Monday, January 28, 2013

In Utah, but not of Utah

Ok, I'm about to get real here.

Because basically, life has been getting real. Josh and I have recently come to terms with the fact that we will be in Utah for a good long while.

He loves his job, and it really is a great one. It's a wonderful thing to have a job that utilizes his skills and also his passion. It's fun because it's a job that I'm connected with too, and have a special place in my heart for. He works at a therapeutic boarding school for boys. He's been there since the school opened almost 2 years ago. I used to work at the girls school, which has been around for a lot longer. But his love for the job helped him to excel at it and now he's the Residential Director there and we couldn't be more happy. He loves those boys like his own and I feel so strongly this is SUCH a great job for him. So, needless to say, it's something worth sticking around for.

In realizing his love for the line of work and also his skill in communicating and relationshop building, he changed his major a couple months ago.. he's now in family studies and plans on being a therapist or something of the like. And since he works full time now, he's only going to school part-time. So along with that and changing his major, school is going to take a few more years. But Josh loves his classes now and that is soooo terrific. Utah is kind of a mecca for the therapeutic school scene, a scene that Josh's career might continue with, so yeah.. we'll most likely be here for some years to come.

So it seems like a long journey, but you know what? I feel like we're doing it right. Right for us. I'm glad Josh isn't scared to do what he truly wants to do- that's a trait I fiercely admire about him. His fearlessness. I've definitely never met anyone who has this trait and applies it to life in such a positive way.

I know I'm talking about that man of mine a lot, but it's pretty much the main "why" of us still being here, and our plans to remain here.

I have some mixed feelings and emotions about calling Utah home, and the likely possibility of raising our children here.
I DO love it out here in the smaller town we live in. The Provo/Orem area is sure not my favorite, and moving out of there was the best decision ever ever ever. I enjoyed my BYU days a ton, and Provo was great for that, but the traffic and general overpopulation of that small area made me feel claustrophobic. Plus, our apartment was straight up gross so that didn't really help.
Now we have a great apartment, and to tell you the truth I totally want to live out in the farmland boonies now. I love it. A girl can breath.
The area we're in now is gorgeous. Beautiful farmland and breathtaking mountains.

So there are a lot of positives about the place. Other biggies include some really great friends and cool places to go close by- outdoorsy, touristy, and churchy.

But if you know me, you know that I love Washington- Josh and I grew up there and always planned on going back and raising our kids there.
The main thing we miss about Washington is the people. (So not really a thing at all...). We have family and friends there who we love so, so dearly.

So I'm still somewhat grasping the concept of being a Utahan but it's seeming a little bit more real every day.

I DO have some fears and concerns though. And I think they are so legitimate, so hear me out.
Though I do apologize if they seem offensive or like I'm stereotyping. Cause I kind of am.

Here goes.

A.) I feel a little weird about the fact that I have a blog, am a young mom, and live in Utah. Like, I want to say "ew" to that. Not that I'm all about blogging or anything. But I feel like there is most definitely a Utah mom blogger scene- chevron and bubble necklaces mandatory.
I DO know those who break the mold here, and she (not to mention any names... cough, Erika, cough) is, in a word, awesome.

B.) What if Pearl walks in the room one day and her hair is all teased in the back, sporting the dreaded "Utah bump"? And has the make-up packed on? What if I someday think that looks good?! You wouldn't let me think that, right?

C.) What if I turn into one of the make your own clothes (ok I actually think that's kinda cool), no make-up, mega mom-hair, rural Utah types?
(this is probably the one I fear most... because I want to live in the boonies, learn how to can food and all that good crap, get into food storage, and also, I want to homeschool. Surprise. That's for a different post a different day.)

D.) What if my kids grow up to be kind of... weird? That's my biggest fear and yet I don't know what exactly I mean by weird. I think this is the one that I should dismiss the quickest though, because they have me and Josh, and we're super awesome... Plus, I've met some WAY legit people that have grown up around these parts. Seriously, when I say legit, I mean legit. I have met people that do have the Utah weirdness that I can't explain, but I've also met many who don't. I just want my kids to be able to find the legit, chill friends.

I think overall my fears are a little petty. What do you think?

Utah is a really wonderful state full of really wonderful people. I guess I'm just working on finding my place...


  1. I totally know what you mean! You aren't being silly at all! I grew up in Georgia and am now nearing the end of my first year in Wisconsin. I still call Georgia home even though we don't plan on moving back any time soon. It's just weird to think of anywhere else that way. The fact that I have been here a year and still don't feel like I have found my groove or my place her doesn't help much either.

  2. You are so funny.
    I completely know what you mean. I feel the same way about all those things you listed.

    And can I just say... I totally can't be your friend any more if you ever start using bump its in your (or Pearl's) hair. I mean...I just can't.

  3. Oh Heather, I feel ya! I just graduated but my husband has a year and a half left and an amazing job for an under grad. And they've already made comments of keeping him around post grad. My heart longs for my family but my husband's fam is from Alpine so he has no real desire to leave. He turned out great. But I don't think Utah valley is the healthiest environment to raise a family. As an efy counselor, my Utah valley girls had the biggest issues, generally revolving around perfection. It's a generalization but I don't want to make growing up any harder for my kids. I agree with everything you said. It just makes me hope that trying to be a good parent and teaching and living the gospel will make our kids strong enough.

  4. I had to google the "Utah Bump,"--which is definitely a Utah thing....haha...I dont see that too much around Oregon...



    "(this probably the one I fear most... because I want to live in the boonies, learn how to can and all that good crap, get into food storage, and also, I want to homeschool. Surprise. That's for a different post a different day.)"

    sounds like you took it from my own brain--although I don't have the kidlins yet!!! Love you heather!!

  5. I feel ya! Even though I don't think we're in "danger" of moving back to Utah ever again (knock on wood), both of Kenz's parents and most of our cousins are from southern Idaho and I think that's just as bad! Every time I hear someone say "it's helling outside" or pronounce someone's last name "Oltsen" I cringe. I mostly hate that Utah culture gets confused for Church culture.

    I love chevron and bubble necklaces- so I guess it's a good thing that I don't have any kids huh? ;)

  6. Heather!! Good luck finding someone who hated Utah more than I did. I literally cried every time we came back to Utah from a vacation of any kind.

    I have lots of thoughts but mostly I think your fears are totally legit! But you're right, the kids have you and Josh (extremely fortunate) and you will help them be their amazing selves regardless of where you live!

    But I do hope you have other opportunities outside of Utah. Mostly for selfish reasons (I hope we get to live closer together than we do now!)