Labor Day Weekend 2015 (and other happenings)

Last week, Josh and I had planned was to celebrate his birthday on date night. I felt terrible because I really didn’t do anything for his birthday this year. So… the plan was try a new-to-us Mediterranean restaurant (highly recommended by our friends), Aladdin’s, and get Sweet Frog frozen yogurt for dessert. The reality was that I wasn’t feeling well (no, I am not pregnant… let’s get that out of the way); I was feeling extremely nauseous and I had a horrible headache so we opted for an evening in. We got CFA for dinner and spent the evening watching Once Upon a Time. We had decided to do Aladdin’s and Sweet Frog this week instead, but low and behold I’m like super sick… so that didn’t happen. Instead, we opted for another night in with Moe’s and Once Upon a Time. Then we ended up reading and falling asleep like old people.

MAJOR victory the last two weeks, I organized my closet. Granted, Josh has been pushed way over in the closet (he volunteered!)… but I have all seasons of clothes unpacked, and ready to transition. My sweaters are on a SHELF instead of in a plastic tub in the bottom of my closet (first time for everything), my boots are under the edge of the bed, and my scarves are begging the weather to cool off so they can be used. Suddenly… all my outfits seem like they would be better with a scarf.

I’m trying to decide if I want to sign up for this year’s craft and bake sale at the seminary. If you remember, last year I signed up and was diagnosed with Mono in the midst of prepping/right around the actual sale. I felt like CRAP the actual day of the sale, didn’t sell all my stuff, and came out just breaking even. I have a bit of stuff left over, so anything I sell would be a profit… but my confidence has been a little shot. I thought about trying to get into the baking part of the sale this year and making samples of cheesecake or pumpkin bread, and taking orders… but I’m afraid of getting overwhelmed filling the orders, especially since November/December is usually so busy for us.

Labor Day weekend was full of celebrating Josh’s birthday in Columbia with my family! It was a pretty monumental weekend for my family… they upgraded to smart phones, and they have texting for the first time ever. While they were getting phones, I went shopping! I finally found a pencil skirt and pair of jeans- and they were on SUPER sale. YAY! On Monday, I went shopping again and scored a bunch of fabric on mega sale. If I hadn’t hit sales, it would have cost me almost $65… I think I spent around $25. Other highlights of the weekend: I got to see my BFF and her new house and I got to spend time with my mom.

The weekend was wonderful, but I came home exhausted and have been really sick this week. Hopefully a quiet movie night and a good night of sleep will make me feel better. My goals for the weekend are very few: wash new fabric, start a blanket, watch at least one movie, make enchiladas, eat enchiladas. Oh, and read. I am still in the Hunger Games series, and still loving it!

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The only other thing worth noting is that I decided to decorate for Fall. So, here’s our new mantle (and boxes that need to be unpacked). Our living room has super high ceilings, but such a cozy feel. Y’all, I seriously love how our house is coming together. It’s far from finished, but I am loving it. ESPECIALLY my kitchen… it’s so big that we can all visit while I’m making food. I have so enjoyed cooking for friends, and having many game nights around our table.  (Plus let’s give three cheers for an awesome landlord and the absence of neighbors!)

Dear Josh,
I am really looking forward to our movie night tonight! Leftover pasta and a night on the couch never sounded so nice. I’m excited to be home and do home things this weekend. I’m excited about the sewing projects I get to start, and I’m excited you’re excited about them too.
See you soon!
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Ever-growing To-Do Lists

I took an unintentional blogging break… I guess partially because life is super busy and partially because I don’t have a super strong desire to blog.
This semester, Josh is taking a Biblical Counseling class and I am going to try to read the material so we can talk about it. I have my Bachelors in Psychology, and I believe in a balanced, holistic, integrated approach. I think there are good, beneficial Biblical Counselors, but I don’t believe the Bible-only approach is the most effective. I am super interested to see where Josh’s professor comes down on the scale, and to be able to discuss the course with him.

So… it’s been two weeks. How did my to-do list work out?

