Family Picture

Family Picture
Pete, Tina, Theo, and Oscar

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ask everyone for referrals!

Once again, something I learned on the mission has blessed my life. I was a firm believer in finding people through referrals. My best story happened in Warsaw. My companion and I were walking along a quiet stretch, and 20 meters ahead I spotted a man heading our direction. I made eye contact with him, and as soon as I did, he started shaking his head. Before we even passed each other, he told us, "I know who you guys are, and I'm not interested!" We stopped and slowly shifted our bodies to watch him pass by us. We never said anything! In that split second, a line from the last page of Preach My Gospel popped into my head: Ask everyone for referrals! I immediately blurted out, "Well, do you know someone who would be interested in our message?!" The guy stopped dead in his tracks, turned around and walked back to us. He replied, "Actually, I do." And he gave us his friend's name and phone number. This referral became a progressing investigator. Referrals work. You've got to open your mouth and let people know you're looking. So I use the same principle in post-mission life. Last week, Wednesday to be exact, I was searching on craigslist and KSL for apartments in Salt Lake with a washer and dryer. I believe I mentioned it in my last post - that having a washer and dryer was my ONLY REQUIREMENT for our new place. Well, I'd found this nice looking apartment on KSL, but it didn't specify whether it had a washer and dryer. So I decided to call and ask. Nope, it didn't. Even though it probably was a conflict of interest, I asked the person on the other end if she knew of any place that did have washers and dryers in their apartments. She mentioned a place, so I thanked them and looked it up and gave them a call. To my surprise, they didn't have washers and dryers! Okay, let's try this again. Another referral, and it worked! That's how I found Seasons at Pebble Creek. Not only do they have washers and dryers, but they also have a full-size stove and fridge (neither of which we have), two playgrounds, two pools,and a clubhouse. AND this place is right across the street from a golf course (that's half as much as in Provo) and Seven Peaks waterpark! They had one opening. They never post their openings online because they're always filled so quickly by referral. So I wouldn't have found this place any other way. I'm so grateful for my mission and the life lessons I learned. They continue to bless my life. We're so excited to live there! And we were able to negotiate the contract start date a little! They wanted April 5th, we wanted the 23rd. We compromised on the 15th. Woo hoo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What a wonderful week it's been!

Peter was offered a full-time position as a mechanical engineer with L-3 Communications! We found out Thursday, and so the next day we went out to eat at Olive Garden to celebrate. We have no pictures, but we rave about the food to our friends and family. The casear salad is awesome, especially the dressing. The breadsticks are wonderful. The main dishes are perfectly moist and flavorful. But our all-time favorite dish is one of their appetizers: Mozzarella Fondutta. You've gotta try it! It's a bowl of four cheeses melted together with tomato and seasonings on top, and you pour it over little bagettes. I'm drooling. If you ever don't know what to get me for my birthday, a gift card to Olive Garden would be received with great enthusiasm. Anyway, back to Peter. He is pretty stoked about this job offer. I am so very proud of him because not only is he fit for the job, but he is also one of the hardest workers you'll meet, he's smart, and he just loves engineering. So now we have about 6 weeks before some big changes come along. Peter graduates from BYU Friday April 22nd, and the next day we're moving up to Salt Lake. We don't know where exactly yet, but probably near downtown so that Peter can bike to work and I can have the car, even though hopefully we'll live close enough to downtown that I won't have to use it much. (I'm not a fan of driving in Salt Lake.) What I'm looking forward to in our new place, whether that be an apartment or a home is a washer and dryer. That is the ONLY requirement I have. However, additionally, I would love to have a dishwasher, live on ground level (climbing stairs with bad knees, groceries and a toddler in tow is lame - o!), have a yard, and two bedrooms would be nice, although it'd probably be more of a play room and craft room rather than a sleeping room. Some of the complexes I've looked at even have a swimming pool, a fitness room, and a playground!!! That sounds so nice. But we'll see... We're not going to go all out just because we can afford it now. We're going to rent for a while and save for a house. We want to build it and buy it in cash in 7 years. I think we can do it if we're smart with our money. I know it's a lofty goal, but it's Dave Ramsey's fault. He inspired us, and we first heard of him through my brother. Anyway, if anything, we'll have a huge downpayment on our home.

