Wednesday, May 13, 2009
But my husband and I are finally doing some exercise. I'm out of classes and Junior League commitments are down for this summer so I've got lots of free time now. I'm looking forward to shedding winter weight and excess stuff! A little bit of homemade feng shui if you will ;)
DH has not made that easy with some really great restaurant visits lately but I plan to get my focus off the naughty carbs like rice, potatoes and pasta and back on the veggies and meats.
I'll be visiting some of my favorite low carb sites in the near future for inspiration:
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
But DH promises me that it just wasn't ours to have. So the hunt continues and we'll be apartment dwellers awhile longer. For better or worse we have one another and are looking forward to a great third year of marriage.
We had a special anniversary to Canada and enjoyed wine tasting and Dim Sum! We have so much fun together. We've made so many special memories in the 4 years we've known one another and I am looking forward to many more adventures together. I've been to 4/7 continents and I'm looking forward to crossing the other 3 off my list (which will probably happen before we have babies at this point!) and get DH to the 2 I've been to that he hasn't seen yet! We have some very busy and expensive trips ahead of us...
So much to see and do, so little time and money to experience it all...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
We have been faithfully looking for the perfect first home during our 2 years of marriage. We have approx a 10% downpayment for our area. We found a house of the size we want, with a great yard, in a fabulous neighborhood, very close to work and play. We will continue to go and look at it a few times to guesstimate the houses' needs. It's very ugly as it's been neglected for some time. But it may be ours in a few weeks if we go ahead and put in an offer. We've asked friends and family to pray on it and are faithfully seeking the right answer. But we both felt this was a great value for our area!
Anybody interested in saying a prayer that it works out for the best and as God intended... thank you :)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
DH and I took a day trip up to the islands. It was a bit too cold to swim or do outdoor activities but the drive in the sunshine was worth it. And with gas under $2/gallon and dunkin donuts gift certificates it made for a reasonably priced day!
Lately I've been bombarded with baby thoughts and dreams. I read a book that said baby dreams often occur around ovulation and for me it was very true this month. However, I also think that rattling around the possibility of having a baby 20 hrs/day has something to do with it too ;) DH admitted he's very scared about lifestyle changes that will accompany a baby. I think he's still in the "wait and see" mindset. Unfortunately, waiting even 5 more years may jeopardize my chances of becoming pregnant without help and require us to consider adoption. Thus, I'd like to "try" sooner than later.
I've found I'm not a very good charter. It's not entirely my fault. As a shiftworker I sleep at all different times of the day and rarely keep the same schedule for more than a few days at a time. But after a year off of the hormones I feel like my body is finally doing some of what it's supposed to do (according to the books) and that I am starting to anticipate length of my cycles and probable ovulation times.
I've began collecting baby outfits on clearance and some small items. I'm looking to really do my best to buy ahead and think positive thoughts. I know DH is not a "baby person" but he does real well with elementary aged children. It's just hard to get him in the mood to make a baby when he looks at them and sees screaming, crying, poop... perhaps he'd feel differently if it was his own and it cooed at him a few times. I personally love (and have always loved) babies and enjoy them at work many days each week.
I feel very fulfilled to have a job that satisfies that need but there are definitely times when my brain and body demand more... I wish DH was more onboard with baby making so we could get started right away. But I'm practicing patience and trusting that God will place a strong desire in his heart once the time is right.
I hope everyone else is enjoying warmer spring weather in their areas as well!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
DH and I are enjoying a new work schedule which has fewer hours at work and more time together. This semester we're both working hard in our classes as part time students but in the past few weeks we enjoyed a vacation together and we're enjoying some free time for dates, coffee outings and movies!
We've renewed our desire to save for a house and have decided to really get serious about buying a home in the next few years. We're not going to rush but we are going to keep our eyes open for the perfect place.
I'd like to say thank you to those who hosted contests in the January bloggy giveaway carnival. I won some really great prizes including books on finance and decorating, a goofy pirate hat, apple juice, a starter feeding kit, and some really great earrings! All have provided much enjoyment these past few weeks while my internet has been down :) Thank you again to all the fabulous carnival participants.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Sigh... this means I'll be taking an unexpected blogging absence since I no longer have functional internet at home and will only be accessing computers a few days each week at work and school.
