Tuesday, July 31

Belly Shot and Baby Shower

Here is my most recent belly shot, taken about three days after we arrived here. I was about 25 weeks pregnant at this point, which in my opinion is a nice pregnant size. You're big enough to show, but not so big that your belly gets in the way of everything. I know I'm due for another belly shot, so I'll get it taken in the next couple of days and post it on here.
As a surprise for Lisa and I, who is also pregnant and due a month before me, the women of the family got together and threw us a surprise baby shower at a lovely tea shoppe outside Dayton. We'd been planning to get lunch at this tea shoppe for months as just 'the girls' of the family, but apparently a baby shower was in the works as well. It was a lot of fun, and after the shower and lunch, we ended up going shopping. One of the stores that we went to was a secondhand clothing store for children, similar to 'Kid to Kid' in Utah. Every member of the family, expectant mothers included, went a little bit nuts in the store buying up even more cutesy girl clothing. When all was said and done, Lisa and I had quite a stack of clothing to transfer into our vehicles to return home with. Brooklyn received so much clothing that I had a hard time not feeling indecently guilty as I was going through it later that night, but the fun time I had with the women of the family will not be one that I will forget for a very long time.

Monday, July 30


For now, this is home sweet home. This house has had an amazing amount of work done to it already, and I think it's going to be breathtaking when it's done. On the second floor, the room that has the curtains open is our bedroom, and next to it is the kids room with the blinds drawn.
This is the 'short leg' picture from the family reunion. Many members of Ammon's family are struck with a very serious lack of leg-length. This stems mostly from the patriarch of the clan, but it's always fun to get the family together and check out all the short legs. From left is pictured: Angela (Ammon's older sister) Russ (Ammon's Dad) Ammon, Lisa (Ammon's younger sister) and John (who is Ammon's semi-adopted brother and NOT afflicted with short leg disease. He just happened to be sitting on the couch.)
This was taken at the airport in Salt Lake City. We were minutes away from boarding our plane, and Ammon and the kids were watching the baggage being loaded underneath. This is our very last Utah picture.
This, my friends, is the great Miami River here in Dayton. Eat your heart out, Desert folks. This is where WE live.


Cincinnati was lovely. Even though it's only an hour away from Dayton, the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful. We didn't actually see the city, we stayed mostly in the small village that our family lives in, but we loved it nonetheless. Several years ago we took a trip to the village in upstate New York that Ammon grew up in, and when it came time to end that vacation I called my neighbor at the time to ask her to box up our belongings and ship them to us. I liked that part of the world so much that I didn't even want to leave, and Cincinnati reminds me of upstate New York. There are winding roads, lots of trees, and small businesses lining the streets of the villages. I have no idea if we'll actually end up there like we hope, but Ammon did get a couple of fairly interesting leads on a job, so hopefully that will turn out to be something. If he ends up getting a job down in Cincy we will probably try to move sometime in September, even though logic would argue that it might be more convenient to still be living here when Brooklyn comes in October. I suppose that we will have to be guided in this decision as we have been guided in all the other decisions that we have made this year, and I'm sure that in the end we will make the choice that is best for our little family.
On a side note, I did finally get my pictures from the last month downloaded onto my computer from my digital camera, but we still don't have an Internet connection to our computer. My plan is to put some pictures on Ammon's flash drive so that I can transfer only the photos I want to use onto Mary and Russ's laptop so that I can then post them on my blog. I make no promises to get that done today, as we have several errands and appointments to take care of, but hopefully we should be able to have a photo extravaganza tomorrow!

Thursday, July 26


I know I've been woefully absent from posting for a while, and I apologize. I believe when I last posted I said that Ammon and Russ had left Utah for the long trip here, which took them about three and a half days. They arrived here Sunday afternoon, hungry, tired, and glad to be home. We spent all of Monday unloading the moving truck, which went quickly with the help of four strapping young missionaries that are serving in our area. Angela also came over with her brood, which was great to keep my two kids entertained so the adults could get the work done. I must say, this house looks s much more homey now that there is enough furniture to fill the space, and I have enjoyed being surrounded by a few of my own belongings and having my children's toys available for their pleasure. I also managed to get through the finale installment of the Harry Potter series, although it took me about two days longer than most other people I know. If you haven't read the book yet--who unto you! It was great, and I really enjoyed it. Definitely worth the wait. Anyway, now that we have our computer here we just need to go purchase a wireless network card and I can access the Internet from our bedroom, which will enable me to finally begin posting pictures again. My poor digital camera is bursting at the seams with photos that I am dying to post for your enjoyment.
Today we leave Dayton to spend the rest of the week in Cincinnati. We haven't yet decided if we're going to attempt to get an apartment right away, settle down in this house for the winter, or if we're going to transplant ourselves right away to the Cincinnati area. Ammon has applied for several jobs, and will probably apply for several more later this week, and hopefully when we start getting some offers coming we will be able to make a decision about where we will be spending the next months of our lives. I will post when we return on Monday, and let you all know how the search went. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 19

