Friday, January 27, 2012

A reminder from God...

So I thought I'd share with you a little reminder that God gave me today to trust Him.

The past month or so has been really tight with us on the money front.  As in I'm ashamed to admit we overdrew our account once (thank goodness for overdraft protection) and I had to pay one bill with the credit card (HATE doing that).  It's a mix of "recovering" from buying Christmas gifts and also I didn't work very much in December, and the end of November for that matter, due to holiday breaks. 

So I was feeling stressed today as I paid all the bills and realized that we were going to be about $18 short.  And I don't get paid until Monday (and Brew gets paid NEXT Friday).  So as much as I hated to I called Mom and asked for a $20 loan to get us through till Monday.  Well, she gave me a $40 check because (I had totally forgotten about this) I paid the electric bill for a month at our old house we weren't living in, and she owed me that reimbursement from my dad/aunt/uncle's joint account (they own the old house).  So that was a pleasant surprise.

And then when I got home today and got the mail- I found in it a refund check for our deposit we made with the last water company we had before we moved.  $118.  I just really felt like God was saying to me... "See???  Just trust Me!  I will provide for you!" 

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  ~ Philippians 4:19

Friday, January 20, 2012

Resolutions update & other stuff

Hey everyone- sooo I thought I would update on my New Years Resolutions and how those are going... maybe I'll do this every month?

So the New Years Resolution thing has been going ok so far.  I have already tried a new recipe this month-- it's kind of just self-created so maybe the next time I make it I will do a video & more official recipe.  But we made turkey burgers!  We (and yes, we, on a night my husband was actually home from work at a decent hour we cooked together) made ground turkey into patties, seasoned them generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, cooked them, melted some shredded fiesta blend cheese on them, and then ate them with mayo & tomato.  Super good.  I also pan fried (yes I know- I should've baked them but they always turn out kind of mushy when I do that) some frozen french fries along with them.  It's definitely a repeat recipe!

I started out really good with the exercising thing- I was doing 20-30 minutes of cardio something (either clogging or dance aerobic videos) 3 days a week, "beginner" type pilates 3 days a week, and only taking 1 day a week off.  Well, this past month I just had an off-the-wall only 19 day long cycle (so I'm betting there was no ovulation going on there).  I haven't been under a lot of stress or anything, so I'm guessing maybe the sudden start in extra physical activity was what decided to make the dreaded monthly visitor appear 10 days early.  Or it could've just been a random fluke.  (Side note- that has never ever happened to me, having a cycle that short)  But either way since we're trying to make a baby I thought it best to cut back a bit.  So now I'm going to just try and get some exercise in 3 days a week instead.  Just in case.

Now on to the money thing- that's a bit trickier!  We haven't put any into savings this month because we've been in "recovery-mode" from Christmas.  (Paying for gifts AND also me not working very much in December drained us)  We're getting back on our feet now though.  I revised a budget for us, I'm hoping to stick to it better in 2012.  It's just hard with my income being so variable.  Well, and Brew's as well, since he always has overtime factored into his pay.  If he doesn't have ANY OT (which that is literally NEVER) then I have to work at least 10 days to pay the bills.  However, his average paychecks make it so I usually only have to work 5-6 days to pay the bills.  Anything else is what we use for extra things, like going out to eat, and buying certain things we "want", etc.  So my goal is to work at least the 10 days a month so we are covered no matter what.  That's hard though, when there's no guarantee how much work I will get.  Blah.  I hate money.  Sometimes I wish my husband was really good at managing money so I didn't have to think about it/stress about it.  Unfortunately he's HORRIBLE with money so I get the job!  I'm not great but definitely better than him lol.  Anyway, went off on a rabbit trail there, but that resolution is still a work in progress!

In other news, poor Earl got neutered today.  He wasn't a fan of the whole vet thing.  He never has been, always gets a little scared. Duke, is completely the opposite.  At first  mention of the word "ride" he leaps up and down with excitement.  Can't wait to get in the car and stick his head out the window.  When arriving at the vet is so excited he's beside himself.  It's a battle to keep him away from other dogs who he views as his playmates (when several of them are sick or not quite as friendly as he is), and he thinks the vet is the bomb.  Always giving plenty of puppy kisses with that big ol' tongue (good thing she doesn't mind!)  Earl on the other hand, isn't sure what to think of the car.  He just sits/lays there with a scared/pathetic look on his face.  Then when we get to the vet he is nervous and has to be either right by Duke or on one of our laps.  He shakes when he's on the vet exam table.   I don't know maybe he'll warm up to the idea of car rides at least.  Duke we took a lot more places- we took him to the park for walks and obedience classes, and also to my brother's all the time to play with his dogs.  Now that we have two dogs who can play with each other and a big fenced in backyard, we don't hardly take them places.  Earl has only had a few car rides, when we first moved to this house, and then his now three trips to the vet's office.

Anyway, he's doing well after his surgery.  Laying around a little more than usual but otherwise you'd never know any different.  And thankfully, he's not mad at me for abandoning him to the horrible vet's office only to lose his manhood... ;)

This was at a red light on our way home this afternoon.  He gave me this same pathetic puppy-eyes look on the way there.  Boy does he know how to lay the guilt on! ;)

My boys snoozing on the couch beside me while I blog ;)


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

First snowday + December video!

Well folks, we finally had our first snow day of the year today!  Normally where we live we get a decent amount of snow, usually starting in December and continuing through February/March depending on the year.

This year so far it's been a very mild winter, most days the temperature being around 40.  Other than a light dusting we haven't seen snow at ALL this year!  (and by this time last year we had already had like 3 snow days and a two hour delay)

Yesterday the temp went from being in the upper 40s to the low 20s by last night.  A rain and acutally some thunderstorms came through followed by snow.  Not a lot of snow, mind you, just a couple inches, but there was plenty of ice underneath (enough so to cancel school!).

