the sound of sunshine

We are home. We are in our home. Our home is almost put together.

I’ve spent the last exhausting week unpacking, organizing, rearranging, screwing and nailing things into place, vacuuming, admiring my work, and feeling a huge wave of accomplishment as I watch our house come together a little more each day.

The once-bare garage floor is now littered with empty cardboard boxes, bookshelves now have books on them, the pantry is slowly acquiring food, and we even started to decorate the girls’ room.


[It’s not quite finished yet.]


There are only a few things left to do—a few pictures and mirrors to hang, a few boxes that are still serving as nightstands, and there’s a lonely corner of the living room that is waiting for our piano to arrive. *Crossing my fingers that that day comes soon*


I’ve been spending the last few days unpacking and sorting and finding new homes for things. Putting together a new house is like a big puzzle--deciding what things fit where, which closet will hold your belongings most spaciously, what wall the pictures should hang on and how high the nails should go. Unpacking is the most rewarding task, I think. You start with an empty room and some boxes and you end with a neat, organized room and some flattened pieces of cardboard.


I love being able to see progress.


I also enjoy rolling the computer chair over bubble wrap and listening to the thousands of firecracker noises (similar to a three year old), but that is irrelevant.

There’s still so much to be done in some places. But I am daily so filled with peace and gratitude knowing that my family has a home and we are all living under a roof again. It’s been a long eleven weeks of being homeless.



And of course, some things may just never get done. I doubt little brother’s room will ever be organized. He has his bed and his sound system set up, what more could a teenage boy need?


Our home is pleasant. It’s haphazard and hasn’t completely adjusted to containing my family and our wild adventures, but it’s a nice little house. Every day, every family dinner, every adventure is another step towards making it ours; we give it character with every action. And trust me, there’s a lot of action around here.


As far as the area, it is…quite different than what I’m used to, being raised in South Florida. It’s a desert. Flat. Brown. Ridiculously hot. A little bit ugly. It’s a good thing sunrises and sunsets are beautiful everywhere you go. Sunsets in Texas are no different. The sky is still blue here and the grass is still green. [In our backyard, anyway]


Behind our house {outside the fence} there is an alley where there are dumpsters that protect our garbage from coyotes and bears and fire-breathing dragons [that’s the version I got anyway]. And sometimes I like to pretend that it’s not really a garbage filled alley, and that I don’t live in a desert.


It only works half of the time.

The alley is a gravel road, and this is where my callused beach feet come in handy. I can parade around the loosely scattered rocks as though I’m treading on cotton candy. Everyone else is jealousssss.


Our backyard has freshly laid green grass. It’s currently good for playing Frisbee and staring at. It’s my personal challenge to liven it up with a trampoline or a maze made out of hedges or something. Suggestions?


Everyone under eighteen went back to school this week. As expected, they love the school and their teachers and classes and friends. Little Aria even gets her own locker—a privilege I was certainly never accustomed to in elementary school. In fact, the most poignant memory I have of being that age was my shoes. My mom bought me a new pair of shoes for the first day of school. They were those high tech ones that had blue lights on the bottom that lit up when I walked and they were my absolute favorite things in the world. I was so excited to wear them. I would take them out of the box and run my hands over the smooth, white material and then tap them on the ground and watch the blue lights flicker as my heart was filled with increasing joy. It’s a wonder I didn’t wear out the battery before the first day of school. I remember getting on the bus so early that it was still dark out. I thought it was even cooler to wear them in the dark because the blue bursts were like lightning, lighting up the whole world. Then I sat down and a sixth grader (obviously incredibly cool because he was so old) said “nice shoes”. In retrospect he may have been being sarcastic, but that made my little second-grade heart swell with joy.

In any case, the girls now have legitimate reasons to have their desk covered in books and to have markers and stickers scattered about.


I’m working on letting it stay the way it is because that is how they want it. To me it looks like one of the pictures from the I Spy books we used to have—cluttered and disorganized. I have to fight urges to throw things away and neaten things up, reminding myself that they are kids and kids can have messes. And sometimes I forget that I’m still, in many ways, just a kid myself.


