Pages

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Try, Try, Again!

So we started this two days ago. I never in a million gagillion years thought I'd try this, much less endorse the program. CC always wanted to try it (okay for the last few years anyway), and I was adamantly against it, not wanting him to have a heart attack from eating bacon 24-7.



Things were going well. We threw out our entire kitchen, went to the granola stores and bought the healthy right foods, planned our meals, cooked gobs of meat, ate tons of lettuce, came home Thursday and had a heart-to-heart. It wasn't working for either one of us.

Not just working for us in that it was hard, but not working in that it didn't work for our lifestyle. We're foodies. We get food magazines out the yin-yang. We like to cook. Creatively. We like to bake, especially now in the Fall. We love to eat out. Our house always smelled like meat. I am NOT cool with that AT. ALL. All the Bath & Body Works candles couldn't hide the smell of daily meat cooking. Losing a pound a day was just not worth it.

So we went out, got hibachi chicken, and went to Yogurt Mountain. It's healthy, I promise. See?



So now we're just making better choices and re-buying SOME (not all) of the stuff we'd donated away just a week ago. Lesson learned.

No more Atkins. In fact, I might be a vegetarian for a little while.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Absolutely Normal

Today I'm listening to Christmas music. Yes, I am that kind of person. I've listened to it somewhat a little bit throughout the summer, but today, I am listening to Chris Tomlin's "Glory In The Highest" album. If you haven't listened to it yet, it's amazing. Prepare to fall in love.

This song I absolutely love. Enjoy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Because I'm Bored And Because I'm Curious...

Today I am sitting in a hospital waiting room waiting for a family member to have an outpatient procedure done. Not too big a deal, but praise the Lord I remembered to bring the laptop! Yay for wireless!

So, thanks for keeping me company today! I've been reading through past comments and I am loving how much you comment! Keep it up!

With that in mind, because I'm a bit bored and even more curious.... question time! Woohoo! I've posted about me a bit, now I want to know about you. Please indulge me.

Feel free to answer one or all of them. The more the merrier!

*What is your guilty TV pleasure? If you're too guilty and don't want to share publicly, maybe you can just email it to me. ;-)

*What's your favorite Bible passage and why?

*What one fashion tip do you have that is your go-to when you want to look extra cute?

I can't wait to hear!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

About Me



I have always loved learning things about folks that you wouldn't normally know unless you directly asked. I am a Psych major after all. I love learning little details about people. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to share a little and see if you'll share back.

A few things about me and my life, in no particular, totally random order...

1. I can't have caffeine after 3-3:30pm or I won't sleep.

2. I have a little brother who's bigger than me. He's a Marine. He's also married to a sweetheart. He's a Luddite so I can't share much more about them. ;-D

3. One of my dreams is to be a published author. I've written and illustrated a series of children's stories that my sweet hubby had made into books for me.

4. Even though I'm constantly teased about how OCD and anal I am, I've never been diagnosed with OCD and I'm wayyyy less anal than I used to be.

5. I love Jesus with all my heart, but always wish I could stop living life to spend all my time with Him.

6. I'm a voracious reader. I recently read 11 books in a 10 day period of time. Which included work and all the normal stuff. I re-read my collection of Lori Wick books twice a year.

7. I married my high school sweetheart after five and a half years of dating. I promised my family I'd wait until I graduated college to get married, so exactly one week after I graduated, we had our wedding.

8. CC and I always said we'd never have pets (didn't want the responsibility). Seven years into our marriage, after a year plus' worth of thought, prayer, and research, we got our furbaby, Scout. She has many nicknames and I can't imagine life without her.

9. My brain is way faster than my mouth, which means often when I speak, I don't seem to make sense. In reality, I'm about ten minutes farther down the road in the conversation. It's actually the other person who's behind. :-D We joke with our friends that CC is my translator and will bring folks up to speed on how I seemed to jump subjects so fast.

10. I used to rebel against being a girly-girl, but decided to embrace it once strangers assumed CC was my son and not my husband (He's older than me by one year, but has a baby face.). I immediately sought out professional help for hair and make-up. A horrifying experience, I assure you.

What about you? Did this bring anything to your mind that you'd like to share?

Friday, September 16, 2011

InstaFriday

So this week's InstaPhotos are basically cute adorables of Scouty. We were gone a lot last week so we've been trying to make up for it by being home with her lots this week.




As you can see, she's very tired from all her play time this week.



So yeah, she's actually a cat in a dog's body. Don't worry, she's in therapy to help her deal with it.

The picture below is a horrible photo but see if you notice anything odd...



My coworker buddy, Donna, came to work this week with two different shoes on her feet. And didn't get other matching shoes for the entire day (despite trying to find some at Target and elsewhere, not sure why she didn't buy anything, but still funny!)! Hilarious!

This next photo is like a "Where's Waldo?" moment. See if you can find the dog in the photo!



