Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Preparations

I really love this time of year. There really is magic that seems to be in the air (and yes, it's even stronger than the ever-present inversion). My sister and brother-in-law (and little nephew) were able to come out for Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas Season. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, we went to see the lights at Temple Square. It was FREEZING!!!!! Needless to say, we were only there for maybe about an hour. We were, however, able to snap a few shots of the lights (although, as my brother mentioned, they are still the same as they were last year and the year before that and the year before that...) Anyway, here is a nice family shot...I think it turned out great (and no, we don't have a shot of us at this location).

The only things missing from this photo are 7 nieces/nephews and 4 siblings :(
We did very much miss the two other Slack Families who were unable to make this trip. Love you guys!!!!

This shot turned out great
 After our time at Temple Square, we went back home for a nice roaring fire along with some hot chocolate (made with milk...and Whole Milk nontheless!) It was so much fun. It was sad to see my Sister and Brother-in-law head back home the next day.

Anyway, since it was now time that I could put up my Christmas decorations without causing World War III, I put up the tree and strung the lights. I then spruced up the fireplace :). I had a friend at work who asked if she could decorate my tree, to which I said yes. She and her two kids came up to decorate it (and it was really cute! Her kids were so excited it made me laught. It was a lot of fun!) Anyway, it is gold and red and I really love it!!! I included a picture with the lights and one without the lights on.

As you can tell, I am still missing a tree topper and a tree skirt. No worries, I am still on the look out for the appropriate ones. However, at this point, I think it looks amazing! :)

Here's a picture of the fireplace. I tried to do a picture with the lights on, but it really did not show up well. I love the garland...it's gold as well :). I also am expecting a wreath (real) that will provide the nice pine scent. I gotta have that for Christmas :)

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! It really is my favorite time of year and I hope it is an enjoyable one for all! I am including a link to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional because I found it very inspiring. As most of you, if not all, understand, it is about an hour long, but well worth the time. Enjoy :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope everyone has a very happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving!!! I am lucky enough to be spending it with the majority of my family but am sad that the other members of my family will be unable to be here with us. I will miss them!

I hope everyone travels safely and that you all enjoy the tasty food (but don't over-do it).

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Home's Rebirth

Well, I am happy to report some progress with my home. I have pictures to show, but I do admit, it's not as nice as it is in person. What makes it really interesting is comparing the before pictures with the after pictures. I hope you enjoy :) Please note, however, that all rooms are not completed yet...

One side of the front room. I am really happy with the color of paint :)

And here's the living room with the fire place. The nice thing is that the chair swivels, so I can face the television, company that comes to visit, the fire place, and the window. I'm very happy with the placement :)

My piano (well, I am piano sitting, so it's not really mine, but we have bonded). I love the small table with the one chair. No worries...that will be replaced...some time.

My kitchen. I should have waited to take the pictures until after I washed those dishes. Oh well.

The office and make-shift room. Actually, I will be storing some bunk beds for my mom, so they will be going in this room, but it is the office. This full bed will be leaving the room to its rightful home (you will see the room soon...below). And yes, new drapes are on the to-do list.

The guest room...and yes, it has been "child-ized" I love it! And I am very happy with the color of the wall.

This is my room...the master room. Obviously this room is not done (this is the rightful home of the full bed). I just had to show off the hardwood floors!!!! I haven't done anything with them yet but vacuum. I am excited for this room to be done. It'll be amazing!!!!!

This picture is here not only to show off Nicholas (he's about as old as I am) but also to show the wall. There was wall paper on this wall. I think it looks 1000 times better!

