Monday, January 27, 2014

No Spend Feb!

Hey Friends!


So even though I didn't come up with the concept of a no spend month and I'm honestly worried we'll even make it, I had so many of you ask what exactly we were doing so I thought I'd blog it. Besides I think it'll be fun to look back on after the end of the month...


No spend February is exactly as it sounds. Mike and I will not be spending any money outside of our regular bills. We're even taking it as far as not grocery shopping except for milk, eggs, and fresh veggies & fruits.


Since February has a few events that I just couldn't pass up I just planned accordingly. Bought my baby shower gift, my yoga rave ticket and extra wine to take to a V-day party. Hey I think just making it a month without buying a decoration for the house will be a big improvement!


The main reason we're doing this is because coming out of the holidays and buying a house was expensive! Although we've been planning for the move and paid for basically everything in cash, we killed our savings and with Mike's job we can't risk not having 3 month of bills saved up.


Besides home décor and the occasional eating out, our major money over spending comes from groceries. I love to cook and find stuff on pintrest that I just have to make that night so next comes a grocery trip even if I had food for dinner already! So I meal planned for a whole month!


Since I had to do the monthly meal plan for both our home and Mike in the trailer, our grocery budget is higher than if we were living together. I did the crock pot freezer meals again to stock up the trailer.


Here's the tried and approved freezer meals I've used before HERE!


Our goals:


- build savings back up
- pay off the little bit of credit card we used
- pay off home depot credit card (we got an extra 10% off our carpet for opening this)
- figure out a solid grocery budget & stick to it during upcoming months


There ya have it! Not that exciting but it'll be worth it to get a jump start back into our financial peace plan...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back.

We're Alive I swear. We're all happier and busier than ever!


Last blog... November?! eeek. Sorry friends life literally got away from me.


I have a million pictures to post and updates to add but as exciting as our holidays were I'll just sum it up as:


  • family filled
  • soooo much food
  • lots of Mike time! (he's been on basically 3 days on, 4 days off)
  • Thanksgiving with the McBride fam, I successfully baked my 1st homemade pie with homemade crust!
  • I learned to use my sewing machine and made pillows, haha.
  • We took Wesson down to the Lighting Ceremony. He loved the jeeps!
  • I went a pj party with my favorites from my yoga studio.
  • We found, bought and moved into our new house.
  • Wesson was hilarious on Christmas morning, too much fun.
  • I let some things break into my hard work of not letting things affect me as much, as a result I left my NSUJL position. I still 110% support NSUJL but its best for me and our family if I'm not in the middle of it. Being a part of a non profit is A TON of work filled with people who want to take it down. It was too much but I applaud my sisters for sticking it out. For now I needed to focus on building our little family up.
  • We went to bed at 10 on New Years.
  • I officially became a bandwagon Seahawks fan. As a result I almost had my first football heart attack...
  • Wesson is growing, growing, growing and is officially in the potty training process. eek!
  • Mike is in the middle of switching jobs, again.
  • I went to yoga and wine night.
  • Our child thinks he's a dog.
  • I deleted and got a new fb. fresh start.


So much else has been happening. From big things to small things we're taking each day at a time and smiling a long the ways.


Sorry for being MIA but I'm back and the chaos of moving has settled down.


We have big things coming up for 2014 but we'll be focusing on keeping life simple.


Love you all <3

Monday, November 25, 2013

Being a Classy Lady

We had such a fun weekend, it was filled with date nights, girls day and play dates! I had had our weekend planned out for a few weeks now and actually realized that our date night and girls day crossed two tasks off my 25 before 25 list this last week before. My dad actually remembered before me!

Friday night Brandy and Mike get all the credit. They got tickets for the Trans Siberian Orchestra! Our night started with dinner and a bottle of yummy Latah Creek Huckleberry wine at the Stem Plant. Honestly we weren't over impressed with the food but the atmosphere, good wine and great company made up for it.

mmmmmm.....

our group

very best frans.

Once we got to our seats we were ready to rock out. Seriously! I didn't really know what we were going to see, yah I'd heard of them and a few songs but holy cow I was impressed!! It was 80 rock mixed with Christmas music and LIGHTS!!! I might be adding "learn how to whip my hair back n forth like a Siberian rocker" to my next bucket list. If you've never seen them before make it a goal next Christmas to go. You will not be disappointed, it was awesome. I've posted a link below in case you need some convincing, this clip is just a small part of the amazing 3 hour show!!

concert pictures always suck haha


 #19 Go See a Play or Musical: CHECK! tran siberian rockers! <<< Go watch!!!

