Friday, February 26, 2010

Confessions of a suburban housewife...

I've learned two things about myself recently.
1. I'm a slight perfectionist.
2. Most of my life is all or nothing.

Here's what this looks like... I wanted to lose weight. I knew I needed to live healthier for a million different reasons. I worked at it, I threw out the junk food, and I worked out daily. Because of complications with my birth control, I couldn't lose weight. Not a pound. I was frustrated and gave up. Now I don't work out and I eat whatever I want.
I want my house to be clean tidy perfect. So I tend to spend an entire day killing myself to make it spotless. Then I get frustrated when the dogs track grass indoors and give up for several days. Then I clean like mad for eight to ten hours. Yes, I realize this is not a healthy cycle.
On the flip side, this cycle has some huge positive aspects. For example, I'm passionate about loving D.J. and making our marriage a long term success. So I pour my entire heart into daily loving him in a way he's never been loved before.

Last week, I spoke with a high school friend who has maintained a monthly grocery budget of $100. She's kept this budget even when she was sick with a fibroid and now that there's a new little mouth to feed. Her budget was a small fraction of what mine was! I was inspired! We e-mailed back and forth about tips and strategies and I felt armed and ready to go. I was deteremined to bring our grocery bills under control and I was confident that I could slice the bill in a single month! So, despite the on-set of strep and a nasty cold, D.J. and I spent all day last weekend traveling to the various grocery stores in and around our little town. We had a list of every single item we purchase on a regular basis and compared the prices in 6 different stores. I then went through the list and figured out who offered the best price on each and every item. My conclusion? Target had the best every day prices. (Not Wal-Mart! Woo hoo!) They also have significant sales on a regular basis. Their toiletries and paper goods are also pretty much rock bottom prices! (Especially if you can get your hands on a coupon!) However, if you really wanted to save big, huge, mega bucks then Tom Thumb was the way to go! The prices were a bit high, but they had sales you wouldn't believe, AND they double and triple coupons. AND you can load coupons onto your store card and get the discount on the card, plus the paper coupons I'd clipped! But I digress...
So yesterday, I worked hard to work on a menu yesterday and carefully planned out two weeks of meals. I found coupons for every single item on my list and headed off to Tom Thumb. I was thrilled! I carefully selected the cheapest items on each shelf and refused to stray from my list. I was so proud of myself! And then I was devestated when the total rang up. It was almost twice what I'd planned on spending. (Dern me for not adding as I went!) My heart sank. I beat myself up all the way home and fought tears as I put the groceries away. Then I sat down and looked at the receipt with my sweet husband. We realized that I'd sliced our original grocery budget by more than half and I'd saved 23% on groceries in coupons alone, not to mention what I saved by buying store brand instead of name brand!

And that's when it hit me... I need to give myself more grace. I need to allow myself to not be perfect. My grocery trip was quite an accomplishment in a single day. It'll take time for me to master coupons and build up a stock pile. I'm getting there. I'm making progress. I just need to allow myself the grace to learn on a curve. So today my goal is to take baby steps. Put away the laundry, put away the clean dishes, shine the sink, and do a little painting to satisfy my creative side. I can bleach the bathrooms another day. For now, I need to learn to give myself grace and not attack life as an all or nothing event.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As I see it...

