Sunday, October 13, 2013

Been Awhile

It has been a long time since I last posted a blog. Life has been crazy and I honestly have not had the energy or motivation to do it. Below I will do a little update on each of us, I need to delete some old pictures so I can post more on here, so there are no pictures yet.

He turned 3 in July!
He loves playing at the park and still asks to go on hikes everyday (we did A LOT of hiking over the summer while Chris was home).
He loves reading books
He loves taking toys from EmmaLee
He gives the sweetest hugs and kisses
His reasoning skills are improving- the other day at dinner he told us he was not a giraffe, I asked how he knew he was not a giraffe, he said, "because I don't have spots or a reaaallly looooooong neck."
He loves friends- his friends consist of any child in his general area, they are really good friends if they look at him, talk to him, or play with him!
He loves his sister, he looks out for her and tries to keep her safe.
He is adorable and we love him!

Emma Lee:
She is 18 months this month.
She loves being outside running and playing
She is a great mimic to Matthew
She has a doll with a pacifier and a bottle and she love to bring it to me, sit on my lap, and then we feed the baby together. It is so sweet and I love it!
She loves milk
She can't have nuts - seems to prefer sunflower seed butter over soy nut butter, I want them to test her for allergies.
She is so playful and silly
She is stubborn and determined
She likes to go pee pee and poo poo in the potty (sometimes- usually in the morning and then not at all the rest of the day? I don't understand..)
She is adorable and we love her!

Is in his 2nd year of Optometry school- It is HARD, lots of classes, lots of memorization, lots of drugs and diseases to learn.
Enjoys going shooting (especially clay pigeon shooting) with his rifle and handgun, he doesn't get to do it as much as he would like.
Misses being home with the kids and I since school started.
Is more than ready to move on and start our life after school

Stephanie (me):
I am having fun with the kids
Trying to get more motivated to do my job here at the apartments (I am going through a slump, it is hard having so many different jobs that are demanding 24/7)
Finally figured out how to get some time to take care of myself!!! This is huge for me, I joined a gym with childcare, so I get to go workout and the kids get to play. I need this time to myself which is hard for me, but I am a better mommy and wife when I get a break during the day, and when I get to improve my health and fitness level, hopefully I will start feeling better about myself - it is going to take some hard work to undo the last 3.5 years.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

My letter to someone

June 8, 2013
I am writing in regards to the student loan bills that have recently been trying to be passed. I am a graduate from Washington State University and currently am paying off a small student loan debt. However my husband is currently pursuing a professional degree in Optometry from Pacific University, this leads us to be very interested in the legislation of federal student aid. When all is said and done his tuition from 8 years of schooling will total 192,000, now when you add a 6.8% interest rate, which is what most of his graduate loan rates are, with the grad plus loans being a higher rate, we are looking at leaving school owing $250,000 with all interest included, and after repayment (according to current loan estimates) we will have paid $100,000 in interest alone! After school we can expect him to earn $70-85,000 a year while he gets established in his industry. With this income we are likely looking at paying nearly 20% income tax (both federal and state combined) leaving us with $57-70,000 to live on and pay $34,500 to student loans per year. This means that we will be spending half of our income on student loan payments for 10 years!
As you can imagine, the debt amount is crushing, however we knew that we were taking on a large debt and we don’t expect anyone to shoulder our bill for school. We weighed the pros and cons, and we considered the amount of tuition that would be accrued. What we could not/did not foresee was the incredibly high interest rates on graduate student loans. As an undergraduate my husband qualified for many grants and scholarships due to high academic achievement, as well as financial need. However most of our loan debt is federally unsubsidized, and going to crush us in repayment because of the high interest rates. There has been a lot about federally subsidized Stafford loans, which many people do not realize that is just a small portion of the loans offered, I have also heard talk of payment plans in which you pay a portion of your income for X amount of years and the rest is forgiven. I do not agree with any of the current proposals, forgiving everyone’s student loan debt is not feasible for a country already saddled with debt, nor would it encourage thoughtful spending and careful planning on the students’ part.
If the federal government wants to help ease the student loan debt for graduates then ALL loan rates should be lowered. Banks and other major corporations can borrow money from the government at much lower rates from what I have found, so why are students and families that are just starting out having to pay so much money to borrow money to gain an education. This debt is going to prevent us from supporting the economy on both a local and a federal level because we simply will not be able to afford anything other than our student loan payments. I believe that what needs to be done is simple, offer students lower interest rates (they should be the lowest rates available), and offer students ways to pay loans off before taxes. If the student loan rates were lowered to say 2%, it would put our student loan payments per year to about 27,600 saving an extra $500.00 per month leading to total interest paid on the loan to $26,040.00. This is a much more manageable sum than paying $95,240.00 in interest payments. The change I believe we need to see is outlined and shown by the numbers in this letter, interest rates need to be lowered and options to make loan payments before taxes added. This will get students out of debt faster, more responsibly, and allow them to contribute to the economy during and after repayment.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Vitamin D

So I found out today that I have a super low level of vitamin D. I also found out how important it is!

I went and had my yearly physical and expressed to the doctor how I always feel tired, have lots of headaches and have just felt blah... It can almost be described as a depressed feeling, but I am not depressed. She decided to do some blood work and check my Thyroid, blood counts, liver and kidney function among other things to see if there would be some explanation. I was just glad someone FINALLY listened to me and didn't just blame it on kids and stress.

 I was relieved and excited to get the results today, all my blood counts and levels are perfect except for my Vitamin D which is at like a 10.5 and normal is between 30 and 100. The next 8 weeks I will be taking a crazy amount of a supplement, I believe it is 50,000 IU capsule once a week, then they will do another blood test and make sure it brought me up to a normal level.

