Things I'm loving this Pioneer Day

  • This wonderful song blasting on our computer in honor of Pioneer Day. The lyrics are amazingly awesome, and it should probably be put in the hymn book! ;) hahaha 
  • My kind-of-new super sweet orange running shoes that my friend, Lisa, handed down to me!
  • Jeff and Emily! I seriously love them, I seriously am so happy for them, I barely even made fun of them, and since Spencer refuses to watch The Bachelorette, I talked and talked and talked to him about it for more than I would like to admit. I seriously am so ashamed of myself. I got hooked on the Bachelorette when there is quality reality TV out there like Sister Wives!!!!

Also, what is the trick to getting poor cranky, clingy, exhausted, teething babies to ever fall asleep? 


Things I'm loving

  • Our brand new bedbugless, non-craigslist cheapest-we-could-find couch! (Although we really miss the camping chair's drink holders). 
  • Being moved in! No more trash bags and stuff in our truck!
  • This pancake recipe with buttermilk syrup! I've had these for breakfast three times in the past week but it's okay because it is weight watchers approved!!! (in my wildest dreams)
  • Brown sugar that never goes hard in this humidity.
  • Our community swimming pool. (Because entertaining a baby in a two bedroom apartment all day long with no car makes for loooong days.) 
  • Our new umbrella stroller. I can actually carry Jack and the stroller down the stairs all in one haul now!
  • Being touristy and visiting The Vulcan on Saturday because it was free for zoo members. Who would actually pay money to visit it or get an annual membership, I do not know, but it was a scary/fun elevator ride with glass windows up and a great view of a very average looking city at the top! :) We love how green it is here! 

The Vulcan
Downtown Birmingham
Spencer's campus
Our apartment is hidden somewhere in those trees


bullet points

  • I have not routinely blog stalked for 2 weeks now!
  • A scorpion crawled out of Jack's stroller while we were checking though security at the airport! Pests are seriously out to get us! Thank goodness Jack didn't get stung.
  • I read the most disturbing and sad, yet most fascinating book ever and I couldn't put it down!
  • I got bobas with friends two out of the three days I was in AZ.
  • Jack loves his aunt and uncle.

  • He loves his grandparents, too.

  • I discovered that my grandma is more flexible than me.

  • We love the beach!!!
  • And we love and missed Spencer. (If not, we wouldn't have come back to Alabama!)
  • We're hoping to get a couch soon.


Oceanside trip according to low quality pictures taken from my vintage brick flip phone

We had a great time at the beach, but more on that later. I'll be spending the next couple of days in good old Gilbert with bobas and family and friends (in that very order!)


Back to square one

To admit that this is the hardest summer of my life is a testament to how truly easy my sheltered little life is. This summer is really rocking my world.

It has been a good 31 days since the exterminators first sprayed our apartment for bed bugs. It has been 18 days since we have last seen a live bed bug. 4 days ago we got the go-ahead to finally purchase a couch. The bed bugs are gone!! (fingers crossed!) The problem is, they are not gone in my head. 

When I enter a room, I quickly scan the base boards then the edge between the walls and the ceiling for bed bugs. I know I am crazy though, because I will do this in other people's homes and at the store as well. I thought the red pepper flakes in our meal last week were bedbugs. When I get bug bites, (which happens a lot here) I get on the internet and search "bed bug bites" just in case I forgot what bed bug bites look like. I look up and down my sheets before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning I check for new bed bug blood stains. If I get an itch at night, I turn on the lights and check for bed bugs. It takes me an hour and twenty-four minutes (I timed myself) to vacuum our small two-bedroom apartment. This OCD thing has got to stop!

We bought a washer and dryer off of craigslist 7 weeks ago. We were finally able to hook it up 3 weeks ago (our maintenance wouldn't let us hook them up until they replaced our AC). Last week, and after just 7 loads of laundry, our washer gave up the ghost and our dryer now takes two-and-a-half 80 minute cycles to dry our towels. How are you supposed to know these things when purchasing off of craigslist? They worked just fine when the guy showed them to us. With the bed bug furniture and now this, we are getting owned by Birmingham's Craigslist! I officially hate craigslist and am now an I-only-buy-brand-new-things snot.

