Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

Have I ever told you how amazing my husband is?  Well, he is!  I have been so sick this week... Just when I thought I was better... bam.  Not so much.  I went to the doctor Monday morning, found out I had a viral infection which caused an ear infection and swollen tonsils with blisters.  Gross, yes.  So I stayed home Monday from work obviously, went in Tuesday, felt HORRIBLE, ended up leaving early and was in so much pain I was in tears the rest of the day.  So, I decided that just because I felt a little better didn't mean I was better, and took Wednesday off.  I went back to work this morning and I feel just peachy now, finally! Being sick is NO fun!!!  But, Taylor has seriously been amazing this week.  He has watched me lay on the couch and gotten up to get anything and everything I needed, and even said he wished that he could have my sickness so I didn't have to.  Love that boy :)

Since I've been sick, my menu is off!  Sad day :(  I just did not want to do anything, especially cook!  So, we'll have some extra things for next month's menu!

And today is our friend Jason's birthday, so Happy Birthday Jason!!!  We love you!!  You still look the same today at "19" as you did at 3!!!  ;)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whole Lotta Nothin' Goin' On

It has been a very uneventful weekend.  Friday night we went to Texas Roadhouse with Jason, Bekah, and Kaden. (No breaking the budget here, we had a gift card!)  Then we went to the mall with them so Bekah could get her rings inspected.  We ended up just walking around the mall and I of course found like 40 things I wanted.  We parked outside of Macy's furniture store, so on our way out we acted like kids and played "how much do you think this costs?"  We're lame, but it was a fun game!  Haha...

Saturday we didn't really have any plans, but the plan wasn't to sit at home.  Well, I woke up with a sore throat and didn't really feel like doing much of anything.  I only ventured out to Petco because the pup was out of food and to Target to get a birthday gift.  I woke up this morning with a worse version of yesterday, so I have been laying on the couch with Jake all day.  He's a good nurse.  I have been eating Ricolas and drinking hot wellness tea.  I'm ready for this crud to be gone!  Good news is I feel a whole lot better right now than I did this morning!

Update on how the whole menu thing is going:  we haven't strayed from the menu at all!  Except for I'm dumb and apparently can't tell the difference between Tuesday and Thursday when I read them, so we swapped those two meals around this week.  I actually like having something to go by.  It's much easier than standing at the pantry or refrigerator trying to figure out what in the world to cook.

I hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend and here's to a great week!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hope You're Wearing Your Swimmies...

Gonna go a little deeper than normal today.  I just listened to something and had to share/comment on it.  I listen to an Atlanta radio show every morning on my drive to work, The Bert Show.  It is a crazy bunch of radio hosts who basically talk about anything and everything, literally.  I think it's great!  They're on the air from 5 am-10 am, but I'm only in the car from about 7-8, so I normally miss a lot of stuff.  Well, this morning, they were talking about Jenn Hobby's (one of the radio hosts) talk yesterday about her faith.  I also saw Andy Stanley's tweet today saying "Would someone please pass along a message to Jenn@Q100. Your boldness and sincerity about your faith yesterday was extraordinary. Thank you!" Of course I had to go  online and hope they had the clip available to listen to.  Well, they did!  It is incredible.  Jenn was talking about how this past weekend she had gone to a funeral for one of her friend's 16 year old brother who had lost the battle with a brain tumor.  She was so challenged by how strong the family was in their faith and how they were relying on God to get them through that difficult time.  Jenn said she was inspired to be more public with her faith.  She really has always been "embarrassed" to share her faith in fear of what people might think of her.  Basically, Jenn decided that there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about, but showing the love of Christ to others was something she is going to do more boldly from now on.  She felt that in her 8 years of doing the Bert Show, that she had missed out on so many opportunities to share.  No more.  Which I am really excited about, because sometimes I do think on the show that I wish they had a Christian opinion for some of their topics.  I'm now hoping Jenn steps up in that, I think it will be an amazing addition.

