Friday, August 28, 2009

Famous by Association

So far in life Ammon and I have not gained widespread fame. But the name of Dahl is becoming notorious in the NFL. Check out this link to read all about Ammon's cousin, Harvey. He is making a name for himself as the meanest player in the NFL. We are proud of him and would like to take this opportunity to bask in his glory.

Good luck this season Harvey! Go Falcons.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The House Buying Cycle

1. Look online at all the wonderful places for sale. Pick out a few to drive by. They don't all need to be in your price range.

2. Do a drive by. If the house is vacant, get out and look through windows and try the doors to see if you can get in. Poke around the yard, check out the neighborhood.

3. After the drive by, pick your favorites. Start dreaming about what it must look like inside and about the potential that is there.

4. Have your realtor (your extremely kind brother-in-law, in my case) show you your favorite house or two.

5. Fall in love with one of them (once again, this may not be in your price range). At this point you already know exactly what room will be used for what. You know you are planning to paint the living room this color, but are still figuring out the kitchen. The piano will go on that wall. The computer will be in that corner. This picture will hang here, and you'll need to check out TJ Max to see if you can find something for that wall over there. Oh, and the yard! Just think of the things you are going to do to the yard. The raspberries will go in that corner (lots of them). The garden will be just here. I think an apple tree would go nicely there. Oh, and this little spot will be perfect for roses...

~In our case, we usually make plans for how we want to remodel the place eventually as well. We will come up with a whole new floor plan. We usually end up staying up late into one evening making plans for all we are going to do to this place. In our case, the house doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to have the potential to become that way.

6. Start making plans for how you can make this beauty yours. This can be tricky, especially if it is not in your price range. What could you sell? Is it worth it in the end? Maybe you should look in a lower price bracket. Maybe there is some other hang up. At this point you may end up going back to step one. It might not work out.

7. Have your realtor call their realtor to get a feel for the place. At this point you may find out something fatal about the place that will then send you back to step one (e.g. the foundation is settling and would cost hundreds of thousands to fix).

~It should be noted that each time you have to return to step one you are crushed, because you just knew, just knew! that this time you had found "The One."

8. Write up an offer.

9. Find out if you can finance the house. This step could send you back to step one as well. (This can come before writing up an offer. Actually, if you are responsible it will, but sometimes you think you can and only find out after that there is a hiccup. Speaking of hiccups, the baby has them right now, poor guy.) 

10. Now comes the agonizing wait for the sellers to respond. All you can do is hope that they will be agreeable. At this point something usually goes wrong for us. For example, the house might be a short sale and we simply can't wait that long (there is nothing very short about a short sale as far as the buyer is concerned). Anyway, whatever the reason, Ammon and I usually end up going back to step one at this point. Thus the cycle beings again.

Alternate ending (which is rare at best (but then, how often do most people buy houses? For some reason Ammon and I are a little strange in that we love to house hunt, except for when we are not living close by the market we are trying to buy in)):

11. They counter, and we accept. The details are all ironed out.

12. All the little things get done in the mean time. (These steps are not usually this smooth, but for the interest of our sanity, let's hope for the best.)

13. Closing comes and the deal is done. Hooray! we have a new house.

Right now we are on step 10. We hope to hear the counter offer soon. Buying a house can be stressful. It is really hard for me right now because I just want to set up a place of my own and have it all ready for baby. Luckily, we have a brilliant realtor; that makes things go a lot better. Wish us luck. And here's hoping that they will see the wisdom in a carpet allowance. I don't want to live on bright pink carpet!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random, tacky update

I am very proud of my little baby right now. Six weeks ago we visited the doctor in Utah and we were measuring one week small. This last week, on Friday, we visited the same doctor. Our little man is now measuring two weeks big. That is a pretty intense growth spurt. I am proud of him, despite the fact that it has been personally uncomfortable for me. No stretch marks yet, but if he keeps growing at this rate I'm afraid my skin won't be able to keep up much longer.

Our little man is moving around a lot too. His most active hour is usually around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. But he is active most of the day and night. I'm afraid he is going to be a bit of a handful once he has the freedom to move around. He's got his feet up in my ribs too, which is generally less than pleasant. But it is fun for me to be able to make out a leg and an arm now. He even lets Ammon feel him move; he didn't used to do that.

This last weekend Ammon and I went on a house hunt. It was the hottest weekend all summer. It was over 100 degrees. We spent at least 8 hours or more in the car Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you know us, then you know we like to house hunt. But it is certainly different when you don't live close by and when you are getting a little desperate to find the right situation. We only have 6 weeks before we could be moving back to Utah, and we would like to have a place to land. We found a few prospects so we will see how it goes.

