30 January 2006

South Royalton


This Saturday we drove about an hour to visit Joseph Smith's birthplace. We were the only people there, which allowed our children a little freedom. We also had the privilege of seeing the Church's new movie, Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration which is being shown at several visitors' centers as well as Temple Square.

We then drove down the road where we had lunch in the village of South Royalton, population 3,056, and home of Vermont's first (and only) law school-- Vermont Law School. It was my first true Stars Hollow experience. We ate in a cute little pizzeria that looked out on the town square (which included two gazebos, a seasonal ice skating rink, and three monuments).

The town square.

Gazebo in the square.

One of two beautiful churches in the town (this one faces the square).

Where the locals buy their groceries.

Postscript: We generally call Sharon, VT Joseph Smith's birthplace, but his parents' home sat directly on the town line, so technically South Royalton has a claim too!

23 January 2006

Beantown

We went to Boston for the first time this weekend. After staying with my mother-in-law Thursday night (who was in town on business) we did a little sight seeing Friday afternoon.

We visited the Bunker Hill Monument.

And toured "Old Ironsides".

Loved the architecture....

and the narrow, winding streets.

The weather was perfect--55 degrees in the middle of
January, the history amazing, and the setting beautiful. We can't wait
to go back!

16 January 2006

Freedom


We did it. We bought a second car. For the last 7 years we have had only one car. A very small, reliable car. But, this weekend we bit the bullet and bought a new car. Technically we're leasing. It's a 2006 Nissan Quest and there's SO much room.

11 January 2006

Let me count the ways

I've been in New Hampshire for a month now. So, here's a list of things that I'm loving here (so far):
  • no sales tax
  • historical architecture
  • trees
  • the Mall of New Hampshire
  • no state income tax
  • hills
  • snow (I'm usually not a snow fan, but if it's going to be this cold there might as well be snow)
  • BJ's wholesale club
  • our ward
  • BIG rivers
  • the clubhouse at our complex--indoor pool, gym, movie theater
  • drivers slow down when it's snowing
  • Craig coming home for dinner and staying the rest of the evening
  • being near the ocean, or as they call it here, the Seacoast
  • the revitalized mills downtown
  • the state motto: "Live Free or Die"
  • shopping--there are fewer people

06 January 2006

I Love my Babies


I love my kids. Yes, sometimes they frustrate me, but other times are so rewarding. Just a few things that have happened lately:

We were eating at Ruby Tuesday in the mall. A lady stopped at our table on the way out and said to me, "I just want to compliment you on how well behaved your children are. It was a pleasure sitting next to you."

Dogger pulls himself up on the crib side, but he can't sit back down again. He yells until someone comes in to help him down and cover him up. Then, he can take his nap. Silly boy.

For 3 weeks anytime Goosey asked for her toys, books, movies, etc. we explained to her that they were on the moving truck and would soon be at our new house. Two days ago at nap time she looked at me and asked, "Is the truck bringing my backyard today?"

05 January 2006

Happy Birthday Dogger



My baby is one. This amazes me. It seemed to take Goosey forever to reach her first birthday. Dogger's first year has flown by.

So, to you, my little man, I say Happy Birthday. You are a joy. From the day you came to our family you have been the best natured, sweetest little guy. You give great kisses and love to cuddle. You make me smile. I love you so much!

Mommie

The Move

Following is a summary of events taking place at the time of the move (as I now remember them).

1 Dec 2005

I visit the dentist to have a filling replaced since Craig's new job doesn't offer dental insurance.

While running errands after the dentist visit, Craig calls to ask the date I scheduled the power to be turned off, because it just went out. I tell him the 13th. To make a long, red-tape story short, it was Provo Power's fault and they turned it back on.

Goosey's dance recital is at 7:00 p.m.

