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[Comments] (4) There & Never Back Again: So I spent October 28-30 in Orlando at a work conference that, despite the sickness I was battling and the extreme jet lag I was experiencing, turned out to be a really fun conference.

I got back to CA around 10 pm on the 30th, and we left apartment living forever behind us by 10 am on Halloween Day. En route on the 15 to UT, we got detoured in Barstow onto Route 40 all the way to Needless (on the CA-AZ border), then had to take the 95 up to Las Vegas. All because of an oil spill in Baker. This added an extra 100 miles to our journey, and to our spirits. It was a hot day in the desert, we were unfamiliar with our route, and the 95 is a one-lane highway. We somehow managed to make it to Vegas by dinnertime, and the traffic there was absolutely horrendous. Every freeway exit in the city was backed up onto the freeway. We ate at Denney's for dinner, because it was the only place we could get into easily. Some random guy thought Maggie was cute (what can I say, when you are right, you are right) and gave her a pomegranite. Her first tricks-or-treats!

We made it to St. George around 8 pm and pretty much just called it a night. The next day, luckily, was uneventful, and we made it to our new house around 3:30! Someone (either the realtor or the previous owners) made 5 key copies, none of which worked. Luckily there are two originals, so we are set. And Maggie gained some new toys. The fridge and stove were a disgrace, and we realized that the bathroom shower was installed upside down! We opted to simply buy new drip pans, my mom scrubbed the fridge, and we peeled off all the vinyl lettering decorating every wall in the house. Some of it is ok, but we need to give this house our personal touch.

We now finally have all our old furniture, our new dining table, two new area rugs to cover the cold hardwood floors, our very own front-loading, environmentally-friendly washer and dryer, and are awaiting our new front room set, coming tomorrow. The boxes are all unpacked, the internet is set up, the phones are set up, Maggie's room is now lavender instead of navy blue, and we're ready for our first homeowner adventure story. (Hopefully it won't be too horrendous, the house is only 8 years old).

Shameless plug time: buying our washer and dryer at Home Depot was a dream come true. They were extremely professional (unlike our Lowe's fridge-buying experience). We bought our dining set and area rugs at RC Willey. The sales rep was nice, the delivery men not so much. The called me at 6:45 in the morning to notify me my table would be delivered in 15 minutes. Of course, they woke up the Beet. Disgraceful. That is way too early.

I love the view we have: the east bench and the wasatch front out the front, and the west side oquirrh mountains and freeway-watch out the dining area. I think I bought this house mostly for the view.

We are slowly acclimating to the UT climate. I once again am dutifully carrying chapstick in my pocket, all the bottles of lotion are open, and we've all had our first winter cold for the year (Maggie's still getting over hers, and hates it when we try to wipe the dried snot from beneath her nose).

I leave Sunday for San Jose for another round of trainings, and begin in the SLC office on November 16th. The time off has been nice (and extremely productive), but it'll be nice to go back to making money faster than I can spend it (and boy have we spent this last month).

Thanksgiving is around the corner!

Do you know the way to San Jose?: La la la la la la la la la.

In San Jose for training. Our hotel is in Santa Clara right next to Paramount's Great America amusement park. I actually went to that park in 1997. It still looks quite the lame park.

So far the training has been pretty good, but I already want to go home. I start work in the SLC office this Friday, and here's hoping for a smooth transition from the OC to the SLC.

Even though it's only 6:30, I'm tired. The last three weeks have been exhausting, but Susie and I have accomplished much good. Think I'll retire to bed with a good book soon.

When I was a kid I always thought it would be fun to move around a lot. I now know better. The best lifestyle is one close to home. Here's hoping our UT residence will last for many years. I'm tired of moving.

[Comments] (4) The Fabulous Fifteen: Despite living in Draper, I made it to work downtown yesterday in under 45 minutes. And home in about the same. Not too bad. The 15 is a dream after the 405. The worst part is navigating downtown. The parking structure for our building is two blocks away, so I have opted (like many of my colleagues) to park for free in the Avenues stake center and walk about 10 minutes into the office to save money. I really think that, once we move to the Gateway in January, I can cut the commute to 35 minutes. Very excited about that.

