Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Sunday, April 29, 2007

You asked for pictures...

This weekend, we enjoyed the company of some old friends: the Chases! Mandy and her boys came back for a few weeks to surprise her family, so they dropped by for a quick visit today. Before they moved, Thomas loved to play "tigers" with Schatzi, but she was much smaller then. Thomas took one look and Doc and said, "He's a BIG dog". Here's a picture of Thomas smiling (right) and Thomas & Doc looking out the front window together (right).

Here's a few more pictures from our past week. I've been trying to wrap up clinicals for the semester and have been going every day, so I've been a little short on time with Joe and time with the dogs. So, I've been waking up a little earlier in the mornings to cuddle with Joe and the dogs. Doc sleeps in his crate, but when he hears the radio go off, he knows it's time to cuddle and we invite him up on the bed (along with Schatzi). Sometimes, they like to cuddle and go back to sleep, but on this particular morning, they wanted to wrestle (notice Joe is no longer in the bed).
Saturday, Joe went shooting and I took the dogs for a 2 hour walk on the greenbelt. It was beautiful...the first walk all year with no need for a jacket. We were all pretty tired after that!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Winding down

The semester is winding down. I have 4 days of clinical left, 1 day of workshop, some evaluations to write up and then...I will be done. And, since I have no immediate plans to seek a doctoral degree, I will be done for a long time. On to new adventures of full time employment and home ownership!

I am looking forward to working a regular job and coming home, walking the dogs, and relaxing with no more papers to write, no journal articles to read, no diseases to look up. Here's to sleeping in on Saturdays, spending time with friends, and a paycheck worth spending!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Passed inspection

We had our house inspection on Friday and, in our excitment, forgot to bring our camera. It was a good experience. Our inspector invited us along and pointed out everything he was looking at, which was beneficial for me as a soon-to-be first time homeowner. (Joe already knew a lot from his engineering classes and helping his dad with jobs around their house). There are only a few small things to fix before we move in, but nothing major. The inspector said it was a well-cared for home with no red flags and all of the renovations in the basement had been done well.

We were pleased to find hardwood floors under the carpet and no forseeable problems with putting in a gas fireplace in the living room.

We bumped up the moving date to May 8, so although we won't be moved in, our family can see the home when they come down for my graduation May 12.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Defended to the hilt

Well, 2 weeks ago, I had comprehensive exams (written) and today, I had to go back for my oral defense. I have to say, it went splendidly and my committee members said I did "outstanding". One member said, "Normally, this is a chance for you to clarify, but your written exam was pretty clear already."

My outside member was from the English department. He asked where I did my undergrad and I told him Seattle U. He said, "I thought so...I was impressed." (He went to UW for his PhD). Yea for a good liberal arts education from SU!

Over and done with and on to graduation!!! (I think I'm done with school for awhile...homeownership and a new job should keep us both pretty busy for the short-term).

Monday, April 16, 2007

We accept!

This is a story about a girl (and a boy) who had 2 fun cogs, but no yard for them to run in. Poor cogs! :(
So, they started their search for a yard for the cogs (and a house for the people). At first, the search was fun, but after browsing through 300 MLS listings, driving by 50 houses, and walking through almost 20 homes, the people got a little tired of the search and just wanted to find the right home. Like this one...

...a charming 1920s home, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and, yes, a yard for the cogs...with a view of the park:

So, not ones to waste any time, the people put in an offer the next day, but the sellers took until the 11th hour to accept it (the deadline was 7pm and they accepted it at 6:45pm). The people celebrated with beer and lasgna and the boy went out to take pictures of their soon-to-be new home so the girl's blog readers would be happy (they *are* demanding readers!).

What a nice house!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An offer

We made an offer on a house today! We thought we'd decided on a completely different house, but our agent recommended we walk through a "for sale by owner" open house just to make sure...which turned out to be the house we wanted.

It's a 1920 home, located next to Kate Curley park in the "Numbered streets" (an older, charming neighborhood...great location). It is 1750 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, newly remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, new furnace. It's kind of the cheap house on the block, but it has great potential for appreciation given its location. Its only downside is no garage. :(

So, we put in an offer today and we'll know by tomorrow night!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Marriage preparation class

Joe & I had been the junior couple on several Engaged Encouter retreats and really enjoyed being involved in the marriage preparation process. It was fun to see a bunch of engaged couples and reminisce about how we felt when we were in their shoes. It was great to spend a weekend away together and with other married couples who helped lead the retreat. And, it was great marriage renewal to reflect on our marriage as we wrote our talks.

So, when we moved to Idaho Falls, we were disappointed to learn that there was no Engaged Encounter community in the area. Instead, engaged couples who want to be married in the Catholic Church have to go through a 8 week series of weekly classes for marriage preparation. Joe and I thought we would give these classes a shot since we love this ministry and I called the coordinators...only to learn that the only class they needed teachers for was the "intimacy" class.

The intimacy class...yes, it's a lot about communication and trust, but what they really want you to cover is SEX. Now, I don't really have too much trouble with the topic, but my poor conservative husband was rather reluctant to discuss this personal topic with a bunch of strangers. Being the good husband he is, though, he agreed and last night we taught our first intimacy class.

We were both nervous about the new format of classes instead of a retreat. And, while we've covered this topic before, it's been a 20 minute testimony, not a 90 minute class. But, all in all, I think our class was a success. We started with a few icebreakers, mixed some games in with the discussion and had some journaling and couple discussion time, too. The couples were great and laughed and participated a lot. And, at the last prayer, there were some tears, which was incredibly moving as I felt these couples being moved by the Spirit in our prayer.

It's funny...when we left our house on the way to class, I was wondering why I'd volunteered us for this and Joe said, "Well, just because we do it this year, doesn't mean we have to do it again", but on the way home, Joe was saying, "It'll be nice to have the class at our house next year...maybe we can barbeque beforehand...that'll be fun."

Real Estate Rating system

Tuesday, Joe & I looked at our first set of prospective homes. Armed with MLS listings and a list of "musts" and "wants" (see Michelle's comment on the previous post), we began our search. Our agent recommended we rate each house on a scale of 1-10 so he would have some idea of how each house was meeting our needs, then he could select future prospects better.

I agreed with the idea, but felt a global score would be based more on a gut feeling rather than how it actually met our goals, so I came up with the ALYS system (said "Alice") for Appearance, Livability (how the house would meet our goals), Yard, and Shop (for Joe's workshop space). Each category is rated on a scale of 1-10, with the highest score being 40. All was going well, till I totaled up the first round and found that the house I'd liked the most scored the least.

So, Joe suggested we add the factor of how much repair work, upkeep, renovations would be expected in each house. I decided on Maintenance/Move-in Ready as the label, but was disappointed to find that it worked into my mnemonic by spelling MALYS (Malice!). Joe laughed and said we'd turned a cute little scale into something evil sounding.

Whatever...the system works now. :)

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Joe & I have started the search for our first house. We've been pre-approved for a mortgage and today, we started the search for a realtor. We plan on interviewing a few more realtors, but hit it off well with our first guy, Rick, who printed off some MLS listings for us to drive around and scout out.

It's so exciting to think that in a few months, we could be living in our own home! With a real yard! :)

Any tips on housebuying that anyone wants to share??

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Health education

I received this as an email forward and thought it was funny enough to post on here. I don't want to clog anyone's inbox with forwards, so you can read it here. :)


Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... Don't waste them on exercise . Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: You're not listening....Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable. It's the best feel-good food around!!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape! !

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.