2 Dec 2005
I make a trip to the Peppermint Place to obtain 2000 candy canes for the Provo City Christmas parade.
3 Dec 2005
I spend the morning helping to stage the Christmas parade. I greet people as they enter the parking lot and tell them where they should line up. I only encounter one rude person. Good day.
Craig drops Goosey off (she was in an entry for her dance school) and tells me that the appraiser called and said he would be there in an hour to do our house. Craig explained that both Goosey and I were involved in the parade, and the appraiser said he could do it today, or not until the next Saturday, so if we wanted to close that week it would have to be today. So, neither Craig nor I get to see Goosey in the parade (or take pictures) because once the parade starts, I start clean-up.
My old roommate calls and tells me that her sister moved to Manchester, NH a year and a half ago and would be happy to help us in any way. I say a silent prayer of thanks.
4 Dec 2005
I teach the lesson for all the YW.
My VTer's come by.
The buyer stops by and asks if she can come in and get some measurements. I am making dinner in PJ pants since I'm behind on laundry. She brings with her a "friend", her son, and her friend's daughter. While she and her friend are taking measurements/touring the house the two kids are seeing if they can throw a stuffed animal over the partial wall between the front room and kitchen. Then, they proceed to bang on the piano. They are there for an hour.
5 & 6 Dec 2005
I go through the house deciding which things to pack for the airplane, which things go to DI and de-cluttering.
We borrow a large truck from the Smiths so that we can take things to DI, because, yes, we have that much.
7 Dec 2005
I drop the kids off at Miki's so that I can attend Craig's thesis defense at 1:00.
I sit through Craig's presentation, understanding about 15% of it (blackhole evolution is way over my head). The four professors in attendance ask questions--one of them a lot. He seems skeptical. Not so good. Craig and I are excused while they discuss the results. I go to the Bookstore and buy way too much BYU paraphernalia. Meanwhile Craig is called back in and told that he passed, but the skeptical professor would like him to "add more" to his thesis. It basically amounts to an entire re-write.
Our realtor calls to say that we won't be closing that day because there was a problem with the funding. The buyer's agent still says we're going to close by th 9th.
8 Dec 2005
I drop Goosey off at pre-school and arrange for one of the other moms to take her to Miki's after school. Then I drop Dogger at Miki's house. I arrive home just before the packers get there.
I give general directions and answer questions, but then sit and read a book while they pack. When they're done I point out a few things that they missed. The entire process took them 4 1/2 hours.
We go out to dinner at Goodwood BBQ to celebrate Craig finishing his thesis.
That evening we watch Babe, Pig in the City and The Interpreter (rented from the BYU Bookstore) on Craig's laptop.
I try to call a friend who said she would watch the kids on Friday, but can't get a hold of her. I end up calling a new friend in the ward who is willing to take them the next morning.
9 Dec 2005
I drop the kids off at Holly's house and get home to find a semi backing into my driveway. The movers are here. I show them everything and they start loading. Again, I read a book. It only takes them 3 hours.
I pick up the kids and we eat lunch off paper plates on my bedroom floor. They think this is great fun. We watch a DVD on the laptop, and take naps on air mattresses.
After talking to his advisor Craig feels that he should stay until the 18th to re-write his thesis, instead of the 14th as planned, so I change his plane ticket.
We get a call saying that we can close on the house at 4:30. We leave the kids with a neighbor and bum a ride from our agent since we have no car.
When we get there a paper that the buyer's agent was supposed to fax wasn't in the pile. So, we had to call him and wait for him to fax it. The signing part was incredibly fast--much faster than buying a house.
We call the two YW in the ward that we're giving our cat to, and ask them to come get her. They come over to take her and as they're leaving Goosey realizes what is happening and starts crying and asking for her kitty. This brings tears to Craig's eyes. It is the only time Goosey has had trouble with the move.
10 Dec 2005
We borrow a car from Jill, the same neighbor who loaned us her truck (our car is on the moving truck). We load everything up and drive to the airport. Craig drops us off and my mother-in-law meets us there. We check in and the ticket agent asks for proof of Dogger's age. Hello! He is obviously not over 2, but luckily I packed the kids' immunization records.