Here's the world as I see it today:
--Carrots are nutrious and full of good for you vitamins, but they sure are an ugly vegetable! Granted, baby carrots are cute as could be - but a bag full of carrots? Not very pretty - just ugly and crooked and gross looking.
--It's snowing again. Do I still live in Texas?
--My husband is amazing! I've been sick with strep for the past few days and he's waited on me hand and foot. He even took off work on Monday so he could take me to the doctor because he knew I had no voice and felt too icky to figure out the directions to the new doctors office.
--Between the snow and the lack of excess funds, I didn't get any flowers on Valentine's Day. I wasn't upset with him - I understood why. But, this weekend we spotted some purple flowers at Target and he quickly put them in the cart. Purple hydrangea, purple daisies, and even purple roses! I happily arranged them in a clear vase full of water that immediately turned a beautiful, bright purple. Now they look like they're sitting in a perfectly matched purple vase! So fun...
--I love creating and modifying recipes. It fills my heart with a tiny bit of glee. I feel like I'm feeding my husband's heart - not just his tummy.
--This weekend (before the strep attacked in full force) we became super coupon savvy and snagged two boxes of Rolaids for free. We also got two boxes of cake mix for 28 cents - total! Auntie Anne's was giving away free pretzels so we snatched those up as well. We then enjoyed some treats from Sonic at a beautiful buy one, get one free price! Fantastic! It was a happy saving day!
--I won over $100 worth of scrapbooking stuff from Tatertots & Jello and Peachy Cheap. I haven't received my box of goodies yet (I just found out yesterday) but I'm thrilled to get it in the mail.
--I still get a thrill from signing my new last name. I got to sign it at the bank and at the doctor's office recently. It was so exciting to see it on the paper and know that it was me with the new last name!
--Marley had a birthday last week. He is no longer a puppy. I wish someone would tell him... He still has the energy of a puppy and still whines like a puppy. It's ridiculous! I love him though...
So that's the world as I see it today. If we get enough snow to be picture worthy, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'm going to curl up with Pete the Penguin humidifier and a box of tissues.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Momentary Insanity

Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved teenagers. He loved being around them and loved ministering to them. This boy met a girl who did not love teenagers. (She loved 5 year olds more!) The boy and the girl fell in love and got married. The girl moved in with the boy and worked hard to create a perfect little house. The boy had to temporarily give up his part time youth minister gig. (Don't worry - he still got to teach and coach teenagers. He didn't give it all away!) The boy missed being a youth minister though. He missed teaching the Word. The girl felt sorry for him. So when an opportunity arose to host a group of teenagers in their home for an entire weekend, the girl agreed. It was her first moment of insanity. After much preparation, a few tears, and more nerves than you can imagine the weekend finally arrived. Thirteen 7th grade boys descended on the perfect little home in a whirlwind of raging hormones and intense body odor. At midnight, the boy and the girl went to bed - they were very tired. The teenagers were not. They stayed up all night and had wrestling matches that produced several bloody noses, a water fight in multiple rooms of the house, and a food fight that created more crumbs and dirt than you can fathom. (An entire two liter of Dr. Pepper was spilled behind the sofa and no one knows how it happened!)
The boy and the girl spent most of the night listening to the rukas wondering what was going on. At 4:30 in the morning, the boy got mad and used his "coach voice" to make them calm down. They didn't sleep though - they kept throwing food and made the mess that much worse. Needless to say, when the boy and girl finally woke up, they were a little peeved at the mess on the floor. (The two dogs that lived in the perfect little home were thrilled by it!)
Once the boy and girl delivered their delinquents to the church service they informed the youth minister that they were quitting. The youth minister gave the teenagers a stern lecture and then made them clean the bathrooms at the church. The boy and the girl liked that and laughed. They decided that the teenagers could stay as long as they promised to behave better. They promised and they did okay for a few hours. Then they started sneaking sodas under the sofa and hiding bags of chips under the toilet. At one point there was a pile of soaking wet underwear in the closet and a couple of missing tampons, but nothing major. When the teenagers finally went home, the boy and the girl were very tired. They slept on the couch with the puppies and ignored the bloody mess in the bathroom (and on the bathroom walls) and the piles of blankets and towels that had to be washed. Then they watched the Super Bowl and went to bed early. The girl was happy that the boy had enjoyed the teenagers, but was even happier that the teenagers were gone. The girl decided that she didn't want to have babies anymore because the sweet little bundle of joy that came home from the hospital would turn into the monsters that had destroyed her perfect little home in two minutes flat! The boy decided that he wanted to start having babies sooner rather than later so he could fill the house with teenagers once again. The girl remembered a college professor who said that God gave us teenage boys to scare the hell out of us. She was convinced that hell would be nothing more than a room full of 13 year old boys. It was enough to send anyone to their knees and seek redemption! The girl hit the boy with a pillow and told him there would be no babies for a long time and that when those babies did turn 13, they were going to be locked up in a barrel. If they were nice, she'd cut a hole to shove food through. The boy just laughed and kissed her.
The End

