Saturday, November 9, 2013

Just a Quick Rant

A Facebook friend of mine recently posted about all of his amazing friends.  He has friends running for Miss America, America's Got Talent, and plenty of actors/actresses, body builders, and people who are "living their dreams".  One of his other friends commented, "why are you friends with me again?" to which he responded, "Control Group".
I've got nothing against what he said, I know part of his response was just to be funny and I'm sure he finds that all of his friends have value.  Right?  I will however take the opportunity to remind myself that I AM living my dream!  I remember being in my 7th grade English class, the question for our writing exercise was where we would see ourselves in 10 years.  My response brought laughter from my classmates.  I wanted to be married, have kids and be a stay-at-home mom.  That was what I wanted. That was my dream.  Sure I thought about stuff like becoming a professional actor or an awesome teacher that changes lives, but when I looked at what I would have to sacrifice to become those things, it didn't seem worth it to me. To some people, it is completely worth it, and maybe that is what's right for them.  But then I think about what I sacrificed to become a wife and mother...TOTALLY WORTH IT!  Essentially it's the kind of thing in which you need to sacrifice your self to be successful at.  *Soap Box*  People that look at motherhood as a hobby or side job simply don't comprehend and appreciate the amount of influence they can have.  Women that look and lust after what men have don't comprehend and appreciate the power that comes with what God has given them, as women.  Okay, I'm off my soapbox.  All in all, I am living my dream.  It's right for me.  It brings me more happiness than any kind of public or earthly position or accomplishment could ever bring me.  Charles Schultz had it right, "Happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you." ("You're A Good Man Charlie Brown").  I feel extremely blessed to know that the things that will really make me happy in this life will give me joy for eternity.  You can't beat a dream like that.  To me, that is amazing.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Family Update

Summer flew by entirely too fast!

Mike had the opportunity of a lifetime to go Alaskan fishing with some guys from the ward.  In preparation for the loads of fish they were expecting to bring back, they collected all kinds of Salmon recipes.  One the first day Mike's dad caught the first fish of the trip, Salmon of course.  Little did we (or they) know that it would be the only Salmon they would catch.  Mike himself was getting mighty discouraged that he had yet to catch any fish by the 4th day.  The night before the last fishing day, he told me that he had come to grips with the fact that he would come home fish-less.  However, on that last day, he caught two fish!  Yay!  We were so excited for him.  So they came home with loads of crab and a few fish.  Definitely enough to last a while.  They had a great time.

A week before Mike left for Alaska we had a milestone in the Emett house.  Little Mikey said his first word!  I had been working hard to ingrain "mama" and "dada" into his receptive and eventually expressive language so I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first word.  Well, one morning while I was rocking and cuddling with him he pointed to something on the ground and said his very first word.  They say a baby's first word says a lot about their priorities and what they hold important, naturally I wanted to hear "mama" or "dada" but I cannot deny the word that came out of his mouth.  It was as clear as day, I couldn't interpret it any other way... as accurately as possible for a child, he pointed to something on the ground and said, "book".   Now, anyone who knows my husband, especially if you're friends with him on, will not be surprised and will know that little Mikey has surely been blessed with his daddy's love for books and reading.  I'm really proud of my little guy.

To make me even more proud... watch this video to see what he did, just the other night.  I had to catch it on video because Mike was at work and I wanted him to see it firsthand.

So as you can tell, little Michael has been busy reaching milestones, Mike has been working and got to have a little vacation, and I had a wonderful time with my little family over the Summer.  Now, it's over (bummer!).  I'm subbing (part-time) for another Speech Aide at a different school until November and my (online) classes started up on Monday (also part-time) so we're busy, but not too busy.  I know where my priorities lie, family is always #1.

Pretty soon Mike will be getting ready to take the GRE and we'll both be getting applications together for graduate schools.  So if you have any tips or tricks to either of these processes, we'd love to hear them!!!

P.S. brief weight-loss update.  I've lost 15 lbs, last week I started hitting the gym before going to work (this means waking up at 5:30am on those days) and I'm still keeping up with drinking 2 liters of water a day.  Things are going well!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Such a LOSER!

