Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The life of a Home Owner

Hello to all my avid readers! (I know I must have a ton...) Please excuse me for my lack of posts. I AM a slacker, after all. Although, I really hope to change that once this baby boy gets here. I've decided that I need to keep up this blog so that I can keep a record of my life with this little guy. So that maybe, a couple years down the road, we can sit down together and relive the "good old days". And with that as my goal, let's get started!

An update:
James and I bought a duplex almost a year ago. We bought the whole thing, both floors. I know what you’re thinking.. “Wow, a duplex? They must be rolling in the dough!”   But no. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is, we got a heck of a deal. Mostly because this duplex was a fixer-upper. Like,  MAJOR, could-destroy-your-marriage, overwhelming amounts of work, kind of fixer-upper. You think I’m joking?   Here, take a look for yourself….

Do you SEE how hideous this thing was? The porches were rotting to the point of being a safety hazard, the siding was rotting, the trees were taking over the house, the windows were the old, metal ones and way too tiny, and do you see the color? Can you say eew!?
Somehow, James convinced me to go along with the crazy idea of buying this thing.
Let me give you the details of what we’ve done with the place:
1)      The bottom floor (2 bed, 1 bath, and the garage) was completely gutted out. There had been a smoker living in the bottom floor, so the whole place the reeked of smoke. The light switches had tan rings around them, the popcorn ceiling had a very tarry color to it, the blinds were turning brown… in short, it was disgusting. Not to mention, I could touch the ceiling with the flat of my hand (And I’m not very tall) .
2)      We had to completely re-do the heaters because the previous owner had two heaters (1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs) in the same little closet downstairs and both of them were venting into 1 room. If you don’t know what that means, because I didn’t, it means that if you closed the door in that room you could potentially suffocate because the heaters were sucking the oxygen out of the room…. NOT GOOD ! So, we had to re-route the duct work so that the heaters were on their respective floors and properly vented.
3)      James had to practically re-wire the entire downstairs because it was all wrong and against code, but at least we were able to add in some central lighting. (In Washington, there’s no central lighting. Just plugs that are connected to switches so you can plug in lamps….)
4)      We replaced all the windows. For some, we replaced them just so we could be more energy efficient. With others, we HAD to replace them because of safety hazards  (according to fire code, they shouldn’t be more than 42” off the ground so that children can get out of the house in case of a fire)
5)      Other than replacing the windows, the top floor (4 bed, 2 bath) didn’t need much work. Just some paint and some TLC. We painted the kitchen cabinets white because they were ugly. Replaced both toilets, and a shower surround in 1 of the bathrooms, and a sink in 1 of the bathrooms. Also, we tore out the carpet in the 1 room with carpet because it was disgusting, and we laid down laminate wood flooring instead. But, yeah, not too shabby.
6)      We left the windows and the exterior to the contractor. What he did, was replace: the siding, the deck, the stairs, and the windows. He also did the painting. And once the downstairs was ready, he also did the drywall and paint. Oh yeah, and he re-sealed the roof and fixed/replaced the gutters and downspouts. And…….. I think that’s everything!
I would go into more detail about everything we did, but I think this post is long enough as it is. However, once my downstairs is completed, I’m going to brag and give a completely detailed before-and-after post because, we’re pretty proud of ourselves.
To conclude, let me just tell you how proud I am of my husband. James is such a hard worker. He works on something for the house every day without fail. Without him being the dedicated, hard worker he is, this would have never been possible. And I probably would have killed him haha! Oh, and don’t forget, this has all been going on while I’ve been pregnant. I think I deserve a gold metal in Patience.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not Surprising

So, it turns out that even the idea of everyone knowing I failed, wasn't enough to get me to accomplish the goal mentioned earlier. Did I read? Yes. Did I read it all? No. Did I read consistently? No. But do I know that when I read my scriptures my day goes better? Yes. So maybe I'll try to use that as motivation. Who knows....but I'll keep you posted.


Life as of lately: James and I are in the process of buying a duplex. It needs a bit of TLC, but with a little elbow grease and a lot of work, we'll have a nice place to live and a rental property! After all the fixing up is done we will have two units with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms each. How great is that?! It's in a good neighborhood and a great school district and I am just so excited! I'm not going to lie, it's kind of weird to be doing something so.... adult. As if recently buying our first car wasn't grown-up enough, now we're doing this??? Since when am I old enough to buy a house? Last time I checked, I was still a teenager who had no major responsibilities.... (I don't really feel that way, but it still is a little weird to think that we're buying a house, you know?)

*SPOILER ALERT* Speaking of being grown up... James and I went to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn Part 1!! (Because we're grown-ups and we're allowed to make decisions like that haha). I loved it! Were there some parts that I think could have been portrayed better? Of course! I mean, I have watched the entire series in my head while reading the books so obviously there are some things that I think could have been done better due to my pre-conceived ideas of how things should have been done. Did Kristen Stewart act the way I hope she would have when she saw Edward at the alter waiting for her? No. But was the wedding Gorgeous and everything I could have imagined?? YES! So I can overlook the small details. I think Kristen Stewart did do a good job of acting like a selfless mother though; willing to sacrifice her own life for the life of her child, and being overjoyed at the mere idea of bearing a child. I think she did well in that regard. I think Robert Pattinson did a great job bringing Edward to life as well. He really brought the emotions that I had hoped to see come from a man who thinks he may lose the love of his life.  And I was so happy with where they ended part 1. I was afraid it was going to be a horrible cliff hanger, but they wrapped it up nicely and you could tell there was more to the story, but it wasn't so blatantly obvious. I was afraid it would be like, Bella screaming in agony, Edward pulling something out of her belly, and then BAM black screen and all you here is "Renesme" *roll credits*. But that's not how they did it, and I'm glad.  They did take some liberties and deviate from the books a bit, but not too bad. Overall, I really enjoyed it and I cannot WAIT for part 2 now.

