Thursday, August 6, 2015

Feeling Lonely?

Yesterday I just had to laugh, I had no other choice. Yet again, I have hit another milestone in pregnancy where another outfit doesn't fit. I think I've hit the point where I legitimately have to bite the bullet and begin buying actual maternity clothes and not just regular clothes a size too big. So I headed to the maternity store at the mall. 

If you are pregnant, your husband has been out of town all summer, you're feeling discouraged because you're entering the "I'm huge" stage of pregnancy and you're lonely... go to the maternity store. It is the friendliest store you'll ever visit. When I first got there I was the only person in the store and the sales associate was very kind and chatty. By the time I left there were 4 of us, BFF4L! All of us pregnant with our first baby. Friend 1 has diabetes and thought she'd never be able to have kids, she's due in Feb. Friend 2 is due Oct 26 and I'm due Oct 25 and we're delivering at the same hospital, so we may be hospital buddies as well. She was in a terrible car accident so her pregnancy has put her through a lot of pain. She was also just told she's no longer allowed to wear her high heels. I told her I gave mine up a looong time ago. I tell you all of this just to illustrate my point. What store have you been in lately where you can gather that much info from complete strangers. 

The pictures below are purely for your enjoyment and to hopefully give you a great big laugh! I was trying on these blue pants (which I bought for $5) and needed to try the shirts on but didn't have another bottom so I just had to go with blue on blue. I started laughing soooo hard thinking I looked like the girl from Willy Wonka... "Violet, you're turning Violet!" 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wish List

My Hunka Hunka Burning Love and I have been doing a lot of thinking for the future. While we're still in a place of stability we know that a great deal of change and transition is headed our way. We're moving (just down the street) in August, we're expecting a baby in Oct, he'll graduate in May and after May we still currently have no idea where we're headed or what he'll be doing.

I actually like change, I'm not one of those people who does anything to avoid it. While I don't necessarily like hauling all the boxes in and out of a truck to move, I don't mind packing everything up and then unpacking it all and re-setting up home.

Speaking of home, as My HHBL and I get ready to move in a few weeks and then potentially again in a year, I have come to find myself making a little checklist of things that I would one day love to actually have in my home, but for at least the next 20 years I'll just deal with dreaming about them. In no particular order I have included the luxuries for my never gonna happen future home.

A Viking Stove (I'd take this whole setup really, just add one of those water spigots that comes out of the wall so you can fill up a big pasta pot, I have to keep My Italian HHBL happy.) Please note this picture is a two-fer because it is also a double oven. Isn't she a beaut?

Farm Sink (I'd really take this entire photo, but make the counter tops white).

A super comfy and bright Sun Room for watching TV, playing with the kids, reading and napping. I love, love, love natural light. A house that requires no lights from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. would be incredible. My parents' home is actually pretty dark, except for my bedroom and the Sun Room where we spent 90% of our time. So the need for natural light I blame on my mom.

A big jetted tub, it'd be nice, but I don't need it. What I'd rather have is a nice big claw foot tub. Have to make sure it goes up on one end so you can rest your head. Otherwise, you have to slink down in the tub and then your feet or knees end up really cold.

Gas lanterns. I fell in love with these when I lived in NOLA and I just think they're soo sexy.

With this photo I'm testing your deduction skills...
That's right in order to have a dock you have to live on the water. More than the things above, I want to live on the river. While my family didn't/doesn't actually live on the water, we basically grew up every weekend in the summer at the river; skiing, knee boarding, tubing, wake boarding, etc. Unfortunately for me, the thing I want the most is by far the most expensive and difficult to obtain. Maybe I do need the claw foot tub, so I can just pretend I'm swimming in the river.

p.s. I take no photo credit, these were all swiped from google... except for the one below.

Isn't this little tyke soo cute?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Deep Sigh

I had my 18 week doctor's apt this morning and I'm happy to say that everything is fine. The heart beat is good and strong and he could hear Sweet Buns moving all around.

Last week in the middle of the night I had some terrible lower stomach cramping which gave me a little bit of a fright. At 2 a.m. I'm googling if this is normal and the slight reassurance I gained was that it's probably gas (I had eaten pizza for dinner) and that unless there's bleeding, everything should be fine. So I was able to keep myself calm most of the week, but I have to admit I was pretty anxious last night and this morning.

I haven't really had any pain or problems thus far, so last week's was a bit scary. The MD said those pains are normal and if anything were to go wrong at this point the pain would be of a new variety that I've probably never felt before and blood. All this to say, I'm definitely relieved, so much so I just had to get it out.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for baby Sweet Buns. We pray that you would continue to form him/her over the next 22 weeks. We pray for a healthy, strong, vibrant baby that would remind us of your glory, power and splendor every time we look at SB. In a few weeks we will find out the gender and possibly any health concerns, we pray those would not exist, but above that we pray for your will and our conforming spirits. We ask that even now you would be equipping us to be good, loving parents that can be a light to SB. Please be ever present with SB and may SB never know a moment without you near (I pray the same thing for us as we take on a new role as parents and learn a new limit to our sanity and patience). Lord, guide us on this new adventure and allow this experience to bring us closer to you and allow a small glimpse into your infinite love for us.

