Saturday, June 25, 2011

Money, Money, Money, Money...Mun-nay!

We're on a new debt diet. Jon and I have decided that there are many areas of our life where we need more restrictions and finances is just one of them. We've been discussing the pros and cons of this for a couple of months now, but it's taken us this long to actually do something about it. After much prayer and self-realization, we have realized that we spend entirely to much of our hard-earned cash on frivolous things instead of necessities. Did you know that eating out and HD cable with DVR are NOT necessities? I didn't either. In fact, they feel VERY necessary to me. At the end of a long day with two boys, all I want to do is sit in my "Ma chair" and watch Housewives...of NYC, New 'Joisey','s a ridiculous addiction and I'm not proud to admit it. And when it's literally a boiling 192 degrees outside...okay, not literally, but it sure feels close, I don't want to cook. Even as much as I do enjoy cooking, I don't like the preparation of making sure I have everything I need from the store, because I never do have everything. I don't like the heating of my kitchen that comes with using the stove top or oven, and I don't enjoy all the cleanup. Sometimes a girl just needs some good Mexican food, ya know?! Jon added up how much we spent on eating out the last month and it was absolutely appalling. And the most sickening part of it was that most of it wasn't even good was quick drive-thru meals on our way to tball practice or soccer games, or out of desperation because there was no way that I could make a meal out of the only three ingredients I had in my fridge that day. It was wasteful spending. We got to looking at what other wasteful spending was going on in our checkbook and it was nauseating. So...thus, the debt diet. Not even debt,, financial restriction diet, I guess I'll call it.
Isn't it interesting how you can look back over the years and see that the more your income increases, so does the spending? I can remember the first year Jon and I were married. We both worked at that time...although I hardly really ever got paid. I made a measly $12,000 that year as an office manager for a dental practice, but it was still a great job. Jon has always been our breadwinner. His first year as a salesman he worked inside and when he became an outside salesman, he began making commission on top of his regular salary. His first commission check was $900 and we both had to pick up our jaws off the floor when we opened that...we thought we were rich...what young, in-love idiots we were! Now a $900 commission check would leave us starving. But instead of staying within the realms of how we lived that first year of marriage, we upgraded on many things...things that we never really needed. Things that really have since then not been so beneficial...such as 700 cable channels. Who in the world needs 700 cable channels? So, as we sat and watched our 700 cable channels, and ate our dinners out, and accustomed our way of thinking to the "we need more" mentality...our butts got bigger, we spent less time talking and reading and enjoying nights sitting out by the fire pit, and taking our dog for walks. So...we're going back to the necessities. We're focusing on the cheaper side of life, and the more beneficial. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh...could one of you please DVR Housewives for me? I might go through withdrawals if I quit everything all at once, you know? I first.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Days

We've been doing a lot of swimming this summer. My in-laws have a pool, so the boys go there pretty often. My best friends parents live close-by so for a change of scenery, we spent the day at their pool.

I promise my kids aren't wearing speedos-they swam in undies that day. We love summer days!

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Last Friday, our church went to a Redhawks game together for a fun night out. This was the first game we had been to this year. The boys had a great time. We stuffed ourselves full of peanuts, cotton candy, and a $5 bottle of water...I felt violated after that. They bank on moms like me forgetting to pack my own water bottles in 104 degree heat. We followed all that up with an after-game trip to Marble Slab for some ice cream.

Sweet Colie enjoying his peanuts.

Whack! That is perfect form right there!

Look at that pitch!

Cole and his buddy Cross.

Sweet T enjoying her dippin' dots.

Jack and his peanut fingers.

Check out Jack and Tatum-I think he might be a little sweet on her.

The night ended with a fireworks show!

