Friday, April 30, 2010


We've finally made a decision that feels right, and I feel peace for the first time since January. Today our house is going off the market. We're officially not going to walk through any more houses. We're going to sit tight for about six months and save up. I'm getting granite in my kitchen, but I'm holding off on the bookshelves upstairs. Around January, we're going to assess where we are financially and assuming everything's as it should be, we're going to start building at that time. We're going to keep our eyes open for the right building lot in between now and that time. We're thinking either Herriman, Riverton, or South Jordan. I also want to see what happens in the next school year with the east/west split before I make any major decisions.

We've picked a builder (same one as the house we almost bought) and a floorplan. Imagine in the great/family room my two-story library in this house: .


This will be my last house. Unless we have to move out of state, I'll never move again.

Portia Turned Three!

Portia's third birthday was quiet as far as birthdays go. We had a nice family meal together (Cheddar Cheese pies) and Daddy brought home gourmet cupcakes from this new bakery called The Sweet Tooth Fairy. Yum!


For her birthday, Portia got some Angelina Ballerina living room furniture (see discarded furniture in photos), a Little Einsteins toy, and a stuffed owl. This seemed small potatoes to Portia when she opened Grandma Watters' box of goodies that included a rainbow tutu with matching musical bells.



Happy Third Birthday, Portia!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Indian Instruments

On Eric's last trip to India (and hopefully his last ever), Bianca asked for a sitar. She's musical and thought it would be fun to have such a strange instrument to try out. Then Portia asked for an instrument. While he was at it, I told him he might as well pick up something for Bianca's piano teacher who collects rare instruments from around the world so that her Christmas present for next year will be done.

He was only gone for a couple days and when he came back, he had one full bag filled with Indian musical instruments. Here are the treasures he brought home:

First, Bianca's Sitar:


Next, Portia's instrument. It's called a Dori Dholak and it's played on its side so you can hit both sides with each hand:


A woman who worked at the office sent gifts for each of the girls too. Here's an Ektara, which means single-stringed instrument in Hindi. It's pretty cool. It's actually made out of a gourd and a bamboo stick.


We brought home a tabla for Bianca's piano teacher. A tabla is a two-part drum but I didn't take a photo because it's shrink wrapped and I want to give it as a Christmas present new.

They're very exotic and are quite cool. Now we need to learn how to use them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dressing up

About seven years ago when Eric lost his job, we heard a bit of advice that I've never forgotten even though I don't remember who said it or where it came from. The advice was that you should never have all your household income coming from one place. After he found a job, we applied it. Eric took up refereeing lacrosse games on the weekends, I started working part-time for the newspaper, and we got a fourplex that boosted monthly income. Although I'm not doing the newspaper gig any longer, we still have the other "sources" in place.

Two weekends ago, as Eric was readying to leave for a lacrosse game, Portia said something to him about dressing up. I didn't get what she was saying and neither did he until two minutes later, Portia came running in to the family room in her "dress-up" (an old dance recital leotard from my childhood that both my girls have loved playing in). I'm a little embarrassed about it--what with the black lace and silver sequins.

But here it is: Eric and Portia in their matching dress-ups.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

We're staying after all

On Thursday, our realtor called and said they are officially giving the house to the back-up offer people (who offered quite a bit more). I'm washing my hands of the whole thing. Still, I'm a little sad. But I'm trying to remember all the reasons I didn't want to move and dwell on those.

I thought a good way to get over my sadness would be to give my house a couple little boosts. So I went to Anthropologie and bought some new curtains for my family room. I'm having a couple people come bid on my library upstairs--bookshelves, fireplace (hopefully), additional A/C. I'm getting bids on a fence. I even pulled up some of the shelving the builders left in my house ten years ago and I went to Home Depot and got some shelf supports and added four rows of shelving in our coat closet for shoes (one row for each of us). And Eric says I never do things around the house.


I also bought a bunch of rock and am filling in the window wells around the house. I'm so sick of weeds growing out of them. I don't know how long this will last, but I'm excited about all the new things to be done to my house. And since we don't need the money for a down payment, I've got a little to spend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do I like this game? Oh no, I do not!

When I was in California visiting my sister, Portia found The Cat in the Hat in the room where she was sleeping and asked me to read it every night. She loved the part when the fish is flustered and the cat keeps on with his crazy antics. The part that stuck with us (and we still repeat a lot) is when the fish said about the up, up-up-up-with-a-fish game: Do I like this game? Oh no, I do not.

I've been flustered lately too. About realtor games. Last night, the realtor came back to us and said we needed to go up another $10,000 if we wanted to get the house that we had already negotiated a price on. We had two hours to think about it and get back to her. We talked. I didn't feel good about it. Eric didn't either. We decided it's the price we originally negotiated or nothing. We'd walk.

