Tag: roommates

My Bubble

Ok.  After my little rant in the last post let me use up some more of my insomnia time with slightly more happy thoughts.  Today I want to say thank you for my bubble. People often say in a derogatory way ‘you are living life in a bubble’.  This usually implies that a person is closed minded or a simpleton in his or her views.

I disagree.  I am aware of those views which are different than mine and often ponder issues from their perspective, each time returning back to what I believe and think.  A constancy in one’s opinion does not necessarily prove thoughtlessness on the part of the thinker.  In fact, those that are easily swayed on important issues probably haven’t pondered them much in the first place.

Anyway, I digress.  I am grateful that I can surround myself with support in so many ways.  There is of course my home with a roommate and tenants who are good people and that happen to support my life choices.  This creates a home where the spirit can be and where I can feel peace.

Then there is my family and extended family which I felt this week.  I am so grateful for my cousins, aunts, uncles and other loved one’s who pray for me and sincerely want me to be happy.  It is my family bubble.

Next I have my facebook bubble.  This includes old friends I have kept in touch with from high school, college and my mission.  I am so grateful for those relationships.  It may seem silly but there was a time last year when I felt my world was falling apart and my facebook bubble saved me. I will always be grateful for good friends who reached out to me when I felt panicked and sad.

Next I have twitterstake.  This is perhaps my favorite bubble of all.  It is the group of LDS twitterers (is that a word) who uplift me throughout the day.  I would say 2/3rds of who  I follow are either conservative voices or Mormons and I love it!  I love being able to send a prayer to someone in struggling and I don’t even know where she lives or who she is.  I love that I was inspired today by 2 different members whose Christlike responses to attacks humbled me and made me want to do better.

I love that we can all learn about General Conference together and support each other when things get hard.  I love that I can laugh with a LDS member from China or cry with a fellow Mormon in Vancouver.  It is amazing!  I love the twitterstake bubble.

Lastly I have this blog and its bubble.  It is my spot to say how I feel whether it is about food, movies, politics, sports, swimming,whatever.  It is mine and I get to run it the way I see fit.  My little bubble.  I grow each time someone comments and I learn while writing each entry.  I am so grateful for it.  It is truly a reflection of me.

My greatest desire is to be obedient to God’s law and His gospel and all of my bubbles help me make that happen.  I would be hard pressed to do it alone.  Life is too hard.  I need those bubbles of love, acceptance, support, shared obedience, and freedom of expression.

So I embrace bubble living.  Whether it be on twitter, facebook, friends or my home,  I am happiest when surrounded by support and love.  Call me crazy, but it’s true!

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Also, I think we all chose our bubbles.  For instance, my brother lives in Portland- surrounded by a predominant culture that supports his way of life.  It is his Portland bubble.  He’s got one.  So do I!

Full House and a Single Christmas

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I have exciting news!  I’ve decided to get a roommate for the 3rd bedroom of my house.  This will probably come as a big surprise to some of my friends and family who have heard me defend the lifestyle of living alone.  I am as surprised by it as anyone else.    What can I say it just felt like the right thing to do.  It’s going to be an adjustment but I’m looking forward to something new and making new friends.

Financially its a no brainer.  I will be making more money on tenants than I am currently spending on rent and I will end up with more square footage and nicer space even with the  space allocated for tenants.  I will have an office and a huge master suite so there should be tons of privacy.  Sharing a kitchen might be challenging  at first, but I’m up for a challenge.

All 3 of my tenants I found via craigslist (something I swore I’d never do again) and I checked references (the girl who is rooming with me goes to my old ward and knows a lot of the same people I know.  Small world).  You never know with things like this but taking risk is part of life.   I feel as confident as is possible that they will be awesome tenants and it will be a great thing for me.  Regardless I know its what Heavenly Father wants me to do and that is what is most important.  I am sure it

is His will.  I can’t wait to see why He wants me to do this and the blessings that unfold.

Life is certainly full of twists and turns. So, they also announced that my house will be done 12-31-12.  What a fun New Years present! I’m going to give my notice on Monday at my current place just to give a little more leeway if something goes wrong (like a blizzard comes in or the appraisal gets delayed.  Whatever).   This means my move in date will probably be around the 5th.  Get ready friends to help me move!  (Thanks in advance!)

