Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our First Month in Utah

Well, we’ve been living in Utah for a little more than a month and we are loving it! It is still a little unreal even to us. We often catch ourselves staring off at the beautiful mountains and then saying to each other, “Hey. We live here.”

The first couple of weeks were spent unpacking and settling into our new house and starting our new jobs. Our new house is so nice, and we are settling in well. All of our unpacking is basically done, but there is some organizing left to do. The house actually had more rooms than we had furniture for, so there is a big, main room downstairs that is kind of collecting our empty boxes for the time being. Eventually, this will probably be a kind of TV/Game room. We did buy a new sleeper sofa for this room at a whopping $30; it is in good condition, just a little 80s looking, haha. Here are a few pictures of the house:

I (Jenn) started my new job on November 7, and it’s going really well. My boss is so nice and easy-going, and everyone I’ve met is also nice and welcoming. I have slowly been learning about the hospital, and what my personal projects and responsibilities will be. I am starting to feel more comfortable as time goes by and I’m already “owning” projects. So, I’m feeling good and looking forward to being there longer! Here is the view from my office:

Jon started working as a pipe insulator at a nearby refinery just a week after I started my job. It is paying him pretty good money (especially for being a newbie!) and he also gets to drive a company truck, so he doesn’t have to pay for gas. We are still looking for open jobs in his field and we actually found one for the state of Utah that sounded pretty perfect, so we’re hoping he hears back from that one – send him good vibes!

Shortly after getting here, Jon did buy a “new” truck. Here is his 1991 Jeep Comanche:

It is 4-wheel drive and came with tire chains, which will definitely come in handy on any trips up the canyon in snowy weather! The truck also came with piece of plywood fitted for the truck bed with padding on it, so we can sleep in the back for camping trips and put gear below it! Pretty sweet.

After spending the first couple weekends mainly doing things around the house, we were excited for our Thanksgiving visitors, Danielle & Jason! They drove in from Denver the night before bearing gifts – more New Belgium beer! After catching up for a few hours, we were all pretty tired, so hit the hay. I was SUPER excited about cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. I was, of course, super-prepared with lists and recipes ahead of time, so everything came out delicious! During the day, Jon, Danielle & Jason went on a hike behind Ben & Sara’s house with their dogs while I started food prep and took Diva Romy on a much shorter walk at home. After the turkey was in the oven, we all munched on appetizers and then headed to the park across the street to throw the football. When dinner was ready, we set the table next to our crackling fire and poured some fine Pennsylvania wine. It was a great Thanksgiving.



The next day, I had to go to work, but Jon, Danielle, and Jason went out to Big Cottonwood Canyon for a hike to Dog Lake. They didn’t quite make it to the lake; the trail was not so well-traveled – as they neared the top, the snow was about waist-deep on Jon and without snowshoes, that wasn’t working out so well, so they turned back. Danielle and Jason hit the road to visit Jason’s family that Friday afternoon. On Saturday, Jon and I headed back to Big Cottonwood, armed with snowshoes, to try the hike to Dog Lake from a different trail. The trail we chose was much more traveled, and we made it to the (frozen) lake without needing snowshoes at all. But, since we’d both never used them, we put them on anyway and walked through the ungroomed snow around the lake. Pretty awesome! We are looking forward to doing more hikes like that one. We spent the rest of that weekend relaxing and pulling out the Christmas decorations!

That brings us to this past weekend. We finished our Christmas decorating (Jon did help) inside and out, including our Christmas tree. The house looks great and the tree smells wonnndeerrffulllll! If you didn’t already know, I am a lover of all things Christmas. I have been listening to the music pretty much since we got out here, so I am really happy to have all the decorations up now.


So, I think that’s it for now! We will be coming back east for Christmas, but it will be a very short trip because I can’t use any vacation time yet. We will be in Berks County from Fri., Dec. 23 night through Sun., Dec. 25 afternoon and in LaPlata from Sun., Dec. 25 evening to Tuesday, Dec. 27 afternoon. If you’re in either area, maybe we can see you. Otherwise, plan your trips to Salt Lake City because we are ready for lots of visitors!