I hope everyone enjoys the rest of winter and look forward to getting back online in the spring when the freeze thaws here...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
My family lives a few hours away and we stay in touch by phone and occasionally by email. There are a few older members of my family and we exchange cards and letters on a regular basis which is wonderful as well. Many of my coworkers either have children at home or nearby (or parents nearby if they're younger) and reconnect in person on a regular basis for dinner, game nights, and worship.
DH and I are struggling with what children will mean for our family of 2. We already feel a bit overwhelmed each holiday season struggling to see as many extended family members as possible. Where will we go for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day... what if we have to work? We're struggling with the idea of how to make our family a priority and still include the many extended relatives who will want to continue sharing holidays with us. With two full-time jobs the holidays have become a stressful time for us and we often feel as though we don't have a chance to celebrate our own traditions without them interfering with our family's desires.
One of our goals before children come into our family is to start setting more realistic holiday goals and perhaps inviting family to come share in traditions with us rather than feeling as though we need to accomodate six different households (divorced parents, grandparents, etc) every holiday season. We would also like to set up a few weekly family traditions with our children that we don't break so that our children can rely on solid time with us each week. We've talked about some ideas of things we can start implementing now (weekly Sunday night dinner, weekly church service at the same time, etc) to make this transition easier once children arrive.
In the meantime, we'll continue seeking ideas for how to handle large family holidays when family is scattered around the country...
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The cartoon above is available at www.cartoonstock.com. I recommend visiting there daily or as needed for a laugh! You can search for appropriate cartoons by keyword!
This week felt as if DH and I were being pulled in far too many directions. I do believe I've already overextended myself this semester. I've always been a "Type A" personality trying to achieve and feeling proud of my ability to juggle so many things at one time. But once our sleep schedule evolves into the occasional 2-3 hour nap every 16-20 hours it becomes time to reevaluate!
I had a meeting every night this week which pulled me away from home at night and a variety of appointments each morning as well. Perhaps the 6 credits of college courses in addition to full-time work and a community group commitment was a bit ambitious for one semester? Maybe this is a taste of parenting; A lack of sleep and free time coupled with fulfilling a series of non-negotiable responsibilities towards others. Fortunately DH and I are preparing for a few weeks of vacation next week. Sunshine, lazy days, and adventures in foreign lands lie ahead! We're looking forward to one more international trip away together before we start our journey to become parents and expand our family of two.
Lord give me the strength to conquer one more week. I have the feeling that a well-orchestrated break this semester will allow me to return and give my all to the final 10 weeks of the semester! Of course, given the economy and our desire to start a family this year, part of me regrets booking this vacation last spring!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
For now, we're continuing to put about a third of our income into retirement but will likely be reducing our contributions in an effort to have greater cash savings this year. We have enough for a small downpayment on a home now but would like to save more as this is the one financial area we have a bit of control over. Our retirement accounts sadly lost 50% of their value last year and it just doesn't seem like we're getting much out of them despite the fact that we put so much into them. We'll still put a great chunk away for retirement (10-15% of our income) but not as much as we have been.
Crystal/Moneysavingmom had a great post on finances this week. She and her husband are expecting their third child this spring and are currently saving to buy a house in cash. For us, in our area, that would mean saving more than a quarter million dollars for a small modest home. However, we have considered saving the money and then moving to a lower cost area of living so that we could do the same. She has great weekly post on deals, freebies and menu planning if anyone is interested in saving more/spending less!
So, my 2009 financial goals were to continue funding retirement accounts, to finish saving for a downpayment (goal: $2k/month), and to sell excess belongs in preparation for a move and put all of that into downpayment account. We will continue funding retirement at a slower rate. Currently we put $2000 in for January to the savings but we didn't sell any of our stuff. I'm hoping to get to that after our vacation (sometime in March) when the weather is better with a big yard sale. We can usually pull in over $100 with a yard sale and I'm hoping a few hundred more for big ticket items on craigslist. We're also both committed to working overtime starting this spring to try to save more money!
Saturday, January 31, 2009
But I had fun. Now I just hope I win a few of the things I really loved. Honestly, winning any 1 of the items that I had posted about on here would make me really happy. I hope that some of you were able to find some giveaways you enjoyed out there by visiting my blog and seeing them this week.
DH and I are hoping to attempt chicken broth again this week along with a richer creamier chicken stew recipe! We're trying to hang in there and stay warm so soups, stews and hot chocolate are the bulk of the menu lately. I'm also hoping to improve my cooking (I only have a handful of recipes that I make really well consistently) so that I can start to use more natural, whole foods and less white sugars, white pastas and white flour!
