Sunday, March 31, 2013

One more quick post!

Happy Easter to you all!

I posted some studio pictures I did of Nathan (attempted to do, actually...2 year olds...) but I don't have time at the moment to upload them here. So, here's a public link. You can supposedly see the pictures and the album without having a facebook account at all! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I should be doing dishes...

I have a photo shoot for a friend at my house in 2 hours, and my house is NOT company-ready. It's also a few weeks before finals, and it feels like the whole world dropped on Mitch and me this week, especially schoolwork-wise. We are just trying to keep a pace and keep motivated! School officially ends with graduation on April 12th, and classes end the 10th (Mitch always has to work graduation, so we always go by that date).

We're also leaving town in three days to see my sister, Camille, in Provo, UT before she leaves on a year-and-a-half long, full-time mission for our church. I couldn't be more proud of her, but it's also slowly starting to hit me that I won't just be visiting my sister; I'll be saying goodbye to her for 18 months! She won't visit home or family until after her 18 months is over, and she gets 2 phone calls home per year. We'll keep in touch through emails and writing, but my family has never had a missionary leave before (boys are required to serve for 2 years, and for girls it's family, as most of you know, never had any boys join us!), and I'm a bit nervous that we'll all just fall apart emotionally! It's not hard to imagine me doing that, being a crier as it is AND adding being 7 1/2 months pregnant.

So, we're working really hard to be ready to skip 2 days of school during such a critical time at the end of the semester. We're doing homework non-stop and trying to function beyond that in the meantime. 

We also have a secret that's added a bunch of (good) stress to our lives. We haven't said anything online about it at all, which as you know coming from me, is hard to do! There was just so much uncertainty and inability to plan that it was easier just to wait out this decision for awhile.

The big news?

We're moving! On May 1st!

Now, we are absolutely in love with our duplex. The owners, who live in the other half, are our age and have the sweetest little girl (she was the one whose birth I was there to photograph). We have become great friends with them and we hope to always be close. We love having a yard, on-site storage, and a garage (in Rexburg, where it snows non-stop for like, 7 months!). We love the people we go to church with. We love having the best park in the city (with a free splash park) a block away. We love the rent we pay; this place is a steal! We love that they saw our need for a dog and made it happen before we could get him approved as a companion animal. We moved here about a year and a half ago and never planned on leaving; it is actually cheaper than living in our old (smaller) apartment and paying for a storage unit

However, we are tired. 

 Tired of working as hard as we can, only to see money spent on things like debt and catch-up.

 We are tired of paying rent with student loans.
We are tired of seeing Dave Ramsey's books on our shelves and feeling shame when we look at his face!    

We are going to have a new start.

After six months on a subsidized housing wait list, we are IN. We have an apartment offered to us. The rent is too good to turn down for selfish reasons like comfort and lifestyle. We are learning a hard lesson, but we got ourselves here, and we're bound and determined to get ourselves out.

The apartment complex is actually very nice for being a bit older. It has a yard, a playground, and plenty of storage, although it's still smaller than where we are now. Our duplex was built in 2004, so we've gotten used to newer and nicer (our old apartment wasn't much older than that either). But who are we kidding? We are in college. We aren't buying our first (or second) home. We aren't here forever. We don't deserve anything, really! (We've really worked on not having a sense of entitlement around here, feeling like we deserve this or that.) We are college kids living on nothing while trying to support one, almost two kids.

The biggest motivation to make a change before it's too late is the fact that I'm done with classes in April. Besides doing an internship in the fall (which may yield an internship scholarship, but not more than that), we're done with my grants and loans and won't have any access to them anymore. So, we're cutting our "income" in half while doubling our number of children. Mitch is getting further into his major and is having to work harder and harder to get the grades he wants. He can't afford, grade-wise, to take on more hours at work or another job right now. He already works two jobs and donates plasma to support us, bless his heart!

Mitch and I prayed hard about this decision. We talked it out. We plugged numbers into our Dave Ramsey Personal Finance Software (MAN was that easier than me doing all the numbers pen-and-paper style every semester!). The answer was clear, but it was still hard. 

We are excited to live in the same complex as my cousin and her husband, along with their sweet little boy. They are some of the funnest people we know, and we can't wait to be neighbors!

So, four weeks before our baby girl is due, we will move. At least it's not a winter move like our other two moves have been! The road in front of our place will most likely still be torn out and being replaced. Joy. We'll see how this goes :o)

And, to reward you people who made it this far, here are some recent pictures of the Nathan boy!

Mitch actually caught these gems for us :o) Nathan loves to cuddle with baby Eliza, and he can actually say her name quite perfectly, too!

Just enjoying some (saggy) diaper time in the blinds :o) They've never stayed up well on their own, so he usually chooses just to play like this.

The new place has a sliding glass door, which will yield a TON of light for pictures (yay!!), and a ton of space for Nathan and Apollo to look outside. They both look outside using this method right now!

Playing with daddy's coin jar...fine motor skill building at its finest!
(Mitch is still mad that he totally appears to be a lefty so far in his little life!)

Cue meltdown in 3...2....1....

We walked to our favorite park (the one a block away) one Monday night for family night. It was a bit colder than we expected it to be, but we were just excited that it was in the 40s and we were having trouble keeping Nathan and Apollo cooped up inside! (They're true Idahoans, I guess! 40 degrees = play outside weather!) Nathan went down this slide probably 20 times. It was really nice that we were the only ones there so big kids weren't pushing him on the "shake shake bridge" (Thomas the train reference) and he never had to wait his turn, which he loved.

The "shake shake bridge"...the engineer for this playground was an idiot for putting the railing so high; I've seen at least 2 arms broken and probably 30 kids fall and bawl about it, really hurt, from this bridge.

Well, that's it! Glad you made it this star for you :o)

All you Provo people from my "past life" in Kansas!? I get to SEE YOU GUYS on Tuesday evening for dinner! Let's celebrate Camille and hang out like old times!