Thursday, December 29, 2011

we bought the farm

well, really we just bought a house, but it might as well have been a farm.
my mom says my grandpa has a saying that goes something like, "you just
tied your fanny to a tree."  i don't even know what context that comes from,
but i'm pretty sure it applies to our situation.

we've been married almost 5 1/2 years, and in that time we've lived in an apartment
where we didn't once turn on the heat all winter (little did we know that we were
probably only saving like $12 a month, but we were broker than joke and just living
on love), lived in a mortuary for 2 1/2 years...a mortuary.  where i had to do very
little, but richard had to retrieve the deceased at all hours of the night to pay our rent.
as much as we complain about that period of time, we have such great memories of
living so close to our best friends, and again, living on love.  most recently we lived
in a basement apartment (right across the street from the mortuary) under some other
good friends.  every once in awhile we'd talk about buying a house, but then a great
trip would present itself, or we enjoyed not having the responsibility of owning a home.
this summer, we finally decided to face our commitment issues and start looking.
after a couple of failed short sale attempts, we found the perfect house.  richard knew it
was perfect long before i did, but eventually i came around.  once i did, this is how
it all played out:

we worked with our amazing realtor, joel carson, to make it ours.
this is us at closing.  he was the greatest and we'd recommend him to
anyone.  plus, he has a pig for a pet, so that's like 50 bonus points.

after closing we went to order our carpet.  then we went to lunch, and the
whole thing started to sink in a bit.  at this point i thought richard might throw up.

but my enthusiasm rubbed off just enough to keep it down.

the next night, after we'd gotten the keys, we went to the house to open
the couple of house-warming gifts we'd gotten from richard's co-workers
and joel.

that weekend we cleaned like we've never cleaned before.  we had some
amazing friends show up to help. and my dad deserves a medal of honor for
all that he did for us that weekend.  my energy was about spent until jenkins
and myself started pumping the jams whilst cleaning away.  snow white was
right, whistling/singing and dancing while you work is just the ticket to getting
the job done without wanting to kill someone.

i didn't take one picture of moving day.  that's how busy we were.  but
eventually we got all of our stuff into our new place.  since the carpet wasn't going
to be installed for another week we had to pile (yes, pile) everything we owned in
our front room.

it felt a little like we were squatters or something, but it didn't last long.

this is the carpet that was on our stairs.

big surprise that we didn't want to keep it.  richard and scott
ripped it out before the carpeters came, so we didn't have to
pay for them to do it.

we eventually got organized enough to have a few visitors.  scott and megan
jaunted the rest of the way up on their trip to happy valley to check out our new
digs.  kaycee and the rest of the anderson crew popped in for a little visit, too.

once the carpet was in we could move everything in the front room to its
rightful place in the house, and there was finally room for our charlie brown
christmas tree.  i wouldn't say it was like pulling teeth to get richard's help with
the tree, but something close to that would be accurate.

there are so many things we love about our place:

its in ogden (5 1/2 years ago that wouldn't have been true)
its brick
the yard isn't too big or too small
the ward is amazing
covered parking...lots of it
minor fix-ups required (for richard)
that richard wants to do the minor fix-ups (for rachel)
there's plenty of room to invite people over
that we can't touch the ceilings without stretching
storage space...we've never seen so many closets!
among other things...

i can confidently say that richard's favorite thing about our house is that he
has his own band room.  a room that is strictly designated for his instruments
(which are all under same roof he is for the first time in about 7 years) and
rocking out.  they jammed on christmas eve, and the day after christmas, too.

i think we can expect plenty more of this.

some things we won't miss:

the tile downstairs.  its now covered by the cushiest carpet our money
could buy.

scraping ice from our windshields.  already, on more than one morning as
i've driven to the gym, i've snickered at the suckers who have ice frozen to
their windows.  never. again.

i don't think i'd trade our time spent living in our other apartments, because
we really have so many awesome memories from each one.  i'm so grateful for
all of the places we've called home, and especially for this new one.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

thanksgiving: starting like a smith, ending like a porter/shepherd

we had a great thanksgiving, celebrating just like i'm sure the pilgrims and
indi-...i mean, native americans did at the very first thanksgiving...

we started the day out with a turkey bowl.
our version is played inside with a basketball.

we cared for the young in our group.
and when i say "we," i mean richard.  somehow, while i was watching
eli he got his head and arm stuck in the hole-y back of a chair.  he
wanted next to nothing to do with me the rest of the weekend, but richard
and his viking-esque beard calmed his nerves almost instantly.

