Apr 27, 2009

A Real Page Turner

More videos. Yay! Here's one of Ella turning the pages in her book. We (my mom included) have been reading to her and saying, "Turn the page Ella," then taking her hand and showing her how to do it. Well, now she does it on her own! Super smart if you ask me! Okay, so she only turns them half way but I still find it quite impressive. (I know, my high pitched, super excited baby voice is in ALL of these videos. What can I say? It's instinctual. You'll just have to deal with it!)
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Apr 26, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Apartment Hunting we shall go!

This was no amateur apartment hunt people. There was a week of researching. There was MANY a phone call. There were spreadsheets. I even made up a leaving piece for prospective landlords.

I started feeling ill on Friday and Jason was seriously sick but we decided with all the leg work and showings set up we just couldn't bail. So we pressed on. The plan of attack....wake up at the butt crack o dawn after working 'till 11pm the night before and hightail it down to the furthest point South, then work our way back up the state, looking at apartments until we passed out from exhaustion or found THE ONE!

Hmmmm, how shall I sum up the search....#1 Apartments in Southern Maine are ridunculously expensive and it's been difficult to find any that aren't double what we're paying for our mortgage right now. #2 VERY VERY few apartments in Southern Maine allow pets...at least in the areas we need to be in.

This is my favorite highlight....so I'll share it with you. It all began in Kittery. A location near the ocean and walking distance for Jason to the Shipyard had our hopes high. What was described as an "eat in kitchen" was about 6x8. What was described as a "HUGE fenced in back yard" was about as big as our small backyard in Old Town, and partially fenced in with dilapidated chain link. What was described as a "really nice interior" was a DUMP! The walls were paneling painted a pea green, the floors were hardwood painted a maroon. In some rooms there was even hideous gold and black shiny wallpaper. The bathroom was about 5x5 and so disgusting I wouldn't even wash my dog in it. The whole place was tiny and dark. And last but not least...the kitchen cabinets were painted black with...I AM NOT JOKING...yellow splatter paint.

We made our way north through three or four other small towns with no luck. In our last and final town we looked at multiple properties with a leasing agent. There were two possibilities and a clean, spacious but older and kind of dated duplex that we thought we'd end up in. It would have been OKAY.

In a last ditch effort we stopped by an open house that I called about just the morning before. When we drove onto the street it was like Shangrila! I felt as if the heavens had opened and the angels were singing! It was like a little fairytale book. As far as I'm concerned, there were flowers blooming, butterflies flitting through the air and friendly little forest critters that could talk, smiling and welcoming us to the neighborhood.

It was a beautiful little neighborhood. The houses were spaced out with large manicured lawns. There were mostly single family houses and a few duplex's scattered about. The streets were quiet and people were out and about.

The duplex was gorgeous! The landlord was there fixing it up and he was super nice. So here's the run down. Nice wood floors. New laminated going in wherever there was carpet and new peel and stick tile going in wherever there was linoleum. Big living room, separate dining and kitchen. Nice cupboards, good cupboard space, a little breakfast bar and blue counter tops that totally match my kitchen decor! Good sized bathroom and bedrooms. LOTS of windows, really bright and sunny. Nice, dry cement basement for laundry and storage. And a truly big yard, nicely fenced in with privacy fencing. It's even landscaped! Little lilies were popping up through the ground, nicely trimmed hedges adorned the front and a few rhododendrons were just waiting to bloom! And to boot, the family in the other unit is a young couple our age with an 11month old baby girl!

Needless to say. We took it! Yay housing secured! We then proceeded home, feeling like a train had run over us both. We took care of our little girl as best we could and prayed that bed time would come quickly. Jason hit the sack at 6:30pm. I got Ella down at 7pm and then promptly went to bed myself. This morning I don't feel AS sick as Jason, which I attribute to the kick-butt nursing mother immunity! Jason will have to be hooked up to an IV soon if bodily fluids don't stop coming out! It's a nasty, nasty flu like virus that NOBODY ever wants. Please pray for health!

Apr 23, 2009

More Video!

Okay, here's one from about a month ago. This is Ella playing under her dangly things....her favorite past time until the Jumper came along! She's usually even more animated and talkative than this, but she gets a little distracted whenever I pull out the camera!
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Apr 21, 2009

Let the Video Bombardment Commence!

My sister-in-law let us have her video camera on extended loan when she learned a niece was on the way! :) We've been taking videos like mad but just today spent the time to figure out how to get them on the computer and convert them to the right format to post. And by "we" I mean I have been taking videos and Jason figured out how to get them on here.

So watch out people. I think you'll be bombarded with videos from here on out!

