Our Cute House - It's Coming Along

We've owned the home for close to four weeks now and we got a head start on it right away!  We've been out of town the last two weekends so it's been a little slower in progress, but it is getting there.  We have over two weeks until our lease ends here, so it's getting close to moving time.

The wallpaper removal took close to a week to do.  I finished it up while Ben re-textured the walls to match the others.  We celebrated that last piece of yellow coming off with a nice Bajio shrimp pineapple salad.
Ben taught me to texture.  I textured the window sill and I am so proud.  Haha
Giving the yard some TLC will have to come last.  Contrary to popular belief (at least by me), you do still have to pull weeds if you have synthetic grass.  :P 
While my mom was here we tried to pick paint colors.  This was a lot harder than I expected, and every color just seemed wrong.  We painted three other walls with swatches too.  We didn't use any of them in the end.
We decided to roll the whole house and I took to the first wall, our chosen color, "Indecision."
I painted the hallway next and a couple of hours later I sat back and took a gander.  Why do our walls look lavender.  Crap.

Ben took out our ceiling color that was matched by Dunn Edwards, and it was supposed to be close to white and came out very dark.  Definitely not a 95% match... maybe like, 20%...  Well, ...shux.
Wait a sec... this ceiling color is definitely not right, but I kind of like it.  Let's paint a wall with it?
You probably can't tell any difference on the above picture, but yeah, different.  We liked the mistake color...and that's how our wall color came to be.  The End.  (I wish.  I think we'll be painting for the rest of our lives!!)
Dunn Edwards took their mistake paint back and mixed us up the same color in a different finish for the walls, and they corrected the ceiling color mistake.  We went back home and painted a few gallons and loved it!!  It looks so good!  We called for more and their machine was broken (blurgh).

Forget it.
So the kitchen is close to having wall color, and the crown is painted, so we're close to beginning the taping off and then finishing of that area.  Even though it's a lot of work, it has been a lot of fun seeing it morph into pretty.
The tile no longer looks yellow now that we've brought the gray out of it.  It looks so different.
This past weekend the carpet guys came out because we've been debating replacing it because the master is worn beyond comeback.  I think we'll probably just replace the master for now.
Saturday night we sat in the backyard, feet in our very own pool, and chatted about how this is our first home, and how surreal it feels to call it "ours."  We are so blessed to be able to put down our roots here, and look forward to our journey and whatever the future may bring (hopefully lots of visitors, fun new friends, a good ward and soon a sweet puppy).

Meanwhile, we're booking reservations at the Buhr resort.  Hopefully you don't mind a blow-up bed.  :]

Memories of a Madre Visit

My mom visited us while we lived in Thatcher, but she hasn't been to the valley since we moved here last summer.  This visit ended up being perfect in timing because we closed on our house, but we haven't moved into it yet.  She was able to see our lifestyle now, and where we will officially put down our roots for long term (hopefully for forever... no more moving please!).

We took my mom straight back to Thatcher when she got here.  haha!  We made a day trip to go see our sweet niece get baptized.  Our nieces are so freakin' cute!  We're proud of Elly!!  She's all girl, and it's adorable.  (I can't believe she's 8.  She was 3 when I met her.  Yeah...seriously.)
Love him.
Our pretty mamas (below):
One afternoon my mom and I went on a small hike near the new temple.  It was a windy, windy day, but it was still pretty from the top.  When it gets windy, it gets sooo dusty in the valley.  But sadly...no haboobs.  :P  I actually think my Photoshop filter makes it look dustier than it is.
There's an AWESOME water park if you look closely (below).  We took my mom to it and now I want season passes!  I think our lil nieces would have a party if we took them to it.
When we moved here, one thing I didn't expect to see were communities on little river/lakes.  Isn't this place supposed to be a dry desert??  Surprisingly there are a lot of them around.  It's pretty rad.
We met a guy up top who was running the trails with a backpack full of bricks.
These are the homes from down in the actual neighborhood.  They are so cool.  Anybody want to fund our purchase of one?  (And keep it clean for us.)  Anyone??
No trip to Arizona would be complete without hunting for scorpions.  The area we moved to is pretty desert-y, so I took my mom down the street with our scorpinator light.  Temperatures have been in the 90s so I thought maybe we'd find one (secretly hoping PLEASE HEAVENS NO).  

We found ONE.  My mom was pretty intrigued.  She threw a rock at it and it tried to sting the rock.  As an animal lover, I still have no reservations about the death of a scorpion.  However, I am too afraid of them to get close enough to do the deed.  (I am really going to miss living on the 4th floor... )

Can you even spot it?
My mom came along with me to get my hair done.  It was a big appointment for me because I haven't been a brunette since 2004 or so, when I went almost black for a minute.  Ben has never seen me brunette!!
My hair grows rather fast, so getting it colored is pretty high maintenance, but I love being blonder.  My solution was a center part (which we went to on my last appointment), and then this time we did dark just on TOP, with highlights underneath.  Also, we added purple underneath.  Next time around we're doing more underneath, etc.  

