Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our New House

Our Roots Are Diggin' Down

Good hell. I'm not good at this blogging bidness. My apologies.

Our exciting news is the purchase of a new home! I will post pictures later. We close on Feb 27th and will be hauling our stuff on the 28th. Some of you will no doubt groan about Emilie moving...once again. My many moves (approx 13 in the last 10 years) have likely taken up a lot of space in the "T" section of you address books. You'll be happy to know we plan on living at this home for years and years to come...and I'll do my best to keep our same phone number, if only for you, Oz. ;) Alas, my roots are now digging their way down into the soil. It seemed for years there my roots would continue to flail, without much hope of grounding (which is not at all to imply to buying a home is the only way to do so). With that said, I'm very grateful to have found such warm and nutrient-rich earth.

Our gracious landlord allowed us to get out of our lease early, without penalty. It all happened so quickly. We had anticipated the process would take us until at least April. After seeing around 25 homes with our stellar agent (Cousin Aaron McCrady), we saw this one and rather immediately knew it was going to be the one. Laurie loved it before even going inside because the front of the house looks like a baby bird's face. You may have to squint to see it, but once you do, it is really cute. (Side note about Laurie. She sees a face on certain inanimate objects and tends to judge them strongly on what she sees. Usually, a mood or emotion is assigned. Cars and houses are the most common subjects. The house across the street from us has been deemed "evil" and "mean". I think it looks like a puppy.)

So, all of a sudden, we have this space to fill with stuff. Just last night I was watching a program on PBS about George Carlin's comedy career. Did you ever see his bit about "stuff" and how our lives kind of revolve around all our stuff? (Turns out, he wasn't some minimalist, but a serious pack rat.) Well, we need more stuff. Furniture, a refrigerator, bookshelves, rugs, lawnmower, shovel/rake/hoses/etc, etc, etc, etc. Aye dios mio! And then, what about artwork and decor? Thinking these things through is both exciting and unsettling. The financial strain is one thing. The idea that we're going to be another "American family" buying all the stuff we need to make and keep a home has made us both a little sick to our stomachs. I'm kind of surprised at myself and how "we need to buy this" I've been. I need to step back and not be overcome by the urge to consume in order to fill a perceived void of what is, in my minds eye, an empty and therefore uncomfortable home. I don't want to buy a bunch of brand new stuff and I don't want to buy low-quality crap that is a little cheaper. I want our "stuff" to have character. Have a history, if possible (that only applies to certain kinds of furniture and decoration, I suppose). We both want to prioritize buying local, when possible, which is almost always more expensive. Buying some things used from Craigslist or consignment shops will be a good option for a lot of said stuff. I am going to have to be patient, aren't I? Blurg. I'm not so good at that.

I will make a good faith effort (that phrase has been everywhere lately, so I thought I'd try it out) to post again in March...with photos to share of our new home.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

To meet demand and assuage criticism. . .

it is about time I update this much neglected blog. What can I say? I'm busy. . .and a little too distracted (please know it pains me to admit this, as it crumbles the image I like to imagine people have of me) by certain television shows at night. This being the only time I have to write an entry, minus the precious weekend. I succumb to the temptation, after a long day at work, etc, turning off my brain to relinquish one or two "prime time" hours of what could be productive life experience. Is it entertaining? Indeed. Is it enriching? Only when a new Frontline or Bill Moyers' Journal is on, (both of which I genuinely enjoy. . .I promise I'm not trying to rebuild my image, as these particular shows do a good job of that). So yes, other than those and the occasional documentary on PBS, it is all drivel. Even if a show can boast excellent writing, superior character development, suspense (Heroes), or brilliant dry humor (30 Rock). . .mostly, they are glorified soap operas.

Weird. I was going to write about Trey and parenting and the really hard go I've had with him these last couple of days. I suppose I had something else to get off my chest.

Blogger . . .the proverbial confession box.

Guilt. . .it isn't just for Catholics anymore.

Since I am on the topic of television, I am going to stay on it a bit longer in order to site a recent NY Times article highlighting a recent study on happiness. It is titled, "What Happy People Don't Do." One guess. Yep! Watch television. Happy people do spend more time "socializing, going to church, and reading newspapers - but they don't spend a lot of time watching television." The immediate question becomes, does watching television make people unhappy or do unhappy people watch television. One little NY Times article sparked a great deal of introspection in me. The researchers don't have an answer for me, although they do offer a helpful nugget of wisdom: "We don't think turning off the television will automatically make people happy." That's good to hear, because Prison Break left me hanging off a cliff last week and I need to find out what happens next.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Month of Fun

I am not as on top of this blog thing as I'd originally hoped. A month has passed already. Happy fall everyone! Lots of fun stuff has been happening. We went to the State Fair with Dave and Shauna, for one thing. The classic big yellow slide was lots of fun, but I think watching the carnies and peering into their lives was even funner. Both Laurie and I couldn't help but think of that one Simpson's episode. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway, the Fair was fun. Thanks for coming with us Mom and Dad!