Two things about this picture. First of all, that horrible wallpaper is gone and replaced with a wonderful yellow wall. So much nicer!!!!!! Also, you will notice there is a puzzle waiting to be completed. This puzzle was moved from my apartment to it's current location. I knew if I took it apart, I would never pull it out to try it again. It's a beautiful picture but a nasty puzzle! The plan is to finish it, glue the pieces together, and put it in the frame that is hanging on the wall.
Well, there are some of the accomplishments. I have not done anything with the bathrooms yet and, obviously the master bedroom is not completed, but I am now living in my house and loving it!!!!! It can now snow all it wants, I am ready! I get Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in my house. Life is good!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Well, it is official...as of Friday, October 29, I'm a new home owner. I have the keys and the paperwork to prove it. Friday, I transferred the electricity, gas, water, sewage, and refuse into my name. I then went to war with the wall paper and the glass paneling in the house (and yes, I won!) Do not fret...pictures are soon to follow. By the time I'm done, this house will be mine inside and out :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I close at 10:00 am on Oct 28, 2010 :)

On Friday, Oct 29, the ripping up and painting project begins :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My New Home!!!...Again and for real :)

So, as many of you (if not all) know, I have been under contract with a house and, if all is going well, I should close this Thursday, Oct 28. Coincidentally, this falls on one of my sister's birthday and I only thought it fitting that she should pay for it. She did not agree...

Anyway, I've wanted to show everyone, but because it is under contract, I can't find anywhere online that has the listing with pictures. So, I had my realtor take me there so I could take some pictures to share. In addition, this provides an opportunity for Before and After shots (believe me...this house needs some TLC with the decor). I'm sure by the time you finish looking at the pictures, you will understand what I mean.

Here's the house/front yard. The landscaping, although very simple, is amazing in that the concrete is laid separating the lawn from the garden plots...and I have one huge, amazing tree in the front yard (this photo does not do it justice!)

The view from the porch. If you squint and look behind the tree (very behind the tree) you can see the Ogden Utah Temple!!!! Another pluse :)

So, one pro of this picture...the gas fireplace!!!! (with a mantel). One con...the wood paneling. I'm still trying to decide what to do. I may paint over it, I may rip it down, or I may leave it for now while I try to decide what to do with it. Suggestions are welcome :)

The opposite wall (from the fireplace.) This is the front room. Yes, the carpet may be pinkish...but it's still in good condition and I'm not Daddy Warbucks, so it's going to stay for the next few years.

The mud room/wash room. There is a separate entrance to this room (something I really like!) This room will be a nice, vivid YELLOW!!!!!! :) This is also where the washer and dryer will go. It also leads into the kitchen.

The opposite wall in the mud room/laundry room (just think...YELLOW!!!! And it's non-negotiable)

The kitchen! The cabinets aren't even scratched, but the stove is a bit old (as is the dishwasher). Not to worry...

Now, before you die of shock, just wait...there's something even better than this. And yes, you guessed it, this will be one of the first things to go (actually, the second or third thing to go).

BOOM! Believe me, whatever you're thinking, I've heard. Yes, this ugly glass paneling will be the FIRST thing to go! I don't even know why this would be thought of as a good idea. This is also non-negotiable...it is going! The carpet will stay for a few years.

The bathroom (main). Obviously, there's some changing about to occur. I am not a bath boy, so a shower will be making an appearance shortly, as well as some new tile and a new vanity. But again, it will have to wait.

The master bathroom. Once again, the tile will go, the vanity too, and, obviously, the shower tile. However, it will have to wait. I do believe my manhood can handle the pink.

You guessed it! The carpet is gone! I'm still trying to decide...new carpet or hardwood floors? I know the front room will eventually become hardwood, but the carpet will be staying for awhile. This carpet has no chance of staying, so now comes the decision...new carpet or hardwood? Suggestions are welcome here :)

Obviously, this wall paper (and the paint color) will be gone. The carpet will be staying. This will become a blue room.

I like the glass closet doors :)

My backyard! I love the retaining wall here. I'm still trying to decide the fate of the shrubs. They most likely will be staying for a bit, but I really hate shrubs!

My view from the backyard. While I'm not a huge fan of the house, the mountains that rise from the house are an amazing site!