P.S. - - The church took pity on our destroyed house and paid to have our carpets cleaned. The man just left. After two weeks of chasing a smell I couldn't destroy, our house finally smells like lemons! The Play Doh came out of the carpet and he found all the blood and got it out as well! Maybe the house will recover after all...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Day 2010

When all was said and done on Thursday, the sky dumped over a foot of snow on our little town. I'm still trying to decide, but I'm pretty sure that's the most snow I've ever seen at one time. In my life. (There may have been more that one Christmas in Indiana, but I don't recall the exact number of inches. I know there was a crazy man grilling in a foot of snow though...) The snowfall sure was record breaking for DFW! It was the most snow to fall in 24 hours. Ever. And we are only two inches shy of having the snowiest winter on record. (We've already had the rainiest fall on record, why not break this record too?)
D.J. and I had so much fun! We have a ton of pictures and over an hour of video from the past few days. It was a wonderful way to spend our first Valentine's together! Here are some of the highlights I know you've been anxious to see!!!

Our first snowman of the day - on the back of DJ's car. We'll call him Ralph.
I've worn my gloves so much this winter my engagement ring has popped right through the glove! I love it!
After a long day of watching the snow fall all by myself, DJ finally came home and we went walking in the park!
The world looked like a winter wonderland! I've never seen anything like this in Texas!
Our second snowman of the day. We'll call him R.J. He fell over while D.J. was taking this picture. We decided we were cold and wet so we dug D.J.'s hat out of the snow and went home to dry off a bit. (Yea for a new dryer!)
Our third and fourth snowmen of the day. I'm on the left and D.J. is on the right. My snowman fell down a few minutes after we took this picture. D.J's snowman fell down sometime during the night. We were very sad. Turns out, we're not very good snowman makers!
One of the first things we did Thursday morning was put all three of our great big bowls out to catch some snow so I might have enough to make snow ice cream that night. We had no idea we'd get enough snow to completely cover the bowls themselves!
After a failed attempt at sledding on a boogie board and a very warm lunch, we worked for several hours on an igloo for our neighbor's little boy. Turns out, what we lack in snowman building abilities, we make up for in igloo building! The snow in our yard is pretty much melted, but that igloo stands strong!
We did it! The little boy standing inside is almost three. He loved the house we built for him and cried when his mom wouldn't let him spend the night in it!
Look closely folks, we easily fit three adults and a child inside our igloo. However, we didn't install wall-to-wall carpeting and my hiney was completely numb by the time we climbed back out!
This is the panoramic D.J. took of the meadow by the church. We walked a few more blocks to the small hill on the other side and attempted to go sledding. It didn't work. I don't know how this one got out of order but Blogger won't let me drag it back up where it belongs. Oh well! You can still enjoy the beauty of the untouched snow!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


There will be many more of these to come! But I wanted to whet your appetite just a bit...

We live in Texas. The ground never looks like this here! Even if we get a little of the white stuff, you can always see grass through it. Not today! Current snow fall is around 3 inches and it's still coming down! AND, we're supposed to get another three inches tonight. This never happens here! I'm thrilled...

If I can figure out how to upload a video from my camera, I'll show you video of Marley in the snow - truly a sight to behold! We already knew he loved cold weather, but with this funny white stuff on the ground he is a hoot and a half! (Like my sister says, Marley's more fun than a slinky falling down stairs!)


