Week 1 in Utah

I’m so far behind on updates about our summer but I absolutely did not want to forget about our first week here in our new area.

The Furniture

We arrived in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 17 beleaguered and exhausted but instead of recovering, we were launched into the nightmare of finding living room and kitchen furniture. Yay: Shopping, my favorite! We recruited Jamie’s wonderful mom and sister to help (unlucky them). The challenge with our new home is it is a lot smaller on our main level than our previous house so we sold all our furniture–two sets of couches and two dining room sets. But that’s not the end of it. Our new living room is too small for a full-sized sectional and the small kitchen nook has made for some creative measuring. We think we’ve found a couch and can’t decide on an accent chair. I’ve been obsessed with finding a big, sturdy farm table but we couldn’t find anything to our liking–either it was too big or the wrong color or had grooves in it, which makes cleaning a nightmare. Jamie’s college buddy invited us to dinner (see below) and his wife had a glorious farm table from Pottery Barn: for $2,000+. Utterly depressed we’d never be able to afford what I wanted, my friend Kristen recommended Pebbles and Twigs high-end furniture consignment store and lo-and-behold was the dark farm table of my dreams for a fraction of the cost. It has a few scratches and scrapes but it has character; we bought a gorgeous bench and chairs that need to be redone but I can’t wait to see how everything looks together.


Furniture and grocery shopped. Moved into glorious townhome. Hit the hot tub. Passed out.


Attended our new congregation. First impressions:  the ward is huge (530+ people) and super friendly. Really excited about this because we left The Best Ward Ever. Gratefully accepted a dinner invitation from Jamie’s college buddy Jim and his wife Lindsay who live just a couple of miles from our  new house. Relived their college days, created new memories and declared them our first friends in Midway. Maybe I’ll make them an honorary plaque.  


Furniture shopping continued. Unpacked. Decompressed. Got ready for school. Drove to Heber for Bode’s meet-the-teacher night where he met his young and perky teacher who “rodeos.” First time I’ve ever heard it as a verb; welcome to the country.


First day of school. Since our townhome is 30 minutes away, Hadley needed to get up at 5:30 a.m. to be ready for us to leave at 7 a.m. Our glorious mountain sunrise was better than yours, I’m sure.

Dropped off Hadley at 7:30 a.m. then waited 1.5 hours for Bode’s school to start at 9 a.m. Drove back to Park City, went on a bike ride at the Canyons, did laundry, worked for a bit and had to turn around to pick them up again. My average time spent in the car: 4.5 hours per day–as tedious as it sounds.

My day: I fought to keep my mountain bike out of the POD and won, only to realize a cable got damaged in the trailer. After driving back to Park City, biked up up up to the base of the Canyons, a kind gal fixed it at the repair shop and I went on a ride. Vowed office hours would begin Wednesday…or maybe Thursday.

The Canyons

Hadley’s day: She survived. Girls weren’t mean but they weren’t friendly either. Sat by a few of them at lunch who refused to acknowledge her. She already has great friends in our ward (we flew her our for YW girl’s camp this summer) but didn’t see them at all. Definitely a demoralizing, overwhelming day being the new kid. Highlight: In science, the students had to say one thing about themselves. Everyone else went with the regular “I play soccer” or “I like dance” but Hadley contributed “My cat is twice the size of a normal cat,” which created quite the hilarious stir.

Bode’s day: The worst thing ever happened. No, he didn’t get kissed by a girl or stuffed in a locker. The school is so overcrowded (a new one is being built) so the lunchroom is a bit of a nightmare (if you’re late, you sit on the floor). There’s no method to the madness so Bode didn’t sit with his class…and didn’t realize when they left. As he chowed down, he noticed some of his peers were gone. In a panic, he looked everywhere for them (they weren’t in class) and got emotional when he couldn’t find them. A half hour later he located them, only to realize he completely missed recess. Basically, life was no longer worth living.

Tried to lift deflated spirits after school with Granny’s famous shakes, barbecued burgers for dinner and  hit the pool at our fancy townhome. Hope was renewed.


My day: drive, drive, drive. Biked the Millennium Trail  from the Canyons to Gorgoza Park. Worked a bit before had to go pick up the kids. Vowed to hire someone to help with Bode in the morning so I could get at least 5 hours in between pick-up and drop-off.

Hadley’s day: Much better second day of school. Bonded with a fellow new girl named Shannon in her P.E. class as they struggled with their lockers. Found her sitting alone at lunch and voila, her first friend! Completed her science questionnaire the night before and was the only kid to complete the Honors section so she got a special award and recognition for going above-and-beyond. Spirits buoyed up. After driving home from school, we ate dinner and decompressed a bit before driving back for 6 p.m. Parent-Teacher Conference where we went from class-to-class meeting her teachers in Health, P.E., College/Career Prep, English, Science, Math and Journalism.

Bode’s day: Made it to recess. Starting to learn the flute in orchestra. Went to his first Cub Scout Webelos meeting and had a great time meeting boys and touring Ridley’s grocery market. We’ll call that a success.


After looking at  the gas tank (less than half full after a mere two days of the commute), vowed to stay in Midway a couple of days per week to save on gas, time and sanity. Hiked Dutch Hollow for the first time, marveling at vistas that are still foreign to me and yet somehow feel like home.

Hung out with new friend Sarah, a gal I connected with before moving here. Her family recently relocated from Chicago and wonder of wonder, this miracle girl offered to take Bode in the mornings after I drop Hadley off, saving me that dreaded 1.5-hour wait. Tried to find Wi-Fi to work but failed. Picked Hadley up from school, went to the public library and found my Wi-Fi and a new library card. Winning!

Hadley’s day: Her social circle of friends expanded to include some of Shannon’s new friends at lunch. The girls give each other nicknames and she is christened “Chip.” She just needs to find her “Chocolate” and she’s golden.

Bode’s day: Four Square World domination at recess. Slowly making friends but says he’s feeling more settled about the move.

Since I’m gone most of the day, Jamie has taken over a lot of the household responsibilities. The kids and I came home to a clean townhome, healthy smoothies for our after-school snack, organic soup simmering on the stove and a fresh baguette, thereby proving he’s a better wife than I ever was.

Patio dining at the townhome


Bode’s day: Drop off at Sarah’s, missed the the group of girls walking to the bus so Sarah dries him to the bus stop (comprised mostly of girls). Perhaps will have a girlfriend by month’s end. A good day of school to end the week.

Hadley’s day: Announces she wants to join the Science Club. I pick myself off the floor in delighted shock and write that club dues check faster than you can say “Science Geek.”

Conclusion: We survived. I vacillated between the highest highs (I can’t believe we get to live in this gorgeous place) and the lowest lower (living in limbo is so hard and I desperately miss my friends and easier life).

As we sat poolside in front of the firepit at our glorious townhome after the first day of school, Jamie asked, “What were we doing a week ago today? Oh yeah, we were in moving hell.”

Let’s hope life gets a little less hellish every day.

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