Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Believe in Happy Endings

Well, I was really hoping to get the Grand Canyon post done before our next trip, but it's just not gonna happen, peeps.

Remember the house I told you about? Well, last night it came back on the market! I think I nearly gave Terral a heart attack when I saw the listing. We put an offer on it this morning! The bank countered pretty quickly, and we have until Tuesday to reply. But it turns out that we are having some difficulties with the loan because there are so many repairs that need to be made. So we are navigating all sorts of hoops trying to make this work. In spite of all the craziness and the slim chances, I really feel at peace. I think it will all work out with the house, but if it doesn't, well, that's okay too. As long as we're doing our part and trusting God, things will turn out in the end.

In the meantime, there's a lot to be done in a very short amount of time and holy-cow-I-need-sleep.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I just can't write tonight. Holy Moly. Way too much on my brain and heart. *fingers crossed and a prayer in my heart*

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Three Greats

I gotta tell you that I was pretty darn proud of myself today. I made a pair of shoes for Ethan today. From scratch. As in, I traced his feet and made my own pattern. And they fit him beautifully. But I forgot to take pictures. And I discovered after he wore them a while that I need to put some elastic or something on the heels because they do slip off. But still! I thought it was pretty awesome.

He got kind of bored while I was working on them, so I set him up to draw. I bought this tray at DI with the intent of making it all pretty so I could use it next time I have a baby or whenever someone is sick, but I gave up on it after and ENTIRE bottle of spray paint didn't completely cover up the ugly. So now Ethan draws on it. Literally. He draws on paper too, though. It works out great.

Another great thing is that his giant owie from Sunday is healing beautifully. Hooray! It doesn't seem to bother him at all now. He says "owie" any time he sees it in the mirror or when I'm putting essential oils or salve on it. Otherwise he doesn't seem to notice it, and he even gets a little rough with his face when he's being silly sometimes.

The third great thing about today is that I think we found a realtor we feel comfortable working with. Yup, we are officially house hunting. We've been semi-hunting for quite a while now, but our search recently got kicked into high gear. I mentioned in this post that we had a disappointment. Well, it was a really big disappointment, and I struggled with it a lot. . . I guess I should back up a bit.

As I said, we've been semi-hunting for quite a while, which mostly consisted of me combing through online listings and very occasionally going to see a house. Well, I showed Terral a listing with the price recently reduced, and we decided to go take a gander. So we contacted the listing agent and set up an appointment. It was definitely not a cookie-cutter home. It was a little quirky, but we both liked it. We were surprised by how much. As we walked through, we weren't just trying to see if we could maybe make it work—we could both easily imagine us living there. It had so many things on our wish list it's not even funny. It just felt right. For the first time, we were seriously considering making an offer.

The next morning, I got on the phone with our lender. Long story short, we decided we needed to get financed with someone else. So we did. And when I called the agent to say we would have our approval letter in the morning and we'd like to make an offer then, he told me that the bank had just accepted an offer less than an hour before.

It may sound silly, folks, but this has seriously been a trial of my faith. Owning a home (and land!) has been such a huge dream of mine for so long, and we've really tried to be prayerful and prepared. It's not just that the house had so many items on our wish list (it did need a lot of work too, btw), it's that it felt so right. To both of us. I'm just not sure what to think of that. I'm still kind of hoping that the other deal will fall through and we'll get a chance at it, but whatever happens, my mantra has become "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5

Terral was disappointed too, but not to the extent that I was. He says that whatever the outcome, he feels like it wasn't an accident that we saw the home and felt the way we did. Maybe we just needed a kick start to get new financing and really start looking. We just need to believe that whatever the Lord has in mind for us, we will love.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zion 100, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

After passing a semi-sleepless night (The wind kept tricking me into thinking an animal was coming after our food), we awoke to our beautiful campground.
 We had a yummy breakfast of homemade peanut butter granola in yogurt. Don't mind the bed head. ;)
 And then we went to check out the swimming hole! Oh, did I forget to mention one of the most awesome features of this camping spot? It was kind of the main reason we wanted to check it out. Ethan is fond of all things water, and he thought it was a good place for throwing rocks.

