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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hunter and I had a great Halloween, but missed Jesse. Jesse has been in Minnesota hunting and helping his parents move since last Tuesday. On Saturday afternoon, we had a date with Grandma Kim. We went shopping at Bellevue Square and had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Yum!

Hunter with his Grandpa Ed, his most favorite person ever!

Hunter with his Grandma Kim.

Hunter and I spent Saturday night at Joe & Nicole house and stayed for the beginning of the Halloween Party. Joe & Nicole are Hunter's godparents and it is so special to us how much they love having that role in his life. We had a wonderful time spending time with them, their parents, and a few of our friends.

Hunter shared his milk with Camille. Camille was so good with him and Hunter is quite fearless when it comes to doggies. He woofed and growled at her. :)

Uh oh! Hunter stole Snookie's shades!

Hunter with Joe & Nicole

Hunter fell asleep in the car on the way home from the Halloween Party around 6:15pm and didn't wake up until 8:30 this morning. He must have been a very tired boy! Once we got up this morning, we started carving his little pumpkin!

Then we went and met up with a girlfriend of mine for lunch. We got home and got Hunter and Henry all dressed up for Halloween. We hung around the house for a bit and then ended up going to a carnival put on by a local church. It was so fun to see all the kids in their costumes!

Friday, October 29, 2010

He's a little boy

Yesterday, Hunter and I were out and about running errands. I decided to stop at Jamba Juice on the way back home. Usually I just share my smoothie with Hunter but I happened to notice they had a little tiny cup, perfect for Hunter!

I got him situated on a round stool and he sat right up there like a big boy drinking his smoothie! So we sat and both enjoyed our treat in silence, just smiling back at each other. In that moment, my heart was filled with both joy and sorrow. It was amazing to feel like I was on an outing with a little boy who was independent, pleasant, and seemed to be completely aware of his surroundings. But at the same time, all you moms can probably relate, I felt like in that moment I also lost my baby.

Bouncy, Bouncy

For Hunter's birthday we got him a Rody horse. I had seen it in a toy store in Bend, Oregon this summer and immediately knew he was going to have to have one. The truth is, when I saw it I thought it was a llama, and that is why I fell in love. For those who don't know, I have a thing for both llamas and alpacas.

So, now we have a Rody llama. Hunter wasn't quite sure how it worked at first, so we had to put him on it and bounce him. Jesse and I started saying "bouncy, bouncy, bouncy" whenever he got on it. Now we say it and he immediately get a huge grin and moves his legs to bounce! It is the cutest thing ever.

Today I put him on the "llama" and he preceded to stay on it and watch an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Club House while bouncing contently. My heart melted. :)

***BTW, I realize that you can't actually see Hunter because he's all camoed out, but hopefully you can atleast see the "llama".

Mommy Madness

It's time for Friday Blog Hop and this weeks theme is Mommy Madness. I don't have a picture, but more a story that I wrote about back in August, so check it out: Poopy Day.

Can't wait to meet more mom bloggers out there! :)

Flashback Friday - 2006

2006 was the year Jesse and I met. So I thought I would reflect on those first few months after we met with some pictures.

A few weeks after we started dating, Jesse's friend, offered to fly us out to Ocean Shores for the afternoon. We had so much fun taking turns sitting in the co-pilot seat and enjoying the amazing view!

We moved fast... I was in Minnesota meeting Jesse's family within a month of meeting each other. Crazy, huh? This is me riding one of Jesse's parents' horses, Baby girl, out at their house.

Jesse and I at Cabelas. He HAD to take me because this was before Cabela's opened a store in Washington, and I had never been to one.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Bottom line is that I am tired. I haven't been very good at keeping up with the blog, housework, etc. I've been battling a cold for a couple weeks now that just seems to want to hang on and linger, leaving me with a cough and congestion. Jesse's little sister, Elizabeth is here visiting from Minnesota until tomorrow morning. We had a pretty chill weekend that has been spent hanging out with friends, shopping, Pike's Place, and eating some not so healthy food.

Here are a couple pictures from the weekend:

Hunter had noodles for the first time on Saturday... and loved them! :)

Hunter hanging out with Scarlet and Ryleigh on football Sunday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today is a great day to reflect on the things that I am truly grateful for, as is every day! I have had a very busy week full of long hours at work, Hunter’s 1st year molars coming in, and the normal chores at home. Here is what I am thankful for this week:

• The freedom I feel because God is in control
Control Pictures, Images and Photos

• Jesse being home for the last 2+ weeks straight, even if it is hunting season

• Honey Crisp Apples
Honey Crisp Pictures, Images and Photos

• A beautiful October in the Northwest!

• My sister-in-law coming to visit from Minnesota tomorrow

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday

I’m linking up with Working Mom Wednesday this week. This week there were two prompts:

1. You know you’re stressed when…
2. Things in my purse

I thought they were both great prompts and couldn’t choose one… so I choose both!

1. I have a few things happen when I am stressed out. First, my mind will not shut off. I go, go, go and feel like I cannot even take a second for myself. I’m usually rushing around doing errands, cleaning the house, or taking care of Hunter and look like a crazy woman while I am doing so. This also means that I forget to eat. I am notorious for getting to dinner time during a busy weekend and realizing that I haven’t taken the time to take care of myself.