Saturday was a full day of shopping, wine and some of my favorite ladies!! If you've never heard of Real Deals you need to check out their facebook place HERE and than go visit the store! Its located on Dalton, kind of behind Skate Plaza. Only open Thursday and Saturdays but go! They have the best home décor for great prices!
our group

Well Saturday Kristin (owner of Real Deals) put together a bus tour. Basically we rode a bus around town (and out of town) to 10 the adorable shopping places in Cda, drinking wine and eating snacks. It was a blast!! Mom had gone on one last year and I was so jealous!! I'm so happy I got to go this year... I defiantly got some way cute stuff, my favorites my new "classy trailer trash" apron and burlap stockings. so fun.

my mommy <3

When we were out and about we stopped at Latah Creek Winery (remember my yummy wine from the night before?!) at the winery we actually got to walk around and taste different wines with different pairings, hello #25 go to a wine tasting. I literally didn't realize this until we were almost leaving so I snagged this picture real fast ;)

wine tasting!

Latah Creek Winery!

The busy weekend left me pretty exhausted and ready for a lazy Sunday, morning coffee with Whitney while the babies played and we finally got to catch up, while Mike was off hunting all day. Complete with family dinner and Walking Dead (anyone else getting reeeally annoyed all they're showing is the governor?!)

Anyways I hope every has a wonderful Thanksgiving week! My lineman is off all week so we have some projects to finish up, a day trip planned and will be heading to Ritzville for Thanksgiving Day.

Count your blessings friends!
 

in Wesson's world Jesus rides 4 wheelers.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Thankful November

Since 90% of my facebook friends are sharing their "daily thing to be thankful for" deal in November I thought I'd share my number 6 on my 25 before 25 list. #6 is start and keep a daily gratitude notebook.

This is one of the simple, favorites that I'm so glad I've stuck to. Since I've been keeping this since February I'm obviously not going to share them all but I'd like to share a couple that made me smile while flipping through just now. That was the most pleasantly surprising things about this "task." It literally takes me two seconds but it always makes me smile. I walk into my office before turning on the computer or sitting down I just open up to the day and write down my first thought about the day before. I tried writing down at the end of each day but I'm a tired, cranky person at night so I switched it, it was defeating the purpose ;)

Even if the day was completely boring I have to share one thing so it automatically gets my brain being positive. It really does work! I obviously don't have one for every single day, in the beginning and over the summer I was really bad about doing it daily but since September I've been pretty consistent.

Here are a few...

2-15 Mike is back to work
2-25 SUNSHINE!
3-27 Having Kristina move to Alamo! I'm not alone!
4-14 Sunday linefamily dinners
4-26 My baby is ONE!
6-25 Having my very own washer and dryer
6-26 Wearing my beautiful ring for 5 years now... (Happy birthday to my hubs!)
7-14 Naked babes running through sprinklers
9-5 birthday cake
9-20 NSUJL
10-22 ILR experience

November Favorites:
11-1 Trick or Treating as a family of 3
11-3 party like we're 20 at Halloween party
11-4 Real Sunday Family Dinners
 11-6 Girls Night every Tuesday!
11-7 Strong yoga classes that make your legs feel like noodles
11-8 Getting my hair done
11-9 my awesome organizing skills
11-10 thankful for amazing friends who show up at events
11-14 sneaking away for an afternoon movie thanks to my mom always watching Wes
11-17 BIG NEWS I CAN'T SHARE IN PUBLIC YET!!! EEEEKK! :) :)
11-18 Chicago popcorn mix, seriously so delicious!

So yeah my "thankfulness" is random and possibly boring but its the littlest thing that can set your heart in a positive position for the day. Not to say I don't get drug down through out the day by life but I can at least start most days off with a full heart and clear mind!



I challenge you, you friends who really only think about what your thankful for during one month of the year... get out a notebook and see if you can do it at least every other day for the next year.... Maybe you'll smile more in the process.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

NSUJL High Voltage 5k

I'm still soaking in how amazing the "cda virtual" NSUJL fun run went today! I don't have all the numbers from the California run so I'm waiting to brag how the run went from the business point of view for the NSUJL blog so I'm starting here to brag about how flipping awesome the North West is!

IBEW USA Strong.


As you may not know I started this run after hearing about the virtual link up for the NSUJL 5k in California. My goal: get maybe 10 friends together and run the 3.1 together. A month after talking about it and my flyer being shared all around I quickly surpassed that goal and my final count today was 64 runners!! That's not even everyone who showed up to support today! That's an amazing first annual count!