Terral thought it was a good place for a morning bath. :)

It was a little chilly for me yet, so I just watched while the boys played around. When we made it back to the tent, this is what greeted us. A little disturbing, no?
 We left the spider alone since it wasn't bothering us, and then we packed up half our stuff (there was a lot of back and forth on this trip) and went back to the park to finish setting up the booth and have lunch.

Ethan did quite well, and even lounged around a while.

 The booth!  
Sometime Terral wants to get a picture of an actual runner for a new poster, instead of me pretending to be one. ;
 Well, Ethan and I didn't really want to hang out at the park all day, so we went back to camp to play at the swimming hole some more. This time we actually got in. Ethan loved playing in the shallow area with the rocks, but seemed a little anxious when I took him into the deeper water for a minute. That surprised me a little bit.

 He kept picking up this big rock and throwing it about six inches. :)
 Oh, and this pic reminds me that there were some nasty gnats at our site in the morning. Ethan seemed to get the worst of it at first (I think they were attracted to his white little head), but we put some CC Salve on it and by afternoon you couldn't even see his bites. They didn't bother Terral and me much at first, but by the time we got home we had huge itchy bites all over us that are just now starting to fade away. You can see one of mine above my swimsuit. Lesson learned. Put the salve on right away!

 Well, we made it back to the park again to spend some more time with dad and eat dinner. There were a lot more people around, which was fun, but we weren't too excited about the really loud band setting up right next to us.
 We talked to some more people (I forgot to mention that in the morning I met a girl who was excited to show me that the only thing on her To Buy list was Unshoes) and I followed Ethan around as he wandered and played. We brought our own food to make, which was a yummy success, but then the race director handed us a couple tickets for the catered meal. We only took one since we were satisfied, but curious about their food. I give it and "eh, not bad". The best part was watching Ethan eat the watermelon. He didn't remember what watermelon was, so he approached it a little suspiciously at first. One bite convinced him this was something good!

We would have liked to stay for the award ceremony, but we had to get going, so we packed up all the booth stuff and headed back to camp one last time. While Terral and I took care of the tent, etc. Ethan gloried in the sand and sticks. What a cutie!

We made one last visit to the river. Isn't it beautiful?

 And we trekked over the bridge one last time. But we made sure to play on it before we left.

I think we'll be back. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Annular Eclipse

Terral's parents just closed on their property in New Harmony this weekend—just in time for the Ring of Fire! We passed so many parked cars on our way there. We were so glad we didn't have to deal with that and we still got "front row" seats!

Terral and I weren't sure we were going to go down, because just before we were about to leave, Ethan hurt himself. We're not sure what happened, because he was happily playing outside and we went in for a second to grab the water bottles. Suddenly he was crying and we found him with his face all scratched up. I can't figure out what happened because the one on his forehead looks like and impact, and the one below his eye is scratched, and he didn't have any wounds on his nose or hands. He cried for a good while, and we fixed him up as best we could. He nursed and had a little nap, and then we decided he was doing well enough we could go. I think he did better being outside than he would have at home, anyway. He had fun running around, playing with family, and throwing rocks.

Terral made some pinhole cameras out of some extra oats containers we had so we could view the eclipse. We ordered some special glasses, but they never came.

Not the greatest picture, but you can see how the one with the black spray-painted interior give a sharper image.

Here's Ethan hanging out with Aunt Heather throwing rocks. Kaden and Maycie came to play too. :)

And here's the rest of the crew working on dinner.
 When the ring of fire was complete, Ethan and I looked at it through one of the oats containers. You can barely see it in this picture.
 The reduced light gave a surreal feeling to everything. Here's a view of the new property with the mountains behind it.

Terral used some film left over from one of his classes and one of the oats containers to make a camera obscura. Hopefully the picture turns out!

Our shadows looked pretty funny during the eclipse, and we got a little goofy with them. :)

Zion 100, Part 1

Sorry for the absence. Today,we are recovering from our latest and greatest, or should I say insane-est, adventure, but I figure I better do first things first and record our Zion 100 trip.

