Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Couple Milestones for the Days!

This weekend marks one year since we moved to Salt Lake City, UT. It all happened so fast. Blake was in pharmaceutical sales last year and felt like he needed a change of scenery and started looking into software sales. After some research he found a bunch of tech companies in Utah. He called me one day at work and said, "What if we move to Utah?" I couldn't wrap my head around it because both of us had said over and over we would never move to Utah. Long story short, after some interviews with different tech companies in Utah and some thought, we settled on Workday in Salt Lake City.

FYI, moving your anxious 60 lb. puppy in a Uhaul is not ideal.

Finally out of the truck!
And I guess we thought we should buy a house. So we hopped on (I wish I could write #sponsored at the end of this post, but I can't.) and we picked a house and put an offer on it and got it, without looking at it. Who does that?! Being a homeowner always has its surprises, but I would say for the most part, we lucked out and we love our little home in Downtown SLC.

Today also marks one year since we found out I was pregnant. I woke up from sleeping on our mattress that was on the ground, with boxes all around me and I told Blake, "I think I should take a test today." I had said this lots of times before with no success so I was skeptical that we would get any good news, but here is what I wrote in my journal that day because I didn't want to forget it:

"Last night I had a dream that I found out I was pregnant. Except the pregnancy test was the size of a pizza box. Haha. I've thought I might be pregnant for a couple weeks now so I ran to Raleys in Modesto for a test and went for the most expensive ones. I came home and did the test and Blake set a timer for 3 minutes. Once the timer was up I ran to grab the test and sat on the bed with Blake and revealed it on the count of three. There were two bright pink lines and Blake and I were in disbelief. I think I've had so many negatives that I still can't believe it's real. We're so excited for this phase of our life!!"

Like I mentioned, I thought that I might be pregnant, but I had thought that before. I would always look for symptoms or convince myself I had symptoms of pregnancy in hopes that it would be true. But after a while I just expected negative tests so I wouldn't feel so let down when it did come back negative. I would read blogs and message boards on internet that trying for a year is normal, but then so many people I knew got pregnant on their first try.

Our story isn't so different from many others, but it took us over a year to get pregnant. Sometimes I felt guilty feeling sad because I knew there were so many people who had tried for so much longer to get pregnant and then sometimes I felt upset and bitter because other people would announce a pregnancy. Both of which are wrong to feel. I listened to a talk once that essentially taught me to not compare each other's sorrows and pain. Just because someone else feels more sadness or pain, does not mean that in my own situation I don't feel my own sadness and pain. I feel like for the most part I was hopeful that Heavenly Father just had a plan and a timeline and everything would work out. In the moment it was difficult, but in hindsight I feel like it was His plan for everything to happen when it did.

This year has been an amazing one. It has had its ups and downs, but then I feel like I reflect on everything that's happened and even the downs have turned into ups! A couple that I want to share:

1. Getting pregnant when we did: I got to experience my pregnancy all in one place. A place with lots of family close by and family always passing through. My sister moved to Utah just a couple months after Molly was born. Maybe coincidence but maybe just all part of the plan.

2. I got let go from a job in December and didn't think I would try and find work because who is going to hire someone who is 4 months pregnant? Well, sitting at home got old and I don't think it was good for me. Blake encouraged me to find something in hair and I was skeptical. Truth be told, I lacked some confidence when it came to hair because at school you have teachers to answer your questions and give you guidance and fix things if it goes south and I felt like I wasn't experienced enough, but you need experience to get better! So, I applied to Great Clips down the road and it was just what I needed. I got so much better so quickly. My boss was amazing and flexible with me and I feel confident in my skills and abilities. 

3. Our basement flooded in January. Probably 6 inches of water across these two rooms. We had just moved some office furniture and my salon chair in the space LITERALLY the night before. Blake had just started school that night and it was so overwhelming to deal with. Well a couple months later after the headaches of contacting our insurance company and our home warranty company, we got everything restored and it looked so much better than it had before. My new space is perfect for cutting hair and Blake often comes home with coworkers at lunch for haircuts. (His office is one mile from our house and it is the best!)

Salon Before: This is after they gutted everything. 

Salon After
Office Before
Office After
So, as I do sometimes, this may be the only post I write this year, but I wanted to reflect on everything we've been through this year and most importantly, remember the day that we found out we were going to be parents. I still can't believe that I get to be a mom. It's the best job in the world. 