Other news…I’m not going home for Christmas this year.  This is the first time in my adult life except for my mission and I really went back and forth over the decision but talking with my Dad today confirmed it will be best for me to stay here and get ready for the move.  I just know the anxiety of travel combined with moving will be too much.  (I hope my family knows how truly agonizing the decision was for me. I felt really sad and even a little guilty not coming.  Hard to explain but true).  Plus, saving money before closing never hurts and my parents are coming out the next week anyway so it would really only be for the day.

It does make me a little sad to know I am 31 and spending Christmas alone…I don’t think that is anyone’s ideal but it is what it is.  I’m certainly going to be less lonely come the beginning of the year so no complaining there!  God has His own timing for my life and I just have to keep faith. He knows me and He has certainly been guiding me as I’ve gone through this housing and subsequent tenant search, I have to believe he will guide me in ALL parts of my life.

The Christmas season isn’t going to be that different.  I just have a little bitty tree (the tree I got from my mission) instead of my large memory tree (still doing 2012 memory ornaments).

My little Christmas tree and twinkle lights. Keeping things simple this year!
My little Christmas tree and twinkle lights. Keeping things simple this year!

I am also making this the season of the Messiah Sing-In.  Always a tradition for me since I was a little girl but this year I am going to three! Nothing like it.  Makes me emotional every time I hear it.  I think of my mission when I had some deep lonely times and the music always made me feel at home.  I listened to it year-round.

Next week I am having the 2nd Annual Christmas Swimfest, which I am excited about.   This is something I invented last year to give back to my swimming family.  We do a solid workout set and than a bunch of goofy relays like exchanging t-shirts after a lap or eating a saltine cracker in-between laps (its really hard!).

I’m going to try and think of some holiday themed relays and already have some (nutcracker relay, back stroke with foot out of water like a ballerina).  If you have any ideas let me know.  I debated about doing the Swimfest this year because of the move and everything but I’m glad I decided to do it.  It’s really the least I can do and after doing 3 of them already it’s not much work.  Getting the word out is probably the hardest part, so if you are in the area come out- Gene Fullmer pool 10 am.

I am also going to Christmas Carol on the 18th with my best friend Emily and her husband. Hurray!  This is always a highlight of the holidays for me.   I love the message of redemption in the story of Scrooge and that nobody is a lost cause to Jesus.

So, as you can see I will have plenty to keep me busy (and there’s more I could listen, let alone packing up my apartment!).   Still, I’m a little concerned with Christmas Day itself.  What can I do on that day to make it not seem lonely but happy and full of a spirit of giving to others?  (I am doing a sub-4-santa type project but that will be done this Saturday, not Christmas Day). I’ve thought about going to a midnight mass at Cathedral of the Madeline.  I’ve always wanted to do that but never been able to step away from family.  It could be a neat community experience.

What would you do if you had Christmas alone? How would you make it special? I’d be especially curious for those who have spent Christmas alone and what they have done to ensure it wasn’t a big pity party. (Oh and I just want to clarify that I am not staying at home as some kind of revenge to my family.  So many of the posts I read online were of that vein.  As chaotic as they can sometimes be, I’m actually sad to be away from my family at Christmas).

Please forgive for this somewhat rambling post.  Lots of news to catch you up on.  (Oh also next week I am going to a speed dating activity in Salt Lake.  Wish me luck!)

Oh and I also want to see Les Miserables on Christmas Day if anyone wants to come with!

New Space

I first want to apologize for my tardiness in posting.  I have been working like a pack mule lately trying to get this sales tax project done for Grabber. I won’t get into the boring details but suffice it to say the last month I have put in 207.5 hours of total work.   This includes working every weekend and even on my Birthday.  On the plus side I have billed a lot of hours and made money- something I sorely lacked when I was sick for like 3 months.

