Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Friends

I originally wanted to begin this post with "Some things you should know about me" but that's not what I mean. What I really mean is "Some things I want to say about myself."

Here are a five things I want to say about myself and friendship:

(1) I don't use the word 'friends' lightly. It means a lot to me.

(2) I have few people in my life that I consider true friends. And I like it that way. I don't like to care about too many people at once. Wait, let me rephrase that -- I prefer to care about a few people whole-heartedly than a lot of people half-assed, which is what having a large circle of friends would cause me to do.

(3) I don't make friends easily because I don't trust easily. Just because you know my name and can make me laugh, doesn't mean we're friends. If that offends you, I doubt we ever will be.

(4) Once I make a friend, we are friends for life. I am fiercely loyal.

(5) I'm the type of friend you want to have. I won't lie to you. I will not give you advice if you don't want it. I will stand up for you, even if you never know it. We can disagree on things I consider foundational to who I am, and I will still support you; I will be in your corner, be your advocate. I will never take you for granted. I don't get offended easily and I say sorry quickly.

For some reason, this has been on my mind all day and I just wanted to get it out. So that's that.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Slow Goals

Inspired by the Snail-Paced goals posted here, I'm going to set a few (see: three) goals of my own for this week.

(1) Return my library books.

(2) Work out on the treadmill twice.

(3) Set up jewelry stuff in closet

So tune back next week for an update and some pics! :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Darkness

Last night, for the first time, I welcomed the darkness.

I welcomed the absence of light and sound. I could only see the faint glow of light floating through the bedroom door from our sliding glass door. It wasn't even enough to let me see my hand.

No one was speaking, not the TV or my cell phone or my husband. There was nothing vying for the attention of my eyes or ears. It was simply dark, and for once, the dark was comforting.

My mind moved slowly from thought to thought, with no purpose or intention, other than to think. No concentration was required to accomplish any task. It felt as if my mind was relaxing from a long workout that had left it tight and cramped. And finally it had the chance to unwind.

I'm beginning to wonder if the invention of electricity, which allows us to continue our work long past sunset, isn't abused in my home.

The absence of light isn't intended to cause fear, as it often has for me. Fear of the unknown, fear of what wasn't accomplished during the daylight, fear of imaginary monsters.

Maybe the darkness caused by the setting sun is meant to signal a time to stop what you're doing, stop concentrating, stop accomplishing, stop planning, stop worrying, just stop. And unwind, relax, find comfort in the darkness.

Just some thoughts.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throw Up Thursday

I love watching you play guitar at our church. I love the way you love our Lord and want to share that with everyone through your gift of music.

You amaze me.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Throw Up Thursday

I like the way you conspire with my friends to surprise me with things and that they feel comfortable enough with you to conspire with you to surprise me.

Basically I just like surprises and you and friends and all of that happening together makes me very happy. :)

I love you. Did I mention that?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Confessions



This is the most honest portrayal of adulthood that I have encountered. It is ten minutes that summarizes years of soul-searching, at least for me.

I most identify, and have said out loud, the feeling that everyone else on the planet is just in my way. I have often wished everyone else on the roads would just disappear.

The world doesn't revolve around me, or you. This can be hard to adjust to.

I hope I'm not the only one.



Here is the quote from the people who posted the video explaining where it came from:

"In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. However, the resulting speech didn't become widely known until 3 years later, after his tragic death. It is, without a doubt, some of the best life advice we've ever come across, and perhaps the most simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throw Up Thursday

My dearest love,

I knew you weren't in danger, that the tornado wasn't near where you were, but I still wanted to be near you, to see you and hold you and make sure it was true. I'm so glad we are both okay.

I love you. I don't know what else to say.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Reason to Coupon

I'm a little apprehensive in writing this, because I'm afraid my motives may be questioned or misunderstood. But I still think it is worth sharing.

----------

Yesterday, May 20, 2013, the town of Moore, Oklahoma was hit by an EF5 tornado. Twenty-four deaths have been reported. Seven were children. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed. 