It's been a while since I've updated you on my weight-loss journey and I'll tell you why...FAILURE!  That's what it's been, a complete an utter failure.  I keep telling myself, "this time I'm changing for real!" and I work my butt off to lose 5 pounds. Then I get lax aaaaand gain it all back.  Just call me the yo-yo.  I have honestly lost and gained the same 5 pounds at least 12 times, that's enough to make a small person!  I could have been over half-way to my ultimate goal weight by now! 

So, here's the good news.  After having the time of my life on an Alaskan cruise (and gaining 8lbs of savory food and sweet dessert) I decided not to join any more weightloss groups.  Just me, on my own.  I realized that I have to do this for me, not for a money prize, or to be the #1 loser for 2 months only to take a week or two off before the next round and wreck all my hard work.  I have to do it for ME.
The results... I've lost 11 pounds since the cruise.  Whew!  Ten of those pounds were in the last two weeks.  (insert "Wow" and "You go girl!")  To be honest, I only consciously changed one thing about my lifestyle but it had kind of a domino effect.  My goal was to drink 4 liters of water a day.  As I did this, I noticed a lot less snacking, naturally wanting smaller portions, less of a desire for junk food (it helped that I put crystal light into 2 of the liters), and *TMI ALERT* more regularity, if you know what I mean.  It's been awesome! 
I look forward to keeping up with my water intake.  I want to focus on it hardcore so it's written on my bladder and then I'll add the next step EXERCISE!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I'm a Pinterest girl, in a Pinterest world

Pinterest!!!  Now, you either associated those exclamation points with excitement or dread.  Funny how that works.  Most women associated it with excitement and most men, dread.  I think those of us Pinterest users can agree that it is a marvelous way to share and get ideas pertaining to pretty much anything in life. 
Those husbands of Pinterest users can agree...your wife has been infected.  She's got the Pinterest bug.  The big question on my mind lately has been this: Does Pinterest do more harm than good?  Pinterest has, in fact, launched to the top of social media interest.  Marketing teams around the world are looking to studies that say 80% of Pinterest users are women and that 1 out of every 4 women use Pinterest, and they are realizing what an amazing tool Pinterest can be!  At the same time, a simple Google search can come up with many articles about how Pinterest affects your self-esteem, how addictive it is, and how it sets you up for failure.

Before anyone gets their undies in a bundle, let me tell you, I have discovered a crafty, DIY, homemade everything kind of side that I didn't know I had.  Over the years, I've tried to find "my thing".  Some people are runners, some are dancers, photograpers, health nuts, savings savvy,  artists, athletes, academics, etc etc. The list goes on!  Truth is, I never found anything that I could really call a hobby.  I've been into photography since I was little (my first camera was a 110mm that my mom got me at a garage sale) but comparing myself to others has made me feel some pressure to be the kind of "better" that requires time and money I don't have.  I did band in school, I loved it, but renting/buying an instrument...again, time and money I don't have. Anywho, there's my back-story.

Pinterest has allowed me to create things I never thought I could!  Everyone needs an outlet like that.  It is in our very nature to create!  Here's an awesome and inspiring video about that. 

I wanted to know more about what some of my friends thought of Pinterest so of course I took my question to none other than...Facebook.  Natalie said, "Pinterest can be a motivator or an idea creator. Many times when I've tried and failed at doing a craft or something else from Pinterest, I find myself creating my own way of doing things and learning something in the process. Self discovery maybe?"  I totally agree!  Self-discovery!  

There are many pro's of Pinterest.  It promotes creativity, going outside of your comfort zone to try new things or recipes, finally figuring out how to wash pillows or fold fitted sheets, cute and inexpensive date-night ideas, how to talk to your teenager, an obscene amount of work-out ideas, and the list goes on.  Pinterest has a lot to offer.  Sharing web sources and resources with friends and acquaintances, collecting and collaborating ideas or experiences, etc, etc!  My friend Rachel says that she's developed and enriched many of her talents from Pinterest!

