Monday, April 20, 2009


If you're wondering why Mormons build temples, watch this video, published by the Church:

Our intent in building temples is to enable family relationships to extend beyond the grave - the happiest doctrine I know of that exists on the earth. It offers an incomparable sense of peace, knowing that I will be reunited with my husband and my children in the next life, and that death is simply the next step - and is not goodbye, but "see you later".

This post is to relate my past Saturday, April 18th. I was very priviledged to be able to attend the temple wedding in Cardston of a guy friend I have known since high school. The temple wedding ceremony is short, simple, and beautiful.

I felt a nervousness on my way to Cardston and until the ceremony was over - I knew what to expect in the temple, but I haven't been to the temple since last August and I was very excited. There are hardly any places left in the world where there is real silence and peace, and the serenity of the temple really allows the distractions and challenges of life to fall away.

After a temple wedding, which is done in a small room with chairs on either side of an altar, the couple stands on one side of the altar with their families behind them and looks into mirrors that are on each wall - symbolizing eternity - and the entire family and others in attendance can see the new couple and themselves being reflected "into eternity" as the reflections bounce back and forth in the mirrors.

As I watched the temple ceremony and looked into the mirrors afterwards, I felt a deeper and deeper sense of gratitude for my wonderful husband, my baby, and our life together. There really IS such a thing as happily ever after, and I'm living it right now. It takes work, and desire, and a lot of kindness and tolerance, but I simply can't BELIEVE how happy I am. I didn't know that this much happiness could exist inside one person. I'm afraid that I might burst.

There IS happily ever after - it must begin in the temple. The Lord offers life in greater and greater abundance in temple marriage. I know that this kind of happiness can last forever, whatever adversity comes our way. I can't believe that the Lord would be so good as to allow this joy to continue forever. Families are meant to be together forever!!! And now my dear friend is able to begin his very own eternal family! Wow - Heavenly Father is SO good to us.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


My house hunt was AMAZING - okay, perhaps not amazing - but it did result in the perfect place - I can't give away the details just yet.  Scroll down if you want to skip all the mumbo jumbo in between.

I arrived in Lethbridge on the 14th, planning to stay for a week to find a place to live before all the good ones were snatched up!  As soon as I arrived, I begin the hunt, with the following in mind: 
1) Please Please Please no basements!!!  
2) Less than $1000
3) A bedroom far enough from the refrigerator that we don't have to listen to it all night while trying to sleep, and far enough that we don't have to unplug it to watch TV.
4) The Ideal Place:  2 or 3 bedrooms, a dishwasher, a decent kitchen, accessible laundry, in the main floor of a nice house.  Trevor wants west side, but I have hardly any preference.

House #1:  

The stats: 2 bedrooms, $850/month including utilities and cable (utilities are rarely included).

A westside basement suite - oops.  This ad did not say it was a basement, and it was - a very tiny one at that.  No wonder utilities were included in the low price.  This suite was just done by a professional contractor and was nice, but very, very tiny, had low ceilings and was only the basement of half a duplex with a noisy family upstairs.  Definitely no.

House #2:

The stats: 3 bedrooms, $1000/month + utilities.

A southside house with absolutely NO curb appeal.  I have not seen a house that needed a TLC host to straighten them out more than this one.  They spend a little bit on the inside and totally forgot about the outside.  It was an extremely run down wood sided place, and the inside was obviously not done by a professional.  It was awful.  They chose a rough, dark blue/gray carpet for everywhere except the kitchen and half of the living room, which were large black and white checkers.  The checkers could have worked if they had had an entire design to match - but they didn't - and making half the living room checkered to become a dining room was a huge mistake.  The design was revolting, and was a big no from me in spite of the 3 bedrooms and full-size appliances.  This was a character home upgraded all wrong.  