Moore was my home for my college years. It is where my church is. I have many friends whose homes were damaged, but Thank Jesus, none have been reported missing, injured, or dead. I have yet to visit the city of Moore because the state has asked people to stay away unless their home is there, or was. 

Today, my previous church opened its doors to take donations. 

I was able to pull from my coupon stockpile and donate various toiletries. 


Shampoo
Conditioner
Body Wash
Deodorant
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Shaving Cream
Kleenex
Mouthwash
Handsoap
Pads
Liners
Tampons
Feminine Wipes
Diapers
Hand Sanitizer (not pictured)
Toilet Paper (not pictured)
Paper Towels (not pictured)
Pocket Sized Kleenex (not pictured)

A few of the items were not couponed, such as the diapers, which were originally intended as gifts for Noah, Jonah, and Leah but were accidentally left behind, but I know they are happy to help. 

Almost all of the other items were bought with coupons and without that, we wouldn't be able to donate as much. 

More is needed. Please give what you can, wherever you can. 

Most of all, please pray for Oklahoma. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Prayer Journal




You may have seen the above picture floating around on Pinterest. I've clicked the various links and they haven't really lead anywhere. I may have mentioned this before when explaining my break from blogging.

Well, I started using these words to inspire my journaling. I did change a couple of things though.

First, I reversed the two pairs of words to be Pits, Peaks, Prayers and Praises. My motivation behind this was to end my journaling on a positive note.

First I list a couple of pits, or low points, of my day and then the peaks, or high points.

Next, I list my prayer requests followed by praise items. Both of these always include, "Another day with TJ."

My other modification (can I really call it that since I don't know what the original really was?) was to add a fifth 'P' category: Promise. Each day I write out a promise of the Lord from His Word, the Bible.

Oddly enough, this last portion has become my favorite to look back on. I didn't realize how often I turn to the same verses before I began journaling this way.

I have found other benefits of journaling this way as well.
- I don't focus on only my needs, but on my blessings as well.
- I am more likely to journal because I know what is expected of me.
- I can see God's timing by looking back through my entries.
- I am less likely to forget the ways that God has answered my prayers or provided for me before I asked or knew my need, because they are written down.
- My values have been revealed more clearly in what I consider a pit or peak.
- I have a tendency to forget the good things that have happened and only remember the negatives. This way of journaling helps me to prevent this.
- I feel that I am being honest with both myself and God by including both the negatives and positives each day.
- I'm sure many more benefits will be revealed as I continue using this method.

Do you keep a prayer journal?

If so, what benefits have you found in the habit?


Sunday, May 19, 2013

C.A.P. - 5.19.13 --- Results

Some deals turned out better than expected and some didn't. That's the life of a couponer. You have to be flexible and not give up!

If you just want to see the totals and a picture, scroll to the bottom. If you want the whole breakdown, read below.


Several of the coupons I had intended to use from this week's newspaper were missing. They must have been regional coupons, but it still put a hiccup in my plans this morning.


Walgreens
At Walgreens I had intended to purchase 1 Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub and 1 Simple Facial Wipes along with 4 cans of Pringles, with an estimated OOP (Out of Pocket) cost of $11. I could not find the Pringles coupon in my paper so I only purchased the Simple brand products.

The items were already marked 25% off and I had a coupon to get the scrub for free with the purchase of the wipes. In addition, I earned 2,000 Balance Reward Points, which I can redeem later for $2.00. My OOP cost was $5.76, but with the Points, it was basically $3.76 for $14.48 worth of product!

CVS
Here, I had intended to purchase cosmetics from Wet N Wild and Physicians Formula, Coke, and Q-Tips, with an estimated cost of $6. My newspaper was missing the Q-tip coupon, so I didn't purchase those.

