Friday, August 22, 2014

January 3, 2015

Chad and I are very excited to share that we are having a baby! So far, everything has gone smooth with the pregnancy - the baby is growing, healthy, and all is totally normal. We couldn't ask for more than that!

Baby says HI!

My sweet sister, Alisha and her two youngest boys were kind enough to come out to Adrian this week to snap a few photos of us to share on our blog and capture this amazing time in our life together.

Our family is growing by these two very cute feet!
Quick Facts
Due Date: January 3, 2015
How Far Along: That makes me 21 weeks on Saturday (tomorrow) - so over halfway!
Baby's Heartrate: Healthy! That's all we have to report for those of you trying to predict the gender.
Nickname: Baby Beast Mode
How is Tiff feeling? Tired, but other than that - really good.
Cravings: Nothing strange to report.
Aversions: People touching my baby bump, so please restrain yourself :)
Baby Duck or Baby Vandal: TBD, but I'm working on my Duck influence already.
Will Tiff go back to work? Yes.
Nursery Plans: Still in the works, but open to creative gender-neutral options.
Names: I'm sure we'll have a few boy and girl names picked out and make a game-time decision when we meet him or her!
Anything Else? Baby Beast Mode is a big baby so far and was measuring nine days ahead of schedule at our 20-week ultrasound.

P.S. Happy 6th Anniversary Chad! I love you and just know you will be the best baby daddy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Billy's Baptism

Chad and I were so honored when our friends McKenzie and Brian asked us to be the God-Parents of their first born son, William Henry. To be honest, Chad was a little confused because he's a little less than "churchy", but I think Billy's dad might have had hunting motives in mind with Chad and assumed I would take care of the religious aspects :)

McKenzie and I have been friends since I walked into her awaiting arms at Beta Omega Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma on Bid Day 2004. Though we had never met before that moment, McKenzie was selected to be my "Big Sis" and I cannot even tell you how grateful I am for that match. Throughout the years, we have stayed close friends and our husbands even get along (score)! Even after graduation, we have made treks back and forth across the State of Oregon to spend a weekend here or there together and I know we plan to keep that tradition alive in the coming years, which makes me very happy.

When McKenzie called to ask if we would be Billy's God-Parents, I obviously said yes and after a few tears, we hashed out a few potential dates and scheduled a weekend to travel to Washington for the big event (and to meet Billy for the first time)!

Most of the weekend was pretty low-key with travel and a new baby around, but Chad got to tour Glory Acres (McKenzie & Brian's property) and McKenzie and I got to play catch-up while putting in some Billy time!

I did a poor job documenting the weekend and took very few photos (which just means I was enjoying myself too much to bust out the camera), so I borrowed these photos from McKenize's blog post.
Congratulations Van Hoy Family! We love you! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BirchBox: April-June

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
I recently grew out my brows a little more, so this product arrived with perfect timing to help tame the sometimes wild strays that tried to get away from me on occasion! I don't use it every day, but often enough to keep it in my regular makeup bag.

Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream
I'm working on the last of some of my BB Cream and this is in the lineup for sampling soon!

Color Club Gala's Gems Collection Nail Polish - Green
Rarely do my nails sport polish, and when they do - green is definitely not the color of choice. I gave it a shot, but the color of this polish was just not my style. I love green and yellow - Go Ducks, but on fingers and toes, the colors remind me of foot fungus and other issues. Definitely a no-go. If you want it, let me know! :)

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
I haven't had a chance to use this yet!

KIND Healthy Grain Bars
These granola bars are amazing! I ordered a box of them and have really enjoyed stashing them in my desk, purse, car, etc. for a quick snack. They are full of healthy ingredients, but also taste great!

Favorite Item: KIND Healthy Grain Bars

Least Favorite Item: Color Club Gala's Gems Collection Nail Polish - Green


Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion
You can never have too many lotions and the BirchBox versions are perfect for travel bags. I like this G&S lotion better than the version they sent me in a previous box because of the scent.

Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, Shampoo, & Conditioner
I tossed this in a go-bag to use on a trip, but I'm sure it is great.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm - Coral Crush
I was excited about this product, but the color is not for me! It's definitely a little too coral/orange for my complexion - however, the smell and actual lip balm seem to work pretty well.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream - Acai Grapefruit
I had high hopes for the shaving cream, but the smell was a little funky. I also use a razor with built in moisturizer and the combination of the razor and shave cream was not good. I think if I were using a plain razor, I might have better results.

32 Oral Care Effervescent Breath Crystals with IsoVoxy
I didn't use these - it seemed a little strange!

Favorite Item: Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion
Least Favorite Item: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm - Coral Crush

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner, & Ol All in One Milk
This shampoo and conditioner is targeted toward dry and frizzy hair - which I do not really have. The shampoo smells wonderful, but didn't lather as well as I would like. The conditioner is very thick and works extremely well. I used the All in One Milk and really did not like the smell. After the freshness of the shampoo and conditioner, it seemed a little off to me.

Joie Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum
Pretty pricey and smells great - but not worth the investment for this low-maintenance (at least on the perfume front) girl.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil - Menatour
Probably one of my favorite BirchBox products to date. The color is definitely not something I would pick up off the shelf, but I love it. It's sheer enough that I can wear a small amount, or layer it on for a more dramatic impact. It also smells great and is a full size product so I can use it for months to come.

Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology
You can never have too much sunscreen and this is the perfect size to toss in my purse for those "emergency" moments!

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
I haven't had a chance to use this yet!

Favorite Item: LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil - Menatour
Least Favorite Item: Davines Love Smoothing All in One Milk

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Like Butta

So, this whole renting thing - it has its perks. I'm sure I'll get to those one of these days. Not having air conditioning though... well, that is not one of them. We did buy a window cooler and installed that in the bedroom so we can keep our sleeping area cool and comfortable, but the rest of the house is hot.

Like... melt a whole cube of butter on the counter during the day because you forgot to put it back in the refrigerator... hot.

McKenzie tells me this will be funny to look back on in a couple years.

Seriously though, what did people do before air conditioning?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

April Rewind

Architect Meeting
Chad and I met with our architect - Wayne from LKV Architects up at the property. He seems very knowledgeable, talented, and interested in our home building project - which I like! Wayne was very involved in checking out the property, taking pictures, envisioning layouts, and discussing what we wanted in addition to trying to take best advantage of the incredible views of the property. We are excited to see what he comes up with!

Young Couples Get-Together: Final Four
Don't you remember in the good ol days when our parents would get together with friends for pinochle? Your parents didn't do that? Mine did! Anyway, it seems like Chad and I don't make it out often enough to see our friends so we are now a part of a "Young Couples Club". Our first event was at Big Al's in Meridian where we watched the March Madness Final Four games. During the first couple hours, it was just the Cruickshank/Holthus crew, but by the end of the night - we had twelve or so people and it was a lot of fun! We hope to have great monthly turnouts in our future get-togethers :)

FFA Banquet
Annually, Chad and I make a trek to Costco and stock up on things like tri-tip and butter. We are given strange looks and are often asked, "where's the party?" from curious onlookers as we traipse through the store with two giant carts filled with romaine lettuce, dinner rolls, croutons, and cheese. We continually explain that we are shopping for the Nyssa FFA Banquet, which is a fundraiser, awards ceremony, and community event all rolled into one!

This year, I got to the kitchen at my normal time - assuming everything would  be running smoothly because this would be the first banquet we put on where Chad was not sidetracked by baseball practice. I was mistaken. The cafeteria looked wonderful with decorations galore, but the food was still in the ag-shop refrigerators! People gotta eat! I whipped those kids and that advisor into shape and we got everything moved to the kitchen where we rushed to get everything prepped and ready to go. The banquet started one hour earlier than normal and I would say we needed every minute to get ready!

For the first time, we charged for admission and we still had a huge turnout - so that was awesome! The auction went well and the chapter and alumni earned several thousand dollars to put toward FFA scholarships. I must say, I'm always happy when the FFA Banquet is completed - it is a lot of work!

