Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Car :)

Mike and I have been so blessed to never have a car loan. The only debt we've had is from my wedding ring which we paid off within 9 months and my hygiene instruments which we paid off about 8 months ago. We've always been on the same page with money and we would much rather save it than spend it. So for the past 2 months, Mike's car has been giving us quite the rollercoaster rides! It's been in and out of the shop 4 times and we've just been putting money after money in it. So a few weeks ago, we decided it was time to sell and buy a newer, more reliable car. So I've been checking on KSL daily and have been checking other classifieds. We went and test drove a toyota corolla, honda civic, and honda accord. Nothing really jumped out and bit us. And most of the places laughed when we said we want to pay cash. Well, one day last week, I found an add about a Hyundai Tuscon that fit all of our criteria: less than $9,000, around 50,000 miles, clean, and reliable. So we called a few days later and took it for a spin. We instantly fell in love with it! We were able to take it home for the night and show our parents. Both of our families were great help and had great ideas and suggestions. My dad's opinion means a lot to me and he really liked the car so I knew we were doing well. So the next night, we went back down to pay for it and had a HORRIBLE experience. I don't want to go into details but we walked out of the dealership upset and car-less. The next morning, the manager called to say they would give it to us for $700 less than the first quoted amount so we said we'd take it. We drove down that night and bought the car. I've never written such a large check but we feel so blessed to be able to do that. We don't ever need to pay a payment on it and I couldn't be more happy!! Each time we drive it, we fall more in love with it. My favorite parts: it's a small SUV so we are up off the ground, it has tinted windows, and airbags all the way to the back window. It's super safe and is an all around great car. The only thing I was worried about was selling Mike's car. We didn't do a trade-in because the price was a joke. We put it on KSL classifieds yesterday morning at 11:50 am. Less than 30 seconds of it being online, Mike got a call from a family in West Valley and they wanted to come take it for a ride. An hour later they were here and 30 minutes after that, we had cash in our hands and the car was driving away. Like I've said before, we are so blessed! I know that our Father in Heaven looks out for us and has helped us make this huge decisions. I know we are so blessed because we are faithful in paying our tithing and fast offerings. What a testimony building experience for me!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

~ Making Strides ~

I somehow missed posting this super fun event that Alacia and I participated in a few months ago. My fun Friday meeting group at Weight Watchers decided to participate as a whole in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer event in Salt Lake City. It was a 5 mile walk downtown to help support the Making Strides foundation. There were TONS of people there but we completed the entire 5 miles.

We had a blast together!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

WSU Basketball

Mike and I went up the WSU basketball game last night. It was so much fun. We decided that it was only our 3rd bball game together... that's kinda sad considering that we've been together now for 2 years straight. Well they beat the Idaho State Bengals and played really pretty ok. My adorable niece Ashley was part of the half time show so it was fun to watch her dance. She is a great dancer and has Perfect rhythm. She had been feeling sick all day with a bad headache but she pulled through it and did a great job! Mike and I had fun with the other kids as always. Whitney is turning into his little side-kick. We love those kids to pieces!

Sunday Roast

Last Saturday night, Mike and I did our weekly grocery shopping down at Macey's (where Mike used to work). We went straight back to the fresh produce area to get lots of fruits and veggies. We then ran into one of Mike's former co-workers who was doing a food presentation. She told us about the meal she was sampling and she gave us a taste. It was yummy! She then told us that Macey's was having a deal on a crock-pot roast recepie. We got a 3lb rump roast, 5 lb bag of potatoes, 1lb bag of carrots, 1 onion, dry onion soup mix, 2 cans golden mushroom soup, and a bag of 12 rolls for $15 bucks. WHAT A DEAL! The roast alone was $14.68... so basically we bought the roast and got all the fixings for free! So I took the roast over to my mom's and cut it into 3, 1lb portions and vacuum sealed them so we can continue using our great meal deal! So, last Sunday, I made my very first roast and veggies. It was super yummy!! I had to take a picture to document the deliciousness...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lots of Updates...

Wow... I can't believe that it has been over 2 months since I last posted. The past 2 months have been crazy busy but really really great. I will try to sum up the major events with a few words and pictures. Enjoy...