The first thing I do every time I walk in CVS is scan my Extra Care card at the Magic Coupon Machine to see what coupons print. I was happily surprised to see that I had earned $5 in Extra Care Bucks for my prescription purchases (you earn points for each prescription filled, and when you get 10 points, you receive $5 in Extra Care Bucks). It also printed my coupon for Coke products.

I purchased a double pack of PF mascara, WNW blush, WNW lipstick, and a 2L Coke. CVS had a promotion for BOGO 50% off on WNW products, so I had to buy two. :)

My total would have been $15.84 (without taxes) but with the combination of sales, CVS coupons, and ECBs, I paid 99 cents (with tax). I also received $7 in ECBs for purchasing the PF mascara. I paid $1 for $15.84 in products, with $7 ECBs in my pocket - I basically got paid $6 to shop at CVS.

Target
My plan was to purchase two packages of fruit snacks, ketchup, shampoo and conditioner, and flip flops for an estimated cost of $6.50. I didn't find the ketchup coupon in my paper, so I didn't purchase it.

I guess I didn't pay enough attention because the flip flops weren't $2; they were buy two for $4, or $2.50 for one pair. I bought one pair and still used the coupon for 50 cent flip flops. TJ wears mine all the time, so I got another pair of black ones.

I grabbed new flavors of fruit snacks and used the mobile coupon, but not the cartwheel offer because it's too difficult to get from one to the other on my phone and people were waiting behind me.

I also used the mobile coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the shampoo and conditioner. The machine wouldn't recognize the mobile coupons, but the cashier was very friendly and entered the discounts manually.

With the combination of manufacturer coupons, online coupons, mobile coupons, discount for using a reusable bag, and my RedCard savings, I only paid $7.10 for $11.86 of products.



All together now:
With my Walgreens Points and CVS Extra Bucks, I spent $4.86 on $42.18 in products.


Goals and Good Things

This will be a new weekly (hopefully) post. I intend to post weekly goals for myself and ask you to hold me accountable. At the end of the week, I'll tell you how I did on each goal in my Weekly Wrap Up posts. Yay for goals and accountability! 

The weekly goal-setting idea was inspired by a blogger I follow, Money Saving Mom and here is an example of her goal-setting.

Also, I will list the 'good things' I'm looking forward to in the upcoming week. My hope is that this will help me think more positively. Instead of focusing on the things I dread in the upcoming week (such as work, in general, or an appointment with the 'girly' doctor) I can turn my attention toward the many blessings God has in store for me. Yay for positive thinking!

This was just my own idea, because I'm motivated to become more positive. Life is too short to be negative. 


So here is my first go-around. These are all goals I wish to complete this week.






Spiritual
(1) Finish strong in my current Bible study, which is being hosted by my home-church. We are studying He Speaks to Me by Priscilla Shirer. I've really enjoyed the study and spending time with these lovely ladies. This is the last week of daily lessons. 

(2) Join the Good Morning Girl's - Anything Bible study and purchase the book. This would be my first online Bible study. I'm not really sure how it all works, but I know a woman at my church who is doing it so I know we can help each other stay connected. You can find more information about it here. If you would like to do it with me, please let me know, because I would be very excited to have someone to meet up with and discuss the topics!!

(3) Journal at the end of each day. I'm going to do a post on the way I journal later. 

Marriage
(4) To pray for TJ daily using this. I found this over a year ago. If you scroll to the bottom, you will find a link to print out daily prayer cards. It lists a different way to pray for your husband for each day of the month. I printed these and glued them to bright colored index cards way-back-when. I used to carry them in my purse, but now they are sitting on my nightstand collecting dust. I really want to start lifting him up and supporting him in this way. 

School
(5) Finish reading and selecting sources for my next paper. 
(6) Create an outline for the same paper.

Career
(7) Memorize the mission statement for the Department I work for. 
(8) Memorize the mission statement for my individual facility. 

Personal
(9) Finish reading The Centurion's Wife
(10) Exercise for 15 minutes each day. 



Good Things

Here are some good things I am looking forward to this week. 