First day of work involved unpacking boxes, knowing that in two months we are moving and I get to re-pack them. It's gonna be a slow time until the next busy season, being the new guy and all. For once, I'll actually get to enjoy the holidays.

I think I need to write a letter to the makers of those stair gates. Ours does not fit flush on the wall. It is therefore loose, and I fear if Maggie were to pull herself up, she would tumble down the stairs with a gate on top of her. So aren't we therefore better off with no gate? Would she not get injured less without a gate crashing down the stairs with her? It seems like my mom would stuff a dishrag onto one side of the gate growing up to fix the loose gate, and now it does seem more snug, but still unsafe. I do have to wonder how many tumbles down the stairs it would take before she learned her lesson anyway? If only one, maybe we should stage the fall in a controlled environment. I have no idea. But I do feel I'll get a call at work one day that Maggie will have her first set of stitches from such an incident.

Maggie finally seems to have acclimated to her new house, and is again sleeping through the night. I'm telling you, she came this close to sleeping in the garage. But we've survived the transition. Unfortunately, the lost sleep is gone forever.

Today's task: putting up Christmas lights. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

[Comments] (1) Vocalizing my thoughts: Now that I have a commute, I have time to think again! Here is my Top 10 "thankful for" list this year:

1. Susie. She's always at the top, and for different reasons each year. I love her.

2. Maggie. Each day with her, I feel more fulfilled as a human being than I even knew was possible pre-parenthood. She is the apple of my eye.

3. EY. Between the 6-week paternity leave and the opportunity to transfer to an office I am not quite sure needs me that badly, I feel like an asset to the Uncle Ernie family.

4. Eagle Gate. I get to walk under the Eagle Gate at the corner of South Temple & State Street every morning. It brings back many fond memories of visiting Mary & Harry when we were little, who owned a beautiful home above the Capitol building and below Ensign Peak. Of course, I'll be even more grateful come January when we move to the Gateway and my commute shortens 10 minutes each way because I don't have to drive downtown anymore.

5. Disney. This has been an emotional year. Between having a baby, moving, working more hours, etc, it was always nice to be able to forget my worries and go play for a few hours every week. Plus, it was always fun to get out and have people faun over my daughter. Once again, thanks to Uncle Ernie for the discount APs!

6. Our primary kids. I miss them already. The hardest part of leaving California was leaving those kids. I looked forward to church every week, even though it was hard to do primary with Maggie in tow. I wish them good primary teachers in the future, and that they don't have to grow up too fast.

7. Our new house. Over time, that house will become a part of us, and it's been fun to invest myself into it, both financially & emotionally. The view is calming, and there's room to grow!

8. I'm thankful to be near family again. The past year or so we were "flying solo" was not easy. It's nice to finally feel grounded somewhere surrounded by a support group. And once Maggie decides to like them, Susie & I can re-instate date night!

9. Grandma June & IHOP. Glad Susie gets to go every week, even if I can only go once in a while.

10. Last but not least, the gospel. Nuff said.

[Comments] (1) Let It Snow: Today is my first snowfall in years. Today is Maggie's first snowfall ever. It is very pretty, and I managed to drive home safe in it. Yay for the holidays!

[Comments] (3) Clueless: I have made arrangements with the girl in the cube in front of me: She will stop saying the f-word and taking God's name in vain, and I'll ignore everything else she says. So far, it seems to be working. Today at lunch I was telling another co-worker our arrangement, and this girl commented that she also never uses the c-word.

I was not aware there was a c-word. I asked what it was and she and this other girl refused to say it. Apparently it is really bad. So it appears that the newest word to be added to the English language this year is a cuss word. Swell.

In other news, Maggie's sick again. Apparently sickness is just a normal part of winter life in Utah, because mom and Jamie are sick too. Maggie had a hard time sleeping last night so I let her sleep on me while I attempted to sleep on the couch last night. I really don't think I slept one wink all night, but Maggie seemed happy with the arrangement. I'd rather be grumpy than have Maggie be grumpy, so I guess it was worth it.


© 2003-2015 John Chadwick.