Thursday, October 28, 2010

Look! It's Our House!

Almost 100 years old

Our new house!

Gosh, I love it.  We are really feeling settled here in the house as our first month here draws to a close.

I think the girls are settled and feel stable again, which is quite a relief.  Moving (and moving twice in 3 months, no less) is kind of disruptive when you are a small child, it turns out. Who could have guessed?  Ironically, Grace has recently developed a fixation on apartments.  I am amused by this because I remember doing the same thing as a child; I loved the idea of the stairs and living up high and being all squashed up with other people's homes. (Heck, we would have loved a condo/townhouse thing NOW because we don't like yardwork and we are ideologically in favor of denser housing, but neither Dallas nor Salt Lake City has many with 3 bedrooms.)  There is a specific apartment building that we pass on the way to and from Grace's preschool that has particularly captured her imagination.  When we drive past it, she declares that she will live there when she grows up.  She says she will live on the top floor and she will invite me over for dinner and she will make me chicken nuggets and cupcakes.  I can't wait.

I have finally been motivated to get some pictures taken of the house for our adoption paperwork.  We are starting up that process again here in Utah with a new agency, which is exciting.  (To recap, we have always been interested in adoption and planned to adopt; we started the process with an agency in Texas and got started on the homestudy but then decided to move away from Dallas so put the process on hold until after we were settled.)  We are pursuing the same kind of adoption as before, a domestic newborn adoption. We are saying we are open to any race so we will probably be matched with an African-American child.  I think we've found the right agency for us and we are filling out paperwork and we have the first homestudy visit scheduled (a social worker! coming to our house! to see if we are fit parents!), so things are moving forward.  We'll see how it all shakes out.  Anyway, I like these exterior shots but I am still working on the interior ones; I need to switch out a lens or something.  Soon you will see the paint colors and pretty hardwood floors and my new dining room chairs that I just love and the shiny kitchen.

One fun thing I've done in my shiny new soon-to-be-photographed kitchen is turn this:

I really like your peaches

into this:


And oh, how delicious it is. I did applesauce this harvest season too, which is also quite lovely.  Rob says we need to buy some kind of wagon before the farmers market starts up again next year because he is tired of trying to carry these awkward, big boxes of produce home.  Home preserving is so rewarding; I really like it.  It also always makes me think of my friend Emily, who partnered with me in my first-ever canning experience back when we lived in the same neighborhood in Connecticut.  Having a little cabinet filled with glowing golden jars is such a homey, wonderful feeling as autumn winds down, especially since yesterday we woke up to this:

First snow!


Monday, October 25, 2010


My mornings have been revolutionized lately by this nifty innovation called a "carpool".  It turns out that some of the neighbors on our new street send their 3-year-old son to the same preschool where Grace is going.  She has room in her car for Grace, in addition to her little boy and her 2nd-grader, so most mornings I walk Grace over to their house and watch them drive away for the school drop-off run.  I guess it is not technically a carpool if she does all the driving and I never help, is it? (And a minivan really is in our near future, isn't it? Bleargh.) Anyway, it has been such a help, and it feels great to be making friends in our neighborhood.

I realized the other day that fully half of the new friends I have made here in Salt Lake City (I am just counting adult women in this) don't eat gluten.  There is a gluten intolerance epidemic!  It is a very trendy way to eat (obviously) and its trendiness makes me chuckle, but I do have sympathy for such issues since my mom has been off gluten for, gosh, 10 or so years now and it has made a big difference for her.  I sometimes suspect if I myself could lay the blame for some of my (rather mild) chronic stomach issues on gluten.  I have been joking with Rob lately that I sure will miss macaroni & cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches and such when I discover I am lactose and gluten (oh, and probably yeast and fructose too) intolerant.

