Thursday, May 31, 2012

Inside the Box

Well, the major report is we're pack rats.

I have acquired a significant amount of stuff in the two years since I moved into this apartment - including a husband and daughter and all the baggage they came with!

Most dramatic change? The kitchen. Thank you to all who gave wedding gifts! Maybe you were a little TOO generous!

Anyway, I'm feeling a little boxed in. The big goal is to get 99% of our stuff into storage into La Grande to - freaking - morrow. Then, after Zoey's big day (read graduating from high school) we'll head back here to clean. Once Monday is over, my stress level will plummet and my overall health will significantly improve. Gypsy living, please!

Until then, it's figuring out how to pack things for our weekend in La Grande, our week in Umatilla and our summer in Utah. What to do with all the hangers! And crossing my fingers that everything fits in the uhaul truck with less than .5% of things coming out broken.

I get a bit sentimental when I start thinking about my life two years ago compared to now. Two of the most important people of my life came into it within the last 24 months. It's been incredible. Lots of highs, lots of lows. But just recently I've been feeling really optimistic. Looking forward to starting a new chapter in a new place, but Hermatilla will always hold a special little nugget of space in my heart. 

Took this photo for posterity. Our first little abode. 

And now for two photos of Ella watching her daddy play the gee-tar. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

you should've seen it in color

A few days ago, El and I had a mini photo shoot. Here's a few of the results. 

I made the comment to Eric the other day that sometimes it feels like what I do with my day seems so insignificant. After all, my day is measured in naps, feedings and diaper changes. Then last night, as I was rocking her in my arms getting her ready for bed, I commented how "they" as in babies, don't stay little for very long. How in a year we'll probably have ourselves a little walker and talker who barely fits cradled in my arms. 
With that perspective, every little day seems so significant. 
I love this little girl so much. 
She truly has been my sunshine. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


  • I really am not having fun with this packing jazz. I had a goal to do one room each week for four weeks. Ask me how that's going....okay, don't. Packing is harder than it seems, especially with a baby that feels the need to be held, fed, changed, played with and put down to sleep in a continual cycle. 
  • I'm excited for the summer and to finally graduate from BYU. However, I'm kind of fighting the attitude of wanting to just get the summer over with. Crazy right? But listen, I'll be excited to be settled in our own "home" again - be it some unknown place in La Grande. While Ella still has her demands, they aren't constant newborn demands. I can find some pieces of time throughout the day to be creative, or craft or try a new recipe. I want to work on a couple of scrapbook type things, I want to start practicing using my sewing machine again. I'm ready to start this new part of our lives in a new place. I have lots of little ideas of things I want to do, like selling off stuff for my Aunt Steph, promoting Shabulous, etc. But all of that kind of has to wait. 
  • I miss my Salvage Maid venture. I'm starting to realize I'm quite the dabbler. I have lots of things I like to do, but can never seem to focus on one. But, I miss hitting yard sales, I miss blogging about blogs and finds and new ideas. 
  • My husband is so totally supportive of all my dabbling and inability to focus. Sometimes I'm like that hyperactive 5 year old you see in the store - running from isle to isle so excited by everything. 
  • Stay tuned for September, as the above mentioned husband and I will hopefully be rolling out another little venture of mine. 
  • Ella is so adorable, I'm pretty sure she'll continue getting away with anything throughout her tenure in our home. 
  • I'm thinking about grad school someday. 
Okay, that about covers my need to confess for now. All you Union County kids should keep your eyes and ears peeled for small homes for rent come mid-August. We'd love to have something with a bit of a yard and on the less expensive side of the rental scale. 

And now, a few photos from a little walk the babester and I recently took. 

Sun protection equals a pink sun hat and long sleeve shirt.
Also, she loves to lick the heck out of the carrier. She's strange.

This one is for Eric. Not sure if these people were avid Duck fans or avid Beaver fans.
It could've been taken either way. 

I would love to have a vehicle like this one day to bum around in and haul back my yardsale finds. 

One more baby picture for posterity.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baker's Dozen

Little Ella turned four months old last Thursday. 

Today she went in for her four month check up. 

She officially weighs 13 lbs 12 ounces and is 24 1/2 inches long. 

She hovered around the 50th percentile in every category. In the words of the nurse, "She's perfect." Of course I already knew that. 

(*We also had a WIC appointment earlier in the day. Their scales and measures said she weighed 14 lbs 1 ounce and 24 3/4 inches long ...

While there she also got her second round of shots. Poor baby. 

I love taking her out and about. Everybody loves her! I'm always told how beautiful, happy and alert she is. Makes a momma proud. 

I really liked the doctor she saw today. We'd seen two other doctors in the same clinic and I hadn't been overly impressed. Now that I found one I like, we'll be moving. Any suggestions for pediatricians in the La Grande area??? 

Well, I'm off to take in the season finale of HIMYM.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Riding in my Car

There's some bocce ball to report on. And a baby, too.

But, least importantly, here is yours truly riding in my car.