In between all of this work I have had one exciting development.  Last Saturday my roommate moved out to work at a job in Idaho near her family.  I debated for a few seconds whether I should get a new roommate to replace her but I decided instead to turn her room into an office/guest room.  I purchased a futon sofa that folds out into a full size bed.  The futon cushion is a real mattress with springs and everything.  I got it on Craigslist for a great deal.    It’s perfect for overnight guests! In addition to the bed I have a TV that my uncle Tom is letting me use.  It is one of those old school tube tv’s but the picture is great.  I admire that Tom could carry it up to my apartment.  The thing is heavy!  It took me 2 tries to get it on the exepedit shelf I bought from Ikea.   The rest of the room is taken up by the office portion.  I have my lovely desk and chair that I bought at Pier 1. It is the best because it is a manageable size.  So many of the desks I found were these large monstrosities.  Plus, this desk has a little bit of charm.  It is the only “nice” piece of furniture I own.  Someday I hope to have many pieces from Pier 1 and similar stores!

Anyway, I have lots of storage in the new room/bathroom which I am taking full advantage of.  With more space my entire apartment feels neater and more put-together.  It’s funny because you would think I would be more inclined to be neat living with another person but I find the opposite is true.  My old roommate was awesome but not the cleanest person in the world and I think the two of us were sometimes not the best at motivating each other to be clean.  Particularly with vacuuming.  One time she was surprised that I was vacuuming again after about 3 weeks!  I told her- “some people vacuum every day!”.   (It’s funny how cleanliness is such a relative thing.  There are many people who would think I am a total slob and others who would find me too clean. ).

Finishing off my new space is a separate bathroom for guests and while I work.  I have stocked it with towels (I donated my old towels to that bathroom and bought new ones for me!).  Plus, I went out and bought shampoo, conditioner and the like for any guests.  I really mean this when I say- come and visit!

This might sound ridiculous but having this new space has been incredible.  I don’t think I realized how all-encompassing particularly my work had become.  Now I have  way to separate it- a way to shut the door and be done.  It’s strange how a mental thing like that really does make a difference in my happiness but it does.    I feel liberated!  I can actually watch television without having my computer staring at me tempting me to “just check my email…it will only take a second”.  It’s hard to explain how great that is.  Now I am just kicking myself for having waited so long to get my own office.  While it was great having roommates, there is no comparison to the happiness I feel from being able to turn work off.

Here you can see the new space.   I am working on my video skills and clearly have some room for improvement but at least it will give you an idea of the new space!  Come and visit- come and visit- come and visit!

Roommate Reunion and Ingrid Michaelson

I have mentioned on this blog that my current roommate is my 30th.  Over the years I have shared apartments with 30 different women.  They have each taught me much and almost all have been positive experiences.  That said- some have risen to the top and become life-long friends while a few more have made an indelible impact on my life.  In my fantasy life I would live minutes away from all these special friends.  We would swap recipes, watch each other’s kids and be there for hugs and comfort.  Sadly most of them live away from Utah (and even the one’s that do have a life.  Afterall, we aren’t living in a Norman Rockwell painting!).  Still, my heart yearns for the friends I do not regularly see.  I miss them and wish they were here.

Lately I have felt a little lonely so you can imagine my excitement over a recent trip to California for a ROOMMATE REUNION!  One of my most prized friends/former roommates Emily Alvillar Whitman came to my sister Megan’s in Palo Alto, California and I joined her.  The three of us then had a lovely weekend of reminiscing and catching up.  It was very nice of Megan to host and allow us to sleep on her coach! The weekend was simple- nothing too flashy- but it was great to reconnect with an old friend.  Plus, I got to spend time with Megan and her family.  Seth was very nice to watch the girls so the three of us could go to San Francisco for the day. (Thanks Seth!).  We went to all the sites Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Chinatown, Piers etc.  Emily got some jewelry and we converted a magnet into a keepsake ornament to help us remember the trip.

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On Sunday we enjoyed spending time with my family for my grandma Wagner’s birthday party.  She is such a wonderful woman and loving example in my life.  I will have to write an entire post about her someday.  Emily was a good sport and seemed to enjoy herself at our family party (sometimes being at someone else’s family function can be awkward.  Thanks Emily!).

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On Monday it began to rain and then Tuesday it was torrential downpour.  I don’t think I have ever seen it rain so much in Northern California.   It was so bad that on Tuesday the rain made the battery short out while driving Emily to the airport (after visiting the temple).  We ended up putting Emily in a yellow cab and then Seth came to my rescue.  Hopefully the car won’t sustain any permanent damage.  If it does I will feel awful.