I think that is all the random news from here. Sorry for the tacky, not organized post. I am trying to improve the writing on my blog for all of our sakes, but sometimes you just need to write a random update.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I miss her

I was going through some random files today when I ran across these pictures. I took them last fall, not too long after we had gotten Sandy. She thought that the pile of leaves I hadn't yet put in the garbage were a bed made for her. It was so cute. I miss her. I miss Charlie too. In about 6 more weeks we should be moving back to Utah, theoretically. Then we can finally have our family back together again. In the meantime, isn't it fun to find old pictures that make you nostalgic?

Need a Good Laugh?

Takes every girl back to that special moment they got their first crossbow.

Each month when our Reader's Digest shows up (courtesy of Ammon's mother), Ammon and I settle in on the couch to read the jokes. We always flip through the entire thing, read the jokes and the advice column out loud, and then leave the rest of the Digest to be digested later. This is a tradition we have perfected. Some months are better than others. This month had some things that really got both of us going.

One of our favorite parts was being introduced to the website

Here is a sample:
Double your pleasure. Double your built-in-chaps.

This father was so relieved when he found out he was gonna be Eeyore.

There are so many fantastic pictures on this site. Half the time it is the caption that really makes it funny. There are also funny stories that people send in. Some are better than others. Anyway, if you are bored one night and need a laugh, I highly recommend checking out this website. Thank you Reader's Digest.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Often at night when I find sleep slow in coming I start to create in my mind. This creating is unique. I have always wanted to be a writer, but have found that I lack the skill. At least I lack the talent when it comes to putting it into a permanent form of media. I can, however, and do create the most beautiful things in my mind. I often write essays, blogs, stories, letters, and anything else you can think of. But all of these are written in my head. I will waste hours in a day composing in my head. I am brilliant in my mind, or so I think. The words are all there. The prose flow together in agreeable ways. Everything is just perfect. 

Then I pick up a pen or sit down to write at my computer. You see, I've had this problem all my life. I have tried to keep notebooks by my bed so that when the thoughts start coming, I can start recording. But it never works out that well, because the thoughts stop once I start to get them out of my head on to something else. The thing that amazes me is how nights like tonight can turn into hours of composing something brilliant in my mind and then it goes, never to be heard or seen from again.

My father has always wanted me to be a writer. I suppose that I have been able to tell some of my random thoughts to people. Thus my father thinks that the talent is there. And I agree, I have something special going on inside my brain, but I don't think I can ever get it out beyond that.

I was thinking of the parable of the talents today. We are encouraged to take what we have been given and to develop those and learn more. I feel like this is a hard thing for some people to do. I think I fall into that category. I think my love of writing and wanting to create something beautiful is limited to my own brain. In that case, how do you take that and develop it further? 

I'm surrounded by talented and wonderful people. I wish I could clearly write my thoughts on them, because then you could see how truly talented and wonderful they are. When I get angry, I wish I could put the letters that I draft in my head down on paper so that people can see my indignation and understand it. When I get creative, I wish that I could record it so that others could enjoy. But for now, it all remains in my head. Like the purpose of this post. It is in my head. I can't find it right now because I'm typing, but the reason will occur to me later when I draft up a better version of what is written here. But you will never get to see that version. It will remain in my head.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Expectations: Unmet

Today Ammon and I attended our "Centering Group." It is a group that gets together with the doctor to prep up for having the baby. We went on a tour of the birthing facilities at the hospital. I'm particularly excited about the luxurious whirl pools that are featured in all the rooms. We also watched a birthing video. Gross. But it did make me cry because I want to hold my baby so bad. Being pregnant just isn't cutting it anymore. We are the furthest behind in our group, so our wait is going to be longer...rats...

I feel like being random so bear with me. Is that the right way to spell bear in this situation? I can' think of a better way. Our life has been interesting this summer. We started off the summer excited about the new adventures we were embarking on. We were going to sell our home. We had already moved to Montana (but only for 3 months at the most). We were going to buy a new home if ours sold. We were/are pregnant. We wanted to go hiking every weekend. We wanted to fish occasionally and spend all of our free time outside. Summer had different plans.

Our house did sell, but our 3 months has stretched and continues to stretch. The goal now is to be back in Utah the first week in October (4 weeks before this baby is supposed to come). The free time we had dreamed of has not really existed much for Ammon. When he isn't working we were traveling. We have had a trip every other weekend this summer. All of these trips involved family reunions, doctors appointments, moving, or a little of all 3. We have yet to have our fun, romantic getaway before the baby comes (we were hoping this weekend, but it's getting pushed off and we will see what happens). No hiking or fishing. I'm too tired and Ammon's too stressed out and exhausted at the end of his days. The job isn't running as smoothly as we would have liked. Another summer plan gone wrong.

