Monday, April 30, 2012

Utah or Bust

I hinted in a previous post that there were potential winds of change blowing our way. I can now tell you all about it.

On the way home from Seattle last month, Eric and I were shootin' the breeze and I can't remember how it was brought up but I said, very much off the cuff, "I wish we could just go to Utah for summer term and I could just get my degree done." And Eric responded, "Why can't we?" We started talking out the details for the rest of the car ride home. Since then we've been working on it and, after lots of red tape we're officially headed to Utah for Summer Term at BYU.

A big kudos go out to Uncle Ken & Aunt Jan, for without their support this wouldn't really be feasible for us.

So this is a little of what our next few months look like.

Beginning of June - move out of our apartment. Move all our stuff to a storage unit in La Grande. Move in with the Lougees of Umatilla while Eric wraps up work. Then, head back to La Grande to stay with my family for a few days. Then, mid June, it's off to Utah.

Classes start June 18th.

Classes end August 6th.... and then it's graduation!

After that, we'll be gypsy souls til September. Hopefully spend sometime with Uncle Al (Eric's brother Alan who gets back from his mission shortly after we leave to Utah).

We might be able to make a trip back to Oregon in July for my friend Kylee's much anticipated wedding.

Then come September, we'll be in La Grande so Eric can continue on his journey towards his teaching degree.

We're working on a Bucket List for our time in Utah. 

It's looking a little like this:

This is the Place
Hogle Zoo
Concerts (like the Twilight Concert Series)
Hiking in the canyons
Meeting Mclain's baby
Getting Eric & Ella some BYU gear 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Warriors

The Lougees now all have colds. We are cute. 

We're pretending that we don't though. 

Here's some snippets of our weekend thusly. 

Ella played with her little jungle gym.

Eric planted flowers for me. And we put this lone lilac outside, making it the
 initial scapegoat for our runny noses and itchy throats. 

I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from scratch.
See my pinterest for the recipe.

I dressed up me and my own Baby Alive in the same clothes. Fer cute.

We met up with Grandma Lougee at McNary Beach, waiting for the Umatilla Ward
youth to get back from a hike and to enjoy some BBQ.
I think Shelly enjoys Grandmahood, don't you?

Black sand.
Not featured: 
Dinner and rumikub with the Barkers. A zombie-like trip to the local Wal-Mart. Internet car-shopping. Drying herbs in the microwave (the legal kind).  New music listening. Eric pinteresting - as he says, he's "the most pinteresting man in the world." And my decoupoging. 
Now we're in our comfies and about to settle in for some Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
Good weekending to you!

Here's some tracks for you to appreciate.
Train "Sing Together"
Jason Mraz "I won't Give Up"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Our internet was out for 36 hours, and it was strange! No Netflix, no Hulu, and no internet. It happened right after we took a little trip to the Umatilla Nature Trails. Afterwards a huge thunderstorm moved in ... not sure if that's why our net was out or not. Anyway, Monday night we spent our FHE out at the Nature Trails. Ella loved it. We had her covered head to toe due to the mosquitoes (baby remained bite free, while I'm still dealing with five itchy little nibbles). But, she seemed to love it. She was alert and captivated the whole time we were there. 

She was wearing A LOT of pink. It was like carrying around a big bottle of Pepto. But, a very cute one.

If I would've paid better attention Monday, I would've realized her little "cough, cough" was turning into a cold. Tuesday morning she woke up congested. I was a little worried how Tuesday night would go, but it was the best night of sleep either of us got in a couple of weeks. It was too good for this paranoid mom. It was 3:30am and I hadn't heard even a peep or "cough, cough" - I woke up Eric and informed him of her peeplessness (he sleeps pretty soundly). He gave me permission to check in on her. She was fine - breathing, one arm wiggled out of her swaddle. She didn't make any peeps the rest of the night. I woke up at 6:30am with more sleep than I'm accustomed to experiencing. At 7:20, Eric suggested we go look at our baby. She was awake, smiling, and most importantly ALIVE. Poor baby, still has lots of boogies, sneezes and little "cough, cough"s (seriously, if I didn't know better, I'd think those coughs were fake they are so little and cute).

So, here's my little owl (she's wearing her first 3-6 month footie pjs), power housing through her first cold. She's still pretty happy but we've declared that we'll stay in our pjs and our apartment today so that she can get better sooner.

These hands are so squishy. Mmm!