-Bake something.
I wanted to make Carrot Cake Cheesecake, but I need to buy some cake pans and I already used up the “Household” budget this month with curtains and such. So instead I made Monster Cookies! Obviously there were no complaints in the house… and I made extra to take to our friend’s “welcome back” party since he was unexpectedly gone for like the entire summer. I also made rolls! I’m not sure what happened, but I had to add a TON of flour. I was so sure they were going to be a flop…. but they were delicious. I also made an Apple Cake this weekend.

-Have someone over for dinner.
In the past two weeks, we have had a lot of people over! We had Joe Tom over one night, and my long-lost Capernwray friend Derek over the next. It was so fun catching up with both of them, and so nice for Josh to finally meet Derek. This past week, we did breakfast for dinner with other friends. THAT WAS SO FUN. We don’t usually have people over for breakfast food… but it was awesome- and a combined effort! We made pancakes and had strawberries and our friends brought sausage and orange juice.

-Unpack a few boxes.
I still have more to do, but I made a ton of progress! The kitchen stuff is unpacked, the pictures are getting hung up, things are finding homes.

-Hang some pictures/brainstorm where pictures will go.
On Monday night, Josh and I decorated the study! I have been telling Josh that “when he has an office” he could hang up the stuff he has from his trips, and his Redskins pictures. So, true to my promise, I helped him hang up stuff from his trips and created the study he’s been wanting. I have my desk in the room as well, so I have my own wall! It’s fun to have our own spaces in the same room… they are so distinct and unique.

-Read for fun.
I have been reading the second Hunger Games book! I am reading a few “serious” books, so it’s nice to have one that I am able to use as an escape and just enjoy.

-Family time, maybe a movie night?
Both weekends since I last blogged we have watched The West Wing and The Office together. Ahh what good shows. 🙂

Update on my purchases, I got my dress and it’s perfect! I feel like it’s a great dress to transition through seasons… it’s classic by itself but will also look so cute with boots, a cardigan and tights moving into Fall. I say, $14 well spent.
The curtains arrived, and finished off our office space! Here’s some pictures of our almost-finished office space below… we’re so excited about it.
I also got my Lilly Pulitzer planner. I’ve already filled it with our life happenings… it is so fun to write things down. I have sticky notes of to-do lists, and all my thoughts go in one place. Plus it’s beautiful. 🙂

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Welcome to the study! This is Josh’s desk…
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This is my desk and craft corner…
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The reading chair (her name is Badonk-adonk Belinda because she is serious HUGE.)

Two Wednesdays ago, Josh and I went to Chipotle for date night and he went to the fabric store with me after. Our friends in growth group are having a baby, so naturally I went to JoAnn fabric. 🙂  I am SO excited about this project. It feels really good to have another project… and I love making baby things. I feel like I get to be part of the joy and excitement, and it’s a way for me to take my thoughts off myself. As I pick out fabric, sew the pieces together, and admire the finished product, I’m praying for my friends as they are entrusted with this precious soul. I’m praying for the baby, that they will grow up to honor and love Jesus with their whole heart. I pray for people to encourage my friends in each season of parenting. I love doing this way more than picking out the fabric (though I picked this fabric out because I feel it has real meaning)… for me it’s a way to love and serve. And, like each child, every blanket I make is unique.

Life is full. I feel like there isn’t enough time to rest, get all the chores done, make all the meals, and be a good friend. I feel like no matter what I do, something is going to suffer. This week, it’s the chores… but they needed to be ignored. I need to make sure I’m making time to do things that will refresh me (like baking a cake or buying fabric or making this place a home and spending time with the Lord), or it won’t matter how much time I’m spending with others… I won’t have anything to give.

This week’s date night is going to be a Josh’s birthday celebration! 🙂 His birthday is actually Friday, and we’re going to celebrate with my family this weekend. Gosh, have I mentioned how happy it makes me that my family LOVES Josh? It’s seriously the best. It makes me so happy to see the people I love loving the person I love most.

Dear Josh,
I am excited our house is starting to come together… I love our study! I’m so excited you finally have your space to do homework. Thanks for all you’ve done to pick up my slack the last few weeks. I’ve been thrown for such a loop and I’m so thankful for you starting crock pot meals, going on walks with me, and doing laundry.
I’m looking forward to celebrating your birthday tomorrow and this weekend!