Here's what our backyard looked like this morning (along with the dogs happily playing in the snow).

I also had time to edit/upload my December video to YouTube-- the last of the 2011 monthly videos!  I have some different plans for my YouTube channel for 2012 so look for a video explaining that soon!

Hope everyone has a great day-- and stays warm!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Sooo.... I just discovered Pinterest.

Goodbye last hour and a half of my life!  lol.  It's sooo addicting!

Come see what I've pinned so far!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Years Resolutions ... (a little late)

So I've thought about it and I think I came up with a few reasonable resolutions for the new year... I'll try to post throughout the year and let you know my progress! 

1- Try at least one new recipe every month I'm getting tired of making the same dozen-or-so dishes I know how to make and to make well.  I'm also going to *try* and make these a little healthier, but we will see. ;)  I'm wanting to expand my "repertoire" of stuff I know how to make!  And of course I will share my new recipes on here-- and possibly YouTube.  I'm always looking for new ideas too so if you have any please share!!!

2- Get in better shapeI know this is like, everyone's resolution but I have found since I've been trying to get pregnant I've quit doing pretty much any physical activity (other than clogging but I don't do that often enough to really amount to much).  Before I was going on long walks daily with Duke, or doing Wii fit or some workouts on streaming Netflix.  Ever since we've been TTC and especially after we moved and got the fence up so Duke doesn't HAVE to be walked everyday-- I've slacked off MAJOR.  I don't necessarily want to lose weight (though I don't want to gain any--until I do get pregnant at least.)  But I always feel better when I exercise and I want to get in the habit of it.  I don't like running at ALL, so I added a couple dance workouts to my instant queue on Netflix as well as a Pilates one.  I plan on Monday through Friday doing 3 days of the dance workout (cardio- if I have a clogging show or something that would sub for it) for about 30min, then 2 days of the pilates or something else more "strength training" oriented.  Saturday I will take the day off (or maybe do something light like a walk with Brew & the dogs), and Sunday I have clogging practice.  So I will let you know how I'm doing with it.  Hopefully I can keep it up. :) 

3- Save more money and take steps towards reducing debt.  I'm setting a goal at depositing $100/month into our savings account.  If we have a month where I work a lot, I'd like to increase that.  Our savings account was pretty depleated after we bought our house.  (We used it to pay our closing costs.)  So I'd like to build it up a bit again, to help us out in a "rainy day" situation.  If I get pregnant before the year is out, I need to increase the amount I deposit as much as possible because being a sub I don't get paid maternity leave.  I also want to start reducing our debt.  We don't have a LOT,  not including our house, we have one car payment, and three credit card payments.  One credit card is a Lowe's card which we put our fence on.  It is going to be the first to be paid off, we are using our tax return money to do so.  Once we do that, we have two credit cards and the Jeep remaining.  I had been just paying about $100 on each credit card, but after doing some research I think instead I'm going to focus first on the smallest debt and pay the minimum amount on the other two, then taking the money I would pay for the others and put it towards the smaller debt.  (That was confusing-- so instead of paying $100 on both credit cards, I'll only pay the minimum payment of $50 for example on the larger debt, and pay $150 on the smaller debt.)  I think it'll help get it paid down quicker.  At any rate I want to get both credit cards paid off in the next couple years.

And that's all!  I don't have many but I think it'll be better for me to stay focused when I only have three.  I created a new label for these posts (goals in 2012) so you can click on that to see all of my progress as I go!  Wish me luck :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Johannah!

My God daughter turns one year old today!  Hard to believe, it's gone by so fast.  I so wish that they didn't live on the other side of the ocean though!  Anyway, Happy Birthday Hannie Jeane!  We love you!

Her birthday last year ;)
At her church dedication when we went to Europe to visit-- she was a little over a month old
On her first visit to the U.S.- 3 months old
On the 4th of July ;)  Almost 6 months old

And Hannie at 11 months-- such a ham already ;)

Ok enough bragging on her ;)  Today is also my friend Whitney's and my Uncle Darren's birthday so happy birthday to them too!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

11 highlights of 2011!

Well 2012 is underway!  I feel like 2011 flew by.  Seriously.  So I'm thinking about doing a video about this on my YouTube in the next few days if I can get it together, lol, but in the meantime...  I thought I'd reflect on the highlights of 2011!

1. Our God daughter is born on January 7, 2011

2. We went to Europe!

3. I turned 25.  Didn't do anything real big/exciting but I do feel "older" I guess-- I'm a quarter of a century!

4. In late Spring we jumped into house-hunting.  It was an interesting and fun experience (though at times a little roller coaster-ish).  We looked at tons of houses, some were a little less than pleasant!

5. We went on a camping trip to celebrate our first anniversary.  We had a blast.

6.  We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary on June 26! <3  And the year old wedding cake was actually not too bad!

7.  We found out we're going to be aunt/uncle -- AGAIN!  In July, my sister in law found out she was pregnant with baby #3! :)

8. We added a furry kid to our family when we got our second dog, Earl!

9. We finally found *the* house-- and bought our first home!!!

10.  We celebrated Thanksgiving in our new house by having the Dean family over for dinner!

and finally...

11. We spent our first Christmas in our new house, and we had a wonderful second Christmas together.

I'm not really making any New Years' resolutions per say, but I will do a post soon on things we're looking forward to and are wanting to do in 2012! 

Hubby & I on New Years Eve

The pups curled up for a siesta on the guest bed on New Years Day

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

November Video

I'm trying to catch up! :)  Here's November...