Now, I do not believe that pine trees belong in yards. They are too big and bulky to compliment anything (unless they are kept healthy, but I don't want to work on keeping one healthy). They belong in parks or in the wild. However, this is not in my yard, so I can still enjoy it (particularly in the winter). Also, the ivy is away from my house, so I can enjoy that as well...as long as the snakes keep their distance!

Another view of my back yard. I love it!
So, there's a brief tour of the house. There is not basement (which will be nice in about 60 years when I can't maneuver stairs...I'll still be able to stay at home :)

I am super excited about this purchase. Hopefully, all will work out and I will be the new owner on Thursday. The ripping out and painting up project will begin soon afterward. As soon as it is finished, new pictures will be posted for everyone's enjoyment :)

For those who are curious, female input has been given but a male (myself) is making the final decision (because it is mine!!) :). There is no girlfriend or wife in my life right now, so keep that in mind. Obviously, when she decides to come around, she won't mind how the house looks (as long as it is tidy). Lucky for her, I'll like her enough to allow her to make some changes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New Temple!!!!

Since the construction for the new Brigham City Temple began, I have wanted to go take a look; for me, there's an excitement about seeing the construction happen. So, a couple friends and I headed up that way to take some pictures. After some heckling and confused-looking faces, we made our way to the temple site, which resulted in these pictures. And yes, I know it's "only a hole in the ground" but it's the idea that a temple is coming that makes it exciting and piques my curiosity :)

Here are the pictures I took. I also provided three links (Brigham, City, and Temple above). Additionally, I just read that the groundbreaking for the Rome, Italy Temple will be Oct 23, 2010 and that Pres Monson will be presiding there!!!!! Isn't that exciting!!!?!?!?!?!? They'll unveil the design at the groundbreaking...I can't wait to see what it's going to look like

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More About HomeOwnership

So, as I promised, I have some pictures of my loot from the yard sale of the old guest houses at McKay-Dee Hospital...and here they are:

The lamps (here are four, one more was not photographed and one is soon to follow)

Here's some decor I could not resist

This picture I bought for the frame. I have an impossible puzzle of Neuschwanstein Castle that, when finished, will be glued together and put in this frame.

This is a picture that I am keeping intact. I love the old European Town look

Here's another lamp :)
Not pictured are the following:

  • a microwave
  • bunk beds (with mattresses)
  • full bed (with mattress)
  • shelves (PVC)
  • sheets and unused dish cloths
  • another lamp
  • a set of plates
  • a Christmas tree (with decorations)
It was a good haul! That and I only spent $160 :)

As far as the house goes, I am still waiting to hear about the loan. The inspection and the appraisal have already been completed (and the house has passed). 

Other things I am looking at are the following:
  • Painting (Kitchen - Yellow; Front Room - Beige; Bedroom - Blue; Bedroom - Green; Bedroom - Yellow, Blue, Green, or Beige...whatever I seem to like best when the time for choosing has come). This is obviously a want, but most likely will be granted. Obviously, the colors will be shades of the listed color and not just the regular color. I am already going through paint samples to try and choose which shade.
  • Washer and Dryer - This is a need if I want to wash my clothes. It will be granted.
  • Couch/Love Seat/Chair - This is a want and I may have to wait until a later date.
  • Tear out carpet and re-finish hardwood floors - I know the carpet needs to be changed (and will be changed) in two of the bedrooms, but I am not sure if I want to re-carpet the rooms or keep the hardwood floors underneath. I'm planning on keeping the front room carpet for the next few years. I may re-carpet the bedrooms and then, when the time comes, get rid of the carpet in the front room and then buff up the hardwood floors. I'm still trying to decide.
I also have some other ideas to fix up the house, but those will have to wait for quite some time. These ideas include:
  • placing molding around the windows
  • remodeling the bathrooms
  • replacing the kitchen linoleum
  • replacing the inside doors
I think I may just end up painting the house and removing the carpet in one bedroom (the deep-red color...definitely not going to stay. It's way too retro!!) and then saving for the other projects. Luckily, I have a few years to save money and make changes. This is going to be pretty fun I think.