- On Sunday, Emily is graduating from children's church into the youth group. I am very excited to attend this and to see Emily grow into such a beautiful, young woman of God. 

- Also on Sunday, I get to see my dear friend Michelle to celebrate her birthday. 

- On Friday, TJ's aunt and uncle are coming to visit from Georgia and we get to have dinner with them. 

- On Saturday, two of our youth group "kids" are graduating from High School and we get to cheer them on and celebrate all they have accomplished. 

- Also on Saturday, I get to see a dear friend from the Tulsa area and eat at our favorite chinese restaurant. 

It's going to be a wonderful week!




What are your goals for this week?

What are you looking forward to?



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Coupon Attack Plan (CAP) - Week of 5.19.13

Ok, so after doing all of my coupon searching on Krazy Coupon Lady, here are the deals I have chosen, and have gotten approval by TJ, to purchase. 



Walgreens Coupon Deals: Week of 5/19 --- $11

Buy 1 Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub, 5 oz $7.99, regular price
Buy 1 Simple Facial Wipes, 25 ct $6.49, regular price
25% Off
Buy 2, Receive 2,000 Balance Rewards Points
Use one Free Simple Cleansing Wipes, up to $6.99, when you buy (1) Simple Cleanser or Moisturizer, excludes trial size from SS 5/19 (exp 6/2)
Final Price: $3.00 each, when you buy both, Receive 2,000 Balance Rewards Points

--- I've never tried this brand before, and I'm currently in love with all Neutrogena facial products, but I will give these a try for the price. 

Pringles, 5.32-6.42 oz $1.50 each, when you buy 4
Or $1.00/4 Pringles Full Size Cans, 160 g or larger, Limit 4 like coupons in same shopping trip from RP 5/19 (exp 6/30)
Final Price: $1.25 each, when you buy 4

--- Who doesn't love Pringles? Four is a lot, but we eat a lot of sandwiches for lunch and always need chips to go with them :)
  


CVS Coupon Deals: Week of 5/19 --- $6.00
     
Wet-n-Wild Cosmetics (Excludes nail pail)
Buy One Get One 50% off
Use $1.00/1 Wet & Wild or Fergie Eye, Lip or Nail Product from RP 5/19 (exp 6/1)
Final Price: Varies
Buy 2 Wet N Wild Megalast Salon Nail Color, $1.99, regular price
Buy One Get One 50% off
Use two $1.00/1 Wet & Wild or Fergie Eye, Lip or Nail Product from RP 5/19 (exp 6/1)
Final Price: $0.49 each, when you buy 2

Any Physicians Formula Cosmetics or Skin Care
Spend $10.00, Receive $7.00 ExtraBucks, Limit 1

--- Ok, so I have a CVS coupon for $4 off a $12 beauty purchase, which is why I'm buying both of these products. I plan to purchase the Wet N Wild blush and Physician's Formula mascara in the green tube (Yesterday I saw this mascara in a double package, one was free, so I'm hoping to score one of those tomorrow)

Coke, 2 L $0.99
Use $0.25/1 Coke, 2 L from CVS Coupon Machine Week of 5/19
Final Price: $0.74

Q-tips, 375 ct $2.50
Use $0.30/1 Q-Tips Cotton Swabs Product, 170 ct or larger, Limit 2 identical coupons in same shopping trip from RP 5/19 (exp 6/16)
Or $0.25/1 Q-Tips Cotton Swabs Product, 170 ct or larger, Limit 2 identical coupons in same shopping trip from RP 5/19 (exp 6/16)
Final Price: $2.20

--- I also have $5 in Extra Care Bucks to spend, so yay! And I'll be getting $7 Extra Care Bucks from the make up purchase, to spend next week! Also to be noted, I will actually make money (if all goes to plan) on these purchases because my total out-of-pocket (OOP) will be $6 and I will get $7 back. :)



Target Coupon Deals: Week of 5/19 --- $6.50

Market Pantry Fruit Flavored Snacks, 10 ct $1.69
Final Price: $1.11 each, when you buy 2 

--- I love these fruit snacks!!! So excited to see these coupons!

