Friday, May 28, 2010

Thanks to the Crew at our house in Provo!

Right now, as we speak1, an army of painters, mowers, haulers, cleaners, wipers, and sweepers is descending on our house in Provo and wiping away all traces of our former tenants in order to make room for the new family moving in.

And because I'm not there to do it in person, I'd like to thank everyone helping right here. Driving or flying to Utah to spend a whirlwind weekend doing all the work (which is what i did last year, with some help from a few local family and friends) was not going to work out very well for me this year, so instead, we're using the money I would have spent on gas or plane tickets and rental cars etc and putting some family and friends to work.

First, let me say that not going was emotionally pretty hard for me. I knew the house needed a lot of work (the old tenants left kind of a mess), and the "If you want something done right, do it yourself" portion of my brain wanted to drop everything and drive to Utah for four days and just take care of it. I was feeling a little embarrassed about asking other people to do the work for me, a little apprehensive about putting other people in a position to deal with what I considered MY problem, and a little self-righteous about my own ability to "do it right2."

However, after thinking it over and weighing the pros and cons of the situation, we decided that the best thing for everyone involved would be to ask for help.

And I'm so glad we did.

Thank you Cristi and Mike and Aubrey and Amy and Caleb and Jason and Beau. Thank you for painting and fixing drawers and cleaning curtains and gross bathrooms and running junk to the dump and mowing an Amazonian lawn and patching holes and doing a better job than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for your time and your work. I feel humbled and grateful and relieved all at the same time.

1. well okay, not right this minute, and we aren't really speaking, but you know what I mean.

2. How do I explain this feeling? It wasn't that I didn't think someone else could do the job correctly, more that I was afraid of the risk involved in asking someone else to do something for me, and I was afraid of having to ask people to do something that might expose me to judgment. Having tenants leave under less than favorable circumstances is a little like going through a bad break up. There are hurt feelings and left over messes and unpaid bills and unmet expectations and the potential for rumors and murmurs and gossip. Part of me wanted to just go up to Utah and take care of everything so I wouldn't have to have someone walk through the house and see the mess that the tenants left. It would be admitting that maybe we'd made a poor decision about who we chose as tenants. Of course, this implies all kinds of unfair things about anybody that I might ask to help--but isn't that what self-consciousness is--a hyper-awareness of all the negative things that another person could possibly think about you--even if you really know they won't?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

bartering for carpet

We need carpet. Badly.

Must have money to buy carpet.

Must have job to get money.

no job, no money; no money, no carpet.

maybe. maybe not.

Today I stopped in at two carpet stores and offered my labor (professional, manual, or otherwise) in exchange for all or some of the cost of new carpet. I half expected the managers I spoke with to laugh me out the door, or at least tell me, "no, sorry, we can't do anything like that," but instead both men I talked to thought it might be a great idea. Neither said it was a sure thing, but they both did say they would talk it over with their respective management teams/owners and "see what they could come up with."

So who knows...I may be lugging carpet rolls in a warehouse this summer, or maybe writing some advertising copy for a local carpet company, but if it means we can get some new carpet, then sign me up.

BTW, I technically do have a job (I'm a graduate instructor at Tech,) but with no summer work, we're having to get creative between now and September.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Update, Update, Update

What can we say, besides, well... it's been one of those months. Most posts like this begin with an "I'm sorry" to various family members and friends for the woeful and willful lack of posts; however, I've always had an aversion to such apologies because of the implication that people must be out there dying to read about our family. So, while I know that there are at least a few people who have missed us these past few weeks (mainly, I think, our parents), I make no pretense that our return to blogging will be met with anything more than gentle nods of the head, maybe a few raised eyebrows, and, perhaps, a 1 yuan increase in the price of tea in china. That said....we're back. We missed you. We love you.

And in no particular order, here are a few photos from the past month and a half...

The Monkey, in our front yard, playing in the sprinkler. He didn't want to get wet at first, but soon he was running laps around the yard, dive bombing the sprinkler.

Mr. baseball really is as skinny as he looks here.

And despite how big he seems compared to the little bruiser, the Monkey is still a hanging on to a little toddler meat.

During our trip to Oregon we gave the little bruiser his formal "name and blessing" at the QB's childhood congregation in West Linn (think Zachariah from the NT naming John on the eighth day after his birth--in the LDS Church, all new borns are formally named and blessed during a Sunday congregational meeting. Nana Fitz made the outfit. More pictures a little later on...

Lubbock Airport Chess set. Lubbock is a Chess town and Tech is a chess campus. You can check out chess sets from the library and outside tables come complete with built in boards. The boys and I played a few moves after getting off the plane, on our way home from Oregon.

We went to Oregon for my niece's wedding. There were lots of fun gatherings--dinners, luncheons, etc. and it was great to see so much family. The Monkey ended up falling asleep in all kinds of funny places.

Grandma Franklin and my brother Tom, relaxing while we waited for our turn with the wedding photographer.

On Sunday, we visited the QB's side of the family, including great grandma and great grandpa.

GG loves babies.
It seems like every time we turned around, someone was asleep. This time it was aunt Aubrey and the the little bruiser.

For those who don't know grandma Franklin, this is her, "I am pleased with the world" smile--an approving look reserved for people she really likes.

We went to the Oregon coast with Uncle Jason and Aunt Sarah and visited this old military battery. I don't know what this little nook was for, but Jason fit in nicely.

Nolan fit better.

Another shot of the little bruiser, about to fall asleep.

We visited OMSI while in Oregon, where they had this great heat sensitive camera.

Jason, Sarah, Taylor, and Olivia at the coast. That's an old shipwreck in the background.

One of our last stops on the coast had these great dunes. Taylor is a daredevil. Couldn't keep him down.

This looks much more impressive than it actually looks impressive, right? right?

Mr. Baseball followed suit.

This is another shot from the wedding luncheon. The Monkey slept in that chair for over an hour.
Ooh, there's us at the beach again. It looks cold, but for April in Oregon, we couldn't have asked for better weather.

We ate clam chowder and fish and chips at Moe's at Cannon beach.

The Monkey didn't fall asleep on the beach trip.

We didn't bring swim suits, or sandals, or much of anything for the beach. But we did at least bring a change of clothes for the was a good thing.

This is at a tourist trap on the way to the coast...Texas has no idea what a real tree is.

I can't believe how big these kids are getting.

We walked down to the submarine dock at OMSI. Man, I'm really losing may hair.

I remember sitting in this same replica when I was about Mr. Baseball's age. We used to go to OMSI on Saturdays and spend all day there.

The QB and the little bruiser on the plane. All the boys flew really well.

Aunt Misha and Uncle Chad sent airplanes to the boys...