So cute!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reality Check

This video is hilarious and hysterical.



Did it take you by surprise?

Doesn't it make you think of how you respond in worship? Do you just sing the songs because you're supposed to or you like the song, or do you sing as a means to worship our Creator God?

Migraines Schmigraines...

I have had migraines for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I didn't know they were migraines until just a couple years ago. Needless to say, I thought I was a freak. (Don't we all think that until we speak up and realize people are more alike than we realize?)

With Fall being ushered in ever so slowly, I've had weather-related migraines All. Week. Long. Monday I was off work because I worked all weekend, and it was just an absolutely lovely, productive but still restful, day. Until about 4pm, when the migraine came on with a bang. It's still hanging around, and I must say we're not friends. The side effects I get from migraines are just as lovely and unwelcome (dizziness has especially been getting to me this week).

All this not complaining to say, if this brings Fall, I'll take it! I absolutely adore Fall and all its Autumnal (I love that word! Autumnal!) goodness. Even if I have to pop Excedrin or Tylenol to make it happen. (Have I mentioned that my entire home was decorated September 1st? Yes, I am THAT person. My poor seasonally-challenged husband doesn't even question it anymore.)



Can you stand it?! The sweaters! The jeans! The snuggly goodness of coffee on the couch with the candles going... happy, HAPPY sigh! SO worth the temporary pain.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Open Letter To Target

Dear Local Targets,

I love you dearly but am deeply disappointed this year in all of you (or at least the three or four of you I've been to). I thought it was SOP to begin selling Fall decor after July 4th, yet you STILL don't have anything but the Halloween stuff out. I waited until September 1st and all my decorations are out, but you? So sad.

Where are my fake Fall leaves for my table? Where are the new dishtowels I must have? I finally today found one measly punkin candy dish (which of course I bought), but I am still really disappointed. Christmas sheets are out on the endcap, but not the Fall stuff. I had such great confidence in you! Maybe next year...

Sincerely always still forever (broke) yours,
Susan

Girls' Night Out!

Here is the long awaited, much anticipated post about Girls' Night Out. I only build it up this much because a couple of you seemed quite taken with the idea. So here's what happened... (see what happened was...)

A few years back, I had this thought that whenever anyone of our team members is serving, it means we're losing out on fellowship time. Now this isn't the case always, and we certainly cram in what fellowship time we can, but usually when we're at church, it's because we're there to serve others. So Girls' Night Out came to be this annual event that the ladies in our ministry LOVE.

One night a year we dress the room with girlie colors and eat chocolate of some sort, drink pink drinks (lemonade people! raspberry lemonade!) and worship and play games and generally have a fun time of not doing.

The mothers can have a night off (we provide childcare) and the non-mothers can have a fun night too. I usually do most of the prep/clean-up work myself, since I don't want anyone else to have to "do" anything. I do generally ask one other lady to help me with a few things, with the sole purpose that they can still enjoy the event.

GNO, as I like to call it, starts with worship, then I (actually get on a microphone! and) welcome everyone and for the newbies, explain our purpose for the evening (to relax, to worship, to enjoy being God's daughter without the pressures we have in life from day to day, and of course, to have fun!). Then we do a raffle and give away as many fun girlie prizes as we can, then we make a take home craft, play games, and have dessert. Fun, right?

Well, this year, my dear friend (and hairstylist to the well, not stars, but to most of the folks in our ministry), Melissa, helped me out. She was a workhorse and didn't really get to enjoy the event, which made me sad. MM and her girls also ended up helping a ton too, which I really appreciated.

This year both the dessert and the craft were inspired by Pinterest. I'm tellin' ya, that's the stuff right there! That website has been so great for me! Okay, plug for Pinterest over. We made these and ate these. I got rave reviews for both. I didn't follow the directions correctly for either (I looked at the photos and figured it out.). But both turned out beautifully.

Below are photos from the event. They're all pretty random, but you can tell we had a blast (and Melissa was VERY thirsty during clean-up!)!


















Saturday, September 10, 2011

Anxious Desperation



We've been on the path to getting out of debt for a few years now and we're finally to the point that we can see the end. I keep describing this feeling to people as "anxious desperation." We're so glad God finally bopped us upside the head so we get it now, and we're making wise, God-honoring choices financially.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ~Luke 16:13 (NIV)

We've been slaves to our debtors for our entire marriage (over 9 years), but we're almost free! About five years ago or so, our church got wise to the fact that 'how can our people be generous with their time, talents, and gifts if the church isn't?' So our church paid off the mortgage, got out of debt themselves, and now we have been able to put more of our funds into city-reaching and community outreach. It's been a wonderful thing to know they're not just preaching it, they're doing it!

The main educational info. we use as a body is from Dave Ramsey.