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Anticipation

Some days it is just especially hard to go to work and have to leave Josh. Yesterday, I was really bummed to be at work. I was busy, and I was definitely not bored, but I was bummed. Do you know what I mean? I started focusing on all the things we have to do in the coming weeks, and I started telling myself I couldn’t do it. I started that dangerous list of “if I weren’t working my tail off in this office I could get SO many other things done…”
Like I said, that’s dangerous.

Through an unexpected course of events, Josh was able to come meet me for a lunch date. We walked over to Olive Garden and enjoyed the classic soup/salad/bread-sticks. It was SO wonderful to spend a date together in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. I often feel so lame on date night. I come home to spend time with my love and I’m exhausted. Instead of him getting my best, my best has gone to work all day… and I hate that. I think our lunch date was especially refreshing because we got to spend time with each other during our best time of day.

Part of the reason I wanted to do a lunch date out is because I  didn’t want to be out two nights in a row. Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I find social gatherings really intimidating. It takes a lot of energy for me to prepare for them, and I usually dread it until I’m there. For instance, we have the blogger meet up tonight and I’m super stoked… I’m also super nervous. Josh said it’s like going on a first date. THAT IS EXACTLY HOW IT FEELS. I don’t know what to expect, I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing or be stupid and that is just silly. It’s also silly to think that none of them will want to associate with me because I have a tiny blog where I just talk about real life and my feelings. Maybe I’ll be miserable tonight, or maybe I’ll make some friends. Maybe I’ll feel uncomfortable, or maybe I’ll own it. I think it’s more of a choice than I have been telling myself. Only I can choose what I’m saying to myself, and if I’m telling myself that I am a lame blogger, a social outcast, and that no one will want to be my friend because I’m a little sweaty (#hyperhydrosis) then that is a choice… and a poor choice, if I do say so myself.

So, I’m wearing one of my favorite dresses, I’m taking my favorite man, and I’m going to make some friends. And if I don’t- that’s fine! The simple fact that I am GOING is a big deal… and I’ve already accomplished something by deciding to do so.

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The other things I have planned tonight are just way too exciting, so brace yourself: packing and trimming the fat off of chicken. I told you… way too exciting. We’re going to visit my family this weekend, and we’re leaving straight from my work tomorrow which means I have to be prepared for the weekend!

Tomorrow I’ll give you an update on how the meet up went. 🙂 I really am excited!!!

If you were wondering, we spent our date last night working on the last season of Parks and Rec, and then watching American Idol. My husband is just wonderful. It was refreshing to spend so much time with him yesterday, and for it to be so low-key.

 

Dear Josh,

I was tickled pink we got to have a lunch date yesterday! It was so much easier to work through the afternoon because I was so encouraged by an hour of quality time (and soup let’s be honest) with you. Thank you for being willing to tag along with me tonight! You very well might be the only man in attendance… but I’m glad you’re coming.
See you at 5!

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PS
Facebook friends, I know most of you come here by clicking my links I post on my personal profile… well I created a page for my blog… check it out at www.facebook.com/dearjoshblog!
I will probably start posting my blog links there, and you can receive notifications by hitting “Like” and then “Get Notifications.”

 

 

Catching Up

Our date at Chili’s last week was quite nice. I compared their mango margarita to Red Robin’s… and Red Robin wins. We just had FUN being together. We didn’t talk about anything super important, we just enjoyed being out, and we enjoyed each others company.

We needed to go to Walmart I wanted to go to Walmart to get some nail polish (the gel polish I mentioned), so I checked out some Walmart coupons earlier in the day. GUYS. I was flabbergasted to find coupons for our my razor blades, my deodorant, Josh’s deodorant, and Aaron’s body wash. Since these are things we are always going to have to buy, and we are running low on most of them, it made sense to go ahead and get them and we saved $9 in the process. So… that was awesome.

Since that was almost a week ago, some summaries….

