Friday, September 26, 2008

I would like to announce the discovery of...

...the belly button! Katy has noticed it before, but never with the excitement that she has shown today. I think she just realized that she can find it when she has clothes on (all previous times she was naked or just in a diaper, I believe). So she has done this many times today. And she always does it until I acknowledge her and say "belly button." It's really adorable! It kind of puts all this stress in perspective. It doesn't matter where I live, I still get to have this little cutie with me! And as hard as it is to take care of them all day long every day, it's so fun to watch the kids grown and learn so many little things. Like the existence & location of her belly button!

I hate being a grown up!

So we still haven't fully decided about Portland. Several times we've decided it's too good of an opportunity to pass up. Then last night we started worrying about the economy. We are pretty confident that Dan's job here is more secure than his job there would be. If E*Trade gets bought out (which is the "in" thing to do nowadays!), he feels they would be much, much, much more likely to keep him on as a Platinum team member in the Sandy call center than as a Relationship Manager in a branch. For one thing, another company would be more likely to close down a branch than the call center! So if we decide to take the job, we could have one of the following terrible outcomes:

1. We can't sell our house. We've had it on the market for a little over 2 months (I know we put it on around Ryan's birthday, July 16th), and we've shown it >10 times, but have had no offers. We're planning on making a $9K price drop if we take the job, but what if that's not enough? What if he gives up his job here to go to Portland, and we can't find anyone to buy our house? That is terrifying! Since at the moment they are refusing to help with relocation costs, we would use a big portion of our savings to get the family moved. How silly it would be to put our family's financial situation in jeopardy!

2. Or, we sell our house, buy a new one, and the branch goes under. Then we're stuck in a more expensive house, having used some of our savings (regardless of if they relent and help with moving costs, it just costs money to get established in a new area), and have no job. That's also terrifying! We would feel like complete morons for taking the gamble!

But with all those negative possibilities, I just can't help focusing on the other possible outcome:

3. We get our house all cleaned up and beautified and depersonalized, and find out that that is what was keeping it from selling after all. We get an offer right away, Dan is able to stay with family in the meantime (we've asked for a couple days while he finds an appartment, but it'd sure be nice if he could make it work to not pay rent at all!), then we buy (or build) a beautiful house just outside of Portland. I stay with my parents in the meantime, just long enough that it's an extended vacation but not so long that we get sick of each other. Then our children get to grow up in an area with better schools, a much better library system (they're just starting to try a north Utah county one with 4 libraries, Multnomah county has 17 libraries), better athletic opportunities (for example, Little League has 1 Utah district and 9 Oregon districts), better weather, etc. I get to leave my allergies here (I just found out that weed pollen count in Eagle Mountain has been High or Very High for all of August & Sept, and low for that entire time in Portland). We live just a short drive from my parents, and Dan's parents might move there as well. Basically, we live happily ever after.

But it seems like I'm going to have to give up that dream in favor of security. This sucks! I don't want to have to make responsible decisions! We've been really trying to make it a matter of prayer, but there's just too much emotion there to separate out. Dan thinks he feels good about staying here, but thinking about it just makes me feel terrible. I try to think of the good things (like not leaving friends), and I just can't focus on them. It just feels like this is our chance and we're going to let this opportunity pass us by.

If we aren't meant to do it, why did it fall into our laps like this? Right after thinking maybe he should look for a job up there (when my family was here last month Miriam told Dan to move up there, he said he didn't have a job up there, and she said "then look for one!"), this position came to his attention. Then he applied, was intervied several times, and was the only E*Trade employee to be offered the position (there are 3 other guys I believe, and all are being hired from outside the company). Was all this just a learning experience? Or are we really supposed to be there, and just go on faith that everything will work out? By denying it, would we be showing maturity for not risking our financial situation, or a lack of faith that Heavenly Father can make it all work out?

We were supposed to decide yesterday, and we still haven't. We've been back and forth several times. This is agonizing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Dan texted me about an hour ago to tell me that he has been offered the position in Portland! I've been wanting this so so so badly, but now that it's here I'm a little freaked out!

When I moved to Utah in September of 2000, I never intended to stay. I was going to get married, graduate, and move out of Utah. In fact, when Dan and I got married, the plan was to move up to Washington somewhere, and he was going to be a high school band director. Both those plans went out the window in a short amount of time. But now we have an opportunity to move to Oregon! And I really, really, really want to go! But that fact makes me hesitant, because I can't quite explain why I want to go so badly. Is it just that I am attracted to the excitement of moving to a new place? That's not enough, that'll pass. Is it my bias for the beautiful Pacific Northwest? That still isn't a concrete reason, but might be reason enough.