Alright, off to enjoy the weekend snow and cold.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Because really, even though gas prices have come down from last summer, we could all use $20 gas cards to help us get around!
Head over there before Friday to put your name in the hat! It's a great contest with a random collection of goodies that were never claimed from previous giveaways. I'm still in shock that some of these prizes never got dispensed. I guess life takes over sometimes...
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
At least that's the attitude over at confessions of a yummy mummy. She's got a super interesting story (yep, you gotta go read her blog to hear about her life- I'm not going to be the net gossip!) and over $200 worth of goodies in this basket including tgif gift certificate (yummy in our tummy! thanks mummy!), a dvd of serendipity (ok, not my fave romantic comedy but...), a box of godivas (mmmm, i'll eat those while watching the dvd and be in heaven anyway), a great camera strap so your neck doesnt get all scratched up and ya look chic, and $50 to Target. Oh yes, that alone has probably drawn nearly 500 of the 800 entries. But I want that restaurant certificate and the chocolates! YUM!
So, if I've got your interest in the blogger or the prize go to http://cynthialovespictures.blogspot.com/2009/01/yummy-mummys-first-giveaway.html and check it out!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We saw Facing The Giants and really enjoyed it. And it stars Kirk Cameron. C'mon, you totally crushed on him in Growing Pains too!!!!
Check out what else Frugal Mommy is giving away- these super cute blankets from Bubblecakes! I think the cowgirls and cowboys are the cutest things ever on the swaddling blankets. I'd love to bring my baby (babies?? ;) ) home in those!
Get over there now and sign up because the contests are only open a few more days... if baby blankets don't interest you then you can either
a) win them and give them to me
b) check thru bloggy carnival at http://www.donttrythisathome.typepad.com/ to enter other contests for tasties like chocolate, cute purses, jewelry, makeup...
Gosh, I get back there and at some point I have to sleep so I can function tomorrow...
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
If you've got a baby on the brain too, consider entering a giveaway over at The Dirty Shirt. Right now there is a "Baby Dipper Review and Giveaway" which has the coolest little bowl and spoon set. While it's charming for feeding an infant, it's necessary for a toddler.
WHY? It's designed so that toddlers, who are just learning to manipulate spoons and food, can have better control and actually get food onto their own utensils (and hopefully into their mouths!).
For more information on this product and the inventor checkout http://www.babydipper.com/
It's cute and functional. I've entered to win one. What are you waiting for?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I also made that pumpkin soup last week and it turned out ok. It was too sweet for my preferences but DH really enjoyed it in a cup with his sandwiches this week to stay warm. I tried to upload some photos of the process but that's proving a bit too difficult with blogger... suffice it to say I'm pleased that I created something edible!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
But I can't help but want them right now nonetheless. DH thinks we should wait one more year. I worry that if we don't start accepting them soon that they will never come. When will it be my time?
Sunday, January 11, 2009
For those who like Suze...
Oprah is offering a free copy of Suze's Orman's 2009 action plan for download on her website until January 15th. Just click the link below and instantly have access to this financial advice. I haven't read it yet but I'm adding it to my reading list this week!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Will there be enough food?
I found a new site through another blogger I read today.
It's called Fun with Food Storage. It has lots of practical tips about buying food you can store, how to store the food you bought, and how to use the food you bought to make practical, sensible meals. It has frequent blog posts, videos, and, for a limited time this week, A GIVEAWAY!
I've gotta get back over there and catch up on all that I've missed by not seeing it yet. But, be sure to stop by the site by clicking here if food storage interests you at all!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Feel free to email me or comment if you catch me forgetting my goals at some point :)
-Increase weekly quality time with husband from 1 date/week at present where we really try to connect with one another
-Enjoy an international vacation together this winter (we love to travel!)
-Celebrate our 2nd anniversary with a coastal trip later this spring
-Plan at least 1 trip to see each of our families in their respective states (parents, sisters, brother, extended family)
-Continue community work/leadership
-Further develop our spiritual knowledge
-Continue funding retirement accounts
-Finish saving for a downpayment (goal: $2k/month)
-Sell excess belongs in preparation for a move and put all of that into downpayment account
-Eat healthily and maintain weight limiting white sugar/flour
-Learn to cook 1-2 new meals/week
-Exercise 5 days/week
-Continue education (complete 18/24 credits necessary to graduate!)