Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Only Four Days Left to Vote!

Dear friends, voters, and readers of this blog...

This is a quick shout out to once again request and remind that you cast your daily votes for our Lowe's Man Cave Contest video.

In just four easy steps you can help us win first prize:

1 - Go to
2 - Enter e-mail & basic contact info.
3 - Answer 2 quick survey questions
4 - Vote for our video - "The More Baby Stuff In, The More Daddy Stuff Out"

You can vote once each day until the end of this week so your daily votes and any additional campaigning you can do would be MUCH appreciated.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

ch ch ch cherry hill!

cherry hill: a bullough family tradition.

for as long as i can remember, the entire bullough clan makes the yearly pilgrimage to this little oasis in search of tube rides, mini golf and the latest gossip. we take over an entire area with tents, dogs and children everywhere. i love it- primarily for nostalgic reasons, but i love it nonetheless. over the years, the park has become seemingly smaller- but i guess that is just a consequence of becoming older and thus- larger. i am excited for my kids to start loving this tradition as well, so it was fun to have violet there for her first year. i knew she would love it...
but then again, i have been wrong before.

after trying (and hating) the kiddie area, cade was convinced that vi would like the water slides much better. you read that correctly: WATER SLIDES. i tried explaining that babies don't usually go on water slides but cade was sure she would love it. i figured that the lifeguards would stop him- but no, he somehow convinced them too that this was perfectly normal to take a 4 month old down the slides. one guard hesitated for a moment and then said, "well she probably shouldn't go alone." another helpful guard even offered some advice to "hold the baby up right before you end so she doesn't go under."

thanks, dudes. thanks.

so down they went- and turns out both cade and i were right. she didn't love it and she didn't hate it. she simply tolerated the slides.

after winning last year's mini golf competition, cade and i had a tough loss this year and pretty much came in last. who knew my little brother was phil freaking mickelson. it was great, however, to finally have all my siblings here together. i love having mandy so close and the cousins are loving them some cousin time. here is our latest attempt to get a shot of them all together.
it is pretty much impossible to get a picture where they don't look like they are being tortured.

i wish we had more pictures to prove just how fun it all really was- but, now that we have little vi i find that all our pictures are of her. so little violet becomes our proof of a good time. she is really all we want to take pictures of, so i guess it works out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

cade is a finalist to win 15k!

as many of you know, cade has been working on a man cave in our crawl space. he has dug it out, wired it for electricity and laid carpet thus far. not too shabby for a little crawl space, eh? well, one of our co-workers heard about the project and let us know about a video contest lowe's is hosting for the ULTIMATE MAN CAVE. the winner gets 15,000 bucks for a man cave.

since cade loves videos AND man caves, he decided to put something together. we thought it was a shot in the dark- but it was fun to make the video, so that was enough to get it done.

well- just today we heard back and found out that from the 120 entries, cade's video was chosen by a panel of judges to be a top ten finalist! that means we have a one in ten chance of winning this!!!!!

now that the video is in the final round, the winner is chosen by popular vote. this means we need every vote we can get to help him win! i know that people are always soliciting for baby contests and bake offs- and i also know you are all busy.... BUT if you have a second or two, we would love to have you vote!

if you are feeling extra kind- you can vote tomorrow too. and maybe the next day after that. and every day after that until the end of the month when the contest ends. you see, one vote per day is allowed for every email address that registers.

the only hang-up with voting is that lowes wants some of your information in order to keep the contest fair and track the votes (like email address and such). but think- we could win this thing!

to place your vote(s), please visit and check out the videos – hopefully you like ours the best. our video is the one with the picture of the three of us (see below) and is called "the more baby stuff in, the more daddy stuff out."

once you've voted- spread the word! post it on facebook, email your family, tweet, make a big sign for your yard and announce it at church. whatever works.

THANK YOU for all your support. we will keep you posted!