Our morning started off a little rocky due to me being naïve and just assuming I could use school property without permission. Turns out just being a LCHS alumni does not mean you don't have to fill out forms, woops! Luckily the guys that were there setting up bucket trucks don't panic like me and decided we'd move across the street into the field, not sure who owned that property buuuuuut no issues and it was an even better set up.

A huge shout out to Brian Partington, Ben Cook, and Jackson Wilkey for bringing the bucket trucks and the digger, seriously an event can't fail without an American flag being strung up above your tent!
best turn out thanks to these guys... apparently I didn't get the "no smile bad ass JL pose" memo
rock stars!


Once we got settled in across the street I was finally able to relax a little. Also big thanks to Matt and Kelsey for coming early and helping set up! And also for celebrating after ;) And of course to my parents and Brandy & Robyn for watching my baby and keeping him entertained. And to Sam and Whitney for coming along to support even though it was freezing! Sam was the first one to register way back when I panicked cause I was not going to have anyone! lol I was so happy to see one of my newest friends who has earned a special spot in my heart, Colleen who unfortunately has seen first hand what tragedy can come out of being a lineman.

I was also able to meet so many more friends and line wives (that actually live in the area!) I'm so excited to get together and let the babies play! Good luck to one of my new friends who's leaving tomorrow on her new journey to be with her apprentice lineman in non other than Casper, Wyoming! Sound familiar? :) Kim, you have the check out the yoga studio there, you'll love it!

aunt brandy & aunt rob

super happy line baby!

Once the walkers (<<----- walking dead anyone?!) made the loop around, I put Mike and Matt to work handing out waters, hot chocolate and snacks (duh Amanda ;)) I was pleasantly surprised to hear so much praise about the loop. That's one of the bigger things I was worried about. Mike and I personally love the loop and chose it because it was close to our house and we only had 10 people! I was worried it would feel crowded but so many people loved the fall leaves :) yay!

After we rounded the troops we were able to have a donation raffle. Thanks to Bashlin Industries, Local 396, and the Avista Lineschool (remember those copper scorpions they donated?) we were able to raise over $300!

raffle time!
 
I am so very, very pleased with the North West turn out. I have so many ideas for next year already including possibly moving it up a little sooner (it's cold up here folks!) and probably double checking what permits I might need!
 
For it just being the first annual NSUJL run, I can't wait to see our turn out next year! I'll be sure to share the NSUJL blog once all pictures are sent in and the rest of the information is collected! So far I've gotten pictures from runners in Connecticut, Colorado, Utah,  New Jersey, and California. How flipping cool to see us band together nation wide!
proud line family!

IBEW & NSUJL seals look best together ;)


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween 2013

Last Thursday I was planning on meeting up with the girls and taking our babes trick or treating, well I was looking forward to that our night took an even better turn when Mike called and said he was on his way home for a 4 day weekend!
 
Nothing is better than first time trick or treating with Daddy! Since Wesson was barely saying trick or treat we decided to take him to Grandpa's office (yes Grandpa dressed up as a bunny!) Wesson was pretty shy at first but warmed up by the end and was his typical sweet self. He would take a piece of candy from the buckets and put it in his bag, only to replace it with another piece from his bag. Sweetest child ever I'm tellin ya!
yes we used a grant sack, we kinda forgot to buy a bucket & we have enough of these laying around!


 
We had planned on going down town afterwards to all the shops, but after not being able to find parking we decided to ditch out and go have burgers and beer at Red Robin YUM! We have SO many years of actual trick or treating so we didn't feel too guilty.
 
Plus we did hit our favorite houses! Kelsey and Orion got the honors of being Wesson's official first trick or treat house followed by the Wall residence. Who by the way loaded us up with full sized candy bars, yeah that's where its at! Next we went to the Novotny residence which was the craziest damn neighborhood. We were scared we were going to run over the little gobblins and witches running around! With Steve and Rob having such a popular house (they ran outta candy fyi, yeah they were those people, but they did give us spiked apple cider...) anyways the door bell was ringing off the hook and Wesson was loving it! He would run up with Steve and check out all the "big kids." 

And yes we're 100% those parents who raided their kids candy bag after we put him to bed... we don't feel that bad ;)
 
Since Mike didn't have to rush back to work (perks of the job finally ending!) We were able to attend Christopher's first Halloween party at his house! Although we (and Matt and Kels) were the oldest people there we still had a blast and were able to cut loose. And lemme tell ya my husband, yah that old guy, he cut loose! But drinking that much and dancing that much at his age... well he woke up a little sore. We ain't as good as we once was... 

paul bunyan and his blue ox


such a good kid....

silver & blue!

obviously took all the pics before people came lol

miner and his silver!

Sexy construction worker and the retard...
 