I righted everything in my head. I decided we'd get a fence this summer and maybe put a little playhouse in the back yard. I'd do my bookshelves after all. I felt so at peace with it. But a half an hour later, the realtor called back and said the owners really wanted us to get the house so there's still a chance. This feels like a big game where people are lying (about back-up offers, etc.) to try to get you to raise the price. I don't know if I can trust my own realtor who got a little ornery with me last night about how $10,000 was no big deal. Part of me just wanted to be done with it once and for all and accept that I'm going to be staying in my house that I love (and no one else seemed to from our week and a half on the market). So now we're still in this state of indecision--are we going or are we not?

At the risk of sounding like an overly uptight fish, I'll end this blog by saying, Do I like this game? Oh no, I do not!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Faith of a child

The first time Bianca tried to fast on a fast Sunday, she ended up throwing up after she ate dinner. She's eight. I didn't expect her to do it. Heaven knows I still have a hard time fasting (and frankly don't love doing it). But she wanted to try. This past Sunday, since Eric and I were fasting for a special reason, Bianca said she wanted to try again. And while we were fasting for a quick sale of our current house, Bianca said she was fasting to make sure moving was the right thing. She did it and she didn't even throw up this time.

Yesterday, however, we found out we may not be moving after all. A couple weeks ago, the realtors said everything was going to happen, said it was a "done deal" in the other realtor's own words. So we moved forward, put our house on the market, prayed for a quick sale. Everything seemed to be falling into place and it felt right. And now it might not happen. The owners signed, but the bank hadn't and some higher offers came through. I felt a little heartbroken. And then I thought about Bianca and her fasting and her faith. And I wondered if maybe it wasn't the right thing, but we thought it was and until then, we hadn't been asking Heavenly Father the right questions or praying for the right thing.

So now, it's in the Lord's hands. I will accept whatever the outcome is. I'm going to try to have the faith of a child and accept that if the bank gives the house to someone else, it was the Lord's answer to Bianca's prayer, to the question I should have been asking all along.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My house is for sale

We spent the weekend with touching up the paint, replacing toilet seats, putting plates over wires. And our house is finally on the market. We still have a bit of yard work to do. I feel a little exposed now, however, putting all these pictures of my home on the internet. I guess it's just all part of the process.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I can't believe it's happening. . .

Nearly everything is signed. The owners approved, the bank approved. Now it's just a couple week's wait and we'll have a new house just a walk away from Eric's work. I really feel this house will be a blessing to us and will allow Eric to spend more time with the family (even if he has to go back to work after the girls go to bed).

My cute wonderful house is going on the market today. I'm praying, praying, praying that my house will sell quickly to a family that will love it as much as we did. And I'm praying all the timing will work out just right.

I'll leave this blog first with a picture of my new house and then a picture of the playhouse in the backyard that my girls are ecstatic about.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

100 Facts About Myself

I joined a themed blog group my sister-in-law Karma started and this was our most recent topic--write 100 facts about me:

1. I do a lot of research before I buy something and love it even more if I get a good deal on it. (On the other hand, if I see it for cheaper after I've bought it, it seriously makes me sick.)

2. I should have been born 100 years ago--I love old things and hope someday to live in a 100+ year-old house.

3. I'm a cancer survivor: I was diagnosed with liposarcoma cancer in 2001.

4. Winter is my favorite season--I love making myself warm when it's cold by drinking A LOT of hot chocolate, wearing warm sweaters, and sitting by the fireplace.

5. I'm rather cheap (I add water to my soap to get ALL of it out of the bottle) but I love expensive things and my favorite place to shop is Anthropologie. However, I have gotten really good deals there (see #1).

6. I want to learn how to embroider. And I love embroidery on all my clothes, tablecloths, bedding--anything that can have embroidery.

7. I'm addicted to ebay and usually have about 50 things I'm "watching" at any given time. I sell on ebay sometimes too.

8. I hope someday to be a real writer of "creative" nonfiction and fiction and have written for the newspaper. I’m currently writing a musical for elementary-school kids that will be performed in August for the City of Herriman.

9. I hate gardening.

10. I don't like "manufactured" fun and would prefer doing something in nature to going to an amusement park any day.

11. I love decorating/re-decorating all the rooms in my house. I especially love doing my girls' bedrooms.

12. I'm obsessed with dresses for my girls. It's a good thing I had girls and not boys.

13. All my daughter's names are based on characters from Shakespeare's plays—Bianca, Miranda, and Portia.

14. I'm from St. Louis but have never been up in the arch.

15. I love spicy foods and would put jalepenos on anything that I possibly can.

16. I have a Chihuahua named Tigger (who I pretend that I don't like).

17. I like to travel, but hate to do "touristy" things; I'd rather spend a week on the French countryside than go up the Eiffel Tower.

18. I haven't painted my fingernails or toes in months.

19. After 10 grueling years of fighting against my mom when she was giving me piano lessons, I actually enjoy playing now and practice almost every day.

20. I hate my chin.

21. I wear my pajamas all day, unless I'm out doing something. When I get home, I immediately put on my pajamas again.

22. I love birds and like to point them out to my kids (I thank my appreciation of nature/bird watching class I took in college). I will hike halfway across the mall parking lot to let Portia see a gaggle of Canada Geese.