Monday, July 12, 2010

la-la-la GOON

a new lagoon tradition has been started with cade's family every year and we couldn't be more excited about it. even this one...
this year, however, lagoon day happened to land right in the middle of my crazy training schedule for my previous job. knowing that it wouldn't be worth it to buy a pass and only be in the park a few hours, we opted out of the rides this year and just went to take pictures and get in some good chats.

so, without much text: enjoy the pictures!

it was a FREEZING cold day- which was a little bit of a let down. i honestly think some of my favorite things about lagoon are all the tat-spotting and the smell of burning flesh. bummer that there were so many sweaters around this year. it really was sooo cold -but we toughed it out. even little scarly-boo who got all cozy at lunch.

it's what fun is!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

happy to have our life back

the past month and a half has been one of the craziest times of my life... so i am writing about it to never forget how nuts things can get when priorities are out of whack.

i had a great job at xactware after i graduated from college. i loved working with cade and the other fabulous employees there. when vi came along, i seriously considered going back to work part time simply because i loved the job so much- BUT i have never felt more love or attachment to anything in my life like i felt for violet. i knew that working part time away from her really wouldn't work emotionally or physically for all of us. on the other hand, i have a desire to keep working on the side for some extra cash and some extra brain stimulation, too. so- i started to look for a job i could do from home. this is no easy feat. the majority of at-home jobs entail little-to-no pay and involve mostly data entry. not necessarily ideal.

as the search continued, i was given an opportunity to work for a local airline who allows employees to work from home. i have ALWAYS wanted to work for an airline- afterall, cade and i love to travel and we would jump at the chance for free flights. thus, i took the job.

now, this job is considered an "at home" job; however, in order to work from home, you must first complete a 4 week, full-time training session at the company headquarters. yikes. right after i say i wouldn't go back to my old job because i felt it was too much time away from vi, i take a job that will require a month of FULL TIME hours. cade and i discussed and decided that this was a great opportunity and that we could make this work. we could put up with anything for a month, right?

so, this was our daily schedule for a month:

7:00 am - cade start working in orem
3:30 pm - drop violet off at my mom's house
4:00 pm - ashley start work in sandy/cade finish work in orem and start driving to sandy
5:45 pm - cade pick violet up from my mom's and drive to ashley's work
6:00 pm - ashley feed violet during her break
6:20-7:45 pm - cade watch violet
8:00 pm - ashley feed violet again on her next break
8:20 pm - cade drive back to lehi to put vi to bed early
10:00 pm - ashley pump during last break
midnight - ashley get off work in salt lake and drive home to lehi

repeat, repeat, REPEAT.

this is us in the car... for one of the many feeding sessions.

we tried to work in a bottle for violet so we wouldn't be crazy trying to bring her to my work to nurse but little vi would refuse a bottle at all costs. really people- ALL COSTS. so... we continued this schedule day after day. honestly, we almost gave up a few times- but when were we ever going to find a job with free flights that lets me work from home!? we kept on, looking forward to the end of this hellish schedule with MUCH anticipation.

cade kept busy while waiting between my breaks. he would visit grammy and grandpa, the gouldings or some friends. other times he would go on walks with vi or hike up the mountains to take some photos.
yes, violet is actually laying down in the mountain grass. yes, we checked for ticks. yes, she loves the outdoors.

well, the end finally came. my month was done. training finished. the hell, however, continued. when i first interviewed, they told me they were looking for people to work in the evenings. this was perfect! i could start working right around the time cade got home and that way vi would be watched the whole time. well after all that craziness, the shift i received turned out to be in the middle of the day. right smack in the middle- three times a week. since the job requires me to be on the phone my entire shift, this would now mean i would have to find a babysitter for vi until cade got home from work. then i find out that they hired so many employees that they don't have enough equipment to allow me to work from home for a little while. further, after talking with my supervisor, i find out that the free flights are almost impossible to get until after september because there are sooo many new employees.

all the perks starting looking less and less appealing. cade and i were so tired of seeing one another for a lousy 40 minutes a day while i fed violet in the back seat of his car. we felt less like a family than we ever had and our overall quality of life had bottomed out. our priorities were completely off and i wanted to be with violet more often. i mean, look at this cutie!
all this for a few free flights and some extra cash. without much hesitation, we decided it would be best to quit. that job may be perfect for some people- but for us it was never going to work. we plowed through it for a month and learned our lesson.

quitting brought a new life back to us. cade and i have never felt so good! freedom! violet was soooo much happier as well- she could sense all that tension disappear and we settled back into our routine of play and together time. i love that i am actually a mom again. there is no price or value that could be placed on the feeling i had when we finally felt our way back to normal again.

the great news is, right after quitting i heard about another job with a company who allows some employees to work entirely from home. i just finished the interview process and was hired. it is a great job that requires no set schedule and allows me to work even with violet here - so i can work whenever, wherever i want. the pay is better, the people are great and i can already tell that i am going to love it.

i guess i just had to taste all that bitter in order to finally find the sweet.

thanks to all our friends and family who supported us through the crazy times. we love you!