Super Quick Life Update: WE ARE BUYING A HOUSE!!!

NEW HOUSE:

Sorry, I’ve been MIA this month. Things have been super crazy since we’re BUYING OUR FIRST HOME!!

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I seriously am in love so hard. Sometimes when I think about it, I feel all blubbery and teary-eyed haha. It’s everything I wanted and then some! We are signing all the closing paperwork TODAY and I honestly couldn’t be more STUNNED/ECSTATIC.

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THE KIDS:

Has everyone else been like non-stop sick? Because holy moly. This month has been the WORST. We’re just barely getting over the flu and thanks, it only took us A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

 

THE WRITING:

Things have been slow as hell. This is the slowest I’ve written in years. I remember when I proudly wrote a breezy 2k a day. Now when I write two sentences, I have to stop to wipe my brow and binge watch a horrible reality show because my fingers are so tired. It’s been some rough stuff man. In November alone, I wrote 50k words. Then it took December, January, February to wheeze out 20k.

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And it’s not without a reason… House hunting and house buying has become like a full-time job almost. It’s so much work and time! One other hilarious thing that has slowed me down, is I can’t get myself to stop reading my own book. Usually, when I draft I have a strict no-reading-back policy, but with this one, I’ve been pretty naughty. I’ll try to refer back to a scene ‘real quick’ and ‘hey this is kind of funny’. Suddenly 100 pages later, I’ve been sucked in and I just wasted my designated writing time. That’s a good sign though, right? I mean, I don’t know if anyone else will be turning pages, but I LOVE THIS RIDICULOUS BOOK OF MINE. AND GOSH DARNIT I AM DETERMINED TO FINISH THIS FREAKING DRAFT BEFORE I MOVE! AND I WILL! JUST YOU WAIT NAYSAYER!

(I can’t tell you too much about the book yet, but what I can tell you is that it’s a dark-comedy time-travel story about The Beatles.)

Stay tuned for more updates, book announcements, videos of the new house, so on and so forth.

Why is House Hunting Exactly like Dating?

So, I mentioned in my last post that Dan and I have become serious about house buying. Woo hoo! But also AAAH scary!

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I’ve always loved looking at houses, browsing floor plans, perusing open houses and so I thought that the process would be a lot of fun.

Nope.

Guess what it basically was.

Dating.

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I’m serious. It felt the freaking same dude. Every weekend you’re going out to see them and getting to know them and trying to figure out if maybe there’s a future there. And hi! It was just as stressful. To be completely honest.

One guy would have a great kitchen, but kind of a horrible backyard. Another guy would be like not great curb appeal, but wasn’t looking for cookie-cutter anyway I could give him a chance. Ooh, this guy has a lot of what I’m looking for… Woah, never mind, no way I can afford this guy. It was basically exhausting.

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We had the long-distance relationship thing. Perfect house, great looking, big lot, kid-friendly. But he was just too darn far away. Like out in the middle of nowhere far away. As much as we loved him, we couldn’t figure out how to make it work between us.

We even had the toxic relationship thing…

One day I swiped right on Zillow. And wow, this house was really attractive. I mean, everyone was going after this house. I tried to set up a private date with my realtor but when I got there, everyone else and their literal dog were there. Like busier than an actual open house.

At first, I was insecure, like should I offer? He’s way too handsome! But he accepted MY offer! Out of everyone! And I was SO stoked!

And then we got the inspection done.

And I was like, wow dude. You need some work. Your AC unit is 30 years old. You need new paint and your pool is trashed, bro. But no, our relationship was AS IS. So OKAY FINE. I’ll just deal with it. Whatever. We can still make this work.

And then the appraisal came in.

20K LOWER than our original deal. He wasn’t going to change. He was seriously NOT GOING TO CHANGE A THING ABOUT HIMSELF, NOT EVEN HIS PRICE. So we were like BOY BYE!!!

And I swear to you, this ex house was pending another girls offer like not even a week later. WOW.

So glad to be out of THAT situation. Not worth it.

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Things kind of lowkey sucked for the next couple of weeks. I just couldn’t feel a connection with any other house. I was even thinking about stopping the house hunt for a while and like hunting myself. You know? Just to slow things down and figure out what I really want.

BUT… I have to tell you…

Dan and I have been dating a house and it’s pretty serious. Like seriously serious. Like accepted offer serious. We still have to go through the whole inspection/appraisal snafu again. But, I really actually think this one is THE ONE.

Updates to come later!

2019 Predictions: Did They Come True?

I needed a calendar last year. (2019) So I finally decided to make one of those personalized Shutterfly calendars. But I kinda sucked at it and it ended up having all this random blank space, so instead of fixing the format I just decided to fill it full of month-to-month predictions. You know, just what I thought maybe we would be doing in July or October or whatever. And honestly, it kept us all entertained all year!

So now (2020) I decided to look over just how many of my monthly predictions came true and how many did not.

I posted them here, so you could see each one:

 

January

“See a lot of Uncle Jeremy”

True

After we really started to struggle with The Residency, Dan’s brother came down for a couple of weeks to help out.

