Friday, December 11, 2009

Speeding back up

I told you I was out of practice with the whole journal thing. It's been a few months, very BUSY ones, and I completely forgot to continue writing.

First thing; we are no longer in Kansas. As soon as we received news that the Therapist position in Escalante was ours we began completing projects on the house. Mark's parents were such a huge help with this, they both came to Kansas and helped for weeks at a time. I am sure the things would not have even been presentable without their help. We were planning on putting the place up on the market, the real estate agent was secured and we had signed a "cancel anytime" agreement with him. I wasn't really happy with the real estate agent, mostly because I felt that he was undercutting the market value for our home (75,000 instead of 80,000) and with the realtor fees and inevitable closing costs it looked like we were going to be lucky to break even. We had spoken with a member of our ward named Rich, who had suggested we try renting-to-own instead. He has several ren-to-own properties and said that they can be pretty profitable, especially when so many have a hard time being approved for new mortagages. It seemed like a really intriguing idea, but with so much to accomplish and so little time, we thought we would try out the real estate agent until we had moved, and then possibly re-weigh our options.
On the day before the move, the young men and their leaders from our ward volunteered to load everything into the Uhaul. It literally took them an HOUR to empty my garage and house. I couldn't believe how fast it went! During the move, I noticed one of the leaders really taking his time through the rooms and looking things over carefully. After everything had been loaded, Rich intoduced him to us as Alex. Alex was currently looking for somewhere to live, he had 2 kids and another on the way, as well as a great big dog. Up until that point, their only living option had been apartment buildings, usually not in the best neighborhoods. He was interested in our house because it is in a nice quiet neighborhood, has a 2 car garage and a big yard, perfect for a young family. I know, because these are the reasons we had wanted it so badly a year before. Well, Alex brought his wife and mother-in-law by later that afternoon, and they decided right there that they were sold and wanted to buy it.
Even now I cannot believe how blessed we were. Instead of moving the next day, we spent all day drafting a rent-to-own contract and working out the kinks of the arrangement. They came by in the evening and signed the papers and the house was sold. No real estate agent fees, no price negotiation, (they had immediately accepted our price of 80,000) and a tidy deposit up front for security. Now we stand to make a profit of (roughly) 10,000 even AFTER we have paid off remaining debt. Booyah.
This to me, was confirmation that we really were meant to be making this move, and that God really does need us out in Escalante. Just writing it again and going over it in my head reminds me of what a miracle the whole situation was.

Anyway, so we drove and drove across the FLAT of western Kansas and eastern Colorado. I was exhilerated when we began climbing the rockies on I-70. It had been 2 very long years since I had seen actual MOUNTAINS! Growing up in the rockies of Montana (quite literally IN the mountains) this type of terrain always feels much more like home than the plains. In fact, I do not think I would like to live in the plains ever again. What I was not prepared for, however, was the AMAZING scenery that I would discover once we left the freeway and began approaching our new home. We drove through Loa and Torrey (also teeny Utah towns) and were so taken with the backdrop of Capitol Reef that we completely missed our turn and drove about 30 minutes out of our way before we even noticed we were on the wrong road. Words really don't describe quite how breathtaking the drive was, and I know I will never forget how amazing it felt to know that I would soon call this place my backyard.

It is lucky that the drive was so beautiful, because the house that we are renting is a little short of stellar. It is very old, there is even a historical marker out front stating the home was built around 1920. It is carpeted with ancient blue carpet, even in the kitchen, and the only downstairs bedroom has 3 doors. Their is a toilet installed in the upstairs closet, even though no water is available in there. But this is just quirky inconvenience. The real problem was the SPIDERS. One the day we arrived, there seemed to be at LEAST one spider in every corner of the ceiling, and plenty more scurrying around. If you know me at all you know that this is a loose description of my WORST nightmare. For some people it may be mice, snakes, or even cockroaches that terrify them, but for me it is the eight-legged variety of terror that does me in. I don't think I had a solid night of sleep for the first month as we were moving in/exterminating thousands of creepy-crawlies. I made myself sick with the constant fumes of raid, but I continued to spray because I would rather die of poison than by spiders. Fortunately since it has gotten colder I think they are mostly dead, since I have not seen any for a few weeks. (whew)

Mark has been adjusting to the new job. He works a lot of hours, but gets 3 days off a week. This makes our weekends feel like an eternity, and seems to make up for the other 4 long days. I can tell he is doing a great job like I knew he would, and I am sure that his bosses are noticing his extra effort. I think eventually he would like to do therapy with couples and families instead of focusing on youth, but for now, and for the pay, this is by far the best job I could imagine for us.