23. I'd rather read a book than watch TV any day.

24. My husband is by far a better cook than I am.

25. Yoga's my new favorite exercise.

26. I live in Salt Lake City—even though I swore I’d never live in Utah when I came out here to go to BYU.

27. I love cats.

28. I don’t mind driving distances and go by myself (with my kids) to visit my sister in California every year.

29. I like jogging, most of the time.

30. I wanted desperately to be a gymnast when I was a kid but had to settle for cheerleading since it was much, much cheaper.

31. I take a ridiculous amount of pleasure seeing my daughter Bianca excel at piano and viola.

32. I expect a lot (probably too much) from my kids.

33. I used to collect frogs, still have a lot hanging around my house.

34. I have to make my bed every day and will make it right before bed (if I didn't earlier) just so I can climb into a made bed.

35. My favorite flower is the calla lily.

36. I love Thai and Indian food.

37. I’m afraid to get on a motorcycle.

38. I love blue eyes.

39. I’m in two book clubs and two writing groups—and now a themed-blog group. =)

40. My husband is the greatest.

41. I bought my first purse this year. I can’t believe I waited so long to get one. It’s great to have everything with me!

42. I love reading in the bath.

43. I can’t stop looking at my split ends.

44. My favorite book is Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy.

45. My favorite poem is Maggie and Milly and Molly and May (Cummings).

46. I’ve never had a cavity.

47. I don’t believe in vitamin supplements (well, only a little).

48. I’m addicted to chapstick.

49. I’ve done a round off, back tuck after having each of my children.

50. My favorite movie is Little Women with Winona Ryder and Christian Bale.

51. My daughter taught me how to play chess and beats me 9 out of 10 times.

52. I’m done having kids.

53. I have way too many gray hairs to be 34.

54. My daughter Miranda was 15 months old when she died in a car accident.

55. I hate being late.

56. I love spending a lot of time finding the perfect present and enjoy giving presents more than getting them.

57. I'm spending a fortune on my eight-year-old's teeth this year--three cavities and she's getting braces.

58. I love soup.

59. I want to go back to college someday for my PhD (I guess a master’s would be okay).

60. I don’t like to bake.

61. I’m short.

62. My husband and I have a fourplex downtown SLC that I manage.

63. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

64. I’m a snowboarder and worked at a ski resort all through college. Now Bianca’s taking snowboarding lessons.

65. I’ve never left the U.S. I must remedy this soon.

66. One day, I want a house with a two-story library.

67. I’m a primary teacher and love to sing the primary songs in Sharing Time.

68. I like to mix Diet Coke with Coke when I’m getting a fountain drink. That way, I feel a little bit better.

69. I love classical music. But also classic rock.

70. I collect books illustrated by Hugh Thomson. And I love all old books with tipped-in color plates.

71. I drink hot cocoa every day, as regularly as coffee drinkers.

72. My favorite color is blue.

73. I wear glasses and like them because they make me look different. I don’t want contacts or surgery.

74. I’ve been married for ten years and have lived in the same house for nine. Eric and I met at BYU and lived in the same apartment building.

75. I scrapbook and love blog books.

76. I drive a BMW X3.

77. I graduated with an English major and Business minor from BYU (and finished in four years).

78. I’ve never broken a bone in my body.

79. I hate spiders.

80. I love lemonade, but only freshly squeezed. I always know the best places to get lemonade.

81. I love camping but my husband doesn’t, so we just don’t go.

82. All of my girls were born by C-section.

83. I love Jottum clothes for my girls. I’ve been waiting for a certain dress to show up on the Internet for almost two years now. And the dress has a name. Someday the Stephania will be on one of my girls.

84. I love the feeling of fresh sheets.

85. I have a wonderful cleaning girl who I can’t live without. What did I do before Jen was in my life?

86. My 2-year-old Portia changes clothes at least six times a day.

87. My house has to be straightened every night or I can’t sleep (that includes all dishes out of the sink).

88. When I was a kid, I had to share a room and always wanted my own space. Now I’m married and have to share a room still! I make sure my kids have their own rooms but they want to share. I give up!

89. I want to build a nice playhouse for my kids.

90. I love having my back scratched.

91. I cry easily and care much too much what other people think.

92. I think crown molding is beautiful and I love cool ceilings in houses and buildings.

93. I love going to see the symphony.

94. I don’t like white elephant gifts.

95. I hate when kids walk through my back yard. I desperately need a fence! This summer. . .

96. I loved having a godmother as a kid. I wish we still did that in my family.

97. Barbecue chips are my favorite.

98. I love trees and wish they grew bigger in Utah.

99. When I was a kid riding the bus, I always looked forward to looking at this house that had a pond in the backyard with an island in the middle. I’ve always, always wanted my very own island in my very own pond. I dreamed about rowing a little boat out to the island and having a little house on the island that was mine, all mine.

100. I hate when my fingernails and hair grow. I just wish they’d stay the same length.