Heinz Ketchup, 38 oz $1.99
Use $0.25/1 Heinz Ketchup from SS 5/19 (exp 6/16)
Final Price: $1.74

Herbal Essences Shampoo or Conditioner, 10.1 or 10.17 oz $2.50
Use $1.00/2 Herbal Essences or Aussie Products, excludes trial/ travel size, Limit 4 like coupons per household per day from PG 5/12 (exp 6/30)
And use $1.00/2 Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Pantene or Aussie Hair Care Items, excludes trial/travel size, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 6/12) text PICNIC to 827438
Or $1.00/2 Herbal Essences Hair Care Items, excludes trial/travel size, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 8/31) text SUMMER to 827438
FInal Price: $1.50 each, when you buy 2 

Women’s Flip Flops $2.00
Final Price: Free

--- I really hope they carry my size in flip flops. I've got skis for feet, so we'll see.
 


All together I should spend about $25 on $46 worth of products, so almost a 50% savings! 

I'll update tomorrow with what I actually purchased and include a picture. 


What are you couponing for this week?

On a different note, is this font too large? It looks huge when I'm composing the post, but normal when I preview the post. Please reply so I know if it shows up differently in your browser. Thanks!


Weekly Wrap Up

Sunday - May 12, 2013

On Sunday, we drove back home from celebrating the triplet's 1st birthday. It was also at this time that I realized I had left half of their presents in OK, so just something to look forward to later, I guess.

I rested most of the drive home. We ate a quick pizza for an early dinner because we had forgotten to eat lunch.

TJ took my phone to the Sprint store. They said they fixed it, but less than 15 minutes after coming home it started turning itself off and on again. Of course, this was approximately 8 minutes after I had already posted on Facebook that it was fixed. Oh well.

I unpacked and caught up on some reading. I also did couponing in the evening and got roughly $80 worth of product for $20 - YAY!


Monday - May 13, 2013

I didn't feel well when I woke up, so I stayed home from work. I ended up sleeping until after noon so I must have really needed the rest. It has been an exhausting last couple of weeks.

That evening we celebrated the birthdays of Becky, Carol, and Emily...


And mother's day for Deedra and Carol



Then we kind of got into a picture frenzy. 

Becky, Emily, and myself

TJ and myself


Tuesday - May 14, 2013
This was the first birthdays for the most adorable triplets ever. See lots of pictures here.

It also is the birthday of TJ's grandmother. Here is her birthday SHOUT OUT!

This was also the day I took my phone to the Sprint store for the FOURTH time for repairs. I had to leave my phone over night. I am very frustrated with their customer service and repair departments. But, I also enjoy occasional moments without my phone. I do seem to get more accomplished that way (Bright Side!)


Wednesday - May 15, 2013
This was the day Becky was born! Yay for sisters-in-law! See her birthday SHOUT OUT here.

On this day, I finally got a phone that worked. Sprint decided to replace my old phone with a new one. Still a Samsung Galaxy SII, but brand new. Now I just have to download all my favorite apps again and collect phone numbers.

We both attended church this evening. I spent my time catching up on the videos I had missed the past two Sundays for the women's Bible study. I really enjoyed being able to pause and rewind to catch everything.

And that was Wednesday.



Thursday - May 16, 2013
On this evening, TJ and I attended Emily's 6th grade awards ceremony with their mom, Deedra. Emily was awarded the Outstanding Student Award for Speech and Drama!! Yay Emily!!

Emily and I before the ceremony.

The handsome TJ and I.

And this is my favorite picture of Emily with her award. 




Friday - May 17, 2013
On Friday evening TJ and I went our separate ways. By that I mean we each went to a different celebration.

TJ went to an Office Watch Party to see the series finale episode of The Office. He, of course, didn't get any pictures.

