Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Father's Day 2015

This year was not my best Father's Day production, but luckily one of j.rue's many positive attributes is that he's laid back enough to overlook my celebratory short comings and was just happy to spend the day with us. All he asked for was a chocolate cake (bought from Smith's) and a big breakfast. So, we whipped up a big breakfast with pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage and enjoyed each others company before church. Ellie helped make the eggs, her most favorite breakfast food in the world. Her daddy was patient enough to let her whisk.

Ellie gave her daddy the gift of a well behaved sacrament meeting and a card made in nursery full of silver stars and purple crayons. That evening we went up to my grandparents to have dinner with some of my extended family. It was nice to be able to celebrate my grandpa as well, he's done so many things for us and has been a father and grandfather most of my life. I love him.

My Aunt made us a delish Texan inspired meal, after she decided to jump out of a plane with my mom and brother. They're crazies I tell you. 

All in all it was a wonderful day. I think j.rue only had to change one diaper and spend the evening playing foosball with my brother. Who can complain about that?

I'm so thankful that I married a man who has a strong desire to be such a good father. He's so thoughtful in all of his interactions with Ellie and works so hard for the both of us. He's going to be the fun parent until forever. He's totally in love with Ellie and I love watching that.

Happy Father's Day Jeremy! We couldn't love you more.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Love Note to Ruesch Manor

Welp, we've officially been Bountifilians (probably not a thing) for over a week now. I really struggled to leave Kaysville and Ruesch Manor in the week up to the move. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize how strong my attachment actually was to that house we had made a home over the past 5 and a half years. I left a little bit of my heart in Kaysville on June 13, 2015.

Also, please note that this is a HUGE photo dump of every corner of the house. I don't want to forget a single corner of the house, so feel free to scroll through quickly :)

 We bought Ruesch Manor on October 13, 2009. We had been looking for the perfect starter home for 6 months and I was starting to loose hope. We started looking in SLC and slowly moved north, much to my chagrin. We thought we found the perfect place in Centerville, but it ended up not feeling right so we backed out. Of course this was after we gave our landlords notice so we had to be out. If you know me at all, the unknown nevers sits with me well, but luckily, j.rue's parents took us in for 5 weeks. Random side note: All of our earthly possessions, besides basically our clothes and cars, fit in one half of their garage. We've learned from our most recent move that this would not be the case anymore.

Ruesch Manor was a tiny bit over our budget, but after much convincing on my end, j.rue and I put in an offer. The day we put in our offer, another offer came in. I'm telling you, it's our lot in life. I will be shocked if we will ever buy a home without there being multiple offers. So, a multiple offer addendum was rolled out and we drove to Ruesch Manor one more time to look around and decided if it was worth playing that game. I remember sitting on the front lawn, crying, because I knew we were supposed to be there, knew it. We decided to add a measly 2k to our offer without a lot of hope. The next day we found out that it was really meant to be, we had gotten the home, and we moved in two weeks later!

Over the next 5.5 years, together, j.rue and I celebrated the following:
- our first anniversary (thru our 6th, but the first is the biggest deal) - 2009
- both of our college graduations  - 2011, 2012
- adopting our two puppies, Coop & Maggie - 2009, 2010
- our first full time jobs (and multiple part-time jobs and internships) - 2011, 2012
- finding out Ellie would be joining us - 2012
- bringing Ellie home - 2013
- taking the plunge and quitting my full time job (so worth it!) - 2014
- finding out baby brother would be joining us- 2015
- selling our home & buying another - 2015

I don't know if any home will ever measure up. So many memories and milestones reside there. Of course a lot of disasters and learning experiences came with it, but thank goodness for those. Windstorms, basement floods, broken windows, 100 gallons of paint, the A/C & furnace, and soffit and fascia taught us what it really took to take care of a home. We learned as we went and Ruesch Manor was patient with us. Also, please note that our house was NEVER this clean or un-cluttered, We were planning on using these photos to list, but lucky for us it never came to that!

Our home was always a work in progress. The only thing that really stopped me from changing things up is knowing we wanted to list our home in a year or so. After that I added finishing touches and let it be, and I ended up loving it. It's amazing how different your perfectly placed things look so different and not cohesive in a different space. I'm really struggling with that right now. There probably won't be photos of our Bountiful home until we list it, just kidding, hopefully! One of my favorite rooms in the house was Ellie's room, it was my labor of love for her. If you want to see the loveliness that was her room before I took the reigns...CLICK HERE ...oh boy. Putting her room together was so fun. I over thought every little detail and made j.rue re-hang pictures more times than I like to admit. Oh, and I'll never tell how long it took me to pick out the paint color, never.