Halloween was a straight blast but now we're full blown into November now...making turkey day plans, Christmas plans and shopping lists! We have so much to look forward and I'm just so incredibly happy we're back home to enjoy the holidays this year! :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Par Star

With the upcoming of continual good news with Mike's job and the recent half birthday celebrated I figured its time for a brag post on my boys :)

As most of you saw on facebook Mike started his new position as foreman on Thursday! What exactly this means is that he runs his crew now. He has a lineman, 2 apprentices and an operator/groundsman. With being a lineman for such a short time it's a big responsibility that he wouldn't have taken if he didn't feel 100% confident in his job and his means to keep his crew safe. Also this job is ending in a few weeks so it has been more of a trial run... let me explain that.

Mike is officially a Par Star (Amanda THANK YOU for sharing this adorable name, Mike hates it and I love it ;)) He has been offered to be kept with Par. Once this job ends he will be following Par to the west coast of Washington, Everett all the way down. PS yes this means hopefully I can spend some time with our west coast family!! :) In this upcoming job he will go back to being a lineman. The west coast job will last until roughly February than he's being asked to "push a crew" (be a foreman) again for the job that will be opening up in the Tri Cities area! How cool is that?! (more family!!)

For once in the past 5 years it sounds like we will not be getting laid off, whaaaat?! Seriously is this was normal life feel like? We are on the up and up in our savings and finally we won't to relay on it for if/when he get's laid off. No more sitting around for the apprenticeship to call. Folks, this is the freedom you get after topping out. Even if he were to get laid off there are hundreds of halls all over the US ready to put Mike to work. We're just very happy the work is near home though :)

Now onto my littlest man.... Wesson is now a year and a half old.... I'm not joking, I recounted a few times. I think that means I can stop saying he's X amount of months.... is it just me or am I the only mom who has a really hard time remembering! "uh... he's... 17 months?" Jeeze.

Anyways, he a handful. An adorable, happy, very handsome handful.

  • he has all of his teeth now except for the 2 year molars. thank goodness he's not a biter
  • he runs, jumps, plays in dirt,  & always wants to be outside... he is such a little boy!
  • although he loves to play in dirt he has issues with getting pumpkin guts on his hand... strange child.
  • he jumped in his first pile of leaves last week and now every time we walk outside he jumps in the leaves, even if there's only a few lol
  • the 4 wheeler and dirt bike in garage prove to be a constant battle. our stroller is in between so every. single. morning he runs to one of the other and wants to start them up. we need a shop to hide these toys...
  • but to solve? this issue Wesson now has his own battery powered four wheeler that is kept down the road at grandma and grandpas... He got it back in September and its amazing how much better he is already. Mike is trying to convince me he'll be a dirt bike next summer. Did you know that at the pee wee races at the fair they actually say "1-6 year olds?" that's not helping my case of no bike til he's 3... sigh...
  • we're slowly starting the potty training bizz. honestly I have no idea what I'm doing but I was told (by my sweet husband) that I'm lazy if I don't try. sheesh! Yesterday morning I was getting ready and the boys came in to visit, Wes kept trying to lift the toilet seat and saying pee pee soooo we let him try, and surprise he actually peed in the toilet. Which let to a fun game of doing it all day. I'm shocked and not ready. He's growing up wayyyy too fast!
  • he's slowly talking more. well okay he's talking a ton but we're slowly starting to understand more of what he's talking about.
  • he loves yoga day care. my once shy, cry when I leave baby is now running up the stairs to go play when we get into the studio.
He's sleep and eat patterns are pretty much the same still. He's down to one nap a day, which surprisingly I actually enjoy. We're able to get more stuff down now, he loves to bake so its easy to cook meals while he's up. Than I get this glorious 1.5 hours in the middle of the day to clean,  email, work, nap...

he literally wrestles with Remmi now, they will roll all over. cutest thing!

Being a stud with his favorite ladies.

oh yes, our sweet boy prays. He folds his hands and says amen! love!

blue eyed stud

he gives kisses now...

first leaf jump!

of course loved the drill. anyone wanna guess what Wesson is getting for Christmas?!

<3

1st football game. he clapped and yelled right along Aunt Kelsey ;)

half birthday present. a new CAT toy! :)


Wesson is just so much fun and growing so much every day. He fills my heart so much watching his little mind work and play through out each activity... This will be his first Halloween trick or treating. He's saying trick or treat but it mainly sounds like TT but that's okay he's cute enough he'll get candy. We're going trick or treating at Grandpas office than meeting our mommy & baby friends to go down town. Cannot wait! :)

Happy Monday Friends! xx!