Speaking of making new friends, remember how I was saying, "Oh, I haven't really met many LDS people at all," and saying how typical everyone in Utah seemed?  Well! It turns out that one of the mom friends I've made at MOPS has actually been part of a fundamentalist polygamous sect her whole life until 18 months ago!  I did not see that one coming, I tell you.  She is a sweet, funny woman with a regular haircut and regular clothes, and obviously very brave and determined for leaving her lifelong community with her children.  She left because her oldest children (both girls and boys) started having a lot of trouble in that community in their teenage years and is divorcing her husband (she was the first wife so CAN actually get a divorce and all the legal rights that entails).  A surprise around every corner, I tell you!

In much more mundane news, I think that this is the year that Robert and I finally break down and celebrate Halloween in traditional American style.  I refer you to my post from two years ago to explain our feelings on the matter and my history with this holiday.  Everything is changing this year, though, because a) our church here is teeny tiny and isn't doing any kind of fall festival and b) I am told that our street is very trick-or-treating friendly with lots of young families and neighborliness and fun times. (Actually, our street is just very neighborly to start with; I have already had more chats and interactions and glasses of wine with neighbors here than I did in 2 whole years in Dallas.)  We are going to leave our light ON this year and give out candy and everything.  This will be a first for me.  Rob is still very grumpy about the whole holiday (he has stronger feelings about it all than I do, which is somewhat ironic, given the difference in our backgrounds-- or maybe that is to be expected? perhaps we all tend to explore different choices than our parents?) but we bought the candy so we are mentally committed to the whole neighborhood Halloween celebration.  Violet is going to wear the hand-me-down Cat in the Hat costume and Grace is going to be a fairy.  I bought the wings on Etsy and am sewing a matching dress.  I must admit that part of my openness to a more conventional Halloween just might stem from how FUN it is to sew up a fantastical costume.  There aren't just enough opportunities in life to sew a shiny sparkly fairy dress.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Someday I Will Blog Regularly Again

Life has been a whirlwind lately, a whirlwind of moving trucks and boxes and painting and settling into a new home.  We have been in this new house for almost 2 weeks now and I feel like life is starting to settle into a comfortable pattern as the boxes have been cleared away and the various workers have finished their tasks and departed.  It still feels like there is too much to do each day and keeping up here online has, obviously, fallen by the wayside. This is fine and natural, but I have missed it.  I guess I should have expected it, seeing how the last time we moved in the summer of 2008 I blogged a mere 6 times in 3 months.  Until I manage some real time for thought and sharing, here are some bullets:
  • Getting Grace to preschool 5 mornings a week is kicking my butt. Seriously. This will get easier, right? And this would be a bad reason to consider homeschooling?
  • I love the light in the upstairs (non-basement) of our house-- so airy and luminous and bright.
  • I love how cozy the basement (where all 4 of us have bedrooms) of our house is; it feels like a snug den.
  • Grace is going to a little gymnastics class and although she is generally having fun, she gets freaked out by the uneven bars.
  • I have a hair appointment tomorrow and I am planning on doing something DRASTIC color-wise.
  • I really miss sewing.  My sewing stuff is all here and in the room where my sewing area will be, but we need some kind of storage furniture and organization and it is not ready for action yet.  I am just ITCHING to make something.
  • I think my children are not getting enough sleep, what with our new morning schedule, especially Grace. We've got to get them to bed earlier, I guess?
  • Our front door came back this week! Hooray! It's the original door to the house and was a bit the worse for its 93 years of wear.  We had somebody take it off and away where it was all refinished and it looks really lovely now.  Especially when compared to the plywood that was boarding up the doorway for the past few weeks.
  • Last weekend, Rob and I went to hear one of our recent-ish musical discoveries, a band from Portland called Blind Pilot.  I have such a soft spot for the banjo... (They are going to be at the ACL festival, Austin friends!)  It was a really fun show-- all the great stuff from their first album and some new stuff that was so good that it makes me excited for their next album.  All week Rob and I have had their music stuck in our heads.  There are worse things, certainly: