Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our new home in Indy

We have now been living in our new home in Indianapolis, Indiana for just over a week now. We are basically unpacked now except for boxes of books and decorations... mostly because we don't have any bookshelves to put them on yet. Since we sold all of our furniture before we left WA, it has been a slower moving in process since we had to accumulate furniture too. I spent our first Saturday here running to yard sales, and totally lucking out with great deals on most of our furniture. We found our couch and TV stand on craigslist. I thought I would use craigslist mostly, but some people just ask way too much for their stuff and many things we find end up being too far away to be worth getting. I wanted to wait to post a picture tour of our place till it was more homey... but I figured I better just do it now or it may not ever happen! So just keep in mind that we are still getting things situated. Enjoy the tour...
The front of our 3 bedroom townhouse at Manchester Village
4256 Londonderry Drive
 Entering the front door into our living room 
(coat closet and entry to kitchen/dining on right)
 Another view of living room and front door
 Stairs off the entry/ living room 
(They are split in half with a landing in the middle which has been great for Thomas since he just learned how to go down backwards the week before we moved. He fell down a couple steps on the first day, and has had no problems since... so nice not to have to worry about his safety on the stairs!)
 Half bath off the living room (door is opposite the stairway). There is also a storage closet under the stairs.
 Dining room (which will also be our office area)
 Kitchen (no, we don't have a dishwasher. Those are the dishes we just did by hand covering the counter!)
 This is the pantry I scored at a yard sale for $10! Brian hates the paint, but I don't think it's that bad, and that much sturdy storage for that price is awesome! That is the door to the laundry room on the right.
 Laundry room
 Our little fenced backyard. It is nice to have a private outdoor space, but the grass here isn't really grass. It's basically weeds/crabgrass, not really the kind of stuff I want to let Thomas crawl around in. They don't really have any sprinkler systems here in Indiana, and with the drought the grass looks pretty bad. Grass is definitely something we miss already!
Our bathroom at the top of the stairs (bathtub/shower is on opposite side behind the door)
 Maybrie's room
 Master bedroom (basically the only room that seems done)
 I snagged our dresser for $15 at a very interesting (junky, dirty) yard sale thinking it would be easy to makeover. We spent $10 on black paint at Walmart, and after a couple hours of work by Brian it went from this (the drawers were already out and he was painting the main part by the time I went to snag a before shot):
... to this! We are pretty excited about it, and I feel like I finally had my own "Nate Berkus" moment! :)
 Thomas's room
 The view of the upstairs hallway/ stairwell from our bedroom. There is a linen closet to the right between our room and Maybrie's. 
There is good storage here and overall it is just right for us right now. It is very basic, but it is clean. The carpet is new, which is nice, but it isn't the softest because there is no pad underneath. Our place reminds me of Wymount apartments at BYU a little... though this is much bigger and is an upgrade in many ways. I'm looking forward to getting things completely put away and decorating to make it feel more like home. 

We have been enjoying our time together as a family before Brian starts school tomorrow. It had been a good two weeks of hard work and family bonding. Our ward here is very friendly and half of the ward is students. We have already met a lot of great people and are excited to make friends with so many young couples/families in our similar situation. It has not been as humid as I feared, in fact I've hardly noticed it. They have cicadas( insects) here that make a super loud rattling sound, especially at night. It's kind of like crickets, but much louder. It is very flat here, so the good sense of direction I thought I had is now gone. Indianapolis is a big city, but it doesn't feel very big because aside from the central downtown area it is pretty spread out. There are lots of freeways to figure out, which you can only go 55 on- weird! I am very grateful for our GPS and my iphone, it has been a lifesaver, and will probably continue to be for a while as we learn our way around. There is probably a ton more I could say, but I can't think of it all right now. From here on out you can expect regular updates on our adventures here in Indy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thomas is WALKING!

Thomas took his first steps the last week of July, but we were busy saying goodbyes and loading up to move, so I didn't catch him on camera. Last week during our road trip he totally took off each night when we stopped at our motels. Maybe he was just so thrilled to be out of the car and get moving, but either way, he started figuring it out fast. Here is a short clip of our cute little guy walking, we'll see if he starts slimming down now or not. I kind of love his kissable, cuddly chub and am not sure I want to see it go yet! :) Enjoy! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Moving across the country

On Saturday, August 4th we loaded up our downsized belongings into a 5 x 8 U-Haul trailer in Yakima, WA. We spent the rest of the weekend visiting with family in Grandview. We even got to spend a few days with Brian's oldest sister Emily and her four kids who came from Vancouver. There were a few tears shed saying good bye. I think the hardest part for me is Maybrie not being close to any cousins anymore and not knowing when we will back to see family again. 