So, there's the update. I will keep you posted with any additional news.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baby Steps to Home-Ownership

(Pictures will soon follow)

As many of you know, I started looking for a house around May. It soon became an ordeal that was much bigger and much more involved than I expected. I will spare all the details until a later time when I will be able to go more in depth about my experience. For now, I will talk about furnishing my soon-to-be (hopefully) home.

McKay-Dee Hospital Center owns three houses that used to serve as guest houses for family members of patients in the hospital. Recently, a new building was built on the hospital campus that now serves that purpose. The hospital plans to sell the old houses, but first, they did a yard sale...

Everything in the houses was available for purchase. A co-worker of mine was in a club of the hospital which gave her first dibs on the items in the houses, so she took me with her and I went on my very first shopping spree (well, for housing stuff). I got 5 lamps, a huge framed picture (that I really really like), a lighthouse, some decorative plates, a clock, bunk beds (mattresses and all...although I am a bit concerned about the mattresses), and a dresser (oh yeah, and a glass casserole dish). You may think it was a fortune...$63.25 (an yes, the decimal point is in the correct place)!!!!! I was super excited! Three of the lamps even match and I pretty much furnished an entire bedroom (not mine, obviously...I get a bigger, newer bed). Needless to say, I was pretty excited and am more excited to move in (I am still waiting to hear back about the loan).

Anyway, I thought I would share the fun news. There will be more to come about the house-buying experience, so stay tuned :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another First in Utah...

So, I decided to take a drive to see Fall. I ventured into Morgan County (a first time that I can remember) and saw Devil's Slide (another first). It was pretty neat! Of course, I took some pictures, so I wanted to post them. From what I was told, people used to be able to slide down it (I'm guessing they slid on something, because it looks like it would be more of a tumble if you did it just on your behind). Anyway, enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last Hike of the Summer

As the last hoorah for summer, some of my family and I went up to Brighton and had a fabulous time! My parents and I did a little hike up to Dog Lake. The hike was amazing because the weather was beautiful (no wind, no clouds, perfect temperature, and quiet). While we were there, a couple moose decided to join us. However, we made them stay on the other side of the lake (no discrimination, just some safety concerns. We didn't want to scare them too badly). It was nice thought because we could hear them talking, along with the birds chirping and the little breezes of wind that would come and go. In addition, there was the smell of the woods (pure, clean, crisp) that had a mixture of pine and leaves that are starting to fall. I'm surprised we even left! Here are some pictures. Unfortunately, my camera does not record sound. And...you'll have to look hard for the moose, but I promise they were there! :)

That is a moose (IN Dog Lake)

Just trust me...there are two moose somewhere in this picture.

Yellow really is the best color!

Dog Lake (in Brighton)

That's my mom by the rock :)
After we finished out hike, my sister, brother-in-law, and their kids met us up at the trail head where we made a camp fire and cooked us some foil dinners (there's nothing better!!!!) and some s'mores (courtesy of my sister). It was so fun to see them (my nieces and nephews are getting too big...and that's only one family, the one I see more regularly!) Unfortunately, my other siblings were unable to come (due to distance or previous engagements). I missed them all, but it was still fun to be with those who were able to come. Family really is great!!!!


"[Confucius] taught that the country which develops the finest music, the grandest poetry, and the noblest moral ideals--that is, the country with the most exalted culture--will always yield the greatest power in the world."

-Letters from the Jade Dragon Box by Gale Sears

"Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I am in Somebody's hand!'

-Mr. Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge

"...[T]he magnitude of [life] is not as to [one's] external displacements, but as to [one's] subjective experiences."

-Thomas Hardy in Tess of the d'Urbervilles

"...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed--because 'Thou mayest.'"

-Lee in East of Eden