Monday, June 23, 2008

Stud Alert

Yesterday I took a drive down to my new house for the first time in over a week. Last Saturday it was just a foundation with plumbing pipes. Look at how much they've worked on it since then!

This is a view from the front. You can see the garage and the wall off to the right is the master bedroom closet. The front door is around to the side of the house.

This view is from the master bedroom looking into the master bathroom and closet. For a cookie-cutter condominium this has a big master bathroom and huge walk-in closet. Good thing since I've got a lot of clothes that will need to go in it.

This is a view out the back. The back of the house has a door and three windows to let in lots of light. Right now you are looking on the soon-to-be parking lot of the church and my backyard.

It's all coming right along! This week I get to pick out carpet, paint, light fixtures, faucets, cabinets, etc. at a 5-hour design center appointment. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Drumroll, Please!



(Okay, it's really a townhouse/condo, not exactly a house.)

Saturday, after much prayer, fasting, going to the temple, and many days of pondering, I finally bit the bullet, signed my life away and bought a condo in the new Foxboro North community. Starting sometime in late October I will be living at 1151 North Chatteris Drive, North Salt Lake UT 84054. I am thrilled, excited, tickled pink to finally be a homeowner but I am also scared to death. This is a huge financial responsibility. I actually have to create and stick to a budget now. Yikes!

If you are an avid reader of my blog you will remember that I originally put a reservation on the smaller condo but was having second thoughts. Well, I ended up buying the bigger condo. This "Berkley 5" model is 1611 square feet with a spacious 2-car garage. The main floor has a large open kitchen/dining/living room; a half bathroom; laundry room; master bedroom with full bathroom and huge walk-in closet. The second floor has two big bedrooms and a full bathroom. I also have a covered porch out the back door with about 400 square feet of yard.

For now, I'm making lists of all that I need, planning, dreaming, and amassing a growing pile of goods in my parents' basement (to which donations are gratefully accepted ;). I promise to get photos of the weekly progress on the building but today you'll just have to imagine a foundation in the dirt since I didn't have my camera with me on Saturday. Then, once I move in you will all be invited to a housewarming party. It's very exciting!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Church Endorsement

So, yesterday one of my events at work was a lunchtime meeting titled, "Social Networking." The presentation was given by the Church's CIO (Chief Information Officer), Brother Dehlin, who spent an hour talking about different websites that help us connect and express. He went over Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, ChaCha, LinkedIn, and much more (but note that he does not endorse MySpace). It was a fascinating meeting.

Bro. Dehlin says that this social networking on the Internet has completely changed the traditional friendship and acquaintance. For example, in the past a teenager would go to EFY where they would meet new people but those relationships usually terminated at the end of the week. Now, those teens go home and immediately find their new friends on Facebook and through the years will maintain some sort of contact with them. Coincidentally, yesterday I received a friend request on my Facebook page from a guy I met about 15 years ago at a Youth City Council Conference in St. George. I haven't seen him since those three days ended and yet he remembers me and found me on Facebook. Amazing this social networking thing, isn't it?

During the last portion of his presentation, Bro. Dehlin demonstrated ways we non-talented people can artistically express ourselves on the Internet by posting blogs, photos, video, artwork, etc; including our testimony and belief in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He said that the Church actually did itself a disservice by being wary of the Internet for many years. Unfortunately, during that time anti-Mormons used it as a sounding board to circulate their arguments and persuasions. We have a lot of work ahead to catch up but Bro. Dehlin encouraged us to use the Internet as a missionary tool to spread our testimony of the gospel to anyone who may stumble across our blogs, YouTube videos, or Facebook pages and even showed comments from people who decided to join the Church after viewing a video of someone bearing testimony on the Internet and receiving the witness of the Spirit.

Isn't the Internet cool! Though there is a lot of bad out there on the world wide web it is incredible to see all the good it can do too. What a great blessing it is to live now and have such an exciting medium at our disposal. Use it and use it well!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Newsreel: House Hunting Takes Unexpected Turn

Maybe you've already heard from family or a co-worker, but I am seriously thinking about, and actually trying to buy a condo. Nothing is official yet and there is still a very good chance it won't happen so don't get overly excited.

Here's how it all started and where it now stands...

Last Sunday my Mom and I ended up driving through the brand new development of Foxboro North in North Salt Lake on our way to Jennie's house. We stopped to give ourselves a self-guided tour of the recently framed "Berkley" complex and I really liked what I saw.

Many of you who know me know that I have sworn up and down, right and left that I will not move to Foxboro. It is on the west side of Redwood Road and when I was a kid Redwood Road was the end of civilization in Davis County. I could never bring myself to live in that no-man's wasteland.

But, I really liked these condos and this particular location does have some redeeming qualities. First, it is only a short quarter mile from the main intersection of the highway. Second, there is a traffic light at that intersection. Third, the beautiful clubhouse (that looks more like a distinguished city building with it's grand clock tower; though it also contains a pool, exercise room, and entertaining space) is right across the street. Fourth, there is a church out the back door of the condo. Fifth, these condos have a good-sized private backyard, perfect for BBQ parties and a garden.

So, we returned on Monday for a formal tour and I decided I really liked one of the end units (at 1262 square feet). On Thursday I took my realtor to make a formal offer only to find out that a reservation had already been placed on the unit I like, but I put my name down as a backup reservation anyway. Then, after sleeping on it and mulling it over for the last 24 hours, I think I may prefer the unit at the other end of the complex (1611 square feet and $30,000 more). It would be a financial stretch but I think I could handle it if I had a roommate or two.

But, truthfully, I'm not exactly sure what I should do. I've been praying about it and trying to understand what the Lord would have me do and I feel really good about moving down there; however, there are still a lot of "buts" that keep popping up. I'm sure they'll straighten themselves out one way or another so stay tuned and I'll keep you posted as things develop, if they develop.

(Also, let me know if you or someone you know is looking for a new place to live. You'll have a big bedroom, private bathroom, garage parking, and that clubhouse is just across the street. You won't want to pass this up!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Just Because

Nothing new or exciting to report in my life today. I just feel like posting a blog. If you're at all like me I like to see new posts on my friends' websites regardless of the length or random information they have to share. So, tonight, enjoy my short random post as well as the picture I found.

This is a painting of a streetcar in New Orleans. I rode on the St. Charles line a couple of times while on my mission. We would park our Ford Focus in a residential area and catch the streetcar on South Carrolton Avenue. The route took us down the middle of St. Charles Avenue, past Tulane and Loyola Universities, through some of the beautiful old architecture and lush green landscaping so characteristic of the city, across from the Uptown Branch LDS meetinghouse, and we would get off at the Canal Street border of the French Quarter. Then we would walk a few blocks to the riverfront or the French Market to hang out and souvenir shop. I loved those P-days. The streetcar is one of my favorite memories of New Orleans--I even brought back a print similar to this painting that now hangs above my bed. Ah, New Orleans!