is the only real picture I have from our day at the design center.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

Murphy's Law

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 20
We had to buy a new dryer this week. We have a gas dryer and our rental only has electric hook up. But the home we are building will have gas, meaning we only need a dryer for 5 months so we didn't want to pay a lot. We found a a washer/dryer set on Craigslist. But had no way to transport it. So then we rented a truck. It was quite the ordeal but we were feeling good about our efforts because we saved quite a bit of money. So imagine how frustrating it was when we tried to plug it in and found we couldn't.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

A trip to Walmart fixed the problem in the end. AND we were rewarded at the end of the day by sleeping in our own beds for the first time in weeks.
My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
Of course we still can't find the hardware to our bed frame so our mattress is on the floor. But it's still our mattress and great to sleep on again just the same.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
Happy Father's Day
Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 21
After working 150% for weeks straight we decided to just take it easy today. Slept in. Hung out at home. Didn't paint a single wall or clean any grout. It was wonderful.

My husband, with his youngest son, video chatting with his own dad.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"
It's kind of one of those circle of life kind of moments.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick clarification

For those who are a little confused.....

We are building a house. It won't be done for 5 months.

So we are renting in the meantime.

Our new landlord was still in the process of acquiring the house we were to rent when we arrived in Arizona. He was supposed to close on it back in May but it was a foreclosure/Fannie Mae property and it took longer then expected to close on.

So we spent the first week in a hotel.

It closed/recorded last Monday but the landlord wasn't ready for us to move in quite yet. But he also happens to own a fully furnished vacation rental one street over that he let us stay in while he prepped the new property for us.

We decided to paint the rental (because the walls were neon yellow and florescent orange.) The landlord bought the paint and is letting us stay at the vacation rental while we paint. (Middle of summer is the off season for Arizona vacationers, go figure.)

So-our truck has been unloaded at the long term rental. But we are still living at the vacation rental for another week or so while we finish painting.

Is that now clear as mud?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

When you're up you're up, and when you're down your down

It such an overused analogy, but for lack of something better (my brain and body are both so very tired) this week has been a crazy roller coaster ride! There were days that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to crawl out of bed, and yet if I HAD to crawl out I was so glad to be crawling out in Arizona, even though the very things stressing me out where the details of getting settled in Arizona.

I love to read the Superhero Journal blog written by Andrea Scher Awhile back she wrote something that stuck with me. She said that she had read that the nature of emotions is flow. That instead of trying to fight an emotion (sadness, pain, etc.) that if we let it flow in, then like the tide, it will flow back out.

This has been my mantra this week. So when I would wake up, overwhelmed and panicked, I would go ahead and let myself feel overwhelmed and panicked for as long as I needed to. And guess what-by allowing myself to experience these emotions I really was able to get through this week. The emotions flowed right back out and I was able to accomplish everything that needed to get done.

Monday, June 6, 2011
Day 8

For the most part of the last school year I have been home schooling my oldest. It's been a year full of ups and downs and there are some things I actually really liked about home schooling. But it has also meant having nearly no time to do anything that I want to do just for me. So, you can imagine what it felt like on Monday to take my two oldest to the local school and get them registered!

The schools here was actually one of the big deciding factors for moving to AZ. We did a lot of research and picked a school that we think will be great for our kids. And the best part, kindergarten is ALL DAY!

The Key to my Heart
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Day 9

Today, after several hiccups, we FINALLY got the keys to our rental.

Our new landlord was still going to have the place cleaned so we couldn't move in yet, but we have keys!

I was so excited that we celebrated with our very first Arizona Happy Hour.

The Sonic is only 7 minutes from our rental. Home this could be a recipe for disaster, or for pure bliss.

Reunited and it feels so good
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Day 10

Two full weeks ago this truck pulled away from the curb in front of our Utah home. Today it reappeared on the curb in front of our Arizona home.

It was a lovely and intimidating and sight.

Summer School
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Day 11

Enough said

Send me a letter
Friday, June 10, 2011
Day 12

We got our mail key today. And it appears that our mail forward is working.

Messages from above
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Day 13

On Saturday, after several days straight of painting, and unloading in the Arizona summer heat I was feeling particularly exhausted which lead to feeling overwhelmed. I may have even cried a couple of times. But then as I was moving a nightstand something fell out onto the carpet.

I choose to believe it wasn't an accident that it tumbled out at just that moment.