So what's the downfall?  It can be overwhelming to say the least.  There's a lot there!  Katie summed it up quite nicely when she replied, "I feel the same about Pinterest as I do about Super Saturdays. I feel uncrafty, untalented, and its just a bunch of show-offs."   Natalie says, "I feel as though Pinterest is a giant site full of unrealistic expectations. I feel as though it could potentially be damaging to our feminine youth because of the appearance of perfection in all things that it portrays."  And I agree.  Here's why...

With the recent celebration of Mikey's first year in the world I decided to try several pins.  The cake mashing photo shoot, cute one year pictures with the number 1 and a single balloon, the sugar cookie tower cake with fruit in between the layers.  I was gonna do it all!  Well, I quickly got overwhelmed with how completely imperfect everything turned out and really, I was kind of depressed.  "Why couldn't I do it right?  I'm messing everything up!  Now his one year birthday has come and gone, it's too late now!"  This caused me to think about getting so caught up in the Pinterest world.  There are many blog moms (like this one) out there that have daily picture perfect posts, and who wouldn't want that!?  Twenty years ago, even just 10 years ago, you only saw that kind of stuff in the magazines.  Now, it seems like everyone knows someone who seems to have a Pinterest perfect life. But what about the rest of us!?

This is my belief: Pinterest, like most things in life, can be used for good, and can be used for evil.  It's easy to get wrapped up in it all.  So here's some tips from some of my friends.  These suggestions have been helping me to purge some of my Pinterest boards and have urged me be a little more careful and conscious of what I'm pinning.

  • "I get on, look up a recipe for play dough (or whatever), pin it, get off an make it. That's the only way to survive pinterest. Get in, and get out."
  • "I try to do two new recipes each week from the site...I don't take anything on it too seriously so I'm not discouraged by it. I look at things and laugh, ain't nobody got time for that."
  • "I decide based on what I need in my house, or what I think I can actually do."
  • "I think everyone should pick one talent or so at a time. You'll go crazy trying to be a master chef, learn crocheting, take up fashion blogging, and do papercrafting as well. And when pinning a recipe, click the link. Read the comments. Has anyone actually MADE the recipe? What advice do they give? Google the recipe or craft too-does it pop up on a pin fail site? If you stay realistic and do your research, it's actually really cool what you can learn." 
    I'd love to hear more about how you survive Pinterest, what you use or don't use it for, and what tips you might have for a recovering addict or newb.
p.s. all images came from Google under the searches "Pinterest" and "Pinterest fails"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Watch Out! There's a 1 year old in the hizouse!

Family Update Time!
That's right! Our little Mikey is ONE year old!  I'm going to be a typical parent and say it...he's growing so fast!  In the last year this little guy has shown us what an easy-going baby is like (aside from the first 2 months when he wouldn't let us put him down and had stomach issues).  He's still just as easy to travel with and really goes with the flow when it comes to, um, yea, pretty much everything.  He gets fussy when he's over-tired but that seriously seems to be the only thing that gets him cranky.  Yea, we're pretty lucky!  We tend to get comments, wherever we go, from strangers about what a good and cute little guy he is. We are the most spoiled parents!
For the little guy's
 birthday we had breakfast for dinner (pancakes, ham, sausage, bacon) and LOTS of fruit.  My goal was to get him trying some new things while allowing him to feed himself (which he loves to do)  This kid will eat just about anything and everything.  Often, right after feeding him, I'll get him out of his high chair and sit down with something to eat for myself.  Without fail, EVERY TIME, he will crawl to me, pull himself up, and start smacking his lips like he hasn't eaten all day.  He's more than willing to try anything up to three times and we have yet to find something he doesn't like.

