Monday, December 15, 2014

I think I'm one of the worst bloggers in all of history. But here I go again!

Nathan has just finished his first quarter of the nursing program. It's busy, but he really enjoys it and continues to feel like this is what he's supposed to be doing. So that makes the long nights studying worth it. Today he started training at Kadlec Hospital for a Nurse Extern position. Basically, they will be paying for school, and he gets paid to work. In exchange for work after he's graduated. It was a very sought after position and both CBC and WSU had nursing students apply. They only accepted 11.

He has training all this week. Then the 26th & 27th he has two back to back 12 hour shifts to really learn what to do, then he's on his own. Another awesome thing about this externship is he totally gets to pick his schedule! He has to provide what days and times just two weeks in advance for when he wants to work. The only conditions are, he has to work at least 8 hours a week, and up to 20 during school. And every shift has to be at least 5 hours. So if his heart desired, he could just work an eight hour shift on Saturdays. Also the hourly rate goes up for nights, weekend and holidays. But he will figure out what he wants to do with that as he goes along. His next quarter starts January 5th. So he still has a few weeks of freedom! He also just got released from Primary and as a Webelos leader. He is now the 1st counselor in the Young Men's Program! He's so excited for the new calling. Plus, it means we can go to mutual together! I've recently been called to be the Laurels Advisor. We have LOVED Primary, but are excited for this new adventure.

I have been working on a few fun projects. First, I've started doing some contract work for the Color in Motion 5K. That's fun just because their marketing style is loud and bold so it's different than what I usually do. Also, I just finished a really cool project. Have you heard of The Tuttle Twins? Basically it's books for young readers that teach about liberty and freedom. So for the second book, The Miraculous Pencil, the twins learn about the free market. And I colored. :)  The illustrator is in my ward, and I've done a few projects for him before, but he asked if I'd be interested in doing the basic color fill. It was totally fun! Here are a few examples of the finished pages....

Like I said, super fun. Click here to order the book or learn more about them! They will be doing 10 or so more, and I will be continuing to color!

And now about the loft. The finally electrical inspection is tomorrow. The sheetrock is up, it's painted, trim is painted and ready to go up, the lights are in, the doors are ready to be put in and the kitchen appliances have been ordered. Two more big things, the floors and the kitchen cabinets. The floors are a wide plank laminate, they shouldn't take long to install. And the kitchen cabinets will arrive the 22nd, they were delayed. They are they last to go in before the occupancy inspection. So it's still totally possible we'll be in before Christmas. Cross your fingers for a Christmas miracle! But if not, the inspection will happen after Christmas and we'll get moved in.

This project and process have definitely been a learning experience. Mostly patience. Just about everything that could have come up, came up. From a tree falling on the family van, electrical codes being changed...let's just say it has taken a long time. But the end is in sight and we are SO grateful for all of Ben's hard work! Everything will be totally brand new, and so beautiful. I can't wait to show pictures! We feel very blessed to be here in Washington. I have to admit, sometimes it is really hard to be away from all our friends. Almost all my close friends are in Utah. Danna, Anne, Tiahna, Desiree, Nikelle...I seriously miss all your guts, and I can't believe that you are all now in the same place and I'm not. BUT we are slowly making new friends and adjusting to life here.

I'll end with a few of our pictures that I didn't add on Facebook. It's like a secret bonus or something...

Ruby being awkward. PS she ate 15 starfish yesterday. She's special. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

I am so behind. I don't think I'll try to catch up on everything. This past week has been so much fun, full of camping. I'll break it into two sections. Wallace & Sant.

WALLACE: La Wis Wis Campground, Mt. Rainer.
We had originally planned on going to the Wenatchee National Forest, Monday through Thursday to camp with the Wallace family. Unfortunately there has been, and still is, a massive fire. The parks and even some highways are closed, people being evacuated. So sad, but we were determined to go camping since Nathan and Ben, his dad had taken off the week from work.

We found La Wis Wis campground, near Mt. Rainer. We looked up reviews and photos and it looked beautiful!

Here's a picture I grabbed from google. Just gorgeous!

We arrived Monday afternoon, set up camp and made tin foil dinners with corn on the cob over the fire. The campground is gorgeous with tons of old growth and the river just across the road. We walked around and found the bathroom. Totally had a flushing toilet AND running water. SCORE!

