Thursday, April 15, 2010

House Wishes

Considering how much time I spend in my day thinking about our future home, it's probably a miracle that I haven't made a Wish List Post prior to today. I am so house-hungry. I can't wait until I don't have to share a laundry room with the neighbors. I can't wait until I have an outdoor space all my own to keep meticulously weeded and watered. I can't wait until I have my dream kitchen. Some of these may actually be a reality some day! I thought it would be fun to share things in my head as to what I hope we have some day. It can't come soon enough!

Location is key. We love the Dobson Ranch area in Mesa near the 60 and 101 freeways, but it will be harder to find a house in this neighborhood since most of them have an HOA. John refuses to pay someone to tell him what he is allowed to do on his property, and I agree! So just east of Dobson Ranch is a beautiful area called Dobson Woods with no HOAs but same great location! We will probably settle in this area.

Two-car garage. Can I be so lucky as to have windows on the top of the garage door? I love that look!

Curb appeal. Being the self-proclaimed perfectionist that I am, I would love a beautiful front and backyard that I can feel proud of. I particularly like these two little numbers.

Kitchen. It might be the most important thing to me, since I love spending so much time in this room. I would love to have everything updated so we don't have to worry about it. Dark wood cabinets? Yes, please. And stainless steel appliances would make my heart go pitter-pat. Counterspace is important, since I still have that dream of doing some dessert catering some day. I would love a gas range to cook up a storm.

And double-wall ovens. Did I mention I would love to do a small amount of baking in the future? These would be a must! Convection ovens, if I have the ability to be really picky!

I would love a pretty view out of my kitchen window. I think it would be wonderful to watch the kiddies play in the yard while I slave away at dishes or cleaning inside. (Who am I kidding...if they are outside, it's to do yard work, and then they will be inside doing the dishes and cleaning while I prop my legs up in a comfy chair!).

A bathroom to die for. I know houses are sold because of kitchens and bathrooms, and this is another area in the house I hope is already done for us. I would love to add a personal touch of my own, but new fixtures and floors would be ideal. Tile showers would be nice, with a beautiful seamless glass door. I have always wanted a squeegee...

For me, an outdoor entertaining space is crucial. I would love a huge covered patio with enough room for our grill (non-existent as of now), an outdoor lounge set (also on the wish list), and a dining set perfect for all kinds of parties (I drool every time I am at the store). The weather is so nice here in The Valley eight months out of the year, and I can see an outdoor patio simply becoming an extension of our living space.

A pool. It's actually not important to us, since I think we are both intimidated by the maintenance of one. But if we found the perfect house and it happened to have a pool in the backyard, I don't think I would let it stop me from buying. In a perfect world, it would have a fence around the pool so as to prevent future children damage.

A yard is key. If we get stuck with a pool, there has to be enough lawn and grass for the kids to play in (mow, weed, fertilize, etc.). I can't wait to roll around in my own grass! Please forgive such a brash statement!

French doors. This is one of those things I have discovered is important to John, though not spoken plainly. He refuses to have sliding doors to any outdoor space, so French Doors are a must.

A great room. I never want to be stuck cooking in the kitchen with the party happening elsewhere in the house. I imagine a perfect, large room with enough space for a sitting area (perhaps near a fireplace?) and room for my desired gigantic dining table (I have about thirty possibilities picked out at twenty-nine stores). I want to be able to be a part of the action while I finish getting dinner ready, and a great room would provide that opportunity.

Kitchen storage is a must for me. And if you know me well, you know I can totally make my pantry look this good! I can't wait to have room to store everything my little heart desires!

I would love to have tall ceilings, simply because of the illusion created of more space. I like space. And I would love to have lots of light in that space. Neutral paint with white baseboards and recessed lighting? Well, alrighty then!

So there you have it. My dream home in a nutshell. I know we won't find a perfect house, but I have high hopes of finding the perfect house for us. Did I mention I can hardly wait?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blessings Come in Small Bundles

What a wonderful, gone-too-soon weekend! My family was in town for the blessings of the two new babies in the family. We had such a lovely time together! It always is over before we know it.


My sister, Charloe, and her family arrived in town on Thursday evening after driving from central Utah all day. Thanks to her new car DVD system, the two kids in the back seat had a great trip and only had to stop for a bathroom break every five minutes or so. To celebrate their arrival, we met up with them at Oregano's for a late dinner. T'liese, Joe, and Evan showed up, as well as Jeff, Megan, and Mayla. It was fun to watch as Charloe finally met these two babies! I doubt it will stop me from sending her pictures via text every time I get to visit them, though. Dinner was delicious for most, but all children present were incredibly tired. That made waiting for a deep-dish pizza to cook almost unbearable! Mayla was so tired that Jeff and Megan ended up getting their dinner to go! Sometimes I found myself sitting alone inside the restaurant while crying babies and running kids got some energy out of their lungs outside (John was home finishing homework so he could play the rest of the weekend). We parted ways shortly after 9:00 PM after leaving our mark on the restaurant patrons forever.