 

February

“Meet Donjeta”

False

My brother Collin had an Arizona trip planned so that we could meet Donjeta (his then-girlfriend, now wife). They had to cancel last minute due to an unexpected surgery and we didn’t meet her until March

 

March

“Deal with difficulties at work”

True

We terminated our residency in March.

 

April

“Jack will suddenly like nursery”

True!

My painfully shy firstborn did not want to be babysat. He did not want to run off and play at the playground. And he REALLY did not want to go to my church’s nursery class. Then one morning in April, just like I dreamed… he decided he was over that phase. And none of that stuff was a problem anymore.

May

“Have a hard time potty training, but a surprisingly easy time transitioning boys to new beds”

Mixed

They both still suck. Casey transitioned easily.

 

June

“Have successfully made it through residency and start the job hunt”

False

Already had the job

 

July

“Be trying to extend the contract on our apartment”

False!

We briefly considered leaving our apartment and renting a house but ultimately signed a lease renewal in early August

 

August

“Be going to Utah for a wedding”

True!

Both my brother and close friend ended up choosing August for their Utah weddings

 

September

“Casey will be walking”

True!

Casey took his first steps in September

 

October

“Have a breakthrough with a writing career”

False

Sadly no. By this time I had decided to put away my YA contemporary to work on something completely different.

November

“We will be cooking Thanksgiving ourselves”

True!

Dan worked on Thanksgiving so we stayed in Arizona. I wasn’t even going to cook a Thanksgiving meal but caved the day before.

 

December

“We will move into a house”

False

But December is when we decided to become serious about the home search process

 

Pretty interesting. I got it about half right. 50/50 chance your random prediction will come true! I ordered another Shutterfly calendar for 2020 with 12 more predictions. So tune in next year to see if the 50% still holds up…

A Decade at a Glance

2010

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Where I was living: Cedar City, Utah. Centerville, Utah
The job I had: Student. Actress. Theater Tech. House Manager. Stage Manager. Assistant Director.
The career I wanted: Children’s Theater Instructor. Health Education Teacher.

A typical Friday night: Lounging in the jenkiest, ghetto cinderblock dorm. Hanging out with my boyfriend and watching a pretentious movie. Walking across the street to the cafeteria where we hope that the Football team hasn’t eaten every single chicken tender *again*.

2011

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Where I was living: Centerville, Utah. Provo, Utah. Lima, Peru. Trujillo, Peru.
The job I had: Actress. Student. Theater Tech. House Manager. Stage Manager. Assistant Director. Theatre Teacher… so on and so forth… Full-Time LDS Missionary (volunteer service).
The career I wanted: Children’s Theater Instructor. English Teacher.

A typical Friday night: Before the mission, I can guarantee you I would have been with my best friend Landon. In 2011 we were basically conjoined and a typical Friday night would be us doing something stupid like breaking into an abandoned building or irritating full-crowds by just being a hundred decimals TOO MUCH.

2012

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Where I was living: Trujillo, Peru. Salavery Port, Peru. Neuvo Chimbote, Peru.
The job I had: Fulltime LDS Missionary
The career I wanted: Probably a teacher but ???

A typical Friday night: A typical Friday night as a missionary in Peru is a lot of walking. Chicken and rice for dinner and then back to back appointments until you collapse on your bed in your small one-room apartment (quarto). Stopping random people in the street to talk about really serious existential questions. Butchering through my Spanish and trying to make it up by being as animated as friggin’ possible. Meeting really great people and talking and thinking about Jesus Christ.

2013

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Where I was living: Neuvo Chimbote, Peru. Centerville, Utah.
The job I had: Fulltime LDS Missionary. Student. Box Office Manager. ArtsBridge Scholar – Theatre Specialist.
The career I wanted: BTS Theatre Specialist for K-6 Elementary

A typical Friday night: 2013 was a weird year for me romantically. A typical Friday night I would have been on a date. (Sometimes even two dates on the same night. YIKES.) I also spent the majority of my time at the University of Utah Insitute of Religion where I met some lifelong friends, did a lot of service and too many stupid pranks.

2014

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Where I was living: Centerville, Utah
The job I had: Student. Box Office Manager. ArtsBridge Scholar – Theatre Specialist. Receptionist / AR Clerk
The career I wanted: BTS Theatre Specialist for K-6 Elementary

A typical Friday Night: I met Dan early 2014. When we were dating we would stay up ’til three, four in the morning just talking and joking around. Any Friday night we would be watching a bad movie (on purpose) or confusing our friends with our elaborate inside jokes. SHMOOPIE.

2015

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Where I was living: Centerville, Utah
The job I had: Receptionist / AR Clerk
The career I wanted: Stay at Home Mom, Theatre Instructor, Writer

A typical Friday night: I would come home tired and cranky from work around six or so. Dan and I would almost certainly be having Beef Stroganoff for dinner. Binging Breaking Bad on the pull out sofa bed in our front room.

2016

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Where I was living: Centerville, Utah
The job I had: Student. ArtsBridge Scholar – Theatre Specialist. Stay at Home Mom. Fulltime writer.
The career I wanted: BTS Theatre Specialist for K-6 Elementary, Stay at Home Mom, Writer

A typical Friday night: When Jack was born, I started writing all day every day. He never wanted to be set on the floor (he’s still the same). I would lay him on my legs and taught myself to type one-handed!

