Monday, August 15, 2011

Our new house actually a duplex!

When Ben and I got married, I told him I didn't want to be a permanent resident of Utah (no offense to you Utah residents...but I'm an Idaho girl at heart). When Ben and I got married, Ben had a great job in Orem. Ben still has a great job in Orem, a job that he loves, and in this economy, that is really hard to come by. I told him I didn't want to buy a house in Utah, because then we really would be "Utahns." But it doesn't make sense to live somewhere for 5(? I'm hoping not more) years, paying rent, when you could be building equity in a home. Or even starting an investment.

So Ben convinced me, and now we are Utah residents. After we move away, we will rent it out, and maybe someday we will actually make some money off of it (although that is in the very distant future for now). It's crazy to think that our first home may some day be Cheyenne's apartment as a student.

Without further ado, our new home/duplex.

Our house was built in 1934. It's an old house, and has a lot of character. I will finally get to live my dream of living in the past. Lots of times I like to imagine a young Grandpa Flake building and living in this house (he built houses for a living). 

When you walk in that red, 1970's door (we are planning on eventually putting in a 1930's-esque door when we get the chance), you see a big room with a nice fireplace and built-in shelves. The glass is wavy, and original to the house. So is the scratched, beautiful hardwood floor.

On your right is the other half of the room, with some furniture left over by previous tenants, that for now we will offer to our renters. The upstairs is too big for our little family, so we live in the basement for now.

Through the quaint arched doorway you walk into the kitchen, where, I believe, you see the original cabinets. Through the doorway you see my very first washer and dryer, probably my favorite part of the house right now!!

The kitchen has two original windows over the sink, and quaint scalloping on the cabinets.

As an afterthought someone stuck the fridge and refrigerator in this corner. We hope to someday redo this kitchen.

Down the hallway you see the first bedroom. Nothing really interesting except for maybe the pale green someone painted it, and the fact that you could see into the neighbor's house if you wanted to.

If you walk through the closet (yes I said walk through, not walk-in), you can actually get to the second bedroom. Here you can see one of the original glass doorknobs complete with keyhole.

 The last bedroom is the master, although not much bigger than the other two, and was added after the house was built.

And last on our tour today is the bathroom. Not much to see, since they've probably done a lot of remodeling since 1930. One cool feature, though, is the rounded bathroom cabinet that was probably hand-crafted, and that people don't even make anymore.

That's all for now, folks! Tune in next time for a tour of the downstairs (and maybe even a personal video tour).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Flake Family Reunion in Nauvoo

After a fun-filled week in Elmwood, Illinois we drove the short 2 hour drive to Nauvoo, Illinois to be with my family. You might be aware that I have 10 siblings, 6 in-laws, 2 parents, and 18 nieces and nephews. So when we all get together once a year it is definitely a "reunion."

This year it was in Nauvoo, a historic site for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was quite the party (and definitley LOUD with all of those kids).

We did a lot of touring which Cheyenne loved:

We saw a lot of old homes, my favorite of course. This is the Mansion House.

We went to a waterpark to cool off from the ever-present humidity.

The three cousins born within 6 weeks of each other in matching swimsuits. "Are they triplets?"

No they are NOT triplets, here are their mothers: Heather, Ashley, Bethany

We went to Carthage to see where the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. It was Cheyenne's first time!

 We pretended we had twin girls when Eliza and Cheyenne were both wearing purple.

We did a session in the Nauvoo temple and on Sunday we had a testimony meeting-- where members of our family shared their feelings about Jesus Christ. It was very special.

We got to spend a lot of quality time with siblings and cousins.

Ben, with my oldest brother, Joel. He said this was their "BFF Picture."

Me with my youngest sister, Cassidy. She looks especially beautiful in this picture.

Cheyenne enjoying snacks with her cousin Eliza while we watched the Nauvoo Pageant.

I promise my baby is not retarded.

Me (#8) with my brother Justin (#3) and sister Cassidy (#11)

Mom & Dad and their 19 grandchildren. The cousins are even sporting their "Cousin Power" t-shirts.

Mom & Dad with their three favorite grandchildren: Alice, Cheyenne, and Eliza. 

Ben with his favorite baby-- this is probably the cutest picture ever.

 And we didn't mind the scenery too much. Right along the Mississippi, it sure was beautiful.

All in all we had a great time and can't wait to do it again next year!

P.S.-- I promise the next post will be about our new house!

Fun in Illinois

Last month we were able to visit Ben's family in Illinois for a whole week. We had a great time!

Cheyenne and me at the airport

Ben playing with Natalie and Grant on the swing set. And doing his favorite thing-- fixing things.

Natalie absolutely adored Cheyenne and wanted to help me with everything! "Can I help you give her a bath?" "Can I feed her?" "Can I hold her?" It was too cute and I loved the help. Hopefully Cheyenne will grow up to be just as helpful as her older cousin.

Another great part about Grandma's house: toys! And cousins to play with!

I celebrated my birthday while I was there. I told Ben not to tell anyone, but before you knew it they threw me a party and everything! Here is the cake Michelle made me. I heard it was absolutely delicious, she is quite the cake maker. Although I didn't taste it myself since I'm still on a diet with my sisters (I've lost 12 lbs.!).
Natalie, Jaylyn, and Grant. Michelle, who is marrying Sam (Ben's brother) has two kids, Jaylyn and Gage. Jaylyn is Natalie's age and Gage is a year older than Grant. Is that perfect or what?

No trip to Illinois would be complete without a beautiful Midwestern sunset on the cornfields!

Cheyenne couldn't get enough of her cousins!

We miss you already!!