They said a low Vitamin D level could be causing ALL of my symptoms (including the digestive ones and the inability to loose the baby weight), that seems crazy to me, but I am so excited it is not something more serious. I am really hoping to start feeling better soon. From what I have read I will start feeling the effects in a few weeks (as long as I don't get the crazy side effects from the high dosage) and people have also said they felt like they got their life back. I really PRAY that this will be that answer for me!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

11 Months

Emma Lee is 11 months old today! A few stats about her at 11 months.

Is walking
Eating what we eat
Has started weaning herself - still wants to nurse all night however
Has slept 2 nights in a toddler bed
loves to chase Matthew around
climbing on everything she can
A funny girl with a great sense of humor
Loves the "I'm gonna get you" game
Says, "Mamma, Dadda, Grandpa, thank you, and tries I'm gonna get you"
She loves wearing her shoes
Will only walk in the opposite direction than we want to go
Stubborn and strong willed
Loves to give kisses and high fives

I am constantly amazed by this baby girl, she is so much fun. She is full of spunk and personality, she is fearless and tries to do everything. She is a great imitator.

We have been so blessed to have her in our family, and I love her more than words can say!

Happy 11 Months Emma!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I know I have been slacking on my blog posting but I have just been so overwhelmed with everything else I have to do. Things are starting to slow down a little bit, I just have to get the last little bit of stuff put away and fold the huge pile of clean laundry, then our little apartment will feel much better.

We are adjusting to our new home and routine. The kids are both learning so much lately. Emma is almost walking, she takes a few steps and then sits down right now, but for 9 months that is still impressive.

We sold the Pathfinder we had and our trailer and used that money plus our tax return to buy a Ford Freestyle outright. It is great to have a larger more versatile vehicle and NO car payment on it, I will be so excited once we have the title in hand (the DMV has to process it still). We also bought a washer and dryer (new to us), and I found a bike trailer on craigslist (then found out it SMELLED HORRIBLE), and then found a used bike at a bike co-op (we are in Oregon you know). There is a great bike trail by our house and the kids and I are going to start riding it so I can get another form of exercise in during the week. Quite a few big purchases, hopefully we are almost done with those.

Although next on the list is health insurance for me, I have found a few plans that might be worth the money, we just need to make sure we can really afford the extra every month until we get the corolla paid off (only 2300 more dollars and we are car payment free!). That car has the best interest, and right now we wouldn't qualify for rates that low, so we have never paid much more than the monthly payment on it.

That is where we are at. I love my kids, the job is going well, and it is time to get these kids ready for bed!

Thursday, January 03, 2013


A LOT has happened in the last month, not only Christmas which is usually a busy time of the year, but a new job and a move that were not previously planned.

We thought we were going to have a week to slowly get moved and then I would go to training and we would start our new job after I was able to go through training... not so... we found out Thursday (27th Dec.) that we would be starting Monday (the 31st) and would need to move in over the weekend. We were not packed and we were still out of town visiting family. So when we got home we made a plan and started moving. We rented a truck Friday afternoon and just started loading the essentials (furniture, clothes, kitchen, bathroom). Saturday around 1pm we drove the moving truck to our new apartment (Matthew loved riding in the BIG truck with Chris). During this chaos we were lucky enough to have a friend of ours watching the kids, or it really would have been bad.

We are still trying to sort through and clean up the old house but our new place is coming along nicely. It is nice to have a home, instead of having to set it up to meet state licensing requirements. It is also nice that we have the extra space of the office available to us if we need it.

The move was the traumatic event that I am still facing everyday, I will be happy when we turn the keys over to the owners (oh and we were able to find new renters for the house we are leaving, so that was good!)

The job is going well (I think) we still don't have a clear idea of all of the things we are responsible for but I think that will come with time, I am sure after I go through training I will learn more also. I am not excited that I will have to be away from the kids for 3 days, it is about an hour away and about 8 hours long which means 10 hours a day for me. It makes me very thankful that I don't have to be away from them for that long everyday for work like many parents have to.

We are looking for a dryer, so laundry is piling up, I may have to break down and get some quarters and use the laundry facilities.

We had a great Christmas!

Matthew LOVED opening presents this year and made sure he was a part of opening everyone's presents. His favorite presents were: his wood block train, dump truck, leap pad.

Emma Lee had no interest in opening the presents but liked the toys after Matthew opened them for her. Her favorite toys: A singing cow stuffed animal, and her ball popping toys.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So sad :(

I have been torn up inside ever since I heard about the terrible tragedy on Friday. All those sweet innocent children, and teachers who tried to save and protect them. I literally was just sick to my stomach thinking about it, and have been avoiding the computer as much as possible because it is everywhere. 
As a parent of young children I cannot imagine what could be the thought process of going to an elementary school with that much anger. All I can think was that he was a coward and figured they wouldn't be able to fight back.
I am getting more and more scared to one day put my children in school. Although currently even going to the mall is an unnerving thought as there was a shooting in the mall about an hour from our house. How can I protect my children? How do you come to terms with so many innocent lives being taken in such a horrific manner? I am at a loss and grasping for some sort of understanding. 
The only comfort I can find is that they are safe with our Heavenly Father. I pray for comfort and strength for the families of the victims. I pray that we will always remember the heroic teachers who did everything they could to protect the children in their care. I pray that as a nation we will find some understanding and a way to heal, and that we can figure out how to stop these terrible acts against one another.