A little bit about our 1 year old...
Michael James Scott Emett
-crawls like he's being chased all the time (even strangers at church comment on how fast he gets those legs and arms pumping)
-has 9 teeth with at least 2 more on the way
-just had his 2nd hair cut
-loves classical music (and Les Mis)
-enjoys sliding things across the floor (imagine him crawling with skates on his hands)
-is OCD about things being in their place (every day  he empties the movie cabinet, takes all the bottles out of the recycling bin, and always puts his pop-up animals in the down matter how many times I pop them back up)
-pulls himself up with ease and is experimenting with balance
-loves to be upside-down, swung, tossed, and of course caught
-hide-and-seek is one of his favorite games

In other news...
Mike and I are exploring our graduate school options.  We will be applying this December - February so we're trying to whittle down our options.  I'll be pursuing a masters in Speech-Language Therapy online (and hopefully part-time) and Mike will be going for a Ph.D. in History. 
Mike is still working as a cashier supervisor at Sam's Club and I've got the summer off from school so I'm enjoying spending lots of time with the little one.  I'll start up my classes full-time again this Fall and I've also been asked to substitute for a speech pathologist aide for 6-9 weeks once school starts (part-time, thankfully!).  We're excited to be planning for the next big move and I love doing the research.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Best 8 Days of My Life!

Over the last two and a half years Michael and I have been to 25 states. Our 26th state... Alaska!  My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are both celebrating pretty monumental birthdays this year (neither of them look anywhere close to their age so I'll be keeping that a secret) and she decided to have a girls-only vacation to celebrate.
  The six of us (mother-in-law, her mother, my 2 sisters-in-law, and the only granddaughter)  We had the time of our lives on an 8 day Alaskan cruise! (My father-in-law was a saint and foot the bill.  Without him, we wouldn't have these AMAZING memories!)  Is cruising really all that great?  Um, yes.  We didn't have to worry about a single thing, aside from what kind of fudge to buy for our fudge party and whether to have breakfast ordered in or go to the buffet.  It. Was. Awesome.  The best part, without question, was the company.  I had a blast getting to know my in-laws a little better!  It was nice to be able to leave the men and kids and just be women! This ecard pretty much sums up the kind of fun we had.

To sum up the trip:
We visited...
-Mendenhall Glacier
-Part of Yukon train trails
-Tracy Arm Fjord (SO BEAUTIFUL!)
-Victoria (from afar...we didn't dock because there may have been issues with the ship)
My firsts...
-Leaving little Mikey for more than a few hours
-Flying in an airplane with propellers that look like they need to be wound up in order to get started
-Whales! (just one baby whale but still...a whale!)
-Being a ninja
-Almost doing Karaoke
-Being hit-on (post-wedding)
-Four desserts
-"Virgin" Shirley Temples
-Nearly peeing my pants multiple times in one hour from laughing so hard
-Glaciers and Icebergs
-Actually gaining my sea legs!
-Being mistaken for a lesbian couple

These 3 men were the best!  They were almost like a more refined set of the 3 stooges.  Constantine (far left) was our waiter that hit on Sarah (my sister-in-law), Menandro (middle man) was the junior waiter who had a crush on my niece (Holly...age 13), and Yogi (far right) waited on the table next to us but simply couldn't resist our charm.  We also caught him saying some funny things lost in translation (i.e. "Yogi make love tonight" which probably meant "Yogi is bringing love into the air tonight" because he was observing a flirtatious couple).

Another cool thing was that there were SO many Filipino workers on the ship and I was able to carry on a conversation that wasn't in my dreams (yes I still dream in Tagalog from time to time).  I absolutely LOVED it!  It reminded me of how much I love and miss the Philippines and especially the people.

Pretty much, the best, most relaxing 8 days of my life!

p.s. I really couldn't have handpicked better in-laws.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Taking on Cafe Rio (my light version)

My husband can vouch for me, I crave Cafe Rio on at least a weekly basis.  But if any of you have ever looked up the caloric values of Cafe Rio dishes you know that the good taste comes at a hefty price (yes, even the salad!).  So in an effort to save some calories, and some cash, I've tried and personalized some of the copycat recipes I've found on Pinterest.  Here's where I got the recipe for the cilantro lime ranch dressing, and here's where I got the recipe for the beans and rice (totally worth the extra effort).

