Bryan, Angie, Lexie, Hoyt & Sabrie

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Move

If I have learned one thing this past year it is this: Never move twice in less than a year. If I would have known we would be moving back to our house only 10 short months later, I would have left a lot of things at our house that really didn't need to be hauled up and back. But we really had no idea this is the direction we would go.

At first we thought we could just do 2 loads using a Uhaul trailor, but after our 1st load, we figured we probably needed a moving truck. I found a good deal on a moving truck, but it had to be on Thursday, May 26 for 24 hours, and Bryan had to drive to Cedar, pick up the truck, drive to Sandy, load the truck, drive and then unpack in Cedar. I had most everything packed by the time Bryan got the truck to Sandy so we figured we could have the truck loaded and be on our way in a few hours. Oh how wrong I was! First of all there was a mass exodus from some apartments in our ward, so the EQ was too busy to help us which left Bryan to take loads down the elevator to the truck.

We started loading about 4 p.m. and at first it seemed to be going well, but it seemed that more stuff just started to appear and felt like we were never going to be done. We got the kids in PJs and figured we could for sure be heading out by midnight. Well, somewhere around midnight the kids fell asleep on the floor. Here are some pictures...they make me a little sad because I felt so bad their beds were packed and Bryan and I were so exhausted from packing and moving that I just didn't know how we were going to drive, unpack, and have our moving truck turned in by 9 a.m.
Lexie is a pretty crazy sleeper. These pictures were only taken a minute apart and she is in a completely different position.
We were about 95% done by about 2:30 a.m. but we could take no more so we decided to rest and wake up at 5:30 a.m. to finish up and hit the road ASAP. So on only 2-3 hours of sleep we got up and finished everything. Bryan called the truck rental place and they said if we had the truck back by 2 p.m. we wouldn't be charged anything extra. We hurried to finish up packing, cleaning, then grabbed breakfast at Burger King and hit the road. I was driving the Tribute with Hoyt, and Bryan was driving the moving truck with Lexie. She was SO excited to ride in the moving truck and I'm sad I didn't get a picture of her in the truck, but I was sleep deprived and we were in a hurry so I never did get one.

I called my parents and asked for a few of them to come help us unload the truck so we could get the truck back by 2. We were looking at only 1 - 1 1/2 hours to get everything unloaded, the truck filled with gas and turned in. Luckily our kids were angels and let us just drive straight with just a short stop to gas up the truck. When we got to our house, I was keeping track of the kids while Bryan started to unload. Thankfully our awesome neighbor Brother Armstrong just happened to be home and he came over and helped Bryan unload for probably 1/2 hour before my family showed up which was such an answer to our prayers. We are also super grateful my Dad, Mom, and a few of my siblings came and helped us get the unpacking all done and helped get everything returned just in time! Right as we got here unpacking the Dish Network guy came to set that up for us, and our Internet people came at the same time so in just a few hours of arriving home we had TV and Internet! It felt SO GREAT to be back in our house! We made a lot of progress getting unpacked the first weekend we were back, and hopefully we will be completely settled sooner than later. Home Sweet Home!

Annie & Rob's Wedding

May 20-21, we traveled up to Logan to attend the wedding festivities for Bryan's sister Annie and her now-husband Rob. Friday we drove up and checked into our hotel which was super nice. By bidding on Priceline, we were able to get a great deal on a room in the brand new Springhill Suites. After getting settled, we headed over to James and Jenny's house and the girls (and Hoyt) attended Annie's bridal shower. Bryan went with the rest of the guys to work on the park decorations for the wedding the next morning. After the shower we went back to the hotel and our kids were hyper and excited to be staying in the hotel, but we did get some sleep eventually.

Saturday morning we got up and had a nice, hot continental breakfast then we all got dressed and ready for the ceremony.
Here are the kids in their wedding attire.
Lexie and her cousin Bethany were the flower girls. Bethany did a great job dropping the flower petals, but Lexie just wanted to pick the petals up and put them in her basket.
Lexie looking for petals, and the bride & groom saying their vows.
Here are some pictures of Bryan and his siblings, now all married!
A good looking group!
Annie & Rob with all the nieces & nephews.
And here is our little family. Thanks to Bryan's cousin Shandra for taking some pictures for us!
The kids had fun blowing bubbles at the reception.
Lexie blowing bubbles, and my 2 handsome guys!
Hoyt had fun in his new wagon with cousin Patrick...
...and Lexie had fun giving them rides around the park!
And everyone danced the night away...including the flower girls!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Move: Pros & Cons of City vs. Country Living

Since this blog has become my journal I wanted to post about our decision to move back to Cedar City and also record my Pro/Con list for moving and Sandy vs. Cedar. I want to write it all down so in the future when we have to decide where we want to live I can look back and remember what I like and dislike about living both places.