On the Road Again

Ammon and Russ officially left Utah early this evening. They are planning on stopping somewhere in Wyoming to spend the night tonight, and should arrive here in Dayton sometime Sunday afternoon. I know it will still be several days before I see my sweetheart, but simply knowing that he is on the road headed back to me is making the separation a little bit easier. I have to admit, I have felt pretty down today. It is starting to set in that we are permanently here in Ohio, and especially with Ammon being back in Utah this week I have done a lot of thinking and daydreaming about the familiar sights, people, and sounds that we left behind two weeks ago. I honestly feel that we were led here, and that this is where we are supposed to be, but today I'm wondering what we have done to our family. I'm wondering why we chose to transplant ourselves, why we chose not to find a job before we came, and why we have decided to throw our lives into upheaval for the next several months. Not the least of my concerns is knowing that we have a baby entering our home in a short 2 1/2 months. As eager as I am to have this pregnancy over with and enjoy our new family member, I am perfectly willing to let it take the next 2 1/2 months. During that time there is a such a monumental list of things to do that it boggles my mind when I try to contemplate the schedule allowed. As most of you know, I desperately wish to be in my own home, even in an apartment, among my own familiar belongings when Brooklyn makes her entrance. However, the things that it takes to get us into a home, namely a job, seem so far out of reach right now that I'm honestly getting frustrated. It seems silly to feel frustrated after a mere two weeks, most of which have been spent either traveling or busy with a reunion that has been in the works for years, but I am feeling the emotion nonetheless. I'm sure my current emotional state is blameable on several factors, but my most prevalent emotions right now are homesickness and loneliness. I know both of these things will pass in time, but tonight the weight seems heavy to bear.

Tuesday, July 17

Back to Utah

Ammon and Russ left here at about five am this morning to get to the airport in time to catch their flights back to Utah. I know that they're going to be gone for a week, and I'm excited to get our belongings and start filling up this house with furniture, but I already miss my husband. For over two weeks now he has been done working and we have spent the majority of our time together, so this separation seems particularly difficult. I'm going to try to keep myself and the kids busy this week, so that hopefully the time passes quickly. Today we made cookies (great recipe, Em, thanks!!) and tomorrow the plan is to go to the library in the morning and get the appropriate identification so that we can borrow some books and videos. The agenda for Thursday is to help Angela clean up her house now that the masses of people have finally left it, and on Friday we are planning to go grocery shopping, which should be quiet an expedition for our two families. Thankfully, Saturday our little branch has planned a large 'pioneer day' celebration at a local park, which I'm looking forward to. Because the first week that we were here I was violently ill on Sunday, and last week we sang a family song in Angela's ward, I haven't been able to meet anybody in our branch yet. It will be nice to meet some of the members before church meetings on Sunday. Hopefully by Monday morning sometime the men will be back, and from there I can spend several days unpacking and organizing until we spend the last part of next week in Cincinnati searching for a job and a home.

Monday, July 16

Normal Life?

Well, today is the day that 'normal life' resumes for our little family. The reunion is officially over as of tonight, and tomorrow morning Ammon and Russ leave here at about 5 am to catch their flights to Utah in order to pack up the rest of our apartment and transport it out here. The trip should take them about a week, which includes a 'slush day' on Wednesday to get any last minute Logan errands done, pack anything that was left unpacked before the kids and I left two weeks ago, and do the final cleaning before our move-out inspection on Friday morning. Now that we've been here for a couple of weeks, I'm anxious to get the rest of our belongings here so that I can access the things that were left behind in order to conserve space. Ammon also started applying for jobs in earnest again this morning, sending out several resumes in the Cincinnati area. We had hoped originally when we left Utah that there would be a job waiting for us here in Dayton with a company that Ammon has worked with through Yesco, but they informed us last week that there organization is not as large as we had hoped, and they simply can't support another full time employee in Ammon's position. Although we hadn't really been relying on that position, we had hoped for it a great deal, so we feel somewhat as though we are back to square one in the job search. We have shifted our search area from here in Dayton where Mary, Russ, and Angela are located, to Cincinnati, which is just over an hour south of here. The hope is that when Ammon and Russ get back from Utah early next week, Ammon can then spend Thursday and Friday of next week searching for some sort of full time work that will get us by for a short time until he can find something more permanent. Mary and Russ have been incredibly gracious in letting us stay with them, and I know that they are happy to let us stay as long as we need to, but I can't help thinking that it would be better for everybody if we could get into our own place very soon, even if it is just to rent an apartment in Cincinnati for a few months.
Other than all that, things are going very well. The kids seem to be adjusting to being in Ohio, and have certainly enjoyed having cousins around to play with every day. The humidity, while noticeable, has not been as oppressive as I feared, and I am getting used to driving and navigating in a large eastern city. I'm excited now to move on to the next step, and get our family established in our own area so that we can start making some connections of our own.