Isn't she perfect? (That's a rhetorical question, unless you want to pile on the accolades). 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Old School

So, life has brought us a few changes, but nothing too drastic in the last ten days.

Since we're trying to live within our means on one income we've gone a little old school.

I converted my cell phone plan back to my old Motorola Razr. No, not the Droid Razr, the flip phone razr. It's been exciting. But, really, I was just so glad that all my contacts transfered over from my HTC smartphone to this ol' thing. Plus, it saves us over $30 a month!

Also, Eric and I have been known to enjoy a good cheeseburger from time to time (read: like once a week). Instead of going out, we threw some hamburger patties and bacon on the George Foreman and steak fries in the Fry Dadddy. It was all very healthy, ha! Plus, we'd found some fry sauce BOTTLED at the grocery store (by chance, it was misplaced in the bread isle) - it's called 'Some Dude's Fry Sauce' and is fantastic. I dare say our meal was better tasting and almost as fast as hopping in the car and cruising to the nearest drive through window.

In other Old School news I've decided to try getting some simbalance of my body back the old school way. Instead of sitting on the couch, eating Cheetos and wishing this last ten or so pounds of baby weight would just disappear - I've decided to try the old school method of counting calories and getting some exercise. I've tried this a couple of times since having the babester, but I have to argue that no real lifestyle changes should be made during the first 12 weeks postpartum - it's easy to get off track and even easier to beat yourself up for it. However, this beautiful 80+ degree weather has got me realizing I'll be wanting to be in a bathing suit in just a couple of months and something has got to give. Maybe once I lose this weight, I'll shoot for my wedding day weight. Maybe.

Anyway, that's about it from the Lougee homestead. However, there are some things in the works, and when we get some confirmation, I'll let you know! Stay tuned. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Let's Go to the Park.

This week has flown by, just like the last 13 or so since Ella was born. 

Ella officially turned three months on Tuesday. Wow.

And she's had a growth spurt to show for it.
I was looking at pictures from her birth day on Eric's phone and couldn't believe how scrawny her legs were then, or just how tiny she was in her car seat.
I know that her getting bigger is definitely a good thing. It's just that it happens so fast. She came into this world so quickly, I think I'm still coming to terms with the fact that she's here! And now she has to go and grow so fast, I'm just afraid I won't remember it.
In a nostalgic moment I put the hat she wore home from the hospital on her head this week. She wore it on a walk we took with three other gals, an 11 month old boy and a dog name Henry.
Her noggin has definitely grown.
 (I got five blisters from the walk - obviously I haven't been too physically active in a while).

I don't know how much she weighs or how long she is, but I do know this balding little pastey girl is the best thing I've done with my life. And her big, gummy smile makes waking up in the mornings a little easier.

Also, we made a family outing to the park this week.

See what I mean by growth spurt! Check out those cheeks!

I was surprised by how much Ella seemed to take in. She smiled the whole time she was on the swing with Eric and she watched all the little toddler boys running around. 

(That's slang for adios). 

Monday, April 9, 2012

So. Much. Candy.

Here is my baby bunny on her first Easter.

(Missing was her little flower headband she wore,
but it was 8:30pm by the time she finally got her basket)

We had a pleasant day.
Morning church.
Delicious dinner with Grandma & Grandpa Lougee.
Ella napped while Eric, Holly, Anna & I engaged in a Hunger Games style Easter egg hunt.
Okay, maybe it was just me pretending it was the Hunger Games.
FYI, Eric was Peeta and I was Katniss. And I had a bow that doubled as a whip.
(Um, can you tell I devoured that book this week?)

Then we came home and  we all took naps.

Then Eric and I hid baskets of candy for each other. (I ate SO. MUCH. CANDY.)

We capped the night off with an Easter Contada featuring Grandpa & Aunt Holly in the choir. It was so great. Really felt the Spirit of Easter.

Before bed, Ella (who was finally awake for longer than a feeding - she's definitely going through a growth spurt) got her first little Easter basket with her bunny hopper and some plastic eggs.

How was your Easter?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

America's Next Top Model

Ella and I watched America's Next Top Model (terribly guilty pleasure) on Hulu while folding laundry. 

Such a funny girl! She is so expressive - she makes me laugh! 

Also, I neglected to mention our quick trip to La Grande. Just a quick overnight, but we were able to help Mom out on some projects around the house and Ella experienced her first campfire. She was totally mesmerized. And then she fell asleep. Guess she'll be a natural outdoor enthusiast! 

