Friday, October 30, 2015

The Search for A Modest Home

Life has been pretty exciting recently. But let's talk about the past for a minute...After the short sale of our town house in 2012, Brandon and I thought we would not be able to purchase a home for at least 4 years after it was finally sold. We knew this would put a ding on our credit, but unfortunately, he lost his job and we didn't have the resources to continue to pay for our mortgage, plus we needed to move 2 hours north of our current house for Brandon's new job position.

As life has gone one, we have slowly been talking about the prospects of purchasing a house at the end of next year! So one afternoon we had always discussed one area of Saratoga Springs that we loved, and hey, a builder that we knew and liked was building in that area. Guys it's perfect, and I found the perfect floor plan I love. In the back of my head though I kept thinking, we still have to wait, I know it takes time to build, but these will still be done before any bank would finance us due to our previous short sale...Well...we started talking with the salesman (never a good thing), and found out we only had to wait 3 years! 3 years! That means comes this December we could have a house. WHAT?! The dream is real guys! It has consumed our thoughts, and time, which isn't necessarily the best thing since we're both in school and have the kiddo's and work.

So since we found the perfect area and floor plan, really it was a great time to potentially build!

The thing is, I'm in a Family Finance class at BYU. This is such a practical class that honestly should be available to everyone, especially married couples! Within our class we have discussed the discouragement of debt, except for three different categories. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin put it best when he said, "Some debt - such as for a modest home, expenses, for education, perhaps for a needed first car - may be necessary. But never should we enter into financial bondage through consumer debt without carefully weighing the costs."

As we kept looking at our dream lots and floor plan the price of it kept creeping into the back of my mind. Although Brandon is making significantly more than he ever has, this is still a house we could not afford...Not right now at least. I brought this up to Brandon, who unfortunately agreed with me, so we started to discuss maybe purchasing a home already built, for less.

We are still on the hunt and searching. But this term "modest home" is what has been continually on my mind. I had heard that quote by Elder Wirthlin before, but as we are truly searching for a home, and we want so many wonderful things, this small phrase of "modest" keeps coming into my head.

A thought that has come back to Brandon is maybe we should purchase another town house for now. We could get into one fairly quickly, and have a mortgage for about the same price we're paying in rent right now. Then, we can keep our budget the same that it is and continue to pay off debts as quickly as we can. Once all other debts are paid, except for a mortgage, then we can maybe look into selling the townhouse and then putting the equity into a down payment for a larger house in the future.

Nothing is for certain right now, and if for anything, I'm grateful for the fact that we are taking our time and truly talking about all the options we have before us. I'm excited for the future, and what it has in store for my little family. I truly hope we can continue to have the Spirit guide us to find our new modest home.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Love/Hate Relationships

We all have love/hate relationship? Right? Or is it just me?... Either way, here is a list of my l/h relationships, in no particular order.

Hair: I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I love it longer, I think it looks nicer on me, but it gets so heavy! I love to change my hair up, but you really can't change it up when it's long, unless you have the time to curl it. Which I don't. I'm trying to get enough gumption to do a pixie cut. But, I don't have the balls yet. So 5 in the other day, was all I could part with. It's still long enough to pull it back when needed, but yet it doesn't feel like I'm getting a headache from it every day.

Cars: I love the independence I get with my car. I can go and do anything! I hate when they break down and suck. I also hate putting a ton of money into fixing a car, and it breaking down a couple months later with the same issues...thank you, you stupid, incompetent mechanics. Long story short, we're getting rid of one of our cars, and upgrading to a (hopefully) more reliable model.