And there you have it. Ruesch Manor in all her glory. She will be missed, but on to new adventures! I keep telling myself that she was just the setting for all of the wonderful friends that were made, events that transpired, and lessons that were learned. If that's the case (which I know it is) then I'm excited what our new home will facilitate in the next several years. All I know is that I'm never moving again...for at least 5 more years. Unpacking is killing me.

Cheers Ruesch Manor.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Thoughts on buying & selling

...or in other words, an update on everything that is our life. I was going to address packing as well, but after writing this novel, that will be saved for the next time I have some extra brain power. I've wanted to sit down and brain dump about a million times, but I've really and truly have had no mental capacity, plus I'm weepy all the time, bad combo. If you haven't heard, we're moving! And it's taken over my whole life and every inch of my brain that Ellie hasn't demanded. I've had people ask me about my pregnancy and the only comment I can make is that it's flying by and most of the time I don't even remember that I am pregnant. Little brother is moving a ton now, so that helps serve as a reminder now and again. Also, he still doesn't have a name and it's driving me nuts. We knew Ellie's name before we even knew she was a girl. It's not like Jeremy and I can't agree even. We have a list of 5 or so names, we like them all, we just can't decide. I thought it was silly when people would say they had no idea what they would name their child, and wouldn't decided until after the baby was born. I could not comprehend being in that situation, I was sure these people were just kind of lazy and didn't care. What it all comes down to is that obviously, I'm a judgmental turd and I need to be shown what's up every once in a while. So, if you ask me...we have no idea what we're naming baby brother, and we probably won't decide until after he's born. Watch out if you're'll happen to you next.

On to the buying and selling...we're doing both at the same time! It's not fun! It makes me cry! But it's been a wonderful faith building experience. I have seen the Lord's constant hand in my life more than almost any other time. Last night we closed on Ruesch Manor. Technically we don't own her any more and to that I say, well I can't even. I'm actually working on a post wholly dedicated to my love of Ruesch Manor. Lucky for us, our amazing buyer is letting us stay until a week from Saturday. Bless her. Ellie took signing away our home very seriously and practiced her signature right along with us, crazy bed head and all.

We close on our new home on Tuesday (fingers crossed) and I' so excited. I actually woke up at 3:48 this morning and didn't fall back to sleep until around 6 because I can't shut my mind off when it comes to our new digs. I'm dreading unpacking but can't wait to be unpacked. Can't. Wait. It's a cute little house. I'm excited to name her. Is it possible to beat Ruesch Manor though? I'm thinking probably not. It's actually quite overwhelming feeling every possible emotion from ecstatic to devastated all at the same time. 

Like I said, this has been quite the experience. We've been talking about putting our home up for sale for the past year or so. We knew we were quickly running out of room and that we very badly wanted to get closer to SLC to cut some time off of J.rue's already long days. We actually talked about it so much and did so little that it started to feel like it would never happen. We got a little serious about listing it last October, but then it didn't happen. We knew it needed to happen this spring so once I was done puking my guts up we got to work. J.rue has put in some long hard hours getting Ruesch Manor up to snuff. He's put in a fence, laid concrete, did some serious yard work, and painted our soffit & fascia (do you even know what that is? We surely didn't before the month of May and we loathe it.) Also, I learned how to clean and stain a shed. A whole shed. All by myself. Wood cleaning hurts the eyes.

We were planning on listing in May, but things were moving slowly. Once we sold, we'd planned on moving in with my mom in Ogden until we found the perfect home and then all would be fine and dandy. Of course, things never go as planned. One Saturday while Jeremy was working on the concrete, a family in our ward approached us about possibly buying our home. We let them walk through our home (mess and all) and I tried not to get my hopes up. It was too good to be true. Too good. The next week she told us she was interested in making an offer and our lives haven't slowed down since. Between house hunting, contract deadlines, appraisals, inspections, repairs, and waiting for appraisal results, I've been a wreck and Ellie has clocked an impressive amount of TV time. Don't ask me about it, it hurts my soul in a deep way. I'll make it up to her once we move in. Lots of sunshine for that girl.