Another exciting adventure with Shauna and Dave was our trip "over" the Great Salt Lake on their air boat. The Lake is super low this year, but still gorgeous. It is far more majestic once you're out in the middle of it, relative to standing on the stinky shore. It is so strange to be out in the middle of a huge lake and the water only goes up to your knees! Air boats are very loud (notice the ear protection) but super fun. Trey had a great time, as evidenced in the photos.

I went on a work trip to Corpus Christi, Texas for the Celebration of Flight festival last weekend. Corpus is the "Birdiest City" in the U.S., so I added numerous life birds to my list (yes, I realize I'm a geek). The organization I work for (HawkWatch International) has a raptor migration monitoring site down there. The festival takes place at the peak of the migration. On a great day, you will see over 500,000 raptors fly. Unfortunately, I didn't get to witness that phenomenon, however, there were at one time 20,000 raptors in a "kettle" directly over our heads. It was absolutely surreal. It was great meeting all the local volunteers and supporters. These people are some serious birders. Some of the coolest species I got to see (raptor and otherwise) include: Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Cave Swallow (they were everywhere), Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Zone-tailed Hawk, Mississippi Kite, Crested Caracara, Green Kingfisher, Tri-colored Heron, Reddish Heron, and lots lots more.

While I was in TX, Laurie and Trey played with the Bush Fam two days in a row. They went to the Treehouse Museum and Fat Cats. According to Trey, Glow Golf was the highlight of the weekend. He sure loves Tob and Samantha. He let me know that I should've come to Fat Cats instead of going to Texas. I really missed out, I guess. Maybe I can convince Laurie to post to our family blog and tell ya'll more about it. She's stubborn, ya know. I love you sweetie! ;)

So ya, things are going pretty well. We're gearing up for a trip to Phoenix and Tucson to visit our families in a couple weeks. Trey turns 6 this month by the way. Good hell. His teacher's are already saying he's the class clown. Apparently, this is genetic, so I probably should just accept that reality now.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First Week of Kindergarten

Click on the photo to see the entire album:

Trey had a wonderful first week of school. He is excited to be there everyday, which is truly like a gift from the gods and goddesses of the universe. Looking back on our crazy summer, we are welcoming the return of routine and cooler weather.

Each Monday, Trey will be sent home with a short math homework sheet, to be completed anytime during that week. Each Friday, he'll be sent home four books to read before the end of the following week. This is very exciting. Trey is a voracious reader these days. I mean, we always read at night at bedtime, but ever since he got into the library's summer reading "contest," he now comes home and sits down to read a couple picture books front to back, all by himself. His library card is a prized possession. We currently have about 25 books checked out. We think he's going to be a lifelong lover of books. That makes us very happy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Three years

Emilie has been working at HawkWatch International for three years now, as of today. How strange. It is fascinating to step back and view the successes, failures, turmoil, and triumph of an organization in a relatively short time period. A great deal has been learned. Now. . .back to work!

Public School

After a couple grueling months of trying to keep Trey's school alive and functioning for another school year, the Board decided it needed to close the doors. It was very disappointing, because he had done so well at Seven Canyons. Nervous about how he would react to the news, we scrambled to find a school for Trey. . .one we could all be excited about. Late to the process, many of our first choices were full. He was put on several waiting lists, but alas, we could not wait.

Trey is now a Crestview Elementary Cougar. It was a relief to get him registered somewhere. . .anywhere, to be honest. Actually, we are pretty excited about this particular school. We meet with his teacher, Mrs. Hoshimoto, on Wednesday so she can do an evaluation of Trey's development. When we told him his teacher might know Japanese, he decided he wants to learn Japanese and picked out a Japanese Dictionary for Kids at the bookstore yesterday. (I really hope Mrs. Hoshimoto knows at least a little, because speaking a foreign language is a fail-safe way to get the boy's attention.)

It was really interesting to reflect on my own preconceived notions and biases about public school. I had become a private school fascist, it seemed. I grew up in public school. I come from a long line of public school teachers whom I am very proud of for what they contributed (and still contribute) to their communities. Hell, I'm opposed to private school vouchers! So why was I so scared of putting Trey is public school? I suppose because I assume(d) he'll be forced to fit in a box filled with predetermined characteristics deemed "normal" and "healthy." I was (and still am) afraid he'll be assigned some disorder, because he doesn't fit the status quo. Here's to hoping Mrs. Hoshimoto appreciates the full spectrum of personalities, abilities, learning styles, and conflict resolution styles a Kindergarten room full of kids will contain.