House #3:  

The stats: 2 bedrooms, $925/month +utilities

Very attractive white split-level on the west side.  Old cabinetry and wooden railings have been repainted white and give the home a nice, clean look.  Two big bedrooms - master bedroom is the biggest I've seen so far, and the biggest I'll see in my entire hunt.  Great kitchen - stainless steel fridge/flat top stove/microwave, dishwasher, mini deep freeze, barbecue.  Big west facing windows and lots of closets with a little patio out back.  Driveway for our car (hooray) and front and back yards.  I know this one is a great deal as soon as I look at it.  I spend a while talking to the owner, a married girl about my age, and her dad.  The students living there now have the same picture as I do, and I commented on it since I suspected they are LDS.  They are, and that really gets my foot in the door, but at $925, I know I'm going to have competition.  I let them know I'm interested, and she says she'll email me with a sample of the rental agreement and some more specifics.  They don't have a formal application, but I would have taken one...

House #4:

The stats: 3 bedrooms, $900/month + utilities

Nice southside duplex.  Split level - 3 bedrooms and bathroom downstairs, small living room, dining room, laundry/half bath, kitchen and patio upstairs.  The dining room and kitchen were small and dark, and the upstairs half bath was awkward - it was a long room with the sink next to the door, and the toilet hidden on the other side of the washer and dryer - weird.  Great location - right on the green strip next to Scenic Drive.  The lady said she had received lots of applicants.  Second best of the four I've seen so far by a long shot, and the 3 bedrooms is a big plus.  I took an application.

House #5:

The stats: 2 bedrooms, $1100/month + utilities

Pleasant west side condo.  Out of our ideal price range, but since I'm looking for May 1st, it's a renter's market, and there's almost nothing to choose from that's not a basement for less than $1000, so I figure we could negotiate.  I've got the time to take a look, after all.
Bedrooms are an okay size, kitchen is nice, and has a good size dining room.  The living room has a really good layout, and I like the bedrooms being a floor up.  The owner lived there for a few years and says the neighbors never bothered him, and the place only has neighbors on one side.  I like this one better than the 3 bedroom southside duplex, so I take an application.  This guy doesn't have many people coming to see it - probably because the price tag is over $1000.  

House #6

The stats: 3 bedrooms, $1000/month + utilities

Very well decorated condo on the westside.  Great paint job in every room - the kitchen is a really tasteful green color.   Enough space for us and a little office!   A close second next to the house, that's winning out because it's a house and has a much better kitchen and appliances.  Once again, the three bedrooms is a big plus and would be really great.  I would love love love to have an office for all our family files and our computer desk.  I take an application for this one.  And I'm pretty sure the owner is LDS.

House #7

The stats: 2 bedrooms, $950/month + utilities

This place was advertised as a condo, but turned out to be a third floor apartment.  I almost didn't go up to see it, but decided to take a look.  Definitely too small for a family, and the third floor of the building smelled smoky.  In suite laundry and a wraparound-style kitchen was good, but overall just too small.  Also, the girl who lives there now had the place in a big mess and had owned a dog, so the place would need some work to look good again, and while the landlords recognized it, who knows what they would have actually followed through with - we could have showed up on May 1st to a poor quality place after a lot of promises like the place we live now in Vancouver.  Even putting that aside - still too small.

House #8

The stats:  3 bedrooms, $950/month + utilities

Nicely sized three bedrooms in a west side duplex.  Small backyard and a nice exterior.  The current tenants have jam-packed four kids and a LOT of stuff into the house.  Rent includes the undeveloped basement, which would be nice for storage, but the kitchen is a tough sell for me.  House still has original orange and brown curtains and really needs some updating.  Worst part by far is the living room carpet - absolutely must be replaced ASAP and is possibly a major health hazard.  So disgusting that I leave as quickly as possible.  Besides, there was a family with young children there filling out an application - let them have it.  They can have the toxic carpet and the pushy landlord if they like.

Which one would you choose?  Post your comment below and tell me - and yes, I signed a lease yesterday!  Make your guesses...


Here is my personality type, if you're wondering.  Although the introverted and extroverted percentages are very close - and it's true that sometimes I am introverted and sometimes I am extroverted.   I have become much more calm (maybe my personality is just being squished?) since moving to Vancouver.

ISFJ - "Conservator". Desires to be of service and to minister to individual needs - very loyal. 13.8% of total population.
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