Also, haven't posted any pictures of myself from the hospital because you just don't feel attractive, but it's also kind of beautiful to see what 41 weeks of pregnancy and 12 hours of labor looks on you and the miracle that it brings into the world.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mo-town living

It's time for my quarterly update on the blog! I guess last time I just talked about dogs and cats, so I'll talk a little bit more about Blake and me. Blake and I have both switched jobs since I last blogged. I was liking my salon job at first, but after a while it seemed like it wasn't a great fit for me right now. I started working for my brother Monday thru Thursday at his orthodontic office and have just been doing hair from home. I've been liking it a lot and am glad I still get to play with hair in my free time.

Blake got a new job with a different pharmaceutical company, but he ends up going out of town 1-2 nights per week. His territory covers San Jose down to Visalia (south of Fresno), so he does A LOT of driving. And, on top of that he's serving as the Young Men's President, so he stays pretty busy. I've been serving as the Laurel advisor, so it's been nice to go to mutual together every Tuesday.

Our summer has been filled with lots of weekend trips to Utah and LA and we've been having a blast. We took Blake's little brother, Tyler, to Disneyland in June and had a great time. From open to close, we managed to visit 35 attractions. That includes rides, shows, and food stops, but we really killed it. Our favorite thing to do is ride Grizzly River Rapids over and over and see how wet we can get. The best time to go is when it's dark and the lines are short and then sometimes the cast members let you ride again without getting off. I also got my highest score ever at Toy Story Mania and I'm pretty proud of that.

Don't they look like twins?

My brother graduated from Dental school and I'm so proud of him. Five of us six kids were able to go, along with my mom and Blake.  

The downside to my brother graduating is that I'm far away from this little girl now. She is seriously the sweetest little thing. So smiley and funny. I loved giving her her first haircut.

Next on our summer agenda is heading to the West Family Reunion in Palm Springs on Wednesday. It's supposed to be 115 degrees. Yikes. Wish us luck. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ie Ling the Puppy Rescuer

So, remember when I became a crazy cat lady? Well turns out I'm a crazy dog lady too. It all started when Blake brought home a puppy without telling me. I guess he gave me a little heads up. This is how it all happened. He sends me this screen shot from an ad on craigslist for free puppies. 

Blake: Aren't they so cute?
Ie Ling: Aw, they are cute, but we probably don't have the time for a puppy right now.

Yup. That's Blake with an adorable little puppy in his car. And we still had 2 cats! Well, we had already talked about wanting to move into a house instead of an apartment and when we found a place, they said we could have a dog but no cats. I feel like the worst cat mom ever, because we had to give them away. Good news, my friend from school was able to take them in and I get to see them every once in a while! And she has 3 little girls that love them, so I don't feel as bad. So now, we just have our puppy, Floyd, who started out like this:

And now he looks like this:

Anyway, all that to tell you that we now have a dog. I've become an expert on dogs (jk). And therefore thought that I was fit to rescue a little stray that I found a couple weeks ago. Meet Tilly:

Floyd and I were about to go on a run and he saw Tilly across the street and was pulling me to try and get to her. I didn't see any other humans around so I decided to follow her and see if she had a collar or something. After following her for 4 blocks, I could tell she wasn't with anyone and wasn't heading to any place in particular. Every time she turned back and saw us, she would start running faster and then she was crossing the street in front of traffic to try and get away from us and I was so scared she was going to die! At this point, I called Blake and told him to come with the car and try and catch her. 

Well, after 45 minutes we were about to give up, but I just couldn't let it go and have her wandering on the streets alone. We finally caught her and brought her home and cleaned her up a bit and fed her. She didn't have a collar on and long story short, she stayed with us for 2 weeks while I tried to find her owners. We checked to see if she had a microchip at the vet, we called the shelter and reported her found, we posted ads up on craigslist and facebook in our area to see if anyone would claim her and no one did. The shelter told us that if we didn't find her owners in 14 days, she was ours and we were responsible for her. While I loved her, I knew that 2 dogs was too much for us right now, so we put another ad on Craigslist to see if someone wanted to give her a forever home and sure enough, within a day, we had a couple stop by with their son and take her home that day! 

Floyd and Tilly didn't always get along, but were friends in the end.

Right before we said goodbye to Tilly.

 She was so incredibly sweet and I was sad to see her go, but so happy that she found a family to love her.

After all that work, I've realized that I probably won't take in any more strays. It's just too hard. If you take the dog to the shelter, it's not guaranteed they'll be alive long enough to get adopted. The dog rescues that I called were no help at all and didn't have room for her. I got really attached to her just in the 2 weeks that we had her and I know that if I didn't find a home for her, I probably would've kept her because it'd be too hard to give her to a shelter. And the last thing we need right now is another dog. 