While work has kept Mark very busy, the lack of work on my end has made Jarel quite lazy. For the past few months I have felt myself stray from enjoying the break and instead find myself becoming somewhat of a lump. Since I can wake up whenever I want, I usually sleep in. Since I can clean the house at any old time, I don't do it all all. I make excuses that I need to save it so I have something to do later, but instead waste my time farting around on facebook or watching hulu. I do not feel very proud of myself when I am so unproductive, and this increases my sense of despondence and a feeling of uselessness.
This spiral of events (or non-events, you could say) has led me to feel like I need a job, school, or both to provide some structure. I know I am an achiever when I have a job to do, but it is hard to meet or exeed expectations when there are none. On this motivation I signed up to take the ACT test at Southern Utah University so that I could enroll for spring 2010. The test was last Tuesday, and I was a nervous wreck before taking it. I grew up "homeschooled" but honestly, school was not a big part of my home. Most everything I know I have learned on my own, by being a bookworm as a child, and feeling that I was not good or smart enough drove me to learn more. That same desire led me to enroll for public school during my junior and senior years, despite parental disapproval. This was valuable for my self esteem, and also helped prepare me for formal test and school settings I have faced since then. Even so, I put off taking the GED for YEARS because I was embarrassed that I was not a high school graduate, and mortified that people would judge me. I only recently took the test (still embarrassed, so I won't say HOW recently) but I can still feel the relief of a weight removed from my shoulders once I realized I had passed.
But back to the ACT. I was terrified of going back for another standardized test. I felt that failing would prove I am not as intelligent as kids my little brother's age who are about to graduate high school and enter college. I felt like I would let my siblings down. I do not know if they look up to me, but for then, I hoped nobody would be looking in case I embarrassed myself and them. I don't know even now why I decided to do it, despite the hysteria. But I did do it. I drove through a blizzard Tuesday morning all the way to Cedar City (2 hours on normal roads 3.5 in those conditions) all by myself and took the 5 hour exam. It sucked. But I am pretty proud of myself today because although I bombed math, like I knew I would, I still earned a composite ACT score of 26. My reading score was 33 out of a total possible 36, and I had a high score in English and Science Reasoning as well. High enough to earn (I like to say "EARN") admission to SUU. I still have to appeal to the school for residency, but as long as I can resolve that I should be a full time student come January.
I also sent in an application today for a job opening at the phone/cable company as a Wireless Sales Associate. I hope that something will come of it, I would like to have a job again, and the money would be really nice. I like to daydream about how quickly our debt could disappear on 2 incomes.

If I am able to land both job and school I will go from being possibly the most lazy person ever to a full time employee AND student. I know that should sound scary, but right now it actually sounds refreshing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Moving out, moving on

This is going to be short because I am busy moving and really don't have the time to even make a little post, but my head is kind of exploding.
I have a friend here in Wichita named Mallory, we worked together and we were pretty close. One thing about Mallory: She loves the drama. If there is no drama happening at the time she will find some, if there is none to be found she will make some. Now, I try to accept people despite less favorable quirks they may have because, hey, I have them too! (Short attention span anyone?)
Well randomly I received a cryptic text message from Mallory, it said; "I KNOW what you did! Lose my phone number!!!"


Well I am glad one of us knows what I did because I sure don't. Apparently she has now deleted her Facebook page, doesn't answer her phone (for me anyway) or respond to texts.
I don't have the time or energy for this, I know I haven't done anything that would merit this turn of events, but I sort of wondered when I was going to be cut off for the sake of continuing the drama. Guess I am glad it happened just in time for me to be pulling up stakes here.

On the brighter side of things, this will inspire me to tackle a goal I have had in mind for a while:
completely refraining from gossip or talking badly about people behind their backs. Since I will be starting with a clean slate in a new town I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to avoid this type of negative behavior. I think once people recognize I do not participate in or appreciate gossip that they will either avoid me from the onset, or discontinue gossiping in my presence.