We're almost to the elevator when I realize I don't have my boarding passes. I left them at the self-check in kiosk. They're still there.
By the time we get through security, have a potty break, and make it to the gate they are finishing up the boarding. It's Southwest, so there are no assigned seats. We get on and there are no completely empty rows. This means my mother-in-law and I will have to split up and each take a kid. A nice lady, alone in a row, hears us and offers to move so that we can have a whole row to ourselves. The flight attendant offers to buy her a drink as thanks. I am relieved and thankful that there are still considerate people in the world.
The kids are angels on the flight. They play quietly, make friends with nearby passengers, and Dogger naps.
We have a 2 1/2 hour layover in Baltimore. We eat dinner, send postcards to family members, and have chocolates from a Godiva shop (divine!). Goosey gets to walk around and we let Dogger crawl a bit.
This time we are early enough to pre-board. Goosey is getting tired and fusses a little, but falls asleep. Dogger is good. We land on time in Manchester, NH.
We get the rental car and wait about 30 minutes for our luggage. When another flight's luggage starts coming we, and the one other lady who came all the way from SLC on our flight, start wondering if they didn't transfer our bags. We go to ask, and all of our luggage is sitting in front of the luggage office--but just the ones from SLC. Curious.
I manage to load 2 car seats, 6 suitcases, a pack-n-play, a stroller, and two carry-on's into a mid-size car. We climb in too and start following the directions to the hotel that I got off the internet.
We get lost. We call the hotel and they tell us another way to go. We get there, get the kids down and crash.
11 Dec 2005
We go to the Manchester Ward which meets at 1:00--also Shannon's ward (my roommate's sister). Everyone is very nice.
After church we go to Shannon's house for dinner.
We return to the hotel, and I go online, laying out my game plan for the apartment hunt.
12 Dec 2005
I spend 7 hours apartment hunting. My mother-in-law stays at the hotel with the kids.
Goosey and I take a swim for FHE.
13 Dec 2005
I go to see one last place in the morning, but continue on to the apartment of my choice from the day before. I take my mother-in-law and the kids so that they can see it.
I fill out all the paperwork and tell them that I will be back the next day with the certified check for the first month's rent, which they require.
We go to dinner at a BBQ place. It's no Goodwood.
14 Dec 2005
Our bank in Utah doesn't exist in New Hampshire. Luckily, I still have a checking account from before I was married at a bank that is here in New Hampshire. I go there to deposit a large sum of money into the account, then get a certified check for that amount. They say that I can't get the funds for 24 hours, and suggest that I withdraw the amount from the ATM and do a money order (which the apartments complex will also take). I attempt that only to find out that the amount is three times my daily ATM withdrawal limit. So, I end up depositing the check and waiting another day to move in.
We go to the mall so my mother-in-law can do her Christmas shopping for the kids. I do some too. We leave her there while we go back to the hotel to nap. I pick her up three hours later, but I think she would have like to have stayed longer.
While wrapping presents that night my mother-in-law realizes that she left a bag at the mall. She is sure that it, and all its contents are history, but I convince her to call the stores she went to. They have it, and I go to pick it up. Thank goodness the mall is open until 11:00 during December.
I pack the car with suitcases and Christmas presents before going to bed.
15 Dec 2005
My mother-in-law catches an early shuttle to the airport while the kids and I are still sleeping. Once up, we get dressed and check out. I can't find Goosey's shoes. I'm hoping that they ended up in a suitcase that's already in the car.
We go to the bank to get our cerified check. I have to carry a kid in on each hip because Goosey has no shoes and they can't do the check at the drive-up. Dogger has a cold and his nose starts running. I have nothing to wipe it with, but don't want to lose my place in line since we've already waited 10+ minutes. I can tell that a lady two people back thinks we're the biggest white-trash family she's ever seen in a bank--no shoes and a snotty nose.
At the aparment complex I have to wait to get my keys because the contract that they faxed to Craig the day before didn't go through. Their machine is having problems today, so my kids run/crawl around the clubhouse for an hour while I wait.
We get into the apartment and it smells like cigarette smoke. I thought they were going to run an ozone machine before we moved in. I talk to the leasing agent about it, and he says they'll run one the next day.