Sunday, June 12, 2011
Day 14

It took the better part of 3 days, but around 6:00 pm tonight our 28' moving truck FINALLY looked like this.

We still have painting to finish, and it will be a few more days before we are actually living there, but all our stuff is in the house.

Now, who is up for a rousing game of "where did I pack that?"

Last week I used Instagram for all my iPhone photos. This week's pictures are brought to you by The Best Camera.

What are you favorite iPhone shooting/editing/sharing apps? I want to try them!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Once upon a time.....

I was talking with my cousin Andria just a short while ago about how much she loves that "Once upon a time" moment. It's the moment where everything is new and anything and everything is possible. It's the moment the adventure begins, where trouble is waiting just around the corner but a hero is waiting around the next corner to defeat whatever evil exists and set order to the world once again.

My little family and I have just begun our own "Once upon a time". Just a short week ago we loaded up in our little car, pulled out of our driveway for the last time, and headed out on an adventure.

I have wanted to do a 365 photo project for a couple years now. I even started one once. I thought I would start on each of my kids' birthdays and take a picture of them a day for a whole year. Well, I got as far as day 64 on the first kid and that's where that grand idea ended.

So this time I am keeping it simple so that I'll finish the project.

First-I am going to use only my iPhone. I always have it with me and I can upload photos directly from it. No pulling a memory card in and out of my camera every day. no searching for a card reader. Since we are still in temporary housing and our moving truck is still sitting on a truck yard somewhere in Phoenix right now this was the only way to go. Plus this will give me a chance to try out all the various iPhone camera apps out there and find which are the best.

Second-I will update the blog once a week with all the pictures from the previous week. Once again, keeping it simple and doable.

Welcome to Arizona!
Monday, May 30, 2011
Day 1
I really wanted my first picture for this blog to be us hitting the state line. Because wasn't that really where our "Once upon a time" began?

But the kids were all asleep in the back seat and refused to be roused.

Kids at AZ stateline

So-it's just me at the state line.

Just hit the stateline

Already this little project of mine is not going exactly according to plan.

Racing Lizards
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Day 2

Kids are ingenious when it comes to turning everything into an adventure. So when they climbed up on the fountain in the hotel courtyard and started pretending they were in a lizard race I knew this had to be my picture for the day.

They say they are lizard racing.

Because here they are teaching me how to turn this new phase of our life into a real life adventure. Us adults often need kids to remind us this important lesson.

Coincidently-this is what they were sitting on.

Is it a lizard? A beaver? What???

Does it look like a lizard? Or a beaver?

Desert Beauty
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Day 3
I used to think of the desert and dry, and ugly. But I am really starting to appreciate the unique beauty of the desert. This, so far, is my favorite desert plant.

Desert Beauty

And this is my favorite desert dessert. Or in this case, dinner.

Desert dessert

Yes, we had frozen yogurt for dinner. And I loved it!

The West's Most Western Town
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Day 4
We took a walking tour of historic Scottsdale this day. The city's catchphrase is "The West's Most Western Town."

West's most Western town

This was the kid's favorite part of the whole tour. Not sure it fits in with the rest of the "western" feel.

Let me count the ways....

Friday, June 3, 2011
Day 5
We signed all the paperwork to begin the building process on our new home.

Signing away the next 30 yrs

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Day 6
This street was just down from our hotel, so as we left the hotel for the next temporary house (still won't be in our long term rental for another week) we had to stop and take a picture. (This is our last name.)

Miller Rd

Made kids get out of car for a picture with the sign. It was 100 degrees outside and they were NOT amused.

Kids who are unhappy about being in sun

Then we chanced upon this street and had to pull over to take a picture for my nephew.

And, inasmuch as one of the reasons we came to AZ was for the sun to help with my SAD (season affective disorder) I took this sign as a literal sign and had to take a picture of it, too.

The signs are everywhere

All you can eat church buffet
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Day 7
Maybe I've just lived in Utah too long, and maybe this type of thing is totally normal everywhere else, but I'm highly amused by the signs on every corner advertising all the local churches.

So many choices

The thing that strikes me most is that the majority of the congregations meet at the schools. One church is held at the elementary, one at the High school. Once again, maybe this happens all the time outside of Utah. I guess I'm just surprised there is not more people up in arms about "separation of church and state." I actually think it is awesome.

This one is my favorite.

Found me a new church

Maybe I should stop by next week.