And I love it.

The trip to Texas from Utah wasn’t long and was mostly uneventful. Especially compared to the last trip we took. Ha. Probably because my uncle drove us. I vote he chauffers us on every road trip from here on out.


[This is his smolder. He had to label it for me because I didn’t recognize it. Oops.]

The scenery was beautiful. The drive also doubled as a geological tour, narrated by my uncle who somehow fits more information in his head than the rest of us combined.


Kenyan and I read a lot on the trip. For the past few weeks, finishing books has disappointing because it means I have to find unique ways to acquire new books [the most recent solution involved hijacking my mom’s kindle]. But I don’t have that problem anymore because I have all my books! Muahaha. Success.


I listened to my iPod and played games with Aria and drew pictures and took pictures.



It was a calm trip and the time passed quickly. There were, of course, things that were memorable, because something always is. Like the time I rolled down the window to throw fallen grapes out the window and rolled up the window with my fingers still in it. I was in so much pain that I didn’t think to roll the window down and move my fingers; I just sat there telling everyone how much it hurt. So intelligent.

Then there was that awkward time when we stopped on the side of the road—at the two mom’s requests--to take pictures with “Texas stuff”.


Yep. This happened.



Let's be real, I'm not gonna throw any 'enjoy the moment' crap up here. The whole time the mothers insisted on more pictures I just shook my head and was silently grateful that the population of the city was probably less than 100 and I wouldn't know anyone driving by.

The upside was that I got to see more modeling by a man who’s seen way too many episodes of America’s Next Top Model.


Direct quote: “Those girls are so dumb. They can’t jump and model at the same time. I’m jumping, no—I’m modeling!”


Check. Out. That. Face.

“I wasn’t jumping. I was modeling.”


Calvin Klein/aftershave portfolio addition

It was pretty excellent. In an awful, shake-my-head-in-shame sort of way. IMG-20110816-02732

While it was fun, I was so relieved to finally, finally, be home. Home where we loved the people and the people loved us. The people here are unreal. They’re exceptionally outgoing, friendly, loving, and generous. Would you like to see what we came home to?


Why yes, that is a new laptop for my mother sitting on her bed. Because hers got smashed-ed. Left by our friends-that-we’ve-only-known-for-a-few-weeks. [The note also says “We’re happy to have you home.” HOME. Yes, there were tears.] That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s safe to say we’re being very well taken care of.

Regardless, we are all here. And we have air conditioning and closets for our clothes and our very own bathrooms. It doesn’t get much better than that.


[Title from Give Up! by Sherwood]


  1. Hooray! I'm so happy you guys are home! What a great feeling to have a place to call home. ps LOVE the model shots! Definite ANTM, how lucky are you to be able to take all those pictures? :)

  2. I'm totally visiting you guys. ♥ Love you!

  3. Hey. What can I say. I guess I can just agree with Tyra: "A smart model is a good model," and "I'm competitive with myself. I always try to push past my own borders."

  4. I have now figured out how we are going to fill those two hours of time at the concert...
    TJ will be modeling :)

    I enjoyed the post Brid. I feel like I am getting to once again hear the real Bridian, ya know the one who always has an adventure up her sleeve?
    I am kind of excited y'all are that much closer to my parents now... Much much closer.

  5. So fun! I know what it feels like to be right now. :-) And I'm SO glad you aren't anymore! Yay for a 2 car garage that's not filled with Junk too! WOohoo to your mom for being so excited about it! Enjoy that AC...but just FYI...hardly anyone up her even HAS AC...b/c we don't need it. And it's monsoon season. I'm thinking maybe you need to visit us as soon as we move to our own place (like OCT. 1st ish!). Plus, there was just a bear attack at the complex we almost rented in...until I saw the carpet was actully growing itself & had to pass on the awesome bear adventures for my 2 small children. :-D

  6. I love all of your optimism. And your house looks super cute. I need to come visit sometime. Love you. :)