There. I think I just needed to vent for a second. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go paint some more.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So, I got sick and did not keep you updated on which of my tasks I completed from the previous list. If you are hoping for that update now (yes, I know, SO exciting) you are out of luck.
I am still sick and need to go to sleep, but I wanted to log in and say.... (ahem)


**queue balloons, confetti, sirens, disco dancers**

I am so excited, but I know the full reality has not kicked in yet, so count on me continuing the excitement later. Much love and goodnight!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Mark recently graduated with his Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and we have been looking for a job since school ended. We found one in a teeeeeny tiny town called Escalante, UT, a therapist position at a ranch for troubled youth. Well, Mark went out for an interview, and after thinking and weighing and praying we really felt that this could be the best move for us. We got so jazzed up that we have already been anxiously completing renovation on our remaining rooms so we can sell our home, and I have even (cough cough) started packing!
So yesterday was the day we were going to find out if Mark had the job. I was so excited, and 98% certain it would be a yes. I even left work early in anticipation so we could celebrate.
Mark called me with the reply, but it wasn't as awesome as I would have hoped.
In Marriage and Family Therapy, post-grad students need to accrue a certain number of supervised hours, that is, they need to have an approved supervisor they see regularly to make sure everything is going well. After that requirement is fulfilled (usually takes about 2 years) they can truly practice on their own.
Well the ranch had a supervisor they have used for this purpose before, but that person is no longer available to supervise. Since the area is so rural, it could be very difficult to find another available supervisor in the time frame they need. At this point our getting the job is dependent on somebody calling us back (Mark made like, 8 million phone calls yesterday) by about the middle of next week and being willing to provide supervision.
Not as rosy as I would have hoped.

Because of this bummer, I think I have lost motivation to accomplish the stuff I had planned for this weekend. So I will have to manufacture some motivation. I am going to write down the things I want to do, and then I will write back tomorrow night letting you know what I actually did.
  1. 1. For exercise, take Oscar for an intense bike ride. Good for my thighs, good for tiring out the dog so he doesn't bug me while I accomplish other things.
  2. Finish painting the closet, and then sorting and putting away Mark's clothes.
  3. Empty my closet and paint it.
  4. Wash, iron, sort my clothes, put all away.
  5. Get groceries, make dinner.
  6. Plan lesson for class on Sunday


  1. File paperwork (totally been putting this off)
  2. Weed garden (!)
  3. Bathe doggies (May need to do this today, not Sunday)
  4. Paint hall cabinets
  5. Make dinner (it never ends!)

And with that, I had better get crackin!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cutting the red ribbon

This is the very first entry of my brand new journal-type thing. I have always enjoyed taking my thoughts down, although I have fallen out of the habit almost entirely since I got married.
(Which is two years to those wondering.) I do miss the Diary/Girl relationship though, which is a large reason why I want to start again. I have various hardback journals with pages remaining, as well as a different online blog that I used to update daily, I could have used either of these but I feel the need now to begin something completely new and fresh.
I plan on using this space to flesh out the random inspirations and gabbles (see blog title) that are floating around my brain. Please do not expect these to be congruent, as I am really out of practice, and don't make much sense to begin with anyway.
Subjects you can expect me to talk about in no particular order are:

My Husband, Mark. Okay, I already lied. This one is in particular order because I talk and think about him the most. I am very, very in love, and we are very, very cute together. (I am very, very biased about this.) When we were so happy and just dating each other, people would say disdainfully "Just wait until you are married." Their tone suggested that somehow vows would cause our glee and romance to tarnish or sour. Well, we were the happiest newlyweds, and cynics would still insist; "Just wait until after the first year!" Well, after a year things were better than ever and now of course we have people muttering and warning against the 3, 5, or 7 year itches. The moral of the story? Don't listen to people. Love is marvelous.

Furniture. I have a complete furniture/home design fetish. Expect plenty of pictures and room mock-ups or DIY ideas in this category.

My babies. No, I am not pregnant, but that IS a popular question! ( I get asked about every-other day by somebody or other) My babies are my 11 year old Long-haired German Shepherd, Hanna, (She was the best Christmas present ever in 1998) Oscar, our too-smart-for-his-own-britches 1.5 year old Australian Shepherd, and Country, our rescued baby sparrow who bonded with us too thoroughly to return to the wild.

I am highly motivated to start something huge and exciting about every hour for 5 minutes or so. So depending on the time of day and intensity of my current obsession(s) You will find me rambling about what I want to do when I grow up (for real) or how much I plan to trim my waist. A fringe benefit to this account is that I am somewhat of a showoff, and if I blog about it, I am going to be more inclined to complete at least a percentage of the endeavors I begin, just to save face. Thanks in advance for that!

And on that note, I have been trying to get to bed on time lately, so I will officially call this blog christened! Goodnight all.