Working out: I love the feeling of progressing with working out. I love how I can push myself a little further each time, and see my body improve. I am completely exhausted and lazy though. So I don't get to work out...I could, I just choose to do homework/work, or snuggle up with the mister to a movie instead. Priorities people. (I am trying to motivate myself to working out more again. I'm not getting younger, and it's harder to maintain my weight than it used to be. Thanks kiddo's!) ;)

School: I love getting my education. I love getting away from the kid's to do something selfish. I could probably go to school forever, which sometimes it feels like that's going to happen. I do hate missing out on my children growing up (even if it is only a couple of hours each day). I miss sleep. I hate writing papers, and the stress that causes. I also hate statistics. Even though, it has helped me to understand (or at least think I understand), a lot of the back end of my work. Plus, sometimes I want a break from a Spring Break...BYU doesn't have one. WHAT?! :(

Teething munchkins: I love when they get teeth! It means they can try more challenging foods...but really...This is mostly a hate relationship. Ammon is in so much pain. He wakes up early, takes forever to take a nap, and goes to sleep late because he just wants me to snuggle him to sleep. Don't get me wrong, I love snuggling him all day, but unfortunately when it's their bed time, that's my time to clean up/do my work/finish homework. I have to cut the cord, and I hate it. Boo for teething. Yay for ice-cream though!

These are a few that have been on my mind the past week...I'm sure I'll come up with a part two with it at some point. Do you have any love/hate relationships?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Journal Entry 1

As I am horrible at keeping a journal, hopefully my Religious class at BYU will help. I have to write out journal entries a couple of times a week and figured I'd post my thoughts on here. Maybe as I post more about my testimony it will lead to posting more about my cute kiddo's and the craziness that is our lives.

Here are a few thoughts on one of my favorite scriptures. :)
An all time favorite scripture that has buoyed my husband and I up during unexpected trials and helped us increase our faith is 1 Nephi 3:7. This is Nephi accepting Lehi’s, and truly Heavenly Father’s commandment to go back to Jerusalem and retrieve the records from Laban. Even after his brothers murmur at the idea of retrieving the plates, Nephi proclaims “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commmandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7) I’ve always admired Nephi’s unwavering faith, he did not know how he would accomplish this commandment, but Nephi knew the Lord commanded it, and so he knew they needed the plates before they could continue on with their journey to the promised land.
There have been times in my life when the future was uncertain for my family and myself, change was inevitable, but security was missing within my life. Last summer my husband told me that he had been prompted multiple times over the past few weeks that I should apply to BYU.  This act was hard for me because we were settled in Logan; both students at USU and Brandon had a stable job that was able to support our family so I could stay home with our sons. The wait to hear back from BYU of my acceptance was excruciating. Brandon and I tried multiple times to find housing in Utah County as well as find employment for him so he could continue to support our family but things never worked out. Just like when Laban first tried to persuade Laban to give him the plates, he was denied what was commanded of him. (1 Nephi 3:11-13) As well as when Nephi convinced his brothers to go back into the city to offer up their inheritance they had left behind to Laban to purchase the plates. They were again rejected and fled for their lives. (1 Nephi 3:22-25) It was then that I looked upon this scripture and dived into the footnotes. One of the footnotes leads to the comforting voice of our Heavenly Father saying “…Stop, and stand still until I command thee, and I will provide means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee.” (D&C 5:34) It is only when we stop, and are patient with the Lord, that we are lead in the direction he needs us to go to follow through with keeping his commandments. It wasn’t until Nephi truly paused for a moment as he went into the city alone, unknowing of what was about to happen that he was “led by the Spirit.” (1 Nephi 4:6) It was in those quiet moments when Nephi was patient and awaiting the direction of the Lord, that he was then guided to Laban. Just like Nephi, my husband and I needed to be patient with the Lord. It wasn’t until my husband and I were still, and quiet within the holy walls of the temple, that we were finally calm. We knew that things would work out in the end, and that our Father in heaven was guiding us to where he needed us most.   

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Over the past few days I've been having the great inner debate...or struggle as it were. Towards the end of my pregnancy with Ammon if I were to drink caffeine any later than 1 PM I would be up all night! Caffeine had never affected me like that before and so at about 6 months pregnant I stopped drinking all caffeinated drinks together.

At times I wanted to drink a coke, a lot of times to be honest. But I was good and strong, even after I had Ammon. Again I was so worried that the caffeine would then affect him in my milk...long story short it's been way over a year since I've had a delicious coke. A couple of interesting things happened...

When I don't drink Coke, I tend not to drink soda in general. This also leads to Brandon drinking less soda because he just gets water with me. So overall we're healthier. Win/win right?