2017

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Where I was living: Centerville, Utah
The job I had: Student. Stay at home Mom. Fulltime Writer.
The career I wanted: An author / Stay at Home Mom

A typical Friday night: I remember Pharmacy School feeling like a backpack full of iron bars as we crawled toward the finish line. A typical Friday night would be, Dan in his office studying/crying. The baby mesmerized by music videos (he’s still the same). Vigourously researching story structure, plotting, and publishing.

2018

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Where I was living: Centerville, Utah. Mesa, AZ
The job I had: Stay at Home Mom. Fulltime writer.
The career I wanted: An author / Stay at Home Mom

A typical Friday night: It’s hard to even remember since it was so hectic. We spent a lot of time inside. A single mom. Dan miserable at work and Jack adjusting well to Arizona. Casey was an easy baby and spent most of his Friday’s asleep.

2019

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Where I was living: Mesa, AZ
The job I had: Stay at home Mom. Fulltime writer
The career I wanted: An author / Stay At Home Mom

A typical Friday night: As I write this post… it is a Friday night. Dan spent a long day at work (*the much better job that he loves so much). He fell asleep next to me, an interstellar space travel documentary is playing. Rain patters on the window. The boys are asleep, although, I am confident Jack will be up more than a few times tonight. And I am still writing.

And reminiscing.

 

 

Another Short Story Finds a Home

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Hey. I haven’t had a chance to share this because I’ve been so busy with NaNo but I had another short story published. Which you can read for free online in the Salt Lily Magazine…

*PG13 warning* This story is a direct modern translation of a scene from Taming of the Shrew. Some of Shakespeare’s inappropriate jokes survived the translation. Plus some swears here and there.

Even if you don’t read the story, you still should check out Salt Lily Magazine. They often feature artists and musicians and just have really great content.

 

READ HERE:

Life Update: So Much to be Grateful For

I just wanted to quickly let you know that things are going extremely well for us lately.

Dan’s job has been close to ideal. And my loved one with cancer has had a successful surgery in which they were able to remove the tumor.
2019 has been one of the hardest years of my life, but it’s ending as lovely as it could have. Each trial has been equally matched with a miracle and I’m leaving this year with even more than I started.
The biggest take away for me is the responsibility I feel to give back to others. Good and lucky things don’t happen to everyone every time. I want to remember my good fortune and work hard to help others.
So anyway! Thank you so much for the prayers and positivity. I really believe in my heart that it has made a difference and I’m so grateful to each and every person who has taken the time to read and care.
Love you.
PS Sorry for the quick and hasty writing but it is NaNo season after all. 🙂

Trying To Remember: The Indian in the Cupboard

This is a series where I try to write the synopsis of a movie BASED SOLEY on my ratty childhood memories of it.

 

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THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD

So there’s this kid… I don’t remember his name, but I remember it’s a really French-sounding name so I’m just going to call him Andre. Andre has, what I assume is a birthday party, where he is given a mysterious stand-alone cupboard by probably his eccentric grandpa or something. He also receives a set of small toy cowboys and Indians.

I’m pretty sure he’s disappointed about these presents and says something like, “I’m not a baby, I’m TWELVE.” Or something. I’m also pretty confident that he is quintessential 90s, with a big drowning shirt, chunky watch and center-parted Backstreet style hair.

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So, he’s looking through his plastic toys and for some reason, he puts the *Native American* in the cupboard. He turns the magical and mystical key and when he reopens the cupboard he discovers that his toy has now become a real boy.

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Andre figures out that the Native American’s name is … Blackfoot? Little Blackfoot or something? I think he has to figure it out by pantomime. I don’t think that Little Blackfoot speaks any English. Okay so after the whole hey I’m a giant but I come in peace or whatnot, they become the best of pals. And he takes him to school in his pocket and everything. When Little Blackfoot gets hungry he puts a toy deer in the cupboard and even lets him build a fire in his room to eat it. I think he converts a little toy teepee for him to sleep in.

So someone, probably some dopey friend of his, accidentally puts a toy cowboy in the cupboard and turns the magical key. And this cowboy starts to fight Little Blackfoot and wounds him with his tiny toy rifle. Pierre… or Andre… or whatever the heck that kid’s name is, uses the cupboard to convert a toy soldier medic guy. He dresses the wound and saves Little Blackfoot. And I also feel like the cowboy comes around and they all eat the deer together.

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I know there’s some dramatic scene that takes place in the front yard… and I don’t really know how this movie ends. I’m pretty sure, it just ends with him putting the people back in the cupboard one at a time and turning them back into toys. And I think it’s like this emotional good-bye for Andre because it’s permanent somehow??

Or maybe he continues to see Little Blackfoot every once and a while and they remain friends whenever it’s convenient for Andre to bestow him life. That’s probably the ending, I don’t know.

 

GOES AND READS THE REAL SYNOPSIS

Okay, “OMRI” and “LITTLE BEAR”. So I was close-ish.