I know that I want to go, but I don't want to base the decision on that. I'm trying to make an impartial list of the pros and cons, and here's what I have so far:

Reasons to Move

  • Nice, temperate climate (rare snow!)
  • Beautiful, green trees
  • New experiences (different zoo, museums, etc, for the kids AND parents)
  • Not live in a primarily LDS community (which I believe will make the kids have stronger testimonies, and give us many more missionary opportunities)
  • We’d finally have to really sell the house rather than try half heartedly all the time
  • Closer to my parents & extended family
  • Less competition for growth in Portland branch

Reasons to Stay

  • Too much rainy weather might make me sad
  • We’d have to leave our friends
  • Possible we’d move, then not be able to sell
  • Or we’d have to lower our price so much we wouldn’t have a down payment for our next house
  • Dan’s parents are most likely moving here soon, so we’d be leaving them
  • Dan is afraid he wouldn’t like the new job as much
  • More positions for growth in Sandy
  • Scary to be in a new place & not know anything (i.e. which neighborhoods to avoid, where the good/bad restaurants are)
  • We’d have to find a new doctor & all that kind of stuff

Things I have questions about

  • School system – which is better?
  • House prices – I would guess Portland is more, but how much?
  • Food, gas, etc – are they more up there?

So, any input? Tips? Advice? Help!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Hair-do that Didn't Work

I've been having lots of fun lately doing cute things with Katy's hair. But this morning I tried something that just didn't quite work out. Apparently we will save braiding for another day...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have had this lettering over my stove for a couple years, but I never really thought about it. It was a free gift for attending a friend's vinyl lettering party, so I put it up and pretty much stopped seeing it.

Then a couple weeks ago I got a book from our tiny little library called Simplify Your Life with Kids. The author, Elaine St. James, also wrote Living the Simple Life, and some parts of SYLwK seem to me like she is reaching for ways to write another book. I'm in a section now that's a lot of various parenting advice (i.e. use logical consequences) that are useful, but not what I was looking for in this book. But it started out great! There was one part near the beginning that has been, at least for now, life changing for me!

The author talks about how stuff complicates our lives. We spend our time & money going out to buy stuff, then bring it home and have to find a place for it. Then over the years, regardless of how useful the stuff is, we have to keep cleaning and organizing and dedicating space to this stuff. It really rang a bell with me, and I've been on a decluttering kick lately.

Saturday I cleaned out my entire kitchen! I have a whole bunch of stuff to take to DI now. There were all these things in the kitchen that, on previous organizing sweeps, I thought "I might use that someday." My new thought process is "Do I use this enough to make it worth the space it takes up?" And there were a lot of No's to that question! For example, I had 2 round cake pans that I haven't used in years. My mom uses hers for biscuits, but I make mine on cookie sheets. Once a couple years ago Dan made me a two layer cake with them, but I think that was the last time they did anything other than make it hard to get stuff in & out of my cupboards. There may be a day in the future when we wish we still had them. But I have decided that that does not justify their space in my kitchen in the meantime.

The bathroom was next. I have this little storage caddy that holds most things I use on a daily basis. It has two different sets of three eye shadows - one set of browns, one set of purples. Those are the only ones I use. But I had an entire drawer full of other make up, including probably 10+ other eye shadows! I must admit that I didn't throw out ALL the other make up, but I threw away a lot of it!

In talking to my friend Gayelinn yesterday I realized that one of the reasons I finally feel okay doing this is money. We're far from rich, but we are finally at a point where Dan makes more than we spend (as long as I follow the budget, of course...). So if I throw away 10 eyeshadows, and later realize that I really do wish I had 1 of them, I can go buy a new one. I no longer have to hold onto every single thing we might ever need so that we won't have to spend a couple dollars if I happen to throw out one thing that we do actually need some day.

I don't know how long this kick will last, but it feels really good right now. All of my cupboards are so much more organized, and it's so much easier to keep them that way when I'm not trying to jam too much stuff in them! One of the biggest reasons we've been wanting to move (after the main one of wanting more bedrooms, and possibly because Dan might be getting a job in Portland, cross your fingers!) is to have more storage space. I felt like I didn't have enough cupboards in the kitchen. Um, no, I just had too much stuff! Even if we do ever sell our house, I don't want to just keep hauling around all this junk! Society believes that more = better, but it is only true up to a point! Once you have what you need, more is not better, it's worse!

Time for me to stop rambling and get back to work!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Morning at the Morrills' House

Just another Monday morning here at the Morrills' house. Just when life as a stay-at-home mom starts to get monotonous, the kids find a way to change things up!