One of the other hosts on the show, Melissa, made an amazing analogy.  She said that her girlfriend is an avid exerciser.  Instead of pushing Melissa to exercise or making her feel guilty for not exercising, she just sets the example and tells Melissa how good she feels when she works out.  Another one was how she is not a parent, and her friends that are parents share good memories/stories with her and the joys of parenthood rather than pressuring her to have children.

Isn't that how it should be with our faith as well?  Instead of pushing the gospel on someone, shouldn't I just live the example in my own life and tell them what the Lord has done and is doing in me?  Shouldn't they be able to see the love of Christ in me and not some pushy "you're going to hell" speech?  Am I doing that?  Are you?  I'd have to admit that I am more like Jenn right now, not necessarily ashamed of my faith, but definitely not bold in sharing.  Is it because I'm shy?  Probably.  I also have a fear that someone will ask me a question I don't know the answer to.  Do I not have enough faith that God will provide me with the answer, or with someone who does have the answer?  I'm not sure.  I do know that I have been inspired by Jenn's story, and am now challenged to be Christ everywhere I am.  To my co-workers, friends, and anyone I come into contact with.  May they all know where I stand.  And may I yearn to grow closer to the Lord so that my boldness can solidify daily.

If you're still with this until the end, I'm impressed.  Will you join me in this?  Or if you're already doing it, please shine a little light of encouragement my way, I'll need it :)

And if you're interested and have a spare 15 minutes, I urge you to listen to this radio slot which spurred this long deep blog post.  You won't regret it, it's good stuff.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Girl on a Budget

I hate the word budget.  I feel like it is so restraining!  I wish I just had an endless supply of money... This is gross, but there were two dimes randomly on our couch today... I was like, "Did Jake start pooping money?!"  Wouldn't that just be amazing?  Oh well, since my money supply isn't neverending (and Jakey's poop is indeed not money)... to the budget I go.  Am I good at sticking to a budget, you ask?  NO!  But today is a new day.

Since I was in grad school last year, I was working anywhere from 25-35 hours per week with an agreement that I would start working 40 as soon as school was done.  Well, the awesome economy had other plans for that... we're slow at work right now, so they have cut back my hours to 25 per week.  Can you say ouch?  So I'm making about half as much right now as I expected to be making.  No fun.  But that's okay.  God has definitely been providing for Taylor and me.  He was able to pick up a couple of extra guitar lessons (even though he really didn't want to) and we have just been watching our spending.

Spending watching is no longer going to cut it!  We are budgeting now.  And it is going to be fun!  The area we normally spend way too much money is... food!  We eat out a lot and when I go to the grocery store I just roam the aisles and put whatever I want in the buggy.  I now have a new habit!  From now on, I am going to make a menu beginning on payday and going through the next payday.  So, I'll have one menu that will last from the first of the month through the 15th, then another that will go from the 16th through the end of the month.  I did, of course, build in a couple of eating out days.  Let's face it, it's going to happen!  So, I took my menu and made a grocery list of ONLY things that we would need to make all that was on my menu.  Did I stick to my grocery list?  Why yes, I did!  The only thing we walked out of the store with that was not on the list was a couple of things for Taylor to have at home to eat for lunch over the next couple of weeks (which I initially forgot to put on the list).

I'm pretty excited about this new budget.  I'm hoping we can stop wasting some money and get some stuff paid off!  I'll post more about it later and update on our progress.  I'm also going to blog my menus so that I can hold myself accountable!  If you ever see something on my menu you'd like to try, just ask!  I don't think I have anything too out of the ordinary, we tried to stay pretty inexpensive for this month.  Here goes!