I went to a Birthday Celebration for my sister-in-law! I thought it was so sweet of her to invite me and I was super excited to hang out with these ladies! We had all met before during Becky's wedding, so I knew it wouldn't be awkward (you know, besides just my general awkwardness) and they are all so nice and always make me feel included! The original plan was to go dancing, but that fell through as a few of the girls couldn't stay out late due to previous commitments for the following morning. It all worked out though as we stayed up late chatting about life, which is always fun! I love just hanging out an talking with people!

Sadly, I didn't get any shots of the whole group. I was just having too much fun :) But here are a couple of me and Becks!





Saturday - May 18, 2013
We are so blessed by the members of our church family. Last week, TJ and I were given an amazing gift by the members of the youth group band - restaurant gift certificates!

This evening we went to Red Lobster for DATE NIGHT! We both got all gussied up for it too. I was so proud of my TJ because he tried all new foods - caesar dressing, king crab legs, and lobster! Neither of us were very impressed with the lobster, but we both loved the king crab. It was fun tearing it apart, and I was happy because I remembered how to make the claw open and shut, haha!

Our waiter was amazing and earned a big tip!! He gave us a free salad, since we split a meal which only came with one salad. He also came up to our table at the end of the meal saying he heard it was my birthday so we would get a free dessert. He did all of this because TJ knew one of the other waiters who was friends with our waiter. How does the saying go? It's good to have friends in high places?



So that was our week. :)

How was your week?




Thursday, May 16, 2013

Throw Up Thursday

Even though your driving sometimes bothers me and makes it impossible to sleep in the passenger seat, I'm never scared because I truly believe that my safety is of the utmost importance to you. I truly believe you would do anything to keep me safe.

But I still wish you would slow down a little. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review: Dear America, My Secret War


I found this book for 25 cents while out thrifting with Michelle. I read many of the Dear America series when I was younger and had forgotten about them until stumbling across this. 

I read it this past weekend on the ride to Texas. It only took me a couple of hours because it is written for beginning chapter readers. 

Each book in the series is set up like a diary from a girl during different time periods. The people are fictional, but the events, like WWII here, are not. 

I recommend these to anyone with young girls because they contain strong young female characters who seek to make a positive difference in their community. I think each book could be used to open the doors for deep discussions with children. In this example alone one could broach the topics of: 
  • War
  • How war affects families and children
  • Romantic relationships between boys and girls (Madeline is more focused on helping the war effort than Johnny, although they do hold hands and kiss once or twice)
  • Being a leader at school (Madeline reports on the war to her classmates and eventually starts a club to help the war effort
  • Being different (Madeline is the only student with a dad in the military)
  • The challenges of making new friends (Madeline is new at school)
  • Bullying (Some of the girls at school are mean to Madeline, but she eventually befriends them)
  • Trauma (Madeline becomes friends with a Jewish girl from Germany and Madeline later faces her own trauma when her dad is injured in the war)
  • Coping skills (Madeline withdraws from friends during her traumatic experience)
  • Standing up to friends (Johnny calls out Madeline when she stops being a leader)
  • And many more. 

It was fun to read something from a series I loved as a child. I'm so glad my parents encouraged and fueled my love for reading when I was younger. I think it has made all the difference. 


Happy Birthday Becky!

I can't believe we've been SILs for almost two years!! So grateful to have you in my life and looking forward to more years together and to growing closer as the years fly by! Can't wait to be an auntie to your precious babies one day and to maybe, one day far, far away, give them cousins :)

Here are just some of the pictures I found of all the times we've shared :)

John's Graduation Party - May 2012

Fourth of July 2012

Christmas 2012

Swan Lake Ballet - April 2013

Death and Diamonds Murder Mystery - 2012?

Thanksgiving - 2012

Waiting for Blair to arrive! 2012

As my amazing super-bridesmaid - 10/01/2011



Can't wait to see what our pictures together will be in the coming year. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS!!







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