I know I've been absent from blog world recently and I'm hoping to get updates on here soon, but first I wanted to share some exciting news.
We woke up to a solid blanket of snow (no grass, folks!) and more is falling even as we speak! It's supposed to snow all day long and then we'll get an additional three inches tonight! I'm waiting for the sun to come up a little more before I take the pictures, but for now I just wanted everyone to know that Forney is wrapped in a beautiful white blanket of snowy goodness!
Despite the snow, D.J. still had to head to work so we took a few minutes to make a mini-snowman on his car. (Of course we threw a few snowballs as well!) I'll take pictures throughout the day and upload them when I can.
Tomorrow, D.J. is taking the day off so we can have an extra-long Valentine's Day weekend! Of course, with the sudden explosion of winter weather, we'll have to do some snowball fighting as well! :) Stay warm and dry today - wherever you are!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Love Letter

To the love of my life:

When I joined eHarmony, I had no idea what the outcome would be. I wasn't even confident that I'd find someone worth meeting, much less find someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with! Only the Lord could have known that three months later I'd meet you. As I read over profiles and sent questions back and forth with different guys, nothing really captured my heart. And then there was you. And you blew me away. The more I read, the more I was convinced that your heart belonged with mine. I couldn't have been more excited the day we met. And then you said you wanted to date me. My heart soared over the moon!

In the year and a half since then, you've stolen my heart over and over again. I love watching you eat the food I cook. I love watching you take care of the puppies. I love when you hold me at night. I love when you come home and make a bee line for my lips. I love being the one to stand by your side (and go home with you) when we go places. I love being able to tell the world that you have won my heart. I love building a home together. I love the way you work so hard to provide for me and the puppies. I love being your wife!

Falling in love with you has been the joy of my life. I can't imagine getting to spend the rest of my life learning to love you more! I love our yesterdays. I love our todays. I love dreaming about our tomorrows. I know that my love letter today was supposed to just be an e-mail or text, but as I began to write I couldn't help but tell the world! I love you sweetheart - whatever might come our way!
With all my heart,
Your wife


One of my current favorite blogs, Crystal's Craft Spot is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her 100th follower. Become a follower and you could earn a chance to win as well! (Although I really want to win - so don't get your hopes up - and don't enter too many times!) However, if you're looking for a good blog to follow, this one comes highly recommended! She has two adorable little girls and has wonderful crafts, marriage building ideas, and ideas that just seem like wonderful family builders. Go check her out!

I just found a new blog, Tater Tots and Jello, that I think will quickly fall on my favorites list! Lucky me, they're also hosting a giveaway! This time it's for some beautiful hand-stamped jewelry. Ooh! Go check it out!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What I've been up to...

I've been absent from blog-land for a few days now... Here's why:

1. We were redecorating.

2. We were celebrating D.J.'s dad's birthday.
3. I had an interview. I still haven't heard from the principal. I find this exceedingly frustrating!
4. I was organzing my grocery list for my massive stock-up grocery trip.
5. I was creating a cute little clipboard to hold my list while I shopped.
6. I was playing with my puppies.
7. I was organizing my coupons for the previously mentioned grocery trip.
8. D.J. had to go out of town.
9. Since D.J. was out of town, I went to Waco and played with more puppies.
10. While I was in Waco, my mom, sister, and I did more scrapbooking than you can imagine. (For those of you who scrap, you know how exciting it is to see that many Cricut fonts in your home!)
11. I made D.J.'s Valentine's gift - a countdown to V-Day. For details on making your own, surf over to Love, Actually. (This is one of my new favorite blogs! It's all about romance on a budget. Hold on tight Sweetums - I'm ready to use all of their tips!)

12. I created a coupon caddy to hold my coupons while on my massive grocery trips. To make your own, go here. Or, if you don't know how to sew - I'd be happy to make you one in your favorite colors. (For a small fee, of course!)

13. I also finished our Honeymoon scrapbook, but that's really hard to get a picture of!

Sorry it's not a funny post, Brandi, but at least you know why I've been MIA recently. Now I'm off to finish my breakfast smoothie, resist the urge to create all sorts of Valentine's decor, and get some cleaning and laundry done!