I started out making just the dressing and putting it over some spring mix salad with Jack Daniel's pulled pork (from Sam's Club) and some fresh Parmesan grated on top, sprinkled with sliced almonds.  This worked out to be just under 200 calories!  Awesome lunch!
Last night I made the beans and rice to accompany the dressing and pulled pork in a burrito.  Not exactly like Cafe Rio but still really good.  Just some things I did differently...
Rice: instead of using lime I used about 2-3 tablespoons of the cilantro lime dressing (we didn't have any more limes).
Black Beans: I doubled the cumin and used tomato sauce instead of tomato juice (again, we didn't have juice and I really don't mind improvising a little, plus it made the burrito not as runny).
With the tortilla, beans, rice, meat, dressing, cheese, and about a tablespoon of diced green chilis (yum!) it came out to roughly 350 calories.  Gimme a 'what what!'  Does it taste exactly  like Cafe  Is it a low calorie substitute that captures the complex sweet and savory depths of Cafe Rio!?  YES!  Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself.  Let me know how it turns out!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hair Rebellion

Every year or so I get this hankering to chop all my hair off. I'm pretty sure it's because I get so bored with long hair and I just don't have the patience to experiment (or the skills, frankly).  A few months ago, to feed my rebellion, I dyed my hair red.  I really thought this would help but alas I still feel like chopping it off!  I just love feeling the summer breeze run through my hair, cooling my scalp and volumizing it in magnificent ways.  I love having a few simple options when getting ready in the morning and only spending a few minutes doing it.  I just love it!  It's almost....liberating!
You might be thinking, "so then go chop it off!  Be free!" but I have only shared half of the story.  Every time I follow through with it I come home thinking, "it doesn't look like I wanted" or I wake up the next morning, "what have I done?" or the inevitable, "where's my hair!?" while in the shower.  Some of you may remember that the last time I cut my hair short, I looked a little too much like Justin Beiber.  I told the lady one thing and the followed through with another (I came out looking just like her, lesson learned).  But I've just gotta do something to feed this desire for hair rebellion!
This week I'll be dying it back to my natural color and making an attempt to get more creative.  With school out, work done, and a week long vacation with my awesome mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, and sisters-in-law  I'll have more time and motivation to make an effort to do something with my long locks.  How will this feed my need for rebellion?  I've never dyed my hair at home before. :)
Do tell, how do you change up your hair?  Do you ever have this nagging need?  Am I alone in my rebellion?
p.s. here are some cuts that I just love, so tell me what you think.  I'll probably wind up chopping it off when we have another kid. Oh, and I'm totally open to suggestions!!  I love suggestions!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Movin' On Up!

The pictures in this post are all from this last week.  The turkey has become a regular and the deer come around usually at least once a day.  Sorry about the messy layout, I'm still trying to get some things figured out.

We got home from church today to find about an inch of snow piled up...and it continued to snow all day long.
He got caught under a chair (don't worry, I rescued him after taking a picture)
Mikey had a hard time recovering from getting his fingers smashed in a cabinet (his first injury).  My father-in-law decided to give him a taste of frosting....

He kept his lips locked tight and the frosting wound up as a mustache instead...he was still distraught

I mentioned in our January through March recap that Mike has a job at Sam's Club.  Not the most glamorous job for a recent graduate but there are far worse things out there at the same time.  He's been working there since the beginning of February and a lot of supervisors and managers have mentioned how awesome he is (finally people are getting a clue).  After taking a test, going through interviews, and having a very anxious wife, we found out on Tuesday that he got a promotion!  He went from being a cashier to being a cashier supervisor after working there for only 10 weeks!  That's just how awesome my hubby is (or it says a lot about the other people he works with, yikes).  Either way, I'm so proud of him.
Why be so excited about a career in a glorified warehouse!?  For those that don't know, we're saving up money for grad school.  Living with the in-laws is saving us hundreds of dollars a month already and this promotion gets Mike one step closer to being considered for a full-time position (i.e. more money. Go on, call me a gold digger...although at this point I'd be happy with some copper).  Hence, the excitement!
This last week the speech-language pathologist (SLP) that I've been working with, gave birth to her precious baby girl!  So I've started working a little early.  Working full-time, handling 15 credits, and spending as much time as possible with my family means I'll probably get behind on blog posts, but I still love you all!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My New Lifestyle

