In September, we moved to Clint's parents property and spent 6 months there. As much as I enjoy being around family, it was a VERY trying time for Clint and I. We were in such a teensy place and we spent much of our time arguing about how much of a mess we would make for being in such a small area. There were times when I just felt like giving up, to be honest. It was so hard to deal with. That and we were just getting nowhere in saving or anything. With the gas and food prices just SKYROCKETING (or at least I felt like they were), we just couldn't take it anymore. Finally, in March, I broke down and asked my mom if we could move into her house for just a couple months to really get on top of things. Clint and I were both working in SLO and driving 2 cars up and over the grade EVERY day was ridiculous. So we moved into Mom's guest bedroom and stopped filling up our gas tanks every couple days - it now is every couple WEEKS. SO MUCH DIFFERENCE!! We lived there for about 3.5 months until we finally found our cutie little place...but more about that in a bit!
We celebrated Christmas pretty quietly this year. I love Christmas time! It's such a great time to reflect on all that the Lord has given to us and all that we can give back. It makes me want to serve others! My mom, sister Becca, and I decided we wanted to do the 12 Days of Christmas to one of our favorite family's, the Kiahas because they have the CUTEST little girls and most adorable baby boy. They are a super great family! We had so much fun doorbell ditching some fun treats for them for that almost 2 weeks. There was one night near the end where as I was walking it up to the door, I saw one of the girls coming down the stairs in the window on their door and I just hit the pavement! I had to jump up (or halfway up, really!) and race back to the car and we had to circle the block a couple times to make sure the kids didn't know we were there. They are sneaky kids though!
We spent Christmas day with my family and had a blast. It was just a quiet, fun day. My big gift was a Nook, which I LOVE SO MUCH!!!! And Clint got a bunch of fun, little things - the new game he wanted for his Xbox (which he had just gotten a new Xbox - a sleek black one - on Black Friday, so that was his other big gift) and, of course, Chase was spoiled like he always is. Tons of treats and and fun new stuffed animals to tear apart. But if you know Chase at all, all he REALLY wants is a new tennis ball to throw around. He's a sucker for a pretty, new tennis ball. What a cheap date :)
We started the new year out quietly and got back into work full force. Then in March, I got some great news: I was promoted to a department manager! That came with longer work days, but a substantial raise! I now work 10 hours (minimum) per day. Not too much different from what I WAS doing! I also started doing a (fairly) intensive training program to get me "up to speed" on what a manager at Bed Bath and Beyond does. Unfortunately for me, since I've been with the company for 7 years, they decided I could do it all on my own instead of going to Pasadena to BE trained. In some ways it was good, because I could go at my own pace and I got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. But I didn't get to go to a different store and get away from the people in my own store, so that was kind of lame. In the training program, we have to pick a room (normally, new managers are given an actual department on the floor, so its easy for them - they just pick a room on their side of the store. However, for me as the Customer Service Manager, I don't have a side, so I had to pick just a random room that I would only get to work in about 2 days a week). That room would be the room that is MINE, mine to plan, mine to order, mine to make moves, etc. At the end of the training, the DM and any other district staff come to test the new manager in what they call a "Big Walk." They test to make sure the manager has an understanding of the ins and outs of the company and how to do "manager things." Its a big undertaking, and unfortunately for me, since I had no idea what room to pick, 2 of my senior managers "helped" me to pick one of the hardest rooms in the store. I picked Tabletop - dinnerware, flatware, glassware and serveware. Our store is set up different than pretty much any other store, so any of the maps that Corporate sends out won't match our layout. UGH it was so frustrating sometimes to try to map that dang room! But my big walk was June 7th, and I'm still here today so clearly I didn't die. Or fail. :)
On July 1st, we officially became renters again! We found a super cute little apartment/cottage house or whatever you want to call it. Its actually an old barn workspace that has been converted into a little house. We live in the downstairs area and our friend (who's aunt and uncle own the property) lives in the upstairs studio apartment. His place has its own entrance and everything, so we hardly ever see him, if at all. We got the keys on the first and slowly started moving things in. We got our new (to us) couch and loveseat on the 3rd and spent our first night in the house on the 4th. Our place is great - its technically one bedroom with a weird room to make it a two bedroom...I dunno, you'd have to see it to understand it. I don't have my camera working at the moment (can't find my dang charger!) or else I'd take tons of pictures of the place. The one bedroom is teeny, right now its kind of like a giant closet (we keep the door shut mostly). And the second bedroom that's not really a bedroom is OUR bedroom. It's not really a bedroom because it doesn't have a door. Weird, huh? We haven't yet, but I want to hang a curtain so that its closed off from the rest of the house to give us privacy. And also to hide it when it's dirty :) But I finally have my own kitchen, even if it is small. And my own laundry area, even if it is small. I love my house, even if it is small!!! :)
For the 4th, we decided to take Chase with us to the beach - bad move. He's such a scaredy cat and a nervous nelly! He was so anxious sitting with us while we were waiting for the fireworks to start, just watching all the people! Then when the fireworks actually started, oh geez! He was so scared! So we took him back to the car (which was only about 2 blocks away) and watched the fireworks from there. Well, Clint and I watched and enjoyed them - Chase sat huddled in the back slightly shaking and definitely cursing his mean, mean parents. Enjoy these little pictures:
Clint and I :)
Clint and the scaredy cat, I mean Chase
Clint and the scaredy cat, I mean Chase
The next day was my birthday. Blah. I don't even really want to talk about it...I turned old. Just kidding! I turned 25 and thank goodness there wasn't a whole lot of hoopla! The only thing was that the kids sang to me in Primary the Sunday before and made me wear a crown with my name on it. And Becca sat in the back snapping pictures of me...thanks, sister :) She did get this super cute one on the way home:
And next up is Clint's big birthday...his big day is one week from today and he will be 30! Any ideas on fun things you did for a big milestone birthday? I need ideas! I'm going to get some yummy cupcakes from Brooke's cupcake shoppe (check out her website here, she's AMAZING!)
So we have been busy, too busy to blog? You be the judge (I'm gonna say NO, just that I'm kinda lazy...)
See you next time!