Charloe had come a day early so she could take her space-loving five year-old to the Children's Science Museum and Planetarium. Corban was so excited for the day to begin that they went without us! I arrived at T'liese's house and got to hold little Evan while she showered to get ready. It is tough sharing babies that are usually all mine when I am around! T'liese, Evan, and I met Charloe's family at the museum in downtown Phoenix, just in time for some lunch from the small cafe on the premises. Megan had gotten us admission for the day and even some passes to the 12:45 PM presentation of an interactive planet show. As the astronomer asked questions to the crowd, we heard Corban answering each one under his breath. What a smart kid! Afterwards, we wandered around the museum, trying to find room to explore among several school classes in attendance. It made for some good people-watching to see awkward teenagers trying to impress other awkward teenagers! Boy, I don't miss those days at all. It was a nice afternoon of learning for the kiddies, and soon we were all on our way back to our houses to rest for a few hours (hey, if they get naps, so should I!). I headed back to Mesa to wait for my man to arrive home from work.

We left for Phoenix around 5:00 PM to arrive at my brother's house just before six. We waved to Megan as she left to pick Jeff up from work just a few miles away, and we walked into the house to find my parents with baby Mayla! They had just arrived from their long trip from central Utah and were gushing over a beautiful baby dressed in a white onesie and a blue skirt. So adorable! Of course, no one could get enough of her. It only took twenty minutes for her to realize she didn't know any of these crazy people and wanted her mama! Charloe and her family soon arrived, and so did Jeff and Megan. We headed to Fuddrucker's to eat some dinner with the whole family! T'liese, Joe, and Evan met us there. The burgers were so yummy, and not a soul who got a milkshake complained! It was fun to be together as a group, but the evening ended early because of some tired kids.


It isn't too far from the truth to say our weekend revolved around where we ate! I took Mom to Crackers a few months ago when she was down, and she could hardly wait for Merrill to try it! So we all met at Crackers for lunch on Saturday. I finally got breakfast there and was NOT disappointed. Holy cow, I would go there right now for some pancakes! They were perfect! (At least, I think the thing under all that butter was a pancake...) Then we headed to Costco for an hour so Megan and T'liese could finish shopping for the post-blessing dinner. The folks from Utah don't have a Costco close enough for them to utilize, so we had fun showing them the store and wandering around for nothing. I almost bought South Pacific to complete my Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection, but I put it back at the last minute! After Costco, we headed to the Legacy Golf Resort to swim and lounge at Charloe and Brian's hotel. The kids had fun...maybe a little too much fun, judging by Brynn's swimming suit. We watched and tried to soak up some sun before heading inside to chit chat while Mayla finished her nap. It proved to be too small of a room for sixteen people, so we piled in our cars and drove two miles to T'liese and Joe's home. While the boys played bocce ball outside, the girls watched and waited for the pizza delivery guy to knock. It was a fun day spent with family, and I almost got some much-desired sun.


Blessing Day arrived! We met at 1:00 PM for church to start at T'liese and Joe's ward in south Phoenix. Joe did a great job giving his son a blessing, and it was really nice to see all of the men in our family join in the circle. After Sacrament, we snuck into a large, empty room in the basement to bless baby Mayla. Even though she cried through the whole thing, Jeff gave a wonderful blessing to his new daughter. Now it was, once again, time to head for some grub. This time, we went to The Mansion owned by Megan's parents who had politely invited the entire family to their home for the dinner Megan and T'liese had purchased from Costco the day before. Honey Bear's BBQ, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips, fruit, and lots of good beverages kept us busy for a few hours. Dessert may have been the best part, though, and I am sad to announce that I now know about the three delicious cakes at Costco (Chocolate, Red Velvet, Lemon Cooler...I am done for now!) It was fun to have Joe's family there as well. Such beautiful families and even sweeter parents. I enjoyed holding Stephanie's new baby girl, Kate. What a smile that girl has! After dinner, people slowly started to trickle out. Charloe left with her family around 6:00 PM to make it to an awaiting hotel in Page for the night. Breaking up a nine-hour car ride is never a bad idea with two kids. We hated to see them go, simply because it meant the weekend was over. After visiting with the rest of the family for a few more hours, it was time to say goodbyes and head back to our house.

It was such a great weekend, but it flew by too quickly. Now we have our family vacation in Sedona to anticipate! Come on, September!

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