Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday Drive

Yesterday we took a short drive up to San Francisco. We drove up the coast. It was beautiful. We stopped at Golden Gate Bridge and got out and took a walk over it. The boys LOVED it. Darion told me that his favorite part was seeing Alcatraz Island from up there. He even said he could see cobwebs on it. (That made me giggle.) He was a little nervous because the bridge is so high above the water, but Rusten and I were so proud of him because he didn't let that stop him from taking a walk with us.

Joel is just fearless. Which puts fear into me. Even though there was no way he could fit through the rail, we got a little nervous when he started putting his arms and legs through the openings. Joel fell out of a second story window a little over a year ago. After a trip to the Emergency Room and only a scratch on his belly, it has left him feeling invincible and unafraid of anything. That would have been a lot more of a fall than the second story window. Sometimes I wish he were more afraid.

We had fun and I was happy to be with my three most favorite people in the world!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Apartment

We finally found a place to live!!! I think we're just about settled in for the summer. We kept our apartment up in Eugene to save the hassle of moving for such a short amount of time. Because of this, we didn't bring any furniture or anything with us. As much fun as we're having down here, as much as we're learning, as much as this is an adventure, I am looking forward to my luxury student apartment when I get home. I will never complain about that apartment again after living here. Here are the top ten reasons I "love" my Sunnyvale apartment:

10. Price of rent. I feel like I live in a mansion with the cost of $1650 per month. Unfortunately, we're all living in a one bedroom apartment that smells funky.

9. As Rusten would say, "it smells like an old folks home in the hall." It's like we're visiting grandparents without the drive. (Not really, there is no way EVER that your houses would smell that awful.)

8. Craigslist couches. Sometimes it's nice to sit on furniture that smells like someone else. (at least they don't stink)

7. The lady from Poland. She walks around the building and finds everything wrong and takes pictures to document how unsafe things are. She told me one day that she knows what she is talking about, but I wasn't sure when she started showing me pictures of a tree that had fallen down and nothing was done to take care of it. When I looked at the picture the tree was still planted firmly in the ground with all of it's branches intact. I'm still not too sure what to think of that lady. I am sure that she is lonely and I feel a little sorry for her.

6. Helga. I'm not being sarcastic about this one. I absolutely love Helga. She works in the office at the apartments. She's an older woman from Germany. She loves Darion and Joel so much that she even made a special after hours visit to bring them German chocolates.

5. Plastic cutlery. This is great. I've been washing all of the plastic cutlery to save money and not have to buy real silverware. You may be wondering what is so great about this? Well, when the kids accidentally throw their forks in the garbage, I don't have to have a fight with them about how they need to put their hands in the garbage and retrieve them because I'm not going to.

4. Our bed. We didn't want to pay for a mattress that was just as uncomfortable as our air mattress, so we just bought a memory foam pad and put it on top of the air mattress. It is surprisingly comfortable, however, I REALLY miss my temperpedic that is waiting for me at home.

3. The back patio. You are allowed to have pets living at these apartments. The previous tenet obviously owned some sort of animal. It was pretty smelly back there. Rusten ended up dumping bleach on the cement. Then he took a shovel and scraped the top layer of dirt into the garbage and threw it away. Then he covered the dirt with some redwood bark. It's actually smelling a lot better back there.

2. The "Harry Potter" Room. Our kids are sleeping in our walk-in closet. They call it The Harry Potter Room. They've never been so excited. Hopefully Rusten and I aren't too much like the Dursleys making our kids sleep in a closet.

(drum roll)

1. The Cat Pee Smell. It smells so bad. I rented a Rug Doctor, we've been vacuuming with baking soda with pet odor removal, and used air fresheners. We even found a little kit with a black light that you use to find the spots on the rug. The cleaner is supposed to break up the enzymes in the urine and help with the smell. It's actually getting better. I didn't think it ever would.

I think I can do this for two more months. It's actually making me stronger. Rusten keeps telling me that now I am ready to go on a mission. Last night I had a giggling fit about cat pee and the Harry Potter room. As much as our apartment sucks, we have each other, we won't be here that long, and we're trying to make the most of it.

Bonus pictures of our trip to Las Palmas park this afternoon:

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Yes, Rusten got the consulting/executive position with AltaVitas!!! We are really happy about it. We left yesterday morning. We basically brought our clothes, very few kitchen utensils, our bedding, and pillows and headed down. We are staying in a hotel until we find a place to live for the summer. We're hoping to have a place to live by the end of the week. Housing is kind of a challenge here. This is going to be awesome!

We had a very fun car ride yesterday. The kids were really good. They didn't get out of control until the last two hours of the drive. Those last two hours were wild, but we made it. Darion and Joel loved seeing Mt. Shasta. They couldn't believe they were that close to a real volcano. The reality of what we are doing didn't really set in until we arrived. We checked into our hotel, got some dinner, and headed to the local Walmart. 

I felt like I had never been to Walmart before. That was an interesting experience. I think the Walmart was about four times the size of every Walmart I had ever been to. It was so full of people that it was hard to get around. I was really afraid when Darion said he had to go to the bathroom and Rusten took him. I was seriously afraid that we weren't going to find each other and that I was going to get lost in there. I think there really might be people in that Walmart that have been there for a few weeks. They are probably done shopping, but just can't find a way out!!!

After the Walmart experience I was feeling REALLY overwhelmed. It didn't help that I was tired and getting over a little cold. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do this. But after we went to church this morning, I felt so much better about everything. Everyone was so nice to us. We even got invited to dinner at someone's house. It was such an amazing thing. The gospel is the same everywhere we go. We're living in a hotel right now so I don't really feel like I have a home, but I really felt that church was home today. It was amazing!

We spent the afternoon swimming in the pool at the hotel. The weather here is beautiful. I think we're going to like it here! Pictures will be coming soon!