Thursday, February 28, 2008


I've just been thinking about my sister, Melynda, today. So here are some pictures.

I am employed again...

After the longest period of unemployment I have had since I was 16.......5 business days (I didn't count my vacations to Phoenix and West Palm Beach).....

I have a job.

I am going to be a commission sales person in the department at The Great Indoors that sells tile, vanities, sinks, pretty faucets, and pretty much anything else needed to remodel a bathroom.

To picture The Great Indoors, take all of the pretty and fun things out of Home Depot, multiply it by a lot, and then add in some art. And it's HUGE.
And conveniently it happens to be owned by Sears (who I just happened to work for for 6 years through high school and college). And they use the same registers and systems so I am a pretty much pre-trained employee.

Yes this is an actual picture from the second floor in a Great Indoors store, isn't it neat?

Some of you may be asking, "but Carmen, why not find a job that pays you the bookoo bucks you went to college and got a degree in construction management for?". Well the answer goes like this:
1) In the 8 months left in this year, I need 9 days to go and see my Lane who is coming home from his mission in Dallas in March, I need a week to go to Florida for Jeff and Alison's wedding in June, I need a week to go to a family reunion camping trip in July, I need a week for my baby brother's baptism in August/September, and there is also a second wedding anniversary and other miscellaneous things that I'm sure will come up.
I don't think that would go over real well in what I consider a "normal" job.

2) The construction industry is not exactly thriving in this state the politicians describe as having a "one state recession". Especially residential construction, and I don't really have an interest in commercial construction. This is all well and good for our goal of buying a house here (steller, amazing prices), but for my work...not so much.

3) I don't even need to work to have our family finances hum along smoothly...but to be honest, I've been going insane not having a job to go to this past week. Maybe things would be different if I had a house and kids...but it's not. We just barely got the internet in our apartment last night, it's been just awful without it! We don't have TV that's OK, we don't have a home phone that's OK, but not having the internet...what a tragedy.

4) To be honest, if I'm good at what I do (cross your fingers) I will be able to make close to my starting pay right out of college. Crazy, I know. (don't take this to mean that education isn't worth it, it totally is. If something happened to Curt and we had a bajillion kids, I know that I could support us no problem, I just wouldn't have the luxury of picking the jobs I would when just working for fun).

5) Most of my extra money will be going to house stuff as we will be outfitting a significantly bigger house plus my normal have-a-remodel-project-going-on-at-all-times theory will be in full effect, so the discount will be much appreciated (right sweetheart?). Unfortunately this discount doesn't transfer over to regular Sears stores for my tools.

and 6) how fun is it going to be to be able to help people put together rooms that look like this:
or this:
or this:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ann Arbor is pretty...

*Update* At some point I will be using this post to participate in "Drive Bys Around the World" where pretty houses/landscaping/etc are featured on The Inspired Room. Very cool idea.

Just look at the trees. Can you imagine them all leafy and green?

I also have somewhat of an obsession with houses. I know all of you who know me are shocked by this confession. So, here is my short list of some of the cool houses we drove by yesterday afternoon. I know there are a lot, but I took about a hundred more pictures than are shown here, I just can't help myself.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Misc Florida Happenings

We leave very early in the morning to head back to Michigan to move into an apartment. We got to see Grandma and Grandpa Hogie today along with many other people Curt grew up with. We didn't get to see Jeff and Alison (they were too busy this weekend), but overall has been a great unexpected February trip.

The Hostetler homestead.

Our rental car for the week. A Dodge Avenger.

Funny story. This lizard rode home on the car all the way from the Wellington chapel. It hunkered down when the wind got bad, but hung on even after Curt sped up, turned, ect.

Close up of the extreme sports lover.

A spontaneous sit up competition in the living room. Very entertaining.

They rehabilitated and reopened the Binks Forest golf course behind the house. Looks really awesome.

Great sunset. Now we have to mentally brace ourself for returning to the frigid temperatures.

Dubois Beach

On Friday we went to the beach. It was fantastic because it was great weather and not crowded at all (unlike on Saturday when everyone thought it was a good idea).

Palm Beach Island...

*Update* At some point I will be using this post to participate in "Drive Bys Around the World" where pretty houses/landscaping/etc are featured on The Inspired Room. *

Beautiful, cool buildings/finishes/settings. Lovely.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well, I completed our taxes last night and have them submitted. I have to say, Turbo Tax just keeps making things easier and easier.

I was slightly worried that we were going to end up owing taxes (this was the first full year with both of us making post college degree salaries, so it was many multiples bigger than we had ever made before). Curt's Dad calls us DINKs, Dual Income No Kids. So, at any rate I was worried; who wants to write a check to the government?

But, (big sigh of relief) we are OK. We even get some back. Not so much that I'm steamed that the government made a lot of interest on our money while holding it this year, but enough to be a pleasant surprise as we try to have our house sell while we are across the country.

By the by, it's a possibility that we might have a house built for us in Michigan. We've checked into it a little and it seems to be a pretty screaming deal. We'll have to research more and see.

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Traveling

I have been in 11 different states in the past 5 days.
We made it to Ann Arbor at about midnight on Saturday evening. Dad made it back to Utah safely flying on Sunday.
We left Ann Arbor Monday morning at 2 degrees (with the wind chill they said it was in the negative 20's) and flew to wonderful sunny Florida (Curt has a work trip, and I am tagging along to hang out and visit his family). Florida for the next couple of days is having a "cold front", meaning I still saw airport workers in shorts.
Here are some more pictures from the long hours driving.

The bridge they are building to bypass driving on the Hoover Dam outside of Vegas. Isn't this just the coolest thing ever!?!

Other side of the unfinished bridge.

Snow pile in Glendale Springs, Colorado.


The "scenic route" through Colorado

Apparently we weren't the only ones to take the only I-70 alternate route through Colorado, this caravan went on for miles and miles.

Kansas had so many HUGE grain silos.

Kansas City skyline

Some cool bridges. As I was looking through the pictures that I took of the trip I realized that I have a fixation on bridges, lots of pictures.

Bridge over the Mississippi River

Illinois is absolutely beautiful, these pictures don't do justice

A farm in Illinois

A lovely sunset view through the rear view mirror in Indiana.

We will post more from Florida later.

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