We’ve been making…

. A disappointing- but easy- alfredo sauce with shrimp. Definitely not my favorite (the chicken alfredo from a few weeks back was better), but it fed the guys and I heard no complaints. [Find the recipe here.]

. My mom gave me a cake decorating kit for Christmas, but because of my fitness kick I haven’t wanted to make baked goods… because we will consume them in massive quantities and wave good-bye to progress. I used this recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes and Icing this past weekend to celebrate my in-laws 25th wedding anniversary! First, decorating was so fun, and second the cupcakes were just so good.

. Egg casserole, which I need to make again and tweak some. It’s my mom’s recipe, it just took longer to bake than I anticipated.

. Zero progress on my crochet. Well, that’s not true… I made a lot of progress and realized that it looked like a trapezoid so I destroyed it. That was a serious blow… but I will rebuild..

. Plans for Disney. I submitted my vacation request at work (I still can’t believe they are paying me to go on vacation), we have a packing list going, and we’re ready.

. A rather intimidating pile of laundry. Guests= bedding to be washed. A small price to pay!

Been busy…

. Hosting Josh’s family this weekend! We had 8 people in our little house, and it was fun! I was worried about feeding that many people and finding places for them all to sleep… but it went very well!

. At work. Monday morning, I got recognized in our little meeting because a customer remarked to my boss about how helpful I was. It was a huge encouragement to me because I didn’t treat this customer any differently… so it spoke to me that I am doing a good job. I am also seriously on top of our billings– and I’m doing a lot independently which is huge. AIA documents don’t scare me anymore… I even think they are fun.

. Making plans for the next few weeks… between Growth Group, nursery, a blogger get-together, babysitting, providing the GG meal, traveling, packing for Disney… I’m a little overwhelmed but also excited.

. Trying to get rid of ants. Since the torrential downpours this weekend, we have had an ant problem. Thankfully (?) the ants are only going to the trash can. I guess I said “thankfully” because I don’t feel like my house is a dirty dump… trashcans are literally dirty dumps so it makes sense ants would flock there. HOWEVER, I HATE THEM AND WOULD LIKE THEM DEAD. Yeah, so working on that.

. Paying off those student loans. We are making some serious dents, and I know we won’t be able to every month… but right now we are so encouraged by the progress.

Looking forward to…

. Date night tomorrow.

. Date night round 2 on Thursday, my first blogger meet up!

. Seeing my family this weekend.

. Going to Mickey’s house (obviously).

. A house without ants.

. Babysitting, nursery, and all those other things packed into our schedule in the next few weeks. Life is busy and full, and full of serving, and potential exhaustion. But… I’m already exhausted. Praying- daily- that I will be refilled.

 

Dear Josh,
We are preparing for the last leg of the semester, and I’m exhausted. I’m ready for a break! I know that Disney won’t exactly be rest… but it will be FUN. And it will be refreshing to have a break from the daily grind. Plus, it’s an adventure. I love our adventures. 🙂 This rainy weekend was so fun. I loved sharing two of my favorite movies- An Affair to Remember and The Shop Around the Corner- with you, and I’m so glad you enjoyed them. I am also thankful for giftcards and a simple meal plan this week… not cooking this week was the best plan I could have ever made!
I love you so much. See you tonight!

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Like a Shepherd

IT IS FRIDAY. I never realize how badly I need a weekend until I do something stupid at work… my dumb mistakes always happen on Fridays… not adding the deposit up correctly, putting the wrong dates on things, or (as was the case this morning) sending a service ticket with the description “Atntyue” to every person (all 9) in our company plus the customer. OBVIOUSLY I WAS NOT ON MY GAME.

Sigh.

So yes, I am excited about a weekend. As I just told my husband, I am super excited about doing things around the house… maybe I read too many blogs by pregnant women, and have too many pregnant friends… but I need to clean everything. Seriously. The other day I FINALLY dusted the base boards because it was driving me insane. Thinking about a morning of dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing strangely warms my heart. (PS I don’t know who I am anymore.)

Our weekend plans? If you hadn’t gathered, some cleaning is on the docket. Otherwise, pretty sure there is some West Wing, Downton, and The Office in our weekend.

