Saturday, December 24, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
we celebrated a year of marriage yesterday! can't believe it's been that long, but also can't believe how many things we've been through in just 365 days. We were married Dec 12, 2010, with literally barely 200 dollars to our name...We honeymooned in Disneyland and then moved into the world's tiniest apartment. we learned, after moving in, that this apartment had no oven. it also had no laundry machine, and no dishwasher. We spent many nights at the laundromat (which i refused to go to alone because i was afraid i was going to get "stabbed and murdered", even though it was perfectly safe) watching movies and doing work. We also spent many nights cooking in a toaster oven. By "we", i mean me burning food for the first month solid. I now feel very proud that I can cook in a teeny oven and produce edible casseroles in a 9x9 pan. Nevermind the turkey meatball disaster and the charred brownies. (Cooking in a toaster oven is a very interesting experience. Everyone should try it, because when you have a real oven, you want to hug it every single day. For real.) I have actually learned to bake. Amazing, I know. My limited repertoire now includes applesauce coffee cake, caramel walnut cookies, muffins, and cupcakes. We eat a lot of applesauce coffee cake :)
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Thanks to the help of some friends, I am now on my journey of couponing! I made my handy coupon binder last week thanks to the Krazy Coupon Lady's blog. i ventured out on Sunday afternoon to tackle the first of my purchases at our local Safeway...here's how i did:
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
it has always been my husband's and my dream for me to be able to stay at home and enjoy a full time "mommy-hood" lifestyle. we had it pretty mapped out; get out of student loan debt, i would quit my job, and be a full time mama...then two pink lines showed up and now we have our precious 3 lb 2 oz daughter almost in our arms. happened fast, and though we wouldn't change a thing, its changed our priorities. we are working hard to get out of debt, and have done a good job so far paying off absurdly high medical bills (my eye surgeries wiped us out for six months!), and staying away from excess debt by living simply and learning to budget. all that considered, we will be a one-income family for at least four months beginning in December. and let me tell you...being a two income family hasn't been extravagant, but it's downright cushy compared to a single income. hence, my newest journey, and the reason for the facelift to my blog... i'm learning how to be a stay at home mama, and also learning to cut back on expenses by becoming....an extreme couponer. yes, i said it! we've all been there haven't we? stuck behind the "crazy couponer" for 30 minutes behind the person in the checkout line with four inches of coupons clutched in their hands.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Our precious, sweet baby is 27 weeks! Weighing in at 2.2 lbs and 15 inches from head to toe, she is beginning to really pack a punch...she kicked her daddy's hand pretty hard the other day, has lots of bouts with hiccups, and enjoys kicking and rolling for about 20 mins at a time during the day. i wish i could see if she was sucking her thumb, but i would need a 24/7 ultrasound to do that :) her daddy and i are beginning baby preparations (eek!) including her darling crib and carseat/stroller combo. i'm not sure where people are taking their babies these days, but they make some serious all-terrain strollers. since we are not taking her to the Alps, or off-roading, we are settling for the "we're going the mall" stroller.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
i heard just this afternoon that my friend sara (gitzengirl) is headed to be with Jesus sometime in the next hours/day. she has been housebound due to a medical condition called spondylitis, and therefore i have never met her in person. i began following her blog after my friend matthew directed me there and i found a Godly, beautiful friend. sara is the epitome of love in action and finding joy in suffering. her motto was always "choose joy!". sara painted beautiful canvasses of inspiring verses and quotes and her blog is filled with fun photos and joy in the midst of great pain from her illness. i have never seen such trust in the Lord or peace in the storm that for sara, never really let up. sara loves people without bounds or measures, and does so in spite of not having the luxury of all the things we take for granted. that's why today, although i am sad and heartbroken for the loss of a beautiful friend, i am choosing joy because that's what sara would want. sara is surrounded by hospice care, and her family is surrounding her, reading her messages from friends as she waits for Jesus to take her home. she would not want anyone to be sad, because she is confident in Who awaits her.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
i took my NCLEX on tuesday. i was more peaceful and calm going into it than i have EVER been taking any test, so i felt ready to conquer it. i had breakfast with my husband (btw, great harvest makes the most delicious european style hot chocolate!), and drove to the test center feeling really good about passing. i sat down to take the test, and got thru the first 75 questions no problem. i knew that if it shut off at 75, i had a 90 percent chance that i passed, so i was feeling great. i knew every question! so when it didn't stop at 75, i remained calm. i knew a friend had gotten 160-ish, so i was determined not to panic. I kept going thru the questions, which kept getting more and more difficult (a good sign on the nclex), certain it was going to stop any minute. at 100 questions, I was still going strong, taking my time, and for certain getting correct answers. Since the questions kept increasing in difficulty (i studied three hours a day for months, got great practice test grades, and was an excellent student, and I had not even heard of some of the things they were asking at this point), I began getting confused as to why it was not stopping.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Yes, it's true! Emmy or Ever will, Lord willing, be joining our little family in January.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
When my dear husband and I married, I was the spender. He was the saver. So when he brought out the dreaded budget spreadsheet, I cringed on the inside. I wasn't in tremendous debt (save a hundred bucks on a credit card), but I definitely wasn't saving, or even strategically getting through a month without squeaking by at the end. I also didn't have a healthy relationship with finances, and I needed to. So I grudgingly accepted the budget (after making my husband turn it into a pink excel sheet :) and began to understand how money REALLY works. And the effects it carries with it. Now that we are newly married, thinking about a family in the future, and paying off my student loans, it means buckling down to really hammer out the details of our budget. I've learned a few things in the last six months, and I'm slowly (dare I say it), becoming a...saver. So how did I do it? How'd my husband change me from "Becky Bloomwood", shop-a-holic with a closet full of unworn clothes, to a girl who actually enjoys saving money? You can do it too.