For those of you who don't know who Dave Ramsey is, he's a cool Christian dude with very smart principles for managing money and investments, etc. To me, I like the guy because he had gagillions of dollars, went bankrupt from stupidity, and learned the right lessons the hard way. His Financial Peace University material is what we use here at Crossroads. To be honest, I've only done the one-day seminars, not the entire class, but these are the baby steps to help you (or whoever) get started:



Basically to start, you save an emergency fund so you avoid amassing more credit for emergencies that come up (car problems, an unexpected bill comes in, medical copays, etc.). Once you have your emergency fund saved up, then you start hitting your debt. We used to pay more than the minimum payment on all our debt, which is great, but makes for a much slower, more agonizing process. Dave suggests using the "debt snowball" method, which means you take all your extra money (the amount you decide to put to paying off debt above the minimums), and put it all to one debt at a time. Once that debt is paid off, you take that extra money plus the minimum payment of what you were paying on the now-paid-off debt, and put it to another debt. Repeat until debt is gone. The other baby steps happen after all that, which we're not truly to yet.

We are attacking our first of four debts left to go. We will have paid it off in December, but we're hoping to pay it off by Thanksgiving (happy early Christmas to us!). This is our longest debt we've had (outside of student loans) and we will probably bawl in happiness once it's done. After this one's paid off, we'll have two smaller debts to be paid off and then all we'll have are our student loans.

So to summarize, six months from now, we should be completely debt-free except for our student loans! YAY! Thus, the anxious desperation I described earlier. So close I can see it! But we still have to be wise and not blow it to get there! So we're excited, but desperately trying to stay obedient. No new toys for a year, we said earlier this year. That means no iPads, no new phones, no huge expenses we don't need. A hard thing when you see the cash in the bank and have the itch to burn through it. But God's reward is so much longer-lasting and better than any of the latest techno stuff.

Can't you just see it? God as our only master. Life will be that much sweeter in the end.

Friday, September 09, 2011

InstaLife

I've been participating for a while now (well, a few months anyway) with Instagram. I love the changes you can give to a photo that will enhance it (or take my lame photos and make them super cool). Almost all of the blogs I read do Instaphotos on their blogs on Fridays. I still need to look into it more, and figure it all out, but here's my attempt to share my Instaphotos.



This is my Pinterest-inspired Fall wreath. Yes, I decorated September 01st. (and 02nd. I had to go buy more stuff. I was obsessed with every nook and cranny being decorated! Confession time: I beat Target to the punch this year. I can't believe I beat TARGET to Fall decorating! Target. They decorate for Halloween during the 4th of July. And I. Beat. Them. Crazy.). I love this wreath. Unfortunately, I already have a wreath so I have nowhere to hang this one. It's currently hung wonky on the living room wall, lower than the two framed photos that surround it. I am belying my OCDness to allow it to remain there because I love it so much!



This is Scout looking super cute. When is she not looking super cute? Seriously. I'm not biased AT. ALL.



It was a really bad week work-wise, you may know that, you may not. Tuesday I flew out of there desperately needing some time away. I ate comfort goodness at Chipotle and then hit up the Sbux on the way back to the office. Muchas gracias went to my boss who handed me the Starbucks gift card on the way out the door, hoping I'd return for our meeting that afternoon!



This was Scout watching Andy Griffith on Netflix. She's way into it. That's my furbaby- addicted to TV. She's a regular couch popuppy.



Starbucks is one of my happy places. The iced mocha especially brings great joy. Happiness!



I get Relevant magazine at work. I don't actually recommend it all that much, but sometimes they have funny stuff in there. Exhibit A, above.



This was my view yesterday morning looking out my office window. I am eternally grateful for 1) an office with a locking door, and 2) a gigantic window. Especially when it's Fall. Then it's hard to work because I'm watching the colors and the leaves change. But I do get the work done at some point, so back to being grateful!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Getting Better All The Time

So this week has been a terrible, awful, no-good, kind of week. Work-wise at least. And yes, for those of you wondering, I work for my church. Where happy Christians live in a perfect little Heaven on Earth where no problems ever exist to disrupt our love for sharing Jesus with people. (pause for dramatic effect)

Yeah, right. I will just say most of my problems have involved my computer and leave it at that. I heard your empathetic groans from here. Thank you for your kind sympathy.

So yesterday after lunch I turned a little corner attitude/heart-wise. I read Hannah's blog post which totally put me where I needed to be- communing with God about all the crap I was experiencing/dealing with. Hannah was preaching and I was ready to receive the sermon. I was also able to spend about five hours straight at my desk rocking out some productivity which also helped. Had some jams on my phone blaring through the earbuds, and I was in my happy place. (Yes, at work. It can happen.)

I have many blog ideas and convos to have with y'all, but it's going to take some time to jump back into the posting. The stupid photos trip me up every time! Anyway, all that to say, now that I'm in a better frame of mind, I hope to update the bloggie soon with lots of things better than my rant about Bill Gates and his "offerings." Okay sorry, my residual feelings from earlier this week are still hanging around.