Okay, I'm done jabbering. Here's what we did this week! 

#1 - Theo and I turned his learning tower into fort!

#2 - We all spent Saturday morning at the new Provo Beach Resort. We rode the carousel for a buck, and we played miniature bowling for 2.50. But Theo's favorite was the playground in the toddler area. No pic of that though.

#3 - Today, Sunday, the weather has been beautifully bright and sunny, so we played at a park! Theo loves climbing. He's been quoted by an onlooker to have "little sense of self-preservation." Pretty much.


#4 - Theo fell asleep on Dad and Theo cooking with Dad.

#5 - Lately, Theo's been waking me up around 6:30am and takes me by the finger to the potty. But just in the mornings. Once he's up and playing, he's too busy to take a break and go to the potty. I'm just glad he's aware whenever he goes and that he doesn't like being in a poopy diaper.

#6 - Shoes, Theo is really into them lately.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Goin' Courtin'!

One of our new year's resolutions is to go out on dates more often. Of course, we're more than eager to accomplish this goal. The hard part, we've found, is in finding a babysitter. Doing babysitting swaps with our friends with kids is working pretty nicely. Last night Peter and I enjoyed a spectacular evening at Vocal Point's 20th Anniversary Concert. Next week - it's BYU's DanceSport Competition. Yes!

This is us outside after the concert.

I'm grateful the time is flying by.

In two months time, we're moving. OUT of this aparment. I don't know where, but we're moving... somewhere. That somewhere depends on where Peter gets a job and where he gets accepted to grad school. Hopefully, the two will line up with each other. Anyway, until then, this photo I'm sharing is what I get do deal with every day, actually - every time I turn on the faucet, whether it be in the bathroom or the kitchen - because the pipes are connected. So in the morning when I turn on the bathroom faucet to brush my teeth, the kitchen sink fills up with water and this gunk. And it smells. Good thing I'm not pregnant. The resident manager is out of ideas on how to fix it (except replacing the pipes, which out of the question apparently). It's so gross. And I'm SO GRATEFUL we're moving soon.

Love The Learning Tower

Thanks to this new item in our apartment, my kitchen-related stress (cooking, washing dishes) has disappeared! See, my toddler - for some reason - is adamant about helping me in the kitchen. Whenever I try to do the dishes or make dinner (if he's not napping), he wants to see what I'm doing and a lot of the time even help. Like any other mom, I'd hoist him up onto my hip and do my best to finish my task with one hand. Doing the dishes with one hand is really hard and it takes twice as long. I love that Theo wants to learn how to do what I do. I tried sitting him on the counter once, but that turned into a big mess. We have about 3 feet of counter space. So I hold him. But that has been exhausting my body and my patience. Well... my older sister introduced me to Montessori while back, and I thought there's got to be something Montessori-ish to facilitate the development of life skills in the kitchen for toddlers. After a brief search online, I found The Learning Tower. After a couple weeks of debate, we decided it was worth the investment. Peter actually wanted to make it himself, but reality set in, and he realized he's way too busy. So I bought it off Amazon. And it's wonderful! Here's what I love about the tower:
-It allows Theo to be at counter level without me holding him
-so he can see and participate in what I'm doing. By the way, he loves cutting vegetables and stirring brownie mix (with my help, of course).
-With the help of the steps, Theo can climb into and out of it by himself.
-The tower has 4 height positions, which are easily adjustable as your toddler grows.
-It's surrounded on all sides so he can't fall out. And it's got a lip on the platform to prevent slipping. (The other one I was looking was a less mulah, but it didn't have a lip nor4 adjustable heights.)
-It can fit two toddlers on at once, so it's great for play dates.
-You can take out the platform on which they stand and throw a blanket over it to make it a fort!
-It comes with an art easel and chalk that attaches to the side of the tower (which we're saving for his second birthday). And I'm also going to make some curtains to turn it into a puppet show. Awesome.

The only negative about it is it's a pretty big piece of furniture in our small kitchen, but there's a solution to that. When we move in two months, we've just got to make sure to choose a place with a bigger kitchen.

All in all, I am quite satisfied with this purchase. I don't know who loves it more, Theo or me! And I'm very grateful for Peter because without him, we wouldn't have been able to afford this.


This is a random picture of the tower with the art easel.