PS... tonight's dish looks pretty yummy... I've never tried it before, but here is the recipe in case it strikes your fancy :)

Chicken Broccoli Au Gratin

Chicken Au Gratin
Mashed Potatoes

Green Beans

Dinner and a Movie Night

Saturday (L)

Saturday (D)
Chicken Enchiladas

Sunday (L)

Sunday (D)
Hamburger Helper
Green Beans

Chicken Stir Fry
Egg Rolls

Pork Chops
English Peas
Garlic Potatoes
Mahi Mahi
Alfredo Noodles
Macaroni Grill Chicken

Texas Roadhouse

Saturday (L)

Saturday (D)
BBQ Chicken Sand

Sunday (L)

Sunday (D)
Pot Roast
Beef Strips
Asian Veggies


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oh, Snowy Day(s)

So... we have been stuck inside for awhile now... it's starting to be a little aggravating.  I actually want to go to work!  We have been watching movies, the boys have been playing Xbox, and I have been working from home as much as I can... kind of hard when the computer is being ridiculously slow!  Anyways, I promised photos and video of the sledding down the street, so here they are!

We definitely had fun doing the sledding... after that, the snow started to get annoying!  Almost everything is closed... and it's REALLY hard to get anywhere... we have only ventured out for food, and I didn't even try to get on the interstate to go to work... too many accidents and only one or two of the six lanes were open!  So... here we sit... all day long... EXCITING!!  I just feel bad that John and Brandon are here and we haven't really gotten to do anything fun with them.  Oh well, at least they got to see snow I guess!

I had my interview for Study Abroad in Greece today... I was supposed to meet at school today, but since GSU is closed, they just called me and we talked about everything over the phone.  I'm SUPER excited!  It sounds like the work load won't be very hard... I just have to go to "class" on May 9 and 10, then on the 11th everyone does a 5 minute presentation of what we want to learn while we're in Greece. Then while we're gone, we will write a few two page papers, and we're also graded on participation.  Sounds like a million times better than what I'd be suffering through for the spring semester!

Well... that's about all that's going on... I'm going to go play with my Kitchen Aid now!  If I can't do anything else... might as well bake something fun... today... cheesecake!  :)  I'll let you know how it turns out!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gatlinburg Recap

We had such a good time in Gatlinburg this past weekend!  The retreat we were going to ended up being cancelled, so we still went and did our own thing.  We got there Friday around 5:00, then unloaded and went to eat dinner at TGI Fridays.  Then we did a Bible study session and then the girls headed up to our room to watch a movie.  The boys did this:

They're a tad bit crazy, but we love them of course!  Saturday we woke up and walked to a delicious donut shop for breakfast, then we took went back to the hotel for another session.  Pancake Pantry was next for some delicious lunch (yes, donuts for breakfast and pancakes for lunch.  Don't worry, they had NO calories!  Amazing!)  Then we took some pictures in The Village!  It was so beautiful in the snow!  Below are a couple of pics from there, Taylor and I and then one of my roommates for the weekend!

After fun in The Village, we headed back to the hotel to build a snowman in the parking lot.  It wasn't really working out so much, and I was FREEZING... so I tucked away in the hotel room for awhile in the warmth.  Then, most of the girls came in and joined me and we ended up doing this and singing along to Taylor's guitar!

After a YouTube marathon, we then had our evening session and then had pizza.  Once all that was done, the girls were kicked out because the boys wanted to watch a man movie!  So, we went up to our room and were just hanging out, pretty much having girl talk!  Looking at other people's wedding pictures, telling stories, etc.  Then about 10:30 my phone rang, and it was my best friend, Nicole.  I almost ignored it because it was so loud in my room.  I decided not to because I thought, "What if she's calling to tell me she's engaged?!"  Well... that's exactly what it was!!!  I'm SO excited for her and my BFF Chris.  I wanted to add a photo of them here, thought of using a really cute or sweet one, but this one is definitely more fitting!!  (It's still really cute and sweet though!)