Well, this weekend we are going to see if we can't settle on a place to live when the magical day of our return to Utah appears. We are going on yet another trip, but this time to look at houses, strictly. I'll keep you posted on the comings and goings of that affair.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I had dreamed that I would feel great. I would work out every day and eat only healthy things. I had dreams of a big baby shower surrounded by friends and family. I knew that my mom would be there before, during, and after the baby came. I knew that we would have food brought in from the great sisters in the ward. I knew that Ammon would have time off to enjoy our new little family. I knew that everything was going to be established and perfect. Then none of those things were going to happen all of a sudden, other than Ammon having time off (which is the most important to be honest). I felt let down.

This summer was supposed to be my last summer before becoming a mother. I was supposed to enjoy this summer and love all the good things that lead up to becoming a new mother. Instead reality has taken away those expectations little by little. I have been feeling depressed about my situation. I have been more lonely these last few months than I have ever been in my life. I have been tired and cranky. I've had kidney pains and infections. I've had to give up the idea of having a nursery all painted and ready for the baby when he shows up. It has been disappointing, depressing, and sad.

Then today I realized that all was going to be just fine. Ammon thinks that unless there is a catastrophe we will be able to move back to Utah the first week in October. Not as soon as I would have liked to have gone back, but not bad. We saw the birthing facility here. If we do end up staying, we are going to be well taken care of at the hospital. Then we will move and see how things go. My mom is coming. She can help me get moved in, she can help me prep for baby, she will be with me when the baby comes, and she can stay a little after the baby to make sure I'm doing okay. So, I'm okay. I won't get the picture perfect summer before. I won't get the perfect set up for the baby, but we are going to be okay. And it is now that I realize that all I want is to hold my little boy in my arms and to kiss his hands and feet. I want to meet him. I want to watch Ammon hold his son for the first time. I want to see how much in love my parents are with their first grandbaby. And I want to love my baby and know that we finally did it. He is finally here. Those other things don't matter. All that is important is the little man that keeps me up all night all ready because he loves to do summersaults and kick my ribs. 

Not an ideal summer, but I think we are going to have a beautiful ending.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gates of the Mountain

Yesterday, Ammon was able to get off work at a decent hour, so we went to be touristy. We have heard a lot of talk about the Gates of the Mountain and decided to take a tour. We bought our tickets, boarded a boat, and headed down the Missouri River to see the sights. It was beautiful and informative.

When Louis and Clark came through this area Louis described this particular canyon as foreboding because of the large limestone cliffs on either side of the river. Above you can see some rock jutting out on the left side of the photo. When you come down the river it appears that this rock is stopping up the river so that nothing passes, but as you continue toward it the landscape changes. And as you can see it opens up. Thus the name: Gates of the Mountain.

We were able to stop at a little camp site on our way. It was truly a beautiful day. We found a friendly person to take our picture. I was hoping to get more of the mountain and less of my belly, but beggars can't be choosers. For the record I'm 27 weeks here (the blog is an easy way to keep track of these things).

This was our attempt to get a picture with some canyon in the background. As most of these attempts go, it was less than successful. But don't we look cute?

They figure that the petroglyphs in this picture date over 1000 years old. I can't remember the exact number, but these have been here longer than the horse has been used by the Native Americans on this side of the country.

Although it is hard to tell from this picture, this is a cliff face that goes straight up from the river. There were a lot of impressive things to see in the rock, like this arch.

This is the monster in the mountain. The guide said that most of the kids these days are less than impressed by the monster, and that the general public feels that the monster looks more like a bull frog.

Here is the canyon. It was really the most beautiful day for this. 

The spot up in the dead tree is a bald eagle. I can't say that I've ever seen one outside of a zoo. We also learned that the bald eagle has officially made it's way off of the endangered species list. Hooray!

Here is some folding in the limestone cliff. It is interesting to see the formations that the rocks take. I find the whole idea of the plates moving and the rock shifting very fascinating.

Just a view of the mountain side. I know that when it comes to looking at someone else's pictures, one picture of a limestone cliff is enough, but the trip was a lot of fun and so beautiful that I had to share more. Besides, I write this blog more for me than for any other reason (isn't that the way with bloggers?). We live in a very beautiful world. I'm glad we got to explore a little of it yesterday. Next weekend...Canada.