P.S. Thanks for the kind words regarding my last post. Your positive feedback is always appreciated!

Monday, April 2, 2012


As a young adult in college I had the desire to be a wife and mother. To make my house a home, to love my children and support my husband. I often envisioned my little family as poor, but happy. I met Eric, fell in love and got married. I was a wife. And I've struggled more with that role than I thought I would. Turns out cooking dinner, making the bed and cleaning the bathroom don't come that naturally to me. I felt more successful in my day job than I did in the evenings at home. I figured in time, though, I would improve and some day, when I was at home full-time, I could hone my skills. 
We found out we were pregnant at the end of April 2011. I was pretty excited to have my  vision for my life coming to fruition. Of course I felt a lot of anxiety and apprehension, and pregnancy was not exactly what I imagined. And the things I wanted to accomplish at home took the back burner to my job and my tired, pregnant body. I looked forward to the day when I could be at home full-time, learning to cook those meals and caring for my baby. 
When Ella came I was a bit surprised at my learning curve of caring for a baby and keeping up the house. I was, apparently, a slow learner. And as the reality of staying at home dawned on me, I became extremely apprehensive. 
Eric and I were a bit spoiled as a newly married couple. We both worked full-time and had the income to show for it. Eating out, movies and roadtrips became a part of our norm. I enjoy adding new items to my wardrobe (and Eric's, too). The thought of not having those activities in our lives for the next couple of years had me doubting my initial desire to be at home full-time. Especially as I realized my skills would be expected to help make up for the loss of income. Sewing children's clothes and curtains and pillow cases seems like the natural substitute for shopping. But I leave much to be desired when it comes to running a sewing machine. Much. And unfortunately for Eric, he's far more the natural cook. I have to really follow the recipe and even then it ends up tasting pretty mediocre. How am I to compete with the allures of eating out? Etc. etc. etc. 
And so when it came down to me making the actual decision to walk away from a good job and stay at home full-time, I couldn't seem to make a definitive decision. I wavered and wavered and wavered. Finally, it was the morning of when my boss needed a firm decision. For some reason I picked up the new 'Daughters in My Kingdom' book and read this (I've italicized the phrases that spoke to me):
Mary Fielding Smith set an example as a strong, loving mother. Her son Joseph F. Smith, who became the sixth President of the Church, recalled:
“I can remember my mother in the days of Nauvoo. I remember seeing her and her helpless children hustled into a flat boat with such things as she could carry out of the house at the commencement of the bombardment of the city of Nauvoo by the mob. I remember the hardships of the Church there and on the way to Winter Quarters, on the Missouri river, and how she prayed for her children and family on her wearisome journey. … I can remember all the trials incident to our endeavors to move out with the Camp of Israel, coming to these valleys of the mountains without teams sufficient to draw our wagons; and being without the means to get those teams necessary, she yoked up her cows and calves, and tied two wagons together, and we started to come to Utah in this crude and helpless condition, and my mother said—‘The Lord will open the way;’ but how He would open the way no one knew. I was a little boy then, and I drove team and did my share of the work. I remember coming upon her in her secret prayer to God to enable her to accomplish her mission. Do you not think that these things make an impression upon the mind? Do you think I can forget the example of my mother? No; her faith and example will ever be bright in my memory. What do I think! Every breath I breathe, every feeling of my soul rises to God in thankfulness to Him that my mother was a Saint, that she was a woman of God, pure and faithful, and that she would suffer death rather than betray the trust committed to her; that she would suffer poverty and distress in the wilderness and try to hold her family together rather than remain in Babylon. That is the spirit which imbued her and her children.”

 "‘The Lord will open the way;’" 

"enable her to accomplish her mission." 

"she would suffer poverty and distress in the wilderness 
and try to hold her family together 
rather than remain in Babylon."

After reading that, I knew that my decision to stay at home full-time would be blessed by my Heavenly Father. I knew I needed to leave my Babylonian desires behind and put my faith in God that he would help watch over our family. I know that my roles as wife and mother are the core of my mission here and that eventually my talents and skills that have been exercised outside of the home will work together to improve and enhance our family and home.

I know that being at home full-time is not for every woman, either circumstances don't permit it, or she enjoys and finds fulfillment in those associations and opportunities outside the home. I'm not judging anybody - my Mom worked full-time while I was growing up! I just wanted to share my view and experience, cause that's what blogs are for, sharing. Tender.

Now off to fold some more laundry. Curses.