Drinking less soda equals less money going to my silly wanting of a drink every once in awhile, so yay  more money in the budget.

Lets be honest though, summer makes me think of Coke. Cold delicious Coke, especially Vanilla Coke. It reminds me of hot days hanging out with my friends, and warm nights playing night games. It makes me think of a day at Thanksgiving Point with the Keele's trying out FREE Vanilla Coke all day. YUM! Can you tell I miss it? Sometimes I even smell Brandon's when he gets one, haha, I'm a loser.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I stopped nursing Ammon. It's a complicated time, very emotional. I was done, he was done and ready. But I knew I would have a hard time missing that snuggle time with him. So as soon as I stopped Brandon asked the ultimate question, wanna Coke?

I don't know if I'm honestly pleased to announce I still haven't had a Coke yet. Honestly I'm kind of scared, as silly as that sounds. I'm still working on my weight loss goal, and drinking soda always makes it harder for me. Currently I've lost 9 lbs, but for the past couple of weeks I've pretty much fluctuated with where I'm at by a pound or two. Not cool. I guess my diet has gone so far and I actually need to consistently work out!

Here's the problem, over the past couple of days I've had a non stop headache. I'm still drinking a lot of water, I guess that's been a good habit I got from nursing. I've been taking ibuprofen to help with the pain, but it hasn't been helping either...I know a Coke would help, but I'm worried I'll get addicted again!

So what do I do? Give in and jump out of the wagon, or continue my streak of being good?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Counting Calories and Stuff

I can honestly say I never thought I would count calories, but having an app for it definitely makes it easier. A few things I've noticed while counting calories. 1) I am a huge snack person. I tend to eat smaller meals in order to be able to snack through the day. This probably is due to my hypoglycemia, or I just love to constantly eat. Probably both. 2) After using the app for a week I already have a pretty good idea of when I reach my daily caloric goal intake. Am I the best at it? Probably not, did I not input some meals, darn tooting! But I'm seeing results so that's pretty cool

Work outs for last week were fairly non existent. I went to the gym once and felt like I did a pretty easy lifting, plus walking/running on a treadmill. Later that day I took the boys for a 1.5 mile walk as well. As the day progressed my body started to get more sore. OUCH! I guess it worked. I wish I could've gone more, but with school stuff and lack of sleep, there was a lack of motivation.

This week for work outs it is supposed to be my turn to hit the gym M/W/F...With my 2 hours of sleep for Sunday, and then finally getting sleep last night I was going to sleep in a bit before going to the gym. Well, thirty minutes later, and both munchkins awake I'm still hoping I can go when Brandon gets home. We'll see, maybe we'll go on a family walk instead.

Complete side note: If you ever want to feel old, go to your local university and take their math placement test along with your fellow freshman (who all happen to be 18)... I walked into a teeny, tiny room with about six computers against the wall, all next to each other. Five of the computers were occupied, and students were already working on their test. When I came in, the proctor asked me a few simple questions, one being, "how long has it been since you've taken a math class?" I mentioned it had been roughly ten years and those that were testing stopped what they were doing, turned around and looked at me. To make things more awkward, I smiled and said "hello," as they all returned to their tests. The proctor then went on to ask if I was able to remember my student id number...Really? Yes I'm an older student, but I'm not ancient.

So that was my fun, I'm getting old moment last week. I didn't do the best at testing, math isn't my strong subject and I've already put it off for two semesters. So for summer I get to take a lovely math class to hopefully refreshen everything I took in high school. Haha, we'll see. I'm trying to stay positive and hope I can do well!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rough Week and Weight Loss Challenge

This Monday Brandon and I officially started our weight loss challenge...Just a heads up, if you're planning a weight loss challenge, don't start it the same time mother nature comes calling! This whole week all I can think of are burgers, ice cream, cookies, etc. Yesterday wasn't a the best of days either when I woke up the day with a clogged milk duct...OW! Also Connor split his lip we've had quite the adventure this week.

Good news though - Connor's lip will heal on its own, no stitches!