Shannon calls me and says she will bring by the air mattress I need to borrow. She comes with an air mattress, sleeping bags, and TV/VCR combo, VHS tapes, pots and pans, knives, an iron and ironing board, a folding table and chairs, and cleaning supplies. She is an angel, and absolute lifesaver.
I get a call from our moving truck driver. He has broken down in Wisconsin and the part to fix the truck won't be in for a week. So, instead of arriving on the 19th he thinks it will be the 27th.
16 Dec 2005
Maintenance shows up at 9:30 a.m. to run the ozone machine. We are not dressed yet, so I tell them to come back in an hour. I call Shannon and ask if we can crash at her place for the day. She graciously agrees.
Goosey and Dogger have a blast playing with Shannon's four boys. I get the low-down on all things New Hampshire. Fun day.
17 Dec 2005
Shannon had mentioned that the Bedford Ward's (which we now live in) Christmas party was Saturday night. She gave me some names and numbers for ward leaders, so I call the RS president and get the details. I take the kids and we have a great time. Dinner was served, there was a cute program, and everyone was very friendly.
18 Dec 2005
I attend our ward for the first time. I really like it. It is good sized and seems pretty main-stream.
Craig flies in this night. The kids are so happy to see him, and so am I.
19 Dec 2005
Craig starts work and I spend the day trying not to think about how our things should have arrived by now.
I spend the afternoon Christmas shopping. I find a little Christmas tree at the dollar store and bring it home. Craig gets a sad little look on his face, but when we show Goosey she says, "Oh, thank you so much!" Little kids make you remember what Christmas is about.
20 Dec 2005
I call our moving agent to see what costs they will cover since they're late. He doesn't seem to be aware that the truck has broken down. He calls me back later and says that he's trying to get another mover to pick up our things.
I order cable so that we can watch the BYU bowl game. They come this afternoon, but can't install the phone or internet until 3 Jan.
21 Dec 2005
Kenny, our new driver, calls to say that he's on his way to Missouri, but as soon as he delivers he will turn around and pick our things up. He will stay in contact.
We go out to dinner since the moving company is paying for half. We eat at a Mexican restaraunt that we've heard a few people talk about. Not so good. If we go there again, I'm getting a burger.
22 Dec 2005
Craig and the kids are sick. Goosey is running a very high fever.
We watch the bowl game. Sad, but true. Well, there'll always be next year. Go Cougs!
Kenny is true to his word and calls again to update me on his progress (as he will do each night). He thinks they will arrive on Christmas, and asks if we would be willing to accept delivery on Christmas day. I tell him, "YES!"
23 Dec 2005
Craig is ill enough to stay home from work. Goosey sleeps most of the day.
I spend the evening wrapping presents.
24 Dec 2005
We're supposed to go to Shannon's for dinner, but Craig and the kids are sick enough that I call and cancel so that we won't get her family sick.
We open presents to and from each other. This is a tradition from my family. We go ahead and open the ones from Craig's family too since our moving truck is coming in the morning.
Shannon calls and asks if they can bring treats by. Her family, all 7 of them, bring a plate piled with treats.
Santa visits our home.
Goosey wakes up in the middle of the night, not able to breathe, and with a high fever. She asks to sleep in our bed. We say yes, and she covers her eyes when going through the living room so that she won't see the presents yet.
25 Dec 2005
We open presents from Santa in the morning. Goosey gets the two things she asked Santa for--a Dora present, and a pink scarf. Dogger had lots of practice opening presents the night before, so he rips right in. Among other things, they also got a sled and a wagon.
We shower, eat a good breakfast, get Dogger down for a nap, and the moving truck arrives at 10:30.
Kenny, and Frank (Kenny's stepdad) are our movers. They are great. Kenny manages to pull into the fire lane next to our apartment, though it's no easy feat. He also backs in next to our garage. Wow! What a driver. They unload everything, occasionally stopping to talk to the kids. Kenny is my parents age, and Frank is 70. They're hard workers, and we really appreciate they're willingness to deliver on Christmas.
We find out, from Kenny, that the original driver did some things incorrectly. He should have rented a truck when his broke down so that we could still get our things within the promised time frame. Things were also packed poorly, so we had a few broken items. But, we're just happy to have our stuff.
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