Saturday, July 14

All Because Two People Fell in Love

In this photo are 25 people, 23 of whom exist because the remaining two decided to fall in love and wed more than 30 years ago. We have had such a wonderful family reunion that I have been constantly thankful the last week for these people that my children share bloodlines with. These same people have adopted me, and the other in-laws that have married into the clan over the years, so fully that this family feels like an extension of myself, just as close as the family we left behind in Utah. I am grateful to be gathered together with these wonderful people who show such love to each other. It's been a great reunion, and I look forward to doing it again as soon as we can!!

Family Pictures

This is a photo of all the grand kids. They decided they wanted to have a 'silly shot' in which they could make faces. I would attempt to identify all the children, but since most of you either know who these people are, or don't, I don't think I'll take the time.
This is, obviously, our individual family shot. I think it turned out reasonably well, and look forward to going to the store and getting some larger prints made up. It took a little bit extra time, but I don't think anybody will regret that we took the chance to get individual shots of each family done.

Thursday, July 12

Missing the Grid

I miss the grid system. Drivers in Utah, unless you have driven extensively outside of your chosen state, you have no idea what I'm talking about. All of you other drivers, the ones living in states other than Utah, are nodding your heads and smiling.

We've been in Dayton now for a full week. During this week, Ammon has attained a mastery of the roads that I admire. I, however, have not even set foot behind the wheel since I last drove our minivan in Northern Utah the day before we left. The streets here, which are laid in seemingly random patterns throughout the city, make me nervous enough about driving to submit to voluntary chauffeuring, and or house arrest when no chauffeur is available. I know at some point I am going to have to submit to the ways of the land, and learn to navigate myself and my family around to the various things that we need. Mary was kind enough to purchase a laminated map of Dayton city in order to make our travels easier, but the few times that I have tried to follow along as we drive throughout the days I have been unable to locate the street on my map until we are long past and traveling in a new direction. Not exactly helpful when trying to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Never before have I moved to an area where I have absolutely no knowledge of the terrain or the customs, and never before have I felt more like a 'fish out of water'. My interactions with the people of Ohio so far have been overly pleasant and reassuring, but the driving still boggles my mind. My word of advice to all you lucky Utah folk? Appreciate your neatly-laid grid system. Appreciate a Main Street that runs directly North to South, and a center street that neatly intersects and starts the number system all over again. Appreciate the blocks which are all the same lengths and coordinate with whole numbers on the grid. Appreciate being able to find a house of a loved one or new friend simply by having the address scrawled on a piece of paper, or noted in your mind. Appreciate not having to learn to drive on narrow eastern streets that have no shoulder, no turning lane, and higher speed limits. I know I will the next time I'm in your neck of the woods!

Monday, July 9

48 Hours

Not such a long time, right? I mean, 48 hours is a mere two days. What can you accomplish in two days?

Well, not much, if you don't have clean underwear or deodorant.

Our luggage finally arrived on Saturday afternoon after such a 48 hour span. Living without any personal belongings for that long doesn't sound like much. It doesn't sound like it would be that inconvenient, that trying, or that terrible. However, those who would say that, have you done it? When the gentlemen from United Airlines finally showed up with all 7 of our bags (plus our car seats) I almost cried from relief and joy. The sight of my baggage was about the most beautiful thing I think I've seen in this lifetime, as silly as that sounds. The unpacking that would have been a chore had I done it Thursday evening was suddenly a joy on Saturday afternoon. I couldn't wait to get started, to sort through the items I had carefully packed away on our last days in Hyrum, lovingly finding a new location for them in our new home, and gaze at the useful items with a new found appreciation. I suppose 48 hours is not such a long time after all, if it makes you adore something as simple as facial cleanser.

Friday, July 6

We've Arrived!

After months and months of planning, packing, talking, and scheming, we finally arrived in Ohio last night. We started our trip at 6 am with an early shuttle ride to the airport, then we left Utah just after 9am. We had a 2 hour layover in Denver, during which we discovered that our bags had been checked wrong by the ticket agent in Utah. Instead of checking our baggage (all 8 of them!) all the way through to our final destination, he simply checked them to Denver, where they still are this morning. After leaving Denver, we spent about two hours on a plane traveling to Ohio, then another 90 minutes traveling by car to the house we're actually staying at. It was a horribly long, stressful, hot, exhausting day, but the kids were angelic the entire time. In fact, the only glitch in the entire operation is the fact that our luggage is in an entirely different state, rendering us without clothing, deoderant, toothbrushes, or toys for the kids. We're hopeful that these much-needed things will arrive shortly, making our lives much easier. I will post a few pictures from our trip as soon as I get a chance, but I wanted to at least let everybody know that we're still alive and well!

Tuesday, July 3

38 Hours and Counting

We leave our humble apartment in approximately 38 hours. The last of the kitchen is yet to be packed, along with some minor cleaning chores. I also have to spend some time packing the last of our 7 suitcases, but all in all, I'm feeling good. We have a good schedule, time enough to do the things we need, and even time to spare to have fun. Today is our 7 year anniversary, and we're heading out for a date in about five minutes with out friends Travis and Christina. I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening, followed by a fun 4th of July. I will post again as soon as I can, possible as early as Friday, but wish us luck in the meantime!!