Our date night on Wednesday was really fun! We enjoyed dinner at Red Robin and got some productive shopping done. (Finally, I think I have shorts that I like!) I am so excited about simple things right now… last night we had dinner together, I did laundry, watched American Idol and worked on my crochet. Simple, yet I had so much fun. Maybe I have been enjoying these little things because we have been looking forward, and trying to plan… and, frankly it is overwhelming. It’s hard to say “in 5 years, we’ll do this…” because I don’t feel ready. In 5 years, I probably will… but last night I just needed clean socks.

As I told my wonderful friend Elise who I desperately wish I lived next door to, we’re making plans with open hands. I thought I wanted my Master’s (ehh I’d rather have kids), I thought we had the 5 year plan to focus on just the two of us (but Aaron is living with us), and I thought we would have everything figured out (not. even. the. foggiest.). Plans change, but God leads. There is no doubt in my mind that we are where we’re supposed to be, and that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. One of the greatest comforts, to me, is that God knows and holds our hearts. He knows our deepest desires, and is not a fickle boy who may break the heart He holds in His hands, but He is a loving shepherd that leads us.

Jesus, like a shepherd lead us; much we need thy tender care.

These are things I’ve been thinking. There is joy in the laundry, for right now that means an evening of leisure and relaxation because I don’t have mountains of it. I have small loads but I anticipate the days when there will be mountains, because that will mean there are more laundry makers under my care (hopefully they will have dimples and blue eyes like me). Today, I spend my working days in the office instead of the home, but it serves a purpose. It is where my shepherd has led me, though I often struggle to appreciate it.

[For the record, THIS is why I need to write. I just made sense of everything and connected all the dots through typing.]

 

Dear Josh,

I am thankful for our little home. I’m thankful for the ways it has been used to bless others, and I’m thankful we have a policy of an open door and open hands. We have learned so much in the last year about making plans as they crumbled apart after a terrible job, a totaled car, and a debilitating virus.
I’m thankful for the job I have that allows us to do all the things we do- which is a lot. Traveling, paying loans, hosting friends and family, and supporting Aaron’s growth. As we were reflecting yesterday, we have come so far in the past 3 years of knowing each other, and I’m excited to see where we will be in 3 more years. 🙂  Meanwhile, we will enjoy fine dining of Mexican chicken and rice, and enjoy fine entertainment (The Office). Before we know it, these simple days spent together will turn into years we have spent together and I intend to enjoy each moment.
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I Did Survive (Hey Hey)

First of all, I am not panicking anymore. I made a pie for Easter, I got the chicken trimmed, butterflied, and pounded ahead of time, we made an awesome dinner for Growth Group, and I did indeed survive.

Tuesday, I chopped my hair off. I cut it shorter than ever before… I can’t put it up, I have no idea how to towel dry it, and the lady buzzed my neck. I haven’t gotten Josh to take any pictures, so enjoy these before and after selfies!

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Wednesday night, Josh and I were super spoiled. My boss gave us a gift-card (completely out of the blue) to one of the nicest restaurants in town. We spent about a week studying the menu so that we could figure out what we wanted to order ahead of time (not even kidding) without suffering menu shock when we got the restaurant. This is the kind of place that even though we have a gift-card, I knew I was going to be sick looking at the prices if I waited until we got there to look at the menu (spending $30 for dinner is outrageous for us). I came home from work, we got dressed up, and Josh whisked me away for a night out. We are so thankful for this gift– a night out together, ordering whatever we wanted, and it felt like I had an evening being Cinderella. We had shrimp, philly cheesesteak egg rolls (umm AMAZING), soup for me- salad for Josh, and steak with mashed potatoes. We also got dessert to go.

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Thursday (yesterday) was Aaron’s birthday! It is our tradition that the birthday person gets to pick whatever they want for dinner (within reason). So, I made breaded chicken for the first time (it was delish and a lot easier than I anticipated), white rice and wax beans (Josh and I had green beans), and an apple pie! I bought the crust (because ain’t nobody got time for that) and the pie was pretty darn good. I need to tweak the recipe some… the filling was kinda soupy and I’m not sure how to fix that. At any rate, it LOOKED wonderful. Aaron picked out some movies from RedBox, and I watched part of one– but ended up going upstairs and cleaned our room/packed for the weekend/watched American Idol.