Enjoy this latest one! Jason's Aunt Doreen graciously lent us this jumperoo. Ella's learning curve over the last few weeks has been awesome to watch. At first she liked it but just sat there...then she played with the toys on the tray....then she pushed up off of her feet every now and again...and in the past two days she has figured it out and exploded with jumping excitement! She'd do it all day long if we let her!
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And here's another one. People are always asking how our dog Hunter is with Ella. Well, he's pretty tolerant and pretty sweet as you can see!
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A Few Good Men

It was just a few days ago that a few of my friends and I were standing around talking about what great husbands we have. We fully realize that there are a lot of men in the world that....well....let's just say leave a lot to be desired! But we sure are blessed to have some awesome guys!

And now here's a little visual proof. Three great guys with their beautiful little girls that are sure to have them wrapped around their little fingers for the rest of their lives! (This was at Natalie's 3rd Birthday which was a tea party and Ella is the only wearing her tea hat!)And here's my fantabulous hubby and dad extraordinaire "flying" our baby girl! Oh how she loves it!

Apr 19, 2009

Prime Piece of Real Estate for Sale!

The circumstances surrounding Jason getting this job were too perfect to be just coincidence (perhaps I'll write the details out one of these days). Along with the many hours of prayer that went into this whole decisions, it is undeniable that God's hand is in it and He is paving the way.

My next big question to worry about (there's always something) has been...Okay, new job, moving, who in heck is going to want to buy our trailer in the middle of a giant dirt patch, when the economy and real estate market are just booming away!?

Don't get me wrong. We have 3 acres, with beautiful views and it was going to make a lovely spot for a house....someday....when we planted grass, and trees and such. But right now...it's not much to look at. That picture right there is purty much exactly what our entire lot looks like!

We can't afford rent in southern Maine and a mortgage up here while we wait for it to sell, and I don't want to be up here without Jason while he sleeps on friends couches during the work week and then comes home on the weekends while we wait to sell. So, all the while we were praying for God's will in this job and large life change one of my prayers has been this word for word..."God, if you want this to happen, please prepare a buyer for this house and land. And please work all the timing issues out."

Once again God has shown that He is good and that He will provide if we just trust in Him. When Jason got the official job offer he decided to go knock on our neighbors door and ask if he wanted to buy our place. His response? "Yup, just tell me how much and I'll go to the bank." It seems that he had been thinking about buying it before we did anyway. And he wants to accumulate all the land on his side of the road and be able to control who lives next to him. He has no time table so when we close and move is up to us and we can line it up perfectly with our needs. WOW.

Apr 14, 2009

Permission to Speak Freely Sir!? Permission Granted!

Okay, we've told most of our family, the people at our workplaces and some friends...to the rest of you this will be a complete surprise....

LONG STORY SHORT:
Jason is going back into engineering. He got a job at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He worked there before training to be a nuclear engineer but did not like it. He will not be going the nuclear route this time, jut mechanical and he thinks he'll really like it. We'll know in a couple weeks exactly when he'll be starting, but the month being thrown around is June. AHHHH! That's a little faster than we had originally thought.

MY THOUGHTS/FEELINGS:
The cons are:
~This means yet another move (you know how much I LOVE moving).
~We'll be moving away from my mom and sister who we are so close to now, which means we'll see them less and Ella won't get to be around them as much.
~We'll be moving away from our amazing church family, some super close friends and my beloved mommy group.
~I'll be leaving the clients and staff team at work that I ADORE.
~Jason won't be able to deer hunt the places he really likes to, or fish all the places up north he's gotten to know so well.
~The cost of living down there is more expensive, we'll have to rent for a couple years.
~We'll have to find new baby sitters.

The pros are:
~I will be able to stay home with Ella and concentrate on trying to start a little home business Jason has forever been encouraging me to do (Or perhaps just work one day a week at first).
~Money will still be tight at first, but with raises over the next few years it will put us in a place financially where we'll be able to pay off debt, build up a savings, put money away for Ella's college and save up for a down payment on a house.
~The department Jason is going to seems very family friendly, he'll be able to work 4 10's so he'll be home with us 3 days a week, and he won't ever have to bring home work!
~I really like the Southern Maine area...lots of stuff to do....lots of beaches close by.
~As Jason thinks about having to rethink his outdoor adventures, he is getting jazzed about getting back into striper fishing, learning how to fish the Androscogin River and exploring the beautiful Bethel area.
~We have an awesome church family in York that we can return to with great people that we had only begun to get to know when we left. It will be an easy place to start back up and build deeper friendships and a great support network.
~When you rent you don't have to worry about any yard work, snow plowing or maintenance.....
~We're still in Maine so we'll still see family. And we'll be closer to one Auntie Erin!
~Even though I adore moving so much....we've vowed to each other that this one is permanent!

So all in all, the conclusion is...it's bitter sweet...but we really believe it's the right thing for our family and we have seen God's hand of confirmation all along the way.

Apr 11, 2009

Lovely Saturday

Some very exciting news just arrived this lovely Saturday....but I cannot yet tell you what it is! (Wasn't that evil of me!?) Until I am at liberty to discuss, please do enjoy these ADORABLE photos from our 4 month photo shoot!