On Monday, August 6th we left Grandview, WA at 7:30am and made the 12 hour drive to Billings, MT. Our mini van and U-haul were packed to capacity, and at some points driving through the Rockies we had to turn off our AC to get enough power. We bought and wrapped up 12 prizes for Maybrie from the dollar store, mostly puzzles and coloring books, and gave her 3 a day. It worked like magic, she loved it! It was great bribery and gave her something new and exciting to do along the way. The kids were very good the first day. We probably only had about 30 minutes total of whining/crying. I did have to get over my crumb phobia and just let Thomas make a mess with crackers... in the end it was probably better than listening to a fussing baby! The kids watched a movie once and Brian and I listened to music and Harry Potter #2- Chamber of Secrets. I felt relief and success when we reached Days Inn that night. The kids were always so excited to get out of the car and run around the motel rooms. (Here is a map of our 36 hour trek from WA to IN)
Our van and U-haul. We almost forgot Maybrie's bike, you can see it tied to the roof. I joked with Brian that a person would have to be really cruel to steal a toddler's bike! Luckily, it made it to Indiana safely.
 Thomas being cute and happy... he did so much better than I thought he would.

Day 2 we drove from Billing MT to Murdo, SD (passing through WY). There was a lot more whining from Maybrie and crying from Thomas. There was a major chip explosion thanks to Maybrie... big mistake to let her finish off the crumbs in the bottom of the bag. Then as I was cleaning them up Thomas accidentally kicked the bag, emptying it completely and making the mess unbearable for me. Brian said numerous times that I was one of the most entertaining parts of the drive! :) We made a slight detour to see Mount Rushmore. It was very crowded because of the bike rally in Sturgis. On our way up there was a massive hail storm, it was almost humorous to see all of the bikers on the side of the road trying to put helmets and jackets on. The storm let up just as we parked, allowing for a nice dry, quick look. It really is incredible and cool to see in person. We are glad we stopped.
 Brian, Maybrie and Thomas. Even though it stopped raining except for a sprinkle or two, Maybrie had to bring her umbrella! :)
 There is a cool walkway up to the lookout and pavilion with state flags.
Because of the bike rally in Sturgis, SD we saw more motorcycles than I have ever seen in my life... they were everywhere for a good hour or two stretch before and after. Here are some I snapped lining the streets. Thomas liked listening to them.
 We tried to make the drive without eating out to save money, but our room at Super 8 in the small town of Murdo, SD didn't have a fridge or microwave... and after such a long day we decided to eat at basically the only place in town aside from the Subway at the gas station... "The Diner" won because we wouldn't have to get back in the car and could just cross the parking lot. Brian and I felt like we had stepped back in time... funny how small towns can do that. 
 Thomas thought it was great. Maybrie did too... but she is in a phase where she likes to hide from the camera or frown, so you will see more of Thomas's smiles!
 Me and the kids
 We saw a lot of this along the way...
 and this... Sunflowers, I liked seeing those.
 Crossed the Missouri river

 On Day 3 we stopped at the only corn palace in the world in Mitchell, SD. It was actually really cool... and free, even better! Every year since it's opening in 1892 they take down all of the corn and grains off the front and re-decorate it in a different theme. 
 You can see some of the handiwork a little closer in this picture from a display inside.
 Brian's favorite
 Our little family
 Maybrie with her souvenir, a caramel corn cob. It was delish!
 I love the kids faces in this picture! So cute!
 One of the many, many, many corn fields we drove past

We stayed the 3rd night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We left early by 6:30am on the fourth day so that we could make it by 3:30 for check-in at our new place in Indy. We ate breakfast on the go, and at this point I think we were all just used to being in the car. Thomas finally decided he'd had enough when we were about an hour away from our new home, so we did have some definitely unhappy traveler sounds in the end.

Good morning... a whole bag of Cheerios, what could make a 1 year old happier!?
Cinnamon roll for Maybrie 
 Crossing the Mississippi River... it's big
Here is a video of Thomas laughing at Maybrie during the final hours of the drive. He is cracking up so hard he can't even finish the teddy graham in his mouth! We all got a pretty good laugh. This is how I want to remember our road trip...laughter. While we definitely had our frustrating moments (like Maybrie pooping her pants and me chucking her dirty underwear off the side of the road somewhere in South Dakota...) I am glad we had this family bonding time. That is exactly what this whole new adventure in Indiana will be for our little family. It is just the four of us on our own now, away from both families. Hopefully iit just brings us closer together.
 We made it! And earlier than we planned. Here we are at our new residence 4256 Londonderry Drive Indianapolis, IN 46221. (Maybrie wouldn't pose with us)
 My parents made the drive out from Orem, UT to bring us a bunch of our stuff that wouldn't fit in our small U-Haul trailer. It was so generous and helpful of them. They got to see some of the church history sites like Nauvoo along the way too. I'm glad they were able to have a nice trip while helping us out. We love you mom and dad! Thanks again!