1) Step one: collect all your receipts and save them for a month. This will show you where you are blowing through your money and where you may be spending less than you think. I was spending way too much on coffee, and spending less than I thought on gas.
2) Set realistic goals: The truth is, some things happen, and it's best to allow room. And you have to budget every single category. We have categories for coffee, movies, clothes, and household. The first month we tried this, we set our food budget at a modest 250.00. Needless to say, we absolutely obliterated about 450.00 the first month. So we compromised. Our food budget is about 300-350 monthly now, and if I really use coupons, I can usually knock it under 300. 450 was overly generous, 250 wasn’t realistic. Find a middle ground. A lot of people don’t agree with buying coffee out. They want you to get an espresso machine and save a ton of money by “making it yourself”. Here’s the deal: Husband and I work M-F, leaving around 8 or 9 and coming home at 5 or 6. And when I wake up or come home, I don’t want to make my own coffee. I love Starbucks. It’s not realistic to cut it out of our budget so we make a reasonable amount and stick to it. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
3) When you fail, try again. Some months, we have utterly failed at our food our household budget. We eat out too much, or things crowd our schedule, making it hard to cook and bring lunches to work. It happens. Work with it. Get back on track and work harder.
4) Wait for deals. Use coupons. We wanted to book a flight for an upcoming vacation, but flights were absurd. We held out and today, we got TWO round trip tickets for the price of ONE! I also watch for special sales that I can combine coupons with. If you read the fine print, and it doesn’t say you can’t combine, then you can grab some amazing deals. Here’s some of the deals I’ve used recently:
-KFC: Meal deal was 14.99, I found a 10 dollar off coupon online, printed it off, and got an 8 piece meal for 4.99.
-Victoria’s Secret: I had a gift card for 25.00, used 2 VS rewards cards for 10 each and got sweatpants, two tops, and a tanktop for 5.00.
-Kohls: Kohl’s CASH is awesome. I saved up a bunch and found some 50.00 wedges for half off, which made them 25.00. With 20.00 of cash the cost was 5.00!
-Found a 40 percent Nike coupon online. Used it at Lady Foot Locker and was able to combine it with some clearance Nike wear and snagged a 50 dollar ensemble for 10.00!
-Walgreens and Target: I use manufacturer’s coupons to get some great deals on sale items like men’s razors for husband, pasta, tampons, lightbulbs, and toothpaste. I used an 8.00 off coupon for a men’s razor that was 9.99. It went on sale for 8.00 and it was FREE.
5) Change your standards: Learn that you can live somewhere that maybe isn't your "dream house", because it's financially responsible. We live in a teensy-weensy apartment that is dirt-cheap in costs. We save a TON, money thats being funneled to student loans, savings, and vacation. I love our home. I've made it really cute, cozy, and a place we love to come home to. Is it our "dream house"? No. It's clean, safe, and it's where we are at for now. We are moving to a larger place in November, but for now, its perfect. You may envision your mansion, or it may be a pride issue, but when you get down to it, a "dream house" when you're just starting out means you are racking up debt or spending more than you're saving. Let go of the dream, make your home a happy and healthy place to be, and enjoy the savings and the financial freedom. Also, don't play the martyr. If you are around your friends and family and all you can talk about is how "poor" you are, or how you can't go here or there because of finances, your likeability will plummet as fast as your bank balance. Make a budget, and learn to live happily within your means without depressing everyone around you.6) Give generously: The best part of having a budget and sticking to it is that you can give generously, without being stressed and without getting yourself in trouble/debt. I’m able to take a short trip next week and pay for gas/gifts for my friend who is getting married. Make giving to other a priority and you will find yourself in better financial shape than ever.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Let it be known that I don't condone Lady Gaga. I've danced to her music and I listen to her first album while at the gym, but I definitely don't think her recent inappropriate outfits and very sexualized music are appropriate for anyone to listen to. I would never let my children listen to any song other than "Just Dance", and I change the channel when her barely-there outfits are plastered all over our television set.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised! Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
But they don't tell you...
No one tells you that the last term is emotional. bittersweet. stressful. fulfilling. exhausting. No one tells you that the people who have walked beside you for four years will become like your family. you cant imagine your life without all of them. No one tells you how exhausted working back to back long shifts will make you. No one tells you how stressful it is to get everything done to graduate. No one tells you how emotional everything becomes. i'm so happy to be done, but graduation hit me today, and i realized how much nursing school has shaped me into who i am. No one tells you that it will make you compassionate, that you will understand the people around you more and more. No one tells you how it feels to find out your patient died. No one tells you what it's like to have to tell a patient's family that something went wrong. No one prepares you.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
my husband and i can't help but snicker a little bit when my grandma watches jeopardy. we watch it too, but she always comments on the weight of the contestants. it's funny, because of the tone she uses and her totally indignant comments, but it's sobering too.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I am sure a lot of people cannot imagine why i would be thankful for my recent eye surgery, but i am. i firmly believe that God brings the good and bad into our lives for His glory and to shape us into a people confident in his goodness. was it terrifying? yes. was it inconvenient? yes. but just a few days after the surgery, i was able to see already that God had carefully shaped and created this time of purpose for me.