Well, that's all I have for now. I will keep you posted and hopefully I'll be able to write "We got the house!" next time. But we'll just have to wait and see....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Book of Mormon Challenge

I am a member of one of the BEST wards in the world! Everyone there is so close to their Heavenly Father, we do everything together, everyone attends the activities, and since it's such a small ward, everyone knows who you are and cares about how you are doing.

There's a Sister in my ward who has started "The Book of Mormon Challenge" and so many people in the ward have accepted the challenge (even me). It's a challenge to read the entire Book of Mormon in 30 days. Now, normally, this would not be something I could do, but since there are so many other people doing it, and the support system is so stong, I really think I can do it!!!

I also thought that telling everyone about my goal would make me more determined to accomplish it, so here I am, letting everyone in Blog Land (everyone who cares anyway) that by June 30th I will have read the entire Book of Mormon cover to cover. Wish me luck!. If you want to join me, feel free. I have the BOM Challenge blog in the list to your left. It has the break-down of what we're reading and when. I plan on writing in this blog every day during this challenge and I hope to have something that I learned to share with you each day. I guess we'll see how it goes...

Talk to you tomorrow. 1Nephi 1:1... here I come!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So, as some of you do (and some of you probably don't) know.... WE LIVE IN SEATTLE, WA NOW!!!! I know, I know, it was quick and unexpected for us too. But let me just tell you, never have I felt the Lord guiding my life more than in the last month or so.
In Seattle, there is an electrician's apprenticeship (for James) and there is also an Interpreter Training Program (for sign language interpreters) (for me). So when James and I were deciding where we wanted to be for the next little while (while building our careers) this was one of 3 possibilities. Well, we prayed about it, and decided on Seattle. Then we went to the Temple and prayed to have an answer whether Seattle was the right decision. The Lord sometimes whispers to you your answers, but sometimes He whacks you over the head with them... this was a whack over the head. In our session, there were two deaf couples!!! I didn't realize this was the answer 'til about half way through the session, but then it hit me... DUH!!! WAKE UP!!!! Here's your answer honey! I was sitting next to someone who one day I hope I can interpret for. My dream job, was was sitting right next to me! (they are the deaf liaisons for the L.A. LDS Temple). What other answer could I assume this was than a YES! So that was it, We got the answer, I gave my 2 weeks notice, and on August 25th, we moved to Seattle. No jobs, to prospects, thank goodness James had come up earlier and found an apartment. Within two weeks we both had jobs, and life has been going pretty smoothly since then. I have never had everything fall so perfectly in place before. I know our prayers were answered and the Lord has been helping us every step of the way. We are in a wonderful ward, our jobs are great, and James' apprenticeship program has already scheduled an interview to meet him. LIFE IS GOOD!
Nothing really new beyond that. We don't technically live in Seattle, though. We live in Renton, to be exact, but it's pretty close to the Emerald City. Sorry I don't have any pictures for this post. The camera was a little difficult to find at first. But next time... I promise.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Today, James and I ran a few errands. Now, normally, that wouldn't really be a blog-worthy activity, however, today it was. First we went to the bank to deposit my check. Then on the way out of the shopping center, we decided to go to Starbucks. Another car was heading to the drive through as we got there, but we let him go in front of us. No big deal, it didn't make us wait too much longer. Well, we pulled up to the window to pay and to our surprise, the driver ahead of us had paid for our order as a thanks for our courtesy. How awesome is that? This stranger, absolutely made my day!!! I want to be more grateful every day. Instead of focusing on the butt-head driver who cuts me off, maybe I will focus more on the kind driver who lets me merge in front of them. Maybe I'll be able to make someone's day like that random driver did to mine today. Just a little something to think about.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am so grateful for all the family members I have. And now that I'm married, I have even more family to be grateful for. James and I recently went up to St. George to take family pictures with his side of the family. It was so much fun!! It was the first pictures we have taken of the WHOLE family in maybe 3 or 4 years. When I first met James, his brother Elmer was on his mission, then James left before Elmer came home, and then when James got back, his sister Holly had moved to Virginia (her husband is in the navy) so it's been nearly impossible to get together for pictures. We had an amazing photographer that James' sister Hanna has known for a while. Her name is Donalee Walker. She was fun and energetic, and gave plenty of instructions to get us into the best poses. I love how James' entire family has welcomed me and immediately and completely made me feel part of the family. I love all my family members. Every single one of them has their own special place and role in my life and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. Anyways, just thought I'd share my feelings on family, the most important thing in my world. And yes, James is most definitely included in the "family" category, even though "husband" is my favorite title for him haha. Here is one of the pictures Donalee has posted on her facebook account. Check her out! She really does a great job.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jena made this video and I just HAD to share it. Hope you enjoy as much as James and I did!! Featuring Jena, Travis, Grandma, James, and Jade
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