First of all, when we bought our house almost 4 years ago we really had no plans of leaving Cedar City. I guess no one really plans on losing a job and having everything turned upside down, forcing you to make a move that you really didn't plan for or even want. I think too much change in a short period of time is hard, and combined with the hormonal shifts of just having had a baby made it even more difficult.

Bryan found a condo for us to live in and I was very nervous to move into a place I had never seen. When we first got there I didn't think it was too bad...until all of our stuff was moved in and I realized we couldn't fit everything in such a tiny space after having a house.

Condo Cons:
1. The kitchen--it was more of a kitchenette you see in a hotel which made it very difficult to cook and move around.
2. The paint--it was ugly, drab, and everything was painted the same color including walls, doors, and baseboards.
3. The bedrooms--way smaller than our house with tiny closets and hardly room to walk around once you put a bed in them.
4. Storage space--there was hardly any storage space througout the entire place and they wasted a lot of space.

Condo Pros:
1. The washer/dryer--we had a nice front-load washer that cleaned our clothes great and was super quiet. I liked it so much I can't wait to save up and get one for myself.
2. The view--I loved looking out the window and seeing beautiful mountains; also from where we lived we could see 3 temples!
3. The location--close to everything and right in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley. Also, less than 2 miles from Bryan's work!

When our renter told us he was going to be moving out in May we first started trying to find a new renter to move in. I half joked/half seriously started talking about moving back to our house and having Bryan commute because he had only been working in the office 2-3 days a week so we figured he could just work up there Mon-Wed then be home the rest of the time and it would have been cheaper to rent a place for just him and make our house payment than it was to rent our house and pay rent up there. As Bryan was discussing his dilemma at work, his supervisor suggested he just move back to Cedar City and work from home and told him if he only saw him once every couple months in the office that would be fine with him. So instead of searching for a renter for Cedar we began advertising for someone to buy the remainder of our contract in Cedar. Here is our Pro/Con list:

Sandy Pros:
1. OUR WARD! Cresent 16th Ward has been the best ward we have lived in since we've been married. The people were friendly and welcoming and we felt more at home the first week there than we ever felt in years at other wards. We made friends easily and felt wanted and appreciated; and we really enjoyed our callings
2. Shopping. I'm not a huge shopper, but when I need something I love having options. And with so much competition I could get great deals on just about everything. It's also very nice to be just down the street from Costco and several other awesome places to shop.
3. Closer to Bryan's family. Even though Bryan's parents were about the same distance away, we saw them more because they came north for appointments and family gatherings. Also, we were able to see some of Bryan's siblings more often.

Sandy Cons:
1. Time. Everything took longer. There may have been more places to shop, but getting there, shopping, and getting home took 3 or 4 times the amount of time it takes in Cedar. I hated sitting in traffic and the fact that I couldn't go grocery shopping in less than 3 or 4 hours.
2. Cost of Living. Our rent for a tiny condo was more than our house payment in Cedar. And rent is only going up. Even though things like gas and groceries are a bit cheaper there, you have to buy gas more often because of sitting in traffic and the distance and time it takes to get from one place to another.

Cedar Pros:
1. Time. We can go to 3 stores, the library, play at the park and be home in less than an hour. It makes me feel like I can spend more time with my kids and not feel like I'm rushing around all the time.
2. OUR HOUSE! We get to live in our house that we love, that we can fit everything in, that has a garage, that has a yard for me to grow a garden and let the kids play outside. Even better is not losing money to rent and putting that extra money toward the house which will help us pay it off faster so we can be debt free!
3. Closer to my family. With 9 kids and 1/2 of those still at home, there is always something going on with my family so it's nice to be close so we can be there for family gatherings.
4. Size. We really like the size of Cedar City because we were small town kids and enjoy the comforts of country living. I like going places and seeing people I know, and I like being familiar with the town.

Cedar Cons:
1. The Ward. There are a lot of great people in our ward, don't get me wrong; but I have had a hard time fitting in and finding friends. Perhaps it's because we live on the wrong side of the ward in the smaller houses, or maybe it's because everyone has small kids and are just too busy to make much of an effort. Mostly I think it's because people associate most with those in their neighborhoods and not much outside of that. Whatever the reasons, I wish our ward had the same feeling as the ward in Sandy. I'm hoping to just make a better effort to make others feel welcome and maybe in return I'll find some friends and feel more comfortable.
2. Shopping. With only 2 grocery stores now and 1 Walmart, it's hard to get everything you want/need especially when it comes to coupon items. But so far I've been able to still get great deals and find most of what I need. Luckily we'll be heading north quite often so we can stock up on some things then.

After considering everything we decided that the obvious choice was to move back to Cedar City. We prayed about it and felt like it was a good choice for our family at this time. We might move back north after we are able to sell our house, but when the time comes we'll have to weigh the Pros/Cons again and see which place wins.