It's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're the ol', ball game!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Things I've Learned from my Father

This year has been a rocky year for me and my relationship with my parents. I'm not enjoying this season of my life in terms of trials I'm enduring, but I'm still trying to figure out what God is trying to tell me and how he's trying to better me and make me more like him. This year has made me long for heaven. I long to climb into my Heavenly Father's lap. I long to have some answers, some closure, some peace. I long for healing from sickness and heartache and pain. I have a really good dad, but I know my Heavenly Father loves me much more than my dad ever could. I was thinking today about my dad and all that he's taught me. Some examples are:

1. Pain is so much easier to deal with using humor.
2. Be able to admit when you're wrong and say, "I'm sorry. Please forgive me."
3. Don't be afraid of failure. The worst thing that can happen is that you fail: it's inevitable and you'll be in good company, so it's not so bad.
4. It's okay to make mistakes, just don't repeat them.
5. When you say "I do", be sure you mean it and stick to it, no matter what.
6. Be teachable.
7. Don't speak when you're only leads to disaster. Take time to cool down and compose yourself.
8. Nothing good happens after midnight.
9. Work hard because nobody OWES you anything.
10. Someone who talks a lot usually has nothing to say that's worth listening to.
11. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
12. Being goofy may make you look like an idiot, but it sure is fun.
13. Spanking or disciplining your kids really DOES hurt you more than them.
14. It's much easier to learn lesson's of what not to do by watching someone else rather than making your OWN mistakes.
15. You really can't understand until you're a parent.
16. If you can't pay for it with cash than you really don't need it.
17. Time flies.
18. I love you more you could ever know.

I got to looking at this list and noticed how all these things that my dad has taught me...God has taught me the same things. Thank you God for giving me a daddy here on earth who gives me a glimpse of just what kind of daddy you are.

John 5:20
The Father loves the Son and has shown him everything he does. The Father will show him even greater things, and you will be amazed.
Luke 15:20
So he got up and went to his father. “While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him. He was filled with tender love for his son. He ran to him. He threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Proverbs 3:12
For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Many times in life, growth is painful. Other times it might be something anticipated, sought after, exciting, longed for. When I was a little girl, I remember thinking, "I can't wait til I'm a grown-up." At 12 years old, I longed to be 16. At 16, I couldn't wait til I was 18. When I was first pregnant with Jackson, I couldn't wait til my belly would get big enough to wear maternity clothes for the first time. some point, we start dragging our feet on the growth process. You get to the point that you long for the days when you were a child and things were carefree. You quit looking forward to your age increasing. In the ninth month of pregnancy, you are so 'over' the big belly. Growing means stretching, and stretching hurts.
I'm in a stretching phase right now. Even though I know the pay-off will be worth it, it's hard to see that at this point. All I feel is the pain and all I see are the ugly marks that are being left behind. I'm being stretched in a way that I don't know that I'm capable of succeeding. I'm being challenged in a relationship that I wish were different, but I also have to accept it for what it is. How many times do you forgive someone who has hurt you so deeply? The saying goes, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Who wrote this anyway? In my opinion words hurt a lot worse than breaking bones ever could. Bones heal fairly quickly, but the pain of words can leave someone broken for a lifetime.
...I'm broken.

I'm broken and I'm trying to learn from these experiences by not repeating this behavior. I'm trying to change my way of thinking into what I know God says is true. I'm wanting to use my story to help others who may also being going through this...but, I'm not there, yet. Among the great questions of life that we ask ourselves, my favorite has usually been, why? Why do these things happen? Why did this happen to me? Why didn't God rescue me from this? Why can't it be this way? I've spent many years of my life asking why. I've asked it so many times, but honestly, I haven't been given any real answers. Oh, I've gotten the typical 'Sunday School' answers. The answers that people usually give when they don't know what else to say, or they say them because they know that's what they should say, but they just don't really know why. I've decided that if I can't get answers to the question why...then I'll start asking, Why not? Why not me? People all over the world, in every neighborhood, in every country, of every faith, ethnicity, every socio-economic status, good people, bad people, lucky people, not so lucky people, celebrities, and average joes...everyone goes through some pretty hard times in life. So, why not me? Why would I think I'm so much better that I should avoid heartache?
The answer is that, I'm not. I'm not any better. I'm no different than anyone else in the world.
I'm stretching to overcome this obstacle in my life. I'm stretching to forgive the unforgiveable. I'm stretching to not have secrets. I'm stretching to love the unlovable. I'm stretching to gain what perspective I can. I'm stretching to be different. I'm stretching to not be ashamed. I'm stretching to make myself feel the pain while I'm in it. I'm stretching to be teachable. I'm stretching to be strong and flexible.

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”