With the weight loss challenge Brandon is really pushing me to count calories. All I have to say is thank heavens there's an app for that! It hasn't been that bad to calculate everything when it does it for you, I can even scan in the barcode of items (for example, a container of yogurt), and it'll pull it right up. Boom. I had to do a bit of researching first because I'm nursing and my caloric intake still needs to be higher. So currently I'm eating 1800 calories a day and we'll see if anything works. If I start to loose too much after a few weeks, or my milk supply goes down I will increase it to either 1900, or 2000 calories a day. So far I think it's going alright.

So for the weight loss part of it I need to lose 14 lbs for pre-pregnancy weight. However, since I'm hoping to lose a bit more, I'm shooting for 29 lbs! If I lose my goal lbs, and Brandon loses his we'll reward ourselves with a night at the Anniversary Inn!

I've only been able to go to the gym once this week and I mostly lifted weights (Brandon's days were MWF this week and mine were T/TH...but I had to skip the gym to take a math test today on campus). Usually when I would go I would hop on the treadmill and walk/run a couple of miles, however I'm thinking this time around I need to do both. So right now I'm going to focus on weight lifting more, and then taking the kiddo's on walks during the day (since I have my lovely double stroller...however the tires need air).

That's been my week this week...rough, but we're making it! Lets just hope I can make it through the next couple of days. Brandon is in SLC all day for work and will be there late, so I won't have him to help me all day. Then tomorrow he has to take the buyers from work back to the airport. Boo :(

I'll keep you posted on our journey, we are taking pictures, measurements and weight weekly. But I'm not sure if I'll just wait till the end to post things, or do it periodically.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Biggest Loser: Holyoak Couple Style

During my pregnancy with Ammon, Brandon was doing a Biggest Loser competition with a bunch of his old high school friends. There was a $5 buy in, making the total prize being $100 at the end of 3-4 months. Brandon was amazing, especially considering the fact that the competition started a week or so before Thanksgiving and went through the holidays. I was so proud of him, but emotionally it was very hard for me. It was already hard for me to get bigger, which is obviously normal during pregnancy, but to see my husband get skinnier as I got larger was definitely harder than I expected.

Brandon ended up winning the competition, but due to the fact that everyone in the competition didn't pay their buy in money he only received $40. Obviously the real prize was the weight he lost, and he looked and felt amazing. Of course with my horrible pregnancy cravings, and his lack of being in a competition he gained it back. I'm selfish, and I feel bad he gained that weight. So to make things better we're making some changes!

In a few weeks Brandon and I are starting our on weight loss challenge. We're not rewarding a winner, our reward will be the lost weight. I'm thinking this will be really good for us, since we'll only really have each other to cheer each other on, and I'd like to think we're our biggest fans.

Biggest problems right now are, we eat out too much, portions, and my personal lack of exercise.

Game plan for me: We ordered a jogging double stroller and I can't wait till it gets here, it arrives Wednesday! Since the weather is getting warmer I can't make the excuse that I can't get off my tush and walk/run it out. Plus it will get the boys out for fresh air. My hopeful plan is to go on a 30-60 walk/run each day, or Mon-Sat. Another thing I will be doing is counting calories...I have never done that, but Brandon swears by it. We are going to eat healthier meals, more fruits and veggies, and smaller portions (we ordered a food scale to help us weigh those as well). I'd love to lose at least 15 pounds, that would get me down to pre pregnancy weight. If I lose more, fantastic! Goal is to lose at least 1 pound a week.

Brandon's game plan: Get up earlier and work out at his office gym. This will take effort from me, I may or may not have to kick him out of bed. ;) He'll also count calories, and be watching his food portions, and eating healthier.

We aren't starting our actual competition until after General Conference weekend. We're going to be traveling to Utah County the next couple of weekends, and we always tend to eat horribly while we're out and about. (Who can say no to In - N - Out, Sweet Tooth Fairy and Zupas? I sure can't...I see a problem here, haha).

So that's that! I may or may not post my progress on here... I'm still deciding. We are going to weigh ourselves weekly as well as take measurements. Here's to losing weight and becoming fit!