P.S. It's been confirmed. I hate packing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Keeping up with the Lougees

Friday found us on our way to Tigard, Oregon in pursuit of a new car. 
Eric drove the white van, while El and I navigated the black car. 
We had been researching cars for a couple of weeks - we knew we wanted a small SUV if possible, used, not a tacky color and within our price range with monthly payments we could manage. We came upon a 2004 Ford Escape from a dealer in Tigard that we really liked. We watched it the whole week, along with a couple other vehicles we were interested in. It turned out to be a good weekend for us to been in the Portland area, as Eric's cousin Madeleine was graduating from University of Portland and getting commissioned into the Army. Lots of Eric's family members would be gathering for a celebration Saturday evening. 

Anyway, when we got to Tigard Friday afternoon it was, of course, raining. We test drove the Escape and really liked it. Everything looked really good, too. However, I had this feeling that it wasn't going to work out. I just felt like we were setting ourselves up for disappointment. The dealer we went to was much smaller than we had realized. We're talking like 20 cars. I figured their financing options would be limited for us. And sure enough, after working out the trade-ins and settling on a price, the financing became our biggest hiccup. They had mostly had customers who worked with credit unions. Because we were from Hermiston, none of the credit unions in the area would service us. So, we went down to US Bank where Eric has an account. The loan specialist there was very optimistic and was just shy of guaranteeing Eric the financing. Well, two hours later, after we'd left the black car in Tigard and were in the pursuit of grub in Lake Oswego, we got that call that they weren't going to offer us financing because Eric - while his credit was good - didn't have four credit cards. 

By then, I was really frustrated and cynical. We decided to eat, head to St. Helens where we would stay with Eric's aunt & uncle, do some researching online and start fresh on Saturday. 

Eating did wonders for my soul. As did our pit stop at the Portland Temple where we got to see the new Visitor's Center. It's tiny, but really nice! I wish they had had it open when we were married so people who weren't able to attend the sealing ceremony, could've kept entertained and out of the rain! 

Here, Eric & Ella are watching the story of an NFL player who retired early to be there for his wife after they lost their triplets while she was pregnant. 
We took Ella up to touch the temple. 

So, while at Angie's & Robert's they recommended OnPoint Community Credit Union - which we'd already tried, but we lived out of their service range. But, they mentioned they'd gotten financing for their vehicle through them - when US Bank had always given them such a hassle. Well, turns out if you have a family member who is an OnPoint member, you can join, too. So we printed out the membership application, filled it out and took it down to a branch close to the dealership the next morning. Within an hour they'd gotten us signed up and financed - no hassle! And an awesome interest rate and very low payment. We couldn't have been more pleased. By 1:30 we were driving our new car. A big kudos goes out to Eric for his perseverance, he never gave up and I was ready to several times. Right before heading into the Credit Union, he ate some "man jerky" and said he was ready to go in and be a man and get us our car. And that he did!
Ella and I waited in the van while Eric was in the Credit Union.
She was such a good girl during the long Friday & Saturday. 

Eric's glad. 
 We got lunch and found a park near where the grad celebration would be that evening. 

Yummy salad from Chipotle. 

At the park. He fetched my jacket like a good boy.

At the grad party with Grandma Lougee. This was the first time she had met Ella. Don't mind my face. 

Blurry photo of the aunts & uncles. David, Cheri & her husband Dennis, Bonnie, Doug, Grandma, Betty Rae & her husband Scott. Some how Doug's wife, Suzanne, avoided the photo op. 

It was fun to see everyone and to have them meet Ella. I hadn't realized it had been so long, but we haven't seen them since the family reunion last July. We hope to make a weekend trip down to Prineville in June when Eric is done with work. Also, we neglected to get a photo of the graduate. So I snagged this cute photo off facebook. 

Olivia, Madeleine, Isabelle and Seth.
Ella really liked all of them. She cuddled right up to Seth for like 15 minutes.
Good thing he goes to EOU, so he can babysit for us in the fall! 

It was so lush and green on the west side. Beautiful. 
It was a long trip home, but we made it! Unfortunately I don't have more photos of the car, Eric took it to work this morning. But, we're very happy. We got it for well under the Kelly Blue Book suggested retail value for a dealership. There are a couple little things to work out, but all in all, it's a great vehicle. It has 4WD, Alloy Wheels, Luggage Rack, Running Boards, Sun/Moon Roof, Towing Package, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control (this we found out on the way home, needs looked at), Power Door Locks, Power Mirrors, Power Seats, Power Steering, Power Windows, Rear Defrost, Tilt Steering, Tinted Windows, AM/FM Radio, 6 Disc CD Changer, Keyless Entry, Antilock Brakes, etc.  Only one owner and a clear carfax. 

And the good thing about now being members of OnPoint, is that we could see going through them to get financing for a home someday. We've definitely been converted to credit unions over banks! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us."

From a January 1982 Ensign article.... 

"Early in the week, Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve suggested deep spiritual meaning in the physical presence of the temple. He recounted the late Elder Matthew Cowley’s story about a grandfather who took his small granddaughter on a birthday visit to the Salt Lake Temple grounds. With permission of the groundskeeper, they walked to the large doors of the temple. He suggested that she place her hand on the temple wall and then on the door, saying tenderly to her, “Remember that this day you touched the temple. One day you will enter this door.” His special gift to his granddaughter was an appreciation for the House of the Lord. Likewise, counseled Elder Monson, 'As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us.'"

Ella touched the Portland, Oregon temple on Friday night. That's where her parents were married and it was a special moment for me to be able to do that with her. 

More details to come about our weekend, but I will leave you with that Sunday thought.