It's is your son's holy and precious name we pray - Amen

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Guess What...!

So I realized besides the silly Zumba post it has been 2+ months since my last post. I hope you haven't missed me too much. I see that some of you have continued to visit hoping and praying that I've posted another funny story or insightful words of wisdom.

Life has been a little crazy for us in the last 2 months. My Hunka Hunka Burning Love has been working hard at law school, writing papers and studying for finals. Mid-March - May is nuts for me at work, organizing and hosting 45 alumni guests in 6 weeks and planning our Reunion weekend for 1,300 people. Deep breath, Reunions is finished... For this year. 

We've also been cooking up a little something something.... I'll let the picture of The Brothers spill the beans.... AHHHHHHH!!!!

These guys couldn't be more excited, because that's right ladies and gentlemen, we're having a baby!! Due at the end of October (gender reveal post to follow shortly). 

I didn't know this, but apparently craving pickles is a legit thing when you're preggo, so I'm tracking right on course with most other women in that regard!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The End Has Come...

This week was the ending of an era. Ok, so maybe not an era.... but I wrapped up my time as a Zumba instructor :( I've been teaching at the local city gym for about 3 years and what a joy it's been. I've had some back trouble though and when the doctor says Zumba definitely isn't helping and you ignore him for a solid year the time comes to let the truth sink in. 

My class is soo sweet though. After class they had a Thank You cake and everyone signed this sweet card. Sarah, the British woman who I love chatting with, brought this card to class secretly for like 3 weeks so that everyone could have a chance to sign it. They also gave me a very generous gift card. I'm really going to miss those ladies!

This cake was deeee-liciousss! Thank you, Caroline for picking a good one!
Some of my most devoted Zumbians. Thank You!
Last official class is tomorrow, Saturday 10 - 11 a.m. at Smith Aquatic. Hope to see you there!
I wonder who will pay me to work out, now that I've quit the gym...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Need A Good Book?

I've been on a real reading kick these last 8 months or so and it's been wonderful. The funny part is that all through school I HATED reading. I have always been a slow reader, I think part of this has do with the fact that I like to read dialogue in the way it would be actually spoken. I can read faster, but it doesn't sound as good and my characters lose all their accents and inflection.

In 7th grade I got a C in reading because I'd just put my head down and fall asleep. They gave me this completely bogus and unattainable goal, so after about a week I didn't even try (I'll try not to teach my children this trait). In high school I was supposed to read Crime and Punishment at least 3 times, I think I read 30 pages... oops. Then in college, by my third year, knowing I wouldn't read the books, I didn't even buy most of them. I saved my parents a ton of money (you're welcome). Tangent... senior year of high school, AP English teacher gives the assignment to ask our parents one piece of advice for college. You can assume the usual, "stay on top of reading, visit the professor, don't get behind, do the reading, blah blah blah." My mom's advice, "Go To Class. If you go to class, you don't have to do most of the reading." Best (and truest) college advice I ever received.

However, something in me switched once I was no longer made to read, and to read books that I had absolutely no interest in. Now, I'm an animal and cannot stop. A small praise to Jesus for this 180, since My Hunka Hunka Burning Love is reading law books most nights until bed time, it's nice to sit on the couch together and read rather than ostracize him to the office to work.

Below are 5 books that I've read recently and highly recommend. I tried to pick ones that hopefully you haven't seen on all the best seller lists and the like.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

If you're like me and didn't quite understand all the fuss about her other book, The Secret Life of Bees, it's ok, this book is still phenomenal!!

Early 1800s Charleston, the story of a slave girl and the plantation owner's daughter and how they walk the road together towards freedom from both of their worlds of bondage.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

This is a very easy read, due to this, when I finished it at first I kind of brushed it off. Slowly the story just kept coming back to me over and over again and I realized that while it's not a piece of literary genius, the story is so sweet, heart warming and heart wrenching. It's slowly creeping up as an all time favorite.

 Doll-baby by Laura Lane McNeal

This is not The Help 2.0 like some of the reviews like to compare it to. It does take place during Civil Rights era in New Orleans, but the plot serves a completely different purpose. It's a touching story about a young girl who ends up living with her grandmother after her father's death, and how they essentially raise and protect one another.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

I read this one a while back, so I don't remember the exact details, but it's during Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship and how four sisters, only one who's still alive, lived through and resisted political oppression.
 Villa Triste by Lucrieta Grindle

I've read several WWII novels, but this is the first one I've read that depicts what was happening in Italy and the resistance forces that emerged after the armistice to help resist the German invasion. The story unravels a great mystery of betrayal by some of the leaders of the resistance.