We calculated our total losses the other night with our apartment hopping, bed bug fighting, and washer/dryer dying and it is a little sickening/scary. "So it's like we flushed that much money down the toilet just to fight bed bugs, sit in camping chairs, live out of tubs and garbage bags, and schedule trips to the laundromat around one car and a baby for two plus months?!" I asked Spencer the other night. (The answer is yes.)

My family was going to come out to visit this month, but given the circumstances, they are flying Jack and I out to them instead and we are going to Oceanside, CA. We are leaving tomorrow and I have never felt so guilty leaving Spencer behind who has to work and go to school with just those darn camping chairs and Lost to keep him company. However, I think this trip will be good for me to psychologically prep myself in giving Alabama a second chance. I am really starting to have trust issues with this state, in fact, I'm kind of scared of it. But when I get back, our brand-new-out-of-our-league washer and dryer will be hooked up and our linoleum will be fixed. (The Lowes delivery guys somehow ripped apart our flooring while trying to move out our broken dryer. Seriously, how does that even happen?!)  We will unpack our tubs and move in our belongings that have been cooking in our truck for the past two months. We can buy a couch and was it just me or are these dressers totally the new thing on pinterest right now? ;) And if I can convince Spencer, our broken washer and dryer will be our new bed bug proof night stands so we can get our dang money's worth! (You know your a redneck if.....) Alabama will still be hot and sticky and cockroach-y, but Alabama will be nice to me when I get back, right? Right?! Please!?

While we have had many set backs this summer, I can't deny God's tender mercies and divine guidance along the way. I know God loves our little family and is aware of our situation, even when Spencer prays for us and I irreverantly burst into nonstop laughter because somehow our life and our needs seem pretty comical when I hear it from someone besides me!

Whenever something has gone wrong, or I have felt sorry for myself, three thoughts always pop into my mind that give me comfort and hope. One, it could always be worse. Two, Jeffrey R. Hollands voice telling me, "Don't you quit! You keep walking. You keep trying." (From this video and this talk.)
And three, "life is good!" (The words my mom wrote on our anniversary card to us reminding us of our happy marriage and beautiful baby.)

I am going to love Alabama one day, I just know it!!! But today is not that day, so I'm running away to Oceanside! :)


It's a great Monday!

This weekend was not a fun one. We found out that we were not offered as much financial aid for Spencer's school as we thought, and after updating our budget and finances, we realized that there was no way that we were going to be able to afford Spencer's second year of school. There was a lot of "we are in way over our heads", a lot of crying, and a lot of graveyard-shift job applying on my part, and a lot of "why stress when there is nothing we can do about it right nows?", a lot of "it will all work outs" and a lot of Lost watching on Spencer's part. 

(I did get offered a job, though! At a daycare during the day that pays Utah's minimum wage minus twenty-five cents that wouldn't even let me take Jack so no, I didn't take it.)

Today, Spencer went to the financial aid office and it turns out, there is more financial aid available if we need it! This weekend taught us that there are a lot worse things than being a poor student family with a lot of student loans, like being a poor student family with not enough student loans where there is no room in our budget for an oil change! And where Spencer has to cut my hair! And where we have to downsize to a one-bedroom apartment! And where we can't even do one tiny special thing for birthdays and Christmas! And where we have to eat ramon noodles and macaroni-and-cheese every single night! And where camping chairs remain our only furniture forever! We are some pretty happy poor people today! 

I hope your Monday was as great as ours!

P.S. Is it part of Walmart employees job description to use as many bags as possible when checking people out? My margarine was bagged by itself, actually double bagged!

P.P.S. Are bumper pads seriously more dangerous than Jack getting his leg stuck between the crib bars every single day?!

P.P.P.S. Why did I have to discover this no-bake brownie recipe?! (A scoop of ice cream on top makes it just too amazing for a two minute prep!) Chocolate this easily available is not good for my figure!

P.P.P.P.S. What are your favorite no-bake summer recipes? (Our oven makes our apartment an oven.)

P.P.P.P.P.S. What do you do to save money? This website is helping  me save tons, and it almost deserves a post of it's own.