We finally went to bed around 1 am (after I had to show my mean side to some loud kids in the hallway).  Sunday morning we woke up, had breakfast and a session, then headed back to Georgia!  The only icy road was the side street our hotel was on, so I was very thankful we only had maybe 100 yards of icy!  We got home around 5, then I went to the grocery store to stock up food for the week for our visitors!  John and Brandon arrived safely at about 2:45 this morning.  They drove through the snow storm, so I'm very glad they made it!  Oh ps... it snowed A LOT here last night... holy cow.  We played in it earlier... the boys tore a trash can lid off and we "sledded" down our street!  Don't worry, pictures and videos are DEFINITELY coming from that... it needs its own post!!  So, more to come later today, possibly tomorrow!  I'm gonna go hang out with the boys now... or at least hope they won't play the Xbox ALL day!!  :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gatlinburg, Visitors, and Kardashians

Random title, right?  Just wanted to start out with a shout out to my girls Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe.  I watched the People's Choice Awards on DVR just to see if they won the award for "Best Guilty Pleasure."  I'm not gonna lie, Keeping Up With the Kardashians is definitely my guilty pleasure.  Taylor REALLY likes it when I watch it.  (Kidding... he obviously finds ANYTHING else to do when it's on!)  Just FYI-- I'm REALLY excited for Kourtney and Kim take New York to come on... then Khloe and Lamar!!  Lots of fun Kardashian drama to come.  Okay... enough of that!

Tomorrow we are leaving for Gatlinburg for our youth retreat.  I'm pretty excited!  I got to go last year, but Taylor was on his death bed, so I had to fill in for him for his first youth trip.  So basically I'm a pro.  It's supposed to snow this weekend... which I'm not too excited about driving in it, but at least it'll be fun to play in!

We will be back home on Sunday, then Taylor and I are going to have a massive cleaning day because we are having visitors next week!  John Rinehart and Brandon Edwards are coming up from Lafayette to stay with us until Friday!  I LOVE having visitors... We miss all of our friends so much so it's really fun when they get to come hang with us in the big city for awhile.  Hopefully we'll find enough to keep them entertained.  I'm definitely gonna try out some new recipes for them... it's so much easier to cook for four people than two... we always end up wasting sooo much food with just the two of us here.

So, now that I have rambled wayyy too much, I'm out.  One of my blogging goals is to take more pictures so that I have some to post when I blog.  So, here's to taking pictures in Gatlinburg so I can show them to you guys when I get back!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life As We Know It

Since I'm new to this whole blogging thing, I'm just going to start from the beginning!  For those of you who don't know what we're up to these days, this is for you!  Basically just a life update... here goes!

Taylor and I got married in May and are living in a cute little house in Marietta, GA, a suburb of Atlanta.  We are loving married life!

We have the cutest little pup in the whole world!  Meet Jake, our spoiled rotten little puggle!

I am currently working at SawHorse, a renovation company in Atlanta as the Accounts Manager.  I basically just handle all the moolah :).  I'm also just two weeks shy of having my Masters in Real Estate.  I'm studying abroad in Greece in May to finish up!  Taylor is the youth and worship minister at Cobb Community Church in Marietta.  We love our little church and all the people there!  Here are a few of our youth at our wedding, aren't they cute!

We don't do much outside of our jobs... It's funny because Taylor just asked me why we're so boring!  It's hard when you're working all day to actually WANT to do something fun, especially when you're not making a whole lot of extra money!  Fun can be expensive!  So, if any of you guys know free cheap fun things to do, send them our way, please!  For now, I just enjoy cooking.  I got an awesome new Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas (thanks Debsie!) which will keep me entertained for awhile!!

One thing Taylor and I have been missing is having friends our age.  The vast majority of Marietta is either older than us or younger, people don't really move out to the burbs until they have kids.  So, we just kind of hang out with each other.  It has been such a blessing to have Jason and Bekah Wilson here with us.  Taylor knows Jason from home, and they moved up here a few months before we did.  So, it's so great to be able to hang out with them, but unfortunately it doesn't happen often enough!!  But, they did recently have the most adorable baby boy, Kaden.  I just love my little nephew :)

Well, now that you're completely jealous of our super-fun life, I guess I'll leave it at that!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Blog

So... it's time to bite the bullet.  I've been wanting to start a blog for a while now, but just haven't.  Not sure if it was just not having time with school, or what.  I think it's just the fact that I "don't have much to say."  So, I'm just going to say whatever I want.  This will be a place for me to rant, reflect, dream, set goals, update family and friends on life, and just have something that is "mine."

Here is to the new blog and whatever may come out... Enjoy!  :)