After Terral was done with work on Friday, we finished packing up and headed to Virgin. We found the park where the race was centered, and Terral started setting up his booth while Ethan and I ran around in the grass and explored the playground.

This little guy is very into cars lately, and he loves steering wheels. He signs "car" like it's the most exciting thing in the world. I love it. :)

Eventually, we went back to see if we could help Terral set up. It's a brand new canopy, and a little tricky to figure out, so it was taking him a little longer than expected. Plus, there was a nice strong breeze "helping" him out.

Eventually he got everything set up that he was comfortable leaving overnight, and we left for our campground. We had never been to this particular spot before, so it took us a while to find it, but we were so glad when we did! It's a wonderful spot, and we had it all to ourselves in spite of all the runners and their families that were camping out. Pretty sure that was due to the fact that you couldn't actually drive to it. You have to haul your stuff the last little way. So worth it.

While Terral (and Ethan) finished bring our stuff to the campsite, I set to work on dinner. Mmm. . . broccoli. :)

You really can't tell in this picture, but the cliffs looked just like a Jim Jones painting. It was gorgeous!

As soon as Ethan was free to roam, he got busy right away with the sand, rocks, and sticks.

And since we had to wait so long for dinner (what with a late start, the time at the park, and time spent looking for camp), it tasted oh so good! I must say, I was rather proud of my thrown-together meal.

Just before bed, Terral caught a frog and brought it to show Ethan. He actually didn't seem too interested in it. He was much more excited by the campsite and tent. This little guy really loves being outside! (Our adventure yesterday certainly proved that!)

While Terral washed the dishes, Ethan helped me pump up the air mattress. He was having so much fun. This was actually the highlight of the trip for me, because as we were pumping, he randomly stopped a couple times and gave me a huge hug! It was as if he was saying, "Thank you so much for bringing me here! This is the best trip ever!"

To Be Continued. . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DIY Haircut

I mentioned yesterday that I took some clippers to my hair, and today I had Terral snap a couple pictures of me so I could show you.

Again, here's the picture from Mother's Day.

And the new do.
Excuse my funny expressions.

So whaddaya think? It's not perfect, but I like it.

PS Thanks, Sarah, for inspiring me to return to the pixie. ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

As I mentioned before, a good part of the day was spent on church duties. I had to prepare for singing time in the morning because I didn't get it done before our camping trip. Things are always a little tricky with Ethan's naptime, and he took rather a long time to go to sleep this morning, which meant time away from some of my preparations. And I needed to be there early because I had some kids singing for the Relief Society as well as during the sacrament program. Even though Terral helped me with some of my prep, something had to give, namely my lunch. Ah well, at least they gave us a chocolate bar for Mother's Day. ;) Everything went well, which made me happy.

When we got home from church, Terral asked me if it was okay for us to get together with the rest of his family for dinner. Of course! Especially since he organized it all and did the cooking. :) Oh, and he made sure to do the dishes when we got home. What a sweetie!

I wanted a picture of our little family for Mother's Day, so I asked the nearest person to snap it for us. Terral said, "Don't ask Chris! You know what happens when you hand him a camera." Well, who could resist a little mischief after a comment like that? Obviously, not Chris.

But he did eventually get around to taking our picture too.

By the way, this is the last picture of my hair this length. I took some clippers to it today.

Maycie and McKade borrowed this fun wagon from someone, and Ethan could not get enough of it. Kaden was good with one ride.

It was a nice little place for him to eat his dinner too. Look at him just lounging there!

 All the crazies. :)

Turns out water bottles were the hot gift this year. Doug bought some camelbaks with filters for Natalie and Heather. And since Ethan has a fetish with all things water and bottle, he kind of took over Heather's for a while.

Ethan started wandering, and suddenly he was leading a whole parade. ;)

He had so much fun on this slide. He really seems to get a kick out of those little rushes of adrenaline. 

Hmmm. . . how did this turn into another Ethan post? Wasn't it supposed to be all about me, the mom? Well, I guess since I'm the one behind the camera, and he's the cute one, it sort of makes sense. Besides, he's the reason I'm blessed enough to carry the title of Mom. :D