I think I offended one of my visiting teachers today. She was politely asking me about my transition from New York City life to small town Utah life (I guess she forgot the part when I told her I'm from Utah County and we only lived in New York for a summer).
I made some careless remark about how the two are completely different worlds and illustrated my point by saying that the other day our neighbor up the street had a deer carcass slung across the back of his car, and that when I drove by he waved a dismembered hoof at me in what he must have thought was a friendly and comical gesture. (The neighbor, not the deer--the deer was clearly unable to wave anything on his own accord.)
My VT replied with a tight-lipped "My husband and all my kids are hunters, they all have tags this year." (I don't know what a tag is, but I imagine it somehow makes it legal for people to roam the woods and shoot things.)
At least I didn't launch into an anti-hunting tirade (I do have one prepared in case I ever need one).
Last Saturday Pete and I decided that our cars were way past due for a scrubbing. Out came the buckets, sponges and hoses and went to work cleaning off months of caked on summer dirt. Amelia was inspired by our car washing efforts and decided her "truck" needed a bath too. She babies her wheels just like her daddy.
On an entirely different note, I'm pretty excited about the new novel I'm working on. For those of you whom I haven't told, I actually decided to write a (gasp) romance. I think I promised myself at one point that I'd never do that, because, let's be honest, how many romance novels have you ever read that have really changed your life? Or that you even remember three months down the road? Not many in my reader's history.
But this one isn't just going to be a romance. It will have a romance in it, but it's also the story of a family (I always write about families). It is set in New York City (surprise, surprise) probably in Greenwich Village. It's a bakery romance. A feel good, light, hopefully charming, and if I'm lucky, witty romance. And I'm ambitiously hoping to juxtapose a past and present element to the story. A then and now historical parallelism.
It's nothing like the novel I've been working on off and on (more off than on) for two years. Did I finish that novel? Don't ask. But I will. Maybe. It has too many scenes that I love too much to forget about completely. So likely, yes I will finish it. When I am struck with the brilliance to do it right. Until then, I'm enjoying light and happy romance.
So far the BR (bakery romance) consists of a loose plot outline, five solid chapters, several pages of notes and a recipe. Tons of dirty writing (as in rough draft, come on people) left to do and a good deal of research. But oh, so exciting! Please bless I stay motivated and actually finish this one!
Here it is: Pete got a job offer from L'Oreal, and we decided to accept it.
Do you realize what this means? I'll make a list of exactly what it means:
1. Despite the less than joyous economy, my husband has a job waiting for him when he graduates. A rather good job. A career-type job working for a fortune 500 company in New York City. (I heard on the news a few days ago that for every job posting in the U.S. there are an average of 250 applicants. Having a job with a huge international corporation waiting for you while still in school is unheard of right now.)
2. We'll have really good health, dental and vision coverage (hooray for vision coverage--we don't have the best track record in that area).
3. We'll be moving back to the East Coast; always a dream of mine.
4. We'll be much much closer to my sister Sharon and her cute baby--Amelia can grow up with her cousin!
5. I'll cash in big time on free and half price beauty products from a huge range of names, like Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome and of course L'Oreal. If I play my cards right I could fend off fine lines and wrinkles for the rest of my life.
6. We'll be able to save for a house.
7. I'll be living only minutes away from the best theaters, shopping and museums in the country.
8. FOOD. We'll be living in a Food Network addict's nirvana.
9. I'll be closer to the center of the publishing scene so I'll be able to pursue my writing career more closely.
10. We'll be missionaries. I have a feeling this is the main reason God is sending us to New York anyway. I always knew Pete was destined to be very involved in missionary work; he's just too good at it. I'll have to step up and do the same.
So, as you can see, this job means a lot of things to our family. We're just so relieved to have made the decision (believe it or not it took us two weeks of debating a too-good-to-be-true job offer before deciding to accept it) and to have a plan.
And we are so grateful. Thank you, thank you Heavenly Father.
Amelia is very taken with our new yard. It isn't really that big, but it serves as a stark contrast to our New York apartment on the fifth floor with no grass anywhere in sight. This is my typical view from the living room at any waking hour of the day:
On this particular day it happened to be raining lightly and the babes was pretty sure rain gutters were invented for her to soak her shoes under.
Her other favorite yard activity is driving in her car; or rather being pushed around in her "truck" as she calls it. We're outside playing in her car every day, pushing Amelia all over the driveway and back patio while she honks the horn and shouts "beep beep!" I guess she learned that one in New York, 'cause I never taught her that.
And the last thing Meli-buttons has discovered the yard is good for is hosting parties. She loves for Grandma and Grandpa to come over and bring their dog (Uncle Ernie) who isn't allowed in the house.
Being back in Utah has reminded me of all the things I love about the place I grew up and it's fun to be where I can let my child play outside barefoot and run through grass. Enjoy it while it lasts baby girl, who knows where we'll be next year?
Here are a few of my favorite photos of our last afternoon in Central Park. I'm going to miss that place. These were all taken in the Bethsaida Terrace area, one of our favorite places in Central Park.
Have you ever heard of the classic 1950's storybook of The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge? I hadn't either. But it exists, and the lighthouse the story was based on is located in Washington Heights, about a mile from where Pete and I lived this summer. We took Amelia to visit the sight memorialized in this charming tale of bravery and stalwart vigilance.
She wasn't as taken with the lighthouse as I would have wished, but she certainly enjoyed playing in the rocks on the grounds.
What delighted me the most wasn't the lighthouse either, or the bridge or even the rocks; my favorite part of the excursion was the appearance of Little Toot himself, immortalized by the Andrews Sisters.