Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Showed Charity

I haven't blogged for a while. I had a really bad day yesterday, but on the bright side, I just found some dental floss (almost completely pulled out of its container), but dental floss none the less after running out a few days ago. See? Life is good.

On another bright side... I have been trying to focus on different Christlike attribute lately, but you just never know if anything you do ever sinks in with the kids. One night at dinner I had given Marissa some corn and when I looked back and it was gone. "What happened to the corn on the cob that you had Marissa?" I asked. "I gave it to Alex because he wanted one just like mine. I showed charity." That made us laugh so hard. What 3 year old says that? I'm glad she caught on to something.

Moving to Utah has been good. It is a good place to live in so many ways, like seeing three temples at the same time. I have no doubt that we were inspired to come here. But, this move hasn't come without a couple of snags. Mostly just one... selling our house. What an annoying pain to sell a house from so far away. We got an offer about a month ago and we were all happy with the agreement, but the appraisal came back $6000 less than what they had offered. This means that they can only get financing for that amount and still need $5000 back, which we are pretty sure we don't want to do. What makes everyone mad is that the appraisal was very subjective, rating our house's condition much lower than it should have been valued. So you know, all the painting, new bathrooms, new roof, repairs, landscaping, etc. we did meant nothing to this one appraiser--he thinks our house is one level above complete and utter crap. Thanks. Both realtors tried to get the appraisal appealed and we just found out that it was denied. We are stuck with this appraisal for 6 months. So we either lose a lot more money with this deal or we put it back on the market and lose more money having to pay for the mortgage, power, water and lawn care for another month or two, or possibly more. There is no way to win, it seems. It is pretty likely that our house will now be back on the market. You are more than welcome to pray for a miracle that it will sell soon.

We have not been able to save any money since we got here, which we need to do for our down payment. Understandably so, considering we are still paying for a house there and paying for rent and living expenses here on a lower salary. We will be okay once we get rid of that house, I think. One good thing, I guess, is that they haven't even started digging for our new house yet-- meaning it we be longer before we are in it, but we will have more time to save money. I am trying to figure out what this all means, like what I'm supposed to learn from this. Maybe I need to be humbled. Maybe I am supposed to become more thrifty. You know, shop at DI and garage sales. Or eat Ramon noodles and use coupons. It's not really something I've ever worried about before, but I guess I could give it a go. I attended a Grocery Smarts class the other day and figure I could give that a try. And no new school clothes for Erin this year, or for anyone else for that matter. Don't worry, she never did care much about new clothes. Is it just my kids or do they just wear the old ones anyway leaving the new ones untouched? So frustrating.

Which leads me to my next point. None of my clothes have been fitting me lately, and for the record, I stopped eating ice cream every day. No, I am not pregnant (that I am aware of--always have to add that caveat). I just haven't found a very good way to exercise here yet. The biking is fun, but I don't feel like it's really exercise. There are no gyms close by that have child care. Let me rephrase that, there are none that have reasonably priced child care. And there are no gyms for miles with racquetball. Tennis club, yes. Racquetball, no where to be found. These people don't know what they are missing! Maybe they'll build one someday, but it's a bummer for both Jared and me, not that we could pay for a gym membership right now anyway. And I can't run because of my back/pelvis issue, which is the most depressing thing of all because I have always loved to run. My newest idea is those P90X DVD's, which I found for cheap on KSL. What do you think? Am I crazy? Is it really going to work for me? Will I be all gung ho for three days and then fizzle out? I figure that will be cheaper that buying all new clothes, and I will probably feel better. I have to do something with this aging body of mine.

Last week was our ninth anniversary and we didn't have money to do much. We left our kids up at Jared's parents' house while we went to dinner at Brick Oven in Provo (more on that later). Since we were already at BYU, we decided to walk around campus. Every time we saw something that made us remember something we had to share our memory. It was so much fun! What's with all the new buildings that weren't there 15 years ago anyway? We were both there at the same time but never knew each other until we were done, yet many of the places we lived were really close together. Neither of us were ready to get married earlier, so it was meant to be that we never met. We would not trade those amazing BYU memories being free and single for anything. Going away to school was one of the best times of my life. But I am so glad to be married to Jared now. He is patient, kind, athletic, easy going, hard working, smart, handy, computer savvy, a good listener and absolutely perfect for me, just to name a few of his good qualities.

The next morning we went to the temple to do sealings and had a great time remembering our own sealing ceremony. After that we went to Jada's funeral where we got to see so many people that we dearly love. It is still sad to think that such a bright and amazing girl is no longer here, but it was a beautiful tribute to her life and gave me the reassurance that the plan of salvation is real. We will see those we love again, as long as we also live the right way. It still amazes me how one 14 year old could draw such a huge crowd of people in Utah when she never even lived here. So many people that lived in Florida and have since moved drove in from all over the west for this event, and as many people as possibly could flew in as well. It was a comfort to see all the old Florida faces that I love. It truly felt like the comfortable home I've known for so long. Thank you Jada, for continuing to make a difference in so many lives.

Since so many people were coming in for the funeral, a bunch of us got together the night before for dinner--at Brick Oven, remember? It was great to talk with them again. It really felt like not much had changed and that we were just a bunch of Floridians going out to eat. I realized that I felt an extra connection to most of them because I read their blogs. It makes me feel a little ambivalent about my blog. On the one hand, I feel so inadequate when I compare my long, mostly insignificant blabberings with some of their interesting and eloquent writings. But by the same token, because of the connection I feel with others, it makes me want to continue to write without comparing with anyone else.

And last, I showed up to dinner with no bangs. You cannot imagine how exposed and self conscious I felt. I kept telling myself that it's not that bad and why should anyone else care anyway? But despite all my insecurities, I did it. The one last thing I feel most self conscious about. I'm grateful that nobody said anything. And I'm grateful that Jared is supportive of however I look. And Erin. She gives me courage to wear my hair like this. Alex thinks I only look good with no bangs when I smile, but otherwise it's a no go. When I saw the picture of it on my friend's blog, it was weird. I am still not used to it. But then I realized that men walk around almost completely bald and nobody thinks anything of it. Right? Here's the picture... cringe.
Look at all these great people though. And here's the link to Jada's older sister Bridian's incredible blog, where I got the picture, in case you want a good read.


Callie said...

You are totally rocking the no bangs! No need to be self conscious because you look great!

So sorry about your house. I can't believe that appraiser did that.

Happy Anniversary!

Heather said...

i like you laura. i'm sad i couldn't go to the funeral. :( hopefully we can see you guys soon and hear about it. good job on the no-bangs thing! It's good to try new things. Jimmy doesn't like my hair right now as it's so short... but oh well. I just need it short and easy. take care.

oh - and bummer about the selling your house thing. stinky appraisers. i hope it all works out for you.

Bridian said...

OH MY GOODNESS. I didn't even notice your bangs. Ha. Well in retrospect you really do look good without bangs. Honestly, I think you look better without them. You can see more of your pretty face! I support your decision to blog more. I love your ramblings!!
P.S. thanks for the publicity :)