I may or may not love historical fiction. In school/never was/am I very good at remembering the details of big historical events, but wrap history in the story of particular people, some falling in love, families learning hidden secrets, tangible examples of how people were living day to day, I'm hooked. Maybe social history would have suited me a little better.

Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Saving on the Little Things

So I'm basically stealing from my friend Becca's blog (she's great if you don't already know/read her). She wrote a blog inspired by this book about how to save money ($100/day - woaw, that's a lot). If you don't know... My Hunka Hunka Burning Love and I are currently accumulating just a little bit of debt as he goes to law school. We're constantly trying to stop spending money, but I'm we're really not very good at that. When I read Becca's blog I thought, oh wonderful, I'll just use all the ideas she's already come up with... uno problemo, we don't spend money on the same things repeatedly. It feels as though we're constantly spontaneous/splurge spenders. Now, I haven't read the book, so I don't know all the ideas she came up with to accomplish her goal, but I've taken the ones Becca highlighted to demonstrate the dilemma I face.

"Here are a few things Janice did, as recorded in her book:" (I omitted a few I felt were null, as to not inundate you).

1. Canceled my television service. My HHBL would never this happen... he loves his ESPN way too much (I may or may not get HGTV out of it too).

3. Used up my samples from Sephora. I don't have any. I don't have samples from anywhere.

4. Used up the creams that were just so-so before I repurchased my favorite. We have a few bottle of lotion, but my HHBL hates the girly smelly ones, so I can only go through the ones I have but soo fast.

6. Invited friends out for hikes, coffees, or frozen yogurt rather than wait until they invited me to pricey dinners. We are attempting this, luckily our friends are pretty cheap as well.

8. Drank all the tea in my house before buying more. Oh lordy, I had a lot of tea. We only have 2 cabinets in our little kitchen for food, so we don't have a lot of anything just hanging around waiting to be eaten in our house.

9. Ordered a small coffee instead of a latte. It would have been cheaper to make coffee at home, but less social. We rarely order coffee, My HHBL makes a scrumptious French Press coffee every morning for us. Travel mugs are the way to go and skip the ordered coffee all together.

10. Said no to dinners at restaurants. Ok, we can actually really work on this one. We are trying to eat out less, whether it's a fun date night out or ordering take out. We will have only done that once this week - Go Us!!!

12. Oatmeal. We eat this regularly in the winter. I have a stash in my desk at work for breakfast every morning. I just can't do it in the summer.

13. Did my own nails with all the polish I already bought. I only get a mani/pedi maybe twice a year, so this really isn't going to help the bank account all that much.

14. Accepted gifts from people. Strange, but the more I released, the more I received gifts, largely in the form of free meals and stationery. Bring it on friends, I'll accept your gifts, no problem!

16. Searched my medicine cabinet before I went to the pharmacy. What I needed was usually there. We don't have much besides Nyquil and Advil. We're tough! The cave men didn't have medicine, so neither do we.

17. Stopped falling for coupons. You know what’s cheaper? Not buying at all. Ok, ok, I'll listen to this one. At the grocery we also buy most everything generic brand because that's usually still cheaper even if you have a coupon for the name brand one. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to be one of those crazy couponers who gets away with everything name brand and somehow get's paid $25 to leave with $1,546 worth of stuff.

22. Convinced my family to not get each other big Christmas gifts. Instead we got each other a small stocking stuffer. It was delightful, and no one missed the lack of presents. Our poor families are already used to getting $1 Scratchers... If they're really lucky we buy the $5 ones. Did I tell you my husband is in law school?

25. Welcomed overnight guests into my home. Strange, but they basically fed me half the time out of gratitude for the free place to stay, and I was delighted to see them. Our door is always open (literally, if you can see into the house through just the glass front door, we're home. If it's dark outside we half shut the wooden door (no peeping Toms), so just check for T Tog and lights). We just recently had some fun guests stay with us for a wedding and it was absolutely delightful!

While I was hoping that she would do all the hard work of brainstorming the money saving tips, alas many of them don't fit within our current lifestyle, so I've had to do some thinking of my own. Here are a few I've come up with:

1. I hosted a baby shower recently and instead of keeping the leftover cups, napkins, etc. that weren't used for "next time" I took them back for a refund.

2. When I returned them, I didn't allow myself to browse the aisles... just in and out, thank you for my money back.

3. Eat the food we buy rather than wait for it to go bad and throw it out.

4. Use the public library always (even if it means being the 138th person on the waiting list), day-gone books are expensive these days!

5. Stop visiting T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. If you go, bring your husband who will only let you purchase what you went in looking for and nothing else.

Since I don't have the easy solutions like, stop drinking beer and you'll lose 5 lbs, please let me know if you have any other great money saving tips. This blog was not for your benefit but rather a hope in it benefiting me.