Apr 10, 2009

LUCK-Y!

If you know anything about my hubby, you know that he eats sleeps and breaths fly-fishing AND is extremely good at it.

WELL! Last night I got home to find that he's been asked to take part in testing LLBeans new version of the streamlight rod! In doing so, he'll test the streamlight against two of their competetors from June through October, take notes, give his feedback and at the end he gets to keep the two competetors rods! So happy for him!

Apr 9, 2009

Sisterhood of the Traveling Maternity Clothes!

I just finished organizing all of my maternity clothes....but alas they are not headed for storage. They are headed for other preggo mommies to wear. I LOVE THIS! I was blessed with so many great maternity clothes that friends let me borrow. It was amazing! I didn't expect it at all, thinking people who were having more babies would not want to lend out their clothes that they are going to wear again. But that was not the case. I felt so loved by their generosity. And now I can't wait to "pass it on" so to speak!

In the midst of new baby on the way, the last thing you want to do is spend money on maternity clothes that you'll only wear for a short time! So I can't wait to lend mine out! On their way Ame!

(I ALSO just finished sorting and storing all of Ella's 0-3 month clothing as well as all of her clothing that is 12 months or bigger as it will be a long time before she fits into those. And now her drawers and closet are neatly organized with all 3-6 and 6-9 month clothing. Ahhh how I love it.)

Apr 7, 2009

A Little Piece o' my Mind...non-baby related!

Okay, this has been bugging me for a few days... If you heard a husband or boyfriend saying to his wife or girlfriend, "You're not allowed to (fill in the blank....spend money, go somewhere etc. etc.)" What would you think? If you heard a man ordering a woman to do things like, cleaning, laundry or going to pick something up at a store. What would you think? You'd think that man is chauvinistic and controlling and that it is not a healthy relationship...right? You might even be worried for the woman's safety in such an unhealthy dynamic right?

Okay then....WHY is it okay in our society for women to do that to men!!?? You see it so often! Women are controlling dictators and their guys are doormats who shut their mouths and do as their told! It is so demeaning and disrespectful when women do that! Not to mention what guy would ever want to get emotionally or physically close to a woman who treats him like that!? I cannot stand it when I see relationships like that! It's so opposite of God's design and it's so unhealthy!

The thought of me telling Jason what to do makes me bust a gut laughing just thinking about it! If I EVER ordered him to do something or, for instance, told him he wasn't allowed to spend money, he'd look right in my face and crack up and say something like, "You're not being serious are you!?" And then, if for some reason I was being serious...I know he'd go out and do the exact thing I had told him not to....just to prove that he is his own person, with his own will, and that he cannot be told what to do like a child.

Our relationship is NOT perfect but I'm so glad to have a relationship where Jason is the loving, responsible head of the household. Does that mean he controls me? Heck no! He does his darndest to have my best interest at heart and love me and I do my darndest to have his best interest at heart and respect him. I can honestly say that we have NEVER told each other what to do, weather it be household chores, money spending or any kind of family decision!

I'm so glad to have a relationship built on love and mutual understanding...one where if we want something from the other we ASK NICELY...novel idea isn't it?...pretty sure most of us learned the concept in kindergarten! One where instead of telling each other what to do, we express our opinions, wants and desires and have discussions and conversations in order to make decisions that are the best decisions for BOTH of us. I can honestly say that we do a dang good job at that. And seeing some other relationships out there, makes me SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO grateful for our relationship....for my husband... for the amazing man that God alone turned Jason into...and for the fact that Jason would NEVER allow himself to be a doormat or be told what to do!

Women I beg of you....stop controlling your men and ordering them around! It is SO VERY UNBECOMING and it is disrespectful and detrimental to your relationship and to the psyche of your guy! And men...I beg of you...stop allowing yourselves to be controlled...stand up and say "I am not a doormat!"

Okay. I feel better now with that off of my chest. Feel free to throw in your two cents!

Apr 6, 2009

Holy Cuteness!

Ummm, could she BE any cuter!?So Sunday after church, Ella rolled over for the first time! She got all ticked off because I put her on her tummy and she started writhing and contorting herself and getting about half way over the way she usually does. And then she got just a little extra fussy which lent itself to an unusually strong baby Uummph and boom...she flipped over. I don't think she even knew what hit her. All she knew was that she was on her back, cow toy dangling in her face and all was well with the world again! Of course we grabbed the video camera and tried to get her to do it again but no repeats thus far.

Today has been fantabulous! Ella slept great last night (She has fully transitioned to the crib in her room now). I went to mommy time, and during Ella's lovely long nap have managaed to make two casseroles to freeze, start a loaf of bread, talk to the traveling beef salesman, do the dishes, sweep the floors, clean both bathrooms, empty all the trashbaskets and write this post! Joy!

Apr 4, 2009

Snuggly Saturday

Life is good...
Need I say more?