Some of you know that I gained quite a bit of weight during pregnancy on top of already unwelcome weight.  I've been really fluctuating with regards to dropping weight then gaining it back.  Being a part of Hot Mama's Biggest Loser (started by an old roommate of mine) and it has helped me come to grips with how I feel about myself right now.  Truth is, I don't like myself.  It's not just all about how I look, it's about how I physically and emotionally feel, it's about wanting to be as healthy as I can for my family, so I can be active with them, and so I don't have to keep buying clothes because nothing in my closet fits (as fun as shopping can be)!
In an effort to become more accountable I am disclosing my triumphs, fears, goals, and shortcomings with you all!  Lucky you!  It should be pretty entertaining though.  I'll be trying new recipes and exercises that I hope to share with you, along with an honest review, and hopefully someone out there will benefit in some way or another from me sharing my experiences.
 Here's recent pictures of me for documentation (just don't look too closely).

Mommy Workouts
I find that between homework, baby, and not wanting to exercise while people are home (I'm fearful that they'll want to stick hot pokers in their eyes after such a sight), and not wanting to rack up miles by driving 40 miles to town and back, I don't have the time to set aside for an official workout.  What I wind up doing, that works for me, is little bursts of workout throughout my day.  I've found several 10 minute workouts on Pinterest, like this one and this one, that allow me to either do something real quick or stop when I need to and pick up anytime, anywhere I need to.
Some other little things I do:
  • Calf-raises or squats while blow-drying hair
  • Figure-eights (hips) while washing my face
  • Crazy dancing or jumping jacks while feeding Mikey (he gets a kick out of it and usually tries to dance too)
  • Calf-raises while brushing my teeth
  • Toss-ups with Mikey (holding him above my head and lowering him till our noses touch, he likes it too, but these only count if I do 50 of 'em)
  • Running around while holding Mikey and yelling "Zoom zoom zoom zoom!" (like the Flash)
As you can tell, I'm not terribly creative but this is what I do.  As of today I've lost 5 pounds in the last week and a half and while I attribute a lot of it to counting calories using I know that every little bit I can do to get active will help.

Up Next: Homemade Cafe Rio dressing on my makeshift Cafe Rio salad (under 250 calories!!!)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In a matter of four weeks...

Every Monday I sit down and write out all the homework, quizzes, exams, reports, and papers that I have due that week.  It's been kind of a juggling act recently with school, work, and the most important thing in my  Life got a little busy when I went back to school last August (which was a choice that felt right despite all , then it got crazy when I went back to work and started my calling at the same time as Relief Society secretary in our Rexburg Married Student Ward.  Mikey was only 3 months old when everything hit and I was so afraid of not giving him the attention and love that he needs.  I remember finding comfort in one thing: If I put my marriage and family first, everything will be okay.

It has been quite a learning experience but it has been so very worth it.  My family is my number one priority and I know that the only reason everything has turned out okay is because Mike and I have placed family first.  When it came time for taking the GRE, both of us having finals around the same time, moving, Mike getting in a rollover accident, and being worried about not having the money for has all been okay, because family is first.  I have definitely gained a testimony about setting priorities.  It takes the guesswork out of a lot of life choices.  I've come to the realization that I will probably never have the awesome walk-in-pantry that I have dreamed up on Pinterest, or the latest and greatest when it comes to....anything. But I know that we will be happy, the eternal kind of joy.
I still worry about giving Mikey the love and attention he needs to grow properly in our messed up world, giving my husband quality time, and I still worry about my grades, I still worry about having enough time in the day to get things done, but Heavenly Father has given me this opportunity to trust in Him and the harder things get, the more I am reminded to trust Him. 
Now to the point of the of May10th I will officially be free of homework.  Because of finances my next semester will be in the fall.  Do you know what this means for me!?  It means I won't have to cram in homework while Mikey is taking his infamous short naps, it means I get to be with my husband when he's home instead of having him watch the baby while I'm holed up in our room writing papers, it means we get to spend some solid time together as a family.  I am over-exuberant about this fact!  It makes me want to cry a happy cry just thinking about it!   I am so excited, in fact, that I just had to share it with all of you!  The next four weeks will be the busiest because of work, finals, projects, etc but it will be SO worth it!  