That night we tried making campfire cones and talked around the fire. The next morning it was rainy until about 10am. So we hung out in our tents. We went into Mt. Rainer National Forest to do the Grove of the Patriarchs trail and Silver Falls. Unfortunately, they didn't allow dogs on the trail. Nathan and I sat at a picnic table while the rest of the Wallace Fam went to the Grove of the Patriarchs. We were planning on them watching Ruby when they got back so we could do it too. But by the time they got back, it was raining. So we went to try and find where Angela was wanting to do some Trail Riding. We drove into Packwood and nobody knew what we were talking about. So we just got some firewood and headed back. Nathan and I made a peach raspberry cobbler for Lenise's birthday. After dinner, it started raining so we got into bed early. It rained hard all night, and in the morning there was an awesome thunderstorm and the rain continued.  The decision was made to pack up and head home. It wasn't supposed to clear up until the weekend, and we were leaving Thursday anyways.

We packed up in the rain. It was so crazy! We were running around like chickens with their heads chopped off. We crammed everything into the van and our car and off we went. We stopped in Yakima at Miners and had a well deserved veggie burger and curly fries. (Yes, Miners does have veggie burgers.)

After we had arrived home, set up the tents to let them air out, unzipped the sleeping bags and laid them in the started to rain in Richland. Really? Yes. So we scrambled again and got everything broken back down in the garage or the house. It was a wet, but fun time!

The Tube 
Getting ready to cook dinner

So green & tall

Off to go fishing!

This was our Wednesday

SANT: Cougar, Washington
My sister Darcey has a friend, who has a cabin. This is where we went. It was amazing that all my family was able to make it (Except Aaron. And Zach had just gotten home from school the day before). We set up our tents in the field around the cabin. The weather was quite different. Sunshine. :) My parents rented a truck and we rode with them. It was cozy, but it was fun.

At a rest stop near Hood River. 

Falls Creek Falls Hike. ( Zach's finger blockage)  
So pretty! 

There was a creek that flowed in the reservoir just down the hill from the cabin. We played in the water, skipped rocks and explored. Saturday we took turns going to the Ape Caves. I had never been, but it was really cool. The Ape Cave is a lava tube from Mt. St. Helens. It was a short walk, but it was pitch black and only 42 degrees.

Arlo and I 

We all had a good time over the weekend. Heidi, Nathan and I even found some bear scat when we were walking our dogs. Although, I kind of wish it was Sasquatch poop since Mt. St. Helens area is famous for sightings. :) We did however find 3 snakes AND two salamanders..maybe they were newts. **ATTENTION ANNE: SKIP THE NEXT PHOTO**

Zach, always finding critters

Jamison with the salamander

On our way back, we did a big loop. So we went around St. Helens, and then up to Rainer. It took us awhile, but it was a really pretty drive. We found another waterfall "hike". There was a sign that said Iron Falls 500 Ft. They really did mean 500 feet. It was down a path and BAM you felt like you were in the middle of the forest. There was a gorgeous waterfall, fallen trees, and crystal clear water.

Mt. St. Helens. This is straight off Zach's cell phone. No edits. Isn't this awesome?

The view from Iron Falls. (I'm standing on the log in the middle of the stream) 

We had our lunch by Iron Creek Falls

Mt. Rainer

 Looking at these pictures again, made me think of the following hymn. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father has created such a beautiful place for us to live.

For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night, 
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nathan finished up the quarter and has two weeks off. We decided to take a road trip. We left Tuesday right after his classes and headed to Portland. Ruby came of course and actually did really well in the car. 

We got into Portland and to my sister Darcey and brother in law Jason's place. We talked, ate dinner and played a round of Spot It with Asher too! If you haven't played Spot It, you need to. It's such a simple and fun game. People of just about any age can all play together. Marshall and Ashley Merrill introduced us to it, and we LOVE it. 

Darcey made us raspberry sorbet and we were off to bed. Thanks Asher for letting us use your room. :) 

The next morning after breakfast we started down to Roseburg to visit the Hayes. We stopped in Eugene and let the Rubster play at a dog park. We met a cute old couple there, who was so excited for Nathan to be doing nursing. He had also worked from Batelle at he beginning of time. Haha. We drove past the Oregon football stadium and continued on our way. There were a million sheep and tulips. Here's a stinky picture taken as we're flying down the freeway of some tulips. Haha. 

We made it to cute little Roseburg. The Hayes house is beautiful! It was so good to see them! We chatted with Momma Hayes for a bit and she suggested we take a walk downtown to the antique shops. 

After we got back, we finished helping with dinner. Tacos of course. :) We played hand and foot, did some energy profiling, then off to bed. 

