Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Birthday To You

My Eli,

Words cannot describe the love I have for you, in just 1 year of sharing this life with you.  I feel so blessed to be your mom and help guide you in living a righteous, happy life.  The joy you bring to me is indescribable.

You had such a sweet spirit from the moment you were born.  You just looked around with your deep blue eyes and took in everything around you.  You have a happy and cheerful personality that I cherish.  I  can't exactly say calm and mellow because you are always on the move, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love seeing you explore and learn new things everyday.  You simply amaze me.

Not only do I love watching you learn, but I love learning from you.  You teach me patience, unconditional love, the meaning of true joy, how to just 'be', and to laugh those deep belly laughs.  You have given me the gift of motherhood and I am learning everyday what that truly means.  

Little boy, I love you to the moon and back.
your mom

One Year Older and Wiser Too

This little guy is dang hard to work with when he's so busy!
 (Don't know why I can't get my paragraph at the top of the page)
I tried to take some 1 year birthday pictures of Eli but he was not so cooperative :)  It was a quiet birthday but we celebrated as if everyone was here. Bryan works like crazy in the summer so we didn't see much of him today. 


"Mom, I want the camera now."

I made a funny face to get him to smile and he copied :)

I want to start the little tradition of doing funfetti birthday cake pancakes.  Eli doesn't really eat anything lately, but I tried anyway.  At least I enjoyed them!

The lighting in this picture was AMAZING.  I wish I could get one of him smiling

Time for presents!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

I forgot how much I loved fishing in Alaska!  Bryan's dad took me and Bryan's mom Patty fishing yesterday, and I went out again with Shane and two members of our church.  We had a blast!  

I caught 3 king salmon, a silver salmon, 3 halibut (including a 35/40 lb one!), and a yellow eye (snapper).  I didn't get many pictures because as soon as we docked I went to get Eli who was being babysat for the day

Patty and I with our King Salmon

I can't get enough of the whales!   

I wasn't fast enough for a good picture, but they are beautiful

The 'Fishing Hole'

Do you see all those sea lions?  

We were fishing for salmon and a sea lion got lazy and decided to eat our fish instead of getting his own.  He had half of Shane's fish in his mouth and was pulling out line like crazy.  It was so fun to watch!

 I am overcome by how vast and amazing this part of the world is.  On our ride out to the fishing spot we saw sea otters, sea lions, dozens of bald eagles, humpback whales, and orca (killer) whales.  It is just incredible.  Come for a visit sometime :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How I Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom

Bryan is an incredible teacher. He truly loves his career and enjoys seeing those kids learn. With that said, the pay is not so hot.

We both worked full time after graduating from college for about 2 years. We lived off his salary and saved mine.  Now, almost 4 years after getting married, I stay at home full time with Eli. I wouldn't change  this for anything, but I have learned a few things on how to save money and live off one modest salary.

1. I use all homemade soaps and cleaners.  Laundry soap, dish detergent, multi purpose cleaner, ect.  Vinegar and water are my cleaning basics along with some inexpensive essential oils. I LOVE my homemade laundry soap. It smells great, works fantastic, and I love that it truly costs a few pennies a load.

2. We don't buy things at full price.  Clothing is usually purchased on clearance at old navy, target, or kohls.  Food is purchased with store brands, managers specials, and sale items.

3.  Coupons! I am just starting to get into coupons, but I am loving saving money on things we need to like toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, ect.

4. Hand me downs for kiddos and furniture.  For the first 2 years everything in our apartment was a hand me down or Craig's list item.  It gave us everything we needed at the time, and the chance to slowly purchase new things on great deals.  I didn't have to buy Eli clothes until he was 7-8 months old! We had amazing hand me downs from sister in laws and baby shower gifts went a long way.

5. Cook from scratch.  I have leavened to love making homemade bread, biscuits, rolls, buns, gravy, soups, and endless deserts and treats.  It's not only satisfying knowing I have the skills to cook from scratch, but it saves so much money.

6.  Inexpensive dates. It doesn't cost much at all to share a snow cone and play at the park, go fishing, hike together, and cook dinner with friends. Dates don't need to be 30$ dinners and 15$ movies every week. We try to get creative and have so much fun exploring our town.

7. Keep a flexible budget. I have budgeting last because I am not good at it at all. I keep track of what we spend and that is just as good as a budget to me.  I am able to track if we are spending too much on gas, toiletries, clothing, ect.

8.  Get creative! It's very rewarding when I can make Eli a shirt out of an old worn out shirt of Bryan's, or re use sheets or old fabric for new kitchen towels, pot holders, clothing for me, or whatever.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Walgreens Mini Trip

I made a quick trip to Walgreens for a couple things the day before we flew to Alaska and got some great deals! I am still working on better deals, but this is good practice for me on things I need.

The Finish Dish Detergent was on sale for 3.99 each.  I had 2 coupons for 1/2.15$ plus on had a .50 cent coupon attached.
2 Detergents: 1.34$ and 1.84$

Nivea Shave Foam was 3.49 each and I had a 3$ off 2 coupon
2 Shave Foam: 3.98

Lady Speed Stick was on sale for 1.99 and I had 2 1/1$ coupons
Deoderants: .99$ each

Kit Kat mini: FREE (1.00 on sale with 1.00 coupon)

The small Colgate toothpaste were on sale for 3.00 each.  I had a .50$ coupon for each one and there was a 2.50 register reward when you buy two
Toothpaste: 2.50 for two

Large Toothpaste: .50$ because I used the 2.50 register reward.

Still learning, but I only payed 12.14$ for all of this!  It would have been 26.44 without coupons.  YAY!

Daddy's Day

I didn't realize this post wasn't posted, so some Pictures are repeated. Oh we'll :)

I can't say enough good things about Bryan as a father and husband.  But he's not just a father, he's a daddy. And that takes some serious skill. Not everyone can get your baby to laugh uncontrollably the way he does. He loves to lay on the floor with Eli and play with him; be apart of Eli's world. It melts my heart to hear him talking to Eli about taking him fishing someday or playing catch with him. Anyway, enough mushy stuff. 

While Bryan slept in Eli and I made a quick handprint picture that Bryan saw when he first woke up. That hand looks tiny!  

I can see where Eli gets his good looks from- he's a mini Bryan! 
Bryan was cooking and talking to him. He just lays on the floor and watches him. Pure relaxation. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fathers Day 2013

With being so crazy busy packing, cleaning, traveling, visiting family, and getting things ready for Alaska, I was a terrible wife and didn't really plan anything fun for Father's Day.  I felt like someone had taken my brain and blenderized it (new word)  and I wasn't on top of planning something neat.  Crap. 

So Monday after Father's Day we drove to Strawberry Reservoir and went fishing for the afternoon.  It was so calm and peaceful there, just what we needed after a busy week.

 Then we came home to a new microwave! The managers took out the one on the counter and gave us a real one :) Nice way to end a day!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Goin' On A Jet Plane

Off to Alaska we go! I'm really bad at taking pictures now I have Eli but here are a few

My dad met us for lunch at the airport

Eli's First time eating a lemon

After HOURS Eli finally fell asleep on my
Lap on the flight to Ketchikan.

And the third flight!  Eli loved the float plane. 

We made it safe and sound and are so glad to be here for the summer!