All in all, it was a super rewarding experience. If you asked me a year ago what I thought about cats or dogs I probably would've told you we'd never have one, but here I am a year later, having owned 2 cats and a dog and I must say, they bring a lot of genuine happiness to my life. 

On another note, here are some pictures from an updo I did for one of my young women! We were a little rushed towards the end, so I didn't have time to take outstanding pictures, but I do like how it turned out!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Licensed to Cut!

I felt like I needed to finish documenting the Philippines before I could blog about anything else, so now that I'm done, we can move on to other things! The last couple months feel like a blur. I finished school at the end of December and it feels so good to have accomplished one of my lifelong goals. It took me less than a year and in that time I was able to attend Caper, participate in some clubs, be a part of the Phase 2 team and be the manager of the Phase 2 team. I have no doubt that Paul Mitchell was the right place for me. I feel like I've learned so much and I'm so excited to use my skills in the salon!

When someone graduates from our school they have what they call a "tunnel." All the students line the hallway and clap and cheer for you as you walk to the time clock and clock out for the last time. It's a short, sweet way to celebrate and I was so happy to have my family there at the end of the tunnel. Here are some pictures from the big day!

I took my state board test on January 12 and it was the LONGEST day of my life. I had to wake up at 3 AM so I could leave the house at 3:45 and drive 2 hours and take this super long test and then drive 2 hours back and I was EXHAUSTED. I also had the psycho examiner, but at the end of the day, I passed and I never have to take that test again! 

A week after that I interviewed for a job in Modesto and a week later, I started! So, I'm now on week 2 and it's been pretty good. I'm still getting used to the new environment, but it's a great salon and I'm just excited to be putting my skills to use. I just wish I had more of my friends and family close by so they could come in. Whenever you visit us in Modesto, I'd love to do your hair! 

My hours are pretty great right now. I'm only working 3 days a week right now and I kinda love it. It gives me two full days during the week to clean the house, run errands, train for the Ragnar Relay I signed up for in April, get through many episodes of Gilmore Girls before the Netflix revival airs, visit with my lovely sisters-in-law that are nearby, BLOG, and my Saturdays are back!! Did you know that I went to school every Saturday from 9-5 for a year? Blake and I are so excited to get our weekends back! So, here's to more blogging with my awesome hairstylist schedule!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mabuhay 2015: Palawan

Ok, it's only taken a little over half a year, but I'm finally finishing my diary of the Philippines. I'll admit this is not my best blog work, but rather a big photo dump with minimal captions and detail.

After our time in Baler and Dipaculao, we made our way back to Manila. On our way we visited the Ninoy Aquino Museum. He was a former politician in the Philippines and was assassinated on the tarmac of the Manila National Airport and now the airport is named after him. There's a lot more to the story and it's definitely worth reading, but I won't tell it here.
Ninoy Aquino Museum
 The next morning we boarded our plane for the island of Palawan. 
I look stunning. 
 We landed and drove in a car for I think 2.5 hours, but we made it and we were starving. First stop, lunch on the beach. I forget the name of this one...I'm pretty sure this dish is sisig. This was one of many piña coladas for me.

We booked our stay at the Sheridan Resort for 3 nights and the packaged included a couples massage, a tour of the underground river, and a paddle boat tour. Sadly, I got sick pretty much the day we arrived, and I couldn't open my mouth without coughing, but I tried to make the most of it and do all the activities we planned to do. 

Underground River tour! It is the largest navigable underground river in the world!

Here we are waiting for our couples massage. I've always wanted to get a massage with Blake but he never really felt like getting one. In my mind I thought they were relaxing, but turns our they're just torture for the ticklish. 

And then Blake picked up a guitar and I snapped this super artsy and picture.

We ziplined across the ocean and it was incredible. Maybe one day I'll attach the video.

Paddle boat tour! Our tour guide told us about all the animals and plants that live in the area. 

The gorgeous pool with the really cool swim up bar where I ordered more piña coladas. 

More hanging out:

The ocean was the perfect temperature. I wish I could got back now. 

On our last night I finally got up the courage to dress myself in something besides athletic gear and throw on some makeup so we could enjoy a romantic dinner together. 

And just like that our stay came to an end and it was time to leave the resort so we could fly back to Manila. 

We woke up early to catch our ride to the airport and took in our last sunrise in the Philippines.

a 2.5 hour van ride can be exhausting.

 Since the vans only left a couple times a day, we had to take the early one and kill a lot of time before our plane took off, so we went to the local crocodile farm for a quick tour.

One of the highlights was visiting the temple in Manila on our last day. 

We were able to do a session with one of Blake's mission friends and his wife. It was the perfect end to our adventure.

So sad we are leaving the Philippines...Until we meet again!