Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our New Place, and Our Current Place

This week I spent a lot of time online looking for a new place to live in Western, MA. Thursday I drove out there with Canon and looked at 3 apartments. On Saturday, Mark came with us that time and we saw about 10 places... and it was totally worth it. We put down a security deposit on this...

It actually has a lot of storage space with a full basement, 3 bedrooms, a dining room, and even...

a backyard...

and a driveway!! No more street parking for this grocery-shoppin' mama!!

We were super excited about this place and talking about it the whole drive home. Then, once we got home, this is what we found.

Remember when our apartment got water damage from the foundation leaking into our bedroom last summer? Well, that was nothing compared to this. Canon's entire floor was soaked, as was his closet (which we use as our storage closet for all our boxes of books and other treasures), into the hallway, the coat closet, and even our bedroom's closet.

Walking on the carpets, water would pool around your foot. Mark said that he went into Canon's room and jumped around...and the floor SPLASHED. Who needs to go outside when it rains in order to play in the puddles?

The management had sent men over to the apartment to wet-vac all the carpets... AT 10:30PM. I wasn't too excited about waking Canon up so often that night, but we would rather that they get it all cleaned up sooner rather than later. We had to pull out all the stuff out of all those closets and the bedroom... this is what my living room and kitchen looked like.

I was super stressed about it all day. I didn't want to go home after church because I didn't want to be in the apartment, with all the huge fans blowing, and the dehumidifier making all the loud noise. I didn't want to be in a place where I couldn't even think about putting my baby down to play. He would HATE being in the play pen all day and not be able to crawl around. Luckily I am blessed with a husband who let me just nap while the baby did... in the only place that seemed to give refuge to the horrible mess. When I woke up, the apartment looked like this!

There's actually space for Canon to play, my kitchen is totally open... the hallways are a little narrower, but they're workable. Everything that we need to be able to get to is accessible. I no longer feel like I don't have my apartment anymore.


Independence Day

On Saturday July 3rd the three of us hung out with our friends, the Tylers. We spent the hot, hot day waiting in line to enter the "Oval" to watch the Boston Pops Concert featuring Toby Keith. It was a really fun day with too little time of babies sleeping, lots of sunscreen, and many of these baby smiles.

Even when it was super hot, Canon usually looked like this...

and this...

and this...

The large family group sitting next to us gave us a couple of glow-sticks for Canon. I think he thoroughly enjoyed them.

We had pretty good seats, and apparently the camera man thought so too!!

When Canon saw this confetti....

He looked like this...

Overall, I think it was a great day!

One thing that we didn't get a picture of was how we loaded the stroller on the way back to the T. Normally when we know Canon is not going to be in a car we don't really bother to strap him into his car seat in the stroller. However, this time I did strap him in, almost instinctively. Apparently the stroller was top-heavy because as we were going down a ramp on the sidewalk, somehow the flipped over... practically upside-down... in the middle of the intersection. Canon only had a look of "what just happened?" shock, but he didn't cry or anything. I think he just thought it was an interesting ride. Phew, that was a close one!!

New Stake Center

This might not be terribly interesting to you, but think it's pretty cool! As some of you may know, the LDS Ward that Mark and I have been attending over the past 3 years have been meeting in an old rented "Tank and Boiler" building in Cambridge. The ceilings were high open rafters; the air conditioning was really loud and dripped on those of us who had classes in the little room off of the "chapel" area; the mother's room had one chair in a shower stall and the other chair (which was practically impossible to stand up from with a sleeping baby without pushing the cushion off by mistake)... don't get me wrong, it was a building that holds lots of fond memories.
However, on June 27th the Cambridge Stake dedicated a brand new building for our stake center. It's about a block away from the old tank and boiler building, and it now houses about 5-6 wards/branches, including ours. It is a very beautiful building, and the Mothers' Room has 4 NEW rocking chairs that don't force our legs to get all intertwined with one another! :) We actually now have a place for the guys to play basketball again (which we haven't had since the Longfellow Chapel burned down). We had a week of festivities leading up to the dedication, and the hundreds/thousands of Saints in the area participated in this glorious fun!

Mark wanted to play in the basketball tournament, but he couldn't get a team together in time. So the only extra event we ended up attending was the free Jon Schmidt concert. I thought it was a blast, and Canon was screaming with excitement through most of it. I think he likes music!! The dedication took place on June 27th, and it was a very nice meeting. People talked about the growth of the Church in the Boston/Cambridge area over the past century, and I always find it so inspiring.
One of my favorite parts of the dedication was that the person assigned to give the invocation wasn't the one who gave it. All of a sudden I look up and see Mitt Romney at the podium saying the prayer. When he finished his rather poetic prayer he walked down the aisle and sat down RIGHT BEHIND US. He even smiled at Canon when he was being all cute. I couldn't help but go up to him after the meeting to talk to him for a little bit...which was a bit embarrassing to me since I couldn't really think of much intelligent to say. :0P He looked over at Mark and said, "This little guy looks like this guy over here. Are you the Dad?" gesturing in Mark's direction. Yeah, we spoke to Mitt Romney, and I thought it was awesome that he was there at the dedication.

Friday, July 2, 2010

NOT Moving to Utah

It's official! Mark was offered that 10-month judicial clerkship in Springfield, MA, and we've decided that we're going to take it. Being a "judicial fellow" for these 10 months will be a really good move for his career, and in fact, it would be really risky to not take this opportunity. This is the first offer he's gotten for a real paid position since he started searching 2 years ago. Sure, he's had internships and a grant and stuff... but this will be the first time that Mark will be the one supporting our family, and I think we're all pretty stoked about that!

In regards to my schooling, we will put it off for now. Getting into a financially stable situation is what we're shooting for, and more debt for school at this time doesn't seem to be the way to go. There are so many factors to consider for when I return to school... having another child (?), daycare (?), where will we be living (?), money, time, who makes the dinner (?)...I think we'll just make that decision once we get there. As for now, I'm relieved to not be going back to school this year. I was getting a little anxious... excited, but nervous about it too! Thank goodness the U of U has allowed me to defer a year without any penalties... and I didn't even have to tell them that I was concerned about my husband's job prospects! :)

I just want to say that the Lord loves us and is watching over us. He's done so much for Mark and me as a couple, and I hope that we can always remember to put our trust in Him. Life often feels so complicated, and there are so many things going on, that it's difficult to know which path to take. I know that Heavenly Father is there for us, and He wants for us to be blessed with good things in our lives. We would feel ungrateful if we did not take this job opportunity when we've been praying for help for so long. We went to the Temple about it this afternoon, and we feel that the Lord is helping us along.

Who knows, maybe He's been setting the stage for this all along. We came to Boston University because Mark was interested in their study-abroad program in China. Mark did alright his first year, but he got just average grades, so he ended up not getting a summer internship when the market crashed. Therefore, he didn't apply for the study-abroad program because he didn't want to be gone during the interview process for the next year. (Which turned out alright because he discovered that he doesn't really enjoy corporate law as much, and that's what he'd be doing with that international law that he was originally working towards.) Even though he received nearly all A's the 2nd and 3rd years of school and graduated cum laude, he still did not have any job offers when he finished. Then, this position opened up to only 2010 BU Law grads who didn't have jobs yet.

It almost seems like Heavenly Father is trying to close all other doors so that we will look down the hall through the door He's opened. Of course, we can choose whether to walk through or not, but when He's holding your hand, why should we fear?