We made some cute crafts on Monday.  I am a volunteer for festival of trees and as such we are each responsible for creating 8 gifts that can be sold at the festival.  For my gift I am making long sleeve t-shirts with Christmas symbols on them.  I hope they turn out ok.  It’s kind of complicated how you make them but basically you cut out a stencil out of freezer paper and then you iron on the paper to the front and back of the shirt.  Then you pain the shirt with textile paint.  Once the paint has dried you set the paint with the iron.  If any of you have cute and inexpensive craft ideas for the festival let me know.  It has to be something that does not require sewing or knitting.

Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and I hope we do it again.  It is important to reconnect with friends. You never know when you will need them or they will need you.  I believe that people are put in our lives for a reason and that we will be accountable if we throw people aside as if they are worth nothing.  Relationships are worth sacrificing for and certainly worth preserving.  Why is I seem to be in the minority in this view?  It seems so logical to me!

One last comment is on Friday I went to hear Ingrid Michaelson sing at a concert in Salt Lake.  She was a great performer with a beautiful voice.  What made it more exciting is the tickets were only $15 plus fees!  Anna and I went and it made me all the more grateful that she is here.  I’m so glad that we are not only sisters but that we have so many common interests- even enjoy the same concerts.  I am sure the time will come when she is busier with friends and school but for the moment we are spending a lot of time together and I love it!  The only downside to the concert is it was standing room only. With my foot condition it is hard for me to stand for hours (I told Anna that I am not as young as I used to be! I’m too old for this stuff!).  I am not sure how I am going to get through the Regina Spektor concert at the same venue but somehow I will figure it out.  It is worth it to see such amazing talent and spend time with my sister.  I can’t wait to hear Regina sing!

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Smell of Cardboard

It may come as a surprise to many of you but I am officially moving on Saturday! I got the opportunity to upgrade to a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment for only around $50 more a month. As much as I love my current place, I couldn’t resist the chance for more space- particularly for an office. I have been suffering from insomnia lately, and I’ve read that using your room for only sleeping helps. (Yesterday I had a dream about the Dark Knight. I so wish I hadn’t seen that movie!).

Anyway, I decided to go ahead with the move. Thanks in advance to anyone helping me. I really, really appreciate it! Even though I am Ok with my decision I will be a little sad to be leaving my place. This apartment has symbolic meaning to me. I had been through a tough year in 2007/2008 and finding my own place made me feel complete. I felt I had finished the purifying process of the particular trials I had experienced during the last 3 years.

Living by myself has  made me strong in a new way. I have always striven to direct my own life- make my own choices; however, time and again I am swayed by the feelings and opinions of others. Being alone has forced me to be independent and strong. I am grateful for that strength. At the same time I also appreciate my amazing family and friends who never let me feel alone. It has been the best! A particular thanks to Megan, Anna, my mom and dad, my uncle Jim for all his help, and my friend Camille for never being more than a phone call away. It sounds like a freaking Oscar speech, but I really am grateful!

So with that said the other big news of the move is I am going to have a roommate.  It just kind of worked out, and I think it is the right thing for this time in my life.  It happened quickly- like since Sunday. I found out my friend Sunnie Bybee needed a place to stay and after looking at the new place, I felt good about it. I figure we can try it out and see if it works. She’s a nice girl, and I think we will gel well together. I will have to downsize some of my stuff but that’s ok. There are benefits to having roommates (financially and socially) and benefits to living alone. In this case, I figured it was worth a try. Luckily she doesn’t have any furniture so that makes things easy. I will just have to cut down on my kitchen stuff and put away some of my wall art and photos 😦 . I am a little nervous because I have gotten into a few bad habits living by myself- particularly when it comes to the laundry. At least Sunnie is a patient person, so we should be fine! Hopefully she will understand the transition from living alone to sharing will have a few bumps along the way. We will see how it goes!

As with every move, I am going through my stuff and am amazed with how much I have. The only good thing about moving is it gives a good chance to de-junk. Since I move about every year I get to de-junk frequently. Last year I moved 4 times! Oh my!

I will post pictures of my new place next week. Wish me luck and anyone who is in the area I can use all the help I can get Saturday at 11am. Thanks so much!
On to a new adventure!
Huge piles of cardboard boxes