During an especially emotionally taxing week in April, I saw this on my Instagram feed and it resonated with me and what I was/am dealing with. Life is not fair. I shouldn't expect it to be fair. I think I want it to be fair, but then again - what would my life look like if everything was fair? We are extremely fortunate in many ways and I might not like what I see if life was actually, fair. Regardless, I'm glad April was busy, because it was a little rough.

McBrides had a few brandings in April that I was able to attend - all of these pictures were taken at the steel corrals at Alkali, at two brandings about a week apart. The first was windy and very dusty and the second was just about perfect with regard to weather! There is not much I enjoy more than a nice branding in the spring!
Matthew catching two feet - with Tom on the head.
Peter helping recover a wind-blown hat.
Willy & Tiff hanging out after a long day at work!
Tiffany on Lightning with Jody coming in for the heels.

We celebrated Easter with Mom & Dan and the McBride clan this year by attending the Elk's Lodge breakfast. Chad's grandpa, Papa Cruickshank joined us for breakfast as well. More details and cute pictures from the Easter Egg hunt here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Free Diamonds!

This spring, Simmons Fine Jewelry celebrated their 25th Anniversary and in honor, they had a 25th Anniversary Diamond Stud Giveaway. Chad entered me to win the diamonds and he actually WON THEM!

The submission by Chad via Facebook:
We all know Tiffany puts up with a lot when it comes to my hunting and outdoor pursuits. Most recently, I put a turkey fan in our refrigerator – which she was not impressed with, but she didn’t take it out either. She even returned home one day to find I had hung a turkey fan in our bedroom – romantic, right? Since we don’t currently have room in our house for all our mounted animals, she has the rest of them hanging in her office at work. How many wives would go for that?
In the spring, I am in the mountains hiking and searching for shed horns – or chasing turkeys and bear. During the summer months, I’m fishing and refining my stalking skills on mule deer. Once fall hits, Tiff is lucky to catch a glimpse of me as I hunt deer, elk, and the occasional antelope in multiple states. If I am home during the fall, I usually try to take off to the river or find a pheasant or two. In the winter months, I can be found snowmobiling or decoying geese.
I also work full-time as a schoolteacher and we have a farm – which Tiff keeps an eye on when I am out hunting. Tiffany will go hunting with me when the circumstances are right for her, and those are always great memories. I definitely push the envelope, but she loves me anyway – and when I buy her hiking boots or a new bow or rifle for birthday/Christmas/anniversary (even though I know she’d probably rather have something from Simmons), she is always appreciative. She’s the best and even when I call late at night to ask her to grab her camera and the packs because I’ve got an animal down, she’s supportive – even when it means we are packing out in a snowstorm.
She even includes some of my hunting pictures on our Christmas card each year. Enough about me, Tiffany is the most generous, organized, determined person I know and she doesn’t really know the word, “no”. She gives of her time and talents when others are in need and can often be found working on various projects for other people with a pile of her own projects on the backburner. I know she would love some extra bling – and who knows, it might be just the ticket to get me through another hunting season!
Back in 2007-2008, we purchased our engagement and wedding bands from Simmons Fine Jewelry, and we have bought additional jewelry since then from Jay, Blake, and the amazing staff at Simmons. No matter when we come in - which is not very often, the staff always recognizes us, is very helpful, and they have a beautiful layout and very sparkly gems! If you are ever in the market for jewelry of any kind, I would wholeheartedly recommend Simmons! (And I would have said that before we won the free earrings)! :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Turkey Adventures

I'm beginning to think they have this whole turkey hunting thing figured out, what do you think Courtney? When Chad and Justin get together, there is a pretty good chance something is going to die. That kind of sounds wrong, but I'll go with it. This year, they each had multiple tags and made the most of it! A few weekend outings and they had four turkeys on the ground.
Like our neighbor says to Chad when he watches him practice shooting his bow, "I wouldn't want you hunting me!"
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