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This week has been about getting stuff done. I feel like I haven’t spent much time at home, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen… which stressed me out, until I was doing it and enjoying it. This afternoon I’m leaving work early and we’re heading to Virginia Beach to spend the weekend with Josh’s family.  I’m seriously excited (but only if Duke wins… if Duke loses it will be a dark storm cloud because these people are SERIOUS Duke fans).

I finished the book I was reading (One Last Thing), so I’m moving on to “The Book Thief.” But… now I’m experiencing character withdraw. I know the story was wrapped up…. but I didn’t want it to end. Ahh. The terrible feeling of accomplishment and distress that awaits you at the last page of every book.

HAPPY EASTER. I am spending most of Good Friday either in an office chair or the car… but I’ve been trying to reflect on the significance of this day. My Savior… giving his life to save mine. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, but also don’t let the significance of this weekend get lost in the shadow of family gatherings, Easter egg hunts, and pretty dresses.

 

Dear Josh,

PHEW. I feel pretty exhausted from this week, but I’m also so proud that we did it all. Date night was so fun. I’m really glad you like my hair! It’s so different, but I have super enjoyed the low maintenance of it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me make Aaron’s birthday meal. I had some serious doubts that I could pull it off, and I couldn’t have without all your help. Thank you for the ways you love both of us, and the ways you help and serve us.
I’m excited about spending the weekend with you, your family (who I call MY family and confuse everyone I know), and praying Duke wins… until Monday night, when they’re going to get beaten by Kentucky (sorry but it’s true, my bracket says so). See you in just a few hours, my love!

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Taking Stock 01

As expected, we had a wonderful date. We went to Panera, and I was quite impressed. I got the pick 2 deal- a half chicken cobb salad with avocado and a half turkey and avocado BLT. Wonderful, wonderful! We had a really good talk about the future, and what our options are.

Right now it’s looking like the PhD, but we’re praying through it and considering all the options. It was really good to talk it out… and we processed a lot of feelings/fears/expectations we hadn’t discussed before. Even in the midst of such uncertainty, and even though tears came out of my eyes voluntarily, I’m so confident that we will be exactly where we are supposed to be. I am not worried about “missing” what God has for us… I’m just struggling to trust/understand His timing.

Next, we went to Target to do the return which should have been a completely painless experience, but I just have to be real… shopping is a little hard for me right now. Just when I feel like I’ve made a break through in confidence, I have a little attack of insecurity.

We hit Sonic on the way home for a small treat. My husband- have I mentioned he’s the best?- watched American Idol with me. And, we were both sound asleep by 10:30. No, it was not the most action-packed date night. We ate healthy food, had tough conversations, ran an errand, and ended up on the couch. Maybe this makes us old, but this was so much more romantic than a fancy dinner or a grand adventure. My husband listened to my deepest fears and concerns,  he didn’t chide me for being afraid or for crying. He was not frustrated I wasn’t more energetic. He was just there.

One of my favorite bloggers, Keira, does a Taking Stock post every once in a while. I thought it could be fun, and a good way to check in! So here it goes.

Making: sweet and sour chicken in the crock-pot, and stir fry when I get home.
Cooking: up a plan to get my house under control.
Drinking: water. SO MUCH WATER. I have been flavoring it with lemon juice or cranberry juice.
Reading: “One Last Thing” by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue… and I’m not rushing. I am enjoying it too much!
Wanting: to be completely and totally content.
Playing: Carcassone on my Kindle. All the time.
Wishing: the weekends were longer.
Enjoying: Norah Jones on Spotify.
Waiting: for 4 o’clock (worked through lunch so I’m leaving early).
Liking: the furniture we got for the back porch. It is so perfect, and I’m glad we get to enjoy our little outdoor space!
Wondering: how long a double batch of pancakes will feed the guys.
Loving: my new rainbow flips flops. They are so comfortable (now that they are broken in) and such a safe solution- no more slipping and sliding in my sandals! 🙂
Marveling: at how fast the grass is turning green, and how fast the flowers are popping up. Wasn’t there just snow on the ground?
Needing: some quality time with my sewing machine.
Smelling: Bath & Body Works Paris Amour.
Wearing: my favorite jeans and a long sleeve shirt with a colorful scarf. It’s casual Friday, AND FREEZING!
Thinking: about the job I had this time last year, and how miserable I was! I’m so thankful for God’s provision.
Knowing: I have a Saturday morning date with my love. I’m super excited about going out for breakfast, hitting a yard sale, and enjoying some madness!
Opening: my own closet to shop for my Easter dress.
Giggling: at the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Feeling: the need to make something pretty. I think I’m going to re-work my mantle decorations and make it more springy!