Friday, April 5, 2013

An Emett Family Update - January through March

Yay for finding a blog that is easy to use (and free, let's not forget the free part).  So here's the update for our family so far in 2013...

We came back from Christmas break to our new home in Montana.  Mike's parents have been absolutely generous in taking us in.  Mid-January my Grandma Wilson (my mom's mom) passed away.  I have so many wonderful childhood memories of Grandma.   The one thing I remember her telling me, when I was little, was about how important it was to her for all the cousins to know each other and be life-long friends.  I hope she knows that she instilled the importance of extended family relationships in all of us. 

Little Michael and I were able to fly down (by the grace of my in-laws) and go to the funeral.  To sum it up, I definitely would have regretted not going.  Mikey did awesome on his first plane ride (despite the negative vibes coming from all the anti-kids-on-planes people). 

While we were gone, Mike got a job at Golden Corral (woohoo?) and worked a few days until Sam's Club offered him a better job (cashier) with better pay (and a chance to become full-time), so he took it.  Needless to say, he's much happier now.

I turned 27!  We celebrated Valentine's Day by locking ourselves out of the house, eating frozen pizza and wings, and exchanging cards.melted!  Mike's parents got to celebrate by watching little Mikey so we could have some time alone.  By now I'm sure you're thinking, "wow, she has amazing in-laws" and you're right, I really have been truly blessed with amazing in-laws.  I couldn't have married into a more loving, accepting, accommodating family.  It has taken me time to really realize the extent to which they have welcomed me into their family and I'm just so grateful that I have been so blessed.
  Mike got me a card from him as well as a card from the little man with his hand traced inside!  My heart

Mid February we rearranged the furniture to accommodate our son who likes to roll everywhere.  While he was not yet crawling, he truly mastered the manly push-up.  People at church would comment on how strong he was.

Mike turned 26!  (yes, I am older than my husband)  Because of his work schedule we had to divide up the celebration over a period of three days (lucky guy).  On his actual birthday his mother and I were making his favorite dish (Lemon Chicken) when the power went out for 3 hours!  Luckily living in the Philippines has taught me how to cook without power and the lights came back on just before we sat down to eat.

We have a mobile baby!  Mid-March little Michael learned how to crawl!  It only took him a few days to get it down and now he goes everywhere and gets into everything.  His latest favorite is the laundry room (of course the only room without a door) and he has already figured out how to get someone's attention while in the bathroom.

I died my hair (dark) red.

I started working with a speech-language pathologist at a local elementary school.  She'll be on maternity leave for the last few weeks of school and I'll be filling in for her.  I have really enjoyed it so far and it has convinced me to continue pursuing my degree.  I'll be working with her again this month to prepare for the weeks that she'll be gone.

Baby's first Easter.  In my family it's kind of a long-held tradition that the "Easter Bunny" hides all the Easter baskets.  We hid Mikey's half under a blanket to spark his curiosity.  I filled some plastic eggs with Cheerios and he's still discovering Cheerios in some of those eggs.  It was fun and cute.  We tried getting some family pictures this month but as you can see it was tricky.

Spring is finally here in Montana!  The weather is in that awkward stage (some days are shorts and t-shirt weather and others are still down right chilly!) so we're anxious for consistently warm (anything above 60) weather.

We've met our pediatrician and she is awesome!  She gave us a little tip for raising not-so-picky eaters...variety.  If we feed him a variety of foods now (especially from what's on our plate) then his taste buds will get used to different flavors and be more accepting of them as he gets older.  Cool huh!