whatever.  the girls won.

the boys showed their gratitude for technology by immersing themselves
in the world of smash brothers.  i guarantee they didn't even know i
was taking this picture.

we all showed our gratitude for liz's beautiful and delicious
homemade pies by devouring them like savages.
that statement is probably offensive after having referred
to native americans earlier...but that's how we did it.

we stuffed our faces, and enjoyed every minute of it.
i was completely free from any and all cooking duties thanks to our
ambitious little r.m., heidi.  she made the stuffing, sweet potatoes,
and biscuits.  they were all huge hits.  thank you, uruguay.

after years of living in fear of playing rook with the smiths, i finally caved.
during the week leading up to the holiday, richard was my diligent rook coach.
i wouldn't say that i'm a pro, or even a smith when it comes to rook, but at
least i'll join the game, now.
we played lots of rook.  and to reward myself for overcoming such a feat i
treated myself to many s'mores by the firepit.

richard knows the way to my heart:
a giant s'more.

our time in st. george was well-spent, but eventually we made our way back
to ogden.  the thanksgiving festivities would continue the following weekend
with the traditional shepherd family gingerbread house jamboree.

at some point during the week, richard couldn't take the rate at which his
facial hair was growing and decided to end no-shave september, october,
and november.  what started out as painful stubble when our faces met, had
turned into this frighteningly soft, paprika-colored face warmer.
i actually liked it.  he lets me do what i want with my hair, why shouldn't
i show him the same courtesy?  especially when he's still such a babe.

at the end of the week, gingerbread houses were finally made.
after i was accosted for using all of the orange sticks by chelsa, who
is a fierce g-bread house architect, richard took over where i left off.
the orange stick debacle put me in such a funk that i didn't even blink at
the fact that our back side was completely made of cheeto's.

richard heckled kody...all in good fun.
they were his cheeto's.

sarah turned into syd the sloth.  mvp.

i turned my frown upside-down by singing songs with my guys.
my dad was on the other side of me, and something about singing
'hey jude' with that man can bring me out of any doldroms.

although our smiles are a little forced, we eventually made up.

what a guy.  he's a lifesaver...

and a professional tickler.
he gets me every time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

my cup runneth over

with things to give thanks for.
here are just a few of them, in no specific order.

adventures that i get to have...

on my own

with my family

and with my best friend


really good, loud, live music that i get to enjoy with my favorite people

that i still get to play volleyball...

in the park

in the mud

in the freaking middle of the night


for this guy, who...

is the only person that grandma b remembers and truly loves

loves his family

can still throw a mean fastball
and looks smokin' hot in baseball pants

is a mad hot ballroom

makes me laugh harder than anyone else

good food

good friends

good in-laws

the craziest and best family in the world.  hands down.

a famdamily that wouldn't be what it is without:

a dad who knows all things from correct grammar and historical facts
to movie trivia and any kind of handy-man skill you could need.

he'll do just about anything to make you laugh/stop crying
 (if you're his daughter), including but not limited to learning a song
you like on the guitar and making animal noises
(elephant is his specialty).

also note, he knows how to have a good time and he's the funniest guy
i know.  he's the reason girls try to find husbands just like their fathers.
at least for this girl, anyway.  i got lucky.

a mom who knows how to laugh at truly funny stuff, crappy situations,
her family, and herself.  she's the reason our family is so in love with
each other, and the reason any of us ever see the glass half-full.

she makes the best chocolate chip cookies and clam chowder in the world,
and she can accurately predict the end of any movie within the first five minutes.

she's so loving that we "don't even know what yelling is."
but really, i want to be just like her when i'm a mom. 

parents who love their family and each other.

i hope that richard and i can be like them when we grow up.

sisters. its hard to put into words how i feel about these girls.
our personalities are as different as our hair/skin colors, but they're
two of the best people i know.

the probability of laughing to the point of tears, peeing my pants, or having
my drink shoot out of my nose is higher when i'm with them than anyone else.

this one is a lover and a fighter.  she doesn't know it, but she makes me brave...
i see the way she follows her heart without hesitation i'm trying to let
that rub off on me.  now, if only her god-given no-exercise-necessary muscle tone
would rub off on me, too.

i envy this girl's wit and charm - she's funny and beautiful and doesn't
take any crap from anyone.  i still feel like i'm figuring out who i am, but
i swear she's got it all figured out before she's even 17.  i want to be like
my littlest sister when i grow up.

there is beauty all around.