August 31, 2016

Count Your Many Blessings

Sometimes life is crazy! Sometimes life is hard! And sometimes it just feels like the trials just keep raining down and never seem to let up.

As of late, life has been hard in a lot of different respects. It would be all to easy to get down on ourselves, have a pitty party and complain about how much life sucks. We do have our moments where we complain but for the most part we have chosen to look for the positive things in life, our blessings. When you start to look for the blessings in your life, it may surprise you how much the Lord really had done for you. He is there. He is real. He is looking out for you. And most of all, He wants you to be happy now! Not later or someday in the far distant future. He wants you to find joy in the journey, in this adventure we call life.

Some of our blessings as of late:

  • We were able to get pre-approved, found a house, put an offer in, and had the offer accepted within a week. There were no hiccups along the way and we were able to close on time.
  •  So many people were willing to help us pack, clean, load and move our stuff, it was truly amazing!
  • Someone gave us 28 cases of food storage (rice, wheat, popcorn, and hot cereal).
  • The Young Women during an activity fixed the strut on our car-- not sure how they did it, but we didn't have to replace it.
  • Someone offered up a bunch of pears, we were able to can them to eat at a later date.
  • They did layoffs at Andy's work yesterday and he still has a job.
  • We picked up about $2000.00 worth of baby and maternity stuff in like new condition at a yard sale for $121.00.
  • Others have given us new and gently used baby items. We don't know what it is like to have a baby but we imagine all this stuff will come in handy in the near future.
  • I was able to get into the birthing class I wanted.
  • I was able to get into the hospital and receive a Priesthood blessing for the worst case of food poisoning I've ever had. 
  • Two vehicles behind us were in an accident. One of the vehicles slid past our car and rolled right in front of us. We were kept safe and we were able to help those involved in the accident.  
  • Our baby is healthy, we are healthy.
  • We have each other and we make a great team! Neither of us can imagine life without the other. 
  • We have the gospel in our lives and that makes all the difference. 
Life truly is amazing!

August 26, 2016

Home Owners

We got the keys to our new place today! Let the moving commence!

Me, Andy, Grandpa & Grandma Hicken.

Dad, Julie, Me & Andy.

August 25, 2016

Adventures In Home Buying

Today we bought a house! We are home owners! It is crazy!

Just finished signing the papers.

We have talked about buying a house for sometime, but it always seemed like it was something that would happen sometime in the distant future. When we found out we were expecting, we knew we needed to find some place bigger to live.

Andy talked with our bishop, he works at a bank and used to be in the mortgage business. He suggested that we talk with a particular mortgage brokerage. Andy made a call and setup an appointment to meet with a gal on a Monday night. The meeting went really well. She asked if we had a real estate agent and we told her know, so she recommended someone. Andy called the agent the next day but was unable to make contact. He called her again on Wednesday and she sent us a bunch of listings. We went through the listings and picked out seven houses that we were interested in seeing and e-mailed her back.

The next day when Andy spoke with the agent she said that half of those houses went to closing overnight. She told us that there is a housing shortage in the area and houses aren't typically on the market for more than a week. She setup appointments for us to go see the remaining houses on our list on Saturday.

We looked at 4 different homes and felt particularly drawn to one. The agent told us to think about it and to give her a call tomorrow if we wanted to put an offer in.

We drove to the temple that night to pray about our decision. Things felt right so Andy called the agent the next day after church and said we wanted to put an offer in. The agent said someone just put an offer in on the house but it hadn't been accepted yet. She said we would have to work fast and she would see what she could do. She was on the phone with our mortgage broker in a matter of minutes, they came up with a game plan and we submitted our offer.

The next morning our offer was accepted. Within one week we got preapproved, found an agent, found a house, put an offer in, and had the offer accepted. That's pretty crazy!

We were told to expect problems to come up as that is normal, but there weren't any problems. We know this is where we are supposed to be. We feel like the Lord has guided us here. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.

After we signed the papers for the house, we went to get a cashiers check for the down payment. On our way back to drop off the check there was an accident.

The rolled vehicle is in front of our silver car.