 

Dear Josh,
I am coming home to you very shortly, via Dollar Tree, Michael’s, and Old Navy. I’m really excited about spending a weekend with you… and concentrating some more time just us. This work week has been long and tiring… and I’m so ready for some rest with you. And to really destroy your bracket (let’s be honest).

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Thinking Positively

Just 5 minutes after I published my last post, I was crying because I was so tired and felt so mentally blocked. Then I googled stuff about allergy medicine, and apparently only 10% of the population is affected by it like I have been. So that’s fun… or something.

Thankfully, I work with some awesome people who I can call and say “my brain isn’t working, can you double check my work?” And they DO. And they’re nice about it.

I have realized it’s really easy to focus on what I’m not doing.
-I’m not eating Paleo, which sounds awesome but is just not realistic… but I AM finding new creative sides and meals that are enjoyable AND nutritious!
-I’m not getting a long walk in every single day, but I AM getting steps in!
-I’m not able to wear what I want every day (between sweating, having to wear work clothes, and some clothes in my closet not fitting)… but I do have clothes that I LIKE, and I feel good about myself!
-I’m not doing my exercises every day… but I AM running a house, taking care of my family, and working hard!
-I’m not loosing weight as fast as I’d like… but I AM making healthy lifestyle changes!
-I’m also not giving myself much grace….

WHY WHY WHY is it so easy to beat myself up, and so hard to accept my husband’s encouragement?

I got home safely, and crashed for a good hour. Eye drops made my eyes feel better, but I was still super drowsy. We decided to go to Walmart and get what we forgot what I added to the grocery list, and patio furniture… no, it’s not fancy just the cheap plastic chairs, and I’m cool with that! I’m really excited about having company this weekend… and my newest venture in the kitchen, homemade fries. Since we’re grilling out, I wanted some fun sides and thought this would be a good time to try out the fries! Anyway so we went to Walmart, and picked up some Chick-fil-a. I was a pretty boring date due to my drug induced state… we ate and watched Parks and Rec, and I cried because it was the episode when Ann moved away. We played Carcassone on my Kindle (it was the free app of the day a couple of days ago, and it’s one of our favorite board games– but we don’t actually own it) and I blame the allergy medicine, but Josh won.

Thursday, the madness began. I finished my bracket around 11:30 am, and things were immediately off to a rocky start. I’m glad I decided to join the madness two years ago; this could be such a discouraging couple of weeks for us if Josh was totally into the games, and I was totally not. No, I am not the sports-loving wife all year, but I am thankful that we can share the madness. (Also thankful we have plans to sit on the back porch and eat cantaloupe and burgers.)

If you were wondering, yes the three of us got pizza (with a coupon AND a deal, so it was an extra large for 10 bucks) and watched basketball. My picks are going strong, though the games were reaaally tight. It is just… madness. 😉

This morning is cold and rainy, but the weekend promises fair weather and sunshine. We have Chicken Alfredo cooking away in the crock pot at home. I have never made this particular recipe (it’s not that healthy… it involves cream cheese and cream of chicken soup), but I’m hoping it’s delicious because it was SUPER easy.
Dear Josh,

I’m so excited about spending this weekend with you. It is almost like a dream, really. One of our favorite people is visiting, we have March Madness going on, a FANTASTIC menu, a trip to the Zoo, new outdoor furniture to enjoy, and hours on hours together. I love you. I’m so thankful we are able to open our home to our family and friends. I LOVE hosting people with you- we make such a great team.

