Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Big Move

This past month as been a little crazy for us, as we just moved into a new place in Orem. For those of you not familiar with what Lance so aptly coined as, "Chinchilla-gate," we decided to leave our close-to-campus, cheap, furnished apartment in Provo due to uncomfortable conditions with our landlord. So after a few months of nerve-unraveling searching we found a perfect situation for us here in Orem. Since I just graduated and Randy is taking most of his courses online, it was much less imperative to be near BYU. We must admit that being farther away from all the campus-life hubub has greatly improved our satisfaction with the area. We got an amazing deal on our new apartment--we doubled our square footage and we pay about the same rent. Our new place isn't furnished, so we can't invite too many people over at once or they will have to sit on the ground. But since our idea of having a crazy good time is sitting around playing card games or watching the chinchilla hop around, we are doing okay! Joy and Matt were the generous doners of their old kitchen table and we bought a bookcase which Randy expertly assembled, so the two most important things are taken care of: eating and reading. We have a little laundry area off our bathroom, so we are looking forward to the day when we can bring home a washer and dryer. We love our new ward, where the average age is 75, and know we will learn a lot from our more "experienced" neighbors and new friends. They have fun enrichment activities, and I have already joined the quilting club and the book club. Randy is having fun getting to know the five other men in the Elders' Quorum. Che loves the new space, and we love that she doesn't have strange places to hide where we can't get her out of (she used to try and get in our boxed-spring, a place impossible to extricate her from). We have two nearby parks, one a block west and another two blocks east, so we have plenty of trails to go bike riding. I was especially excited to learn that our local library (also two blocks away) hosts interesting lectures and literary seminars, which I will be taking advantage of in the coming months. All things considered, Orem in a perfect fit for us at this stage in our marital adventure.

Our old place--usually not this messy, but we were moving. You can pretty much see our entire apartment from this shot--minus the bedroom/bathroom area. I could vacuum the entire place without switching plugs, if that gives an idea of the approximate size :o)

Our new bright, sunny kitchen! (sunny must have been a color scheme in the 70's when they installed the formica and flooring . . .)

the livingroom and front window

Our entryway and vintage 70's era spindles!! (It doubles as a good time-out corner for Randy when he's been naughty.)

the bathroom

The "office" and Randy's beautiful bookcase he assembled for me. Yeah, it's already full . . .

The other half of the office . . .

Our bedroom

Monday, September 17, 2007

Baby Che

Last November my roommate and I went down to the local pet shop on center street to see if they had any cute animals there. We were actually thinking of getting a pet bunny, when we saw this funny little creature cuddled up in a ball in a cage. I had never heard of a chinchilla before, but I fell in love with this one the moment I held her little squirmy self in my arms. She has been an endless stream of entertainment for us ever since. As many of you know Randy is not much of an animal person, so I was a little concerned that he wasn't going to like my new little "Baby Che." But the funny thing has been watching him get really attached to this little creature. She has a lot of personality in a tiny little jumpy package (if you aren't familiar with chinchillas, they jump up to about five feet in the air). My favorite part about her is that she doesn't smell, doesn't bite, and is generally very sweet tempered. All around she has been the perfect pet for us. She really likes the freedom she has in our new place, and we like that she can run around without getting into too much trouble!
Chinchillas are native to the Andes mountains in South America, and so we named her Che after Che Guevarra, thinking that she was a boy when we purchased her. A few months later, suprise! she had babies, so our little girl had a boy's name. Some months later as I was doing some research in Chicana feminism for a class I was taking, I came across a theorist with the first name of Chela, so I suppose she can be named after a feminist instead of a Marxist . . . although I seriously doubt she cares . . .
I tried posting some videos, but they didn't upload for some reason. They are pretty hilarious, so we'll see what we can figure out.
Che on her little leash. She liked the ducks at the botany pond.

Friday, September 14, 2007


This year has been an eventful one for our little family of two. We (finally!) got married in January, I finished up school, and this August I graduated with a BA in English. My focus was literature as I was hoping to follow many of my friends on to graduate work in the fall, but because of Randy's million dollar question last November, I decided to put that off for a few years and start a career in technical/creative writing instead. This field is more lucrative than one would think, and it allows me the flexibility of staying at home and telecommuting once we start a family. Getting experience in the field is the big hurdle, and so I have spent the last month interviewing for some great, and some not-so-great positions around the area.

Graduation was an emotional, fun time for me. For those who have been close to me over the past eight years (yes, I could have been a doctor by now) know how many things I overcame to reach this point. Just coming back to Utah after being so sick on my mission (my disease has been in remission for about three years, knock on wood) was a complete miracle. I was also blessed with some outstanding professors who became dear friends and mentored me along the way.

It was wonderful having my parents for a short but action-packed visit that weekend. We all attended the Mt. Timpanogas Temple together, did a little graduation shopping, toured the new Pres. Hinckley alumni building on campus, attended both graduation and convocation (where I very nearly died of heatstroke--black robe in 100+ degree weather do not mix!), took many pictures, opened presents, celebrated my half-birthday, and enjoyed my mom's AMAZING cooking. They spoiled Randy and me so much while they were in town, buying us a vacuum for our new apartment, taking us out to dinner, plus a heavenly chocolate-hazelnut gateau my dad made! All in all we had a wonderful time and were sad to see them leave.

Dr. Matthews--the professor I did research with the last couple of years, as well as a really good friend.

Don't we look smart!

The cake!