This solution will make me lighter overall, but I'll have no visible root growth three weeks later.  I know, just call me genius. :D  I have no reservations on hair experimentation.  (Basically I want Chanel West Coast hair.)
My beautiful hair dresser and running friend, Tara.
It was awesome having my mom down here (thanks ma!!)!  Family is the best and it's always fun to show the fam where and how we live down here in hot Arizona.  Love you ma.  :)

Meanwhile, James/Jimmy moves to China in a couple of days, and just posted a follow-up video to his last video.

Last, look who becomes an Arizonian on June 21...

That's finally all.  Thanks for reading my long post.  It took over a week to do.  :P

Have a great rest of the week and weekend.

Race Weekend - Salt Lake City Marathon & 1/2

The race weekend was amazing, and we made many more memories to last us forever.  We flew up to SLC Thursday night and came home Sunday afternoon.  Basically, we blinked and it was over.  Durn.
Ben and I had lunch with his family on Friday, and then we met my family at the Race Expo that afternoon.  I was pleasantly surprised with this year's expo.  The new organizers changed venues and it was at the Salt Palace, and was bigger and much, much better.

(This picture below is important because of the vehicle we were driving that day...Dallin.)
The running community has really come together since the terrible events in Boston last week, and the entire race was centered on running for Boston, showing support, raising money and finishing for those that couldn't on 4.15.13.  It was wonderful to be able to be a part of it, and to show our support in any way possible.  We wore yellow/blue ribbons, there were a lot of green shirts, they also handed out "I RUN FOR BOSTON" bracelets, and tees.
My dad and sister ran their first full marathon, and the expo is more exciting when you are doing the full.  You get a red bib instead of yellow, and people think you're pretty bomb-diggity, really.  Let's face it, a full marathon is like three half marathons in effort, even though it's only two in length.
(Perhaps you have noticed the change in hair by now.)
I lost my husband and found him doing 30 burpees at the Spartan booth, so he could get a free beanie and tee-shirt.  Haha!
Saturday morning we got up before 5, and headed to the University of Utah.  This year we didn't ride Trax, but parked right at the start.  Surprisingly, it was NOT crowded parking.  We got there an hour early and it started to rain (it rained all night), so everybody hit the johns while I sat in the car and basked in the warm heat and prayed it would dry up a bit.
(Rykar when we left.)
The police were there in full force, and we all really, really appreciated it.  All along the course were officers, and they had bomb sniffing dogs, bomb sensing devices throughout, and just a large amount of those on duty to make sure the event ran smoothly and safely and to deter any copycats, etc.  We are grateful they came out to keep us safe, especially given the weather.
The rain lightened up a little in time for the start, so many shed their garbage bags, etc.  The forecast said there was a chance for some morning showers, but then clearing.  I kept my bag on and decided to shed it once I was actually warm...just in case.  My dad bought inexpensive warm ups that he could guilt free drop along the course as soon as he got warm (he finished wearing them...haha).
Last year only the full got to run through pretty Sugarhouse park, but with the new course everybody did this year which was fun!  It wasn't as pretty through my annoyed-that-it-is-starting-to-rain-harder, eyes.  lol  By rain... I mean downpour!!  And it never stopped the rest of the race.  It was sooooo cold!!  I promise I am not exaggerating.  We sloshed our way through 13.1 miles, but it was still awesome.
Below is last year's shot on the record hot day!:
The best cheerleader ever!  My mom!
The race went okay.  Honestly I was pretty disappointed when I crossed the finish line.  My pace was all over the place for the entire race, and I had an extremely long final 5k which is when I saw a sign that said, "Embrace the Suck."  Haha, you got that right!  Can I walk now?
There weren't as many spectators this year (maybe the rain?), but those that were there were cheering more than ever.  I saw so many "Run For Boston!" signs.  It was inspiring and motivating.

Speedy Ben finished first of our group, followed quickly by James, then I came along awhile later.  Nobody saw me finish because they were looking for hot pink and not garbage bag, so we all wandered the park for an hour before connecting.  The chilliest hour of life.

We jumped in my mom's truck and went to find my sister and dad.  We didn't know they were running together, but I used my sister's phone application to track her location, and they both showed up together!  We leap frogged the rest of the way to the finish.  It was so much fun!!
"You want a Jimmy John sandwich?"  "Sure!!"
The race was phenomenal.  The organizers did a great job and we're already looking forward to next year.  I wish the weather would have cooperated, but either way you could tell a lot of work went into such a great event.  There were a lot of goodies at the end, and we even made out with cases of yogurt.

My dad and sister rocked their full marathon and my dad even sprinted the finish.  They are total rockstars and didn't even look tired!!
Post race we bought loads of PIZZA HUT and went to my dad's house to "recover," and warm up.
That's how we roll.

Race Times:
Garmin: 2:05:57 for 13.3 miles and 9:28 pace
Official: 2:05:58
Garmin 13.1 split:  2:03:57

Garmin: 1:38:04 for 13.1 mile split and 7:28 pace
Official:  1:38:58

Official:  1:43:27

Dad and Jolie both came in under five hours for the full!

My little brother (on a mission) wrote us today, and said he kept thinking about us Saturday morning and was wondering what mile we were on at certain times.  It will be fun when he gets home and can join us again in 2015.  We missed you Dil!

Family rocks and running is the best.  Put them together and you get the happiest day ever.

Have a nice week!