Apparently Katy has learned a new skill - chair climbing! Lovely. I went to the bedroom to help the boys pick out their clothes, and came back out to this. She was certainly proud of her accomplishment!

And since I've been blogging she has climbed, not just on the chair, but all the way onto the table - twice! Oh NO! That was the one place I could put things I didn't want her to get! And we have one of those counter height tables, so falling off will be extra dangerous. Kathryn, haven't you had enough accidents?!?

One of David's chores is to use a clorox wipe on the doorknobs & light switches. I don't know how good of a job he does, but it's got to be better than not doing it! I've told him how important of a job it is, because it helps to keep us from getting sick. So this morning he came back to me and told me "I cloroxed the cat." What? Like, Marzipan, our real cat? Yup. He wiped her down with the clorox wipe, so that we can touch her without getting sick. Um, David, don't do that. "But she didn't mind!" Still not a great idea, Buddy.

And Ryan...still in his jammies, laying on David's bed. David got dressed, put his jammies in the hamper, fed the dog & fish (cat's dish was full), cloroxed the knobs, light switches, and feline, and went downstairs to play. Ryan just laid on the bed. I wonder if he's just being four, or if he will end up on ADHD meds like his brother...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Katy keeps sunglasses on!

Katy keeps sunglasses on! She's been wearing them since before getting in the car, >15 min ago!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bone Marrow Drive!

My friend Heidi blogged about this, and I think it's more than worth the space on our blog as well. I just did it, and it really only took a couple minutes, even with Katy constantly interrupting me. It's definitely worth your time & effort!

One more (very important) thing

One of my online friends made me aware of a bone marrow drive being sponsored by the NASCAR Foundation that will cover the costs associated with tissue typing, ordinarily $52. If you meet the donor eligibility criteria, you can send away for the kit between now and the 22nd of September. All that is required is a very simple and painless cheek swab sample to get you on the bone marrow donor registry. Please do it. I cannot think of a better way to spend 5 minutes. You could save a life.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Why don't children like sleep?

Seriously, this is not just a rhetorical question! Why is it that children, mine in particular, do not like sleeping? At either end of the sleep, no less! If they're going to stay up late, can't they at least sleep in? Or if they insist on getting up early, can't they go to sleep nicely at 8 when I put them down? I am so sick of them acting cranky & tired when I do everything I can to get them to sleep earlier at night AND later in the morning!

Clearly, tonight is one of those nights when they are refusing to sleep! I am so frustrated!

We got home from going out for ice cream (somebody was supposed to be looking at our house between 6 & 6:30...pretty sure they never came...) around 7. They had a nice long bath last night and didn't do anything particularly dirty today, so we got straight into jammies. They insist on a bedtime snack regardless of how recently they've eaten, and everyone requested (and received) yogurt (in various forms - David had a frozen go-gurt, Ryan & Katy had drinkables). Then we read a story to Katy, had family prayer, and brushed their teeth. Then Katy went to bed, while the boys went back out to Daddy. He read Book of Mormon stories to them, then each boy took a turn reading a book to the other & me. Finally, I read them a story. So far, so good.

Then they went to the bedroom and opened the door. I don't know if Katy was waiting quietly or just woke up by the door opening, but she immediately stood up & started wailing. The boys said their prayers, then I sang to them & tucked them in. Katy continued to wail, but she sounded tired enough that I thought she'd give up pretty quick.

That was at 8:02. It is currently 9:23, and Ryan is the only one who is asleep. And he probably only fell asleep because he cried a lot when he fell off of the storage bin that was on top of the changing table. Sometimes I do a lot of monitoring them (usually sitting in the hall outside their room readinig a magazine), sometimes I just let them do their thing. It doesn't seem to matter - they rarely go to sleep before 9! Come ON, people!

On the other end, I'm pretty sure the boys have been getting up around 7 lately. They don't wake me up, they just go downstairs to watch TV or play on the computer. I am very greatful that they don't wake me up, but I wish they wouldn't be up either! WebMD says 3-6 year olds need 10.75-12 hrs, and they are not getting it! And I don't know how to make them! We have blinds, curtains, AND multiple blankets covering their window. We keep their door as closed as possible without actually being closed. And sometimes lately we've even opened some doors in the hallway to try and block light from coming down the hall. It doesn't work!

As I'm explaining that it occurs to me that maybe if I were to get up early & not allow them to do those fun things, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to hop out of bed. But probably not, and then we have a grumpy mommy on top of things. Maybe I'll try it though...