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Double Date Night Week

Something that has really surprised me is how good “real food” tastes. [Maybe that sounds silly to you. But I thought it would be really hard trying to change my habits.] Yesterday, I enjoyed canned tuna with avocado, Italian seasonings, salt & pepper and a little lemon juice. Can I also point out how cheap this is? I got the tuna and avocado on sale, and I always have those seasonings around… so it cost a grand total of $1.52. Last week, I made a “salad” of black beans, tomato, avocado and a little lemon juice. SO GOOD. (The little salad, I can take credit for. The tuna meal is Pinterest.)

Wednesday night was date night… we went to Olive Garden. I have been making a habit of looking at menus online before we go out to eat, looking at the nutrition so I can plan out what I want to order ahead of time… and so that I can choose ahead of time to be healthy. It’s a lot easier going in with a plan, then trying to be healthy on the fly. So, I narrowed it down to two options: one of Garlic Rosemary Chicken (one of the light options) or Stuffed Chicken Marsala. I decided, going in, that if I got the Chicken Marsala, I could eat half of it. So, one salad, one bread-stick, and one half of my entree later, I was happy.  (I took the leftovers to work for lunch today.) Our date was not only free (thanks to gift-cards from family!), but fabulous. We mostly talked about what classes Josh was thinking of taking next semester.

After Olive Garden, we went to Walmart. No, this may not be exciting to most… but I NEVER go to the store anymore. You have no idea how much I want to do the grocery shopping. Why did we go to Walmart? To get folding chairs. Like the type you take camping… because we’re going to use them to sit on our front or back porch and read. Now I realize this may be a little redneck…. but we’re poor (not really, but all extra money goes to the loans so kinda). Anyway, we have this wonderful back porch, and plans to buy plastic chairs for it, but we wanted chairs NOW. So, we sprung for chairs that can fold up and go to the beach.

After that, we headed to Chick-fil-a for ice cream (because, date night), and took some home to Aaron. THEN WE WATCHED 24. We have one episode left in 24. Ahh. We have an understanding that after we finish 24, we’re going back to The West Wing for a bit.

The weather has been gorgeous this week. We’ve been sleeping with the windows open, and I have been reading outside during lunch. I LOVE it. However, it’s also been hard. I’ve mentioned my hyperhidrosis before, but it gets so much worse in the heat. Maybe I’ll write more on that later… but right now I am just uncomfortable in my own skin, and not saying nice things to myself about it. A few positive things I can say, are that I have found some products that have helped me cope with the obnoxious sweating, including flip flips that I’m not sliding in (revolutionary for me) and inserts for my shoes.

We are in the thick of the Disney countdown! I have been a Pinterest maniac: looking up tips, the best places to eat, what to pack… I’m so ready. This weekend, Josh and I have to do our Taxes (bleck) but we’re also going to start looking into FastPasses and such.  But first, we have a second date night this evening. It is a night of our favorites: Moe’s and the drive in movie theater. We’re seeing the new “real life version” of Cinderella, and some Disney movie about sports (obviously we’re going for Cinderella).

So, plans for the weekend include: date tonight, church meeting in the morning, taxes, fun (probably a movie, board games, and BBQ chicken sandwiches), finishing 24, church, and game night with friends!

 

Dear Josh,

I am so excited about our weekend, even if the Zoo plans got rained out. I’m excited because you are staying with me ALL SATURDAY LONG. Not only that, but we have TWO DATES in ONE week. I am just soaking up the love like a sponge. Thank you for working so hard to rearrange your schedule to have max time with me! Maybe we can sit out in our new chairs and read on Sunday?
Timehop tells me I was depressed this time last year. Apparently, this happened (see below) and I’m glad it did. I remember last year being so hard, and being so beat down by the crazy lady. Hopefully, as those wounds heal I can remember how awesome you were though it all… and start to focus on the positives of those early days, rather than the days of unemployment, and then emotional/verbal abuse when I was finally employed.

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I love you so much.

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