The next morning we drove over to Lincoln City. I totally recommend Sailer Jacks. It's a small motel. It's very clean, we had a balcony too. And pet friendly. There are stairs that go down to the beach. We put our stuff inside then headed down to the beach. 

We planned the drive so we'd arrive during low tide. So we were able to check out the tide pools. It was a lot of fun! Nathan found some cool shells and Ruby sniffed up a storm. 

We had dinner and checked out a thrift store. We walked around for awhile and headed back to our room.

The next morning we ate breakfast in our room while looking out over thre super stormy ocean. We hit up the thrift shops and got a few things. Then we were off to our next stop..Tillamook. 

We couldn't resist the squeaky cheese and ice cream. We felt terrible the rest of the drive. :( not worth it, stomachs wanted to explode. Haha. We stopped in Portland again to say hi to Darcey. And then made it back to the Tri-Cities. 

We had a really good time on our quick trip. We want to go back to Sailer Jacks and stay longer next time. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hey guys. My last post was about Christmas. It's been awhile.

Some big things have happened since then. And a lot of little things too. I don't really know how to go about this, because it's been so long.

Remember in my last post how I talked about wanting a french bulldog? That happened. She's pretty awesome. I found her online, her name was Lilo, 9 months old, and her owners were moving for a new job and wouldn't be at home as much. I contacted them and we emailed back and forth and they said they'd hold her until the weekend when we'd be there.  And as silly as it may seem, we prayed about it. We prayed to make sure that her owners were good people, if she would work well for us, etc. And we felt like it was a good decision, so we drove up to Olympia two days later.

The guy was super nice, and the puppy adorable. So we got her. She came with her AKC papers, vet papers, large metal crate, huge bag of dog food, toys, etc. for less than half of what a 10 week old puppy would be. And she's potty trained. Boom. It really was an answer to prayer.

She's awesome. We renamed her Ruby and have taught her a few tricks. (sit, lay down, and "dance" which so far is just standing up) She hangs out by me most the time, or tries to get in our laps while we work/study. (or gets in our laps successfully and falls asleep) We got her January 18th, it's now March 21st. And she'll be a year next month. Should I throw a birthday party? Just kidding. kind of...?

The view under my desk.

Another big thing...the loft is 99% approved. I say 99% because we still don't have the papers in hand, but it's going through the process. Nathan's parents have a huge shop beside their house. The process began back when they built the shop and made a bathroom, laundry and separate entrance on the ground floor. There are stairs that go up to the second floor. A kitchen, hopefully half bath, and bedroom will be built and then we'll be good to go! I was told that it should be two months from when we get started building. So..hopefully we can start...two months ago. ;)

We bought new (2 months old) couches off craigslist, again for a ridiculously good price. They had bought them, but then realized they wanted leather, so they just wanted them gone. It's a couch, love seat and a chair. Here's pictures off the website. It came with the pillows which really don't appeal to me, so I'll be recovering those in some fun fabrics. Aren't they gorgeous?




And while we're at it, I'll throw in the the rug I got during an online Rugs USA sale. it. it's 8x11
These babies are just sitting in storage. Needless to say, I'm excited to move it. :)

And one last big thing..we're pregnant. Just kidding. Sorry. I feel like everyone exploded with babies all the sudden. Not our time yet. Actually, it's kind of sad..the company that I was working for is closing shop. So I will loose my main source of income. That being said, I have contacted the other companies I do freelance for and let them know that I have more available hours. I have already seen an increase in work from them. That I'm grateful for. If you or anyone you know needs a graphic designer, let me know! I'm looking to pick up some more freelance, but have decided, for the time being, not to get another full time job. I've also picked up my photography "business" so let me know if I can take photos for you!

I have also JUST opened an etsy shop (click here) (yes it is named after my dog. haha) and am planning on opening another one with a friend soon. I also plan on starting my food/vegan cooking blog as soon as we're in the new place. So I'm hoping all my random jobs and hobbies will be able to fill in the gaps..mostly because I have been really spoiled and have absolutely loved the flexibility as a freelancer and a work at home wizard. ;) Time will tell.

A quick update on Nathan and then you can stop reading my ramblings...
With transferring schools, he's had to retake pre-reqs but he's almost done! He still has a 4.0 (he's amazing) and will be applying to the WSU-Tri-Cities Bachelors of Nursing program to start in January. This means he'll have the summer-ish/fall off and be able to switch to full time again in his job. As of now...the plan is for him to work for a few years as a nurse after graduation in order to gain experience. Then he will go on to more school to become a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Anesthetist. Again, time will tell.