November 19th- It was a pretty typical Friday for me... Mike was at school/work and my mom was out of town with my brother interviewing at dental schools... so I cleaned the house, ran a few errands, did lots of laundry... nothing too out of the ordinary. Until I got one of the worst phone calls from my dad. He was very calm and quiet but told me that my Grandpa wasn't doing well. He said he had just talked with Raquenel (grandpa's wife) and she was really worried about my grandpa. Sometimes she can be a little dramatic when it comes to his health so my dad said not to worry quite yet. My dad then said he was trying to call my mom and let her know and he would call me back. A few minutes later, he called and said it was time to come say our good-byes. I instantly broke into tears.... My grandpa was 92 years old and I knew he wasn't going to live forever but you are never too prepared for a close family member to return to our Father in Heaven. So, I cried and cried on Mike's shoulder and then prepared to drive to No. Ogden with my dad, sister's, and Mike. Once we got to his house, the Spirit was so strong. We walked into his bedroom where he was laying in his bed with his eyes closed. I, of course, couldn't keep my bursting tears inside any longer. I cried while I walked toward him. He wasn't fully aware that we were there the whole time but I know his spirit was with us. My sister Jami, who's a nurse, gave me the look of "yes Hailey, it will only be a few more hours". I walked over to him, kissed him on the cheek, told him how thankful I was for having him in my life, told him I loved him, and then said good-night. He opened his eyes and looked at me for a brief moment. I know he knew who I was and I know he was saying he loved me back. After we all had a few minutes with him, all the men gathered around him to give him a blessing. My Uncle Clay blessed the oil and my dad gave the blessing. It was so beautiful and powerful. He didn't ask for him to be healed or to live longer... he blessed him that he would pass peacefully to the other side. I only wish that my mom could have been there with us. Once the blessing was complete, my dad leaned over my Grandpa and kissed him on the forehead and told him how much he loved and respected him. It was such a beautiful scene, one I will always remember. Raquenel then told us that my grandpa had been calling and reaching out for Mary, my grandma who died when I was 18 months old. I know that the veil was very thin that night and that my grandma was right there with us. The drive home was a very quiet one. We had made a plan if we got a phone call in the middle of the night of who would go out and who would watch Alacia.
Amazingly, I slept quite well that night.
November 20th- My dad called to say that my mom was on a flight home and she would land about 10:15 am. I was praying the time would come much quicker. My dad called both me and Jami about 9am to say that Raquenel had called and thinks that he had stopped breathing. So we jumped in the car and headed to his home. Sure enough, when we walked in his room, I just knew he was gone. I looked at Jami and she gave me a comforting nod that yes, he was gone. I went to his bedside and held his hand. Jami and I were alone with Raquenel and it was a very spiritual moment. I only wish he would have held on a little longer for my mom to say good-bye. I'm just thankful that she has been with him on a weekly basis for years. She has been such an amazing daughter to him. About 2 hours later, my dad came with my mom. She walked in with big tears in her eyes. It was such a tender experience. Soon after, my mom's sister Christine came in and we started working funeral arrangements. The mortuary came to take him and I was able to help prepare him for transport. It seemed a little crazy at first to help lift his body but I'm so thankful I did. We planned the funeral for Saturday the 27th. Most of the funeral arrangements were completed due to the fact that my grandpa was a funeral director so he had it all planned. We were very thankful he did that. Later that afternoon, I was assigned to type up his obituary while my mom and aunt told me what to write. That was another great experience.
November 26th- Viewing... There aren't words that can express my feelings that night when my grandpa was surrounded by military personal throughout the entire evening. My grandpa fought in WWII and remained very patriotic throughout his life. To have those men there paying such high respects to my grandpa was just unbelievable. I felt so proud to have him as my grandpa.
November 27th- Funeral... What a great time for family and friends to celebrate his life. All of the speakers did such a great job. There were more laughs and smiles than tears. It was a beautiful funeral program and graveside. Once we made it to the cemetery in Brigham, it started the snow. It was perfect. Once again, the veil was very thin. After the funeral, we all were able to pick out something that was my Grandpa's. I was able to come away with one of his WWII medals. It is so beautiful and I hold it close to my heart. My grandpa has always been such a great, patriotic example and I'm grateful to have one of his hard earned war medals.

To sum up the those past few days is very difficult. I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night with a wet pillow from crying. I miss him terribly but I'm so thankful for the knowledge and testimony I have of the Plan of Salvation. I know he is happy to be with my grandma again after 22 long years of being apart. I'm thankful that the Lord allowed me to be his granddaughter and that he has blessed me with such a strong and amazing family. My heart continues to ache for my mom because I know she also misses him a lot. I love you mom...

On a lighter note.... Mike completed another crazy full semester of school. I'm so proud of him for all of his hard work. On top of school, he clocks in about 30-35 hrs of work as a computer programmer at a local business and just loves it! I couldn't be happier to be married to him! I'm still working 3 days a week and temp in several offices on my days off. We feel so blessed to have our jobs and education. We both continue to work hard in our church callings and just enjoy being together.

This was our 2nd Christmas together... where did this past year go!! I can't believe we are on our 2nds of everything. Mike put lights up along our roof and we bought our 2nd Christmas tree. It was So fun to decorate our house together. We've had lots of fun shopping, family parties and
friend get-togethers. I love the holidays! I made our stockings and Christmas eve pajama's this year. My mom helped me a ton but I think she was about ready to give up on me and my lack of
sewing abilities. We were so blessed with all of our fun presents together. We got lots of things
we've desperately needed but a few fun things as well.

We went up the our family cabin to celebrate New Year's. As always, it was a lot of work but tons of fun. My dad left for Africa the day after Christmas so it was weird to not have our parents there with us. We all managed to survive the freezing temps and just enjoyed the time away from everything.

Again, I just love the Holidays! It's always fun to start off a new year though too. And I'm trying to start off the new year with a bang. Mike and I joined a gym last week and I've ran/walked 17.5 miles in these past 6 days. My father in-law has challenged me to take on his last year's resolution - to run 1,000 miles within the year. Don't quite think I'll get there but maybe 800 miles will work for me! It sure is great to have a goal to work towards.

As for my official New Years Resolution - I'm going to focus on exercising 5-6 x a week, continue with Weight Watchers, eat more fruits and veggies and to get rid of at least 20 pounds by April and keep it off. So far, I've lost 1.2 lbs!! Wish me luck!

Happy New Year!

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