2. What is in my purse… I don’t know if you even want to know all the stuff I haul around in my huge purse!
• Wallet
• Makeup bag
• Coupons (currently Gymboree, Jamba Juice, Costco booklet, Macy’s)
• Mail (Engagement party invite, business renewal letter)
• Checkbook (both personal and business)
• Recipes (Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and S ‘more cookies)
• White onesie
• Toy Keys
• Keys (Personal keys, work keys)
• 3 Lip glosses
• Tums
• Headphones
• Cell phone
• Gum
• Digital Camera
• Crab Catch Record Card
• 2 pens and 1 pencil

How ridiculous am I? Do I really need to carry around so much stuff? Hmmm, I guess I could get rid of the mail, recipes, and crab catch record card. But that’s about all I’m willing to part with!

How do you know when you are stressed out? What do you keep in your purse?

Monday, October 18, 2010


The Doyle family had a pretty busy but relaxing Sunday. Jesse went duck hunting early in the morning. Hunter and I cleaned the house, did laundry, made butterscotch toffee blondies, homemade chili, and then my dad and family came over for dinner. Hunter took an hour long nap in his highchair halfway through eating his dinner! Silly boy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I gave in....

I joined Twitter! I know very little about it... but I would love to follow you! Either follow me @doylesdays or leave me a comment with your twitter name and I'll look you up! :) Can't wait to join the tweeting community.

Day at the Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, we had a family afternoon at the pumpkin patch at Maris Farms in Buckley. It was such a nice day out! We got to pet goats, watch pig races, go down a big slide, walk through the pumpkin patch, and go on a hay ride!

It was much needed family time, considering that duck hunting season began and it might be quite a fight to get a family day in. :( But I will choose that battle! Sorry Jesse, not letting that one go.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weight Loss

I stepped up on the scale this morning to discover that I hit a milestone! I have been keeping track of my weigh loss using my pre-pregnancy weight... and today I am 15lbs lighter than when I got pregnant with Hunter! I feel such a huge relief to know that I have overcome "baby weight" plus some!

I'm planning on going to the mall once Hunter wakes up from his nap to reward myself with a couple new pairs of dress pants for work. Jesse is out duck hunting today, so it'll be a good activity for Hunter and I. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Duck "Hunter"

Jesse is starting Hunter early on practicing his duck calls :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We had the rare oppurtunity for an entire staff picture on Monday because we closed down all the branches for a training day. So, here are all the wonderful ladies and gentlemen who I spend so much of my time with. Of course, I have to stand out like a sore thumb in red. :)

Debt Free Journey

I have never ventured in writing about our financial goals, but they are definitely real and have been in place since June 2008. I don’t know what made change my mindset one day, but it changed dramatically. I woke up one morning to several student loans, credit card debt, auto loans, and a mortgage and thought…. I don’t want to live like this anymore. I had always thought of myself of being financially responsible and now I laugh at the thought of that. Sure, I always paid our bills on time and always was aware of the costs of things, but I also thought credit card debt was fine….because it’s normal, right? Sure, maybe it’s normal, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to live.

In hindsight, I realize that my mindset changed because Jesse was ready for a baby. I was getting there, but I knew that I did not want to struggle with finances once we had a family to support. So, I began this debt pay off plan as a means to get ready for a baby, for Hunter.

After I became determined to pay off our debt, I began listening to Dave Ramsey’s television show. If you don’t know about him, Google him and check him out, you won’t regret it! His program consists of 7 steps:

1. $1,000 in the bank as emergency savings
2. Order your debit (not including mortgage) from largest to smallest and begin attacking the smallest one with every available penny. Once it is paid off, take that money and move it to the next debt and pay it off, then keep going until your debt is paid off!
3. Fully fund your emergency savings with between three and six months worth of your household expenses.
4. Invest 15% of your income into retirement savings.
5. Save for your children’s college.
6. Pay off your mortgage early.
7. Build wealth and give.

I haven’t followed this exactly, but it has been my guide for over two years now. We built our emergency fund first, then began debt payoff, and also started contributing roughly 15% to our retirement from the beginning. As of June 2008, I hate to admit this but, we had right around $80,000 in debt (not including our mortgage) which included two new vehicles, 6 student loans, and a credit card.
We are not debt free yet, but we are getting pretty darn close, which is what inspired me to write this entry. As of today we have just about $25,000 in debt which consists of 1 student loan and my 2008 Honda Accord.

How did I do it?

Well first and foremost, we have only been able to accomplish what we have accomplished through Him. The Bible tells us that being in debt is not ideal. “When you are in debt to another, you enter into a slave/master relationship with your creditor.” Proverbs 22:7 He has worked on our behalf to help get us out of debt, but by our own free will we changed our lifestyle and began spending less than we made. We have been blessed incredibly by the Lord and want to live a life that fully honors him.

Okay, now physically how did we do it? We started with our credit card, paid it off, took that monthly payment, and started tackling our 5 small student loans one by one. And now for the last year, we have focused on paying off our 2006 Honda Ridgeline. That goal was much bigger than any of the debts we had conquered; it was hard to stay dedicated to paying if off because of the amount of money and discipline it took to pay it off. But…. I am happy to tell you that last week we kicked that truck payment to the curb!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Big Party!

We had Hunter's 1st Birthday Party yesterday and we all had tons of fun. Our family is so blessed to have such incredible friends and family who love Hunter so much. All the kids at the party played so well together and it was so fun to watch them all. Here are some pictures from the big day!

Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.

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