Our life is good, the Lord loves us, and we are trekking on. We sooo miss our friends we've left in other states, but still so much feel like we are supposed to be here. So here we are.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

We came home from 80 this..

The Yakima river froze over! 
But I love the snow and cold around Christmas. And Christmas in Richland was so much fun! Erin and Lil got here the same day we got home from California. It was so much fun to have them here for so long! We also got to celebrate 3 birthdays and an anniversary over the break. I guess when your family is so big it's bound to happen.

First, we did our annual gingerbread house building with the Wallace family. We used a kit, but added on a deck of graham crackers. I think it turned out pretty cute. 

We used Life cereal for our roof and Cheerios for our path.

The wreaths are Ritz crackers with candies!

Then it was Arlo's birthday, he turned the big three! We went over to his house for for pumpkin pie (w/o the crust) and played games. Nathan and Arlo built a train track, and Nyssa and I made a new fairy for her fairy house. Oh, and I got a makeover from Nyssa. 

In awe over his pie
Christmas Eve was spent with most of the family here, even the Wallace family came over. Forrest got into town and Carson, Trish and Jamison got in too. It was a lot of fun. We had appetizers, played games, watched a few short videos to remind us of the real meaning of Christmas, and enjoyed being together. 

Christmas Day was so much fun! I woke up at 6:45 wide awake. We had two kids in the house and I didn't hear a peep! I stayed in bed and tried to be patient. I couldn't. So Nathan texted his mom, and they were up! So we drove over there and watched them finish opening their presents. And then they opened the presents from us. We opened a few of our presents, and the ones from them. I surprised Nathan. He loves ultimate frisbee. They have started a professional ultimate league. One of the teams is in Seattle, The Rainmakers. This is his favorite team. So I got him a t shirt and shorts with their logo on it. He was totally not expecting it and it was so fun to give! After the presents were opened, we sat around and talked. Then I got a text from Carson saying everyone was up.

We drove back down to the Sant house and watched the kids open their presents. The kids were so cute. The parents...not as cute, but still fun. ;) Nathan got me the sweetest gift. First, short background story. I LOVE french bulldogs. End of story. Nathan got me a glass jar. On the outside of the jar, he had made a label. It was a french bulldog fund. Inside the jar was already $182.04. He had saved money, cashed in ALL our change and put it in the jar. How awesome?! That is one of my 2014 goals. I mean look how ridiculously cute they are!

Merry Christmas 2014??
Friday was our anniversary, but Nathan was a sicky pants. So we got a blizzard and watched a show on Discovery channel about parasites. Romantic...I know. Saturday we celebrated Jamison's 4th birthday and Zachary's 22nd. Wow. My baby brother is 22?

4 candles. He's SO big!!
We had pizza, cake and dirt dessert. Everyone was gone by Sunday when we got home from church. It was so much fun to have everyone home! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas this year was perfect. I think I say that every year, probably because it is perfect every year. :) Because we wanted to be able to spend part of Christmas with Nathan's family in California, we went for an early Christmas this year. We were in California Dec 13-18th and it was wonderful. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were with Nathan's Dad and family. So much fun! Friday we hung out, played games and laughed a ton. Saturday we went on an 8 mile hike by Lake Poway. It was Mt. Woodsen, up to Potato Chip Rock. It was a lot harder than I expected it to be, but it was a lot of fun and I was proud of all of us for doing it! 

Jordan, Maddie, me & Nathan on the Potato Chip. 
I did it!

Very cool rocks and views.

We had Christmas later that night, we played games, exchanged gifts, ate good food and had a great time. Seriously so much fun! We played some heated rounds of Spot It. (One of our new favorite games)

Sunday we went to church with Grandma Silvija and Grandpa Ron then over to their house. Monday we drove along the coast and ended up at the dog beach. It was great, and Sergeant had a good time too. Made me want to have a dog, and live on the beach. We had lunch at Chipotle, one of Nathan's favorite places. Silvija brought her camera and she took some great photos of us and the gorgeous sunset in Carlsbad that night. 

This was THE most beautiful sunset I've ever seen. And as beautiful as this photo is, it doesn't capture it. 
Tuesday was great too! We drove down to San Diego and did a session there. If you live anywhere near San Diego, go to that temple! It's gorgeous inside and outside! When we came out, the Christmas lights were up, and it was so so pretty!

My toes are levitating from my sandals. Weird.
I always wish we could stay longer, and maybe next time we will. We had a wonderful trip!

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