From the moment this whole process began, I knew everything would work out. I just knew it, deep in my soul. I will admit though that if you talk to my SIL or my husband, or really anyone else that's had to have a conversation with me for the past month, might not believe that statement. We had some huge hurtles and unknowns to get over, but we did it, and we didn't do it alone, not for one second. I'm so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who gently (or not so gently) leads us to where we need to be. We dealt with multiple offers on the home we wanted (just like with Ruesch Manor, uuggggh), a very important appraisal that 3 families were depending on to move, very very tight deadlines that seemed virtually impossible, and financial sucker punches. Buying and selling at the same time is ridiculously uncomfortable at best. Again, no way we couldn't have done this if it wasn't part of His plan. This to-do list is only a fraction of the things we had to accomplish. I kicked this list's trash so hard. I can't even bring myself to throw it away.

But here we are, set to move June 13, 2015. A week from tomorrow. We did it. I can't believe we did it. There were so many times where all I could do was sit on the stairs, cry for a couple minutes, and then pick myself up and get back to work. If I ever thought I couldn't do hard things, this experience has reminded me that I can, even on my own. I know I wasn't really on my own. J.rue took on the really difficult projects, but I took on the million tiny ones. We make a pretty good team, j.rue and I.

So that's that. We'll go to our last Sunday at the Kaysville 2nd ward this weekend. Of course they're finally changing to Sacrament meeting first, on our last Sunday. I know I'll cry, lots. We were meant to spend time in this ward. I needed this ward. I needed to meet the women of this ward. Oh I love you Kaysville 2nd ward. We'll spend our last Saturday ever in Ruesch Manor. Every night will be our last...night. I told j.rue that I'll be reminding him of that, every night. I get nostalgic and I'm going to savor every second of it. But that's more for another post.

Our first selfie, on the porch swing, on the day we made an offer, on our almost new house!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

To the Zoo

Yesterday I woke up with an excess of energy (amazing) and Ellie woke up with a desire in her heart to be outside all day, shocker. Right after she ate breakfast she proceeded to undress herself, or as well as she could at least. Thank goodness she hasn't mastered the art of taking off her clothes yet. Once she does I fear we'll have a nudist in our midst. This is about as far as she got. Those dang sleeves can be so frustrating!

After we were dressed for the day she was begging to go outside. Sadly, we have the most boring back yard on the planet, so she never wants to stay back there. She had been playing with some mixing bowls the night before and they turned out to be (kind of) the perfect make-shift water table. Kind of. She was able to empty the bowls about every 5 minutes, but the 45 minutes of entertainment was worth it. Worth it enough actually that I found a cheap water table online that will hopefully be here right in time for it to rain this weekend, dang it.

After thoroughly saturating herself, we stripped her down and put her for a nap. Just as I was wondering what in the heck we were going to do with the rest of our day, my friend Heidi texted and asked if we wanted to go to the zoo. Thank heavens! A combo of animals, her buddy Holden, and all the outside she could dream of, what more could this Ellie bean ask for?

We were magically able to fit 3 car seats in the back seat of Heidi's truck. It was wonderful. We thought our days of driving together were over for a while. Sadly, it'll end again in September when our next one comes. I guess it will be time to get a bigger vehicle, right j.rue :)

We made it there with hardly and fuss, of course the second that we pulled into the parking lot all 3 kids read each other's minds and decided to start whining at the top of their lungs. We couldn't get them out and into their strollers fast enough. Once they were all sunblocked and hatted up, we were ready to go. Ellie is such a fly girl.

I really just need to get her one of those animal backpack leashes because she was out of her stroller for a majority of the afternoon, and happy about it. It's just so nice to have your own personal pack mule that's not you, the mother. Ellie loved running around, and away from me through out the day. I relished in the moments when she would pause and hop on some sort of animal sculpture. She could have run around that place until the sun went down.

One of her favorite parts was watching the elephants. I say that because that's probably the longest she stopped to look at anything. We caught them doing tricks and she thought that was pretty neat, along with the sucker Heidi's mom had given her. 

Oh these two, that have the most interesting love/hate relationship. Holden loves to torment Ellie and Ellie loves to tattle on him by using her highest pitched squeal. She secretly loves it, I'm sure. We hit up the carousels next. You won't be able to tell by the pictures that Ellie loved it, but she did. She hopped animals about 10 times before we actually started. I wish she would show just the tiniest bit of emotion on new experiences, but like always, nothing.

 We finished up the trip with big soft serve cones and a train ride. Ellie showed more emotion for the ice cream. We headed home and two out of the three napped. Can I say again how much more fun driving together is? Driving separate removes the best conversations from the mix. Once we got home I threw together dinner while Ellie played with her water bowls again and then we finished off the night with a nice bath (for Ellie) and a later than usual bed time. J.rue's been working late this week and Ellie starts asking about him around 5:30 or so. It makes for a longer evening, but she sure is glad when daddy comes home. So am I.