The very short version of the story is that a car was t-boned. When the car got t-boned the driver accelerated, the car flew past us on the shoulder, clipped the curb and rolled right in front of us. It was pretty surreal! I pulled out my phone and called 911 and Andy went and pulled a man out of the car. Three people and two cars were involved in the accident, one person was taken to the hospital but everyone was okay.

We aren't sure how or why but danger always seems to find us. We are so grateful we were kept safe and that we were able to help the people who were involved in the accident. The Lord truly is mindful of us.

August 24, 2016


We took the Young Women shooting tonight. I think everyone had a pretty good time. I was a little nervous about going shooting since I'm pregnant, I thought the loud noises might scare the baby - luckily no crazy kicking took place inside the belly.

Brooklyn, Wade, Avery, & Tony.

Rachel, Autumn, Lydia, Carel, & Sarah.

Melissa, Brooklyn, & Wade.

August 21, 2016

Garden Party Fail

I went to a garden party this week that was put on by the Relief Society. The evening consisted of sitting outside in a beautiful backyard, eating salads, and feeling spiritually uplifted and renewed.

The next night, things weren't so great...I woke up at 11:00 pm and started throwing up. By 3:30 am I had thrown up about 50 times. You know it's bad when it's coming out both ends and you can't leave the bathroom.

After talking to one of the ob doctors and the triage nurses we decided it was time to make a trip to the ER.

I spent the next 4 hours or so hooked up to an IV. I managed to stop throwing up for a little while and actually got some sleep. I felt really bad for Andy because he had to sit on a hard metal folding chair.

The nice comfy ER bed.

We went home and I continued to throw up anything and everything (including water, soda, and Powerade) until about 6:00 pm.

We later learned that I had food poisoning and it came from the garden party. It was 105 degrees that day and a lot of the salads had mayo in them. I wasn't the only one to get sick or go to the hospital, about 15 other women got sick too.

I'm grateful that the doctors were able to get fluids into me and that the baby appears to be okay. I don't think I will be eating at potlucks anytime soon.

August 16, 2016

The Chronicles Of Narnia

When I was a child I remember walking into a local thrift store and picking up the entire Chronicles of Narnia series for $0.70. Talk about a good deal, right? For whatever reason, I never got around to reading them, one of my siblings latched onto the books and that was that.

This year I made it one of my goals to read the entire series, it's taken me several months but I finally accomplished my goal. For those who may be wondering, the only time I really get to read is on my lunch breaks at work, life is just too crazy right now.

I definitely liked some stories more than others, but overall the series was amazing! I look forward to reading the stories with my own children someday. One thing I loved was how much the series mirrors the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation-- definite plus in my book. Looking back, I wish that Disney had started with The Magician's Nephew when the started making the movies. This particular books adds a lot to the entire series and was one of my favorites.

Are these books worth the read? Yes, yes, yes!

August 15, 2016

A Jammed Packed Saturday

I woke up particularly early on Saturday morning on my own, this is unusual for me. One of the first thoughts that entered my mind was, "Check craigslist for garage sales with baby stuff." Earlier a friend had mentioned to me that I should purchase a particular baby rocker that costs about $70.00. As I started looking though the garage sale listings I immediately noticed a garage sale that had this particular baby rocker. Andy and I hopped in the car and headed to the sale.

We scored that this yard sale! We spent $121.00 and came home with about $1500.00 worth of baby stuff and maternity clothes. Everything was in stellar condition. I really believe that the Lord was looking out for us.

The dancers.

After hitting up a few other yard sales we grabbed some lunch and then headed to the Scandinavian Festival in Junction City. We had fun looking at all of the different displays, artwork, and watching the dancers.

The setting sun.

Andy & I.

Showing a little love.

As the day went on it got incredibly hot so we decided to head out to Fall Creek to cool off. The water was so low that the buoys for the swimming area were sitting on the ground and about 20 feet away from the water. We put our tubes in the water and floated close to the shore until the sun started to go down.

On the way home we drove past our soon to be new home. Crazy to think we are going to be home owners!